• The LMN October cover and story on human suspension drew a few comments, although, ever the optimist, I expected a few more. Mostly it seemed that folks were either disappointed that there wasn't another Louisville band on the cover, thus "wasting" the space or else they felt that it was just too "yucky" a subject to put on the cover. I would note anecdotally that while they were being delivered, a number of folks first said "yeeucch," followed by a comment to the effect of "I've gotta read that," which, of course, was the point of the cover. Incidentally, I thought that Jeff Gaither's artwork was way cool and Jason Koerner did an excellent job of writing the story.
For those of you who prefer the tried and true, we're back to a shot of a band on the cover this issue. It's a fine shot of a band by Jim Moses, who, every month, faces the challenge of finding yet another way to put a photo of an unsmiling band (usually) on the cover. But that's a matter for another Op-Ed piece.
However much we at LMN might posture about just being about Louisville music (which we are), the fact is that in the ferocious battleground for "give-away" papers in Louisville, what's on the cover very directly affects the rate of pick-up, just as the cover photo affects the sales of major magazines on the newsstand. The more copies are picked up and, presumably, read, the more advertising can be sold. Advertisers are the `real' customers for all "give-away" papers, including LMN, LEO, News4U, Today's Woman, etc.
To get customers, however, we must have readers who spend money with those customers. Without customers, we have no money; without money, we have no paper; no paper means no Louisville music gets publicized. Sad.
In the music business, another fact is that the young (under twenty-five) are the target market - people over thirty or so are not big buyers of CDs and don't go out to shows as much as younger people. The leading edge of the vaunted Baby Boom generation, which drove the enormous expansion of music sales from the '60s into the '80s, is now entering late middle age and the tail end is in the thirties. Most of those folks haven't listened to (or bought) any new music since they were in their early twenties and they not buying now, so that puts LMN in a bit of a spot. If we are about new music - are we are - what good is it to structure the publication to appeal to baby boomers? That's not our audience. The audience for new music is the boomers' kids (and grandkids, fer cryin' out loud!) and, however much we might lament the musical tastes, clothing and other identity markers of the kids (just as our parents did), here at LMN, we'd better stay in touch with and write for that group or we'll be publishing a Louisville version of Modern Maturity.
So that's why the October cover looked like it did. Does this mean that there'll be more covers like that? That one was about a story, like it or not, which also drives what's on the cover and will in the future. Keep watching.
• The first Louisville Music Industry Alliance's "Musician's Night Out" is set of November 15 on the second floor of the Phoenix Hill Tavern. Acts scheduled to play as of press time include the Stumps, Wayne Young & Youngsters, Outspoken and The Joint. The series is planned to be a monthly event. Show time is 9:15 p.m. and the cover is $5.
• The WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour has picked up Mother Earth News as a sponsor. More information can be found at www.woodsongs.com.
• The last production unit of Allen-Martin Productions has been sold to Anne and Regan Thomas, bringing to a close one of Louisville's oldest music industry-related businesses. The audio production studio was bought by J. D. Miller a couple of years back. The video production unit will remain in the present facility, with a new name.
• Hawley-Cooke has a busy November lined up for music fans. Hank Williams Sr. fans have yet another book of material about the Alabama icon to pick up, Hank Williams: Snapshots from the Lost Highway. Music historian Colin Escott and Kira Florita, Vice President of Marketing for Lost Highway Records scrounged up previously unpublished letters, photographs and the lyrics to almost 30 "lost" songs. The authors will be at and discussion book signing on November 1 at the Shelbyville Road Plaza Hawley-Cooke Booksellers, from 7-8 p.m.
On Wednesday, November 7, The Monarchs will have a CD signing and performance at the Shelbyville Road store from 7 - 8 p. m. On Saturday, November 10, from 3 - 4 p.m. at the Glenview Pointe Store, Uriel Segal, Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra and LO Executive Director Tim King will join pianist Alexander Korsantiya for a inside look at life in the orchestra.
On November 16, Hawley-Cooke's Steve Henry will join Phil Bailey on Bailey's afternoon jazz show to discuss Bright Moments, a new work on the life on Rahsaan Roland Kirk. On November 20, Henry will sit in with Scott Mullins on WFPK at 3:30 p.m. for a live review and discussion of American Roots Music.
• Chaz Rough sends along this bit: "Dave Harpe Video Productions is seeking out instrumental music for future projects. Most of their projects are for non-profit organizations, so there's no money available. However, they can provide exposure by way of credits within the projects, and web site address referrals within any literature distributed with the projects. If you're a new artist looking for exposure, Dave would love to hear your stuff. He is interested in any instrumental music ranging from industrial to new age. Medium tempo is most useful, but anything is welcome. If interested, please send your CDs along with applicable information to: David Harpe P.O. Box 5786 Louisville, KY 40255."
The Louisville Film & Video Festival, scheduled for November 9-11 at Baxter Avenue Theatres, has a couple of music-related films. There is a documentary called "The Ralph Stanley Story" by Appalshop's Herb E. Smith, plus there's a short film called "ukulele" by Sean Anderson, which profiles the instrument, the makers and the players.
• ear X-tacy Records has released it's thirtieth CD, Dick Sisto's Duo Live, a collaboration between Sisto and pianist Fred Hersch. Duo Live is Sisto's second release on the ear X-tacy label.
• Alan Rhody has a new CD, Journey, which features guest artists, including John Prine, the late John Hartford, Maura O'Connell, Pat McLaughlin and Jamie Hartford. Rhody will present material from the CD and have some for sale at his show at the Rudyard Kipling on November 24.