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Senses Fail Wins With Joshua Tree Sessions Film Project

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Senses Fail Wins With Joshua Tree Sessions Film Project


Senses Fail has been a band for twenty years.  They are a classic four piece band whose sound is post-hard core or emo, similar to My Chemical Romance.  Buddy Neilsen is their lead singer and for the past six years the primary songwriter for the band. The band members include Nielsen, bassist/guitarist Gavin Caswell, drummer Steve Carey, bassist Greg Styliades and guitarist Jason Milbank. Typically Senses Fail plays in rooms which seat 1,500 – 3,000 people.

Like all musicians who have been forced to pivot because of Covid-19, Senses Fail has begun to find new ways to connect with fans, deliver music and create revenue for themselves.  The past year has shown a new willingness for fans to purchase livestreams when going to in person events is more challenging than it was prior to Covid.  Even outside of pandemic, the band’s fans are now mostly millennials in their 30’s now having children and don’t necessarily want to go out.  From this lens, the band saw a new opportunity to connect with their fans who were reluctant to go out and decided to pivot.

Senses Fail recently did something bold.  They took the money lent them by the Small Business Administration as part of their EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) and filmed a live performance in Joshua Tree.  This project, The Joshua Tree Sessions, was the single most expensive outlay ever made by the band.  They hired a director utilizing a film crew with 12 Blackmagic cameras.  The intention was to deliver a high quality one time single view event, rather than just another streamed concert.  The intention was to deliver something more than what the viewer was expecting.  For these reasons, the band took a significant upfront financial risk.  Just the rental of the cameras cost more than a car.   The project worked exactly as was intended by the SBA’s EIDL program:  the band used the money to create a product, which they then sold at a profit – attracting approximately 3,000 purchases of the live stream.  

For Buddy Neilsen, Joshua Tree, CA has been the touchstone for many significant live events.  It was there he found out his wife was pregnant with their first child, and there where he was a first responder to a terrible rock climbing accident.  Witnessing that accident was transformative for Buddy changing both the path of his life and inspiring him to fully commit himself to Senses Fail.  Because of this connection he has to Joshua Tree, and the many life altering events which happened there for him, it made sense to use that location to make new art.

But, building a concert in the desert is not easy.  It requires bringing in everything.  It’s often said there’s a lot of holes in the desert.  What’s less often said is that you can’t do much with a hole.  Senses Fail had to bring in everything from generators to create power, to mixing consoles, gear, lighting, trusses and even porta potties.  This is where art can get complicated.  Christo used to string miles of canvas across open land and over rivers, or wrap floating islands at sea.  Any vision can be executed with proper planning and budgeting.

Senses Fail planned a spectacle, with full production, and complex backdrops so they could film live performances of their 2004 debut Let It Enfold You and their next album Still Searching. They played these two albums in full at Joshua Tree. These performances constituted the Joshua Tree Sessions which were then made available by stream.

By offering their Joshua Tree Sessions to fans over a very short period of time, Sense Fail created both scarcity and urgency.  The end result is Senses Fail recreated community among its fans who all had to show up within the limited window the concert was available, or miss it forever.  The band is not going to replay the show.  It’s gone.  This is much like the model at a music festival where the headliner only plays when they play.  If they’re truly massive, like Foo Fighters or Green Day, nearly the entire population of the festival masses together, with most listening to the live music but essentially watching it performed on the screens because of their distance from the stage. 

For Senses Fail, or any similar band, there are presently five streams of revenue: live performance, streamed performance, merchandise including recorded music, publishing and sponsorship or advertising.  Senses Fail will release a vinyl album of their concert, but their plan does not contemplate future viewings of the video.  And, because of the quality of the production, Senses Fail was able to get a distribution deal for the album.  The album was recorded on their own label NAME***  , but Senses Fail has now partnered with a distributor as a result of the live stream while continuing to own their own content and masters.

The band is currently on a club tour in support of Bayside, a band celebrating their own 20th anniversary.  Senses Fail plans to release their new album Prose early next year.  This album is a more literary project, a modern commentary on the frailty and momentariness of life and what it’s like to live in current society as a parent during these times.  Half of the record is based on T.S. Elliot’s Wasteland, the other half is based on Walt Whitman’s poem To Think Of Time.

Their upcoming projects include a new vinyl box set made out of recyclable content which can be put into the soil and ultimately grow into a plant.  They are also making a version of their album where the vinyl has pressed flowers within.  These items, show the care in which Senses Fail creates the offerings for their fans.  They go way in depth in thinking out the possible options.  Senses Fail’s strategy with merchandise is to go  build different tiers and lots of choices.  By making that extra effort, the band continues to build community and engagement with their fans while driving revenue. 

Here is our conversation in both video and audio podcast formats:

I found Buddy Neilsen to be endearing as we discussed his approach to the band, the process of song creation and the ways in which Joshua Tree has impacted his life. There’s a certain literary aspect to the way in which he creates songs, and it shows in his manner of speaking and in the work he produces.

Ultimately, in a competitive world like music, the winner is always those whose projects emanate from the arts and those creators who prioritize their art.  Senses Fail is a misnomer.  In the way this group approaches its own business and what they offer their fans, their more accurate description would be Senses Succeed. I’m intrigued to see what they produce next.



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Binance launches $1B BSC fund, BTC futures ETF approval could arrive soon, and Celsius raises $400M: Hodler’s Digest, Oct. 10-16 By Cointelegraph

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Binance launches B BSC fund, BTC futures ETF approval could arrive soon, and Celsius raises 0M: Hodler’s Digest, Oct. 10-16 By Cointelegraph


Binance launches $1B BSC fund, BTC futures ETF approval could arrive soon, and Celsius raises $400M: Hodler’s Digest, Oct. 10-16

Binance to launch $1B fund to develop BSC ecosystem

Binance, the worlds biggest cryptocurrency exchange, announced an accelerator fund worth a whopping $1 billion this week. The funds will go toward supporting the development of the Binance Smart Chain ecosystem.

Binance outlined that the 10-figure sum will be part of a tiered development model across four specialist areas: Talent Development, the Liquidity Incentive Program, the Builder Program and the Investment & Incubation Program.

Coinbase (NASDAQ:) follows FTX and Binance in launching NFT marketplace

G7 leaders issue central bank digital currency guidelines

Crypto lending firm Celsius Network raises $400M

Top engineers working on Facebook’s wallet jump ship to A16z’s crypto fund

SEC likely to allow futures ETF to trade next week: Reports

Bitmain stops shipment of Antminer crypto mining rigs into China

Bitcoin futures ETF will likely be delayed until 2022, says research firm CFRA

Estonian regulator wants to revoke all crypto exchange licenses

US debt ceiling crisis: A catalyst for crypto’s ultimate decoupling?

Crypto scoring big with European football

The Metaverse, play-to-earn and the new economic model of gaming

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Destination Crenshaw Moves Ahead With a First Round of Public Sculptures

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Destination Crenshaw Moves Ahead With a First Round of Public Sculptures


LOS ANGELES — A new, bronze sculpture by Kehinde Wiley of a 21st-century African woman on horseback, part of his popular series that radically updates Confederate war monuments, is heading to South Los Angeles. The city’s cultural affairs department voted on Wednesday to approve the placement of Wiley’s artwork, along with six others, in a 1.3-mile-long, $100-million cultural corridor under development. Called Destination Crenshaw, the stretch is devoted to bringing Black art and design to new, outdoor community spaces.

These artworks, by Wiley, Charles Dickson, Melvin Edwards, Maren Hassinger, Artis Lane, Alison Saar and Brenna Youngblood, are expected to be installed by the end of next year. The plan is to commission at least 100 sculptures, murals and other artworks by 2027, creating “the largest public art exhibition by Black artists in this country,” Jason Foster, president and chief operating officer of Destination Crenshaw, said.

Destination Crenshaw, a nonprofit organization, has received a mix of public and private funding. So far it has raised $61.5 million of a projected $100 million, including a $3 million grant announced this week from the Getty Foundation. The Getty has also pledged conservation support for the public art.

Foster, on the project’s website, declared, “Destination Crenshaw is Black design for Black LA.” The idea of an economic development project rooted in Black culture grew from concerns that a pending Metro light rail line, built at ground level for this section of Crenshaw Boulevard, would disrupt small businesses. The initiative has facilitated grants for local businesses and will bring greenery as well as art to the area to draw pedestrians, with the planting of 822 trees and the creation of 10 new pocket parks designed by the firm Perkins & Will.

Wiley’s monument, for example, will appear in the newly created Sankofa Park at the corridor’s northern edge. An earlier bronze from the same series, “Rumors of War,” showing a young Black man in a hoodie on horseback, was unveiled with great fanfare in Times Square in 2019 before it was moved to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. In a twist this time, the heroic equestrian will be female.

For the same park, Hassinger is creating a pink fiberglass sphere and planting motion-sensor LED lights around it to make the sculpture seem alive or alert. Nearby will be Dickson’s large stainless-steel sculpture of three Senufo ritual figures under a canopy of cars, celebrating the dealerships that used to line Crenshaw and the lowrider culture still alive today. The artist’s plan is to hire local auto body shops to paint the cars different colors.

Further south, Saar is creating a pair of 13-foot-tall bronze sculptures, male and female, with enormous hairdos or “conks” that rise several feet. She is fashioning the hair from a mix of found objects that speak to local creativity, such as a trumpet and frying pan.

Participating artists live or work in Los Angeles or did so for at least five years, said Joy Simmons, the project’s lead art adviser. She said 30 other artists have been “shortlisted” for future commissions and will be invited to submit proposals.



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Why Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quarterback Tom Brady Could Play Long Past 45 Years Old

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Why Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quarterback Tom Brady Could Play Long Past 45 Years Old


It was assumed that once you reached your late 30’s as a quarterback in the NFL, you were at your expiration date.

Fast forward to 2021 and we have several quarterbacks in their late 30’s who continue to play at a high level, with the most notable one being the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tom Brady.

It’s no secret that at the age of 44, Brady seems to have found the fountain of youth. The 22-year NFL veteran entered Week 6 ranking first in the league in touchdown passes and second in passing yards.

Through six weeks, the Buccaneers are 5-1 despite their banged-up and lackluster defensive backfield. At the very least, Tampa Bay will make it to the postseason and likely go deep into the playoffs. In fact, the Buccaneers are the odds-on favorite to win the Super Bowl, according to sports books.

Brady had previously indicated that his objective was to play until the age of 45. The contract that he signed with the Buccaneers reflects that, as he has one year left on his deal that runs through the 2022 season.

But due to his scorching play as of late, the topic of Brady playing past the age of 45 has become a popular one.

In fact, the veteran quarterback has responded to this topic with overwhelming confidence that he can not only play past the age of 45, but that he can also play until age 50 or 55 if he wanted to.

Via Andrea Kramer and Hannah Storm:

“I really think I can play as long as I want,” Brady, 44, said. “I could literally play until I’m 50 or 55 if I wanted to.”

Brady — who is a father of three — says, “I don’t think I will obviously.”

“… My physical body won’t be the problem,” Brady continued. “I think it’ll just be, I’m just missing too much of life with my family.”

While Brady makes sure to clarify that playing until the age of 50 or 55 is unlikely considering he doesn’t want to, the fact that he responds with such confidence that he can play from a physical standpoint is everything you need to know.

It’s worth adding that Brady’s oldest child is 14 years, while the other two will turn 12 and nine years old by the end of the year.

During a conversation with Rob Gronkowski last month, Brady remarked that playing until the age of 50 didn’t seem to be too difficult.

“Can Tom Brady play ’til 50? Like, 50 years old? … I don’t find it so difficult,” Brady said.

“Plus, in Florida, it’s kind of a retiree state, so I feel like I can play and then just glide into retirement. I think I can. I think it’s a yes,” Brady shared.

Even his former head coach Bill Belichick — who likely passed on re-signing Brady due to the idea that he couldn’t play until the age of 45 — admitted that his former quarterback could play until the age of 50.

“Nothing Tom does surprises me. He’s a great player, works hard, takes care of himself. He’s talked about playing until 50. If anybody can do it, he probably can,” Belichick said.

Even Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht had previously said he’d let Brady play until the age of 50.

When one considers that quarterbacks can’t be hit below the knees, driven into the ground or hit above the neck, Brady doesn’t have to worry about hits — because physical hits are simply not allowed in the NFL anymore.

It’s no coincidence that Brady hasn’t missed a start due to injury since the 2008 season. Heck, Brady even showed off his right thumb injury following a Week 5 victory over the Miami Dolphins, admitting he wasn’t too concerned in showing off the injury.

Furthermore, this Buccaneers team is absolutely stacked. This is in stark contrast to Brady’s last season with the New England Patriots back in 2019, when a lackluster offensive line and receiving corps led to Brady frequently throwing passes away just to avoid being hit.

The 2021 Buccaneers are allowing just 1.5 sacks per game, which ranks in the top five in the NFL.

While Brady hasn’t definitively stated when he will retire, it’s clear that his retirement is something that he holds full control over. It won’t be injuries or the Buccaneers deciding Brady’s fate — it’ll be the quarterback himself deciding when he’s done with football.

More than anything, age and having a banged-up body won’t end Brady’s career — it’ll either be the desire to spend more time with his family or the fact that he’s simply done it all.



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