Visit to the Land of OPB

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So I took a deep breath, OK make it more like fifty, and got the nerve to show my mug in the OPB studios for the meet & greet and unveiling of the t-shirt contest winner. Hand sweat- check. Inability to remember name at all times- check. Hungry but too nervous eat the nice spread put out by OPB– check. See the pattern?

Well luckily all the people at OPB were wonderful. They were really kind to all the entrants, and humored us with good conversation and a casual manner.  I was actually surprised since I thought opbmusic.org sounded so cool and hip that they were all so chill and laid-back. No hipsteritis or Ramoning to be seen, had or felt (mind you the folks are cool and hip for those concerned). Fellow contestants were all great and friendly too. NICE!

The forty or so entries were up along the walls for everyone to see and all were really good and some were more than exceptional in feel, concept, and execution. There are several that stick out in my mind, and they are going to post some runner-ups on the opbmusic.org site so be sure to check them out.

After the meet & greet we moved on down to the studio to watch the group “Horse Feathers” perform during a recording that will be broadcast on OPB’s Oregon Art Beat later this year. For those not acquainted with the group be sure to check them out, esp. if you like a new folk sound with extremely good strings that transverse quite a wide range of sound and emotion. Not sure if I’m offending anyone- but to me they sound a bit like “Iron and Wine” but with meatier lyrics and and a more robust accompaniment.

Before recording started, the friendly, helpful, and very cool Lucas Alberg of OPB announced the winner of the contest. While he was speaking about all of the great entries and thanking everyone he was holding what looked to be a sheet of tabloid size paper gently bent in half, but not folded,  so as to not reveal the contents. I saw so much white on the sheets I thought that I was out of the running (my designs didn’t leave a lot of white space on the sides). Really it didn’t matter in the end since it was just so nice to be there (sorry clients) enjoying the music, meeting all the great people, and seeing the guts of a broadcast operation at work.

Then something odd happened…I heard my name! Was it a mistake? If it was then my feet didn’t know it as they put one in front of the other and headed to the front of the stage. I think I made some stupid joke about needing to play a solo which I think rightfully made the members of the “Horse Feathers” clutch their instruments close for a split second out of fear. There was no solo, only an awkward guy slinking up to say thank you to Lucas and everyone. My feet carried me mysteriously back- to the other end of the room where I was able to calm down thanks to more contemplative music and talking in between takes with OPB members and other contestants.

It really was an honor to get any kind of mention for anything from the staff of OPB. Sharon and I have no cable, and the only TV we watch is OPB (it’s been that way for years). opbmusic.org is a life line to the great music scene of the North West, and the world.

In addition, the judging panel had some heavy hitters on it from a wide spectrum (including Carson Ellis). For someone that often doubts the worth of their work, it was a huge, much needed,  shot in the small arm of my ego. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. (<–Is that a sentence? Oh well you get the point.)

If you’re curious and want to see which design won, the runners up, and some great listening then be sure to check out the opbmusic.org blog for more.

Thanks OPB for a good time and a great contest!