Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Somewhere Else, Part I

On April 9, Marillion's 14th studio album, Somewhere Else, will be released. In advance of this release, the band is holding listening parties in a handful of major cities around the world. These listening parties are small get togethers designed for fans and music industry journalists. One of the cities hosting a listening party is New York.

When I noticed that the New York event is going to take place on a Saturday evening, I was intrigued enough to enter my name in a drawing to win two tickets. This was back in the fall. In the meantime, life went on and I totally forgot about it.

Imagine my surprise, then, when Marillion's marketing and communications manager (Lucy Jordache...great name!) e-mailed me, letting me know I had won the drawing and am invited to attend the listening party with a guest. Pretty cool!

Not only will the album be previewed in its entirety (absolutely no recording is allowed, I've been duly warned!), but Steve Rothery and Pete Trewavas (Marillion's guitar and bass player, respectively) will be making the trip across the Pond for the occasion. They may even break out their instruments and do a little playing for the assembled crowd.

So New York City...here we come!

~Steve

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Opinionation Society

You may have heard that the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears, 29-17, in Super Bowl XLI. In fact, you may very well have been one of the 93 million viewers who tuned into the game, the third most-watched program in US television history.

Quick...What were the most-watched and second most-watched programs ever? Answers below...

Here's my confession. I didn't watch the game...nor did I care who won. Now how could that be?

Didn't you want Peyton Manning to finally win the big one? Didn't you want one of the NFL's great franchises to return to glory?

These, of course, are the kinds of questions my indifference naturally begged.

I mention this because it points to a larger issue in American life, perhaps life everywhere. We are called upon, it seems, to have an opinion on everything, from biggest to smallest.

What do you think about the war in Iraq? Which soap is better, Camay or Olay? Where do you want to go to dinner tonight?

Mind you, being informed and opinionated is not a bad thing. Society depends on it. But, in the extreme, opinionation can tear us apart, in politics, in families...wherever and whenever we need to deal with one another in groups. In my humble *******, we all could use an occasional dose of "I don't care" or "It doesn't matter to me". Not in a mean-spirited kind of way, but in a way that tells our colleagues (or whomever) that we are happy to follow their lead on this one. Let's not be afraid to not have strong feelings once in a while. Indifference doesn't have to serve as a marker for ignorance or something similarly worthy of scorn.

So, Peyton Manning, please don't be offended that I have no take on the fact that you are going to Disneyland...

~Steve

Most-watched program ever--M*A*S*H* finale (106 million viewers)

Second most-watched program ever--Super Bowl XXX, Dallas Cowboys-Pittsburgh Steelers (94.8 million viewers)