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That being said, it IS a three hour bar gig, and I’m generally too wired to sleep afterwards, and my fingers are sore, my back is sore, I only slept about five hours before the construction woke me up and my brain’s not really swimming into focus yet today, though I’ve got plenty of work to do, I got a call from my stock broker (why do they always just say “please call me”, why don’t they ever give me details?) and in general I’m just wishing my Friday felt like other peoples’ Fridays. I remember Fridays. Today feels like Sunday. Like… I know I’ve got work to get done today, but tomorrow my work week truly starts and all I want to do today is kick back and watch Star Wars. Twice.

August 7th, 2017.
Every week I’m advertising shows. I’ve got my fingers in a lot of stuff… Focus Music, the Takoma Park Folk Festival, Institute of Musical Traditions, House of Musical Traditions, Rob’s Open Mics, Teavolve… and of course… ilyAIMY. It’s a lot of work and trying to make sure they don’t step on one another is right on the edge of my capacity.

TPFF, HMT and ROM are all very local-focused. Relatively easy to target and of those only Rob’s Open Mics has a weekly change in lineup and schedule. Takoma Park Folk Festival will hit a frenzy in the next month and a half and then drop off. House of Musical Traditions I really just re-broadcast. Focus and Institute of Musical Traditions have a lot of geographical overlap but have a subtly different audience. Teavolve is a slightly different entity in that we bring in a lot of different types of music but always has the #blackownedbusiness slant…. And then there’s ilyAIMY.

Ever-changing schedule, different geographies, side projects, broad reach, fans from everywhichwhere. Our mailing list is not nearly as large as it was when we were really touring heavily. Not returning to an area for YEARS has a price to pay, and the changes in how people receive information – specifically through social media networks – has shown a steady attrition on our mailing list numbers. It’s great that we can get one-click adds through Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, but that just adds us to a froth of NOISE in people’s feeds and when they’re not thinking of us, we’re just part of the background noise. I still think the mailing list is the most effective way of holding on to people – but there are number lessons that test all of my thinking.


In addition to being the most complicated demographic, ilyAIMY’s the most personal project – and so I’ve felt in the past real trepidation about saying anything… personal… or gods forbid POLITICAL in those forums – but every once in a while it’s warranted.

With almost every other crowd that I deal with, I could spout liberal philosophies till I’m blue in the face and probably get a rousing cheer. Hell, I could get really out there with left-wing stuff and no-one would bat an eye – but with ilyAIMY’s crowd, we have friends and fans from all over the country and back and forth across the aisle and so I spend a little more time second-guessing some of the things that might come out of my mouth.

I think I first encountered that whole concept of blue state elitism (and red state hatred of it) years ago after a Journal entry about staying in Belleville, IL. I think I complained about someone’s pickup truck going down the street and someone wrote to me angrily about how that’s how all of us East Coasters think of people in the Midwest, right? Just yelling hooligans in pickups with guns… like, they really went off about it and I’d genuinely only griped about a specific, witnessed incident and I don’t remember implying at all that this was the overall tone of the place, but they painted my words in a dripping coat of condescension and obviously never came to a show again…

So – this past weekend was an interesting dip of the toe… I’ve said a couple of things here and there and we’ve supported charities that definitely wouldn’t appeal to a (how do I word this?) Red constituent (I hesitate to say “Republican” because there’s a broad range of people who vote Republican for any number of reasons, perhaps the broadest of which being just so they don’t vote for a Democrat… I can’t really say “Conservative” because I think there’s a lot of interpretations of what that means, and my thoughts of who conservatism means has really diverged from what the Main Stream Media and “Conservative” news makes it out to be – our previous charity cause – the ACLU – for all that that’s typically a “liberal” organization in my mind, what with often fighting government overreach in terms of the federal government telling people what to do SHOULD be viewed as “conservative”!) ---

Ahem – this past weekend we were giving our proceeds from online sales to the Transgender Law Center – which of course has any number of Red Triggers attached

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