Friday, February 24, 2012

Connecticut Live Music Picks: Feb. 24 - Mar. 1

There's a whole hot mess of things to do and live music to catch around Connecticut this week. But here's what I think is awesome.

Intercambio Launch Event with Mates of State, The Stepkids, Sean Bones 
  • Friday, Feb. 24 (tonight), 8 p.m. 
  • Intercambio, Studio 756, 756 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT
Even if you overlook the fact that this is the launch event of Intercambio -- New Haven's newest venue, and will-be intersection for New Haven's dynamic arts community -- this show has our beloved Mates of State topping the bill. And The Stepkids! We love The Stepkids. And yup, Sean Bones too. So why this is a show you think you can pass on is beyond me. Although if you don't already have tickets, it kind of, sort of already sold out. I'm really excited to see what Intercambio is all about.

Pianos Become The Teeth, Xerxes, The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, The Saddest Landscape, Wess Meets West
Matt Pryor of The Get Up Kids with The Front Bottoms, Zac Clark & Young Volcanoes
Saint Motel, Stout Cortez (free show!)
  • Wednesday, Feb. 29, 9 p.m.
  • BAR, 254 Crown Street, New Haven, CT
  • Presented by Manic Productions
1974 with Ghost of Chance
  • Wednesday, Feb. 29, 9 p.m.
  • Cafe Nine, 250 State Street, New Haven, CT
  • $4 admission at door
Hate my taste? Tell us in the comments what shows you're all jazzed about attending this week.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Digital Ninja School: An experiment on training 'digital first' journalism

While the lack of blog updates here may indicate I haven't been up to much -- I assure you that's not the case. We've been very busy developing a training program to radically change the skill sets and mind sets of every single position in our Journal Register Company Connecticut newsrooms.

If you work in a newspaper newsroom, you know this transition from a print to digital focused mindset is easier said than done. Much easier. We're talking about learning and applying an entirely different mindset than what many of our journos learned when they were first hired and trained. In lots of respects, it's like sending a traditional print journalist to grad school for further education. This takes a lot of time, willingness, eagerness, money, and experimentation to make this kind of radical change to your business.

We haven't had trouble in the willingness department. That's been very clear. But the time to learn and experiment? Not to mention, money. That's been a problem. Our journalists have been painfully burning themselves out trying to do the whole 'more with less' thing.

That's why we launched the Digital Ninja School program.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Music Notes: Nada Surf - The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy

I have to warn you. Nada Surf are one of those bands that were so dear to me at a point in life, that I would probably listen to any new Nada Surf record on repeat and tell you it's a sweet listen. No matter how groundbreaking or run-of-the-mill it actually is.

So for me, the love is not unrequited on their latest record, The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy. I've been stoked on it for two weeks. But I also recognize that it doesn't deliver on its larger promise. Musically, it's the most amped up the New York trio has sounded since their MTV Buzz Bin days of the 90s. But the persisting theme of reconciling your dreams while approaching middle age is stretched thin and, at times, heavy handed. They nail it with "When I Was Young" but continue to swing at it for the rest of the album, with little variation or color. No matter. This is a record about separating stars from  constellations. While the record is okay as a body of work, it is the handful of stand out tracks like "Looking Through" and "The Future" that give it its shine.

Check out the video for "When I Was Young."