Friday, January 30, 2009

A Guy Fell Off The Stage (And Other Tales Of The 2009 PMAs)

I attended the 2009 Portland Music Awards last night. Held at Portland's legendary Crystal Ballroom, the PMAs, fashioned after the Grammy Awards, highlight the best in local talent.

Outside the Crystal, I did a couple interviews, even admitting that I was a PMA virgin on camera. I was assured that the first time is always the best.

While I was on camera, my friends kept grabbing at me. For a minute, I thought they were excited to be touching a local celebrity. I soon found out that I was holding all their tickets, and they were freezing. What's it take for a guy to get his ego stroked around here?

The ceremony lasted for just over two hours, and featured numerous live performances punctuated by local celebrities' presentation of the awards themselves.

Once again, I was awed at the amount of talented musicians that Portland boasts. From the arena rock of Floater to Mel Brown's legendary jazz beats and everything in between, I was reminded again of why I'm so proud to be a part of the Portland music scene.
That's a picture of Floater up there.

As many of you know, I was nominated for the Best Male Artist Of The Year award. Keegan Smith deservedly won the award. Aninside source told me that I'd finished second in the voting and given Keegan a run for his money.

I'd like to give a round of e-plause to all of this year's winners and nominees, and congratulate Portland for being "America's best-kept secret," as Mel Brown put it. I've played in 35 states and almost every major metropolitan area in the US, and never encountered a music scene quite as rich and diverse as Portland's. My apologies to those two folk singers reading this in the little town of Eau Claire, MI, where I grew up. You have angelic voices, and all six of your teeth are beautiful.

I digress. The highlight of the evening was clearly when a local TV personality fell off the stage. I mean, this guy literally just ate some floor off of stage right. It was awesome. Be sure to check out the show on Comcast On Demand when it becomes available, if only for this.

I live for that stuff.

Thanks again to everyone who voted, and to everyone who worked hard to make the second edition of the PMAs bigger and better than the first.

In non-PMA-related news, my music is being featured on this week's DarkCompass podcast. Since 2004, DarkCompass has been one of the UK's top indie music podcasts. Show them some love. Or I will fight you.

I also charted at #23 on WIIT 88.9's Radio 200 chart this week! If you're in the Chicago area, feel free to request some Jon Davidson by emailing the Music Director at or by calling the station at 312.567.3088. Or by picketing outside the studio with giant cut-out Jon Davidson head signs.

I'm playing in Bellingham this Saturday night. Green Frog. 902 N State St. 9 PM. I'm also going to Temperedcast's CD release show at the Showbox Market in Seattle tonight. 7 PM.
Why? Because they rock.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's Business Time.

What have I been up to?

I would hate for the answers to that question to bore you. Business time, that' s what time it is. I'm down to just my socks; that's why they call them business socks. It's business time.

This blog post is strictly business-related. To keep it from getting stale, I will utilize an old fortune-cookie reading technique.

More and more radio stations are spinning my music! This week, my music was added to the rotation at WAIH 90.3 FM in Potsdam, NY. Call (315)267.2511 to request me. In bed.

My music was also added by WUMM 90.5 and 90.7 FM in Machias, Maine. I charted at #1, ahead of some artists you may have heard of, like Maroon 5. Call (207)255.1371 to request some Jon Davidson!

Two weeks ago, I signed a management and booking deal with The Show Media. Joe Gingerella, my new booking agent and manager, has worked with such artists as Blink 182 and Alien Ant Farm. In bed.

Joe has already landed me two performance slots at SXSW, one of the nation's largest music festivals, on March 20 and 21. The festival and conference is located in Austin, TX. I'll be playing solo. In bed.

Somehow, that seemed a lot funnier when I was in high school. Grow up, Davidson.

I also signed a non-exclusive contract with Future Shock Records for the release of a remix of "Hermit Crab," remixed by Spain's Iris Dee Jay. You can hear the remix on her MySpace page! Give this chick some props. She rocks!

I ALSO signed a five-song publishing deal with Dummy Boy Publishing, LLC. They chose to publish "Beautifully Bittersweet," "It Won't Be Long," "Hermit Crab," "What Can I Say," and "Sunrise."

Thanks for reading, listening, and supporting. Stay classy!

Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm In Love With A Python, And Other Stories

I'm in love with a python named Rose.

There, I said it. I ain't skerred.

She slithers, she sheds her skin like a tube sock. What's not to love? Plus, she's the perfect accessory to many outfits. With scales of tan, black, and brown, it's easy to throw her around your neck for that finishing touch. Where do you think the name 'boa' came from, anyway?

I met Rose while on tour in Boise, ID, this last weekend. Geri Lynn, a friend/fan/hairstylist extraordinaire who graciously let us crash at her place, calls Rose her own.

I'd never really held a snake before. I think I might have pet one or two at those dumb petting zoos that your parents take you to as a child. You can stick your hand through a hole and pet a goat, but all you really want to do is grab it by the horns and take it for a wild joyride on the icy back roads of Michigan. No? You never wanted to do that? I was a weird kid.

After my show at the Terrapin Station on Friday, and after a little dancing at Tom Grainey's, it was all Rose from then on out.

I need a snake. The only deterrent, for me, is having to feed those poor little hapless mice to it. Not only do I feel bad for the mouse, but it's kind of emasculating to tell a snake that that's the biggest thing it's capable of taking on. Something bigger, like a sloth, might be more of a challenge.

Enough snake talk. This last mini-tour rocked. Wednesday found me in Spokane, WA, at Empyrean, sharing a bill with Shane Evans and Bridget Vogel, two incredible acoustic musicians.

Thursday morning, after a long, sleepless night, I headed over to the studios of 103.1 KCDA to tape a show for the Local Lounge with Matt Loi.

Damn, it sucked. Never OD on sleeping pills before going on the radio. I couldn't finish a thought to save JFK's life. Matt Loi is a patient man with a lot of editing to do.

Thursday night, I played in Richland, WA, with local hard rock band Folding In. They played a rocking acoustic set. Think Days Of The New on illegal substances.

While in Richland, I met with Spencer Andrews, president of Dummy Boy Records, who had driven three hours to watch my show. I signed a new management deal, as well as an associated booking deal with The Show Media and Joey Gingerella.

In Boise, Mandy and I both got new 'dos, and devoured some amazing vegan orange 'chicken' at Mai Thai downtown. Then we headed back to Portland.

Goodbye, Rose.

I'll be back in Boise February 27.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Too Many Voices. Not Enough Ears.

It's 2:40 AM.

Usually, I'd be catching my second wind. I think I'm getting old.

Speaking of old, I just noticed that my MySpace blog page states that I am female and 105 years old. I have no idea how to change this. (The fact that I'm an old centenarian hag, that is.)

I'm tired.

Tired in a way that transcends drowsiness. Tired of all the selling.

Everyone is selling something. Usually, it's oneself. It happens on an interpersonal level, every day, in everyone's life. We all want to be noticed, valued, loved. And so we sell ourselves. I'm not talking about selling oneself for money, although you hookers out there will identify with that. I'm talking about proving ourselves, getting people to notice, getting people to buy into what we're trying to be. It happens in the workplace. We sell ourselves, pushing our own agendas to get a raise, a promotion. A lunch break.

I do it too. In this crazy music business, it seems impossible to get ahead without selling yourself, unless you can pay the right people to sell you. All I really want to do is to write and play music, to travel, to meet people. It never turns out to be that simple. In the ever-burgeoning music scene, every artist, every band, is striving to sell themselves on what they have that's different. That's new. That will change your life. A chord, a rhyme, an image, a tattoo, a haircut, an interactive CD/DVD, a downloadable album that you can pick your price for.

There are too many voices, and not enough ears.

But the voices rarely take this into consideration. Instead, they babble on.

I wish I had a million fans, three platinum albums, and the last name "Pickler." I'd even take two out of those three. It's so easy to fall into the trap of wanting more, and to forget to be grateful for the people I know, the shows I've played, the fans who have connected with a lyric I've written. To be grateful for a show in Cave Junction, OR last week, in the middle of nowhere, in a dive bar, that by all of the standards of the industry was a worthless show, but where I met some amazing, giving, hilarious people with stories to tell.

Who am I? I'm a guy with a voice and a guitar. One of tens of thousands of such guys. Millions, maybe. How should I sell myself to separate my voice from the rest? I don't know. I wish I didn't have to figure it out.

I'm tired.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Here's Why You Should Vote For Me For Male Artist Of The Year.

I've compiled a comprehensive list of why you should vote for me for Best Male Artist Of The Year. Here it is.

1. Because I'm your father, and I said so.
2. If you don't vote for me, the terrorists win.
3. Every time you vote for me, God kills a kitten.
4. I am Spartacus.
5. If you don't vote for me, I'll take your mother, Dorothy Mantooth, out for a nice seafood dinner and never call her again.
6. Because I would really appreciate it, and the award would be great exposure, a great resume piece and a boost to my career. Plus, I'm really, really ridiculously good looking.


Many of you have asked me who else I voted for (and, accordingly, who else they should vote for).
Here's my ballot:

Pioneer Award: Alex Steiniger
Legends Award: Elliot Smith
Album OTY: "Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts" by The Slants
Band OTY: The Slants
Male Artist: Anyone but that Jon Davidson douche
Female Artist: Storm Large
Best New Artist: Acoustic Minds
Best Radio Station: KUFO
Best Large Venue: Roseland
Best Medium Venue: Hawthorne
Best Small Venue: Macadam's
Best Live Performance, Local: Keegan Smith

To be honest, I don't know a lot about local country, world, blues, or jazz music, so as to avoid tainting an otherwise democratic process, I abstained from voting in these categories.

By the way, if you've got some time in my hands, check out my (relatively new) profile on OurStage. "Beautifully Bittersweet" is ranked #37 on the Alt/Rock chart this month. Join my fan club, rate my music and help push me to number 1! I wouldn't mind playing Bumbershoot..

Also, check out my boys in The Slants! They're a Portland-based dance/rock band extraordinaire. Not only should you vote for them for the 2009 PMAs, but you should buy every single piece of merchandise they offer. Or I will fight you.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Portland's Best Male Artist? I Need Your Vote!

The 2009 Portland Music Awards nominations are over, folks. I've been nominated for the Best Male Artist award! I need your help to receive this honor and secure this piece of hardware.

Yes, my name is misspelled on the ballot. But don't think for a second you're supporting rampant illiteracy by voting for "John" Davidson. You can vote 5 times from a single IP address. Please vote for other well-deserving artists in other categories, too, like Acoustic Minds for Best New Artist or Keegan Smith for Best Live Performance. But not, of course, for Best Male Artist. :) Voting closes Jan. 20, and the winners will be announced at the Portland Music Awards ceremony Jan. 29!

Click HERE to vote.

So after ringing in the New Year with a Spanish countdown, I played in San Luis Obispo Thursday and Monterey Friday. I'm really living it up in a Motel 6 right now. I oozed downstairs for some coffee, only to be informed that this Motel 6 stops serving coffee at 10. TEN!! What kind of fatuous crackophile is actually awake to consume coffee before that God-forsaken hour? Yes, that was a rhetorical question.

Furthermore, they don't sell toothbrushes in the vending machine; the only toiletries available are combs. So, I bought the comb and made do. Don't ask.

On to the Grants Pass, OR, area tonight. Making a small-town stop in Cave Junction. This name makes no sense. If there were actually a junction of caves, wouldn't they simply be considered one larger cave? Not necessarily, I guess. We humans still have both the large and small colons, which are joined in most people.

Man, I really could've used that coffee.