Hella Bus Blog
Your place for all things Buslandia!
- Coordinate with Managing Editor to set weekly and internship-long goals.
- Contribute regular blog posts in accordance with the Hella Bus style guide.
- Participate in weekly writers meetings to pitch stories and set publication schedule.
- Attend monthly leadership development meetings.
- Collaborate with fellow Media Interns on short and long-term Hella Bus projects, ranging from written to video to graphic design.
- Become the most hilarious, insightful, and innovative communicator in the state of Washington.
- Politics is encouraged, but not a must.
- Collaborating with a diverse and youthful team, aka your peers.
- Issues relevant to young people in Washington State, including policy, campaigns, arts and culture, and many, many more. In fact, you know what? You tell us.
- Independent self-starter with a good sense of humor.
- If you could change one thing about today’s media climate, what would it be?
- What are the three most interesting articles you’ve read recently (you don’t have to impress us, it’s an honest question)
- Briefly, take us through how you would approach writing or making a video blog post about one of the following three topics: bike lanes in your city, your favorite new band’s album, changing social and economic patterns in a nearby neighborhood (gentrification, development, etc…).
-courtesy of Summer Fellow Rosie "Youtube Dancing Superstar" Wilmot
"Without music, life would be a mistake." This famous quote from Fredrick Nietzsche greets those who pass by B-Side Music, one of the city’s newest record shops. In an age of digital music, the cropping up of another record store is a symbol that the Emerald City’s love of sound, new and old, still thrives today. Inside the shop you’ll likely meet one of the shops four young owners. B-Side Music is a collaborative effort between brothers Joshua Evans and Jacob Evans. They wanted to influence the music industry, and Seattle just happened to be the place where it all came together. When a small space next to Evan’s evening employer, The Night Kitchen, opened up in May, the idea that had long been on Evan’s back burner started to become a reality. The Evans’ joined with longtime friends Eli Hain and Megan Darling to open the shop on June 10, 2011.
Evans says the foursome collected records from “the past and other secretive locations” in order to build the small but well stocked store that also boasts an impressive collection of posters. An entire wall of prints is courtesy of a promoter of San Fransisco’s The Fillmore including Pink Floyd, Sonic Youth and Jerry Garcia original show prints. The store is located at 214 Stewart and boasts the latest browsing hours in Seattle: 12 p.m. – 2 a.m.
We stopped in to chat with Darling and Evans about records, B-Sides, and life as newcomers in an industry they’ve been watching all their lives.
Why open a record store in Seattle?
“There not really a record store in Seattle so much as CD stores and merchandise it’s all catered to whatever’s popular at the moment, plus it’s fun,” Darling.
What music do you want to feature in your store?
“When you hear something you know it’s good, it’s not good because it belongs to a certain genre or it’s a certain kind. But if you hear something that’s good and you like it, there is something different. And there is so much music in the city like this that is happening that don’t get any publicity because they are local DIY bands that don’t have money or time to make it happen. These bands are often overshadowed by bands that already have a repertoire with the city’s music scene because it is safe and it will sell. It’s how the bandwagon moves on, but that’s not what music is about,” Evans.
How has the change in how we attain music changed us as listeners?
“Networking has changed the game. There’s a sense of immediacy in listeners today, it comes by download, it is quick and easy. Back in the day if you were in Cleveland and you heard the Grateful Dead and were moved, you would go to San Fransisco! Now you hear it and are quick to brush it away, you will wait until they tour, maybe grab their music online. That’s why a band who sells out in Colorado might not here, it’s regional,” Evans.
So what makes Seattle different?
“We are off the musical grids, it isn’t always an easy place to reach in terms of a tour schedule. Sometimes we are detached, but the isolation can sometimes be a good thing because it fuels a market that is focused locally,” Evans.
So how do you promote artists making good music in your store?
“I want to be around music all the time and before I wanted to be a sound engineer This is a great way to do that, and a great first step. Maybe we can help younger artist get a foot up and one day grow that potential of young local artists,” Evans
“You want the young artists who are committed and willing to do the footwork to make it happen. We will work with anyone who is willing to work hard, our opening is a way of saying we are willing to start that journey with an artist, that’s how you keep going, how you get things started,” Darling.
Have there been challenges associated with being newcomers on the scene? How have other owners responded to your presence?
“A lot of owners of independent stores in the city may project an image of jaded prospective, saying it is difficult to begin and that they aren’t making money,” Evans.
“It’s super competitive and it is a tough business but other owners have stopped in. They don’t talk to us like competitors, they come to see how it’s going and offer advice. They want to look at our records and talk about trade and other opportunities,” Darling.
“They form a tight knit community because it is so difficult, and I think they appreciate that we are young.”
How is it working between friends, especially as young people?
“It’s like a commune, we just all pick up each others slack, Megan?” Evans.
“We are still trying to figure it out and fill in for each other, but we work on it. Some people will come in and ask our age and respond ‘Oh well that’s why you can do this, it’s because your young right now.’ In reality it’s not any easier, if this fails we are screwed, it doesn’t matter if we are young or old,” Darling.
How have your parents responded?
“You know, they are really supportive, and impressed that we’ve done it. For a long time we were just talking about the idea. When it happened people were shocked. We just worked hard,” Evans.
So the inevitable question, why records rather than CDs?
“They have a better quality of sound, analogue versus digital. If you really want to own someone’s art, you need to buy it the right way. Vinyl is the supreme - it will never die and never has,” Evans.
What's really interesting to me about the whole debt limit debacle—apart from the seriously unpleasant effects the deal will have on the economy—is the way that the Republicans' tactics have changed the political rules of engagement. In short, nothing's sacred.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that we've seen signs that freshman House Republicans don't have much regard for consensus or status quo. That post was about the (unsuccessful) quest to defund Planned Parenthood. The Planned Parenthood federal funding fight was originally fought in the 1970s and it was a settled issue until Tea Partiers opened it back up again.
The Tea Partiers displayed a similar disregard for convention when they put default on the table during the debt limit debate. That has never happened before. Before the last couple weeks, it had been taboo to even talk about allowing the United States to default—elected officials were previously worried that threatening default, even as a bluff, would spook the markets and do serious damage to the economy.
But the Tea Partiers went ahead and put default on the table. The willingness to put perhaps the most sacred object in the global economy (the good standing of the American dollar) on the line proved an extremely powerful bargaining tool to move their legislative agenda.*
And, because politics is a lot like sports (once someone successfully uses a new tactic, everyone copies it), we might see all kinds of previously-untouchable things getting used as political leverage. And that's going to spell a new challenge for everyone who likes to see government get things done based upon reasoned compromise.
*An all-cuts, no revenue deal, that is. But some folks actually had the audacity to complain that they didn't get everything they wanted ($4 trillion in cuts instead of $1 trillion). Welcome to Congress, folks.
A new HBO documentary called Superheroes has been getting some attention around the interwebs after a trailer featuring a few of the real life "superheroes" documented in the film was released. While all the people documented seem to be well-intentioned, they also seem to be very insane to varying degrees. Anyways, check out the trailer and enter the worlds of Mr. Extreme and Vigilante Spider.
This week on Gabe's Picks we have Glasgow based beatsmith Ross Birchard aka Hudson Mohawke, or HudMo as he is affectionately known by his fans, bring the heat with his new Satin Panthers EP. As a member of the prestigious LuckyMe collective (alongside fellow up and comers Lunice and Machinedrum), HudMo is at the forefront of innovation in the genre bending category of hip hop blended electronic music. Birchard started DJing at the age of 11 after being given a pair of turntables for Christmas and by 15 was named a finalist at the UK DMC DJ Championships. Soon after, he became bored with the art of turntablism and turned his attention to the production side of things.
Taking influences from the likes of Earth, Wind and Fire and the great J Dilla as well as the Glasgow race scene, HudMo developed a unique sound over the years and founded the LuckyMe collective alongside Dom Sum. Signed to prestigious Warp Records at the tender of age of 22, Birchard has already released a critically acclaimed debut album titled Butter, as well as a number of well received EP's. With a sound that would fit right in with Los Angeleans Flying Lotus (also on Warp) and Gaslamp Killer, Butter and Satin Panthers deftly toe the line between hip hop influenced electronica, and bass-heavy club tunes.
From the dance-floor ready banger, and aptly named "Thunder Bay" to the twinkly, melodic, building "Octan", the EP reflects a further advancement in an artists sound that is already far more mature than his age would imply. Scotland has never been known as a bastion of electronic music, but the LuckyMe collective, and specifically HudMo, have been pioneering a sound that is driving the local scene to new levels and reaching out to a much larger audience than Glasgow teens. Check out my favorite from Butter below.
Having closely watched the never ending debt-ceiling debate, we all know how the key players felt about it and voted. But where did our very own, beloved Washington state representatives stand? Perhaps not surprisingly, the female superduo, Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray voted in favor of the debt-ceiling agreement. Despite their vote, their comments afterwards clearly reflected their disappointment and dismay over the agreement. Cantwell commented that while the plan was far from perfect, it was necessary. Murray pointed out that the agreement saved Social Security and Medicaid from serious cuts but also acknowledged the serious and deep impact that the other cuts will have on Washington families. The Senate ended up voting 74-26 in favor the debt-ceiling agreement.
While almost all of the rest of Washington state's representatives voted for the agreement, two rebels stood tall. Representative Jim McDermott from Seattle and Adam Smith of Tacoma voted against the bill, making them the only two from Washington state to do so. McDermott stated his opinion saying, "This compromise is too much" and suggested that he did not believe it was the best deal that the Democrats could have gotten out of Republicans. Smith addressed to lack of new taxes or revenue creation, stating that "to prevent the worse of these cuts from taking effect, revenue must be on the table". A majority of the House voted in favor of the measure, with 269 in favor and 161 against.
Rep. Jim McDermott, making moves.
Although the country is widely divided on the issue of the debt-ceiling, there was one thing they agree on--the behavior of their representatives. While an overnight poll from CNN found that more Americans disapproved (52%) than approved (44%) of the agreement, it also explored, in a somewhat strange and hilarious fashion, how Americans felt about their elected officials, reporting that 77% of Americans felt that they acted "mostly like spoiled children" over "responsible adults" (17%). I'm glad to see we can at least agree on some things.
Still can't get enough of the debt-ceiling? Check out this New Yorker article about how crazy the whole debt-ceiling really was.
-courtesy of summer fellow Andy "I Can Make Pizza From Scratch" Montes
Do road trips with awesome people and democracy make your heart beat a little faster? Does free food and entertainment get you out of bed in the morning??? Heck to the yeah!
We want YOU to get on the bus and join the Summer Fellows, staff and volunteers in the beautiful Yakima on Saturday August 13th and party it up—Bus Style—to get out the vote on Proposition 1 and create more equal representation and accountability for all!
This offer won't last forever! RSVP via e-mail to email@example.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=132730403480406 to get involved now.
Then, get ready to rumble with this video featuring local superstar Votebot:
Your childhood dreams just became possible, as the company in charge of managing Seattle's most famous landmark is offering one free trip into to the atmosphere That's right- the Space Needle could be sending you to ACTUAL SPACE!
The contest is pretty convoluted - all entrants between now and August 31 are put into a random drawing, which will whittle down the field to 1000 people. Those 1000, and those 1000 only, will be eligible to compete in what has been dubbed "Space Race 2012". According to the official rules, "contestants may be asked to create and submit short videos and/or participate in mental or physical challenges."
So we at the Washington Bus have decided to officially enter our very own Vote Bot into the running. Look for Vote Bot in a Low Earth Orbit near you sometime in 2012.
Hella Bus is driven by the Washington Bus Media Interns - the cadre of smart young writers, graphics, and video folks that bring the wise words to your door each and every day. As they wrap up their summer program, we're opening up the proverbial doors of Hella Bus for a new team to carry the torch. The Washington Bus Media Internship is open to motivated folks with strong writing, graphic design, or video production skills who'd like to join the Bus team in bringing a new political and cultural perspective to our state. College credit is available to interns currently enrolled in a college or university. Information and application below.
Questions? Email alex [at] washingtonbus [dot] org.
The Washington Bus Media Internship Application
What is it?
Washington Bus Media Interns build the most original, irreverent, and powerful online voice for young people in Washington State (hint: this one). Media interns run the blog Hella Bus, creating written and multimedia projects that reach vast networks of young Washingtonians, community leaders, and top level policymakers.
Hella Bus serves to introduce and highlight youth perspectives and experiences in public discourse in a way that is positive, inclusive, and meaningful. Interns may specialize in writing, graphic design, or video production.
The Washington Bus Media Internship is based in Seattle –Media Interns must be present at all required meetings and trainings. The fall program will run from August 31st to November 16th with the possibility of an extension through the winter and spring. The internship requires a 10-hour weekly time commitment with minimum four hours in the office (if this is a challenge for you, explain in the application, and we can evaluate together). Interns will be able to apply for college credit if currently enrolled in a college or university. As a Media Intern, your focus will be on the Bus’s communications work, but you will have many opportunities to participate in Bus events across the board, including music festivals, Bus events, and tons of foosball.
Please answer the following questions in a separate document, and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org in pdf format. In addition, please submit a resume and two examples of your work, whether in written, video, graphic, or other form. Early application deadline: August 19, 2011. Final application deadline: August 26, 2011 (we anticipate filling our application requirements in the first deadline).
Tell us about yourself in no more than two paragraphs.
Good luck! Questions? Email email@example.com for more information.
The Washington Bus is an inclusive organization, fostering & drawing on leadership from communities of color, recent immigrant communities, and emerging young voter demographics.
Preserve Funding For The World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things!
Here in King County, we are lucky to have an arts organization that has retained its funding throughout this economic downfall. That organization, 4Culture, is responsible for the funding of dozens of public art installations throughout the County as well as the funding of numerous theatre, dance, and music productions. Earlier this year, as the one and only Alex Miller describes in the video below, 4Culture was close to being cut from the budget, but fortunately, it was preserved allowing for the exceptionally creative citizens of King County to continue to execute that creativity. Unfortunately, as this article in Monday's New York Times describes, many states are cutting or entirely eliminating their arts budgets in the face of dire economic times.
The article focuses on Kansas, who recently entirely cut their arts budget. While most of the more prominent arts fixtures, especially in cities, will be preserved by private donors (often with political clout), the people hurt by these cuts will be almost entirely low and middle class artists who rely on state grants as opposed to private funding. The most illuminating quote of the article came from Erika Nelson, the founder of Kansas' World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things: “People are saying that Kansas doesn’t appreciate the arts,” she said. “But there are so many of us out here who do and struggle on a daily basis to give arts to people who can’t afford to pay $90 for a symphony seat.” It's difficult to defend any type of spending in our current economic client, but arts funding is generally a minuscule part of a states budget and is vital to generating innovation and creativity, especially in low income areas.
The Suquamish tribe of Washington's Kitsap county have legalized the marriage of same-sex couples on their tribal land. On Monday, tribe members voted on officially adopting the ordinance, approving it unanimously. While the ordinance will not provide federal benefits for same-sex couples such as social security, it will give same-sex couples access to the same rights and privileges that heterosexual couples are provided according to tribal law. The ordinance also stipulates that one person in the couple must be a member of the tribe. The legalization of gay marriage has the potential to become a national trend, with a number of tribes considering following suit.
The Bus is seeking a Development Assistant to support the day-to-day operations of the Bus’s development program. This is a permanent, full-time position.
This position is a unique opportunity for a dynamic, hard working, well-organized and multi-talented person.
To apply, send resume and cover letter to jobs [at] washingtonbus [dot] org. All applications must be submitted electronically in pdf format. No phone calls please. References and writing samples should be available upon request. Deadline to apply is August 12, 2011.
On July 5th of last month, the Fullerton, CA police were called out to investigate reports of a man breaking into cars in the area surrounding a bus depot. Once on the scene, police attempted to arrest Kelly Thomas, a homeless man with schizophrenia, who according to police reports, resisted arrest. While accounts of what occurred next are not 100% clear, eye witness accounts state that six Fullerton police officers beat Thomas beyond recognition and tased him five times. Thomas was unarmed. Several days later, after being beat into a coma, Thomas passed away. There are some alarming photos of Thomas's face available in numerous other news stories, and a video taken by a student nearby that can be found as well. Incredibly, this issue was not publicized until a July 29th article in the British newspaper The Daily Mail, which brings up a number of questions regarding accountability in the Fullerton Police Department, and whether the media made a strong effort to investigate this case.
These questions and others will be answered in the coming weeks and months, but right now I'm feeling truly saddened by these seemingly needless events. Thomas was described by members of the Fullerton community as 'very quiet and polite', 'gentle and childlike', 'sweet', and 'never a threat'. Today is time to mourn a senseless loss of life.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2019225/Kelly-Thomas-Police-beat-taser-gentle-mentally-ill-homeless-man-death.html#ixzz1TuVzR23H
A good idea for your tomorrow evening:
There has been much ado about the supposed "war on cars" raging in Seattle, but leave it to Lithuania (who else?)* to put things in perspective.
This video of the Mayor of Vilnius crushing luxury vehicles with a tank for parking in bike lanes makes the description of our own pro-transit "war" look a little hyperbolic.
Observe a real war on cars:
Another guy attempted a similar feat in New York City , but with significantly less firepower and a far different result:
*They beat us at everything!