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Down On The Corner
• The flow of music through the city has not slowed down early in 2010. While this seems to be a good thing for music lovers, it's not such a good thing for musicians, whose worth as performers drops fairly steadily. As I have noted before, the large number of open stages and jam sessions every week also indicates bad times for players. LMN Pit News columnist Eddy Metal also notes this month that booking a band has gotten a whole lot harder recently, as the number of venues fluctuates – mostly down – and the audiences thin out.
The solution, if any, for this problem is not clear, other than to rely on the tender mercies of the 'free market,' the preferred solution for those on the political right. This means that musicians should either expect to be paid less than peon wages or get out of the business entirely, i.e., get a 'real job,' if any of those can be found. Want fries with that?
The music-marketing corporations have clearly decided that some variation of "American Idol" is their only salvation, so expect more and more contests (ways to get free performances) of some sort on a local level. Performers who have done their work and have a fan base to exploit might get the pleasure of a "record contract," as if there'll be any such thing for much longer.
In the meantime, get out and enjoy some live music while you're still interested and maybe have a job. Be sure to drop some coins and/or folding money into the performers tip jar.
• On a more cheerful note, a number of Louisville musicians are making some noise on the national front and they're not all some part of My Morning Jacket. Pianist Rachel Grimes new CD, Book of Leaves, has been getting positive reviews around the country, including a recent stroking from Pitchfork.com. Wax Fang, a band featured in last August's issue of LMN, is proving to be a favorite in Nashville.
The University of Louisville's School of Music Grawemeyer Players, a faculty ensemble dedicated to the performance of chamber music by Grawemeyer Award-winning composers, will have its premiere performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City to celebrate the 25th anniversary the Grawemeyer Music Award.
Dawn Landes, who just played a show at Zanzabar, is getting all kinds of press around the planet – well, okay the U.S. and Europe. Still, that's not too bad.
The For Carnation made the trip across the pond for All Tomorrow's Parties Festival and got a mention in at least one write-up at http://pulsatingvenus.blogspot.com/2009/12/ten-years-of-all-tomorrows-parties_30.html.
There's more: check my Editor's Blog at www.louisvillemusicnews.net for additional info. I track those ex-pats out in the world.
• Hensley, David, died on January 12, 2010 in Leitchfield. He was a musician who played with Armageddon, Moxie, The Blitz Kids and Lush Puppyz.
• Gant, James E., 60, died in Louisville on November 26. He was a musician who taught at Male High School and was the current musician for First Trinity Baptist Church in Jeffersonville
• Chilton Searcy Price, 96, writer of "You Belong To Me" and "Slow Poke," died in Louisville on Thursday, January 14. Price was a violinist with the Louisville Orchestra who later worked as a music librarian at WAVE radio during the 1940s. She was discovered by Louisville band leader Pee Wee King and his partner Redd Stewart, who recorded several of her songs. King and Stewart also took writer credits on a number of her songs, which, she said, was acceptable, given that they had made her successful.
Price continued to write throughout her life, including the song "Never Look Back" for Doris Day in the M-G-M film, "Love Me or Leave Me". She also wrote for orchestra leader Mitch Miller.