All along the Blogtower

A blog for fans of all types of music

The Bled, not bled dry….. March 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — janicewoods @ 11:40 pm

images-1The Bled, a metal 5 piece from Tuscon, AZ, will finally return to the road in March 2009 with The Used and Saosin. The band split to pursue individual music ventures in mid 2008. This was supposed to be  an indefinite hiatus

images-3, however the opportunity to be back on the road was too tempting for the boys. The singer, James Munoz, quit his job in Chicago and returned to AZ this week to begin practice with the band for their intense live performances. 

The tour will bring The Bled to Austin,Texas for the SXSW music festival. The images-2tour has not been announced formally, so they will perform as a surprise guest at the Purevolume.com showcase. The Bled has been an influential band in the metal scene for almost eight years. Bands such as Armor For Sleep and Emanuel credit The Bled with helping hone their sounds. The Bled took Armor For Sleep out for their first tour. The Bled has performed on The Warped Tour, Projekt Revolution, Taste of Chaos, and Ozzfest.

imagesTo draw attention back to The Bled, I would reach out to the online community first. I would call to the band’s street teams in local cities via myspace and facebook. In return for photos of promotion the fan would be placed on the  guest list. Then I would contact independent rock radio stations and contact the local college to promote on their metal hour. I would haveimages-4 James do a weekly video blog to update fans about the tour. They could also record a short segment of the boys talking about the tour which I would cut to 10 second, 20 second, and 40 second spots . These I would send to MTV2, FUSE, FUEL, and a few local stations in the key towns (such as ME TV in Austin.)

 

Who will Bailout Sheryl? February 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — janicewoods @ 9:06 pm

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Sheryl Crow has been swept up into a scandal surrounding bailout money. Northern Trust Bank received around $1.6 billion in federal funds, which they did not even ask to be given. The funding was to help pay for the millions they would spend on a PGA tournament in CA a week ago. While they did spend millions (about $6.3) on the tournament, they also spent an insane amount elsewhere. Clients were flown in (some on private charted planes) and over 100 guests (per hotel) were set up at the Beverly Wilshire, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, the Ritz Carlton, and Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica. They were shuttled back and forth in Mercedes to the tournament and evening festivities, which were at rented out venues with incredibly expensive food menus and “goodie” bags from Tiffany’s for the female guests. At these trendy venues there were impressive music acts, such as Sheryl Crow performing at the House of Blues.

 

So now Sheryl Crow is being linked to the bailout money since the bailout money is how she was paid. The bank claims they paid for the parties with operation costs, but these parties also come 2 months after the bank had laid off 4% of its workforce. A representative from the bank also claimed all the expenses were part of a marketing strategy, showing customers the bank appreciates its business. How can the justify spending taxpayer money in such a frivolous manner? Some democrat representatives are requesting that the bank pay back the equivalent of what was spent on the parties last week.

That is the back-story and for whatever reason most of the criticism for accepting payment for their performance has crashed down on Sheryl Crow, even though Chicago and Earth Wind & Fire performed as well. She is being targeted for accepting the government funds while the rest of America is working 9 to 5 and eating off the $1 menu at McDonalds to save money. Blog posts such as Lime Life are infuriated with the spending, but only mention Sheryl Crow’s name when speaking about the parties, thus connecting only her name. A further blunder by Crow is that a few days after her show was paid for by Americans who did not see the show, nor cared to see it, she is now urging Congress to force radio stations for pay artists every time one of their songs is played.

If I were her publicist, I would not have let her speak out pleading for radio stations to pay for images4songs when the first fiasco concerning money had not even begun to die down. I would have released a statement saying she did not know that she was being paid by payout money (I am assuming that is true, I hope she did not perform knowing that!) I would look online to fan forums, urging them to stand behind Crow, using that they know she would not be taking from them intentionally because the truly know Sheryl Crow. I do not know if Crow would actually do this, but I would encourage her to give back all or some portion of the money to government or donate it to a charity. I would also look into a potential benefit concert she could put on that would be giving back to the community that she (hopefully) unintentionally took from.

 

 

Miley’s $4 Billion dollar eyes February 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — janicewoods @ 11:09 am

An offensive photo of Miley Cyrus has made its way across the Internet and all the glorious celebrity gossip sites. In it the pop star and her friends are slanting their eyes , some with their fingers, as if to mock people of asian decent. 

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In response, the Organization of Chinese Americans accused the star of being “a terrible example” to her fans. Further, Lucie Kim, an attorney from Los Angeles of Asian-Pacific-Islander decent, has filed a class-action suit against Miley Cyrus for $4 billion. The basis behind the number is $4,000 for each of approximately 1 million Asian Pacific Islanders in the LA area. The lawsuit claims Cyrus was negligent of not caring and failing to realize the repercussions of the photo being made public and that she acted with “racism, prejudice and mockery.” 

Unfortunately, Miley’s people did not make any type of statement until after the lawsuit had been filed. The tween denies any racially charged intent from the photo, that she was just with friends (one of whom is of asian descent). She wrote an initial apology on one of her fansites: “Well, I’m sorry if people looked at those pics and took them out of context. In NO way was I making fun of any ethnicity! I was simply making a goofy face. When did that become newsworthy?…..I definitly feel like people are trying to make me out as the new “BAD GIRL!” To me, this comes off quite childish, I have to wonder if she did have any help writing it or if for some miley cyrusreason the media picking on the little girl approach was what they actually wanted. She sounds like a young girl whining or throwing a fit because she was caught doing something she should not have been. Also, referring to the photo, which is upsetting an entire community, as simply a “goofy” photo does more harm then good.

The Asian-American community felt the young star’s apology was not sincere. In response Miley issued a more heartfelt apology on her official website. “I want to thank all of my fans for their support not only this week, but always! I really wanted to stress how sorry I am if the photo of me with my friends offended anyone. I have learned a valuable lesson from this and know that sometimes my actions can be unintentionally hurtful. I know everything is a part of GOD’s ultimate plan, and mistakes happen so that eventually I will become the woman he aspires me to be. Peace and love. Miles.”  images-1

I think this was a better route to take, too bad it took them until there was backlash from the photo and further anger from her juvenile first “I’m sorry” letter. She did accept responsibility, yet I still think a more formal statement should have been made the minute the photos hit the Internet,. Perhaps then it would not have appeared as if she did not care that they caused harm. I also think pulling out the God card was smart in this case. I am sure many of the young girls who watch her show on the Disney channel come up in an attempted wholesome home with religious values. However, her publicity team needs to sit down with Miley and have a serious talk about her actions in the public spotlight.

 

A little less talk, a lot more action February 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — janicewoods @ 4:07 pm

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Fans of Toby Keith received an uncommon display in Pikeville, Ky. During his February performance, Toby Keith made his way towards the front of the audience and along the side of the crowds. A fan pushed his way towards the front and once he reached where Keith was in the crowd, he threw his beer at the singer and gave him the finger.  In response, Keith grabbed the man by his shirt and pulled him close, grabbing the back of his neck to draw him in. You are not able to hear the exact words exchanged, but it is quite obvious they are very heated. Keith pushed the fan away, letting security take him out.Afterwards, the singer went on stage and apologized saying “I’m sorry to act like that. I’ve never acted like that before.”

The reactions I have found online are fairly positive. Well, they do not condone his actions, nevertheless most bloggers and comments say the fan deserved it. Toby Keith has created an image for himself as the “bad boy” in country music. Further, if someone purchased a ticket for a concert, why would they go in to throw a beer on the artist you paid for? Well, unless it was a punk rock show, but this is country music and clearly different. To pull a stunt like that is asking for an incident.

Some headlines have tried to claim Keith “jumped from the stage” and “attacked a fan.” Most headlines with those titles have been from entertainment sites, such as TMZ or celebrity bashing blog sites. But none of those really criticize his actions. People who say he is acting like a “redneck” or “hillbilly” also say they do not see any reason to go to a Toby Keith concert to begin with. Keith’s fans are not looking to these sites, so I do not think this affects his audience. All his fans, like the Nashville Narc, say Keith did the right thing by confronting him for being out of line. 

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I looked on Toby Keith’s website for some reaction or response from the artist, but there is nothing. Everything I could find about the incident is second hand sources. He did apologize to the other fans and the concert continued without a hitch, I think that was very smart of him as an artist. Since this altercation was all over TMZ (in two separate segments) and therefore reaching far past the country music community; I think his reps should have posted some type of acknowledgement. It could have said the fan was out of line and that Keith became irritated that someone would act so disrespectful to him and his fans. He wanted to let him know his behavior was unacceptable and have the man removed. I would apologize that the fan would act in such a way to disturb the show, rather then say Keith disrupted the show.

A funny end-note, this scene occurred during Toby Keith’s song “A Little Less Talk, a Lot More Action”

 

Spinal Tap turns it up again February 6, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — janicewoods @ 3:21 pm

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On February 3 Spinal Tap announced they will return to the studio for another album. For the legendary fictional British rock band, it will be the first time back in the studio since 1992. The 1984 rock “mockumentary” This is Spinal Tap, consisting of Michael McKean (as David St. Hubbins), Christopher Guest (as Nigel Tufnel) and Harry Shearer (as Derek Smalls), propelled the band to iconic status. 

This will be the first time since 1992 the band will be releasing new material. “We’ve never recorded the song we did at Live Earth, ‘Warmer Than Hell,’ and I think they [Spinal Tap] are trying to revisit their old success,” Shearer added. “Not that they were ever popular, maybe in their own universe.” The band reunited in 2006 for Live Earth and fans have been eagerly hoping for more. 

“We’ll do a song called Gimme Some More Money, probably with some dubious results.” Fans of Spinal Tap will be able to download the new material later this year and it will be available to purchase in stores in the beginning of 2010.

Spinal Tap  has recorded 2 albums, the soundtrack for the movie in 1984 and Break Like the Wind in 1992. Could this lead to a full on reunion and (fingers crossed!) a tour?? Spinal Tap was named the best fictional rock band in Rolling Stone. Well heavy metal fans are certainly hoping!  

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Kanye Botched SNL Performance January 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — janicewoods @ 1:04 am

In December 2008, Kanye West was the musical act for Saturday Night Live. I remember watching the performance and asking myself if that was Kanye? He really did a terrible job. Apparently he is trying to sing these days and not stick just with rapping, which is where he is golden. He was off key, off tempo; simply off the entire time. I remember him pulling away from the mic and letting his back up singers take over quite a few times. I wondered what in the world was going on. 

So, I decided to look into what happened. Online I found many reactions. The BrooklynVegan wondered why anyone cares about him in the first place. Well, because he is pretty talented and doesn’t mind telling all of us! However, marathonpacks ripped him apart. He gave no excuses for the performance and referred to it as”grotesque.” Show Hype also wrote that Kanyne “sucked” as the musical guest. There were accusations of lip-synching since he was so off and this is where I think Kanye’s publicist did a good job. Had he been lip-synching, the song would have been perfect. But he was not lip-synching and had a weak voice that day, therefore the show suffered. Also, Kayne’s auto-tuner had not been set up correctly. The auto-tuner helps a singer to stay on key if his pitch is off or to distort the voice if that is the desired effect. Since his was not properly  installed, he was not able to perform perfect as he usually does. 

Kanye (I am guessing by advise of his publicist) embraced the situation and was able to laugh at himself, saying that particular performance should be placed on the worst performance list for SNL (along side the Ashlee Simpson fiasco.) By addressing the claims of lip-synching, pointing out the faulty equipment, and accepting, as well as admitting, it was a sub-par performance; Kanye was able to keep his fans defending him rather than attacking him.

Had I been Kanye’s publicist, I would have taken on the situation the same way. I would have him light-heartedly acknowledge that he performed poorly. It is always easier to forgive someone if they can admit fault. And Kanye’s fans did stand behind him. I would have addressed the lip-synch issue the exact same way. Had he been lip-synching the song would have been spot on perfect, but it was absolutely not. In all I think this situation was handled very well. Kanye West will suffer no permanent damage from this. I think it will fade away for the most part and many people will completely forget it. It will not go down in infamy  the way Ashlee Simpson’s performance on SNL or Britney Spears terrible VMA “come back” performance did. 

Here is the performance if you would like to check it out. I was not able to find just the SNL performance anymore (it seems to have magically disappeared), but this should give you an idea of how it went.