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L.A.-based director Cutter Hodierne on the making of his Sundance Film Festival debut

Fishing without Nets

Somali modern day piratesA few years ago, stories about modern-day pirates terrorizing the waters off the Somali coast started to emerge, and eventually it led to a small media frenzy. In 2008, the world watched as rescue measures were taken to save kidnapped French couple Bernadette and Jean-Yves Delanne, who were abducted by pirates while sailing home from Australia aboard their yacht, the Carre d’As. Eventually, French Special Forces freed the couple in an operation that left a pirate dead, and six more arrested. Although this happened several thousand miles away from the Californian coast, for Los Angeles based director Cutter Hodierne, the story hit close to home.

Just before he was born, Hodierne’s parents sold everything that they owned and bought a 32-foot cutter-rigged sailboat; Cutter spent the first three years of his life sailing the South Pacific Ocean. At the time, the area was one of the first and only places one would hear about modern-day pirate activity. When reminded of the French couple, Hodierne says, “That could’ve been us.” Over twenty years later, the early memories would lay down the groundwork in what would become the short-film that introduces Sundance to Cutter Hodierne.

Coeur de Pirate The French-Canadian Singer Songwriter takes her newest album on the road

Coeur de Pirate to Play Four U.S. Shows

Béatrice Martin Coeur de Pirate Béatrice Martin will be bringing her Coeur de Pirate project to the Northeastern United States for four dates this January. Despite her performing in French, the award-winning French-Canadian singer’s fan base has been expanding internationally to English-speaking audiences thanks to her rich and highly expressive, yet accessible songwriting. On several occasions, Canada’s CBC ‘Bucky Awards’ have proclaimed Coeur de Pirate as the ‘Best Reason to Learn French’. She has been certified Platinum in Canada and Belgium, Triple Platinum in France, and Gold in Switzerland.

On her 2011 sophomore album entitled Blonde (referring not only to her hair color, but also to the French-Canadian slang term for girlfriend), Coeur de Pirate melancholic-ally evokes a sixties sound and style, and does so with impressive maturity given her twenty-two years of age.

Is music more important than the quality of your artist brand?

music brand scaleIs this a trick question?

I asked my brother (artist/songwriter/producer) the same question a couple weeks ago and without hesitation he voiced music. Logically he gave a perfectly valid and rational answer. If an artist’s music is top notch, fans should instantly take notice and through word of mouth and social media channels will soon be rewarded with a huge following. Right!

Wrong! The problem with that scenario is… we are not ‘logical’ creatures at all. And at times we can be led astray by our emotions and senses. Our irrational thoughts and behavior can sometimes border on insanity. To make the ends justify the means, we will force 1+1 to equal 3. If we believe it to be so, then damned to anyone who says otherwise!

It would be like trying to explain Ms. Kardashian’s brand. Logically it shouldn’t exist, but love it or hate it; she believed in it enough to be so.

What is the reason? Soon the why and the reason are gone and all that matters is the feeling. This is the nature of the universe. We struggle against it, we fight to deny it; but it is of course a lie. Beneath our poised appearance we are completely out of control.

Why your Facebook Friends Hate You!

facebook unfriends dislike You know that Facebook page you always check in on? The one that has interesting updates, good videos, great blogs and cool pictures? You know that one that even if you don’t see an update on your main page, you will still type in that page just to check in?

Now how about this for another set of questions…you know that page you can’t stand? The one that puts up the worst stuff, over posts, has those multiple repeat posts of the same updated two to four times, spams you with show schedules, invites to groups over and over again, excess hype and other annoying updates?

And for whatever reason, you have you have not unfriended them. Whether it is being nice or feeling guilty or maybe you have unfriended them and they added you again and you accepted them. Maybe you keep them as a friend but you block them and honestly have no idea what they are up to.

Now the real question.

Which one are you?

You know those people and hopefully you aren’t one of them…The ones that brag about having this many followers, this many friends and this many connections and yet they wonder why they aren’t getting people to their shows or selling their music and merchandise?

Music Producers Leading a Revival in the Music Industry

Interest in the music production arts, recording technology (software and hardware) and artist branding is at an all time high and is slowly revitalizing ‘music making’ in the industry.

It’s hardly unexpected when you think about it. The old model was based on control. The powers that be purposely limited things on the supply side, which naturally increased demand for new music by a handful of branded artists and bands.

The result…limit the supply and human nature kicks into high gear. We instinctively want a piece of what we can’t have! Scarcity rules!

stage dive - chaosHowever, digital music changed this and for the past 10 years there has been a veritable online digital orgy of the masses converging on new technology to become the next big thing or simply get hands in on a small piece of the free pie. And to the dismay of powers that be, you can’t limit supply in a digital world.

Eventually the laws of economics (supply and demand) decided to crash the party, bringing order back from the grips of chaos. Now in an oversaturated market, where much of the music has very little value (or is free), many artists are now faced with a conundrum. How do we make music profitable again?

Hip Hop Artist Keldamuzik aka Diva takes over Antigua with Saga 51 TV & Super Power

Keldamuzik aka DivaDiva has always put herself in the public eye using different tactics to obtain the buzz she deserves for her music career. Instead of the same old music campaign and chasing down industry insiders, Diva created “The Cultural Exchange Tour”, to grab the attention of promoting her artistry in local, national and international areas. From working with Caribbean artist such as Kirk Brown, Ku-J and DJ Outkast; to being featured in Germany’s Shuffle Magazine and a special guest on Australia’s Kiss FM; Diva has been more than welcome to bless each country with her presence.

As of late, “The Cultural Exchange Tour” has lead Diva to tour countries such as Antigua, which took place July 16th – July 28th, and landed Diva a feature in the Antigua Observer. Special thanks to Ben & Alexander Isaac of Super Power, and Daddy aka Lester Buffong of Saga 51 TV; Diva worked closely with both brands and performed alongside with Andy Livingston at the launching of the Heroes Music Festival held at Jolly Beach Hotel July 18th, presented by Super Power and Saga 51 TV, which was a private event and hosted no more than 60 special invitees and close associates of the TV station. The actual festival will take place Oct 29th, featuring Diva, Reggae star Jah Cure, Jamaica’s up and coming Andy Livingston and Antigua’s finest Sir Oungku Edwards.

Designer Jac Vanek Creates “We Love Japan” Bracelets with We the Kings

Cutting edge clothing and accessories designer, Jac Vanek, has teamed up with power-pop band, We the Kings to create a “We Love Japan” bracelet. All of the proceeds go toward relief efforts in Japan.

Jac Vanek just returned from SXSW 2011, where she hosted a gift suite with indie artists in attendance, such as Arms, Bad Veins, The Antlers, Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea, Jukebox The Ghost, etc.