Mobile App Helps You Find the Vinyl

The Vinyl District mobile iPhone appI recently came across a mobile app called The Vinyl District, which is designed to help music lovers (specifically, those of us who are into vinyl) locate record stores, keep up with the latest music trends from their blog, and connect with others with similar interests.

I had a chance to give the app a quick test drive, and it seems to be a nice tool if you’re in a new city and find yourself wanting to go record shopping.  I’m not sure how much I’d want to use the app in my own town (San Diego), but I did discover a couple of stores I had not previously heard about.

The “All Stores” section automatically lists record stores near you (assuming you allow the app to use your location).  It also includes an option to display those stores on Google Maps.  When you tap the location, you are taken to a new screen which will allow you to get directions, view the business on Yelp, see recent nearby Tweets (most of which will have nothing to do with the record store), or check-in (similar to a Foursquare check-in).

Cow Records - Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA

The TVD Blog (link for the online version) looks nice in a mobile format and is updated several times each day from what I can tell.  News like Jack White’s latest release and a personal account from a recent Ryan Adams concert in DC (along with news for tons of other indie artists I haven’t heard of) fill the blog with a good mix of content.

In terms of social integration, the app has a nice social foundation – but it kind of feels like a ghost town.  No comments on the blog that I could find and not a ton of activity in the “Social” section.  Maybe there just aren’t that many people out there talking about record stores.   I get it.

Still, overall I like the idea of this app and how they’ve integrated more robust services like Yelp and Twitter.

What are your favorite music related apps?  Leave a comment and let me know.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

An Instagram Tour of Austin

I was recently in Austin, Texas for a conference on marketing and web development for higher education. I snapped lots of photos with my iPhone. Here are a few of my favorites.

Austin Bergstrom Airport

Austin Bergstrom Airport

Stevie Ray Vaughan Statue

Chicken Truck

Austin Shoe Store - Allen Boots

South Congress - Quirky stores, candy shops, and great food

Austin Architecture

Austin Motel

Great food at the Trailer Park & Eatery

Austin Grafitti

Jo's Coffee Shop - South Congress

SRV standing guard over Town Lake

Treasures from South Congress

Live Music on 6th Street

Downtown Austin View

Trails Around Town Lake

Trailer Food Festival

Stubb's

Leaving Austin

My Blog: A Year in Review

Last week marked my 1-year anniversary of starting my own personal blog.  Since I’ve actually stuck with it and kept somewhat of a regular schedule, I now have a lot to look back on.  Thanks to all of you who have read, commented, and linked to my blog this year.

My Family at Grand Canyon - Sometime in the 80s

When I started my new blog, I set out with only a couple of specific goals:

  1. Write about subjects that interest me, such as marketing, technology, social media, travel, music
  2. Write at least one post per month.

As for the first goal, this one was easy.  I find a lot of interesting things on the web and I like to stay current on the newest social media trends.  I didn’t write much about music (besides recapping the concerts I’ve attended), but maybe I’ll do more with that in the next 12 months.

With 34 posts under my belt, goal number two was easily met.

So what were my favorite posts?

Ty Webb Has Real Klout

My personal favorite (mainly because it includes a strong reference to the movie Caddyshack) was my short blog on Klout, the new service that measures online “influence.”

My most visited post was written about what we can learn from the Chilean miner rescue from a leadership standpoint.

I also enjoyed writing (and re-reading this week) all my posts about my family and travel.  Honorable mention goes to my posts on marketing and related events I’ve attended.

So where will the next year take me?  Who knows.  I just hope you’re able to come along for the ride.

Concerts I’ve Seen

The topic of concerts came up recently and I started to think back to all the great live shows I’ve seen.  I figured I’d try to list them all.  Here’s an attempt…

High School/Middle School

The Edge (Rock / Pop covers), Crandall Middle School Gym, sometime in the 80s
Aerosmith with the Black Crowes, Pump Tour, July 15, 1990 (Thank you, Wikipedia)
Rush with Primus, Roll the Bones, Reunion Arena, Dallas, TX, Feb. 16, 1992
Steve Miller Band, Starplex Amphitheater, Dallas, TX, 1991?
Skid Row with Pantera, Fair Park Coliseum, Dallas, TX, March 21, 1992
Metallica with Guns N Roses, Texas Stadium, Sept. 5, 1992
Van Halen (Sammy Hagar), Right Here Right Now Tour, Starplex Ampitheater, Aug. 5, 1993

College
Run DMC, U of Maryland, College Park, 1995
The Beach Boys, US Naval Academy, 1995
Steve Miller Band, US Naval Academy, 1995
BB King, Jimmie Vaughan, Etta James, J. Geils, US Naval Academy, Sept 15, 1995
The Doobie Brothers, US Naval Academy, 1996
Charlie Daniels Band, North Carolina, 1996
Gary Stewart (drunken country music legend), Southern Junction, Terrell, TX, 1996
Def Leppard, Starplex Amphitheater, Dallas, TX, 1996
George Clinton and P-Funk with Edwin McCain, random festival in Raleigh, NC, 1997?
Kiss, Greensboro Coliseum, NC, 1997
Tim McGraw, Raleigh, NC, 1997
Ozzfest, Starplex Amphitheater, Dallas TX, sometime during college on summer break
The Allman Brothers Band, Rhode Island, 1998

Post College
Brooks and Dunn, somewhere outdoors in San Diego (Temecula?), 1999
Merle Haggard, Pechanga Casino, San Diego, 2000
Moby, Cox Arena, San Diego, 2000 (backstage snoozer of a party)
Poison, Coors Amphitheater, Chula Vista, CA 2001
Goo Goo Dolls, San Diego Embarcadero (Super Bowl XXXVII pre-party), 2003
Motley Crue, Coors Amphitheater, Chula Vista, CA, 2003
Scorpions & Whitesnake, Cox Arena, San Diego, 2003
Foo Fighters & Social Distortion, San Diego Street Scene, 2004
Pearl Jam, Cox Arena, 2006
Van Halen (David Lee Roth, EVH, Alex VH, & Wolfgang VH), Cox Arena, 2007
Ambrosia, Anthology San Diego, 2008
Ambrosia, Weins Winery, Temecula, CA, 2009
Crosby, Stills, Nash, Humphrey’s, San Diego, 2009
Huey Lewis and the News, Humphrey’s, San Diego, 2009
Air Supply & Christopher Cross, Humphrey’s, San Diego, 2009
Crosby, Stills, Nash, Humphrey’s, San Diego, 2010
ZZ Top, Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2010
Pure Prairie League, Anthology San Diego, 2011
Colin Hay, Sycuan Casino, 2011
Van Halen, Viejas Arena (SDSU), June 2012
Hall & Oates, Harrah’s Rincon Outdoor Amphitheater, September 2012
Jackson Browne, Copley Symphony Hall San Diego, Jan 2013
Bonnie Raitt, Copley Symphony Hall San Diego, Feb 2013 (incredible!)
Huey Lewis & the News, Humphrey’s San Diego, July 2013
Kenny Loggins, Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach, August 2013
James Taylor, Hollywood Bowl, CA, June 7, 2014
Atlanta Rhythm Section, Scituate Heritage Days, August 2015
Heart, South Shore Music Circus, Cohasset, MA, June 24, 2016
Tedeschi Trucks Band, Levitate Music Festival, Marshfield, MA, July 9, 2016
Huey Lewis & the News, Cape Cod Melody Tent, Cape Cod, MA, July 30, 2016
Tedeschi Trucks Band, Orpheum Theater, Boston, MA, Dec 3, 2016

Some of the details, years, and venues are a little cloudy.  I’ll update as I find ticket stubs, photos, and details.

Bottom line for me is that I’ve seen so many great shows over the years.  I still have a nice list of acts I’d like to see – just waiting for the right opportunity.  What were your favorite concerts?

Me and John Oates, 2012

Three Books I Hope to Finish Before 2011

I’ll admit it.  I don’t read as many books as I’d like to these days, but I’m able to plow through about one a month.  Because of my graduate school experience at USD and my professional interests, the books I choose to read have changed a bit over the past few years – but I’m still interested in variety.  Lately, I’ve been reading books on marketing,  social media, and technology to keep up with trends, and to help me process what I find daily in my Google Reader.  Here are a few of my recent favorites:

Googled:  The end of the world as we know it, by Ken Auletta
I’m only about halfway through this one, so I’m still getting to some of the good stuff.  Basically, Auletta opens up the hood on one of the most powerful and fascinating companies in the world and the result is an easy, fast read that provides lots of history on how and why Google is such a force in business.

Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do business, by Erik Qualman
Again, I’m only part of the way through this one (noticing a trend here?), but it’s clear that this is a great book for marketers and non-marketers alike.  Using recent (2010) case studies and relevant examples, Qualman does a great job of explaining why businesses should embrace social media (just in case there are any holdouts left these days).  One item that jumped out at me was the subtitle; notice he says “transforms,” as in, it’s constantly changing.  Read it now before this is all old news.  In case you haven’t seen it, here’s a powerful video that was created along with the book.

Of course, I still like a good biography now and then, especially if it involves musicians.  Since I’ve seen CSN in concert twice now, I figured I’d give this one a go:

Crosby, Stills, & Nash: The biography, by Dave Zimmer and Henry Diltz
If you like old stories about old rockers, which I do – this one’s for you.  Endorsed in the preface by Graham Nash himself, this seems to be a pretty accurate, raw, and real version of the CSN story.  Again, only halfway through, so don’t tell me how it ends.

Photo credit: Robert Altman