If you are not one of the 307 who have clicked through to our ad and read our clever blurb OR have not been able to verify the glorious unsubstantiated rumors that you have heard swirling about the streets, I am here to explain to you, in great detail and in charming, unwieldy prose, the beauty of Eight Track.
Hello, dear RVANews readership. I am here to announce with great joy, a frightening sense of delight and a deep pride in our fair city… Eight Track! If you are not one of the 307 who have clicked through to our ad and read our clever blurb OR have not been able to verify the glorious unsubstantiated rumors that you have heard swirling about the streets, I am here to explain to you, in great detail and in charming, unwieldy prose, the beauty of Eight Track.
The artistic board of directors of Eight Track – chaired by Douglas Wilder – have invited*** 16 of Richmond’s most creative young minds and most thoughtful old ones to participate in a song competition. Not to be elitist, or snobby, or snooty, but in MY mind I like to associate OUR song competition with the glorious song competitions of Carnival in Trinidad and those associated with the tropicalistas of MPB – not so much their grotesque and snoveling successor, American Idol. Anyhow, these 16 songwriters will be split into four groups of four. Each week, STARTING NEXT MONDAY!!!, a new set of songs will be debuted. You, the active participant in all things RVANews, will first listen and then vote/blog/and generally talk all the shit that you are willing and able – good shit, bad shit, etc. (I will say that the shit talking on this site, as seen in prfl2k7, has been astoundingly weak, so we are looking to raise the bar). For those of you that are sweating in your seats because you realize that you are going out of town for a week, where they presumably do not have the Internet (Space?), and are thinking that you will miss a round of voting – do not despair!!! You will be able to listen and vote on all past songs – we are just unveiling a new set of four every week so that you can handle the significant responsibility of choosing wisely.
After a month of sweat, emotional turmoil, leaving all that we have out on the floor/world wide web, and a general raising of your quality of life due to eight track we will end the voting. Although it is true that your quality of life will lower to its “pre- eight track” level you will be rewarded for using you ears, your hearts, that mighty engine of democracy that we call the Internet, and for Richmond’s obscene level of local talent. We will tally the votes and all you lovers of melody and rhythm will receive a completely sublime mixed tape of the top eight vote getters. This will be available for download on your favorite river city friendly website, RVAnews.com.
I suppose in introducing you to our participants I could list the bands out right, or maybe write a clever and endearing blurb about each one. The former would certainly be too revealing, and the latter will undoubtedly occur in due course. In the mean time, I would just like to splatter the page with pride in my city and maybe drop a few names along the way.
Navigating genres can be tough, and presenting listeners with a completely accurate depiction of our city’s musical landscape is even more difficult – so the artistic board of directors, chaired by Douglas Wilder, chose to do neither. The folks represented on the debut edition of Eight Track are musicians whose music we love, are familiar with, and folks who Richmond has shown some trust in. Most of the participants are singer slash songwriters of some sort or another. Some have bands, others don’t; some play with weird noises, or horns, or strange looking instruments or sing with funny voices. Some are easier to listen to than others. Regardless how each of these musicians strikes you, know that all 16 of these folks live in your city. They have been to Maymont, and Belle Island and the Byrd, too. They probably have all had shitty Fan apartments. We are lucky to have them here, and RVANews is very, very proud to have them sharing their songs with us. Just kidding about dropping names, I decided not to. Next week you will taste what Richmond has to offer and it will be delightful. Keep your ears oiled.
***although invitations were necessary this time around the board of directors would most certainly love to receive submissions of all shapes and sizes for the next round. You can reach the board at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can reach the chair directly at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing you work.