Massey hopes to heat up local music scene with debut |

Massey hopes to heat up local music scene with debut

Margaret Hair

Steamboat Springs — Singer/songwriter Julia Massey admits that she was a little taken aback by Steamboat's lack of local music when she got to town in August. — Singer/songwriter Julia Massey admits that she was a little taken aback by Steamboat's lack of local music when she got to town in August.

— Singer/songwriter Julia Massey admits that she was a little taken aback by Steamboat’s lack of local music when she got to town in August.

Tonight, she’ll play her first true show since getting to Colorado, at the Steamboat Mountain Theater in Ski Time Square. Half the proceeds will go to Heather and Alex Naused to cover medical bills incurred in a Nov. 14 car accident.

Sitting at a table in Bamboo Market, Massey talked to 4 Points about moving to Steamboat, being a local act and how much colder it is here than on the East Coast.

4 Points: So does tonight’s concert work as a “Welcome to Steamboat” set for you?

Julia Massey: It’s my first real show in Steamboat, which is exciting because I was living in Brooklyn where there are music venues every freaking block, and I get out here and am kind of thinking, “Does anybody play music here?”

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4 Points: This being the first time you’ve performed for an audience since you got here, are you looking forward to it?

JM: I’m a little worried, because I’m playing the week between Christmas and New Year’s, and a lot of locals go on vacation then.

No offense, because I’ll be thrilled if tourists come, if people just come over from the Steamboat Grand, but it’d be nice to have locals there. But beggars can’t be choosers, and I’m definitely on the begging end of things when it comes to music.

4 Points: Moving here from Brooklyn, how does it compare? Is it a big change?

JM: The other day, we have this thermometer in the house, and it said it was 2 degrees at 10 a.m. And I was like, I don’t think this is going to work, because we had some below freezing temperatures in Brooklyn last winter, and I’d be walking around saying I was never going to do this again.

But everybody here seems to love it – people were actually praying for snow.

4 Points: I know I’ve walked outside at least a couple of times and thought it wasn’t that cold, and then realized 15 minutes later that I was probably going to freeze to death. It’s tricky.

JM: Oh yeah, and I’m sure you’re hearing this and thinking, well, I must absolutely abhor Steamboat and all its winter activities.

4 Points: But you’re looking forward to the show?

JM: I feel really quite jazzed to be playing at the Steamboat Mountain Theater. There aren’t really that many musicians in town, but there are plenty of people I’ve talked to who say they love going to shows.

4 Points: What’s the deal with that? It doesn’t seem like there are that many people who live here that play music, but if you go to a show with a local group, the crowd is just completely out of control.

JM: I think it’s partially my fault that I haven’t tapped into the musicians’ scene, but I think this is also more of a sports kind of place.

Just getting away from it all, whereas in a place like Brooklyn or Austin or Asheville – I think this town is a bit far off the beaten path.

That’s where I come in and I’ve got to create it myself – at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

4 Points: Will this be the first of more live sets in town for you?

JM: The thing is, with a place like Steamboat, if you play at the Steamboat Mountain Theater and everyone you know comes, then everyone has seen you.

So you don’t want to be like, “Hey come see me play the same set next week, and maybe I’ll have one or two new songs.” You have to play that game of building a fan base and keeping shows sporadic enough that people still want to come see you.

4 Points: That’s the tough part of being a local act. We ran a column in my paper last year, where the basic point was that local bands get three shows: the first one, the CD release and the last one. Maybe a reunion show. But beyond that, you better hope that your friends like you a lot, enough to keep coming back, no matter how good you are.

JM: Totally, what you just said.

To be honest, Brooklyn and New York in general is so fast-paced, and there’s a kind of tension between artists, and it can get kind of cutthroat. It’s nice to be in a place where you can develop a base of friends who will come out and support you for one show a season – hopefully.

4 Points: What can people expect from the show?

JM: I’ll be playing all the songs off the album, then another hour of newer stuff. So, if you like this, you’ll like the show.

4 Points: It’s hard to tell, it’s still in the wrapper. But based on the cover.

JM: This one you actually can judge by its cover. It’s hand-written as it is hand-drawn.

But sometimes you have to classify your music into genres when people want to know that. So this is folk, indie – I’m just going to name things until something sounds good.

4 Points: Experimental, progressive, ambient, skambient.

JM: Electronica? Sometimes I plug in.

For the songs, I was teaching when I was living in Brooklyn, and that presented quite a bit of material, just being in the classroom in the inner city. The rest of it is about life :

4 Points: Deep insights?

JM: Deep if you haven’t been thinking about it.

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