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John Pointer / Blog

Musicians Make Music. Patrons Make Music Happen.

If you've seen me perform before, you know first-hand that I play my heart out for you at every show. I do that because playing music is what I love to do; this IS my dream job. There are many ups and downs as a musician and your appreciation is the fuel that keeps me going.

You could buy a CD, a T-shirt, or a sticker to help me eat, but beyond that, there has never been a meaningful way for you to engage in the creation of new music.

If there were a way in which you could become a integral part the creative process, would you do it? If you had the chance to get involved way beyond the purchase of CD's and stickers, would you take it?

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At http://Patronism.com/JohnPointer I have created a way where you can now choose your level of patronage, pay whatever-you-feel and get my entire library, 9 albums of music, and directly support the creation of new music.

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Give me whatever you can, and I will give you everything I've got. Whatever you decide you can give is the perfect amount. Anyone at any level can get all of my music, every album, every single, out of print recordings, exclusive live shows, and never before released material. Most importantly, for the first time, your patronage will be directly helping me create *new* music on an ongoing basis.

By choosing to become a patron, you take the middle men out of the equation. No more labels taking virtually all of the money. No more marketing teams telling me how I should sound or who you should listen to. Nothing but you, me and the music!

Patronage is the oldest form of arts funding and with Patronism.com you don't have to be the Medici family to see great works happen. Michelangelo and da Vinci, as talented as they were, couldn't make a living without the patron support of the Medici's. That's how great art has always worked - the people who love it, like you, fund it.

So please, visit me at http://Patronism.com/JohnPointer and become my patron today.

Because musicians make music, but only YOU can make music happen.

Yours truly, John

Austin Music Poll and Back in Zach Reminder

I wanted to remind everyone that it is the LAST week to vote in the Austin Music Poll. All you need is an internet connection, 2 seconds, and a heart of gold... Here's the 4-step EZ Form: Step 1. Copy: John Pointer Step 2. Click: http://www.austinchronicle.com/musicpoll Step 3. Paste to Taste* * Male Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, and Miscellaneous Instrument are the recommended flavors, but don't stop there if you're feeling generous. *Due to the fact that most of my friends are also included in the category "Miscellaneous Instrument," I am really pushing the Acoustic Guitar and Male Vocals categories, so spread the word! Step 4. Forward this info to any friends who have a sweet tooth for Indie music anywhere in the world and would plug in a vote or two - as long as they're online, they're eligible. BACK IN ZACH... As you may have also heard, I've been working to open Zach Scott Theater as a music room for the past year. On Jan 29th and 30th I'll be performing the first shows in what I hope will become an ongoing series there. To that end, please also vote for Zach Scott Theater in the Music Poll for: Best New Venue Best Acoustic Venue Best Live Music Venue I'll be playing in the ZACH John R. Whisenhunt Arena Stage this Thursday, the 29th and Friday, the 30th. Both shows will begin at 8:00 pm, and tickets are $20.00. You can order tickets by calling the Zach Scott Theatre at (512) 476-0541 ext.1 or by logging on to their website, http://www.zachtheatre.org. Hope you can make it to the show to enjoy this fantastic fine arts venue! -JP

Austin Music Poll and Back in Zach!

Hope everyone had a happy and safe new year! 2009 is in full-swing and a lot is coming up this month... The Austin Music Poll is open again until January 30th, and the results determine who wins which Austin Music Awards at South by Southwest this year in March. It's their 27th year, and my 8th or 9th round of this, but every year I appreciate your voting for me. It takes very little time and helps a lot. You do not have to be in Austin, from Austin, or in any way affiliated with Austin to vote. You just have to know the name of at least one honest Austin artist. Here's the 4-step EZ Form: Step 1. Copy: John Pointer Step 2. Click: http://www.austinchronicle.com/feedback/musicpoll/08/ Step 3. Paste to Taste* * Male Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, and Miscellaneous Instrument are the recommended flavors, but don't stop there if you're feeling generous. Step 4. Forward this info to any friends who have a sweet tooth for Indie music anywhere in the world and would plug in a vote or two - as long as they're online, they're eligible. Here's a video of me performing Kashmir in Italy so whoever you forward this to gets an idea (and if you haven't seen it, it turned out pretty well): Kashmir Live in Italy, Nov 29th 2008- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMf6m6cyRO4 Thank you for all your help. BACK IN ZACH... Ever since I performed there as Judas, I was struck by what a great space they have for music... but nobody uses it that way. Until now. After a year of committing to the idea and building it out in partnership with ZACH, I'll be performing solo there on January 29th and 30th. I hope it is one of many in a new series... Come help me show the theater that it's important to create this kind of concert experience in Austin. It is really exciting. I'll have the guitar that Monte Montgomery lent me after my Martin had to be retired, the cello that survived my house fire, and a grand piano at my disposal. There will be two 45 minute sets and a short intermission. There are only 130 seats per night, the theater is set up completely in the round, not a single seat is more than about 20 feet from the farthest part of the stage, and... There is ample parking, they have no age restrictions, beer and wine available, world class sound and lights, and there will be nobody yammering in your ear while you're trying to listen. Tickets are $20 Call the Theater to buy them (and avoid online ticketing fees) (512)476-0541 Grab the Yellow Seats Would like to help me underwrite the show? Zach takes fully tax deductible donations. While $20 will get you in the door, the front row is reserved for patrons - and they make sure the lights go on. You can be one. By donating $100 to Zach Scott, you are eligible to buy two of those reserved seats and your name will be on an easel at the entrance to the theater thanking you for your support of Live Music in Austin, from Austin, for Austin. Call the theater to donate, help create an unparalleled new music venue in Austin, and buy your tickets (512)476-0541 The production expenses are at least $1000. If you are as excited about this as I am, and would like to donate more than $100 (again, fully tax deductible), please contact me directly and I will make sure you are accommodated. If you want to underwrite the whole $1000, I will perform a house concert for you and your friends. As always, I can be reached at john@johnpointer.com Please vote, spread the word about the Austin Music Poll and come check out the shows at Zach Scott. Thank you for your continued interest, and best wishes for a fulfilling new year. -JP

Semi-Private show tonight, totally public display on Saturday

Hey guys, I've got a semi private show tonight (11/12/2008) in Austin. StrataTX is a young professionals social group that supports creativity in the arts, culture, and economy. It's $100 a year to join, which can be split into quarterly payments of $25, and they have about one event per month. To give you an example of how AWESOME the events are, I'm playing one tonight! Also, B-Boy city will be dancing to defy gravity, and there will be live graffiti artists as well.

It's at the Este Condominiums at 2235 E. 6th Street from 6:30-10:30, and I'll be playing in the members only area. If you come, PLEASE please please wear a Members Only Jacket and look really confused when they ask you to join the group. Say, "Oh... my bad. I thought I just needed to show up looking like Miami Vice." Then join the group. It's fun, and you'll be supporting creativity of all kinds in Texas.

Then this Saturday, I'll be playing at a really cool little backyard webcasting stage in East Austin with Evan Felts and Van Wilks. Evan is a great young songwriter, and if you haven't seen Van.... shame on you! He's brilliant. Think Monte Montgomery crossed with ZZ Top crossed with Luke Skywalker. The Force is strong in this one.

Saturday evening, November 15th, 6:30 PM (CT) http://www.songwritersseries.com John Pointer Van Wilks with Josh Smith Evan Felts

Wiggy’s wine and spirits will make it warmer for you with beer. They donate to the musician’s and audience’s blood drive with beer. And beer helps you stay warm and friendly. It also sometimes gives you bad breath, so don't get TOO friendly. Also brought to you by TVKnob.com who broadcasts the great concert to the world and other planets. Also brought to you by Hank Sinatra Presents who is the Dr. Frankenstein of live concert direction and production and Richard May productions.

If you reside in the great city of Austin, TX then here are the directions:

Hank’s Place 2407 Riverside Farms Road Austin, TX 78741-4829 From IH 35. Head to downtown Austin. Take the Riverside Exit and head East. Travel East down Riverside Dr. for two miles whistling your favorite rap ballad. After Pleasant Valley Rd., the third or fourth next right will be Riverside Farms road where you will take a right and travel down about a 1/2 mile to 2407 Riverside Farms Road on your left. Go into the backyard, beyond the chicken coop and join us for a great Songwriters Series Showcase Concert.

If you reside in China or outside of Austin, TX then log onto http://www.songwritersseries.com

That was the best canceled show ever!

If you've subscribed to my blog or otherwise read it, you may know that my show tonight was canceled at the last minute on account of rain.

Well, just in case anyone hadn't gotten the memo, and just in case it didn't rain that hard, I went over there with my guitar and microphone anyway.

Turns out there were quite a few people there to see the show, so I plugged in and did a simplified version, which basically meant no stomping.

After the first or second song, it started to rain. The audience was not covered, but the stage was, so I just invited everyone up there, turned to face them, adjusted the speakers, and had an absolute blast playing the rest of the show. I felt so connected, and everyone was really attentive - almost like it was a listening room, not a bar.

The grand finale for me was Kashmir. Normally I stomp the John Bonham out of the stage, but I had no mic for my feet. So I just got everyone on stage with me to stomp and clap. It was AWESOME! I felt like I was surfing on a sea where the waves crashed like "We Will Rock You."

So thank you to everyone who came out, braved the rain, and stomped your hearts out with me.

I have another show there next Saturday to make up for this one, and I think I might invite part of the audience up there with me again, just to have that intimate vibe.

So nice!

Man, that was the best canceled show ever!

If you've subscribed to my blog or otherwise read it, you may know that my show tonight was canceled at the last minute on account of rain.

Well, just in case anyone hadn't gotten the memo, and just in case it didn't rain that hard, I went over there with my guitar and microphone anyway.

Turns out there were quite a few people there to see the show, so I plugged in and did a simplified version, which basically meant no stomping.

After the first or second song, it started to rain. The audience was not covered, but the stage was, so I just invited everyone up there, turned to face them, adjusted the speakers, and had an absolute blast playing the rest of the show. I felt so connected, and everyone was really attentive - almost like it was a listening room, not a bar.

The grand finale for me was Kashmir. Normally I stomp the John Bonham out of the stage, but I had no mic for my feet. So I just got everyone on stage with me to stomp and clap. It was AWESOME! I felt like I was surfing on a sea where the waves crashed like "We Will Rock You."

So thank you to everyone who came out, braved the rain, and stomped your hearts out with me.

I have another show there next Saturday to make up for this one, and I think I might invite part of the audience up there with me again, just to have that intimate vibe.

So nice!

Answers. A lot of them. Part 2

Q: Were you playing lead guitar for Cristian Castro? A: Yes, they hired me, and then it turned out that I am a solid acoustic guitarist, but only good on electric. They needed "great." So for the first time in my life, I was fired. Honestly, I would have fired myself halfway through the show had I the power. That is another long story for another time, but the experience was great, and I built an incredible pedal board to expand the sonic possibilities of my guitars exponentially.

Q: Are you going to perform at Zach Scott Theater again? A: I certainly hope so! They have tossed around the idea of my playing the lead in Tommy next year, but I'll have to see where I am at that point. I'm also trying to build a music series at Zach Scott. Their theaters would make two of the best listening rooms in Austin. More on that as it develops.

Q: Will you play at the new Long Center for the Performing Arts? A: Again, I hope so. My interaction with them and with Catalyst 8, one of their fundraising arms, inspired me to create a nonprofit arts foundation to channel patron dollars directly into live music venues. In other words, I'm creating a way to put some world class Capital into Live Music in the Live Music Capital of the World. Again, more on that as it develops.

Q: What is the Radial Independent Musicians Alliance? A: No man is an island, but many singer-songwriters work alone almost all the time. We all do similar tasks, and I thought it would behoove me to find other artists with similarly honed business skills to shoulder the load. I've been friends with Wendy Colonna for years. She is a powerhouse of creativity with passion and purpose. I just met Erin Ivey last fall, but she too is a powerhouse of creativity with passion and purpose, but in an entirely different and complimentary way. We work together as the founders of RIMA to help each other survive the business end of "showbusiness." (PLUG: We will do our first showcase together at the Mucky Duck in Houston on August 7th at 7:30 pm)

Q: Will you ever officially release your album Schizophonic? A: Someday when I have the extra time and money.

Q: Good God, that's a lot of stuff to juggle! Do you ever sleep? A: Only when absolutely necessary.

Answers. A lot of them. Part 1

Every now and then I sit down and think, "How did I get here?"

The answer is, "On a motorcycle. That is not registered to me. And has no title anyway. That half melted when my house burned down."

Now that, friends, is a story for another time. But I should supply some answers here to other questions that keep popping up. Here they go, in no particular order:

Q: Are you in Austin? A: Yes, I'm based here, but I rarely play here any more.

Q: Why don't you play in Austin more? A: Honestly? To make the shows that I *do* play mean more.

Q: Where else have you been playing? A: LA, Reno, New York, San Diego, and Portland. Portland has been absolutely awesome.

Q: What else have you been doing? A: After the house burned down in late 2006 I had to focus on my insurance claim. I had planned to move to LA permanently, but wound up embroiled in the real estate issues surrounding the fire in Austin. Thankfully, that lag kept me here long enough for Zach Scott Theater to ask me to play Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar. As it turns out, I love acting. It's just like music, but fewer notes, and more people in the audience. After that experience I landed a co-starring role on Prison Break on Fox.

Q: Co-Star!? That's AWESOME!!! A: It was cool, but it really means "anyone with a speaking role." I was only on the air for a grand total of 5 seconds and had two lines. In Spanish. "¡Todos al suelo!" And "¡Manos detrás de la cabeza!"

Q: So why do all the musicians leave Austin? A: Because there are not enough booking agents, managers, publicists, promoters or publishers here for the talent pool. So once you reach a certain point you just have leave to get those services.

Q: But I thought that Austin was the "Live Music Capital for the World?" A: We trademarked it, but if you live in Austin, let me ask... when was the last time you actually came out to see live music? The Mayor's office created a task force to make recommendations to the city on what we can do to put some teeth in that claim, and I've been very vocal about how to fix this situation.

Q: So you've been working with City Hall then? A: Yes. I am really a Boy Scout at heart, and I couldn't leave Austin unless I left it in better condition than when I found it.

Q: What does that mean? A: I've put a lot of my energy toward creating programs to help musicians where they need it most: their wallets.

Q: Like what? A: I created an alternative to the old major label push-marketing system. I asked myself what I need, since I've avoided label deals like the plague since Napster. I looked for an alternative and didn't see one. But I did see that what an artist like me needs is an agency that will figure out who they are, why their fans like them, who their fans are, where the rest of them are likely to be, and how to reach them. Only the ones that will care. I've been working with Tony Velasco on that since January, and we just got our business plan, financial plan and feasibility study back from three awesome MBA students at St. Ed's who did them as their Capstone project.

Q: So you're quitting music to start a company? A. No. I'm starting a company that needs to exist, so that artists like me can use it.

Q: So when are you playing again? A: I've got a string of shows, all of which will be different. I'm starting a new trio with Jason McKenzie and Brad Houser. I've also got a ton of new sounds to play with. I'll also be doing a few stripped down shows where I only play guitar and sing - no stomping or beatboxing. Check Myspace.com or Reverbnation.com/johnpointer to find the most current information.

Cristian Castro

In a cool twist of fate I now find myself playing lead and acoustic guitar, cello, and background vocals for Cristian Castro:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwBAsBXJfAs

The band is being built here in Austin and consists of some of the best players around. It's going to be a lot of fun, and a nice change from my solo show.

Austin Chronicle Music Poll Open till Jan 31st

The Austin Chronicle Music Poll is open till January 31st and it determines who wins the Austin Music Awards at South By Southwest. Please vote and pass it on to anyone else who'll take a second to copy and paste my name all over the poll.

Anyone can vote from anywhere with an internet connection, and I hereby suspend the ethics rules for cyberstuffing the ballot box, so go to town! Here's the link:

http://www.austinchronicle.com/feedback/musicpoll/07/

I usually win or do well in: Musician of the Year, Best new Band, Best Rock, Indie, Experimental, Folk, Novelty, None of the Above, Male Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Miscellaneous Instrument, and Songwriter.

Easiest action --- Copy: John Pointer ... and paste it in those categories.

While you're at it, the Rare Magazine poll is also open online. Paste me there, too: http://www.rareaustin.com/rarestofthemall/index.htm

If you feel like spending a few minutes honestly helping some hardworking musicians, here are my favorite. Please recognize them, too:

Erin Ivey or Wendy Colonna - Female Vocals Darrell Phillips - Bass Greg Seale - Drums Stefano Intelisano - Keys Grooveline - Horns Haydn Vitera - Strings Atash - World Music

Bad Livers - Hall of Fame

Thanks in advance, JP