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Entertainment, Music

Sonos Play Bar and Random thoughts

DSC02877As I have stated before, I always have either the TV or music on.  I hardly ever listen to music on terrestrial radio.  When I do  listen to the radio I am almost always listening to Sportstalk radio, usually WFAN.  I do listen to Sirius, but usually only in my car.  Huey Lewis once said, “I Want a New Drug”.  Well I found one…the Sonos Play Bar.

It is a unit that I mounted on the wall under my TV.  First of all it improves the sound of my TV.  But, even better than that is that I can now stream music through the speaker, which resonates throughout the second floor of my house. It sounds awesome.  I will probably add some additional units eventually.

But now I have access to Pandora, MOG, thousands of internet radio stations and radio stations all over the world,  Iheart radio and all of the 15,000 tunes in my Itunes library.  I can make my own playlists and essentially program millions of song choices.  It is fun.

I have been a big supporter of Spotify in the past.  But for some reason I am having trouble getting my Spotify to work with Sonos.  I followed all the directions, but there seems to be some issue with my password.  I changed my password, but that didn’t help.  Spotify only has help via email.  Which is okay, except when they make a suggestion to try and resolve your problem.  If they get it right, great.  If not, you need to send another email and wait for a response.  I have done this three times, since none of the directions they have given me resolved the problem.  Now, they have stopped responding.  I understand that the people I am interacting are in Europe.  But it seems that they are in fact French.  Or at least some other nationality that  is as arrogant.  Oh relax…I am only kidding.  Unless you have been to Paris, you won’t understand what I mean. I asked for a phone number or a skype contact.  That way, I would get the solution in one phone call.  In any case, I am about to cancel my Spotify account.  Perhaps starting over again will help.  Maybe I won’t “re-up”.  I have discovered MOG.  Which is a similar service.  The main difference is that MOG does not have licensing agreements with bands like The Beatles.  Also, my itunes does not interact with MOG, but it does with Spotify.

Anyway, back to Sonos.  This is a terrific invention.  It is not nearly as expensive as wiring your house, or setting up one of those stupid sound systems with a central docking station.  For most of those you need hard CDS and it will run you $5k.  A Sonos unit  costs about $700.  I had my satellite guys, who sell the units install it for another $200.  Well worth it.  I’m loving this thing and suggest you check it out.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Jake Bugg

Christine Chiapetta worked with me at Columbia. She is a terrific promotion person and fairly early in the process she realized she also wanted a life and moved onto another label.  She posted a video of a kid she is working with on my Facebook the other day.  His name is Jake Bugg.  I have fallen in love with this kid.  I don’t know much about him, except that hardly anyone knows who he is.  Check out this video called “Broken”.  What a great song and he has a great and unusual voice.  I hope you like it.

Jake Bugg-“Broken”

http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp5cwZrHpgM

A Night Out

The entertainment entities, sports teams and concert venues are really beginning to see the results of their sky high pricing.  Look at any baseball game in a major entertainment market.  The Yankees are not saying it yet, but ticket sales are way down and the Yanks are in first place.  The Mets stink, but no one is showing up at Citifield.  The Dodgers, who traditionally draw whether they have a good team or not are not doing well.  Last night I saw a game from St. Louis.  The seats were filled.  The tickets prices at Busch Stadium are realistic.  Not cheap, but you can get a really good seat for less than $100.  Try to do that in Yankee Stadium.

The public has reached the saturation point.  Bon Jovi is having trouble selling out Met Life Stadium this time around.  Why?  Because people can only spend $500 or more a ticket for so long.  Watch what happens if U2 or another stadium act comes in and charges very high prices for tickets.  There will be far less people in the stands.  Bruce keeps his tickets priced around $100, but even he will see a drop in sales. There are only so many times that these acts can go to the well. 

Eventually the price will come down, but it will take a while.  The paradigm of the system is so tied up in the ridiculous prices that are paid to players and the cost of all the new stadiums that have been built.  Sooner or later, someone is going to have to take a hit.  Will it be the owners who ramped up during the financial boom and are now stuck paying the bill?  Or will it be the players that will have to take huge reductions in salary in order to play ball?  Either way the fan is done paying big dough for tickets every night. 

The music world is different.  There is a bigger rift between the haves and have nots in music.  This problem may not sort out in our lifetimes.  As a result, we get less good music, but have to pay much more to see a good show.  I miss the old days where you could go to a club and see a great band for $20.  If an act has any following these , you have to pay $50 or more to see them in a club,  or  $250 in a theater.  I would rather stay home and it is not because I am older.  Younger people are staying away from clubs in droves.

Local Food

I don’t get it.  The recent trend is the “Farm to Table” restaurants.   A few years back I forked out (pardon the pun) $1500 for a dinner for 7.  I needed to make a PB&J when I got home, because I was still hungry.

The food at these places tends to be very expensive.  I don’t know about where you live, but we don’t grow the best produce here in New Jersey.  Instead of getting a steak from a steer  raised in Bernardsville, I would rather have a steak from a steer  raised in Kansas. We have good corn here and decent tomatoes, but besides that the rest of our vegetables are clearly second rate.  These restaurants bring you a local carrot (or 3) on a skewer to your table.  The carrot is about the size of your pinky.  That is your side dish of carrots.  Mostly, what I don’t understand is if the produce and meat does not have to travel far, why does  is cost more? 

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About jimdelbalzo

As the former Senior Vice President of Promotion at Columbia Records and now founder/helmsman of the artist management company-Jim Del Balzo Entertainment, Jim has managed, consulted, and developed/executed the promotion and marketing plans for some of the planet’s most beloved musicians. He has guided the careers of artists/acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Alice In Chains, James Taylor, George Michael, Soul Asylum, and System of a Down; to name just a few. Jim also does consulting for labels and publishing companies including Columbia Records, Warner Brothers/Reprise Records, Hear Music/Starbucks, EMI Music Publishing and several other entertainment entities. Jim Del Balzo Entertainment clients include,  John Mellencamp, Elvis Costello, James Taylor, LL Cool J, Burt Bacharach, City Sleeps, Buddahead and Since October.     Jim’s highly successful career and great service to the music industry has earned him a number of accolades and awards over the years. Namely, he was voted one of the Top 25 Most Important People in Rock Music (2000) and Promotion Executive of the Year (5 times) by Album Network—from which he also received a Lifetime Achievement Award. And Clear Channel twice honored Jim with the Executive of the Year Award while Friday Morning Quarterback and Radio & Records named him Top Industry Executive 7 times combined.   Today, Jim Del Balzo takes his talent to the microphone, adding voice work to his remarkable repertoire. His promotional expertise and attuned top executive instincts-combined with his richly unique sound- delivers VO that is truly somethin’ else.   Jim Del Blazo VO.  Like nothin’ you’ve heard. Like nobody’s business.   Jim lives in Saddle River, New Jersey with his wife Mary Beth, daughters Jessica and Julia, and their two golden retrievers.

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