I took this photo earlier tonight. Those folks in the photo are Nickel Creek, along with Bela Fleck. If it looks like the photo was taken in a basement, it was — or, a little venue on Nashville’s 8th Avenue called “The Basement.”

I was sitting on the front row with my wife and son, who’s out of school tomorrow. (Felt bad for my daughter whose “junior paper” is due tomorrow. She’s a huge fan of Sara Watkins, left.)

My son asked if I was going to “blog it.” I said I couldn’t, as this is one of those times where I can conjure no words that do justice to a Chris Thile solo performance in a basement that holds 50 people…and then the rest of the folks in the photo show up.

For those who may not know, the two musicians in the middle of this photo, Fleck on banjo and Thile on mandolin, are true masters of their respective instruments — certainly among the most innovative musicians ever to play either instrument. But I’ll admit, I’m a Thile fanatic. On this blog, in 2002, I said he was other-worldly and godlike. He’s the Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, (fill-in-iconic-figure-of-your-choice-here) of the mandolin.

Tonight, Thile’s selections ranged from Bach’s Sonata No.2 in A-minor for violin to the most incredible bluegrass I’ve ever heard to a cover of the Beatles “Fool on the Hill” and wonderful stuff all in-between.

I’ve heard him perform with Nickel Creek in front of 10,000 people at Dancin’ in the District and at the Ryman during the taping of a PBS special, and with Mark O’Connor at the Ingram center at Vanderbilt, but I must admit, hearing him from about four feet away in a basement concert is perhaps the most incredible
musical performances I’ve ever witnessed.

He’ll be doing some more of these Thursday night concerts, so watch the Nickel Creek website.

And thanks to John, who told me about the concert as I was leaving the office.


Why publishers won’t go after Google

Why publishers won’t go after Google: I’ll let Rafat
and others interpret the math on Google’s quarterly earnings. (They were
impressive.) My 2¢ worth is only this: Google paid “publishing
partners” $462 million during the quarter. While there were lots of
long-tail little guys getting some of that money, I’d be willing to
guess that some classic Pareto principle (80-20) is working there and
that the media companies one might expect to view Google as a threat
are growing so dependent on this revenue stream that nothing, and I
mean nothing, will stop them from being sucklings on this teat. Don’t look at me, I’m one of those happy suckers!

Webster’s definition of clueless

Webster’s definition of clueless:  I’m sure Graham Webster is a nice person and I don’t want to suggest he’s actually an idiot. But this column certainly is idiocy. The “young reporter” at Editor & Publisher says “blogs are a horrible way to deliver journalism…and forget them.”

Why is this statement idiocy? The basis for his observation suggests proves he’s never used a
newsreader, RSS, Topix, PubSub or many other ways that allow one to have
dozens of “entry points” into blog posts. Geez.

Don’t embarass yourself next time Graham. Ask around, perhaps say, “Am
I missing something  here?” I assume using RSS tools is not
something they teach in J-school yet, Graham. The world is changing,
however. Get over it.

Also, Graham, for the record, the buzzword “entry point” is SO 2003. But maybe you missed it as you were
depending on Yahoo’s “portal” page (which is so, what, 1996?).

Again, “young reporters” tend to display their limitations when they project their ignorance onto an entire generation.

Graham, there are enough old geezers making stupid decisions at newspapers. Don’t be a geezer before your time.

(via Romenesko)

A9 city, we’re not

A9 city, we’re not: This weekend, I’m working on some “helpful tips” for out-of-towners visiting Nashville for BlogNashville, May 5-7 (first tip, go to the Opening Night Party), and I noticed that A9
has just added five new cities to its Yellow Page photo service.
Unfortunately, Nashville’s not one of the new cities. Nashville must
have been bumped by Fargo.

By the way, when I post that “helpful tip” guide, I’ll basically be pointing to the wonderful Nashville travel website, Blue Shoe Nashville.

Finally, some magazines about celebrities

Finally, some magazines about celebrities: Today’s launch
(or, as we say, entering the post-vaporzine, pre bye-atus period) of
previously blogged and greatly anticipated new magazines, that’s right,
plural, as in 2, about celebrities may finally shed some light on this
under-reported topic.

Here’s a magazine idea: Readers Digest could aggregate and condense versions of
stories from all these celebrity magazines and print it in big type.
The magazine’s title could be  “Apocalypse Wow!”