Posted tagged ‘innovation’

“Kony 2012:” Our Generation’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit?” Or is that still around the corner?

2012/03/08

Yesterday afternoon, I watched a 30 minute video. You’ve probably heard of it. It was slick, pressed all necessary emotional buttons, focused on an important topic, and carried a clear message. Since it also utilized all the right social media innovations, it was clear the video was going to go viral. It even said it would. Participation in the video event was based simply upon sharing it. By nightfall, it seemed like everyone with a computer had watched and passed it along. By morning, debate had polarized over what its popularity showed about an entire generation.

I’m not going to add anything to that discussion here, but what I am going to bring up is the other thing that is clearly on everyone’s mind: the music industry.

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Les Paul was a Pirate?

2012/03/06

(via WFMU, who got it via Modern Mechanix)

The Best 2011 List You’ll Read ANY Year

2012/01/13

The end of 2011 and start of 2012 has been marked – as the transition between years often are – by a lot of “best of” lists. Top 5s, Top 10s, Best Hairstyles, Worst Celebrity Moustaches, Hottest Chicken Wings, Biggest Plates of Nachos, Coolest High-Fives – the lists go on and on.  I’ve seen a lot of great music lists too, but unfortunately they’ve all been missing one 2011 release. If you haven’t heard of it, don’t worry: it’s even more obscure than a hipster’s plaid shirt. You’ll probably recognize what it was inspired by – but if you don’t know that, well…yikes.

That’s right. The release missing from all the Best of 2011 lists was inspired by the nearly Oscar winning Patrick Swayze film Roadhouse, also starring Sam Elliott and Jeff Healey. The reason you might not have heard of this release, from Edmonton musician Tyler Butler, is because you didn’t go to the Wunderbar Folkraiser back in November 2011.

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lamenting the loss of the sound – in proven “rant” format

2011/03/26

Yesterday the Edmonton radio station 95.7 The Sound went through some ch-ch-ch-changes. Instead of playing music by local acts, they’ll now be playing Katy Perry. Instead of providing opportunities to further the careers of local musicians, they’ll now be going to shopping malls dressed in Santa costumes. Instead of the community focus being at the heart of the station, they’ll now just be another frequency transmitting music as a commodity.

The Sound, only a few months old, was already having a huge positive impact in the Edmonton music scene. That has now been replaced with more background noise for people working in cubicles. It’s just another faceless business trying to make a profit.

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Top 5 Tragically Hip Songs to Teach a Canadian History Class with

2011/02/04

As every good Canadian knows, there’s three important ingredients necessary for retaining citizenship in the Great White North:

1) A love for ice hockey
2) A love for snow
3) A love for Tim Horton & his coffee
4) A love for the Tragically Hip

Okay, so that’s 4, but as you notice, math isn’t on the list. And that last ingredient, a love for Gord Downie and the gang in the Tragically Hip, may be what really separates us from our freedom loving friends south of the CAN/AM border. Cause I’ve been there before, and there’s lots of people there that like coffee, snow, and hockey, but have never heard of the song “New Orleans is Sinking” – and New Orleans is in America, for pete’s sake!

HIP.jpeg

Important Historical Sources

So I thought that in light of this, if I were ever to teach a course on Canadian history, the best and most accessible way to do it would be in Tragically Hip song form.

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Here Comes the Sun, part II

2010/12/19

You know, you’re right to say that Sam Phillips sure recorded a lot of good black and white artists down in Memphis in the 1950s.

The Fantastic Four

BUT – how the heck did he do it? What happened to musicians having to go to major music industry centres like Los Angeles or New York to get a start on their recording careers? For example, didn’t Ray Charles have to leave Seattle in just 1950 for California to get going on what would eventually culminate in Jamie Foxx getting famous and Kayne West shamelessly ripping him off?

The thing of it was, there were big changes to recording technology following World War II. And when an innovator like Sam Phillips came along to seize on untapped talent that was the Memphis region’s musicians, well, the rest is history.

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Here Comes the Sun, part I

2010/12/19

You know, you’re right to say that Sam Phillips recorded white guys like Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and some upstart named Elvis (I can’t remember his last name).

BUT – he had his hand in recording black cats too. B.B. King for one, and here’s another:


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