The Last Maynard Fest

Posted on July 7, 2010 by Matt Kelley

Cycle Space and The Last Maynard Fest

Each of us has our circles. The social framework in which we exist is constructed by blood, geography and our tolerance for peculiar personality types. It’s within these circles that resources are shared, ideas are exchanged and a culture is forged. This is the foundation for our tribes.

It’s hard to sculpt a culture in the far reaches of suburbia where mediocre media is mass marketed and shipped in. Once there, it’s force-fed to kids who are so disconnected from anything that actually represents them that their identity is slowly whittled down into assimilation where each MTV haircut looks like the next one and no one questions why binge drinking is a rite of passage.

This is why kids–and most mammals– tend to run in packs. They haven’t been thoroughly broken by the system yet and they tend to buck when told to stand in line. It takes a steady diet of horse-shit to cultivate the kind of apathy and misinformation we have in this country today, folks. It’s not something you’re born with, you to really have work hard to get there.

What we need more of in this city is a sense of community. A community is more than a group of people who live in the same voting district. As a matter of fact, voting is the least important thing we do in this country anymore. No one says there’s anything wrong with voting, but if you’re sitting on your ass waiting for someone else to change things for you, you’d better get comfortable.

If we ever expect to grow as a people, we first have to improve our ability to share our resources and freely exchange our ideas. Like, why are we led to believe that every single person needs a car? Why can’t we have more car shares with our neighbors? Why don’t we build more community gardens and grow more fruits and vegetables locally? It just makes more sense to share. Have we lost those sensibilities? We have to hold ourselves responsible and stop waiting for the world to change. We have to be the ones to change it.

This week, we’re happy to introduce Matt Kelley who came to us and said, “I can find stories that you’re missing.” The result of that conversation is the most intimate story we’ve ever featured in What Weekly. It’s also a damn good example of people coming together to support one another. -WW

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The Last Maynard Fest

If you threw a rock on any given night in Baltimore, you’d probably hit someone performing at a reading, concert, gallery, theater, front stoop, or any other gathering place. The impetus for these performances can range from vanity, at one end of the spectrum, to charity, at the other—from ecstatic joy to mourning.

In the basement of a motorcycle repair shop in Arbutus, there existed a show with the sole objective to raise funds for the Davis family who had just lost their patriarch known by many as Maynard. On Thursday night, a show was staged to celebrate the life of one man and the community that loved him. All proceeds went to the family to help pay for the burial. The was The Last Maynard Fest ever, in loving memory of Gary Maynard Davis. If there were a way to have a somber riot, this would be it.

Ray Crouse, of Rota, with Maynard’s Wife and son, Karen and Jimmy Davis. Besides Rota, the lineup included the bands Army of Kashyyyk, Laurel, Lets and Boat Water.

When performing, Shaun Spare and Keith Gavazzi of Army of Kashyyyk often enjoy playing with their shirts off. They can get away with this because they look like epic Vikings.

It’s important to remember there’s a reason people hunt for shows held at unconventional venues. There is a sense of unity when the performers and the crowd have no stage to separate them. Chris was kind enough to illustrate this for us as he blurred the line between band and crowd.

After four sets of screams, drum solos, and tactfully loud distorted guitars, the Cycle Space transformed itself into a scene comparable to a campfire circle as Boat Water began their set. Imagine rich, soulful melodies as therapy for a loss.

As people left the Cycle Space with sweat-drenched clothes and ringing ears, some stopped by a poster taped near the door. There they left their goodbyes to the man they knew simply as Maynard and the family that survived him. The night concluded leaving people physically exhausted and emotionally drained but, more importantly, glad to have been a part of The Last Maynard Fest ever.

It makes you wonder who will craft the soundtrack to your last farewell.

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