Editor’s Note: The following column is the first in what we hope will be an ongoing piece that seeks to pick up the little tid-bits of information that fall through the cracks each month.
- Richmond Fontaine — We told you it was good. Willy Vlautin, lead singer for the Portland-based Richmond Fontaine, announced in mid-December that his novel, The Motel Life was ranked by The Washington Post as one of the best 25 books of 2007.
- SXSW announces speakers, British involvement — The South By Southwest Music Conference announced late last month that Lou Reed will be the keynote speaker for the 2008 event, March 12-16, 2008. Reed will be joined by featured speakers Daryl Hall, Sire Records president Seymour Stein, famed composer Steve Reich and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, among others. It was also announced in December that the British Government department U.K. Trade & Investment and the British Music Industry have united to present British Music at SXSW2008.
- CMJ Dates — The famed CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival has announced the dates for the 2008 festival in New York City. The 28th annual Marathon will be held Oct. 21-25. It’s the first time in the event’s nearly 30 year history that the dates have been announced in the same calendar year as the proceeding festival.
- Joel Dorn — Joel Dorn, a multiple Grammy Award-winning record producer who first made a name for himself while at Atlantic Records in the late 1960s and early ’70s, died on Monday, December 17 from a heart attack, in New York City, at the age of 65. One of the most prolific producers of his time, Dorn’s discography stretches from the multi-platinum soul sounds of Roberta Flack to the black classical music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Dorn helped introduce the world to Bette Midler’s diva swing and the funky New Orleans R&B of The Neville Brothers.
- BAS wins: The Boulder Acoustic Society brought home an Independent Music Award for Song of the Year in the Americana category, for their song “Does It Really Matter.”
- Dan Fogelberg: Dan Fogelberg, the singer and songwriter whose hits “Longer,” “Leader of the Band” and “Same Old Lang Syne” helped define the soft rock era, died Dec. 16 at his home in Maine after battling prostate cancer. He was 56. Fogelberg discovered he had advanced prostate cancer in 2004. In a statement then, he thanked fans for their support: “It is truly overwhelming and humbling to realize how many lives my music has touched so deeply all these years … I thank you from the very depths of my heart.”