The sweet people over at Studio City Sound and Adrianne Duncan invited me to join their Christmas show again this year. You can stream it on YouTube! You’ll hear versions of the two Christmas songs I wrote quite a while back — one even played on ukulele. The studio is a family run place, and it couldn’t be warmer or friendlier. You’ll see the whole family — who were a band à la the Partridge family, that I actually saw when I was a kid growing up in Irvine at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. The youngest of the bunch, Michael Damien, went on to be a TV star and had a hit single with a remake of “Rock On.” But, Mama Weir is the real star of the show!
I hope you enjoy it! (You can find me 42 minutes in, at an hour and eight minutes in, and an hour and 25 minutes. And if you tried to click the link from my email blast, they updated it right after I sent it!)
Looking forward to being close to home! Didn’t I used to play near here at a place called the Concert Factory that rose from the ruins of the Cuckoo’s Nest way back in the day? Who were those guys? Barley Forge was founded by three friends from high school. I hope this will be a mini-reunion for a lot of us!
Just kidding, but now that I have your attention, I’d love to get your thoughts on Kickstarter. I hear a lot of grumbling — frankly, mostly from artists — about the “established” artists/designers/filmmakers who launch their projects with crowd funding. Often these same voices (with considerably less financial resources) say they feel funny asking for money this way.
I funded my last album via Kickstarter and I know some of these struggles. I woefully under-asked for $1800 — enough so that combined with savings, favors and gear loans I could take a month off work to record. Luckily the campaign took off enough that I raised double my request and was able to actually manufacture the discs. (I initially thought after I’d finished the recording I’d shop for a deal of some sort — I guess I was living in the 90s.) So I question myself and grumble occasionally when I see my friends and associates ask for $20,000 to make an indie record. Though I’m proud of what I did, I know it would’ve felt pretty nice to pay a few great musicians and engineers to take the project up a notch.
Then this morning I was looking at an app with all the bands in town this week from my music library (granted, I live in Los Angeles) and I thought, “No wonder it’s so hard to get anyone out to a gig!” You’ve got Robert Glasper tonight, Steve Earle tomorrow, World Party at the Coach House competes with Jonathan Richman at El Rey on Friday, and Saturday they’re at the Troubadour while Brian Wilson is at the Greek and k.d. lang is at Royce Hall. I don’t have the time or money to get to all these gigs, but I can listen to all their albums with a $10 Spotify subscription. Somebody has to fund the music so the average listener can stream all this music for $10 a month and it’s not going to come from new t-shirt sales, door charges and CD purchases.
Yes, it would be great if artists got more than a fraction of a penny whenever someone streamed their music. But we have to live in the world we live in while we try to make it better. So it seems to me that the only way for new independent music to get made is through crowd funding.
Favors are nice. But paying creatives is much more gratifying than paying manufacturers. I guess capitalism has always prioritized paying those who own the machinery over the people who put in the hours crafting what is made. I believe music, however, is more about community and many of us have moderate or even extraordinary means to help support the artists we value even in a crowded marketplace.
Right now, I’m sitting on a good batch of tunes after a difficult drought. I’m thinking about the album and how to get it out there responsibly for myself and those who support my music. What are your thoughts on funding, Kickstarter or other options? What’s the sweet spot for a crowd funding ask/goal? What are your thoughts on the system in general?
I’ll be sharing songs in the round with Adrianne Duncan, and old friend, Joshua Smith. Doors open at 6:30 and music begins at 7.
7:00 to 7:30 – Boyle Brothers
7:30 to 8:30 – John Daffron, Kim Kennedy, Todd Lincoln Richards
8:30 to 9:30 – Ingrid Andress, Mark Caviness, Mandy Brooke
9:30 to 10:30 – Jason Luckett, Adrianne Duncan, Joshua Smith
This is kind of sweet serendipitous news — as the first week of the Kerrville Folk Festival begins, my song, “Season of Love,” written in celebration of some of the great fun I’ve had there will be featured on “The Art of Song” radio show from 5/25–5/31. The one-hour public radio program “explores universal truths common to all creative expression” and is heard on over 150 stations across North America. This came about through my being asked to join this wonderfully unique streaming service called the Standing “O” Project which was created by the founders of the radio show to showcase musicians and make sure that we get paid for our efforts! You can stream on demand like Spotify or radio style like Pandora, and your membership fees are split 50/50 with the artists. Please join me there, Jason Luckett page, stream the episode from the Standing “O” Project, or find out where it’s playing on your terrestrial radio station!
All this seems really special to me as last weekend I did a lovely performance/presentation at a desert retreat for the LA Writers Group. I’ve been pretty holed up in my little writers studio in Laurel Canyon, looking for new sounds to share. And to tie it all back to “Season of Love,” Kerrville and the Art of Song, I noticed that Laurel Canyon legend David Crosby (whom I met several years ago in Pasadena, not the Canyon) is playing the folk festival! I hate that I’m missing that, but that’s pretty cool!
Never too late… Here’s a recording of my song “A Big Picture” from mMix performed with the a cappella improv group, Fish to Birds. There’s a little story if you scroll back about a minute (to 1h45m53s), but I thought starting with music was best. Happy New Year!