Happy Family Productions is a Fort Collins, Colorado-based collective designed to support DIY artists through creation, distribution, promotion and booking of multimedia projects. It strikes me as a project that's networked nationally but designed to be understood from a local context with the web replacing many of the functions provided by zines and bookstores/indie record stories prior to the web.
I found out about Happy Family Productions through an article at The Coloradoan. Back in the day such a piece might be picked up by a wire service and appear in the newspaper or on radio news briefs. That might well be the last one would hear about it unless recognizing the names of associated bands in printed zines or while traveling in the area.
Now I just look up Happy Family Productions to find their website and get a little peek at their world. But, like so many projects I'm encountering from Millennial counterculture settings, their use of media feels more designed to support a local scene than to create national buzz.
The collective is self-described as:
"a loosely connected artist's cooperative. Our objectives are to expose folks across the country to new music and film that has been created through the DIY ethic...The DIY scene is an awesome thing, and we feel that it is even better when you do-it-yourself, together. "
Happy Family recently hosted a:
"music/film showcase aimed at highlighting several of the collaborative’s acts, including local artists Sour Boy Bitter Girl and Atlanta-based indie-folk/punk band The Wild, along with the documentaries 'Taxpayers go to Florida' and 'Bands of 208.' Proceeds will go to benefit an upcoming Mixtape release promoting Happy Family bands."
The documentaries represent the most complete sharable work at this stage though the trailers of each feature rather unappealing music, a humorous cover song and a lazily delivered left-field ditty.
The long overdue mixtape may actually be a cassette, I have to double check, but it's another effort to spread the word about associated bands and build networks between bands and scenes.
The site does mention "larger recognition around the country" but, again, that's larger not in a popular sense but in the sense of becoming known in more local scenes around the country.
It's worth considering if the scene-to-scene nature of such efforts counters the tendency of web culture to capture and consume trends by plucking them from their local context and displaying them in a grid formation.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.