Jacob Moon in Coquitlam, BC, Canada. Photo by Steve Thornton.
NEW SONG RECORDING – APRIL 6, 2015
Before we get all caught up in a retrospective view on Jacob’s music, he is working on new music too:
Jacob Moon – “Tomorrow I head into the studio to record a brand new song! First new original of 2015…thank you to my fan.si supporters for making it possible!”
Can’t wait for new music from Jacob! I might know what song this is, but Jacob has surprised me before. What’s your guess?
Jacob Moon at Catherine North Studio, Hamilton, ON May 2012.
JACOB MOON’S MUSIC – WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT
Jacob Moon lives for his music, anytime and anywhere, sharing his message in song with fans all over the globe. I will finally get to witness a Jacob Moon concert in person in his backyard of Hamilton, Ontario on April 17th at Moon Con 2015. I have seen him perform at a number of different venues out west, but never this close to home. Many of you have also had the honor to see this great performer in many other locations across North America and Europe. But what about all those others who do not know Jacob’s music?
As we look back over the first 20 years of Jacob’s professional music career – what is his music about? Why the fans of course. Join me as we celebrate with Jacob his 20 wonderful years performing his music for us at Moon Con 2015 in Hamilton, ON April 17th at Molson Studio at Hamilton Place.
On November 15, 2013 I posted a blog stating why this fan site exists and sharing Jacob’s own thoughts on his music and journey. I think it answers a few of those question about what drives this gifted singer-songwriter to share his music:
Why Does ForAllMoonKind Exist?
I started this fan site over a year ago now and I think I have made it clear why: to celebrate and promote the music of Jacob Moon; to get his name better known primarily in North America; and certainly to get people in the USA exposed to his musical gifts and message. I have talked about this on a few occasions over the past year or so, but this week Jacob posted an article that hits the mark perfectly. I’ll talk about this more as it relates to the site here, but first Jacob’s post:
“Jacob Moon, eh? So how come I’ve never heard of you?”
It’s a fair question. It’s one I get often from WestJet attendants when they see all the gear and figure out that I am a musician on tour. It’s also one that I am uncomfortable answering, given the level of detail they probably are looking for (minimal at best).
So here are some possible responses:
A) I’m nobody, really. This one sometimes satisfies, but often leads to an awkward attempt at consolation on their part…”Nooooo, I’m sure your mom thinks you’re somebody.’
B) I mostly play for 25 people at a time. I just haven’t gotten to you yet. This one certainly has more of the ring of truth to it, and can often disarm their hopes for meeting a famous person. I sometimes feel bad dashing their dreams of a celebrity encounter, though.
C) Do you ever watch YouTube? This really seems to perk them up, as they try to decide whether I’m the guy who wrote the song about how ‘United breaks guitars’ or the dude who fell off his skateboard and nailed himself really good on that metal railing. Once again, I am a huge disappointment.
D) Hey, I haven’t heard of you either, pal. Okay, so this one is mean and defensive, and doesn’t even sound usable in my head.
Even if I never offer up a satisfactory response to this question, it lingers in my mind as one that still needs answering. Of course, it’s entirely possible that I may never have a short and pithy response as to why on this, my umpteenth tour across Canada, I am still flying way below the radar to the extent that Westjet Wendy has no clue who I am.
That phrase, ‘below the radar’ conjures up images of someone getting away with something, avoiding entrapment and escaping being brought in for further interrogation. To a certain extent that is the case with me and other artists like me, who have chosen [a] career in independent music. We are the new breed of musicians that have employed new media to reach fans and earn a living wage by booking gigs and promoting them without the need for a major label to ‘help us’ (an arrangement that too often ends in entrapment and a phone call to your lawyer).
On the face of it, this last cross-Canada stint was mostly me playing for people who have perhaps only the vaguest notion of who I am. It’s what I call a ‘pioneering tour’. Trying to expand into new territory. Going boldly where no one named Jacob Moon has ever gone before, in the hopes that I can fold some new faces into my friend list, and build some new markets for my music. It’s the sort of narrow casting and micro-marketing that has more in common with political campaigning than the kinds of tours we think of when we imagine a band on tour… you know, playing the Enormo-dome on this night, and then Lollapalooza the next. No, this is more about shaking hands and kissing babies—punctuated by long days of lonely travel and killing time at Starbucks. And then, come show time, trying to make up for poor production values with candid, personal stories and raw stagecraft.
When it works, it all seems more than worth it. Like the house concert I did last week in Medicine Hat at my friend’s place. She and her husband invited everyone they knew to pack their elegant home, and went out of the way to provide a welcoming and hospitable vibe, complete with home baked desserts and underaged wait staff (their kids). It. was pretty much guaranteed that nobody had ever heard me in concert before, even if a few were familiar with my videos on YouTube. I love these kinds of shows, where people’s expectations are low, and there is an opportunity there for me to over-deliver the goods. At the end of the concert, I had a bunch of new friends, and the conversation will continue next time I am in town. Okay, so now all I need to do is lather, rinse and repeat, right?
Well, yes, that’s the idea. It doesn’t always work out that way, though, let me tell you. There are a million little things that can lay waste to your best-laid plans on tour. Sickness, fatigue, gear failure, airline shutdowns, lost luggage and weather can certainly slow you down. But it’s also things like inexperienced promoters, ineffective promotion, and cultural apathy towards music that can undermine the success of your show in a foreign province or country.
In the end, I have concluded that many of these factors can be mitigated by people power. Friends that are there to help along the way are more valuable to me than anything on the road, and have gotten me through many of the hazards I’ve listed. Thousands of miles from home and utterly dependent on the hard work and sacrifice of [an]other, one quickly learns that the term independent music is a fallacy. There is no such thing. I am wholly dependent on the hospitality and good graces of people to make my tour possible and successful, and have been fortunate to work with some of the best and most generous folks on the scene.
That’s what keeps me coming back for more. It’s the lingering hope that if I just keep doing this, and craft a touring strategy with these friends, both new and old, that the music will eventually find a greater audience.
Maybe that audience will even grow to include WestJet Wendy. If that means that our conversation moves to the weather, I am okay with that.
I don’t know what you were thinking when you read that introspective, confessional story from Jacob but I know what I was thinking. This is exactly why I started this fan site! Without a musical artist with a voice and a message we care about there can be no ‘music’ or ‘independent music’ to even know about. The voice remains silent and unappreciated. We, the fans, are the necessary second part of that successful partnership between the talented artist and the public who receives and appreciates it. Our job is to recognize an artist that we connect with, love their musicianship and the message they are trying to share, and then promote and support it so that it can grow and flourish. THAT is why this fan site exists!
Jacob Moon has provided the musical life connection and talented execution that inspired me to get involved and try to make sure he can continue to hone his craft and spread his music as far as it can go. I recognize that we all have different musical tastes and interests, but I know that Jacob fills a special place for me in how I want to experience life and interact with those around me. Music is very important in my life and we need those musicians that are talented and committed enough to put in the hard work to create it for us to enjoy. That is why this place exists – to keep Jacob’s music alive.
If you visit here very often, or have just been hijacked here somehow, I want to invite you to get involved. Sure, here and in support of Jacob’s music, but if not here or for Jacob find something that inspires you to lend your voice and support and share it with those around you. Knowing that if Jacob’s, or someone else’s, message is connecting strongly with you there are probably many people in your life that will enjoy the same experience. Isn’t that why we are here, to share our experience and enhance the way our lives interact.
Together we can make a larger impression than alone. Besides, without all of us Jacob would maybe still be an ‘independent’ musician but with no audience his inspiration and enjoyment would probably lessen over time and his voice would grow silent. That is not a situation I want to live under. So, join the independent music movement and contribute here. This place is for you and I to share our love of Jacob Moon’s music. We can make it live and expand so that Jacob can continue to share his talent and become an artist that reaches a much larger audience.
Here is a portion of an email that I sent to Jacob about his post above:
I am glad the recent western Canada tour was successful. Your Facebook blog today was perfect! So true, honest, and still empathetic to your fan base (both old and yet to be discovered). That is exactly the point of ForAllMoonKind, to help make you a better household name and to share your wonderful music and message with more people so that someday WestJet Wendy will know who you are and look forward to seeing you again.
I would like to re-post your blog from today (OK, yes I do this a bunch) with the idea to share your insight but also use it to strike a cord with the fan base out there that we can be a huge voice for you in the larger community and that voice can speak beyond Jacob Moon and say things about our fundamental need and search for something out there that means something to us as individuals. For me, one of those things is your music and message.
Keep going and I’ll help as best I can!
Won’t you join me? Share this place with a few of your friends and then contribute your experiences about Jacob and his music here for the benefit of all. It is human nature and a fundamental part of our life experience to share stories with each other. I would like to see us all share our stories about time with Jacob’s message and song on this site. I intend this fan site to be a place for you to exercise your voice on behalf of Jacob’s music. A pretty good use of time I say. Let’s give Jacob a way to answer that question “Jacob Moon, eh? So how come I’ve never heard of you?” by making sure many more people know who he is and what his music can mean to them. We already know.
Jacob Moon in Kelowna, BC.