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Music Management: Should You Ever Trade Up?

Posted in Celebrities, Indie Music, Music Blogosphere | No Comments »

Yesterday’s Lefsetz Letter blog talks about switching music management:

“I’m fascinated by Usher firing Benny Medina and returning to his mother for management. The question arises…should you stay with who got you there, or switch allegiance to the big swinging dick?”

Lefsetz brings up a good point. Your first manager will most likely have tons of passion, which can make up for experience. But once you reach your goal of success, should you trade up for a Big Gun manager?

Digital Media Is The New Hip Hop – Quincy “QD3″ Jones III

Posted in A Day in the Life, Celebrities, DIY Diva, Future Legends, Indie Music, Music Blogosphere | No Comments »

Quincy “QD3” Jones (son of musician/producer Quincy Jones)

I love the blogosphere, can I tell you? I just found a great article about digital media is the future from musician/producer Quincy Jones’ son, Quincy “QD3” Jones. Wow.

In QD3’s blog, he writes: “I can see artists figuring out a way to go direct to consumer, creating sites and virtual worlds where they can present their undiluted vision to their audience (with user input of course). Upon building a nice-sized audience, they may possibly have their albums and videos underwritten by brands that feel their products are aligned with the creative direction of the artists.

Instead of pre-packaged albums, perhaps the artists upload songs, videos, and taped live shows periodically on their site as they finish them, and you, the consumer, can create your own track listing. Imagine your favorite group periodically releasing songs, using your input in part to make creative decisions, and thus having a more personal relationship with their fans. That could be pretty cool.”

That is poetry! Read the rest of his post from his QD3 Blog here:

New Book: Life with My Sister Madonna by Christopher Ciccone

Posted in A Day in the Life, Celebrities | 2 Comments »

I suppose it would happen eventually…Madonna’s brother Christopher Ciccone has written a story about life with his famous sister. It’s titled (what else?) Life with My Sister Madonna. And he’s close enough to Madonna to have knowledge that she’d probably not want anyone else to have.

Madonna’s upcoming 50th birthday will not pass without controversy!

New Coldplay CD: “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends”

Posted in A Day in the Life, Celebrities, Great Blog Off 2008 | No Comments »


From LA Times interview with Coldplay’s Chris Martin:

“Like millions of people in the world, I can’t listen to Coldplay,” Martin said with a daft wink. “But my reason is professional. You see, I’m always thinking about the next thing. I’m also always looking for something that will inspire the next thing. Look, we’re the one band we can’t plagiarize. So really there’s no point in me listening to it. If I think, ‘Well, that’s good,’ then I’ll want to use it, which won’t work. And if I think, ‘Hey that’s terrible,’ then I’ll be depressed over breakfast. It’s a classic lose-lose situation.”

Anyone out there have the new Coldplay CD, “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends,” who wants to chime in with their opinion? Feel free to comment below!

Brought to you by the Music Marketing Machine Course: July 16 – August 6, 2008 in NYC

Bo Diddley 1928-2008

Posted in A Day in the Life, Celebrities | 1 Comment »

Bo Diddley

Today, rock music lost an icon. Bo Diddley died today at the age of 79. Known for his trademark guitar and sound (similar to the Puerto Rican clave rythym), he was a pioneer in rock, blues and rockabilly.

According to the Facing South blog: “Early on Diddley developed a reputation as a rebel. Appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1955, he was asked to play Tennessee Ernie Ford’s hit “Sixteen Tons” but instead played “Bo Diddley” — and was consequently banned from the show. He also bucked tradition by including women in his band, among them Peggy “Lady Bo” Jones and Norma-Jean Wofford, better known as The Duchess.

Like too many African-American artists of his generation, he got only a small portion of the money he made during his career, earning a flat fee for his recordings with no royalty payments. He also claims he was not compensated for many live performances.

“I am owed,” he once said. “A dude with a pencil is worse than a cat with a machine gun.”

Diddley earned numerous accolades, having been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame, and the North Florida Music Association’s Hall of Fame. He was also the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the BMI Icon
Award, and the Pioneer in Entertainment Award from the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters.”

According to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame site, of which Bo Diddley is an inductee: “Diddley was also an inventor, devising his own tremolo effect and playing a unique, rectangular “cigar box” guitar that he designed in 1958. His ever-fertile mind also inspired him to set up one of the first home studios. The prolific singer/guitarist released a string of albums whose titles – including Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger and Have Guitar, Will Travel – bolstered his self-invented legend. Between 1958 and 1963, Checker released eleven full-length albums by Bo Diddley. Two Great Guitars, released in 1964, was jointly credited to Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry.”

Speacial thanks to Rob Fields at Bold As Love for the heads up.

And here’s a classic video of Bo Diddley’s “Bo Diddley”. Notice the female back-up singer/guitarist! Listen to the audience scream!!!

Brought to you by the Music Marketing Machine Course: July 16 – August 6, 2008 in NYC

Rapper Slick Rick Gets Pardon from NY Governor Paterson

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Slick Rick
80’s rapper “Slick Rick” was finally pardoned after years of being in legal limbo.

According to Hip-hop pioneer Slick Rick was given a full pardon Friday (May 23) by New York Governor David Paterson, most likely ending a deportation threat that has hung over the rapper for 11 years. According to The New York Times, Governor Paterson delivered the pardon to prevent the MC from being deported to England, where he was born and lived until the age of 11.

In 1991, Slick Rick (Ricky Walters) was convicted of attempted murder and weapons charges after he shot and injured his cousin and an acquaintance. Rick served five years and 12 days in prison before being paroled in 1997, but a law that threatens to deport immigrants convicted of aggravated felony or weapons charges had always loomed large.

In 2002, Slick Rick was arrested aboard a docked Caribbean cruise ship — by the INS, who had been fighting for his deportation since 1995. He spent a year in an immigration detention center in Bradenton, Florida, before a judge ruled he could go free in 2003.

In administering the pardon, Governor Patterson noted that Slick Rick had served his sentence, had earned an “exemplary” record while in prison and on parole, and had lived in the community without incident for over 10 years. He also cited Slick Rick’s community service and the fact that deportation would separate Rick from his wife and two teenage children, who are all American citizens.

Slick Rick was 25 years old at the time of the original incident and one of hip-hop’s biggest — and flashiest — stars, recognizable as much for his immeasurable amount of jewelry as he was for his iconic eye patch (he’s blind in his right eye as a result of an injury as an infant).

In another story from, titled “The Great Adventures of Slick Rick Just Got More Amazing: Pardoned”, the story is summed up this way:

But now New York’s governor – the first black, blind one of New York, David Paterson has just pardoned the Ricky Dee. Gov Paterson is 54 years old, raised in Brooklyn, represented Harlem in the state senate and knows exactly what time it is.

I can find the poetic justice in all of this. So for all you Slick Rick fans (and haters), here’s his “Children’s Story” video:

Brought to you by the Music Marketing Machine Course: July 16 – August 6, 2008 in NYC

Video test: Supernova

Posted in A Day in the Life, Carla and Goliath, Celebrities, DIY Diva, Indie Music | No Comments »

I have been in video edit mode for the past week and a half, and here’s a sneak peek of the first video, Supernova. This show took place in 2005 in NYC’s Cutting Room. For any of you Sex and the City fans, Cutting Room is owned by Chris Noth, aka “Mr. Big.”

Did you know that the Flight of the Conchords invented rap music in New Zealand?

Posted in A Day in the Life, Celebrities | No Comments »

Happy Friday!

Here’s one of my favorite videos from HBO’s Flight of the Conchords: “Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros”. Look them up whenever you’re in the mood for gangsta folk rap battle!


What is it about Jennifer Lopez?

Posted in Celebrities, Music Blogosphere | 1 Comment »

Seriously, I was not planning to blog about Jennifer Lopez today.

But while surfing the blogosphere for inspiration this morning, I found a site called JLo Stalker, which featured one of my favorite Jennifer Lopez videos, “Get Right”. As it happens, I watched JLo’s movie Monster-in-Law last night on TBS. JLo plays a temp engaged to marry a brain surgeon (Michael Vartan), whose disapproving mother is Jane Fonda. This funny movie also features comedienne Wanda Sykes who steals all the scenes. Nothing like a sassy black woman to tell it like it is!

Anyway, I like this video because JLo plays a bunch of different characters. And I learned from JLoStalker that the little girl playing Jennifer’s cute little sister is Marc Anthony’s daughter (pre Dayonara Torres) – who’s now her stepdaughter.

So while I’m in a Jennifer Lopez state of mind, here’s “Get Right” courtesy of YouTube. Enjoy!

“Rock the Cradle” Reality Show on MTV

Posted in Carla and Goliath, Celebrities, Future Legends, Rock the Cradle | 1 Comment »

Okay, so I had high hopes for the new Rock the Cradle reality show on MTV. Aside from the fact that I saw all the posters in the NYC subway, but couldn’t find any real info before the show started.

So I watch some of the show and learn that the show is another performance-based music reality TV show. The twist is that the contestants are children of famous recording artists. This also means that you get to see the kids, as well as the famous parents each week:

A’Keiba Burrell, daughter of rapper MC Hammer
Landon Brown,  son of R&B singer and renowned bad boy Bobby Brown
Lara Johnston, daughter of Doobie Brothers’ singer Tom Johnston
Chloe Lattanzi, daughter of singer Olivia Newton-John
Crosby Loggins, son of singer Kenny Loggins
Jesse Money, daughter of rocker Eddie Money
Jesse Blaze Snider, son of Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider
Lil B. Sure!, son of R&B singer Al B. Sure!
Lucy Walsh, daughter of Joe Walsh, guitarist for the Eagles

In theory, this should be a cool show, but I already have a problem with the concept. For one thing, the talent pool is very small. The main requirement to be on this show is that you have a successful and famous musician parent. While having musical bloodlines is helpful, it says nothing for actual talent in action. It reminds me a bit of children who are born into wealthy families. They didn’t themselves earn the money that brought the family into wealth, so without actual parental intervention, the children may not totally understand the value of money, much less how to build wealth from scratch. With a rock star parent traveling hither and thither while you’re growing up, how does Junior really get to build the serious credentials?

For example, if these particular contestants were auditioning against the contestants of any of the Rock Star reality TV shows (Rock Star: INXS or Rock Star: Supernova) on talent alone, I have to wonder whether they would have made the final cut. The singers in the Rock Star reality show franchise had to hone their talents with years of paying dues on the stage, and in the clubs. Without mommy or daddy to give them a hand, their raw talent has to rise to the top. That means that their confidence was hard-earned. And when you consider the HUNDREDS of singers who auditioned for a Rock Star slot, you understand just how good that you’d have to be. Sorry, but it’s hard for me to be as impressed.

BUT, having said all of that, I may still tune in. MTV is the pioneer of reality shows, which means that the producers will provide lots of other reasons for you to watch, such as emotional storylines and rivalry drama. I just can’t promise to tune in regularly like I did with Rock Star: Supernova (the TV show, not my CD 😉 

I did notice one very cool thing in Rock the Cradle. If you were a fan of the Rock Star reality shows, you’ll notice that the house band backing the contestants is made of most of the house band used in both Rock Star reality shows. I was very happy to see Paul and the gang working again, although they’re still in Cinderella mode. The second Rock Star show was originally going to be about finding a lead singer for them. Instead, the show became a search for the lead singer of an all-star rock band featuring drummer Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe), bassist Jason Newsted (Metallica) and guitarist Gilby Clarke (Guns N’ Roses). Once the big names were involved, the house band remained the house band. But that’s the business, right? 

From what I’ve seen so far, though, my money is on Jesse Blaze Snider. He’s got the look, the cocky rock and roll swagger that’s needed, and he’s already been performing with his own band Baptized by Fire (aka BFX). This is not the first time he’s been on a stage, and whatever he doesn’t have, he’s willing to fake. He’s talented and hungry – I like that.

However, I’ll stay open to the possibilities. Let the games begin!