Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Weekly Dig Article :: Boston Counter Cultural Compass

The Weekly Dig just did a nice article written by Jen Choi about the Boston Counter Cultural Compass and one of its creators, Sam Potrykus. Link to the article here or read below. Check out the BCCC at:


Christians and Lions was just the beginning.
Sam Potrykus, a member numerous bands including the former Christians and Lions and currently The Needy Visions, is one of Boston’s ultimate champions for the counter culture and the local DIY community.
As a member of Whitehaus and Bodies of Water, Potrykus and co-promoter, Dan Shea, created the Boston Counter Cultural Compass in March 2010 as a means of letting the community know about local happenings in an easier, all encompassing outlet.
“There are a lot of really cool kids out there and it seems sad to me that it was so hard for them to find something cool that was going on,” said Potrykus.
Inspired by Greg Shaw’s 1966 rock’n’roll newsletter, Mojo Navigator, Potrykus and Shea set off contacting their friends in the coolest local bands they could think of.
Nearly, a year later, the Cultural Compass is the place members of Boston DIY go to find the most note-worthy shows of the month.
Through various media including the traditional coffee shop and local venue flyer, to digital promotion via Facebook and its blog, the Compass has become more than just a place to get news but a place to find shelter from mainstream cultural pollution and a totem symbolizing the rich and ever-evolving Boston counter culture.
“It’s something that people in the DIY community can rally behind and have in common. It’s about meeting other people and making relationships.”
In the sea of Boston fanzine-dom, the Counter Cultural Compass works in three ways: first, to bridge gaps between various scenes in the city secondly, to champion DIY and finally, to crush and completely reject the mainstream.
“The mainstream strangles enthusiasm out of the youth,” says Potrykus. “The Compass can be something people can gather around. I mean, I’m not bringing the Compass to Starbucks or shitty places, I am taking it to cool places where the so-called ‘counter culture’ can unite.”
In our fair city’s largely transient community, the counter-culture’s resiliency is astounding and impressive on its own. In the Compass, Potrykus nods to every sect and scene as one and the same.
“In Boston, there are between 60 to 100 righteous bands that range from experimental noise to acoustic blues. Here, the counter culture is extremely diverse and vast.”

Among the various groups there have always been the largely self sufficient and established punk scene, the emerging rock scene and many others gathering in rowdy basements and DIY venues all over Jamaica Plain, Allston and other neighborhoods.
Through organization and communication, these sects of bands become less alien to each other—promoting a really proactive, open and welcoming environment.
“There are a bunch of houses that are really welcoming. Where there are a lot of thoughtful, creative artists who genuinely want people to unite under a cause.”
Being as respectful of these venues as possible. Potrykus leaves out address when appropriate and invites those who are new to Boston’s counter culture to make that extra leap to get involved.
“There are a lot of bands that are trying to make it big out of Boston but I’m not really into that. I’m into people who are about preserving the underground.”
Whether it is submitting tips for the next Compass or contacting Potrykus with questions about venues and bands, the Compass stands as a shining gateway to the Boston that’s self-made, creative and beyond the mainstream influence.

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