Hollis Knight Coats, the musical genius behind the band Manhole, recently decided to leave Ypsilanti for Portland, Oregon. Before he left, I tried to meet up with him on several occasions to discuss his decision to relocate. While I’d like to think that he wasn’t purposefully avoiding me, things never seemed to work out where we could get together. So, a week or two after he left for Portland, I decided to get on a plane and track him down. I finally caught up with Hollis at a place called Slim’s Cocktail Bar. What you are about to see is a not-so-dramatic reenactment of our actual conversation.
I knew when I started this project that I was going to hear some stuff that I didn’t like. I knew when I started asking Ypsi expatriates about why they’d made the decision to leave, I was get some stuff back in response that was negative. And this was one of those cases. While saying that he loved Ypsi, Hollis, as you’ve already seen, if you watched the video, calls it “a town where good ideas go to die.” He also suggests that those talented individuals who, for whatever reason, have decided to stay, aren’t “living up to their potential.” As I care very much for the small creative community that we have here, it’s with a certain amount of trepidation that I post this here tonight. I’d hate to think that someone might watch this video, agree with Hollis, and start packing their bags. But, as I see it, it’s a risk worth taking. I think if we’re ever going to make any real progress as a community, we’ve got to confront these issues head-on, and discuss them openly and honestly. So, there it is…. There’s the question of the day…. Do people with talent owe it to themselves to try making it in a bigger market? Or, conversely, is it possible to do something here in Ypsi that resonates nationally? I’m curious to know your thoughts.
Oh, and before anyone goes and gets too depressed about this video, I should mention that I’m working on an Ypsi Immigration Interview at the moment with a very cool individual who has just moved to town from San Francisco. So, there is an influx of talent and energy, even though some people, like Hollis, are leaving.
And, yeah, I know that I can’t edit video for shit. I need a production crew for this blog.