This weekend was filled with beginnings and ends for a lot of local musicians, myself included. But at 5am while making some friendly conversation with the halal cart owner outside The Gateway, I had to reflect for a moment on a few things, thinking “where does the inspiration to write insatiably about music come from?” Well it’s a combination of things and things that are not things! I believe showing people their own lives through how they show us their lives, is a necessary form of culture–having a role in helping preserve it, spreading ideas from the voices we need to hear that elevate the common good, even challenging culture when its values decline, is something i’ve always needed to do and wanted to be a part of.
Top question this week in a busy week of attending shows.
“When do you sleep?
The answers read like: I sleep, but it’s a choice I make – to not sleep, when there is a lot of work to be done for changing my world. I say “my world” because I’ve come close to wrecking things many times before, and by true luck I was given a clear sign to make a choice a few years back; I chose to move forward. On this path however i’ve also come across the hostility towards individualism at its core, likely out of fear, I get that, I know that, I used to be that herd mentality in some way, ways we can all be “safe,” even as progressive, liberal, artists. But luckily, I also grew up in a city that fostered (and it wasn’t always peachy) vastly different people to co-exist. Even those considered on the fringes of society become unlikely friends after all and you’d be surprised how someone you wouldn’t associate with could be information expanding. (A female black belt taught me and Andrew of Big Figment karate moves at The Gateway!) I know the side of this modern world that appeals to our id-like tendencies, pervasive in our technology, the side that falls just below the threshold at times, isn’t always the source of a lack of empathy and willingness to speak to people that are different than you, –our culture has been eroded in New York (and elsewhere) by the bubble of affluence too. In part of a movement against that, with a few personal tragedies that catapulted my awareness into the present moment more than ever, i’ve simply incorporated a practice in my practice to listen to what people have to say, everything else comes second. The second question i’ve been getting all week when i’m out is, “so you started a music blog huh?” And i’m not sure that I have quite exactly, at least in my mind i’m on a path where I find people finding themselves through art, and ElevtrTrax is constantly being shaped thanks in part to the positive folk coming together having things to say throughout this process then doing something that affirms that value building in practice. Major thanks to Michael Maffei, Sophie Chernin, Darragh Dandurand, and the bands trusting me into their spaces, many of you know who you are! While I don’t have a master agenda with this work other than first making my world a better place by spreading my wings a bit and sharing a little love, I say if it rubs off on you (however long), surely it can’t be a bad thing as a company model and moreover a human practice.
Two shows on Friday back to back, It’s difficult to write about the show I went to at the Gateway Friday night, I saw a band play their last show, I felt a silence wanting to be broken but knowing it couldn’t for now, a doldrum that many artists could see as an all too relatable moment, seeing something with so much nurturing end prematurely. The fact that Big Figment honored that death with one of their best concerts to date, is pretty mighty when the easy thing to do was walk away. It was an honor to be there and watch a group of friends work out life through their art. That same night I made a cameo at Idio Gallery for Darragh Dandurand and local band Lantrn’s Bushwick DeKalb Fire Benefit event, Darragh will be posting coverage here from that show.)
The next night I was at Big Irv’s for a show we sponsored with Michael Maffei (new staff writer here / singer of Hunter & Wolfe) and La Leche Productions. What amazed me most was how close we were to ideas on paper manifesting into 60+ people showing up and helping keep the night going with donations for drinks well past our Lagunitas donated stock ran out, making a entire night of the gathering of local music, locals, and indie media possible. Madam West’s Sophie Chernin geared things off, bringing the crowd in on the looping action, Fin-Folsom’s raw woodsy vocals and full band really roused people up, while the rest of the night will probably give you FOMO forever, luckily there will be footage from every corner of the room courtesy of La Leche + our lens. Free Beer was overall a collaborative success from my point of view and met the demand of what local artists have been seeking and what indie media folks like La Leche and us devote our time, energy, and resources to with the help of people organizers like you, that have all been willing to be the healthy ecosystem they wish to see. It takes a village and it doesn’t happen overnight but there’s something rewarding to even think about what that call to action means for us when nurtured right.
(Photo’s by Nadeem Salaam please credit for use)