By : Kevin Dacey
7 min read
Rewind back to the early 2010s: I’m deep in music school at UMass Lowell, in class all day, playing music all night, and coming home to shows in my basement. Entrenched in music and art. It was as glorious as any other reckless college experience that balances getting work done while flailing around a dirt floor basement most nights. Although, the real glory existed outside of myself. Lowell was bursting with artists throwing shows by any means necessary. From the experimental and noisy heartbeat of spots like the 119 Gallery and unchARTed to dim cellars with nonsensical names, there was SO much to experience any night of the week. As I pushed through school, I started to get sick of focusing on my own work and wanted to show the world what the heck Lowell was up to! It seemed like the only people in-the-know were people who lived there. I got the craving to curate SOMETHING to spread the news. I didn’t have to worry too much though…there were all those BCN stapled to my bedroom door for show dwellers to peruse while sippin’ their 40oz. Oh, also the smaller form Lowell Son that pointed people to shows, but in the end I felt like there wasn’t enough attention on the old mill city. This craving to curate and show people what’s up lived a little longer but eventually went dormant.
I continued on my musical journey…playing shows and teaching classes until one day in 2018 I saw an open position for Production Manager for this very newspaper. Here was my chance to live that mission of spreadin’ the word. I had known folks like Sam P from years of bumpin’ around basements, so I settled in nicely and immediately felt appreciated and important which was kinda strange. This kid with no journalism background was entrusted to help run a paper. You know…this kinda thing symbolizes my whole journey with BCN. A journey of love and passion; not like that, ya punk!…like everyone LOVED art and would do anything to see it flourish.
It was a blast showing up to our weekly Brain Arts Org meetings with dozens of eager peeps. I felt inspired and privileged that I got to run the newspaper that I had been gawking over for years with an extremely rad group of artists. Eventually, I worked my way up to Editor-In-Chief and held the reins. I took on interns, grew the paper back to 8 pages, tabled events, made friends, and began to pay BCN team members and contributors for the first time ever. It turned into the coolest job I could have imagined (and I teach music as well, hehe).
Now here we are, fresh into my 3rd Earthly decade, and life is beginning to look a lot different. I been teaching music…a lot…loving it…a lot, and making this lovely lil’ paper but it is time for change. I have decided I need to focus solely on music…creating it, teaching it, spreading it. The most recent BCN, #160, was the last I produced. After 5 years and 60 issues, I have decided to hang my hat as BCN EIC.
I have been extremely fortunate to have been granted this position. BCN founder, Sam P, has been an amazing mentor to me. To mention a few things he taught me: project management, relationship building, email grind, curation, grant writing, distro coordination…I could go on forever. I have endless thank yous to him for providing me with a diverse skill set that I can carry with me forever. Remember…I went to school for music performance and this dude took a chance on me, and because of his love and patience we succeeded for 5 years! Also BIG thank you to Emma L, Amyas, Marc, Michelle, Phoebe, Adrian, Hannah, all the writers + artists, editors, Marco, Bota, Julia B, Taraneh, distro peeps, every volunteer and intern! Every person I got to work with has been so dope. THEY are the real backbone of this paper. They stuck around month to month, doing the work with little to no monetary compensation. It is thanks to them that we’ve been printing this rag for over 10 years. As I make my leave, I can’t help but be excited for BCN’s future. Change is good and to see the paper morph and change shape is actually quite exciting. BCN will always be around, supporting local art and culture any way it can as long as the love for work and the scene is there. Stick around to see who will be brought on to keep BCN chugging along! Thank you, readers, for the support. I’ll truly miss this rag!
Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #161 September 2023
Check out all the art and columns of September's Boston Compass at www.issuu.com/bostoncccompass