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June 3, 2011 Grateful for a home

photo by Derek Olson.

My cynicism can sometimes overwhelm me. I’m particularly vulnerable to shades of it when I speak of my home in Asheville, and any shortcomings its music scene may have. Don’t get me wrong- I have always loved this city. More so with every year, in fact. Over the 8 years I’ve lived here, though, I’ve heard, witnessed, and projected a wide array of opinions and perspectives on Asheville’s music-anything from a musical mecca -the greatest homebase for touring bands in the country- to a completely unorganized and clique-oriented cluster of artists that don’t have the drive to play outside of area code 828.

I sway somewhere in between these two extremes. With something like 5 venues closing down in the last half of 2010, as well as the fall of such musical institutions as WPVM and Mount Dungeon still fresh in memory, I was led to believe the scene here was indeed in dire straits and felt it was time for me to go elsewhere with my 3-minute pop songs.

When I decided to stay in Asheville for another round, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t hate on my city anymore in the new year. I needed to believe it would come back swinging.

As I prepare to start playing shows again, I’m excited to be a part of a new wave of interest in underground music around here- places like the Get Down are keeping the DIY sentiment alive and picking up where the New French Bar left off. The LAB seems to have instilled itself as the best small venue- to play or listen in. And AshevilleFM continues its domination of the airwaves (counting the days-years?- til they get their on-air license). Many people seem to be invested in keeping the local art fresh and plentiful.

The closing track on the new album describes this push-pull feeling:

Don’t feel natural here/waiting for a sea to appear/but who’s ungrateful for a home?

So, yes, ahem, I declare- and not through gritted teeth- that I am grateful for my most wondrous home in the mountains.

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