Zooey Deschanel – Hidden Treasure


Many of you may be aware of Zooey Deschanel as an actress in the hit TV show New Girl as well as her movie roles. Less known is her work as a singer with the duo She and Him along with her musical partner and lo-fi indie artist  extraordinaire M Ward. They have made three albums together and should be on the radio but are shut out because of the fragmented but narrow mentality of commercial radio programmers. Ironic that a lady who markets so many products by way of her TV commercials is not able to get wide exposure for her music. In my opinion She and Him should be and could be huge musical stars.

Both Zooey and M Ward are fans of baroque pop-rock of the Left Banke, The Zombies and The Beach Boys. and these influences are evident in their music. In fact Zooey did a great interview with one of her heroes, head Beach Boy Brian Wilson on the Stereogum web site a few years ago. Enjoy this cover by She and Him  of a tune made famous by the Beach Boys and wonder why no one has heard of them.

After the first listen you’ll want seconds !



WCMF FM 1975 and 1983


 These two clips are from WCMF  FM- Rochester NY. The first one is from 1975.

 We lived near the lake and I had hooked up the TV tower antenna to my FM receivers. I looked forward to the days when I could pick up a clear signal from Rochester as this gave me more choice in terms of free form FM programing. Like most FM rock stations at this time WCMF had also tightened it’s format but had not gone full bore AOR ( Album orientated rock) yet. The clip features music by Steely Dan, The Marshall Tucker Band ( yes southern Jam band were more popular in the US than Canada) and Feel Flows by the Beach Boys to close. A few interesting commercials including one for the Happy Hooker movie. I hope I have some Mighty Taco commercials when I get to the Buffalo, NY stations.
 The second clip is from 1983 and by this time CMF was fully AOR and so the interesting programing had been relegated to Sunday nights. Bringing to mind Elvis Costello’s words from Radio Radio “so they put us on the reel to reel.” The show was called Import Export and it featured cutting edge new wave. The first track is Breathless by the LA band called X and the second an edited ( by me) version of “All Tomorrow’s Parties by The Velvet Underground and Nico . The track is pre-new wave/punk as it was released in 1967. I don’t think I have ever heard this track on the radio before or so I thought until I recently rediscovered this tape.
The famous ( in Rochester) Unkle Roger a hold over from the free form days was a co-host of this show but I don’t think that’s him on the clip. Leave a comment if you can confirm who it is.

When Focus Groups Failed

Focus groups, consultants and data are  key to marketing success and no one will deny that but there are some things of the heart and mind that all the data mining and research will not tell you. That’s a fact sometimes over-looked in some business sectors and radio is a prime example. The importance of radio to people’s lives has diminished but I think things could be different.

My very favorite format in radio was the short-lived progressive free form rock radio stations which could be found in almost every radio market by 1969. The format did not last long but it won over a lot of hearts and minds and had a loyal following. The format first took off at KMPX FM in San Francisco in 1967. The start of the format coincided with the ascendance of the long playing LP as a major attraction for rock music fans who were evolving from the short form 45 RPM discs and top 40 radio. Rock was maturing as the album became an art form. The Beatles got the ball rolling with the Rubber Soul album released in 1965 and with the release of their Sgt. Peppers album in 1967 the rock album as a statement and full listening experience was solidified. The hyper active and fast paced top 40 rock format was not necessarily the best vehicle to showcase albums and into the void appeared KMPK. The youth culture was in ascendance and it was maturing.

There had been a few earlier experiments in expanding the rock playlists beyond the top 40 hits of the day. WOR FM in New York being one but KMPX was the real deal  where  DJ’s began programming long sets of album cuts interspersed with hip chatter, spoken word poems, comedy and more. The music play list was huge and though the rock genre was the prime focus you could also hear folk, Jazz, classical and early world music. Ravi Shankar for example.  Rock itself was expanding and groups such as the Buffalo Springfield and of course the Beatles  were exploring various genres of music within the space of one album. The possibilities seemed limitless and there was a willing audience ready to accept the diversity. Continue reading When Focus Groups Failed

$ as Marketing Click/Win !


Ah Ha Got You !

Please do stick around for a bit while you are here.

Click to listen and win.

I would be thrilled if you partake in this little contest. Identity all the artists in the musical clip above.  I held the same contest at work last spring. The clip consists of the names of some peers at work .

I’ll leave the contest open for a week and the person with the most correct answers will win a $ 10.00 gift card to Starbucks or Tim Horton’s ( Canada).

This contest is now closed winner was The Original Hank from Toronto. Your gift card will be our shortly Hank. A high profile Toronto personality came close and left me answers in the comments section.  A new contest will be posted soon.

Email your answer to javedjafri@rogers.com and let’s proceed to the name game.

Elevator Pitches


Elevator Pitches Podcast  Link:


There’s a wonderful and fascinating  show on CBC radio one called “Under The Influence” hosted by Terry O’Reilly which should be appointment listening for anyone connected to Marketing either directly or indirectly. He’s a captivating host with a style and delivery that keeps the listener engaged. There’s also learning involved and it’s tuition free.

Recent topics have ranged from the evolution of marketing in music to Customer Service as a key  marketing tool.

Last week’s show was about “Elevator Pitches”.  These are compelling pitches that one can use to sell themselves or their ideas in the space of time that it takes to go from one floor to the next on an elevator. O’Reilly sums up the concept as:

“Distilling a selling idea down to a few words is the ultimate test: If it can be encapsulated in one compelling sentence, it’s strong. If it can’t be, the idea is probably fuzzy”

The show begins with the example of one of the most famous Elevator Pitches. One that Steve Jobs used early on to woo a top executive from a corporate powerhouse to join Apple. This was the pitch:

“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?”

Learn more about this as well as some of the other most effective elevator pitches and have a look and listen to the other show podcasts to broaden your marketing acumen:

Under The Influence show Link.  Don’t have time to listen read the transcripts.


The Best Way to Travel


The Moody Blues started off as a straightforward R&B group in the mid 60’s. With a change in lineup they evolved into one of the better progressive rock bands by 1967. They had a great run of several spacey concept albums from 1968 to 1973. This track is a great example of their work.  Taken from the album “In Search of the Lost Cord” and no trace of the excess and self indulgence which was often evident in this genre.

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