I’m always thinking about where to go next, so I keep lists. Every time I read about someone’s “top 10 best places to order soup between the hours of 2am and 4am,” I immediately scrawl it down on the off chance I might be in need of an after-hours consommé. This compulsion is now extending to places I’ve never thought of going. Last week I found myself looking up Bosnian restaurants in St. Louis for like an hour, just in case I ever go there.

This massive time-wasting endeavor was all set off by watching the St. Louis episode of Noisey’s video series The Backdrop. The videos do a great job of covering local art and music scenes. They interview artists, rappers, and DJs to give context to places I hadn’t previously wanted to visit.

I think there is a growing sense that the internet and big-box stores are homogenizing everything about America, but these videos show that each city’s unique regional characteristics are still alive, and that they are manifested in the local art scenes. These videos merely break the ice of the local scenes, but show that for those interested in emerging art and culture, there are plenty of places around the country to explore.

Check out the rest of the series:

  • Atlanta
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Baltimore
  • Miami