The Whitehaus Family Record (Phoenix, 3.17.10)

Posted on March 25, 2010


Did a profile in last week’s Phoenix about the Boston/Jamaica Plain house and arts collective that’s grown over a few manic years into the most productive group of nutballs the city’s seen in years and years. They just finished up their third annual Blastfest in Cambridge, an all-day freak-out with zine tables and performances from grizzled indie to coffee shop folk, garage pop, pysch, tabletop electronics and ’60s throwback spoken word.  This is sort of the year they’re officially spreading their tentacles beyond their backyard — Many Mansions just performed a session on Daytrotter and Peace, Loving has spent almost all of 2010 on one behemoth road trip so far. They throw shows at the house several times a month and just put out this monster LP:

Long-time organizer Morgan Shaker gives me a quick tour of the cavernous house and its five crannied stories. “We used to have shows at our old apartment in Hyde Square. But it eventually harshed out the downstairs neighbors, and we had to leave. This was the first place that popped up when we typed in ‘eight bedrooms, Jamaica Plain’ on Craigslist.”

What started out as a front room hosting freewheeling jam sessions (the long-running “Hootenanies”) has swelled into a guerrilla army of bands, poets, and artists scrawling handmade artwork over cardboard CD-R cases (the Whitehaus imprint now boasts 50 releases) and networking with bedroom DIY artists across the country. Peace, Loving — a Whitehaus all-star kitchen-sink freakout — are currently on a four-month tour across the US.

Shaker opens the door into the first-floor office, which sports a coin-op Arkanoid machine and walls covered with maps. A poster charts the progress of residents from their respective origins to the inner circle of the Haus — it’s like the schematics of Dante’s Inferno they made you draw in AP English.

Link to whole article at the Boston Phoenix here.

Check out the Whitehaus Family Record blog.