Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Monday, March 30, 2009

Orange and Blue

Stopping for coffee after getting Candy passport pictures (she needed 8 pics!) for her legal interviews since we got hitched...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Candy Minx Salon Is Open

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cuba Now

"Ms. Ceballos manages the country's oldest independent art space, one of the few galleries in Cuba not funded by government-controlled cultural institutions. Art professionals say her gallery, run out of her apartment, is nurturing some of the country's most cutting-edge local talent at a time when Cuba is positioning itself as the next hotbed for contemporary art. Ms. Ceballos was among the first to exhibit Cuban art stars like Carlos Garaicoa, Angel Delgado and Tania Bruguera, whose works are highly sought after by major institutions like the Tate Modern in London.

The works are part of her new exhibit, timed to coincide with the biennial, called "La Perra Subasta," or "The Auction of the Big Dog," a group show for artworks that contain letters or words.

Ben Rodriguez-Cubeñas, a collector who is chairman of the Cuban Artists Fund in New York, says he's planning to bring at least 40 of his art-world friends by Ms. Ceballos's house while he's in town for the biennial next week: "Everything she does is gutsy."

The fact that Ms. Ceballos has never been shut down is a source of great intrigue for Cuba-watchers around the world. Some say it signals a new tolerance by Raúl Castro, who has enacted a few reforms -- allowing cellphones, for example -- since taking over the country's leadership from his brother last year because of Fidel's failing health.

Others say she exercises just enough restraint to avoid real trouble. Cuban artist Glexis Novoa, who lives in Miami but often travels to Havana, says, "She knows that the government will try to deal with you and tolerate you, up to a limit."

In a country where the biggest art patron is the Cuban government, alternative art spaces that aren't on the state payroll are nearly nonexistent. Artists who want to exhibit here typically attend government art schools before vying for a coveted slot in Havana's handful of sanctioned galleries like Galeria Habana or the biennial, Cuba's biggest art event. Gallery owners and biennial curators say they are free to show whatever they like, but they tend to sidestep pieces that directly criticize the ruling Castro family or their policies. Ms. Ceballos, who mounts exhibits with the regularity of a seasoned art dealer, is only allowed by law to sell her own artwork, but she can help collectors contact other artists if they're interested in buying other works."

Read entire article "Cuba Now"...here...

Home Slice

Friday, March 27, 2009

Home Shopping

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The State Of The Music Business

During the late 80s and early 90s the industry underwent a transformation and restructured, catalyzed by three distinct factors. Record companies no longer viewed themselves as conduits for music, but as functions of the manipulations of Wall Street. Companies were acquired, conglomerated, bought and sold; public stock offerings ensued, shareholders met. At this very same time, new Nielsen monitoring systems -- BDS (Broadcast Data Systems) and SoundScan were employed to document record sales and radio airplay. Prior to 1991, the Billboard charts were done by manual research; radio stations and record stores across the country were polled to determine what was on their playlists and what the big sellers were. Thus, giving Oklahoma City, for example, an equivalent voice to Chicago's in terms of potential impact on the music scene. BDS keeps track of gross impressions through an encoded system that counts the number of plays or "spins" that a song receives. That number is, thereafter, multiplied by the number of potential listeners. SoundScan was put in place at retail centers to track sales by monitoring scanned barcodes of units crossing the counter. A formula was devised whereby the charts were based 20% on the SoundScan number and 80% on BDS results. The system had changed from one that measured popularity to one that was driven by population.

Record companies soon discovered that because of BDS, they only needed to concentrate on about 12 radio stations; there was no longer a business rationale for working secondary markets that were soon forgotten -- despite the fact that these were the very places where rock and roll was born and thrived. Why pay attention to Louisville -- worth a comparatively few potential listeners -- when the same one spin in New York, Los Angeles or Atlanta, etc., was worth so many more potential listeners? All of a sudden there were #1 records that few of us had ever heard of. At the time we asked ourselves, "Am I out of touch?" We didn't realize that this was the start of change that would grow to kill, if not the whole of the music business, then most certainly, the record companies.

Reagan's much-vaunted trickle-down theory said that wealth tricked down to the masses from the elite at the top. Now we've found out that this is patently untrue -- the current economic collapse reflects this self-serving folly. The same holds for music. It doesn't trickle down; it percolates up from the artists, from word of mouth, from the streets and rises up to the general populace. Constrained by the workings of SoundScan/BDS, music now came from the top and was rammed down people's throats.

Read the entire article by John Mellencamp here...click on hyper-text...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Saturday Morning

Talking about soccer with Marty...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Brian Jonestown Massacre