The Philly scene is Do It Yourself. It’s nitty gritty, get-down-to-business, we-don’t-need-your-stinking-labels. It is “we got this, it’s easy.” And that’s all well and good. The rockstar as self-made, as taking on everything, as complete auteur of their hard-earned art. It’s a nice image, it just isn’t entirely true.
DIY is, at its very core, collaboration. The truth is the “yourself” is really “ourselves.” It is a collective, a big heap of like-minded people not waiting for anyone to do something they know they can do themselves. It is about communication and honesty, about avoiding the pitfalls of mixing business and art, about succeeding together, not in spite of each other. There is no one able to do it all and, more often than not, those who try end up so bogged down they can barely reach above the surface for air, let alone finish their new LP.
In step Emily Dubin and Jeremy Berkin of Lost + Found MGMT. They aren’t here to take control, they aren’t the big, bad, faceless business crushing the true artists, and they are nowhere near outsiders. It doesn’t take long to realize, as I sit across from the two in West Philly’s Green Line Cafe, they are the essence of DIY; here do it with you, not for you. Continue reading →