Category Archives: social networking

RT: Jimmy Eat World Gets Social

My buddy Luke Armour has written an amazing guest post at The Round Table about Jimmy Eat World integrating social media with their music to engage music fans. Here’s a taste…

A while ago I “became a fan” of Jimmy Eat World on Facebook, which, for many fan sites means absolutely nothing. But Jimmy Eat World actually uses it. The most recent updates focused on the 10th anniversary celebration of their classic album Clarity. For 10 one-time-only shows beginning February 23 in New York City and concluding March 7 in the band’s native Arizona, they played the album in its entirety. What a great way to point out to new fans that you have older stuff worth paying attention to. And the buzz was great, the shows sold out right quick.

Once I realized they were actually talking to me, the fan, it wasn’t long before I started paying attention to them elsewhere. I started following them on Twitter, which, again, for many Twitter accounts means absolutely nothing – except maybe knowing what Jim had for breakfast [yawn]. But this was entertaining, interesting and – as it turns out -informative. I saw this tweet one day:

catch @jimmyeatworld clarity rehearsal live on @ustream this thursday at 1:30 az time

…. be sure to read the rest of the post at The Round Table.

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Social Media and Music…

Merry Christmas Eve all. This will be a brief post, but wanted to share something pretty cool with you that happened today. I work in digital communications, therefore, I’m (obviously) an advocate of social media and networking with folks via various sites. For the last year or so I’ve been a fairly frequent user of Twitter, a microblogging site.

In the beginning, Twitter was mainly a tool for me to connect with different PR industry folks to stay on top of news, trends, and be part of the overall conversation. By connecting with different people, I was exposed to their web of followers (friends and colleagues), who in turn, I started connecting with as well.

Today, I was corresponding with some folks when I saw a musician named Aaron Zimmer chatting with social media guru Chris Brogan. Aaron was offering up his new album “Live Wires” for free to any and all, so naturally being a music fan, I jumped at the opportunity to download it. Given it was a slow day at the office, I took it one step further and tweeted at Aaron – asking if he’d like to guest blog on The Round Table, a music blog I run with some friends. Aaron graciously accepted my offer (thank you!) and through one quick message we were able to help spread the word about Aaron.

It’s one of those moments where as an advocate of social media you can sit back and smile. Though the ability to connect with someone like Aaron (even Chris Brogan) may have existed just a few years back, it was still fairly unknown, whereas today it’sa more natural occurrence. Pretty cool stuff.

Be sure to check out Aaron’s post at the Round Table as well as visit his personal site: www.aaronzimmer.com

To download Aaron’s new album, visit: http://www.aaronzimmer.com/music/livewires.zip

13: The Musical…

13_coverLast night I had the opportunity to check out 13, the new Broadway musical from Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years and Parade). 13 is about teenagers trying to navigate life as they know it — the usual — puberty, crushes, and cliques.

At the center of the show is 12 (soon to be 13) yr old Evan played by Graham Phillips. Evan is a Jewish kid from New York who moves to a po-dunk town in Indiana after his parents decide to divorce. Naturally, the living shake-up causes turmoil in young Evan’s life, especially centered around his upcoming Bar Mitzvah. Evan is smart, quick-witted (thanks to Phillips great comedic timing), but an outsider nonetheless. In trying to get in with the cool crowd, Evan risks alienating the friends that accepted him outright — outcasts Patrice (Allie Trimm) and Archie (Aaron Simon Gross).

The show itself is short in comparison to other Broadway musicals – clocking in at 90 minutes without intermission – but it still felt lengthy at times. Not to knock the show, but I’m 27 so the sounds of pubescent boys singing gets to be a bit much on the ears after a while. The on-stage band is composed of all teenagers, which keeps true to the shows overall theme of showcasing talented up and coming stars. The songs are standard JRB, which fuses pop-rock stylings with theatrical lyrics, but definitely not his best work. Impressively, the young bandsters managed to navigate JRB’s music with ease and confidence.

Though the show is centered around Graham Phillip’s character Evan, the stand out talent is Allie Trimm as Patrice. This girl has some serious singing chops with potential to have her name in lights for a long time coming. She plays the sweet girl-next-door type perfectly, but her cute factor makes it a bit difficult to imagine her actually being a true “outcast.” For teens, Trimm and Phillip’s chemistry worked nicely, especially during their duet on “Tell Her,” which gave me chills.  

Other standouts were Al Calderon (as Eddie) and Malik Hammond (as Malcolm). This comedic duo played the best buds of Brett (Eric M. Nelsen), the oh-so popular kid with no brains that Evan desperately sought the approval of. Calderon and Hammond kept the audience laughing on cue with quick one-liners and of course the occasional politically incorrect joke. Even a quick swipe at the original tween-teen musical creator, Disney.

Overall, 13is a good show with incredible potential. You can’t help but be jealous watching these ridiculously talented kids perform to sold out crowds of adoring tween/teen fangirls who shrilled each time any male character stepped on stage. However, if you’re out of the teenage range, borrow a younger cousin or neighbor’s kid to take to the show or you’ll just look like the weird creepy person in the audience.

For more on 13 check out the show’s social networking site at www.13fans.com or www.13themusical.com to download videos.

Kids and Technology…

A co-worker passed along this article, “So Young, So Gadgeted,” in which the journalist asks “at what age should children get their first cellphone, laptop or virtual persona?” The article goes on to discuss a study developed by Jean Piaget, Swiss psychologist, who identified four stages of cognitive development by watching his own children — and hope to provide guidance to 21st century parents.

This is a topic that’s been on my mind for quite a while. As a result of my daily work, I can’t tell you how many stories I find (or get forwarded) that involve youth and technology. There’s the good, the bad, and of course, the really ugly.

The problem is, I think my generation was spoiled as kids. My first “computer” was an Apple II E. I use the term computer lightly as really it served no purpose other than to play the “Frogger” or “Gummi Bears” or even the occasional math game for “learning.” Yes, we had Atari systems, which then was traded in for a Nintendo system and so on. We knew what cassette tapes were and the pain of fast-forwarding and rewinding. We knew how to make a proper mixtape, then gradually learned to love CDs and who can forget the discman. Yes, we did carry books of CDs with us when we traveled rather than one tiny do-it-all device.

We didn’t spend countless hours in front of the computer creating myspace pages or playing with Webkinz. We didn’t post home videos of (mostly illegal) acts on Youtube or harassed classmates through other social networking sites.

So what did we do? Well, we played. Outside. I know, a novel concept, right? We were kids. We learned to get along with each other (even when we didn’t want to) and allowed everyone to play. We didn’t have cell phones until high-school (yes, the “Zack Morris” phone) and guess what (most of us) never got lost. We were able to find our way home before night fall without our parents panicking. They might not have known exactly where we were all day long, but they had a general idea, and a quick list of friends’ phone numbers aka “emergency” numbers to dial if needed.

I’m 26 years old. I don’t mean this to sound like I lived in the stone age because that is far from the truth, but looking back I think we had it best. My generation straddled the line between “old-school” childhood and “21st century” technology. It was all about balance. We were capable of learning the importance of “teamwork” through sports as well as all of these new gadgets as they were introducted, mastered them, and now educate our peers and even our elders on them. Trust me, I spend all day trying to convince clients as to why they should look to the online world and believe in the work we do, but articles that breakdown childhood development in relation to gadgets and gizmos still manages to upset me.

Perhaps I’m a bit sentimental or maybe a bit biased (probably both), but I really don’t think my generation would do the things these kids do today online. We had a more balanced upbringing where consequences were made known outright. Email/text/post naked (or half-naked) photos of ourselves? Ok, maybe a select few. Harass kids through social networking sites? Not really, we pretty much knew our enemies. Video tape beatings, thefts, and other illegal activities? No way.

“These kids need a hobby. An after school activity.” Sadly, what started as a quick retort whenever a colleague sent me a new story on a scandal involving today’s youth and social networking sites has quickly become an all to common refrain.

What do you think? Should kids be introduced to cellphones and the internet at such young ages? Do you think it’s positively or negatively effecting them? How about social skills? Grammar has been thrown out the window – it’s only a matter of time until they re-write textbooks to include “text speak.”