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Evan Main's exit

One of Tacoma's best and brightest is heading down to Los Angeles

Tacoma’s best scenester moves to LA to infiltrate their scene. Photo credit: Evan Main

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In some ways, Tacoma functions as a sort of farm league for artists looking to make it big in the world. Yes, there are frequently plenty of outlets for creatives to express themselves in town, but one can only grow so big in a city that lacks a functioning transit system. It's because of this situation that we've found so many of our most talented folk venturing into the great beyond. So many gifted Tacoma musicians found their way to New York, while others moved along to California, and still others had more modest ambitions of heading up the road to Seattle. Trevor Dickson, Brad Oberhofer, Molly Hamilton, Kyle Brunette, and still many others sought out greener pastures.

It can be a melancholy goodbye, sending these artists elsewhere, but it should be seen as an offering being given to the rest of the world: Tacoma birthed these stars, and now they're your problem. Most recently, and devastatingly, musician and bon vivant Evan Main -- a nonbinary person preferring they/them pronouns -- has announced their plans to move down to Los Angeles. If you know Main, you know that they have contributed fundamentally to the foundation of Tacoma's indie rock scene over the past couple years. In their time fronting Mr. Motorcycle, booking queer nights at Half Pint, and hosting the silly and informative web series Show Cast, Main has done their level best to raise up and populate a music scene that is currently experiencing something of a dry period.

"Tacoma is a really special place to grow as an artist, because it can really give you some legs, as far as what you're able to do," said Main. "But there's seemingly a lull period that happens, sometimes, within the scene, where there's little-to-no activity, and to me that becomes hard. I become dormant, and that makes me sad and frustrated, and ultimately uncreative in the way that I want to be. My thought is that, if I surround myself in a culture that won't have a lull, that maybe I can be more productive and more creative in ways that I want to be, and spend less time watching Seinfeld.

"The best thing that I gained from Tacoma is that it's such a supportive place, and it's willing to let things grow and happen because people here want them to, whether or not they know that," said Main. "But, in LA, I want to feel like a small fish, with that Tacoma spirit, because that's what Tacoma is, in a lot of ways: a small fish, wanting to fight for more. ... (To artists coming up in Tacoma), appreciate your shortcomings, because they will ultimately be your greatest strengths, and they'll build the most character."

For Evan Main's farewell show, they'll be performing under the new moniker of Celebrity Sex Tape. While Mr. Motorcycle traded in jangly psych-rock, Celebrity Sex Tape is a solo endeavor that revels in the odd underpinnings of bedroom pop, complete with confessional lyrics and offhand sounds to lend depth to otherwise straightforward singer-songwriter material. "Bird Seed Etc" is inundated with sounds of seagulls and waves crashing -- perhaps a signal that the beaches of Los Angeles are looming. Main will be joined, in his goodbye, by a cavalcade of interesting acts, including the sultry electropop of Stronger Sex, the glitchy electropop of Mr. Shn, the experimental pop of Teach Me Equals, and the so-called "electro grunge" of Broken Shell.

Beyond all else, it is paramount of you to give Evan Main a good bear hug as they ferry themselves on down the coast to brighter prospects. The virus of Tacoma ought to spread about, and Evan Main is a fine choice to carry it along.

Celebrity Sex Tape, w/ Mr. Shn, Stronger Sex, Teach Me Equals, Broken Shell, 6 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 29, $10, Real Art Tacoma, 5412 S. Tacoma Way, realarttacoma.com

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