The Convergence of Art and Technology: Google Goes GaGa


You knew this was coming … ;-) This woman, a year my junior has been a source of validation, inspiration and regeneration since I hit rock bottom in Vegas and moved back to Ohio two years ago.

Nevertheless, my allegorical sister from another mister continues her meteoric rise through the piano, performance art, fashion, social, search, tech, innovation and online zeitgeist:


  • If you don’t have any shadows, you’re not standing in the light…
  • And I really encourage people to look into the darkness and places you wouldn’t normally look to find uniqueness and specialness…because that’s where the diamonds are hiding

  • You have to look into what’s haunting you, and you need to learn to forgive yourself in order to move on (referring to the next single off her upcoming album, whose Biblical proportion doesn’t seem likely to conclude at ‘Judas’)
  • My girlfriends wanted to work for you (Google). I wanted to be the one they were searching for…
  • Piano’s funny…I mean it’s kind of this thing that always stays with you. You kind of get your chops back pretty quickly…
  • I was never the winner. I was always the loser.
  • ‎Because if the artist is constantly molding ourselves and changing and bridging –abridging — what we do for the machine, then the artist becomes part of the machine. I don’t want to be part of the machine. I want the machine to be part of me.
  • Addressing bullying: Do I want to stick it to anybody? No. I just wanna make music.

From a PR perspective, few artists today understand viral marketing and the highbrow aspect of our language as well as GaGa. In an interview with Fuse in 2009, she acknowledged: You’re only as good as your best references. I couldn’t help but smile when she mentioned Francis Bacon as a source for her ‘immaculate conceptions’ –and wonder what the spike in his Google search queries will be like in the next few weeks.

Crazy little monsters (a term of endearment she and her followers use).

Perhaps the most exciting part for me, and either those who appreciate or are artists who transcend time (Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Freddie Mercury, Hendrix, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Bowie, Clapton, The Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews to name a few…) is simply the music.

I love how she uses pianospeak to describe her message and music: Sonic (root/variation: sonorous, sonoric). Classical pianists (and I believe, all true artists) are religious about Soul: warmth, color — vibrancy.

GaGa reveals some pretty sick details about her progression as a singer and pianist, discussing how the forthcoming album (due May 23rd) will further highlight her abilities as a producer and songwriter. From a melodic perspective, she shared that

“Sonically, it just smells like me, if that makes sense…” adding

“I guess what I’m trying to say is, um –in my opinion — All good music can be played at a piano and still sound like a hit.”

A — f(expletive)ing Men. Is it May, yet? Lol.

But in all seriousness:

‘Where words fail, music speaks’ -Hans Christian Andersen

Enjoy the weekend!


Pulizzi Offers Glimpse into Inaugural Content Marketing World coming to Cleveland


WESTLAKE, OHIO – Last night I had the chance to brush up on some long-neglected ping pong and pool skills. Arriving about fifteen unfashionable minutes early, a friend/former colleague and I showed our age and decided to play a bit in the lobby, after thoroughly exploring the first floor of Hyland Software (a tech company riddled with adult slides, open space and creative feng shui that’d make Deepak Chopra proud).

Once underway, Joe Pulizzi, one of the preeminent content marketing and social media evangelists in the industry passionate about the color orange, continued on the right note: asking who’d brought Goose Island‘s 312 urban wheat ale. Coyly, sheepishly raising our hands, we scored one of his latest books: Get Content. Get Customers. Sweetness.

SMCCLE social media club Cleveland Hyland Software Junta42 content

Photo courtesy of Jessica Donlon, PR 20/20

Among other things, telepathy must be among social media-ers arsenal: only seconds before I’d turned to my friend and mentioned it was pretty neat that Joe chose the brew we brought.

But good beer, orange t-shirts, veggie/fruit platters and Tweeps aside, Pulizzi had some great case studies and statistics to share with us, a group of about 40 from the Cleveland Social Media Club. Among them:

>> John Deere and a celebrated history of connecting with its customers through valuable, compelling and useful content  tailored to the audiences’ specific needs and desires

>> OpenView Venture partners: In the course of a year, OpenView has progressed to 24 posts a week (with a single journalist on staff), 34,000 hits a month (growth curve up 850%) and over 1000 published blogs, articles, videos and podcasts.

5 Companies that “Get It” 

Pulizzi regaled us with testimonials of small studios and chief editors, emphasizing that we are all storytellers and publishers in our own right, regardless of niche. The beauty of “sharing awesome stuff” is ubiquitous: transcending individual, B2B, B2C and beyond. Pulizzi emphasized how 73% of consumers prefer information from valuable, relevant content over advertisements. 

Another thought-provoking section was Thinking Like a Publisher through a centered content strategy:

  • It’s almost never about you
  • What is/are your buyer personas?
  • What does your audience really need or want to know?
  • What are their pain points? And what measures are you taking to meet or exceed them?
  • How are you providing the best content in the industry?
  • Websites are never complete

The concept of owning, not renting your space and channels online really got me thinking. Pulizzi challenged us to dig deep and ask some tough questions:

>>What would you do if Facebook, Twitter or other channels were obsolete tomorrow?

>>How would you reach loyal fans, followers, subscribers and readers, those who actively consume the value you have to offer?

It’s the notion of moving beyond a focus on the tools, platforms, which are only a means to an end, to storytelling.

As Paul Roetzer puts it in Content Marketing for PR Pros, “we all have a story to tell” [ Roetzer, Naslund Among Feat. Panelists at YouToo! SM Conference, Kent State ]

Again — not tools, but storytelling.

What’s your story?


Bach to the Basics: A Beastly Proposal


CLEVELAND  – You guys are as bizarro as I am, and I love it. Yes, the blog just reached 666 hits. And no, I will not embark on an insidious, esoteric ramble-fest. I will, however, share some oddball moments from 2006 — a year much like those of 2005 and 2009 for me.

A year mired in challenges, personal victories, defeats, loss et cetera — but also defining moments that brought about opportunities to stretch, rejuvenate and let go. A year where, as Paul Roetzer puts it, you begin to truly understand “Fate is what we’re given, but destiny is what we choose…” (12 Life Lessons of an Entrepreneur).

I turned 21 that year, and was mainly in Vegas for risky — er, strictly business (of course) when not attending classes at Baldwin-Wallace College. I got my first tat (Johann Sebastian Bach‘s crest on the face of my left deltoid — mindful of my business/career aspirations) down the street from the Stratosphere on Las Vegas Blvd, after painstaking research and referrals from a trusted network of artists and friends.

G Henle Verlag, sheet music, Johann Sebastian Bach, JSB, crest, tattoo

Slicker than G.Henle Verlag

The artist’s name was Lunchbox, and I knew immediately after seeing the sketch he brought back to me that he was the one for the gig. He acknowledged the antique, Baroque integrity of the design while sharpening some of the ends (getting rid of the dingle-berries and such) to give it a more masculine edge. Using a dark, wine-like mauve, burgundy, maroon (something like that) with black accents and white, he created a sort of 3-D, shadow effect. Wanting the design to look as if it was rising out of my arm, his vision was immaculate — impeccable. I know Bach would be proud.

tattoo tat Las Vegas boulevard Stratosphere 666 beast baroque

Bach's Original Crest

Today the design is as fresh, neat, clean and graphic as it was when he did it, and I look forward to visiting him at his new studio in Park City for free touch-ups in the near future. He also wanted to get shots for his portfolio and gallery archives, as it was an original design and he never repeats them. My kind of swag lol.

JSB, Johann Sebastian Bach, G Henle Verlag, the Well-Tempered Clavier

All those hours with Das Wohltemperierte Klavier a bit more permanent now...

Other than that, 2006 was pretty uneventful.

Did I mention my W2 refund was 666.66?

JS Bach Johann Sebastian Bach tattoo tat crest rock and roll Germany baroque period classical pianist