Posts filed under “Digital Media”

The Hold Steady

While everyone is buzzing about the new Springsteen album Magic (I ordered but haven’t heard all of it yet), I want to direct your attention to a band that reminds me a great deal of The Boss of old: The Hold Steady

Boys_and_girls_in_americaOn the strength of just a few songs, I picked up Boys and Girls in America. The song that really reached out and grabbed me was First Night.

Pitchfork Media, which called The Hold Steady "America’s #1 bar band," gave the album a Rating: 9.4.  My favorite part of their review:

"It’s no wonder that critical darlings the Hold Steady aren’t exactly indie rock heroes. Marginalized to that world almost by default– radio and video are, for the most part, unkind to new rock bands not targeted at high-schoolers — the Hold Steady craft classic rock-indebted music that would sound better sandwiched between Born to Run and Back in Black than Illinois and Tigermilk . . .

[Frontman] Criag Finn does this is by ratcheting up the force and power of the music, layering guitar and trebly keys and multiple hooks on top of one another like a mid-1970s E Street Band or an E-boosted Happy Mondays. It’s rock’n’roll before it was ashamed to do either, and unlike on past efforts, lyrics can sometimes be summed up by lines that approximate the effect of a chorus, even if they’re presented more like a thesis statement: "I’ve had kisses that make Judas seem sincere," "When they kiss they spit white noise," the aforementioned "Gonna walk around and drink some more."

That sounds just about right to me. Other reviewers have also been enthusiastic:

Rolling Stone:    "…bizarrely touching and insanely original."
   

SPIN"  "a raucous album rife with heavy guitar licks and more cultural references than Paul’s Boutique."
   

Pitchfork: "One of the most convincing rock bands to emerge in recent years…unadulterated aggression and ear-splitting amps."

You can see more about the disc here boysandgirlsinamerica.com.

There’s a good interview with the band, and an acoustic version of Chips Ahoy at NPR (which is very unlike the production sound of this disc). 

Stuck Between Stations

MARGARITA (Acoustic)

The full run of "authorized" videos are here.

Category: Digital Media, Music

WSJ: Free or Paid? (Yes)

Category: Corporate Management, Digital Media, Financial Press

Listener Determined Download Prices?

Radiohead

Interesting story about Radiohead’s new release, "In Rainbow’s."

Their pricing scheme for downloads is designed to give the Music Industry — especially major labels — fits. According to their website, IT’S UP TO YOU.

Notes Salon:

"This weekend the band announced that its new album, called "In Rainbows," will
go on sale on Oct. 10. They still haven’t signed with a label, and the album
won’t be available in record stores nor on iTunes or any other online music
shop. You’ll find it only on the band’s site, and if you’re looking for a
digital version, the price is very attractive: Whatever you’d like to pay.

You can pre-order the new album here.
Click to purchase the download and you’re presented with a simple screen at
which you’ve got two boxes to fill in, quantity and price (in pounds). "It’s up
to you," the site says."

For those of you who, like me, prefer the physical media, you have a high priced, rpemium option:

"If you’d like something physical, the band is also selling "In Rainbows" in
something it calls a "discbox," a beautiful package that includes a CD, two
vinyl records, digital files, album artwork, and lyrics booklets. It sells for
40 pounds, about $81 (the price includes shipping anywhere in the world). If
you’ve got a Radiohead superfan in the family — and who among us doesn’t? –
your holiday shopping just got easier."

(Additionally, I see a lot of other Econ bloggers have weighed in on this natural experiment:  Free Exchange, Mankiw Blog, Truth on the Market, Freakonomics, Long Tail & Marginal Revolution . . .)

Read More

Category: Digital Media, Music, Web/Tech

BLADE RUNNER: FINAL CUT NYC Saturday

Category: Digital Media, Film

Q&A: Ridley Scott on Blade Runner

Bladerunner_trans_630

Attention Blade Runner junkies: The offline Wired interview with Ridley Scott, which I mentioned in this weekend’s linkfest, is now online.

As we noted previously, the latest version of Blade Runner is in theaters in October, with a 5 DVD disc set to follow next year.

Here’s the Ubiq-cerpt:™

"It’s a classic tale of failure and redemption, the kind of story Hollywood
loves to tell.

Fresh off his second successful movie, an up-and-coming director takes a
chance on a dark tale of a 21st-century cop who hunts humanlike androids. But he
runs over budget, and the financiers take control, forcing him to add a
ham-fisted voice-over and an absurdly cheery ending. The public doesn’t buy it.
The director’s masterpiece plays to near-empty theaters, ultimately retreating
to the art-house circuit as a cult oddity.

That’s where we left Ridley Scott’s future-noir epic in 1982. But a funny
thing happened over the next 25 years. Blade Runner’s audience quietly
multiplied. An accidental public showing of a rough-cut work print created
surprise demand for a re-release, so in 1992 Scott issued his director’s cut. He
silenced the narration, axed the ending, and added a twist — a dream sequence
suggesting that Rick Deckard, the film’s protagonist, is an android, just like
those he was hired to dispatch.

But the director didn’t stop there. As the millennium turned, he continued
polishing: erasing stray f/x wires, trimming shots originally extended to
accommodate the voice-over, even rebuilding a scene in which the stunt double
was obvious. Now he’s ready to release Blade Runner: The Final Cut,
which will hit theaters in Los Angeles and New York in October, with a DVD to
follow in December.

At age 69, Ridley Scott is finally satisfied with his most challenging film.
He’s still turning out movies at a furious pace — American Gangster,
with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, is due in November — building on an
extraordinary oeuvre that includes Alien, Thelma & Louise,
Gladiator, and Black Hawk Down. But he seems ready to accept
Blade Runner as his crowning achievement. In his northern English accent, he
describes its genesis and lasting influence. And, inevitably, he returns to the
darkness that pervades his view of the future — the shadows that shield Deckard
from a reality that may be too disturbing to face."

Other goodies:  An interactive look at the Cultural Influences Before and After the Film in the Blade Runner Nexus , and a full transcript and Audio of Wired’s Interview with Ridley Scott.

Its a must read for fans — even if Ridley gets whether Deckard is a replicant or a human wrong . . .

Blade_runner_impact

>

Source:
Q&A: Ridley Scott Has Finally Created the Blade Runner He Always Imagined   
By Ted Greenwald  09.26.07 | 4:00 PM
http://www.wired.com/entertainment/hollywood/magazine/15-10/ff_bladerunner

Category: Digital Media, Film, Video

Amazon’s DRM-Free MP3s

Category: Digital Media, Music, Web/Tech

Look Who’s Blogging: Paul Krugman

Category: Blog Spotlight, Currency, Digital Media, Financial Press, Weblogs

New Project(s)

What a crazy week — and the market is the least of it!

We moved from our old space on Park Avenue & 49th (across from
the Waldorf) to larger quarters a few blocks over on 5th Avenue. I have been switching back and forth between Starbux and Bryant Park for internet access (and posting less because I have been out of the office more than in). The
furniture is in, the phones are hooked up, and tomorrow, rumor has it
Verizon will light us up with a big fat pipe, connecting us to that
series of tubes.

But what’s been really odd is that a dozen seperate projects I have been working on for a few years now — some big, some small, all eclectic — have practically all-at-once, simultaneously, lurched towards fruition.

These include:

A major media project

I may join a new BoD

A fun little web project (its potentially very, very funny)

A significant quant application (this is a very powerful tool)

A brand new video venture

Two fascinating blog related advertising concepts

An expansion of an earlier book blogging idea

A new private equity fund 

And that was just this week!

We will discuss more about these in the coming weeks; Just about all of them have a market/stock/economic component to them. I’ll keep you up to speed with these as they develop.

I expect/hope that at least 3 of these 7 close before Halloween. . .

Category: Digital Media, Hedge Funds, M&A, Video, Weblogs

Who Is The Anonymous Donor?

After an exhausting 3 day road trip away, the first thing I like do on my first night back is kick back and relax.

Depending on the time of year, that could mean any number of things. Could be a cigar, a walk by the beach, or a glass of port.

Tonite, it meant pouring a glass of Shiraz,  firing up the TiVo, and watching Curb Your Enthusiasm. Absolutely laugh out loud  hysterical — and that was before I drank the wine. You can really recognize LD’s stylistic fingerprints all over Seinfeld in the plot of this Curb.

I’ve seen them all, but I may have to go grab a few box sets of this; it will make for good airplane viewing . . .

Curb

Too, too funny . . .

Category: Digital Media, Television, Video

Fall On Me

Category: Digital Media, Music