Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: August 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Small Businesses Utilizing Social Media to Drive Business and Better Their Brand


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If you have not guessed by now, I am heavily taken by Social Media and the impact it has the ability to make. Some might say I am smitten. My background is in Advertising and Marketing and the majority of my life has been spent getting excited about good ideas that work. Over the past few years, I have made a vast number of my friends and business connections online through various social media platforms. I have found that some people really "get" Social Media and, whether they realize it or not, they are able to drive business through their Social Media efforts. The purpose of this entry is to showcase a few small business owners whom I feel are able to utilize Social Media to build relationships with customers and ultimately drive business. I had an interactive Q&A session with four, very different businesses to gain perspective on what has worked for them.

For once, I have left my personal opinion out of the conversation entirely. I simply asked the questions.




The Businesses

Tiffani Kim

Jacklyn Kim, President, of the first medical spa to open in Chicago, Tiffani Kim Institute. Jackie spoke with me regarding how she personally utilizes Social Media. Though I've visited the spa in the past, I met Jackie on Facebook. Jackie is very kind and willing to help others and their efforts without pushing her brand onto people. I wanted Jackie's perspective because Tiffani Kim Institute is a brick & mortar business that has been in business for 10 years and because she is new to Social Media. I thought Jackie could lend a lot of insight for non-marketer business owners.

Gigantic™

Bernard Urban, President + Creative Director at Gigantic™, a digital marketing agency that has been in business for seven years. Bernard and I first met in the mid to late 90s when we both worked for DDB in Chicago. Bernard moved back to NY and we lost touch years ago. Recently, Bernard and I "found" each other again on Twitter. I cannot be sure how this happened, but since that time, we've been engaged in each others online networks via Twitter. I chose Bernard because he has strong understanding of multiple Social Media platforms, he works with clients to better their efforts and he is a veteran professional in the digital marketing space as well a small business owner. I felt Bernard could bring great insight from a personal perspective and from the standpoint of a seasoned digital marketer.

TSS-Radio

Taylor Mitchell, Owner of TSS Radio, a retailer of satellite radio hardware and accessories. Taylor I met via Twitter and later met in person at the Mashable TweetUp. We started our conversation online because of our strong, positive, mutual feelings for Howard Stern and his satellite radio show. I chose Taylor because he is a successful online retailer and a vast majority of his business has been driven by his passion for Howard Stern and his ability to captivate his audience through various Social Media outlets. In addition to Tss-Radio , Taylor has two blogs: www.ILoveSiriusXM.com and www.digitalradiocentral.com

Foiled Cupcakes

Mari Luangrath, Owner of Foiled Cupcakes, an online cupcake business that launched in July of 2009. Mari and I met on Twitter as she was promoting her business and her Twitter presence. Mari and I are connected on both Twitter and Facebook but we have not yet met in person. I chose Mari because she started her cupcake business very recently, she has utilized Twitter for the bulk of her traffic and she is great at gaining "followers" and she truly knows how to engage her followers. Mari also takes her relationships offline, she has donated cupcakes to various TweetUps. Her business has taken off quickly and I am interested in seeing how it grows from here.



The Q & A Session

How many Social Media (sm) platforms do you currently use for both personal and business purposes? And, what are they?

Jackie: We have a Facebook Page for the company and all the directors have their own Facebook pages. Myself and two others are on LinkedIn. Tiffani Kim, herself, has a blog www.tiffanikim.com


Bernard: Personal: Facebook. Business: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blog, Delicious, YouTube, Scribd, Slide Share, Trip It


Taylor: We started and grew our business based on Forums and Bulletin Boards. Right now we are active in many of those in addition to Facebook, multiple Twitter accounts, and some blogs. So about four different platforms.


Mari: We primarily use Twitter, Facebook, & LinkedIn.


What attracted you to the Social Media space?

Jackie: The internet marketer we use encouraged all of us to have at least a facebook page, a twitter account or be on LinkdIn. She felt the social media was the future of marketing.


Bernard: We have been blogging since 2003. My first company, URBANadvertising, was among the first ad agencies to have a blog. I was interviewed in the New York Times about in Oct, 2004. I started my company in 2002, based on the idea that media was on the verge of some big changes. You might say we’ve been a part of it all along.


Taylor: When we started the term “Social Media” didn’t exist. We wanted a place to introduce ourselves and we began starting posting and interacting on Forums and Bulletin Boards. At first it was awkward but in a short period of time it was a lot of fun.


Mari: At first, wasn’t so sure about it. Turns out, it’s free, a great way to connect with various people you never would have had a chance to meet otherwise, and a continually evolving concept that allows for a lot of experimentation.


Of these sm platforms which do you feel has been the most effective in promoting your business and why?

Jackie: I can only speak for facebook which I really like for business and for personal use. Being on facebook reminds people who you are and what services you provide. How many people do you meet a day and how many business cards do you exchange? And how fast do you discard them and don’t remember who they are? But, if they are your fb friends, you exchange info and you keep in touch. You also want to use their facilities or refer your friends to their businesses because you have a relationship. By introducing some of the services/products I provide at our company, I’ve had really good responses and referrals. I also feel the same way. I am more likely to utilize or refer people I know on fb then others.


Bernard: Blogging combined with Twitter. Blogging is powerful, in that if you have a strong POV and are willing to share your ideas, you can quickly build an audience and create thought leadership through conversation. That’s an innately human thing: conversation. Conversation fuels relationships, fosters connections and creates affinity for ideas. Used correctly, Twitter can amplify a bloggers presence immensely. It’s like pouring gasoline on a fire. Twitter multiplied our blog traffic by over 4x and created some great connections that didn’t exist for our business.


Taylor: It’s a toss up between the forums and twitter. At this point we see more of a future for twitter. Surprisingly, the internet has become far less hostile than a few years ago. Twitter seems positive and bright and a great place to casually interact with others based on information. It’s also a place where you can pinpoint people to help out very easily.


Mari: Twitter. I love the immediacy and concise nature of Twitter. I love that we can watch people buzz about our product and get instant feedback on how our cupcakes were received. I love that how quickly and virally anything you tweet can be shared with thousands of people.



What traditional forms of advertising or marketing have you utilized in the past? How do you feel that sm is different (better or worse) than your traditional methods?

Jackie: We’ve used magazines and newspaper ads for marketing prior to the internet. Even before the internet, we found out that most of our clients were referrals by either our existing clients or businesses. We received most success from the articles written about us. People tend to think you can spend the money to advertise, but if a reputable magazine is writing about you, you must be really special to be noticed. For myself, facebook is reaching out to smaller audiences but I can’t quantify it yet. My facebook friends are referring clients to us because they feel more familiar with me. I feel it’s more personal way of doing business. Sort of how it used to be. You trust and like someone and you want everyone to experience what they have experienced.


Bernard: We’re super vertical, so SM coupled with a strategy that includes, DM, email and of course the telephone. SM helps greatly with SEO. Often after leaving a short intro call that leads to only leaving a voicemail message, we can see that our contact has searched us and hit our site or blog. Then we know in a follow up call if there is affinity for our services. If you’ve been to our site and still want to talk, you must have interest.


Taylor: We’ve advertised with online Banner Ads, with Google Adwords, and with Radio Ads on Satellite Radio. They each have their plusses. Someone clicking a Google Adword is likely ready to buy then, but the ads have no personality or soul behind them and it’s a one time deal. Banner ads rarely pay off but can help do some constant branding. Satellite Radio ads can build loyalty amongst certain people and groups based on the association they have with a particular channel or on-air personality. Then social media can combine many of those aspects into one. For example, I can build a reputation by answering a question on Twitter and create a sale and a follower for future business.


Mari: We started out our business strictly using SM. It wasn’t in our initial strategy, but it worked, and it continues to work – so we’re using it.



What do you think has made you more successful on your sm platform(s) any methodology you practice that sets you apart from others?

Jackie: I don’t post about my business every waking moment. I personally think you could do more damage by being too obvious. I make friends by being their friends. This way, it’s easier for them to approach me. I also talk about my company from personal perspective. Ie. "Getting a pedicure today and wonder what color I should use?" followed by my web address. I don’t know if this is necessarily the right way, but it’s the way I would like to be approached.


Bernard: Be human.


Taylor: We’ve been caring and interacting from the heart and not just doing it because someone suggested social media. It will become apparent to people if your only interest is in the immediate sale. Also tackling tougher questions and concerns from people helps set us apart from others.


Mari: We really make an effort to connect with everybody. If someone makes a comment on our Facebook fan page, we respond. If someone new shows up on our Twitter feed and asks a question about our product line or delivery area, we not only respond with an answer, but also find other, more personal ways to connect with them and develop a relationship. If someone on LinkedIn joins a network I belong to, I reach out and find a common interest to develop a relationship with that person.



What advice would you give similar business owners about how to best utilize sm for their businesses?

Jackie: Since I am so new at this, I don’t know if the way I’m doing it is necessary the right way. I can only advise that, although we live in a highly technological world, people still need to feel connected. They need to see a face that represents that company.


Bernard: You can’t be in the modern marketing landscape and not have a working understanding of SM. It’s like claiming to be a chef, but not know how to use a stove burner.


Taylor: Let social media be something fun. Don’t have it be forced or people will see through it. Find the right outlets to do it and don’t wear yourself or your business too thin in a way where you aren’t able to pay attention to your customers' needs and concerns.


Mari: Don’t take it so seriously! There’s something to be said for being genuine and not following all of the rules that “experts” have put out there. Experiment. Test things out. If things don’t work, change it. Track your progress. Reciprocate. And repeat.




What failures or hiccups have you had while using sm to grow any business relationships?

Jackie: So far I have not seen either. Ask me in a year and I’m sure I’ll have some for you.


Bernard: Sometimes our commitment has wavered. It’s not that is it work, per se. It just requires daily maintenance. Sometimes that can be hard, when your time is limited.


Taylor: There are times where being too accessible is rough. We’ve been painted into a corner a few times and we’ve been better at knowing when not to post something. Never do anything controversial unless your business is built on that.


Mari: When Twitter or Facebook are hacked, we get no orders. That’s kind of a problem.






Still not convinced that Social Media is the future, let me leave you with this...




Related Posts:

Always Be Social
Using Analytics To Get The Most From Your Blog Posts

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thank you Qatar!


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I just took a quick look at my analytics from January 1st to present day. It was interesting to see that my one reader from Qatar spends the most time on my blog. So THANK YOU Qatar! To the one guy (or gal) in Qatar who appreciates me more than my own family - since they've never read my blog.

I would also like to send a shout out to The Chicago Boat Whore. That blog entry has received the single most readers. Over 1600 people have logged on to read about The Chicago Boat Whore.

I think I now know where my focus should be. Cheers! Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Too Funny NOT to Post!


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I just got home about 10 minutes ago, about 6:30 on a Wednesday night. I pull into the loading zone in front of my building, put my flashers, and notice two police cars sitting in front. I know something is up! My building is notorious for crazy, resident issues.

As I walk into the building, I see two cops talking to "Ron" (or what we'll call him), a balding man who is blind in one eye, about 50 years old. "Ron" has a history of creating problems in the building. He is one of those guys who thinks that everything should happen in an orderly fashion....according to his order.

Before I get into the story, I should paint a picture of "Ron". Once "Ron" and I happen to be in the lobby together when another resident walked outside to smoke a cigarette. It was raining so The Smoker was not standing a full 15 feet away from the front door, he was standing under the building's awning. "Ron" storms outside and demands that The Smoker stand 5 more feet away. The smoker pleads with him, politely, and explains that it is raining and that he is not bothering anyone. Which he wasn't and our building door almost never opens so no smoke was getting into the building either. "Ron" becomes belligerent to the extend that The Smoker extinguishes his cigarette and walks back inside.

Back to present day. As I approach the building, I can hear the police asking "Ron" some questions. "Ron" is talking about Whole Foods or something and the cop says, "I don't need your whole life story, just what happened tonight". I chuckle silently to myself and head inside anticipating a full report from my doorman.

When I walk in, I ask my doorman "What did crazy do now?" referring to "Ron". My doorman calmly goes into the facts at hand without divulging too much personal detail - like a good doorman should.

My doorman explains to me that "Ron" had his apartment door propped wide open for some time, which is an odd thing to do when you live in a condo building. His neighbor across the hall, a slender, blond woman in her late 30s - early 40s, opens her door and says, "My, that is some stench you've got coming from in there...." and proceeds to ask "Ron" to close his door. (This building has an interesting flow of air and you can easily smell your neighbors apartment, an open door significantly contributes to the air pressure flow.) "Ron" does not close his door, but instead, says to his neighbor "Fuck you, you fucking cunt." Which she did not appreciate and their argument escalates. The argument ends with "Ron" chasing his female neighbor down the hallway to where the other neighbors had to phone the police.

The only reason "Ron" did not go to jail tonight was because he never actually struck his neighbor. I want to add that I live in a fairly small building, only 19 stories with not too many units on each floor. Although I rarely see my neighbors, we do live in pretty close quarters. This is SO not normal.

A Beautiful Photo


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I loved this photo and I wanted to share.

El solitari de Rull

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Guys' Guide to Blogging - Leaving the Seat Up. Part 2


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Need to host your blog? Check this out...
Reliable web hosting from Yahoo! Web Hosting - 35% off for a limited time!

This is Part 2 of The Guys' Guide to Blogging. In Part 1 I talked a little bit about me and what/how I know what I know. I discussed the purpose of the entry and getting over some misconceptions about blogging. Then we touched upon the various blogging platforms, getting a URL, hosting services (Yahoo! has a promo where you get a free domain name when you purchase a Yahoo! web hosting plan) and how to get that "cool" looking blog.

In this post, I am going to discuss: design, content, analytics, and promoting your blog. If anyone is reading this and would like to add or comment...please, please do so! I'd love to get more input and grow my own knowledge base.

Design. Depending on what your purpose is, if this is a professional blog or a personal one, you may want to hire a designer to design a logo and some branding for you. There are many freelance designers available for short term projects that can create some brand identity for you. Designers can charge by the hour or by the project. A logo can cost you anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand.

You may also want to hire a professional to either write the code and build you a custom site. For most of us, custom sites are not necessary, a template will do. If you use Wordpress, you should consider WooThemes - Premium WordPress Templates. But, if you're not "techy", the themes can be tricky to install and customize. Hiring a professional to assist you with installation and customization is also wise. If you need either of these things, shoot me an email or "Tweet" me @leyla_a. I have many friends who are designers, developers, etc. whom I've worked with in the past.

Simple design advice you may want to heed, readers may navigate away from pages with black backgrounds more quickly than they would a lighter color or white background. My blog used to be black with white lettering and I received multiple notes and emails saying "my eyes hurt reading your blog". People told me that the longer they read, their eyes would lose focus and play tricks on them. I changed my template to something, clean and white. I try to keep my page simple so I can keep the attention on my content vs. intricate design.

Here are some bullet points from Marketing Sherpa:
  • Make eyeflow easier, reduce friction
  • Eyeflow goes from center of page to the right
  • Do not center your text
  • Keep your background white (or light) and your text black and at least 10 point, 12 point is better


An example of a black background with centered textI find this difficult to read


Photos. Include graphics and photos in your posts! Although search engines love content, readers do not. I sometimes hear "If I wanted to read a book, I'd read a book" because I write too much. Keep your sentences and your paragraphs SHORT. People have a much shorter attention span ONLINE. The average reader will not spend more than 3 minutes on your page.

Analytics. There are various web analytic tools you can utilize. The most popular being Google. Yahoo! also has analytics, their standard merchant solutions plan.

To keep it really brief, analytics will tell you how many people navigate to your site each day. You can see where they came from: direct traffic, referring sites, search engines (paid vs. non-paid). You can see how long your visitors stay, which pages they view, in which order they view the pages, etc. You can even see where the visitors came from, which country OR even which city. There are many other details, and in time, you will be able to utilize this information to your benefit. I use my analytics to see how/where my traffic is coming from. When I see something working, IE., a certain bookmarking site or a specific site that I've been getting a lot of hits from, I spend more time with that entity. If I try a new promotion, I track the progress and success (or failure) with analytics.





Promoting your blog.
This could be a whole blog entry in and of itself, so we'll just touch on the basics. Bullet points for easy reading with links to help you out.
  • Bookmarking sites such as Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg & Delicious. These sites are used in varying capacities, people surf these sites to find articles or websites that they find interesting. Read more about Bookmarking Sites in a previous post I wrote.
  • Link Building. This means that you have links to your site on other reputable websites. You can do this in various ways. You can post your links as "comments" on other sites or blogs. You can exchange links with other bloggers. You can pay for your link to be on other sites. You can even post your links on relevant message boards.
  • Social Media. Find a few social media sites that makes sense for your subject matter and spend some time there. Make genuine "friendships" or online relationships. Twitter is a great way to meet with other bloggers or other individuals with whom you share an interest. Here is a little bit more information on how to utilize Twitter. And here is some information on Hootsuite and Tweetdeck - two tools to help you use Twitter more efficiently.


Some other helpful pointers....
  • Perhaps you should consider starting with a "practice" blog and then move to a professional one when you've mastered some items. This is my "practice" blog.
  • Learn a bit of HTML
  • Don't spread yourself thin, pick one or two things and master them
  • Take lots of pictures
  • Read other people's blogs and pay attention to what they do and how they do it
  • Write compelling content, brevity is key (something I still need to learn)
  • Take lots of pictures, use an upgraded photo service like Flickr, where people can find you and your stream



And here are some great links
Mashable Woork ProBlogger

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lollapalooza Day 3


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Day 3. I arrived at the park by 12:30 and went directly to the Media Area and had a few beers while listening to Ra Ra Riot from where I was seated. I was lucky enough to be-friend this woman who was at Lolla with her husband. Her husband was a professional photographer who had been photographing rock stars since the 80s. She would help her husband by purchasing teeny-bopper magazines and educating her husband on who all the "rock stars" were. Lucky for me, she pointed out that The Airborne Toxic Event was standing right behind me. Though I love this band, I had no idea what they looked like. I stopped caring about what the bands I like LOOK like when I got to an age where I didn't feel comfortable fantasizing about having sex with them anymore. I mean, I am likely a decade older than these guys. But...I was able to get some pictures before and after they went on stage.

TATE
Noah Harmon
Mikel Jollett
Leyla with The Airborne Toxic Event


I hung out in the Media Area until about 2:00 PM and then headed down to the Chicago 2016 stage where The Airborne Toxic Event was playing. TATE came on stage right at 2:30, in the sweltering heat, all dressed in black. The bass player, Noah Harmon, completely stood out, he sang back up on a few songs, he was sexy and synched with violin player well.

Noah Harmon on stage
CIMG5935


The Airborne Toxic Event played a full hour set, mostly from their self titled album, with a few new songs peppered in there. The crowd was filled with younger kids in their late teens - and me. While waiting for the band to start, I was speaking with a teen-aged couple, when I revlealed that I was 37 they were in complete disbelief. The kids said, "I thought you were like 22." My head grew a little inflated until I realized that they were so young that 22 seemed really old to them. It was not that I looked that young, but the thought of anyone being OVER the age of 22 was absurd to them.

The crowd went wild during TATE's big song "Gasoline" and then again when they played "Sometime Around Midnight". The band also dedicated a song to William Garvey, the man who wrote the song "Goodbye Horses" who passed away last week. It was a heart felt dedication. The Airborne Toxic Event seemed eternally grateful for being on the stage at Lolla. It was one of those music festival experiences where you enjoy watching the band play because they are truly enjoying the experience as much as you are as an audience member. The band finished really strong, the whole band was up in front of the stage playing their instruments intensely.

The Airborne Toxic Event


I met up with Dave from Bullz-Eye after The Airborne Toxic Event. He had gone off to see Kaiser Chiefs who played at the same time as TATE. We met back at Perry's Stage where The Hood Internet was spinning (DJs). We hung out for a while, had some water, took some pictures of the kids in the audience and headed out. He was going to head over to see Neko Case and I decided to see Vampire Weekend since Neko Case plays in Chicago quite often.

Vampire Weekend was the biggest let down of the weekend for me. The lead singer came out in yellow shorts and a plaid shirt, made for an interesting combo. Their music is very light, airy and melodic but nothing with any punch or kick. "I Stand Corrected" was played very well. The lead singer seemed to hit all of the high points of the song well, sang it flawlessly. At this point in the day, the crowd was dense, it was a sea of people. The band applauded the crowd for their stamina and for withstanding the rain, the heat and humidity just before they played "Blakes Got a New Face". Most people where I was standing seemed as if they were just hanging out versus there to see the band. The band dedicated a song to John Hughes which was in line with the rest of the predictable undertones of their performance. Overall, I found Vampire Weekend to be sort of lollipop, happy, easy music to listen to but they just didn't rock enough for me. Kinda vanilla.

After a half hour of Vampire Weekend, I headed back to the Media Tent. I was talking about the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Saturday night performance with some people in the Spin magazine tent where refreshments were served. I was giving my two cents about Karen O and how she reminded me of PJ Harvey, when I received an unsolicited, high five in agreement from Noah Harmon, the adorable bass player from The Airborne Toxic Event. That was a pretty awesome moment for me.

Snoop Dogg was someone I really wanted to see, but at this point, I was SPENT! I headed down to the Chicago 2016 tent later than I wanted but I made it down there nonetheless. Snoop Dogg had the biggest crowd, you simply cannot fathom the sprawling crowd. It was as if the WHOLE PARK was there to see Snoop. I fought my way through the crowd and made my way about 50 yards from the stage.
Snoop Dogg Lollapalooza 09


When Snoop Dogg got on stage it was like a lightening bolt of energy, the crowd went m-e-n-t-a-l for Snoop. Everybody just lost it. What an entertainer. Way to captivate nearly 100,000 people! It was totally unbelievable. Maybe the only true rap "rock" star. He moved that audience into a cohesive unit. We all swayed and chanted and professed our marijiana smoking publicly per his asking, many displayed it proudly. He started with earlier songs, his hits. Then went into a newer song he sang with Akon "I Want To Fuck You". He then challenged the audience regarding their Snoop knowledge asking who had his first album and went into a song from '94. Snoop also asked the audience who was "with" his friend Tupac but the mostly white audience just did not pick up on what he was referring to and didn't get it.

The Kid Behind Me at Snoop
Kid at Snoop Dog


I also really wanted to see Lou Reed so I left Snoop early. Then I ran, I sprinted, I hip-checked 15 year olds out of my way to make it through the crowd. I made it from the front of the Chicago 2016 stage (on the south end of the park) where Snoop Dogg was playing to the first row of Lou Reed at the Budweiser stage. And...I stopped for beer. Everyone in the media tent said I could never make it to both Snoop Dogg and Lou Reed but I did it! This is where being a recreational runner came in handy.

The Lou Reed crowd was more pleasant than any other crowd that weekend. When fellow audience members saw my MEDIA wristband, they welcomed me. They really felt strongly about Lou and they wanted Lou Reed to enjoy the same media coverage that his much younger cohorts were receiving.

Lou Reed at Lolla


I inched my way to the front of the Budweiser stage when Lou was singing "Music Machine". Then I caught "Waiting for the Man" which he did in somewhat of a dance beat. The crowd adored it! It went on for what seemed a peaceful and much welcomed eternity. I realize that Lou Reed went over by 20 minutes (which is a huge "no no" when you're on a tight schedule) but the last moments of Lou's set lended something both beautiful and meaningful to the event. People of all ages were able to enjoy this melodic ending to his set. In my opinion, nothing else I witnessed at Lolla struck this chord. It was like a retreat to a time where you just loved a band and you were there to hear the music and less about the frat boys and commercialized hoopla.

The Crowd at Lou Reed
CIMG6039

CIMG6047


Various audience members pointed out to me was that Lou Reed made a few of his songs more "politically correct". He cleaned up his performance by saying "Waiting for MY man" vs "Waiting THE man". And in the song "Walk on the Wild Side" he said "the girls dance" vs. "the colored girls dance".

After waiting over an hour in the heat smashed up against Scott from Wisconsin, the father-son duo who had been standing at the Bud stage all day, and the chubby 19 year old who was still mad at me for pushing my way up front - finally a curtain dropped and I watched Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Eric Avery and Stephen Perkins show all the other tiny-baby rockstars from that weekend how it is done.

In an instant, we heard the sounds of helicopters overhead. The lights from the helicopters illuminated the stage. The crowd is confused and thrilled, literally people are losing their minds with excitement, and then you hear the bass line for "Mountain Song." The crowd is overwhelmed, the place is now up for grabs. At that moment, I felt as if I was 17 again.

Jane's Addiction Stage


Perry Farrell was in a gold suit, the jacket had tails and he, of course, was not wearing a shirt. His chest and abs are perfectly enviable. Dave Navarro was wearing his "go to" look: black hat, black leather pants and no shirt. Dave smoked multiple cigarettes throughout the performance, adding even more allure to his already seductive, androgynous persona. It felt so good to see Dave and Perry on stage together. Like peanutbutter and chocolate!

Mr. Perry Farrell


Perry took multiple opportunities to speak to the audience, at one point he says "We heard you guys got naked yesterday... We love whores, we love Chicago..." Then breaks into "Been Caught Stealing". Perry asks Dave "How do you look so fucking sexy...C'mon I want to know" then they explode into "Ocean Size"! Just before they started "Whores" Perry Farrell says, "I'm a married man, but if I wasn't, I'd fuck everybody." Very apropos.

Perrys wife


They leave the stage, it is unclear if there is going to be an encore, and then from backstage you hear Perry say "You better fucking cheer or I'm not coming out!" Which makes the crowd go wild, they come back out and play "Summertime Rolls" as an encore. Perry then introduced the band and introduced himself last as "Your Humble Servant." Talk about a guy who creates his own reality.

For the last song of their encore, Perry makes an introduction, it is a bit confusing, he talks about a friend who recently hurt himself and that this other person is here with whom he shares a name - but we're not really too sure what is going on. And then..Oh My God! Joe Perry from Aerosmith is on stage! For me this was crazy because I absolutely LOVE Joe Perry. It was like a Rock God moment. The final song of the night was "Jane Says" and the whole band came up front to play the song.

Navarro Perry

Jane's Addiction


"Jane Says" comes to a close and Perry has two proposals to make. He invites someone on stage and this man purposes to his girlfriend on stage. Next, Perry's wife and kids, friends, etc. come up onto stage. They open a bottle rose Champagne and drink with friends and wives on stage. This is when Perry makes his second proposal. He thanks Chicago, his second home, and asks the people of the City of Chicago to assist in bringing the 2016 Olympics. He closes the night by telling everyone to "Have children and raise them as you lived." He insisted that everyone "Go out, stay up all night and live to tell about it." And then it was over.

My three day extravaganza was over but I still had one more concert - I scored a ticket to see Them Crooked Vultures at The Metro. I sprinted home, rinsed off, put on a dress and made it to the Metro by 11pm. It was a long weekend but I am so glad I was able to be a part of it.

Related Posts: Lollapalooza Day 1 Lollapalooza Day 2

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lollapalooza Day 2


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I wanted to start this post with this awesome picture of the most awesome Perry Farrell He's still so cool


Day 2 at Lollapalooza helped me confirm my suspicion that I'm still single because I cannot find a man who thinks it acceptable to spend 24 hours over 3 days in the rain, the hot sun, the heat and humidity to see live music. Day 2 was all about running from one stage to the next, trying to manouever around in an effort to catch acts who were performning back to back.

I arrived at the park around 3:00p with Taylor from TSS radio. I headed straight to media tent and met up with Dave from Bullz-Eye as he was already at the park. We both agreed that we were way too tired to attend any of the after parties. I kept reading everyones Twitter and Facebook updates about all the after shows and after parties how awesome they were. For me (and apparently for Dave), after shows were just out of the question. When I got home from Day 1, I fell asleep at 11:30 and woke up 12 hours later, that is how tiring (yet enjoyable) this experience has been for me.

On Day 1, I had such a great experience in the DJ area and Perry Farrell and "special guest" were performing there at 4:00 P.M., we headed to see Perry Farrell. Dave joined us. We couldn't get too close to the stage but we met a great couple from Ohio who were also big Perry Farrell fans, well, at least she was a fan. We watched Perry and his super hot wife on stage. The girl from Ohio and I shared the sentiment that we would prefer to sleep with Perry Farrell versus Dave Navarro - any day! We also noted that Perry's chest is out of control hot, we both fancy skinny guys. Sorry, no real "musical" reviews were going on at this point, just talk about how rock star Perry Farrell and his wife looked on stage. To be honest, I can't even say for certain there was music playing at all. When I think of Perry Farrell, I think about what a charmed life he must live.

Perry & his wifePerry Ferrell's super hot wife


Half way through Perry's set, we had to race out of there as we wanted to see The Arctic Monkeys on the Budweiser stage. I guess, I had not realized that they were tiny, baby-rocker-men. What are they like 19? They played a pretty good set but given the opportunity to go back in time, I would've preferred to stay with Perry and his wife. I was under-impressed with The Arctic Monkeys and the general consensus in the crowd was that they were just "ok".

Arctic Monkeys



Next was Santigold and luckily the two stages were right behind each other. We were able to inch our way pretty far up. It was a good performance and the crowd was great. People kept pushing their way through to the front but so it goes. The music was great and the dancers were great.

Santigold


Next up was Lykke Li. I was lucky because the night before I was going through the schedule with my friend Matt and when I read off "Lykke Li" he said, "you like her" otherwise I would not have remembered! Taylor headed over to the Lykke Li stage while I decided it would be a good idea to go ALL the way back to the south end of the park and get another beer from the media tent and use the cleaner porta potty there. Not a good idea, it takes up to 45 minutes to get from mid point of the park to one end and back. I finally made it back and we watched about 20 minutes of Lykke Li. We all agreed that she was pretty good but not a great stage performance. My friend Adam said, "I would have been just as happy listening to that in my house." I agreed.

Lykke Li



We chilled out in the shade away from people and ate and had some water at this point. It was a long day thus far and we still had the Yeah Yeah Yeahs coming up.
leyla eating chickenAdam and Leyla



I really had not heard much music from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs previous to this experience. I don't like Tool (never have), or the Tool crowd, so it was an easy decision for me, stay as far away from Tool as possible. The crowd waiting to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs was a mix between true fans and displaced frat boys who either never heard of Tool or their girlfriends dragged them to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

I was so pleasantly surprised by the performance from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, they were certainly the highlight of Saturday for me. The lead singer, Karen O really commanded respect from the audience. At one point she screamed out "This is the best crowd EVER!" And of course it was, likely the biggest crowd she has ever performed before. Karen O gave me a Patti Smith or PJ Harvey vibe; a real rocker chic with great energy, voice with an experienced and stately presence. I firmly believe that this show was a huge success for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and they will likely blow up in the next year.

PJ HarveyPatti SmithKaren O
PJ Harvey - Patti Smith - Karen O



Karen O
Yeah Yeah Yeahs


My impression of the line up and scheduling of Lollapalooza is a lot of young vs. old. The bands that perform on the main stages have a tendency to have different fan bases, generally speaking. Tool vs. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - for example, the older crowd saw Tool where the under 25 set was with me at the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Friday night it was Depeche Mode vs. Kings of Leon and on Sunday it is Jane's Addiction vs. The Killers. That one just isn't fair though because I think they have the same fan base. The Killers totally speak to Gen X'ers equally as much as Jane's Addiction does. My mind is made up, I am all about Perry, I'd love to see The Killers but I am going to FIGHT my way up to the front of the stage for Jane's Addiction. I will be standing there next to 13 year old chubby boys with their shirts off.

My favorite part of the show has been taking pictures of the crowds so I will leave you with a few of those.

Blue high tops

The Lolla Look

Interview

Interview


Related Posts:
Lollapalooza Day 1 Lollapalooza Day 3

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Lollapalooza Day 1


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I was lucky enough to score myself some media passes for the three day extravaganza that is LOLLAPALOOZA! It was a chilly and rainy day, not fun to be standing outside watching music all day. I started by heading to CVS for some cheap ponchos, etc. and then I got on the bus around 4:00 PM. The bus was packed with others heading to Lollapalooza. The thing I like most about Lollapalooza is that it started in 1991 (and I was there) and many of the people attending are in my age range.

wet and muddy feet


As expected, it took a while to get in and even longer to find my friends. They wanted to see some band that I was not interested in and I wanted to make my way to the Chicago 2016 stage so I could secure a nice spot for Thievery Corporation. On my way down to the south end of the park, I stopped in Perry's area and checked out The Bloody Beetroots DJ set. This was awesome. I always love the crowds when DJs are playing and the music was great.

Crowd at My Bloody Beetroots
Crowd at My Blood beeetroots hands in the air
Dancing indians at my bloody beetroots


After the DJ set, I was starving so I stopped by the food tents and picked up a Lobster Corn Dog from Graham Elliots booth. Do you have ANY idea how excited I was that Graham Elliot had a food tent at Lollapalooza! I was actually able to eat something that tasted good versus french fries! I washed down my Lobster Corn Dog with one of those delicious Bud Light Lime beers. I had not tried those previously but I am hooked!

Graham Elliot Corn Dog


I finally made it over to see Thievery Corporation. It was my first time seeing them and I was very pleased. Great music. I was off to the side too far so I was only able to get pictures of the screen.

Thievery Corporation


I had some time to kill before Depeche Mode so I headed over to the Media area. I really just wanted to use a clean(er) porta potty. It was interesting to see that the hipsters in the Media area were too cool to get wet. I am serious. EVERYONE else in the park looked like crap but not the hipsters. Most people were covered in mud, hair and make up was messed up and everyone was wearing an ugly poncho. Um, but NOT at the media area. The girls were still in their perfectly planned out "concert" outfits and the guys were still dry and rock-and-roll looking. How? Did it NOT rain back there? I guess cool people are always cool, regardless of the elements. So, I found myself another "uncool" dude wearing a poncho and we spoke. He was a senior editor for Bullz-Eye, there to cover the show. He was in his early 40s and a big music fan. He gave me some nice insight into Depeche Mode's music, how they just weren't the same after Alan Wilder left the band.

In the Media area

Media Tent - Journalists and Bloggers covering the show! I love it!
Media tent wish I knew I would've brought my computer


It was finally time for my grand finale of Friday, Depeche Mode. I am a child of the 80s and I absolutely love Depeche Mode, particularly Martin Gore. Oddly, I wasn't that excited to see them UNTIL they got on stage. It is pretty incredible how music can remind you exactly of who you once were and it feels very comfortable in that moment. Concerts and music have been such an extreme and positive force in my life. The coolest part of the show was the couple in front of me, both huge DM fans, they had their 4 year old with them who knew ALL THE WORDS to every song. That 4 year old was so into the show, clearly, it was not his first show.

Depeche Mode Lollapalooza 09

Depeche Mode

The highlight of the show for me was Martin Gore's solo. Of course.
Martin Gore


They played for a total of 1.5 hours, which I thought was a great set considering all the problems Dave Gahan has had in recent times. Dave Gahan looked fucking amazing! I mean, his body was tight. Heroin really works for some people. He danced and did that spinning thing he does, like a whirling dervish. He sounded great too. I must agree with a lot of other blogs I've read today, the first 30 minutes or so (all new music) just didn't get the crowd going. It was when they started to play their older stuff that people went wild. And then, when they threw in some obscure stuff, me and my older gal pals in front me, we went a little nuts. I could hear the kids behind me saying "what's this?". hee hee. They closed with Stripped (one of my favorites) and Personal Jesus.

Dave Gahan


Similar Posts:
Lollapalooza Day 2 Lollapalooza Day 3