The New Myspace — first glance

The Myspace relaunch is coming soon . . sometime next year for the Gen Pop (I cannot believe I just mimicked Arthur Kade). I received an invite to the BETA site tonight so this is my instant reaction . . a more considered analysis will come later. If the involvement of Justin Timberlake in the Myspace venture hadn’t convinced you then this hallway screen which you get when you’re setting up your profile is one helluva hint: ONLY CREATIVES (and their fans) NEED APPLY:

 Once in the layout is smooth and reasonably instinctive . . here’s my home page below. Various things let you know that the whole shebang is geared towards people who’ve got something — song, movie, podcast, video — to share and tell the world about. The “Discover” button for example gives the option to discover People, music. mixes, videos and radio

The search interface is very cool. . . nice big font, a lot of obscure artists seem to be there (anyone who has The Sounds is ok in my book)  and the music playback is as reliable as your internet connection. I’m not sure what deal Specific Media have done with the music labels of the world but at first glance there seems to be a healthy amount of music up there. I’m sure ads will come soon but will that be enough to make money . . how will they MONETISE!!!??

Searching is very smooth but it seems that the ‘old’ Myspace is not being incorporated into the new . . in other words a search on my own name did not bring up the old Myspace profile I put up way back in ’06. Will there be the option to upgrade your existing profile? How the hell will they cope with all those people who can’t remember their passwords! The music selection omits the usual biggies and there is a “like this, you’ll like this” feature but I’m not sure about it yet: Evanescence = The Beatles?

 

Does the world need another social media network . . that remains to be seen, and I hope the world’s leading radio programme will be examining this when the main consumer launch comes.

 

Oh, and the horizontal scroll is very cool.

 

Steve Vai, Hammersmith Apollo, Dec 1st 2012

“I just hope Steve doesn’t sing” was the worry I confided to the others on our way to the Hammersmith Apollo on a chilly London winter night.

Like many long-time Vai fans I’ve always tended to gloss over the time when Steve was “learning to use his new instrument” and I never really thought of the vocals on Flex-Able as singing in a real sense.

So when Steve launched into a lengthy explanation of the inspiration behind “The Moon and I” we awaited what was to come with some trepidation. It was fully justified — Steve is a poor singer — but the real revelation was that Steve knows full well his personal limitations. Mr Vai has a nice line in self-deprecating humour and if any confirmation were needed of this then it arrived in many forms, not least the night’s banter with drummer Jeremy Colson. His quip about Steve’s wanting vocal prowess had many a grown longhair giggling with mirth and yes it was scripted but really, who cared? This was one of many examples on the night of a warmth that would surprise anyone who hasn’t yet seen him in the flesh. But if that wasn’t enough then there was the failed big entrance for a track requiring an illuminated suit with laser-beam gloves: Spinal Tap territory to be sure and Vai knew it and when the move had to be aborted due to a bust guitar strap the man himself was man enough to admit it . . . we all guffawed but somehow found it so endearing it made the second attempt all the more impressive.

As for the guitar, need I tell you Dear Reader that it was the usual masterclass. A faithful rendition of “Tender Surrender” came early as did “Answers”, “The Audience is Listening” took things up a notch and of course “For the Love of God” ended the night. In between tracks included “Building the Church”, an innovative version of “Sisters” with Vai jamming the intro with his electric harpist Deborah Henson-Conant and a superb acoustic interlude from Vai backing guitarist Dave Weiner.

 

Rediscovered track of the month: Dec ’12

Crowded House, It’s Only Natural

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