Category Archives: Music

Some Mid-Week Humor

I’m excavating a lot of stuff (so many links,) so in the meantime, have some humorous videos:

Alex Boye, an old-time musician, got together a bunch of his friends to provide their own take on the song and music video for Mark Ronson’s “Up-town Funk” hit, featuring the singing of Bruno Mars:

Comedy group Nacho Punch made a very funny movie trailer for the thriller that is Daylight Saving:

Comic Lauren O’Brien does some spot-on impressions for her video Celebrities Stuck in Traffic:

And an innovative and fun short film imagines what happened to the original Power Rangers, with quite a cast playing the roles (it has a lot of in-series plot points.) It’s called Power/Ranger Unauthorized:

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Re-Animation

No, I did not bury the blog in a sand-pit so that insects could pick clean its bones. I just had a bit of a summer, is all. To fit the mood, here is a terrific new song by young Canadian Alessia Cara, called “Here”:

 

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On Writing and Publishing Links (Dumping Days)

Some stuff left over from last year, but interesting and likely to be related to interesting developments in publishing coming up:

In 2014, during the height of negotiations with Amazon and other e-vendors, HarperCollins set up selling e-books of their titles directly to readers. Now, this isn’t exactly a new thing. “Direct mail,” as it used to be called, has always been available from publishers, where readers could order books directly from publishers, usually at a discount because of shipping costs. In the 1960’s-1980’s, it was a sizable, though not central, market for paperbacks, with book order forms printed in the back pages of paperbacks, and some publishers setting up subscription services that operated sort of like book clubs, not to mention actual book clubs run by publishers or working with publishers. (The romance publishers had it down to an art form.)

In the 90’s, when the wholesale and paperback markets collapsed, direct mail became considerably less important but still existed. With the Internet developing, publishers set up buy options on their websites, however, that increased overall direct sales. For the last several years, publishers have been setting up selling e-books directly. This is, though, HarperCollins’ formalized, larger effort. Whether that’s going to help with the lack of breadth in the e-vendors market is anybody’s guess, but publishers have definitely amped up more of their book-selling efforts as the market has changed.

To that end, Mills & Boon publishers in the U.K. has also set up not only e-book selling, but doing so to mobile phones easily through an app. This is again a re-adjustment of the romance publishers’ practice of making subscription easy for buyers who will read lots of titles each month.

Related to these developments of publishers are the continual battles going on in the music industry. YouTube is getting serious about trying to compete with various streaming services, and so threatened to ban indie labels that didn’t sign up for its new music service. Likewise, Amazon and other big e-vendors have been pressing smaller houses on terms and marketing fees and signing up for various service programs. We’re going to see a lot more of these kinds of battles in most of the arts.

Other links: an interesting author interview on io9.com with Kelly Thompson, author of illustrated superpower novel, The Girl Who Would Be King, which just got a movie deal. Thompson ended up self-publishing the novel after not being able to sell it, and funded it with a Kickstarter campaign. This is becoming more and more common the last few years — the funding that authors could get from partner publishing by selling a license to a publisher and getting an advance against their royalties, they are now obtaining in a donations model, allowing them to act more effectively as writers and go bigger in production and marketing. It doesn’t work out for all authors, but in the begging electronic economy, it’s a solid model for raising capital support.

Chris Sims of the Comics Alliance wrote an interesting piece on Business Insider about DC and its relationship to Marvel, regarding moves both companies have made regarding their comics, films and other projects.

And lastly, fantasy author N.K. Jemisin offers authors some advice about dealing with reviews of their published work, “Author Strength Training”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under book publishing, Music, SFFH, Writing

A Little Music To Start (Dumping Days)

Michael Pollack first came to wide attention when Billy Joel did a concert and talk at Vanderbilt University, where Pollack is a student, and Pollack convinced Joel to let him come up and play the piano during it, impressing Joel when he did so. Since then, Pollack has done some high profile gigs and has released an EP. This is a single from the EP called “Chances Are”, and it’s pretty good. (Audio file only.)

Walk Off the Earth, in addition to their really good original work, continues to do cover versions of songs that I like better than the originals. They did a great a capella one of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” and they now have tackled her new pop single, “Shake It Off” with a low key, beachy rendition that utilizes actual rattles.

So successful has OK Go been in making terrific music videos for their quirky synth tunes, that they’ve gotten corporate sponsorship to make even bigger ones. For the newest single off their new album Hungry Ghosts,I Won’t Let You Down,” the boys go all out with crane shots and one of the wildest synchronized performances around. I also like the song, though maybe not quite as much as the first single off the album, “The Writing’s On the Wall,” in the video for which, OK Go upped their Rube Goldberg machine concept. But visually, the video below is pretty impressive.

 

 

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Briannah Donolo Goes Viral — As We Always Knew She Would

So I came to my blog today to find a lot of views. Was my piece about Amazon negotiations that fascinating?

Nope. (Well okay, it was a bit fascinating, but not that much.) They were searching out young singer Briannah Donolo, a few of whose music videos I’ve put up here, and the group included record company people. What had Briannah done? Sung the hay out of the U.S. and Canadian anthems at a recent Canadiens-Bruins hockey game apparently. (See below.) The performance has gone viral, as in global.

Is my family surprised? Having heard that voice from back when she was a little thing, no. We knew it was only a matter of time. Congrats to Briannah, and for everybody else, enjoy:

 

 

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A Little Goodwill Tonight

From Zander Zon:

 

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

 

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Weird Al Yankovic Still the Gentle King Of Music Video Parody

Been one of those days, so here, have some parody homage videos from venerable satirist Weird Al Yankovic, from his new album, that are taking the Web by storm:

First, a version of Pharrell Williams’ huge hit “Happy” called “Tacky” with a plethora of lip syncing guest stars:

A different take on Australian rapper Iggy Azalea’s hit “Fancy” retooled as “Handy“:

And finally, a tribute to Lordes’ sensation “Royals” called “Foil,” which goes in unexpected directions and also has some guest stars:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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