Dear Entertainment Industry: Get With The Program

To further detail how out of touch the entertainment industry is: I linked a YouTube video  of Adele’s performance at The Grammy’s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uVQ0GKhYZU)  but it has been taken down from YouTube due to a copyright claim by The Grammy’s.

You must be kidding me! Wow, not seeing the forest for the trees, much, Grammy’s? I’m giving free publicity to CBS, The Grammy’s, XL/Columbia Records and Adele.

It’s called a “loss leader” — perhaps you’d heard of it while getting your MBA. And you take down the video because you think you’re losing money by people not going here instead http://www.cbs.com/shows/grammys/video/—  except you don’t have the indexing or crowd sourcing power which does YouTube, and your online broadcast content is simply terrible!

Idiots.

This is a great example of why SOPA, PIPA and *ACTA* are death sentences for the internet as we know it — and also our best available free exchange of information.

Sorry, I’m actually mad now.

P.S. I just realized that this is my 150th post on this blog. So, yeah.

Advertisements

Class Distinction

Sunday afternoon, I went to the deli to grab some Gatorade. I was in a wicked bad mood after having just received a phone call informing me that I had been fired from my job because of this blog. There was a guy behind me in line at the deli who was dressed in all white and carrying a white boom-box on his shoulder. Said boom-box was emitting the sort of sonic catastrophe reminiscent of one of your old friends that thinks they’re a DJ and sends you a weekly e-mail about where they’ll be “performing”. This guy was buying a quart of milk. That’s it. I’m not shitting you. Picture it.

Being that he was directly behind me in line at the deli, he checked out a couple seconds after me and followed closely behind me as I left the store, his quart of milk in tow, no bag. Upon following me out of the store he cranked up the volume on his boom-box to the redline, ensuring that I could enjoy his music just as much as he did.

The usual Washington Heights hubbubin`s were in full swing. People hanging out on the stoops, hanging out on the corner, hanging from the fire escapes with one arm while gripping a bottle of Corinita in the other, congregating in completely illogical places as to disrupt the flow of foot traffic as much possible, seemingly on purpose.

The fruity guy with the stupid white clothes, quart of milk, crappy music and desperate need for attention was still following, basically breathing down my neck.

I’d had it.

I was wearing dark sunglasses so I did the “fake-look-over-my-shoulder-into-the-distance-when-I’m-actually-looking- you-square-in-the-face-to-get-a-read-on-you-because-you’re-following-so- close-that-you’re-kinda-freaking-me-out-and-pissing-me-off-at-the-same- time” thing. You know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout.

That’s when I saw that he had those stupid white contact lenses on his eyeballs. I almost threw up in sheer disgust of his gimmickry.

“I have a pair of earphones that I’m not using, do you want them?” I asked.

“WHAT?” he screamed over his music.

Everything fell deafly quiet as I took the liberty of hitting the ‘pause’ button on his boom-box and shouted as loud as I could,

“I HAVE A PAIR OF EARPHONES THAT I’M NOT USING, DO YOU WANT THEM!?”

He stood with me face-to-face and stared at me, shocked, for about four seconds. That’s four seconds in real time, people.

One-one-thousand.

Two-one-thousand.

Three-one-thousand.

Four-one-thousand.

He flipped me off and walked away. Simple as that.

I think it made us both feel better.

"Ice-T" & Me? We have an understanding.

Several years ago I was sharing a shoebox two-bedroom apartment with three friends on the upper-west-side of Manhattan. Two roommates had to sleep on an air mattress in the living room. They were allowed cheaper rent as they were responsible for moving furniture and inflating and deflating their mattress every night and morning. The apartment was right behind Lincoln Center at 63rd & West End Ave., NYC.

There is an ultra-luxury building right across the street from the far-less-than-luxury building I was living in at the time. The property across the street had huge windows that were always freshly Windex’ed. The people that came in and out of the building were always dressed impeccably, like senior level HR women, or investment bankers, or high priced prostitutes. There were always taxi cabs waiting outside of the building. The drivers knew that these people were loaded.

I know all this because I love to skateboard. The luxury building across the street had these amazing curbs with angle iron attached to them. For those of you that don’t speak “skateboard”, just believe me when I say that it was awesome.

On the weekends during spring and summer, I loved nothing more than to skateboard on the curbs of the luxury building across the street. The best parts of the curbs were right by the exit of the building’s parking garage. As such, I would often have to stop, pick up my skateboard and step aside as the garage door would raise and a resident would pull their car out of the garage.

There was one Saturday when I was skateboarding early in the afternoon and I heard the ‘click’ that I had come to know as the sound of the garage door beginning to open. I picked up my skateboard and stepped aside.

The garage door slowly rose to reveal a cherry red Ferrari, its engine purring in idle. I dreweled for a hot minute and then wanted the car to move so I could Skate-or-Die.

The car just sat there so I looked through the windshield to the driver’s side.

It was Ice-T.

Ice-Fucking-T.

Cop Killa.

He had his left hand on the wheel, and his right hand between the legs of a ho (literally a ho in every sense of the word, you’ll just have to trust me) that was sitting in the passenger seat. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. As he idled his Ferrari in the driveway of the garage, he seemed much more focused on his right hand than his left.

Ice looked up and seemed startled when he realized that the garage door was already open. His eyes immediately fixed on me standing there with my skateboard. I did the stoic-chin-raising-head-tilting-back gesture while I looked at him with my eyeballs as if to say, “I didn’t see nothin’ man. I can keep shit on the DL, for realz.” Ice nodded at me with stern eyes and he drove away with his ho.

I took a deep breath.

I spent the next hour nervously shifting my eyes in preparation for men in black ski masks carrying silenced oozies to come and silence me. They never came. I continued to skateboard.

Over the next year this became a regular occurrence. The only difference was that Ice had a new ho and a new car every week.

I think this is what they call “The American Dream.” A new ho and a new car every week.

So basically, here’s how I figure:

Ice-T is cool with me skateboarding on his curb as long as I’m willing to keep my mouth shut about his hoes and his cars.

Well, Mr. Ice:

I don’t live across the street from you anymore and I’m busting the lid off of this story. I’m not scared of your silenced-oozie-toting ski-mask-wearing goons anymore because I live in Washington Heights now and I just downloaded a freeware security suite for my computer so there’s no way you can find me. Not even on my myspace account.

Take that, Cop Killa!

Me -vs. Record Label

I cannot remember the last time that I bought a CD either in a store, online or anywhere. This is particularly shameful because I work in the entertainment marketing industry, often for major record labels. More importantly, my girlfriend is a top-priority major label recording artist. No, I’m not telling.

This epiphany hit me recently and it nearly made me reevaluate my existence. I hadn’t reflected on myself to this degree since Tommy Morrison knocked me unconscious in the 5th grade for saying to him in front of his toothless girlfriend,

“I don’t care how big you are because sometime, somewhere down the road, I will own the grass that you will mow. Oh, and your girlfriend is disgusting but I bet she gives good… (POW!)” When I regained consciousness I recognized my error and put my jaw back into place like a real twelve year old man.

Moving on.

So, I decided that I would purchase a CD to kill the guilt of my professional negligence. I visited the website of the first major record label I could think of. The record label will remain nameless and will be referred to herein as “DumbDrum Records”.

Like most websites, there are several options to choose from when exploring the site. I carefully weighed my options and decided to begin with the “New Releases” channel as this seemed logical. That’s when I saw that the site hasn’t been updated since 2005.

Put on your safety goggles.

Now, unless you have been sharing a hole with Hussein, you know that lately the recording industry has been raising holy hell in regards to declining record sales. They have even gone so far as to sue private citizens for file sharing. My question is this: What are these fucktards at DumbDrum Records doing over there when their most effective medium of reaching a worldwide market(their website) doesn’t even bother to tell the consumer what products they are currently price-fixing? er, selling? And these shit eaters have the gall to bitch about declining sales!? Oh fuck, this really pissed me off and sent my wicked ass directly into orbit without passing “GO” and definitely without collecting my goddamn $200, which quite frankly I could really use right now. I digress.

Anyway, I decided to send DumbDrum Records an e-mail.

Verbatim, the e-mail went like this:
__
Greetings:

I am interested in the current happenings of DumbDrum Records’ recording artists.

Upon visiting your website, I viewed both the “New Releases” and “Coming Soon” channels of http://www.DumbDrum Records.com., and was surprised to find that the most recent listing on either channel is dated Dec., 2005. It may surprise you to know that most reasonable people on this planet are under the impression that we are currently living in the third week of March, 2006.

Forgive me kind sirs, but I am confused. Does your company not distribute records for the first quarter of the year, or is this simply an oversight due to sloppy business practice? Again, I am confused.

Do you guys need some help over there at DumbDrum Records? If so, I might be willing to submit my resume for review by the appropriate parties, as I am certain that I would contribute to running a more effective operation.

Best Regards,
Ryan *****
**********@hotmail.com
(212)391.****
__

The very next day I received the below e-mail from DumbDrum Records:
__
Hello!
Thank you for sending us your letter – your comments are very important to us.
While we are receiving thousands of pieces of mail each day, we’re sending you
this note as an automatic reply to let you know that we read each and every
letter, but do not often have the time and resources to write individual
replies.

That does not mean that we do not act upon your request(s)! Information is
passed on to the respective responsible parties to handle each and every
request.

Your submission is appreciated,
-DumbDrum Records
__
A simple equation for the readers: Automated response=Great way to piss me off more.

Eager to call their bluff and itching for a reason to blast off another wicked nasty e-mail to an industry leading corporation, I visited the website again to investigate their automated claim of impending action.

Well Holy Shit. It looks like someone at this company actually might not be chart toppingly retarded. All of a sudden the “New Releases” and “Coming Soon” channels of the DumbDrum Records Official Website were nowhere to be found. Gone. No doubt this is due to my wicked soul stomping e-mail that some nutfuck at this organization found to be of value. I’m sure these specific channels of the website will return to the page as soon as these shitclowns can pull their heads out of their asses long enough to actually tell their customers what they’re selling, but that’s not the point.

If I were an artist under contract to this label, I would be frothing at the mouth like a rabid bat on crack. Furthermore, if I were an artist whose record was released within the past four months which did not meet sales expectations, this company would have a serious problem on its hands in the form of a mammoth ass lawsuit.

I find it to be completely unacceptable that a forerunner in a multi-billion dollar industry who is not holding up their end of the bargain chooses not only to sue its customers but spends millions of additional dollars on massive media campaigns that whine about dwindling profit margins and piracy. Give me a fucking break.

***I have not been contacted by DumbDrum Records regarding a job interview. Go figure.