A city's music scene is represented most visibly by its performers. Their names are on the fliers; they're the faces on the stage; and when visitors scope out a city, they often want to know what national artists came up there.
But there's more to a scene than the bands, MCs, singer-songwriters and DJs. Many of those artists wouldn't be successful -- or be in music at all -- without a strong local-music infrastructure. Perhaps they were turned on to new sounds at a local record store. They got a start at a small venue, and got a boost from local music bloggers (or zinesters).
This year's Music Guide centers on some of those background characters. We take a look at the team behind the revival of The Mr. Roboto Project, a DIY venue re-opening this summer in Bloomfield. We examine the local music blog Draw Us Lines and its young but promising video series. We tour Machine Age Studios, which could be a museum of recording equipment, were it not all in everyday use. And we talk to a few prominent Pittsburghers outside the music scene about their music collections.
We devote a lot of music coverage year-round to local bands and artists; this week, we look at some of the folks who helped to get them where they are.