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Pedanticism At Its Best

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This Week on FensePost.com Jun. 24th, 2006 @ 06:36 pm
Another week gone and more interest generated in recruiting reviewers. Yet still no reviews by anyone but me. It'll come. Don't worry. Check out the latest at FensePost. Here's a recap from the week:

MONDAY
Any of you like Donnie Darko? How about Gary Jules' version of the Tears for Fears classic Mad World? Well, The Snowdrops also did a cover and it is absolutely amazing.

TUESDAY
My favorite music comes from Sweden. Acid House Kings member Johan has another project and that is The Legends. Here I review There & Back Again, an excellent and interesting mix of lo-fi fuzz and goth/twee.

WEDNESDAY
The third review of a Matinee Records release in a week (the others being last Friday's Math & Physics Club and Monday's The Snowdrops). This time it's a 10" EP by the Australian darlings The Lucksmiths.

THURSDAY
Elvis Costello rules. From his early days in the late 70s as a rocker to his more recent exploits as a jazz musician, this guy has talent. My Flame Burns Blue covers his jazz days and is the only live recording released on disc. And it's a 2 disc set, meaning the first is the jazz and the second is... what!?... his first orchestral score? Yep!

FRIDAY
What do you get when you add together post rock instrumentalists with a Jason Molina-like vocalist? Minmae. In their eighth release, Minmae stacks up the layers for an enjoyable listen. Check it out.

FEATURES
In the weekly features section is Lostine, a Credence Clearwater Revival revival band (redundant much?) fronted by former James Sasser frontman... James Sasser. Excellent blend of folk and country with a heavy dose of classic rock.

FISHBOWL
Fishbowl is our news section. This week we covered a few things. Here's a recap. I updated the Tragadiscos 7" article with a track listing, wrote a piece on the sophmore release by Smoosh, and covered a Daytrotter Exclusive on Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin.

NEXT WEEK
Hopefully reviews other than mine will be submitted for posting. If not, no worries as we've already got a couple of goodies in store for you and some excellent bands (new and old) for you to discover. Here they are in alphabetical order: Grass 7" by Animal Collective, A Taste of the High Life 7" by Lovejoy, and The World & Everything In It by The Oranges Band. Feature artist will be Run River Run, a band with connections to artists on Sub Pop and Sad Robot!

Also within the next few weeks I'm hoping to develop a FensePost MySpace page.
Physical State: Of Montreal: Disguises

FensePost Jun. 9th, 2006 @ 03:17 pm
Chris finished registering my page on Tuesday. After five to ten hours stumbling through the back end of the site I started catching on and now, three days later, I feel like a genuine Joomla pro. So far, the feedback has been outstanding and I've received interest from two people who would like to review albums for the site as well as two links to the site.

Alas, FensePost has gone live and is ready for the world to enjoy. So go and discover some new music or read some reviews of some old favorites (those are likely to come soon). Currently I'm looking at posting one new review per day (weekdays only) until more reviewers send me their work. The reviews will remain on the front page for one week before being archived. At this time, I have no location for film reviews, but I'm hoping to change that in the near future. Feel free to provide feedback on the site if you wish...
Mental State: accomplishedaccomplished
Physical State: Cock & Swan: Holding On

Jazz and a Job Apr. 6th, 2006 @ 12:00 am
At work today I swung by Mariah's office to debrief after Monday's horrific event. Thankfully everything went well at the event despite numerous setbacks and letdowns. I also asked about summer and now have a job through August if I wish. Evelyn said only two people will be in the house this summer so I can stay there as well. That means my parents will not be moving me home in May unless I find a job elsewhere. It also means I will be making money while transitioning from graduate school to a job utilizing my MBA. What a relief!

I'm a bit tired right now--spending my evening ripping my jazz CDs to my laptop to back them up. I've been working on Charlie Parker and Buddy Rich ablums.
Mental State: sleepysleepy

Weather Mar. 8th, 2006 @ 01:52 pm
Pullman weather is much different than the weather on the west side of Washington. We actually have four seasons. That feature kicked in today as it has now been snowing for the past hour or more. While nothing is sticking yet and the air isn't particularly cold, the snowdrops themselves are a bit chilly. The tour is back. Time to give another presentation...

Want A Bite? (An Andy Dork Moment) Mar. 6th, 2006 @ 09:14 pm
I am unable to resist the power that is the Microsoft iPod. In MIS 580 (MIS = Management Information Systems for those of you who are unaware) I am doing a group report on Apple and innovation. While Brett is focusing on the techie aspect of it all, I am looking at it from a branding and pop culture sense. In preparing for this presentation (which takes place Thursday), we came across this video. Watch it.

Now that you've seen it, I can tell you why Apple has made a comeback from it's near-death stages of the 1990s to its billion-dollar business boom of today in a three letter acronym. These letters are I, M, and C. Integrated Marketing Communication. IMC allows companies to develop memorable brands that stick in the mind of consumers. Products like Apple's iPod are so successful because they are readily available in our minds. Here are some examples using the iPod of IMC in pop culture.

1) Packaging: Watch beginning of the video. Look at that package. It is unlike any other packaged product you'll find, yet it's on cue with all of their branding messages. It connects with people you want to be. It is hip. It is cool. Now compare that to the image at the end of the video--the image of what the iPod package would be were it released by Microsoft. It is cluttered. It is not hip, nor cool. It fails to speak to you as an individual.

2) Advertising: Ads for the iPod are readily recognizable. While they may not be the most enjoyable ads around, they definitely will stick in your mind as an ad for that particular product. They are simple and similar. What can be more simple than a solid background color, a silhouetted figure, and a white iPod? The iPod ad is arguably one of the most effective advertising campaigns around for just those reasons.

3) The Product Itself: Apple has made a name off it's trademark color of "Apple White." Just look at their products. The iMac G4: Apple White. The iMac G5: Apple White. Even their servers and RAID seem to scream I'm an Apple product.

So, what are the messages? Here's what I get from these ads, the packaging and the product. The target audience is the music lover, tailored lightly toward teens, twenty-somethings, and thirty-somethings. There is a lack of clutter because consumers are inundated with clutter. Advertising, marketing and public relations consistently hit us with the latest buzz products and the latest hopeful buzz products and, frankly, we're all sick of it. That's the magic of the iPod. It's simple. It's recognizable. And it leaves behind all the clutter.

And that's the power of IMC. It allows consumers to identify a product by consistency. Consistency in logos, in colors, in product design. Most importantly, consistency in the messages the company and the product communicate to the consumer and to the stakeholder.

Who else used IMC? This is an easy one. What other companies readily come to mind as having strong brand images? It is likely that these companies use some form of IMC. My university (Washington State University) instituted an IMC campaign a few years ago. Now every letter sent from the university contains similar letterheads. On that letterhead is the university logo. All brochures possess the same layout features, no matter what department creates it. There is even a section of the WSU website that discusses what the "official school colors" are in terms of their computer color codes, the alignments of the brochures and the other commonalities in advertising, letters and whatever else the university may deliver to an external stakeholder (alumni, prospective students and their parents, even current students). It is all quite fascinating and I love it.

Okay. Enough dorkisms, I'm off.
Mental State: nerdynerdy
Physical State: Watch the Video!

Job Search Feb. 21st, 2006 @ 05:53 pm
To all, the job search has begun. Today I cut my resume from 2 and 1/2 pages to 1 page. I also spent roughly half an hour searching for companies I wouldn't mind working for in the Seattle area. I developed a list--my top 8. I know it's an odd number, but I got tired of searching. And now for the top 8:

DESIRED EMPLOYERS

1. Starbucks: Hear Music or Entertainment Divisions (Seattle)
2. Redhook Brewery (Woodinville)
3. Chateau Ste. Michelle (Woodinville)
4. Publicis-USA (Seattle)
5. Columbia Winery (Woodinville)
6. Real Networks (Seattle)
7. Egg (www.eggusa.net)
8. Amazon (Seattle)

The jobs I'd want from the above would deal with brand awareness, product innovation, and strategic management. Now, I'd love to work at a record label in Seattle but they're generally small and rarely have openings. So I left them off. Besides, I've been doing some cost accounting to determine the cost to produce an album and the potential profits available, reading up on record contracts and royalties, and developing an integrated marketing plan for my own record label if I decide to start one.
Mental State: satisfiedsatisfied
Physical State: The Lucksmiths: The Golden Age Of Aviation

Rocky Dennis Feb. 16th, 2006 @ 11:51 am
Songs by somewhat self-centered Swedes about movie characters with extreme facial deformities are cool. I am currently kicking myself for not buying the signed 7" by Lekman that was at Easystreet Music in Seattle over break. Bad Andy. You SUCK.

In line with senioritis (is it called senioritis if you're a graduate student?), I am postponning my studies to update livejournal. I have an exam this afternoon in MIS 580. I'm not too concerned about it and will probably meet up with Brett to study this afternoon.

Food.
Physical State: Jens Lekman - Jens Lekman's Farewell Song To Rocky Dennis

Rusesabagina Feb. 6th, 2006 @ 10:11 pm
Tomorrow I get to meet the one and only Paul Rusesabagina. He will be speaking on campus tomorrow evening and the Student Entertainment Board (SEB) invited five members of Students Taking Action Now: Darfur (STAND) to the meet & greet after his speech. sporadic_hail listed me as one of the five. I am quite excited as he is an amazing man, a living legend, and one of the world's greatest heroes. We just finished watching Hotel Rwanda, though I spent much of the time working on deliverables for my Music Marketing class.

I need to head home soon, fold my laundry, and crash early.
Mental State: excitedexcited
Physical State: Hotel Rwanda Credits

2 For The Hawks Feb. 5th, 2006 @ 08:04 pm
Seattle came in second. While the typical jock just lost his hard-on, I on the other hand am quite satisfied. Second place is not too bad. And I've got some good ol' Simon & Garfunkel to keep me company in all the glory. A Hazy Shade of Winter is currently playing over the speakers as "Bookends" spins at 33 and a third rotations per minute. Now all I need is a good cabernet to sip in the meantime.

I just finished my deliverable for MIS 580. Every week my group must submit a deliverable by midnight on Sunday. This generally negates my social life on Sundays. Thus, my weekend feels much shorter than it should. My radio show today went very well. I had a blast playing some really great tunes. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone listened due to the game being on. On to a list...

Top Five Bands I Need An Album Of:
1. The Delgados
2. Dear Nora
3. Club 8
4. The Bad Plus
5. Metal Hearts

*Note I: List does not include any bands I already own music by.
**Note II: By own, I am referring to a physical possession.
Mental State: satisfiedsatisfied
Physical State: Simon & Garfunkel - A Hazy Shade of Winter

Top Fives Feb. 2nd, 2006 @ 12:22 pm
The top five most played songs on my laptop include (in order):

I.
In the Disco
by Starlet
off Stay on My Side

II.
Love in December
by Club 8
off Club 8

III.
Hide Away
by The Legends
off Public Radio

IV.
June
by Ivy League
off Demo

V.
Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives
by Voxtrot
off Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives EP
Mental State: sleepysleepy
Physical State: Ivy League - June
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