After an overly-long hiatus, I am back… with news!
-VsThem return to the Rockit Room in San Francisco on Friday July 8th!
-Album creation, although time-consuming, is on-going. (I keep telling myself that the wait just makes the end result better)
-Although nobody will be able to see them until later this year, a couple episodes of VTTV, the VsThem webseries are in the can, as they say. The plan is to start releasing these episodes so that the second to last one (episode 5) coincides with the EP release later this year. Get your eyes and ears ready.
The Local Locale
Compared to the people I hung out with in my youth, I was late in attending my first live concert. But, as the saying goes, you never forget your first. I was 15 and just beginning to hone my liking for certain musical sounds. My father was concerned- as fathers are- about allowing me to venture into such an unknown world by myself (or with my newly-licensed-driver friends). So, he came too. My first concert was the inaugural “The Family Values Tour” in October of 1998 at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. The line up included Korn, Limp Bizkit, Rammstein, Orgy, and Ice Cube. For my young, impressionable eyes, this was the equivalent of concert-going love at first sight. The huge swaths of people sweatily mashing each other around, the unbelievable loudness pounding out of the exaggeratedly displayed speakers, anything and everything that is included in seeing Rammstein live, and the ability to share the whole experience with my peers. All of these factors bore in me an insatiable craving for similar stimuli.
Not long after that epic first show, I found that, due to lack of personal transportation, personal funds, and varied musical knowledge, though I longed to again be one minor morsel among the many, I was limited to live shows within my local locale. I slowly began to foster an appreciation for the stylings of the local Marin county music scene. Bands like Liberation, Ear Ache My Neck, Protoculture, Drop, Natt, Nuclear Rabbit, Bumpin’ Uglies and others took up large chunks of my weekend evenings. The local music was never necessarily better than music that was more widely available, but it was close and cheap and good enough. At shows like this, instead of being just a faceless crowd member, a fan could establish a rapport with the bands. I could wave at the guys and get waved back to. I could feel less like they were untouchable gods of the stage and more like guys I went to school with who happened to love playing music (which was true for a lot of the bands I liked). While mollifying the desire to attend more major tours, these local shows simultaneously attracted me to the idea that in any city at any time there could be a genuinely rocking local music scene. This idea has stayed with me for years. It is, for me, one of the driving forces behind my belief in the potential that VsThem wields. As a young person, whenever a band was nice enough to swing through my local area and play a place like The Phoenix Theater in Petaluma or The Oasis in San Rafael, or the Corte Madera Community Center for an all-ages show, and that band was just minutely more kick-ass than one of my local heroes, I was a fan for life. Luckily for me, the internet was becoming a useful band-following tool at the time (not nearly as useful as it is today), and I would be able to excitedly await these bands’ subsequent arrivals to my locales. VsThem are majorly more kick-ass than many of Anytown’s local acts and with luck and commitment, will be able to export their brand of badassery to numerous people’s home stereo systems. I look forward to that day, and although I have stopped attending all-ages shows (for fear of being “that guy”), I still love me some local music (and the venues for people over 21 are way more interesting anyway)!