Michigan Music Matters

Michigan Music Matters: The Future

Humoungous thank you to everyone who attended the Michigan Music Matters dates this past week. It was an absolute blast. Extra special thanks to Little American Champ, Circle Maybe, As A Lark, and Lobster; etc for opening up the shows and sharing these special evenings with us.

It would be easy to just let this whole Michigan Music Matters thing die out with the shows, but I don’t think that would hold true to our mission statement. Keep your eye on this page for bigger and more exciting things to take place. We’ll be in touch soon.

-Scott // Tiger! Tiger!

What it means to me

I still have very vivid memories of my first local show. It was December of 2005, and this girl I really liked asked me to go see her friend’s band: Modulate to A. I remember standing in the dark Howell Recreation Center, watching a whole bunch of bands with kids just as awkward as me in them, and feeling stupid for not realizing that there was such a cool music scene right here in my hometown.

That night was the first time I saw a band called The Hard Lessons play. Thinking about them playing “I Like Your Hair Long” still gives me chills. This band would go on to be the first band to legitimately change my life, as corny as that sounds.

From there on out, I was hooked. I went to shows as often as I could. I remember being blown away by bands like Empty Orchestra, Ports of Aidia, Ender, and Monument, Monument. I was amazed that such talented, polished bands called my state home. Several years later, I finally found myself playing music in some of the venues I so often attended.

My first show was an acoustic performance at the Hartland Performing Arts Center. I played a few really simple sad songs about a girl breaking up with me. After I played, a friend of mine that I met through this music scene approached me about adding some extra instrumentation to those songs. In a nutshell, that’s how Good Weather for Airstrikes was formed.

We’ve been a band for about four years now, and these past four years have without a doubt been the best, and most important, years of my life. I’ve met the most amazing people in garages and halls. I’ve learned more about myself and the world around me in talking with these people after shows than I ever have in any classroom. The best nights of my life have been spent in confined spaces, and left me with my ears ringing and sweat on my body that was likely not mine. The most profound things to come out of my mouth are words that are not my own. They have been shouted out in unison while musicians pour their hearts into instruments and microphones.

The world of Michigan music is not for everyone. But to some of us, it means more than anything. For me it is friendship, compassion, expression, and community. It is people who care about something real and honest. It is everything I love happening all at once. It is feeling accepted, and being loved for who I am.

Sometimes it feels like all I have. I will never forget that, and I will never take that for granted.

Michigan Music Matters. We’ll see you later this week.

James//Good Weather for Airstrikes

What Michigan Music Means to Me

I started getting into the local music scene when I was around 15. I didn’t really know anything about it, but I knew that I loved to play music in a band in front of people. So the infamous Derek Gramza and I started a band called New Frequency. We didn’t really know what type of music we wanted to play, we just sort of played whatever we were influenced by at the time. We had no idea what good tone was or meant, and keeping good time while I played didn’t even cross my mind. This, of course, is recipe for a terrible band. We were indeed terrible, but we had a blast.

We signed up for a battle of the bands at crosswinds fellowship church, which was the “big gig” at the time. Tons of kids came out to it and it was a chance to actually play in front of strangers. So naturally, we all got matching t shirts to wear on stage and played a twenty minute in front of all of these kids. We won peoples choice, but only because our families were there to vote for us. Corey’s band might have been the judges of that particular that battle of the bands, which is how all of this sort of ties together. 

When I first joined Audrey, I had no idea what it actually meant to be a part of a state-wide music scene. Battle of the bands and church basement shows were all I really knew. I can remember playing one of my first shows with Audrey in Howell. It was Good Weather for Airstrikes “Yearning” release at the opera house. I can remember walking into the venue and thinking how cool of a room it was. Then we played, and people seemed to really enjoy our set. People who aren’t my mom and dad seemed to care about what I was doing, and I felt very fortunate and welcomed. 

Then I watched Good Weather play. I can remember standing on the side of the stage and looking out at the people who were there watching them. There was a part in one of their song where a hand clap was needed, and the crowd obliged without any of the band members trying to get the crowd to do it. People were shouting “SAVE MY LIFE ONCE MORE” over and over again. It was my first time hearing the song but I was shouting it too. It was a night filled with people that looked like there was nothing they would rather be doing with their time than being there to support Good Weather’s release. That’s when I knew that I had joined a truly special community of people.

Later, when the show was over with, I learned that we had received gas money for the show. This was a completely new concept to me and I got extremely excited. “you mean we got paid to come all the way over here and play music in front of people who wanted us there?” Yes. Yes we did.  

That show was a long time ago, but it was one of my favorite shows I’ve ever been a part of. It was the day that I realized that I was a part of something way bigger than I had ever imagined being a part of. The Michigan music scene is something I care very dearly about and never take for granted. I now have friends all over the state and they are some of the best people I know. They are all creating music that is worth listening to, and this little mini tour is a way to kind of celebrate that. So please, come out to one of these dates and become a part of something you won’t regret becoming a part of. 

Smooches,

Kameron/Tiger! Tiger! 

Michigan Music Matters: The Details

The Michigan Music Matters shows will be taking place April 25-28. All shows will feature Good Weather For Airstrikes, Hawk & Son, Tiger! Tiger!, and one local opener. The following are all of the show details and Facebook events. If you can, please help spread the word!

4/25 - Lansing, MI - Mac’s Bar w/ Little American Champ

http://www.facebook.com/events/304128896326476/


4/26 - Grand Rapids, MI - The DAAC w/ Circle Maybe

http://www.facebook.com/events/186481191470744/


4/27 - Flint, MI - Fletch’s w/ As A Lark

http://www.facebook.com/events/351173551601426/


4/28 - Bay City, MI - Brewtopia w/ Lobster etc.

http://www.facebook.com/events/139552499506064/


See you there!

Michigan Music Matters: An Introduction

The “Michigan Music Matters” idea came to me one night when my band, Good Weather for Airstrikes, was on tour this past December. We were in Tennessee or Georgia or something, really far away from home, and I was thinking about how much I love the place I am from. Specifically, the music, and all other forms of creation and expression, in the place I am from.

What I wanted to do was get some of my favorite bands together and play a few shows across this state, just to have some nights showcasing just how good the music and music scene here is. The more I talked and thought about it, the more the idea grew.

The music here matters because it is ours. And I am not speaking from the perspective of a musician. I truly think that every song belongs equally to the people who wrote it and the people who heard it. Each interpretation is unique, as are the situations you interpret these songs in. And when we hear a song written by a band from our home state, it resonates even more. We know what it’s like to tough out a Michigan winter, or fall in love on a calm summer night. We’ve thought about the things that make us sad a little too much when we’re driving down 96 late at night and there’s nothing much to see, or when we’re stuck in the perpetual construction traffic of 23. We hear a song, and we know that feeling. We know that experience. Chances are, we’ve lived it, or seen one of our friends live it.

Music connects us through shared experiences and interests. Chances are you’ve met some of your best friends through the shows that take place in this state, and had some of your best nights at those shows. I know that’s true for me.

The last weekend in April, we will be getting together to celebrate those memorable nights. Hopefully we’ll have a few such nights in the process. Our goal with this string of shows is to highlight what makes the Michigan music scene so important. And what makes it important stretches beyond just the music. We have so many talented individuals across the state, and we’re looking forward to seeing how we can showcase their work on these nights as well.

More than anything, the Michigan music scene is a community of open-minded, creative, and inspired people. Getting together and appreciating the people and music and talent around us is what this is really about. Because all of those things belong to us. And that matters.

James/Good Weather for Airstrikes