• I hope you noticed the new flag, more commonly called a logo, on the front cover. It was designed by Steve Eilers (Thanks, Steve!) for the new look and outlook of Louisville Music News that's in the planning and implementation process. That means that various changes will be happening over the next several months, sometimes quite noticeably, sometimes less so, but all with the purpose of making Louisville Music News and its online version at www.louisvillemusicnews.com a more interesting and useful news publication. Besides making the publication better-looking, we hope to increase its functionality enormously in cyberspace.
All of this is aimed at increasing audience attendance at live music events and the subsequent purchase of Louisville music recordings. Music is first and foremost a `live' event and without a paying audience somewhere along the line, live events will cease to happen, at least those staged by the best (or better) musicians. Without live events to work towards, musicians will not improve, experiment and innovate and the music on a local level will become just like that created and distributed by corporations: slick and shiny and boring as sin.
So here's a somewhat late New Year's Resolutions: Go out and listen to some live Louisville music - every week if you can, every month if you're able but anytime would be good.
• Also this issue, we welcome new rap/hip-hop columnist Kimberly Cecil to the LMN pages. Kimberly does a bit of promotion and artist development in her `spare time' and helped MERF out at their recent event. Like most LMN columnists, she is involved in the business and so has to be careful to avoid conflicts of interest in her column but we think she can handle it and we're glad she's joined the staff.
• The folks at Velocity the C-J's new focus-group-tested "alternative" weekly put the lie to their claim of being in touch with the Louisville music scene when they "borrowed" two cover shots from Louisville Music News. The photos were on the Headliners site (by agreement with LMN) and Velocity's staff swiped them from there, thinking that they were promotional shots of the two bands, My Own Victim and MSD. The MOV shot featured only three members of the five-piece group (the other two were out of town) and the MSD shot was of them in a now-discarded horror-movie look. Oops and double oops.
Still, all's well that ends well: the photographers will get paid for the usage, LMN gets a bit of free ink (from LEO yet!) and Velocity gets egg on its face. Works for me.
• Bluegrass Anonymous, the Louisville bluegrass music organization, has been entertaining letters in the newsletter, The Pickin' Post, from fans and musicians alike about the upcoming departure of the International Bluegrass Music Association's annual `World Of Bluegrass Trade Show,' held in the Fall for the last eight years at the Galt House. The IBMA's decision to move the `W.O.B.' event to Nashville in 2005 was a business one: the organization is dedicated to building the bluegrass music industry overall but `building' is measured in dollars at most points. There are more industry connections, hence more opportunity in Nashville, plus that city handles trade shows the size of the IBMA routinely, which makes for a big plus. The other issue was that musicians and fans still want to drive up in their RVs, park them close for the week and walk back and forth to the Trade Show. No word on how that came out.
Nevertheless, it's "bye, `bye" to the IBMA after next year. It's been fun.
• The Louisville Music Industry Alliance, a.k.a. LMIA, now holds it member meetings at an Anheuser-Busch facility in Louisville. The company also provides free beer. No wonder their meeting attendance is up...
• The persistent music scenester Leslie Stewart getting back to her classical roots - at least, I think she has classical roots. I never actually checked. Anyway, Leslie (pronounced - in the refined Scottish manner - "Less-lie" rather than the coarse English "Lez-Lie.") will host a one-hour radio show called "Brave New World" on WUOL 90.5 FM. The show, set for a January 4 kickoff, will explore "the vast and varied experience of contemporary, 20th Century classically composed music, from well-known composers to local, regional and even student composers." The format is tweaked toward prog rockers, jazz fans and jamband aficionados as well as lovers of contemporary composition.
• Hedwig A. "Hedy" Hilburn, 56, died in Louisville on December 6, 2003. Hilburn was a songwriter and former member of the old Louisville Area Songwriters' Cooperative. She was also involved in union activities and wrote and performed union songs.
• Joseph G. Hollingsworth Sr., 76, of Louisville, died on December 10, 2003. He was a musician and a member of the Louisville local Musician's Union.