• In the never-ending discussions that seem to go on around 4th Street Live!, including a series of "call-and-response" emails among several folks in the "music bidness" here in town at have been copied to me, the themes that persistently appear are 1.) it's plastic; 2.) it isn't any help to the Louisville music scene; 3.) it's aimed at middleclass (and up) boomer-aged conventioneers; and 4.) most of the email writers either haven't been or have been once and have no intention of going back.
Well, yes. Musicians can be just as willfully blind to the facts as anyone else, as well as so focused on their own interests that they can see no others. For the record, Metro Louisville's efforts at rebuilding downtown have everything to do with providing conventioneers (who tend to be middle class and up and mostly baby boomers) something to do in the downtown, while making it seem that downtown is `alive,' and not too much at all with anything else. Certainly it's `plastic,' by which I assume they mean `corporate,' because `corporate' is what convention-goers expect, since most of them work for corporations and are here on corporate business Yes, of course, it would be nice if Louisvillians would go back downtown but the truth is that mostly, they're not going to. Thomas Wolfe said it: you can't go home again. Louisville will never recover the "Magic Corner," though there may come a time when something similar will happen.
So, to the musician-type folk who sent around the emails, I suggest focusing on building the Louisville music business and the Louisville scene, wherever in town that happens to be (Baxter/Bardstown, Frankfort, maybe Mellwood) and leave downtown to the conventioneers, the extreme skaters, the artists on Main Street and the medical folks. Spend your money at Louisville-originated clubs and music businesses, as they need your support, competing as they are against Metro Louisville and 4th Street Live! (I will say, however, that I am sick to death of that damned exclamation point and it's only August.)
If someday, one or more bands or labels gets really successful, makes a lot of money and decides to spend it on something downtown, rest assured that Metro Louisville government will be perfectly happy to roll out the welcome mat. That's what they do.
• Todd Smith's Label X .has added David "Snake" Sabo to the management team. Snake will help guide Label X through its first national release, Digby's Falling Up. He will provide more support for Label X as the artist roster grows.
• The 2004 International Songwriting .Competition (ISC) is now accepting submissions. There's a lot of background about this you need to know, so begin by logging onto their website at www.songwritingcompetition.com
• Last month, I failed to mention that Elizabethtown now has a music organization, NGM (Next Generation Musicians), which meets at BunBakers. Brenda Baker Dockins is the publicity person (and perhaps more) and you can find out more by calling 270-737-0199
• Samuel Johnson Adams, 18, died in Topeka, KS from injuries sustained in an automobile crash. He was a singer and guitarist with The Writing Scar.