Here’s what I want today (besides hugs and a whole sea of the world’s worst holiday sweaters): Let’s show Livingston County that we want this. That we want there to be music here again. We haven’t done shows all fall, and to be 100% honest, I haven’t heard a single person say “I wish there was more shows in Livingston County”. That really bums me out. No one’s asked me why we haven’t been around as much. No one seems to miss shows every weekend. At all.
Nick LaForge has done a nice job of keeping the schedule full with the Pinckney shows, but he’s getting his brains blown out financially. I almost offered up the LU fund as a way to pay him back, but he made those choices to book those shows, knowing that it might cost him, and that’s what you kind of have to do. And it’s not my money anyway.
So what I’d like to see is the internet just absolutely blow up with shares of these Facebook events, with tweets promoting the show, and just a groundswell of support for local music in general. Most of the key people of the most recent segment of the Livingston Underground have moved away to other areas, started lives elsewhere, and it’s up to you guys to become the new leadership of this thing, and start pushing for there to be something happening here.
I was at Taco Bell in Howell yesterday, and some girl in a Howell varsity jacket was talking to her friends about songs she had written, and how she wants to play them for people. But me being the 34-year old dude eating at a Taco Bell, I can’t just walk up to a group of high school girls and say “Here’s my card, I’m gonna put you on stage.” Talk about creepy. I need a group of young people, motivated and with the right intentions, to take up the cause, promise to help promote, find new acts, break down genre barriers and build something positive here, or this money we raised for this “venue” idea is going to go to waste. At some point, we’ll just have to either use the money as funding for a series of shows in our current venues until it’s gone, or we’ll just give to a local charity or something and call it good. As of now, we could be seeking a new venue, but I don’t have the people or the resources to make it successful. The demand is lower than it’s ever been.
So these three shows in December are important. I know how important the LU was to me, to Ron, to Connor, to Scott and James and Hailey and Matt and that crew. I saw it not only in their words, but in their actions. People that showed up early, stayed late to carry gear and clean up, constantly emailing me and saying “HOW CAN I HELP?”. They promoted for shows that they had no part in. They wanted to hang out after the shows, go get food, keep talking about music. Short of a very select few (with Nick leading the way obviously), I’ve seen very little in the way of youth taking the lead. It’s a tricky thing with high school kids, I know. You’re busy. And young. And a lot of you guys are going to go to college somewhere else, and many of you will never live here again. I guess the people I’m looking for can be here temporarily, but I’m also looking for people who are grounded here, for whatever reason. Some people actually love this area, and want to stay here, want to change it and make it better for future generations.
Every day, I look at my to-do list, and see a little section on it marked “LU”, and underneath it, there really isn’t anything for me to do. And I feel guilty, like I gave up on my own child. Like I decided that the child’s existence no longer means anything to me. But you see, the child has grown up, and it’s old enough to take care of itself now. And I want to continue to foster it, and be there for it, but I can’t take it by the hand anymore and clean its room.
I’m rambling. But I’m hoping tonight is awesome. With the 200+ shows we put on per year with Fusion Shows, I can still chalk up half of my favorite all-time concert experiences to stuff that’s happened right here in my hometown. There’s a special feeling when people come together to celebrate music, and do so in a manner that’s positive and uplifting and supportive.
I’m really, really excited for tonight.
Two new shows announced, November 16 and 23! http://livingston-underground.com/events