Found this chart by Ben Evans. Quite interesting and wanted to be able to go back to it easily. The revenue breakdown in 2017 also shows how music has integrated into life much more so than it had in 1999.
Like every other form of art, country music has expanded over the last two decades---becoming younger, flashier, pop-ish.
Which isn't bad. Most everything adjusts with the constantly evolving world that feeds it.
This latest expansion of country music was unmissable at the ACM Awards. The flash, the glitz and more were on full display.
Then Miranda Lambert played "Tin Man". And there it was. A shove back at the new. A reminder that country music, at its truest form, still digs deep. Still brings forward hardcore truths.
It's a beautiful song... How someone can take something so personal, bounce it off of The Wizard of Oz, and then produce something so good, is an incredible act of creativity and art.
Artists dig deep for all of us. They carry the weight of that around. They push us forward. And sometimes, they pull us back, as if to say, "remember what this is really supposed to be about."
April 03, 2017 | Permalink
Just finished A Visit From The Goon Squad--probably the best fiction I've read in years. The way it's written is what's amazing. The book goes in all directions telling stories of the characters--the surprising ways they all relate with each other, how each life develops, where they end up.
The author was inspired by two things. How Pulp Fiction had an upside down chronology to it--that doing this was possible in storytelling. And The Sopranos: “the sense of movement in all directions, but not necessarily forward.”
There's a chapter in the book that is entirely done in PowerPoint slides. It's a chapter told by a young teenager about her family. Like she's doing a report for school on them. It's amazing how much emotion comes from that chapter. Intentionally lo-fi in design, it's a notably innovative thing. Just like the structure of Pulp Fiction, how will that PPT bit of creativity inspire others?
January 08, 2017 | Permalink
Sometimes you're so deep in it that it sets up the opportunity for an easy fake.
Here's Duke, thinking about the next set of plays, their strategies, their plans, as they open up the next round of play. So Louisville simply posts up on the opposite side of the court and Duke reacts to that--on the wrong side.
A great example of thinking creatively.
A great reminder not to leave yourself open for an easy bucket.
January 06, 2017 | Permalink
Much of my following of Standing Rock was through the updates and prompting of wolf & wilhelmine founder Heidi Hackemer. Which, of course, required all digital. Me, the follower, that is--digital, as stuff arrived in my feeds and channels. She, the doer, was there in the physical. Making change in non-violent ways with lots of other people.
And there it is: doing, versus following. Physical versus digital.
Of course things can be done from the screen. Of course they can. But can it replace what can happen with physical interaction when it really matters? In 2016 it feels like everyone thought it could. Years of Twitter and Alerts, finding Medium, living on screens no matter where we are.
But as we swing into 2017 I think we're all, in the back of our minds, questioning whether it can.
December 18, 2016 | Permalink
Many many years ago I was pitching to win Reel.com's account. Remember that? There used to be a bunch of online shopping sites for CDs and DVDs like Reel, CDnow, Amazon and Buy.com. (I remember Amazon was put in lists very casually just like that--one of many, nothing stood out yet.)
What I recall from that time was, as a planning group, how we came to the conclusion that the web was a great place to buy, but it wasn't a great place to shop. This was probably 1999.
Things have come far, but this is still true for the most part. Shopping for the holidays this month you can see a bunch of stuff. Sites can recommend other things you like. And there are good ways to sort and rank. That's all good.
But it doesn't replace scanning an aisle yet does it? There's just something about looking at a broad swath of stuff and not needing to click or zoom in or try to find the small print to know how big something is.
And yet there are also many ways to shop in-store now that we couldn't do years ago thanks to digital, and that's all good too. (Not to mention the time savings and efficiency.) But still, in general, browsing an aisle of stuff--if one is purely shopping and not evaluating two or three things--is still the best.
Nowhere was this browsing time more true than the video store and a recent post on Vox brought this all rushing back.
Going out to rent a movie is something that many people have never done. For those that have, this thoughtful post is true, isn't it?
If you're actually in a video store, the stakes are different. You're engaged. You're on a mission to find a movie — the right movie. You had to get out of bed, get dressed, and go to a store. You had to think about what you want, why this movie looks good and not that one, perhaps even seeking guidance or advice. Whether it's from nostalgia, advertising, packaging, reputation, recommendation, or sheer whim, a movie chosen from the shelves attaches you to your choice. Before the film even starts playing, you've begun a relationship with it. You're curious. Whether you've chosen well or poorly, you've made a choice, and you're in it for the duration.
With online streaming, we don't decide — we settle. And when we aren't grabbed immediately, we move on. That means folks are less likely to engage with a film on a deep level; worse, it means people stop taking chances on challenging films. Unlike that DVD they paid for and brought home, a movie on Netflix will be watched only so long as it falls within the viewer's comfort zone. As that comfort zone expands, the desire to look outside of it contracts.
December 14, 2015 | Permalink
It’s tempting to interpret it as a generational rebellion against a buttoned-up, conservative domestic culture, but this is almost certainly a retrospective reading, created by looking at the period through the lens of the nineteen-sixties. Folk songs had a message, and some sixties rock songs had a message. Rock and roll did not have a message, unless it was: “Let’s party (and if you can’t find a partner, use a wooden chair).” Or maybe, at its most polemical, “Roll over, Beethoven.” But it was music intended for young people, and this was the distinctive thing.
In order for a music for young people to come into being, young people have to have a way to play it. The jukebox was one delivery mode: kids could listen to the music in a diner or an ice-cream shop, someplace outside the home and in the company of other kids. More significant, as Ennis points out, were several inventions. The 45-r.p.m. record—the single—was developed by RCA and marketed in 1949. Soon, RCA introduced a cheap plastic record player, which played only 45s and sold for twelve ninety-five. This meant that teen-agers could play “their” music out of their parents’ hearing. They did not have to listen in the living room on the family phonograph.
December 10, 2015 | Permalink
That's Oxford's word of the year. The Face with Tears of Joy emoji--also known as the LOL emoji. It comprised 20% of all emoji use in the U.S. and U.K.
And then the I read this --> Though this marks a historic moment of recognition for the pictures plastered throughout tweets and texts, Oxford has not added or defined any emoji in their actual databases. Nor, says a spokesperson for the publisher, do they have plans to do so at this point.
Big words and show-off words are irritating. But a good word makes all the difference. Something that's immediately understandable and well-chosen for the situation. Glamorous, joyful, diabolical. And on.
A word of the year has an annual opportunity to unify around a thought. It also creates a running history of our times.
A few of the other words on Oxford's 2015 short list:
ad blocker, noun: A piece of software designed to prevent advertisements from appearing on a web page.
Dark Web, noun: The part of the World Wide Web that is only accessible by means of special software, allowing users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable
sharing economy, noun: An economic system in which assets or services are shared between private individuals, either free or for a fee, typically by means of the Internet.
There is an important story within each of these, symbolic of the year, and new to our vocabulary. And you could actually look them up and define them, using something from Oxford.
November 21, 2015 | Permalink
The NY Times Labs has an idea about the future of news. It should be based around particles. Which is basically how the bits of the article become more important than the article itself.
Can you imagine if, every time something new happened in Syria, Wikipedia published a new Syria page, and in order to understand the bigger picture, you had to manually sift through hundreds of pages with overlapping information? The idea seems absurd in that context and yet, it is essentially what news publishers do every day. The Particles approach suggests that we need to identify the evergreen, reusable pieces of information at the time of creation, so that they can be reused in new contexts. It means that news organizations are not just creating the “first draft of history”, but are synthesizing the second draft at the same time, becoming a resource for knowledge and civic understanding in new and powerful ways.
November 15, 2015 | Permalink