Welcome to MidByNorthwest.com! Here’s the story…

Hello you beautiful and loving Internet you!

So here’s my story:

In May 2010, I will be moving to Seattle from Chicago with my girlfriend.  I’ve got a location-flexible day job (freelance website creation and assistance) and a hunger for salt water and topography after living in the Midwest my whole life.  But the music piece, which is a huge one for me, is a big scary starting-over question mark…

Back in Chicago I was the co-frontman of a a band called Cobalt & the Hired Guns.  We started that band at college out in Oberlin, Ohio in 2003, moving to Chicago in 2007 to do it for real. It’s surprisingly difficult for me to remember what it was like then – transitioning from a college band to a major city.  I had grown up in Evanston, just outside the city (Seattleites:  think Bellevue but with a University and a bit more personality) and our other frontman Tom grew up a few blocks from Wrigley Field – so we already knew a chunk of people in Chicago and a lot of our high school friends were moving back.  As I write this, a lot of that time period is blending together… but I’ll be doing interviews soon with my former bandmates to paint a more clear picture of the last time I did anything close to what I’m doing now:  moving to a new city with the hopes of becoming part of the local music community and starting a fantastic band.

In the last 3+ years Cobalt’s had a good deal of success; we made a couple records, did some touring, got to open for some awesome bands, and made some great relationships in the Chicago music community.

Upon arriving in Seattle, I won’t know anyone or anything about the local music scene besides everyone telling me that “it’s a great music town.”

This blog is a way for me to document my experiences diving into a new city’s music community. It’s about beginnings and process, about open mics and going to shows, about meeting new friends and making music with them.  It’s about first impressions and developing relationships.

This blog is also a way for me to bridge the 2,000 miles between my old music community and my new one. You’ll see interviews with my musician friends in Chicago about their beginnings. I’m hoping to help expose each of these cities with the other’s great local music.

More than anything, this blog is about what I’m doing in real life, NOT in front of my computer, to continue on my path of making music. It’s about being accountable to you readers, and as a result being accountable to myself and my goals.

And I’m going to need your help! Use the “Tell me what to do” button at the top of the screen and tell me what cool Seattle music community stuff I need to see, hear, and experience.  I’ll be arriving in the first few days of May and intend to get started right away – so don’t be a stranger!

Here we go…



  1. Hey dude,

    Ran across your blog. I live in Chicago and am looking into moving out west, and had thought of a similar idea to yours. Good stuff. Check out my Chicago band, “Ben Keeler and the 500 CLUB”

    • Hey Ben,

      glad you like! This site isn’t even officially “launched” until this weekend (probably). How did you come across it?

      Really like the songs! wonderful depth even on these crappy laptop speakers. wheres you record/mix? I’ll be in Seattle by the SubT release show, but you’ve got yourself a new long-distance fan. Let me know if you make it out there!


  2. Hi Matt, I just came across your blog in a round about manner through Oberlin connections (I’m class of ’01). I don’t live in Seattle, but I have a friend who I went to grad school with playing music up there: http://www.reverbnation.com/marcgriffin

    Don’t know if that’s a help, but good luck on your quest!

    • Hey thanks Rachel! I will definitely check them out!

      Hooray for Obie connections – stay in touch now, ya’hear?