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Tools of Change 2013: What Excites Me Right Now

February 2nd, 2013 · 8 Comments
by Kassia Krozser

In about two weeks, I, along with a couple thousand or so of my closest friends, will be attending the 2013 Tools of Change for Publishing conference in New York. As you may have guessed, recently I’ve felt I haven’t had much to add to the digital publishing conversation. In many ways — while I know there has been exciting innovation — I’ve felt like we’ve been at a standstill.

(Or, to misquote my friend Eoin Purcell, publishers feel like they have this whole digital thing sorted. Done and done.)

Of course, if you’ve been paying attention (and I know you have), you know there is a lot of innovation happening outside the world of traditional publishing. And, to be honest, inside of traditional publishing, though I would characterize many of those experiments as baby steps instead of bold initiatives. Perhaps this is how it should be.
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File Under: The Future of Publishing

The Daily Square

Certain Songs #443: 54-40 – “Sound of Truth”

February 6th, 2016 · No Comments

54-40 sound of truth Album: Set The Fire
Year: 1984

Most likely, if people have heard of 54-40, it’s because of an episode of the TV show Friends. Specifically, the one with Hootie and The Blowfish, which was actually called “The One With Five Steaks and an Eggplant.”

After the usual series of wacky hijinx and hilarious misunderstandings, the gang finds themselves at a Hootie and The Blowfish concert, where — in a very unconvincing “concert” scene — Hootie and The Blowfish aren’t playing one of their songs from Cracked Rear View, but rather a cover of the Canadian band 54-40’s “I Go Blind.”

Lord knows what kind of burgeoning corporate synergy led to that moment, but I remember watching that episode, and not knowing anything about Hootie and/or The Blowfish (outside of their tremendous popularity), was incredibly confused that they were playing a song that I actually knew.

In any event, I’d like to think that cover — which was freaking identical to the original version, BTW — sent a few folks towards discovering 54-40’s 1986 major-label debut, 54-40, which included a few good songs, like the aforementioned “I Go Blind” and the almost-a-Certain-Song “Take My Hand.”

None of which has very much to do with today’s entry, “Sound of Truth” from their 1984 indie release Set The Fire.

Starting of with a mournful trumpet, and almost instant falling into a slow, bass-driven two-note groove, “Sound of Truth” is one of those songs that trades upon repetition, while occasionally adding more instruments into the mix.

Meanwhile, vocalist Neil Osbourne (no relation), who sounds like the third vocalist in Translator if they had a third vocalist, is singing:

Some kind of order is what we’re after
The sound of truth doesn’t matter any more,
happy poor
There is a trick some kind of lure
No means of knowing sure anymore,
happy poor

At one point, a banjo comes in, playing the same figure over and over and over, against the slow beat, while more horns come in while the the entire band (or maybe just multi-tracked Osbournes) sing over and over:

The sound of truth is what we’re after
The sound of truth is what we’re after
The sound of truth is what we’re after
The sound of truth is what we’re after
The sound of truth is what we’re after
The sound of truth is what we’re after
The sound of truth is what we’re after
The sound of truth is what we’re after
The sound of truth is what we’re after
The sound of truth is what we’re after
The sound of truth is what we’re after
The sound of truth is what we’re after
The sound of truth is what we’re after
The sound of truth is what we’re after
The sound of truth is what we’re after
The sound of truth is what we’re after

While some folks might shout “We get it already! You’re after the sound of truth!” I’ve always found the repetition — musically and vocally — hypnotic and anthemic.

Also: for thirty years, I’ve been waiting for a deep voice to counterpoint “THE SOUND OF TRUTH” like a Rush song or something. So far, it hasn’t happened, except for in my head, every time.

“Sound of Truth”

The Daily Square Archive

Quote Of The Week

On Acknowledging Truths

May 3rd, 2010 · 12 Comments

The shifts in today’s publishing business are happening lightening fast and iceberg slow. Epiphanies strike at odd moments. Brett Sandusky had one. Below is where he ended up; read his entire post (linked below) to see how he got there.

In the end, no amount of market research, anecdotal evidence, kaffee klatsches, or cocktail parties can ever replace actual and real interaction with our customers. Recently, I attended a conference where a panelist kept repeating throughout her presentation, “The reader is the consumer who is your customer. I openly admit that, at the time, I begrudged this panelist for stating the obvious. Of course the reader is our customer.

It wasn’t until much later that I realized what she was really saying: in an age of digital books, in an age where many of this industry’s institutions are, one by one, going away or becoming irrelevant, we are no longer the industry we thought we were. And, the reality is this: we can no longer afford to act as a B-to-B business. The future, if we have one, depends on our ability to reconfigure as a B-to-C business and start interacting with readers directly free of buffers and intermediaries. From product development, to consumer feedback, to buyer-less sell-in for digital products, to direct to consumer sales, to verticality, to providing readers with what they want, a new wave of customer interaction needs to guide us along our paths to the future.

Now, do you remember that money which we took from marketing budgets slated for BEA? What if we funneled that money into establishing direct consumer contact? Think of the awesome changes we could make in place of printing thousands upon thousands of galleys that end up in the hands of someone who could get the book for free regardless.

I can only repeat these wise words, something I didn’t fully understand just a few months ago, “The reader is the consumer who is your customer.”

Quote Of The Week Archive

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