Last January, DJ (of Scared to Death) and I traveled together to Philidelphia for my 8static gig (performance pics here).  While at the event, we both saw how powerful a monthly event for a niche set of artists can be.  On the ten hour drive back home we had plenty of time to reflect over what we experienced : a healthy music scene.  There’s a very slight chance I brought out a couple people that would have been there anyways. Cheap Dinosaurs, the headliners, were probably responsible for a good chunk.  The rest could be there by habit.  8static has been on the second Saturday of every month for over a year (with few exceptions) at a certain yoga studio.

DJ and I looked on…  This is the underground working on love of a culture and not money.  Ultimately, we decided we wanted to, and could try, to build something similar back home in Ann Arbor, MI.  There are four main components necessary : the artists, a name or title, a venue, and a regular monthly slot.

8static is a chiptune event.  Ann Arbor and it’s vicinity has less chip artists than a luddite convention.  We obviously can’t do a monthly chiptune event.  So what do we want?  What are we?

Both of us perform as one-man-bands!  DJ’s project, Scared to Death, consists of himself, guitar, bass, circuit bent keyboard, and a drumset.  He uses loop pedals in an alchemical method to create an atmosphere and pulse that he then plays drums over.  I, myself, take the stage with chiptune and laptop compositions layered with my custom VIC20 chip instrument, ukulele and voice.

Essentially, we realized we didn’t want traditional bands which is still a pretty open invitation.  To try and quantify what’s acceptable I came up with a genre list : chiptune dubstep trip-hop synth-pop idm breakcore circuit-bent noise one-man-band ambient experimental.  LoBlast is a steady, public outlet for bedroom musicians.  …or something like that.

A couple weeks after our trip, and without much brainstorming, I came up with the event title “LOBLAST”.  LO is an abbreviation for LO-FI (opposite of HI-FI or “high fidelity”) and also for being “low” on the musical industry food chain.  BLAST is another good fit in all it’s connotations “I had a blast!” or “That boombox blasted me!”  So, one slow night at work I drafted some simple logo designs.

A few months roll by and I finally brave the adobe illustrator.  I still feel like a blind mule every time I try to use it, but practice makes perfect.  Huzzar!  Teh pen tool!  :P

…then you export something and import that thing-a-ma-jig into photoshop… and style the shit out of it! :D

I’m not happy with the ‘LO’ part, but that’s what I get for not following my own mockup examples!  I am happy with, however, the legibility of the logo.  I thought maybe the broken ‘A’ and the connected letters would throw people.  I’ve been assured it’s an easy read.  I suppose if people can read the 80’s NASA logo they can read LOBLAST.

For a venue, we’re lucky to have access to the 8ball Saloon hallway.  We both work for the Blind Pig, a local club, which is typically closed on Sundays.  The 8ball is in the basement, completing the complex with a cover-free bar, bathrooms and an alley entrance.

Last summer, a party got busted and the bands still wanted to play and the peeps still wanted to party.  With the owners permission, the party moved to the 8ball hallway.  This incident began an outlet for the Blind Pig staff, many being musicians, to host free shows and help sell $1 PBR’s.

Sometimes a touring act will get a show upstairs at the Blind Pig on a Sunday making the hallway that connects the two bars unavailable.  On very rare occasions these shows can drop on the calender a few weeks before.  So that’s a slight strike against us.  But, overall, we have a solid venue for ages 19+ on Sunday nights.

We decided to requisition the last Sunday of every month.  Our second loblast event  is already upon us!!  D:  Time is flying!!

DJ suggested a Missile Command theme for the flier.  I had a lot of fun making it …and… I think it works!  So come on down and enjoy cheap beer!  :D

Filed under — Events, Meat Space
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3 Responses to “LOBLAST – Developing a Regular Event in Ann Arbor”

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