Why your local folk singer could become your folk hero
Published: January 16, 2012
While Mery recently delayed both projects until late spring, he will perform with Randolph at the Texas is Funny label showcase Saturday at The White Rabbit.
When I asked Mery if he considers himself an advocate, he rejected the label. But then he told me how in 2010 he and Brandon Faucett (aka DJ Kirby and #goodjobtexas's director) initially offered visiting Strokes producer Gordon Raphael Studio 14 Hundred as an all-encompassing center for music recording and production. The studio had whatever they needed: professional photographers, audio engineers, cinematographers, a studio, radio room, and green screen. Meanwhile, it was about to launch #GoodJobTexas.
"The whole point of Gordon coming was to start a revolution which consisted of finding a place to unite the San Antonio music scene," Mery said. "Which is to say that they wanted everybody to have a place to record at where Raphael could be the nucleus."
But for reasons unclear, Raphael and company declined, instead setting up their own recording space near the airport. They recorded a few bands before he left a few months later.
It was a case where opportunity met preparation and luck still didn't strike. "In the week that he got to San Antonio, Rolling Stone gave him number one album of the decade," Mery said. (See "The Loser and the Lame," December 22, 2010.) "There's no way that [his visit] could be ignored on a national level" by the press. And yet it was. Just a cursory Google search of "Gordon Raphael" returns no national articles about his SA visit. No Rolling Stone, no Spin and certainly no Pitchfork.
With that missed opportunity in the rearview, Mery believes SA's music community should go back to working on its cogency, which he hopes his music and show can help provide. He's baffled there is only a smattering of FM programs promoting local music: Plugged In Sessions and Mery's own Live and Local (now hosted by Kevin Sanchez), both KRTU properties.
"[We're] creating what we think is missing from San Antonio," he said of #goodjobtexas. "We give creative people a place to be." That assessment may be a little loaded, but it's hard to argue with Mery's approach. If he's a shameless self-promoter, he'll be sure to include everyone he can under the spotlight with him. •
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