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From Boing Boing:


The British Medical Journal has published a paper investigating the lack of up to date magazines in the waiting rooms of medical practices. It’s because the new ones walk out the door.

Results: 47 of the 82 magazines with a visible date on the front cover were aged less than 2 months. 28 of these 47 (60%) magazines and 10 of the 35 (29%) older magazines disappeared (P=0.002). After 31 days, 41 of the 87 (47%, 95% confidence interval 37% to 58%) magazines had disappeared. None of the 19 non-gossipy magazines (the Economist and Time magazine) had disappeared compared with 26 of the 27 (96%) gossipy magazines (P<0.001). All 15 of the most gossipy magazines and all 19 of the non-gossipy magazines had disappeared by 31 days. The study was terminated at this point.

Conclusions: General practice waiting rooms contain mainly old magazines. This phenomenon relates to the disappearance of the magazines rather than to the supply of old ones. Gossipy magazines were more likely to disappear than non-gossipy ones. On the grounds of cost we advise practices to supply old copies of non-gossipy magazines. A waiting room science curriculum is urgently needed.

From Guitar Player:

Whether it’s playing “Stairway to Heaven” until your fingers bleed or always finding yourself in the center of a group of people intent on singing “Wagon Wheel,” some things are common to all guitarists.

Including, as it turns out, their brain chemistry.

For starters, guitarists literally have the ability to synchronize their brains while playing. In a 2012 study in Berlin, researchers had 12 pairs of guitarists play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned. They discovered that the guitarists’ neural networks would synchronize not only during the piece, but even slightly before playing. So, basically, guitarists can read each others’ minds better than they can read music.

That synch happens in the areas of the brain that deal with music production and social cognition, so it makes a real difference in how tight a band sounds. When people talk about a band’s chemistry, this may well be what they’re seeing. It also explains why brothers are the core duo in so many famous rock bands.

But part of this ability to synchronize actually comes from one overarching truth about guitarists: they’re more intuitive than most.

From Business Insider:

At Business Insider’s IGNITION event last week, Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget detailed the future of the digital landscape, pointing out some important trends. For example, more than a quarter of all internet traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets — and two big internet properties are responsible for a huge amount of that traffic.

Based on data from a Sandvine report charted for us by BI Intelligence, Facebook and YouTube accounted for nearly 40% of all mobile web traffic in North America in September. Facebook accounted for 19% of that aggregate mobile traffic, YouTube was close behind with 18%, and the third largest share belonged to “general web traffic” through web browsers, at 11%. As BI Intelligence’s Mark Hoelzel points out, ads make up a big percentage of Facebook’s and YouTube’s mobile traffic, since autoplay video ads increase the mobile data demands on those social networks.

bii sai cotd mobile internet trafficBI Intelligence


From Wandering Sound:

You did things in a different way than a lot of country artists, gaining an online following before radio airplay.

At the time, it was the most direct route from myself to the people listening. I had seen the value of the internet working for so many other artists. I didn’t have a record deal at the time, and making a full-length album is an expensive thing to do. I didn’t have the money or the backing of a record label to make a full-length album. So I had recently met a guy named Zach Crowell — I had heard a demo of his and really wanted to write with him. I had been looking for somebody who did what he did, and he did it really, really well. We hit it off personally, and we went over to his house and brainstormed about songwriting, and the whole internet thing and how I might go about pursuing a career. That was the first thing that came up, the idea that we’d sit down and record songs on acoustic guitar and put them up on the internet for free. In other genres, that’s something that happens more often, especially in hip-hop. So we just followed that model and didn’t really put too much thought into it.

Do you think it’s beneficial to continue doing mixtapes?

Yeah. I do. I think it’s important to continue to put out music, personally, in less conventional ways. I mean, I’d still like to put out my second album the way a traditional second album would come out. But I’d also like to find creative ways to put out different versions of songs, or different batches of songs in other ways, similar to the way we put out the mixtape.

Why is that? Do you think this format specifically had an impact on the way your traditional album has performed with fans?

Yeah. It gave me a foundation, even though it was very small at first, that we were able to build on. It’s important early on, when you’re asking people to listen to your music, that it’s happening without you involved. [You want] people spreading the word and telling other people about your music — [to get them] so interested that they want to share this music with somebody else. If you hear it coming from me, of course that’s what I’m gonna say — that I want you to listen to my music. But when it’s a third party, who’s just come across this music in some form and wants to share it, that’s something completely different. That’s a lot more valuable.

Here’s a truly interesting tale about Eddie Van Halen that some folks were discussing on Reddit.com:

Here’s a story about the rare genius of Eddie Van Halen, as told by Hartley Peavey to a longtime Peavey dealer I worked for. They had been doing some manufacturer’s clinics with Eddie, and Hartley shared this nugget with him. I thought of this story today and decided to share.

Many people may not know of Eddie’s proclivities as an engineer and inventor. While some artists with signature gear are probably satisfied to just slap their names on any old design, Eddie is exacting in every detail. Hartley tried to call him out on the outrageous specifications he was demanding during the design of the 5150 cabinet [in the mid ’90s]. This is how it went down:

Eddie demanded that the 5150 be made of Baltic birch and Hartley was glad to oblige. Remember, we’re not talking about some dimwitted executive here. Hartley designed all the early Peavey amps himself so he knows about tone. When the development team delivered the test model to Eddie, he took it apart. Because that’s apparently what he did with everything. If it was a guitar they were building him, and he didn’t like the placement of something, he would rip it apart and rout out the body cavity himself, or whatever it took to get it the way he wanted it. In the same story we heard about how he has all kinds of inventions in his house ranging from musical stuff to vacuum cleaner innovations.

So he takes the test cabinet apart and says, “Hartley, I thought we agreed this cab was going to be made of Baltic birch? What’s with these little blocks of plywood down here?” Now, he’s talking about some block inside the joints of the sides that was just there to give more space to join them or glue them or whatever. Hartley says, “Well, we decided that would raise the price by [X] dollars and it wasn’t worth it because those little pieces aren’t going to change the tone at all.”

Eddie’s not having it. He says it will change the tone and they get into an argument about it.

“Alright Eddie, tell you what. I’m so convinced that not even you can tell the difference of the woods on those little blocks, let’s do a listening test. I’m going to build sixteen of these things, and in one of them I’ll use your Baltic birch on those little blocks. If you can play through them and tell me which one it is, then we’ll go with it.”

The cabinets are built and Eddie comes back down to the factory, plugs in and let’s just one blistering high sustain note rip and vibrate everything until it dies out. Then he unplugs and goes to the next one, all down the line like that until he gets to one and let’s the note rip… “That one.”

Of course he’s right, or there wouldn’t be a story.


This week Midia Research published their  latest report: “Music Consumer Segmentation: From Lagging Indicators To Leading Indicators”.  This report explores how music consumer segmentation needs a reboot for the streaming era.
Over the last half decade the music industry has come to understand importance of consumer segmentation in understanding music fans and buyers.   But the streaming-driven shift from ownership to access is forcing a rethink in segmentation. Paying for music has become a lifestyle choice and is not always defined by consumers’ personal values and opinions.
Music consumer behaviour is changing at a more rapid rate than it has done at any stage in the digital era so far, with dramatic impact on revenues and business models.  But consumers themselves are not changing so quickly.  The underlying defining characteristics of consumers’ behaviours and attitudes take much longer to evolve, often shaped more by life stage shifts such as leaving home or starting a family.  Technology is most often adopted because it taps latent demand that reflects the aspirations and needs of specific groups of consumers.  In doing so it accentuates their characteristics rather than creating them, that is a longer-term process.
The shift to the consumption era creates need for new insights to understand transitioning consumers in an era that old and new worlds cohabit.  Segmentation models need the same flexibility and sophistication to deliver the clarity of vision necessary to navigate the choppy waters of the transition era.  It is a transition phase for insight as much as it is for content consumption.
Here are a few of the key findings from the report:
  • Music Aficionados are the heartbeat of recorded music revenues, spending $17.57 every three months and listening 15 hours a week
  • Aficionados are only 17% of all consumers but represent 60% of all music subscribers
  • Forgotten Fans are the untapped opportunity, representing 30% of all consumers and with above average listening time but below average spending
  • Behavioural segmentation is a lagging indicator, showing how people act currently. Attitudinal segmentation is a leading indicator, exposing what is likely to happen
  • When Aficionados are defined by their attitudes rather than behaviour they become the single largest segment, representing 39% of all consumers
Distribution Of Key Music Consumer Segments Defined By Behaviour 


As one of the founding members of the legendary Detroit techno crew Underground Resistance – alongside Mad Mike Banks and Jeff Mills – Robert Hood’s legacy in the electronic music world is almost peerless. As well as pioneering the minimal techno sound with his 1994 LP Minimal Nation, he’s released on techno mainstays such as Metroplex and Jeff Mills’ Axis label, set up the Hardwax label and operates seminal techno label M-Plant – through which he’s released dozens of his own records, under his own name and as Floorplan. 2013’s Paradise LP as Floorplan was among his finest yet, proving that the avowed minimalist has plenty left to say.

Here’s proof you should never, ever give up. Pharrell Williams wrote an op-ed piece in The New York Times about the time “Happy,” the world’s first 24-hour music video, became a global sensation. He drops an interesting bit of trivia:

Most people think that once they have found “it” — whatever that “it” may be for them — then they will have attained “perfect” happiness. But happiness always comes from within, and many unfortunately take it for granted, or feel guilty about it or suppress happiness instead of setting it free.

It’s not possible to experience constant euphoria, but if you’re grateful, you can find happiness in everything. While I’ve expressed gratitude many times for what my song “Happy” did for me personally, I will never stop saying thank you.

I’m thankful for all the people behind the song’s success, and how I was constantly pushed to do more — my song submissions for this scene in “Despicable Me 2” were rejected nine times. I’m thankful that people now know my name where they hadn’t before.

“The best advice I can offer to those heading into the world of film is not to wait for the system to finance your projects and for others to decide your fate. If you can’t afford to make a million-dollar film, raise $10,000 and produce it yourself. That’s all you need to make a feature film these days. Beware of useless, bottom-rung secretarial jobs in film-production companies. Instead, so long as you are able-bodied, head out to where the real world is. Roll up your sleeves and work as a bouncer in a sex club or a warden in a lunatic asylum or a machine operator in a slaughterhouse. Drive a taxi for six months and you’ll have enough money to make a film. Walk on foot, learn languages and a craft or trade that has nothing to do with cinema. Filmmaking — like great literature — must have experience of life at its foundation. Read Conrad or Hemingway and you can tell how much real life is in those books. A lot of what you see in my films isn’t invention; it’s very much life itself, my own life. If you have an image in your head, hold on to it because — as remote as it might seem — at some point you might be able to use it in a film. I have always sought to transform my own experiences and fantasies into cinema.

A natural component of filmmaking is the struggle to find money. It has been an uphill battle my entire working life… If you want to make a film, go make it. I can’t tell you the number of times I have started shooting a film knowing I didn’t have the money to finish it. I meet people everywhere who complain about money; it’s the ingrained nature of too many filmmakers. But it should be clear to everyone that money has always had certain explicit qualities: it’s stupid and cowardly, slow and unimaginative. The circumstances of funding never just appear; you have to create them yourself, then manipulate them for your own ends. This is the very nature and daily toil of filmmaking. If your project has real substance, ultimately the money will follow you like a common cur in the street with its tail between its legs. There is a German proverb: “Der Teufel scheisst immer auf den grössten Haufen” [“The Devil always shits on the biggest heap”]. So start heaping and have faith. Every time you make a film you should be prepared to descend into Hell and wrestle it from the claws of the Devil himself. Prepare yourself: there is never a day without a sucker punch. At the same time, be pragmatic and learn how to develop an understanding of when to abandon an idea. Follow your dreams no matter what, but reconsider if they can’t be realized in certain situations. A project can become a cul-de-sac and your life might slip through your fingers in pursuit of something that can never be realized. Know when to walk away.”

Via Herzog On Herzog Revised Edition

From Rolling Stone:

Billy Joe Shaver has had more than enough heartache to require therapy. In 2007, he shot a man in the face during an altercation outside a Waco, Texas, area bar and was charged with aggravated assault. He was ultimately acquitted and turned the ordeal into a song, “Wacko From Waco.” When he was 21, he lost two fingers on his right hand in a sawmill accident (“I ain’t no finger-pointer,” he quips, “I can’t”). He married one of his wives, Brenda, three separate times and lost her to cancer in 1999. Around that same time, his mother died. Then on the morning of December 31, 2000, his son and creative partner Eddy Shaver, a fiery guitarist who recalled Stevie Ray Vaughan, was found dead of a heroin overdose.

A grieving Shaver performed that same evening at a New Year’s Eve concert with Willie Nelson.

“Willie put a band together. My band just went nuts, they all flaked out and went off crying and stuff. But Willie called me up…and said, ‘Billy, you gotta get back on the horse,'” Shaver says. “And I’m an old cowboy, I know what he’s talking about. So I got up there. Most the people that came didn’t even know about Eddy passing away. Every once in a while, later on at night, you’d see some couple going out crying. They had heard about it.”

Yet, despite his seeming composure that night, Shaver was also incensed and considered revenge for his son’s death.

“I spent the night over at Willie’s house and we sat up and talked all night about it. I was going to go back out there, ’cause I knew where [the drugs] came from — that drug dealer, I would have shot him up and killed him instead of calling the police,” Shaver says. “I was going to go kill that bunch. But Willie talked me out of it. He said, ‘You’re best just leaving it alone.’ And I did. I just left it alone. But you don’t ever forget something like that.”