Ryan Hol­man’s mu­si­cal in­flu­ence ex­tends be­yond the video and record­ing se­ries ‘Hear Here’

Wisconsin Gazette - - Opinion - By Quinn Cory Con­tribut­ing writer

Ryan Hol­man is a co­founder of Hear Here Presents, which is a live mu­sic-video se­ries based in Mil­wau­kee. Hol­man and his part­ner Jenny Van­der­hei­den cre­ated the se­ries. He op­er­ates as the con­nec­tor and pro­ducer be­hind the plat­form, while Van­der­hei­den works on the art di­rec­tion, de­sign and graph­ics de­tail­ing.

Since the in­cep­tion of Hear Here Presents in 2015, the team has shot 48 videos and re­leased 37. That means Mil­wau­kee still has a lot to look for­ward to from this se­ries.

Hol­man moved to Mil­wau­kee al­most eight years ago, ini­tially in pur­suit of be­com­ing a comic. He joined Com­e­dyS­portz and per­formed stand-up at lo­cal venues such as the Com­edy Cafe.

Af­ter a year per­form­ing stand-up in Mil­wau­kee, Hol­man asked some lo­cal bands if he could open for them or per­form be­tween sets. “Within two weeks of me think­ing about ask­ing, be­fore I had a chance to reach out to any­one, my buddy John Phillip, who was play­ing with Trap­per Schoepp and the Shades, in­vited me to open for them for at an al­bum re­lease show at Yield. That ended up go­ing so well that they asked me to do the same at Cac­tus Club a month later — and believe it or not, that went great also.”

The day af­ter that show, Cac­tus Club owner Eric Uecke called Hol­man and in­vited him to run a monthly com­edy show. Hol­man found the venue’s setup awk­ward for stand-up com­edy. “We did one month that was com­edy only, and it felt a lit­tle weird be­cause there weren’t chairs. We wanted to treat it like a rock club, so I started book­ing fea­tured bands on the show to play up to what the venue was in­tended for.”

As a co­me­dian per­form­ing in rock venues, Hol­man be­came ac­quainted him with the lo­cal com­mu­nity of mu­si­cians. “I re­mem­ber see­ing the Fatty Acids at Art Bar or Blessed Feathers at Mad Planet, and I fell in love with the scene im­me­di­ately,” he said.


While build­ing re­la­tion­ships with mu­si­cians, Hol­man and Van­der­hei­den re­vis­ited their idea of own­ing their own venue some­day.

In­flu­enced by La Bl­o­gothèque’s Take Away Shows, Au­diotree, KEXP and NPR’s Tiny Desk se­ries, the cou­ple wanted to cre­ate a plat­form in Mil­wau­kee with a sim­i­lar sen­si­bil­ity. “All of these things around the coun­try are so in­spir­ing. It con­nects you with mu­sic that you may not have heard.”

Michael Marten, lead vo­cal­ist of The Cavewives, told Hol­man about a new stu­dio space in Walker’s Point where his band had been prac­tic­ing. It turned out that an­other friend of Hol­man, Wil­liam Gar­diner, had been us­ing the space to record and store his mu­sic equip­ment. On top of that, his videog­ra­pher friend Bren­dan Jones also shared the space to work on video projects and store equip­ment.

Hol­man even­tu­ally reached out to Gar­diner and Jones to see if they’d team up with him and Van­der­hei­den to start a live mu­sic-video project. Both of them liked the idea, and Hear Here Presents found its orig­i­nal location and found­ing mem­bers.


Dead Horses at Hear Here Stu­dios.

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