At the beginning, there was a keyboard
When I was in elementary, my parents bought me a little Yamaha keyboard. It was nothing special, just a little $30 job from Walmart, it had 32 keys on it, 16 voices, and 8 drum rhythms, but to a kid with trouble fitting in school, it meant the world. With no musical training, I began to experiment with rudimentary aspects of music. I had no idea about through trial and error. While other kids picked up guitars in their teens, I learned to love keyboards purely for their self teaching value.
It was then that I learned to do things differently.
I say that because doing things differently is what we're all about here in OMBG land. We never started out with the intent of becoming an advocate for independent artists and musicians, but that is exactly the way the pendulum swung in our direction, and we took to it quickly.
Frank Zappa said that the mainstream will come to you, but you must go to the underground. I firmly believe that. It's possible that the cover band you saw play last is talented, but unless they take time out to play you something from their heart (and you take the time to listen) it's tough to call what they do art.
The things that I will take the time to tell you about in this column is pure independent art. These things will happen whether readers decide to support it, or not. They are done simply for the act of creating things where there was once nothing. Bands, painters, and writers in the area have been doing it forever. It is my joy and duty to be the one who tells you about it and chronicle these things in any way I can, be it podcast, article, or blog.
As long as there is an empty canvas with someone to sling paint, or a kid with a guitar and a Ramones poster in his room, there will always be an underground. It can even be a grade school kid with his first toy keyboard. Welcome to our world.