"The only blog we have to fear is blog itself."

Saturday, June 16, 2007

What the heck is electronic mail? 

Computerworld is running a collection of their favorite old computer ads, including the above one from Nov. 1981. Honeywell, for some reason, chose to depict email as a frightening and dangerous new method of correspondence. Fun.



Monday, June 11, 2007

Flashback Quote of the Week 

A flashback to March 5, 1990:
"Musically, we are more talented than any Bob Dylan," announces Robert Pilatus, 24, with very little prodding. "Musically, we are more talented than Paul McCartney. Mick Jagger, his lines are not clear. He don't know how he should produce a sound. I'm the new modern rock 'n' roll. I'm the new Elvis."
Farian confirmed to reporters on November 12, 1990, that Morvan and Pilatus did not sing on the records. As a result of American media pressure, Milli Vanilli's Grammy was withdrawn four days later...and Arista Records dropped the act from its roster and deleted their album and its masters from their catalog, taking Girl You Know It's True out of print.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Quote of the week... 

If we can’t restrict the use of the words "fuck" and "shit" during prime time, Hollywood will be able to say anything they want, whenever they want.
Those are the words of FCC Chairman Kevin Martin on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Indecency Decision. He released a brief statement (.doc) that is fairly remarkable as a public tantrum.

The FCC's arguments were nearly completely shredded in the court decision (.pdf), and the agency came off even worse in their oral arguments which was absolutely riveting TV viewing (don't have a link, but it was shown on C-SPAN's "America & The Courts" so they might have streaming video on their site). So Martin is hopping mad and perhaps needs a little session in the "time-out" area. (you know, for kids?)



Sunday, June 03, 2007

Introducing No Band... 

So I was scheduled to introduce Robert Randolph & The Family Band on Friday (6/1) for a free performance at the opening night of the Three Rivers Arts Festival (the annual June series of free outdoor concerts and arts downtown).

I was psyched to do so, especially since Robert was performing as a headliner. It seems like every time the pedal steel phenom has passed through Pittsburgh in recent years, he's either an opening act or part of a co-headlining package tour. Dammit, I want to see the man play and to see him with a crowd who is also there specifically to see him! Is that too much to ask?

The band was scheduled to get underway at 7:30, so I arrived around 7 at the backstage area. Very quickly, I sensed tension among the Arts Festival staff. Soon I learned why--Randolph was stuck in New Jersey, a victim of thunderstorm-induced airline cancellations. Some of his band was just arriving at Pittsburgh International at that moment. Only one player, bassist Danyel Morgan, had made it to town on time and intact.

There were frenzied discussions about various options. Danyel wanted to play with Robert, I was told (he had not yet arrived on the scene), but that required the rest of the band to arrive. Either way, someone would have to break the bad news to the crowd--it was just a question of (a) when it would be done, (b) who would do it, and (c) how bad the news would be (e.g., no show at all or no Robert Randolph).

After Danyel showed up and he pow-wowed with the Arts Festival staff, it was decided that the rest of the band would not be able to get downtown in anything resembling a timely fashion. Therefore, the show had to be cancelled. I was to go out on stage and speak to the audience, but, to his credit, Danyel was willing to go out with me on behalf of the band and personally apologize. That was huge, as I would not thrilled to have to break the news to the hot and and rowdy crowd alone.

Hell, it's never easy to have to tell and audience that a band is going to be slightly delayed. Announcing a cancelled show from the stage could be downright dangerous. Although everyone were (rightfully) disappointed and/or pissed off, everyone took it as well as could be expected under the circumstances.

Hell, there was a guy who was waving around a folding chair even before Danyel and I walked out on stage, and though he continued to wave it around when we announced the show wasn't happening, thankfully, he kept it firmly in hand before, during, and after the announcement.

All in all, a rough gig...

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