My son Matthew has the beating heart of an artist- and I DO mean beating, as his principal instrument is the drums. While at DePaul, he actively campaigned to sit in on any musician’s sessions, or fill in. His proffers, posted on the bulletin boards in the music building were consistently ignored. He was not in the music school, and the doors were locked to him. He did not give up. He continued to play whenever asked. He has perfect pitch, a good ear and passion. Good upper arms, too, I must say, evidencing hours of flexing with the sticks.
Pet Lions- Karl, Tom, Shuhei, Matt and Walter the dog/mascot
A year ago, he and a high school buddy intersected with two other musicians through a bit of room mate providence. The resulting assemblage is called Pet Lions, in part because the lead vocalist’s mom and I both e-mailed the viral video of Christian the lion to our sons on the same day. This is the You Tube video of the the two London gents who bought a pet lion at Harrods, kept him in their flat, and later released him to the wild. That damn cat remembered his owners when they returned to the preserve years later. It was pretty moving- and since they were double teamed by moms, they dubbed themselves Pet Lions, and set about to make music.
There is great talent in the foursome, and the dream is burning. They know the odds are long, and they all pitch money into that dream. They bought a ridiculous old van to travel around in, but Cat Face was destined to abandon them 90 miles from Chicago, after a weekend of self financed touring to SXSW music festival in Austin. They were evicted from their rehearsal space after a noise complaint. They have been practicing in a fenced-in space where they have had to back up rapidly to avoid a gang takeover. Still, they push on. They work hard at day jobs that will give them flexibility in case they get jobs. The dedication is sweetly inspiring.
A month ago, they decided to use an organization called Kickstarter to help them fund what they perceive as a necessity to make it to the next level: a demo disc with good production values to showcase their sound. They set the goal at a reasonable $6000- for studio time, a producer and mastering. I was pretty tickled that they were being creative. I was also pleased that Matt did not come out to the house with a pouty face to beg for money. He may be begging in the electronic world, but they tried to conjure up a reward system. There was no greed- they weren’t angling for a van lease…they just wanted to make a record.
All right, I have to admit I was snookered into making a contribution. Pat and Mike thumped the bushes with their friends to try to get donations. Finally, they passed their goal- and this is a good thing, because if they did not hit that threshold all money would be returned. As far as I know, they are still trolling for help, promising that every cent will go to their project. I am not sure if Steve donated, but I know Grandpa Roger kicked in from LA. MAybe someday Pet Lions will be appearing on Jimmy Kimmel, and G-Pa can dance along. It is fun to give loft to a dream.
The day job that Matt works at is at Mr. Skin, an internet emporium of female physiology. He creates all kinds of video content, and has learned editing, animating and filming techniques. He writes prep sheets for radio stations. In short, he multi tasks, like most of our kids. He just multi tasks with more of the female form in his purview. He has taken some of his skills, and with a guerrilla video style, has made a promotional/thank-you video of a song in its infancy. The kids just went up to the roof of his apartment building and started singing. I love it. I hope you do, too. Feel free to add to their nest egg. Dreams need help sometimes.