Day: May 19, 2004

  • A Grand Don’t Come for Free

    I heard about the closest thing to a positive review of music by The Streets (aka Mike Skinner who is aka The Streets) on NPR of all places last night.  Let me be more specific.  I’ve heard and read tons of great things about him/them, but we’ve just got no clue about good music over here in the US.

    A few months ago the morning show at WHFS, the local non-Clear Channel (which means CBS) rock station, listened to a song from Original Pirate Material along with a few other songs.  It’s a game they play every few months.  The music director brings in a few songs and “The Junkies” rate each song either hurt-ing, top-40, or top-10.  I got all excited about the enthusiasm that the music director had before he played The Streets.  I share his enthusiasm.  It’s great stuff that isn’t the same old pop/rock/neometal/rap that you’ve heard a million times.  It’s really different.  It’s really good.

    Sadly “The Junkies” know the pulse of America and hated it.  A brand new twist on a genre that’s never gained popularity over here just wasn’t going to cut it.  The really garage (pronounced garidge not ga-raj) stuff from Craig David’s album never made it to the radio waves.  I’ve never heard Artful Dodger on the radio either for that matter.  I think I heard an Audio Bullys song once.

    I bought a copy of Original Pirate Material shortly after it became available in the US (MONTHS after it was released elsewhere in the world).  Luckily, the new one, A Grand Don’t Come for Free is already out here.  I’ll pick it up as soon as I can.  I just hope that we give it a listen over here, and don’t just dismiss it because it’s not the same old same old.

    It might be better off for us to just ignore this one too.  It’s a concept album.  A story.  It’s not rap, but not garage, but not the same as the previous album.  It’s a whole thing altogether.  I’m not sure if we’re ready for it.

  • The Other AT&T Wireless

    The Baltimore Sun:

    After Cingular Wireless completes its purchase of AT&T Wireless this year, AT&T Corp. will begin a new wireless phone service using the network operated by rival Sprint Corp.

    If that sounds confusing, it’s part of the plan.

    AT&T Corp. has a “window of opportunity to take advantage of the confusion to win as many customers as they can,” said Michael Grossi, a consultant with Boston-based Adventis. “Confusion is absolutely the cornerstone of AT&T’s strategy.”

    Wow.  This is going to be painful.  AT&T Wireless will cease to exist as a brand, folding in to the Cingular brand.  Almost immediately, AT&T the parent company that spun off the AT&T the wireless company a few years ago will start offering service on Sprint’s network.

    That’s so wrong.

    It’s going to confuse the crap out of consumers, and they’re banking on it.  It’s a shame that the current AT&T Wireless (soon to be just another part of Cingular Wireless) is spending a chunk of change on its GSM America ad campaign.  They’re pretty much campaigning for the other guy at this point.  It’s a shame too, because the ad campaign (at least the ad I’ve seen on TV) looks pretty good, the plans and coverage sound good, everything is solid.  I just don’t see the merit in prolonging and strengthening the AT&T Wireless brand any more at this point.  Wouldn’t those ad dollars be better spent strengthening the Cingular brand that they will so soon be a part of?

    Neither AT&T makes any sense to me.