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Down On The Corner
• Many people were surprised and shocked when ear x-tacy's John Timmons held a press conference to announce that his store was in dire straits and could close shortly. I wasn't, but only because I had had a brief chat with Timmons at the Jason Noble benefit in December, during which we commiserated about the negative effects of the internet on our respective businesses. Riding dinosaurs into fossil beds is not in any way thrilling, only depressing. We hope that John finds a way to stay in business, though it's unlikely the store will remain as it is. As a mostly Democratic city, Louisville is not always eager to embrace the "free market" mythology that says to accept the demise of ear x-tacy as the proper functioning of the market. Whether that translates into the real dollars Timmons needs is another question.
• Last minute info: the Motherlodge program for 2010 runs March 22 through April 3. Organizer Ray Rizzo touts the March 28 show at Salvation Army with Bonnie Prince Billy and The Cairo Gang, Penny Arcade, The Louisville Leopard Percussionists and Tyrone Cotton. More info at www.motherlodge.com.
• While we're talking Rizzo, the Java Men are reuniting for a "last tour" around town. Check the LMN website for shows in March.
• One of the ways musicians can make a few dollars is by getting tunes on video game soundtracks. A couple of Kentucky-connected bands have done just that with the new 2K Sports' Major League Baseball 2K10 soundtrack. The cover athlete, Evan Longoria, selected "Down And Out" from Tantric, while Bowling Green's Cage the Elephant's "Judas" made the cut as well. Good to see some folks making a little progress.
• Nobody ever said Will Oldham was straightforward; his latest ‘announcement' about a new project, apparently called The Wonder Show of the World, recorded with The Cairo Gang, a moniker of California based singer-songwriter Emmett Kelly, is a short and cryptic video, featuring the information painted on the bare backside of a woman wearing a thong. Spinner.com has a bit of background about the collaboration.
• The backstory on the E. C. Ball memorial CD, Face A Frowning World, is required reading to get a handle on this project. Ball was an Appalachian singer/songwriter, who, when not driving a school bus and running a service station in Rugby, Virginia, traveled around Appalachia with his wife Orna, playing churches of all denominations and radio stations of all wattages. The project was put together by Nathan Salsburg, a Louisvillian currently working for the Alan Lomax Archive / Association for Cultural Equity. The players are mostly from the Health & Happiness Family Gospel Band, plus Catherine Irwin, Will Oldham (as Bonnie ‘Prince' Billie) and Pokey LaFarge. There's a longish post by Salsburg at http://roothogordie.wordpress.com about the project. A just-posted review is at Pitchfork.com.
• From Morris Publicity: "To the surprise of absolutely no one, Billboard has tapped Exile's geographically venturous "Kiss You All Over" as one of its 50 Sexiest Songs Of All Time. In fact, the magazine ranks the song solidly at No. 9, just behind Madonna's "Like A Virgin" and one step ahead of Rod Stewart's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy." Who could hope for a hotter neighborhood?"
• Louisville pianist Rachel Grimes has been invited to participate in a CD tribute to French composer Erik Satie by French label Arbouse Recordings and The Erik Satie Foundation and Archives. Also invited were Sylvain Chauveau, Max Richter, Kyle Dawkins and more. The CD release is to be the culmination of a tribute event being curated by the Satie Archives. There is more at http://www.arbouserecordings.com/news.php , provided you can read French or the Babelfish translation thereof.
Forecastle Fest has grown so large so fast that we all fear it'll just float away someday to a larger city with deeper pockets. In the interim, however, if you are a "regional musician," you may now apply for one of ten slots reserved for the locals at the Festival. Here's the info from the February newsletter:
"Music submissions are up and running. You can apply from now through next month by visiting www.forecastlefest.com. We will select (10) artists to perform at this year's event. All genres are accepted. If you are based in the region, there's no reason not to apply."
The line forms on the right.
W. Donald "Don" Klefot, 78, died in Louisville on February 7, 2010. He was co-leader of Syncopators Dance Orchestra.
Gaylord "Buck" O'Brien, 76, died on February 2. He was a retired musician and singer.