Oh fuck me running, I don't have anything clever to put here. Ummm...OH! It's almost three in the goddamn morning, I have work at eight and I'm sitting here WEB LOGGING FOR A MUSIC FESTIVAL. Time to play the 'ol "Where's my life headed?" game.
NUMBER 7: DIY: SO HOT RIGHT NOW
Personal history time! When I was a teenager, I never quite found a scene to be a part of, music-wise anyway. I liked ska and I liked punk, but I was never really running around everywhere trying to go to shows and publish zines. Even dyeing my hair blue was more of a “Let’s fuck around and see what happens” than it was a show of fealty to the Sex Pistols or the Pilfers. I liked Phish alright but definitely wasn’t a jam band kid and I fucking hated Top 40 and the Dave Mathews Band. I was an island to myself, or more accurately, a peninsula: connected to what was around me but still somehow apart. This is still very much the case these days, for better or worse. How else to explain how I’ve lived in the city for four years now but was surprised to learn about places like the Monster Island Basement, Death by Audio, the Market Hotel, or Goodbye Blue Monday? I didn’t know what the Market Hotel was when I first moved to Bushwick and I had unwittingly moved around the corner from it. If I knew how to spot a scene, would I have been to Glasslands before 2009?
DIY is in, kids, hope you know. Lo-fi is in. Got a song? Put some motherfucking fuzz on it. Got a band? Put its name in all lowercase letters. I dig the lo-fi thing, although some of it is starting to feel like people are trying too hard. Really Male Bonding, you sent people who pre-ordered your album cassette tapes? Those things sucked in the 90s and they suck today. The same goes for you, New York Times Sunday Magazine, you trend searching dicks. Yeah yeah, you read something in Pitchfork. Yeah yeah, our instant gratification culture is so bad, right? So bad you want to give me your iPod? I don’t have a motherfucking iPod dude, and I’m damn sure not gonna make do with a Walkman. I remember what it was like fast-forwarding past a song you liked and having to rewind back, that whole stupid little dance. Go make a fucking mixtape on cassette for that girl you’re crushing on you goddamn 13-year-old. Sorry, I get lonely. I think I just secretly wish I could do that for someone.
ANYWAY, DIY: I like it. I go to shows in godforsaken industrial areas and I go to shows in bar basements. I see people putting out their own CDs, doing their damndest to make it on their own terms. I’ve seen Bird Dog do it, and I’ll be damned if the Bushwick Rooftop Festival isn’t the pinnacle of his efforts so far. The man has put this together with spit and carnie sleight of hand, and he’s done the heavy lifting on his own. You think what I’m doing right now is hard? Pff, I could overshare with the internets in my sleep. I can’t book twenty-two bands and convince people in two different apartments to give let me on the roof and throw a party. Bird Dog could and did, and we are all the luckier for it.