Cornerstone bound!

For the seventh time in ten years, I’ll be heading up to Illinois for Cornerstone Music Festival and I couldn’t be more excited. At last count, there will be an estimated 240 bands playing on the “official stages” at the festival and maybe as many more playing on the unofficial “generator stages” around the festival. It will be a good week if I catch about 40 of those bands and maybe find some new great stuff emerging onto the music scene.

I’ll be taking a whole lot of pictures and posting them to my Flickr site. Also, like last year, I will very likely be blogging live from the festival on the official web site’s blog. I’m not totally sure what the URL is, but I’m almost postive that it is the same as last year’s URL If not, I’ll drop a note here. Visit the site often to read my notes about the festival!

Letters to the Editor, Vol. 1

Music at its core, is a communal thing and that’s easy to forget when it becomes a commodity that has to be charted, marketed to demographics, and ranked and compared like sports teams. Music to me is not nearly as interesting when the artist is disconnected from the fan.

Andrew Osenga has taken that connection to the next level and released an EP of songs inspired by fans. He made a petition for poems, phrases, and photos to inspire his writing and emerged from the studio a couple weeks later. The EP features only his acoustic guitar and vocals except for the last song “Swing Wide The Shimmering Gates” which features background vocals, once again, submitted by fans accompanying his vocals on the song. The EP is available for free, but donations are suggested to offset the costs of making the EP and quite frankly, put food on the table for him and his family.

As gimmicky as the idea is, it also just happens that its a good EP. “Wanted” cuts to core of everyone’s desires. “Anna and The Aliens” sounds like a Springsteen song until the humorous twist at the end. “The Ball Game” laments the passing of his band, The Normals, and his younger days of playing music. “Swing Wide The Glimmering Gates” makes a fantastic closer with a memorable chorus and a memorable hook.

I love the idea of this EP and I hope more artists are daring enough to try something like this. As evidenced by this product, it’s a low cost adventure that Andy can quickly recoup costs and gain more attention to his name. I’m glad to see an artist make such a personal contact with his fans and respond to them by adding their input to his own art.

Click here to find out how to download the EP!

Let’s Do This Like Brutus

Let's Do It.

So, on March 31 earlier this year I thought to myself, “I wonder when the Peachtree Road Race forms go out.” So, I checked the Internet. Peachtree Road Race forms are due on March 31. Several expletives followed. If the form is due on Mar 31, then it came out earlier in the month and that means I’m way too late to be one of the first 45,000 entries. Expletive! Expletive! Expletive! I figured I might as well try my luck and send in a form and hope I get into the random drawing for the final 10,000 entries.

Sure enough, my check cleared and my race number arrived today. I’m not in 10K shape, but we’re doing this. The only question is now should I take a disposable camera with me again?