I don't quite know how to wrap things up in a way that will do JHaJ justice. Do I share my favorite experiences? Do I individually thank all the people who have made such an important impact on my life? Do I make a top 10 list of my favorite MI songs (oh god, I don't even think I could do that, WAY too difficult...the only song guaranteed to be on the list would be Hearts and Flowers!)?
I think instead, I will leave some parting words in hope that my discoveries and experiences this year might inspire action in others. I learned two big things during my work with JHaJ. The first, and most obvious, is that there is a HELL OF A LOT of great music in the state of Michigan. But it doesn't stop at just great bands...there are wonderful musicians, awesome venues, and a huge audience-base.
Which brings me to the second big thing I learned this year: The amount of passionate people who are willing to work hard to keep the Michigan music scene alive is staggering. For me, ELFest was the perfect example of this. So many people came out of the woodwork to help create a monumental weekend of music. The kindness and generosity brought to that tiny backyard was overwhelming, all with the desire to foster a kick-ass musical environment for 2 days.
For reasons like this, I really believe we have a unique and wonderful indie music scene here in Michgian. “Scenes” grow and change and develop and move on, but the little time I've been able to spend as a part of it has been life-changing. I can only hope that the music of our home-state will encourage others to take part in promoting these musicians and to keep the scene thriving.
Thank you all for the support you've given to Erik and I during this crazy blog endeavor. We never expected JHaJ to grow in the ways it did, and we never could have been successful without the support of both musicians and music appreciators. Although there will be no more blog, all of the MI music I've grown to love will still be very close to my heart. I will still be star-struck by GLMS, I will still have a tiny heart flutter when I hear 100 Years, I'll still scream like a little girl when I hear Zach Curd sing, I'll still get emotional when (dreamy) Bathgate plays “Last Parade on Ann St.,” and don't worry: I'll continue to see Canada at every possible chance.
I hope to see you all at our showcase this weekend at the Elbow Room (info in the post below). We'll drink to the bands that we love, Just Haircuts and Jackets.