Even if you haven’t been to a “Hootenanny” in person, chances are that you have been to one in your head. They are the sort of do it yourself, community venue happenings that most people only get to hear and dream about. In your whimsical, music venue fantasy life, you have a something like this stored away; where you are surrounded by people who genuinely love and care not only about music, community and self expression, but also and maybe even more importantly, for each other (strangers included) with love so big and outreaching that all involved feel like part of an ever growing family. But before I go on an on about how awesome the “Whitehaus” ( the place where the “Hootenannies” take place) is, or how strangely consistent and good the music and people that surround its mythology are, first I must offer up a little bit of perspective.
Spending all four years of my undergraduate college years in Boston was burdensome. I moved to the city certain that I would be living in a place full of motivated, brilliant, forward thinking youths. What I got instead was the shell of a once great American town, filled now with your average chain stores, fake Irish bars sometimes run by real Irish folks, a public transportation system that insisted on keeping the cities youths separated after midnight at all costs, an assumption that the only thing young people like to eat is pizza, and a plethora of perpetually drunk, clueless trust funded yuppies. Boston, like most of this countries formerly glorious cities, has had anything at all redeeming or of true cultural interest (besides architecture, the turkey hash at Charlies Sandwich Shop and The Gargoyle Store on Newburry St.) forced out of the city proper and into its surrounding suburbs. While I was lucky enough to discover a few beautiful and wondrous people over my four year Boston stay, most of my nights were spent holed up in my apartment with those said few, burrowed deeply inside our own little world.
I started hearing about the “Hootenanys” that took place at the “Whitehaus” in Jamaica Plain (my favorite Boston suburb), sometime around the end of my junior year of school. I was never able to go to one in person however, until I returned to the city to fetch my belongings and bring them to my new home in Brooklyn. The “Hoot” that I attended was easily one of the better Boston nights I ever had and made me kind of sad that it was likely to be the only one I would ever attended.
The house itself sits on an unassuming street with no sign or telling signifier, except for perhaps a few cool looking kids moving towards its innards. Serving as both an eight bedroom house that some very lucky folks live in and as a performance space, the “Whitehaus” hosts an ever changing array of young musicians, artists and common minded youths, who for over two years now, have been meeting in annual “Hootinanies” or “Hoots”, during which all gather in the houses’ front living room to perform and share in communal celebratory fashion. Not only focusing on local bands, but often showcasing groups just passing through the Boston area, the “Hoots” have quickly became a go to place for all sorts of like minded dreamers. Each “Hoot” night, new friends are found sitting almost on top of each other, in silent or joyfully voiced celebration, as each band or singer takes to the front of the space, offering up their contribution. In my whole life, I have rarely ever felt as safe or happy as I did in that front living room.
In the springtime of 07′ they began “The Whitehaus Family Record“, in an attempt to document, produce, publish and make available to those both in and outside of Massachusetts, the amazing community that the collective has helped establish. Now, in the soon to be winter of 08′ many of the bands and friends of the bands are hitting the road in the FIRST EVER EAST COAST “WHITEHAUS FAMILY RECORD” TOUR!!!! This means, oh lucky east coasters, that you can now enjoy some of the love and energy of these awesome folks in some of your very own towns!
Here is a Full list of dates and locations:
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008
The Elevens, 140 Pleasant St, Northampton, MA
Special Lineup!Many Mansions, Peace, Loving, Truman Peyote, Avi Jacob, L. Casei and Shira E. Thursday, December 4th, 2008
Hampshire College Centrum Gallery, Amherst, MA
With Special Guests Eric Hnatow and Shira E. Friday, December 5th, 2008
BURLINGTON, VT SPLIT SHOW!
at RadioBean, 8 N.Winooski Ave, Burlington: Manners, Peace, Loving, Gracious Calamity
at Monkey House, 30 Main St, Winooski: Many Mansions, Prince Rama of Ayodhya, Teeth Mountain, Truman Peyote Saturday, December 6th, 2008
Smog @ Bard College, NY
With Special Guests The Great Valley and NEW YOGA DARK BONG Sunday, December 7th, 2008
The Buoy, 2 Government St. Kittery, Maine Monday, December 8th, 2008
SPECIAL SPLIT SHOW!!
at The DoorYard, 108 High St, Portland, Maine: Many Mansions, peace,loving, Casey Rocheteau, the Cups
at The Tinder Box, Brattleboro, VT: Prince Rama of Ayodhya, Manners Tuesday, December 8th, 2008
The Cake Shop, NYC Friday, December 12th, 2008
The New Hawaii, Southington, CT
With Special Guests Saturday, December 13th, 2008
The Opera House, Bushwick, NY Sunday, December 14th, 2008
Though nothing can be a substitute for watching these bands play all cramped and loving in the “Whitehaus’ ” living room, this is without a doubt the next best thing. Go to their shows, give everyone big hugs, listen to their songs, clap your hands when you’re feeling it, and realize that though winter is nearly here, there is still a great deal more warmth in the world than we could ever know what to do with.
If you are unable to attend but would like to buy their five dollar music sampler which is highly recommended click here!
And of course if you are restartedly cheap and greedy but still want a few songs from the sampler for your ever growing mp3 library you may click
Gregory J. Moon – Halloween
For information on booking a show at the “Whitehaus” click here!
See you in Bushwick and in shared dreams.