September 30th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

via fastcompany.com

  • Dean of indie animators Bill Plympton offers a handy “Guide to Telling Animated Stories.” Lesson #1: “Having a great idea is more important than being a great artist.”
  • The New York Post doesn’t like Dina Martina. Of course, they’ve been so wrong about so much so often….
  • One reason the Republicans are running so scared this election: it could be the last election cycle to be dominated by TV ads, and hence by the megabucks they cost. Local news ratings around the country are teetering, especially among young adults. (And don’t expect 3D TV to save the business.)
  • Buried in this story about Fender Guitars’ fiscal trouble in the techno era is the info that Fender’s biggest wholesale customer, Guitar Center (the 500 lb. gorilla of music-store chains) is controlled by Mitt Romney’s ol’ pals at Bain Capital.
  • George W. Bush was kept far away from the GOP convention but is front n’ center at an “alternative investment summit” in the Cayman Islands.
  • Seattle Weekly founder David Brewster looks back at his creation, now under semi-new ownership again. Brewster still seems not to understand why the Weekly had become vulnerable to the Stranger’s early-1990s rise. For 15 years, the Weekly had operated under the unbending assumption that its original target audience, the (formerly) young urban professionals of the Sixties Generation, were the absolute only people who mattered in this town or ever would matter. By ignoring the wants (or even the existence) of people born after 1952, Brewster left a huge hole for some underfunded entrepreneurs from the Midwest to fill.
  • Jeremy M. Barker would like to remind you that, even when its performers appear nude on stage, “Contemporary Dance Is Not Stripping.” I agree. It’s infinitely sexier.

One Response  
  • Art Marriott writes:
    October 1st, 20122:09 pmat

    Hmmm…Guitar Center always has seemed sort of like the Staples of music.

    Beyond the plight of Fender (and no doubt many other musical-instrument manufacturers) is that the grow-fast-or-die ethos of modern business. As the population (and the economy, even in these times) grows, the ranks of professional musicians are shrinking. One recent Hollywood-congratulates-itself awards show had fewer than a dozen musicians playing from a balcony, half of them using synthesizers. Compare that with the typical pit orchestra of 30 or more players typical in the past. Likewise, Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman in their “treehouse studio are producing movie and TV scores that once required a soundstage full of members of the “Wrecking Crew”. Whether the stuff cobbled together by punters using software in their bedrooms is better or worse than “old-school” is debatable, but it’s likely fewer people as a percentage of the population will be making a living playing guitars, drums, saxophones, pipe organs or zithers. The net result might still be a more or less constant market for instruments, but not as a “consumer” industry. This is going to be sad news indeed for “vulture capitalists” looking for “pump-and-dump” candidates.

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