Monday, April 21, 2014

Tour prep!


  I hope everyone had a rockin' holiday weekend.  There were so many holidays - Easter, Passover, 4/20, and, of course, Record Store Day...Truly something for everyone.

  I'm over here working on the 2014 JURT tour prep, and man oh man, now it's starting to pick up steam!  (If you're just joining the conversation, and are like "huh?" check out the press release at the end of the blog.) I'm making lists of people to get in touch with, and here's the categories so far.  Do you know any of these people, or are you one?

Sponsors (businesses who make things financially possible)

Partners (mainly businesses, but also media folks who are instrumental in helping the tour reach a new audience)

Media (media.)

And the one that applies to you the most:  Key people.  

I'm envisioning key people as folks who are really enthusiastic about the project.  Remember, it's collaborative, so it's all aboard, literally!  It doesn't matter if you've never tweeted or if you have a massive following - the heart is where it's at.  More on this in a second.

I've got some big plans for our tour. Pull up a chair to the planning table, and have a look at what I've been jotting down. What do you think of outdoing the previous ones times TEN?  Here's some goals I jotted down:

10,000 downloads of the new song.

30,000 YouTube views of the collaborative video.

Get our tour on national and local TV.

Get our tour in at least two national papers, and fifteen local and regional ones.

Have people involved from twenty countries.

Get our tour on every radio station we can.

Have the most fun ever.

Get at least two bitter enemies talking to each other.

Now, these goals are ambitious, to say the least.  But - I think we can do it.  I'm "cautiously optimistic" as they say, which is absolutely no way to be, so scratch that...I'm yelling my rugby native "hakka" war cry and charging ahead!

The flow

So, I see the sponsors, partners, and media working from the top down - broadcasting far and wide, reaching a new audience, making things financially possible, and burnishing the brand.

I envision the Key People as the front line soldiers, on the street with me, jamming, talking to friends, building common ground through music, saying "hey, I know how you can do _____", or "oh, I run this coffee shop, let's have a jam here" or "I'm having all my friends over and we're gonna have a broom jam on skateboards" or...and the list goes on and on.  This is one of the most exciting things about this tour, and collaboration in general.  It's a big team - almost like the A team, and just like them, we can throw together scraps and metal and cabbages and build a mega machine to fend off the bad guys.  OK, so maybe we won't be fighting actual bad guys, but just asking them to jam, instead.  You know what I'm saying, though.

So...would you like to be on that list?  Let me know!  I hope the answer is yes!  Let's see what we can build!  All abooooaaaarrrrddd!

Just so you know, here's a hakka:

And here's the press release:

Musician Josh Urban set to ignite Planetary Jam Session, take World on Tour.

Says “Instead of arguing, let's jam”

Washington, DC: Talk isn't cheap nowadays – it's free. But in an era of unparalleled communication, the world seems to be at odds more than ever. The anonymity of the internet makes it easy to forget that there's people behind the opposing sides. Enter musician Josh Urban with an idea to bring the humanity and hope back into the equation. His idea: Let's Jam. His goal: a world-wide “jam session” for everyone, musician and non, creating a common ground through music. His strategy: a collaborative music video and tour. The final media will be a diverse cross-section of humanity, with at least one concrete thing in common: a song...and in some ways, a bridge. And it all starts with a train on the 4th of July. All aboard!
The Josh Urban Rail Tour
Urban will be touring east coast cities by rail, much like a blues musician of olden days, and filming the journey for the video. Playing street corners and subways, hosting impromptu jam sessions on the street, and performing at venues, he'll be playing his new song Let's Jam, available for download from iTunes and People in each city are invited and encouraged to come to the jams and appear in the video. Urban stresses that all people are invited to participate, even if they don't play an instrument. He'll be using a home-built guitar converted from a broom – tying into a special theme of the music video.

It's sweeping the world – join the tour!
People the world over, musician and non, are invited to video themselves playing “broom guitar” (air guitar with a broom) to Urban's new song Let's Jam. They would then post it to social media using the hashtag #JURT (Josh Urban Rail Tour) to jump on the global stage, tagging it back to the tour and including it in the official video. Check out the tour YouTube channel for some ideas! Don't want to shoot a video? No problem! Post a photo of yourself or a friend playing broom guitar using that hashtag. By using the hashtag and social media, everyone gets to join the tour, sharing a worldwide stage and audience. Join the band – Let's jam!

“Music has brought me face-to-face with people I considered enemies, and taught me not only tolerance, but great respect. If we start seeing each other as “band-mates” in the human band, maybe we can realize that like good musicians, we can listen and learn from each other.

As a counterpart to the unifying theme of brooms, Josh suggests that participants include something in the video to illustrate who they are, such as auto enthusiasts appearing in front of their car, animal people with their pets, etc Additionally, musicians are invited to send in music parts for the Let's Jam, adding to the existing song with sounds from around the world.

Kicking off on the 4th of July, a symbolic day of unity and freedom, and running through the 14th, the tour will make stops in Washington, DC, Alexandria, VA, Waldorf, MD, Charlottesville, VA, Charlotte, NC, Richmond, VA, Philadelphia, PA, and New York, NY, as well as online concerts and venues TBA.
Everyone is invited to participate, either at the in-person jam sessions, or by posting a video or photo of themselves dancing to the new song, playing that broom guitar, of course! Use the hashtag #JURT (for Josh Urban Rail Tour) to join the band, and start the jam! Contact: 240-682-2801, @DontJoshMe

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