April, 2009. I've returned from a vacation in Europe to visit some close* friends and am going through missed e-mails, and I come across a note on Facebook from one Pamela Taylor, who co-produces the website PresentMagazine.com with one Pete Dulin. She writes that the two of them are big fans of my webcast, "The Mailbox" (so instantly I think this must be a joke, but anyway) and would like to talk with me about adding it to their corner of the cyberworld. Eventually meetings take place, discussions are conducted, and a partnership is forged.
April, 2011. I'm preparing for a vacation in Europe to visit some close friends (some of the same ones, some I didn't get around to seeing before) - and Present Magazine is preparing to put up the "closed" sign after a 5-and-a-half-year run.
Funny how the Circle of Life works sometimes, isn't it?
I originally started this little project of mine back in May of 2008 as an outlet to share some of the music that comes to me at KCUR. Some fantastic sounds were finding my desk but the station doesn't have a show that is the proper format to share them, so I created this little throw-away idea to give me a chance to play "host". If you'd like to hear some of the early days of "The Mailbox" they're actually still available, much to my surprise: http://themailbox.webs.com/
(first song ever played: "You on the Run" by the Black Angels - who I just saw last Saturday night. Circle of Life, I'm telling you.)
As is the case with many of us, after doing something for a certain amount of time it's only natural to want to do something else, to try new challenges and explore new fields of endeavor. This is what Pam and Pete have chosen to do, and I have utmost respect for their wishes - and everlasting gratitude for their decision to take in a stray from the streets and welcome him into their online world. They were 100% supportive of my efforts, giving me free rein to not only continue to play whatever I wanted to play, but to add other content like photos, videos, personal observations and whatnot. I tried to make the overall presentation as entertaining as possible because I wanted to validate not only your time in listening but Pam and Pete's faith in adding me to their page. From some of the kind comments shared by you, I think we did a pretty good job for the most part.
Now, as mentioned in the most recent broadcast, the time has come to close the book on this chapter of "the little show with the big goal," and I want to offer my most heartfelt appreciation to Pam and Pete for giving me a platform that reached a much greater audience than I ever thought I'd be able to attract. I hope the two of them can take some sense of satisfaction from sharing my mission with this show, which is to give artists a forum to be heard, and a voice to support them. I've always said that the coolest part of doing what I do with "The Mailbox" is when someone tells me that they heard a certain song by a certain artist or group, and they liked it so much they bought the album or they went to their show and saw them live. That's pretty much the highest compliment anyone can give me, and I"m proud to say that I've heard it more than a few times. Musicians like it when people take the time to listen to their work because that's the whole point, isn't it? They create these amazing little sonic sculptures for our enjoyment, and I have this crazy notion that they find a little personal reward when we support their works by going to their gigs, or buying their CDs, or talking them up on the Facebooks. It's all about support, whether it's music from around the world or around the block. Being in Kansas City, I'm unbelievably lucky to be a music junkie in a town full of music junkies and music geniuses ... or genii ... gen ... people that play real good!
My three rules for a happy life:
Support local music.
Support local musicians.
Support local music venues.
It's pretty simple. But so am I.
What's next for "The Mailbox?" First, a break for a couple weeks as I visit said close friends in said Europe. I'll be returning to KCI on the night of May 11th and will probably go to a show that night because I can't help myself, as anyone that's seen my photo albums on my Facebook page can attest. I'm going to try to shake off the inevitable jetlag pretty quickly and be as coherent as possible in order to meet the deadline for my new bosses: Monday, May 16th will mark the debut of this webcast on the home of the Midwest Music Foundation, and I'm absolutely thrilled to be joining with some great folks in Abigail Henderson, Chris Meck, Rhonda Lyne and Mary C. Taylor. I would suggest going to their website, http://midwestmusicfound.org/ and becoming a member - or at least signing up for their e-mail list so you can get notification of new posts by any of a number of fine folks who do their part to help the Kansas City music scene continue to thrive. Their mission is to help area musicians have access to more-affordable health care, which is a cause I'll gladly get behind and I urge you to do so as well. I'll also keep things going in the Facebook group page for "The Mailbox" so feel free to sign up for that if you haven't done so already.
Thank you Pamela, and thank you Pete, for being such great partners in musical madness over the past couple years. I wish you both much love and much success in the next chapter of your careers, and I know our paths will continue to cross at venues across town. From a personal standpoint, I am honored to know both of you and will forever be indebted to you for your kindness and support that you've shown the webcast and me. It's been a great ride, and you're both great people. Most everyone reading this knows that already, but it's true.****
And to you, gentle reader and listener, I thank you for continuing to be the reason I do this. I get such a thrill from hearing songs that transcend greatness, and when you tell me that you get the same high from hearing new music as I do, my world becomes a pretty sweet place. I'm a lucky guy, really.
Cheers, everyone - looking forward to May 16th!
* "close" as in emotionally of course, not geographically. I wish they weren't so far away. You'd think if they were really such good frends they'd relocate to be nearer, but even so they are very close to me - even if they aren't very close to me.**
** why is that funny? 'cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.***
*** "No Stairway to Heaven" - sign on the wall (there's another lyrical reference) in the music store in "Wayne's World."
**** remember seeing It's True at Czar Bar that one night, with Cowboy Indian Bear? That was a damn show, that was.
has hosted "The Mailbox" since January of 2008. He loves his niece and nephews, sushi, and the smell of a record store—maybe a little too much. He hates redundancy. Hates it, hates it, hates it. In his spare time you might find him looking for some good live music, particularly at a certain bar that has lots of records. He also hates redundancy.