If you ask Alison Shaw why she's so driven to do the things she does for local music, she'll look at you with an expression that implies, “Why aren’t you?” With less than a week before Hyperactive Music Festival II, Shaw is busy working out the fine tuning on an event she launched last year in June.
“I live here, I love New Mexico, and I've been involved in the music scene and have seen a lot of bands play; we have to do more for the scene,” Shaw says.
After suffering a near-fatal gun shot wound in 2004, Shaw spent months in recovery thinking about what to do next. “I laid in my hospital bed and realized that I wasn’t doing anything that was helping anyone. Music is my life, so I started there and have tried to create outlets to really support the musicians in this scene,” says Shaw. “Maybe it was that bullet that woke me up, but I feel like I have to support local bands. It’s this uncontrollable force inside of me.”
Shaw’s focus in this festival is not just bringing large sponsors like Sub Pop Records and celebrity entertainers (this year it’s Efren “Pedro” Ramirez from Napoleon Dynamite) to wow audiences; she really hopes to offer opportunities to local musicians trying to make it into the music industry. In that spirit, there will be panel discussions with topics on digital recording, surviving in the music business, sound and music for film, as well as a tradeshow with Poboy Drums, Sonicbids, CDBaby and more.
Downtown venues will feature three days of music from more than 200 bands, both unsigned and on independent labels, including hip-hoppers, indie rockers, Americana folkies and many other artists. There will be mentoring sessions with A&R representatives and CD critiquing, where artists can hear from the very people they're hoping to attract.
Alison Shaw is working to get New Mexico music the exposure, and its musicians the education, they need to succeed. “I feel music education has been lost ... no one cares about it. If our local musicians and bands can’t get out of the state to get it, then I want to bring it to them,” says Shaw. “Unleashing the possibilities of music; that’s what it’s all about.”