A Modest Wilco Proposal

I received the following email from Wilco about their forthcoming album. It is an interesting approach to community and to reminding everyone of the rules of this particular conversation.

By now, you know that next week is the official release date of Wilco’s 7th album (or 9th depending on how you count). Hence the slightly serious tone of this note. Tuesday, to be precise, marks the US release of Sky Blue Sky on Nonesuch Records. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the on-demand stream, by all means click here and take it for a spin. We’re pretty sure you’ll enjoy the ride.

But once you’ve done that we hope you’ll take a moment to reflect (see, I told you this was serious) on how this dynamic has worked over the years — the dynamic between us and you. We (and this “we” means the band, first and foremost) expend a lot of time, energy and other resources trying to make this something you are not just a witness to, but a participant in and we genuinely hope you can feel that.

We’ve been asked many times if we’d consider changing the way we do things, usually by people who are convinced we’d be more successful if we did. And either out of stubbornness or something else, we keep refusing. Instead, we just do what we do and somehow it all works. We continue to make lots of music available free to all in the road case, continue to allow taping/photos at shows, and basically just try to keep the things we do charge for of a quality that make you feel like you got a bargain. You know, mutual respect and all that. We like the way it works… a lot. We really do believe in trying to keep as much of it as free and open as is humanly possible. That seems pretty obvious… but somehow it remains a slight novelty in the modern day music business. So much so that people continually mention it in their stories when they write or speak about the band or the somewhat sad state of the music business.

Anyway, what we’re getting at here is that right now we need you to participate in a way that is part of what has made this nice little story work. We’re actually asking you to please go out next week and do the right thing for Wilco. That is, vote with your feet and prove the band’s faith well-placed and buy the record. It’s available from Tuesday at all kinds of retailers everywhere. Ask for it by name.

Okay, enough campaign speeches. You get the message. And we trust that you’ll act on it as you always have.

Las Vegas

I am sitting in the airport ready to leave Las Vegas after a business trip. I came for a trade show with my client. It had been pretty crazy leading up to the show, but things went very well, and there was great response to the booth and the new products. I am partial to the trading card packs that we did for the new products, because not only is it a unique idea, but it is small and easy to carry. I have a pile of brochures in my suitcase that were quite heavy.

Wingin’ over the Rockies

Wingin’ over the Grand Canyon

After a long flight on Monday and a seemingly endless taxi line, we checked in at the hotel. We picked up some boxes that we shipped and headed to the show. After helping with some final details, we left and went to dinner at the French bistro at The Venetian hotel. I had halibut soup and mussels. Both were fabulous.

Tuesday night after a good day at the show, we went out to Roy’s for Hawaiian fushion food. We shared several kinds of sushi, including one with seared Kobe beef, which was very good. I also tried a mango mojito. Anything with mango is good in my book. After dinner we went out to the casino at New York New York. I played a dollar in the slot machine for Adrianne and hung out for a little bit. Eventually I cabbed back to my hotel.

The Strip at Night

The Munsters slot machine that took Adrianne’s dollar

Chapel Hill Ranks as Top Art Destination

from Town of Chapel Hill mailing list:

Chapel Hill ranks as one of the nation’s top arts destinations. A recent American Style magazine poll places it 13th on the list of top small cities for the arts.

Chapel Hill was one of three North Carolina cities to make the magazine’s list published in the June 2007 issue. American Style ranks the top 25 arts destinations in three categories: big cities (populations above of 500,000 and up), mid-sized (100,000 to 499,999) and small (under 100,000). Asheville is fifth on the small cities list, and Charlotte ranks 18th among big cities.

The Chapel Hill Town Council in March 2002 established the Town’s Percent for Art Ordinance, which allocates 1 percent of selected capital projects for the creation and maintenance of permanent works of public art. Funding for Percent for Art projects comes from each project’s construction budget, which can include federal, state, county, town, and private support. In North Carolina, the only other cities with percent-for-art programs are Asheville and Charlotte.

“Public art enriches our lives and helps define the unique and special qualities of Chapel Hill,” said Mayor Kevin Foy.

Percent for Art commissions are administered by the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission. Chapel Hill’s growing indoor and outdoor public art collection totals over 50 works of art in a variety of media. This art collection has been assembled over the years through private donations and commissions.

Recently installed public art pieces, valued at $420,000, are a semi-circular 30 foot long stone wall and a 40-foot marble bench outside the new Town Operations Center. The works were crafted by artist Larry Kirkland of Washington, D.C.

Email Your Way Out of Contention

A recent study by a graduate student at Ohio State determined that job applicants with unprofessional email addresses were not considered for jobs. Some of the emails used were alliecat@, bacardigirl@, bighotdaddy@, drunkensquirl@, foxylady@, gigglez217@.

I might consider hiring alliecat, but not drunkensquirl.

Click here for article about study

MySpace Photo Causes Harm

A teaching student was denied her education degree when a “drunken pirate” photo was found on her MySpace page. It is a pretty innocuous photo, but this really should be reminder that you should never post anything on a personal web site that you don’t want your employer, potential employer, or even your mom to see.

And because everything on the internet is cached or archived, this stuff stays around forever. This is like you embossing this picture on the back of a cockroach that survives the nuclear holocaust.

Click here for The Smoking Gun Report with photo.