RSVP Montgomery

Live and Listen

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014

Blue Sullivan
Jordan Kirkland has a vision for making Montgomery a prime destination for live music. To that end, he has created “Live and Listen,” a series of interesting concert events to help bring his vision to life. The first of these is the cleverly titled “Funksgiving,” to be held on the 28th of November at Alley Station and featuring two young, nationally touring bands—Earphunk and The McLovins. RSVP spoke to the “Live and Listen” concert visionary about both that event, his reasons for choosing his life’s vocation, and what he has planned for the future. 


RSVP: So Jordan, where did “Live and Listen” come from? 
Jordan Kirkland: I want to give a clear understanding of what "Live and Listen" is. "Live" as in living, not like "live music". Many people have had that confused. The idea is to take our passion for music and find a way to turn it into something proactive. 

RSVP: How did the company come together? 
Jordan Kirkland: My long-time friend Hill Lubin and I started this company together. Hill majored in entrepreneurship while in school at the University of Alabama. We have been promoting music and attending events together for well over a decade. As we got things rolling, my brother, Jacob Kirkland, expressed interest in helping us. Jacob is a finance guru and has been a major part in making this possible. Another close friend, Drew Gunn, who has two degrees in marketing, has come on as our marketing specialist. It has been great to form a team and we wouldn't be off to this start without these guys. 

RSVP: So what does the name mean to you? 
Jordan Kirkland: I wanted to come up with a name that embodied this concept, but was also simple, concise, and original. A name that can also serve as our motto, and a call to action to those around us. I feel like "Live and Listen" covers it all. I met with a graphic designer, explained the concept, and he applied it when designing our company logo/brand, which we are marketing on poly/cotton blend t-shirts with a percentage being donated to Run Bell Run, a local fundraising charity for Cystic Fibrosis.

RSVP: How did you choose Run Bell Run? 
Jordan Kirkland: We chose Run Bell Run because we wanted our shirt sales and ticket sales to benefit a specific local cause. A cause that is current that the people of Montgomery can rally to support. Scott Bell [of Bell Media, a partner to the event] graduated from my high school, Saint James School, and went to my church growing up. It has been inspiring to see everything he has done and continues to do toward fighting Cystic Fibrosis. If we can play a role in helping him achieve his fundraising goal of $50,000 in one year, while bringing some of the best young bands in the country to Montgomery, why not give it a shot? 

RSVP: Have you achieved some additional support from the community? 
Jordan Kirkland: We are in the midst of conversations with quite a few local businesses who have inquired about sponsoring the events. 

RSVP: So where did this passion for live performance come from? 
Jordan Kirkland: I've always loved promoting the bands that I am listening to. Unfortunately, Montgomery has never been a consistent market for live music. Why not start something where we can focus on promoting up-and- coming bands, planning events featuring these bands, tie the event to a current, local charity, and create a new brand around the concept? 

RSVP: So I understand you’ve got something big planned this holiday season? 
Jordan Kirkland: Yes, we actually have two events. The first is “Funksgiving” on Friday, November 28th and we have “Christmas Jam,” which will be held Friday, December 26th at the Warehouse at Alley Station. We are really focusing on holiday weekends when a lot of people will be in town. 

RSVP: Who will be performing? 
Jordan Kirkland: The featured bands for Funksgiving will be Earphunk and The McLovins. I think that night in between Thanksgiving and the Iron Bowl has a lot of potential. For Christmas Jam, the featured bands will be Rollin in the Hay and Montgomery's own Federal Expression. We’re confident in the potential turnout being the night after Christmas, as well as it being a Friday night. 

RSVP: How did you choose those acts? 
Jordan Kirkland: Earphunk has really blown up recently. They just signed with Paradigm Talent Agency, who books for Phish, Dave Matthews Band, Umphreys McGee, and many more. I've been following the McLovins since they were teenagers, and they've become such a great original band. I wanted to go with more of a local feel with the bands for Christmas Jam - really encourage people of all ages to come enjoy the show. Rollin in the Hay has been a favorite across the state for years, and Federal Expression is the best local band to come out of Montgomery in years. Perfect opportunity to showcase both bands to as many people as possible, all for a great cause. 

RSVP: So how can people rally behind your grand idea? 
Jordan Kirkland: A lot of planning and expenses have gone into these events. Right now, the best way people can help the cause and support our mission is to purchase one of our t-shirts at liveandlisten.com, purchase tickets to the events at liveandlisten.com, and help us spread the word! 

Funksgiving will be brought to Montgomery by its title sponsor, The Halcyon Group at Morgan Stanley, which consists of Paul Winn, Lewis Gayden and Travis Winn. Additional presenting sponsors include Capitol Container, The Starke Agency, Montez Renault, LiveMusicDaily.com, and Zaxby’s. For tickets to this event on November 28th, featuring Earphunk and The McLovins, or for tickets to Christmas Jam on December 26th, featuring Rollin in the Hay and Federal Expression, go to liveandlisten.com. Both events will be held at The Warehouse at Alley Station - so give your money to a great cause and a fantastic event.

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