Blog Archive

The Wife Says: iTunes Gift Cards = Merry F***ing Xmas

November 13th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

The last Christmas present has been mailed. The rest are wrapped, waiting for the tree to go up next weekend. Before American Thanksgiving! Even for an order-addicted German this is a bit of a record.

Why the haste? We go away in December. Sunshine to top up the warmth before January strips us bare. My deadline is a week earlier than yours. I also hate crowds. There’s nothing like circling a parking lot like a vulture waiting for an open spot to strip away any last bit of Christmas cheer.

I started shopping last December. Wrappings on Boxing Day. A toy here. A purse there. Before you know it, you’re done.


The Sad Fall of EMI

November 12th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

With yesterday's sale (labels to Universal, music publishing to Sony/ATV), EMI, the storied British major label and home to the Beatles, is about to go away.  

Like a brain dead motorcycle accident victim, its organs will live on in new homes, but something very, very British will die.


You Know That Song You Can’t Get Out of Your Head?

November 12th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Click the image to learn even more about earworms.From Scientific American:

They go by many names: Brain worms, sticky music (thanks Oliver Sacks), cognitive itch, stuck song syndrome. But the most common (if also the most repugnant) is earworms, a literal translation from Ohrwurm, a term used to describe the phenomenon (and perhaps bring to mind an immediate association with corn earworms). If you’re an academic, you might refer to it as Involuntary Musical Imagery, which, of course, gets condensed to INMI.

What are we talking about? Again, back to the academics, specifically, C. Phillip Beaman and Tim I. Williams from the University of Reading, who in a 2010 paper, explain it like this: “Simply, an earworm is the experience of an inability to dislodge a song and prevent it from repeating itself in one’s head.”

Oh, thaaat.


I Like This: Mallory

November 12th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

It’s called “The History of Apple Pie.”  How much more wholesome can you get? The History Of Apple Pie –


The Day Pearl Jam Almost Ended

November 12th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

The worst day in the existence of Pearl Jam was June 30, 2000, at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark.  During their set, nine fans died in a crush when the audience surged towards the stage.

The band saw what was happening and tried to help, but there wasn’t anything they could do.  There were inquiries and trials and in the end, Pearl Jam was ruled to be not at fault and that the whole thing was a terrible accident.


Ticketmaster CEO Feeds on the Hate

November 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

From Fast Company magazine:

Haters gonna hate. But in recent history, no brand's been on the receiving end of consumer vitriol like Ticketmaster. Its CEO Nathan Hubbard has witnessed firsthand just how intense the loathing can get.

"Go search for 'Ticketmaster' on Twitter," he said at Fast Company's recent Innovation Uncensored event in San Francisco. "You learn a lot. People want to eat my kids they're so angry."


And Then There Were Three: Universal Buys EMI

November 11th, 2011 | by Alan Cross

Not that long ago, there were half a dozen major labels, large multi-national conglomerates.  Each of these conglomerates became big by swallowing up smaller labels and merging with each other.

But then the recording industry wandered into the post-Napster collapse and the conglomerates started feeding on each other just to stay alive.  It was a shark fight.

Six became five.  Five became four.  And today, with Universal's purchase of the long-struggling EMI--once the UK's proudest musical company, four became three.



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