Nameless No More

Joe Wilson is the most rockin' dude at the Econo Lodge

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Joe Wilson of Nameless Entertainment

If you're a new Lawrence band in search of your first local show, Joe Wilson is a good guy to know. The promoter behind Nameless Entertainment is responsible for organizing 50-100 shows a year at venues like The Pool Room and Duffy's. He champions fresh-faced rock, metal, punk, reggae, jam and indie bands that might not have a demo yet but are nonetheless equipped to rock. You might be familiar with some the acts he's helped introduce to the scene: David Hasselhoff on Acid, Brainbow, The Cast Pattern, Baiowolf, Daleria, and Noise Complaint to name just a few.

Wilson took a break from his perpetual flyering routine to share his thoughts on the local music scene and the fine art of hosting rock shows at the Econo Lodge.

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Nameless No More: An Interview with Joe Wilson of Nameless Entertainment

If you're a new Lawrence band in search of your first local show, Joe Wilson is a good guy to know. The promoter behind Nameless Entertainment is responsible for organizing 50-100 shows a year at venues like The Pool Room and Duffy's. Wilson took a break from his perpetual flyering ...

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lawrence.com: Are you a musician?

Wilson: No. I used to play bass when I was younger, but I gave it up a few years ago before I even knew anybody around here to jam with. (Booking shows) is a lot more fun. You definitely get to deal with a lot of people.

Would you consider yourself more of a booking guy or a band manager?

Definitely not a manager. I get kind of uncomfortable when people call me a promoter, because I don't really go for the advertising aspect of it. I like booking shows and connecting bands. I get a kick out of introducing bands to each other, whether they're similar or totally different. We all hang out at shows and get drunk together. It's just a big party, really.

How did you start doing shows at Duffy's (in the Econo Lodge at 6th and Iowa)?

I had heard about bands staying at the Econo Lodge when they were in town and doing karaoke at Duffy's. At some point I just called up there and asked what we needed to do ... I didn't think they'd be interested in having many bands, let alone some of the really loud bands that we have there. But they said there are no actual rooms above the bar. I recommend it to anybody who needs to book a date – just call them up.

Past Event

American Low Life / Coronado Left For Dead / Capital D and the Rest of Me / State Dependant Learning

  • Friday, March 27, 2009, 9:30 p.m.
  • Duffy's, 2222 W. Sixth St., Lawrence
  • 18+ / $3

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Past Event

Terrible Airplane / The State Vs. / Terror Tractor / Live Fast Die

  • Saturday, March 28, 2009, 9 p.m.
  • Duffy's, 2222 W. Sixth St., Lawrence
  • 18+ / $3

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Do the patrons of the hotel ever stumble upon your shows?

Yeah. You just have to feel out every person who comes up to the door. I basically just ask for donations ... We'd rather have people in there for free than not at all.

What sort of music do you mostly work with?

I end up working with metal and rock bands mostly, because a lot of them need more places to play. To a degree, it's easier for the lighter bands to get gigs around here, whether it's indie rock or jam bands. But I like working with pretty much anybody ... I also do acoustic stuff like But Keep the Old and Ryan Hubener.

After doing so many shows in West Lawrence, do you hope to get more involved with the downtown scene?

Yeah, I've always kind of hoped for that. Duffy's is real cool, but with a lot of places we book there more out of necessity. It's fairly hard getting shows downtown, whether it's (due to) venue's calendars or them needing demos or wondering whether a band is going to draw.

Album Mp3s

Album cover art
The Cast Pattern

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Band songs

David Hasselhoff on Acid

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What are some things you hope to accomplish this year?

Getting out of town with bands a little more, especially more in the region. Smaller towns like Ottawa are kind of an untapped market for a lot of bands. I try to connect bands from all across the state ... that way they can keep going out of town and doing fairly well. With gas prices and the economy and all that, I think bands are going to have to start playing more spots on tour. They go from Denver to Kansas City to St. Louis to Chicago and they leave the smaller places out ... More often than not, small-town shows do really well.

Any closing thoughts on the Lawrence music scene and what could make it better?

It'd be nice if more people would take the initiative and try and find more spaces here and there for shows – utilize their living rooms or empty buildings or whatever. The Haunted Kitchen was a great space for house shows, but it's not around anymore. The Gaslight Tavern is gone too. It'd just be nice to see more shows in atypical places.

Comments

Matt Toplikar 10 years, 7 months ago

It's about time Joe got some recognition. He's a really hardworking, nice guy, and helped me book a few shows at the Gaslight when it was still around. Good luck buddy!

dhall26 10 years, 7 months ago

AWESOME!!

Joe Wilson has got to be the hardest working and most underpaid (er, make that unpaid) guy in the Lawrence scene. I wish I were as cool.

hey joe, if you read this, American Low Life loves you forever.

babyjay20 10 years, 7 months ago

A great piece about a great LOCAL guy. How to I talk about a dude that pays bands fairly compared to the "house" that get shows up. A true working man in the local scene!!!

philcanty 10 years, 7 months ago

Fuck yeah Joe! This guy is seriously worthy of many more praises than he gets. And he's a great guy.

Love from Suede by Perfection.

davidzey 10 years, 7 months ago

this guy goes outta his way to make the punk/rock/metal/hardcore/etc scene happen in lawrence. now, if only we could get more kids interested in the scene! i remember back in the day, we all went to shows because going to shows was all we had to do! it didn't matter who was playing. it coulda been a bigger name band like shutdown or coalesce, or the same old local band we'd seen a dozen times or more. it didn't matter because it was a show and being there was what we did!

Martinez Hillard 10 years, 7 months ago

Congrats on the coverage, Joe! See you in the trenches!

Also, hi, Matt, Phil, David, Justin. Good to see that you've affected so many of my good friends' lives as well.

Nick Spacek 10 years, 7 months ago

I worked pretty much every show Joe put on at Vermont Street BBQ and it was a pleasure each and every time. Swell guy.

MomentumLive 10 years, 7 months ago

If anyone's reading the archives, THANKS FOR THE KIND WORDS! That's what makes it all worth it in the end, appreciate it everyone!--- Joe

trailer 10 years, 7 months ago

Wow...

"West Lawrence" makes it sound like he's booking at Zig and Mac's. Did lawrence.com ask the same question of Downplay when they booked shows at the Pool Room back in the day? "Don't you want to get out of West Lawrence?"

Duffy's is a way cooler spot and more authentic than the handful of pretentious wannabe hip places downtown (you know who you are).

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