The Moderation Movement
by Nicole Mase (Nic Nac)
The Moderation Movement is a charity aimed towards the music scene with its
focus centering around responsible celebration. The Movement will offer a
groundswell of support to keep friends focused on the fun through outreach
to moderate, mediate and minimize substance intake at music events.
Volunteers nationwide aim to engage the audience through activations sharing
resources, advice and adding consciousness to the not-always-so-conscious
party crowd. The ultimate mission of the Moderation Movement is to clean up
a scene otherwise made up of dreams.
Anybody reading this article obviously knows that we have some special keys to feel happiness and live a life full of bliss. If you’ve found face-melting music, you know natural ecstasy. If you’ve tapped into the dance, you know divinity. I like to look at Music like God, I mean it plays man, right? My name is nicnac. It doesn’t matter who I am. Somehow everyone suddenly knows me but in truth I’m just a human being who creates like you. I’m a homo sapien who thinks up ideas and solutions and then I put them into action. Hence, my 501c3 that is going to be the whole scene’s charity; the Moderation Movement. We all know I’m not the only one who sees a picture of a healthier conscious crowd at these festivals and shows that reach way into our souls. My musical journey started with a tiny unknown band called Umphrey’s McGee. Ironically, one of the most successful bands in the scene, if you know what I mean. The Browning family became my friends at a point in time after I lost the most important person to my life, my brilliant and humble grandfather, the most aMASEing Mase, Richie Mase. I couldn’t believe that Brendan Bayliss was mind-blown by a poem I wrote on a subway napkin years ago to the extent that he dedicated Higgins to me at the show and told everyone I blew his mind and made him feel “this” big.
That was a lot to process but so natural and with constant déjà vu! I never felt like I was bowing to my legends but just making new friends who were as goofy as me. The guys in Umphrey’s are truly just good people, it’s hard to be the heart of this McGee! There may be a gap between that band and their fans but when you get mobbed if you go into your own crowd it’s kind of the natural progression of things. And they try their hardest to be one family with all, Umphlove is one love and one love is Ohm love. All those clowns and their fans and became my family pretty much instantly. Umphlove has lead me on a journey that has suddenly put me in a strange and amazing position not many will ever find themselves in; a close and cosmic personal connection to so many bands in our scene it’s pretty silly honestly, and it happened so curiously fast. This influence I suddenly have after just a few months is nearly impossible, and what a blessing for all of us because I’m not doing this for me, only for we. I can make the changes we all desire deep down, by being a catalyst for others to step up and do it too. As a whole we can do anything we dream of, therefore, I promise to build a backbone for all of us to stand tall and feel safe. You, reader of Taco and Elise’s pride and joy, are my family and my life force and the reason I will never stop or change my intentions. I promise to make so many positive changes and entertaining surprises so fast and passionately that it will eventually extend out into the Sheeple society. That, I can promise. I’ve built a very powerful army of people using light and sound as the most powerful weapons. Nicnac Enterprises is comprised of a nationwide dream team of musical wizardry and then some from the outside who haven’t a clue, YET! Now let me tell you what’s moving me much harder to explode everything than a 20 minute sell out for my first show.
This family that has rubbed my head when I’ve been sad, gotten down like clowns to epic sounds all around, fed me yoga and chia drinks when I raged too hard and taught me to be is how to feel free is so darn close to getting it right; all the keys for this game of life. So close just like many before us, from the Greeks to the sheiks to the naked muddy hippies. Sadly, however, lately I have been observing these brilliant miracles made of up particles, yes we are all as amazing as Nahko, changing steadily in front of my eyes. There is only one reason for this and it’s that we have so much fun that we simply forget to moderate ourselves. My vision is to greatly minimize the amount of substance intake in the scene but moderation applies to so many other aspects of our free-spirited lifestyle. I have been to the hospital for intravenous potassium drips after not doing any drugs but simply staying up for way too many days. It’s easy to do during festival season, I mean honestly there’s so much fun to be had! My situation is abnormal because I do have a potassium condition called hypokalemia, however instead of hospital visits I see other people feeling the effects of raging too hard by feeling dehydration and exhaustion to the point of delirium, or passed out in a pile of grossness. That’s simply not sleeping.
Everything and anything should be done in moderation. Then enters the substance intake. Each scene within the whole scene is at a different point, but the one I know best is obviously Umphrey’s. Concerned that the fans were starting to really take the motto “Rage. rest. repeat.” the wrong way and to the extreme, I talked with the guys about possibly changing it. At first they didn’t receive this approach, because it’s simply an invitation to come on tour. In reality, this was just a natural form of human rationalization. It was hard to stand up to people I consider my idols but somebody had to do it eventually because we don’t want to become another faded out epoch for the future’s history. However, I was still unsettled, the word rage can be so poisonous and for many it has become venom. To ease my worries, Joel Cummins sent me the numbers that Bobby Haight, their tour manager, collected after their shows of overdoses and people taken to the hospital. These numbers were in fact exceptionally good. I wasn’t too surprised with this fact, however, because UM fans tend to be smart and not ingest too many substances at once for their night of raging. However, my concern remained in the fact that they may not overindulge in that type of way, but they are slowly hurting their brilliant minds by ingesting a lesser amount but over and over and over. And after meeting many more jam families, trust me when I say it’s far from just Umphrey’s fans; this problem is prevalent all over the movement. I know that YOU know lots of people who roll again and again and rationalize this unhealthy intake or seek out anxiously something to make them trip during the show that they miss out on all the fun being had when us strange folk gather together. I’m sick of going to a Lotus or EOTO show and getting asked if I’ve seen Molly anywhere?! Come on pupils! Despite the genius of their name, this band called Papadosio, fellow Ashevillains, is singing
“Why are you where you are,
Who put you there,
Have you ever wondered why,
Have you tried to care?
You are her best idea,
The dream of the Earth,
What you imagine is,
The sum of your worth,
The mission is spelled out for us and everyone,
It’s like it’s always been there.”
What drives me to do something serious about this deterioration situation is that it’s just getting worse and worse. The scene that is made of dreams is absolutely heading away from healthy moderation to sadly repetitive unhealthy raging. Finally, I approached my friends in the UM family again, but instead of getting rid of a pretty dope and already famous motto, I asked them “why not simply add a little mädǝ’ to the rāgin.” Hence, mädǝ’rāgin came into the scene. Drew De Porter, my amazing designer and awesome friend, happened to create the perfect logo for this movement. Just wait til this becomes hat pins:
Instead of rejecting and defending, this time Umphrey’s McGee told me they were proud of my creative solution and agreed to put mädǝ’rāgin merch out with Rage. rest. Repeat. See, amazing people. Ask Louie to give you a handful of stickers to pass around after it launches. But the musicians are worshipped when they need support Instead of praise, possibly, sometimes? They are people like me and you. These are also people who have had to take on the pain of knowing people were getting hurt at their shows or even worse, passing away. Think about what that does to the psyche. All the bands have to feel that pain. Some feel responsible, which is ridiculous because it’s the fans who are doing this to themselves not the music that could alternatively take them to the most remarkable realms of existence. Or whoever does this to their poor selves. Obviously sometimes musicians too but way less than you’d think. After getting the nod of approval from the Umph, I talked to all my other close friends in so many influential and so many growing bands. The reactions were everything from squeals of joy to silence to tears to words of profanity not for for here. Everyone feels the same way but nobody quite could figure out a solution. Well I happen to have a nac for solutions. This is not my movement, it’s ours. Instead of Nicnac Enterprises logos being hung all over the place, the moderation movement will come from all the bands themselves. One weekend which is quickly approaching, all the bands at once are going to pass out rolls of mädǝ’rāgin stickers like Umphlove stickers,
glow in the dark and in yo’ face. Now, I don’t want to ruin any surprises so I’ll just say it will come in waves. Moderation first, soirées, then finally the company will show it’s face at Werk Out with the first Bob’s Mob. And hint hint, Taco and Elise have this Wedding anniversary called Mad Tea Party Jam, and you my friend should definitely be there. I’m ACTUALLY trying to CREATE a stigma! Don’t be that fool that took it way too far last night. Versus “oh, you raged too hard man? Me too.” Don’t be that guy. Don’t be that girl. If you are too messed up it’s time to feel dumb about it because you are dirtying the purest things in the atmosphere; vibrations that just want to play with our senses! The best way to sum up the moderation movement is this two-photoed collage. The top part is from an interview with Umphrey’s keyboard wizard Joel GoldSide Cummins and the bottom is a solution by myself and Drew.
Once we clean up the scene and become healthy, then maybe parents won’t do anything and everything to keep their kids from finding world of musical bliss. Maybe I’ll write a book to all those parents someday. For anybody needing to reach out, we are creating a strong network of support systems along with other people. Nobody should be afraid to reach out to anyone in this scene, we’ve all been there. If not, we’ve helped ones that have. We plan to combine with other movements doing similar things such as offering safety tents and test kits along with people to reach out to for counseling and support. We stand for revolution, evolution, creative solutions and less pollution. Abusing our bodies and minds is simply polluting inside instead of outside. Come on, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for, remember?
And the love of our life, Brian Underwood.
Be sure to catch Nicnac Enterprises next shows in Asheville at New Mountain featuring Broccoli Samurai and special guests as always, then at the Chop Shop in Charlotte April 15th featuring Kung Fu, Twiddle and ESP + Special Guest, as well as a show May 1 in Asheville featuring ESP and Mister F + extra special guests. The three shows feature the theme Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil and are a statement that the scene needs a change from many people that support the movement.
Keep up to date with these shows and more on Nicnac Enterprises Facebook page.