Thursday, February 24, 2011

Green is for the Money, Gold is for the...MP3? (Blog Prompt #4)

Ahh...the music industry, the biggest pimp game since...well...the pimp game.  Selling sound, fricken genius!  It couldn't last forever, could it?  It can if these big time execs are willing to adapt to this new age.  Execs look at the Internet as a threat, but it could be a gold mine.  I believe it will, but it will be a slow process and be done by genre.  I think hip-hop/urban music has already adapted to the change, even before the Internet explosion.  With mainstream labels initially shying away from signing hip-hop acts, a lot of artists had to learn how to cut out the middle man and market themselves without the backing of a major label, Russell Simmons' Def Jam Records, Eric "Eazy E" Wright's Ruthless Records, or Marion "Suge" Knight's Death Row Records for example. 

The music industry is just going to have to learn how to skim money from their artists without the guise of packaging and marketing costs.  Executives think the Internet is bad because it will cost them old money, when in actuality they could make new money without the burden of the before mentioned costs.  You look at the Justin Beiber craze, that just snuck up on us it seemed and initially with virtually no corporate backing.  I actually read an article about how Percy "Romeo" Miller Jr. is converting his father's, Percy "Master P" Miller Sr., No Limit Record label into a fully digital label, releasing only music in the digital format, no hard copy.  I think that is refreshing to watch someone turn with the curve instead of against it.  The possibilities are endless.  There are even websites (Kickstarter and Sellaband) that allows fans to donate money on line to help their favorite artists produce albums, Public Enemy brought one of these sites notoriety when they produced an album through them a couple years ago.  How cool is that?  You can figure out the exact demand for your product down to the penny.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

There's Gotta Be Something Else On

I'm tired of people making events out of silly television shows, especially shows that aren't good.  Here is my list of the top five most overrated shows on television that people (for some reason) go ga-ga over.

5. "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (FX)

Maybe I didn't give it a full chance.  Maybe it was over hyped.  I tried it, didn't think it was that funny.  Quirky humor only works for me when it is well written. (see "Arrested Development")

4. "Sons of Anarchy" (FX)

What if the "Sopranos" had a one-night-stand with "American Chopper"...and they had a baby...which they dropped on its head...and shook...and fed lead paint chips to.  Then you would get "Sons of Anarchy." 

3. "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS)
Doogie Howser + The band camp girl from "American Pie" + a laugh track = a hit???  Only on CBS I guess. (Don't get me started on the "CSI" franchise)

2. "Glee" (FOX)

Where do I start.  The producers are genius, because they can hide the fact that each episode is plot deficient by having these annoying kids sing pop songs every five minutes.  Its just an attempt to be an edgy version of Disney's "High School Musical."

Drum roll please.....
1.) "Jersey Shore" (MTV)

What can I say that hasn't already been said?  Watching "Jersey Shore" is like eating just the skin from KFC's extra crispy chicken, nothing good can come from it.  I have never watched an episode, but I'm pretty sure I can tell you the plot to 99.9% of the episodes.  Wake up, set up conflict, get ready to go out, go out, get drunk, dance, get more drunk, meet some girls that REALLY want to be on television (by any means necessary)...I think you get it.  Throw in some verbal spats, physical conflicts, sex, hair product and some corny catch phrases that will sadly catch on, and we have the phenomena that is "Jersey Shore."  The worst part is, these people are now rich.  Ignorance really is bliss.  I'd rather alternate between Jerry Springer and Maury.

Words With (All Your) Friends

If you like Scrabble, and if you like your mobile device, and if you like playing Scrabble-like games on your mobile device, then "Words With Friends" is the game for you.  I have played it on my iPhone for over a year, and now it is available on the Android operating system, so those of you with lesser phones than Apple's can get in on the fun.  Anyone want a quick tutorial on how to get embarrassed in this game my user name is "jp915."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Generation TEXT (Blog Prompt #3)

I agree that the new forms of electronic media have dominated the way kids communicate and interact now.  What kid isn't texting, tweeting, and Facebooking right from the palm of their hands nowadays. I'm here to say, as a parent, to other parents...IT'S OK!  Yes there are predators out there, but they were there before. They just didn't appear after the advent of the Internet, they were out there lurking in their window-less conversion vans.  Parents shouldn't worry what their kids are doing online, everything they are doing is natural.  Yes, they are looking at porn.  Yes, they are using bad language with their friends.  Just like you did as a kid, but the only difference is the bad influences were harder to get into your parents house. I think the best thing a parent can do is to accept the fact that your child will run across things online that you don't want them to see,'s the kicker...sit down and explain to them why the behavior is wrong and what it actually represents.  It's all entertainment.  I know it might sound revolutionary, but actually talking with kids might deter some of the behavior.  Your son might skip past that porn site if it recalls memories of having "the talk" with his mother. 

The only drawback I can see from the electronic age's influence on today's youth is the fact that they now communicate within 160 characters or less.  You have endless room to write when composing an email, use full words.  Spell out "you" instead of "u."  Write "are" instead of "r" when you aren't texting.  My wife teaches 7th grade math and graded a paper that had "IDK" as one of the answers.  I can accept "i don't know" but when you are too lazy to even spell it out...c'mon!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Extra Credit...Perhaps?

I am at a loss for blogging inspiration, so I will use this time to brown-nose and get some brownie points with the professor.  Knowing that Prof. Macek is a fan of classic punk music, I would like to take the time to wish Johnny Rotten (John Joseph Lydon) a happy birthday today.  Johnny Rotten was the lead singer for the legendary punk group The Sex Pistols he is 55 years old today.  He has made recent news for expressing his distaste for, one of my favorites, Jay-Z.  We agree to disagree, but happy birthday nonetheless.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Doin' It Big

Even though it caused me to miss "Modern Family", President Obama's S.O.T.U. (that's State of the Union for the un-hip) address wasn't half bad.  The fact that the theme of his speech was "We do big things!" (I was waiting for him to throw up the diamond sign at the end of the speech a la Jay-Z) was entertaining, and yet refreshingly different from other S.O.T.U. addresses.  Instead of focusing on political jargon (health care, taxes, etc...), the President seemed to point ahead to what really matters: innovation.  He even mentioned Google and Facebook.  I think its good to see a leader that realizes that the world has changed, and the way our fore fathers did things will not accomplish much in this new world. 

"That’s what Americans have done for over 200 years: reinvented ourselves...We’re issuing a challenge. We’re telling America’s scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy, we’ll fund the Apollo projects of our time."

Hopefully, quotes like that are more than just ploys to get young voters in the 2012 election, but promises...only time will tell.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Obama Interruptions

Wow, has it been a week already? I guess I lost the groove, time to pull the rip cord.  Well it's that time of year again, time for the Prez to give a lengthy speech about all the things he would like to change, but realistically can't, and in doing so, messing up my television viewing schedule.  "Modern Family" is supposed to come on tonight, but it won't because Obama has to rehash the incidents of Tucson, rehash the Health Care repeal attempt, and lay down the foundation for his re-election bid next year.  I guess I have no other options but to read Dr. Macek's assigned readings.  Nope, thank god for ESPN!