• The number of web sites devoted to promoting indie musicians continues to explode, as the national record folks try to find a way to reverse the downhill - despite recent increases for some - slide of product sales. Said proliferation indicates that the Web is the future of music.
On the other hand, the record companies are trying the usual corporate moves, particularly at Warner Bros., where CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. has slashed 1,600 jobs, cut wages, and increased employee contributions to their health care at the company in order to improve the bottom line in advance of an IPO (Initial Public Offering) of stock. The company filed the necessary paperwork on March 11. They are seeking to raise 750 million dollars. Observers see the move as a "referendum" on the future of the music industry, particularly since Bronfman and his investors have been raking cash out of the company over the past year, both in repayments and in salaries, while cutting their talent search divisions.
Vivendi, meanwhile, is feeling flush, thanks to very large sales by Eminem and U2. Their profits rose for the first time in four years, so shareholders are looking for a dividend.
• Arthur Jacobus, President of the Kentucky Center, is leaving after only a couple of years to take a job with a California-based interactive wining, dining and humanities business called COPIA. Jacobus performed the traditional turn-around exec's main task: trimming the work force and increasing revenues, mostly by focusing on middlebrow entertainment. He managed to avoid any brawls with any of the various unions associated with the Center and its various arts groups, because nothing really came up during his tenure. Now the Center's Board has to once more find a President. Best of luck to them - they'll need it.
• On the comedy side of things, Tom Sobel has sold his Comedy Caravan to a Lexington comedy outfit. He'll continue to run the club. The other comedy club, Rascal's, folded their tent at 4th Street Live! and slinked away. For the record, Sobel had predicted exactly that for the Rascal's club last year..
• Sell a band on Ebay? Sure, if it'll get you some work and some money. The Ebay "item" in question is "Rock Band Atlas". Winning bidden will have the talents of the band for three months, during which the band will write music for a T.V. commercial, radio or just perform for corporate events. You can find out about the band at www.atlaslive.com.
• The now-retired Marvin Maxwell clearly is spending his days surfing the `Net. He sent along this link : http://bandtoband.com/, along with the comment "This could eat up HOURS of valuable time..." The site is a variation on the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" notion. Click on any two bands in the site's list and it will track the "connections" between them, listing the individual making the connection.
• Benham, Marilyn Sue, 53, died in Brandenburg on February 24. She was a member of her family gospel group, the Singing Journeymen.
• Grigsby, Francis Cruise, 92, died in Louisville on February 27. She was a retired ragtime piano player who performed at clubs and restaurants in the area.
• Miller, Bradford Gene, 52, died in Louisville on February 28. He was a musician.
• Mudd, C. Patrick, "CP," "Pat," 61, died in Louisville on March 19. He was a composer of songs for Catholic worship from the mid 1960s forward.
• Tobin, Willie S., Jr., 75, died in Chicago on March 21. He was a musician in Louisville during the era of entertainment along Walnut Street.
• Quinn, Eugene F., 84, died in Louisville on March 9. He was a retired director of the music department for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, sang in choirs and was a founding director of the Kentucky Baptist Men's Chorale.