Monday, June 22, 2009

It might have turned out badly if I'd been on anything but a Harley

One Wednesday 1am in the years when I couldn't sleep I wandered into a ramshackle biker bar out route 46 and found a guitarist playing the blues. The guy was like 50 and looked like an accounting professor, but man could he play. I listened until he closed the place down and left on the quiet highway feeling better than I'd felt in a long time.

That said, randomly barging into intimidating roadhouses looking for decent music hasn't generally worked for me.

Music's important to me. Finding ways to keep up with it now that my once music-geek friends have moved on to other hobbies--like work--took me a while. AllMusic was a huge help, then And, of course, Hype Machine and, through them, the music blogs.

But finding live shows was still tough. says I have played 1,328 different artists in the last couple of years. And I hate large venues. I'd love to see Andrew Bird live, but I'm not going to Radio City to do it. I told a friend that I needed something to tell me when my favorite bands were in town (and that I wasn't going to somehow link to all 1,328 of them through MySpace or somesuch.) He introduced me to the guys who started Livekick. Livekick goes through your iTunes library and scrapes your or other account to find out what bands you like and then sends a weekly email telling you who is going to be playing near you. Genius! There's no way I would have known that Ted Leo & the Pharmacists is going to be at Maxwell's tonight without them.

Anyway, I put some money into the company, so maybe I'm just talking my book, but if you like music, you need to check them out.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

But, then, why have a website at all?

I've been sitting in front of my computer all day, doing general industry research: who does what, who the competitors in specific micro-segments are (i.e. who the ten billion companies competing to be the leading real-time mobile app video advertising social behaviorial targeting data exchange are. OK, that was a bit of hyperbole, but not by much.), etc.

One thing I noticed is how hard it often is to figure out what a company does by looking at its website. I figured that after giving the elevator pitch 3,000 times to VCs-frantically-pushing-the-Door-Open-button, the entrepreneurs would be able to clearly and concisely say what they do.