Best Concerts I've Been To

In no particular order.

  • Dizzy Gillespie – Blues Alley, DC
  • George Shearing – Smithsonian, DC
  • Harry Connick Jr., Marcus Roberts, Joey DiFrancesco – Smithsonian, DC
  • Ravi Shankar w/daughter Anushka – Paramount, Austin
  • David Byrne w/Tosca Strings – Backyard, Austin
  • Fugazi – Reno Park, DC
  • Manu Chao – Stubbs, Austin
  • Van Morrison – ACLFest, Austin
  • Femi Kuti – ACL Taping, Austin
  • The Shins – ACLFest, Austin
  • Radiohead – Woodlands Pavilion, Austin
  • B-52s/Bob Dylan – Dublin
  • One World Concert at Obama’s Inauguration (highlight: Stevie Wonder)
  • Pixies/U2 – NJ Stadium
  • Elliott Smith – Steamboat
  • Sea & Cake – Parish

CD Baby Podcast Interview: Bruce Houghton

When they interviewed Bruce Houghton on the CD Baby DIY Music Podcast, I stopped what I was doing many times to take notes.

The old model: A manager works with a record label who does promotion.

The new model: Managers and labels look for artists with the ability to draw at least a hundred people in three or four markets. They ask: Does it have momentum? Do they have a good team? They don’t look at the band, they look at the audience for a niche and ability to bring people out, give them a good time, something to talk about, tell friends.

It’s a new world, and not always an easy one, but Bruce believes (as I do) that the new model provides greater hope of a good middle-class income for artists who can play the new game.

Bruce runs a booking agency, Skyline Music, and blogs about the changing music industry at

Julian Treasure: The 4 ways sound affects us

Derek Sivers told me to watch this, so I did. You should too.

My notes from the talk: Most sounds is accidental and unpleasant.

Four major ways it affects us:

  1. Psychological – breathing, heartrate, brainwaves
    12 cycles per minute is soothing – waves, sleepers breathing
  2. Psychological – music, birdsong, make you feel
    “Music is the most powerful sound there is.”
  3. Cognitive – can’t listen to two things at once.
    You are 1/3 as productivity in shared, noisy spaces.
    Inappropriate retail sounds decreases sales 28%.
  4. Behavior

Uses Soundflow to analyze (down-arrow) and create (up-arrow).


BrandSound Guidelines


BrandSound Guidelines

  • Brand voice
  • Brand music
  • Sonic logo
  • Advertising sound
  • Branded audio
  • Telephone sound
  • Soundscapes
  • Product sound

The four golden rules for commercial sound. Make it…

  1. Congruent (facing same direction or reduce impact up to 86%)
  2. Appropriate
  3. Valuable (give people something not just bombard them)
  4. Test and test again

Read Julian Treasure’s blog.

Social Media Panel With Tim Walker

Tim Walker invited Natanya Anderson and myself to join him on a social media panel at the Association for University Business and Economic Research conference held at the Driskoll Hotel. Here is the full audio and a few pics. I posted a few more at Flickr, and I recorded the audio: Tim Walker’s Social Media Panel.mp3

Social Media Panel
Tim Walker, Natanya Anderson, and Jason Molin at the Driskill
Social Media Panel
Our blurry audience

Tim asked me to speak to “INSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGES — some practical pointers about how social media plays out in a university / institutional setting” and here is the outline I prepared.


  • We started a year after we discussed starting, waiting for right people, prototype
  • I started with those that got it, wanted to do it, were already. Still looking for the eagerly engaged.
  • My sell was based on current communications failures, newsletters and site overburdened
  • Pitched as: make it easier on your audience and yourselves, communicate more efficiently


  • Our newsletters are too much, basically SPAM
  • Our site (and Web team) are overburdened with ‘bulletin board” info (and little strategy, audience focus)
  • Even our school news blog can’t publish everybody’s local news…you need a direct publishing method


  • Our newsletters are more weekly headlines
  • Our audience can ‘follow’ us in a variety of ways
  • They can comment on the blog and respond to our Twitter or FB accounts
  • Our Web stewards have control over local news

Social Media Panel

Why Blog?

I'm being Googled

Eighty percent of success is showing up. – Woody Allen

Seth Godin says:

Blogging is free. It doesn’t matter if anyone reads it. What matters is the humility that comes from writing it. What matters is the meta-cognition of thinking about what you’re going to say. How do you explain yourself…How do you force yourself to describe, in three paragraphs, why you did something. How do you respond out loud.

If you’re good at it, some people are going to read it. If you’re not good at it, and you stick with it, you’ll get good at it…basically you’re doing it for yourself to force yourself to become part of the conversation, even if it’s just that big. And that posture change changes an enormous amount.

Now here’s what Tom Peters says about “The Brand Called You” and “Brand You Survival Kit

What you want is a steady diet of more interesting, more challenging, more provocative projects….Think about great gigs. – Seth Godin

Who is searching for you? They meet you somewhere… they’re interested, perhaps want to work with you… can they find you? What do they search for? What do they find? Who has defined you? Does it represent you? Make sure you do that.

A static site is ok for your product, your brochure, but the Web has progressed, people want to see what you’re doing now, your activity, your expertise. Google rewards relevance, recency, and referrals, so be relevant, be recent, and be cool so that you’ll want to share yourself and so will everyone else.

What to do.

  1. Start a blog. Start making a dynamic Web-presence for yourself, your organization, team, church, book group, photography, art, cause, hobby. Blogger is simple, all one page. WordPress a is powerful little CMS, easy, and user-friendly. Start telling a story. At the very least, fill our your Google profile.
  2. Join a network. It doesn’t matter if it’s a list-serve, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Comment on a blog you read, share your videos on YouTube or pictures on Flickr, but find your people, engage, converse, help, define a community. At the very least set up a Google alert for something and monitor it. Fill out your Google profile.
  3. Figure out who you are, what’s unique and valuable about you, and participate in the world by representing yourself, finding your people, contributing, sharing, and leading. This is how you get the good gigs.