Mile High Turncoats Continued

Last month I wrote a post reacting to the number of Broncos season ticket holders that sold their tickets to Cowboy fans, calling them “traitors” and “turncoats”.  Well it may have taken a Steelers game to get other people to notice, but it looks like I’m not alone.

Someone wrote a guest post on Mile High Report (an awesome Broncos blog, by the way) about whether Broncos Country is for sale. The next day, the Denver Post’s Mike Klis responds in a Mailbag story about someone who posed those same concerns.

If you didn’t see the Broncos/Steelers game on Monday Night, then you missed out on seeing our stadium inundated with those Tacky Terrible Towels twirling around.  The Cowboys have been called “Americas Team”, but several media pundits have suggested that the Steelers are truly Americas Team, given recent statistical fan surveys.  You go back to the formula of hosting teams that don’t play in your city very often, coupled with a large and passionate fanbase as Pittsburgh, on top of that having it on Monday night when it becomes difficult for some fans to attend: a perfect storm of neutrality formed at Mile High on Monday.

Klis actually went to the Broncos COO to get a comment, and they simply responded with “Frankly there’s nothing we can do about it. Our ability to control that is nonexistent and would be illegal to do so” [Denver Post].

He’s right, but season ticket holders: that doesn’t make the act of selling your tickets to opposing fans any less traitorous.

After our original buyer for our 2nd set of tickets was forced to back out, Bethany and I had to put our money where our mouth was and sell the tickets at a loss to ensure that Steelers fans didn’t get them.  I realize that not everyone may be in a financial position to do that, but if you’re looking at your tickets as a profit-making experience, then maybe you shouldn’t be owning season tickets.

I’m just glad that we don’t have any more Monday Night home games on the schedule. I loathe Monday Night games at home.  It may be exciting for the players, and I love wearing my jersey on Mondays when your team is playing, but it sucks for fans going to the game.  First off, you have to make an effort to leave work early just to get there in time.  While you’re driving, not only are you battling “Game Day Traffic”, but you’re now dealing with “Typical Weekday Rush Hour” traffic.  No matter how early you leave, you don’t get any time to tailgate.  I could be wrong, but it seems like everyone working at the stadium on Monday Nights are not the typical people that work there on Sundays – I’m talking about everyone from the bus drivers to concession stand workers.  The experience just seems cheapened.  Once the game ends you deal with traffic, hoping you can get home before the clock strikes Tuesday and you have to be at work in 6 hours (and I can’t imagine how horrible it is for those on Eastern Time). I don’t mean to come across as ungrateful for the opportunity to watch my team live, but I’ll take a Sunday afternoon game over a Monday Night home game any time of year.

This isn’t helping in redeeming Soccer

I understand that people are trying to validate soccer as an up-and-coming sport in the US, but the New Mexico Lobos aren’t helping soccer’s case with this (hopefully this video isn’t taken down).

Maybe Elizabeth Lambert is trying to challenge Rodney Harrison as the “dirtiest player” (oh wait, Rodney’s retired, so now it’s Hines Ward).

Geez.

MPAA: Those Evil Movie Pirates

Watch this, and feel your blood boil.  Watch as 60 Minutes, a supposed beacon of broadcast journalistic integrity, is spoon-fed propaganda from the MPAA, and eats it right up.

Let me make one thing clear: I don’t support movie piracy. At the same time, I can’t sit here and let the MPAA spread misinformation and scare tactics, painting everyone with a broad brush of evil.

I love how Leslie Stahl eats up all of the information – my favorite part is the look of disgust at 2:50 when she repeats “In the diaper bag” – without offering any kind of challenge or exploration in the truth of their claims.  Instead, she just lets them go on and equate people who film movies in theaters to drug cartels, human traffickers and child prostitution.

I understand that there is a valid point in damage being done the counterfeit DVD circles, but 60 MInutes let the MPAA completely blur the line between them and the kids who download bit-torrented movies on the Internet.  Furthermore, Stahl allows the MPAA to tarnish the US citizens with their broad brush, yet conveniently forgetting about the rampant piracy that is going on in Asia – specifically China – where they’re making money hand-over-fist from piracy.  It makes sense that DVD counterfeits may cost them money, but where’s the direct linkage with bit-torrent? Still, the MPAA goes for their low-hanging fruit – the “gee-whiz computer technology”.

In the piece the MPAA allege that their industry is robbed of $6 billion annually by piracy – yet they base this on the false pretense that everyone that downloaded their movie had the original intention of seeing it in the theater, or purchasing the $25 DVD.  That’s simply not true. According to the MPAA, the people downloading these movies must be doing it because they’re evil jerks who want to rob the “little people” of the movie industry blind.  There can’t possibly be another side to this: the fact that people want to consume this media in different ways – that some people actually don’t want to go sit in a crowded theater with the talking and crying babies and $5 soda.  In the piece they showed people being wanded and searched, as well as forced to turn in their cell phones, just so they can see a movie.  Wow, when you treat your customers like criminals and give them cavity searches, who wouldn’t want to go to a theater?  No way in hell am I going to give you my money, just so I can be treated like that.

It’s one thing if you’re providing a good alternative – like a same day digital release that I can watch in the comfort of my home theater with a cold beer in my hand – but the fact is that you’re blatantly ignoring the changing market conditions and instead just whine about the Internet.  Where was Mark Cuban to talk about his same-day release and digital distribution ideas?  60 Minutes had no interest in providing any other views in this complex issue.  Apparently movie downloading equates to drowning puppies: no one can have a differing view.

I love how they parade out Steven Soderbergh to say that he wishes the Internet was never invented.  I’m sure you do Steven, because now people can warn other movie-goers about some of the crap that people call “movies” and expect people to shell out $8-12 to go see.  Surely the fact studios green-light these sure-fire bombs (soon-to-be Avatar, anyone?) can’t be the reason no one sees these movies. no it’s all based on piracy.

Soderbergh says they’re losing money at an alarming rates, yet I think someone forgot to tell him that 2007 was a record-breaking year when it came to movie theater revenue.  If I’m not mistaken, 2008 was an even better year for them.  Apparently he still thinks they’re not being paid.  Someone should tell him that the revenue you bring in, over the cost/budget for the picture (which I believe includes the salaries for “the little guys”) = profit for the studios.

Again, I’m not advocating piracy or making excuses for those who download movies – however is it too much to ask 60 Minutes to at least do some research before they parrot the MPAA’s talking points?

Reasons to for Bands to Quit MySpace

I ran across this great post a few days ago that I found to be very relevant as my band evaluates where devote on-line energy.  This brings up the elephant in the room that all bands need to discuss sooner or later.

>> 5 Reasons for Bands & Musicians to Quit MySpace

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It’s no secret that MySpace is on it’s way out.  The prominent rise of Facebook, coupled with our pain threshold for spam, flashing graphics and blaring noise has worn out MySpace’s welcome.  Long ago have I abandoned any meaningful time spent at the spent for my personal profile.  For my band’s profile, I still log into MySpace a few times per week, but the ROI has continued to decrease for our band and MySpace.

The biggest thing you can take away from the article is Reason #3:

Other bands are not your primary source of attendance

According to the statistics I’ve heard, there are roughly 8 million bands on MySpace, and you have 15,000 of them as friends! Unfortunately, those people are probably not buying your albums or attending your shows. While they may be good to do a show swap with, or bro down with for a tour some day-they’re not helping you pay the bills and put butts in your seats.

The 10% of users that are real people more than likely COMPLETELY ignore the “bulletins” that you can blast out to everyone. When was the last time you went to a show based on a bulletin you saw on MySpace? [Assault Blog]

I can’t tell you the last time I’ve interacted with an actual fan on MySpace.  Almost every interaction I have is with other bands, and the ones that aren’t bands are booking agents/venues – which is really only the valid communication that goes on for us on MySpace.  The collaboration is on MySpace is also a downside, because typically when these venues list you on their promotion, they link our MySpace, which isn’t our best web presence out there.

The article lists some great resources & alternatives to using MySpace.  We use some of them including Twitter and Last.Fm.  There was one omission which I think is starting to become unavoidable: Facebook.  While I agree that it’s always best to own your own content and presentation, along with the concession that Facebook is a little harder for brand outreach – but you need to be where people are at – which right now is Facebook.

Until then, I think we’re going to start to wean ourselves off of MySpace.  I don’t think we’ll ever stop posting music, pictures and show schedules there, but only because it doesn’t hurt to keep things updated for booking agents.  However, I think it’s time for bands to focus their energies elsewhere.

Five For Fighting Acoustic & Amazing

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Last night Bethany and I went down to Denver to go see one of my favorite bands in an amazing acoustic set.  I wrote on Saturday on my excitement about seeing this show, and it definitely didn’t disappoint.

It’s such a treat to see singer/song-writers acoustically (or anyone acoustically for that matter), because they typically tell stories around their songs.  It’s amazing to hear what inspired them to write, what they see as the meaning behind their words.  John Ondrasik definitely delivered, elaborating on songs like “Freedom Never Cries”, “Tuesday”, and “Slice”.

The performances were raw and intimate – the atmosphere at the Soiled Dove made sure of that.  We had the perfect seats, at the end of a long table on their “Silver” level.  We were at the perfect height to see over the heads of the General Admission folks, and got a perfect direct view of the band.  I wish I could have posted better pictures than this one I took with my cell phone, but it seems like I was the only one – including the Soiled Dove -  that actually read the fine print on the ticket that said you couldn’t bring cameras in.  I’ve learned my lesson and will ignore the rules.

I think my “Top 5” concert list is due for a refresh, but as great as that show was I’m not sure if it’s going to break into that list.  The reason: the show wasn’t long enough.  While he definitely put on a good show, he was only on the stage for a little more than an hour.  There was an opening act – Angel Taylor – who was fantastic, so the evening was rounded out.  It was a bit of a blessing in disguise as we got back home at a decent time on a Sunday night, but a top 5 show has to be a little longer.

I can’t wait until the next time Five For Fighting passes through Denver.  I’ll definitely be there!