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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Dylan

“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever”*…

 

The internet runs on an attention economy. Those with the most views, clicks, retweets, likes, and friends win. That’s why Petit Tube is so wonderful: it presents only the least-viewed videos on YouTube. It’s a bare-bones site, streaming video after video (1:30 long tops), with two buttons: “cette vidéo est bien? and “cette vidéo n’est pas bien?” Thumbs up or thumbs down.

To say Petit Tube curates videos is probably an overstatement. Real estate tours with corny music aren’t popular for a reason. But even they have their charm, and you’ll also find the occasional gem of found poetry…

Consider this, for example: a Chinese youth orchestra’s rendition of “Scarborough Fair” (up to over 500 views as of this post, surely as a function of it’s featured place in the rotation on Petit Tube)…

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Read more about this celebration of the wonderfully weird at Studio 360‘s “Introducing the least viral videos on the internet,” and then dive into the wonder that is Petit Tube… where “with 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, Petit Tube [is unlikely] run out of material anytime soon.”

* Napoleon

###

As we ponder popularity, we might recall that it was on this date in 1965 that Bob Dylan was booed off stage at the Newport Jazz Festival during his first public performance with electric instruments (and a band that included Michael Bloomfield and Al Kooper)… The cat-calling began with his opening number, “Maggie’s Farm,” and continued through three more songs, after which Dylan left the stage. As a peace offering to Pete Seeger and other aggrieved organizers, Dylan returned later to do two acoustic numbers… but the die was cast; thereafter, his career was electrically-powered…

source

For a sense of just how far things have come, check out Johnny Winter’s version of “Highway 61,” taped at a 1992 tribute to Dylan (on the occasion of 30th anniversary as a recording artist):

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Written by LW

July 25, 2014 at 1:01 am

Life imitates art far more than art imitates life*…

It is absurd to have a hard and fast rule about what one should read and what one shouldn’t. More than half of modern culture depends on what one shouldn’t read.
- Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

Santino Fontana and David Furr, stars of the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest, reading transcripts from The Jersey Shore.

[via Playbill; TotH to Stephen Fry]

* “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” Oscar Wilde, The Decay of Lying (1889)

As we remember that to lose one parent “may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose both looks like carelessness,” we might recall that it was on this date in 1968 that Hair ( book by Gerome Ragni and James Rado, music by Galt MacDermot) premiered on Broadway.  Though it had done well with audiences in an earlier six-week run at the Public Theater, Hair was considered a long-shot on the Great White Way, and opened to mixed reviews.  But it charmed audiences (and spawned a million-selling original cast recording and a #1 song, “Aquarius,” for the Fifth Dimension).  Looking back forty years later, critic Charles Isherwood wrote in the New York Times, “For darker, knottier and more richly textured sonic experiences of the times, you turn to the Doors or Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell or Jimi Hendrix or Janis Joplin. Or all of them. For an escapist dose of the sweet sound of youth brimming with hope that the world is going to change tomorrow, you listen to Hair and let the sunshine in.”

source

The Times They are A’Changin…

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’

- Bob Dylan

Rebecca Black’s “Friday” has become a runaway sensation. As Kevin Rutherford, a columnist for Billboard, explained, “Black’s video for ‘Friday’ is one of those rare occurrences where even the most seasoned critics of Internet culture don’t know where to begin. From the singing straight out of Auto-Tuned hell to lyrics such as ‘Tomorrow is Saturday / And Sunday comes afterwards / I don’t want this weekend to end’ and a hilariously bad rap about passing school buses, ‘Friday’ is something that simply must be seen and heard to be fully appreciated.”

And “seen and heard” it has been, closing in on 34 million YouTube views at this writing– not counting the scores of parodies floating across the web.

Music industry exec Jay Frank captures the impact of a performance that has been called “bizarre,” “inept,” and “hilariously dreadful” with a set of a simple comparisons that illustrate the upending of the music business:

WINNER: REBECCA BLACK
As she’s shown on her Good Morning America interview, she is making lemons out of lemonades. Make no bones about it, this song is selling (reached Top 20 on iTunes) and is going to be a valuable copyright for years to come.

LOSER: EVERY SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST BAND
At my SxSW panel on Saturday, I did the math. If you combined every view of “Friday” and its parody videos, approximately 62 Million minutes were spent on this song. That’s presuming that, on average, the viewers only watched half the video. In the meantime, if the approximately 15,000 SxSW attendees watched 12 hours of music a day for all 5 days, that would only add up to 54 Million minutes spent watching music. All hopes of fame from Austin got upstaged by a 13 year old.

WINNER: YOUTUBE
Their ability for anyone to upload anything produces overnight successes like this. This attracts even more people to their platform. Also, this firmly makes them a broadcaster, probably more than any previous video. 21 million views in a week? That’s more than nearly EVERY show on TV (cable or broadcast) receives in a week INCLUDING the DVR play. The fact that they have also successfully conquered with mobile apps and IPTV just increases their reach.

LOSER: VEVO
The music industry’s supposed white knight got upstaged in a big way. Turns out quality (of the song or HD transmission) doesn’t matter. The viewer goes to what they want to see. Also, Rebecca Black got more views in 9 days of “Friday” than Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” did in 3x the days. Lady Gaga’s a huge star. Her new video got massive blog pickup like “Friday.” It was also hugely promoted as an “exclusive” on the Vevo site. If “Friday” can beat all that, something is wrong with Vevo and there’s some explainin’ to do.

WINNER: NEW CHART METHODOLOGY
In Austin, I discussed with Eric Charland of Ultimate Chart about how high Rebecca Black will debut next week. With the numbers she’s had, it’s painfully obvious that this dominated the entire conversation. Quality of the song was irrelevant. Since it wasn’t in heavy rotation on pop radio, it likely won’t be at #1 on their chart, but it’ll properly debut high. This will give Ultimate Chart even more credibility on truly leading in identifying a song’s true popularity.

LOSER: THE ALBUM CHART
When the Soundscan Top 200 album chart is released on Wednesday, Adele will be battling a new album by Rise Against. Nothing against either artist, but this week the battle was Rebecca Black vs. everything else. If you use Google search as a gauge, there’s just no competition. The album chart has been irrelevant for quite some time. It no longer reflects our time. This should end the discussion and let’s focus on singles where the business IS rather than albums where the business WAS.

[TotH to Bob Lefsetz]

 

As we recall that unit sales of the best selling album of 2010 wouldn’t have made the Top Ten in 2000, we might recall that it was on this date in 1973 that U.S. Immigration authorities ordered John Lennon to leave the US within 60 days… thus beginning Lennon’s fight to acquire permanent residency, which he received in July of 1976.

John Lennon’s Green Card (source)

 

I had to walk ten miles to school– through the snow!…

source: HowStuffWorks

Wired’s GeekDad has compiled (with help from his readers) a list of “100 Things Your Kids May Never Know About“…  For example,

2.    Super-8 movies and cine film of all kinds…

33.  Having to delete something to make room on your hard drive…

44.  Filling out an order form by hand, putting it in an envelope and posting it…

70.  Taking turns picking a radio station, or selecting a tape, for everyone to listen to during a long drive…

92.   Writing a check…

The full list is here…  Poignancy is all.

As we dab at our eyes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1965 that Bob Dylan was booed off stage at the Newport Jazz Festival during his first public performance with electric instruments (and a band that included Michael Bloomfield and Al Kooper)… The cat-calling began with his opening number, “Maggie’s Farm,” and continued through three more songs, after which Dylan left the stage. As a peace offering to Pete Seeger and other aggrieved organizers, Dylan returned later to do two acoustic numbers… but the die was cast; thereafter, his career was electrically-powered…

Dylan, breaking the mold (source: Popmatters)

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