Poor and Perfect - "Criminal In Love (Live at Parkhill)"

Had a great hang with Chris Rosenquest (aka Poor and Perfect) this week.  Shot this video of him performing his new song, "Criminal In Love".  Looking forward to tracking an EP with him later in the year.  Stay tuned!

Statement of Purpose: Jer

As Eric and I have taken the plunge in launching this new venture, Future Fields, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on my history and on what has driven us to pursue this concept. I’ve had the privilege of being surrounded by an unbelievable group of co-conspirators so far in my life. These people have shaped who I am as a person and as a musician. I wanted to share some of those influences.

I grew up in a musical family. My Dad played guitar whenever he could find the rare block of free time. My Mom plays piano and sings in the church. I was lucky to be raised with supportive parents that allowed me to take a leap and put academia on the back burner in order to dive headfirst into music. That was 8 years ago. Every day I am appreciative of their encouragement as I’ve somehow been able to make music my career. From my Dad especially, I learned to give everyone the time of day, and value every opinion even if it is contrary to your own.

From playing Punk songs to no one in VFW halls and teen centers, I learned that in order to succeed in music, you have to have your heart in it. Just keep trying. From having my heart broken and playing sad solo acoustic songs in coffee shops, I learned how to engage with a crowd, even if they originally just showed up to read the paper. I learned that music was therapy.

From meeting my first musical mentors (turned brethren) in The Grift, I learned how to be humbled by being in the presence of master musicians. I learned how to lead a band. From recording with Mike Poorman, I learned the value of professionalism mixed with levity in the studio. From Zac Clark I learned how to follow your gut and never stop chasing inspiration.

From working with a variety of people in many different facets of the business side of the industry, I learned what to do, and often what not to do, while working with others. From Caroline Rose I learned that I’m not nearly as good of a songwriter as I used to think I was, but more importantly I think I learned how to live. How to have a insatiable thirst for everything around you. How to work and work and work until you get it right.

From collaborating with Eric Maier I learned how important it is to surround yourself with alternate perspectives. Checks and balances are key. I realized that 80% of the time I could probably stand to do 20% less. And 80% of the time I could do 80% more. Also, I realized I can’t play jazz to save my life. From Mark Daly, I realized that sometimes, you just need to let your freak flag fly. Also, I learned that Mark Daly is a freak of a musician.

There are far too many people to name who have defined who I am today, so I’ll stop here. The point is, all of these incredible human beings have had a profound effect on my personal values, musical sensibilities and view of the world. Our Future Fields concept grows out of all of these relationships, and aims to honor the values we’ve learned from them.

Conversely, I’m saddened by seeing my friends struggle to pay the bills while putting their musical aspirations on hold. I’m tired of them feeling like their art isn’t valuable. We can do better than the antiquated big business model. Its pursuit of profit has forced and “focus-grouped” unique musical talents into making art meant to please everyone, and in the process, pleases no one. I don’t believe this dying dinosaur is a meaningful or appropriate way to proceed with a sustainable artistic life.

I believe Future Fields could be a viable alternative. We seek to lift the curtain and bringing supporters and artists together. Small monthly payments from fans and friends are met with access to exclusive music and content - even guest list spots to shows - in order for the artists to keep making art. What they were born to do. The conventional wisdom suggests that in 2015, if you’re making music professionally, you’re either independently wealthy or out of your mind. We’d like to change that.

Our first artist is Madaila. If you’ve made it this far, please take the time to check out their patron page! There are a ton of ways to become involved and help create a future that sustains independent music.




Statement of Purpose: Eric

Hey guys. Jer and I each wanted to take a minute in the midst of many happenings to share some of the beliefs and experiences that lie at the root of Future Fields. Here is my reflection. I'm not sure if it is a statement of purpose, a testimonial - ideally not a sermon; perhaps just a story...

1. I love music. It has been at the center of my life for a long time. Through: childhood piano explorations; hazy college basement jamz; opening Park Hill Studio; and launching Future Fields, it has brought me great joy and confidence in who I am. It brings meaning to my life and is a gift.

Like any passion, it has caused pain. In pursuit of my musical dreams I've made many sacrifices, dived into a number of spiritually-challenging situations, and gotten hurt. More than once I have lost sight of who I am and what I believe.

Art is hard. Collaborative art is harder. Inherent challenges are exacerbated by a tough cultural situation in which: a) free reproduction and transmission of music brings its value into question; b) a mainstream industry holds on to social and financial capital despite being increasingly outmoded.

It's hard to make a living in music. I know so many who, while possessing great talent, question their worth because their energy has not been translated into a sustainable career. This questioning is compounded by the guilt that often accompanies such feelings. There is an idea that the pursuit of a career in the arts is somehow whimsical, immature, or selfish. Perhaps related to this, musicians tend to not stand up and say, "we deserve better". With Future Fields, we'd like to take the lead on that: musicians deserve better.

2. Popular music has a rockstar fantasy attached to it. Some make it BIG. Most toil and hold on to that distant possibility. We have a different idea. We work with artists who are willing to let go of the pipe dream. We think that decision can lead to a different kind of success. We want to build something that is sustainable, ethical, and grounded. We ask musicians to turn down the lottery ticket and instead aim for a modest, steady living. Future Fields is about asking artists to redefine success, and asking the public to make the choice to make help make this happen, when they do not have to do so. This is not the dominant paradigm.

The mainstream music market targets profit. You can't blame it. That is what it is designed to do. Like any economic market, human factors are external; "externalities"; a competitive disadvantage. Everything is molded, shifted and biased towards moneymaking for the point of moneymaking. Any other motivation is a weakness; an anchor. Principles and beliefs are things to be suspended, lest someone more willing to suspend them leaves you in the dust. No hard feelings. Those are the rules. If you try to inject meaning into art without changing the environment in which it is created and supported, you lose. You are defeated by those without the ethical ball & chain.

But many of us want to be anchored. We want to feel meaning and connection. We see music as an interaction with something greater. In creative moments we become conduits for energy outside ourselves. We see music as magical and/or spiritual. Future Fields is about valuing music in a way that reflects this. You don't go to the cheapest church. You don't build the cheapest space shuttle. You support these things because you want to live in a world that includes them. And you support them with a different part of yourself than the part that finds the best deal at Price Chopper.

In the mainstream market, artists are "developed". When land is developed, forests are replaced by condos. Most musicians I know don't want musical condos. We want musical wilderness and musical public parks and musical sculptures. We see Future Fields as akin to a land trust. To preserve what would otherwise be exploited, we have to create space - a space where value is assigned not by what one can get away with but by what one chooses to give. We ask both musicians and patrons to help us create such a space. We believe that by doing this we can move towards a real, sustainable future for independent musicians.

Please check out Future Fields and consider offering your support.