Archive for September, 2007

Subterranean Homesick Bluescreen

Monday, September 24th, 2007

I’ve never been big to publicly support someone’s advertising vehicle. Sure, I wear logo-ed clothing from companies where I’ve worked, but you’ll never catch me with a Hilfiger or Coke t-shirt. Today, however, I’m making an exception to that rule. The promotional folks for Bob Dylan have created the coolest little widget/Facebook app I’ve seen. It’s so good, it nearly defines the whole underlying principle of why the Facebook API is such a killer thing. You can see my cynical message about the technology on my Facebook page. Or go to the TechCrunch page that gives a little more background.

But that’s just one man’s opinion.

UPDATE: Apparently this is becoming successful. Interesting story today via Reuters (Yahoo’s version) that says over 80,000 have tried this out, and searches for Dylan are up 3X. Maybe coincidence, but there’s no doubt the record company folks are being successful and getting the interest of a new generation of potential fans. Good for them…they should be doing something for all that money they suck out of an artist.

In Praise of Being Different

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

You gotta love someone who brings a Marshall stack to a folk festival. It shows confidence. It shows commitment. After all, the roadies wheel those amps up on stage and you have to *do* something with them.

I was at the Folks Festival in Lyons, CO, a couple of weeks ago, and Grace Potter, with her band the Nocturnals, did just that. (Check out a review of her latest disc here.) Earlier in the day I heard a couple of great sets from Mary Gauthier and Darrell Scott. They were the kind of thing I came to hear…a great singer-songwriter up on stage with their guitar. Then, wham, Grace and some power chords. It was awesome. And it got me to thinking.

I don’t know if the person doing the booking at Planet Bluegrass did this on purpose, but if so they deserve a round of applause. Although perhaps on a smaller scale, it was just as daring as putting Stevie Ray Vaughn on stage at the Montreux Jazz Festival or Porter Waggoner as the warm-up for the White Stripes. It costs enough money to go to a show these days that it’s rare you take the chance on seeing someone you’ve never heard of before. Putting someone with a lot of talent into a slot that no one expects does everyone a great favor. The audience gets to hear something new and the artist gets exposure to a new crowd.

But that’s just one man’s opinion.