Category Archives: Art

The Struggle to Process Abandonment in Photos — Part I

Like every life, every house has a story. No two are the same. And as every life must come to an end, so must every house.

Births, graduations, death, and dreams are the stuff in the life of a house. When a house becomes abandoned, and is it decays, there are no gravestones and no obituaries—no public eulogies. In many of America’s shrinking cites, where entire neighborhoods empty out, there are often no neighbors to tell the tale either.

This is often where I enter, camera in hand, walking into the past, through piles of clothes and the detritus of a sudden departure. Sometimes the only signs of passing are from the scrappers: blown open walls and traces of copper. However, there are many houses with almost everything left in them: family photo albums sit in piles of garbage; honor role notices still grace an old refrigerator; and magazines from decades earlier sit waiting to be opened.

I use the camera to try and process these seemingly unfathomable scenes. I wonder who these people were and what became of them.  What drove them to leave their home? What compelled them to leave behind their clothes, diaries, and photos of their children and loved ones? What would they think if they could return now and see what has become of the place they once lived and the neighborhood they once called home?

As I often pause from photographing to consider these questions, I realize there are no answers coming, only the silence of a once vibrant house, now a tomb of memory.

–Sean Posey

Note: this photo essay explores 631 Ridge, an abandoned house in Youngstown, Ohio that is a subject of a new documentary. Part II will run tomorrow.

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The Street Art Test: Separating Cool Cities from the Rest

This is a personal theory so take it for what it is. Want to know if a city is cool? By cool, I mean young, edgy, colorful (I’m making myself sound like an old person here and not a cool person), but here goes. The telltale sign is street art, or rather the term used to describe it.

So

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today, Cleveland City Council comes across my Twitter feed saying “want to stop graffiti in your neighborhood?” And there you go, unequivocal proof that Cleveland is uncool.

Cleveland doesn’t know –or at least the leadership doesn’t know — about street art, the most important art movement of our generation in my opinion, the movement that made criminals like Banksy and vigora brand cost Shepard Fairey household names (and millionaires). The art movement that has shaped the modern art world, and the world of fashion, like none other in the last few decades.

Here is a picture I took in LA:

That is what a cool city looks like.

Another example: Miami.

Street art was born in the world’s most beloved urban centers, places like New York and London. It was born of a young counterculture, that celebrated city life, the asphalt (skateboarding), the fashion. Cleveland should be littered with the stuff. But something is wrong.

Here is a picture I took in Long Island City, Queens, New York, decades after the birth of this movement:

That was a warehouse the cialis professional size of an auto plant that’s been converted into galleries and artists’ lofts — many of them street/graffiti artists.

There’s good examples even in Pittsburgh and Akron. tadalafil online These are street art-style, city-sanctioned murals, http://cialis7days-pharmacy.com/cialis-price.php the kind you don’t see in Cleveland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are cities that get it.

Now of course, there are two separate actions here. Punks that tag buildings — producing damage without adding much aesthetically — ok, we can call that graffiti. People that paint murals, or elaborate stencils that comment on social conditions — that is art, street art. But let’s just say with a fair amount of certainty, that you sure as hell aren’t getting one (street art) without a fair amount of the other (graffiti).

You will not find any street-art inspired art in Cleveland that I am aware of, even though we have a nonprofit organization that buy bactrim is dedicated to creating public art. Cleveland’s public artwork — and there is a good deal of it — has almost exclusively been sculptures — objects that speak to authority, rather than artists skillfully subverting it, the way street artists did. This clashes, to a certain extent, with the prevailing aesthetic in more culturally important cities, I argue, and that’s not a good thing, in this case.

Cleveland, in this way and others, speaks out of both sides of its mouth. It wants to be a cool city. At the same time, a handful of old white guys wants to maintain vice-like control over everything that happens. And guess what? Art scenes don’t flourish in places like that. They flourish in places where creative people have room to breathe (see above).

I tried (unsuccessfully) to get a street-art style mural painted http://cialis7days-pharmacy.com/blood-pressure-pills-price.php in downtown Cleveland a few years ago. And people scoffed at the idea of a mural altogether (“It’s like GRAFFITI!”) And there you have it, Cleveland is uncool.

By my test, Pittsburgh, Akron, Miami, New kamagra oral jelly orange pharmacy York, LA azulfidine online and Columbus are all cool. That’s just my theory. But public spaces speak powerfully to the culture of the city. And blank walls, well, they’re pretty forgettable.

When a very, very important art movement is nearly absent from the public landscape in a particular city, something is wrong with the creative culture in that city — especially if that art movement was purposely stamped out, the way I suspect it was.

Alternatively, it could be that there just aren’t a lot of artists in Cleveland that are tuned into this movement. But that leads me to the same conclusion — a lack of in-touch artists, at least none from one classic pack dosage very important movement — means you don’t have a very vibrant arts scene, your city has been left behind. Uncool.

But hey, discuss:

-A.S.

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The Quiet Genius of Amy Casey: A RW Interview

The city and the artist are like the sailor and the sea: the person is driven by the setting, and the setting is driven into by the person. Except through the artist we get a glimpse of their journey through the works they create for us to see.

For Erie-born, Cleveland-based painter Amy Casey, this journey in large part documents how we as Rust Belters make sense of the post-industry life around us: the plywood windows—the black and still factories—the aged material that can look both firm and fragile, warm and rough. In effect, Casey gets at our history of losing and our current state of flux while repositioning our cultural relics into novel forms if only to prove there’s a way to reconstruct a region that many have left for dead. After all, said painter Paul Klee, “Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see.”

Damn right it does. And Casey gets us to look–with one eye tied to the heart and the other to the head.

I recently caught up with Casey for a Q&A. The former winner of the Cleveland Arts Prize is busy these days, showing talking heads in galleries ranging from Chicago to San Francisco what our world looks like when we step off our front porch. So we thank her for taking the time.

I have heard you describe yourself as a “Rust Belt romantic.” I love the term. To what extent do your Rust Belt roots and the Rust Belt culture drive your creative process?

As an artist I have always looked at everyday life for inspiration, so perhaps it was inevitable that my work references Cleveland. A lot of my initial ideas were found staring at the city through the windows of a bus or train, and so spending time in the Rust Belt is a spark that starts the engine. But this works both ways, because while the area has informed my work, I find my work also informs me about the area. For instance, as I collect more buildings and infrastructure photos for reference, I venture further out into different neighborhoods I have never been to.

I should point out that while what I’ve been creating showcases the Cleveland aesthetic to an extent, I can’t say I did this purposely. I use structures and spaces found [in the Rust Belt] to create something new, something of my own that has its own history completely outside of reality. However, the things I focus on when working:  moving on in the face of hardship, vulnerability, community, working with mistakes, and finding stability in new forms, these are things that may be of interest to me because of where I come from.

There’s a lot of vacancy in the Rust Belt, and I feel the prevalence of vacant houses in particular kind of seeps into us and affects us mentally and emotionally on a level that is often not talked about, especially in how it can evoke the facts of life’s vulnerabilities. I see this insecurity of things in your images, particularly in the work that shows houses tenuously tied together.  Can you speak as to whether or not the prevalence of abandonment in our region influences your work?

I’m glad you noticed this.  I’ve often thought that the interruptions in the landscape here have contributed to the way I use negative space in my paintings, and that living here can make a person more aware of absence. What’s particularly striking are areas of the city where there has been a lot of demolition.  You will find these building holdouts sort of bobbing in empty space like lonely boats on the sea. A person cannot help but internalize these sort of things. This, then, leads to reflection, and I have come to think a lot about how dependent we are on each other. The housing crisis has definitely illustrated how we are connected and if any one entity drops out of a community it can have a ripple effect. Conversely, if people or businesses stay and help to create stability, that can also transform the landscape over time.

Some of the work I find particularly interesting are the industrial scenes that look torn away, yet suspended. There is reality to that with the Rust Belt scrapping for what’s left of its industry. The Rust Belt is resilient in this way—it carries on because what the hell are we supposed to do. Are there times when you are creating that you are punchy, or edgy, or fighting to show that where you are from carries on despite it being kicked in the mouth, at least economically?

The ability to continue going in the face of adversity has always been a big influence on my work. And although I agree about the Rust Belt being scrappy,  I see it as a core human trait as opposed to something regional. Watching various disaster scenes of the last decade play out–the Indian Ocean tsunami, Katrina, the economic meltdown–and then seeing the way communities come together and life carries on, well, you hate to say it is an inspiration, but it has definitely fueled my work.

Okay, I’ve got to ask you: there is some evidence that Cleveland–and more generally the Rust Belt–is getting its swag back. Your latest paintings frequently give off the aesthetic of tightness and solidity. So, are you a believer? Or have you just been getting out of the Rust Belt more often?

I am always trying to think of ways to make things “better” for the world in my paintings, and the idea of coming together has been of great interest lately. I am wanting to move in a less vulnerable direction in my latest work, and it’s perhaps not a coincidence that we do seem to be reconstructing our way out of a slump right now in Cleveland. As someone with a keen eye on buildings, I notice when my subjects are demolished that in their place often arises new growth. I can’t help but be inspired not only by the new construction projects going on, but also by people transforming older buildings into new entities. And I am not simply speaking of big projects, as there’s kind of a weird dynamic going on in Cleveland where vacancy is creating a lot of opportunities and space for a DIY sort of thing, even for people without much capital.  I’ve seen people start incredible things here.  So I am guardedly optimistic in the “swag back” theory.

Swag back: the Rust Belt is making waves.  And it’s partly due to our region’s artists, and their creations derived from that journey into the wild, rusty yonder.

Richey Piiparinen

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The Creative Allure of Grit

If a suburb in Florida serves to take the edge off, aesthetically, then Cleveland cuts you into corners. The Rust Belt landscape shoves you. And depending on your poison, this can be a good thing, especially if you are an artist.

Take Cleveland painter Amy Casey. Much of her work is fueled by structural vulnerability, particularly related to the amount of vacancy that gives Cleveland its surreal yet still-present look. Houses strung together by rope. Industrial scenes uprooted. It’s obvious her outside comes through her. Speaking to San Francisco Chronicle, Casey states:

“It’s not too uncommon to find people here who sort of love the broken-down industrial history of the area. It’s very bittersweet, which may be a Midwestern thing. There are people here transforming leftover remnants – old manufacturing commercial buildings into studios and apartments and other interesting projects. It’s a pretty slow process, though I find a great deal of inspiration from the landscape.”

From Bukowski’s skid-rowed L.A. to artists squatting in Berlin, the ability to create has long been tied to one’s surroundings. Grit is in. And that’s what made the Taxi Driver New York so special, or that New York of Warhol’s warehouse, for it didn’t bleed the imagination out of you as it got it flowing. But that New York is dying: the mass marketing, the Park Slope moms whining about the ice cream carts—the spread of the everyday is squeezing New York’s art scene into its diminishing edges, and the Rust Belt stands to be the beneficiary.

For instance, at

New York’s Cooper Union, the legendary Patti Smith was asked about the current environment for young artists in New York. Her response was blunt:

“New York has closed itself off to the young and the struggling. But there are other cities. Detroit. Poughkeepsie. New York City has been taken away from you. So my advice is: Find a new city.”

Many artists are listening. For instance, in Cleveland, Seth Beattie of the Community Partnership for Arts

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and Culture (CPAC) shared his anecdotal experiences with in-migrating artists:

I think the response [of arriving artists] would amaze people … We’ve had artists relocate from Brooklyn, Nova Scotia, even New Zealand. When you ask this group of people why they’re interested in Cleveland, 9 times out of 10, it’s not an employment opportunity … it’s a relatively high quality of life at a relatively low cost of living, opposite a growing arts community.

About that growing arts community–it isn’t simply about cheap space. It’s also about the mythical geography that is rust belt chic: the widespread yet often beautiful abandonment, the wear and unevenness of the sidewalks and bridges, or more generally, the untidy ambiguity that comes with a rusty transition. Of course it’s all the result of a system breaking–but that breakage can be downright liberating. Because when you’re living in Cleveland or Detroit you’re forced to accept that shit happens, and with that comes a freedom to creatively make sense of what’s happening. That’s art in a nutshell: the burning to make meaning out of failed plans and ruin. Said Parisian mystic Simone Weil:

Art is the symbol of the two noblest human efforts: to construct and to refrain from destruction.

Now contrast this with Park Slope New York: there’s less urge to re-create what is perceived as being kosher. Call it complacency. Call it uncreative non-destruction. What you can’t call it is edge. This isn’t to say there’s no edge in New York. But it’s increasingly managed, fostered like a mom gelling her 3-year old son’s mohawk. For instance, in the article City fathers scramble to keep mini-Patti Smiths from choosing…Detroit?, grit is being massaged from high-level meetings in an advertising agency. From Capital New York:

Industry and government agencies—the sorts of institutions that Patti Smith and company were, years ago, busy subverting—are now studying the lives of all the mini-Patti Smiths of New York today, and trying to figure out how to make them stay…

The underlying premise of the panel was that if art no longer acted as this benign bacteria on the organism of New York real-estate, it would have to be made in vitro and injected.

Yeah, Picasso, Duchamp, Warhol—petri dish creations of bureaucratic maneuverings, no doubt. Contrast this with the “benign bacteria” on the un-real estate scene in Detroit. It’s a landscape serving to give a fork-in-the-eye shock to convention, which can urge folks to paint, create, spill words, or—in the case of Hygienic Dress League—set up fake board room meetings amidst the backdrop of hulking capitalistic FAIL. Yes, indeed, a case of art bred by the what-the-fuck around you.

Richey Piiparinen

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15 Scenic Cities of the Rust Belt

No one can deny the awe-inspiring scenic beauty of Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, or Salt Lake City. But, often overlooked are the splendid topographic and geographic settings where a number of Rust Belt cities are situated. Beautiful city settings of the Rust Belt  may not get the national notoriety and ink of their western competitors, but some are equally endowed with great scenery. Here’s a list of 15 Rust Belt cities that I feel are a visual delight:

Duluth - Source: lastingbridge.com

Duluth-Superior, Minnesota/Wisconsin – the view of the city, harbor, and Lake Superior from Interstate 35 as it crests over the top of Spirit Mountain is simply magnificent. Throw in some alpine skiing within sight of the downtown skyline and you’ve got something very, very  special. If Duluth were situated on the Pacific or Atlantic coasts, it would be the legendary subject of artists worldwide. Shush…don’t tell anyone what a great secret we have hiding right here in the Rust Belt.

Cumberland - Source: ci.cumberland.md.us

Cumberland, Maryland – shoe-horned between the steep ridges of Willis Mountain, Haystack Mountain, Irons Mountain, Big Knob, the Pennsylvania border, and the Potomac River, Cumberland is a history and outdoor recreation lover’s  paradise.  Sometimes called the “City of Spires” for its magnificent church steeples, Cumberland is scenically gorgeous and filled with delightful historical charm.

Madison - Source: aeieng.com

Madison, Wisconsin – built on an isthmus like Seattle, Madison is bounded by lovely freshwater lakes. The city’s handsome downtown area sits smack dab in the center of the isthmus and is visible from throughout the metro area across lakes Monona and Mendota. Throw in the University of Wisconsin’s main campus and you have one beautiful urban setting.

Traverse City - en.wikipedia.org

Traverse City, Michigan – the sand dunes, the lake, the dune ridges, the cherry trees, the bays, the lighthouses, the peninsulas. What more could anyone ever ask for?

Chicago - Source: corporatecrations.com

Chicago, Illinois – One glimpse of the city’s skyline from Lake Michigan and  one quickly realizes that Chicago is much more magnificent than just a single mile. Personally, I find Lake Shore Drive in the summer to be one of the most captivating excursions anywhere.

Pittsburgh - Source: simtropolis.com

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – there are few initial views of a city skyline that are more impressive than exiting the Fort Pitt Tunnel and seeing downtown Pittsburgh, especially at night. With more bridges and inclines (funiculars) than anyplace else in the United States, varied topography and visual goodies are a huge understatement in Pittsburgh.

Ithaca - Source: nytimes.com

Ithaca, New York – with a slogan of “It’s Gorgeous” Ithaca beholds and beckons residents and visitors alike to explore its gorge-dotted terrain. Toss in the Finger Lakes and you have scenic combination that’s hard to top.

Dubuque - Source: nytimes.com

Dubuque, Iowa – like Bloomington, Indiana (see below), Dubuque defies the stereotype of Iowa being flat. It is a delightfully hilly city set along a particularly scenic segment of the Mississippi River where three state border converge (Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin).  Though not located on an Interstate Highway, Dubuque is easy to get to via U.S. 20, U.S. 61, and U.S. 151. It is definitely worth the try. Oh, by the way, be sure to check out the “Field of Dreams” in nearby Dyersville, Iowa.

Marquette - Source: photography-plus.com

Marquette, Michigan – the economic epicenter and unofficial capital of the Upper Peninsula, Marquette is a charming city situated on an especially scenic segment of Lake Superior shoreline. Sugarloaf Mountain, and Presque Isle City Park add to the ambiance, as do the crystal clear waters and rugged coastline. While you are there, within a few miles of Marquette are a myriad of waterfalls.

Altoona - Source: popculturebrain.com

Altoona, Pennsylvania – set in a long, lovely valley, Altoona is framed by linear blueish mountain ridges of the Allegheny and Appalachian Mountains.

Athens - Source: lakehillcabin,com

Athens, Ohio – hidden in hilly southeast Ohio, Athens is an enchanting surprise to anyone visiting the city for the first time. The University of Ohio campus (far prettier than that other school in Columbus) adds to the charm of overall setting.

Cincinnati - Source: litsup.com

Cincinnati, Ohio – tucked away in the southwest corner of the state along the Ohio River, Cincinnati has a storied history. Its hilly terrain makes the city come alive with exciting views and vistas from every direction.

Fall River - Source: phayemuss.wordpress.com

Fall River, Massachusetts – another isthmus city, which is situated on a ridge between the Taunton River and Mt. Hope Bay on the west, and North Wattupa Pond on the east. The view from any direction while crossing the Charles Braga (I-195) Bridge is spectacular.

Erie - Source: photography-plus.com

Erie, Pennsylvania – set aside its namesake lake, Erie is much more than lake effect snow. It is Presque Isle State Park which juts out into Lake Erie like a gigantic comma; it is sandy, windswept ridges, and it is full of captivating history.
Bloomington – Source: images.businessweek.com
Bloomington, Indiana – who said Indiana was flat? Come to Bloomington to see for yourself that the Hoosier State indeed has hills. I may be a Purdue alumni, but in spring time, Bloomington is especially nice as the flowering trees bloom and blossom.
There are other cities I could have included, but I think the point has been made. Sometimes, we are overly critical of ourselves. But, if Rust Belt residents stop and take an objective look, I think they would agree that we have some inspiring city settings too.
by Rick Brown

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Artists Breathe New Life into Old Buildings from Columbus and Cleveland

By Mona Gazala

It was love at first sight.

Sunday, June 5, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio. I parked around the corner on Lucas Street, and Adam Tensen walked up to meet active pack online me, with drill in hand, to unscrew the boarded-up doors inside. The front of the warehouse was a maze of newly subdivided rooms – new artist studios. But the rest of the building was still in an organic state, being rescued from years of disuse and ruin. I followed Adam around in the dark, through large cavernous rooms where you could hear the sound of water cascading grifulvin from a leaky roof. Through a courtyard with concrete walls and alcoves half hidden beneath overgrown plants. Up a stairway and past rusted industrial artifacts, to where you could look out across a vast rooftop grifulvin towards the downtown skyline.

But then we stopped in the second floor area next to Lucas Street, with its three walls of tall, mullioned windows. No amount of dirt could keep the setting sun http://pharmacy-online-24hour.com/proscar-online.html from piercing through that space and lighting it up like a forgotten jewel. I stood at one end, looking down this football-field of a room. The glass glittered, the paint on the wood ceiling peeled in elaborate designs, and vines grew inside through broken windows. A startled bird flew up from somewhere behind a dusty pile of bricks.

That was 400 West Rich, a 100,000 square-foot mass of old warehouse space that is being transformed into a budding artist community in the west-side Columbus neighborhood of Franklinton. Less than a year later, 400 West Rich has already hosted numerous arts events and concerts, and a gallery exhibition. Little by little, plans are in the works for the building to include dining, retail, and workshop spaces. And the “glass palace” that I fell in love with upstairs? That has already been subdivided into artist studios, with bullpen walls that still allow that glorious light to pour out across the immense expanse of ceiling.

And one of those studios is now mine.

Fast forward ten years into the future for 400 West Rich, and you might see a well-run complex of high-end galleries, emerging artist galleries, studios, kamagra oral jelly mint band performance space and retail shops, with a brilliant marketing machine of once-monthly “ArtWalks” held inside the building, and so many people in attendance that the expansive parking lot outside is overflowing.

This is not such a far-fetched future, because it is a reality 150 miles to the north in Cleveland, at 78th Street Studios. Carved and subdivided from a car factory and other adjoining buildings., 78th Street Studios has been honed by owner Dan Bush and his tenants over the last ten years into what has been called, and not inaccurately, an “arts mecca” in the Detroit-Shoreway community of Cleveland’s near west side.

Three floors and several thousand square feet of every imaginable art venue awaits visitors here every Third Friday. The Touch Supper Club food truck is parked outside for the hungry, and if you stay late, a couple of the spaces will have bands playing.

And here too, at 78th Street, you could say that one of the studios is “mine.” Or rather that it has belonged to my organization, Cleveland West Art League, since early 2011. And I –we – have all seen firsthand how a forgotten and sprawling warehouse building nizoral cream cost can be turned into a destination and a transformative power in the neighborhood through the collective vision and energy of artists and creative minds.

 

Mona Gazala is the Executive Director of Cleveland West Art buy azulfidine League, at 78th Street Studios in Cleveland. See http://www.clevelandwestartleague.com/ for news on their current Six in http://cialis7days-pharmacy.com/diflucan-price.php Studio Project and other exhibitions.

Gazala also runs Second Sight Studio at 400 West Rich in Columbus as a personal working studio, with guest artists invited to show during building events. pharmacy7days-online.com See the work of photographer Alena Rosa Reyes on Saturday April 14. https://www.facebook.com/SecondSightSecondSiteStudio

Links to 78th Street Studios and 400 West Rich:

http://www.78streetstudios.com/

http://400westrich.com/

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The Rust Belt's Brain Drain Expressed in Music

Greater Lansing has an amazing music scene, but it’s seldom heard about outside a 100 mile or so radius from the state capital. Probably the best known band to hail from this area is The Verve Pipe, with its memorable #1 hit single “The Freshman.” Frontier Ruckus, The Hard Lessons, and Autumn Lull (among others) have also made a decent amount of buzz outside of their Greater Lansing roots.

Source: soundcloud.com

The Greater Lansing area alternative rock band Elliot Street Lunatic recently released their album Ghost Town Lullabies, and it’s simply superb! I cannot give it a high enough rating–it is literally off the charts for those of us who like alternative rock or indie music.

If there is any downside to the album, it is the sense the listener gets that the band feels it will eventually have to leave Mid-Michigan for the limelight and better opportunities elsewhere. This melancholy feeling is most clearly evident from some of the lyrics contained in the last two tracks, “Shine” and “Lullaby.”

Shine

“He said

That we are all out of time

As we head to the sky

So pack your bags tonight

 

And I know

That the world is slowing down

And I can tell

That everyone is lost, lost, lost, lost


And I can tell

That we will be on our own

So long

To everything you know

To everything you know.”

Lyrics by Elliot Street Lunatic

Lullaby

“And I know some day we will leave

To find a better place to call our home

And now we’re all alone…

And what if we could change it all

Would we be here watching the sun rise and fall

I thought we knew it all.”

Lyrics by Elliot Street Lunatic

As it turns out, two members of the band are already moving on. At the CD release party, it was announced that one is leaving for Denver and the other for graduate school. One can perceive the conflicted emotions that come with a move away from one’s friends and hometown roots. This contradiction is most clearly evident in the lyrics in the track “Hollow Tree.”

Hollow Tree

“You left it all behind

To start a brand new life

We could have had it all

But that’s not who we are

 

We live in a hollow tree

That doesn’t bother me

To sleep out in the cold

Is where I want to be

 

But when I hear them say

You could have been someone

I’ll never understand

Cause I know where I am.”

Lyrics by Elliot Street Lunatic

As a parent of three grown sons, all of whom may move away some day (the oldest will be moving out east this summer), these songs and this record really hit home. In Michigan and throughout much of the Rust Belt, the “brain drain” is a very real problem that continues to be difficult to overcome no matter how many cool cities, music venues, placemaking features, and great third places we create or highlight.

Despite efforts to beef up the cultural and economic vibrancy of the region, in the opening song “Ghost Town,” the band’s lyrics reflect a concern that at least some communities remain stuck in neutral.

Ghost Town

“When no one’s around to ever make a sound

When no one’s around to ever make a sound

Cause this old Ghost Town’s going nowhere.”

Lyrics by Elliot Street Lunatic

Whether the band is referring to Greater Lansing or another community doesn’t really matter. The perception among young people growing up in many parts of the Rust Belt is there are brighter lights and greater opportunities elsewhere. It may be as close by as Chicago, or as far away as the east and west coasts. Either way, it is bad news for many communities dotting the Rust Belt.

 

Elliot Street Lunatic - Source: statenews.com

Personally, I hope the two remaining original members of Elliot Street Lunatic will maintain their roots and thrive with their new bandmates here in Greater Lansing. In our digital world, geography has become virtually irrelevant when is comes to finding outstanding music like Ghost Town Lullabies.

 

Rick Brown

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