Wednesday, April 22, 2009


my blog moved to because they offer a superior blogging experience...sorry you will always be my first

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Criteria for a good "Show"

First, let me apologize for 2 things.
1. Sorry I don't blog much.
2. Sorry my blogs are too long.
I promise to work on fixing both of those.
ANYWHO...Last night I went to a Butch Walker Show (or concert depending on who you ask and what kind of "scene" they are portraying). It was incredible. Butch Walker is a rock star. Not to the level of Mick Jagger or Bono, nor would he consider himself even remotely nearing their stratosphere, nonetheless rock star. So much so that he seems oblivious to it. Anyway the show was so good that it inspired me to share a few thoughts on what makes a show/concert transcendent. Mind you these are opinions, but being a self-proclaimed music snob/critic, I think they are pretty savvy. Some are glaringly obvious, others more subtle but as you read them you will hopefully think to yourself "yep."
Here goes.
Criterion for a quality "Show" (apart from merely being music you like played live)
1. The Artist or band need to not be sick of touring- i.e. first few shows of a tour or the very last are best, or in this case the artist's hometown...there's nothing worse than when you show up to hear a song you love and the artist is so sick of singing it that they change it completely so it's barely recognizable from the original recording

2. A healthy mix of old and new stuff- what a tragedy when you are an "old school" fan and all they want to do is promote the new cd that frankly isn't as good. (not the case last night)

3. Stage presence- it's one of those things that is almost intangible, that is until someone shows up with none, case in point the lead guitarist last night- face melting guitar solos, expressionless face, also (see Danielle Young from Caedmon's Call, sorry I know it's apples and wolverines, but still)

4. The people you are with- need to like the band and their songs, not be pissed about spending money on tickets, and be able to appreciate good music when they hear it. also a bonus is if they see the humor in cougars on the prowl and borderline 'little people' who are tipsy

5. The Artist/Band Sound good- this one seems almost painfully obvious, but I saw Third Eye Blind at Centennial Park in downtown ATL, and Stephan Jenkins couldn't hit a single high note in Semi-Charmed life, it was painful. Proof that the studio can do great things to a mediocre voice...

and last but certainly not least...

6. Interaction with the Audience- There is a very fine line between fluid crowd interaction and an artist that has mistaken their role and is trying to be too charming and funny, and ends up being smarmy... I know I'm gonna catch flak for this but as much as I enjoy their music, Dave Barnes and Matt Wertz, and even Chris Thile at times, yikes guys, play your songs I didn't pay to hear you talk...

that's all for today...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Marketing...more like Marsucking

Sometime in my teens I decided to start taking a closer look at how we are marketed to as consumers (mostly kept it to myself, but occasionally testing the waters with those immediately in my presence). Now by no means do I sit by the tv with a legal pad denoting everytime there is a good product that I should go purchase due to their clever marketing ploys, but I do watch a little more closely than Johnny Consumerpants (had to jazz it up a little). Now before I get any further into this I must be forthright with a few confessions...
1. I am totally biased to marketing from products I like or already own/purchase, almost to the point of feeling a little satisfaction when my product choice is reinforced to me...
2. I like you am not a paid critic, but often times think I should be reimbursed for my incredibly well-thought out and rational opinions and critiques

3. I also like you think I am smarter and better at coming up with clever or catchy commercials (and If I was really "so smart" and better at coming up with marketing ideas, shouldn't I have happened to sit beside a marketing guru at a sporting event, on public transportation, or at a concert and they be so enamored with my off the cuff ideas they offered me six figures on the spot?)

Having said that I offer my critique of the latest Microsoft ad campaign aimed at the wildly popular "Mac vs. PC" commercials we all love and adore (right guys?). So after being raked over the coals by this campaign since 2006, ol' Bill Gates finally decides to fire back with this
little beauty. Now let's think about this for a moment shall we? I did a l
ittle homework to find that Macs have overtaken Dell (rhymes with Hell for a reason) as the number one laptop on college campuses. Microsoft knows this, so shouldn't they make a commercial that appeals to the 18-34 age bracket that they are losing popularity amongst faster than Michael Vick at a Peta rally. Watch the commercial, what would the pie chart look like of those in the 18-34 bracket who appear in the commercial? Now after watching it again I would guestimate that at best the number would be around 50% in that age bracket. The big names that appear in the commercial are first and foremost Bill Gates (Microsoft CEO), Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs with wife Eva Longoria (of Desperate Housewives fame), Pharell Williams (which was a good call, if you are familiar with the world of hip-hop) and author Deepak Chopra. Now let's look at this from an objective standpoint. Do you see any of these people in commercials that are appealing to a younger generation (Pepsi, McDs, Slim Jim)? Now Tony Parker might get the hardcore NBA or Spurs fan, and Eva Longoria strictly for her good looks will catch the eye, but Deepak Chopra? Ask any high schooler or even most college students who that is and maybe 3 out of 5000 will know something about him. Post college folks maybe, but was he worth their advertising dollar? Why not get some teenie bopper from High School musical, or Miley Cyrus to say they are "PCs"? You would have every girl from the age of 8 to 16 demand a sweet new Vista computer the very next day. Now excuse my hyperbole, but you get what I'm saying. Sometimes more is less. That's what I love about the "I'm a Mac" campaign, it's simple. Just like their genius response to the PC ad....
See what they did there? It's great because it's a simple jab at the other guy, they didn't change a thing. So for the sake of brevity I'll leave you with these closing thoughts for the marketing gurus (who I'm sure are reading this) a few surefire ways to get me to buy your product...ready? (I love lists btw)
1. Make me laugh- (downside, if you try and fail, opposite effect, see Taco Bell )
2. Have a good jingle (Stanley Steemer, Cook's pest control, Blue Bell Ice Cream, Empire Rugs)
3. Make an infomercial that airs between 1-4 am or 1-3 pm on sat afternoon...who amongst us can say they've never gotten sucked in by the Magic Bullet or Ginsu Knives?
4. Don't abuse an originally decent marketing idea (Chick-fil-a cows, Mastercard-priceless, GEICO CAVEMEN!!!)
5. Make a good product, then you won't have to advertise as much because when you make something worth buying, people tell their friends...

Later we will discuss why Macs actually are far superior, but that's another blog... (catch phrase?)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Well folks, after creating this thing about six months ago I am finally sitting down and making a blog. Why? Well I came to this conclusion/place of desperation after realizing that I have some thoughts that I want to share with the world, some are as deep as a fish bowl and others are pretty profound. So thus begins the journey into my mind. I am going to try at all costs not to just talk about myself all the time because I want people to actually read this thing. I am going to discuss popular culture in light of life; specifically music, movies, television, technology, and occasionally romance (or lack thereof). Please don't be fooled by my "P.J. is a mix-tape" title, it merely reflects my desire to be culturally relevant and knowledgeable about the world in which we live. So....welcome to my blog and know that I am just as shocked as you are that I am one of "those people." Hopefully I will grow as a person by having an outlet for some of the absurd things that ricochet through my brain on a daily basis...Till I have a good topic....