Any local band can tell you that it would be easier for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, than for a musician to promote upcoming gigs without Facebook. So it's a little disconcerting that business reporters are suddenly convinced that our reigning social media giants are going the way of MySpace.
Last week, Facebook CFO David Ebersman unloaded $43 million worth of shares in his own company. (Word has it his rent was overdue.) The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, reported that Facebook's offer to acquire Snapchat for $3 billion was turned down by the upstart enterprise.
And just this past Monday, Twitter shares slid 7 percent, prompting USA Today to speculate that Wall Street had overestimated the company's value. Of course, nothing could be more untrue. Through the years, Twitter has exposed me to the innermost feelings of both Miley Cyrus and Drunk Hulk, and for that I am eternally grateful.
But while celebrities like Amanda Palmer, Kanye West and Lady Gaga are still in love with Twitter, those fleeting 140-character tweets have little use-value for bands who want to get people out to local gigs (or, for that matter, a music columnist who wants to keep track of what's on the horizon).
Still, who wouldn't be enticed by emails like the one I received last week asking, "Do you know J.R., Barack Obama and the Music Slut on Twitter?"
The sad truth is that I really don't know J.R. (@GallagherMeow), or Barack Obama (@BarackObama) or The Music Slut (@TheMusicSlut), at least not personally. I do know that one of them is a president, and I can more or less guess what a music slut does. It's also good to know that J.R. is an adventurer, writer and love detective. But there are only so many virtual hours in the day, so I'll pass for now.
Rest assured, though, that it's only a matter of time before some friendly algorithm out there knows your interests better than you ever will. Just as Pandora's Music Genome Project is certain that — regardless of what "artist radio station" you select — you'll soon need to hear either Coldplay or Lady Gaga. (All that said, this would be a good time to link to this column on Twitter, or like it on Facebook or, you know, whatever.)
Moving on to the somewhat more reality-based world of local shows, it was gratifying to see so many people packed into McCabe's on Friday night for the final installment of this year's Monsters of Mock series. Following a set from Elvis Costello tribute band This Year's Model, who were writte up in a previous column, Mike Stephens and his group Major Tom took the stage for two roughly chronological and appropriately theatrical sets of David Bowie hits, including spot-on renditions of "Space Oddity," "Heroes" and "Young Americans."
Nearly all of us have grown up listening to favorite albums so much that, even now, we can still anticipate every note and nuance. That was clearly the case with Stephens and his bandmates, whose ability to faithfully replicate them onstage was something to behold. Here's hoping both bands will see fit to play a few encore gigs in the coming months.
As for the coming week, the Triple Nickel will be putting on one of its biggest shows Sunday, when punk band MDC (aka Millions of Dead Cops) brings its left-wing hardcore good times to the venue.
Meanwhile, hats off to Rawkus, which is bringing Dieselboy back to town for a one-year anniversary celebration next Wednesday, Nov. 27. The drum 'n bass legend, who previously played the venue's opening night, is a must-see for EDM fans, as is the following night's encore visit from Daft Punk tribute band One More Time.
Finally, the ReMINDers, who opened for Nas in Denver last Friday, have booked three Colorado shows, albeit none of them in the Springs. Our city's favorite hip-hop duo will be sharing a bill with Cunnylinguist this coming Saturday at Grand Junction's Mesa Theater. Then on Sunday, they'll be opening for the god-like Lupe Fiasco at Denver's Ogden Theatre.
Farther down the road, you can catch the ReMINDers on Dec. 30 and 31 at Boulder's Fox Theatre with Brother Ali and DJ Lazy Eyez — the perfect way to say goodbye to 2013 and usher in a soulful new year.