Paula Jean’s Story: Damaged Goods Organization

Name: Paula Jean
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Facebook: Damaged Goods

One random night about three years ago, a friend of mine asked me to accompany her to a local house show. At first I was skeptical because most of the house shows I’ve been to in Los Angeles were either metal or ska, and filled with inebriated teenagers. But she really wanted to go to support this guy she had met. So we ended up going, and that night really changed my life. At the house show, there was hardly any drinking going on. There was some here and there, but it wasn’t to a point where I felt like it was a high school kickback instead of a show. For the most part, it was just teenagers and some older looking folks enjoying the performance by a local pop-punk band, In Her Own Words. It was just a great show that showcased amazing music that I didn’t even know existed. Everyone was enjoying themselves, singing along or even moshing and it was just a great atmosphere. Ever since then I have been going to numerous backyard shows and even hosting some myself.

This year, a couple friends and I have decided to take things a step further. We formed a group named Damaged Goods and our mission is to provide a home for local musicians of all genres. For a long while, we’ve talked about trying to find different venues to hosts shows for these local bands that deserve the exposure. Backyard shows are always fun, but often they’re thrown in places that are unsafe or a little shady. DG frequently hosts shows in Compton, the only place where we were able to find a decent backyard. We’ve never been raided nor had any problems with the cops or neighbors. Yet, not a lot of kids come through to support the local bands. Some say it’s because it is Compton after all, even if we’ve never had trouble, it seems to play a factor. Some bands actually choose not to play our shows because for that reason as well or they have this underlying fear of being “stuck playing backyard shows”.

After contacting different businesses to inquire about renting a place, the music was either “too rowdy” or the crowd the bands would bring were “too young” or the places charged a ridiculous amount of money to rent the facility. So we’ve decided how awesome it was to build our own. We dream about creating this venue where our local bands could come together and just do what they’re passionate about; play music. It’s always difficult to start an organization or band from the ground up. It’s difficult for a new band to sell presale tickets if they haven’t played enough shows to have somewhat of a following to sell those tickets to. But yet, it’s hard to play backyard shows if less and less people are going. So this gave us another reason to work towards this venue. It would give these local musicians a chance to bridge that gap between playing big venue shows and backyard shows.

Before we get started on this venue, DG needs to become established with the state first. Currently, we continue to throw shows to
fundraise to file our paperwork with the state. We have also decided to host a mini-music festival not only as a fundraiser but as a reward to those hardworking bands that have supported us since we began this mission and who have continued to work with us, even on this level. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and planning to host this event, but we’ve grown very confident in our mission and our local music scene.

Because our budget is shrinking with the venue costs, we signed up for a Kickstarter account. The Kickstarter is a platform that acts
as donation site. We are able to give rewards for donors with a minimum donation of a dollar. It’s such a great source and it will be
such a wonderful thing for us if we do meet our fundraising goal. We would be able to host this event and make it the greatest the
community has ever seen. Our hope is that this would create a buzz not only for us and our mission, but for the local bands that will finally be recognized as well. If you’re interested in our mission or donating, head over to our Kickstarter (click on the link that says “Help DG Steal Christmas”). Any donation, no matter how small, helps.

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