1) Monster, Inc – “Getting Started” What’s most remarkable about the first three spots on our list is that they were created by NBC’s in-house agency. That’s crazy because a TV network’s role is normally just to host the game and collect the checks. But at a time when NBC shareholders demand revenue growth in […]

As music publishers, our job is to help musicians make money. As such, we’ve never steered musicians one way or another in terms of which performing rights organization is best for them to join. When we launched years ago, our assumption was that ASCAP and BMI were basically equal; in terms of responsiveness and in […]

1) Genesis – “We Don’t Ask” The sheer might of Audra Mae’s vocals is what drives this spot. For years, Mae has been a contributing writer and vocalist for The All-American Rejects, Sons of Anarchy (TV Show) and Avicii. Nice to finally see her name on the marquis. Agency: Innocean USA – Huntington Beach Music: […]

In the late 90’s, whenever clients asked me to compose electronica tracks, I would secretly roll my eyes. To me, the music of Kraftwerk and Vangelis lacked warmth. Sure, techno was easy enough to create in a home studio and it was lucrative to do projects without musician costs. But I didn’t get the genre. […]

In 1975, a young untested film director wrapped production on his first major studio film. He was feeling hopeless because although the script called for several shots of a giant shark, the mechanical creature created by his art department failed through most of the shoot. And because most of the principal photography was done on […]

TunesMap is an app you can run simultaneously with Apple Music to see visuals that correspond to whatever song you’re listening to. It was recently featured in the New York Times. This is an open letter to founder/creators G. Marc Roswell, Erik Loyer, Jon Blaufard, Nigel Grainge: Gentlemen, as a person who’s built and managed […]

In season 2 of Mad Men, Sterling Cooper advertising agency brings in two young creative superstars to help Martinson Coffee – an old iconic brand – reach a younger audience. Here’s the dialog: “We don’t want to be told what to do,” says the hip, twenty-something copywriter. “That’s over. We want to find things for […]

Most of us know how “runners high” works. After an intense workout, our bodies produce endorphins. Then those “feel good” chemicals pump through our veins while our muscles heal. We feel achy, but we’re grinning. Free anti-depressants! But did you know that laughter – which has absolutely nothing to do with working out – is […]

I once had a steady gig playing piano at a Sunday brunch on a military base. I was never happy with my pay, so after a few months I met with the club manager to politely asked for a raise. “We can’t do that,” he said. “And in fact, next weekend will be your last […]

My latest binge has been “The Defiant Ones” on HBO, an edgy documentary that profiles the career paths of music moguls Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. These are the men who brought you Nine Inch Nails, Snoop Dog, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, Lady Gaga, Eminem, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Katy Perry and more. Gangsta rap […]