A Season of Stuff: 28 and free

A Season of Stuff is a writing challenge that I will be doing for the length of Spring 2016.  The plan – to pick some object from within my personal possessions each day and write about it – its history, its significance, etc.  Come on in – check out my stuff.


The band Io were great friends whose records I got to put out on my label.  They were four really sincere people who just happened to write some of the best music that Pittsburgh’s DIY scene had going for it in the early 2000’s.  I tried to make as many of their shows as possible and felt really honored that they chose to work with me and Joey when putting out their records.  So when they decided to call it quits, it was a sad day.

Back in those days we tried to do something for bands having a special occasion.  Record release shows usually meant getting a bouquet of flowers tossed on you at some point during your set.  A last show was also such a special occasion.  Aside from just showing up, I wanted to do something to acknowledge the specialness of the evening.

When thinking about the death of one of my favorite bands, it made me think of a series of photos in the book Banned in DC from The Faith’s last show.  There are several with a young Ian Mackaye up from and center looking very emotional.  In one photo you can clearly see him wearing a shirt that says “18 and free”.

photo credit: Kim Gregg

I took this photo as inspiration.  I was 28 at the time of the show and made this shitty hand-stenciled “28 and free” shirt.  I’m not sure that anyone but myself got the reference.

I would pull out this shirt again four years later when another favorite local band The Sea, Like Lead would end their run as a band.  I x’d out the 28 and made it “32 and free”.

Watch video by Chuckleberry from an Io show at Roboto shortly before their last show.


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