We R Family

This whole year I’ve realized just how close the SubPop and Hardly Art families are. I first discovered this when I started investigating the Hardly Art musicians at the beginning of the year and realized that many of them are children of older SubPop groups. The second time I realized this was watching the social media coming in with the same media commentators, retweets, replies and general communication between “fans” was the same people, often connected intimately by relation or association.

I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that the SubPop family is a small, close family, since I grew up in Washington state and I’ve known that it’s only really been in the last decade that my home burst through the everybody-knows-each-other bubble. There are people I have met half-way across the world that knew me or my friends in one way shape or form most of my life. It happened on a train from Italy to Geneva, it happened on the Eiffel Tower in 2007 and it still happens to this day. It’s just this lineage is a musical lineage as well as a biological one.

I guess it might be hard for others in the world to realize just how close Seattleites have always been. In the first place our city is not massive in space like LA or Chicago because the water forces us to stay pretty close.  Secondly, up until the millennium most people have grown up or lived a significant amount of their lives around Washington which keeps the bubble tight. Lastly, I will truthfully admit that Seattle is a pretty stoic culture and once you “break into” a group of people you have a tendency to keep hanging out with them over and over. This is an aspect of the #SeattleFreeze, that undertow of Seattle society that has always been here, an aspect of Seattle that nobody understands but it is known by any that have lived here.

Being a brand blogger that lives a different brand every year means I live a different culture and community around that brand every year. Doing this has allowed me to find out that it can take anywhere from 4 months to 8 months to “break into” the culture. And when I say break in, I mean that you’ve started befriending people in that business, they share their secrets and connections and histories with you, and this year took a little longer than most. Goodwill and Starbucks were the quickest for their culture to embrace me because their brand advocacy is pretty interactive both online and in-person. This last month (October), in the middle of an entire month of musical app exploration, I finally experienced my acceptance into the local musical family in a couple of ways. First, one of my music instructors and I started engaging in discussions about a mini-documentary project about his unique instruments and as of last week, not only did we received the green-light to start the documentary but in less than two weeks a team assembled and we are now scheduling shooting in early 2016! Talk about being given an open door into this amazing musical world we live in around Seattle. I am so excited and honored to be apart of filming the beginning of a new level of musical experimentation and I cannot wait to keep you all updated to the documentaries progress.

The second significant thing that happened for me last month was the fact that one of my favorite SubPop bands over the years, The Helio Sequence (HS), invited me into their personal space while touring in Seattle for the KEXP and Rainier Brewery “R Day” and it was a deeply moving day for me! Let me give you some context… I’ve listened to HS for years, but earlier this year when HS released their self-titled album I met band members and significant others at their Easy Street Records show and that meeting sparked what became a truly magical summer full of their soundtrack. I enjoyed many SubPop and Hardly Art concerts this summer, many truly wonderful concerts but every. single. time. I came back to The Helio Sequence songs, notes and words which just held a deeper meaning for me, a couple of songs are permanently engrained into my head and heart now because of what I associated them with over the summer. So when I held space with these deeply creative souls, it was truly like the full moon I captured that evening backstage…. they illuminated my soul and made this SubPop year for me in that moment!

SubPop and Hardly Art families are close, but so are the communities and families around every brand I live. It is a consistent message I find over and over in my blogging and it is a beautiful message to receive during this holiday time of year. A message you all will understand in my last blog post for my SubPop and Hardly Art year. A message that I feel every fall when i look back upon the extended family I’ve met during that year, family that will be in my heart and possibly in my life just because of my blogging and challenges! The message is what we can all reflect on and love… that it doesn’t matter if your family is a biological, adopted, musical, foodies, fashionistas or other… just find the others that love and support your passions, interests and well-being and love and support them back and then you will find we all have R families, and each one is glorious!

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