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/// MUSIC ISSUE


THOUGH YOUNGSTERS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE LIFEBLOOD OF ROCK N’ ROLL, IT’S ODD THAT THEY’VE OFT BEEN EXCLUDED FROM IT BECAUSE OF THEIR AGE.


W


EST MICHIGAN ISN’T shutting all its doors to younger crowds. The Pyramid Scheme, Gr and Rapids’ newest bar/


venue, has ensured that its ever-growing concert lineup includes all-ages shows. The Intersection, which has been a hotbed for great music in Grand Rapids for years, has always included shows for all ages. The Orbit Room, a popular bar/venue not far from the intersection of 28th Street and East Beltline, has done the same. Other venues that have hosted all-ages events include Mulligan’s Pub in Eastown, Rocky’s and Calvin College, to name a few. In Kalamazoo, The Strutt has become


one of the best places to catch live music from both locally and globally renowned artists. Many of these shows have been for all ages. Bell’s Brewery’s Eccentric Cafe is another great age-inclusive venue. And for the disgruntled youth in Lansing looking for such shows, check out The Loft and Mac’s Bar. But all-ages shows refer to more than


just venues that occasionally allow younger crowds in. Much more, it’s a movement that not only strives to be more age-inclusive,


MacKaye also stresses that the dynamic


between artist and audience should be much more communal and cooperative. “The show itself ... is a collective effort.


The people in the audience and the perform- ers are making the show together.” Another activist for the all-ages move-


ment is Seattle-based Kevin Erickson, who founded the All Ages Movement Project (allagesmovementproject.org) in 2006. This project is essentially a network of 200 organi- zations that strive to make sure young people can access and participate in music scenes in their communities. The project has also sought to make all-ages shows and the greater movement more visible. Though much of the movement has unfolded in underground (and often illegal) shows, AAMP has pro- moted venues that are legal, sustainable and not constantly in danger of being shut down. On a local level, neighborhood punk


Ryan Cappelletti devotes a large portion of his time advocating for all age shows. Yet, unlike Erickson, Cappelletti is perfectly comfortable with the underground ones. “I believe in illegal shows. I believe in


illegal art in general. I think art in general belongs below the surface,” Cappelletti said. He believes underground venues can


“I believe in illegal shows. I believe in illegal art in general. I think art in general belongs below the surface.” –RYAN CAPPELLETTI


but also counter-cultural. Most importantly, proponents of this movement consider all-age shows to be a more democratic approach to live music. “I think all-age shows are fundamentally


important. I think music is for all people,” said Ian MacKaye, punk legend (frontman of Minor Threat, Fugazi, Embrace and The Evens) and all-ages shows advocate.


52 | REVUEWM.COM | JULY 2011


avoid a lot of the restrictions that public venues demand. This, according to Cappelletti, will in turn save the music itself from restrictions. “Putting restrictions on art just doesn’t


make sense,” he says. While there are differing views re-


garding legal versus illegal all-ages shows, local musician and all-ages-show patron Sam Cook-Parrott – who is in Grand Rapids band Ribbons of Song – thinks both sides are important.


T H E I N C L U S I V E A R T O F


ALL-AGES SHOWS


by Justin Stover “I go to and play shows at underground


venues, but I’m also on the Division Avenue Arts Cooperative board. I think there’s a place for both. Obviously, it’s nice to do things legally. But when presented with few options, you kind of have to do things underground to get things done. I think it has to be done regardless of how it’s done, and kids in every city are willing to do this.” He adds that West Michigan “is a good


example of a place that has been open to all ages.” For those interested in the underground,


Cappelletti advises to keep your eyes and ears open. You can also check out the site grscreamer.com for all-ages concert info. For those who aren’t quite ready to step into the underground but still want to


hear great music with like-minded people of all ages, there are several legal venues in West Michigan where this can happen. In Grand Rapids, the Division Avenue Arts Cooperative (The DAAC) on Division Street has been an integral part of the local music and arts scene. In Holland, Lemonjello’s Coffee has brought phenomenal artists representing a variety of genres into their space for people of all ages to enjoy. And in Lansing, the volunteer-run Basement 414 offers everything from hip hop to punk to indie and a whole lot more in between. n


SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE


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