They both preferred black t-shirts. They were both inspirational, passionate, hair-triggered, innovative and familial. One probably dug queso a little more than the other, but their influence (in their chosen fields) were each vast and immense.
For some, it would be near blasphemous for me to compare Steve Jobs to Jon Paul “Hogleg” Long, but the comparison is fair.
Long ago, Hogleg noticed the communal aspect of this music scene. He was able to provide a platform pre-social media that allowed people to engage, debate, befriend, bemoan, love, hate, vent and share. Marriages, kids, divorces, friendships and enemies were spawned. All before 2004. Over the last 13 years our community grew. One year we had a million hits. Staggering. With the advent of social media, our communal forums dwindled and we threw our passion solely into covering and promoting the music we dug. SXSW shows, Greenfest, special acoustic gigs, LJT campfires, Steamboat media blasts, blogs, reviews, etc.
My favorite radio station is oddly not a music one. It’s a “sports” talk station out of Dallas called The Ticket. It’s in fact very little a sports station and more specifically a guy talk station. They have many competitors, imitators and the like. The founder, Mike Rhyner, has often mentioned “We can do what they do, but they can’t do what we do.” That aesthetic is at play here too. Countless blogs and sites have sprung up in the last 19 years. Different names, but they’re all really the same at the end of the day. Somehow we’ve always maintained our singular brand identity. We’ve never made a penny from this venture. Bad business, good music we always say. Sponsorships and core support rolled like a rollercoaster. Through it all, JP’s passionate approach was our beacon.
A few months back, JP decided this chapter of his life was over. He delivered a fascinating “retirement” blog. It caused many ripples and questions. The short view is it allowed Tank and I some reevaluation time. The long view is we’re still here and we’re not going anywhere. But, we are going to make some changes. We’re in the midst of some things on the back-end that will change the look and feel of this place. Think web design Chip and JoJo. We’re bringing on some new writers. And we’re even changing the name of our festival this summer. Details on that, including line-up, VERY soon. We also decided to get back to what makes us, us. We think you’ll dig it. Somewhere along the way, we got generic and lost. Life got in the way. You can never go back, but you can revisit. That’s what we’re going to do.
Spring is springing and so are we. There are so many exciting things happening behind the scenes. Just as GW isn’t the same animal it was 15 years ago, neither is this scene. The headliners of yesteryear are now off today’s festival bills altogether. A new generation has finally come in and laid claim to the throne. That’s exciting. That causes an overall energy boost. I’m glad we’ll be along for version 7.0 of this scene and beyond.
-Anything been happening at The Ranch?
-Anyone know when Jason Isbell’s record is coming out or what it’s called?
-Charlie Stout is the best overall artist working in this scene today. Songwriting, photography, comedy, prose…the man does it all.
-I don’t know that I’ve ever seen an act catch on fire as quick as Koe Wetzel has.
-Just reviewed The House of Fifi Dubois for the latest installment of our Visiting Venues feature. Up next Bugle Boy and Anderson Fair. Where should we go after that?
-Speaking of things that aren’t what they used to be…SXSW.
-Next month is LJT…if you’re going, you should’ve already stocked up on ALL supplies by now. Pack for both snow skiing and spring break. You’ll need both.
-Why do generic crime procedurals (SVU, CSI, Blue Bloods etc) make for such fascinating and sleep inducing, lazy binge sessions? They’re trying to get your adrenaline pumping and 9 times out of 10 it works like Ambien.
-This month’s recommended album: Shinyribs – I Got Your Medicine. Mr. Russell and the gang are back. And the gang is bigger. Okra Candy gave a hint and Medicine shoves it all in. Country, pop, R&B, jazz, folk, rock, blues…it’s all Shiny…and it’s all good. The most fully formed and well done album in the Shinyribs catalog.
-“Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” – Mark Twain