multi-post #3: rem, scaling the schedule, 10,000 bc,

March 11, 2008 ·

r.e.m. is superserious about new music distribution


in an effort to maintain relevance and youngster cool, rem announced they will be releasing their next album, accelerate, on iLike six days before the official release date of april 1st. fans will be able to embed the band's tune's on their facebook, myspace and bebo pages through the ilike application (aka widget).

i don't mean to dog rem because i'm a big fan. but many claim them to be dinosaurs, no longer relevant to the mass music scene and past their prime, the best music behind them. i don't agree with all that, but the band is no longer on their top rung anymore. and who cares. i have a new perspective on the band having just completed their semi-authorized biography entitled fiction. it tells of a band interested in the art of music, not the celebrity of it. and however cliche it sounds, each album being an exploration into art and music that changes and never becomes homogeneous. and in that regard, they have been a success story, despite their waning sales and perceived misses. they make music they want to hear, not what the masses dictate.

back to the release of their new album, i do think the iLike effort is a ploy for more youth relevance. but i also believe that it is something rem want to explore. we're talking about a band who have been making music for nearly 30 years together, have witnessed and explored everything along the way from there. this technology is just one of the latest stops that curiosity has brought them to. this experiment follows in the footsteps of their seemingly successful dabbling with youtube and their website to give fans access to video content so they can make their own music video. see the gallery here.

the first single is a winner in my books. a great return to the hard edged rock and roll that made them famous. here's the video for supernatural superserious:




scaling the schedule

read an interesting article that seemed obvious, but teams are only now starting to realize it an implement it. for years the notion of 'scaling the house' has been in play. that the 'house' (ie. stadium, arena, park, stage, field, grounds, venue, etc.) charges different prices for seats depending on where they were. the closer, the more expensive. what is starting to take hold is the idea of not only doing that but also scaling the ticket pricing depending on who the opponent is.

inherently some of any given team's opponents are going to be bigger attractions than others. that is unless you are the yankees or red sox, in which case, you are the biggest attractions. those games are likely going to have a greater attendance, so why not charge more for them, thus increasing your revenue. people are going to see them even if the tickets cost a little more. why should those yankees and sox be the only one to capitalize on their fan base and status? conversely, cheaper tickets for lesser teams might encourage greater attendance, and thus greater revenues.

being an ardent baseball fan and regular attendee of the blue jays games, i see this every year when the yanks or sox come to town. it's almost guaranteed that attendance will be double. in many cases their fans outnumber the home team's. as an owner, i'd love that revenue increase. it could do wonders for the team in better players or better fan experience (or just likely the bottom line). my gut tells me that people are willing to pay the premium and will do so because, well, they're fans and they want to see who they like. living in the most expensive hockey city, i see all the time people will to pay top dollar to see their mediocre team play anyone else.

some independent firm analyzed the numbers and came to the conclusion that there is a windfall to be had in doing this. i'd gladly take a greater sum of money from all the new yorkers who cross the border to come watch their precious yankees and use it against them by way of better players. i think it will help sports become more competitive and smaller market teams be able to thrive.


10,000 bc (big crappy)


i had the good fortune of seeing 10,000 bc last week at an advanced screening. i say good fortune only in the sense that the tickets were free and that the movie was only an hour and a half. otherwise, misfortune abounded. i went in thinking "oh this might be an okay movie. see some dudes battle saber-tooth tigers, kill mammoths and fight over territory in an epic, prehistoric way." what i got was puzzling.

it's a love story! that's right, a love story. the entire movie is about a man chasing after a kidnapped woman. there's not even a good battle scene. most startling of all is the complete and utter neglection of historical fact. i'm all for being entertained, but there are some things i just can't overlook. sure, with sci-fi i can chalk up any disbelief to the fact it's science fiction and that is license to do what you want. but a period piece, you can't ignore the facts and history. let me recount the most grievous liberties they took:

1) complex language - the people spoke english, and good english at that. i'll give that up to making it accessible and english representing whatever language they did speak. but wait, was language around then, or was it grunts and gestures? i can't easily answer that, but can't assume that there was that much of a language around at that time. even more, the vocabulary they used was sizable. if they had words, there weren't that many.
2) forged weapons - the dominant race/tribe in the movie who did all the pilaging brandished swords. i can say with most certainty, that humans were incapable of fashioning weapons like this at that time. in a similar wein, these poeple also tamed horses which i think is quite the stretch too
3) building technology - the aforementioned dominant race/tribe was building a friggin pyramid. that is easily 7,000 years prior to the pyramids that actually exist in egypt. they also used technology and means of creating them that we are still speculating if the egyptians even had so many years later.

the movie could have been so much more, so much better. instead it was a colossal failure. there's a formula for these types of moveis, and the producers didn't bother following it. that may sound like propogating the same aold crap, but it's not. each retelling of a similar storyline has new twists. in this case, it's the prehistoric setting and the cool beasts that lived at the time.

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