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The Coop—Lawrence’s new A/V performance hotspot— kicks off its second season this week

Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Pitch | Nick Spacek

Just outside Lawrence city limits, down a gravel driveway off 59 Highway, is an old farmhouse where the musician and producer Mitch Hewlett lives. There’s woods to the south, a cornfield to the north, and, right before you reach the farmhouse, a little, old, low, squat building, unassuming from the outside.

Inside is a different story. This is the Coop, where, for the last year, Hewlett and Cody Boston have been filming live music sessions from some of the area’s top acts. Later today, Eric Davis will come by with a keyboard setup, an array of lights, and a crew to shoot a performance by his electronic project Pala Zolo. For the moment, though, it’s just Hewlett, Boston, and me. Hewlett’s in a desk chair in front of his recording desk, Boston is on a stool. There’s nowhere for me, so I’m on the carpet. Surrounding us are musical instruments, recording equipment, quite a few box fans, and one very hard-working window air-conditioning unit.

Hewlett and Boston met a few years back. Boston was shooting, editing, and producing in-studio sessions for KJHK, the University of Kansas’ student-run radio station, and a couple of Hewlett’s bands—Westerners, Macemouth—came through to perform. They got to talking about doing a project together rooted in each’s core skills: Hewlett in audio, Boston in video. Last December, they recorded the first installment of the Coop Sessions, with ukulele folk artist Eems. The concept was fairly simple: Invite performers over to the Coop, cram them (and all their equipment) into the room, and film them performing... Read more

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