It’s Saturday, and that means it is time to clean the links. This week’s collection of links is a bunch of twofers, with a few singlets. Here goes…
- Ch-ch-ch-changes. Two changes to institutions — at least institutions to me — to report. The first concerns the Nottingham Festival, a new RenFaire styled after the original Agoura faire that got kickstarted two years ago. For their third year (2015), they are expanding to a new location and two weekends. The other ch-ch-ch-change concerns Tom Paxton: Tom has announced that after his current tour ends in November, he will finally be stopping touring. Age, the death of his wife last June, and the rigors of the road have taken its toll, although he’ll still be writing, recording, and occasionally, performing. This means — those of you in the Bay Area — that his stop at Freight and Salvage with Janis Ian on April 25 will be your last chance to see him live. Given that I don’t know if he will make it down to McCabes for one last show, I’m envious. He was last at McCabes in November 2013, and was at Theo Bikel’s 90th Birthday in early 2014.
- Porn Doesn’t Sell. The market for published soft porn is changing. This week brings news that Britain’s The Sun has decided to stop publishing Page 3 topless models. Further, both Playboy and Penthouse have seen significant circulation declines, going from 6 million copies a month to perhaps 1 million (with Penthouse down to 100,000). What’s replacing them? Art. The trend is towards artistic printed nudes, as opposed to when Playboy, Penthouse, and The Sun peddled. Times change.
- Going Away. Two interesting articles on things that are disappearing. One is music. Specifically, archived music: music recorded on tape is rapidly degrading — both cassette and 8-track. CDs, once touted for longevity, aren’t lasting. Wax cylinders or lacquer records — really degrading. The best archival medium: vinyl, followed by digital music (which often loses fidelity or has incompatible formats). What else is going away? The Skymall Catalog. It’s parent company has filed bankruptcy, citing competition from electronic devices and airlines not purchasing as many copies of the catalog.
- Los Angeles History. Here’s a twofer on Los Angeles. The first explores how 3rd Street in Santa Monica turned into the 3rd Street Promenade. It’s a fascinating transition, reflecting an attempt to bring back business that worked for a while, failed, and then came back even stronger. The second deals with Veronica Lake — the actress, not a real lake — and the home she bought out in Chatsworth in the 1940s. Truly a different time and era in the valley.
- Dramatic Thoughts. A twofer related to the theatre. The first is an article from an artistic director on how to get your play read. Yes, this is from 2013, but I just discovered it and felt it provided some really good insights. The second was highlighted by Bitter Lemons, and looks at a costing analysis of 99-seat theatre in Los Angeles. I attend lots and lots of 99-seat theatre (two shows this weekend, in fact), and this really shows why the vibrant scene doesn’t provide a lot of financial support to actors, and why folks rarely make money at it. Some do by violating the rules and doing longer runs or not paying for rights; others charge more and pay their actors more; others find other ways to bring in funds. It also shows the importance of going to your local intimate theatre and filling the seats with paying customers: if the budgets plan on 60% occupancy, and they have a sold out run, they do better. Also, eschew comp tickets if you can — they’re cheap, but they hurt the venues. Pay for your tickets what you can afford.
Lastly, a twofer solely because it consists of two singlets [ETA: Well, make that three]:
- Media Polarization. Here’s an interesting singlet: a nice article on political polarization and the media. It includes a great chart showing how most of the major media in the US is perceived with respect to political bias.
- Good Design. Here’s another singlet, although I’ve discussed this some in the past: Here’s an attempt to design a better parking sign.
- Getting Gas. Here’s an interesting article on a potential cyberattack on gas stations.