Soundtrack for Fall

The leavesSoundtrack for Fall are starting to turn yellow, orange and red here in Atlanta. The sun is setting a little earlier every day and the air is crisp. It’s Fall. Without question, my favorite time of year.

And since 1992, every year around this time, there’s one album in particular that moves to heavy rotation on my playlist. There was no “hit single” or chart topping activity, but it’s remained a favorite of mine since it was released. Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” is my annual soundtrack for Fall. Something about Neil’s trademark vocal delivery and the primarily acoustic arrangements just seem to speak to me on a personal level during this season. The production feels earthy, the guitars are crisp and the harmonies by Nicolette Larson, Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor are laid back, soft and gentle. For me, the Fall season just isn’t complete without several listens to this album in its entirety, especially the title track. If you’re not familiar with “Harvest Moon” you can click here for previews. Who knows, it may become a seasonal soundtrack of your own.

This speaks to something that is instinctive: Music is personal to each of us. It’s important. It matters. We’re all moved by music of some kind – we’re just often listening to different soundtracks.

How about you? Are there specific albums that move you this time of year?

(Gary Eaton – Neurotic Media VP Sales)

Interviewing your idol

Nich Cave and Shachar Oren 1994At the risk of dating myself (yeah, tough that), I want to share a little story from Lollapalooza 1994, when I got to interview Nick Cave for WRAS 88.5 and photograph him for a magazine I wrote for. Cave was an artist I’ve idolized since the late 80’s, I listened to anything he had released, and I was amazed by his lyrical talent, his musicianship, and his dramatic delivery. I expected to meet an idol. I had no idea what that meant, but I had high expectations. After all, he had developed a strong and unique “brand” for himself. I was green at what I was doing and I was very nervous going into this interview.

Nick CaveThe interview went well: Cave acted a bit sheepish in the beginning, but loosened up as we went and got sarcastic and even foolish at times. He answered all of my questions with interest and I felt I had plenty to write about when it ended – about his experience on the road, his life in Brazil at the time, the latest record he released (Henry’s Dream), things of that nature.

When the interview was officially over, things got really silly. The Bad Seeds – Cave’s band – had been sitting across from us all along in the expansive green room in Lakewood Amphitheater, talking among themselves, drinking beers and entertaining several girls (no idea if spouses, girlfriends or groupies). Cave got up to join them and made his way to one of the girls, grabbed her by both hands, and pulled her down to the carpeted floor with him. They started rolling together on the carpet from one side of the room to the other like toddlers playing a silly wrestling match, while the band members cracked up laughing and cheered them on. So here I saw a new side of Cave: The band’s Jester. The party leader, hungry for attention. 

Nick Cave Lollapalooza 1994I couldn’t quit put together why a man of his age and stature would behave with such adolescent playfulness. But something did click: He was a human being. He was no longer the mysterious persona behind the sounds, lyrics and images of his records. He was no longer the untouchable stage figure who belted out rock phrases and worked the crowd with strong theatrics. He was a human being, a person, someone who can come across as sensitive and childish on one hand and as a confident leader on the other.

This early experience helped me put “stars” in perspective and eased my way into many other interviews I conducted over the years. I still buy anything Cave releases of course, including the last two awesome Grinderman releases. He’s still at it, creating music and performing – and presenting the same “dark knight” (and I mean dark, not in the Batman sense of the word) brand of music to us. And I suppose I am still at it too, listening, observing, and writing about it.

(Shachar Oren, Neurotic Media CEO).

Digital music sales on the rise

As someGary Eaton one that’s worked in the music industry for nearly 25 years, I’ve seen quite a few changes and trends. Over the weekend I was reading a piece in Billboard that highlighted some encouraging news: Sales of digital music in 2011 are up significantly compared to the same period in 2010. Of course, the overall trend for digital music sales have increased year over year, but the current jump is significant.

According to Billboard, Nielsen SoundScan estimates the increase in digital music sales by the end of 2011 may represent an additional $300 million of revenue compared to last year. Billboard states, “American consumers have purchased an additional 12 million digital albums and 90.5 million tracks on top of what they had purchased at the same point in 2010.” If these numbers are indeed met by the end of the year, 2011 may represent one of the most significant shifts in the music industry that any of us have witnessed.

That’s quite an exciting story! And it confirms something we all know: People are passionate about music! Here at Neurotic Media, we use the passion fans have for music to put the spotlight on our clients and help them achieve their business and marketing goals. This is what infuses us with passion and purpose in our daily interaction with our clients. Music can likely play a vital role in the marketing and promotion strategy of your business too. Let me know if you’d like to explore the possibilities.

(Gary Eaton – Neurotic Media VP Sales)