Monthly Archives: June 2011

Not There Presents the 3rd Saturday of the Month @ Hot Cat

Starting in August we’re gonna be hosting a show at Hot Cat on the 3rd Saturday of every month. We’ll be booking other bands to play and we’re always interested in ideas, themes and other shenanigans. Anyone who wants “in,”  give us a shout and we’ll see what we can do.

Hot Cat is nice little club nestled in Fangjia hutong. It’s very close to El Nido if yer one of the hipster types who likes to listen to “Reggae from Venice” there. We’ve played at the Cat a lot over the last year, and everybody is looking forward to kicking it once a month.

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Filed under China, Music, Not There

Gamification

Increasingly, game mechanics are becoming more and more embedded in everyday life. Location check-ins, which at least 17 million people used last year, turn simple acts like buying a cup of coffee into a competition for status and offers. Conversations, or what passes for them anyway, occur on facebook via simulated “farm worlds” and co-mingle with a race to earn fake trophies, trinkets and all kinds of other pixel-ated rubbish.

In the 20th Century, “narrative” was the primary metaphor used to describe existence. It’s not hard to imagine a time in the not-to-distant-future when gaming becomes both more apt and commonplace. In a narrative, the power to self-create is manifest. In a game, you live and die by the rules.

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Filed under Culture

Groupon is Great Example of Everything a Band Shouldn’t Be

I read here that Groupon lost 400 million clams last year. Most of that booty was squandered on marketing costs associated with acquiring new customers. People don’t like to use Groupon more than once, so the company is forced to spend dollars constantly acquiring new customers. That’s not healthy and it’s one of the main reasons I think Groupon is doomed to fail.

Record companies are a lot like Groupon. They churn out a hit, it’s cool for awhile, then it dies. There’s no value-cycle, no career.

Good bands are all about building a long value cycle. They keep you guessing, keep you coming back for more. If you’re focused on a hit, there’s a great adjective for you: disposable. Enjoy the 15 minutes.

Tool, a band I don’t personally like, hasn’t ever had a hit, but they could sell out a shed almost anywhere in the world. Why? Substance. The dudes in tool can make money indefinitely. What are Color me Bad doing right now? Are they janitors?

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Filed under Digital

Turntable.fm

It’s a cool idea. If you haven’t heard of it check out this youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nq1NgohicaI&feature=youtu.be

There’s only 1 thing I don’t like. You can’t upload songs from your computer and I don’t want to be limited to what’s in some internet radio cache. Music is inherently social and there is a great idea floating in the ether that links music to social media. I don’t know if this is it. Wait and see, that’s the attitude I’m taking.

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Filed under Digital, Music

Love for Clarence Clemons

Dude was “the Big Man.” He made Bruce Springsteen into something more than another Dylan clone.

“Rosalita” is one of my favorite songs. Whenever I listen to it, I can feel the energy, that strange American over-the-top energy-cascading out from the grooves.

I had no idea he was 69. But it takes a long time to get good. I’m not that surprised.

And yeah, there are a lot of people that can blow more notes than “the Big Man,” that can cut him to pieces. But do they have soul?

Further along Big Man.

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Filed under Uncategorized

Finding It

I wish we had a tape of practice on Sunday. The first hour and a half was the best Not There has ever sounded. Something has clicked and I feel like we’re finding it our way into the pocket.

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Filed under Uncategorized

10 Features of a Good Band

  1. Your music makes people take a stand.
  2. It takes a few times for people listening to get it.
  3. You practice your ass off.
  4. You take chances and make everything you do a unique experience.
  5. You have something to say. It doesn’t matter how good you are at your instrument if you’re talkin’ loud and sayin’ nothing.
  6. You live to play shows.
  7. You invest what you make in good equipment and support people first.
  8. Your music brings a community of listeners together. See Phish, the dead, Black Sabbath, Black Flag. People love those bands. No one loves a pop star.
  9. You listen to a lot of music and never close your ears to what’s new.
  10. You write a lot of songs and throw away everything that’s not great.

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Filed under Music