Crate Dig: My First Blog Post #ever #kindof

Soundtrek, TK:DC, Vinyl Mind Flow

Stumbled across my now-defunct first blog from back in 2007 #thatyear and in the past six years… not much has changed at all… what can I say?

For the sake of morbid curiosity… from October 2007… my first blog post… #itsadoosie #notheresnopictures

swiper sighs manifesto

So until I figure out this whole music blog thing i’ll just blog about pop culture, pseudo-politics, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, ology … the usual and of course media/entertainment which includes music, movies, tv a bit, books, or whatever suits my fancy.

Ummmm as for the music scene right now – it’s lacking in the mainstream. American Top 40 isn’t a good representation of music, the Top 40 should be indicative of the culture. The top 40 is watered down everything, even pop is watered down. Say what you will about Britney, Christina, N Sync, and Backstreet – but they were Pop: down to the core. They were catchy and they got into your head. They were like Saccharin; they were too sweet, and it was so synthetic, but they were devoured by the masses. You could not deny the sheer “Pop” of it.

The Re-Branding of America: Betty White, McCain Speechwriter; Rose Nylund, Palin Mentor

TK:DC

From the YouTube archives — an oldie but goodie:

When John McCain needed a shot of youth to revitalize his campaign there was only one obvious choice: Betty White.

While she may have been McCain’s scribe, Betty White’s signature character, Rose Nyland, served an even more pivotal role as Sarah Palin’s mentor:

Amplify: Digital Media Goes Dutch

TK:DC

Amplify: it’s bringing clogs back harder than Birkenstock; this could be the biggest digi-Dutch tandem since cybercafés digitized the coffee shop

amplifycover

Okay, but who are the these amplifiers you might ask …

abamp

That’s all well and good, but what if you’ve got a few questions about exactly what clogging is …whatsaclog

or, you wonder, what with all of the Facebooks, Blogspots, Twitters, and Typepads out there, why clog?

whyclog2

I say with the recession the way it is, ditch the ticket to Amsterdam and head to Amplify for the freshest clogs around.

Tip another one up to Digital Media Integration. Amplify keeps the creative content base of blogs; while adding the incredibly user-friendly clipping tool for seamless organization and clean presentation. What sets clogging apart from blogging, Tweeting, or Facebooking, per se, is Amplify’s core integrated approach; Clogs can stand alone as an introductory foray into blogging for beginners, but can better yet enhance any digital guru’s online presence by pinging Clogs to synced de.li.cio.us, Facebook, RSS feeds, and Twitter accounts. The site is still in the Beta release stage, so it’s as good a time as any to check it out. I’m just getting aquainted myself, but the intuitive layout makes for an easy transition.

Watch this space: Clip, comment, and Clog — it’s that easy. Clogging could be a great digital niche for disaffected former bloggers — the ones for whom the honeymoon with blogging is over, and “updating posts” stays somewhere between ‘fixing the cabinet’ and ‘buying life insurance’ on the “To Should Do List.”  Most noteworthy of all: it’s integrated and independent, comprehensive and concise — and, of course, digital and Dutch … digi-Dutch.

Added bonus: it’s free; so, no worries on splitting the bill

The Re-Branding of America: Levi Johnston Goes Green!

TK:DC

Levi Johnston, of the Federline Johnstons, has an idea — a coherent one at that; someone ate their Wheaties this morning.

Johnston is rumored to be shopping a tell-all book about the Palins, of the Six-Pack Palins, to finance his custody battle against Bristol.

Distriction: LDN meets DC at 930

Soundtrek, TK:DC

Missed out on the Circus, but still want to see a fly Brit? Lucky you, DC …

Rhymes with Silly‘ Allen is in town for her sold-out performance tonight at the 930 Club

liltweetdc1

Her shows sell-out so she doesn’t have to

liltv2

In related news: We can’t say the same for Hot97 and Cipha

dk97

drakecipha

Drake aka “Don’t Call Me Jimmy” —

drake shots_jimmy

Watch this space: Music makes the people come together — the bourgoise and the rebel

The Beat: Sasha Obama’s Tax Records

Popisodics, TK:DC

This just in: Sasha Obama’s Diva defense was overruled when she could not legitimize being “the female version of a hustla.”

Brilliant Onion article —

sashonion

“Believe me, Ms. Obama, you will suffer the harshest punishment available under the law.”

Baucus went on to say that he was disgusted by the second-grader’s “ruthless greed, especially at a time when so many honest Americans have to go without.” According to witnesses, the chairman repeatedly demanded that Sasha respond to the charges before her and refrain from trying to dodge questions by playing with her pigtails, leaving to use the bathroom, and asking what “personable accountafrility” means.

“The fact that you keep looking over to your mother to find out what to say suggests guilt on your part,” Baucus said. “Well, young lady, I’m afraid you’ve run out of places to hide. The American people are finally going to get the explanation they deserve.”

“Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. You will not walk away from this, Ms. Obama.”

sasheli

[Charges] included Sasha’s failure to declare the weekly earnings she took in for helping to wash the dishes at night; several oral contracts the child entered into, whereby she received small stipends of taxpayer money for finishing all of her homework; and, perhaps most damning of all, the gifts she is said to have accepted from lawmakers, Cabinet members, and aunts and uncles visiting the White House on her birthday.

Still reeling from the controversy of having three of his Cabinet nominees investigated for owing back taxes, President Barack Obama attempted to distance himself from this latest situation.

“I’m sorry, but I barely know this woman,” Obama said during his testimony before the committee. “Apart from a few conversations we’ve had in the past eight years, I’d say she’s a complete stranger.”

Watch this space: Every good conwoman needs an accomplice —

… nah, too obvious — and what conman says “oh man,” like that? But wait, what’s that red in the corner of the helicopter shot — it couldn’t be

— from the looks of it Carmen is on the homework hustle with “‘Mr. Fuzzles’ and a ‘Professor Peanut Butter.'” Oh, Sasha’s good.

The Re-Branding of America: Tax Day Tea Parties – Quiet Riots for “Smart Mobs”

TK:DC

Tax Day Protests … Riots for people who can afford to not loot stores

tax-day

So who’s behind the Tax Day tea parties? Ordinary folks who are using the power of the Internet to organize. For a number of years, techno-geeks have been organizing “flash crowds.” This is part of a general phenomenon dubbed “Smart Mobs” by Howard Rheingold.

Because the only thing that strikes more fear in people’s hearts than words “Tea Party” is “Smart Mob.” Viva la Revolucion.

This influx of new energy and new talent is likely to inject new life into small-government politics around the nation. The mainstream Republican Party still seems limp and disorganized. This grassroots effort may revitalize it. Or the tea-party movement may lead to a new third party that may replace the GOP, just as the GOP replaced the fractured and hapless Whigs.

Watch out Dems … they’re organizing — and unifying. You know what happens when the GOP gets “revitalized”:

The “Smart Mobs” put their heads together and pick leaders that put Mensa to shame …

and give socialists the fear; they’ve already got Barack running for the Border — along with everyone else

immislow
Watch this space: I think Smart Mob is a code-word — a euphemistic strech of the imagination, perhaps; they’re Teabaggers

eHarmony member #612679: Lindsay Lohan

TK:DC

yes. pop’s teflon donatella: looking for love, someone to spend the rest of her life with — or, at least, the rest of her probation with

I would describe my personality as creative — I’m  a bit of a night-owl. I’m a workaholic; I’m a shopaholic … and according to the State of California: an alcoholic — as well as a threat to all security guards, if they work at hotels.

Watch this space: you can’t catch her, she’s the gingerhead girl

Distriction: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas …

TK:DC

… and the flurry of finger pointing a la British investigative journalism puts a possible smudge on the as-of-yet snow white reputation of the second daughter, Ashley Biden — but more so on her father, “Can-I-call-you-JoeBiden

TKDC AB

Biden – Mr. that is – is an adamant supporter of the anti-drug campaign, specifically – you guessed it – the trafficking of cocaine from Columbia

Since becoming a senator for Delaware in 1973, Mr Biden has pushed for harder penalties for cocaine possession and trafficking and last year sponsored a new bill aimed at curbing the smuggling of Colombian cocaine into the US in submarines.

Say it ain’t so Joe! even if it is so joe, there’s worse things she could do … her last name could be Dupre

In related news: sports

British print media: 2; Young American public figures: 0
Disabled list: Michael Phelps, Ashley Biden

American print media: we lost count; British public figures: 0
Disabled list: Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, Kate Moss, Pete Doherty, Russell Brand, etc.

Distriction: Springing back from cy-bernating slumber

TK:DC

This weekend welcomed the Cherry Blossom Festival, DC’s cultural introduction to Spring — and the perfect way to wake from a late winter hibernation from the digital domain.


A brief greeting after my semi-extended stint away from the blogosphere. I took some time to rest and refuel my creative reserves — similar to a bear’s hibernation for the digital age, more tech and less time.


So, I’m back now: like Bipartisanship a la Britney

black

babies …


Bush (W.)a la Barack


the sound of dot-com bubbles bursting …


and dot-com bubbles broadening …

Scientology a la Palin‘s people …


bracketology


and those beautiful cherry blossoms.


A week (end) in review — in case you missed it

Distriction: Ba-sham-rack O’bama

TK:DC

The Hill was alive with the sound of Gaelic today — and the green garb to boot — as President O’Bama welcomed his “brother from another mother” — land, Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen


It’s all fun and festive until the water is flowing from your faucet …


Green might be having the best day ever: White House fountain, Ba-sham-rack’s tie, Dow arrows, AIG Exec’s pockets, sprouting soon-to-be-Springtime grass … fitting and fresh.

Because I’m busy that’s why

TK:DC

Like N.E.R.D. said “It’s time for some action,” so while I’m out studying the world in 4 minutes just know I’ve got the wiings to stay fly. Schoolwork, work work, life work: only work if you work them

In between inspiration: synthetic …


and organic …


I work hard now so I won’t have to settle for situations involving Sarah later.

Though it’s still not too late for her to employ my no-fail two-step plan: magazines and manners, remember them — keep those in mind and it should be easy sailin’ for Palin. As for where that tugboat is going exactly, I’m sure I don’t know; but there’s bound to be a loyal fleet of good ol’ boats following.

Watch this space: Will discuss after I TiVo it …

photo credit: munzz

Distriction: DC HIV/AIDS Rates Surpass West Africa

TK:DC

Because it’s not just a third-world problem, it’s a problem on Third and Maryland Ave too


More imperative — but innately intertwined — with the “Anti-Journalism” movement is the need to debunk the (mediated) HIV/AIDS mythologies within the U.S. For example: toting Africa as the world’s AIDS haven. HIV/AIDS — like hunger, like poverty, like inadequate education — does not stop at our doorstep. The sooner we come to terms with social pandemics — and take accountability and ownership of them as our own — the sooner we can solve the problem.

As the Obama Administration aims to reconnect the U.S. with our international partners, it is key that we as Americans look – beyond politics, to people — at shared experiences between ourselves and our fellow global citizens – flaws and all.

Hopefully, this sparks an expansion initiative for the Project Red – whose brilliant campaign stimulates charity, capitalism, and consumption … all in one! The brand’s mission to “fight AIDS in Africa,” would provide worlds of support – literally – to fight the AIDS within the U.S. as well. Even a campaign to establish sub-projects — country/region specific extensions within the larger “Project Red” umbrella – would present the gravity in sheer breadth of the social crisis, but more so the solidarity behind the solution.

Watch this space

The Re-Branding of America: So much for the free Aqua Dots …

TK:DC

Now I’ll never get to be on Evil’s speed dial; thanks, Rachel — but, seriously, thanks


Progress is a slow process, but someone out there is reading this blog — though I didn’t think it would be a Burson-Marsteller watchdog group — an audience is an audience.

Looks like I’ll need some image consultation to get back in Burson’s good graces. So … now would be a good time to call Burson-Marsteller so I — they — can spin this post about themselves to themselves.

Bristol Palin: Why ya buggin?!

TK:DC

Oh. Right. The whole “my-mom-ran-for-vice-president-and-lost-and-all-i-got-was-this-baby-and-pending-child-support” thing …


When life gives you lemons Bristol … ask, “In what respect, Charlie?” … then pass the baby to your little sister for grooming, and pre-game for the heli-hunt. By the looks of the new and improved lil’ Miss Palin — talking Pro-Choice, using logic, ending up on Keith Olbermann and not as the embodiment of evil — it might be your last hunt.

Two thumbs fresh for Bristol. Her mom may not know politics, and I ain’t sayin’ she a gold digger, but Bristol knows Deepthroat: “Follow the money.”

Levi Johnston: Levi’s jeans and Johnson & Johnson?! oh … he’s broke. Figures, after all, Johnson & Johnson is “a family company,” while Levi is on “Federline company” kind of time — that, and Johnson doesn’t have a t.

Well, either way, I don’t know what 20% of zero is but after carrying ones and working out remainders Bristol is bound to be … on the receiving end of the stimulus package — doesn’t seem so silly now, does it?

Watch this space: Bristol might be the one to pull through … who knows she might even be able to name a magazine she reads

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Oh those pesky boys and girls … always begging to seek amy

Soundtrek, TK:DC

At long last – for those who cared, namely: multifarious persons named amyangry radio producers, myself – Britney Spears’ new video for “If U Seek Amy” dropped today …

American Beauty + Britney Spears + Pies + Kate Trask + Funhouse/Madhouse + Mad Men + Justify My Love + June Cleaver = “If U Seek Amy”

The Re-Branding of America: Mr. Twitter goes a-courtin’

TK:DC

“@twittybird ugh so bored. in the #jury assembly. taking 4. e. ver. free lunch can’t complain. keep u postd soon. pics: http://tinyurl …”

yes. twitter in the courtroom.


@TruTV. Sentencing in 140 Characters or less. Verdict via TwitterBerry … it could happen

The British Sublet: Stem Cell Bans and Bands Selling Stems

Soundtrek, TK:DC

Again with the British-American tandem … Spring theme-du-jour: stems. While an American politician lifts the federal funding ban on stem cell research — to build a legion of South Park-esque Supermen no doubt — a British pop powerhouse builds a legion of super-producers. Thanks to stems you can be a superhero and a super producer … all in one!

On our coast this weekend, Barack Obama planned a much needed lift on the stem-cell research federal funding ban — per Peter Griffin’s inquiry of “Why aren’t we funding this?!” no doubt.


On the other side of the pond, lil’ Miss Lily Rose lifted the Oz/ProTools curtain and tucked an 80-track surprise in each hard copy and iTunes version of her album “It’s Not Me It’s You.” Anyone who uploads their legal copy of the album gets each track stem from the release.

I finally mustered up the civility to get my hands on a hard copy of INMIY – solely because of the stems – and it was worth every penny. Now, I’m finding it hard to break away from remixing Everyone’s At It, revamping the drums on Chinese, or seeing how Back to the Start would sound if I dropped the vocoder. But the fun doesn’t end with vanity listening sessions amongst you and your closest pal, remixers are encouraged to upload their exclusives for peer and label review … so get on the 1s & 2s, start scratching away, and you’ll be a Hollywood Kid in no time!

Stems are this girl’s new best friend.

Oh, and it’s not a British Invasion this time … it’s more of a sublet until things get back to normal

Watch this space

Solar Senate Passes Daylight Saving Stimulus Package

TK:DC

A friendly reminder to Spring Forward … into yet another bailout — even the Sun is starting to feel the heat of the recession


Global Warming is bad enough for the Sun’s image, but not even the central orb has enough starpower to escape the recession. It’s cashing in on over 300 million American taxpayer hours to make up for the Fiscal Year 2009 Q1 losses, and to try and salvage what’s left of the FY09 Q2.

The Sun isn’t a rookie in the bailout game. In fact the Sun has gotten an annual bailout — equivalent to one hour per American resident — every year since 1918. However, the Sun manages to maintain decent credit by paying down the loan to cover American daylight consumption through the crucial Q1 of the Fiscal Year, and most of Q2.

How much longer can Americans continue this give-and-take permaloan solar situation? It’s not too clear, but rest assured you’ll feel better about the bailout — or find a way to rationalize it — in the near future. Sources say the Sun just scheduled a week-long detox/rejuventation/reinvention makeover at Salon du Burson-Marsteller — they’re on solar speed dial for situations like this.

In related news: Clocks, too, are feeling the bailout backlash from the Daylight Saving Stimulus Package; sources indicate they’ve added Kearns and Company to their list of PR representation as well.

I’m coming home again …

Soundtrek, TK:ATL, TK:DC

Spring Break! Second semester senior year of undergrad — it breaks even. I’m headed home to pull a Sherman on Atlanta, then back here to pull an Obama on DC — it breaks even. Either way: I’m coming home again …

… ming home again

yes, i know. you can’t “come home again” as they say. but i’m not they — so, naturally, i can.

touch bases again after I touch down … til then: be good. be well.

Distriction: March 6th at the Smithsonian

TK:DC

So the Smithsonian is free. Spring is coming. Southerners prefer crunk, but if you’re in the District it’s about high time to get some culture in your system.

I’ll be leaving DC for a quick stint, but worry not there will be plenty of other Districtions to keep you engaged … and enlightened

I suggest seeing the “Road to Freedom” Civil Rights Movement Photograph Exhibit this weekend at the Ripley Center before it closes on Monday … great pieces and quite timely — two thumbs fresh.

And yes, perusing art galleries is a great way to make you feel clever …

Watch this space: it’s about to March Off Washington

Mr. Pitt Goes to Washington

TK:DC

Another day, another Brit — BRad pITt, that is. From Anglophilia to Branglophilia — yeah that was a reach … Either way, more pop, more politics, more PR, more Brits …

Nancy Pelosi might be having the Best Year Ev– oh, wait … this just in … Nancy Pelosi just gave another standing ovation: this time, Barack said “I believe the children are our future” at the Sidwell Friends PTA Meeting.

Watch this space

The Re-Branding of America: PR and Politics — in a nutshell

TK:DC

“When evil needs public relations, evil has Burson-Marsteller on speed dial …”

When your cat died: curiosity called Burson-Marsteller; when Baja Men made a scene about dogs running rampant: “who” called Burson-Marsteller; when The Beatles broke up: Yoko Ono called Burson-Marsteller; when you didn’t get an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas ’93: Santa called Burson-Marsteller; when NYU rejected you: the SATs called Burson-Marsteller; when you couldn’t make that job interview: the malfunctioning Red Line train to Glenmont called Burson-Marsteller; when Jack died and “let go”: the North Atlantic called Burson-Marsteller; when Michael Phelps lost Kellogg’s: the bong called Burson-Marsteller …

Watch this space

The Re-Branding of America: Flack is the new Black

TK:DC

See, now who’s looking silly for switching from Journalism to Public Communications? I should go on whims more often …

It took an economic crisis to give flacks the edge … I’ll take what I can get.

Flacks thrive on behind-the-scenes, but let’s face it … everyone wants their 15

Watch this space: and the classifieds

Think They’ll Wear That Lil’ Dress from Top Shop …

TK:DC

Fashion flows through the veins … Mom might have the cover of Vogue now, but hand delivered duds from Top Shop put Sasha and Malia well on the fast track. Not a moment too soon after London Fashion Week either.


It’s like enjoying the perks of Sienna Miller styling, but without the guilt …

The Brits are Back in Town — Finally

Soundtrek, TK:DC

Britney Spears — as much a modern ‘pulse of America’ as GM was traditionally — is back in town with The Circus Tour …. and liveblogging every step of the way.f

Talk about a synchronized stimulus package …

In related news – kind of – Gordon Brown and President Obama talked lion-taming, or tackling the global financial crisis.

It’s no Spice Girls, but the Brits are definitely back … nothing like a bit of Anglophilia to bring the sparkle and shine back to pop and politics


Watch this space

Distriction: March 2nd on the Metro

TK:DC

DC makes for great distractions during the day. If an WMATA official calls you out — call their bluff.


I was walking along the Shady Grove platform at the Metro Center stop. Minding my own business — kind of — listening to my iPod and a Metro attendant stopped me. She said “I’m sorry Miss but you have to take your headphones out. iPods aren’t allowed in the Metro stations anymore. Yeah. People were turning their songs up too loud.”

I politely took out my headphones — keeping eye contact — but held them at shoulder height to let her know my ears would only be empty temporarily. Assuming she was done, I took a breath, but before I could say “No. You aren’t allowed in the Metro,” she continued, “I’m just playing. You looked too calm so I had to mess with you.”

In my mind I already tried her — but alas, she took the wind out of my sails. I wouldn’t have minded a scene. It was all fun and games — unfortunately for my mischievous half.

photo credit: ThisIsReality

The Re-Branding of America: So, how old does that make Snoopy?

TK:DC

So, we’re going to try this one more time. Woodstock: it could happen, right?


So after 40 years of wandering across the socio-political desert — polyester, Reaganomics, iLife — we end up in an oddly familiar stretch of promised land: Woodstock.

I’ll avoid — for now — the litany of parallels dawning America’s cultural re-renaissance. And let the theoretical minds explode with thematic narratives of young America’s recent treks and time travels.

In 1969 the youth faced war, injustice, and it’s own grim reflection for the first time; at Woodstock Jimi’s guitar gently weeped on behalf of a generation. 40 years later the youth face war, poverty, and another reunion with a falsified sense of self; I hope this Woodstock sees more than just a trail of tween tears at the base of a Jonas guitar.

We’ve been through so much as a country and as a generation, but at the end of the day have we learned anything? Music is the pulse and soul of a culture. I’m hoping some artists come out from behind the AutoTune and ProTools, because from the looks of it we’re running on a pacemaker — yeah it gets the job done, but it’s still no heart.

The Re-Branding of America: Charlie Tuna at the Family Reunion – Priceless

TK:DC

The Mastercard ‘Icons’ commercial is contemporary classic.

I watch it and I feel like a kid again, like a homecoming. All those familiar faces: Count Chocula, Charlie Tuna, the Morton’s Salt Girl, Mr. Clean … It’s like consumer kitchen. I remember when we would all gather ’round the dinner table on Sundays. How I loved those home-cooked meals. Poppin’ crescent rolls fresh from the oven, green beans hand-picked by Mr. Green — Jolly, and the Chef’s authentic Boyardee family recipe for the main course. Mascots aren’t just familiar faces anymore — they’re familial.

Mastercard has to sell credit cards — in this economy. In a country where most people want to find a house, Mastercard is branding what most people need and are really looking for: a home.

Everyone wants to be at the table with those mascots. They practically raised us. When I was a kid, I had a TV in the kitchen — it told me what I should put in the pantry to be like everyone else. Mastercard is taking America back to Sunday dinners, when consumption was good; but moving America forward to a time where you don’t even have to be at the table — it’s called progress.

Hyping Hypem

TK:DC

Brilliant Music Blog Aggregate.

“The Hype Machine follows music blog discussions. Every day, thousands of people write about the music they love — and it all ends up here.”

Hypem is one of the cleanest, most user-friendly music sites on the internet. It is an aggregate/search engine for mp3s. Only tracks that have been posted by one of the site’s menu of music blogs — ranging from major pages like Brooklyn Vegan, Stereogum, and Pretty Much Amazing, to the litany of smaller niche-blogs (i.e. Motel de Moka) — are posted. Hypem is a mix of search engine, social network, music player, with a dash of ‘Sound of the Underground.’

Users can create accounts and track their ‘Favorites’ — blogs, songs, other users, etc. The site has a built-in music player that sits across the base of the screen and is user-generated running playlist. So you have the luxury of actually hearing a song before you fully commit to downloading it. The search results include the song, artist, date, summary of, and link to the original blog post.

Other user-friendly features/filters: the “all blogs/top 25 music blogs” search filter. It’s great to have options, but sometimes you just want to know what the kids are listening to, and what bubblegum they’re chewing; the ‘most blogged artists’ sidebar on the home page; the ‘most plays’/’most favorites’ tab which tracks the most popular hypem tracks, but drops songs over 3 days old to maintain freshness; built in ‘world live web radio’ feature: enough said.

It’s fun, fresh, and free — which is even more fiscally responsible than cheap.

Watch this space.

I’m a PC and I study PC

TK:DC

I’ve always been a proud PC — HP to be exact. I love Starbuck’s. I love my iPod. There’s something about going full-fledged Apple that I can’t seem to overcome though. So, I’m proud of the Windows Vista “Life Without Walls” campaign.

Apple’s “I’m a Mac,” campaign uncooled the PC. Period. It presented the PC as an out of touch Dwight-Shrute-but-not-as-funny-when-it’s-your-PC-and-your-virus type of person. The commercial was simple and so effective. The Mac was “so Mac.” The Mac was the “student.” The student that is in all my classes with a white Starbuck’s cup to match the white MacBook and white iPod. They are in my lecture class, but when not they raise their hand in a discussion to say something vague, overreaching, but ponderable — in an unaffected tone, surely perfected during hours in front of the mirror practicing their extreme apathy look, no less. The Mac was cool. Like “those” pop stars though, it might have been what I wanted to be — but it wasn’t me.

Life Without Walls didn’t uncool “the Mac,” it reinforced it. The Mac put the “i” in isolation — splendid isolation — but isolation no less. The PC breaks down the walls and emphasizes the connectivity available with technology. Macs are clean, and sterile. PCs are colorful and real. Macs are students. PCs are doctors, school children, moms, graphic designers, athletes, marine biologists, actresses, and students.

Watch This Space: Life Without Walls heard “I’m a Mac,” and responded, “Yes, you are. I’m a PC, but so is she, and he, and so are they; we are PCs.”

The Re-Branding of Pop Music: The Lily Prototype

TK:DC

Chris Abraham’s sage advice on PR in the digital age prompted one key question: What is the prototype/blueprint for Digital PR? Essentially, who is doing it right and how are they getting it done? As a Public Comm/Sociology student and a twenty-something “Millennial” I would say Lily Allen, hands down. As the Wordsworth of the MySpace Generation, Lily is the very voice of the tomorrow’s Power 150 — today!


Lily Allen is a digital phenomenon. She propelled herself into a full-fledged entertainment career simply by utilizing the low risk/high reward method of uploading rough demo tracks on MySpace. After millions of listens, Allen was signed to Parlophone Records and so began the modern pop tale. Her original investment was digital, but the eventual outcome was very real. After selling 2.5 million copies of her album, getting a Grammy nomination, starting a clothing line, having David Cameron hand deliver her first album to President Obama, and hosting her own BBC3 talk show, among other endeavors, Allen returns to the music scene with a sophomore album, It’s Not Me, It’s You.

This career that began in the depths of cyberspace, that has seen such successes both on and offline serves as an ideal case study for the future of digital branding and audience analysis/targeting. Lily in and of herself is a blueprint for digital strategy.

Lily is a demographic. She is a self-proclaimed non-careerist. Lily treats music as a hobby, she spends more time and effort on connecting with her fanbase than she does in the studio – more time in ‘the sphere’ than ‘on stage.’ That is digital PR. Allen created a career around communication and connection: music is the front, it is a mask funding the machine. Lily Allen is the new face of an entity in a digital realm. She is fully integrated. As an individual Allen has moved from following technology trends to setting them. From MySpace she created a digital empire. Her genius lies in her steady constant progress. When MySpace lost stake in the mainstream, Lily moved to Twitter – where she now has well over 45,000 followers after two weeks. The hype is simple: she tweets regularly and responds to her fans. Her new album set the record for single-week digital sales – probably due to the fact she had free YouTube “Official Listening Posts” for each track. In the midst of a failing ‘traditional’ music industry, Lily is moving forward on the ‘progressive’ front. She worked with Amazon.com to sell her album for $3.99 during the opening week. Hard albums don’t sell anymore. She cut her losses and focused on the digital domain, which is how she set the digital sales record, in her first week no less.

While Lily may be a blueprint, she is also a demographic. Furthermore, she represents most individuals within the young digital demographic. So it is important to scope outwards and look at two examples of how to best relate with the increasingly influential Lily and Co.

Rolling Stone knows Lily, “Lily Allen is not just a pop star. She’s a genre.” Allen is young, urban, unaffected, hip, socially-engaged, tech-savvy, and pseudo-political. Lily Allen is the Obama ilk of young culture. With RS’ introduction to her album review they no longer reviewed Allen’s album, they reviewed her – and her demographic. They go on to sneer at she who “decides that she is a ‘social critic,’ a job she lacks the insight and the maturity to pull off,” and conclude that Allen is best when she ‘drops the state-of-the-nation pretensions.’ But, why? Obviously, they aimed to cement themselves as the apex of a dying medium — print publication — which is becoming increasingly outdated. RS 1.) voluntarily identifies a modern iconography –- of a key demographic no less –- before 2.) taking the McCain stance on inexperience and immaturity. The target readers of this review are socially and politically engaged, and likely within the same age range as Lily. When RS introduces Lily as ‘not just a pop star, but a genre,’ everything on from that point reflects ‘the genre.’ RS didn’t downplay a pop star’s social voice, they downplayed her demographic’s social significance. No wonder RS’ pages are shrinking — almost as fast as their young readership. While Rolling Stone gathered moss dwelling on Allen’s shortcomings, MTV made moves. Where Rolling Stone saw flaws, MTV saw a future.

MTV wrote on Allen as the most interesting pop star ever created. They call Allen’s new album “the most human pop album ever created.” Here MTV sees Allen as the closest link between celebrity and follower. MTV praises Allen for not being a pop star. This is brilliant because it is MTV saying “You like Lily Allen because she is like you. We like Lily Allen because she is like you. We like you.” MTV illustrates Allen as any other human being. She blogs about her problems. She deals in the gray area – all the time. Allen is insecure, but cocky. She is vulnerable, but unaffected. She just wants to settle down, but hates clingers. She’s political, but slags politicians. Everything is subjective. She is this generation, very, “I’m around enough to get around. I care enough to be cynical but not apathetic. It’s my life, take it or leave it — please?” Like she said in “Everyone’s At It,” “I get involved but I’m not advocating. You’ve got an opinion, yeah, you’re well up for slating.” MTV builds a pop star like the readers, and wins across the board: Lily gets fans. MTV viewers get someone ‘just like them’ in the public sphere. MTV gets cool points and a ride on Lily’s digital coattails.

Lily Allen is like a new
Edie Sedgwick. She’s got undeniable hype, but it’s hard for many to look past the style to the zeitgeist’s core substance. However, just like Edie, Lily holds more than a generation’s attention — she embodies their essence. There are world citizens like Bono and Barack. There are young role models like the Simmons daughters. There are celebutantes like Olivia Palermo and Kim Kardashian. There are the pop figures the masses want to be like, and then there are the pop figures who the masses actually are — and when the latter comes to fruition it makes targeting and messaging that much easier and effective. Edie to most is nothing more than a cautionary tale of modern celebrity, assumed hedonism, style over substance, and pop over purpose; however, this is the same girl who launched the legging revolution –– and a nation no less –– just by being the extraordinary ordinary one. The most innovative trends aren’t always earth-shatteringly complex — they are often just earth-shatteringly accessible and common. Lily is the new extraordinary ordinary one, and the savvy PR professional will note her trivialities — because those are the future trends; where Bob the businessman saw “leggings?” Betsey Johnson saw “leggings!”

Lily Allen is the prototype for digital PR because she is not a musician utilizing the online industry; she is the prototype because she is a member of the digital demographic who happens to make music people like, but more so because she is a person people like. Lily embodies the fundamental feat of the digital sphere – one that Rolling Stone assumed a flaw – to be human, to authentically reflect – and connect with – the audience you want to target. The more things change the more they stay the same. Even in the digital age, people like communicating with people, not products, or personas.

Lily Allen. Watch this space. She’s the ‘Girl on Fire’ — wire.

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