Thursday, October 27, 2011


Morning after Ypsi...
I perched on a stool, to the side of the stage, interviewing seven music movers and song shakers integral to the establishment of the culture community currently buzzing in and around Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor.

Asking them questions that don't have answers. Sussing out answers to unknown questions.

Scenes... what's the answer? Hell, what's the question?

How do you industrialize a scene, establish an identity- (and get it recognized nationwide)- as a destination for music -how do we get all of the big buzzed national acts to come back here on regular nights - how do we sustain energy and enthusiasm for live music... Can you engage and enlist the most dedicated of local music acts -from rock, to punk, to electro, to jazz, to blues, to folk... to try to come together, and fly together, inside some ideal (yet potentially cockamamy) Spruce Goose-esque ship... Does that require our own label? Our own branding? Do we want to become a product?

There's no one answer. There's probably not even less than 20...

How do you industrialize when there's no more industry? Bands upon bands are putting albums upon albums up, for free, on bandcamps...

These are painful questions: What is the value of music, these days?

Just think of how much good music you, we, have listened to, in these days of our late 20's, our mid-30's, knocking on 40... for free? Can you fathom how much utter crap you listened to in your teenage days - that you actually paid money for? And yet, here you are, listening to modern masterpieces, the cutting edge contemporaries who are probably going criminally unheralded as the next Dylans and Cobains, the next new innovators - and you probably haven't paid them a cent, only paid them attention.

This probably requires more, as Amber Fellows (Swimsuit / Ypsi Music Shelf curator) suggested...maybe monthly town meetings, -if we do really want to figure out what precisely should be done with all this energy?
Does it need to be caught, bottled and displayed like King Kong or should it continue maturing organically, roaming the wilderness of Michigan? Perhaps it just needs to be nurtured, looked after - given a bigger habitat (more venues) and given better resources... <-does that mean getting booking agents? What? What do we actually want?

Awkward, difficult questions...but its worth figuring them out.

Are we otherwise just writing our names in water? Or would be desecrating the preciousness of what we have / what's happening / what we share by dissecting it, experimenting on it, to determine its use and value - turning on some crude black light to reveal the particles floating from our amps, from our mouths, coating our vinyl and wound through our cassettes...

Is there wisdom in letting it be?

I don't know yet.

Since Halloween's upon us - it's apt to enjoy these sounds of Ypsilanti's Bad Indians:

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