Brilliant. Amazing. Genius. Loved the gig. Bought the t-shirt (I mean, It's not every band that I name my first-born cat after).
Yep, just got home from experiencing Wilco live on stage. Now, this is a band I've loved for years and years (thank you Mr Hakaraia) but have never had a chance to catch live... until now.
Anyway, Elvis Costello once said that talking about music is like dancing about architecture, so I'll give you all a clip so you can check 'em out for yourself -this was the track (a Woody Guthrie cover) that they played as their final encore tonight.
Last night we had the rare and distinct pleasure of experiencing the Spiritualized Acoustic Mainline gig at the Shepherd's Bush Empire... Jason Spaceman on acoustic plus a keyboard player, string quartet and backing singers.
Here's a clip of an earlier gig from the same tour:
While most marketing/advertsing conferences are as dull as dishwater, London is lucky enough to have two rather good ones coming up in the next few months.
First up (April 24th-25th) is Wildfire, bought to you by the wonderful peeps over at Contagious, it's all about understanding what lies behind ideas that spread and sell, and it's got a bunch of smart speakers, from Ze Frank to the planning Bhagwan himself, Russell Davies.
So go along and never be guilty of misusing the word "viral" again.
"The plan is to have all sorts of speakers speak about all sorts of stuff. Not brands, advertising, blogging and twitter but interesting, unexpected, original things. I'm hoping to find fascinating people and to just ask them to speak about something they care about. I want to replicate the experience of clicking from one really good blog to another, ranging across sciences, arts, musics, jokes and whatever. There will be 20 minute slots and 3 minute slots. Some people will play music or sing. And some people who can't be there will be asked to send three minute videos. Perhaps. I reckon we can squeeze a lot of interestingness into a day. And then have a party afterwards."
You've heard the podcast, now prepare yourselves for the live experience.
Yep, I'm dusting off my headphones and playing some records with my buddy Crazy Baldhead (aka Jasper from Spacific) at the Big Chill Bar. Expect old-school funk, soul, hip hop, reggae and general niceness.
Next Wednesday evening (7th Feb) from 8ish. Come along and say hi.
I was among the 300-odd souls who turned up to the Holiday Inn (!) in Bloomsbury to listen to Jon Steel speak. And very good it was too.
He didn't merely rehash bits from 'Truth Lies and Advertising' (which may have been a disappointment to some -as I left, I did hear someone muttering that they wish he'd talked more about 'how to do planning'...) and he didn't really do a 'how to pitch' presentation either (although this subject was very popular at Q&A time). Rather, he delivered a superb presentation on how so-called professionalism is getting in the way of our job (i.e. having and selling ideas). I'm not going to do an exhaustive report (I believe that the APG were recording it, so pray for a podcast sometime soon) but here are a few of the bits that I really liked:
Jon argued against the conventional marketing wisdom that "logic leads to magic". It doesn't. Worse, a fanatical belief in logic supresses the (rather large and important) role that inspiration has to play. We seem scared to say that we have ideas (and when we present them, we feel compelled to reverse-engineer in the logic flow). As you may have figured out, I'm a big fan of a using someone else's well-chosen words to get your point across, and he had a lovely quote from da Vinci: "It is by logic we prove but by intuition we discover".
I learnt about Attention Deficit Trait -that state whereby you are either being interrupted or being prepared to be interrupted. Apparently it is as intellectually debilitating as smoking two joints... Don't be afraid to turn your phone off. Don't feel obliged to constantly check your email. Create thinking time in your day.
He made the point that "experience, not information, is the source of true wisdom". So get out there and live a little. Don't be stuck at your computer. Get beyond the data. Go and see what your consumers are up to. Keep a scrapbook of things which may come in handy one day. Read more about life and less about marketing (hmm... interesting for us bloggers).
By far the most interesting part of his presentation was on presentations, particularly the fact that Powerpoint isn't really fit for purpose -it is efficient but not effective, in that it is a convenient tool for the presenter, but not for the audience. Putting bullet-pointed words on a screen makes for poor visuals and an equally poor leave-behind document. Worse, it forces you to think in a very hierarchical and linear fashion (again, all very 'logical'). He used Churchill's "we will fight them on the beaches" speech, and posited how it would have gone down had he been able to use Powerpoint -I won't try to do it justice here, but hopefully the APG will upload the charts along with Jon's speech.
Finally, there was a great story that he told about a client who asked Silverstein whether that was the best idea he could come up with. His reply? "Is your wife the best woman you could have married?"
A great night -big ups to Mr Steel and to the APG .
Beekerhas also written this up, covering slightly different points to me, which is good. Go read it. Read Andrew NorthernPlanner'sas well. (I like the way different bits of his speech appealed to different people...)