Random Bitz – A Shadow of His Former Self?

If the young snotty Bob Dylan of the Sixties was told that his 73 year old self would be  crooning songs from Tin Pan Alley popularized by Frank Sinatra he probably would have laughed sarcastically and assumed the speaker was out of his head on something illegal.

And yet there was the onetime anti-Establishment icon warbling through ten Sinatra classics from what is often referred to as The Great American Songbook on an album (yes, I still call it that) called Shadows in the Night.


I listened to the tracks on Spotify with horrid fascination. Yes, there was the familiar craggy voice he has adopted in recent years singing Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Some Enchanted Evening” and Irving Berlin’s “What’ll I Do” with gritty purpose. To hear it  is to believe it.

 Just as improbably the album was one of his rare hits, hitting the Top Ten of the U.S. charts and topping the British  charts for the first time since The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan in 1963.

The tunes they are a-changin’ …..  again.


Jimmy Iovine: Vinyl Vet on New Technology

Jimmy Iovine in WIRED Magazine:

“….. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that standout technologists are referred to as ‘rock stars’ – they’re providing the sense of connection and awe their musical forebears once did … Teenagers used to fantasize about being the next Jimmy Page … now they want to be the next Larry Page …. There was a time when anyone between the ages of 15 and 25, music was one, two and three, not anymore …. If you tell a kid, ‘You’ve gotta pick music or Instagram’, they’re not picking music.”

Jimmy Iovine’s career goes back to engineering albums by John Lennon, producing records by Stevie Nicks and U2, co-founding Interscope Records (Tupac  Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre), introducing the world to Eminem and taking a pivotal role in the career of Nine Inch Nails’ frontman/soundtrack composer Trent Reznor. Currently he is head of Apple Music’s streaming service. He is quoted in the article “Relentless” by Jason Tanz in Sept. 2015 issue.

Iovine - cover

Rebellion Can Take Many Forms ….. Write On!

“We now find ourselves in an age when typewriter usage has transcended the status of an act of nostalgia and attained the status of an act of rebellion; if you insist on using a classic old Underwood Remington, or an Invicta, or a Continental Standard, or Olympia Monika Deluxe, well, you must really have a statement to make.”

Colin Marshall (as quoted on openculture.com)

typewriter - Continental

Sign of the TV Times?

“Television is the new frontier. Film is conservative. I’m sick of it,says Jane Campion to Benji Wilson on the telegraph.co.uk


Ms. Campion is the Oscar-winning filmmaker responsible for such acclaimed films as Sweetie (1989), The Piano (1993), Bright Star (2009) and the Emmy -nominated and Golden Globe-winning TV miniseries Top of the Lake.

Jane Campion - Portrait of the Artist .
Jane Campion – Portrait of the Artist .



They Saw The Future 20 Years Ago, Don’t Blame Them

STERLING: “The first to go were our beloved manual typewriters, because that word-processing software blew them straight to kingdom come. After that, digital shipping methods destroyed the independent bookstores and replaced them with chains … Web browsers came along, eventually causing newspapers and magazines to collapse, causing journalists to be fired in droves. This transformed the remaining bookstores into coffeehouses that sell T-shirts and hold open-mike slams.”

GIBSON: “And just because we saw it coming doesn’t make it our fault.”

But wait, there’s more ….

STERLING:That desktop computer world is becoming quite archaic now. It’s rapidly being replaced by wireless, cloudy network culture, a world where even family intimates commonly communicate through handheld devices. A world where electronic expression is the everyday vernacular and an 80,000 word coherent text comes across like a Victorian epic poem … Social networks are bigger than nations now. The Xeroxed bits of cyberpunk lore we used to swap are spread worldwide in blogs and tweets. The Difference Engine turned out to be a kind of Gothic sarcophagus for the print culture.”

William Gibson and Bruce Sterling/ Afterword/ The Difference Engine (20th Anniversary Edition) 2011 Spectra Trade Paperback Edition

difference - book cover

Another Obit For the Newspaper Biz?

They have been writing obituaries for print journalism in films and TV for awhile now. Like in this scene from Netflix series House of Cards in which ambitious reporter Zoe Barnes (Kata Mara, sister of Rooney) attempts to pitch her idea for an online blog to ink-stained editor Lucas Goodwin (Sebastian Arcelus). What is it, he asks skeptically, a gossip column?

Lucas:      This is The Washington Herald, not TMZ.

Zoe:            Do you know how many people watch TMZ?

Lucas:       I couldn’t care less.

Zoe:           Which is why print journalism is dying.

Lucas:      Then it’ll die with dignity. At least at this paper.

Zoe:            You are stuck in the 20th century, Lucas. You lack imagination.

Lucas:       Maybe so, but right now I don’t need imagination. I need a copy.

The “Washington Herald”? A thinly disguised version of The Washington Post ? Obviously, a lot has changed  since the heyday of “newspaper films” like  All The President’s Men.


All`s Quiet on the Home Video Front (And That`s Not A Good Thing)

The following are quotes from an article in the Business section of the online website canoe.ca

Last week, Blockbuster Canada was pushed into receivership by a handful of Hollywood movie studios after the DVD rental chain missed payments totalling $67 million …. “

Wind Mobile chief executive Ken Campbell quashed rumours his foreign-backed cellphone company would throw its hat in the ring to pick up Blockbuster Canada once the retailer goes up for sale. Campbell said he was somewhat surprised to learn one of his partner retailers was in hot water ….  `Obviously everybody knows about their situation in the U.S. They are however doing differently in Canada, so (I was) a little bit surprised but it’s not entirely unexpected.`

Wayne Gudbranson, president and CEO of international technology strategy and marketing consulting firm Branham Group Inc., told QMI Agency back in September of last year that it was only a matter of time before Blockbuster Canada followed in its parent company’s footsteps. `The DVD rental store model just doesn’t work anymore, he said again Monday. Video-on-demand and video streaming services like Netflix are making trips to the video store obsolete.

For all the details click on the link below: