By Rob van Alstyne
By Zach McCormick
By Emily Eveland
By Jack Spencer
By Michael Madden
By Reed Fischer
By Emily Weiss
By Emily Weiss
Doing anything solely for the scene is a rare thing; behind a thousand hand-stapled zines lie a thousand voices yelling nonsense in the hopes of a Twitter follower. It seems there are always ulterior motives at work, any number of self-hyphenates (self-promotion, self-esteem, self-aggrandizement)...it's a readily apparent fact of modern life. Or just life as always. With that in mind, meet Front Porch Sitters: "You don't even need to mention me as a person. Literally you don't have to put it in there. Seriously."
For over a year, Front Porch Sitters have been compiling the schedules of locally focused and cheap-tending venues across the Cities and distributing their primary-colored calendars to dozens of locations, like a less comprehensive and more selective version of the listings in City Pages. Though the Front Porch Sitters ceased printing physical copies around the time biking across two cities became miserable, they still publish weekly on the web. "Me and my friends were talking about how many venues there are in town, and how hard it is to find out what's going on. It's all so dense. So we said: Why don't we just do this?" And so they did. And we should thank them for it. It's a project that helps to connect the dots—or just reveal the dots—of our culture, and it processes and advances that culture through the simple virtue of actually showing up.
New York City's Showpaper has been doing this very same thing for a few years now, placing printed events listing in small clubs and the underground squatter spaces that have been excavated throughout the city. The paper has ended up playing an extremely important role in synergizing and organizing the progressive, hugely successful do-it-yourself push in that city, informing a progressive and inspiring arts scene that has echoed throughout the country. No, really: You just need to show up.
Thankfully, Front Porch Sitters were bit by the very same bug, not willing to put up with unique and/or obscure artists and spaces getting overlooked or unknown by a schizophrenic audience ("Even still, I'll need go look at [our calendar]"). In the same spirit, last year they organized, with three months' notice, the West Bank Revival in September: a two-day, four-venue, two-restaurant, one-beer-company, one-makeshift-museum mini-mega-festival. Cost: five dollars per day. We get the feeling these people are some of the good ones. And we can probably bet they'll continue to be so in some way for some time.
Front Porch Sitters' listings can be found at frontporchsitter.com.