29 September, 2011

From Basement to Shop Window

Working in the only vegetarian restaurant in Blacksburg, VA exposed me to a crowd that before that time in my life I probably wouldn't have been cool enough to associate with and probably still am not.  Gillie's was a place for the hipsters and indie kids of Virginia Tech to get away from the typical college students who were too afraid or manly to be caught dead in a vegetarian restaurant that served craft beer and tofu.  Through my friends here I was exposed to basement shows where local bands, the good, the bad and the ugly, would come perform at someones house in a cramped, low ceiling basement.  One of these bands that I was fortunate enough to see multiple times was Facepaint, a group that was composed partially of Gillie's, and our sister bakery Bollo's, employees.  The lead of this band was Jack Tatum and they were one of the best shows you'd see in these primitive venues.  Jack also had a solo project, Wild Nothing, that was signed by Captured Tracks somewhere in the midst of all this.  Wild nothing needed a band for live performances and Facepaint was the obvious choice though some members have changed since. One day we were watching Facepaint in basements and backyards and the next Jack is on the Best New Artist list of Pitchfork and earning a raving review.  Anyone who knows about indie music and Pitchfork knows that they can make a career.  Since then Wild Nothing, has gone on a few tours in the US and Europe and Jack is working on a new album.

I am not great friends with Jack and the band members other than recognizing each other on the street and saying hello.  The point of this parable is how interesting it was to watch an artist grow and one day walk down the street in a new city and see this in a shop window.

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