Van Drivers Needed!

Hello to all you Necessary Monsters and Monster fans out there!

You know that we here at Necessary Monsters believe in community, and sharing, and giving, and working together. Well of course, you know that works both ways – so here is our first (of many) requests for help. But we’re not just going to ask for money, or to send us stuff or anything like that. We want you to join the team – our team is ever changing and fluid anyway.

Right now we need drivers, van driver, bus drivers, ANYTHING drivers!

cmperJoel, founder member of Necessary Monsters, has done the lion’s share of driving for us up to this point. Many of our local adventures have started with us all piling into the back of his Volkswagen camper van, crammed full of instruments, craft materials, portable spinning wheels and kilns and whatever else the day called for! Joel would happily (usually) take us from A to B, often involving several trips and many a sing-a-long!

Well, in what is undoubtedly FANTASTIC news, Joel’s beautiful partner Annie has just announced that they are expecting their first child. They are two such fantastic people, that this child shall surely be a leader amongst us! He will lead the revolution, discover free energy, end world hunger and be great with hugs! Unfortunately for us, Joel has decided that this means he will be less available to travel with us when we go around the country, and also less available to drive us around our own city.

It’s okay Joel, we understand. We forgive you! xx

So we are putting the call out there for drivers (until these guys start working for cookies and high fives). Either drivers here in our own fair city of Portland, or drivers anywhere around the country (maybe around the world!? I’m sure sometime we will travel beyond these borders, and having someone pick us up at the airport will be much appreciated! Especially if you drive on the wrong side of the road – I’m looking at you, Britain!).

Do you have a van? A truck? A spare train?

Are you a good mechanic? A good fixer of cars (and fixer of those who drive cars?) ?

If you can help us out even once it would be truly appreciated, and we would be more than happy to welcome you into the family of Necessary Monsters! If you like driving. freeways, flasks of hot tea, guitar sing-a-longs, unplanned stops to admire scenery, a group of full-hearted young idealists redecorating your fan with pictures of monsters, and most of all, creating, sharing and being one with the community, IF THIS SOUNDS LIKE YOU then please contact us and let us know your details!

If  the above paragraph sounds like fun to you, then we think you would be perfect for us. You might just be a Necessary Monster!

 

If you live in another city and are familiar with our work, AND you can drive, then please get in touch and let us know. We can get trains/planes/not automobiles to your city and then you can take it from there! You will make friends and change lives, we promise you!

Get in touch, potential Monsters!

Fort Worth Stockyards

Well yeehaw – the Necessary Monsters bandwagon rolls on. And we’ve just finished rollin’ on through the Fort Worth Stockyards, Texas.

fort worth

A truly incredible venue, the Fort Worth Stockyards are home to a regular rotation of good time, Southern-style entertainment. We’re talking rodeos, country music shows, Wild West Shows and circuses. A whole new cultural experience for many of the Monsters – but new cultural experiences are our bread and butter.

Also the show we put on there was likely a new cultural experience for the good people of the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex.

When we travel to other cities and states, we aim to recreate events such as our first ever one-day festival in Portland, Oregon. Our day in Fort Worth was no exception. We were given enough space to have a number of different events and activities going on, and tried to give in a unique Southern spin. This included a chilli cook-off and a BBQ sauce contest! A lot of the Monsters are pretty good cooks and gave their best efforts, but some of the locals showed up with truly mind-blowing (and tongue burning) dishes and sauces. We learned a lot, and even picked up a few new recipes (from those willing to share their family secrets!).

The winners of both the chilli cook-off and the BBQ sauce contest agreed to take part in our “Skills-Swap” were they held a quick cookery class in how to make these incredible dishes. In return, they chose from amongst all the other “Skill-Swap” participants we had on the day. I believe one of them chose to have their hair braided (much to the amusement/embarassment of their teenage children) and the other spent some time at the kiln handmaking some mugs and plates they could then take home with them!

We had a children’s songwriting class, where we led local children to write a song over the course of 60 minutes, which would then be performed in the evening concert! This was a huge success, and we were blown away by the creativity and the sharing spirit of these young people. Many of them were already gifted in playing different instruments and those who weren’t took part either singing, playing drums or even helping at the mixing and lights desks! The children’s band (with support from some of us) played first in the evening and their song (a 9 minute opus!) was a big hit with all the crowds. There were even a few tears from proud moms and dads!

Then the Necessary Monsters supergroup took to the stage for what was our best gig yet! We had arrived in Fort Worth a few days before the show, and had a chance to practise with local lap steel guitar player Reggie McGraw. He joined us on stage for most of the gig, which was a treat for us, and an even bigger treat for his fans who were given a once in a lifetime chance to join him on stage and be part of the band! There were a lot of swooning women that night, let me tell you!

We want to give a big thanks to the kind hearts of the people of Texas. Even if you didn’t like our vegan chilli!

We’ll see y’all again soon!

Voter Registration Drive

The Necessary Monsters spent a wonderful weekend this month giving a little something back to the city that has given us so much. In the first large scale project under the banner of ‘Community Action’ we organised a Voter Registration Drive to get people registered for the upcoming midterm elections.

We want every last person in this city registered to vote!

In fact, every last person in the state – and the country.

We would say the world, but of course there are many places in the world where people cannot register to vote – because they do not have the democratic context in which to vote. This is a tragedy, as we believe in a free and democratic world. But it is what makes us realise, as American citizens, that we are truly blessed to live in a country where we can vote.

We are a non-partisan group. Looking at US politics over the last decade or so, we believe¬†both sides have been equally ineffective. Congress has been deadlocked for too long. People don’t believe in politics anymore. And as such, voter numbers are down all over the country.

Well, we decided we would do the little that we can do, and show anyone watching that there are still people here that care.

We want to involve others, we want to be involved.

We want to hear your voice, we want our voices to be heard.

We will shout loud enough that they will hear us all over this land.

votersEach journey begins with a single step, and so we hit the streets in our very own city to register as many people to vote as we could – and to encourage them to encourage others! We got mobilized to help others get mobilized!

Of course, we wouldn’t be Necessary Monsters if we didn’t do things with as much creativity and fun as we could. So we hit the road with a travelling band, and an old ice-cream wagon (like you see on the beach) re-purposed to be a travelling voter registration wagon. Bright colours, balloons, music, singing, dancing – who says politics has to be boring!

Big thanks to the good people at Do Something, whose advice we followed on how to organise a voter registration drive, all of which was enormously helpful. We made ourselves a travelling jamboree of good times, because it is not legal in this state to exchange treats or presents for people’s registration – but there’s no law saying you can’t sing songs and gave a fun time while you do it!

The results were fantastic, and as well as registering people to vote, we also spread the word about Necessary Monsters (something we don’t have to be non-partisan about!). Like a snowball of delightfulness, we gathered volunteers everywhere we went, so that the team was growing as it was moving. All this gave us more reach and impact than we thought possible.

For five straight days we did this, each day targeting different areas of the city, each day meet new people, making new friends, and having a good time.

We are prodding the shoulder of the sleeping giant that is true American democracy.

Wake up. Necessary Monsters are here.

Wake up!