What do a startup king, a social network innovator, a hip hop prince, perhaps the best actor on television, and two absolutely hilarious dudes have in common? They’re all among the Most Creative People—and we can learn quite a bit from the way they work.
Back in the ’90s, when the Walkman and CDs reigned, the industry combined basic sales data from the Billboard charts with two primary methods of song research: “Call Outs,” where stations played song hooks over the phone and record their responses; and “Auditorium” research, where a group of people react to song hooks as they are played live. In a pre-Internet age, it was about the best you could do.
And now, in 2013, an age of social networks, big data, and smartphones, surely terrestrial radio has developed a more nuanced methodology to find out what songs people really want to hear, right?
Not so much.
Twitter’s music page at music.twitter.com is very nearly live, and the expectation is that it will launch today.
Would you use a music service provided by Twitter? Is this a smart move for the social media giant?
A Band Visualizes Fans Sharing Its Music
Sharing music online is a social activity that can quickly escape the bounds of real-world connection. After a few degrees of separation occur—say, after an MP3 passes beyond your sister’s co-worker’s boyfriend’s friend—it’s impossible to know where it might eventually end up. The Beginnings And Endings Project, a web app designed by the Australian band Brightly, visualizes the journey of their first single as it’s shared across the web.
Find out how they did it here.
“I love this resurgence of the GIF that’s going on right now. I think it’s amazing to see what you can come up with when you are forced to be creative in a restrictive environment. This is true for all creative endeavors: If you remove some of the tools that are available to you, it forces you to be extra creative with the tools that remain.”
Great moments in 8-bit GIF history.
A few decades back, when the music industry was booming and record companies had more money than they knew what to do with, a curious phenomenon played out on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Bands started showing up on billboards.
For those of us who are more office-bound air guitarist than full-fledged rock star, Google has created JAM with Chrome, an interactive web application that lets you and up to three friends collaborate in real-time to create original tunes using digital instruments.
How many of you use Rdio? The company is launching a new program today which will pay artists for converting their fans into Rdio subscribers.
Add this to your list of Ultimate New York Tributes: thousands of still photographs animate this motion picture homage to Joey Ramone and New York City.
Joey Ramone himself makes an appearance in the video, via never-before-seen archival footage shot by his friend George Seminara.
Some details in the film will only be recognizable to hardcore Ramones fans. For example, one shot takes place at 53rd and 3rd in Manhattan, which was the title of The Ramones second single about bassist Dee Dee Ramone’s experiences hustling on that corner. “Of course, the spot has cleaned up a lot since then,” says the movie’s director, Greg Jardin.
Her new album, “Theatre Is Evil,” is the most successful music-based Kickstarter project to date. But is Amanda Palmer’s tweet-happy, DIY, often NSFW approach a model for independent artists?
We’re down to the final minutes of the singer-songwriter-provocateur’s month-long Kickstarter campaign, a crowdfunding effort that shocked the entertainment world by becoming the site’s most successful music-based project to date. The pledges—which had an official target of $100,000, and which had privately been budgeted to hit $500,000—have already topped a million dollars.
To celebrate the countdown, Palmer, who the Huffington Post called “the social media queen of rock & roll,” is throwing a six-hour, block party-style celebration in a parking lot behind some warehouses along Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal. To a surprisingly “classic pop” soundtrack (the Jackson 5, the Who, Ray Charles), she and her crew dressed up in old-time bathing suits and frolicked in an aquarium-style clear box on the back of a truck, scribbling the names of everyone who contributed on pages ripped out of phone books and holding each one up to the laptop that’s webcasting the event. In the end, it will be almost 25,000 names, each of whom pledged between $1 and $10,000 for a menu of products and experiences ranging from a download of her new album, Theatre is Evil, (out Tuesday, Sept. 11) to art books and customized turntables, up to private concerts and dinners with the artist.
So you have a foosball table at work. And an in-house masseuse. And maybe even an ironic conversation pit. But do you have a chair shaped like a molecular model? An art installation made of guitar pedals?
For his fans, Gotye’s YouTube mash-up made entirely from covers of his hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” is one doozy of a love letter.
The Belgian-Australian artist (real name Wally De Backer) released the video via his YouTube channel this weekend. It features nearly six minutes’ worth of fans covering his 2011 single. “Somebody That I Used to Know” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been the best-selling digital single of the year in the U.S.
Called “Somebodies: A YouTube Orchestra,” the video showcases amateur musicians playing the song on sax, harp, banjo, piano, bouzouki (a type of lute), and more. Also look for the full chorus, a capella singers, the acoustic solo, and animated scenes. Plus, clips from parodies of Gotye’s original music video, featuring Legos and Muppet-like puppets.
Consider the plight of an aging pioneer in the golden age of gangsta rap. It’s not so different than that of a dotcom era startup entrepreneur like Marc Andreessen, who went from cofounding seminal web browser Netscape to funding the next generation of tech entrepreneurs via his Silicon Valley venture capital powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz. Or Elon Musk, who made his millions as cofounder of PayPal and now builds Tesla electric cars and spaceships. Snoop’s 40. He has a couple of options. He could become a permanently faded parody of his younger weed-smoking self. Or he could change strategy without changing his vision. He could acknowledge his hardcore, street life-focused past while embracing a more universal aspect of his personality. He’s found that in his reggae music pivot, he says.