A place where I write about things that matter to me.
Bright Eyes was one of the first bands that actually meant something to me. A family friend burned me tons of CDs of various musicians and bands (the original file sharing) and among the pile of CDs was the Bright Eyes album, Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground. I played it over and over and I went out and bought every other Bright Eyes release I could. I spent time on the internet researching Conor Oberst, Bright Eyes, and associated acts. Unfortunately, this all happened during the Bright Eyes hiatus. After a couple years, they went on tour. I saw them for the first time at the Metro. And much like Oberst says at the end of Chapter 7 in Ripped, “There’s nothing that’s going to replace seeing someone on a stage, singing in the same room your standing in.” I remember ever second.
I loved reading the chapter about Oberst’s story. He has been so successful by simply doing exactly what he wanted to do, and never compromising. I’m definitely not saying that the not giving a shit approach will work for everyone, in fact, it works very few times. But Oberst was and still is making music and constantly trying to improve. He was giving music away and supporting file sharing because he would rather his music be heard than make money off of it. Especially in the beginning, he was never concerned with making decisions based on what would make money, what people want, what “sound” would get his songs on MTV, etc. He made music the way he wanted to and very much didn’t understand the idea of tailoring songs to fit anyone else’s suggestions.
Oberst has had a long, consistent career and has managed to stay out of the limelight and and remained unfazed by “fame.” He is mysterious, talented, opinionated, political, and never ever disappointing.
Truth be told, I’ve never listened to Nine Inch Nails. Maybe they were a bit before my time? At any rate, I don’t have to listen to NIN to figure out Trent Reznor is a pretty smart dude. All I have to do is read chapter 20 of Ripped.
I really liked the way Reznor followed Radiohead’s In Rainbows campaign, evaluated what worked and what didn’t and why, and tried it himself in a new and improved way. Like many other bands we’ve talked about, Reznor had the “fuck major labels” attitude. He felt like they were cheating his fans, so he took it upon himself to fix that- By telling the fans to steal and share and steal and share.
I think that attitude that Reznor had was effective. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. He had faith in his fans that they wouldn’t let him down, and they didn’t. They donated when they could and they went to shows and bought merchandise. All of these sales contributed to this new approach’s success.
This image, and others like it have been blowing up my facebook, twitter, and tumblr. After a few posts with sentiments like, “Watch this video and join the fight.” They were all very serious and bold statements. So I followed the link to a 24 minute long video that explained who Joseph Kony is (a Ugandan warlord who kidnaps children and forces them to kill) and proposed a call to action in 2012.
The Ugandan and American authorities have been unsuccessful in locating Kony thus far. The person who made this video suggests a number of things to make more people aware of Kony’s injustices, get and keep our government involved, and make a change for the children in Africa.
The way he’s suggests we make these things happen is incredibly thoughtful, and obviously effective. For now, he asks that everyone share the video and tweet links to famous, relevant individuals because they can use their popularity to spread the word to mass audiences. Celebrities that are being targeted include, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, and Mark Zuckerberg. Once people watch the video they are encouraged to purchase the “Action Kit” which contains posters, posters, stickers, and bracelets. On the night of April 20, people in major cities across America will hang these posters aand stickers so that on April 21 they are everywhere.
The poster design is similar to the picture above and the idea is to get people wondering what it’s all about. The statement about the campaign: “Kony 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.”
This whole campaign seemed to have blossomed overnight and is taking over the internet and every form of social network. I think this is a perfect example of the power of the internet and how it can be used for a purpose, and not just tweeting and posting random things. It’s clear that this campaign was thought through simply because of how much it’s working.
Tegan and Sara entered the studio last week to record their next album. While they are in the studio, they have been live tweeting about the day-to-day happenings in the studio. Every Tuesday they will release a video called Carpool Confessional where they talk, in the car, about the previous day in the studio. They posted the first one on Tuesday and it has almost 20,000 views already. I think this is an incredible method to getting fans excited about an album, especially when they haven’t come out with one album in about 3 years.
Gotye - Somebody I Used To Know
This band is the most interesting thing to happen to me in the past two weeks. I saw a gif of this band on Tumblr and googled what it was from. It brought me to the video. I thought it was such an interesting concept and the song features Kimbra! Another new favorite of mine. After listening to the song on Youtube a few times I felt satisfied and moved on with my life. But then, this song, video, band, and covers started showing up everywhere. I don’t know what happened, but whatever it was, seemed to have happened over night. I haven’t done any further researching, as I haven’t really had to, since Gotye is everywhere I turn.
I bought their album after preview some other songs on iTunes and it hasn’t left as much of an impression as “Somebody That I Used To Know” but it does have songs that are unique one their own. I’m glad that Tumblr exists and help me find this band. I’m also glad that this remix exists: http://soundcloud.com/deejaykue/gotye-feat-kimbra-somebody-i
I really love the whole Grammy thing. The whole production of the whole thing entertains me, which I suppose is the point. The over the top performances, the outfits, the winners! So much to look forward to and this year did not disappoint.
First, I wonder how the show would have been different had Whitney Houston not died.
And second, I feel so torn lately between raw talent and involved productions. I’m going to be the first to admit that Adele’s performance made me a little misty eyed. All she needs is a microphone for her performance. Nicki Minaj on the other hand, wouldn’t have had the same impact on me if she had simply sang her song on a stage with just a microphone and black dress. I know comparing them isn’t fair because their genres are different as well as their images, but for some reason I feel that I have to choose which approach is more important? Admirable? Talented?
I recently purchased XM Radio for my new whip. I only listen to one channel: Opie and Anthony. I feel like I’m constantly driving, and when I’m not, I’m listening to them on the XM app on my phone. This has been going on for about three months now.
During the show they often do live reads. They would do one for a jeweler, Steven Singer, on occasion. About mid January, the Steven Singer live reads started picking up, in preparation for Valentine’s Day. Steven Singer has one of a kind, colored, gold dipped roses. I’ve heard the read so many times, I could do it!
I’ll be honest in saying that I was/am always so annoyed when the Steven Singer plug starts. But oddly enough, every time it did I would say to myself, “I REALLY need to go to this website.”
Steven Singer has an interesting marketing campaign and ultimately, that is what interested me. His website URL is ihatestevensinger.com and his phone number is 888-ihatestevensinger. I don’t even know how that is possible. He also has billboards in New York, where his shop is, that simply say “I HATE STEVEN SINGER” with I no other explanation.
I personally think this is brilliant. It wasn’t the repetitive live reads that finally made me crack, but rather the hilarity/cleverness behind his campaign. It interested me way more than “stevensingerjewelers.com” would have. I think that I felt like he was relatable and interesting.
Update: After visiting his website I recognize that he is definitely a one of a kind jeweler, but I would never buy anything from him. But the point is, he got me there!!
In Chapter three of Ripped, something struck me while I was reading Eric Grubbs’ experience with Napster. He was describing how within a few weeks Napster seemed to appear all over his campus, including in his own dorm room. His roommate who wasn’t even a music enthusiast was spending so much time downloading tons of songs and burning them to CDs. It was when he said “I saw how fast everything went. It spread like wildfire and it was really exciting, but I also was thinking, This could be a problem.” that I realized my disconnect from this time. Sure, I remember downloading music from Kazaa a little bit when I was younger, but I definitely wasn’t around (or old enough) to experience the very beginning of illegal file sharing. The burst of something that was so new and innovative and then the quick realization that it may not be a good thing.
Illegal downloading has always been something that I’ve known as “wrong” and “stealing.” I never thought in depth about a time when it was thought (by the users) to be harmless and easy and innovative. It’s something that I’ve always had easy access to. This chapter brought to light that at one point, music downloading sites were new inventions that everyone loved and no one knew the harm they would cause.
Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.
Today I spent $4.99 on an issue of Vanity Fair. Why, you ask? Because Rooney Mara was on the cover. Apparently all a company has to do is put the most beautiful woman in the world on the cover of a magazine and I will spend money on something I would usually NEVER buy. Or even pick up for that matter.
Vanity Fair knows what, or rather who, is hot right now. Rooney Mara. And because they know that, they made an extra five bucks.
Sex, I mean…Rooney Mara, sells.
I read the Introduction of Grag Kot’s book Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music. I couldn’t help but sigh. Surprisingly from relief and not anger.
Allow me to divulge:
Whenever I tell extended family, family friends, or older people who aren’t “art types” what I’m going to school for they look at me like I’m crazy. Most people don’t know what “Music Business” entails, so I tell them. And then a look of sympathy falls across their face when they tell me that the music business is dying and that there is no money in it. Even in some of my concentration classes there seems to be an attitude that the music business “just ain’t what it used to be.” While that is true, I don’t necessarily think that has to come with a negative connotation.
As Kot explain in the introduction, people started seeing a shift in technology and they instantly started resisting. Steve Albini was quoted as saying, “It’s like trying to hold back the ocean, like trying to keep the sun from rising every morning. It’s a whole new era, except the music industry doesn’t know it yet.”
Albini was right. They couldn’t hold back the changes that were rapidly washing over the music business. But I’m sick of hearing that it’s dead and over because of these changes. I feel like if humans are made to adapt to change, why should this be any different? I think that while these changes might not be ideal, they are inevitable. I feel like only recently have I been seeing more of a positive attitude about the ever changing music business.
I’m excited to continued to read Ripped because Kot seems to have a view similar to mine and I’m interesting in reading his opinion on music business happenings as they relate to technology.
I’m just trying to keep it posi!