Louisville Magazine

AUG 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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130 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.18 This Song's for You By Anne Marshall / Illustration by Suki Anderson On a warm May evening, the Belle of Louisville moves at the pace of a massage, easy and enduring, no rush. A red paddle wheel muscles this sunset cruise on the Ohio River, kicking up water, tossing droplets toward lips and cheeks, sunglasses and bare shoulders bundled at the back rail. e sun softens. A silky, dark ribbon of water connecting will benefit Kentucky Waterways Alliance, a charity Shelley has fundraised for all year. is past spring, she released a digital EP of cover songs and a set of elegant postcards to benefit the KWA. e music and goodwill, that was all Shelley. Quietly guiding her through the fundraising process is a Louis- ville-based nonprofit called Revolutions Per Minute. is event is not typical for RPM. Benefit concerts can be costly and complicated. Usually, RPM nudges musicians toward simple, effective fundraising for the charities of their choice, like $1 add-ons to concert tickets or a special-merch item. is year, RPM will work with about 40 different artists (from up-and-comers to big names) on 40 different fundraising campaigns. Paramore, the group originally from Franklin, Tennessee, recently offered a limited-release shirt to benefit a 24-hour crisis support line. My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James' upcoming solo tour will support the work of United for a Fair Economy and the National Bail Fund Network, two organizations focused on combating racial and economic inequality. Other artists RPM has assisted include Deerhoof, Tune-Yards and Death Cab for Cutie. Art and advocacy have been paired for decades. Not surprisingly, though, Presi- dent Trump's 2016 election win ignited a fierce desire to act, not just among socially minded musicians but anyone left crum- pled post-election. RPM didn't sit idle. It teamed up with the Secretly Group (a family of indie record labels) to create Our First 100 Days, one song released each day for the first 100 days of Trump's presidency. Everyone involved in the project donated his or her time. Subscribers to the com- pilation got new music from artists like Angel Olson, the Mountain Goats and Jens Lekman. In turn, a host of charities split about $102,000. Water, for Shelley, that's near and dear. As a child, trash would collect in a creek near her home, a small horse farm in Oldham County. Mattresses, appliances, even dogs and cats tossed from cars and trucks wound up in the water, her water — at least that's how she thought of that creek as a kid. Sev- eral months ago, Shelley knew she wanted to fundraise for clean water. But time went by. "Good intentions can get lost in this self-employment scenario," says Shelley, who is signed to No Quarter Records, an independent label out of Philadelphia. "You are an accountant and salesman and performer and tour manger and driver." Musicians who seek to better the world depend on a Louisville- based nonprofit for guidance. the paddleboat to the Louisville skyline stretches farther and farther. rough tinny speakers, singer and songwriter Joan Shelley's pure, warm vocals seal an almost overwhelming sense of joyful leisure. Down a few stairs and through swinging doors, Shelley is performing in a long, navy dress, her microphone swaying and bobbing as the river gestures. It's a sold-out show, an all-ages crowd torn between the deck's hair-whipping warm breeze and the inti- mate concert below. Shelley's joined onstage by Daniel Martin Moore and Will Oldham, her friends and collaborators. e evening ARTS

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