Friday, February 15, 2013

Precious Valentine

Art by Will Geusz
Video by "Photo Booth"

Monday, February 11, 2013

Great Opportunity

Next month I am taking a trip with my friend straight to California. A week long trip starting March 9th and coming home to Albuquerque in time for school on Monday the 18th. Let me begin by noting that this is my very first "Spring Break Vacation" with school allowing me limited time to travel (or 'do whatever'), and taking advantage of that time in a big way. The friend I am planning this vacation with has been enrolled in classroom-settings since Kindergarten (1996) and is all too familiar with the schedule of "breaks" and "vacations" I am referring to– those allotted time frames of freedom are just the way the world of school functions and he knows to plan accordingly or watch the opportunity pass on by.

So here is the cool, special, exciting part: He has never seen the Pacific Ocean before!

Wow, reality check that I am a privileged desert kid who's been to California at least six times before (Disney Land three times) and seen the Pacific ocean every decade of my life to far.

I want to write a sentence about how special I think it is to get to be with a grown up, as a grown up, seeing something so massive and timeless with sweet specialness of never-before-experienced experiences being experienced, but actually I just don't have the words to express this. (that or I have already used the words like privileged, cool, exciting, first and opportunity, but there is something a bit deeper than that fluttering under the surface of me)

With much support from my parents, and confidence that Will and I are going to be great travelers together, I am deeply excited to drive straight to California.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Old Amped by Will Geusz

An essay written by Will Geusz for a project on (a specific) location and communication in a Language, Thought and Behavior class taken at The University of New Mexico.

Edited by Holly in August 2012 and for this blog post. Photos by me.

I think my favorite place so far is Amped Performance Center. It is a place for local, usually young, musicians to play their music to each other. It’s ‘All-Ages’, meaning there is no bar, no alcohol. The current location of Amped Performance Center is downtown at Central and 5th Street, but before 2011 it was located on Lomas Blvd. near Washington St. I will refer to it's former location as “Old Amped” and it will be the main topic of this assignment. It was an awesome place, a medium sized room, wood floors. There was a narrower part that was carpeted and raised about 2 inches above the rest; that was the stage. There were curtains behind it dividing the stage off from another room that was used as a backstage. The backstage was a small concrete room with a door to the parking lot that bands used to load equipment in and out. Old Amped wasn’t as big or “intense” as the major rock venues in town, like The Launchpad or Sunshine Theater, but it was bigger and classier than the other all-ages venues, most of which were nothing more than an empty concrete room with no air conditioning or heating.

My band, Emergency Ahead, first performed at Old Amped right after they opened in the summer of 2008. I have participated in this place for years; I watched it grow into the community that is the focus of this paper. I met and became friends with so many people and I fell in love with an amazing girl, Holly Dodd, who helped me write this paper. I was there for the last show at Old Amped and I participated in the founding of New Amped downtown. Everything changed, it was fascinating, but that’s for another paper.

The community at Old Amped was built on ‘shows’. Shows were in the evenings, usually they started at seven but people would show up as early as five and just hang out. Shows usually consisted of four live, local, performing bands. The music was the most important communication that happened at Old Amped. By standing in the audience you were receiving information and emotion, a view of the world, a piece of soul, from the performers on stage and you would communicate back to them and each other with your body movements and energy. Everyone in the room was exposed to the music and everyone reacted to it in some way, from dancing like a crazy person to plugging their ears and walking out the door. We all shared the experience, and that is what formed this community.

There was plenty of verbal communication as well, sometimes between friends, and often between people meeting for the first time. Sometimes you’d meet a person who was about the same age as you but was from a different city or state; you both belonged to a culture of underground music but you had different experiences in different places.

There would be a big migration at the end of each band’s set, the crowd would head outside for a break from the heat and sweat, smokers would smoke, and you could be standing next to a totally different person, or a different group of people, than you were with inside. Musicians were in constant motion, loading and unloading equipment, going in and out the doors, shaking hands, and selling merchandise. The conversations that took place there were different from elsewhere because during a show there would be limited time for talking. You could start talking with a person and then a few minutes later the next band starts playing and ends the conversation. Some people would stay with their select group of friends while many others would drift around and mingle. We all got to know each other. We all had something in common, even if we were different ages, different races, listened to different music, and grew up in different neighborhoods we all had ended up at the show that night and that was reason enough to talk to someone. As Holly said, “we were connected in that we were all people who went to Amped.”
We were all connected through this place but we didn’t all perceive it the same way. People were there for different reasons and had different levels of involvement. Some people were there because their boyfriend/girlfriend was performing; some people seemed like they were ‘dragged’ there by their friends or relative and would stand in the back texting the whole time. A lot of bands had one or two members who were really devoted to the community, they would stick around for the whole show and go to other band’s shows, and then there were other band members who would show up just to play their set and then leave. Some people would only go to Amped for one particular band, some people would be there almost every night regardless of who was playing. There were photographers who were there to take pictures and musicians who were there to promote other shows. A lot of diversity.

Well I’m at 5 pages and I could fill many more. There’s so much I could talk about: the owners, Rob and Dawn, and how they’ve built this business, the emphasis on original music, musician interactions inside bands and between bands, the ways I communicate to people as a performer, how shows are booked and promoted, genre tensions, fights, drug and alcohol use, mosh pits, skank pits, hardcore pits, hearing damage, the move to New Amped, the people that kept coming to shows and the people that quit, all the people who have only known the new location, people who say “there’s nothing to do in Albuquerque,” the rise and fall of bands and groups of bands, the future. This place, Amped Performance Center, has been a major part of my life and has shaped who I am today. I have also had a significant role in shaping this place. Which feels good.


Mentions: Amped Performance Center
Emergency Ahead
The Reagan Motels
Arroyo Deathmatch - Reverbnation/Bandcamp

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

In a Harley Davidson leather jacket

Photo by Sandra Dodd:

The other day in my bedroom, with Will getting ready to attend a late-July birthday barbeque party of our good friend Quinn Palmer! That was a very good day, and I am glad to have this sweet picture from it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cats Cradle Game?

Sad to not have a friend to play string games with more regularly.