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Just Plain Notes is our official e-newsletter, penned by founder Brian Austin Whitney. It's packed with timely news on the music industry, great articles, resources, and member discounts (and don't forget lots of great "Just Plain Quotes"!) It's a great way to keep up with all the JPF activites — from the JPF Awards all the way to the JPF Roadtrips.

Previous e-newletters are a great resource and are archived at the left. (Archive coming soon.)

Sign up for Just Plain Notes below, and of course — email us at jpfolkspro@aol.com with your own important news items!

photo of the 2009 JPF Awards

While we're busy getting the archives back up, here's the current newsletter, which details entering your best lyric, video, or live submission:

Welcome to Just Plain Notes
Just Plain Notes: Volume 1.180, May 31st, 2009
Written by Brian Austin Whitney
Visit the Website: www.jpfolks.com 
Mail CD's @ 5327 Kit Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46237
Copyright 2009 Just Plain Folks Productions.
Just Plain Folks Member Population: 50,891
Would you like to join the JPF message boards?  It's quick and easy.  Just click this link and choose a password and user name and you'll be posting in no time!  We'd love to hear from and about you.  

To register: (It's a separate registration from JPF membership): 
Just Plain Quotes: 

"I think age is a very high price to pay for maturity." -Tom Stoppard

"Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet."  -Roger Miller

"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted." -Aldous Huxley

"If you can't wait until next June comes, just schedule yourself to announce the nominees of the world's largest music awards then and time will just fly by." -Brian Austin Whitney

"Getting old sucks, but it sure beats the alternative." -Brian Austin Whitney

My Take: 

It's been our busiest month ever finishing up the nominations for 2008/2009 JPF Music Awards as well as launching our brand new website and working on a large upcoming project that we can't tell you about until later this year.   I can't remember what it was like to have a day off or a full nights sleep, but the building excitement over our soon to be announced nominations have kept us all going.  

If you can't wait until next June comes, just schedule yourself to announce the nominees of the world's largest music awards then and time will just fly by.  We've had 100's of thousands of hours of work by our volunteer judging staff consisting of Music Industry professionals, Artist and Songwriter Peers and Music Fans.   The amount of listening that has taken place to whittle down 560,000 songs and 42,000 albums has been staggering.   We had hoped to finish it all up this coming week, but we might need just a little more time to get it all right.  And with the work that has been put in and the talent of all of you who entered, we're not going to pull the trigger until the time is right.  We do plan to announce the nominees in June so stay tuned for that.  

It is now time to launch our Lyric Award process as well as a call to participate in our Video and Live Performance award categories.   We've made a bunch of changes to this process, so please read the info below on how to enter.   We'd love to get a lot of you involved in these categories, so if you are a lyricist, or you have a music video or a live performance clip available to be viewed on line, please get involved.  We will have nominations for these special categories during the summer and then give out awards at the 2009 JPF Music Awards show at the end of the summer.   

We also have big news on the Awards show front.   After reading the feedback from all of you, we've decided to move the JPF Music Awards show to Nashville, TN.   Our tentative date is set for Saturday, August 29th.   Because we're not finished with nominations, we have a back up date 4 weeks later in case we need additional time to get this all finished.   We will announce the final date (Either August 29th or September 26th) when we announce the nominations later in June.   

So where is the show going to be held?  It will be held at the Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville.  The venue is the perfect size, location and vibe for our friendly and epically long event.   Tickets will be on sale via the JPF Website as soon as we announce the nominations.  If you can make it to Nashville, we'd love to meet you in person!   

Big thanks to our sponsors CD Baby, Disc Makers, TAXI, Wilshire Media and Ourstage for their help in making these awards possible.  Also big thanks to JPF Member Adrian James, who completely redesigned our website which was just made live last week.   It's still under construction, but we'd love to have you check it out and offer some feedback.  www.jpfolks.com

And finally... I am writing this while wearing my brand new reading glasses.  Yeah, I've finally succumbed to the dreaded presbyopia.   If you don't know what that is, you will after you turn 40 years old.   Getting old sucks, but it sure beats the alternative!  

Learn, Succeed, Thrive.  We're All In This Together!
Just Plain Notes Table of Contents: 

But if you're in to links, here's the newsletter on a webpage if you prefer: 

01. 2009 JPF Community Partner Sponsors 
02. 2009 Best Lyric Award Entry Process Explained
03. 2009 Best Music Video Entry Process Explained
04. 2009 Best Live Performance Entry Process Explained
05. Brian's Big Idea Update and Call to Arms!
2009 Just Plain Folks Community Partner Sponsors!   

Disc Makers: Nobody makes CD or DVD manufacturing easier and no one delivers faster. When you need CD or DVD replication, short-run duplication, complete printing and packaging options, sturdy duplicators and printers, or affordable blank CDs and DVDs look no further. They've got it. They also now handle licensed merchandise for you (t-shirts, hats etc.).  Mention you're a Just Plain Folks Member and get a $50 Discount off your initial CD Orders! Sign up for a free catalog and booklet on Mastering your Music at www.discmakers.com/jpfolks

TAXI: The world's leading independent A&R company, has been successfully helping Songwriters, Artists and Composers get their music heard and signed by top Publishers, Major & Indie Labels, and Film & TV music supervisors since 1992. TAXI, is your best bet!  See them at www.TAXI.com.

CDBaby: The best place to sell your CD's or music files on line.  They also have the best on-line hosting service called Hostbaby.  Nobody else even comes close.  See them at www.CDBaby.com and www.Hostbaby.com..

OurStage: is a purely democratic, game free online competition where the fans decide who's best in emerging music and film and rewards the winners with real opportunities through their partnerships with major music festivals and touring acts.  You can post songs immediately and get in the running for monthly cash prizes of $5000 (5 of the last 8 winners have been fellow JPF members!).  And it's all free! Visit www.ourstage.com/go/jpf and sign up.  
2009 Best Lyric Award Entry Process Explained

We have a special category for Best Lyric in our awards each time and the entire process is conducted on our website message boards.   The process is completely peer reviewed and each participant is asked to help screen other lyrics (which you aren't directly competing with) to help choose the nominees.   We require a minimum of 250 entrants to conduct the process, but we've averaged over 500 each time we've done it.   Entry time is very limited this year, so if you have a lyric and want to participate, please read this link with all the guidelines and timelines.   As always, it's free to enter.

Read Guidelines and Post Lyric Entries Here:  
2009 Best Video Category Entry Process Explained

Because we've been so happy with the shift to online screening for the rest of the awards, we decided to move this category on line as well.   Since YouTube makes it very easy for anyone to upload video for others to view (and because their compatibility is so high with most computers) we are going to conduct the entry process on line and to supplement the entries already mailed to us.    This will require that you have your video on line and viewable via a direct link.  Desired format is YouTube.   As always, it's free to enter.  

Read Guidelines and Post Music Video Entries Here: 
2009 Best Live Performance Submission Process Explained

Because we were not on the road very much last year due to awards judging, we didn't have our normal number of showcases which we use to choose the Live Artist of the Year.   If you'd like to submit yourself for consideration for Best Live Artist, please submit a link to a video of your live performance for consideration.  You'll need to register on our message boards to participate.   This judging will be done by JPF Staff just as our previous Live Artist of the Year screening has been done.   As always, it's free to enter.   

Read Guidelines and Post Live Performance Video Entries Here:  
Brian's Big Idea Update: 

I got some wonderful responses to my first three requests for this new program.  We're not in a rush to move forward (I won't be able to do much until after the awards nominations are out), and we'd rather get the right people involved who are willing to communicate with each other frequently and help us expand and shape the program moving forward.  Below I will include the original invitation to get involved.  We already have members on every continent involved but we'd like to eventually cover the entire world.  If you're interested, please read on! 
Brian's Big Idea: 

I have always wanted to do more to bring together our grassroots music community.  I do my best to travel as much as possible (we'll be visiting the UK and Ireland this fall) and I've actually met over 25,000 JPF members in their own hometowns over the past 11 years in 48 US States and 16 Countries.  But I am only one man with limited resources and only so many hours in a day.   So my big idea for today is to try and reach out beyond borders, beyond nationalities, beyond belief systems and connect with more of you in places I haven't and may never actually visit in person.   I want to find at least 1 musician in every country around the world that I can extend my hand to, if not in person, at least via technology.   I want to do away with the biases and the misunderstandings and the prejudices that all of us have built into our psyches and embrace real people living very similar human lives around the globe.   And to do this, I need YOUR help. 

My concept is this: 

1. I want to connect with 1 USA musician/writer from every USA congressional district.   I want this person to be someone that is open and willing to have an ongoing dialog with all their counterparts across our country and eventually around the world.  This isn't political or musical per se.  It's about music makers using that commonality as an excuse to come together.  

2. I want to connect with 1 motivated musician/writer from every country on planet Earth.  The short term goal is to open an ongoing dialog to learn more about how you are more similar to the rest of us than different, while still celebrating those unique qualities and characteristics gained from your own local culture and belief systems.   In other words, I want to get to know you as a fellow human, and then I want to learn about what makes you and your country unique.   

The long term goal would be for that person to help find representation across their own country (it could be political districts, states, provinces or anything else that would help represent all the diversity within and across your country).   Because I am limited to English as my only functional language, I'll need to connect with someone who can communicate with me in English.  

If we achieve these two goals, I want to parlay this larger widespread and all encompassing group of musicians into a communication and cooperation network that can actually do some good, not only for those of us directly involved, but to those of us we each reach in our own lives.   Imagine how much we could do together?  Since it's clear our politicians have a limited ability to truly come together, perhaps that notion is better left to the creative community to lead the way.  Music and Art is at the root of most cultures.  

I realize this is an almost impossibly ambitious idea.  But so was creating JPF from scratch and seeing it grow to 50K members around the world with very little resources, and no real standing to start with in the music community.  

There's no limit to how many people can participate from a given place as long as we find at least 1 in each location.  Though we received Awards entries from 160 countries, I don't currently know many of those folks and have only visited 16 countries to date.  We want to find real people who are sincerely motivated to make it happen and who will be open to projecting their own positive attributes on their fellow humans around the globe.  

So who is with me?  

If it's you, then please email me at jpfolkspro@aol.com with your name and contact info including where you live and if you're in the USA, what Congressional District you live in, and what you can bring to the table in terms of time and help on this project.  Place "We're All In This Together (insert state/country)" in the subject.  

Let's all share in something.  We're bound to find we like and understand each other more than we might have expected.   

Curmudgeons need not apply.
Copyright 2009 Just Plain Folks Productions

photo of the 2009 JPF Awards


"We will either find a way, or make one." -Hannibal

"The great American novel has not only already been written, it has already been rejected." -Frank Dane

"Artificial manners vanish the moment the natural passions are touched" -Maria Edgeworth

"Sometimes all you have to do to inspire humans to greatness is give them a reason and an opportunity to do something great." -Brian Austin Whitney

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