Category - music

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We Can Gather, and We Can Sing

The "6 Chair Pickin' Party"

The “6 Chair Pickin’ Party”

Three things happened yesterday which, if I can adequately weave the path through them, attest to the current state of music, address the current debate on the subject and,  ultimately, gently, point a way into the future…

FIRST:  I had a moment on that antiquated old medium called “radio.”

As I was getting out of the shower yesterday morning and making the bed, I turned on WPLN (Nashville’s NPR affiliate) and heard a promo bumper for “On Point,” the program out of Boston that follows “Morning Edition.” I heard the show’s host, Tom Ashbrook, announce that he would be discussing the streaming music royalties debate that has taken on new strength in the past week since some guy in a band called “Radiohead” (irony abounds) announced  that he was pulling his music from Spotify and other streaming services, on the pretext that “it doesn’t pay new artists enough…”  or some such nonsense.

As soon as the show came on the air and they announced the call-in number, I dialed in.  Wonder of wonders, I was quick enough to get a ring instead of a busy signal (this might have been the second or third time I tried to call that program, parts of which I hear almost every morning).  A producer picked up the line a few moments later.  I told him what I had in mind to say and he said, “OK, if Tom takes the call, say ‘Hi Tom…’. Don’t say “good morning” because the show is rebroadcast at different times during the day…”

Commence heart pounding.

Then I went about making breakfast, and sat down to eat it, while listening to the discussion on my telephone headset.  And then in between a bite of eggs and grapes I hear, “Paul from Nashville, you’re on the air…”


I then proceeded to verbally fall off my breakfast barstool.  You can hear the whole embarrassing episode here, but since this is digital retrospect, I will repeat it more precisely as I would have said it if my heart had been pumping at something closer to a normal rate:

1) When this guy Tom Yorke says that he’s pulling his stuff off of Spotify because it doesn’t pay new artists enough, that is an “altruistic red herring.”  He’s really not concerned about new artists so much as he is about the apparent decline of revenue inherent in the shift from unit sales (i.e. 99c per download regardless of how many times you listen to a track) to fractions-of-a-penny payments per stream per listener (where you only get paid by how much a song is listened to – and then, not very much).

This professed concern for “new artists” strikes me as  a smokescreen, and actually contrary to what new artists need.  As I did manage to point out on the air, I’m much more likely to become interested in a new artist if I can actually hear their music, which is a lot harder to do if their music is not on a service like Spotify.

Actually, I really don’t know Radiohead all that well… maybe I should go listen to some of their music on Spoti….oh, wait…

2) Behind the smokescreen of his concern for “new artists,” I think that what Mr. Yorke and his ilk are really professing is that the industrial-age model of selling music in discrete units – that bear a high price because of their relative scarcity – should some how be preserved in the digital era – when the quantity of ‘content’ that is now available approaches infinity.  Well, get a clue buddy.  Buy a vowel.  You cannot drag the old model into the new reality.  Let go of the nuts, silly monkey, and you can at least keep your hand…

Anyway, that’s what I meant to say; Instead I made some clunky allusion to buggy whips.  I’m pretty sure the cliche police will be knocking on my door any minute now…

3) If these jokers really want to make an issue of something that is unfair in the music biz, they should join the crusade to get terrestrial radio (i.e. “broadcast” radio – which is actually radio; “internet radio” is just an oxymoron, and destructive one at that, because its use compels us to think that the medium is something that clearly it is not…) to pay royalties for the recordings that they broadcast.

As it stands, broadcast radio pays royalties only for the compositions – the songs – that are broadcast on the public air.  The United States is one of the very few countries in the world that pays nothing to the artists or labels who produce the actual recordings.

if you want parity between analog and digital, if you want more money from the use of your music… start there. Of course that’s assuming you can actually get your music on radio.  Good luck with that…

Anyway, that’s more precisely what I was trying to say in my 15 seconds of fame on the radio yesterday.  Thanks to whoever heard that and is now reading this for the opportunity to indulge in perfect 20/20 verbal hindsight.

SECOND: I direct your attention to a blog post by the erudite and pithy Kidd Redd, a partner at Nashville’s Flo Thinkery – which figures because he is clearly something of an original thinker in his own right.   In his “Stylerant” post yesterday, Mr. Redd addressed the same issue that “On Point” addressed that morning.  Follow the link to read the whole thing; In the meantime here’s the paragraph I thought was pertinent (scroll down to Starving Musicians):

So listeners download, and they stream. It is only natural for artists like Thom Yorke to suddenly stop dancing weirdly and say, wait a minute, I need to do something to make people understand that this making of music really is hard work, it has enormous value, and you can’t have my album for free. Slow clap, Thom. I’ve always thought that artists who don’t like the deal should simply pull their music. Good for you. Only thing is, no one will care. NO ONE, except music biz peeps and your Mama. People have lives in which music is only a part. Maybe a big part, and a part we would all be sad to live without, but then again, we won’t have to. We can gather, and we can sing.

“We can gather and we can sing.”  As anybody who has followed my musings on these subjects over the years will recall, that premise is central to my thesis, my as-yet unwritten “Grand Nebulous Theory of the Future of Everything, Music in Particular.” Which goes something like this:

At some point in the not-too-distant future, we will look back on the era of industrialized music – wherein music became a product, packaged and shipped and sold like soap – as a brief, anomalous period in the annals of human history.

The ultimate, end result of the disinter-mediation of the digital era is going to be a return to something more akin to music as it was before there were recordings:  less as an expression of popular, mass culture, and more a manifestation of community spirit.  We are going to stop expecting that music is something that somebody else – the Tom Yorkes of the word – does for us, and something that we do for ourselves.   Music not as something that you buy, but something that you make.

THIRD: That point was graphically – and aurally – driven home last night at a home in the hilly and leafy West Meade neighborhood of Nashville where a small congregation of hand-made music and song lovers gathered… and sang.

The event was the the revival of a tradition that was very much at the heart of my Nashville experience for the first 8 years that I lived here – Mike Williams “6 Chair Pickin’ Party” – where Mike and his wife Kathy would invite a half-dozen songwriters into their home – along with typically 40-50 guests – to swap songs and stories around a faux electric camp fire.


Another view of last night’s “Pickin’ Party” – photo purloined from Kate O’Neill’s Facebook page…

In the late 90s and early aughts, Mike’s Pickin’ Party was a Nashville institution.  Three Wednesdays of almost every month (the exception being when Mike and Kathy spent a month in Kerrville, TX, doing pretty much the same thing in the open late night/early morning air), some of the best singer/songwriters in the world would climb the steep hill to Mike and Kathy’s house, past the sign that said “Park on street… Sing on key…” to play their hits and their personal favorites for an enthusiastic audience tightly huddled in the living room.

The parties were discontinued in 2003 when  Kathy was chosen to serve as CEO of the whole international Girl Scouts organization, and she and Mike took up residence in a loft in lower Manhattan.  They tried to host similar parties there, but that effort was discontinued when the other residents objected to all the traffic in the one small elevator that served their entire building.

On a personal note (as if this whole blog post is not personal notes?) and as I explained to one of the performers last night, the best thing I’ve done since I’ve been in Nashville started at Mike Williams’ pickin’ parties, when I asked a few people I’d met there, “what would you think if I tried to sell some of your CDs on the Internet…?”  That was in the spring of 1995 (yikes!), so of course I had to explain to most of the people I was talking to just what the Internet was (and once they figured it out I sold the business to them…).

Mike and Kathy are back in Nashville now – they had the foresight to hang on their house here for the decade that they were in NYC – and they’re cranking up the Pickin’ Parties again with a series of events every other week in July and August.  They travel a lot in a big ol’ motorhome that was their retirement gift to themselves, but when they’re in town, Mike says, there will be parties.

And if you could have been there last night – as you are welcome to be at the next three parties, on July 31, August 14 and 28 (contact me for info) – then, I believe, you would have seen the real future of music.

If you had been there, you would have been part of room filled with talent and heart and whimsy and laughter, great playin’ pickin’ and singin’, an audience that did not hesitate to sing along and oh…did I mention heart? I heard some of the best songs I’ve ever heard last night.  Songs like Whit Hill’s “Stethoscope”, a song that you would likely never hear on the radio but nevertheless fires a harpoon right into your heart.  Or Laurie McClain’s “My Heaven.”  Here, listen for yourself:


So yesterday was an intriguing, unpredictable confluence of events and musings that, taken together, somehow demonstrate the trajectory that we’re somewhere in the still-early or maybe middle stages of: The real future of music is not about downloads, streaming, radio or “American Idol,” or who gets paid how much for what.  The real future of music is like its distant past: people… gathered and singing.




The New Music City Center: First Impressions

Music City Center: The Gutar-Shaped Grand Ballroom

Music City Center: The Guitar-Shaped Grand Ballroom

I went to an event at the Nashville’s shining new convention center, aka “Music City Center” yesterday, for a Kelby Training Photoshop seminar.

I have been in the building on several previous occasions, having been afforded an opportunity to photograph the building while it was under construction.  You can see the result of those safaris here. 

Because I got a close, first-hand look at the place while it was still under construction,  I feel like I have some stake in its realization and success.

This was the first opportunity I have had to visit the place since it officially opened last month – to enter not as an interested observer, but as an actual end user.   So here are my initial impressions of Nashville’s newest landmark, and some feedback for the developers and administrators that I hope they will find constructive:

1) Impact: The entire edifice is absolutely impressive from any angle – although it is pretty hard to see the whole thing from any single vantage point.  I say this knowing full well that if I’d been one of the people on the city council responsible voting to fund a monolithic gathering place in the era of virtual meetings, I probably would have voted “nay” and figured the money could have been better spent on, say, music education in our schools.  But now that it’s built and open, I have to just admit that this is one of the things for which the over-used word “awesome” was truly intended.

2)  Seating: As long as we’re over-using the word – and so that I continue on a positive vein before getting down to the “constructive criticism” – let me just say the chairs in the meeting rooms are also “awesome.”  This is no minor point, because most people who use MCC will be there for meetings, which will require considerable amounts of just plain sitting.  So my compliments to whoever selected the chairs.  They are thickly padded and impressively comfortable.  There were truly several times when I shifted my body into some awkward semi-slouch and notice how comfortably the chair responded.  I actually made a mental note: “wow, these chairs are comfortable.”

3) Music:  This point I want to make before I lose everybody with my wordy minutiae. It’s about the music.

“Music City Center” was so named in order to reflect and boost Nashville’s standing as “the” music city, and I’m completely on board with that.  But there was only one place in this entire, gynormous complex where I heard any actual music.

In the mens room.

And it wasn’t just “music.” It was “country” music  – by which I mean the cheesy, saccharine, under-conceived and over-produced mainstream country music which is the reason I never listen to country radio any more (and, yes, I did listen to country radio once upon a time, but that was literally a millennium ago…).

I object because making bubble-gum “country” the only actual music that a visitor to the “Music City Center” is likely to hear reinforces a stereotype that really needs to be crushed.

There is so much more to Nashville now than the crap they play on country radio!  Hell, even country music has more to offer than what’s on the radio today – hello, Willie?  Waylon?  Johnny and Kris?  Marty Stuart?? Dolly or Emmylou???  Where are you all now that Music City needs you? Lost to a an era of ear candy that doesn’t even serve well as Muzak.

Please…   Let our visitors hear the Black Keys or Jack White or Jeff Black.  Let ‘em hear how infinitely diverse is the musical universe that defines “Music City.” Yes, Nashville’s musical roots are more country than corn and dirt, but those roots have grown into a virtual rain-forest canopy, underneath which every imaginable kind of music flourishes.

“Music City Center” is going to be a lot of visitors central experience of Nashville. Please, don’t let them think that country-pop is all that “Music City” has to offer.  

(On the other hand, maybe a bathroom is an appropriate outlet for mainstream country…..)

Now that that’s off my chest….

4) Access: There needs to be a painted – maybe stop-lighted? – pedestrian cross walk between the egress from the underground parking garage to the entrance to the building – which is across a street.

Parking for MCC is found in some abundance (1,800 spaces) in an underground garage that is entered from 6th Avenue South, which is now a four-lane thoroughfare that runs right under the building.  After you have parked your car, you have to cross that busy street to get to the entrance that leads to the ballrooms and meeting rooms.

It does not appear that the designers and architects who did such an otherwise outstanding job took this detail into consideration (I can hear them now: “Oh, you mean, people actually drive cars to the building and then want to get in, too??).  So you have to take your life into your hands and cross an unguarded boulevard to get from the parking to the entrance.  A crosswalk is definitely in order there.

5) WiFi:  Anybody who has ever been to a tech-oriented event with me knows that I’m the wise guy who always wants to know the password for the WiFi – and squawks when there is none.

The good news about Music City Center is that it does appear to be equipped with a strong WiFi signal throughout the building.  

The bad news is the access is blocked by a login process that takes a virtual crowbar to crack.

It’s not a truly “open” WiFi service.  My own experience – with THREE different devices – was that it was impossible to get the “login / create an account” page to come up on any of them (This is actually a recurring problem with WiFi in a lot of places;  The local system hijacks your device, and then doesn’t present the door to which you can speak the password to actually get in).  

I only managed to get the login page when I saw the IP address for the page on somebody else’s device; I entered those numbers and got the page to come up on mine.

But that was not the end of the issue:  once I’d logged in, if I let my device go idle for any amount of time – 5, 10 minutes – the login was lost and I had to log in again.  And again.  And again.  All day long.  In the 8 hours that I was at the MCC I must have logged into the MCC-Guest WiFI close to two dozen times.

Let me be clear about my attitude here, so you can all appreciate what a spoiled digital brat I really am: I think WiFi should be like air.  You don’t have to register or login to breathe.  It should be the same way with WiFi.   Just open the damn gates and let me inhale the digits, OK?

And lest this seem like the overwrought whinings of a strung-out digit junkie, I hasten to add: this is NOT a minor detail.  We live in a connected – maybe overly connected – world, and everybody who enters the Music City Center is going to be looking for a signal.  WiFi is an issue in part because the availability of a conventional mobile wireless signal (i.e. 3G, 4G, LTE or even voice) is – not surprisingly – very weak in some places within the building.

If the authorities that operate the center truly want this to be a “state of the art” facility, then internal communications need to be as artful as the rest of the complex.  Wireless services should be a first thought – not a second or third thought.

6) Website? I was surprised to discover the night before my visit that there is no current website for the Music City Center. Nearly a billion dollars for the building but… no website?

I wanted to confirm the access point for the parking, so I searched the web, only to discover that the website for the joint is still the “Under Construction” site that has been in place since construction began (was it three years ago?).  You can watch a time lapse movie of the construction, but good luck finding out where to park.

I have it on good authority that the website will be relaunched before the end of this month, and that will be a welcome to development.  I only mention it here to suggest that the effort go even further:  

Music City Center? There needs to be “an app for that.”

Again, it’s a matter of how mobile and connected the world is now – and how “state of the art” does Music City Center really want to be?

When I enter a complex like the Center, it’s tough to get my bearings.  These days my first instinct is to reach for my mobile device and find that little blue dot that tells me where I am an orients me to where I’m going (like I wish there was an app that could tell me where to find electrical plugs at the damn Home Depot…)  

I don’t know if internal GPS is even possible, but Music Center is just so damn big.  It would be cool to have an app that aids internal navigation.  And while I’m at it…

7: The artwork hanging throughout the Music City Center is phenomenal.  I dare say there is more artwork to admire there than there is at the Frist or Cheekwood.  *

8: Restrooms (again): Can we please do something about those infernal infra-red activated paper towel dispensers?

God, how I hate all those infra-red gizmos – they never work for me.  Maybe my body doesn’t generate enough heat?  It’s bad enough just trying to get water to pour from a faucet or soap to squirt from a dispenser what with all hand waving to trigger the devices.  If you do manage to get your hands washed, then you’re standing there with wet hands trying to get a paper towel…

So you look at the infra-red paper towel dispenser.  There is a slot where the towels come out… and underneath the slot, a label that reads “place hands below to activate.”  So you follow the instructions and put your hand below the dispenser and wave them around and… of course… nothing happens.  

Because as it turns out, you’re not supposed to put your hand below the dispenser.  You’re supposed to put your hand in the slot.

How am I supposed to know that I’m supposed to put my hand ABOVE the label that says “place hands below”??? Hello… anybody??

1,800 parking spaces - ONE pay machine!

1,800 parking spaces – ONE pay machine!

9.  Parking (again):  Now it is 5:00 and time for everybody to leave.  You’re not in any particular hurry to go home are you?   Because we’ve got 1,800 brand spanking clean new parking spaces – and exactly ONE machine to pay for all that parking.

Yesterday when approximately 200 people were leaving the seminar at the same, everybody wound up standing in front of the pay-for-your-parking machine, reading the instructions, trying to figure out how it works, while the line is forming behind them.  At one point there must have been 50 people waiting to pay for their parking.

Only at that point did somebody who was arriving for another event inform the people in the line that they could pay for their parking at a machine as they drove out lot.  A sign with that information might have been really helpful.  Or a pay machine on every level.  

With a sign…

And, especially in these early days of operation, there really needs to be some kind of human being around to explain all this to people.  As I was walking to my car, I noticed that there was somebody riding around in the parking lot on a Seqway. When I got to the head of the line to leave, the guy in front of me had trouble with the machine and couldn’t get his parking paid for or get the gate to open.  He just threw his hands up, and we all sat there behind him while he tried to figure it out.  The guy on the Seqway woulda come in handy about that time…

OK, that’s my list.  I realize that some of this is pretty minor shit – the sort of bugs bugs that need to be worked out in the first iteration of any new program.

But I do hope they do something about that cross-walk on 6th Avenue.

And the music.  I hope they do something about the music – like hire a human to program the feed.  Because it’s supposed to be the MUSIC City Center, not the cheesy country music center.

–Paul Schatzkin
June 13, 2013

*Correction posted 130613 2:30PM: the first version of this post included a suggestion that QR codes be posted alongside the artwork displayed throughout the Center.  I have since been advised that, indeed, there are QR codes in the labels.  So, two things: 1) I should take a closer look before suggesting the obvious and 2) the builders are more forward-thinking than I was giving them credit for.

Sally Barris in Our Backyard

DSC_6264-EditAnn and I did a photo shoot last Saturday evening with the lovely and talented Sally Barris, aka “Sister Waymore” (when she travels with Pops and Willy).  The light was perfect, and all we needed to get great portraits was one strategically placed reflector.

Here are some of the shots that we all think are among the best:

Not familiar with Sally Barris? Then please, avail yourself to her latest album via Spotify:

New Album From Kim Richey in April

Kim Richey is one of our very favorite underexposed artists from here in Nashville (though I think she’s living in London a good part of the year now.

Kim will be releasing a new album (note I didn’t say CD…) in April.  I’m such a fan… it may be one of the few albums I actually “buy” this year. Tthough I don’t know in what format… download?  I’ll buy a physical CD only if I can get it at a show and have her sign it.

In the meantime, here’s the title track:

Here’s A Surprise: Amazing Young Talent Descends on #Nashville!

at The Basement in Nashville February 5, 2013First, imagine it’s 1940-whatever and you’re hearing Chet Atkins when he first showed up in Nashville.

Then imagine it’s 1980-something and you’re hearing Harry Connick, Jr. for the first time.

Now imagine that you’re hearing BOTH of these amazing talents early in their careers in the same venue, on the same night, and even playing a couple of tunes together.

That’s what it was like this evening as stellar young “Chet-style” guitarist Jonathan Brown and torch singer/keyboardist Andrew Walesch opened the “New Artists” night at The Basement in Nashville.

Here are some photos from tonight’s show. Sorry, no recorded music to go with it yet (yeah, I know, sorta defeats the purpose…)

A few notes on these photos: I borrowed a couple of high-end lenses to use on my Olympus OM-D for this shoot – the Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8 and the Panasonic 37-100 f/2.8. The latter is the equivalent of the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 that I have been using in situations like this (with a Nikon D300s) for the past two years. The difference is the OM-D/Panasonic f2.8 combination weighs in at a fraction of the Nikon assembly — which rig is convenient combination camera and anvil.

But I have to say, on first glance, that I’m not altogether thrilled with the results I got from this rig.

Going in, I was a bit concerned about the likely responsiveness of the OM-D in this situation, compared to the Nikon.  It took a little getting used to the different form factor, but once I did I was pleased to see that the shutter lag and auto-focus were not a problem.

Still, once I got the files loaded into Lightroom, I have to say they just don’t compare to the results I get from the Nikon rig.  Compared to what I get from the Nikon, these files were soft and noisy.  In club/concert settings I usually have to push the ISO to 3200; These days, between the advanced sensors and a little bit of noise reduction in Lightroom, that’s not an issue.  And while these images are entirely useable in the format you see them in here, I don’t think they would hold up if I tried to make decent sized prints of them.

I’m going to shoot another show Wednesday night; this time I’m going to bring the Nikon, too – so that I’ll be able to see exactly how the two setups compare.

Stay tuned…

Happy Birthday #Django Reinhardt

574px-Django_Reinhardt_(Gottlieb_07301)I have no idea why Quentin Tarantino used the “Django” for the title character of his new slave-revenge western.

But today is Django Rheinhart‘s birthday so let’s take a moment to honor one of the most innovative and memorable guitarists of the 20th century.

You can start with the Pearl Django-triggered station I listen to quite frequently on Pandora:Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 8.39.19 AM(Yeah, I know, I was just ragging on Pandora for its limited playlists yesterday, but this one is pretty good, especially if you’re not all too familiar with this type of music.  And I hope the link above works for you, Pandora is apparently pretty touchy about how sharing its links works. The link seems to be working in Safari, not so much in Firefox.)

I am suddenly recalling the first time I ever heard the name “Django Rheinhardt.”  It was in the fall of… oh, 1966 or ’67 would be a good guess.  My step-father was a Yalie, and every year he took us to the Yale-Princeton football game.  He also made us wear a jacket and tie to the game.  Things were different in those days…

Whatever year it was, that year I was driven to the game by the son of one of my step-father’s college roommates (from the class of 1930-something).  I remember the driver’s name was Raymond Londa,   and, despite being a lawyer and a Yalie himself, Raymond Londa was kinda cool: he drove us to New Haven in something that was rather novel for its day – a VW Camper.

VWCamperRaymond somehow knew that I’d just started playing guitar (I still have my first chord book, dated April, 1966).  And he asked me if I’d knew about Django Rheinhardt.  Nope, not a clue.  And since my taste at the time leaned more toward the Beatles and Jefferson Airplane, I don’t think I was all that interested.  Gypsy Jazz?  Not a clue.

All of which I’m recalling now because lately I’ve been hearing a lot of Django and Django-influenced music, and I wished I’d paid closer attention when I first heard the name.  I’m paying closer attention now, and will be listening to Django and his descendants as much as I can today.

Postscript: I’ve just been advised that the name “Django” has a long history of use in “spaghetti westerns.”

Julia Nunes: Emissary from The Future



Julia Nunes at The Basement in Nashville – Nov 3, 2011

Julia Nunes came to Nashville last night, and brought with her the latest incarnation of “Music 3.0.

If you’re not familiar with the name, Julia Nunes is the poster child for launching a career by posting cover songs on YouTube.  I started hearing about her probably a year ago from my colleague Charles Alexander.

Julia Nunes’ clever, engaging, DIY videos have garnered hundreds of thousands — collectively, millions — of views on YouTube, and have generated enough of a fan base that she raised nearly $80,000 with a Kickstarter campaign to record a full CD of her originals.  Now she has management (AC Entertainment, the people who bring you Bonnaroo) and promotion and distribution (Nashville’s Thirty Tigers) and a career with some air under its wings.

And, judging from the packed house at The Basement last night, she has an enthusiastic audience — some of whom drove considerable distances to see her, and most of whom were probably seeing her in person for the first time.  That fact was underscored by the comment I overheard from one young woman in the audience as Julia took the stage, “I can’t believe she’s not on my computer screen!”  Score one for “reality.”

Indeed, what I found most compelling about this show was not the performance, but the audience. Read More

Merry Merry: Keith Medley

Here’s a Christmas Eve post (redundant for those of you who’ve already seen it via my Facebook page, but new to some…) – a video of Keith Medley and his 27 string harp guitar.  I was introduced to Keith a couple months ago by Jon Grimson, who produced this video:

I got to see Keith Medley perform for the first time in the lobby the Frist Museum in Nashville last night. Quite stirring, a wonderful way to start the holiday weekend.

Keith Medley at The Frist

I have been struggling for 40+ years to make sense of the six strings on a conventional six-string guitar.  It’s quite sobering to watch an hear somebody weave musical magic with twenty-seven strings.

You can listen to Keith’s entire CD “Ancestors” – an read stories of the songs’ origins -from his website. I strongly suggest you do.

Jon Vezner has an App for That

Another video for your viewing pleasure:

Jon actually sent me this video himself a couple of days ago, and I found it clever and entertaining in a “novelty song” sorta way. But after reading this account in Music Row magazine, I think I’m even more intrigued with the the time, effort — and, no doubt, expense — that went into this particular effort.  Seems there were quite a few hands on this particular project:

The music video, created by filmmaker Louise Woehrie of Whirlygig Productions is inspired by Vezner’s wry humor and deadpan persona. Using a traveling minstrel theme, Woehrie joined forces with co-director/editor Chip Johnson and graphic designer Casey Burres to bring the tale to life as Vezner dons his troubador hat to comment and commiserate with fellow app addicts about life on the cutting tech trail.

I wonder what the budget was, and how it fits into a larger marketing plan.  I mean, where’s the “email for a download” function that would build Jon’s fan base (it’s not on his website) ?

I mean, it’s very clever, but it also seems to to exist in something of a vacuum, marketing wise.   What’s the plan, Jon?  How is this building your audience?  I’m sure there’s a method to your madness, clue me in?

Oh, and if you’re viewing the video on your computer, blow it up to full screen – the HD quality holds up VERY nicely.