Red Hot Chili Peppers – Writing Music of Choice for Today!

Going old school today, and listening to Blood Sugar Sex Magik by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  I heard an interview with Flea on NPR the other day, and it reminded me what  a great band they are.  So, I’ve been on an RHCP kick ever since.  BTW – while the band went on a two year hiatus, Flea studied music theory at USC and learned to play the piano.  Imagine that.  He’s considered one of the greatest bass players in music today, and he’s still learning.  Good on you, Flea.  He’s says he’s going to do a solo project, Flea on Bach.

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I’m Opening Up the Blog to Self-Publishing Questions

Classic Jeff!

Okay, so you know I quit my job (assuming you frequent this blog.  If you don’t, welcome, and I quit my job. Consider yourself caught up). But you probably have no idea what I did for a living the last five years because I purposely never mentioned my company’s name on this blog, or made references to my work.

I worked for BookSurge (now CreateSpace).  I sold publishing packages for three years, and then served as the author marketing specialist for a year and a half and finally ended my time there writing for the corporate blog.  I LOVE the company.  I didn’t leave because I was unhappy there.  I left because my duties started to interfere with my writing, and I wasn’t able to be aggressive enough to build my own personal brand. Writing and selling books is what I do.  Can’t help it.  Sometimes I wish I could because the benefits suck.  But that’s for another blog post.

Today, I’m serving notice that I am going to start talking about publishing and self-publishing a lot more on this blog.  I study the industry obsessively, and I am endlessly fascinated by it.  I know there are a lot of writers/authors out there with questions about print-on-demand, self-publishing, traditional publishing, blah, blah, blah.  Consider me the Perez Hilton Edward R. Murrow of publishing news, rumors, etc.  If you have questions, fire away in the comment section, follow me on Twitter, Friend me on Facebook, send me an email, whatever.  I’ll answer it here or in a video.  Don’t be shy.  Ask away.  If I don’t get any questions, I’m going to pretend I do each week and answer questions from John Smith in Poughkeepsie or some other generic named person living in an oddly named city.  Don’t make me humiliate myself like that.  Just ask me questions!

So, for our first question, John from Poughkeepsie asks:

“Just how sexy is Jeff Bezos in person?”

Wow, John, that was really inappropriate and very sexy.

Let’s turn the dignity dial back up a couple of notches with this segment from NPR.; iPad Could Help Self Publishers Kick Open Doors

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Review of Ben Sollee – Learning to Bend

You may remember that I recently posted about a singer/songwriter/cellist by the name of Ben Sollee. I heard a brief interview with him on NPR, and I was intrigued. I have since purchased the CD, Learning to Bend, (actually downloaded it from iTunes), and listened to it about a half-dozen times. It would be much more if time would permit. It is soulful, at times haunting, and lively. This is a great collection of songs. Panning for Gold is my favorite. It contains very powerful lyrics set to a sad melody that is, as I learned from his NPR interview, about his grandparents who have been diagnosed with alzheimers. When you hear the song you’ll get the message. You’ll hear a little folk, a little R&B, a little bluegrass, and whole lot of talent if you buy this CD… or whatever you call a collection of songs by the same artist that you download from iTunes. Things were much simpler when we called them albums. Buy it, listen to it, tell your friends. This guy needs to be much bigger than he is. Here’s a clip of him performing Panning for Gold at WFPK Live Lunch.

Stephen King on Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me

If you don’t listen to NPR, you’re missing some great programming. They have a lot of fun quiz and talk shows on the weekends especially. One of my favorites is Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me hosted by Peter Sagal. It’s a quiz show where real stories from the week’s news are mixed in with fake stories and an odd collection of “kind of celebrities” try to pick out the real stories. There’s more to it than that, but that’s basically the gist. Stephen King was recently a quest on the show. This is NPR describes his interview:

Author Stephen King plays a game called, “You’re the Warmest, Fluffiest, Most Unthreatening Friend Ever.” Three questions about nice things to ask the man who has scared us out of our wits for decades.

I think it’s one of King’s best appearances. Here’s the clip: Stephen King on Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me.

That Tragedy that Is Britney Spears Is Worth a Fortune

This is probably one the saddest commentaries on our society. According to Portfolio magazine, Britney Spears’ tragic life of late is worth anywhere from $110 and $120 million to the paparazzi industry. I am not a Britney Spears fan nor am I a Britney Spears hater. I don’t put a whole lot of thought into her to be quite frank, but I suddenly feel very sorry for her. She has no chance of escaping the media frenzy. My question: Is the story driving the media or is the media driving the story? Here’s a clip from NPR about the fortune being amassed off the train wreck that has become her life.

The Economics of Britney Spears

(Insert, Leave Britney Alone reference here!)