If you've been following along with these, you'll note that this the 11th installment. Realizing the previous year was the 10th Bermuda Snohawk Holiday Compilation, it seems like it was approached with a heady, sort of celebratory reverence. Well, welcome to the hangover...
As has been written ad nauseum at this point, 2016 was an eventful year for bad news. A lot of beloved public personalities left us. This was coupled with what seemed like a disprortionate number of global tragedies, unexpected change (Brexit, etc), and a general sense of anger and uncertainty here in America that has reached a confrontational crescendo at the time of this writing. While Lansing, MI can be kind of an insular place, we weren't immune to the effects of this turmoil. A deeper, more symbolism-obsessed observer/reveiwer might note a palpable sense of dread bubbling underneath much of the material here. At the very least, it seems like there's less dick and fart jokes than some past years. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Heavy stuff aside, in talking with Tommy -- who once again put a great effort in pulling things together here -- our primary observation was how shocking it is that this somehow goes from seeming light in submissions to 22 tracks, basically over the course of 3 or 4 nights. Outside of our control, something intended to be very inclusive, seems to have come to feel (at least in outside perception) a bit isolated. Personally, I want to extend an invite to everyone I know making art, or not (more on this below), every year. Then things happen, I get busy, I get paralyzed by the terrifying concept of turning 0 tracks into 20-some in 2 weeks, I suck at staying in touch, and next thing you know, there's a lot of, "I would have submitted, but I didn't know I could."
Well, please spread the word: No invitation is needed! This is an open house party. Bring your friends. Please understand this. I love the community that helped build this into a very classic-sounding 22 track Snohawk (it's hard to believe this has been around enough to develop a "classic" sound) this year, but it would please me to no end to incorporate some new blood among the familiar faces and watch this grown and evolve.
My other major observation this year is how much I adore the fact that these have come to often include a number of people who make no recorded or performed music for anything else throughout any given year. It makes me want to do an entire secondary anti-artist compilation sometime with just a bevy of novices, interested trade-professionals, housewives, househusbands, street urchins, doctors, lawyers, etc... lending their perspective musically. If 2016 has taught us anything, everyone's voice and perspective is important, regardless of how naturally talented they are at expressing it.
Anyway, good game team! Cheers to another strong effort, keeping the tradition alive. It was a pleasure working, talking, and performing with everyone I was fortunate to do so with throughout the genesis of Bermuda Snohawk 2016!