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Down On The Corner
• Michael Tierney, a writer at InsiderLouisville.com recently resurrected the rather stale "Louisville is the next Austin" saying that's been floating around certain Louisville circles – sometimes as "the next music mecca" – for at least the last fourteen years. Tierney was in Austin for SXSW and he detailed what Austin has that he likes (and what Louisville doesn't have), including lots of young people, food trucks, public transportation and a "fun atmosphere," among other things. (Here's the link: http://insiderlouisville.com/news/2013/03/19/michael-tierney-if-louisville-wants-to-be-the-next-austin-we-got-some-serious-work-to-do/)
What he doesn't say is why all that stuff that he likes is there, which anybody from Texas could tell him – Austin is the capital of Texas and home to the University Of Texas. Last year, the enrollment at UT Austin was 52,213. (U of L's enrollment is 21,152.) That's a lot of young people, and that enrollment is refreshed every year by another ten or twelve thousand freshmen from around the state and elsewhere. Also, the University is the driver for a lot of research and, since it's right next to the seat of government, the administration and alumnae have excellent access to the legislators, which results in quite a bit of money going to UT. That further drives the "fun atmosphere," not to mention the tech side of SXSW.
As a live-in university – rather than a metropolitan university as is UofL – lots of those students live on campus and, accordingly, go to the clubs in the immediate vicinity, thus driving the Austin music scene. U of L, as a metropolitan school, doesn't have that kind of condensed population and nightclub scene and so it's music scene is more diverse and scattered.
Louisville will have to find its own way to a more energetic, youthful state, if that's what the residents of the city want. Chasing Austin (or Seattle or New York) is really pointless. A city – and a music scene – has to build on its own strengths to succeed and Louisville is no exception.
• The barrage of national acts continues: just in case you missed them on their last tour, The Eagles will play Yum! on July 16, kicking off their new tour. Tickets will be $195, $135, $79 and $39 (plus applicable fees) and will go on sale on March 28.
A serious blast from the past for boomers will be The Steve Miller Band at the Palace Theatre on July 16. Turns out, the band has been out touring Europe and is headed for New Zealand. Tickets are $49.50, $59.50 and $74.50. More to come.
Paul Anka, the writer of "Diana" and "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" and more, will be in concert at the Palace Theatre on May 12. If those songs aren't familiar to you, you're too young to be interested. Your mom or grandma might be. Tickets run $79.50,$59.50, $39.50 and $29.50 and go on sale on March 22.
WFPK will kick off the 2013 Waterfront Wednesday series with Ra Ra Riot, Leagues and A Lion Named Roar on April 24, on the Big Four Lawn (Leagues' show at Zanzabar on April 23 has been scrubbed.) Syracuse-based Ra Ra Riot has a new CD, Beta Love, with the video for "Dance With Me" getting big attention on the web. Check YouTube.com.
• Over on the Parlour page (www.parlour.net), there's a notice that there is a Paypal account for donations for the late Jon Cook's son Thurston. Head over to it at http://www.parlour.net/2013/03/donations-late-jon-cooks-son-thurston/
• Bonnie "Prince" Billy never stands still, it would seem – he and an artist named Marquis De Tren are releasing a record, Solemns, on Drag City Records. The teaser tag is "Spirit devotionals for a new century." Release date at April 16.
• WFPL, the non-music station in the Louisville Public Media group is looking for Louisville music to use in various places during their program, though, of course, not in rotation, since they don't a rotation schedule. Gabe Bullard explained it:
"Hey, Louisville. WFPL loves local music, and we want to feature more of it on air. No, we're not taking on our beloved sister station, WFPK. We're looking for fresh songs to play in between news segments and shows throughout the day.
"We're looking to replace these old music beds—that's what we call them—with pieces by local artists. So, if you are a musician, upload a 30 or 60 second instrumental piece of music to Soundcloud with the tag WFPLgoeslocal, and it could end up on air (we'll credit you, too.) If you don't want to use Soundcloud, send your piece directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just put "NEW WFPL MUSIC" in the subject line so I'll see it."