Tag Archives: video

My Best Concert Ever: Bauhaus

21 Sep

The best concert I’ve ever seen was Bauhaus at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. [setlist] [discussion] I’ve always been a big fan of their music, yet they broke up long before I was old enough to go to concerts. So I only had references from others’ experiences, and the occasional glimpse of a video to experience anything resembling a performance.

Note: although embedding has been disabled by request on all these videos, they still play at YouTube and are definitely worth checking out. Just click that “Watch on YouTube” link.

Going to see the band after they’d reunited was not just a personal thrill, but the show itself was absolutely phenomenal. Their performance was right on, and Peter Murphy‘s remarkable voice only seemed to have gotten better with time. The lighting and set design were breathtaking, yet intimate and appropriate for this band and their dramatic aesthetic.

Bauhaus In Concert = Chills

It gives me chills just to think about it now, and I still have frozen in my brain, and probably will forever, images of every song as they came to life before my eyes – these pieces of music which we’re so compelling-yet-mysterious now happening in front of me and a room full of 1000 people. The experience was an electric, hair-raising religious one.

I was never a totally goth kid growing up, although I did appreciate the music and style. I was more into metal and punk than new wave or alternative when my musical tastes were forming, but I’ve always appreciated many types of music. The unifying factors I do appreciate most, however, are creativity, skill at craft, and overall dedication, all of which Bauhaus and my other favorite bands have in abundance.

What is your best concert ever? Is there a band you would like to see but haven’t yet, or may never get to see? What would be your fantasy best concert? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Virgin America Gets PR Right

12 Jul
Click for full-size

Unauthorized Bedtime Nonsense – Click for full size at Pinterest

Safety can be fun, even for big businesses like airlines.

I’ve written in the past about how refreshing it is to see a big company get public relations and customer communications right. In that case it was  Delta Airlines endorsing their mile runner superfans. I’m pleased to report another discovery of a similar company offering up some positivity and humor with their own messaging: Virgin America.

During a recent #PinChat on Twitter, the featured guest was Jill Okawa Fletcher, Virgin America’s Director of Social Media. Ms. Fletcher was sharing insights about Virgin’s use of Pinterest and I immediately referred her to my pin of Virgin Atlantic’s wacky insert card campaign (at right). We then had the following exchange:

And Ms. Fletcher then referred me to Virgin America’s easygoing in-flight safety video:

 

Corporate Wackiness Can be Entertaining

As you may know, I’m a big geeky fan of this type of thing, and true to its brand spirit, Virgin makes the most of an opportunity here with its captive audience. Yes, safety is important, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun with it.

Coincidentally, back to Delta…. I first noticed this in Delta’s in-flight safety video, where an attendant’s shiny tooth actually goes “ding!” after demonstrating proper use of a seat as a floatation device. That’s so funny to me just because it’s very subtle and wacky in an otherwise fairly standard video. I’m such a fan that once on a Delta flight, I was ready with my phone to get a picture of the exact moment… voila:

Delta Airlines Safety Video - Ding!

My favorite part of Delta’s in-flight safety video. The guy’s smile literally sparkles. And makes a “ding” sound. Brilliant.

What do you think? Can you name any examples of companies having fun with their otherwise serious messaging? Does this influence your perception of the company or a brand? Let us hear from you in the comments!

Soul Asylum – Cartoon

30 Apr

 

Check out this new band, Soul Asylum!

They do this song, “Cartoon” where you can really hear the influence of the Goo Goo Dolls, Gin Blossoms, and even a little Nirvana/Foo Fighters in there.

Oh, wait. It’s the other way around. This is from 1988. Yep.

I used to watch this over and over after having videotaped it from MTV’s 120 Minutes on VHS back in the day. Thank goodness for YouTube. Enjoy.

Cartoon, from Hang Time:

Now everybody’s looking after me
If I’m dragging by some coat-tail, I can’t see, it’s too dark
But I’ve got to know what’s got the best of me

When the circus that you left goes on parade
In those bleacher seats of fire in your charades, it’s too far
But I’m feeling like I don’t dare look away

Don’t look away

Did it almost make you feel that something’s gotta happen soon?
When you wake up feeling lost in your own room

If you’re crying in your beer you’re gonna drown
If you think we’ll rise above, you better look around, you’ll see
It’s a mountain made of sand crumbling under me

Maybe I’m chasing shadows on your wall
They loom so large but make me feel so small somehow
When you’re chasing your own tail, spinning your own wheels

[Simultaneously]
Dan: On a night when the wolves were all silent, and the moon howled
Dave: And I tried to leave, and I tried to stay, tried everything, tried looking away (×2)

Did it almost make you feel that something’s gotta happen soon?
You’re in the movies now and I’m in your cartoon

There’s a ringing in my ear that’s heaven-sent
There’s a beast out on the ruins
Some broken down lover’s lament
It goes on and on but it won’t go away

What do you think? Are there any acts from a quarter century ago that made a lasting impression on you? Who from today do you think they’ll be blogging about 25 years from now? Or will microchips in our head do the blogging for us? Let us hear from you in the comments!

iPhone Video Editing: The Black Keys Live

27 Mar
The Black Keys, Charlotte, NC 3.24.12

The Black Keys – Charlotte, NC, 3.24.12. Shot & edited with my iPhone.

I’ve always loved rock concerts and live music. One of my first concerts was Mötley Crüe at the nearest coliseum as a young metalhead, and I documented the event with my trusty Kodak Disc camera.

As more evidence of that device’s role in digital ancestry as a forerunner of today’s tech gear, I now document shows with my trusty iPhone 4, using its 5-megapixel camera and HD video recording capability. It’s absolutely mind-blowing, the quality of video this thing produces from a live show, even from the nosebleed seats, where I caught The Black Keys over the weekend.

I’m no Scorsese, and there are plenty of higher-quality videos from this show, but being able to record the event as I remember it and highlight the dramatic parts for later enjoyment – and then share that online… without even reading an instruction manual… it’s just magical for a music lover.

Have a look at what I whipped up in an hour – even though I was watching from high in the stands, I’ve tried to add some dimension with edits, pans and transitions, highlighting the best/most dynamic visual moments.

iPhone Video Editing: The Splice App

All transitions, titles, sound fades, pans and zooms were done with the iPhone using the app, Splice for the editing. It’s fast, intuitive, and great for producing a quick highlight reel. Some reviews say it’s unstable, but I haven’t experienced any of that. Within minutes of downloading it and tapping on a few buttons to see what they do, I was making a decent compilation video with titles, overdubbed music and transitions. I do not work for or promote Splice; I’m just wowed by this kind of technology.

I first got turned on to iPhone video editing by way of a mobile video contest sponsored by a local art organization (SECCA). I decided to enter just to see what I could create with minimal effort. Here’s my experimental entry for that : Skull Chant Blues.

This, Too Shall Soon Be Primitive

Disc

The Kodak Disc

The Disc was great back in the day, and I’m sure 30 years from now something will be around to make the iPhone look obsolete (remember when bag phones were impressive?), but for now, it’s a gratifying experience to put together a quick video in minutes that matches my memory of an awesome show.

Bonus: Also saw some Fun. this month:

What do you think? Could you see yourself using a smartphone for video editing? What other uses do you see for this technology? Have you ever edited video via your smartphone? If so, what app(s) do you prefer? Are you active on YouTube, Vimeo or other networks? Share your links and let us hear from you in the comments!

Garbage Video Fan Art: Crowdsourcing Done Right

16 Feb

I love it when a plan comes together, and this one fires on my favorite cylinders: music, iPhoneography, social media and especially Public Relations. How could I not write a blog post about this!?  I’m sending a huge thanks to one of my favorite bands, Garbage, for including my artwork in the promo video for I Hate Love,  a track off their new album due in May, their first in seven years. I don’t hate love, but I do love me some Garbage, and not just because of their excellent taste in visual art. My grungy abstraction, “Heart on a Wall” flashes for half a second at :44 — if you don’t want to see it, be sure to blink. Just to prove I am not making this up, here ’tis:

Yeah! That’s us! Woo! Garbage!

The group even refers to it a “beautiful” in their Facebook album of all the artwork:

Aww, you guys! What a band!

Back in the day I saw Garbage rock the house, and Shirley Manson signed my ticket afterward, now enshrined in my mini-Hard Rock Cafe. Awesomeness all around.

Oh, and in the time between calling for submissions and posting the results, Garbage drummer and famed producer Butch Vig was on the Grammys behind Dave Grohl dropping a killer acceptance speech.

Obviously, I am pumped for this album. I’ve been a fan of the group since day one, and think they’re a talented bunch. Props to the band for some smart and fun crowdsourcing — way to make the most of social media and get the promo machine rolling for the record. It’s low-cost, super fun for the fans, and you might even get some music nerd to write a blog about it. Check their site for a look at how they did this.

This even made USA Today – wow! Way to score some earned media.

Garbage I Hate Love USA Today

All other bands should take note. Seriously. Email me. Let’s do some iPhoneography.

Have you ever been part of a crowdsourced promotion through social media or other media? Have you ever interacted directly with a favorite band, professional athlete, artist, public figure, or a celebrity you admire? Is there value in this type of promotion? Let us hear from you in the comments!

Looking for a Job in PR? Know Your Social Media.

27 Jan

You gotta’ walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Click to view video

In this video, Mark Ragan talks with Weber Shandwick VP of Digital Communications, Jason Wellcome, about how social media is playing an important role in the hunt for Public Relations talent.

Social media is changing how résumés are viewed in the PR industry

Wellcome says, “this whole transition to social media and the earned side of the pie has bode well for communications and PR, but there’s still a lot PR folks have to consider in their businesses to optimize that change.” I’d say that applies doubly if not more so for job seekers — and not just in PR, but across industries.

As LinkedIn has all but made it their goal to be nothing less than a deathblow to the paper résumé, our digital selves become ever more relevant. As far as going totally paperless, I don’t think we’re there yet (and the Wall Street Journal agrees) but having your digital act together is mandatory. Even if you aren’t in the PR industry, you’re definitely in it for yourself if you’re looking to get hired — so be your own best representative.

As Wellcome says, “Everyone’s media now.” And if you claim to know more about “the space” than what your activity actually shows… you ain’t getting the job. Best part of what he says about PR candidates here:

Three things that make PR candidates stand out:

  • Passion
  • Curiosity
  • Not fearing the trial & error of finding out what works.

I say these are great qualities to have not just for PR, but in any industry.

What do you think? Do these apply to your field? Have you recently been on the job hunt, and did social media play a role ? Have you ever screened candidates’ social media presences when hiring, or been screened yourself (that you know of)? Let us hear from you in the comments!

Space: Within our Reach… or, Redefining iCloud

13 Oct

I just saw this news item about Lenovo & YouTube’s Space Lab project, and was pleasantly reminded of an equally, if not more-so awesome father-son team who sent an iPhone into space by themselves. Space. I mean, for real outer space into the blackness beyond our Earth. Best of all, they have video of it from start to end. It’s truly inspiring, gives iCloud a new meaning, and is worth a few minutes if you don’t mind being totally blown away.


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