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Comment Archives: Stories

Re: “Played Out

Christopher, Good luck with this concept. While I agree with some of your points focusing on putting money behind artists rather than a "government" entity, as an old Memphis Musician I can tell you that the city will NEVER give public funds to "individuals" or privately owned music related services. As a matter of fact it is amazing the city provides money for ANYTHING under the heading of MUSIC.
If the city ends funding of the MSCMC fine, but I would add that they should also do away with funding the Film and Tape Commission, as well as the Visitors/Tourism Convention Center whatchamacallit. All of them should be de-funded. I don't see that any of these city funded "commissions" get the damn job done to the satisfaction of people like you. Why not just kill off all of these money eaters? I'll tell you why...If the city does not fund ANY of these "commissions" then it can't hide anymore from the truth that city government doesn't care about the arts in Memphis. They have never cared about it.
I challenge you Christopher to look at and on report on how much all of these commissions cost the city over the past 20 years, not just the MSCMC. Report on how effective any of them have been in recent years. May I also add, if YOU know so much about what Memphis Music needs why the hell aren't you positioning yourself to take over as head of the MSCMC and use the funds in the way you mention here? Or even better, why haven't you offered your help to the MSCMC? Perhaps you have tried, I don't know. All I am saying is that if you are "FOR" ditching funding for MSCMC just know that those funds will NEVER ever be available for Memphis Rap.com or Goner Records or any other entity you have deemed worthy. For 30 years Memphis Musicians like myself have grumbled and bitched about the fact that Memphis will find hundreds of millions of dollars to fund SPORTS, TOURISM, AGRICULTURE, and luring MAJOR CORPORATIONS to the city with tax breaks, but has never considered putting those dollars into infrastructure for Music related industries. Yet right now the city OWNS Beale Street. Gee....coincidence? I think not. It is one of the top music related vacation destinations.
Lastly I will share some wisdom from Mr. Jim Dickinson who told me that ANY government involvement in the workings of music is the best way to ruin it and possibly kill it off. I mean really, what the hell do a bunch of pencil pushing political nerds know about Art? So perhaps you are right Mr. Reyes it would be better to end funding altogether. Screw trying to squeeze a drop of life giving water from a dark dry well.

11 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Reba Russell on 05/21/2015 at 11:30 AM

Re: “Played Out

What are the names that made Memphis a music holy land? Stax, Hi-Records, Royal, Sun, American Studios...in other words, not non-profit organizations. It was entrepreneurs wanting to make money in Memphis with the talent that was here. If the current local small businesses that cater to the Memphis music industry got a fraction of the attention and economic assistance that vacuum factories and hunting stores received here then there'd be a renaissance of Memphis music industry that will profit many now and later in tourism dollars.

18 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Valibus on 05/21/2015 at 11:30 AM

Re: “Played Out

Um, Christopher, I WORK for the Music Commission that you so desperately despise and wish to eliminate...

3 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by Jacinda Norton on 05/21/2015 at 11:18 AM

Re: “Memphis Has the Blues

3rd street is the blues, take a drive.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by CL Mullins on 05/21/2015 at 11:06 AM

Re: “Tennessee has a new logo. A new, hideous, $46,000 logo

Seriously? This is the "creative" design someone came up with for Tennessee? Wow!

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ron Lefkowitz on 05/21/2015 at 11:02 AM

Re: “Played Out

@Jacinda Norton "Thanks for the props, Christopher."

Don't take it personal, it was not directed to you as a content creator. I wish there was more people like you. In fact, there are and there has been. Everyone at Live From Memphis was just like you. Some had skills and some did not. More importantly, it was made up of people who cared like yourself. In fact we mentored many budding filmmakers and music students who did produce amateurish video. But they got better because we supported them in a very nurturing way exchanging knowledge, providing skills, equipment and support..

Obviously you are passionate. It's people like you that the commission and others should be supporting so that you can buy a better camera or improve your skills or social reach. This article was for people like you.

Organizations like the Music Commission want you to do what you do for free or for "exposure" when they should be helping to support people like you who are passionate and self motivated to showcase others in the community. Unfortunately passion only goes so far. Eventually the passionate fall victim to lack of support until the next generation and the cycle begins again.

Thank you for doing what you do.

Now, someone connect her with some resources because she obviously wants to help.

Empower the passionate and you'll get more that what your are paying for. It's a no-brainer.

20 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by livefrommemphis on 05/21/2015 at 10:48 AM

Re: “Played Out

A critical role of government is to advance and capitalize on curtural assets.

No one argues that the government should be involved in libraries, schools, museums... etc. But the Music Commission, of late, has received so much controversy for it's curation and promotion of music. I am unable to understand why this is so controversial; especially in a city built on music.

Further, It is widely acceptable for government to aid the business community. There are so many governmental entities that are chartered solely to assist business. Many governmental agencies (sometimes to their detriment) wildly blur the line between public and private partnerships. But just the same, no one says that government cannot support economic development. At the least, government has a role to play in development of all forms for all citizens of the community- individual and business alike. When the Memphis Music Commission steps up to aid entrepreneurial endeavors and business ventures centered around music, it is vilified. And not to mention the countless individual artists who have benefited from the efforts of the Commission. Those successes are arguably the MMC's greatest legacy. How is the hypocrisy of this anti-Music-Commission sentiment tolerated?!?

Further, have you actually tried to speak to anyone who has benefited from the commission? Have you tried? This article is extremely biased and one sided.

The author of this article is not objectively or holistically examining the facts and does not understand the context in which he is speaking.

8 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by George Nicholas Boyington on 05/21/2015 at 10:46 AM

Re: “Played Out

I agree with Mr. Parsell on the idea of being careful with what you abolish, because you can BET that it will go the way of the Trolley. You fix, you tweak, you cast a net for good ideas, but you don't crush out the last spark of something thinking, "this will be no problem to get back once they see MY great ideas". No, they will take that money, spend it on roller skate lanes on N. Parkway, and that will be the end of city funded promotion of music. You get together and find the way forward, you don't give the pols what they want, a way to take that money away for good. I have watched people try to GET funds for stuff like this, and the effort seems to be monumental. SOMEONE GOT THIS funded, make it work.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Brad M. on 05/21/2015 at 10:41 AM

Re: “Played Out

Jacinda, I would not presume to speak for Christopher, but it seems to me that you are helping to prove his point. If you are on the staff of the Music Commission and the social media component is your job, why are you having to rely on your personal equipment and unreimbursed personal services? Why on earth does an entity charged with promotion of an image-based industry not even have Photoshop for its staff to use? Hell, even I have Photoshop on my ancient laptop. If the number of video views depends on the *artist's* social media networks, what exactly is the point? How is the Music Commission helping? Maybe we *should* start giving money directly to the artists. They could use the money to buy Creative Cloud subscriptions and do their own promo.

23 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by navyblue on 05/21/2015 at 10:40 AM

Re: “Tennessee has a new logo. A new, hideous, $46,000 logo

1. Turn flag sideways.
2. Replace stars with abbreviated state name.
3. ???
4. Profit $46,000

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by ebutni on 05/21/2015 at 10:38 AM

Re: “Played Out

Sounds like a good idea, but it slants towards an effort to say "Give me the money, because I am shovel ready." That said, I agree with you more than not. I have seen a number of concerted efforts to help the scene, efforts that are 100% self-funded, or should I say, self-draining, that are putting venues, sound systems, lighting and promotion in the hands of musicians to PLAY and be seen playing. I was at a show at 550 S. Main the other night, some High School kids, Jennette McKurdy (?), and they had no money, but they had a huge following that appeared out of NOWHERE, behaved themselves and had a great time, from what I could see. Turns out the guy that runs the venue just turned it over to em for free, ran sound for em, promoted for em, all out of his own pocket. Maybe some of that money he spent ought to be coming from other places, too. The only thing about this idea that makes it tough is that it is much harder to keep track of the money, it seems. But I am definitely for creating and enhancing the music scene which is as good here as anywhere I've ever been, and I've lived in New Orleans.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Brad M. on 05/21/2015 at 10:34 AM

Re: “Played Out

Rather than attempt to abolish an organization that does it's best to foster local musicians through programs like Memphis Music Mondays and the initiative with The Church Health Center, let's talk about making changes if needed. I would hate to see the plug pulled on this and never get it back. I will contact Mr. Strickland and whomever else needs to be contacted and do what I can.

18 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mark Parsell on 05/21/2015 at 10:21 AM

Re: “Played Out

Thanks for the props, Christopher.

The "amateurish videos" you refer to are, indeed, shot with my handheld, amateur, PERSONAL camera as none is provided by the Memphis Music Commission, let alone a professional grade one.

The amateurish photos are also taken by my other PERSONAL amateur camera (and no Photoshop is provided to edit them at the office).

All on-the-fly social media is posted and tweeted on my PERSONAL phone with internet service for which the City does not reimburse me.

As to the low number of views, check out my personal channel where there are also Music Commission videos posted before the current Music Commission page was created. https://www.youtube.com/user/kentuckychick…

With everyone and their brother having cameras and phones to record their kid/friend/brother's performance, the number of views on our videos depends upon what other videos are taken and how connected the artists are with social media.

12 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Jacinda Norton on 05/21/2015 at 10:02 AM

Re: “Tennessee has a new logo. A new, hideous, $46,000 logo

They think it's absolutely effin' hilarious that they get paid lots of money to stand around and pretty much do nothing, except crank out the occasional ugly, art-free logo.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by NellieStarbuck on 05/21/2015 at 9:52 AM

Re: “Memphis Has the Blues

No question we need a street named after B.B. King. Bruce is on to the correct one. 3rd street is not it. Riverside Drive is the one. With the coming influx of river travelers, how cool to get off the boat at Beale Street landing on to B.B. King Drive? Also, it is much shorter, fewer addresses to change and less hassle. In short, 3rd street is not good enough for B.B. King.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Steve Guinn on 05/21/2015 at 9:41 AM

Re: “Memphis Has the Blues

Great idea! How do we make this happen?

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by nobody on 05/21/2015 at 9:34 AM

Re: “Shelby County Commissioners Budget-Cut Their Way to a Kumbaya

@jcov40: Right-o! Give the gentleman in the balcony $64! Actually, the wheel tax money had previously been divided between education and debt service, apparently. What Kennedy proposed was a re-distribution favoring school spending.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jackson Baker on 05/21/2015 at 5:29 AM

Re: “Shelby County Commissioners Budget-Cut Their Way to a Kumbaya

Rob Peter. Pay Paul.

"...pared almost to the very quick in these days of rapine."

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ichabod McCrane on 05/21/2015 at 12:17 AM

Re: “Shelby County Commissioners Budget-Cut Their Way to a Kumbaya

Where was the $10 million in wheel tax money allocated before this proposed move? My guess is debt service. Does this proposal represent a switch in funds from the debt service budget to school funds?

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by jcov40 on 05/20/2015 at 11:48 PM

Re: “Seventy Years Down the Drain

I grew up in maywood and was always at the pool. Jess spiceland was a friend of our family. I drove by there 2 years ago and seeing all the houses was just not the same.

Posted by wagz on 05/20/2015 at 9:34 PM

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