I’ve written a lot about how much I love finding new music and experiencing new bands / artists. I thought this might be good timing to do a quick round-up of some interesting music news:
-As I mentioned I wanted to find some reviews for Revenge of the Book Eaters benefit concert. I thought this Amy Novak summary was pretty informative. In addition, I found a snippet of one of the Jim James’ songs she is referencing (above). I’m going to keep an eye on My Morning Jacket’s site to see if these songs become available.
-The new Shins video is out, for ‘Sleeping Lessons’. Very cool and a great song. It reminds me of the first time I saw Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ video.
-Bruce Springsteen’s new single is out — and free on a few select sites. Great song. Great marketing.
-USA Today’s Pop Candy editor Whitney Matheson always flags some great music. Not sure if I’d call North State great, but I found their ‘Sucka Mofo’ to be hilarious (and a little scary).
Remember, I’m always open for new music. I treat it like wine — if you like it, then it’s good.
The American Library Association released their list of challenged books today, challenged as in parents, library patrons and others want that particular book removed. Could you guess what book received the most complaints? If you guessed “And Tango Makes Three”, an award-winning childrens book about two male penguins raising a baby penguin, you guessed correctly.
I found the fact that so many people complained about a book that promotes tolerance of unconventional families a disturbing thing. However, what I found a little more disturbing is the fact that this was tops on a list–of 546 challenged books. That 546 is up 30 percent(!) from last year. While this is still off from the high totals in the mid-90s (700s), it is an alarming jump. It’s ironic that a country with such severe literacy problems is trying to ban so many books.
Sorry that this post is so late and short, but I was at the Indians v. Twins game tonight (triple play!!) with my friend and co-worker Gregger. I wasn’t sure if I would have time to write anything but then I saw this in my feeder care or Whitney Matheson’s Pop Candy. It’s a piece on The State, a brilliant but before-its-time show. (It’s a pdf so give it a chance to download.) I watched and loved this show (I’m not sure many people did) so I’m happy to read this and hear that they’re releasing a DVD. If you haven’t seen it, this is your chance to do so. Hilarious.
On a side note, I’m going to try and collect a few review snippets on Revenge of the Book Eaters for tomorrow so we can see how it turned out.
I mentioned a few posts ago that I am a fan of ‘Ad Age’. They recently had an article about the growth of regional breweries despite the overall beer industry being down. One of the examples they gave of this growth is the (finally!) expansion of New Belgium Brewery’s Fat Tire out of Colorado into Minnesota (albeit only one store).
This spurred a conversation about what are the five best beers. This like any other top list is purely subjective, but here is my take:
1. Fat Tire (New Belgium)
2. Oktoberfest (Samuel Adams)
3. Yuengling Traditional Amber Lager
4. Christmas Ale (Great Lakes Brewing Company)
5. Honkers Ale (Goose Island)
This list is pretty set, well, at least the top four. As much as I like Honkers Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Anchor Steam are coming on pretty fast. Like music, I’m always open to try new tastes, so pass along any you think are worth trying out.
One of my favorite bands that you may never have heard of, My Morning Jacket, is promoting an event tomorrow night in New York City called ‘Revenge of the Book Eaters’ that will debate which is better, words or music? They will be featuring some very eclectic panelists, including MMJ’s lead singer, Jim James. It’s a good question that I really don’t feel like delving into on a Saturday night, maybe I will at some other time.
As for My Morning Jacket, I am a member of their Buddy Team, meaning when they have news, album releases or shows I will help them promote it. And I couldn’t be happier to do it. This is a great band that you have to check out when you have a minute. I’m going to try and talk more about those bands that are off the beaten path, something that MySpace has made extremely easy to find. I’m already compiling a queue of bands, but I’m always open (and needing) more. (Hint, hint.)
Sitting here with a glass of Pella Estates Pinot Gris on a Friday night. I am always extremely exhausted on Friday night. And tonight is no different. But thanks to my good friends the Billocks I am settling in with a few episodes of HBO’s Flight of the Conchords. What was wrong with me that I am just now sitting up and taking notice of this hilarious show. It caught my attention because they way my friends explained it made it sound like Wes Anderson meets The Office. No matter how you describe it, the show is hilarious.
Speaking of Wes Anderson, my favorite pop culture expert caught a pre-screening of his new film the Darjeeling Limited. Judging by the trailer, if you like Anderson’s films, you’ll probably like this one. Personally, I can’t wait. Not many people shared my admiration for The Life Aquatic, but I thought it was fabulous. Royal Tenenbaums is still my favorite though. Fantastic Soundtrack.
A new U.S. intelligence report released today showed that there is serious doubt in Iraq Prime Minister Nouri Maliki’s ability to bring political unity. The report states that the next six – 12 months will be a very fragile time for the Iraqi government. We should probably build the largest and most expensive embassy the world has ever seen so we can keep a close eye on the oil — er, I mean the goal to bring political unity to the Iraqi government. Oh. Wait. We already are.
Speaking of Iraq, I read today that President Bush compared Iraq to Vietnam. I wish he would make up his mind if it is another Vietnam or if it isn’t. I also wish that he would put as much effort into getting the troops out of Iraq (we only have 160,000 over there) as he does defending why they’re there. I found ironic, if not a bit sad that the day Bush made his latest case for why we should stay, the state of Texas executed its 400th prisoner since they reinstated the death penalty in 1976.
Did I mention we have 160,000 troops in Iraq right now?
I’ve been tracking Woot (woot.com) for almost a year. I know a lot of people knew about it before I did, but this is the first time I am writing about it.
Woot is pretty sweet because it’s committed to offering the best deal – for one day only – on some pretty cool stuff. For example, today they featured the Zune for only $150. I have it set up in my feeder so I can keep track on a daily basis.
But wait. Just when you think it can’t get any cooler, they recently introduced wine.woot. It was a little like Xanadau for me. The only difference between woot and wine.woot is that they offer the deal for a week instead of a day. This week the feature is two each of two selections from C&T Cellars (2005 Roofhouse Red Cabernet Sauvignon; 2006 Skinny Dip Sauvignon Blanc) for $49. Keep an eye on it; this is an cost effective, easy way to build a nice wine collection.
The more I read Ad Age, the more I love it. They recently featured an article referencing Jay Rosen’s blog, PressThink. (Mr. Rosen is an associate professor at New York University, Department of Journalism.) So I went and checked it out. It immediately became a must read, entry into my RSS folder and addition to my blog roll.
All you need to know about Mr. Rosen’s blog is the opening sentence to his intro: “We need to keep the press from being absorbed into The Media.” As a public relations professional, I think some of this responsibility lies with us as well. Coming from a school where the PR program runs through the Journalism school, I feel a personal responsibility to write / report on my clients’ news with the same objectivity as a journalist. I hope you check out PressThink. I think you’ll like it.
Speaking of my must read blogs, I have been a little behind in reading my feeds, so I just found out that Bill Sledzik is ending his relationship with PRSA . I’ve only been a PR practioner for seven years, but I have always shared the view that Bill is detailing in this post. Hopefully his growing frustration capped off by his walking away will cause the organization to look at what it has become vs. what it was created to do.
I read an article on BBC.com today about Israel’s decision to turn away Darfur refugees. It was a sad article as this development comes in year four of the Darfur conflict – and I’m not sure many people even know there’s something going on between the rebels and pro-government militias. The conflict, residing mostly in Western Sudan, began after the rebels attacked government targets saying their communities were being discriminated against in favor of Arabs. If you want to know more there is a very comprehensive summary of reference articles listed to the right of the story.