Ralph and I work together at UT. I’m a web guy, he’s an IT guy. We both love music and play guitar. So we teamed up last week to put on a little peace concert in a sweet corner of campus as part of the Hearts of Texas Charitable Campaign. This was a fun gig for me because I had Ralph backing me up, and because it was the first time I used my new portable, battery powered pedalboard and vocal amp.
Now I can sing my softer, sweeter songs and still be heard outside. Now I can layer loops and delays. And I can do it in the most scenic, remote locations, because it can all be battery powered.
Here are three tunes from the beautiful concert on Waller Creek last Friday. Thanks to everyone who came out and for the perfect weather.
This morning’s singalong was a great official public debut – at Little Stacy Park, 11am-12pm – and the weather was ideal. So was the crowd of 20 or so friends and a strangers who sat on the stage or laid and played on the grass.
My old-school transparency projector did the job and we almost made it through all 20 of the songs I had printed on film before the hour was up. Kids played and made chalk-art while we sang.
I began and ended the set with a ring of my new singing bowl and a moment of silence. A few people mentioned they liked the ring of the bowl. I think it added a nice cue for entering and exiting the musical meditation.
Our singalong set (with a few we didn’t to crossed out):
Three Little Birds
With A Little Help From My Friends
Take Me Home, Country Roads
This Land Is Your Land
If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out (With intro and sing verse/chorus)
I love new years, and better than a new calendar year is a new birthday year. So after turning 42 earlier this month and feeling like it had brought many answers, I set out again to refine my sound and vision for Fall’s shows.
This meant getting some new (battery-powered) gear that will allow me to bring some of the sonic magic I make in the studio, outside, to remote settings. It meant playing with new loop and delay pedals, many nights in a row.
It also meant bringing new ideas to the music-council for feedback. Thanks to Earl and Airshp for all the help envisioning and refining it with me. Channel J is on the way!
Midem posted a concise summary of the direct to fan model. And I like the SlideShare format for sharability (for what would typically be a pdf or doc), though they could have broken up the text a bit and not made the font so small. Best viewed fullscreen.
How did Obama do it? Here are five easy steps to a dynamite campaign.
“The market for something to believe in is infinite.” – Macleod
The Rules Of Engagement
Truly believe in your cause. Work harder than anyone for the cause.
Spread the word. Be ready to tell it in 1 word, 10 words, 100 words, simple and powerful, all the time. Know it’s essence and never stray from the core message. Constantly champion the stories of those behind the cause.
Make it urgent. Always be beating the drum for some impending deadline to advance the cause.
Give the power to the people. Let it sell itself. Give them the microphone, the communications tools, the community building tools, the network and get out of the way. Create environments where it flows. Ride the movement with everyone else. Give up control of your movement, open up to THE movement.
Report from the front-line. Hard-working, open, authentic, sharing, available communicators gather supporters by simply participating in our hyper-networked world.
Short and sweet: Believe in your cause, spread the word, make it urgent, power to the people, and report from the front-line.
The Rules of En-J-ment
Truly believe in my cause: Nothing is more important than making and sharing great art, song. This year I need to make a great album, site, and share it with Austin (DC, New York, San Diego…) and the world.
Spread the word: I am a songwriter who cares about lyrics and poetry and uses a palette of folk, funk, soul, jazz, latin, rock and reggae. Everyday J making poetry pop.
Make it urgent: Countdown to the next album: 5 months. It’s been 4 years since my last album and I’ve got scads of unrecorded songs. I’ve been in Austin for 13 years and am almost completely unknown beyond my friends. The time is NOW! Make a great album, show, site. Get on the map in Austin, at the very least.
Give the power to the people: Solicit fan feedback on everything I do. Listen, write, record, perform for them. Create ways for fans to easily share it with their friends.
Report from the front-line: Progress reports all the time from the center of the action.
In a nutshell: Make music, post songs, live for deadlines, share and engage with fans, always be broadcasting cool new stuff. Break!
I’ve got 5 months to make an album and 6 to sell it. I’ve got 8 songs picked for a theme and want it to be a soul album called Folk Dub for its personal funky acoustic beach reggae feel. Songs stripped down to rhythmic essence adorned with funky jazzy bass, guitar, organ, horns, and back-up singers. Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder and Jobim. Manu Chao, D’Angelo, U2/Eno/Lanois.