Archive for May, 2008

Your blog could become famous because the Internet gives crackpots a voice

My cousin Adam from the Philly area is a new contributing music reviewer for a blog (ahem, web site as he would prefer) called This Is Some Scene. He did his first review on a Flaming Lips show he went to last night.

It’s cool stuff, and I’m proud of him for joining; however, he has quite an interesting perspective on the developing influence of blogs vs. the news biz.

He’s concerned about what the growth of the blogosphere–in conjunction with news sources switching to an online medium–is doing to Joe Schmoe’s ability to decipher “legitimate news sources” (in which Adam is quite cynical about already) from blogging crackpots.

In an earlier Internet age (like… 3 years ago) a lot of people read information produced online with a grain of salt, assuming if the author had any credentials at all, he wouldn’t be expressing himself on the Internet. Obviously, he’d have a newspaper column.

However! Now, news corps, big businesses, small organizations and weird dudes living in their parents’ basement eating Cheetos all are producing content in the same form. Basement dude could potentially become just as influential as NYT blogger. So how can Joe Schmoe tell what’s “news” and what’s a whole lot of BS?

Well. That’s what’s so great!

The same phenomenon that’s causing Adam’s concern also is giving This Is Some Scene the potential to become a very successful site. So far only 4 or 5 people are running it, who never would have had the opportunity to be heard if it wasn’t for the fact that crackpots (and the rest of us) have the chance to produce content and make it available.

Even better? Society judges big shots and no-names on the exact same terms.

I think blurring the lines between traditional news and blogging-nobodies is a fantastic thing. It’s quite possible that my cousin Adam is an 800 times more competent reviewer than someone from the The Philadelphia Inquirer. Now Adam can write something, we will read it and we’ll never know he’s actually a crackpot!

I mean… my lovely, wonderful cousin! :)

Anyhow. Best takeaway from our conversation? I asked him the main reason he decided to write for the blog. His response:

“Because I like music, I like writing and it’s something to do. And it might impress girls if I am at a show and I tell them that I’m ‘covering it’ for something.”

Hear, hear.

Music, Earthfest and… Zombies. That’s right.

Boston Hatchshell Earthfest

Today I went with my roommate and one of my best friends to Earthfest in Boston to check out some sweet live music, get some free stuff and hang out outside. It was a beautiful, PERFECT day to be outdoors along the water, and the Hatch Shell was packed. Quite the lovely day.

A few hours later, we decided it was time to go home. When we started going up the footbridge to get over Storrow Drive, one of my friends stopped said, “Hey. There’s some sort of march… or protest coming this way. Wait. What? What is that?”

Ladies and gentleman, we found a parade of zombies. I immediately whipped out my camera, and thankfully I was able to capture this incredibly unique moment. Amazing.

I love my crazy city. And my crazy life.

A cappella tweeps in Twitterland. Thanks, Summize!

I think I found my favorite Twitter analytics application so far. It’s Summize Lab’s Realtime Twitter Sentiment, and I plan to actively use it to stalk every person talking about a cappella. Ever.

What really makes this thing cool is I can search by word AND geographic location. For example, I used a custom search operator looking for “music” near:”boston”, which showed me everyone in my area who is tweeting about music. Or you can use the super easy advanced search.

Think! I could potentially use this to find real a cappella singing Twitterers who live close enough to me to form an actual group.

Summize A cappella search

Also, I did a simple search on “a cappella”. As you can see, I’m currently dominating the conversation. So speak up, a cappella lovers! We must unite and make beautiful, beautiful music.

Anyhow. Amazing or what? I’m in love.

New life, new apartment and… musical neighbors?

Sorry for the lull. I’ve been quite the busy lady with finishing school, graduation, etc.

I moved into my new place yesterday. So far it’s great. However, today as I’m settling in…I heard mysterious singing from outside my bedroom window… that went on for hours. And hours. So, naturally, I did some investigation!

Please bare with me and my shaky self-recording. (And really strange facial expressions.) It’s in two parts, because I own absolutely no video editing software. Enjoy!

Help me make an a cappella group. (Social media is failing me.)

Update!: Since this post, I’ve founded a very successful singing group named Common Sound. However, we’re always looking for new folks to audition!

It is my goal to start a professional a cappella group.

But. It’s turning out to be a bit more difficult than I thought.

I am researching and researching, but I can’t seem to find any a cappella people actively “hanging out” anywhere online.

Naturally, I posted messages on just about every relevant Facebook group I could find. I mean, that makes sense. Right? College kids/recent professionals hang out on Facebook. I also checked out a million a cappella web sites, but the majority were dedicated to selling CDs or promoting concerts– not any type of creative collaboration. Most useful space I found was the CASA forum.

Even craigslist, which I thought would be quit effective, hasn’t been. Twitter could end up being alright, but I’m pretty sure 98.8% of the people following me are not singers (I don’t think).

I even directly emailed a handful of ensembles that used to perform with my old group. So far? Nothing.

And this is where I attempt to be thoughtful.

As much as I love social-media-everything, I’m not sure it can help all the time. It’s great for linking up with awesome PR professionals, professors or fellow nerds— but what if your audience isn’t active online? How do you reach a community of strangers, if they’re not eBunching together? I’m frustrated.

So, this is when this post becomes a blatant request for your help to spread the word. If you know anyone in the Boston area who likes to sing and might be interested in joining an a cappella group, please let me know.

Alternate advice on how to find singer types is welcome as well.
Chordially Yours

Hip Hop Sampling Remains a Mystery to Me…

I’m not even going to pretend I understand how this guy does this. I used to make some fly beats back in the day on the amazing Yamaha my parents bought me when I was 13, but nothing compared to this.

Anyhow. Meet Disko Dave. In the video, he messes around with a sample, adds different rhythms and such and makes it sound pretty incredible. Personally, I’m quite impressed. I have limited to no exposure to the hip hop world aside from the horrible, overproduced pop-hip hop on the radio. This is a breath of fresh air. Can’t deny this guy is talented.

If it means anything to you, he’s using an Akai MPC 2000XL, and I kinda want one (even though I wouldn’t be able to use it for my life.) I would love to know how those little buttons change the chord. Are the chords preprogrammed to fit the key… or is each button a note? Any insight?

If you’re curious, I found this clip on Peace.

AMP’s Walk of No Shame = Newest musical/viral video?

Well. I must admit I wasn’t expecting my first “real” post to be anything like this, but this commercial is too fantastic to pass up. It’s by AMP (Congrats. Your product gets a plug on my blog. I suppose your marketing department was hoping that would happen.) I saw it on TV about 20 minutes ago and immediately searched for it on youtube. It’s hilarious.

I guess the lesson here would be catchy song + funny lyrics + relateable situation (to some moreso than others) = genius. I think there’s going to be a whole lot of talk about this.

So what do you think? Totally inappropriate or amazingly funny?

Music and social media. Get pumped.

Welcome to my new blog! It will be sticking around for quite some time, so get excited.

So why did I create a new blog, you’re probably wondering. Well…

1) It’s prettier, and I have my fabulous graphic designer friend Alyssa Osborne (alyssa.osborne [at] gmail [dot] com) to thank for that. James Connors helped a bunch with the tech stuff. They’re good people.

2) It has a purpose. For those of you who already know me, I started my other blog Repcor: My Sentiments Exactly a few months ago. It was a terrific introduction to the social media space… but had no real focus whatsoever. This blog will.

3) I wanted to find a way that I could truly contribute, and writing about music makes the most sense.

As you’ll read in the ever amazing Who is Rebecca? section, I’ve been a giant music nerd for just about my entire life. It has always been what makes me happiest, and I’d really love to write about the various musical stuff I stumble upon on the Internet and in everyday life.

So, what will be in my blog?

Far too many times, I’ve walked by a random street performer dude who deserves way more attention than the crowd of 15 people standing around him. How awesome would it be to take a short video clip and share it with everyone? Or perhaps feature random people’s muxtapes. Maybe record my own personal beat boxing sessions while walking to work.

Regardless, this blog is founded on the premise that music a) brings people together, b) gives us something to talk about and c) ignites some sort of emotion in all of us. To some degree, at least. Unless you don’t have any feelings. In that case, I can’t help you.

Hope you enjoy! Please feel free to throw feedback in my direction. As I said, this is still in the works, and I want to make sure it goes super well.

So… what do you think? :)