Cowboys in Cyberspace

Cowboys in Cyberspace
Australia’s award-winning Internet Country Music resource (Est. 1997)

November 2009 – REBOOTING, NOT LOGGING OFF…

November 1st, 2009

Over the past 12 years of this column we’ve seen a lot of changes in and around the Internet.  Back in 1997, a country music fan would have been happy enough just to find a website devoted to their favourite artist. These days it is taken for granted that every performer will have an official site, a YouTube video channel, plus a presence in various so-called social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. Add to that a record-label connection and perhaps a fan-site or two and the possibilities are immense.

Not all has been rosy though, for the consumer or the creators. First the junk-mail came in dribs and drabs and now we are suffocating under the deluge. However sophisticated we might think we have become, it is surprising to learn how many people still think they will inherit a fortune from a total stranger or a Nigerian bank! Also, think twice about any email that asks you to “log-in” with your password, even if it looks genuine.

With record companies initially one-step behind the demand for digital music, piracy was inevitable, yet the scale it reached made the “home-taping” controversy of the seventies seem like small change. Things are hopefully evening out now, but no thanks to the heavy-handed approach of some of the major conglomerates. Even your own Cowboys In Cyberspace fell afoul of “their” web-bot (a software search robot) when some perfectly legal video footage of local CMAA award winners was incorrectly identified as American CMA content.

It seems we are on an endless upgrade path now and even if we are not looking for the next faster, better-featured computer or device, market trends will attempt to drive us there. Until we finally get true broadband speeds to equal the USA and UK, frustration will continue and the World Wide Web will remain the World Wide Wait. That said, the advances of the last decade have been amazing, but still we demand more.

CD cover Music itself is always trying to expand and, as promised last month, we look in more depth at the new double set from Sugarland – LIVE On The Inside (Mercury Records through Universal Music Australia).  The 10 audio tracks on the CD cleverly provide a great blend of a few their hits mixed with many concert favourites that were hits for Beyonce, the B-52’s, Pearl Jam, R.E.M. and others. It is however, the 15 filmed performances on the accompanying DVD that truly bring the experience to life. The band’s own hits are here, Baby Girl, Something More, All I Want to Do, It Happens and the heart-wrenching Stay.  Filmed in high-definition in Lexington, Kentucky by director Shaun Silva with 20 cameras, the fabulously produced concert is captured with perfect next-best-thing-to-being-there clarity and atmosphere. Don’t miss the duo crowd-surfing with a twist near the end. With Kristian Bush as her perfect foil, Jennifer Nettles is seriously one of the most engaging performers ever, rivalling Dolly and Reba, but with less feathers and sequins!

L to R: Helen Zerefos, JIMMY LITTLE, Nicki Gillis, Frank Ifield - photo by Bob Howe

L to R: Helen Zerefos, JIMMY LITTLE, Nicki Gillis, Frank Ifield
(photo by Bob Howe)

The web is also a great platform for many good causes to promote their intentions and gather support from the community. For instance, The Jimmy Little Foundation was established to help improve kidney health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across regional and remote Australia. At the Foundation’s website you can learn more about JLF programs including ‘Uncle Jimmy Thumbs Up’, a nutrition education program to make healthy food choices much easier for children, find out how to become a sponsor or make donations,  and of course, more about Dr Jimmy Little AO. Jimmy is pictured here at a recent charity lunch with fellow entertainers Helen Zerefos, Nicki Gillis and Frank Ifield, celebrating his new recording of Royal Telephone which also raises money for the Foundation.
www.jlf.org.au

And so dear reader, after 146 articles and with misty eyes, we come to the end of the last regular Cowboys In Cyberspace column “As Seen In Capital News” for the time being. Fear not, I will still see you elsewhere amongst the pages of Capital News and will continue to expand on-line with new exciting features so keep visiting the website!
www.cowboysincyberspace.com

So as always, until next time, happy surfing!

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