Last Thursday Night in Jersey City: One Final Update
Our show last Thursday in Jersey City was fantastic. Every band — The Cartwheelers, The Sound is Fine, Hodera, and Lake Effect — played amazing sets, and I was thrilled to see The Lamp Post full, and at the very least active, from start to finish. And maybe, now a week later, it’s too late to write about it. I mean, to really write about it. The energy and high from the night has completely passed. My hearing isn’t fuzzy. I’m sober.
But I want it all back.
I want every ounce of energy from that night back in my body. I want to hear The Sound is Fine harmonize another sound check. I want the excitement for Hodera’s first night playing in Jersey City. I want to see the cooks in the back peek through the doors again to watch the bands. And I hope other people feel the same way as I do.
This will all be mostly unedited. Unscripted and honest. And I’ll try to keep it short.
Events like last Thursday’s are the core of what I want for Lamplighter. Seeing “the community” — musicians, artists, fans, photographers, random passersby — enjoy a part of life that otherwise goes unaccounted for. Sure, someone might’ve written about it on NewJersey.com as a “hot summer event,” but who showed up because of that? Who went to any of those events because someone put them in a list?
Last Thursday’s show was a living testament to a community that is alive and vibrant. A community that I’m very very proud to know, be a part of, and experience. If what I do, what we do, with Lamplighter is only to enhance that experience, to make it more prolific, energetic, and popular, then I think we’re doing something important and profound.
I still want more.
This is why we want to be a nonprofit. This is why we need the community’s support. Without it, without the legitimacy of organization and without the backing of people who appreciate what we do, we can only perpetuate what already is: yet another website with reviews, yet another group of twentysomethings hosting shows.
We want more than that for our community. I personally want to hand bands an envelope full of cash at the end of the night. I want to hear more of these bands on the radio. I want to put words down about them, about other artists and writers too, and make them part of a real object in the world. I want them all to know some group is working to amplify the resonance of their art and music, so they can stand out and count in this overpopulated state.
I’ve never made a dime from Lamplighter, and I don’t expect to. Between interviews and the show last week, I killed two tanks of gas, and spent most of the change in my car on tolls. That’s what I can give – a few bucks and my time. And with our Indiegogo campaign, that’s all I’m asking for from the rest of the community, so Lamplighter can host more shows. So we can pay the bands. So we can cut show prices. So we can ethically promote all of the great art, literature, and music that our state has to offer.
Time is running out on our campaign. And honestly, where we stand right now, we’ll be able to print in September. I’m not sure how many free admission events we’ll be able to host. I’m not sure if we’ll be able to print again next year. But we can, at least, take one more step forward.
If you were at last week’s show, or if you’ve ever been to a show and loved the bands, or if you give half a damn about the musicians, painters, sculptors, designers, photographers, poets, and storytellers in NJ and can spare even a dollar, I’m asking you to spare it. It will only go right back into the community, and I promise it’ll be well spent with exceptional transparency.
To everyone who has contributed — friends, classmates, family, total strangers — your support for what we’re trying to achieve means the world to us. Even at only a little beyond the halfway point of our fundraising goal, and we’re looking forward with confidence. It’s all thanks to you.
Less than a week left for our campaign. If you’re interested, you can contribute here: