I’m sure the link won’t last long, but enjoy it while you can
You might not understand it. You might be well-adjusted, you might fit in, you might be happy where you are. But some of us need a fresh start. We need to leave, move on, to a place where we can be accepted on our own terms, where we can reinvent ourselves, live the life in our heads, the one in the Beach Boys songs.
At this late date, California even has natives. But they’re unlike the denizens of New York. They’ve got no need to say L.A. is the best, that nothing compares. But they don’t want to live anywhere else. Because of the lifestyle. Sure, the weather’s great, but where else can you live where no one else is in your business, where you can strive to be everything you want to be?
This is the California Dream.
And we’re all dreamers.
Glenn Frey’s a dreamer. Don Henley and Joe Walsh too. From Michigan, Texas and New Jersey respectively. They all came to L.A. To express themselves, to make it.
And making it used to be so different. The best and the brightest went into music. A world where victory meant you were beholden to no one, where you got all the pussy you could handle and had more than enough money to pay for drugs and the whims of your imagination.
They call those people bankers today. Wall Streeters have the money. Sure, an athlete can make twenty mil a year for a while, but then he flames out. A musician? He’s making bupkes in comparison. And then there’s Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, the Google twins. They’re the rock stars of today. On sheer wit not only are their enterprises raining coin, they’re in each and every one of our homes, they permeate our lifestyle. Steve Jobs says the iPad is the next big thing and everybody checks it out. We use Google multiple times a day. And Facebook is the new FM radio, a place where the like-minded congregate.
Yes, that used to be our clubhouse. The FM dial. Everywhere we went, there was a station just for us. But us was each and every baby boomer. You can’t find a boomer who doesn’t know “Hotel California”. May hate it, just like people pooh-pooh the iPad, but there’s not a boomer alive who hasn’t heard it. Whereas a large part of the population hasn’t even heard today’s Top Ten. And those making music are sold out whores, tying in with corporations to get their vapid message across. And what exactly is the Black Peas’ message? That they know how to make money? You’ve got a feeling that you want to touch her humps, her lady lumps…welcome to the parade, you’re adding no insight into humanity, this is Life 101.
But it used to be different. We used to listen to what the acts had to say. We wanted the insight in addition to feeling good. The deejays were our best friends. We went to the gig to commune with our brethren. And the music played…it was ubiquitous, everywhere you went in the summer of ’72 you heard “Take It Easy”. “One Of These Nights” in the summer of ’75. And the winter of ’77 was filled with “Hotel California”. And in between them was a plethora of hits, to the point where the Eagles don’t have to dance, no production numbers are necessary, the music is more than enough.
And we in SoCal go. Because when we hear “The Boys Of Summer” we picture PCH, we visualize the sun setting on the beach, we know elation and despair. And we know how to keep on keepin’ on.
And we don’t give a shit what anybody else thinks. We’ve got our own culture. Where the Eagles are equivalent to Shakespeare, the bards of our life in the fast lane culture.
So, halfway through the “Long Run” Solters taps me on the shoulder. Are we ready to come backstage? After nodding in agreement, he puts us on hold while he retrieves two more members of the posse, Cameron Crowe and Neal Preston. And after showing our credentials to the gestapo, we’re in the inner sanctum. And when Irving performs the introductions, I’m stunned to find out that Cameron and Neal know who I am. But it gets better, because Cameron starts testifying about what I wrote about “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”, telling me I nailed the essence of being a reluctant male and how he forwarded it to a fellow director and while I’m contemplating how to respond, who comes by, but Neil Diamond, who pronounces the Eagles’ harmonies the best since the Everly Brothers before exiting, since he has to vocalize the following night and I’m standing there thinking it might as well be 1975.
Irving’s cracking up that the newspapers are controlled by old radio guys and he and Cameron are reminiscing about the x-rated version of “Fast Times” and we all feel like veterans of a war. But we’re still here. A little thicker, with a little less hair, but with our sense of humor still intact.
LONG ROAD OUT OF EDEN
It got the anticipatory applause, you know, when the riff is played, long before the chorus, people purchased the double album and listened to it. Still, “Long Road Out Of Eden” is not “Hotel California”, it’s had no cultural impact, not because it’s deficient, but because we live in a different world, where music no longer dominates and neither does the left.
Everybody in this business is waiting for the seventies to return. Or at least the eighties, when MTV ruled. Bring back the days when ‘N Sync sold two million albums in a week, when Boston’s debut sold far in excess of ten million copies and there wasn’t a soul under twenty who didn’t know Boy George. Today’s youngsters want the fruits, they want the fame and the attendant riches. But you listen to the Eagles perform hit after hit and you realize how hard the work was, how long and strange the trip. Journeying to L.A., backing up Ronstadt, playing in go-nowhere bands, living in the shadow of the Bowl, operating on your wits. Climbing the mountain instead of looking for a helicopter to deposit you on top, hell, there were no helicopters.
But there was a mountain. One we all knew and paid attention to. Now we’re living in the Himalayas, gigantic peaks all around, to the point where even the new Eagles album is niche.
Welcome to the twenty first century. Where kids think stardom is fame and graybeards remember when dinosaurs walked the earth, when James Brown was called in to quell riots. That was the power of music. And it was about the music. The rest was just trappings. But now, all we’ve got are the trappings.
Maybe they could get “Long Road Out Of Eden” in a movie. Ah, who am I kidding. “Hurt Locker” wins the Oscar and still no one sees it. We see Snooki and Kim Kardashian. More people know who Rachel Uchitel is than have heard “Long Road Out Of Eden”. So, it’s frustrating to be an artist. Your canvas is large, but the gallery is small. You can go on tour to beaucoup bucks, playing for people who want to relive their memories, still…you remember when what you were doing made a difference.
And so does the audience.
LIFE’S BEEN GOOD
Sober Joe does turn out to be the linchpin, ripping off the notes that turn the music into rock and roll, and singing his own hits. But what made this number so great was the vintage footage on the big screen behind.
Everybody’s got a camera today, everybody makes movies. Your life is documented from birth to death. But in the seventies making a movie was an enterprise that required money, time and skill, no Flip cameras were extant. So, watching the footage on the big screen was like looking into Tutankhamen’s tomb. Relics! Rock stars on parade. Living the lives of stars, in an era when musicians were at the pinnacle of the food chain, when there was no more powerful position. In an era when YOU told the record company what to do.
“Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses”
You’ve been out ridin’ fences for so long now”
We spent the sixties exploring the world, protesting inequities.
In the seventies we licked our wounds and looked inward.
And in the eighties, we sold out. Became our own worst enemy. It was fine to have children, but did we have to rape and pillage financially, did we have to drive SUVs, did we have to be so mine for me? But everybody else was doing it, so maybe we should too.
And it’s only gotten worse. Why not license your music for that commercial? I’ve got to get bigger, I’ve got to eat. Everybody else is doing it.
But isn’t it funny the music everybody wants to hear predates this era? Comes from a time when the music was enough, when it was pure and inviolate?
That’s why the classic rock acts can still do boffo at the b.o. and so-called stars of yesterday, and I truly mean yesterday, are working day jobs. Because music is no longer soul food, but fast food, made for the here and now, to be denigrated and forgotten.
Things have changed.
But the boomers remember. They’d like a do-over, but that’s not how life works. So you go to the Eagles show to remember when…you heard “Take It Easy” for the first time, fell in love for the first time, were carefree for the last time.
“Some people like to stay out late
Some folks can’t hold out that long
But nobody wants to go home now
There’s too much goin’ on”
Today there’s truly too much going on, but so much of it is noise. It’s like we’re living in a Brillo pad, being scratched by shit we don’t care about, looking for clear light. That’s what music was, clear light.
And the music was enough. The Eagles can play for nearly three hours and no song is unknown, there’s no bathroom break. Because that’s the way it was. You paid your dues in pursuit of the pulpit, and then you could preach in churches and synagogues around the world, to this day.
You might believe in God. I believe in rock and roll.
And I’m not the only one.
We bought the records to keep us alive at night and then went to the gig to ogle the opposite sex, clap our hands and sing along at the top of our lungs.
Last night we took it to the limit one more time. In the only way we know how. We prayed at the Hollywood Bowl. Hoping a day will come when musicians lead us once again, doubting it will happen, but enjoying ourselves in the meantime.
SEVEN BRIDGES ROAD
“There are stars in the southern sky
And if ever you decide
You should go
There is a taste of time sweetened honey
Down the seven bridges road”
It rained all afternoon. By showtime, it was fifty degrees. What kind of crazy fucked up world do we live in where an outdoor concert is scheduled for April?
Southern California. Where it occasionally does rain, but optimism reigns, where water was brought from the mountains and images were manipulated and then projected around the world as reality.
But as powerful as movies can be, they’re no match for music. You watch movies, music penetrates your soul.
The Eagles were both sunny and dark, purely human, three-dimensional troubadours commenting on the lifestyle we were living or in pursuit of. Maybe you’ve got to come to California to understand it, maybe you can close your eyes and visualize it. But last night, we lived it.
The Commission received an application by Glassbox Television Inc. (Glassbox) for a broadcasting licence to provide AUX TV, a national, French-language Category 2 specialty programming undertaking that would offer programming devoted to emerging music and its creation including programming intended to help emerging artists.
The Commission recognizes that a proposal to offer an outlet for French-language emerging artists would surely have a positive impact in the current market conditions. However, given that the applicant failed to demonstrate that its proposed service would not be directly competitive with existing Category 1 or analog pay or specialty services, the Commission denies the application by Glassbox Television Inc. for a broadcasting licence to operate the national, French-language Category 2 specialty television programming undertaking to be known as AUX TV. More here
National Public Radio is walking a tightrope: Its business is built upon an old-fashioned mode of distributing information, but its embrace of digital channels, such as blogs and smartphone applications, has skyrocketed NPR’s usership.
“Our heritage is Radio,” Vivian Schiller, president-CEO of the news and entertainment programming producer and distributor, told the audience at Ad Age’s Digital Conference recently. “But the digital sphere has been a boon to us and is a second core. There is no platform more conducive to mobile than Radio.”
The challenge, with the fire hose of distribution-platform choices blasting full-force as new technologies keep arising, is for its executives to decide what to invest their staff and budget in. At NPR, where its content reaches a combined audience of 26.4 million listeners weekly through more than 900 stations nationwide, Ms. Schiller tries to strike a balance between going “back to basics” and jumping on “every bright, shiny object that comes along.”
Foursquare, the latest location-based mobile-network craze, falls into NPR’s need-not bucket while Apple’s new iPad zings into the absolutely must-do bucket, she said. The difference? An iPad application can help NPR reach a wider audience and enable its news consumers to become more informed. “We’re a not-for-profit, mission-driven organization, so for us the first question is always about mission,” Ms. Schiller said. “We have almost a religious fervor about two things: the user experience and the quality of the content. If you just keep focused on those two things, the rest of it falls into place.”
Focus on core mission
Tom Cunniff, VP-director of interactive communications at Combe, said it’s crucial for an organization to focus on its core mission when making marketing decisions. “With all the clutter, there are a zillion things you can actually do,” said Mr. Cunniff, who oversees both traditional and digital advertising. “Which things are useful to a consumer and which things does a consumer actually need?”
That’s a question Dell tries to answer by setting up lots of “listening posts.” The computer maker uses social tools as well as customer-feedback forms to figure out what consumers are looking for, what they’re aggregating, what aggravates them, and what will make their shopping experience easier. “They vote with their fingertips on their keyboard,” said Erin Mulligan Nelson, Dell’s chief marketing officer.
NPR’s iPad app has quickly become something many consumers’ fingers are tapping. Since the electronic tablet hit stores 10 days ago, one in five iPad owners have downloaded NPR’s app, which has sponsors and underwriters who created a less-cluttered ad experience aimed at feeling natural rather than annoying to consumers, Ms. Schiller said.
But NPR realizes a large chunk of its audience probably will never touch its iPad or iPhone apps, and that’s OK. It strives to provide for middle-age consumers who only listen to NPR’s shows on their phones while exercising as well as for those consumers’ parents who don’t know how to turn on cellphones.
“Obviously we cross-promote the benefits of NPR on various platforms like crazy. But the beauty of being on multiple platforms is it’s not like we’ve abandoned Radio and will let it whither,” said Ms. Schiller, who tried to teach her 88-year-old mother how to use e-mail. “We’ve got to keep innovating on those core platforms the same way we’re innovating on other platforms.”
That’s smart, Mr. Cunniff said, because “the traditional stuff still throws off a whole lot of money.”
Thanks to Ad Age for this story. More here
68% of Canadians believe broadcasting and communications are too important to our national security and cultural sovereignty to allow foreign control of Canadian companies in these sectors, according to a new Harris/Decima survey conducted by telephone from March 31st to April 12th, 2010. Read more here
In an era when we are continually bombarded with data on the latest technology trends, emerging devices and gadgets – personal video recorders, video on demand, satellite radio, MP3 players, high definition TV screens – there is a need to step back and reflect on the accuracy of the various claims that are made. The Media Technology Monitor (MTM) provides an opportunity to do just that.
“Conducted annually since 1997, the MTM was designed to consistently and accurately track consumer adoption and use of media technologies. It is a high quality survey based on telephone interviews with 12,000 Canadian adults (6,000 Anglophones and 6,000 Francophones) and provides valuable information on consumer trends in television, radio, Internet, and other emerging technologies” explains Michael Abraham GM, New Business BBM Analytics.
“Advances in technology present ways to change and improve the consumers’ media experience. How consumers react to these new capabilities and change their media behavior is key to understanding the future media environment” adds Michael.
Over the coming weeks, the following in-depth 2009 Media Technology Monitor reports will be released:
Media Technology Adoption
“We hope these in-depth reports will help the media industry obtain a better understanding of the larger media environment and grasp the ecosystem of tools Canadians use to consume media,” says Michael Abraham.
Below are some highlights from the 2009 MTM Reports:
Although there is no question that a growing number of on-line users are turning to the Internet for video, the amount of time Anglophones are spending watching video online remains low – amongst online video viewers just over three hours are spent watching online video, and of that, about one hour is spent watching TV programs or clips specifically in a typical week. Clearly, while the Internet has a long way to go before it displaces the traditional television set, it provides a great way to discover new shows and for “catch-up TV” (Personal TV Report).
Conventional Radio Still Rules
As fast as technology advances, it is important to note how equally entrenched consumer behavior can be. Despite enormous choice, conventional radio is still the most used audio platform by consumers. However, the average amount of time spent listening to audio on a cell phone doubled in one year, and the growth in smartphones is the driving force behind this trend. Consumers are starting to experiment with streaming audio on their smartphones as well, but we’re not seeing consumers take full advantage of their broadband wireless connections….yet (Personal Audio Report).
The Internet provides people with innovative ways to forge new contacts and stay connected. In 2009, the number of Anglophone Internet users visiting social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace reached 56% (a 9 percentage point or 24% jump over the previous year), while instant messaging remained stable at 42% (Internet Users: Media, Social Networking and Beyond Report).
A quarter of all Anglophone cell phone owners (26%) access the Internet from their phones, an activity that has almost tripled in the last five years (from 9% in 2005). Smartphone owners are more than eight times as likely as regular cell phone owners to go online and iPhone and Blackberry owners are the most likely of all (Portable Media Report).
Personalizing TV viewing
In order to personalize their TV viewing, almost 1 in 5 Anglophones own a PVR. Expected for many years to be adopted rapidly, the PVR’s consumer utility is now competing with Internet TV and cable VOD (Trends in the penetration of audio/video media technologies are included in the Media Technology Adoption Report).
BBM Analytics is the official marketer of the MTM. For further information contact Michael Abraham at firstname.lastname@example.org or (416) 847-2054.
About BBM Analytics
BBM Analytics is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BBM Canada, and offers a portfolio of powerful software and data solutions providing critical insights into the impacts of broadcast content and consumer behaviors. Its market research division specializes in media research, advertising effectiveness, research for financial institutions, public opinion polling, and consumer research.
Amid the strang and durm regarding the “new age” of broadcasting… Internet services, Sat-Rad etc… it might be wise to sit back and take stock of what is actually happening.
When you actually boil down the real numbers, the new age products and services don’t come close to terrestrial radio. Not by a long shot. This is only one rebuttal of the notion that the Internet based music delivery systems are in any way superior to traditional radio.