iTunes Festival

iTunes Festival

I only got to go to one iTunes gig at the Roundhouse this year, Kasabian. As expected they put on a good show but it was a different crowd to normal. There wasn’t the usual Essex crowd of beer-swilling men chanting. The reason is probably connected to the massive guest list queue I had to join to get in. The proportion of actual competition winners (fans) must have been small.

My problem with the iTunes Festival is it is just another promotional gig. Yes you get some big bands (Coldplay) in the small (by comparison to arenas) venue. And yes it is free for the competition winners.

But it doesn’t need to be free. How about everyone pays £20? And I mean everyone – no free guest list. The Roundhouse’s capacity is over 3,000. Take off taxes and stuff there’s about £45k raised. Give this to the artist and tell them they have to spend it on making the show special. Get them to raise their game, create some competition between them to do the best.

The result would be uniquely special gigs that people really want to experience. As before, only 3,000 can be there. The rest would have to watch/listen/BUY through iTunes.

iTunes festival website

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This American Life: When Patents Attack

Reading the news does depress me. Bankers have ruined the economy, venture capitalists are ruining businesses. And now lawyers are ruining innovation and invention.

The whole of this episode of TAL was dedicated to the story of companies buying up patents and then using them to sue other companies. The central story was around one patent that covered most the basics of using the web.

They say any half-decent start-up will get a patent claim made against them now. The costs of fighting are high and often the claims are tenuous.

Sad.

Listen online at the This American Life website

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Beginners

Beginners

I went to see this film last week at Stratford Picturehouse on one of their Bargain Mondays (£3 screenings for members). The trailer looked good but also exposed one of the central storylines – man looks after his dying father – which I wouldn’t have fancied if the reviews had promised it wasn’t overly emotional.

It might be because I was alone but did find myself checking my watch quite often (and was very surprised the first check was after only a half hour) so it did drag a bit. However in there was a lovely shot movie skirting nicely around the tale of love and loss.

Beginners on imdb.com

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