Archive for March, 2008

What’s the Buzz? Tell Me What’s A-Happening

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Blogging at the Crossroads

Photo by Mick Orlosky — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

Who’s up? Who’s down? How do you know?

Billboard magazine has the answer. In a new feature, Billboard has created The Buzz 100, a weekly scoreboard that attempts to combine the pop music singles chart with the number of references in blogs across the web.

Aren’t you dying to know who’s on top? The Beatles or Britney? Bob Dylan or High School Musical?

On the edge of your seat? This week, Lennon has pulled ahead of McCartney; Lindsay Lohan has out blogged Justin Timberlake; and, for no apparent reason, Elvis Presley is more current than Paula Abdul.

Want to know more? Billboard also provides a chart of the “Buzz Level” for the top five performers noting the percentage change of posts throughout the whole week!

Is there something of value that’s revealed in the rankings?

More to the point, is there supposed to be a correlation between artistic success and the number of times one is mentioned in blogs? (Lennon fans take note: the week that McCartney’s divorce came through he was ahead of John Lennon.)

Maybe the best course is to follow the response to “What’s the Buzz?” that the star-man sang in the show:

Why should you want to know?
Don’t you mind about the future.
Don’t you try to think ahead.
Save tomorrow for tomorrow.
Think about today instead.

Now, amongst their other accomplishments, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice have provided advice to producers, artists, and even audiences.

Then again, neither of them is on this week’s Billboard Buzz 100.

- Bill Reichblum

Interview: Trinity International Hip Hop Festival

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Trinity International Hip Hop FestivalThe Trinity International Hip Hop Festival takes place on April 6-8 in Hartford, Connecticut. The festival brings together artists, activists, DJs, and fans who make a difference in the world through hip hop and associated arts.

It is our pleasure at KadmusArts to feature a video trailer for the festival, as well as two related podcasts. The first, a WNPR interview with the festival founders, Magee McIlvaine and Jason Azevedo, discusses the role of hip hop on the international stage, as well as the goals of the festival. The second, a profile of the festival and its performers, was recorded by BBC reporter Andrew Purcell, as part of the radio program The Beat.

 WNPR Hip Hop Festival Interview [6:59m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

 BBC Hip Hop Festival Profile [6:54m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

How Green is Your Valley?

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Green People

Photo by Matt Redmond — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

Green is Good.

Fortunately, we are beginning to live by this twenty-first century maxim. Unfortunately, not everything is as simple as the choice is between a green valley and coal mining. What do you do when a product is labeled “Green” but you can’t help wondering how “green” the product really is?

As reported in Fast Company magazine, a recent review of 1,018 “green” products found that only one was legitimately and fully “green.” David Roberts’ article for Fast, uses the report to challenge companies’ approach to going Green. For example,

A green business will not deploy teams of researchers to figure out which 20%-post-recycled-content copy paper to use; it will offer free bus or subway vouchers, start a carpooling program, and let workers telecommute one day a week.

The review was conducted by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing, a company that is in the business of helping green companies and products.

TerraChoice provides a clear guide for revealing the “six sins of green-washing”:

  • Sin of Hidden Trade-Off
    - How was the product made, transported?
  • Sin of No Proof
    - How can you easily confirm their testing?
  • Sin of Vagueness
    - Do you know what “chemical free” really means for that product?
  • Sin of Irrelevance
    - Are any of the green claims directly relevant to the product?
  • Sin of Fibbing
    - Who is behind some third party certificates?
  • Sin of the Lesser of Two Evils
    - Quick, which is better: not smoking or organic cigarettes?

The arts are working to not only help be the messenger, but also to get the message.

If green is good, green competition is even better.

- Bill Reichblum

Arts Presenters: Greg Sandow

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Greg SandowGreg Sandow is a music critic and composer, whose interests encompass not only the creation and analysis of classical music, but also its future. After two decades of success as a classical and pop music critic for The Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, and The Wall Street Journal, he returned to the world of classical composition, while simultaneously teaching at the Juillard School and the Eastman School of Music. His thoughts on the future of classical music are published on his blog, and form the basis for an upcoming book.

In this podcast, Greg Sandow talks with us about the makeup of the classical music audience, intelligence and complexity as a way of attracting a younger audience, and the rich evolution of the world of contemporary art.

This interview is part of an ongoing series with the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

 Arts Presenters: Greg Sandow [25:24m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Arts Presenters: Steven Tepper

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Engaging ArtSteven Tepper is Associate Director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy, and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University. He co-edited the volume Engaging Art: The Next Great Transformation of America’s Cultural Life.

In this podcast Steven Tepper talks about how we arrived at this new era, who the winners and losers are, and what widely held beliefs about participation in cultural life need to be jettisoned.

This interview is part of an ongoing series with the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

 Arts Presenters: Steven Tepper [19:15m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

When The Audience Gets To Play Too

Monday, March 17th, 2008


Photo by Tzatziki — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

As reported in our Festival News, Nine Inch Nails has announced that they are launching a Ghosts Film Festival, where everyone is encouraged to freely use the music of Ghosts, the band’s latest album, to create new music videos. The best videos will be showcased in the festival, hosted by YouTube.

So, let’s recap: while record label execs are busy weeping over the demise of the traditional CD sales model, creative bands like Radiohead and NIN are creating new sales models, as well as new audience participation venues that invite everyone onstage. NIN has been particularly innovative in this regard: in 2007, the band partnered with 42 Entertainment to create an Alternate Reality Game around the Year Zero album.

Can new, lesser-known performers use the same mechanisms pioneered by NIN to make a living? This is certainly an open question at this time, but one thing is clear: the future of the music industry will be defined by the intersection of Web 2.0 with creative and playful music audiences.

- Ruben Puentedura

“Seriously, Screw All You Guys”

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Zuckerberg and Lacy

Photo by Julio Fernandez — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

What would happen if you were at one of the great festivals and the story became about a journalist?

SXSW creates one of the best places to be during the month of March. Sequential fests for the interactive, film, and music worlds take over Austin, Texas for one of the most artful, cutting-edge, and smart gatherings of audiences and participants.

Unlike other industry gatherings, the Interactive fest brings together an incredibly diverse crowd that spans generations, professional accomplishment, and niche talents. The spirit is one of genuine interest, openness, and energy.

How strange, then, that the integrity, imagination, and mood could be undercut by a journalist.

Yes, a journalist’s approach to an interview inspired anger, ridicule, and the economy of the blogosphere.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, anchored one of the keynotes of the conference. Considering that 99% percent of the audience are customers of Facebook, Zuckerberg wanted to keep the focus on the company’s four year development to “help people connect and communicate more efficiently” for more “personal, trusting, and empathetic relationships.”

Facebook became available in Spanish last month, German a few weeks ago, and tonight (!) in French. Give the guy his due for making the world a little better.

But, who would have thought that crowd would be rooting for a 23 year old billionaire over a journalist?

Sarah Lacy turned a packed ballroom crowd into a shouting, mocking, groaning audience. She appeared to be so determined to let us know how close she was to Zuckerberg that she couldn’t help interrupting him, meandered her way to asking questions, and managed to ignore him to turn on the crowd.

Want to feel like you were there? Check out the coverage from CNET or Wired, or same time blog posts from Mashable (“When An Interview Turns Into A Revolt”), the Unofficial Facebook Blog, BuzzMachine, CrunchGear, ValleyWag, and many more posts listed on Technorati.

How does the graceless journalist respond? As Lacy posted on Twitter: “Seriously, screw all you guys.”

The problem? A journalist believes they are as important as their subject.

The lesson? Celebrate those who create a company or an artistic work: they collaborate to provide a service, offer value, and carve an opportunity for us to be a genuine community.

This is the real story of the festival community of SXSW.

- Bill Reichblum

Interview: Mario Videla (English Translation)

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Photo: Mario VidelaThe Asociación Festivales Musicales de Buenos Aires and the Academia Bach have been devoted to the promotion and diffusion of classical music in Argentina since 1976. Its artistic director, Mario Videla, is also an organist and conductor, and one of the most important figures of classical music in South America.

In this interview, Mario Videla talks about Festivales Musicales’ 2008 concert cycle, “Bach & the 20th Century”, and about the creation of the Academia Bach in 1983. He also recalls how Helmut Rilling, the director of the International Bach Academy of Stuttgart, inspired him to organize the extremely successful Conciertos Comentados (Concerts with Commentary) in Buenos Aires. Finally, Maestro Videla tells us about the radio program on Bach cantatas he has been doing for 10 years, which is also broadcast in Venezuela and Brazil.

 Interview: Mario Videla (English Translation) [17:18m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Interview: Mario Videla (In Spanish)

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Photo: Mario VidelaDesde 1976 la Asociación Festivales Musicales de Buenos Aires y la Academia Bach se han dedicado a la difusión y promoción de la música en sus más altas expresiones artísticas. Su director artístico, Mario Videla, es también organista y director y uno de los exponentes más importantes de la música clásica en Sudamérica.

En esta entrevista, Mario Videla habla del ciclo anual de conciertos 2008 llamado “Bach y el Siglo XX”, y de los comienzos de la Academia Bach en 1983. También recuerda cómo Helmut Rilling, director de la Academia Bach Internacional de Stuttgart, lo inspiró a organizar Conciertos Comentados en Buenos Aires, los cuales tuvieron un éxito inmediato. Finalmente, el Maestro Videla nos cuenta acerca del programa de radio sobre cantatas de Bach que realiza desde hace 10 años, y que también se transmite en Venezuela y Brasil.

 Interview: Mario Videla (In Spanish) [15:44m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Titles: Strange, but True

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

King Canute and Dr. Feelgood

Drawing from Fifty Famous Stories Retold, by James Baldwin
Photo by Tim Ellis — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

Creating art is hard. Finding an audience can be harder. So, you want to choose the perfect title.

Learn from a few great writers. To attract an audience’s attention you can go for the brazenly bizarre — try Jest, Satire, Irony and Deeper Significance from Dietrich Grabbe; or, the predictive — no surprises in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller; or, the descriptive — hit the nail on the head with The Misanthrope from Molière; or, combine brazenly bizarre, predictive, and descriptive — how could anyone resist Oh, Daddy, Poor Daddy, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad by Arthur Kopit.

As posted on our Arts News Feed this week, The Bookseller hosts the voting for The Diagram Prize, which is awarded annually to the oddest book title of the year.

You have until the end of the month to vote for the following nominees:

  • I Was Tortured by the Pygmy Love Queen, by Jasper McCutcheon;
  • How to Write a How to Write Book, by Brian Paddock;
  • Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues, by Catharine A. MacKinnon;
  • Cheese Problems Solved, edited by P. L. H. McSweeney;
  • People Who Mattered in Southend and Beyond: From King Canute to Doctor Feelgood, by Dee Gordon;

and the title currently in the lead,

  • If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs, by Big Boom.

Tough choice, don’t you think?

For further inspiration, some of our favorite winners from years past include: Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice; Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality; How to Avoid Huge Ships; and, because KadmusArts is always on the lookout for Green initiatives and promoting great art, How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art.

How could one resist? If the title is so imaginative, aren’t you curious about the art?

This year’s winner will be announced on March 28.

- Bill Reichblum