Stephen of the Lyric Fire at Duncan's
Our trip to Frostburg a couple of weeks ago was good. As expected, it was action packed with people making the most of their lives. Frostburg (and environs) is full of resourceful, near renaissance people. It is my impression that when you live in an area largely devoid of the trappings of mainstream affluent (as measured by access to material goods) America, you make- for yourself and your friends- the situations you want to experience. Unless they want to drive the 3 hours to a major city, the citizens of Frostburg are on their own. I think they do a damn good job of making their city an exciting place to be.
Kris, Josh, Robin (all blurry), Susan and Stephen at Duncan's
Maybe the best example of this I can come up with is the band the Lyric Fire. Formed at least 5 years ago, they are the result (in part) of the guitarist Robin's desire to create social capital (Robin went to grad school for Social Work and was deeply affected by Robert Putnam's book about the loss of social activities Bowling Alone). As such, the Lyric Fire has no designs on making it- no myspace page, they don't tour, there isn't a van (well there is/was a van but the owner uses it to schlep his pottery not music equipment). Despite not having the requisite accoutrements, The Lyric Fire is driven and they sound great. They are lead by three singers whose voices have gotten better with time, and the stamina of the entire band is pretty remarkable. Along with Richmond's Marionette, they are the one of the most well rehearsed unsigned bands I've ever seen. But most of all what is great about them is that you can tell that they are friends and do what they are doing for no other reason than wanting to spend time making something together.