Think


I’ve been doing a fair share of reading up on music and lifestyle trends in Asia…with particular focus of course, in Shanghai. Every item I have read has alluded to this burgeoning international city that is soon to leave London, Paris and (maybe) New York in the dust. OK, OK for now… we’ll just stick with the “Shanghai is the NYC of China” claim. Whichever the case, the overall notion gets me amped and ever-so-antsy to check it for myself. Here are some of my findings:

  • In March 2007, a familiar name, Ticketmaster, acquired a majority stake in Emma Entertainment Holdings HK Ltd., a provider of ticketing and event promotions services, to expand operations in China. Emma Entertainment changed its name to Emma Ticketmaster to reflect the acquisition.
  • Since the advent of Emma Ticketmaster, China has become a viable place for major foreign acts to add to their world tours. Big names such as Bjork, Maroon 5, Harry Connick Jr, Celine Dion, Backstreet Boys are all performing this Spring. In addition, another big-name concert promotions company, China West Entertainment, is bringing over Incubus and James Blunt.
  • China takes pains to ensure concerts are politically correct. Artists are forbidden to perform content that would harm “national unity” or “stir up resentment” and promoters are asked to submit set-lists and lyric sheets for approval. Performers deemed to have hurt national sentiments are put in the freezer indefinitely, or until seen to have made due penance.
  • Knowing the above, in her recent performance, Icelandic singer, Bjork’s pro-T____ outburst at a Shanghai concert not only angered China’s wary cultural guardians, but annoyed music promoters who say politics is bad for business and worse for Chinese fans. China’s Culture of Ministry has now claimed that controls would be tightened over foreign singers and performers after Bjork allegedly closed her set with an unauthorized song, chanting “Declare Independence!” as a seeming dedication with the word, “T____!” twice, to close her show.
  • Here’s what Bjork had to say in response:
    • “I have been asked by many for a statement after dedicating my song ‘Declare Independence’ to both Kosovo and T___ on different occasions. I would like to put importance on that I am not a politician, I am first and last a musician and as such I feel my duty to try to express the whole range of human emotions. The urge for declaring independence is just one of them but an important one we all feel at some times in our lives. This song was written more with the personal in mind but the fact that it has translated to its broadest meaning, the struggle of a suppressed nation, gives me much pleasure. I would like to wish all individuals and nations good luck in their battle for independence. Justice!”
  • As a result, the Chinese government is continuing behind-closed-doors discussion on additional measures (pending approval) by the Shanghai Cultural Bureau with regards to foreign performers in China:
  • 1. Organizers must sign additional guarantees that performers will not comment on political issues from stage, etc.
  • 2. A 50% of the total potential box office must be paid as a deposit on the show to the Cultural Bureau. Should performers break the law, this deposit will be retained by the government. Additional fines may be levied.
  • 3. Artist performances will be closely monitored to conform to the government pre-approved set-lists.
  • 4. Artists will not be allowed an unapproved encore.

Oye!! Now I’ve been in the business of concert promotions myself… and Point #2 above is STEEP. This Bjork backlash has most definitely set course for a possible decline just as quick as its recent acsent of hosting foreign acts in the Chinese market. So fascinating…. I’ll be keeping my ears on this one…

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– song entitled, “Declare Independence” from album, Volta by Bjork (05.22.07)

. . don’t burn the day. .

As I mentally ready myself to live abroad in a country where daily liberties that I/we as Americans take for granted are stripped away/censored, ie. accessing blogs for goodness sake – I just gotta say… I am happy and feel downright privileged to be an American Baby!

Some may have noticed my removal of a particular blog post from last week with regards to current affairs in a 5-letter country over yonder that begins and ends with a “T.” Truth is, I was on the fence all along with whether or not I should’ve posted on the topic in the first place, (knowing I have to carry my blog over), however, I felt the need to bring to light a tint of world affairs just the same as political headlines are brewing on our homefront. And since I am in the process of configuring shop to enable myself access to my fabulous channel (my blog) to my wonderful fans (that is, you) while I’m overseas, I need to have a “clean” platform in order for my connections abroad to be able to properly test/gauge censorship levels… All because the mere thought of having to have to relinquish my freedom of speech is just too hard for me to swallow! (More to come when my configuration is complete.)

And with the above, I might as well add a note on how vital it is for the American public to be educated and active in the upcoming election! Our “right” to vote must be acknowledged and exercised!! It is a RIGHT, YOUR right – Own it and Do something with it!

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Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen (06.04.84)

. . don’t burn the day. .

Just some words I came across to remind me… to stay on course… (right L. Rod?!)

  • You have spent two years dealing with the rigors of Saturn opposed to your Sun, so in effect, you have done all the necessary spadework to now launch your new life. That launch is due any minute.
  • The eclipses are known to enact a series of tests under the surface of things. If an eclipse deems an endeavor or relationship weak or outmoded, or one that offers no real future, the eclipse will “eclipse out” that situation quickly. Eclipses always seem to bring sudden news because outside factors come onto play, and those factors would be ones you have no control over. That’s why sometimes we feel a little helpless during eclipse time – we had no hand in what happens – truly, you have not lost all that much.
  • Only after you have swept out the cobwebs and cleared the decks of weak situations and relationship can you begin to live the life you were meant to live. If something or someone leaves, let it happen. Don’t look back, as tempting as that might be to do. You need to create empty space before the universe can fill it with something better. You don’t want to be in weak situations or unproductive relationships – the eclipses want us all to use our time on Earth well.

. . don’t burn the day. .

You insisted.
I resisted.

It took some time,
some 27, 34, 36, 40 tries.

You asked me to stay for a while,
But rhyme or reason I had none;
for heavy as stone was I,
with a preconceived idea of you.

Was not until we waved hello again the 41st,
that you swept me up, up and away
onward onto a sweet up and down joyride.

You caught me kicking out all the windows,
and asked, “Where are you going?”

Space between
closing in,
you took me by the hand and led me down by the river.
There stood before us –  a mighty dreaming tree.

Nine planets around the sun,
only one does the sun embrace.

Following your step into the light,
You cried, “Don’t drink the water!”
but rather, “Seek up an emotion…
and our cup is overflowing…”

Oh an’ another (little) thing:

“Look up at the sky,
with your mouth open wide.
Lick and taste.
What’s the use in worrying?
What’s the use in hurrying?
Turn, turn we almost become dizzy.
Some might tell you there’s no hope in hand,
just because
they feel hopeless;
But you don’t have to be a thing like that;
Take these chances;
Stand up,
Start with one step, however small.
Dream little darling, dream;
Dreamgirl, you be a ship in a bottle set sail.” ~~~~~

~~~~~ Stolen away was I on 55th and 3rd. ~~~~~

As I rewind and hit replay,
I was then such a fool to think
of you as a greedy little pig.
I must’ve had let you down,
for now I agree, we’re all proud monkeys after all.

Now steady as we go,
celebrate we will,
leaving busted stuff behind.
Everyday feels so right,
turning typical situations into those best of what’s around.

Hey captain,
Do what you will, always.
Walk where you like, your steps.
Do as you please,
I’ll back you up.

You persisted.
I conceded.

This I admit,
tastes so good.
Hard to believe an end to it.
Smell
Touch
Feel
How could this rhythm ever quit?
Bags packed,
on a plane,
hopefully to heaven…

Yeah!

And despite when the world ends,
you need not help yourself;
I’m coming waltzing back
and moving into your head.
So, break free,
collect your things,
you’re coming with me.

We’ll come away with something better.
Resting high above the clouds,
No restriction.

Would you not like to be,
sitting on top of the world
with your legs hanging free?

So damn lucky.

So damn lucky,
are we.

~ ml

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Izod Center – East Rutherford, NJ
(11.13.07)

. . don’t burn the day. .

Bonus Trivia: Who can tell me how many single-count songs were referenced above? 🙂

I received the following (exact) words in a recent email exchange with a current teacher at my soon-to-be-school, Shanghai Pinghe:
  • “I feel tremendously lucky to have ended up here. The teachers are great and everyone has been appreciative and supportive of what I have to offer. (I’m currently directing kids in a shortened version of ‘Twelfth Night,” which will have alternating English and Chinese performances.)… I love it here. I haven’t missed a single thing about the US since I arrived. Shanghai is Paris in the 1940’s, Manhattan in the 1950’s – the flagship city of our time. Shanghai is BURGEONING – economically, culturally, architecturally and gastronomically. I feel like my whole life has led up to and prepared me to be here, and I have no desire to be anyplace else!”

Look forward to meeting you,

Thomas

🙂 🙂 🙂

Whoooooo! I look FORWARD to meeting you too, Thomas! 🙂
Seriously, I’ve held a smile with super cheese since I read his above words!! I mean, every word of his sent good jitter vibes all up and down! I CAN NOT WAIT to EXPERIENCE for MYSELF! plus! I have made a new friend already! and he too is a Boston-area native who had spent a good chunk of time in NYC… and then hit Shanghai… Yay!

. . don’t burn the day. .

O-lbermann… O-bama… O-shhh*t, O-shame!!!!

I’ll let the video speak for itself. Keith Olbermann on (Geraldine) Ferraro Fiasco!

Transcript HERE.

(That was response to the following.)

 

. . don’t burn the day. .

I’ve come across several articles this week, that have zero’ed in on the downward spiral of the record industry. Le Sigh. All I can say (and many of ya’ll know this) is that, I’m happy and thrilled that I was able to be a part of it during its last legs of “fun lovin’ fun” days…

Check these links!

20 Biggest Record Company Screw-Ups of All TimeBlender Magazine

(shout out to Deangela for finding the online version!)

Sorry for the spoiler but I have to in order to include my blurb to immediately follow:

But the #1 Biggest Record Company Screw-Up of All Time = Major Label Squash Napster
Shawn Fanning’s file-sharing service attracted tens of millions of users, but instead of trying to find a way to capitalize on it, the Recording Industry Association of America rejected Napster’s billion-dollar settlement offer and sued it out of existence in 2001. Napster’s users didn’t just disappear. They scattered to hundreds of alternative systems—and new technology has stayed three steps ahead of the music business ever since. The labels’ campaign to stop their music from being acquired for free across the Internet has been like trying to cork a hurricane—upward of a billion files are swapped every month on peer-to-peer networks. Since Napster closed, “there’s been no decline in the rate of online piracy,” says Eric Garland of media analysts BigChampagne, who logged users of son-of-Napster peer-to-peer networks more than doubling between 2002 and 2007. And that figure doubles again if you count BitTorrent.
Unintended Consequence: Your grandmother deciding to trade up from that dial-up connection

With that in mind, in my weekend digging thru memorabilia, I found a copy of Washington Square News (02.29.00) from my alma mater, NYU. img_3182.jpgHeadline: University Bans Internet Music Trading Program. Here are some noteworthy quotes:

  • “NYU ITS (Information Technology Services) made a decision without even talking to any students. I don’t think that’s an appropriate way to respond… There should have been some communication between the University and students, at least warning students that Napster is a problem.” – B. Sloan, student in Stern School of Business (class 2002)
  • “There is no way to tell what malicious functions may be performed by the software you automatically download with the music. Napster violates University usage policies regarding for NYU networks in that the program opens a host computer to outside access.” – M. McMillan, Chief Information Technology Officer, NYU
  • “I understand the reasons for restricting Napster, but the University can not hope to restrict every oen of a growing tide of network-intensive programs like it. NYU should instead embrace the new technologies while concentrating on taking steps to increase the University network’s bandwidth. This is a big performance school, this is a big arts school. Students’ appetite for media is important to their study here.” – B. Sloan, student in Stern School of Business (class 2002)
  • “Napster had not contacted NYU. They could’ve taken the approach of working with the University at the beginning. We would certainly be willing to talk to them.” – M. McMillan, Chief Information Technology Officer, NYU

………………Mmmmmmmmmm Hmmmmmmmmmm!! Where’s B. Sloan now, I wonder?!???

The Music Business: State of The Union Address / Top 10’sThe World Is Ready

(shout out to Marcus for the words!)

and while we are at it……

The 50 Worst Things Ever Happen in MusicBlender Magazine

But this isn’t necessarily ALL bad…. Independent artists, this is your time to reap in your own rewards for your hard work!

The current Days of Digital = an Open medium of Opportunity. Play wisely!

. . don’t burn the day. .

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