Letter: Losses in music scene demand action

Letter: Losses in music scene demand action

Asheville is a really particular music group — and it must assess the harm completed throughout this time of the pandemic. I personally know three musicians who’ve handed away for the reason that summer season. Psychological well being and overdose points are taking their toll.

That is one thing so heartbreaking as a result of actually superb music is being made in our native scene. There’s a giant community of buddies who play collectively, exit to see one another on the smaller music venues within the metropolis — create storage rock, punk, indie, metallic, surf — with a pureness of coronary heart and uncooked magnificence.

I’m concerned with Musicians for Overdose Prevention, and I assist handle the “Holy Crap Information” podcast. We play the most effective underground songs of the week, each week, for the previous 142 weeks, and we closely depend on our native scene for that music. The native music is catchy, aggressive, heartbroken and, like the most effective blues or nation or punk, it’s true.

That you must hear Dangerous Molly or Shaken Nature and Thee Sidewalk Surfers, in addition to so many different nice native bands. Music shouldn’t be a contest, however please pay attention as a result of that is higher than something you’ll hear on a serious radio station.

Thee Sidewalk Surfers’ “I’m Damaged” [avl.mx/8xj] is a tune of heartbreaking magnificence about dropping religion and needing some signal to proceed. Shaken Nature’s “Cowboy” [avl.mx/8xk] is the band’s quintessential idea tune, because it combines Western mythology with psychedelic rock and a storage rock rawness. Dangerous Molly’s “I Don’t Care” [avl.mx/8xl] mixes nation and blues and among the grit of The Rolling Stones from their Exile on Predominant St. period.

These three bands have every misplaced an integral member. These are my buddies, and my coronary heart is breaking.

Musicians have all the time been in peril from overdose and psychological well being challenges. We all know our historical past. This pandemic has elevated anxiousness and despair and disconnected us all. The pandemic has additionally shut down music venues — and closed or slowed many service business jobs that musicians depend on — inflicting financial hardships. We at the moment are witnessing the psychological well being fallout.

Inside Western North Carolina, we want to destigmatize these points and face the powerful conversations about psychological well being in our group. We wish all musicians, all music venues, all recording studios, all file shops and music shops to hold naloxone. This may save lives. Naloxone is [an extremely] secure medicine that blocks opioids in your system. Good Samaritan legal guidelines defend people from utilizing naloxone to reverse an overdose. Paperwork and pink tape gradual and make naloxone distribution tough, particularly by mail. It wants to finish now.

The music group shouldn’t be shying away from these powerful and stigma-fighting conversations. We’re dropping our buddies. You might be witnessing the beginning of a wave of activism to assist individuals throughout the music scene to battle stigma, to make use of commonsense hurt discount and psychological well being help.

— John Kennedy
Black Mountain

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