Interview, Our City, Our World

The Lilypad’s Jesse Gallagher on yoga & independent venues & more during the shutdown

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Dan Shea:

So, who are you and where are you?

Jesse Gallagher:
I am Jesse Gallagher, a musician. Some people in the city know me as the guy who books the lilypad… older heads remember Apollo Sunshine my old psych band…

I’m am on lockdown at my apartment right outside the entrance to the only national park in Massachusetts, the Bunker Hill monument..

DS:
Ok, glad to hear that you’re keeping it safe. In what ways is this shutdown affecting the Lilypad, which I must say here, is one of the Boston area’s only legal all ages venues, and just one of the best small music venues in the metro area?

JG:
As soon as the news starting pouring in (Super Tuesday being the first day of massive media shockwaves), events at the Lilypad started cancelling, one by one and then like a flood, everything… Musicians are cancelling shows they have booked for April, May & June even… We decided the socially responsible thing to do was to close down until we know more about what is going on, or until there is a public demand again for people to want to gather again in groups and experience live music together.

DS:
“or until there is a public demand again for people to want to gather again in groups and experience live music together. ” Are you thinking that there could be long term shock waves to what I will call the social artistic experience after this?

JG:
Man, I really hope not… but I imagine there is going to be some public gathering re-entry fears for a while.. I still think we are at the very beginning of some large scale global transformation and at the same time we really don’t know even what the next few weeks in Boston is going to look like. Right now feels a bit like a calm before the storm…

It sure does. I hope I’m wrong and nothing much happens, but that’s not what I’m reading and hearing. I’m sure you’re hearing the same.



DS:

There’s certainly no safety net for a very rare in Boston, non-commercial venue like Lilypad and its staff in a situation like this. Yet I would argue that there absolutely should be considering what such a space provides for its surrounding community. Your thoughts??

JG:
So, I just saw this morning, a 2 week “stay at home” order in Massachusetts… so yes, this is obviously gonna continue for a while ~
I woke up to find that the city of Boston’s “artist relief fund” had already accepted my application and approved me of a $1000 grant. So that helps very much and I hope it’s encouraging to artists and musicians that make all their income from art to go and apply to this and other resources you find…
In terms of support for the Lilypad and other small businesses that service a wide community… I am just not sure yet. I know everyone on the Lilypad staff is a total badass and all artists and musicians in their own right, so I think we will all pull together and make whatever sacrifices are required to keep the Lilypad open when we are allowed to do so safely…. I don’t know what this entails, but I know if the staff had to start cooking communal meals and really sharing resources, we would… Hopefully this adjustment and “time out of time” doesn’t last so long that people are stretched too thin financially and mentally…
Moving forward, wouldn’t it be amazing to have some kind of a safety net for places like the Lilypad, that hold together a very large community web in Cambridge… it’s not just any community either… what a brilliantly diverse and creative community it is! I guess the safety net is the assurance that we have An amazing staff that is committed to each other and a deep felt heart commitment to providing the city with our laid back and intimate setting to watch some of the best performing arts Boston has to offer…

DS:
Congrats! Glad to see that money getting into some good hands.And yes I think that this is going to be our lives for a while. How are you focusing your creative energies? Did I see that you have already released something created during the “quarantine”?

JG:
Yeah man.. well creatively for me right now, the quarantine couldn’t have come at a better time.. I have spent the last 6 months writing and recording a 20 song, 3 hr meditation and yoga music album that is being released this week. “The Inner Sound” it’s called…. To record it I traveled first out to the west coast to meet with OG New Age musical pioneer IASOS and he set me on course… I utilized a midi breath controller for a lot of the music, and was able to sync the sounds to my breathing… I recorded a bunch of it at the wonderful Yogaville in Virginia…which has recently been in the news lately as the original home of the Tiger King’s Doc Antle (haha..)…. Another remote spot I recorded this meditation album was out at Cedarbloom Farm, home of the Spirit Weavers gathering, in a geodesic dome studio home to White Flight & Ratatat’s new band, Kunzite… Back in Boston, Arjun of Naan Violence flew up for 10 days and played down lots of beautiful sitar etc etc… I’m giving lots of details cause I’m stuck k home and I remember only a few months ago flying all over the place!!
While I’m actually home, in preparation of this album coming out, I’ve painted one of the walls in my house with chroma key paint and I’m gonna finally get up the nerve to start video taping and live streaming some stuff in the studio, including some yoga workouts. Waiting until I master this green screen, so I can be doing a headstand on the top of Mt. Fiji…..

DS:
What in the holiest of….
That is a lot to take in. I think I better just listen when I can. So I take it you are pretty deeply into yoga? And 3 hours of music, that is HEAVY! The less said about Doc Antle the better.

JG:
~ yeah I’ll send it over to you…
cskonopka video synth legend just sent me a couple vids he tweaked to some of the meditations!
Yeah, I try to live a yogic life as best I can. That doesn’t mean doing poses and stretches all the time, but living by a lot of the basic teachings of the
Yoga Sutra and striving for Nirodha … Yeah, the 3 hrs of music, editing it was a BEAST… probably 25 – 30 hrs of music to start with… then kept applying heat to extract the metal from the ore ~
i’m pretty stoked on it… it’s unlike anything I’ve ever made and I am amazed that I am able to keep listening to it… and stay surprised. I think I hypnotized myself for 90% of making this album, so listening still brings me surprises… “who made this? me?.. who’s me???”

DS:
Insanity. I love Chris C. I will drink this up as I go about my daily work.

More people should ask “Who is me?” more regularly. I think the world would benefit from this.
I’ve enjoyed my time with you Jesse, as I always do, anything you want to leave us with to wrap up?

JG:
I just wish everyone strong immune systems and a peaceful passage into summertime… I’m live streaming yoga classes and late night record spinning sessions on my YouTube channel right now, find “nightimegallagher” & subscribe if you wanna check that out… My meditation record “The Inner Sound” (2020) is gonna coming out on 4/20.. if anyone is resonating with any of this or whatever, feel free to reach out and say hello… pandemic or not, I’m a bit of a hermit.. so I love hearing from new people!
Thank you for reaching out Dan and getting my gears turning, I feel inspired !

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