Social Lite

Image: Christa Wittmier

Hi! Can I “like” your band?

It’s perfect timing for our Fall Arts issue that we get called out by someone on our music coverage. I immediately thought back to a few months ago when I happened on a super sick show in a room filled with bright, young attentive fans.

I was so excitecd to know that there is no shortage of talented local bands, but noticed a few sideways glances in my direction. That next week, after I gushed in this column, there was a link to Socialite on Facebook by one of the bands, stating, “It’s never a good thing to be grouped in this column, but nice words nonetheless.”

I was definitely bummed, and wasn’t so eager to dive much deeper into that scene. They basically said they didn’t want me there.

While I consider enjoying local music a much-needed activity in order to remain grounded whenever I can, by no means do I want to dumb it down or invade something others consider sacred. Like everyone in that room, I assume, I truly and deeply love music.

I get it. To a new generation DIY music scene, I’ve become an oddball. I have seemingly and unwittingly grown into the purgatory of middle ground: The corporate world thinks I’m hip, but the hipsters think I’m square.

The thing about the underground that has been steady and thriving longer than any of us have been around is that the attitude is what mostly keeps it “underground.” Punk, especially, is known for being nonconformist and rebelious; they truly don’t give a shit. They don’t care what people think; they certainly wouldn’t care what outsiders write. Right?

Travis’ recent letter to the Weekly proved that theory wrong. “It’s silly to have a weekly paper that barely scrapes the surface of the DIY scene,” he wrote. “Get involved. Check out a compilation of Honolulu bands that we just released on cassette and mp3.”

So I did. I listened to both sides of the Revolution Endless Summer Mixed Tape. I particularly fell in love with a band called Super Nice. Their heavy melodic guitars accompanied by dreamy girly-girl vocals reminiscent of Mirah had me searching everywhere for their next show. Instead of shows I found more posts about the corporate world vs. artistic integrity. I immediately felt guilty for even being on their page.

Travis, it’s not that we don’t care. It’s the unwelcoming attitude that makes me want to respect your wishes to remain under the radar, without coverage. There are already tons of people going crazy at your shows. The more corporate BS you cut through to record your music and to book shows, the more people will be exposed to it, and become fans.

When you wrap yourself up in something that makes you passionate it certainly matters who is paying attention but what matters more is that you believe in it. Just don’t dismiss others that want to believe in it, too.