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Music Promoters Get Smarter as Album Sales Wither

While many bemoan what’ s happened to the music business, other promoters and artists just figure out clever new ways to make more money despite sagging CD sales. Justin Beiber, the guy so many people love to hate, set up a partnership with the ride-sharing app, Lyft, to lift his album sales. In a WSJ story, Hannah Karp describes how it works. “Starting the day before the album’s release date, users could opt to receive the album with any ride costing $5 or more. SoundScan 0

Today’s turkeys are getting bigger and bigger

I learned a bit about turkeys this week, in a story by Joann Craven in the WSJ that explains why Americans continue to be bigger in stature than every other nationality. We eat a lot of turkey. There are four kinds of turkeys, all based on size. And size has been an upward spiral, now it's 30 pounds and it used to be 23 lbs in 1996. The average turkey in the 1960s when I grew up was just 16 lbs, the birds were never 0

Why do people pick such bad names?

I just watched a friend drink a beer in a can, it was from Newburyport Mass. The beer was called “Green Head Ale.” I can’t think of a worse thing to name a beer after than what many would consider the most annoying and pain-inducing insect at the beaches of Massachusetts. It’s a truly negative connotation, so why would anyone pick that to name the beer after? It says nothing of the beer’s flavor, or the history, and it makes you think of being bitten 0

Going back for more ‘Dead and Company’ tonight in Worcester

The last time I went to a Grateful Dead concert I was working for the Valley Advocate in downtown Amherst, and I walked down Amity Street to the UMass McGuirk stadium to see the concert. I am pretty certain that at that tender age of about 21, I had ingested some LSD and I also remember that I made my way all the way to the front just below the stage, and marveled at Jerry Garcia's four finger picking. It is a dizzy memory but 0

Some interesting ways to grab attention

I enjoyed a few seminars this morning at the TBEX travel blogger’s meeting in Ft Lauderdale from experts in travel promotion and how to use social media. Frederic Gonzalo from Quebec City showed off some interesting tidbits about innovations he has seen in this space. Marriott, for example, is providing Go Pro cameras to their guests to use while they visit their Caribbean properties. No strings, no obligation to shoot video of their bellmen or lobbies--just a chance to grab the video camera and create 0

A new stove is a thrill every few decades

I wish I could remember when I bought the stove that I just had removed from the house here in Deerfield. It must be the 1990s... could it be? At any rate, I shed no tears when I said goodbye to my reliable and scary-noise making old white Hotpoint, and welcomed the latest and greatest from Manny's into the kitchen. The new stove is--well, let's just say that it's not a Viking or a Wolf, but sure ain't no Hotpoint either. After months of kitchen 0

The seaside trail to Port du Niel: why I travel

The morning began with a ride in a public bus full of children on their way to school and a great way to mix with the locals. We were headed for Olbia, a Greek and then a Roman settlement ruins, built next to the sea where thermal baths once cooled off the well-heeled upper classes in the fourth century BC.  I was left with a decision after my host gave us five hours of free time in the village of Geins. First, a well-deserved nap on 0

In Provence, France, traveling without cars to explore the terrain

I arrived in Le Pradet, about 20 minutes past Toulon, in Provence France a day ago, and spent today walking up a mountain and learning much about this fantastically beautiful place with guides who are working with the MEET Program. Meet stands for Mediterranean Eco-tourism Experience of Travel, and aims to knit together a group of national parks from countries all around their common sea to offer people environmentally friendly trips that bring people into nature and away from cities. Our guide in Provence is 0

Sardinia: What it’s like there

Saying goodbye to Sardinia tonight, as I anxiously await a 5 am wake-up and a day of travel to my next trip in France, I'm thinking about what it's like here, and what memories I"ll take back with me. I'm always fascinated by the elevator speech--what will you tell people when you only have about as long as the average elevator ride, about what the place was like? Sardinia is big--really big. Looking at a satellite photo the island is huge, just a little smaller 0