Braided Veins (Members of the Swellers, Empty Orchestra, Kid Brother Collective) was ridiculously good last night at their first show. Check out this video of their set!
What an exciting time to be a part of the D.I.Y. music scene in Flint! We’re seeing so many talented bands, from so many different backgrounds, age groups, parts of the state, parts of the country, and hopefully in a few months parts of the world. People from various walks of life with so many different stories, ideas, emotions, words, and thoughts to share with us. Everyone coming together for one common purpose and goal, to perform and share a connected experience with the people around us.
We’ve watched bands develop from the basement to headliners. We’ve watched bands start to grow bigger and play outside of Flint again with extremely positive responses from audiences around the state and region. It’s exciting to have momentum in a scene that’s putting Flint on the map again. Our scene is hosting incredibly raw and refreshing house shows throughout each month as we’re finding more places for to play and to help build the network for other bands in the scene. We’re starting to see our numbers grow and grow. It’s a slow process, but this scene is about to explode into something even greater than ever anticipated, or previously thought capable. I continue to see so many talented and creative artists making incredible artwork and they’re increasing in number.
We’ve successfully traversed the genre spectrum into areas which we’ve never really promoted before. We’ve hosted events educating young people in Flint on safe and healthy sexuality. We’ve shown multiple art shows featuring a variety of fantastic local and regional artists. We’ve held several theatre and spoken word events. We’ve collaborated with like-minded organizations to produce exciting events for the Downtown and greater Flint community. We’ve served as a free meeting place for various organizations to further develop their goals, collaborate, and build their capacity. We’ve hosted community planning sessions to take an active role in the master planning process for the City of Flint and have done so while partnering with organizations across the board.
It’s been amazing to watch the connections form, to see people meet each other and have their lightbulbs go off. People coming together under the common purpose and shared goals of making Flint a better place to live and work. For example, today I was at Leadership Genesee at the Farmer’s Market where we discussed the market in its current location and its programming, the move to downtown, other changes in the community, had a demonstration about bee-keeping, and shopped with the various local vendors. I was on a break to shop, bought some raw juice, and then decided to sit outside for a little while. Jason from South Bay Bessie, GameSpace, Dwellings Church, and outright awesome dude, walks up and we talked for about 20 minutes about what’s happening and their upcoming comeback show. Then a friend he had made who was a visiting traveling artist involved with the Free City Festival this weekend, a huge event at Chevy In-the-Hole organized by the Flint Public Art Project, She was frustrated because she was having a difficult time making connection to get people involved with her project. Speaking of which, if you are interested, just send us an ask and I can provide more information on it. But it’s a really interesting idea for a piece and she needed people from the community from all ages and any background. So I brought her downstairs to speak in front of 20 some people from different organizations, businesses, and institutions from around the county. It got me thinking about how important and powerful building these connections can be.
This summer, Punk Rock Softball starts up for its second season, and it’s added an additional team to the league. We’re playing a longer season with a bunch of new people and a fresh start. The Flint D.I.Y. Collective has started with the purpose of supplementing and contributing to the creative community through various people involved in bands or are artists in their own right. We’re creating some truly refreshing and exciting things that the D.I.Y. community significantly lacks.
All of this came from years of establishing an extensive community through the local music scene. When we closed the Local in 2005, and then stopped doing shows under the Flint Local 432 name, it was a rough period of time with little sense of direction or community. I moved away to Texas because I thought it was done and never would happen again. When I was offered the position as 432 Manager over a burger at the Torch with Joel and Chris, I immediately said I would move back without question and do it. It’s only gotten better and better. I went on tour with the Swellers last year and I’m going on a short run starting next week with The Sky We Scrape who is supporting Arliss Nancy down to DTFH Fest 3 in Durham, NC, then up to Pouzza Fest 3 in Montreal, QB, and then back to Flint for a house show on May 19th on the ride back to Chicago. Really looking forward to hanging out with good friends and having a lot of fun.
Currently, there’s such a fantastic energy of positivity in the community of Flint, Michigan. To be a central part of building that enthusiasm, dedication, and drive to rebuild Flint has been incredible.
Please, I implore you for your own self-benefit, come be a part of this community. We’re having our monthly General meeting this Monday at 6pm, which is literally open to anyone who is interested in this music and art community. Some of my greatest and fondest memories growing up in the Flint area come from this organization. An organization that was always filled with tremendous potential, but was always a victim of timing. Come out and be a part of this community’s rebirth. We need more positive and energetic people willing to build and grow something. Do something that will bring people up instead of being one of the negative, cynical naysayers denying us any semblance of progress.
Come out to a show, meet some new people, watch a great band, musician, actress, poet, or artist. Make music, make art, be a part of something greater. Thank you so much for a great year, we love you all for your unending support, I can’t wait to see where the next year takes us!
Flint Local 432
The Swellers have officially begun recording their next album with Marc Hudson. Check out a tweet from Nick Diener below by clicking “Read More.”
Get excited, kiddos!
Brought my @theswellers newspaper article from back in August and hung it up at the Local!
This is the flyer for the Swellers’ first show EVER back in 2002. It’s pretty crazy to think of where they went after this…
Picking one out from the ol’ archives. This was in our second location, the “Carlton building.” It was probably one of the biggest spaces we had and frankly it was pretty great. Check out who’s only in the #2 slot. South Bay Bessie was so much fun, I miss that band!
VEHICLE CITY: (This is actually the first song we wrote for My Everest) The Swellers first show was at a venue called The Flint Local 432 in lovely, Flint, Michigan in July of 2002. I wore temporary red hair dye while our then bassist wore black and red socks that went up to his knees. It was a…
We kept that motor running…
This should be our anthem. Not because it reflects our current scene, but because it reflects what our scene could become. Let’s focus on building this community, focus on what’s important. Focus on the friendships we make. Focus on watching every band at a show regardless of how good or bad they may be. Focus on creating a space where people feel comfortable being themselves.
The world is full of cynical people trying to tear things down for no reason at all. Let’s work together to build something positive and long-lasting where we exert more energy singing, dancing, or clapping instead of making fun of people for how they look, the clothes they wear, the music they listen to, the books they read, the person they love, how much money they have, or where they’re from.
Let’s be a community with deeply embedded, positive values that we defend with pride. Let’s be a community that picks people up when they fall down. Let’s be a community that supports each other regardless of whether or not our friends’ or own band is playing that night. Let’s be a community that welcomes others with open arms. Let’s be a community that doesn’t treat other bands as competition but rather friends to share a stage with.
We have something many communities across the world wish they had: a stable, safe, accessible, inexpensive, and non-profit music venue. I encourage you to take advantage of it. We’re not doing this for the money. We’re not doing this for cool-points. We’re doing this because music is a powerful force for social change.
To those of you who have continued to be a part of what we do, I encourage you to bring your friends into the fold. Share with them what you’ve experienced at the Local and what you’ve enjoyed. The best way we can build our community is by word of mouth, when people tell genuine stories about what sets the Local apart from any other space or venue. We’re not just an empty shell where bands play or actors perform, we’re a community.
Let’s dismiss the cynics, let’s show them why they’re wrong about Flint and the great people who live in this area.
I hope to see all of you at our next show. Come be a part of this movement.
Flint Local 432
I’m really bored. Ask me some questions about music, the music business, my thoughts on certain bands, Michigan bands, local (Genesee County, Michigan) Bands, or whatever your little heart desires.
I have years of experience in music promotion, DIY culture/approaches, and listen to A LOT of music, so I probably have something interesting to say. I’m also heavily involved with the Flint community as an organizer, volunteer, and invested person.
I promise I will answer any question honestly and directly.
432 Club Manager
Beardy Music Dude
Hey pop-punk nerds, this band On My Honor is playing at the Local this Saturday night (February 9th) with Nick and Jonathan from the Swellers’ 90s cover band called “Salute Your Shorts” it’s going to be a really good time. If you like bands like The Wonder Years, Pentimento, Saves the Day, etc. you’ll really like these guys. They’re here all the way from Knoxville, TN so let’s show them a warm Flint, Michigan welcome!
More info about the show is available here.