After more than a dozen years playing drums with a variety of local bands, Brian Penick in 2010 vacated the drum throne he occupied with The Seedy Seeds to help launch a new company — The Counter Rhythm Group. Since then, the CRG has worked with a handful of the top bands in Greater Cincinnati, assisting in everything from marketing, promotion and publicity to tour management and event promotions, areas Penick in which acquired skills while he was an active, touring musician. Cincinnati area artists the CRG has worked with and helped get exposure beyond their hometown include RCA Records’ Walk the Moon, Wussy, The Tillers, Public, The Pinstripes and Alone at 3AM.
Penick says that once the Counter Rhythm Group was launched, the organization received far more offers to work with artists than it had the workforce to handle.
Still, he had the knowledge and drive to share it. So Penick decided that, on top of his one-on-one clients, he would put together a book designed to help musicians navigate the sometimes-rocky waters of the modern day music industry.
What Penick came up with was the Musician’s Desk Reference, an interactive e-book that is customizable to any musician’s needs. With video tutorials, instructional guides, document templates and more, the book takes full advantage of today’s technology and was designed to establish “a protocol for progression through the modern music industry.”
More info about the Musician’s Desk Reference book will be unveiled throughout the year, with the goal of raising and spreading awareness through social media and various events, then having it ready for release nationally in October. Next month, Penick will launch a Kickstarter funding campaign for the project in an effort to keep the costs down for customers (because another thing Penick likely learned from his playing days is that musicians aren’t usually flush with extra cash).
For more on the Musician’s Desk Reference project, the official site (musiciansdeskreference.com) is up now and features a basic overview. Here's a fairly comprehensive video explanation about the e-book from Penick himself.
Kim Taylor Gets Ready for Her Close-Up
Later this month, successful Cincinnati singer/songwriter Kim Taylor will be headed to Park City, Utah, but not as part of any kind of concert tour.
Taylor will be attending the annual Sundance Film Festival, one of the world’s most prestigious film events, along with the other actors and participants from the new movie, I Used to Be Darker. The film was co-written and directed by Matt Porterfield, whose previous work, Putty Hill, drew scores of rave reviews.
Despite it being her first foray into acting, Taylor has a leading role in the film, playing a musician named Kim whose marriage and relationship are falling apart just as her troubled niece shows up on her doorstep looking for a place to crash. Taylor’s husband in the film is played by Ned Oldham, brother of cult music star Will Oldham and also a musician (along with solo work, he’s the singer for the bands The Anomoanon and Old Calf).
Taylor knew the film’s screenwriter, Amy Belk, from when they attended college together in the ’90s in her home state of Florida.
“I met Kim Taylor when we were both teenagers at Bible college in Florida, shortly before I got kicked out and she flunked out,” Belk writes in the press materials for IUTBD. “She is the only person I still know from that strange, balmy with a chance of fire-and-brimstone time.
“I’ve followed her music career through the years, and shared her songs with Matt (Porterfield) when we started writing. He fell for them like I knew he would, particularly ‘Days Like This’ and ‘American Child.’ Even before Matt met Kim and had her read for the role, her music and grace informed the story we were crafting. In many ways, Kim was Kim from the start.”
Taylor performs “Days Like This” (which was covered by Over the Rhine on their The Long Surrender album) and “American Child” (from Taylor’s album, Little Miracle) in the film. She and Oldham will be featured on the movie’s soundtrack alongside tracks from several acts based in Baltimore, Porterfield’s current hometown, including The Entrance Band, Dope Body and Dustin Wong.
I Used To Be Darker premieres at Sundance on Jan. 19 and screens multiple times throughout the fest.
Fans of Taylor’s beautiful, haunting music needn’t worry about her giving up that aspect of her creative life anytime soon. Taylor has completed a new album, Love’s A Dog, which will include the “Darker Mix” movie version of “American Child,” a track Taylor released as a digital single through her website (kim-taylor.net).
Love’s A Dog is tentatively scheduled for release in February or March. Taylor’s next local show is in Mount Lookout on Feb. 2, opening for Ellis Paul at The Redmoor.
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