Nick Jonas Demi Lovato Concert vs KidzBop Concert?

Last week, after having the opportunity to attend two pop concerts, one with each of my daughters, I formed some unexpected opinions about each of the artists. The first concert, on September 7th at the Bridgestone Arena, was Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas. My 11 year old daughter and I got to the show around 7, and caught one of the opening acts, Mike Posner, who had the arena bumping to old and new Mike Posner jams. But, the main acts, Demi and Nick, weren't so impressive.

Now maybe I'm being picky, maybe I'm being too hard on these guys, but when I go to a pop show to see not one, but two mega pop stars, play in an arena, I'm kinda looking for a show. Like, a show show. Something other than just you moving around the stage singing. Now, granted, the light show was pretty cool, with automated lasers dancing about and illuminating the crowd, but other than one or two instances of a freelance guitarist popping on stage for a solo, there wasn't a whole lot to see, besides the computer generated graphics on the big screen. No dancers, no choreography, no trampolines, or flying out into the audience on ropes, no unexpected songs - and they only did a couple of songs together. With all the promotion of these two doing a show together, they could have done so much more, as a team, to make the show stand out and be memorable. I suppose Country fans got a kick out of the surprise appearance of Brad Paisley and Thomas Rhett, the show's saving grace, I suppose, but all in all, I give this concert, on a scale of 1 to 10... a whopping 4.

Now, on the other hand KIDZBOP, which you may expect would be a painful two and a half hour sacrifice, for the love of your little one, was actually a pretty good show!!  For those of you who aren't familiar with the very successful KIDZBOP entity, probably the most successful of its kind.... KIDZBOP, now on album 32, takes all the current pop hits on the charts, and re-records them, with the KIDSBOP kids. The end result being a duplicate of the original song, with edited lyrics, in many cases, to make the song as kid friendly as possible. With over 16 million album sales since its inception in 2001, I'd say these folks have hit a goldmine.  And with that, they certainly have enough of a budget to put on a killer show at the Ryman Theater.... probably more of a budget than Nick and Demi, I'm thinking. Why? Well, my thoughts are this. Who's more likely to PAY for an album? A parent wanting songs for their child? Or a teen / young adult that can very easily download their favorite songs online, for free in most cases. Exactly!

Super vocal performances, smoke machines, automated light up costumes, balls flying around the audience, polished choreography, and a lot of little things to keep the audience, both young and old, engaged in the show! I was certainly impressed. I won't go as far as to give them a 10, but KIDZBOP deserves at least an 8.

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Do eyes get better with age?

"And you may ask yourself - why am I wearing this suit?"

"And you may ask yourself - why am I wearing this suit?"

I'm not sure when it happened, but somewhere in the last year or two, my eyes were upgraded. Now, I don't mean my actual vision upgraded. I still wear the same prescription contacts. I mean that my ability to recognize what looks good, versus what looks like crap, has greatly improved. For example, I recently saw an old picture of myself wearing a suit (Disclaimer: When I say "old", I'm talking about 3 years ago). At the time of said "suit picture", I really thought this suit looked snazzy on me, despite desperate pleas from my sister and mother to avoid wearing it, at all costs. They said, "It's way too big for you, man", but I failed to really see it.... until the other day. We were going through old pictures and , low and behold, there it was - the GIANT SUIT! "My God", I proclaimed, as I laid my eyes on myself, wearing what must have been assumed by others as my much larger uncle's hand-me-down. "Holy ****! Please tell me you photoshop'd this" I asked my mother, reaching for hope. What on earth were these other parents at the Daddy-Daughter Dance thinking? Did they feel sorry for me? Were they secretly laughing at me when I wasn't looking? Were they talking about collecting donations to help the poor homeless man that made it to his child's dance? Thank God my daughters weren't old enough to be utterly embarrassed at their oversized-suit-wearing father! 

The same thing recently happened when I started reviewing my Squarespace website, with plans of a new template and redesign. Horrible color combinations, low resolution super pixelated images, sloppy formatting of blocks, cluttered information... Gosh, did I really think, "This looks great!" at one point? It's like I was operating with a completely different set of eyes! It all looked incredibly unprofessional and ugly, which is not the image you want to present yourself with - especially when Videography is one of the skills you're claiming.

A solid, well formatted, easy to navigate, visually appealing website is not only a good idea - it is MANDATORY, if you want your site to represent you as the best in your field. When I dove into the template options Squarespace offers, and started viewing sample sites within these template designs, it was clear to me that much work had to be done. Luckily, with Squarespace, converting to a new template design is super simple and doesn't require starting over from scratch. 

After several weeks of adding, subtracting, tightening up, and tweaking, I can't believe the difference in the look of the old site versus the new. It's SO much better, and I give all the credit to my new upgraded eyes, and to Squarespace for offering such an amazing product for so little. Where else can you get a website like this for ten bucks a month? 

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on the new website and ANY constructive criticism is more than welcomed. I'm sure my eyes still have several perception upgrades on the way! 

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Neil Ebanks

25+ year veteran of music production, Neil Ebanks, has specialized in pop production as long as he can remember.... and that's not long, because his memory sucks! That said, he remembers how to put together a phat track, in virtually any genre, for demos, album projects, commercials, and more. Throw in his more recently acquired video production skills, and you have yourself a one-stop shop for music and video.