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According to Alexandra Wolfe at BusinessWeek, the former hedge fund
manager and co-founder of UNX Matthew Michelsen's connections to
music industry stars persuaded him to apply his financial tech savvy
to entertainment. Michelsen received the phone call that would change
his lifefrom 50 Cent in 2008. Actually, the rapper and energy
drink mogul was calling to speak with Michelsen's wife, Jenny, about
investing in her 3D eyewear company, Gunnar
Optiks. Jenny passed the phone to Matthew, and an unlikely friendship
was born. A fter "Fitty" introduced him to Lady Gaga's
manager, Troy Carter, Michelsen saw an opportunity to employ his
financial tech expertise: Carter had been looking for a way to unify
Gaga's "Little Monster" fans online. Michelsen, now 39,
introduced Carter to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Joe Lonsdale and
Alex Moore. The group subsequently founded the Backplane, an online
platform that allows fans to build all-encompassing e-communities.
With seven figures in startup costs coming out of Michelsen's pocket,
the Palo Alto company has 12 employees, and, he says, is in talks
with Eminem, Justin Bieber, and the National Football League. Its
most important client, however, remains Gaga.
Littlemonsters.com uses the Backplane technology to create a
Gaga universe for her 38 million Facebook fans and 10 million Twitter
followersreplete with e-mail addresses and calendars. "The
goal is for everyone to start their own interactive community,"
says Michelsen. "If you're a Girl Scout mom, you could have
your own Backplane with 12 other moms." Though the Gaga model
seems a bit more promising.Michelsen's
Best Advice 1. Know Your Weaknesses. "Find friends and business
partners who can do the things you can't. This is hard to do, because
most people only really value the skills they're good at and downplay
the importance of other abilities." 2. Exude confidence. "It's
contagious. Walk into rooms planning to make it happen. If you assume
something is impossible, it probably is. But if you're confident
that you're supposed to be there, others will be, too." Meantime,
Lady Gaga sold a whopping 1.1 million copies of Born This Way in
its first week, but 440,000 of those copies went for just 99 cents
on Amazon.com. Amazon, however, did pay Gaga's distributor the full
price of $8 to $9 per albumwhich means, the New York Times
calculates, the online retailer lost more than $3 million. Call
it marketing cost!
has proven to be one of the biggest tech trends of 2011. Digital
music storage is where the action is. In the last few months, both
Amazon and Google have rolled out cloud-based storage specifically
for music. Apple announced the unveiling of its new cloud computing
product, iCloud, at WWDC 2011 in June. Sony doesnt offer any
free storage, but it does offer a catalog of six million songs with
all the major labels on board at two affordable monthly subscription
prices starting at $9.99 per month. Maybe we can expect more news
from Apple like integrating iTunes for purchasing music to deliver
straight to the cloud. iCloud allows Apple to target iPhones at
5.1 billion handset users worldwide, compared to 1.3 billion PC
users. iCloud could be an important step for Apple, making it so
users are not required to have a Mac or PC to sync their device,
or store music and movies.
Ticketing Bands have more options than ever for doing serious
ticketing at the door - and capturing fan data. That includes everything
from the Square mobile credit card reader to Topspin, though Eventbrite
really wants to change this game. The company is now preparing to
release 'At the Door,' a package for processing credit cards, printing
tickets, tracking attendees, and printing receipts for last-minute
takers. This is at the beginning stages, and Eventbrite teased the
concept to members of the media in New York last week. Basically,
'At the Door' revolves around an iPad app, a credit card swiper,
and a ticket printer, all of which can be quickly assembled at the
venue and moved on a whim. The system can process 400 tickets an
hour, and even functions while offline (though online processing
introduces far better features). This is all part of a broader initiative
dubbed Eventbrite Box Office, and the company is testing the beta
concept. But a traditional venue is not required for this to work;
instead, the ticketing action can happen around any event, wherever
that might be.
Larry Janss Introducing Angel
Romero and Janss Wu Chen Ensemple at Open Borders; studioexpresso's
Claris Dodge checking out Cardborigami at Open Borders
Borders is a music, arts and digital media extravaganza
filling a 40,000 square foot performance space in a former Borders
bookstore in Thousand Oaks, California, putting on at least 4 shows
per week and daily gallery and performance art all summer long through
August 7. All proceeds will support multiple 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations
and charitable causes, such as teen suicide and car crash prevention,
Teen Line, The Trevor Project, SEVA, CAUSE, and The Boys and Girls
Clubs of America.
Main Gallery is exhibiting works by Daniel Johnston, Andre Miripolsky,
Lawrence Janss, Lynn Ferrand, Francisco Behr, and many more exceptional
artists. The building will also display a wide range of murals including
a community signature wall. In addition to contemporary artists,
masterworks by Ansel Adams, Joyce Tenneson, Edward Curtis, African
and Himalayan artifacts are also part of the exhibit.
The music line
up includes SATURDAY, JULY 16 - Lee
Ritenour & Roger Kellaway. SATURDAY, JULY 30 - Ozomatli
FRIDAY, JULY 22 - Preservation Hall Jazz Bad THURSDAY, JULY 21 -
Freund. Be sure to reserve your tix here
caught up with architect Tina Hovsepian, a designer and philanthropist
who will be presenting her work at the 2011
Dwell On Design (June 24-26) at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
You can view her work, dubbed, Cardborigami at Open Borders
in Thousand Oaks through August 7 and at the Dwell On Design June
24-26. Tina invented a portable shelter that has real market advantages.
A typical unit can be both opened and closed in less than a minute
with no assembly required. It weighs about 10 pounds and can be
carried easily as a backpack. A closed unit is only 28
wide by 36 tall by 4 deep, this size of a large
camping backpack. These cost about $15 each to mass produce.
Hovsepian who graduated from the University of Southern California
with Bachelor of Architecture in 2009 currently designs contemporary,
sustainable, LEED rated, homes in Santa Monica for Duvivier Architects.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, this young architect always had
a consuming interest in humanitarian causes, especially the plight
of the homeless on Downtown's infamous Skid Row. In
2007 she designed and build a prototype of a temporary shelter made
of folded cardboard, Cardborigami. Tina received Second Prize
for Most Innovative at the 2009 USC Undergraduate Symposium for
Creative Work. That was the first time an Architecture student had
won an award in this school-wide category. "Ideally they will
be waterproofed and flame retardant once the design is finalized,"
says Hovsepian who is an Assoc. AIA. "The homeless already
have the right idea. Turns out cardboard is the ideal material for
a portable shelter because it is insulated, structural, light-weight,
and recyclable. My goal was to make one unified skin that would
unfold to create instant space. To do so I studied the ancient art
of paper folding, origami. Also, after making many paper cranes,
I chose the dome-like, collapsible structure as the final form for
Cardborigami," says Tina who believes that design fundamentally
impacts the daily life of our society. To learn more about Tina,
her nonprofit project and to read her blog visit www.cardborigami.org
KKL Luzern, one
of the world's most beautiful concert halls has selected WSDG
for its Electro Acoustic Upgrade.
The project will be completed in 2012. The retractable electro acoustical
system in the concert hall is used as a high-quality sound reinforcement
system during some events, typically jazz, world music or pop style
concerts and also for speech announcements during performances. Installed
in 1998, the original system has reached the end of its useful life
and was in need of replacement. Working closely with the KKL Luzern
event technology staff, WSDG partner/general manager Dirk Noy and
deputy general manager Gabriel Hauser are currently coordinating a
multi-stage design process. This process starts by defining critical
detailed user specifications, developing a comprehensive program of
system planning, organizing and evaluating in-situ tests by a number
of invited manufacturers and preparing a final system installation
and calibration. Completion of this complex operation is projected
Opportunity....Own A Unique Property in San Francisco
An investment opportunity for the right candidate who can be a major
player in the art/music scene in the city by the bay.
Become the landlord of this beautiful property for less than $4
million. The current tenant has been running the facility as a popular
studio for several years. Space is zoned SLI in the heart of SOMA.
Fully furnished and built out as recording studio, gallery and living
area with three rooms, lounge and office spaces in 8,600 square
foot concrete building equipped with state-of-the art gear. Amenities
include: BBQ with landscaping & fountains, Eat-in kitchen, Restroom
- one with a shower, Wet bar and Freight entrance.
Several years ago studioexpresso put out the call when a similar
real estate opportunity presented itself in the heart of Hollywood.
That situation resulted in a happy ending! Visionary/owner of East
West Studios, Doug Rogers rose to the occasion and saved 6000
Sunset in Hollywood from becoming a condominium or a parking lot.
Now sister city, San Francisco is calling for a visionary like Mr
As the new owner you will enjoy a built-in recording studio as tenant
which help generate rent income from day one!
Please contact Claris at 818-990-3031 for more information, including
stands for Sherman Oaks Groove Orchestra or give me that big
phat funky sound that's R&B and Soul with some of LA's best
session musicians --Tim Owens, Melanie Taylor, Jeff Paris, Terry
Wollman, Don Lutz, Ed Wynne, Bill Churchville, Brandon Fields, Curt
Bisquera and Herman Matthews. "We said, why not let's do it,"
says drummer Curt
Bisquera (Josh Groban, Mick Jagger, Elton John) of the standing-room-only
show at Cafe Cordiale in Sherman Oaks on June 9th. After just two
rehearsals the band, comprised of LA's top session players, sounded
tight and grooved like they've been playing together for years.
Bisquera will be at the Hollywood
bowl with Sarah McMclauglin on July 16 and 17. Reserve your
box seat today!
expresso-- Ask Claris
Artists write or call us every day from all corners
of the world -- US, France, Germany, Russian, Israel, Asia, Australia
and Middle East. Most are interested to get heard or build their
careers. Now and then we'll feature a letter or feedback and share
our picks. Our goal remains to empower new artists and encourage
them to find their voice and musical path. Most importantly, we're
here to remind the artists that it's a long journey, so enjoy the
process and grow your fan base.
We encourage artists to provide a link to their music site when
they contact us...if you're interested to have a producer or mixer
involved, specify number of songs, budget and desired delivery date.
Meantime, visit production
talent at studioexpresso to find the right production partner
Let us know if you would enjoy having us host pre-production sessions
from host studios where industry can hear your music and offer suggestions
and resources. Send an email with "I want to get heard"
in the subject line to email@example.com
Special A&R Registry Offer For studioexpresso Community
This month studioexpresso Readers are getting a special deal on
Ad space for Summer Edition of the A&R Registry. According to
founder Ritch Esra, The A&R Registry reaches over 7000 Music
Business professionals in the US, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia.
All Full Page, ½ Page & ¼ Page Ads are 50% off.
In addition, all advertisers receive a one year subscription to
the A&R Registry as well as an excel databases for your marketing
use. Only few spaces are left, so please call Ritch at 818-781-1974
or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fin Base Growing! Matt
Waller, a tour operator in Neptune Bay, discovered that great white
sharks act more calmly when listening to music by AC/DC.
The two songs favored by the sharks: You Shook Me All Night
Long and Back in Black. So if the great whites
aren't necessarily rocking out to AC/DC's greatest hits, what's
the appeal? Waller notes that there is a connection between a song
and the frequency and vibration in the water that the sharks enjoy.
Happy Birthday (May 19) Phil Rudd!
is striking partnerships, including one with Indaba Music to create
Breakthrough Radio, a showcase of up-and-coming artists. Watch Mike
Park at Paramount
Studios collaborating with the world!
Unsigned bands/artists can enter before June 28 for an opportunity
to be featured on Indaba.
Toto 2011 Summer
covers Europe, Japan and Chile - 12+ cities near you! Go behind
the scenes with TOTO's
VIP package, offering you the chance to meet the band and have
special access to the soundcheck, photo with the band, among other
things. A fan writes: "In tribute to to Michael Jackson (Porcaro
and Jackson), they played Steve Porcaros written Human
Nature from Thriller." The guys delivered BIG TIME!"
Toto is Simon
Phillips, Drums and Purcussion; Steve Lukather, Guitar and vocals,
Steve Porcaro, Keys and vocals; David Paich, keys and vocals, Mike
Porcaro, bass; Joseph Williams, vocals with former members and guest
musicians. Have you looked at these guys' catalogue lately? They
don't have to write another song, really!
I want to play on a mountain top with fog, just because it's cool"
--Flaming Lips lead man
EGO stands for
Edging God Out
--Kenny Lee Lewis, Guitar, Bass, Vocals (The
Steve Miller Band)
people, not digital. I personally can't stand digital music. You're
getting sound in bits. It affects a different place in your brain.
When you play it back, you can't feel anything."
-- Prince (In
an interview with the Guardian in 2010)
comes to listening music, suggesting similar music (as done at Amazon
or Grooveshark) may help you discover new artist, but it also trains
listeners to be less loyal. It's like asking for an espresso and
getting a latte!
--Claris Dodge, studioexpresso
Mark "Mooka" Rennick of
Prairie Sun Studios & Pamela Reed are tying the knott on
August 6th, at the Bohemian Grove, Monte Rio
Emily Rebecca (daughter of mixer/producer Ken
Allardyce) & Scott James Street were married on June 25th
in Edinburgh, Scotland
To Love & Happiness!
And a happy
belated Father's Day to you Dads. Turn up the volume on the fireworks
this 4th of July!