Music I’ve been listening to

I’m one of those people that can hear a tune in the background and within 20 seconds name the tune/ band and provide you with a mini bio. It’s quite the high demand skill set I’ve developed.

I’ve been playing these hits non stop past 2 weeks. Mostly 2016 music with some pop classics from the past.

  1. In the Moment by The DMA’s.
  2. In fact – the entire album by the DMA’s (Hills End released about 3 weeks ago) by this Sydney band is very good. It sounds like vintage 90’s Brit pop – The Smiths, Stone Roses, Oasis all rolled into one. The singer sounds a bit like the guy from the View. Melodic tunes, great riffs with modern production.
  3. Do It, Try It – M83
  4. Doing it To Death – The Kills
  5.  Genghis Khan – Miike Snow
  6. Trap Queen – Fetty Wap
  7.  Girl You Know It’s True – Mili Vanelli. (Came across Julian Casablancas cover of this.)
  8.  My Number – Foals
  9. What Went Down by the Foals. *The entire new album by the Foals
  10. Tame Impala Remix of Waves by Miguel.
  11. Everything You’ve Come to Expect – Last Shadow Puppets
  12. Bad Habits – Last Shadow Puppets
  13.  This is How it Feels – Richard Ashcroft
  14. Suedehead – Morrisey
  15. Cake by the Ocean – DNCE
  16.  Best for last – The Knocks
  17. A night in Tunisia – Art Blakley
  18. Can’t Get Enough of Myself – Santigold
  19.  Fuck Me Pumps – Amy Winehouse (Amy doc on netflix is a must watch)
  20.  Lonely Press Play – Damon Albarn
  21. Somebody Else – the 1975
  22. Dude Like Him – Willie J Healey
  23. My Baby Just Cares for Me – Nina Simone (watched her doc on Netflix)
  24. Can’t Keep Checking My Phone – Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

happy money – book review

Hey ‘yall!

I read a cool little book 2 months ago called Happy Money.”

happy money

I finished all 160 pages on a return flight from NYC . It was handed out at this cool marketing conference called BehaviourCon, by the author himself, Michael Norton. He gave a speech on transparency as a strategy in marketing your business.

I wasn’t expecting much, but this was a fun quick read based on latest science.  You can’t argue with SCIENCE!

How to spend money in a such a way that maximizes your happiness ? Don’t buy so many material things, buy experiences! Right? Exactly. It goes into certain nuances of that wisdom.

It breaks spending happy money into 5 principles.

1. Buy experiences 

Housing and Transportation are not particularly good sources of happiness in the long term. Important to know since these are the largest material purchases most people ever make.

Working long hours to earn more money to provide your children with fancier home may represent a bad happiness trade-off.

Remarkably, length of an experience (holiday) has little impact on the pleasure people remember deriving from it.

It goes into one extreme example – spending 200,000 dollars on Virgin Galactic  6 mins flight to outer space will give you more lasting happiness than a material purchase of similar amount.

Shifting your focus can alter whether a purchase feels like an experience. Talks about this amazing restaurant – elBulli, made dining an amazing experience that resulted in 1-2 million reservation requests per year, yet just served 8,000 customers.

2. Make It a Treat

Limiting your access to everything from the McRib to Maseratis helps to reset your cheerometer. That is, knowing you can’t have access to something all the time may help you appreciate it more when you do. Think Charlie and Chocolate Factory. This is a win-win for both consumer and buyer.

There is Classic Car Club in Manhattan when you pay $11,000.00 for thirteen days of driving the clubs “high-end supercars”. Those magical thirteen days gives you more pleasure than owning one.

All else being equal, most people report they would rather have larger number of smaller pleasures, rather than a smaller number of larger pleasures. For example, prefer to get a $5 a day for five days, than $25 all on one day.

3. Buy Time

Don’t Watch TV as much, Cut Your Commute Time and Engage in more socializing with friends and family or join a art class, etc.

Taking a bike to work (even once a week) can transform our happiness commuting time into happiness inducing physical activity time.

Thinking about Time – rather than money – spurs people to engage in activities that promote well-being, like socializing and volunteering.

For example, concert goers felt more enthusiastic about the event when they thought about the time (verses money) they had spent to be there.

4. Pay Now, Consume Later

Vacationeers exhibited a bigger happiness boost in the weeks before their trip, rather than in the weeks afterward.

If you plan to “reward” your friends for helping you move with nothing more than cheap beer and pizza, they’re more likely to be satisfied with Bud Light and Dominos’ if you have them over the day after the move rather the day before.

Talk about Virgin Galactic Trip again. The anticipation toward the 6 min flight to space- the value of the trip stems in part of looking forward to it.

Research show that waiting can increase satisfaction if customers get the impression that work is being done on their behalf during the delay.

This “labour illusion” is so powerful that it leads to customers to prefer services that make them wait to services that provide the same quality immediately.

Purchases that have been paid for long ago feel free, thereby liberating people to spend their time in happier ways.

5. Invest in Others

This is what people report spending the least, though is excellent source of happiness. Try giving 5 dollars once in awhile to a friend. Not suggesting give all your money away.

Donations to a food bank elicited more activation in brain regions associated with reward when the contributions were made by choice rather than being obligatory.

Individuals who agreed with statements such as “I feel that my work makes a positive difference in other peoples lives” were less likely to experience emotional exhaustion at work. Goes into cause-marketing as well.

Other Notes:

Some research suggests chasing happiness can be counterproductive.

People who were told to try make themselves feel as happy as possible while they listened to some pretty good, but not fantastic music reported feeling less  happy than those who hadn’t been given any instructions.

Seneca: Things that were hard to bear are sweet to remember.

P.S. Check out these songs by two NEW bands that need to save music. Jagwar Ma and Temples! Don’t feel obligated to.

everyone’s talking about this

This device you see here has been the starter of  many conversations and laughs at parties.

It’s a breath alcohol tester.  It gives you a rating on how hammered you are. I like to carry it with me at bars just to make sure no one drives home above the limit.  JK.

Okay actually because it’s just a lot of fun! Everyone gets curious to see what there rating is.  It becomes something to talk about.

It doesn’t have to be a nifty gadget either.

It’s when your buddy mentions at a party how godlike amazing Under Cover of Darkness (click to  have a  listen!!) by The Strokes sounds.

Or that favourite author or killer new Iphone app – it’s why two people start chatting and relating to one another.

You do it without thinking in conversation all the time.

So that’s also the warning: make a product that can incite conversation! That is the cornerstone of any marketing.

making mistakes

There is something about listening to live concerts. It’s raw, anything can go wrong  – and that’s the allure of it, that something unexpected could happen. Can they turn out a godlike performance? Are they as good as they say in interviews? As they sound on album? If there a proper band they will sound loads better.

I remember back in July 2000, staying up listening to the webcast feed of Oasis Wembley gig in London.   Now this was a rough year for Oasis. Liam broke up with his 1st wife.  Noel left the band briefly, etc.  They played 2 nights, and 1st night was rock solid, Liam in top singing form. But Liam didn’t realize they had a second show to play the next night. This results in a very punk rock performance, much to the dismay of Noel.  Noel jokes to the crowd this is what happens when your brother gets smashed the night before with a Spice Girl.

What does this have to do with business? Making mistakes, fixing it and apologizing done properly can be awesome. It gives you a chance to make amends, and take responsibility even if it’s not entirely your fault.

I mean it has to be sincere. And you know what will happen? They will tell 10 more people saying how this company went out of its way to make sure the issue was resolved. Not to say don’t do a good job every time.  When a band plays a shit gig or the singer doesn’t turn up, sometimes if there smart, they’ll maybe give all the money back to the fans, apologize and try to make another trip to perform at that city. Fans love that, remember it and tell everyone about it.

The other thing is, its sometimes fun to see the band screw up.  Cos its more interesting as fans to see how they recover from this and start up again.

free music less valuable?

yellow submarine
yeah yeah yeah

Okay, as you may know I really dig music. I want all my favourite bands to become huge and conquer the hearts of millions.  And one of the big ways to do that is by using free. A concept that the music industry ignored in the beginning of the past decade

What happened was they continued with its rigid thinking, which led to traditional revenue sources evaporating, disappearing. They weren’t thinking of new sources. There wasn’t a fluidity in there thinking.  Basically they wanted fight with free, instead working with it. The prevailing attitude was that free is less valuable. Not so in the case of music.

There are kids now listening to the Beatles, all the glorious albums downloaded for free, and guess what? They love the Beatles. Some of them are viewing all the demo takes from the Anthology albums and leaving reviews, questioning why didn’t McCartney use take 1 of Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da instead of the studio version on the White Album? (click here to check for yourself).   A Liverpool band from 40 years ago has their complete time and attention. The original human currency. So the fact that these viewers can get something for free  doesn’t mean they’re less “valuable”, far from it.

See I fit into the demographic that many studies have shown to be true: the biggest downloaders are also the most loyal fans. I sometimes get the pricey, limited edition specials with all the extras from my favourite bands. I go to the major music festivals yearly.  I have stopped buying all the t-shirts though, trying to class up the look.

tame impala's debut album- innerspeaker - one of my favourites of 2010

This is why I feel the business model we use to calculate success of a band  is completely outdated and has been for awhile. There is limitless choice of music nowadays online and from all that choice I choose music from all that is blasting at me. I mean the rise of free streaming music by companies like Pandora Radio and news that Apple buying Lala show were living in a attention economy.

At the same time I like to still “own” my music. So I do have problem overcompensating record companies that put encoded music on plastic, mass-production in cd format, but I have no problem paying top dollar for bands that I love. See the conflict?

A better model for today’s band is for their album creations be rewarded 100% by the fans. Meaning the band receives close to 100% of the proceeds from sale of the album or single.  They create their own label, they do there own promotion – by using free, and outsource some responsibility to a manager. I say this because new technology is making this easier. And its great that its happening, because basically bands should be mostly  rewarded, instead of the hierarchy being rewarded.  They are the creators,  that turn nothing into magic. Everything hinges on the artist and they aren’t being compensated enough for it. I mean I find it disgusting that Michael Jackson was only making 12 million in royalties per year from his recordings. The biggest pop star ever only making that from his recordings? That means the rest of the money was making his label super rich, that used those funds to promote shit like Britney, Nicki Minaj, etc.  I mean he was an 1 billion empire. Think how nonsensical that is.

This again refers to my post on making less, selling less. Lots of exposure,  less customers, but monetizing on that less. Imagine if its 90 cents of that 99 cent itune  goes toward the artist?  How about a private gig to hardcore fans that bought limited edition albums? Allowing fans to remix the tunes? Hardcore fans would love that.   All through the power of free music.

market your album like a film

I dig watching a good film trailer and a nice twist on the idea is when its used for music.

It  especially works for bands that make concept albums, which is an album centralized around a certain theme, the most famous perhaps being  Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.  McCartney thought at the time instead of the band going on a tour performing songs off the album, why not let the album go on a tour itself!

A film like trailer makes you feel like your about to enter this exciting musical journey. Julian Casablancas solo album, Phrazes for the Young,  has this incredible 80’s vintage feel with the synthesizers.

Fans love the anticipation, cos that is the best part! I wonder what direction they`re going this time? Show the behind the scenes footage, what others don’t usually get to see. This of course helps if your business is somewhat interesting to begin with.

backbeat the word is on the street

Going to gigs is not just about the music. At concerts they sell t-shirts, vinyl (making a comeback), all sorta of food and film related things, except for other concerts that people would be interested in checking out!!

Why not let those fans know what else is going on at the venue?  Write up the 2-3 bands on the back of the ticket stub to show what else is coming up.

At the Outside Lands Music fest in San Fran, they gave away these 15 free itune cards – for bands that were at the festival!

How smart is that?

Because any proper music fan would know that music festivals are mostly a way to come across some new bands.  So this is a nice taster, which later helps in making those casual goers into fans! Nice one itunes.