Following a dream — ian rhett

I emceed a show for musician ian rhett last night.

The last time I was in a music venue with ian was back in 1996 when we were part of Apple’s first music group, doing some of the first music webcasts on the Net. The night I remember in particular, we were downstairs at The Warfield in San Francisco so Ian could set up a server for remote webasting (for all you geeks, it was pushing jpegs with audio, all with panning, zooming and controlled from Cupertino. It was thrilling). The manager showed us what used to be a speakeasy back in the 1920s.

Ian was an inspiring, impassionated person to work with. He felt, as I did, that we weren’t just doing work on the Net, we were on a mission to change entertainment; to change the way distribution worked for artists; to help artists make a living from their work; to bring people together and thus change the world.

Well, it was heady times, but as long as I’ve known Ian he’s been on a mission. Often a mission in search of his mission. I was too. Well, he’s found it. Ian is a brilliant musician and singer. He’s only been writing songs for a year and half and last night was the first night he played with a band. I love his stuff. Last night there was a little Johnny Cash vibe, a little Dr John, a little Ray Charles and nothing but pure Ian. He’s one of the biggest hearted people I know. And it was phenomenal to feel him come into himself so fully last night.

I was inspired to say the Shechechiyanu for him as I introduced him. I’ve said this prayer out loud only a few times with other people. I’m new to this. My friend Sarah Lefton taught it to me.

She told me that it’s a prayer you say whenever you do something for the first time.

Ian is one of those follow-through mensches. You need something he’s there. He filled in for me last minute as a guest on my talk show with his beautiful anti-war/ pro-life song UnAmerican. And I love how open he is about his misgivings and self-doubts (just see his blog). He’s been so inspiring to me with his open-ness and how he’s unafraid to just go to the very heart of what he wants to do. He’s open and sharing with his sense of ritual and spirituality, withhis struggle to listen to himself and what he feels is needed. And he has vision and organization and gobs of ability that allow him to both make himself a little crazy and put out beautiful stuff like the flash videos, the viral way to spread his music, and a million other elegant marketing (really sharing) details that spread the work and support him. I’m learning a lot from him and hope to incorporate into subvert some of these ideas. And he’s unafraid to ask for what he wants. He’s asking for support from his community and they turned out. He reminded people all night about his mailing list and CDs for sale. I still have a hard time with that. Time to let go of my ovaries!

Like Ian, I believe we have a purpose and I liked how he shared the idea of it (through Powerpoint in the middle of his gig! Ian, put up the Powerpoint on your site!). It was his action plan for becoming a professional musican. And it was inspired by this:

“Your purpose is where your deepest passion meets the world’s deepest need.” A great truth for anyone contemplating entrepreneurship,new projects or their life’s course. it is your true passion that makes what you do sustainable and secure. It is a never-ending source if it is honest.

I loved witnessing Ian follow through for himself and for his dreams.

And we’re all richer for it, cause if this is just the beginning of his music, we’re all in for a treat.

Dig UnAmericanlike over 1 million viewers/listeners online already have.

new subvert goals inspired by Ian:
(I was going to leave these thoughts till later, should I share ideas or goals before they are executed? This morning I’m thinking of George Oates’ comment above: “Don’t think, just write/blog”

  • a team of subverters who believe that truth and stories can make the world a better place more connected place and who want to support my work online and in the world. to get involved in promotion, press, producing, or tech stuff (web site, rss feed providing, design, video editing, grant research, project mgmt) just email subverter [at] subvert [dot]com and say “I wanna help.”
  • viral/ecards of comedy clips. The more stuff I can get out there, the better!
  • make and sell a DVD and CD of “Cookie”
  • make/sell little book of subvert writings + the Law Skul cartoons
  • a lot more audio and video from my shelves onto the site
  • more of the blog on the front page
  • a way to post fan/guest feedback on the site. The blog comments are what I have for now.
  • a way to connect fans. I have a MySpace site but would love some way to provide the functionality on subvert that you get on friendster or LinkedIn and other social networking sites eg. who else is online, visual connections between who you know, a simple way to introduce yourself to others who read /watch subverter and to continue and add to discussions from my shows and commentaries. I’d love people who see Cookie to be able to add their recipies and secret ingredients (and the stories that go with them) to the rest of the community. I’d love to hear from and connect other ex-lawyers and doubtful lawyers as I keep developing and performing The Law Project.
  • a way to visually connect all the topics and ideas in the site and my pieces (The Brain doesn’t work on a Mac/the web for me)
  • other site wish list items? having a subscribe box in the nav bar, a way to publish gigs straight from my iCal to my site’s calendar and a way to connect the blog to the rest of the blogosphere, searching etc.