Who Gives a Hoot (2)? Bill Childs and Stephanie Mayers

Hootenanny 2: Back to Basics logo

Hootenanny 2: Back to Basics logo

Many years ago, way back in the wild and woolly kindie year of 2007, Bill Childs and Stephanie Mayers put together a little party in Brooklyn. They called it Hootenanny and, well, from a distance, it sounded like a blast.  Nothing but kids musicians playing their music for other kids musicians and other folks in the industry.  The party went on into the wee hours (like, the actual wee hours, not the wee hours that these musicians typically play).

The next year, Hootenanny became more officially known as Stink, then it became Stinkfest, then Kindiefest, and yadda yadda yadda.  Great times indeed, but the "conference" part with panels and badges and registration became a bigger part of the work, and while the "playing music for others part" never went away, the focus was not as much on that industry-only performance.

But Mayers (head of Mayers Consulting) and Childs (Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child) are getting the band back together, concert-speaking-wise, anyway, hosting Hootenanny 2: Back to Basics on Saturday, January 16.  It's going to be held at Jalopy in Brooklyn (the same place the first three gatherings were held) -- tickets available here -- and with the following lineup I can't imagine it'll be anything but a blast:

Rachel Loshak and Morgan Taylor (Gustafer Yellowgold)
Vered Ronen and Walter Martin
Michael & the Rockness Monsters and Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Jazzy Ash and KB Whirly
Ashley Albert and Tim Kubart
Joanie Leeds and Dan Elliott (Pointed Man Band)
Danny Weinkauf (TMBG) and AudraRox
Sonia de los Santos and Brady Rymer
Shine & Dan Zanes
The Deedle Deedle Dees and Moona Luna
Elena Moon Park & The Pop Ups

So, yeah, folks who are industry-related who are going to be around NYC the weekend of the 16th, you should totally go to that -- it'll be a blast to see those people perform, and just talk to them.  (As in the old days, these are not shows for kids themselves...)

But I wanted to get a little more background from Mayers and Childs on their memories of the first go-round, and their inspiration and hopes for the new show.

Zooglobble: Do you have a favorite moment from the old Hootenanny/Stinkfest?

Stephanie Mayers: I think it was giggling and singing along to the Deedle Deedle Dees with Audra[Rox] while sipping champagne at like 1:00 am, more buzzed on the energy of what we had just done more than the champagne. What an energetic, surprising night it turned out to be.

Bill Childs: The utter ridiculousness of the first one -- which grew from Audra saying, "Hey, you should record the show when you're here in Brooklyn" to nearly two dozen bands playing 'til way past midnight -- was just a delight.  There have been a lot of great moments throughout the later events, but yeah, the surprise.

Stephanie Mayers with cardboard Bill Childs

Stephanie Mayers with cardboard Bill Childs

Who holds the Hoot record for most appearances? 

Bill: Gotta be a tie between the Deedle Deedle Dees and AudraRox, I'd think.

How did the idea for the collaborative theme of Hoot 2 come about? 

Stephanie: We were super excited to start bringing in as many people as we could but of course it’s just one night so time is limited. We started with just a couple pairings we thought would be fun and that we really wanted to see ourselves, then it just kind of snowballed into each set being a cool collaboration to maximize potential. 

Bill: Agreed, it was partially a practical idea to fit in more shows, but then it developed into being thematic.  One of the things that I'm proudest of in the scene, and our (small) part in it, has been the very cool collaborations that have come out of it.

How did the specific collaborations come about? Your suggestions, theirs, or some combination thereof? 

Stephanie: Mostly it was us, but of course we were open to suggestions from the artists. It was super fun and really indulgent for us playing matchmaker, getting to set up who we wanted to see blended together. I felt like a little Yenta.

What do you hope the attendees remember about Hoot 2 after it’s over?

Stephanie: I hope everyone is reminded that we are sharing this special, small space in our very niche genre and that while everyone gets bogged down trying working so hard to make things happen for themselves, that banding together once in a while can be a really great thing and gobs of fun.

Bill: The scene is better when the scene is together -- and it's strongest when everyone's having fun.