When I was a kid, we didn’t have a lot of money.
Back then, my family moved in to a run down house on the south side of town. But even though it was worse for wear, my parents put some elbow grease into it, we scrubbed tubs, painted rooms, and made it livable. It never went downhill the years we lived in it. In that area of town, there were other houses, where it looked like people just gave up. There was trash in the yards, discarded remains of machinery or various things, broken doors and sagging ceilings, and unkempt lawns.
I learned a lot those years about taking care of what you have. About being proud of who you are, and even though it’s not the best, you make it the best for you.
I say that because it’s sort of a mirror for the kids (and sadly adults) today and the attitude of the town they live in.
I live in a town called Victoria Texas. It’s one founded on old money, established families and a very close minded ethic on progress. At least… that’s the stereotypical view of it. All through my high school life growing up. (twenty years ago kids) it was the same thing that is echoed by people now. They all say their hometown sucks, there is nothing to do, and they can’t wait to leave.
So my question to these people is… What are you doing to fix your situation?
I’m not saying I’m your role model (please you can certainly do better than that) but allow me to tell you about my past:
1. When I was in high school, the high school paper kicked me off their staff and made me a photographer. I responded by putting out my own zine to compete with their school paper.
2. In 1994, after being tired of cover bands playing everywhere I looked, I met up with my buddy Nick. He had a guitar, a drum machine and a jambox. Our first “band” was born, after a few months, we joined an actual band with our list of over 30 written songs and never looked back.
3. In 2010, after a drunken night in Houston, Brea and I came up with an idea for our own “radio” show that focused on our friends’ bands and other hijinks. The OMBG podcast was born, going on two years later, it has grown into a bigger monster than we ever thought it would. We interview and see bands from all over the world as well as travel to concerts, comic conventions and expos.
What I’m trying to say is, we don’t settle. We never have. If we don’t like something, we fix it, or make plans to fix it. I’m not on a soapbox here saying Victoria is the best place to live. It’s not, it has a long way to go before the music scene can get better, the art scene that is in it’s underground can get noticed and many other things. It is up to it’s inhabitants to make sure it gets better.
We live in a country that is one of the best in the world. It lets me (for now anyway) say what I want. I am never short on things like air conditioning, food or clean water like other countries. I am paid for a day job, and I do music as my passion. My life lets me.
I say this because I still get mad. I still hate the fact that the city would never put a band like Stout City Luchadores in a downtown festival, or that local museums would rather feature some artist than a local person who slings paint. But I won’t let a city that has councils and boards and organizations run by desperate housewives, lawyers, doctors or people with certain last names get to me. Because this… is my city too.
My name is Tim. I’m an old punk rocker. I am an advocate for independent artists and bands. I am a podcast host, a blogger, a social media thorn in everyone’s side. I am a Victorian. It’s what I got, and I’m going to put some elbow grease into it, scrub some tubs, paint some rooms. I do this because it’s what I got, and while I’m here, I’ll make it the best it can be.
Now either mow the grass or get off my lawn.