Thursday, May 28, 2009

Reports from the 2009 BMIFC Convention (Q&A UPDATE 5/27)

Dana's review from Saturday, May 23 (He dropped "They Dance" and added "Border Train")

Dana's review from Sunday, May 24
UPDATE 5/27/09
Q&A report from Linda on Ning Network
Finally, what we've been waiting for: have at it, kids!
UPDATE 5/25/09: Not slacking off, just drumming my fingers on the desk waiting for an update like everyone else.
All we know now is:
Dana has a Q&A report coming
Helen has a Sunday show review coming
UK fans are getting Barry back in September (yay for you!)
How did I know Dana would not disappoint????? And how did I know Barry would do most of Mayflower? And how did I know that "Freddie Said" would be hilarious?

Dana's review of the May 22 show

Would it be completely tasteless if I begged on bended knee for this show to be (one of) the first featured on Manilow TV?
Wait, wait, wait..... I just thought of this.....
(I have to read Dana's reviews at least 3 times before I get everything.)

She mentioned that he did "Sandra" in the Mayflower set - shocked and thrilled the hell out of the convention fans.

One of my earliest posts came after listening to Mayflower and then watching the First Television Special. Refresh your memory here. I noted that a segment of that special seemed to foreshadow Mayflower. Read the comment by texas_fan: she pointed out how "Sandra" would have fit in, thematically, with that record. Congrats, TF - you called it! (Cue the creepy Twilight Zone music.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Manilow TV is coming


We were all wondering if this step would be taken by TPTB after setting up the audio vault. We've all seen the Hotline. (And Moonstone did the best with it, graphics-wise!)

Hidden deep inside a distant mountain…..
Double locked behind a 32 inch thick steel door……
Found only at the end of a narrow tunnel….
Carved by hand from the overhead tons of granite.
Therein lies the treasure…….
Protected by the sub zero temperatures…..
Watched by an elite cadre of trained commandos…..
Every performance….
Every concert…..
Every interview…..
Every guest appearance…..
Preserved for centuries…..
Saved for you…….
And now….from deep inside the THE VAULT…..
Manilow.TV……is ready to offer the shows of a lifetime…..From the Showman of Our Generation….
THE SHOWS You know the shows…..The ones you’ve been begging for…….“Ultimate Manilow from Manchester, UK in 2008” “Hot Tonight from Chicago in 1983” “Greatest Hits And Then Some from Sydney in 1994”And more…and more….and more……..Exclusive….unseen…..beyond belief. Each month they’ll arrive on line…….and you’ll be able to watch until your heart’s content….or you content your heart. Can you watch them every hour of the day…..of course.

Can you download them and bootleg copies…..not unless you want to be shot at sunrise.

Can you have an absolute blast seeing some of these once in a lifetime classics…..GUARANTEED. STAY TUNED Check in soon for details on exactly how Manilow.TV…..The Internet Television Subscription Service….will work. See you on the telly!!!!!

The emphasis above is added.
I'm looking forward to this - lots of good stuff out there that got missed so if it's not going up for sale or on iTunes, I'll plant myself in front of the 'puter once in a while (outside of work) to enjoy it.

I have enough friends, acquaintances, and clients in various branches of the music industry to understand the emphasized "For cryin' out loud, don't bootleg this"statement. TPTB ran into this issue with the audio vault; many innocent fans didn't realize that it wasn't OK to save the MP3s and got themselves into crosshairs they didn't expect.

There's a way around this in four little words: Adobe. Flash. Video. Encoder.
In the Web CS3 edition, it's a separate software program. In the latest and greatest CS4, it's incorporated into the Flash Professional application. Link to info.

I've been playing with animation and video since Flash was on the drawing board and the state of the art was the ShockWave plugin (remember browser plugins??) created by Macromedia (which eventually got bought up by Adobe and made a bunch of little nerds very rich.) The process has gotten a lot easier and cheaper (less than $2K US for a complete web package) so you can stream your video and prevent downloads/bootlegging at the same time.

First, you have to reeeeeallllly know what you're doing to even find the flash file on your Temporary Internet Files directory. Then, you can't burn it onto a DVD and expect to play it on your TV. Even if you could, the quality would suck anyway because the data would be compressed for streaming. This is how YouTube works, this is how your favorite TV station archives show episodes for viewing, etc. So subscribers get their video legally, it's streamed on demand, and nothing gets bootlegged. Win-win all around.

But that's just me. I'm sure TPTB already know this and are encoding their little fingers off with that huge vault full of video. ;-) I'll be watching to see when this launches - hopefully soon after the Convention.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Robin Leach Blogs on Fan Club Convention

Photo: Erik Kabik/Retna/

Recording superstar and Hilton headliner Barry Manilow says he faces two
dilemmas, and he might not solve the more pressing one until he walks onstage
this weekend. From Friday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, Barry plays
host to the annual International Barry Manilow Fan Club Convention at the

Thousands of fans are traveling here from across the U.S. and Canada
and as far away as Britain and Australia. Barry knows they will be here to
listen to his incredible collection of hits, but instead he wants to treat them
to a special performance of his personal favorite album Here at the Mayflower,
which critics have hailed as the finest album of his career.

Full Article at:

OK folks. All of you who are going I'll say two things again:
1) Post early, post often. Lots of us who can't attend are depending on you!
2) BEHAVE YOURSELVES!!! If you act silly, we'll all look bad and this time you KNOW the media are watching!

I'll just settle in with Live at the Greek until the reports come in.

Safe travels to all!

VCR/DVR Alert: Dave Koz at the Movies

According to my search grid, the local ATL PBS channel will be airing a special: "Dave Koz at the Movies" on Monday, June 1. Barry is one of the special guests along with others for a program of cinema music. Check your local listings.

Here's a clip on YouTube: Psst: Barry sings "Moon River" in the show - there's a clip and a brief comment from him below This one will be a keeper!
Question: why didn't Barry perform "Shadow of Your Smile"? (It is going to be one of the songs included.) Maybe a bit sick of it after his piano bar days? ;-)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"..stuck on band-aids..."

The video of Barry's Clio award and interview. (Thanks to Moonstone, she found it first.)

I have a relative who worked in the Wound Care division of Johnson & Johnson when they were revitalizing the decades-old Band-Aid brand. The details in the research are mind boggling: the thickness of the latex base, the strength of the adhesive, the manufacturing of the sterile bandage pad to prevent it from sticking to a wound. (Adding antibiotics to the gauze didn't cross anyone's mind until about 10 - 15 years later.) Then there's sterile processing and making the individual package easy to open while maintaining sterility before it's applied. The boys in this department could (and did....) go on for days about this kind of minutiae.

Marketing was a different part of the building. The nerds in research and development didn't give it much thought. They got the letters and feedback from the public and translated that into product improvement. But selling to the public after FDA approval was a different ball of wax. My relative was a low-level nerd in manufacturing engineering. Bottom man on the totem pole, just make the design and specs work in the product. He didn't have to sell Band-Aids, he just had to make them sellable.

So this weekend, he sees a current Band-Aids commercial, with Barry's jingle, he goes off on his usual diatribe about the "tough old days" when he was "paying his dues" in the industry. How the advertising folks had it so easy, they just had to throw together little songs and it was more like play than the work HE had to do. I kept quiet this time, just to give him a little rope to hang himself.

"So how did advertising come up with the commercials, Bob?"

"Who knows? They find some kid and give him a few bucks to whistle a tune. How hard could it be?"

My teeth almost exploded, I was trying so hard not to laugh. Yes, Bob is a serious Barry fan, especially when it came to Paradise Cafe and his Sinatra interpretations.

Someone (Gee, I wonder who?) came up with the idea of putting on the 70s DVD. No, I did not get a shot of the look on Bob's face when Barry gets to the part about how the Band-Aids jingle was one of his first compositions to earn him some cash. Wasn't quick enough with the camera.

All of a sudden, the sun came up and it dawned on Bob that maybe a little respect is in order for the advertising folks - especially the jingle writers.

I love moments like that. ;-)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mothers' Day

My mom is visiting for a couple of weeks. We're going out to brunch tomorrow before church. Nothing really special, it's a time to "just be". Well, the special part is the 2nd daughter coming soon. Pete enjoys being the alpha male lion of the pride. ;-)
Happy Mothers' Day to all the moms out there. Biological, adoptive, or if you're a mom figure to someone, it all counts. MUAH!!!
(I'll have more Barry stuff to write about once I get my copy of "Live at the Greek". I promise!!!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Who's in charge of the Manilow Network?

Not you.

Unless you're one of TPTB lurking around, then that answer doesn't apply. ;-)

But most of us don't work for TPTB. None of us fans set up the official Network on Ning.

So why is it that there are SO many posts that say, in one form or another, "Hey, you can't say that here."

Or "You can't talk about politics" (which is only invoked when the opinion expressed is different than the objector's).

Or a few dozen responses to a post about "respect" (without actually defining what respect is).

Or even a cyber circle-jerk regarding some oh-so-offensive individual and their post(s). What's most ironic about that one is that the best way to make "offensive" material go away is to ignore it. Yapping on and on and "standing in agreement" like in church brings MORE attention to what offends you, not less.

My second favorite saying (after "half of talking is knowing when to shut up") is "No one died and put you in charge". Unless you are one of TPTB (and no one besides the moderator of that network is) your opinion doesn't hold a lot of water. Thank your lucky stars that you're allowed to post it, of course, but self-appointed Guardians of All That Is True and Right don't last too long.

If you see something that could be a problem, private message the moderator. I did that myself in the early weeks of the Network, last year. But the bottom line is, the determination of what is "OK" to post belongs to TPTB and no one else.

One of the reasons I left the Network some time ago was because the temptation to waste a bunch of billable hours was too strong and there were too many opportunities to vent like I'm doing here. Once in a while on a private blog, fine. But piddling away several hours at a time when someone is paying me to work for them instead was NOT a good place to be. I still love to read there. Lots of great reviews, lots of great Platinum stories. Especially when you hear additional details from another source and compare them with what's posted. That's just a scream!

So who wants to suggest positive ways to spend time during Barry's break until the Convention? The "I'm a better MMN participant than you" game is getting old and boring.