This past Saturday night I attended my first show at the house venue Eerie, Indiana, which was formerly known as Helm’s Deep under different home owners. Helm’s Deep had its final show in November 2013, after hosting punk and metal shows in its basement since Summer 2011. After Jamie Sellers and Manda worked so hard to make that basement show-ready when they first moved in, it is reassuring to know that the shows there did not end when their lease did.
Saturday night’s show was themed “The Mighty Mobile Invasion Show,” with the lineup of The Jack Blind Band, Baron Krelve, Carnival Bill Carney, and Tony Tornado. The bill was very eclectic compared to when it was Helm’s Deep. Home owner Cortney Noelle commented, “We like to pride ourselves on being an environment where all kinds of bands feel welcome. I know previously it was an exclusively punk/metal DIY venue, but we’ve had a lot of fun bringing all kinds of musicians into the picture– it’s about giving people a place to feel comfortable regardless of what kind of your music you’re into.” Building upon this ideal, home owner Amber Slanders stated that “I spent the better part of the last 12 years roaming this country, looking for lawd-knows-wut.
Despite every place being radically different, each with it’s own set of pros and cons, there was a common denominator. Every city, be it rural or metropolitan had this underground network of lovable weirdos who were fighting to keep a sense of community alive and the glue that was holding it all together was the music. And oh, the music… I had never seen anyone play with such fierceness, such heart than I did in basements and backyards, living rooms and laundry rooms. Sometimes there were 5 people in attendance, sometimes there were a hundred, but my heart would always swell as the first notes drifted out over us and it felt like coming home. Like waking up. I’ve always known that this was something I wanted to bring to people. I’ve always wanted to make people feel the way that I felt in those places I shouldn’t have belonged, where I was always welcomed with open arms and a beer.”
Though Cortney also said that she was drawn to diy shows when she went to her first show at Cave 9 nearly 10 years ago, their housemate Carmen Wilde admitted to never really giving much thought to hosting house shows until Eerie, Indiana started coming together. Carmen referenced being really inspired by Transylvania, another DIY house in Southside, (https://www.facebook.com/transylvaniabirmingham), and Tuscaloosa’s former DIY house, Baby Haus.
As for where the house got its name, Amber revealed that Eerie, Indiana is “a show I grew up totally enamored with. It was like a 90’s preteen X-Files or Twilight Zone. Definitely a place I wanted to live as a kid, and hey, I guess I got my wish.”