Last Year, Part Three (Andrew Horton)

We have reached out to different people within & around the HSAL camp to find out what from the last twelve months inspired them. In the coming days, we’ll post a series of lists. Our hope is that you will get an idea of where we are coming from. Here’s what Andrew Horton, social media provocateur & young hierophant, turned in:

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#1Sound of Ceres’ live show: I loved their record on Joyful Noise, but now Jacob Graham (the Creatures of Yes, Cascading Slopes) has created a completely amazing DIY live show with lasers, fog, and more. It’s like a band brought Epcot with them on tour, even if they’re playing in a storefront space. Best live show I’ve seen in years.

#2The Makenoise 0-Coast synthesizer: I’ve been a fan of their modules for years, but this is the culmination – a small, affordable, cute desktop box that can turn on a dime and take you to entirely new sound worlds. It’s a brilliant design that does more than many full modular systems and it sounds amazing.

#3The Norfolk, VA music scene: I moved here after a long time in Chicago, where in big city style everyone is in constant competition and would rather balkanize scenes into increasingly fragmented camps. It’s amazing to see how everyone acts like they’re in it together; we just want something cool to do. People come out for shows and support each other. Bills are never not diverse. The future of music is local and provincial; flee the doomed megalopolis!

#4Health: Do everything in your power to take care of yourself and have healthcare. Beg, borrow, steal. I had a surprise incident this year that left me with $6,000+ in debt and a shaky sense of my own mortality and that’s with good insurance and a safety net. For your health!

#5Big Sur, CA: I can’t even put into words how special this place is. It’s primordial. It’s overcrowded with tourists but it’s also as alone as you can get in the Conus at the same time. One of the most legitimately magical places I’ve been.

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Last Year, Part Two (James Tritten)

We have reached out to different people within & around the HSAL camp to find out what from the last twelve months inspired them. In the coming days, we’ll post a series of lists. Our hope is that you will get an idea of where we are coming from. Here’s what James Tritten, the “dude” half of Raleigh’s Band & The Beat, turned in:

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#1 – Saturday, January 30, 2016: The first inspiration that comes to mind technically did not take place in 2015.  However, the basis of what took place revolved around the date: Saturday, January 30, 2016.  And frankly, what came out of the events leading up to that specific date are so important to me and my wife, Tracy, it deserves to be included on this 2016 list.  On November 22, 2015, I reached out to Nathan McGlothlin about scheduling a performance for Band & The Beat in Lynchburg VA for that date in 2016: January 30.  While the concert technically never happened, fast forward one year later and what I can tell you is this… I am so thankful for having reached out to Harding Street Assembly Lab, because Tracy and I now have a beautiful, new friendship with two amazing people: Joanna and Nathan McGlothlin.  It is one of the many examples, and things that I do not take for granted, about what keeps me going, working in the music industry.  Many of our closest friendships are with people like Joanna and Nathan, spread out all across the USA, from similar encounters.  Thank you both, Joanna and Nathan, for your continuous support, but more importantly, your love and friendship.

#2 – Tuesday, August 2, 2016: This is the day that Tracy and I lost one of our most favorite people, Renee (REE-nee) Olson.  She was 101 years young, and lived in Tucson AZ.  We had been friends with Renee since 2006. She had such a tremendous influence on our lives, from the very first day we met her. She told us her ‘secret’ – everyone that lives to be near one hundred years of age has a ‘secret;’ something that keeps them going / keeps them young – was raw garlic and her beverage-of-choice: Vodka Lemondrops.   Renee Olson had more style in her lil’ pinkie than all of Hollywood combined.  We used to play poker with her (nearly) every Saturday night; for quarters, but it was still damn fun.  I’ll never forget that time she pulled out a (B.B.) gun.  We will simply never forget Renee, and everything she taught us.  We love you, and miss (the heck out of) you, Renee Olson.

#3 – Friday, September 23, 2016: The day Gus died.  Well, he did not really die.  But, in regards to Band & The Beat, and Gus being our trusty 1987 Volvo 240 DL Wagon that was being used as our tour vehicle… he died, Friday, September 23, 2016.  We were scheduled to play a show on that date in Richmond VA with our friend Anousheh, and her friends Way, Shape, Or Form at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.  Tracy and I both were really looking forward to the show, and seeing Anousheh again.  Unfortunately, Gus was not able to make the trek between Raleigh and Richmond, and since this was not the first time Gus left us stranded with our travels, we had to officially retire him from his touring responsibilities.  I too had to retire my own dreams sailing Gus through the concrete rivers of America, and face reality that were going to need something a bit more reliable (and modern).  Now we have a monthly reminder (at least for the next six years, unless we can pay it off faster) that some things are not worth taking a gamble on; sometimes it is best to just play it smart (I did not want to say “safe,” but that too).

#4 – Friday, October 14, 2016: “Ahhhh,” the official release date for the Band & The Beat cassette tape with Harding Street Assembly Lab.  For me, this day is a reminder that someone else, other than my wife or family, believed / believes in what I’m doing.  Someone else was / is passionate about something that I personally created, and wanted to share it with the world / with others.  This is another thing that keeps me going, especially with making music; support.  You can’t do it without the support of others, and it is a great thing to feel when it is there, and genuine / from the heart. Those little pink cassette tapes came out lookin’ pretty sweet.  For the fifty people that own them, I hope they are enjoying the music.  We are hoping to write a lot more music in 2017, for Band & The Beat and Tracy Shedd, so maybe that little pink cassette tape will get a few brothers and sisters soon.

#5 – Friday, October 21 and Friday, November 11, 2016: I have been happily married to my best friend for 16 years.  I love my life with my wife, and it makes me very happy to see others share a similar bond. So, when I have an opportunity to witness others in love make their own lifelong commitment to one another, it reminds me how very special my life is with Tracy and keeps me focused on nurturing our own marriage.  This year presented two such special occasions: the wedding of our friends Tina and Charlie Banks in October, and Andrea and Chad Irwin in November.  At the Bank’s wedding, the minister not only had Tina and Charlie read their wedding vows, but he had vows for the family and friends in the audience to read aloud as well, holding all of us accountable to provide nothing by positive support and influence toward the newly married couple.  It was the first (and only, to date) time that I had witnessed something like that at a wedding, and I have to say I thought it was a pretty powerful and important thing to do.  As family, or friends, we should all be held accountable for looking out for each other.  That’s what we are supposed to do for each other.  I appreciate that Tina and Charlie asked that of all of their family and friends, and I’ll be sure to live up to my end of the bargain, for them, Andrea and Chad, and everyone else that I care about.