Smells Like Teen Talent – Generation Justice

The Roots Music Club of Albuquerque Academy on stage at the Outpost Performance Space’s Roust the House event. Photo credit: Derrick Toledo/Generation Justice.
It’s no secret to all my friends and family that I love music and can’t live without it. The first type of music I ever fell in love with was rock. I listened to Iron Maiden, Queensryche and Motley Crue. As life went on, I listened more to rap artists like Eminem, Tupac, and 50 Cent. Today, I enjoy all types of music ranging from Dean Martin to Luke Bryan and everything in between.

Recently, I became a member of Generation Justice, which is a multimedia project that trains youth to create media that inspires social change. We have a show on Sunday nights at 7pm on 89.9FM. Recently, we teamed up with KUNM to record audio at a local music show called, “Roust the House.” Generation Justice then sent me an invitation to help and of course, I immediately jumped at the chance. Before going I had no idea what to expect. I thought it was going to be something very similar to a talent show in high school. I could not have been more wrong.

The range of talent in the show was unbelievable. Entry into the show was less than five bucks, but I feel like it could have easily been a lot more given the entertainment value it offered. Throughout the night there were seven youth performances. I’d never seen any of them before, but that night they were on their game and I became an instant fan. They all literally performed on the high end of the talent spectrum.

GJ members Derrick Toledo and Carson Lafferty monitor audio levels at the November 21, 2014 Roust the House: Teen Performance Night.
My assignment for the night was to assist in audio recording of the show. That included setup and closing detail. Since I was recording, I couldn’t watch the entire show from the audience. However, I don’t think this was a loss because I could hear the music in its purest form right between the sweet spot on the headphones. The audio levels were set perfectly and all I could hear was good tunes. Solid beats with inspiring lyrics and an overall smooth rhythm can’t be beat by anything. At one point in the show, I closed my eyes and felt like I was in another country. Sophia Ellis Young was on stage playing her violin and it transported me to another state of mind, which always happens with great music.

Almost every one of the musicians was an adolescent. At that age, I know I could never have performed anything on a stage in front of a large audience. If I had, I undoubtedly would have ruined the show. The youth that did perform during Roust the House were amazing. They didn’t miss a beat and if an instrument wasn’t ready they spoke to the audience without fear. I commend them for being young rockstars. I hope they all continue to produce music everyone can find transcendence in.

The show was at the Outpost Performance Space close to the University of New Mexico. It’s a community based performing arts center. It’s a place for live jazz, roots, folk, world music and education art. I had the opportunity to talk with Tom Guralnick, Sinatra look-alike, and founder of the Outpost Performance Space. He shared his experiences working at the Outpost but couldn’t narrow down his favorite Roust the House memory. He said they’re all good and offer something special every time. After my own Roust the House experience, I see what he means. It’s a unique place doing nothing but great things for the community. I know I’ll be back there for another event soon.