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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres









Ben Bernanke to address eight top hedge funders
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"Former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke was booked for an intimate dinner Wednesday to address eight masters of the universe at Le Bernardin, we hear, including hedge funders David Einhorn, Louis Moore Bacon, Larry Robbins and Mike Novogratz.Sources said Bernanke’s expected to make about the same $250,000 fee he commanded at a recent Abu Dhabi speech.A spy said topics would include 'the 2008 banking crisis, the current state of affairs in Washington and monetary policy' at the dinner hosted by trading firm BTIG, which was co-founded by former Goldman Sachs partner Steven Starker. Bernanke will reportedly get another $300,000 for an upcoming talk in Turkey this year." (P6)















"Somewhere on the outskirts of Marrakech, Morocco, inside a vault housed beneath the shadow of the Atlas Mountains, there sits an engraved silver-and-nickel box with the potential to spawn a shift in the way music is consumed and monetized. The lustrous container was handcrafted over the course of three months by British-Moroccan artist Yahya, whose works have been commissioned by royal families and business leaders around the world. Soon, it will contain a different sort of art piece: the Wu-Tang Clan’s double-album The Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, recorded in secret over the past few years. Like the work of a master Impressionist, it will truly be one-of-a-kind—in lieu of a traditional major label or independent launch, the iconic hip-hop collective will make and sell just one copy of the album. And similar to a Monet or a Degas, the price tag will be a multimillion-dollar figure. 'We’re about to sell an album like nobody else sold it before,' says Robert 'RZA' Diggs, the first Wu-Tang member to speak on record about Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, in an exclusive interview with FORBES. 'We’re about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of [modern] music.  We’re making a single-sale collector’s item. This is like somebody having the scepter of an Egyptian king.' Wu-Tang’s aim is to use the album as a springboard for the reconsideration of music as art, hoping the approach will help restore it to a place alongside great visual works–and create a shift in the music business, not to mention earn some cash, in the process. The one-of-a-kind launch will be a separate endeavor from the group’s 20th anniversary album, A Better Tomorrow, which is set for a standard commercial release this summer.According to RZA and the album’s main producer Tarik 'Cilvaringz' Azzougarh, a Morocco-based part of Wu-Tang’s extended family, the plan is to first take Once Upon A Time In Shaolin on a 'tour' through museums, galleries, festivals and the like. Just like a high-profile exhibit at a major institution, there will be a cost to attend, likely in the $30-$50 range. Visitors will go through heavy security to ensure that recording devices aren’t smuggled in; as an extra precaution, they’ll likely have to listen to the 128-minute album’s 31 songs on headphones provided by the venue. As Cilvaringz puts it: 'One leak of this thing nullifies the entire concept.' Though no exhibition dates have been finalized, Cilvaringz says Wu-Tang has been in discussions with a bevy of possible locations, including the Tate Modern (a representative from the institution did not respond to a request for comment). Other venues, including art galleries and listening tents at music festivals, could eventually round out the tour." (Forbes)






"They've already achieved their goal. Money comes after awareness, and today awareness is all about cool. How can you create something that gets people to forward your message? That's how I found out, I don't read the almost worthless 'Forbes' on a regular basis. By letting amateurs participate they've diluted the brand. But assuming this is real, and not an early April Fool's joke, it's genius, because my inbox is filling up with people forwarding me this message. The key is to think outside the box, pardon the pun. If you're just sitting at home bitching that not enough people are paying for your music, you're gonna lose. The point is people have plenty of money to give you, you've just got to find a way to make it palatable. That's Amanda Palmer's genius. But don't think just because you made it someone cares. Someone forwarded me another article about a deejay bitching he just hasn't had enough financial support, urging people to pay musicians. But the problem is, I've never heard of this guy. I've heard of Wu-Tang. The blockbuster syndrome. You hate it, but own it. Success is rarely gradual today, there's no middle ground. You're nobody until you percolate and everybody knows your name. It can happen with a veritable unknown, like the Alabama Shakes, but it's the already established who can take advantage of new paradigms. In other words, recorded music cannot be your only revenue stream. The music has to motivate people to spend other money. That's the wall Gaga doesn't know she's gonna hit. We're still interested in her shenanigans, but without hit music, her album has been long forgotten, when she enters the next tour cycle...LOOK OUT! We live in an era of cacophony. How do you break through the clutter? The same way the artists did back in the sixties. Through creativity. Concept is king. Just ask the abstract expressionists. You might be able to duplicate a Jackson Pollock, but could you come up with the idea? The acts of yore were always getting us to challenge our preconceptions, taking us into their private world. Frank Zappa built a cult upon it. And his cult gives him greater longevity than many who topped the chart but said nothing." (BobLefsetz)








"It was the Michael’s lunch, and the place was packed – one hundred sixty at table and bar (also reserved and filled). The big star in the room was The Divine Miss M who was lunching with Boaty Boatwright. Miss M is very familiar with Michael’s as her husband Martin Von Hasselberg is one of Michael McCarty’s best pals, and is in the portrait with Michael (painted by Kim McCarty) next to the reception desk at the entrance of the restaurant. Around the room: Joan Gelman; Elizabeth  Musmanno, PR exec now with her own company; formerly of Vera Wang; Adam Platzner of Cornelius Capital, Bisilia Bokoko with Judy Agisim, Prince Dimitri; next door to them:s Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation Abu Dhabi, with Jacques Cousteau’s daughter (didn’t catch her name); and next door to them: Deborah Norville looking her bright and beautiful self; and next door to them: this writer with author (“Haywire”) Brooke Hayward; Beverly Camhe, Steven Stolman; Ed and Arlyn Gardner with Tony Hoyt; Dan Lufkin; Jordan Ringel; Andrew Stein with Nancy Ross and Ed Klein; Peter PriceAl Roker with Henry Schleiff; Kelly Langberg celebrating her husband Jeffrey’s birthday; Ellen Levine of Hearst; Debra Shriver of Hearst, Fern Mallis, George Green, formerly President and CEO of Hearst magazines; Dr. Jerry Imber with his pal Jerry della Femina. There are usually four or five at this table." (NYSD)

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