I wanted to post the December 31st newsletter:
Welcome to Just Plain Notes
Just Plain Notes: Volume 2.014, December 31st, 2013
Written by Brian Austin Whitney
Visit the Website: www.jpfolks.com
Mail CD's @ 5327 Kit Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46237
Copyright 2013 Just Plain Folks Productions.
Just Plain Folks Member Population: 52,299
Just Plain Folks on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JustPlainFolks
Brian on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Brian.Austin.Whitney
Brian on Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Would you like to join the JPF Networking Message Boards? It's quick and easy. Just click the 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. You can get peer feedback on your music or lyrics, find people to co-write with, get answers to just about any music related question and promote yourself and your gigs on the appropriate boards. It's a very friendly place where over 20,000 of your peers hang out!

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

"Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something." -Robert Heinlein

"The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning." -Ivy Baker Priest

"Frustration is one of the greatest things in art; satisfaction is nothing." -Malcom Mclaren

"Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile... initially scared me to death." -Betty Bender

"People spend too much time learning versus playing and preparing versus living. I say live now and let 'them' ask questions later." -Brian Austin Whitney

My Take:

2013 was mostly a bummer for me with the loss of too many good friends to cancer and several more having to endure it. It also saw a long slow down of my own activities due to health problems, some difficult business circumstances and a case of the inverse to the old saying "a body in motion tends to stay in motion." It's time for that to change.

Perhaps you'll recognize the following: falling into the never ending preparation and learning cycle which only leads to more preparation and learning ad nauseam. It is time to play. It is time to live. People spend too much time learning versus playing and preparing versus living. I say live now and let "them" ask questions later.

All the best times of my life were when I just jumped into something, often way over my head. But learned I had within me abilities and talents I never knew about or at least never used before. Whether it was writing, directing and producing my own play against the university insiders, pulling off the World's Largest Music Awards with 10,000 volunteer judges or touring the USA and 22 other countries, staying with thousands of people I had never met until the moment I knocked on their door, setting up 1000's of community showcase and networking events with minimal planning beyond finding a venue to host us for free and so on. I started my career in music playing out live in a band 4 weeks after getting my first instrument. These things many of you can relate to and when you look back, I bet most of the time you wish you could go back and relive much or all of it with a big smile on your face. Not all crazy jumps succeed, though even those failures have their own charm now in hindsight and I would do most of them over again if given a chance. I was LIVING!

I know people who spend years practicing their instruments or their set lists for shows or albums that never or rarely come. I know people who have big plans but all they seem to do is prepare and prepare and never get around to doing anything about it. Not only do I know these people but I have been these people, and I catch myself slipping in that direction now and again. How about we mutually snap out of it?

This isn't about making a New Year's resolution. Those rarely last, mostly because they are things that aren't fun. Don't do it because you'll lose weight or save more money or any of those other false promises many of us make. Instead, do it because you'll have fun. You'll feel great about yourself even if those few extra pounds or that new TV you want has to wait. Play music with and in front of other people, whether it's the local open mic, a jam with your friends in your spare bedroom or finally getting that old band back together for real this time. Go out of your living room, away from the computer, without your head buried in your cell phone or tablet worrying about the latest Tweet or Facebook like and look around. There's an amazing world out there with endless things to do which will be fun, exciting, memorable and alive. And you know those other beings you see walking about with their heads buried in their smartphone? Try speaking to a few, not via a text or cell call, but face to face, gadgets stowed away. It wasn't that long ago it was all we did. We desperately and collectively need to do it more. I am not saying abandon it, just give it a pause now and then okay? This may not apply to you, but I bet the essence of it does. We're all human.

Many of your peers stopped reading this after the max letters of a tweet were surpassed. That is now the official depth of conversation with others, and even less is preferred. But if you made it this far, congrats and thanks. It's nice to reach someone and share a thought that won't fit on my cell phone screen.


PS: Please get your music sent in to us ASAP so we can gauge how many genres will be in the awards this time around. We'll have time for brand new releases, but get those older ones, (anything released after 2009). Instructions are below.

PPS: If you want to be involved in a film/tv project we are developing, please read the info at the bottom of this newsletter.

Happy New Year everyone! I hope to meet or see some of you in person in 2014! Watch this newsletter or visit our message board linked above for the time and places.

Learn, Succeed and Thrive. We're all in this together!
Table of Contents:

01. Success Stories: "Preparing for Spontaneity" Harold Payne at TEDx
02. Success Stories: Send us yours for a chance to be featured.
03. 2013 Just Plain Folks Music Awards Entry Information
04. Singing/Acting Opportunity for JPF Members!
05. Just Plain Folks finally has a Facebook Page!

Note About Our Website: We are working on a brand new website which we can use to feature your videos, bios and music files. Don't be fooled by the outdated home page which shows our 2009 Award winners. It's simply a placeholder until we launch a new site. The JPF message boards linked near the top of this newsletter are very active daily with thousands of your peers! Please join us there!
2013 Just Plain Folks Community Partner Sponsors!

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.

SongU: Want to learn the craft of songwriting with the online atmosphere of a university community? Check SongU out, they're great people who are great at what they do! Sign up for a free trial today! www.songu.com

Muses Muse: This is the brainchild of our longtime friend Jodi Krangle, a sort of sister site to JPF. It is a great community and like JPF it is free! www.musesmuse.com

Future Of Music Coalition: The FOMC is our political action partner in all things involving legislative and technological issues important to our community. They are free to join and all the work they do gives you a voice, through us and them to those in power in the USA. Find them at www.futureofmusic.org
Just Plain Folks Mentor Harold Payne does a TedX Talk

Our longtime JPF Volunteer Mentor has recently performed a 6 minute talk called
"Preparing for Spontaneity": Harold Payne at TEDxDelrayBeach.

Harold has a long industry history spanning songs on platinum albums in genres as diverse as Peter Paul and Mary and Snoop Dogg. His most recent collaboration with long time writing partner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Bobby Womack's Bravest Man in the Universe, garnered Best Album of the year for the UK's 2012 Q awards.

Harold includes improv or custom songs in all his performances. At last year's National Speakers Association conference he brought speakers to their feet after performing improv recap songs on the main stage for all eight principal speakers.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Find the video clip here:
Share your Success Stories!

We plan to feature other members success stories in future newsletters. If you'd like to share your own success story with the rest of us, please post all about it on our special SUCCESS STORIES message board on our website. Here is a direct link:


You can also email them to me at jpfolkspro@aol.com with "Success Story" in the subject. Make sure you include your contact info if your email. It is not needed if you post it on line however. IF you are not already registered to post on the message boards, you must register separately of just being a member. The link to join is at the top of this newsletter.
2014 Just Plain Folks Music Awards

We are still on hold concerning digital entries. While we wait, you can enter your music right now for free by following the instructions below.

We are now officially accepting entries via CD directly to JPF. Send us any CD's released AFTER January of 2008. We expect to continue accepting entries through much of 2013 directly and will give you plenty of warning before we cut off entries. Much of it depends on our Digital Entry process. If you already have music ready to go, please go ahead and send us a CD copy. We accept ALL genres of music and last time around we had 100 different genres of music from 168 different countries submitted for the awards. The bar is set pretty high, but if you have what it takes, let's hear what you have!

Inside your package, please include ALL contact info including full name and position (singer, artist, drummer, manager, publisher, attorney, whatever), your full mailing address, your phone number and cell number, and if your CD case does not include a listing of all song titles and songwriters, including whether or not the song is a cover or public domain, you MUST include a listing of this information for your music to be considered in the awards process. In addition, please include your contact info on the physical CD's itself (meaning unwrap it and write it with a sharpie or in some other clearly readable way) because CD's are quickly separated from their cases in our screening process and if your CD has no contact info, band name, album name and song listing, we may not know who you are and would have no way to find you.
Once you've met those requirements, you may also include band bios or whatever else you want. (Press kits, T-shirts (3X is the size), Hats etc. as we collect them and if they fit, I wear them while attending events, showcases, tours, conferences etc. If we get enough cool shirts and hats this year, we may even have a category for best Promotional Item).

Send the package to Just Plain Folks, 5327 Kit Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46237.

We do NOT return CD's and we cannot offer direct feedback or critiques simply because we receive thousands of CD's a year and during the awards the numbers are much higher. But we do listen to all the CD's we receive in the order we receive them.
JPF Founder Brian Austin Whitney is working on a music/film/documentary project:

We have had some truly AMAZING people express interest in this project. We still need to fill some roles however as the project is still in development and is ever changing. If you have previously submitted, don't worry if we haven't contacted you yet. Several of you will likely make it into the final project, but we're still developing the characters and some plot changes, so please be patient! This film won't be finalized until later this year (2014)!

Remember, we need males and females of all ages, shapes and types. You must be able to sing and/or play an instrument! Please include links to headshots we can download or copy and links to your music and any video clips as well as your resumes etc. See below!
New Girl Group forming for possible indie film/TV series and live performances:

Female Vocalists of all styles: We need POWERFUL vocalists in all genres of music who can demonstrate the ability to harmonize with others across multiple genres of music. Preferred Age: 20-50. Acting experience a huge plus, acting talent required because you will be on film playing a musician. Size and looks less important but vocal ability is a must. You must have live performance experience.

Please email the following:

Contact Info, Links to: (no files please) Electronic Press Kit (if available), Performance Resume (including age and general music performance & acting experience), YouTube clip of at least one live solo/featured and group harmony performance, Links to 3 music tracks featuring your voice as well as at least one example of you harmonizing with others. We also need to see what you look like in at least 2 different looks as well as full body shots in everyday street clothes and make up so we can see how tall and heavy/thin you are. We need diverse body types and looks, so please show us who you really are so we can cast appropriately from among those who qualify vocally. Please DO NOT spend ANY money putting this together. This is simply a project in development. If you are missing any of the above, tell us about your interest and experience and we'll let you know what else we need if we're interested.

Place: Singing Project (along with your name) in the subject line and email it to jpfolkspro@aol.com.

This is NOT a reality show format. This is an album, film/TV and online project.

Note: We are now also looking for 2 male vocalists/actors and cast additional cast members to add to this project. One must be able to perform on an instrument, act and sing, the other must be able to perform on an instrument and act and can be older in the 35-70 age range.
Just Plain Folks (Finally) Has a Facebook Page:

Okay, so I avoided it for a long long time. But I finally gave in and dipped my toe into the Facebook world. I barely have my own page and the JPF page is mostly a stub so far but I'd love to have you join us. And, anyone who considers themselves a Facebook expert, please help us out to build a nice community page there! Like the page or better yet, join us there! Here's the link:

Official JPF Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/JustPlainFolks
Copyright 2013 Just Plain Folks Productions

Brian Austin Whitney
Just Plain Folks
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

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