All posts by Mark Sonder

- Chief Entertainment Officer at the 32 year old company award-winning music and event entertainment firm Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency - Author, "Event Entertainment and Production." - Lecturer in Tourism Studies, Master of Tourism Administration, School of Business, The George Washington University

Case Study: How Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency Delivered Lee Greenwood for the U.S. Army Europe Ball

U.S. Army Europe BallCase Study

U.S. Army Birthday Ball in Europe

Date of event: Saturday, June 24, 2017
First contact with client: Friday, June 16, 2017

For the past 2 years, Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency has supplied the music and entertainment for the U.S. Army Birthday Ball in Washington DC.

This year Mark received a call from Frankfurt, Germany while he was out of town in New Jersey and New Hampshire for five days only 8 days before this very important celebration in Europe.

Subject:
The 2017 U.S. Army Europe Ball “75 Years of Strong Europe!“ will take place on Saturday, 24 June at the Steigenberger Hotel in Frankfurt, Germany.

Lee Greenwood Proud to be an American God Bless The USAOur Mission / Client Request:
To get Lee Greenwood to record a short video message to everyone. The Client would like to play it and then have everyone join in to sing Lee’s hit “God Bless the USA“. They didn’t need anything that’s edited or fancy, just a straight-into-the-camera message all in one take. About 30 seconds long.

Challenges:
No big deal…right? Well…as it turned out Lee was on vacation with his family that week in Italy aboard a boat! Boats over there have little or no connectivity to the internet. Oh, and did we mention the event date is only 8 days away?

Over 32 Years of Experience:
As we’ve seen “everything” in our over 3 decades in this business, we were able to locate Lee and ask him to accomplish this task in record time all in one take for our men and women in uniform in Europe. Lastly, Lt. General Ben Hodges was going to be in attendance and this was an extra special surprise for him!

Resolution / Mission Accomplished:
Lee and his i-Phone to the rescue to create this video, which was a surprise and a huge success! G-d Bless the USA!

Lee Greenwood VideoView Video HERE or click the video at right.
Learner Outcome:
To make music and entertainment happen, call upon Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency.
Contact:
Mark Sonder, MM, CSEP, FSO-CS
202-369-1063
www.mspentertainmentagency.com

Note: Mark Sonder is a Flotilla Staff Officer of Communication Services with the U.S. Coast Guard Aux out of Ft. Macon, North Carolina.

 

For more information on Lee Greenwood, please CLICK HERE.

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Selfie Monopoly Photo Booth Station – Marrying Smiles & Memories

Selfie Monopoly Photo Booth Station Now Serving The Washington DC Metropolitan Area

Wedding at The Bellevue, Chantilly, VAFor the DMV (District of Columbia / Maryland / Virginia) areas there is a game changer now in the events industry with the arrival of Selfie Monopoly Photo Booth Station.

Selfie Monopoly Photo Booth Station, is an open air real-time social media photo booth providing hours of entertainment and fun for all types of events, both social and corporate.

It is easily operated by our attendant(s) and takes high-resolution pictures using our professional DSLR camera and premium lighting.

The World Bank Copa Cabana BrazilThe sleek design features a 32-inch interactive touch-screen for immediate uploading to social media – Facebook, Twitter, Text, and Email.

It can also record videos with audio so your guests can toast the Bride & Groom, give wishes to the Birthday Boy/Girl, or be used to record product endorsements and testimonials, as well as Animated GIFs (see top photo), creating instant smiles and lasting memories.

Selfie Monopoly expands corporate branding with your logo, company hashtag or website address, on each photo, while enjoying the reach each guest offers in spreading your brand across various platforms of the user’s social media.

Social media will now fuel face2face engagement, not detract from it by burying attendee faces in their phones. This Selfie Monopoly Photo Booth Station is a great icebreaker!

Guests who engage on social media at an event are more likely to continue their conversations after the event. This is more valuable than any number of traded business cards and fosters true networking, marketing, advertising and branding of your product and services.

Contact:
Selfie Monopoly Photo Booth Station, a Division of Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency
202-369-1063
mark@selfiemonopoly.com
www.selfiemonopoly.com

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The Grammy Telecast by Bob Lefsetz

The Grammy Telecast, by Bob Lefsetz

Bob LefsetzIt’s a mainstream show in a niche world, no wonder everybody is unhappy.

It’s no longer 1985, MTV does not rule and we do not live in a monoculture where everybody knows the same hits. The internet blew that paradigm apart, but the old media lions did not get the message. Recorded music lost half its value yet TV and film believe they’re immune. Thinking people respect their wares and execs are smart and the truth is we lived through the greatest disruption of our lifetimes and those in the arts still have not gotten the message.

The proletariat owns the arts. And when you try to falsely purvey to them they puke.

The truth is no one likes all the music sung on the Grammys.

And the show is playing to a theoretical audience that doesn’t exist. One in which we love everybody and everybody’s deserving of a trophy.

Whereas the truth is our nation has never been more divided in our lifetimes. And what music has done is to put its head in the sand. Selling the same sound over and over again. We’ve got the same damn spirit we had in 1969. The classic rockers are still traipsing the boards, country music is a pale imitation of what once was and rap has been ruling for so long, decades at this point, that one forgets that in the MTV era one sound replaced another every couple of years. Hair bands were replaced by grunge which was pushed aside by pop and hip-hop. Where’s the new sound today?

No wonder nobody cares.

But you’ve got a cheerleading media beholden to the labels so you’re told that music is healthy. Forget the business, music is on life support. Because the best and the brightest have abandoned it and everyone left in the building is solely about cash. Art is about speaking truth to power, where was the truth tonight?

Over on HBO, John Oliver was analyzing why Trump could get away with uttering falsehoods, why people believed them, what we could do about it.

And on CBS we had uneducated nitwits fawning over each other in duets as if we cared.

We don’t.

Trump is the biggest rock star extant today. Because he got everybody’s attention, and we live in an attention economy. Whereas most people avoid the Spotify Top 50 and you need a guidebook to listen to the music, you’ve got to be a history buff, it’s so self-referential.

Trump understands shock and awe. Something Andrew Loog Oldham and the Stones specialized in, remember when Mick and the boys were dangerous, and Alice Cooper perfected. The world was against Vince Furnier, except for his audience. And one of Vince’s big songs, after “Dead Babies” and “Under My Wheels,” never mind the angst of “I’m Eighteen,” was “Elected.” He made a joke of the ’72 election, which truly was. Who’s poking fun at the political shenanigans today?

Vince/Alice freaks out the public with a record shrouded in panties and today the goal is to sell your own panties or hoodies or perfume, anything the lemmings who listen will consume. What happened to art? Art is all about conception. Housing your album in a school desk, brilliant. Hooking up with Samsung, lowest common denominator.

Music is ripe for disruption. And said disruption will be something inimitable that appeals to everybody. A new sound that’s less niche and more mass. Kinda like Trump, a dividing line that got us all paying attention. The Donald, love ’em or hate ’em, but you can’t stop paying attention to him. And the truth is however much it might bug you, he won.

And CBS and the artists were afraid of the blowback. Imagine if someone did take a political stand, a swipe at the President on the show, it’d be front page news, it would spread like wildfire over the internet. Instead, Adele won another couple of awards. For an album that’s mediocre that wasn’t on streaming services. There you have the music industry in a nutshell. Mercenary, hocking second-rate products. Read the press and you’d think Adele was the next Beatles, listen to “25” and you were bored silly, you wanted to take it off. But we had to hear how great she was again and again again. The same way these same wankers told us Hillary was gonna win.

But no one can say no to being on the show. They think by reaching everybody they’ve won. When the truth is it just demonstrates they’re pawns in the game, tools of the system. Have a little self-respect. If duets were that popular they’d dominate the airwaves, and they don’t. And all the trappings, the dancers on stage, in what world does that really happen?

And the truth is TV is bad for you, your image, your career. This is not the grainy clips of yore, rather you’re broadcast in HD on the big screen and the end result is it makes you look small. Music is something you feel, and you feel it at the gig, not on TV. And first and foremost it’s something you listen to, but that paradigm left the building eons ago.

Who cares who wins these awards? Other than those on the undercard who are trolling for bio material, the truth is everybody forgets who won and the awards have no impact, kinda like awards shows themselves. Remember when we all live-tweeted, well, the music has stayed the same but we’ve moved on, we realize no one is listening, does anybody on stage realize most people watching really don’t care about them?

But we want something to care about, desperately. Give us some truth, sold with songs we can sing along to. We are your audience, not corporations. And no amount of hype will convince me any of the nominees were groundbreaking, one listen songs that will be repeated and listened to in the future. It’s all grist for the mill. Everybody’s shooting so low.

So you hated the show. Don’t feel so unique. EVERYBODY hated it. You stayed tuned in to see your favorite, but they were compromised and you winced. And what you want to do most is crank up your favorite tune and forget the whole thing.

The future will not be ruled by CBS, never mind the Grammys. Music has historically been the hottest of media, the fastest to react with the truth, via songs embodying the character of those singing them. Come on, is that new Katy Perry track disposable or what? Overworked, as they all are, with multiple writers and producers and beats, how about a bolt of inspiration transferred to wax that we can all relate to? Like Keith Richards dreaming of “Satisfaction,” singing it into a tape recorder by his bed and laying down the indelible riff that was inescapable way back when and still works today.

Art, especially music, is not about overlaboring, but pure inspiration, channeling the zeitgeist.

But there was no zeitgeist on television tonight, it was just a look in the rearview mirror.

And what scares me is today’s youth have never been alive when music pushed the needle, when it was ubiquitous, written by the artists channeling their truth.

We’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.

And nowhere do I see a new Joni Mitchell, the woman who wrote that song.

I’ve been wowed by technology, astounded by politics and all the while…

Music has become a second-class citizen.

You ain’t gotta know how to sing, you ain’t gotta know how to play, you need to know how to capture lightning in a bottle and lay it down on tape. Some of the greatest records are poorly recorded. Many of the legendary players can’t read music. But they know art is about latching on to mood, laying down in sound that which you feel, so that others can resonate.

If you resonated with tonight’s show you must be Neil Portnow or Ken Ehrlich.

As for the rest of us, we were sitting there dumbfounded, if we were watching at all.

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New Year’s Eve Television by guest blogger Bob Lefsetz

New Year’s Eve Television

Who are these people??

Bob LefsetzIf you’re watching television in a linear fashion, using the clicker to bounce from station to station in real time…

You must be a baby boomer. Everybody else got the memo, that visual entertainment is an on demand medium. Something to be called up when you so desire. To the point that a lot of the detritus that flies by on the airwaves is unknown to most people. Like the talking heads on NBC’s year in review show.

How did I know it was NBC?

Because it was their talent and their talent only. I don’t get up early enough to watch the “Today Show,” but I am aware of the Savannah Guthrie/Matt Lauer shenanigans, and when I saw Al Roker too, I knew this was a branding exercise. Kinda sad if you think about it, kinda like the old football team getting back together and believing they’re still relevant, giving it one more college try before time passes them by.

But at least I knew who those people were. The rest of the commentators?

They looked like nothing so much as those people living in their parents’ basements bloviating for VH1. Remember when it was a badge of honor to appear on television? I do, but most of the younger generation does not. Used to be appearing on TV was for the chosen few, like a record deal, now there are so many outlets that everybody gets a chance, and almost nobody breaks through. America is about sales. And everybody on television is selling fame. Can’t anybody say no?

Equally as laughable were the countdown shows. The aforementioned NBC decided to go with a special edition of Seth Meyers’ late night program, the one with anemic ratings that almost no one watches. Howard Stern is the king of late night TV, and he’s on in the morning! But his show repeats all day long so those who care can catch up and in this bizarre media world it’s those who go on after eleven who get the ink, this is the same media that told us Hillary was gonna win, can we stop covering the irrelevant Jimmys?

And the hottest actress of today revealed herself to be an idiot. Never forget, actors read lines, at best they have chameleon-like abilities, assuming they’ve got any talent at all. But as bad as Jennifer Lawrence was, Seth Meyers’ interviewing skills were even worse. He was uptight. Conversation is a skill. Which the late night hosts seem to have forgotten, ever since David Letterman skewed these shows towards comedy. And Meyers’ opening news bits were funny, but a younger Seth Meyers would be poking fun at himself for doing the same SNL shtick more than a decade on.

So we flipped the channel to see Ryan Seacrest, he without personality, hosting an affair with fake enthusiasm featuring talent most of us had never heard of.

I live in a bubble. I watch almost no television. But when I get into a room with a bunch of people and even the young ‘uns don’t know the hit songs, I’m convinced the model is broken. Even the biggest musical acts are niche. We think we’re still living in the MTV era, when if you’re on that channel everybody knows your name, but today no one knows most of the names, but if you admit this you’re castigated as an out-of-it pariah, who made these people the hipster police? Wear your alienated personality, fly your oblivious freak flag high, you’ll find you’re with the masses, that media keeps shoveling this crap as if anybody cares when the truth is…

These shows were not made for you. Come on, if you can drive, if you’re of college age or above, and you’re home watching these countdown shows the joke is on you. They skew young, kids who are locked inside with no options are the audience. But having been taken prisoner last night…

The recognizable were not so. I kept arguing that couldn’t be Jenny McCarthy, until someone on screen mentioned her name. I kinda get the boob implants which kickstarted her career. I wish it weren’t so, but media is run by old geezers impressed by hooters so it got her a leg up. But what has she done to herself now? Was it the lip implants? The cheek implants? Trying to look beautiful, she became anonymous, kinda like those plastic surgery freaks Jennifer Grey and Leeza Gibbons before her. Own what you’ve got, you’re unique, it’s your identity. And if this is the game you’re playing, to fit the looks and mores of television, you’ve lost the plot.

And Kathie Lee… I couldn’t tell it was her either!

But back to Ryan Seacrest. At least Dick Clark built that edifice, he had a right to host it. But Ryan’s like a record exec who never owned his own label, who never had his own money at risk. We give you a pass in the U.S. if you sit atop something you created. But caretakers? No way! As for Carson Daly… He’s too old. Yes, I might be ageist, but it would be one thing if Carson had any talent to begin with, and he doesn’t!

And speaking of talent…

One act after another came out and lip-synched and looked small.

But they could not turn down the opportunity, the exposure.

I don’t know what comes first, a clarification of who is really a star or a willingness of performers to say no. I enjoyed Mike Posner, but his heartfelt song “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” went by in a blur leaving no one but me satisfied. Thomas Rhett did three songs, ably, but he looked like a two-dimensional cartoon character trying to sell us breakfast cereal.

I give props to Alicia Keys, for her anti-makeup stance. But a young woman in attendance said Alicia was very brave. Which got me to thinking, if you were not beautiful could you take this risk? But one thing’s for sure, Ms. Keys is the purveyor of second-rate material, another vaunted star who doesn’t shine so bright but is anointed by the media so we are supposed to believe.

At least Fifth Harmony makes no bones about appealing to the still-developing youngsters. As for Panic! At The Disco…where’s the panic? Another B level act trying to stay in the game.

Which brings us to Mariah Carey. The evening’s designated train-wreck.

She delivered, that’s what you can count on her for. She’s long surrendered the crown of talent, that famous voice and range. Too many times she’s sung poorly live or not at all, tracks being her friend and last night…

Was a new low.

This is where we are folks. When you drop the mic, not caring that the fakery is being revealed. This is Ashlee Simpson on steroids. Now the media-industrial complex just thinks we at home are brain dead and if you see the face and hear the record that is enough. Then again, these are the same networks that sell us singing shows that don’t mint stars. But all the contestants want to be Mariah Carey, and the woman herself…is a complete joke!

How much further down this path can we go? Where pretty faces who can’t sing front songs about nothing? Music has abdicated its power. Who amongst today’s purveyors could be nominated for a Nobel decades hence? Damned if I know.

So…

The mainstream has become a sideshow.

That’s the story of 2016. How the puffed-up media that thought it ruled did not.

Fox News couldn’t kill Trump. It capitulated. And then its head, Roger Ailes, was ousted.

The “New York Times” assured us Hillary Clinton was gonna win, and then she didn’t.

And Viacom, the keeper of the TV hipster flame, continued to go down the tubes, most people believe it cannot be saved, Les Moonves didn’t want to merge it with CBS and be taken down the drain.

And “Rolling Stone” is now a pamphlet.

We are seeing a passing of the torch. From old media to new.

And the old media doesn’t like it.

The old media keeps excoriating Mark Zuckerberg, as if Americans were nincompoops who could not tell false from true and Facebook is more influential than any outlet with perceived gravitas. First and foremost, fake news did not sway the election, it just reinforced beliefs already extant. But I will say…people find Facebook more entertaining than television. It’s personalized, it’s about real people. I mean what would you even say to Jenny McCarthy? You got tons of people not to vaccinate their kids and now you’ve sliced and diced your face in a vain attempt to hold on to a smidge of stardom? And Ryan Seacrest is just a vessel, with no thoughts of his own. He’ll be anything you want him to be, just like the rest of today’s perceived “stars,” who care about fame more than art.

And what was up with those gloves? I kept hearing how cold it was in NYC but my Dark Sky app said it was 41, positively balmy for a New Year’s Eve. If you can’t even get the temperature right, why should I believe you on the real issues?

But the truth is no one’s home. No one’s in control. Not only are we not paying attention, those in charge don’t realize this. Advertisers keep pouring dollars into television because they don’t trust the online metrics yet the “Wall Street Journal” rates the commercials and I’ve seen almost none of them!

But if you’re pissed off about the above…

You’ve got the wrong perspective. We won. We killed the mainstream media. We stopped paying attention. We go online for our news and we want it immediately. We don’t want to be teased about what’s coming up, just give us the facts.

And the fact is next year there’s no way I’m staying home on New Year’s Eve.

I’m going out for dinner with friends and if the action fades I’ll turn the lights out, long before the ball drops.

Because I know and you know it can be New Year’s Eve any night of the year. We toppled Black Friday, everybody got the memo that Amazon is not only cheap every day, oftentimes it’s cheaper than the day after Thanksgiving!

We’ve become unmoored from convention. We have it our way every damn day.

And that’s great.

Now we’ve just got to clear some of the dead wood out of the way. It’ll happen. There will come a time when there will be no more of these shows.

And I can’t wait.

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Global Achievment: Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency Wins The 2017 Innovation & Excellence Award for Best in Event Entertainment

Best in Event Entertainment

Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency Wins The Innovation & Excellence Award


Best Event EntertainmentMark Sonder, MM, CSEP and President of Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency has just announced that his award-winning agency can add one more award on its shelves, winning The Innovation & Excellence Award for Best in Event Entertainment 2017.  This was awarded in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

From the development and incorporation of cutting edge technology to the creation of forward thinking strategies, the Innovation & Excellence Awards honour and celebrate those businesses and firms who are creating a brighter tomorrow. The Innovation & Excellence Awards give recognition to businesses that are transforming their respective industries and the standard-bearers of excellence by continually setting industry trends as well as showing significant advances in terms of innovation and improvement. Last year’s winners include: Uber, Riot Games, Google, Microsoft and Airbnb.

Over the past calendar year the award committee has invited over 100,000 professionals working across the various corporate industries, the general public and their subscriber base to nominate associations, companies and individuals based on their achievements and strengths. Additionally Corporate Livewire’s extensive research team has put forward a selection of individuals who have excelled within their sector.

“This year saw an unprecedented number of nominations, providing strong competition in every category and the judging panel had the unenviable task of selecting those firms and professionals most worthy of an award,” stated Corporate LiveWire’s Award Chairperson.

All winners of the 2017 Corporate LiveWire Awards are subject to the same rigorous assessment criteria, carried out by our experienced in-house professionals. This ensures that only the most deserving teams, practices and individuals walk away with one of these prestigious accolades.

So, if you wish to work with the Best when you are engaging musicians, bands, DJ’s and/or headline entertainment and want a world-class entertainment event, you’re invited to call on Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency!

About Mark Sonder and Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency:

Best Event Entertainment bands, DJs, celebritiesAs an award winning event entertainment producer, booking agency and talent buyer, the 31 year young privately owned firm Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency has provided musicians, headline entertainment, celebrity DJs, onsite entertainment staff and production services to leading facilities, conventions, clubs, concerts, casinos and special events worldwide.

Contact: +1-540-636-1640
msonder@marksonderproductions.com 
http://mspentertainmentagency.com 

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LA Dodgers Chooses Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency

Batting 1000 for The Los Angeles Dodgers

Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency Books Entertainment at The Stadium Again

 

Mark Sonder working NRG Stadium, Houston, TexasFrom last week working in Milwaukee and Knoxville, to this week working in another stadium! Mark Sonder, MM, CSEP Emeritus and Chief Entertainment Officer at the award winning booking agency Mark Sonder Productions, Inc. is proud to announce another engagement with Major League Baseball and the Los Angeles Dodgers in Dodger Stadium (vs. the Chicago Cubs) this Saturday, August 27. The On The Air Band will be performing for 2 hours prior to the game.

Super music agent Mark Sonder, whose company has been engaged to perform in numerous stadiums across the country and as a featured speaker at the International Stadium Managers Conference has commented “Performing in a stadium environment is not for everyone. It takes years of knowledge and experience to pull it off without a hitch.” “We were delighted to be asked back to Dodger Stadium for an additional performance with another one of our fine local products,” said Sonder.

Mark Sonder Productions, Inc. services all major population bases around the US with its local, regional and headline entertainment. The company is no stranger to large events or to Los Angeles where the company has been contracted at L.A. LIVE, The Montage, Beverly Wilshire, The Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage and the Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert.


Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency LogoAbout Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency:

As an award winning event entertainment producer, booking agency and talent buyer, the 31 year young privately owned firm Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency has provided musicians, headline entertainment, onsite entertainment staff and production services to leading corporations, clubs, concerts, casinos and special events internationally.

Contact: +1-202-369-1063
msonder(at)marksonderproductions(dot)com
http://mspentertainmentagency.com 

Photo: Mark Sonder working at NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

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Motown Royalty Perform at Two Galas

The Temptations Revue: A Tribute featuring Nate Evans Performed at Two Gala Fundraisers

Motown Royalty Comes to The Midwest


GuessWhere
Mark Sonder, MM, CSEP Emeritus and the Chief Entertainment Officer at the international music agency Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency has finished out last week performing at two national gala fundraisers.

The Temptations Revue: A Tribute featuring Nate Evans were featured in two separate fundraisers last week. One in Milwaukee and one in Knoxville.

The one in Milwaukee was held at The Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in their Event Center for Wheaton Franciscan Health Care Medical Arts. Then, we flew to Knoxville, TN for The Purple Gala. This fundraiser was held at the Standard. “We know that music is a good way to reach and preserve memories,” said Janice Wade-Whithead, executive director of Alzheimer’s Tennessee. “The funds and awareness raised at this gala and this memorable performance will help Alzheimer’s Tennessee realize our vision to Make Alzheimer’s a Memory.” (as reported in the Knoxville News Sentinel, Part of the USA Today Network).

When The Temptations split up, Nate Evans was the man The Temptations (Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin) handpicked to carry on their legacy. From his work with The Impressions and then with Kendricks and Ruffin, then with his own Temptations Tribute, Nate and the boys continue their Motown Royalty.


best bandsAbout Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency:

As an award winning event entertainment producer, booking agency and talent buyer, the 31 year old privately owned firm Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency has provided musicians, headline entertainment, onsite entertainment staff and production services to leading corporations, clubs, concerts, casinos and special events internationally.

Contact: +1-540-636-1640
msonder(at)marksonderproductions(dot)com
http://mspentertainmentagency.com/temptationstribute or www.temptationstribute.com 

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Stairway To Heaven

Stairway To Heaven

by guest Blogger Bob Lefsetz

So this is what it takes to get Led Zeppelin back together.

Bob LefsetzI was getting worried, I figured this would be a slam dunk, that the jury would come back in an hour or two and let Robert and Jimmy off the hook. The fact that they didn’t showed they were thinking about it.

That’s what it’s come down to, eight nobodies weighing in on the provenance of rock and roll.

But where there’s a hit, there’s a writ. And let’s be honest, Zeppelin has nicked songs before. But seemingly the only person who wanted Spirit to win this case was Randy California’s attorney, the public believed it a bridge too far, don’t mess with the canon, our history, what we live for.

Did Robert and Jimmy tell the truth?

Damned if I know, but I do know someone who lied on the stand in a well-known music industry case. And if you believe selective omission is the same as a lie, well…

Then again, musicians were never known for their honesty, otherwise why would they keep firing managers and exhibiting duplicitous behavior that might deliver short term results, but long term penalties.

Are the tracks similar?

OF COURSE!

Is it infringement?

Well, you’ve got an arcane copyright law that doesn’t square with reality. KInd of like the DMCA and YouTube. Washington and the legal system are always a step behind, and if you look to them to solve your problems you’re gonna waste a lot of time and money and probably end up with a less than satisfactory result. Meaning, the end of the YouTube “value gap” will come from negotiation, not legislation.

And music, despite being made on computers, is not zeros and ones. It cannot be stuck in a framework, evaluated by a machine. It’s amorphous and alive and that’s its appeal.

So chalk one up for the creative community, which believed after the “Blurred Lines” case that everything was up for grabs.

But it had gone too far. That Sam Smith song is not “I Won’t Back Down,” unless you believe that Petty tune is also one of many.

Everybody’s too afraid.

Then again, these same rightsholders killed sampling, changing the trajectory of hip-hop, and have also played whac-a-mole with reuse.

But we don’t live in a vacuum. Nothing’s truly original. We’re a sum of our influences.

But where’s the line?

Who knows.

But it’s been pushed back.

Yet the real revelation at the trial was how little money “Stairway” actually made. The performers’ accountant said Page earned $615,000 and Plant $532,000 since 2011, Rhino said the song grossed $3 million and netted $868,000 in the same period.

THAT’S PEANUTS!

That’s not tech money. Maybe not chump change, but nowhere near the $60 million the plaintiff’s expert alleged.

You see there’s just not that much money in music. Much less than we believe. We think if you’re famous, you’re rich, but this is patently untrue. Of course, the Zeppelin boys had other income from their catalog, they did well, but not as well as they did in the seventies, before financiers raped and pillaged and techies became the new rock stars.

This trial brought rock back to earth. Pulled off the scrim and illustrated that not only are its players old, they care about money. Remember when Zeppelin flew back to England after their Madison Square Garden payment was stolen? They showed up here.

Then again, it’s rumored they stole that money themselves.

Then again, it’s about dignity and reputation.

But…

Feel free to steal again. Know that every juror does not see the famous as a deep pocket. Know that the line is truly blurry.

And if you want to get rich…

DO SOMETHING ELSE!

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Coldplay At The Super Bowl by Bob Lefsetz

Bob LefsetzAnd the winner of the night?

HONDA! For offering free Uber rides home, at least in SoCal, where I was watching.

You make the most of an opportunity. The advertisements were so busy being clever that they missed their target. You want to make us believe in your product and want to use and buy it. But in an era where fame is everything and substance goes out the window it’s no surprise that Madison Avenue demonstrated cluelessness.

But the truth is our nation is in a mass upheaval. That’s the essence of both Trump and Sanders. We want the truth, authenticity and credibility, we want to be respected, and when you see only dollar signs we shrug and move on.

Sometimes you have to say no. All exposure isn’t good exposure. What was the chance casual Coldplay fans would be infected by the band’s performance and purchase tickets to their show? Close to nil.

Now the band has a stink upon it, relegated to second tier status in their own supposedly shining moment, they appeared to be smiling nitwits in a sea of humanity that resembled nothing so much as Up With People, the lame, safe, halftime show the NFL used to employ, when musicians abhorred the rules and regulations of sports, when they were all about rejecting cultural norms as opposed to embracing them for profit.

It’s a violent sport. What’s up with all the wimpy music?

Lady Gaga stretched out the national anthem to the degree there was barely time for football. She’s gotten a publicity pass she does not deserve, her last album was a stiff and her trek with Tony Bennett a sideshow. It’s a hits business, and she hasn’t had one in eons and probably will never have one again, why is she considered a national treasure?

Because the NFL and CBS don’t have their ear to the street. They don’t know there’s a generation gap. They just believe everyone will buy the crap they serve them. As if nobody under thirty wants to cut the cord, as if football deserves a spot in America’s heart along with apple pie and religion. Did you see the MVPs walk out at the beginning of the game? Terry Bradshaw could barely amble out. How could Goodell let this happen? How come everybody in the 1% has lost touch and perspective, not knowing their success depends on the little guy, who is arching his eyebrows and judging what they’re seeing?

Chris Martin looked like a dork. And although the video stage was cool, he and his band’s music never lit up the joint. And the diversions looked like something from the June Taylor Dancers, but Jackie Gleason would want nothing to do with them. You could barely hear the vocals and you had the nincompoop teens running out to swarm the stage, even though they were barely conscious the last time the band had a hit. It was a celebration the audience was left out of. You could do nothing but sit there and wonder why anybody cared.

Until Bruno Mars took the stage.

Bruno knew it was not about music so much as show, and he delivered. Slinking around on stage with his backup singers you were energized and enticed. It may have been meaningless, but at least it was satisfying. Music is like porn, you know it when you see it. And Mars was the only person on stage who seemed to come from the music business.

Beyonce came from the gym. She was working so hard that when she aligned with Chris and Bruno in the finale she was nearly exhausted. She too missed the message, 2016 isn’t about reveling in your excellence, adoring you from afar, but embracing you when you get down in the pit with us, your audience. I’m not in that good a shape and most Americans aren’t either. Watching Bey was like watching an Olympian, you could respect her, but you just could nor warm up to her.

Never mind the chutzpah of doing her new song. I give her credit for that actually, most of the audience was unfamiliar with most of Coldplay’s material so what difference will it make? Did it help her sell tickets?

Not much.

Not for Coldplay either.

You see we’re inundated with marketing messages. And we choose what to pull in, what to embrace. We have no problem watching entertainment and then discarding it nearly instantly. I mean who at home is sitting there saying…I didn’t know Beyonce was going on the road, let me fire up my credit card and drop $100+ a ticket. No, the decision to go is much more considered these days. Sure, it’s hard to get the message out, but it’s not hard to say no if you’re a customer.

So why is it so hard for a manager to say no?

Come on, you see witless actors whoring themselves out, everybody from Anthony Hopkins to Christopher Walken to Helen Mirren. But they’re chameleons, filling roles. We don’t believe in their personalities, we don’t even really know who they are!

But musicians touch our souls. They’re consistent. They stand for something.

But the only thing Chris Martin and company stood for is promotion. And we know hype when we see it.

It was a strange game, dominated by defense. It may have been Peyton’s last, but one wonders if Brock Osweiler could have done just as well. Still, it was riveting to see Cam Newton, the biggest star on the gridiron according to the industrial hype machine, be completely hamstrung. Not so much by any individual, but a team, the Denver defense.

After losing the Super Bowl two years ago, Elway retooled. Threw out what didn’t work. He didn’t put new paint on an old edifice, he got a clean piece of paper and started over. Kudos to him, it worked!

We need a clean piece of paper in music. We need musicians who have some self-respect, who think they’re bigger than the game, who are willing to turn down promotional opportunities because they make them look small, like Coldplay.

But the NFL knows nothing about music. It wants something entertaining, but not edgy. But in music, that’s death. Then again, we’ve got so much of that on today’s scene. It’s almost like the string-pullers don’t want to champion anything outside the box, they want it safe.

But the world is dangerous.

Music used to reflect this.

The only peril on the field today was to the players.

Coldplay was immune.

No, that’s not true. By refusing to turn down this promotional opportunity they revealed the band to be the sham that it is. Four blokes who should have stayed in college who appeal to white people afraid of edge.

Sid Vicious is rolling in his grave.

Remember, you win in music when you’re outside, when you play by your own rules, when you behave like the rock star you are, not a tool of the man.

It wasn’t quite Billy Squier territory, but Coldplay’s career was stopped in its tracks today. Now fans will be subjected to hatred for their choice. We all saw the show and said HUH?

“HELPFUL HONDA GUYS OFFER FREE UBER RIDES TO SOCAL RESIDENTS DURING SUPER BOWL”: http://bit.ly/1nXhTQH

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30th Anniversary Year of Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency Finishes with the Great Jazz Fusion Guitarist Larry Carlton

30th Year Anniversary of Event Entertainment Music Agency

Award Winning Talent Agency, Mark Sonder Productions, Inc. Finishes Year with a Guitar Great

Jazz fusion guitaristLarry CarltonMark Sonder, MM, CSEP Emeritus and the Chief Entertainment Officer at the international music agency Mark Sonder Productions has finished out the 30th Anniversary Year of his company with a gifted guitarist.

Jazz fusion guitarist Larry Carlton was booked by Sonder for an engagement in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area, where the corporate headquarters of his award winning entertainment company is located, ending what was a celebratory year for his award winning agency.

Mark first worked with Larry in New York City in an event Sonder was producing, “A Tribute to Les Paul.” Unlike many other tributes, Les was very much alive and even jammed with Larry at the end of this show which took place in the historic Roseland Ballroom.

“i look forward to the next 30 years bringing joy to the world to all who enjoy music and entertainment,” said Sonder.

About Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency:
As an award winning event entertainment producer, booking agency and talent buyer, the 30 year old privately owned firm Mark Sonder Productions Entertainment Agency has provided musicians, headline entertainment, onsite entertainment staff and production services to leading corporations, clubs, concerts, casinos and special events internationally.

Contact: +1-540-636-1640
msonder@marksonderproductions.com
http://marksonderproductions.com

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