Today’s World

1. Everybody has an opinion and they believe it’s entitled to be heard.

2. Everybody has an angle. Winners know this and try to ferret out the truth. The best way to get to the bottom of the story is to ask money questions. When someone says they do something that you don’t think is lucrative, or that they’re not qualified to do, the goal is to keep them talking until they reveal the true story. Which could be they’re independently wealthy, or they’re really a student, or they live with their parents, or they’re a barista.

3. Everybody believes they should have access. If they tweet the company should see it and respond to it. If they send you e-mail not only are they entitled to a response, but a reasoned one responding to their point of view, however unreasonable it might be.

4. 10% of the public is insane, you just don’t know which 10% it is.

5. People feel better about themselves by making you feel bad.

6. Gotcha is the game. That’s how we bring people who’ve flown too high back to earth. It might make us feel good, but it ends up forcing reasonable people out of the picture, either because they don’t want their dirty laundry aired or because they’ve got a few skeletons in the closet. Memo to not only the media but the online rabble rousers…we’ve all got skeletons in the closet, some even findable on Google.

7. Everybody’s an expert, even though they may know nothing. Which is funny because so much is Googlable. In a world where facts are rampant many people are ignorant, even some of those with the biggest mouths.

8. If I paid for it it’s great.

9. Brands are our heroes. We define our identity by them. Not only your clothing, but your car, your mobile phone, your jewelry… It’s a full-time job keeping up with the trends. Logos/no logos. Louis Vuitton/Burberry. You may think you can escape, but the truth is you’re being judged. People used to fight about bands, now they fight about brands.

10. Don’t advertise you’ve got something, that you’re any better than the hoi polloi, then the hoi polloi will judge you for having it. Don’t say you went to Harvard, they were the son of a single mother who couldn’t go to college. Don’t say you took a vacation, they haven’t been on one in years. Don’t say you have any money, otherwise the unwashed masses will excoriate you. Don’t confuse this with the ignorant rich who believe they’re better than everybody else. Just call it poor on poor crime, or middle class on middle class crime. People don’t want you movin’ on up, because that means they’ve got to look at their situation, and they don’t want to. The end result is those with wealth and power seal their lives off from those who don’t have these things. They live behind gates, fly private and vacation in places you’ve never heard of and they don’t talk about it. If someone is talking about their wealth, bragging about their lifestyle, you know they’re nouveau riche and not accepted by the upper class and might not have money for long.

11. Everything you’ve ever said will be held against you. Which is why you should not put information you don’t want everybody to know in print, should not post pictures and so much online. Ironically, the young people know this better than the oldsters. Which is why they’ve embraced Snapchat and have scraped data from Facebook.

12. You’ve got someone else’s gig, you just don’t know it. That’s right, there’s someone smarter and more qualified who you’re holding down and you’d better watch out, they’re working behind the scenes to bring you down, because if they can’t have the gig, you shouldn’t either.

13. People want you to be like them, have the same opinions and lifestyle. If not, you’re a chump.

14. Not only are you not good enough, neither is your significant other. Every woman is competing against supermodels and porn stars who adore schlubs and will do anything to please. The whole world is based on making you feel bad about yourself, so it can sell you what will make you feel good about yourself, theoretically anyway.

15. He who yells loudest gets attention while they do, but when they stop we turn to the next person yelling loudly. And the noise of competing yells is so loud that we hate all the yellers, if we haven’t completely given up paying attention.

16. Stats rule. People find a way to say they’re number one at something, even though in the context of the world at large, that’s nothing.

17. The only people who care about you are poor people, because all they’ve got is their compassion, everybody else is too busy getting ahead to care about you. And in a world where you can fall through the cracks, everybody’s looking for an edge. And corporations are the least trustworthy enterprises of all, they’re all about the money. But since brands rule, the corporate ethos rules. Our society is purely about money, which is why those without it complain so loudly and do their best to pull others down. Because if you can’t have something, nobody else should either. As for hard work and enterprise, most people don’t want to look at themselves and discover why they’re not moving ahead on the game board of life, they just want to tilt it and slide your piece to the bottom.

18. If it makes money it’s unimpeachable. If you criticize it you’re a hater.

19. Tribes rule. The lone wolf is passe. Everybody’s got their cabal. They stay connected via the internet. They make each other feel good, you don’t want to be their enemy.

20. Facts are irrelevant.

21. Everybody’s working the refs. You make people afraid of going against you, speaking up about you at all.

22. It’s all about the story, the narrative. If every media outlet says the Republicans are a lock for the Senate why should you bother to vote, it’s already been decided.

23. No one is there to solve your problems, even if you paid. Which is why those who do help are lionized and why so many are angry and frustrated. People are pushed to the edge. They’ve got all the modern tools, but they believe they’re the product, bought and sold, and no one is looking out for them.

24. Anything very successful has backlash. Whether it be a sports team, Apple or a music star. Enduring this is a skill unto itself. You say you’re ignoring it, but the truth is the haters are having an impact, they’re making you gun-shy, reluctant to take chances.

25. People do it for the money, not you. They stay off Spotify so they can stay rich, or so they think, they don’t care if you listen to their music, they just want you to pay for it.

Rhinofy-Buckinghams Primer


Young people may not know, but every baby boomer does. From back when we were all addicted to AM radio, before FM infected our brains, when a well-executed pop song was not criticized, but embraced.


Oh, listen
To what I gotta say
Girl, I still love you
I’ll always love you
Anyway, anyway, anyway

And there was the magic, the chorus sealed the deal. Then again, every bit of this two minute opus triumphs, even the skating rink organ in the instrumental break. That’s how they used to be made, crisp and compact, back before the FM giants exploded the formula. Unfortunately, too many of today’s acts hew to the FM formula and add no innovation atop it, boring us all the while. The Buckinghams never bored us.


After the initial hit, the band hooked up with James William Guercio, who steered them to further success, once they parted ways with them they were history, on the chart anyway.

Mmm, my, my, my, my baby

The track is good, and this little excerpt makes it superlative!

And sure, the lyrics were relatable, but even more it was about the feel, the plaintive vocal, this was the opposite of the hip-hop heroes, this guy was on the losing end of distance, back when we lived in the dark ages of the pre-feminist era but we still acknowledged the power of women, especially in relationships!

You said that you’d believe me
Then why’d you ever leave me
I’m standin’ here all alone
Without a girl of my own

And there’s nowhere a guy would rather not be, especially if he wasn’t flying solo previously.


Yes, the Joe Zawinul song, but with lyrics attached.

This is probably the best thing the Buckinghams ever did, it swung back then and it still swings today.

There’s no way you could listen to this without shimmying and singing along. Come on…

She got the kind of lovin’
Kissin’ and a-huggin’…


The one we used to hear when we used to get along

I couldn’t believe they said that in a song, it was so conversational!

My sister bought the single, as a result this is burned into my DNA. You used to play them over and over and over again. Actually, that’s the way it still is, singles rule, the listeners know, the makers oftentimes do not.

And, of course, the classic lyric:

It made us feel so groovy
We fell in love, just like in the movies

Sophomoric, but resonant nonetheless!


The final hit.

Susan, do you have to be confusin’?

Huh? Haven’t heard that word in a song since.

No, Genesis did “Land Of Confusion.” But that was different, it wasn’t about a girl but a situation. And when you’re young especially, the opposite sex is so confusing!

This bounces along, it’s a trifle, but it does have that hip break and the explosion thereafter, barriers were being broken, “Society’s Child” was a topic of discussion, but the ending mantra, “I love you, yes I do, I do”…I love all these songs, and there’s not much more you can say about them, other than they were joyful to listen to and they still put a smile on your face every time you hear them today.

Rhinofy-Buckinghams Primer


It’s all about the pintxos.

So I flew on an A380 from LAX. Whew! Have you been on one of these double-decker Airbuses? Considering its size, I figured it’d leave the ground inches from the end of the runway but this gigantic bird had amazing lift and then it was like flying in your living room, big and quiet with more moisture than most planes. However, I can’t give a big thumbs-up for Air France. The seats don’t lie completely flat, the remote control was cracked and they didn’t turn on the water in the bathrooms until just before take-off, the plane was moving while I was washing. It’s the little things that count. And the food was far from memorable, but the people were great, the passengers I mean. The French have such style. And they do it with minimalism. They don’t overwhelm you like Americans, never mind South Americans, just a little accent here, a way of carrying themselves there, they’re so cool.

And so was Paris. I forget it’s fall in the rest of the world. It was cloudy and in the fifties and if that was my final destination I would have been worried. But they’re having a heat wave in Bilbao, it’s in the 80s, and it’s oh-so-comfortable.

Bilbao… What do I know about it other than the Guggenheim Museum?


That’s just the kind of American I am. Turns out it’s 15km from the sea, so it’s a port. And it’s surrounded by mountains, not Rockies, but not bumps, and it was an industrial city that collapsed and was reinvigorated by the aforementioned museum. Just like a tech firm, the whole city pivoted, to services, and it worked. They tell me every other Spanish city has tried to do the same thing, but has not succeeded.

As for the Spaniards… Nobody’s fat!

You know the ugly Americans, who look like they’ve spent their lives eating Doritos on the couch watching television. I noticed it at the museum today, like one of every hundred people is overweight, if that, and none of the kids.

So there’s an old city and a new. And I’m staying in the new but it’s only a ten minute walk to the old. And the thing you do is eat pintxos. You pronounce that PINCHOS! It’s a Basque spelling. That’s a whole ‘nother thing, there’s a Basque language, it’s like a whole ‘nother country. The PR person at the museum was telling us 90% of the attendees were foreigners, I figured that meant non-Spaniards, but it turns out anybody outside the Basque region is a foreigner! So pintxos are what you’d think of as tapas, but they’re not. Pintxos are something, usually meat, fish or vegetables, atop a piece of bread. Or maybe a little sandwich too. Every bar has them. You’re worried they’ve been sitting out too long, but I was told they’re constantly replenished. And what you do is hop from pintxo bar to pintxo bar, sampling the wares. And the first night we traveled from the new city to the old and back, hitting four of these bars, eating anchovies and squid and shrimp and ham and it was all
good and fun and there’s no street food, there must be a law, everybody’s driven to the pintxos.

So I’m here for this conference entitled BIME. And what’s interesting is the link between Spain and South America. You see it’s the language, there’s a direct connection. And sure, there are the usual topics, sync and gaming and all the ways you monetize music these days, but since the repertoire is just a bit different, it’s all interesting.

And today we got a tour of the Guggenheim. Culture revitalized Bilbao. And it’s infectious. I spent half the day there. What were the highlights… Oh, this one room with nine movies of people playing the same mum song. It’s hard to describe… It was done in upstate New York. Everybody’s listening to the track on headphones and then adding their own component. A guy in the bathtub strumming an acoustic guitar, a guy on a bed playing an electric guitar, a woman bowing a cello, another woman playing an accordion, you get it. But what’s really cool is when you approach each player you hear them soloing.

You have to see it.

And that’s just the point. You have to leave your house to experience stuff, it’s inspiring. I’m thinking I could live in the museum, not to make some bad caper film, but for the inspiration. We’re all so caught up in marketing that we forget art is at the core and we have to get into a special space in order to create it. You see the abstract expressionists and the pop artists and the minimalists challenging convention, testing limits, and it illustrates the possibilities. That’s one of the problems in music, no one’s testing the limits, they want adulation and instant remuneration when the truth is artists are always ahead of the game, confounding public and critics until they ultimately accept their work. Life is about progress, when you remain stagnant you die.

And the wi-fi is touch and go. And it was amazing being in the Bilbao airport after the one in Paris. There’s a step down in infrastructure, a step down in maintenance. And despite so much English, many people do not speak English at all, it made me wonder, if I lived here for a while would my high school Spanish training come alive.

Now I am a museum guy. I can go to two a day every day. But that’s not the kind of place Bilbao is. Bilbao is more for the living. And I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by people who know how to do so. Everybody’s open, everybody has a story, and now I’ve got to leave you to go to a cafe by the river for cocktails.


Guggenheim Bilbao – Ragnar Kjaransson: The Visitors

Pintxo Routes

BIME Conference

Apple Notes


Everybody thinks I have an Android.

Malcolm Gladwell told me the problem with e-readers is no one knows what you’re reading, and for an author that’s anathema. The cover of the book sells the book, but if no one can see it…

No one can see I have an iPhone 6. I purchased the Apple case, but it’s grey and the Apple logo is very subtle and with my hand around it no one can see it, but to be truthful, I can barely see it.

So, if you want pride of ownership, evidence that you laid down your cash and are a member of the cult, the iPhone 6 disappoints.

One could posit it would be different with the 6 Plus, but the truth is that too looks like a Samsung product. It’s kind of like cars before BMW blew up the paradigm and then Hyundai ran with it. They all looked the same. Buildings too, until Philip Johnson took a chance with the AT&T building.

Are phones now a commodity?

Or are they evidence we live in a software society, and it’s utility that counts. It’s not what you own, but what you have access to, what you rent.


Speaking of utility, are larger phones killing tablets?

It appears so.

The excitement and wonder have worn off tablets. They’re good for watching Netflix, but if it’s data you want, a large phone will do ya. And if you want to type, why not get an ultrathin laptop, like a MacBook Air or one of its Windows competitors.

Ain’t that the way of technology, what was new and hip seemingly minutes ago is suddenly passe.