I was astounded when I clicked the link and I found a policy long enough to codify a divorce.  Yes, I felt the presence of lawyers, and you don’t want them anywhere near the act/fan interface.  But then, in reading the camera policy, I detected a sense of humor, the post evidenced a real person.

This is key to success in this industry today.  The acts must not be kept behind walls, media ops vetted by publicity agents, their image perfected for gatekeepers.  Rather, the acts must put forth a three-dimensional image, as intimate as a conversation between two buddies in math class.


Why doesn’t Doug Morris’ assistant do it?

Record labels have a horrible image.  As does Ticketmaster.  They need a mole inside the game to honestly report what’s going on.  Sure, they have to filter out privileged information, but how much of that is there anymore anyway?  Rather than depend on the press to get the word out, you need to do it yourself.  Forget newspapers, forget "Entertainment Weekly", you’re your own publication these days.

The key is to create a bond.  This bond will deliver benefits.  The entertainment business is a home sport today.  Anything you can provide to allow those at home to help their fantasy team will be greatly appreciated.


I heard George Harrison’s version of "If Not For You" on the satellite yesterday, and thinking about Bob’s take on "New Morning, I decided to play the new album.

"Life Is Hard" just might be the least appealing cut on the record.  Which is good.  Not fantastic, good.  Play it all the way through and a fan would want to hear it again.  It exists in its own rarefied world, one in which music is something you stumble upon as you walk down the avenue.  Kind of like being in Nashville, hearing something interesting wafting out a doorway and entering the bar.

Start with "Jolene", it swings.


"American Idol" succeeds because of hit music and drama.

I’m not sure exactly where the drama comes in with a show about a cappella, but I’m sure Simon Cowell could manufacture some.

In case you don’t know, Ben Folds today released an album of college a cappella versions of his music.  I’ve been hooked on a cappella since the original days of Napster, when I stumbled upon it.

How about a TV show akin to the old "GE College Bowl", teams from different institutions of higher learning competing.  The key here is to give them a brief period of time to come up with an arrangement, a week at most, hopefully just a few days.  And then the public tunes in not only to hear classic music, but the way the groups rearrange it.

The backstory is the college experience.  Maybe the groups fly home every week to campus and cameras follow them, as they go about their studies and social life.  Rather than focusing on high school dropout wannabes, put the spotlight on those trying to pull themselves up the ladder, by going to college.  This will ring true in Obamanation.

Sure, they can play for scholarships.  Actually, maybe that’s a big enough incentive in today’s economy.  But maybe there’s a twist, the best team gets to transfer to Yale or sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl or…compete on "Dancing With The Stars"!

Yes, dancing was not seen as hip, and neither is a cappella.  But it’s heartwarming, sans danger, it appeals!

As for judges, we certainly want a vocal coach, but writers and producers should be the judges.  People with true pedigrees.  Start with Elton John, think big.  He’s opinionated AND a music lover.

Start as a summer replacement show, when expectations are low.


Did you see this?

MySpace is doomed.

I’d hit the delete button and start over.  They need a new interface.  And have you noticed how long it takes for the music on pages to come up with the latest player redesign…  Does anybody use this shit?


I’m thinking of cancelling my subscription.  And I’ve been a steady reader since the seventies.  There’s just no reason to get it.

The hard news is better in the "New York Times".

Who gives a shit what the faceless opinion people have to say, they’re not part of the national debate.

Sports is on the Web, and I’ve given up following the contests anyway.

There used to be the California station, the local news, which I didn’t always read, but liked was there, since I never watch TV news.

Business?  Better in the "Wall Street Journal", these stories break all day online, and the news hole of the paper is so small.

So that leaves the Calendar section.  Which is 25% reprints of online news from the day before, sometimes TWO days before.  Then a bunch of articles that are essentially hype by the studios and…

There’s almost nothing there.


How come they can get interface so right, and all the newspapers get it so wrong.

This is the Apple secret.  Present it in a way that is easily used.

I can skim the info on the HuffPo almost instantly, whereas both the L.A. and NY "Times" sites are almost unfathomable.  WSJ is a bit better.

As for blogs on the "Times" sites…they’re like speaking to yourself, buried so deep that they have no voice in the debate.

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