Hello again Stafford faithful.
The GST blog is back! This time around, things are going to be a little different. We’re peeling back the skullcaps of everyone who puts in work here at the Stafford to give you a glimpse past the headliner on stage, beyond the realm of the concert and into that of how/who makes it all happen.
As part of the new blogging agenda, allow me to introduce the first in a series of blogs appropriately titled “GST Intern Spotlight.” There are a lot of amazing people that come through the office doors every week, and it is my duty to introduce them to you and shed some light on their amazing-ness.
The first run in the series is a self-service job. This time, we focus on one of the GST’s press interns: Dylan Huddleston (AKA Me!). I joined the Stafford team in January of 2014 with a stint in production and a continuing presence in the press field. On a regular basis, I enjoy skateboarding, listening to gangster rap, smoking cigarettes, and driving around aimlessly at night. On a less regular basis, I enjoy listening to country, reggae, ska, metal, folk, classical, EDM, jazz, chamber music, prog-rock, experimental blues, and Weird Al Yankovich, drinking green tea, people watching, “How I Met Your Mother,” and indulging in conversations about cats with my 52-year-old roommate.
My love for music and ineptitude for making music came together on a field of compromise. While the only instrument I can play is the rubber-band, I am really good at listening to music. I discovered my obsession in 6th grade while learning all of the words to Eminem’s “Encore” album during reading class. Sorry, Mom. That was tough talk for a 12-year-old on the playground, so I took to Internet forums to discuss music and trends at the age of 13. At that age, I hadn’t even considered my life after 8th period, much less a path towards music journalism.
I come from a dusty ol’ town by the name of Odessa, Texas, where the scent of crude oil is inescapable and the water tastes a little like stale dirt. Growing up in Odessa is a lot like growing up in purgatory. The Odessan youth spends his/her precious developmental years floating around the town, bumping into other unsure bodies, scratching their heads and basically waiting for the next moment of revelry to release them from the monotony that is a city without a scene. Don’t get me wrong, I love my hometown, but it’s the plain truth that if you’re not involved in some sort of illegal activity as a youth in Odessa, you spend your weekends sitting at home, staring at screens and not thinking of much beyond the city limits.
I saw my first live band at the ripe age of 15: The Doobie Brothers live at Ector County Coliseum, hardly a hot spot for aspiring artists or anybody under the age of 30, really. However, I was a fresh 18 years old before I was exposed to a live music scene. That birthday was accompanied by a road trip with my best friend to see my favorite hip-hop group, Atmosphere, play at Stubbs in Austin, Texas. I remember walking down 6th street with saucers for eyes. Music was practically pouring from every bar, dive, lounge or restaurant we walked by. I became instantly enthralled. Up until that point, I had never taken a serious interest in anything to do with music. I left ATX that weekend convinced that it was destiny for me to pursue a life in the field of music.
That fall, I began my first year at Texas A&M University. A few weeks went by and I had drawn the conclusion that, yet again, I was a resident of a town with no music scene. Then, in November, a few friends of mine from Odessa joined me in attending Rock the Republic. That was the night I became captivated with Downtown Bryan. Walking around that Friday night, I felt remnants of my first trip to Austin, but the sensation was different this time. Whereas the “Live Music Capital of the World,” with sheer size alone, can leave one feeling overwhelmed and intimidated, Downtown Bryan conjured a more wholesome feeling in me. Coincidentally, that was also the first time I attended a Grand Stafford show. Before long, I was a new member of MSC Town Hall, a concert programming organization run through Texas A&M. Before too much longer, during a Town Hall meeting, I was listening to Jose Arredondo talk about the possibilities of interning at the Grand Stafford Theater.
Lo and behold, here I am. Twenty-one years old and still just as determined to make my mark in the music industry as I was at 18. These things take time, and for a musically-talentless soul like myself, I feel there is no better fit for me at this moment than behind a keyboard in the Grand Stafford office space. I have been granted a platform, a voice to speak upon music and all its extensions, and a role in the realm of live music that transcends beyond the position of spectator.
Needless to say, I’m hyped to be back in the saddle! Stay tuned, things only get radder from here.
Be sure to check out and follow my weekly Spotify playlist “The Weekly Dyl.” 13 tracks a week for your listening pleasure: The Weekly Dyl 9/4/2014