We’re a little late on this one, but we did just get back home to California after the longest road tour we’ve done yet. And it happened to be a Honeymoon Tour.
Yuma and I got hitched on March 1st, 2014 here at our home. We later learned that we now share an anniversary with Johnny Cash and June…
The brand new Derek Evry EP, “Down To The Wire” will be released on Saturday June 21, 2014 at a concert at IOTA Club & Café.
The show will feature Derek Evry & His Band of Misanthropes playing a full band rock show, along with local favorites Middle Distance Runner, and Dr. Robinson’s Fiasco.
The EP features 6 new songs, recorded by every member of the “Band of Misanthropes”, and features guest vocals by The Beanstalk Library/The Cowards Choir’s own Ryan Walker on the track “Luck & Desire”.
The new EP is an eclectic mix of smart pop, rock, punk, and alternative, and is a follow up to Derek’s 2012 release “Here’s To Better Misery”. http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/heres-to-better-misery/id554267429
The show at IOTA Club & Café (2832 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA) starts at 8:00 PM, the cover charge is $12.oo at the door, and the age limit is 21+.
Official Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/726633650727831
Album Artwork by Elwood Madison III.
Click here: https://www.soundcloud.com/derekevry/so-hard to hear the song “So Hard”
I’ve got a bit of a different take on last night’s show—or at least, my thoughts seem to be focused away from the usual accolades, gushing thanks, etc. that everyone understandably leans toward.
Yes, everyone sounded great last night, tackling challenging material, and having loads of fun on stage. Yes, Andrew Gaddy stepped up to the unenviable task of channeling Jeff Buckley, lost himself in the moment and the songs, and reminded me that even Jeff was a human being at one time. Yes, the impromptu singalong at the beginning of The Beanstalk Library’s rendition of Pearl Jam’s “Better Man” was heartwarming. Yes, Jason Mendelson, Robert Higgs and Taylor Carson made faithful enough tributes to somewhat obscure 1994 offerings that I met new They Might Be Giants and Soul Coughing fans in the crowd last night. Yes, the room was already sold out by the time Carolyn Crydale finished her set of spot-on Jewel tunes. Yes, there was a mosh pit at IOTA right after Derek’s band blazed into Green Day’s “In the End.” Let that sink in. There was a MOSH PIT. At IOTA.
But that’s cause we’re really good at what we do. And we’ve gotten there by working hard on OUR music. Last night gave us a chance to honor some of our heroes, to try to “rock” in their shoes for a minute, but let’s step back and remember something—EVERY one of the bands whose music you heard last night started out as a local band.
And here’s where I want to talk for a minute about the power of audacity. This is a conversation I’ve had with a number of my friends in the community, but I’ve never really brought it up in a public forum. You can spend your whole life, as I’ve done so far, playing music in your hometown. We all know Tom Petty writes timeless songs. But I bet his first song sucked pretty bad. His first band was called Mudcrutch, people. Ever heard of them? He’s got 46 chromosomes just like (most of) the rest of us, so what sets him apart, besides a knack for a melody and a lyric? Audacity. He had the guts to think “I’m not just gonna play other people’s music at bars, I’m gonna play MY songs. People might like them, they might not, but I’m gonna play them anyway.” Imagine if he’d settled for making a little more cash every night playing covers in Gainesville, Florida. We wouldn’t all immediately start nodding our heads in a Pavlovian response to the drums and harmonica at the beginning of “You Don’t Know How if Feels.” A ubiquitous and monumental keystone of pop culture that somehow qualitatively makes ALL of our lives better would be missing. Half of the artists you heard last night might’ve never picked up guitars. All because of audacity. Pretty powerful stuff, eh?
Now comes the second half, and this is the half that’s so, so important. There are lots of hungry artists in the DC scene—people crazy enough to get on stage night after night and entertain you, sing to you, make you THINK at bars instead of just drink at bars. But have you bought their albums? Have you HEARD The Beanstalk Library’s new album? Have you listened to the gut-wrenchingly personal lyrics on Taylor Carson’s “Defending the Name?” Are you aware of the Classic Albums’ series organizer Jason Mendelson’s ongoing project “Metro Songs,” where he endeavors to write a song about each of the eighty-six stations on our beloved and sometimes beleaguered public transit system? Derek Evry has SEVEN releases on iTunes, folks! If you can afford it, support it.
There’s a line drawn in the minds of many music fans, perhaps best illustrated by an offhand comment I heard at a bar years ago: “Local music… It sure is.” The “dude on the street” in everyone’s hometown is generally unaware of the machine and the process a band must go through to gain attention outside of their municipalities. They think it’s magic, that the hills have ears—that when a local band is great, an A&R guy sitting at his desk in Manhattan suddenly leans forward, picks up his phone and says “Get me Green Day!” I hear it from my new students every year—“So, are you in a band that I’ve heard of?”
It’s not enough for us, the musicians, to be audacious. It takes a village. We don’t necessarily need to educate the average joe on what a bizarre, messy, arbitrary world the music business is. It’s pretty boring. BUT—in order for local music to become regional, national, etc.—the people in the scene must have the unabashed pride to believe our town’s music is just as good—no, BETTER than most other towns. We gotta get cocky with it, guys. Yeah, Nashville is “Music City.” I guess LA is the “place to be” if you want to join a band. But Dave Grohl grew up in Springfield, VA. Go-Go is from DC, for chrissakes. Duke Ellington, John Fahey, Marvin Gaye, Minor Threat, Wale, Eva Cassidy—ever heard of The Mugwumps? It was more fashionable to say they were from Greenwich Village, but they formed in DC. Google it.
The Beanstalk Library’s new tune “Whiskey Mountain” is an absolutely beautiful tribute to a friend we all lost not long ago. Carolyn Crysdale’s new song First Snow has a hook that stands up against anything on the radio. Derek Evry writes pop gems, period. Practically everyone here in DC knows it. Someone at our show last week remarked “That song ‘Baby Blue’ is perfect! Why aren’t you guys famous yet?!” Instead of nodding my head I wanted to say “Well, how many people have you told about his music this week?” I wish I had.
Ryan Walker made a joke last night during his band’s set, about how perhaps when a Classic Albums of 2013 show happens in 20 years, maybe we’d be singing along to HIS songs. A lot of us chuckled. But why is that funny? Is it? Think about it.
Why does it seem like we hide our local talent? Why the passivity? If a local restaurant is great, do you tell someone? Sure. If you have a good experience at a local dry cleaner, do you tell someone? This is crucial info. We’re in the information age—I think we can all agree that there is SO MUCH to know, its value is overinflated beyond measure. Word of mouth is rare. It’s the gold standard—when it’s offered, people listen. Businesses can buy good reviews on Yelp. They can buy YouTube views. We all know it. Our Facebook newsfeeds are absolutely bloated with information, most of it empty calories.
But when your best friend tells you they heard about this new band who’s really good—you listen. Be that best friend. Be OUR best friend. A local music scene needs those people. Post as much as you want about how great last night’s show was. Of course it was great—it was timeless music performed by kick ass local artists. I challenge all of you—musicians and non-musicians alike—to post, tweet, text—even (gasp) pick up the phone and tell a dozen people from other cities about your favorite local ORIGINAL music. I can count on one hand the number of people I know that do that around here. We’re all capable, and it’s so easy. If you already do this, THANK YOU. You matter.
Sorry to get preachy, but I thought a reminder was in order. I did have a great time last night. Every square inch of my body hurts. Totally worth it. Even if I never get rich and famous. :)
Thanks for reading. And thanks to Kate Moran for the original photo above.
I’m getting pretty tired of the dumb questions I get about my Veganism. No, I don’t miss meat. No, I’m not weaker. Yes, I know what I’m missing. No, I don’t care that you think Bacon is the best food ever.
I’m the Vegan. Not you. Just like you’re the Christian. Not me. Just like I’m not voting of Mitt Mormon Romney. Just like my beliefs are personal. PERSONAL. That’s the key.
If you’re passionate about your beliefs, by all means, be passionate. But don’t shove that shit down my throat. I’m not you. You’re not me. I don’t believe you have to be Vegan. I don’t believe you have to listen to bands I love/like/appreciate/know of/hear/hate/ignore/etc. I don’t believe you have to vote for a particular person in the upcoming election. Just vote. Unless you don’t know anything about politics or the candidates, then… Maybe… Don’t. Or whatever.
But I’m not self-righteous about my beliefs. They’re mine, & I keep them that way. I don’t tweet every day about how you should all go Vegan, or join a commune, or sit under a tree & think about life, or paint a fucking picture of fruit or something. I just don’t. See: @derekevry
I do tweet about shows I have coming up, for those of you who care or like my music, or haven’t seen me perform yet. I also tweet random shit that I find amusing. If you get annoyed by that, stop following me. If you disagree with me, good.
At least have a fucking opinion about things, but don’t just say “you’re wrong” because you disagree with my opinions or beliefs. I’m not wrong. I’m just not you. And thank the god that you might believe in that I’m not you, because that shit would suck… For both of us.
Anyway. I hope you all have a great night. I hope everyone is happy, healthy, hungry for knowledge, & full of compassion for their fellow man. Otherwise, fix those problems or shut the fuck up. I’ve been fed humanity’s bull shit my whole life, & I’m fucking full.
If you have a personal issue, do the world a favor… Keep it personal, or talk to a therapist…
Don’t talk to me about something someone else said or did. I mean, really?? What grade are you in????
I have just enough time in my day to handle my life… You coming to me about things that don’t matter is not only a waste of my time… But also yours.
This was all brought on by one woman who thought it was my job to help her solve her relationship with her “abusive” boyfriend (who was being violently punched by her not one block away after I watched him not touch her or do anything out of the ordinary…) because they were fighting outside my club. Apparently, he beats her all the time and never calls her when he’s out late. Long story short… She seemed like she was far from a victim, more so the bully… While her boyfriend seemed like the nicest guy in the world, and was almost crying because she had hit him so hard that he had very visible bruises on his arms and face. Regardless… AAAAAAAHH I DON’T CARE!!!
Go be white trash somewhere else. Seriously.
Also… This chick was HUGE & her boyfriend weighed about 75 pounds…
Sorry to vent, but FUCK! What is wrong with people.
Would you walk up to a stranger & spill all your delusional problems after beating your partner & expect pity? Or even sympathy?
I don’t know… Maybe he is abusive. But if it’s that serious, call the police or leave him. Jesus.
That does it. I’m fed up & sick of the shit talking. The “My band is better than your band” thing was cute when you were 14, and the “DC Music Scene is dead…” thing is fucking insane… but, for serious, there are a LOT of VERY hardworking musicians IN THE DC AREA that ARE making a name for themselves & doing a WAY better job than most of us could dream of. The amount of talent in this area makes me sick. Not just because there’s so much, but because some much of it is wasted on petty bullshit.
Seriously! If you think your band is “better” than someone else’s band, and you’re on the same bill as them… Guess what… YOU’RE AT THE SAME PLACE! No one is better than anyone.
Classic example: SuperBob.
Matt is not an opera singer, but he’s one of the best frontmen I’ve seen in a long time. That band has more raw talent & showmanship than any other local band that I’ve seen in recent years. They also get a lot of shit talk, mostly from other musicians. This is fucked up. I mean, if you’re so great, and they’re so shitty, why can’t your band sell out the State Theater? Why doesn’t your band tour CONSTANTLY? SuperBob does. If they’re so shitty, why doesn’t EVERYONE THAT GOES TO SEE THEM notice how shitty they are except you??
How come your band only plays Fat Tuesday’s in Fairfax every other month, and NEVER pays to go see anyone else’s bands? If you want to know why no one supports local music, the answer is the exact same question you ask me every time I have a show. “Can you put me on the guest list?”
If you want to support me, FUCKING SUPPORT ME! Pay the $5-$15 cover, and WATCH my fucking band. Don’t get on the list, show up halfway though my last song, drink 2 beers and talk over the next band’s set. If this is how you act when you go to shows… DON’T come to my shows. It’s fucking rude, and fucking childish, and I’m sick of it.
Another thing I HAVE to get off my chest:
Dear venues that have Pay-To-Play ticket sales,
Stop. This is not a telegram.
NO bands should EVER pre-sell paper tickets unless ALL of the money goes to either charity or 100% to the band/artist. Your band only sold 2 tickets? You get $20 and you play to an empty room. Lesson learned. There should be a cover at the door, it should be first come, first serve. Sold out? Too bad.
Shy of that… The DC Music Scene is NOT dead.
There are HUNDREDS of AMAZING performers in this town, and I am sick of them ALL not getting the attention they deserve. I’m starting a compilation CD called “Music Still Happens Here” for DC musicians. I’m going to put one out every 6 months, and feature DC music as it stands: Affluent with talent, ambition, drive, and brilliance. Please support you local music scene. If you don’t think you have one, open your fucking eyes & pull your head out of clear channel’s evil christian rightwing ass.
God Bless America.