• The horrific fire at The Station nightclub in Rhode Island will no doubt bring about calls for better regulation of night clubs, even in this anti-government era. Whether or not that happens, it should certainly stimulate a bit of self-examination among the more attitude-driven acts, those whose posturing is all about flaunting the rules and regulations of the larger society in the name of `genuine' self-expression. Regardless of who made the "bad decision" about using pyrotechnics onstage in violation of Rhode Island's laws, the results are the same: 97 people burned to death, 185+ seriously injured and many members of families and friends distraught. Unfortunately, both the band and the club had a similar interest: to get as many people as possible into that club as possible in order to separate them from their money. This is an entirely legitimate desire in America and I am not here to suggest we do otherwise, but combining the "flaunt the rules" attitude with a lust for money is surely a recipe for disaster and the Station disaster is about as clear an illustration as I'd care to see.
Anybody else out there paying attention?
• Wanna get some better stage chops, bucky? Here's a way to do it: inroll in the Young Actors Institute Summer 2003 Workshop. Let you think this means you have to move to New Yawk, calm thyself, it happens right here in Derby City, at the Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS) on South 2nd. For musicians, the requisite training would likely focus on "Voicing for Broadcast," "Stage Make-Up," "Monologue and Audition Skills," and, more handily for some than other, "Stage Combat." The details are this: the workshop runs July 7 -18, eligible ages are 10 through 17 (that's actual, not mental) and the tuition is $245. Contact Clint Vaught at 502-485-6392 or via ye olde email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Tiff's Records, a longtime downtown Louisville record shop, has been reopened after a three-year absence following the death of the original owner, Martin Cohn, in an automobile wreck in 2000, according to a story in the February 8 edition of the Louisville Courier-Journal's Scene magazine. New owners Andrew Moore and Keith Duncan are slowly converting the space into a 24-hour-a-day coffee shop/jazz club/record store. The building was recently purchased by developer David Barhorst, who also has an interest in adjoining buidlings, in which he plans to establish a club under the name Tewligans, which he still owns.
• The Kentucky Opera's annual car raffle features a 2003 Audi A4 Cabriolet for the lucky winner this year. The raffle tickets will set you back a cool $100 bucks but the odds beat the heck out of the lottery - only 2000-1 for any given ticket. The drawing will be held on March 28, 2003, at the Opera's auction preview party, Viva il Vino!. For tickets by phone, call the opera at 502-584-4500 or 1-800-690-9236 or log ontowww.kyopera.org.
• There's a new bar in town, The Oak Street Lounge, which is in the space formerly occupied by the Blue Castle. Live music will be booked on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Acts interested in playing should contact Kim .
• The Barons, a Kentucky barbershop quartet,snagged the 2003 International Seniors Quartet Contest at the midwinter convention of the Barbershop Harmony Society in Albuquerue. The members of the group are Bud Haggard, tenor; Carl Taylor, lead; Ken Buckner, baritone and Bill Woodward, bass. Buckner is a member of the Louisville chapter, while Taylor belongs to the Ashland group and Haggard and Woodward are members in Lexington. The group won the silver medal in 2002.
• We read in Leslie Stewart's newsletter thatScott Keniley has recently joined the law firm of Conliffe, Sandman & Sullivan. Kenilye is a music business attorney from Nashville whose previous affiliations include those with Compendia Music Group (CMG) and Platinum Entertainment. Among the acts Scott has worked with are Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend, Rick Springfield, Donny Osmond, and more recently, Joan Osborne. Reach Scott at (502) 587-7711.
Stewart also informs us that Jamey Aebersold was the recipient of Lawrence Berk Leadership Award at the International Association of Jazz Educators annual convention last month, which was held in Toronto. The award is for individuals who have demonstrated meritorious efforts to strengthen and further the mission of the International Association for Jazz Education. Aebersold's, who has built a worldwide reputation on the strength of his play-along records, is among the most widely-recognized jazz improvisation teachers and his summer jazz camps attract faculty and students from across the globe.
Guitarist and former open mic host Rick Wagner has reopened his Galaxy Barbeque business at 1914 Bardstown Rd. He was formerly in business in the Lighthouse but was ousted when the Lighthouse moved. He's in the same building as Aslan How Gallery.
• Rick Towles, owner of the Artemisia Gallery Cafe and a former owner of the Twice Told Coffeehouse, died Sunday, February 23, at age 49 while on a trip to Baltimore. One report was that the cause of death was a brain hemmorage, but that has not been confirmed.
Towles bought the Twice Told Coffeehouse in July 1996, after managing it for several years. He quickly built a reputation for the tiny venue, booking many national acts, including Patty Griffin and Dan Bern, as well as attracting many touring newscomers. After selling the TTC, he opened the Twice Told Cafe on Market Street, changing the name to Artemisia in 2000. The restaurant had been booking jazz acts on weekends of late.