Build Each Other Up: CFBG Sessions a Testament to Venue/Artist Dynamic

Aug 25th, 2013 | By | Category: Entertainment

As the fable goes, you cannot stop an idea whose time has come; inevitably, CFBG’s latest manifestation as Greensboro’s trendiest and most current representation of the local arts is welcome. What is CFBG Sessions all about, you may ask? It’s a little awkward to describe, so in lieu of interpretive dance, take my word that it’s a mash-up of Tiny Desk Concerts and MTV’s Making the Video, but with a stripped down, 1.0 temperment. Or better yet, watch the video below.

CFBG Sessions is a video series conceived by Stephen Kent and Max Benbassat, both of Greensboro. Kent is the frontman of Greensboro band, The Radio Reds; Benbassat is a founding member of CFBG, a record store co-op located in the heart of Greensboro’s college district.

“I was inspired by the AV Club web series and the Nervous Energies web series. These great online web series are just one camera and boom mic operations, and feature well known artists to generate web traffic and notoriety. My vision was was to do that for Greensboro’s finest,” says Kent, “and include some others in the Triad, with the possibility of getting a touring act from time time.”

Kent and Benbassat share a similar, relentless passion.

“Since I was young, I’ve wanted to run, own, or be involved with a music venue,” says Benbassat, “Now that (CFBG’s is) a record store, I have the best of both worlds; since I’m not permitted to host many shows now, I decided to work with Stephen Kent on producing this series.”

CFBG Sessions

Local rapper and hip-hop artist Mack Papers on CFBG Sessions #2.

For years, CFBG has been proud to call Greensboro its home, to be connected to its cultural pulse, and facilitate our artists to the nth degree. Says Benbassat, “CFBG will always function as a hub for local artists to gain exposure. We welcome local musicians to sell their albums through us. One thing that CFBG does is co-present shows with WUAG from time to time. We’re very lucky to be involved in this.”

CFBG Sessions already boasts local performing acts such as Jonas Sees in Color and Mack Papers. In the future, Kent hopes to see local acts such as Crystal Bright, Matty Sheets, Bear With Me, and Barrow involved.

For now, though, CFBG Sessions is a testament to the potential of collaborations between venues and artists. Kent says it well, describing the mutually beneficial nature of what is currently happening, and should happen, in towns like Greensboro:

“It’s complex for sure. Respect each others territories, build each other up and be friends, gosh darnit. Most of Greensboro’s more fun venues to play are not primarily music outlets, and they make nothing short of a sacrifice to house local music and give kids a place to hone their crafts. Rosie (Fernandez) at NYP is a true solider and has done an immense amount for the scene.”

That scene, while hugely talented, has frustratingly few outlets for expression and fair shots. The venue pool gets smaller and smaller as Greensboro’s stages of integrity seem to meet their ends with either fire marshalls or karaoke nights.

In times when truth is truly stranger than fiction, CFBG raises an unobjectionable, win-win flag that is neither defeatist nor unoriginal. Allegiance to that.

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