Bishop Allen – Heir to the Indie Music Throne

Bishop Allen - FebruaryI haven’t written much about music here and I think I might in the coming future. What I really should be writing about is design and yet here I go with my music plug.

Bishop Allen (wikipedia) is a small band out of New York City that has decided to go without a record label and just do the work themselves. So far it seems to be working great as they have not starved to death after almost 3 years as a band. They only have one album out called Charm School but every song on it is amazing.

A lot of bands put out good albums though and there seems to be a difference between a band that puts out a good album and a band who can continue to produce good music. With only one album I was afraid Bishop Allen might not be up to the challenge.

This year though they are planning on releasing an EP every month of 2006. That about 4 songs for 12 months or 48 songs in a year. I was skeptical if they could hold up their quality in such a small time frame. 2 EPs and 8 songs in to the year and they have yet to hit a bad note. I’m actually amazed that they have kept up the quality of the songs they are putting out.

These songs are fully finished. They don’t feel like demos or rough stuff they are working on for an album. Each song is a gem that I listen to in wonder.

If Bishop Allen keeps up this quality they are quickly going to jump to my number 2 band of all time right behind Cake, another band that has stood the test of time.

Each EP is only 5 bucks and they have even offered up a several free songs on their site so you know what you getting. You need to buy these EPs.

January - Corazon.mp3 February - Vain.mp3

bishopallen, indie,indierock, indiepop, music, download

RocketBoom VS. MoBuzzTV

As hard as I might try I really can’t get in to Rocketboom. I can’t figure out why it’s as popular as it is. It’s not that I don’t like Amanda Congdon It’s just that I don’t find her sense of humor very endearing. Her enthusiasm seems fake and no matter what the news story is it always has some sort of cheese spin to it. I don’t wish bad things upon them, I just don’t get it.

On the other hand I love MoBuzzTV. Karina Stenquist has the perfect personality for the online world. Smart, sarcastic and just a little snarky everyday the news is delivered with just the right amount of dark humor. In general I can’t say enough great things about it besides I wish it was longer.

It makes me kind of annoyed that Rocketboom gets so much attention and yet MoBuzzTv seems so over looked. I can only hope they are doing well and will continue to produce shows for a lone time.

rocketboom, mobuzztv, vlog, AmandaCongdon, KarinaStenquist

Why Joan of Arcadia was canceled

Joan of ArcadiaJoan of Arcadia was an awesome show that was plagued by a fatal flaw. That flaw is in fact what the entire show was based on though you might not even know it. On the surface the show was about Joan and how god talked to her. Yet if you watched Barbara Hall talk about the show on the DVD you quickly learned something slightly different.

Barbara explains that the show is about Joan, the metaphysical warrior, as well as her father the cop, as the physical warrior. Barbara really wanted to play the two side off each other and form a balance of the world of god that you can’t fully grasp and the world of being a cop.

This view of the show puts more focus on the contrast of Joan and her father then on the fact that Joan talks to God. This is not necessarily bad but this was not what any publicity or even the opening credits focused on.

When ever a show gets canceled there is usually a fairly clear reason why. Shows get pulled because they are not getting the viewership they wanted. Who was Joan of Arcadia target audience? 50% of the shows focus was Joan and her friends. The other 50% was a about the Father who was a cop and his trials at work.

This 50/50 split seems to have been the problem. If you liked the kids the best then you did not care about the parents and if you liked the parents you most likely did not want to watch a teen drama.

Barbara was so focused on the contrast between the two that she did not see the fact that she was spreading her audience too thin. Not to mention that advertisers like to know who they are advertising too. An audience that was 50% adults and 50% teens is not an effective way to market to either. At the end of the day if a show can’t bring home the bread it’s going to get canceled.

I might sound a bit hard on Barbara but that’s only because I love the show so much. While it was flawed on such a basic level it did everything else right. The writing was snappy and very emotional. While I did not enjoy the parent story lines they were still well written and I would have enjoyed them more as a separate show instead on woven in to the same show.

The amount of character development she managed to pack in to thirty minutes (With the other half taken by the parents) for about 8 different characters was amazing. Yet there was still so much that could have been done. Friedman was neglected and kept as a flat character until the second season where he only started to shine. Even Joan’s brothers were left fairly flat until later in the first season.

A couple years back in college I ripped Memento, a move sequenced in reverse, and re-sequenced it in chronological order. I keep talking about trying the same thing with Joan of Arcadia and cutting out most of the parent scenes. I’m sure it would be extremely rough but it would be closer to a show that would have actually grabbed their target audience and kept them for season after season.

joanofarcadia, cbs, dvd