All Eyes, All Ears, All The Time (Vol. 1)

September 2008

by Darren Paltrowitz

Newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, YouTube, blogs, RSS feeds, viral marketing campaigns...it's nearly impossible to stay current nowadays. As soon as you think you're caught up on your reading and streaming, your phone is bound to start ringing. And your inbox fills up again. Without a doubt, we are living in an age where information is the currency.

This column isn't meant to tell you everything that's going on everywhere. Instead, it intends to clue you in about some media (e.g. music, film, books, websites) that its author has recently discovered. These discoveries may not be cutting-edge, but they will be low-cost -- or possibly, free -- should you want to try them out.

Here are 5 quick picks for you, the newly-loyal reader:

tallyhall_marvins_1701) Tally Hall's Internet Show - Worthwhile sketch comedy is generally hard to find.  But T.H.I.S. is a ten-minute variety show starring Atlantic Records rock quintet Tally Hall, whose members also wrote, filmed, edited, and directed it. Quirky yet introspective, the series is somewhere between The Monkees, Monty Python, and The Muppet Show. This first of ten episodes will premiere on September 15th, free to view. (http://www.tallyhall.tv)

2) David Zinczenko's "Eat This, Not That" - In light of this country's alleged obesity epidemic, people aren't sure what's healthy anymore. The Atkins Diet? The Zone Diet? The South Beach Diet? The Raw Diet? No diet?  Trends aside, Zinczenko's book is a guide as to the most heart-conscious picks from even the least-healthy of restaurants. With recommendations from more than a hundred national chains, it advises which menu items are best for the waistline. In other words, Zinczenko -- Editor-in-Chief of Men's Health Magazine -- is not telling you to completely avoid donuts, pie, or pizza. Give him a Nobel Prize, I say. (http://www.menshealth.com/eatthis/index.php)

3) Aralie - The music industry may be leading you to believe that the sky is falling. It surely cannot be happy about Aralie.com, a website enabling unsigned artists to post their music with the "name your own price" model. Yes, just like Radiohead. Whichever price you opt to pay, the artist keeps 85% of it while an additional 2% is passed along to charity. So consider this a chance to make a difference while being entertained. Perhaps there will be a film or comedy version of this concept in the near future? (http://www.aralie.com/home.cfm)

4) Glen Campbell's "Meet Glen Campbell" - Whether you know him from his time with The Beach Boys or through his dozens of hit singles, Glen Campbell is a survivor.  When I first heard that the 70-something performer would be covering tracks by Travis, Foo Fighters, U2, and other contemporary artists, I was ready for a comedy album like Pat Boone's "In A Metal Mood." Turns out that this is not only a serious country-rock album, but one of the better collections I've heard this year.  Campbell’s voice sounds warm and well-conditioned as ever, mixed well above top session players like Jason Falkner (Paul McCartney, Air), Vinnie Colaiuta (Frank Zappa, Sting), Wendy Melvoin (Prince, Madonna), and Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen. (http://www.meetglencampbell.com)

5) The Tripwire Podcast - Somewhere between the last two picks is the almost-monthly podcast from TheTripwire.com. Hosted "in-house," the August edition runs almost two hours in length with more than two dozen songs. Featuring a mix of major label, independent, and unsigned artists, The Tripwire's podcast showcases a variety of musical genres, running the gamut from singer-songwriter to punk rock to electro-pop. And those who do not like a particular selection can easily skip to the next one by hitting the "forward" button on iTunes or their MP3 player.  You can't put a price on freedom of choice. (http://www.thetripwire.com/podcast)

Stay tuned for another 5 picks...

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