Friday, July 9, 2010

Diary Of A Groupie: Local Music Goes Badass!

On any given night, on any given day of the week, there is the potential for me to experience live music by incredible bands right in my own backyard, right in my own neighborhood. I do not need to watch American Idol or any of those Reality Talent shows on TV, as I get my talent fix by shoving my face into a speaker as a friend’s guitar shreds away with the raging licks of his six string electric hitting my soul; I get my thrills by going dancing to one of my favorite local bands, the live music entering my body and taking control of all my motor skills; and there’s nothing more incredible to me than the WHOLE band smiling at me, nodding their heads at my arrival as I enter a club or bar to see them play and shake my Sweet Thang to their sound, regardless of whether or not I know them. I am here to hear them play and they are grateful.

(Clockwise from left: Monroe Grisman-American Drag, Evan Frank-flanelhed,
Rusty Evans-Ring Of Fire, Joe Nemzer-Cup 'O Joe)

Music is my life, it gives me my sanity and the above prose is truly my reality, as these Music Makers are my friends and they are members of my town & my community. These are the people I support with my heart and soul. With my talents as a writer and photographer, plus my LOUD VOICE, both figurative and literal, I try to raise awareness to the treasures that lie in my community, that lie in each of our communities in the form of The Local Band or The Local Musician or the Local Live Music Venue.

(Clockwise from left: Jon Korty-Vinyl, Mark Antonio & bart hacker-The Hold Outs,
David Polo-SAGE, Danny U, Darren Nelson & Mike Wiess-Honeydust)

I think TV has tried to kill the Local Music Scene, taking the soul out of our communities by making us stay home in a fantasy realm instead of going out and experiencing life For Real, in it’s True and Unedited version that TV does not give us. We often forget about what is outside our doors, in our streets, clubs and parks; it’s the magic of true experience that makes us live & dream and it is only a few steps away from that Flat Screen that dreams for us. Those dreams are not ours and we need to make our own with what we find around us, not just what’s in front of us.

(Clockwise from left: Vinyl, Dgiin, The RevTones, Brindl)

But Live Music will never Die, Never! It is still there with us, in the small clubs or bars of your town; in the House Concerts your neighbors down the road put on; it’s in the drum jams in the local park; it’s in the music programs of our schools and youth centers; it’s in the dark and graffiti-ridden rehearsal spaces in your city’s warehouse districts, it’s there, the Live Music is everywhere! All you need to do is walk out your door, breathe a sigh of relief that you are free from the drone of commercial banality and sit your ass on a bar stool and hear something you haven’t heard before, talk to people you may have never met and have an experience that will make you feel so alive you will never want to return to that 2 dimensional Dreamscape of Fantasy Entertainment.

(Clockwise from left: Jon Keigwin Band, Tom Finch-Tom Finch Group,
Chris Perry-Miles Schon Band & Rahman D'Amato-5 Minute O)

Look inside your local bar when it has live music. See the faces of the people in your neighborhood smiling, dancing, living. See the lights on the band all blurry and soft, the sounds of their combined instruments blaring out of speakers arranged just for your whole being to hear the beauty of something REAL.

Check out your local music rehearsal space or recording studio and listen for the cacophony of sound as jazz mixes with metal, which blends with country-blues, which melds with Hard Rock Reggae. Look at the amps, cases and music magazines littering the hallways, smell the smoke of cigarettes and ganja. Know that Magic is being created behind these closed doors, magic just for your ears.

(Clockwise from left: Matt Benedict-Montgomery-Jon Keigwin Band, Tim Baker-Miles Schone Band, Nathan Hoehner-Jon Keigwin band & Equipment from Fairfax Festival)

Go into the School Auditoriums, visit the local Youth Centers. There is an uprising among the young and discontent. An uprising that includes guitars and bass; drums and keys; microphones for disillusioned voices of those who want to bring change to their world; reverb and feedback to show you they mean business. Our young folks are waiting in the wings wanting their voices heard. They are the harbingers of change, they are the future and the want their chance to Rock and Roll.

(Clockwise from left: Riley Champine & Cristine Mello-Mello, Spencer Peterson and Chase Baldocchi-Bob Hill Band, Andrew Erickson-Wayward Guns & Miles Schon-Miles Schon Band)

The Youth in our communities want to ROCK!

(Clockwise from left: Cristina Mello, One Eyed Rhino,
Peter Maffei-Wayward Guns, Eric Wolff-Roadhead)

Walk over to your neighbor’s House Concert and sit a spell in a cozy living room, fire blazing and lamp light soft, as a local or traveling minstrel coos and coddles your lonely heart into beating a bit more faster for the possibilities of what life can hold if one open’s their eyes to the experience. Or go to a House Party or a Grassroots Concert put on by a bunch of nutty, crazy music junkies who are so addicted to Live Music that they create venues in their own backyards.

(Clockwise from left: Matt The Electrician House Concert, Hula Hooping Rocker Boy at Rock and Rose Party, Sam Belletto-Semi-Feral at Rock and Rose, Bart Hacker-The Hold Outs at Samapalooza Fest)

(Clockwise from left: Rock & Rose House Party, Jon Keigwin-Rock & Rose Party, Samapalooza Stage & Grounds, Fire Dancers at Rock & Rose Party)

Grab your dusty guitar case, pull out your banged up bass, unzip your kit be ready to bare your soul & talents at a Local Open Mic or Community Music Jam. You need not be a rock star to apply, only a desire to make music with others who want to make music too. Booze helps.

Kortuzi Tuesdays-Open Jam
(Clockwise from left: Dave Burns, The Jammers, 
Danny Uzi & Lily Burns)

Your heart will lighten with the sounds of your neighborhoods, the music of your neighbors, the jams of the locals at the bars, the killer band know one knows about yet but a handful of people out on a Tuesday night. Trust me, follow my sage advice, support your local community, support your local musicians, and support the Music Makers, for they are the Makers of The Dream……

(Clockwise from left: Kyle Alden Band, Buddy Owen's Songbirds,
Chamber Music in the Redwoods & Speaker Among The Trees)

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