Monday, January 23, 2006

2005 ... The Ultimate Top 10 ...

The Ultimate Top 10 for the year 2005 ...
Extracted from the Chicago Tribune which features an article from the Los Angeles Times ...
The Rolling Stones makes the Biggest Bang ...

Combining: sales of concert tickets and from album
- Concert grosses [tabulated by Pollstar magazine]
- Album sales [monitored by Nielson ScoundSacn]...

[1] The Rolling Stone: $168 millions
Concert - $162 m & CD sale - $6 m
“A Bigger Bang” tour, with tickets about $450 and average ticket sale price of about $134.They shattered their own record of $121.2 m in 1994

[2] U2: 149.7 millions
Concert Ticket sales = $138.9 m & CD- 11 m
U2 sold more tickets in North America than any other act last year – 1.4 million; with Dave Matthews band in second place at 1.21 m tickets.
Album name is “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb”.
Average ticket price was $96.92

[3] Kenny Chesney: $109.3 m
The singer-songwriter had tough year on marital front with annulment of his marriage to actress Renee Zellweger. But his popular concerts and two albums topped the pop-charts and he vaulted over classic rockers as Paul McCartney & the eagles; even though both toured heavily last year.

[4] Green Day: $84.7m
Tour: $34.8m & CD sale: 50m
Album: “The I” & “Bullet in A Bible”
Average ticket price = $38.07

[5] The Eagles: $84.4 m
Concert = $78.4 m & CD - $6 m
“The Very Best of The Eagles” sold 460,000 copies to make 6 m worth
Average ticket price: $108

[6] Paul McCartney: $83.2 m
Concerts- $77.3 m & CD sales – 5.85 m
Album:” Chaos and Creation in the Backyard” generated some enthusiastic reviews.
Average ticket price: $135.46.

[7] Celine Dion: $81.3 m
All her income was from ticket sales from her 155 shows.
Average ticket price: $136.04

[8] 50 Cents: $78.6 m
Concert: $ 4.7 m & album sales:$63.1 m
Album: “The Massacre”
Average ticket price: $64.03.

[9] Dave Matthews Band: $74.3 m
Tours: $57 m & album: $17.3m
Album: “Stand Up”
Average ticket price = 47.09

[10] Elton John: $65.8
Like Celine Dion he didn’t release any album last year, so all his income came from concert tickets.
Average ticket price: $102.46.

Mariah Carey, was the queen of record stroes with 5 m sold copies of her album “The emancipation of Mimi” , and generating about $65 m; assuming average $13 per unit price of CD. However this did not help her figure in the Top 10 List!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

New Orleans ... Chocolate Again?

"It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans — the one that should be a CHOCOLATE New Orleans. This city will be a majority African American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans..."
- Mayor Ray Nagin, in his speech on Martin Luther King Day Rally[16th Jan, 2006]

"Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country. Surely he doesn't approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We're not taking care of ourselves ......... It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans — the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans ...."

There's a whole lot of controvery surrounding his speech; calling for New Orleans to be "chocolate again".

Mayor Nagin apologized later!
"If I offended anyone, I sincerely apologize"
"I need to be more sensitive and more aware of what I'm saying .....
I want everybody to be welcome in New Orleans -- black, white, Hispanic, Asian -- because that's the kind of city that we deserve going forward. I was trying to, and didn't do it very well, to deal with this whole notion, the undercurrent what's being talked about, and what's being talked about is who is going to come back to New Orleans at the end of the day."

Monday, January 09, 2006

Rebirth of New Orleans ...

If wishes were horses; I wish to be in New Orleans this February end ...
To experience the carnival and the Mardi Gras [pronounced Mar-dee Grah]

The birthplace of Jazz "New Orleans", is springing back to life; after a near complete devastation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina [August 29, 2005] and the breakdown of levee-system as its aftermath. Tens of thousands of houses were destroyed; there was death, diseases and destruction everywhere.

There are at least two cities I know of which have literally risen from the ashes:
- London: The Great London Fire – 1666 [Also the Great Plague-1665]
- Chicago: The Great Chicago Fire – 1871

I somehow want to witness how New Orleans is getting back from the brink. As much as I want to be there, I don’t see it happening; so I’m closely following the developments. Businesses are coming back; schools and colleges are reopening and the city is all set to celebrate:
- The Carnival [23rd – 28th February, 2006]
- Ponderosa Stomp [Third week of April , ie; 16th - 22nd April, 2006]

Since I have very little idea of what these are; I did some Google Search:

THE CARNIVAL originated in the middle of the 2nd century in Rome; when the fast of 40 days of lent was preceded by a feast of several days. From Rome it spread to European countries and finally to America. Carnival is observed in many American cities but not with the glamour and grandeur of New Orleans. It started in 1927; when a group of students who had returned from school in Paris; donned strange costumes and danced their way through the streets. Slowly the town caught with the enthusiasm of these youths and each year more and more joined the revelries.

THE MARDI GRAS is the last day of the carnival season.
It falls on a different day each year; but is always 46 days before Easter.
It is marked with parades, costumes, floats, throws and balls ...

• Mardi Gras is on “Fat Tuesday” – the day before Ash Wednesday [Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of lent]
• Rex – the King of the Carnival; receives the keys to the city and rules it for the day
• PARADES are characterized with people in COSTUMES and often accompanied by FLOATS. A float is a decorated platform, either built on a vehicle or towed behind it From the float they THROW –trinklets / beads / coconuts to the crowd lining the streets. These throws may have krewes insignia on them. Many of these items become collectibles each year.
• Krewes – is an organization that puts on a parade and /or a ball for the carnival season
• King Cake: It comes in carnival colors and hidden in cake is a bean or plastic baby. Custom dictates that whoever finds it must give the next King cake party.
• Carnival colors – purple [justice], green [faith] & gold [power]

It’s the annual “Roots” music festival and draws music fans from around the world.
It is a festival dedicated to recognizing the architects of Rock-N-Roll, Blues, Jazz, Reggae and Soul. It is founded & produced by a non-profit organization: “Mystic Knight of the Mau Mau” which is dedicated to preserving and presenting the rich history of roots music.

Two sites worth mentioning:
* Tipitina Foundation :
It is a non profit organization to help victims recover from the Hurricane Katrina.
Tipitina Foundation

** The official site of Louis Armstrong and his archives ...