I've contemplated about how or if to post this. I've decided to post it here in success, even though it's not a "deal" yet, it is a dream come true. My initial goals with Taxi were to improve my craft and get heard by those who could make a difference. Placements are secondary right now. I'm in pursuit of the elusive artist dream. Now to the story... (which is probably too detailed)So in prep for my first rally I spent some google time researching the panelists and mentors. The most currently successful panelist in my genre was top on my list of contacts. How could I get to him? He made a location joke (about where I live) in the first panel. This common ground was already on my list as far as potential door openers. So after the panel, I beelined to the stage, only to realize there were many many hyperactive wanna bees ahead of me. So I backed off and watched. This guy was very patient with the onslaught of CD's and I'm great stories, but I noticed him begin to evaluate a path out of there. So I positioned myself near the door he kept eying. Sure enough, he headed that way. I had maybe 5 seconds. I made a joke about the locational joke he made as I threw a CD on his stack. He stopped, laughed, looked me in the eye and then looked at my CD. "The Gypsy Van, cool name. I'll check it out." "Thanks man", I said as the door closed.Later, I saw him walking through the lobby and "stalked" for an opportunity. "So how often are you in [location]..." We talked for a few minutes, while headed for the ATM, and he said, "What was your band name again?" "Oh yeah. That's such a cool name." He said again that he would listen, and I offered another CD and he said that would be great, because it would be a while before he went through the other stack. As he left for a label showcase, he said he would be hanging out later and to look him up.Well, his showcase lasted longer than he thought so he never ended up back in the lobby that I saw. So the next day, after his panel, I'm standing on the stage -- not in the line to talk to him, just in earshot. So this lady comes up to me and says, "Weren't you on one of the panels" I didn't even know the guy knew I was there, but he said, "He'll be on a panel next year". (Though it was a joke, I had already been standing there visualizing myself on a panel -- and with Casey's recent post... thought it interesting to include this part of the story).So we talked a while. He said he'd be out later and to look him up again. Sure enough, later that night he was in the lobby. He was talking to someone, so I just walked by and did the "head nod" thing. Later I strategically walked by talking with ML. I kept myself in view of him, but didn't approach. So the guy gets up, is heading another direction, sees me and changes direction -- walks up and says, "hey man, what are you guys doing". So all and all I spent about an hour and a half "hanging" with this guy and he said my CD was on top of his stack and he would listen on the plane. Oh yeah, and he asked for my card, and gave me his email.A week later, I sent a brief, great to meet you email. He replied back within a few hours, with "talk soon".So from there, nothing. I'm just waiting. Here's a guy who's had his hands on several of the most successful selling CD's recently, and my CD is in his hand. Actually, if the story ended there, my goals were met thanks to Taxi.So I'm busy, more goals, more work, just plodding away doing my thing. Friday my cell rings... I've never seen that area code, who might this be? "click" "Hey Aubrey this is XXXXX, I'm sorry man but I just got around to listening to your CD, and it's really good man. I listened to all the songs, and they are all good but that number 6 is great. I listened to it all the way. That's definitely the direction you guys should be heading. It's like a psychedelic Pearl Jam. I'm going to see if I can do something with it.... who did the production? You? Didn't you say you just have a small studio? I love the drum sound, it's very Mutt Lange -- it's midi??? Wow. Impressive."So anyway, he wants to hear more stuff in that direction and is "going to see if he can do something with" the song he most liked. So, no - it's not a deal, but one of the top songwriters/producers in the industry just took the time to call me and share that. I feel like an AMEX commercial. Taxi fees over the past year and a half, $1200 - Airfare and travel expenses to the Rally, $1200, the first phone call from [XXXXXX] -- priceless.Watch out world. 2008 is my year.Aubbtw-- the song he thinks we should push is "Drowning"