THE LIVINGSTON UNDERGROUND
A group of like-minded people supporting live music & providing a safe, drug/alcohol free environment for people of all ages to enjoy live music in Livingston County, Michigan!
This is tomorrow night! Come hang out! Remember this is a drug & alcohol free show.

This is tomorrow night! Come hang out! Remember this is a drug & alcohol free show.

Photo: Jeff Pianki - Howell Opera House - March 2, 2013Credit: leahjensenphotography
In the midst of the busiest time of the year for me, I got what I felt like was a random email into my inbox from Jessyka Maranian, who you may know as the one that’s been throwing really cool house shows in Fowlerville, naming her house “The Yaga House”.  Jessyka said that she and John Galubensky from Alaska wanted to meet up and chat about the Livingston Underground, or what was left of it.  
Tonight, we met up at Cleary’s and chatted for quite a while, reminisced about old shows and talked about how recent ones were going.  And we collectively decided that it’s time for this old man to ride off into the sunset.  
In 2004, I started this group called the Livingston Underground simply to jump start a local music community that I didn’t know much about.  It blossomed into a very cool hobby for me, which eventually led to me starting Fusion Shows, which has now become my lifeblood, my passion, and my career.  I’m so grateful for all the learning experiences that took place at these early shows in my life, that led me on a very strange path to what I do today.  
A few years ago, we decided to take Fusion Shows out of the Livingston County music scene, to give it a chance to breathe, to relax, to not be so structured and worried about making ends meet.  We made a great little documentary, planned a huge LU “return” show, raised about $6,000, and started doing shows again.  Some new faces and a lot of old faces came back to the shows, and we started up again, as often as we could, doing shows at the Opera House and a few at the Hartland Performing Arts Center, and most of them were pretty great.  There were a few that were criminally underattended, but there will always be football games, winter storms, and just shows that don’t get the love they deserve.  
But the whole time, I was struggling to give the energy I needed to, but also reluctant to hand over the reigns to my baby.  Here I am now, 35 years old, doing concert stuff 60+ hours per week, and I’m trying to do more shows?  
So while I tailed off and eventually stopped doing local shows altogether this spring, folks like Nick LaForge and Jessyka Maranian and Alex Walsh started filling the gaps, putting on cool shows at local houses and the local American Legion hall.  As house shows went, they’ve been mostly very well-attended.  I’m not sure if this means that there’s enough demand to do a ton of Opera House shows again (those things are expensive, even if they have any dates open in their busy calendar), but the house shows kept happening.  
Today, Jessyka and John laid out plans to ask for the reins, to be able to lean on the LU fund from time to time to do some “bigger” shows at venues they’re working on getting secured for future events.  They asked to use my PA system, which has seen 200 shows worth of action over the past 10 years.  They asked for the passwords to the “LU” Twitter, Tumblr.  
I gave it all to them.  I’ll still be around, helping with the “business” end of things, signing papers that need to be signed, helping make ideas into reality, but it’s going to be this new core of Jessyka, John, Nick, Hailey Lamb, Jake Lawrence, and more that will be bringing you shows, right here in Livingston County.  
They’re going to make mistakes.  Definitely not nearly as many as I did in 2004.  Maybe not as many as I make today.  But it’s important to me that this thing doesn’t die.  I spend equal number of days hating and loving my hometown, wishing that it was different all while appreciating the great parts.  But what I decided a really long time ago is that I’d do my best to change it.  I know that when graduating high school, most local teens want nothing more than to move SOMEWHERE ELSE, somewhere where they’re given the opportunity to succeed and express themselves, but for those who choose to stay here, we need to continue to provide opportunities for artist to engage with audiences, big and small.  This area could use some culture, some excitement, some opinion, and an influx of youthful energy, and you guys, the ones that have been coming to shows for years and years, are a huge part of that positive energy, the part that makes this area not such a bad place after all.  
One of the things we discussed is that while Livingston-Underground.com and the LU Facebook group will remain the central landing place for folks looking to find out what’s going on with local, live music in our area, we’re not going to “brand” the shows as Livingston Underground events.  The shows will stand alone.  So whether I’m throwing the show, or Jessyka is, or Nick is, or Alex is, or someone else we haven’t met is, it’ll get equal coverage here on these sites.  Bands aren’t “LU bands”, and these aren’t “LU shows”.  Bands are just bands, and shows are just shows, and we want them to stand on their own merit, regardless of where they come from, and where they take place.  These resources are certainly created for showcasing things happening here in the county, but there’s no longer going to be any confusion over “officially” sponsored events vs. those booked outside of the group.  
That said, if you have a Livingston County show coming up that you’d like added to the website, please email me at the link on the upper right corner of our page.  And if your band would like to a play a show, hit Jessyka up!  It’s going to take her a while to be able to handle all the incoming requests, as venues are very limited, but she cares about this as much as anyone else.  It’s possible that Nick might have some shows coming up this fall as well.  And I might drop a show or two in town as well, from time to time.  
We’ve got $6,000 or so in the bank, raised from past shows, that we’re going to continue to hold onto as a rainy day fund, sinking into shows and resources here and there.  And if shows “profit”, we’ll dump that money into the account as well, to maybe someday build towards that dream of a full-time place.  It’s just not in the cards right now, as we need to build the demand back up in the area.  
Feel free to email me anytime.  I want to know about your new band, or what your current band is doing.  I want to add you to Fusion Shows events, and I want to continue to lend Jessyka and John and Nick support as they start putting together a cool calendar for you guys for Livingston County shows.  And if you’re not any of these people, and you are throwing a show in the area, please let me know!
I appreciate your time and efforts, and most importantly, your support over the last ten years.  I’m not going anywhere, but I’m allowing this thing to breathe freely again without me restricting it.  
Thanks for reading, and long live local music!  
Nate Dorough

Photo: Jeff Pianki - Howell Opera House - March 2, 2013
Credit: leahjensenphotography

In the midst of the busiest time of the year for me, I got what I felt like was a random email into my inbox from Jessyka Maranian, who you may know as the one that’s been throwing really cool house shows in Fowlerville, naming her house “The Yaga House”.  Jessyka said that she and John Galubensky from Alaska wanted to meet up and chat about the Livingston Underground, or what was left of it.  

Tonight, we met up at Cleary’s and chatted for quite a while, reminisced about old shows and talked about how recent ones were going.  And we collectively decided that it’s time for this old man to ride off into the sunset.  

In 2004, I started this group called the Livingston Underground simply to jump start a local music community that I didn’t know much about.  It blossomed into a very cool hobby for me, which eventually led to me starting Fusion Shows, which has now become my lifeblood, my passion, and my career.  I’m so grateful for all the learning experiences that took place at these early shows in my life, that led me on a very strange path to what I do today.  

A few years ago, we decided to take Fusion Shows out of the Livingston County music scene, to give it a chance to breathe, to relax, to not be so structured and worried about making ends meet.  We made a great little documentary, planned a huge LU “return” show, raised about $6,000, and started doing shows again.  Some new faces and a lot of old faces came back to the shows, and we started up again, as often as we could, doing shows at the Opera House and a few at the Hartland Performing Arts Center, and most of them were pretty great.  There were a few that were criminally underattended, but there will always be football games, winter storms, and just shows that don’t get the love they deserve.  

But the whole time, I was struggling to give the energy I needed to, but also reluctant to hand over the reigns to my baby.  Here I am now, 35 years old, doing concert stuff 60+ hours per week, and I’m trying to do more shows?  

So while I tailed off and eventually stopped doing local shows altogether this spring, folks like Nick LaForge and Jessyka Maranian and Alex Walsh started filling the gaps, putting on cool shows at local houses and the local American Legion hall.  As house shows went, they’ve been mostly very well-attended.  I’m not sure if this means that there’s enough demand to do a ton of Opera House shows again (those things are expensive, even if they have any dates open in their busy calendar), but the house shows kept happening.  

Today, Jessyka and John laid out plans to ask for the reins, to be able to lean on the LU fund from time to time to do some “bigger” shows at venues they’re working on getting secured for future events.  They asked to use my PA system, which has seen 200 shows worth of action over the past 10 years.  They asked for the passwords to the “LU” Twitter, Tumblr.  

I gave it all to them.  I’ll still be around, helping with the “business” end of things, signing papers that need to be signed, helping make ideas into reality, but it’s going to be this new core of Jessyka, John, Nick, Hailey Lamb, Jake Lawrence, and more that will be bringing you shows, right here in Livingston County.  

They’re going to make mistakes.  Definitely not nearly as many as I did in 2004.  Maybe not as many as I make today.  But it’s important to me that this thing doesn’t die.  I spend equal number of days hating and loving my hometown, wishing that it was different all while appreciating the great parts.  But what I decided a really long time ago is that I’d do my best to change it.  I know that when graduating high school, most local teens want nothing more than to move SOMEWHERE ELSE, somewhere where they’re given the opportunity to succeed and express themselves, but for those who choose to stay here, we need to continue to provide opportunities for artist to engage with audiences, big and small.  This area could use some culture, some excitement, some opinion, and an influx of youthful energy, and you guys, the ones that have been coming to shows for years and years, are a huge part of that positive energy, the part that makes this area not such a bad place after all.  

One of the things we discussed is that while Livingston-Underground.com and the LU Facebook group will remain the central landing place for folks looking to find out what’s going on with local, live music in our area, we’re not going to “brand” the shows as Livingston Underground events.  The shows will stand alone.  So whether I’m throwing the show, or Jessyka is, or Nick is, or Alex is, or someone else we haven’t met is, it’ll get equal coverage here on these sites.  Bands aren’t “LU bands”, and these aren’t “LU shows”.  Bands are just bands, and shows are just shows, and we want them to stand on their own merit, regardless of where they come from, and where they take place.  These resources are certainly created for showcasing things happening here in the county, but there’s no longer going to be any confusion over “officially” sponsored events vs. those booked outside of the group.  

That said, if you have a Livingston County show coming up that you’d like added to the website, please email me at the link on the upper right corner of our page.  And if your band would like to a play a show, hit Jessyka up!  It’s going to take her a while to be able to handle all the incoming requests, as venues are very limited, but she cares about this as much as anyone else.  It’s possible that Nick might have some shows coming up this fall as well.  And I might drop a show or two in town as well, from time to time.  

We’ve got $6,000 or so in the bank, raised from past shows, that we’re going to continue to hold onto as a rainy day fund, sinking into shows and resources here and there.  And if shows “profit”, we’ll dump that money into the account as well, to maybe someday build towards that dream of a full-time place.  It’s just not in the cards right now, as we need to build the demand back up in the area.  

Feel free to email me anytime.  I want to know about your new band, or what your current band is doing.  I want to add you to Fusion Shows events, and I want to continue to lend Jessyka and John and Nick support as they start putting together a cool calendar for you guys for Livingston County shows.  And if you’re not any of these people, and you are throwing a show in the area, please let me know!

I appreciate your time and efforts, and most importantly, your support over the last ten years.  I’m not going anywhere, but I’m allowing this thing to breathe freely again without me restricting it.  

Thanks for reading, and long live local music!  

Nate Dorough

Photos from Paths EP Release are up! Check them out here. 

Photos from Paths EP Release are up! Check them out here

Lots of cool shows in Livingston County in the next couple of months!  Details at http://livingston-underground.com/events!

New show just announced!  
RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/367475753392499

New show just announced!  

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/367475753392499

In a community that has already suffered too much in the way of young folks dying before their time, our friend and ex-Gift Giver guitarist Ram Choi passed away yesterday in a tragic car accident.  On Sunday, we gather at the Opera House to remember our friend Chris, and in a perfect gesture from valued members of our little family, Chris’s grandma and sister have requested that half of the funds that would normally be donated from this show to the Pinckney High School culinary department to be sent along to Ram’s family to help with the cost of his funeral.  
Let’s get together on Sunday to celebrate their lives and enjoy the thing that they enjoyed more than anything else, live local music.  Chris and Ram will be there, as will Nate.  I can’t think of a better way to grieve, surrounded by friends who love each other.  
We’ll see you guys on Sunday.  

In a community that has already suffered too much in the way of young folks dying before their time, our friend and ex-Gift Giver guitarist Ram Choi passed away yesterday in a tragic car accident.  On Sunday, we gather at the Opera House to remember our friend Chris, and in a perfect gesture from valued members of our little family, Chris’s grandma and sister have requested that half of the funds that would normally be donated from this show to the Pinckney High School culinary department to be sent along to Ram’s family to help with the cost of his funeral.  

Let’s get together on Sunday to celebrate their lives and enjoy the thing that they enjoyed more than anything else, live local music.  Chris and Ram will be there, as will Nate.  I can’t think of a better way to grieve, surrounded by friends who love each other.  

We’ll see you guys on Sunday.  

Reblogged from secretgrief, Posted by secretgrief.
secretgrief:

Howell Opera House | Howell, MI
Photo Credit: Leah Jensen 

secretgrief:

Howell Opera House | Howell, MI

Photo Credit: Leah Jensen 

Why these 3 shows are important…

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.

Nate Dorough
Founder/whatever
Livingston Underground

Guys, it’s finally the holiday season, which means 3 awesome Livingston County traditions!  Bring a friend.  Or ten.  Best ugly sweater on Friday at the Opera House wins some cool stuff!  Saturday includes smores and a bonfire and hot chocolate.  

And we’re just 12 days away from the annual Chris Nance show.  Let’s remember our friend and really pack these shows out.  It’s been too long since we’ve done shows, and we’re really, really excited to be back at it.  

RSVP and invite your friends:
Dec 20 - https://www.facebook.com/events/572806356131303/
Dec 21 - https://www.facebook.com/events/518728178221989/
Dec 29 - https://www.facebook.com/events/615741478477716/

Coming up on a really big show.  We’ll have flyers in schools soon.  Come show us that you’ve been missing rock shows in Livingston County! (EDIT: FIXED THE FLYER)

Coming up on a really big show.  We’ll have flyers in schools soon.  Come show us that you’ve been missing rock shows in Livingston County! (EDIT: FIXED THE FLYER)

So.  Freaking.  Excited.  

So.  Freaking.  Excited.  

Two new shows announced, November 16 and 23!  http://livingston-underground.com/events

Hey.  I miss this.  Let’s do it again.  
5 new shows just announced at http://livingston-underground.com/events.  Please tell your friends.  Re-blog.  Share FB events.  Tweet.  Actually pick up a phone and call someone.  Do some punk rock shit and print some flyers and pass them around at lunch.  Hang a poster downtown.  
Photo credit: Leah Jensen

Hey.  I miss this.  Let’s do it again.  

5 new shows just announced at http://livingston-underground.com/events.  Please tell your friends.  Re-blog.  Share FB events.  Tweet.  Actually pick up a phone and call someone.  Do some punk rock shit and print some flyers and pass them around at lunch.  Hang a poster downtown.  

Photo credit: Leah Jensen

hampshiremusic:

mattradick:

New Stoop Session with Scott Nelson of Secret Grief

Our Buddy Matt Radick just released the 2nd installment of his “Stoop Sessions” series. This time it’s our homie Scott Nelson of Secret Grief. Give it a look and a listen.