Last May I was in part of a music video for Asheville/L.A./Atlanta musician Ben Lovett. I’ve known him for a couple years, and he caught me playing my mobile piano rig in town a couple times and asked me if I would play piano in his music video. Playing music in a video is sort of like playing charades for the blind — there’s not a single microphone at the entire shoot. You sit and listen to the same song, at different speeds, for about 10 hours in a row and you’re covered in makeup applied like peanut butter. It’s miserable and it’s not even musical. What counts though is the results and the people you get to work with. And Ben Lovett consistently produces stuff with more polish than almost anybody in Asheville. He’s a great guy to work with and a great guy to work for.
I’m very happy with how it turned out. I have a very small part in it. Look for me at the piano, duh. Here’s the video.
I used to work in the production department for a daily, independently owned and published newspaper. We frequently heard the kinds of concerns expressed in Ms. Byard’s article and we had to tread carefully. I listened carefully to the in-house editorial discussions about what to do when advertisers expressed concerns about publicity they perceived as negative.
First and foremost, a newspaper has to be honest to its readers, otherwise readers will feel cheated and look elsewhere, which ultimately hurts the newspaper’s bottom line and diminishes the sense of community that a quality newspaper provides. A reader who is less likely to trust the editorial content is also less likely to trust the advertisements in such a newspaper. For an extreme example: Ask yourself how much you trust the advertisements in the tabloids in the checkout line. About as much as their exposé story of ‘Bat Boy’? A newspaper with integrity is a better place for consumers to make choices about where to spend their dollars. Pulling advertising because of a ‘negative’ story hurts the advertiser and the consumer more than than the newspaper.
Can an article on increased crime lead to less crime in the future? Because of the respect that the XPress has in our community and it’s continued ability to start constructive dialog (such as this one), I think so. A negative story can increase and maintain the integrity of a newspaper, leading to positive change for the entire community. The Xpress has that legitimacy because it doesn’t look the other way when confronted with an uglier face of reality than we would all like to see. I put a high value on that.
A little over a year ago, my friend Henry and I were invited by Je Widenhouse to sit in on his weekly gig at 5 Walnut Wine Bar here in downtown Asheville. Je and Henry are current members of the Squirrel Nut Zippers and Je and I are current members of Firecracker Jazz Band and Henry is the former tuba player, so we had a large songbook in common. We had a lot of fun that night, made some good music and got a great response. So we slapped a name on our trio, started up a Facebook account, printed up some business cards and called it a band. As far as I can tell from my research, we are the world’s first and only tuba-trumpet-piano trio in existence. If you know of another, tell me.
We are The Roaring Lions.
We have just released our first recordings.
You can buy our record on Bandcamp, or from us in person when you see us perform for $5. Also, you can Bookface love us. Our CD release will take place this Sunday October 14, at 5 Walnut Wine Bar at 7pm.