Follow that band! The Radiohead model goes local

Posted on by geekslippers

During lectures at Nomadic Marketing last week at the UCT Graduate School of Business, one band that almost all the lecturers referred to was Radiohead. This isn’t because they specifically liked the band (although Colin Daniels did confess to being a fan) but more specifically because of the way that the band released their latest album online.

Here’s the short version of what the band did

On 1 October 2007, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood announced in a brief post on Dead Air Space (the band’s blog) “Well, the new album is finished, and it’s coming out in 10 days . . . We’ve called it In Rainbows”. Bypassing a traditional physical release in stores, Radiohead released the album as a download available for order from inrainbows.com on 10 October 2007. In a Wired interview, Yorke explained that “every record for the last four—including my solo record—has been leaked. So the idea was like, we’ll leak it, then. Radiohead’

The download, packaged as a ZIP file, included the ten album tracks encoded in 160 kbps DRM-free MP3 format. Upon purchase, the buyer was prompted to type in their desired price. The staggered online release of the album began at about 5:30 GMT on 10 October, but on 10 December 2007, the official digital download was no longer made available. A special made-to-order “discbox”, available for pre-order through inrainbows.com, was released on 3 December 2007.

(source – www.wikipedia.com)

One of the questions that was raised in the lecture was whether this business model was a viable one for bands, or whether it only worked for Radiohead because they were Radiohead. On the other hand, to quote Colin – “if the album was crap, this wouldn’t have worked.” Madonna soon followed suit by making digital downloads of her album available on line to similar success, and in his lecture on New Media Law Paul Jacobson also pointed me to the Nine Inch Nails free download case study which was also a success for the band.

Now it seems that we have the first South African take on this give-your-work-away-for-free model. Jet Black and the Multi Colours have decided to distribute their new seemingly untitles EP for free on the net with their overtone record label. When I first saw the post up on www.muti.co.za, I dismissed it without realising what it actually was – a record label collaborating with a local band to make their music freely available online. This goes some way to validate something that Rafiq Philips mentioned on the WebAddiCT blog a while back: “We’re seeing the shift from the commoditisation of music to the commoditisation of attention in the music industry (…)”

I for one think that he’s right and will be keeping my eyes on JetBlack to see a) whether their attempt at the new community focussed business model yields positive results and b)whether they will follow Radiohead’s lead a step further and make the album available for purchase as a CD if the download campaign is a success. If this model does yield positive results, I think that we’ll see many more local bands and artists following suit, especially in Cape Town where there’s a wealth of musical talent with no real form of monetizing their gift (anti Joburg flame suit on,lol)

If anyone from the band or from overtone is reading this, drop me a comment and let me know how things are going.

Lester
P.S. – I’m downloading the EP now and will post a review up here in the next day or two.

Shopping malls and loadshedding

(Original post on geekslippers blog )

I am a night owl, always have been i expect I always will be. Most nights I hang out in the city centre (Cape Town), and drive home on the N1. And the one thing really gets my goat when driving home is the Canal Walk shopping complex. When I drive past the complex at 4 in the morning, it’s lit up like a bloody Christmas tree, with every light from the shopping malls to the parking lamps still blazing brightly. Unless I missed the memo saying that there’s been a helluva extension to shopping hours, this is totally unacceptable.

I don’t have stats to go on, but my common sense tells me that surely there’s no one there. So why the hell are all those lights on? I’m sure that even the fat cats in charge must have heard a word or two about ‘this load shedding business’ the rest of us have to deal with? How many homes could run off the power being wasted on lighting up an empty mall at 3am? This especially pisses me off when I drive by the neon city only to get home and find the my own neighbourhood has been load shed.

My gut feeling is that malls should have some sense of social responsibility and turn their bloody lights off when the day is done. Even if they don’t turn them all off, every light helps. And if the malls don’t step up to the plate of their own accord, local government should be getting involved. Honestly, I can’t see why Canal Walk hasn’t come to the party on this issue – surely in today’s green friendly society this is a perfect opportunity for them to turn a negative into a positive by position the mall’s brand as one that cares not only about the environment, but about the surrounding communities.

So, I’m going to start a petition and pass it around and see how many people feel the same way I do, which is very, very upset annoyed angry -you pick one. If I can find them, I’ll be taking the result to the shopping mall management. For now, take a second and cast your vote on the issue here

Lester

Shopping malls and loadshedding

I am a night owl, always have been i expect I always will be. Most nights I hang out in the city centre (Cape Town), and drive home on the N1. And the one thing really gets my goat when driving home is the Canal Walk shopping complex. When I drive past the complex at 4 in the morning, it’s lit up like a bloody Christmas tree, with every light from the shopping malls to the parking lamps still blazing brightly. Unless I missed the memo saying that there’s been a helluva extension to shopping hours, this is totally unacceptable.

Canal Walk by night

I don’t have stats to go on, but my common sense tells me that surely there’s no one there. So why the hell are all those lights on? I’m sure that even the fat cats in charge must have heard a word or two about ‘this load shedding business’ the rest of us have to deal with? How many homes could run off the power being wasted on lighting up an empty mall at 3am? This especially pisses me off when I drive by the neon city only to get home and find the my own neighbourhood has been load shed.

My gut feeling is that malls should have some sense of social responsibility and turn their bloody lights off when the day is done. Even if they don’t turn them all off, every light helps. And if the malls don’t step up to the plate of their own accord, local government should be getting involved. Honestly, I can’t see why Canal Walk hasn’t come to the party on this issue – surely in today’s green friendly society this is a perfect opportunity for them to turn a negative into a positive by position the mall’s brand as one that cares not only about the environment, but about the surrounding communities.

So, I’m going to start a petition and pass it around and see how many people feel the same way I do, which is very, very upset annoyed angry -you pick one. If I can find them, I’ll be taking the result to the shopping mall management. For now, take a second and cast your vote on the issue here

 http://www.polldaddy.com/p/535408/

 Lester

 

Lost Generation

An insightful, poignant comment on the ‘work more live less’ type of culture that our society has come to view as the path to success. Kudos to the creators for using an existing channel in such a simple yet effective (and different) manner to get their message across.

Semi-Crazy petrol price idea

This is about petrol prices and an invitation to join the resistance. By the end of this month petrol prices are set to soar even higher.

If we want the petrol price to come down, we all need to take some intelligent, united action. Last year there was a “don’t buy petrol day”-but the oil companies just laughed at that because they knew that we would “hurt” ourselves by refusing to buy petrol. It was more of an inconvenience to us than a problem to them.

But, whoever thought of the ideas, has come up with a plan that can really work.

READ ON AND JOIN THE ACTION!!

By now you probably thinking petrol priced at about R7.00 is cheap. It is currently at +- R8.00 for regular and unleaded.

Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations (the bullies like US and Britain) have conditioned us to think that the cost of a liter is cheap at R 7.00 , we need to take aggressive action to teach them that buyers control the marketplace……… not the sellers.

With the price of petrol going up each day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of petrol come down is if we hit someone in the pocket by not purchasing their petrol.

And we can do that without hurting ourselves.

How?

Since we rely on our cars, we just cannot stop buying petrol. But we can have an impact on petrol prices if we all act together to force a price war.

Here’s the idea:

For the rest of the year, don’t purchase any petrol from the two biggest overseas oil companies (which are now one), SHELL and BP…(Local is Lekka – So buy Sasol / Engen / Excel) If the overseas companies are not selling any petrol, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit. But to have an impact we need to reach literally millions of petrol buyers.

It is really simple to do!

Now, don’t wimp out at this point…keep reading, and all will be revealed as to how simple it is to reach millions of people.

I am sending this message to 30 people. If each in turn sends it to another 10 people (30 x 10 = 300)…and those 300 send it to at least 10 people 300 x 10 = 3000) And so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth generation of people; we will have reached over 3 million consumers!

If those 3 million people get exited and pass this on to 10 friends each then 30 million consumers will have been reached. If it goes one level further, you guessed it three hundred million people!

Again, all you have to do is to send this to 10 people. That’s all.

How long will all that take? If each of us sends this e-mail out to 10 people within one day of receipt, all 300 million people could conceivably be contacted within the next 8 days! Acting together we can make a difference. If you’re fed up paying too much for petrol, please pass this message on.

COMMENCING NOW DON’T BUY BP /SHELL, go and support SA Brand SASOL, Engen and Excel. Africa must stop feeding the world giants it must feed itself.

I figured that it was my time to give something back to the community, so here it is: a quick 90 second tutorial on how to open the last beer when drinking either a) at your desk or b) near the copy machine.

The other 5 beers have of course been opened in the traditional manner, which left 1 beer stranded

Interesting pics found while pretending to be working


Rock Art

The pic of Marvel Comics superhero The Thing of Fantastic Four is definitely one of the best examples of trompe l’oeil I’ve seen. It was drawn by Justen Ladda in 1981 at PS 37 in the Bronx, New York.

Here’s the side view of Justen’s art. I hope it makes sense now :)


Close encounters of the bark kind. Makes me cringe just looking at it



http://kuvaton.com/kuvei/jeep.jpg

Ronald SpankDonald

Dont Beat Me Ronald

The state of new media


Where I want to be right now



You are here, so close your eyes and jump

This was going to be a long post, with loads of clever comments and witty one liners, it really was. But now my body is catching on to what my brain knew was a bad idea all along: detox. Somehow i always wind up doing this to myself – i convince myself that being ‘a little healthier’ is a good idea and then fall ass first into some stoopid no smoking no drinking healthy eating die(t).

And my body is very pissed off.

As i passed the bakery where i usually get coffee and a donut (a.k.a. Police Academt breakfast), my brain was ranting on about how it needed the coffee to a) be able to do any work and b) actually remember how the hell to get to work in the first place. I ignored it and eventually got to work…an hour later. Half way through the drive it starts bitching about wanting a cigarette, at which point i promptly tossed a half pack of Camels out of the driver’s side window. Not long after my environmental guilt got the better of me and I turned back to pick them up, but i think the grey squishy bastard got the point – be healthy or die.

So for the next two weeks it goign to be green tea, red wine and black moods. No cigarettes, no beer and no coffee. I’m hoping that this will allow me to explore some fresh creative avenues, things like frustration. Speaking of creativity – Byron and I had a great rehearsal on Saturday (we rehearse every Saturday from 9-2, like working a shift at edgars, lol).

We were originally supposed to work on a track called ‘Circles’ which is a very mellow laid back affair, but i wasn’t really in that space at the time so we started writing to a track called ‘Just Friends’ instead. It’s a very sexy little number and i must admit – it’s growing on me fast. You can have a listen on reverb nation here and the lyrics are posted below.

Just Friends

Chorus (so far)
My mind is saying no
My body’s screaming yes
And as I’m touching you
kissing I’m thinking
We’re just friends
Aren’t we just friends?

(Verse)
If we indulge this
There could be casualties
We always knew it was there
Scratching the surfaces
And we didn’t wanna think about it
Knew better than to talk about it
Here we are pressing close
Thinking fast, moving slow
First a kiss
Then a touch
Till it’s almost too much
And we didn’t wanna think about it
Knew better than to talk about it
Here we are pressing close
Thinking fast, moving slow
And then I started thinking

[repeat chorus]

With any luck I’ll be writing the second verse in the course of the week and we can start recording soon. I have a good feeling about this one – but then I am the writer, so i might be a little biased.

Gig with Chad at Inside
Last night’s gig at Inside took an interesting turn. Chad had mentioned that he might call me up on stage to maybe do something if the vibe was right, so i figured – what the hell, i haven’t done it in a few years, might as well start again. when I got to the bar there was only mic available (Chad’s) so we decided not to do anything anymore. Half way through the song, Chad just randomly calls me up on stage, which was a little unexpected to say the least! I still don’t know what the hell I said up there – my main priority was just to keep my mouth moving. I think that Jody got it on camera, so I’m quite curious to see it. If i don’t suck completely, then I’m thinking that I’ll give amateur night at Zula a bash next month. We’ll see.

Crap – my stoopid brain is on about the stoopid coffee and frigging cigarattes again. Maybe I should get something to eat – yes, I think I’ll do that.

This is my city

[preface: I wrote this in 2008 to express my love for and of Cape Town, South Africa]

This is my home, where every street carries a memory and every corner holds a smile or every road contains a tear. This is where I began, and this is where i will learn to be.

This is my city, and my city grows as i have. My city loves its people – as i do. It wraps itself around me and gives me strength from its concrete arteries and patience from its mountainous heart. And when the clouds break over the grey and green monolith, my city cries as i do and the dark, warm tears or the cold, hard tears wash the hurt from our faces, we shine another day. My city holds the smile of the sun in the heart of its ocean, just as i hold my smile in the ocean of my heart.

My city is big – with enough room for me to spread my wings and take flight. To soar and to live. To fly and stare down at the silhouettes of the secrets it holds in its bosom.

And my city is small, with so little room that I meet people I know on every street or road, with no room for secrets and less still for lies.

But my city is dark…with a side I do not like to see or show. Like me it holds a danger in its soul that it cannot quell or control. And my city harms itself though it does not know why. It burns itself though it does not know how. The city cuts and bleeds in the news of the day while the people scream and run riot in its veins at night. People cry for freedom. People cry for a better version of here and now.

People cry.

But in my city I see smiles. Smiles in the eyes of someone driving by. Smiles tracing across the hearts and lips of those alive with hope. And it is this smile that lives in me, this smile that will keep my heart in the city, and keep the city in my heart.

This is my city.

You Are Here: And there’s no way you’re leaving.

Hi. So it’s been a while since the last ‘actual’ news letter and for this I blame the 24/7 rule. Huh? Well, that would be the rule that says that there are only 24 hours in any given day, 7 out of 7. No exceptions. Now as any reasonable human being knows, this is way too few hours to be any good to anyone. As a consequence I haven’t been able to sit down for a long enough time period to actually get this done.
Another reason I haven’t had time is my addictive personality. I get very easily sidetracked by things, especially techy things and once I’m in, it’s a long way till I get back out. Lately I’ve been obsessed with learning how Search Engine and Email Marketing work, and as a result have read nearly every article available online. In addition to that I’ve decided to rebuild the One Night Stand web page.
For those of you who don’t know, One Night Stand is the guise under which my (supposedly) monthly parties are held. The current site was built while I was juuuust getting to grips with web design and now that I’ve learned a bit more I’ll be redoing the whole thing. This is taking a bit of time, as I’m planning on doing it ina new programming language which I’m still busy learning. That would be a programming language, not French.
The next few One Night Stand parties are also taking shape in the background with One planned soon (hopefully for my birthday next week, a slightly larger event happening in July and another, bigger (ok -huuuuuuuge) party scheduled to go down in August (hint – Craig de Sousa). All these things have conspired to keep me away from relaying the latest ramblings coursing through my brain to you.
Last week was Damien’s birthday, and to celebrate the boys went down to the Cape Town Fish Market for a night of Sushi and Saki. As it turned out, Damien was the only one who likes the Sushi, but since it was his birthday he decided that dit maki saki. The rest of us had steak.

It would seem that this week there is no hidden meaning or life lesson encapsulated within the newsletter you’ve come to know and dislike. It’s more of a catch-up than anything really. Just a hi and hello to let you know that yes, I did forget about you, but not for that long really. Eventually you did find your way back to the front of my mind, or the back of my inbox.

As I’m typing this I’m thinking that maybe I should go home, get some sleep and give this another try later tonight. As a funny, witty and informative newsletter – this edition sucks. So till later then,

Lester