He bikes. He blogs. He even builds a community along with his family members — or in this case, his “FMLY” members. Sophomore Leo Erickson has seen the once-small FMLY expand worldwide since its early beginnings.
FMLY, created by Cameron Rath and Noah Klein, started as a music blog that reviewed and showcased local and relatively unheard-of musicians and bands from all over the city. But it grew, and rapidly. Soon, FMLY began hosting a wide range of exciting events. Whether gathering hundreds of costume-clad bikers for a group ride to a mini-concert, or holding free community concerts in small parks, the goal was always to bring people together.
“It’s like art and socializing combined, because everyone is making art there, together,” said FMLY creator Cameron Rath.
When Erickson stumbled upon FMLY, he did not realize how far his involvement with the group would go.
“It was the end of summer 2009 and I had just started to dive into the LA bike ride scene. I was constantly checking ride websites when I came upon this group called “THEFMLY.” “Rides were rare at the time so I jumped on it and showed up,” Erickson said. “After that ride I immediately fell in love with the involvement of music on the bike ride. There were at least four stops where bands would play in hidden corners of Santa Monica and Venice. From then on, I just needed more!”
And more is what he got. Erickson was given a place on the FMLY blog, so he could share his interesting finds in music, as well as any of his own creations. However, due to the spread of the blog across the country and overseas, Erickson only recently found out that his blog postings are being internationally received.
“Apparently, 2,000+ people check the website everyday. This was news to me about … 3 days ago,” Erickson said. “I guess it’s exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to share something cool with people and have them see it with through my eyes, whether it was a new band or a video I made. And people seem to like it judging by their comments and Facebook ‘likes.’”
From the online FMLY to its community events, Erickson never ceases to get involved in any way he can.
“He does whatever he sees fit. He does live sessions with bands and reviews for shows,” Rath said. “He spreads the FMLY word.”
Since joining the forces of FMLY, Erickson has attended every event to date. “Thank You, Come Again” is a monthly, free concert hosted by FMLY, and is located at Mary Hotchkiss Park in Santa Monica. The type of music played is eclectic, ranging from mellow, soft guitar pieces to rock bands playing an entirely acoustic set. The concerts’ open setting and free-form structure allows listeners a unique music experience they wouldn’t find at most other concerts. Erickson has even taken it upon himself to help in finding the talent that participates in the show.
“I find bands who are local and want to go acoustic. Sometimes the bands will even find me, which is great, because anyone is allowed to play,” Erickson said.
Of course, FMLY — being the all-inclusive group it is — has an aspect of community even in its bike rides. And Erickson is always right there to help out, making sure FMLY’s “no rider left behind” policy is followed. The bike rides include stops where riders can take a break and listen to live music in designated areas. The mix of both art and exercise provides for endless entertainment.
Through it all, Erickson has remained true to the main message of FMLY and shares it any chance he gets.
“Cameron always says that it’s about transforming the urban environment and making the un-norm, normal,” Erickson said.
Erickson has been devoted to the goals and ideals of FMLY for over a year now, and continues to want the best for his loving “family.” With people like Leo Erickson at it’s side, FMLY has the potential to make the world a better place, one blog post, concert in the park or bike ride at a time.
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