Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Reflectacles @ The Mint - TONIGHT - February 27, 2010

HolodigmMusic.com

THE REFLECTACLES - Tribal Stomp - Put on your dancing shoes and come on down.

The Reflectacles in concert. Get out of the rain and into The Mint at 10:30 PM:


The Reflectacles will be performing at THE MINT in Hollywood tonight. 6010 W. Pico Blvd. L.A. CA 90055. Hope to see you there. Hartmann

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Digital Music Business FAQ - SONG LYRICS - February 26, 2010

HolodigmMusic.com

Where Have All The Dylans Gone?

Dmitry Popov asks:

Lately, I've been listening to the radio almost everyday and am I'm quite surprised by the quality of lyrics. Some new songs have poor lyrics and some of them are plain awful. With the rise of electronic music it seems that today a lot of people enjoy beat more than the actual message of a song. What do you think about that? Is it reasonable to believe that we are going to hear a new superstar song writer such as Bob Dylan?

Hartmann responds:

Rhythm was the first musical discovery. Our paleolithic ancestors danced, chanted and eventually sang. They started with meter, mixed in melody and fused their message into song. Long before producers crafted tempo, tune and tale into records the beat was deeply ingrained in the human psyche. Songwriting evolved along with man's cognitive skills as the concept of story led to the creation of spoken language. Music is the universal mathematics of the masses.

The computerized genre popular today is not dependant on lyrical content, it embraces that primordial ingredient in music that compels us to dance. It could just as easily be all instrumental. It is the lack of a lyrical ingredient that has kept electronica from producing a superstar, unless Lady Ga Ga is it. If so, at least she has reasonably appropriate lyrics for her image in most songs. Whatever her mass appeal, or success, certainly she will never be classified as a great songwriter.

The Hip Hop culture dominated popular music in the eighties and nineties The lyrical content of rap music is a primal ingredient but mostly demonstrate a rebellious attitude and social observation than a story with a beginning, middle and end. The folk, country and singer songwriter traditions are all lyric intensive embracing musical choices indigenous to each style.

The crafting of an effective lyric that communicates some identifiable truth is the highest art form in music. Although it can happen, rarely does a song spring full blown from the head of Zeus. Most often a universally appealing song is created over weeks and often months of careful experimentation. The end product is ultimately dependant on the writer's artistic choices.

Knowledge and experience in crafting musical compositions does not make one a songwriter For lyrics to resonate on an emotional level with the public, they must first emanate from someone with a point of view. When the public embraces any given tune they are identifying with the truth they perceive in the song's story. The goal is to tell the most story in the least least number of words. Every note, metaphor and simile must be shaped to support the song's central theme.

Songwriting is the core art form at the center the music industry. It is the source of the one true thing, music publishing. The most enduring material is produced by the greatest poets with the most prodigious musical skills. The writer describes the life and times of a specific segment of society and he exploits his work through an established music tradition. The message is infused with the romance, angst and rage embraced by the performers personal community. Regardless of genre or style it is the music fan who dictates the degree to which the words matter. Each generation discovers its personal poet laureate and ultimately identifies him as their Bob Dylan.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Digital Music Business FAQ - The Mainstream - February 18, 2010

HolodigmMusic.com

The Mainstream

George Gavin asks:

Do you believe that as the recording industry continues to lose money, and may eventually fold, that a popular mainstream will be able to survive in the face of millions of bands and no superstar to represent them? I know you say that the music world is waiting for a superstar, but there is no guarantee it will come (I think).

Hartmann responds:

The postmodern record business is in a state of explosion. All the pieces of shrapnel are flying toward the perimeter at the speed of light. As the old reliable systems and mechanics break down confusion remains for the survivors. Massive staff cuts at the big four labels are justified by the revenues lost to peer-to-peer file sharing, a cultural phenomenon that is not going to go away.

The label A&R, publicity, promotion, video and marketing divisions barely exist. Most remaining employees are at the executive level. They are charged with "saving" the record business. But they don't know what to do and it cannot be salvaged by trying to revive the compact disk. The CD will be sold by artists to their fans and it will be more of a souvenir than a music source. Most hard copy record sales will occur as a gesture of support generated by fans at the band's live events.

When no genre is ubiquitous all genres become viable. There is no mainstream music market. Every artist must project his music and live act toward the core audience that follows his particular style and musical niche. If a band cannot dominate its genre, it will never generate crossover appeal to fans of other styles. This is actually a good thing. It means that if you are truly talented, you can market to the group most likely to embrace your music and build a following.

The record companies had their day and they abused their power. Now, neither the fans nor the bands care much about what happens to them. They will continue to shrink and eventually become licensing and downloading systems with very little infrastructure. The labels will continue to push the few artists they do sign into the radio system but as the buyers disappear selling CDs will not be a profitable enough venture to survive. Bands will sell directly to the fans.

Perhaps the digital sword will cut even deeper into the record business and all the catalogs of masters will be sold or licensed to the phone companies, ISPs or new ventures formed specifically to exploit mid level artists and old product. The superstars will probably avoid the big four labels altogether and deal directly with the distribution systems. The high cost of developing baby bands will make the labels second stage players who will try to buy acts that can succeed on their own.

Every major historical advance in the music business has revolved around a superstar emerging in synch with changes in technology. Nobody is debating that the influence of dgimodernization has had a profound effect on the music industry. The loss of a primary income stream has forced artists back to the drawing board. They must now survive the old fashioned way, by excelling at the symbiotic art and science of performing and recording. A universal star could still emerge.

It is reasonable to assume that many of the Guitar Hero fans will graduate to real instruments. With sophisticated music programs available at most universities it is logical that college kids will learn many more chords than the three Elvis Presley used to generate his career. These young musicians are not going to graduate from college and give up. Music business curricula will teach them how to market and brand their product. The realistic progression for the next era in music is that quality would rise to previously unimagined heights. From this collegiate rock movement a new universal star could rise, or not. Perhaps music itself is THE superstar of the digital age.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Music Business FAQ - TALENT TODAY - February, 13, 2010

HolodigmMusic.com

Talent Today

R. Monahan asks:

Do you feel that there is any one act or artist already around today that could potentially rise up to being the face of our generation or are we still waiting on that star to appear? And also, if there is not anything established yet, what genre do you believe this act will rise out of?

Hartmann responds:

Every displaced record executive in the world is dreaming and scheming about how to reinvent the music industry. But, it is not the music "industry" that is suffering. It is the record "business" that is in a stew of its own making. The concert "business" is the second, and most enduring, component of the "industry" of music. The live music business will not sustain the same long-term, deleterious damage as has befallen the record business. Regardless of cost, profit, packaging, or how it is marketed, the music industry is here to stay and will be bigger than ever.

Digimodernization has fired the shot heard round the world. The transition is in motion, the industry will adapt. The evolution of it cannot be stopped. The artist and the audience are forever connected without imposition of middle-men who may have less than artistic motives. Cross cultural communication is exploding across the Internet and music is at its forefront.

Vast digital systems are hyper-linking social networks and enabling the exchange of millions of songs and videos every day. This "sharing" of music is expanding the global audience at an accelerating rate. The net result will be an increased interest in musicians and their work. The perceived values will accrue to the artistic side and the business of music will be redefined. This progression is moving at an explosive pace and the sound it makes is music.

There are hundreds of artist and repertoire services on the Internet that all offer "expert" guidance from seasoned professionals. The problem is that the expertize they purvey almost always relates to the old paradigm. There is a distinct lack of vision about exactly how to pursue the development of new talent in the music renaissance. One thing is for certain, reliance on record companies is no longer a viable option.

Newly minted Internet entrepreneurs must function within the parameters of their personal experience. This usually means finding someone to invest in the act. With very few record companies still in the artist development business, no artists get signed until they have a strong online following. By then, the potential contribution of a label is questionable. They can't guarantee much money, because the return on investment is not secure. The 360 degree formula is yet unproven; not one single act has come to prominence under this type of arrangement.

The music industry has been forced to take a digital leap backwards in order to surge forward into the new paradigm. The record business is collapsing under the weight of it's own infrastructure. This demise of the labels does not portend the end of recording as an art form. The two primary activities of the music industry will always prevail. Recording and performing are the symbiotic partners that created the postmodern record business; and they will continue to flourish as new music is discovered and shared across the Internet. The promotion will be freely generated by the global fan base.

The development of a new system for the monetization of music will endure a myriad of possibilities and some will prevail. There is a plethora of business models, some actualized and others in development. These include subscription, advertising based and bundling concepts that despite enormous investment, can at best be considered experimental. Nobody knows how the music fans will ultimately react to the sudden freedom the world wide web has provided. Their ability to choose any amount of music, from any genre, on demand at no charge must not be taken lightly.

The concept of "free" music is very powerful and deeply entrenched in the youth culture. It will not be easy to get them to pay when they are accustomed to sharing music without fees. This makes for a low threshold for entry; but immediately raises the bar for artists reaching for square two. It is easy to get into the game, but very difficult to progress. Only the most talented will build a large enough following to sustain a career. That is the way it has always been. Only ten percent of the competitors will survive as ninety-nine percent of the money is earned by this elite group.

The first level of success is survival. Artists who reach this plateau will be competing with the best of the best. One percent of them will earn ninety percent of the money. The bands that cannot generate a following through their live performances will be doomed to keep their day jobs. Their music will become a hobby, not their business. Artists who have the talent to inspire an audience and bring them back for more will have a chance to continue in the game. This will require the appication of artistic and business skill in equal proportion. Virtuoso talent combined with good theater, trmendous desire, and enormous personal effort could still produce a monumental star.

Each new enterprise will be built around a body of music that appeals to a niche market. When no genre is ubiquitous, every genre is viable. It does not matter which style of music you perform, there is an audience for every established style and there is even room for a new genre if it should emerge. Although they all follow a similar trajectory, each career has its own signature components. They all face the same obstacles and every one has to be built up from rock bottom.

The shock wave of digimodernization has not only rocked the record business, it has fragmented the fan base. As music lovers adjust to the new found freedoms and have access to every song ever recorded, they will discover the wonders and delights of the global music pool. Within the millions of possibilities there lurks some inspired artist struggling to find his voice and direction.

Although no such artist is evident and none is on the horizon, it would defy history for a superstar not to evolve. When that phenomenon arrives everyone will learn about it on the same day. There will be a roar of acclamation and affection that will streak around the planet by instant messages, tweets and friends Facebooking friends. YouTube and MySpace will light up like Christmas trees. The new superstar's web site will crash for lack of server power; and everybody with an iPod will embrace the song and choose to pay instead of "sharing" the file. This will result in the single biggest financial windfall in the history of popular music.

A hard core fan base, who discovered this artist years previously in their home town will rise up and inspire universal support. Needless to say the unknown, subject artist will make millions of dollars that day. The impact of the event will bring world-wide attention and the acclaim will be unprecedented. At this juncture the monolithic, multi-national corporations will move in and try to capture the beast.

There will be an enormous effort to try to duplicate the process in order to seize and control the golden egg. However, the new addition to the pantheon of mega stars will already be rich and famous and have no need for unnecessary partners. The success will inspire thousands of lesser stars to compete within the infrastructure created to contain the new universally appealing musical hero. Many will emulate the style and characteristics of the messiah and a new paradigm will be born.

It will only require the same measure of identity, appreciation and personal attachment that previous generations have awarded Caruso, Valli, Sinatra, Elvis, The Beatles and Michael Jackson to turn the economic tide. The fans of these artists would not have "shared" their music for free. And, although no such star is present, or even on the horizon, history shows that such a musical force always arrives at a time just like this, a time when nobody can imagine how it could possibly happen.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

An Open Letter to Tommy Silverman - February 11, 2010

HolodigmMusic.com

An Open Letter to Tommy Silverman:

Hi Tom: Thank you for your gracious letter. As I had originally suspected we are almost on the same page. I was in High School when "Rock Around The Clock" started the avalanche that propelled Elvis to the big top and established rock & roll as a permanent part of popular culture.

I made my first money selling music in 1957 and have been doing it ever since. I cannot remember a time when I did not manage at least one band. Over my fifty plus years in the postmodern record business I have been fortunate to serve many artists great and small.

Today I manage a baby band called The Reflectacles, so my interest in the new music industry paradigm is not casual or merely academic. I have a real job to do building a business around this six piece Americana folk rock band that formed out of my classroom at Loyola Marymount University.

Seven years ago when I was teaching personal management at Musicians Institute a student asked me, "How would you build an act today when the music is free?" I must admit that for the first time in my life I did not have an immediate answer to a question. The Holodigm is the continuing answer to that question. After due consideration, my students and I embarked on an extensive analysis of the problem. When I joined the faculty at LMU we continued the research and development of a new music industry paradigm.

Now, six years and more than 2000 students later, we believe we have perfected a working model that the industry will follow, knowingly, or not. It is organic and based primarily on the historical trajectory and a clear vision of the future. More importantly, it deals with the broadest range of participants. The millions of bands registered on myspace.com. They all deserve a chance to compete.

The concept is presented as the first interactive, audio-visual, online text book and addresses the fact that a kid would rather watch a movie than read a book. It is a training, mentoring and coaching system for musicians and entrepreneurs that addresses every aspect of the ancient alchemy of turning music into gold. It functions on a simple mathematical formula: One Artist + One Manager = One enterprise.

The manager is the CEO of the artists company and he owns an equal share of the enterprise. Fifty/fifty partnerships a la Elvis and The Colonel for solo artists and an equal share with bands. He cannot be fired because his contracts ran out or somebody will do it for less. He is an equity owner of the business he helps build and can only be bought out at the fair market value of his shares.

All are exclusive employees of the corporation or LLC. Record producers can also be invited to join as partners since their skills will always be needed. We invited recording legend Eric E.T. Thorngren to be a full partner in The Reflectacles Music Co. ensuring that we will make world class records from day one. Everybody works for free until there are dividends to declare.

This form of partnership will ensure that everyone on the board of directors has an incentive to make the business successful. Each member has a role beyond the stage. In the case of The Reflectacles, each man is either an officer of the company or a vice president of a division. They apply the business skills they acquired in the classroom to their real life career pursuits.

How many CEOs get to indoctrinate their employees for sixteen weeks, three hours a week? Not many. But Holodigm Artists get that training before they start the arduous climb to artistic and financial success. Thy do not run blindly, lost in the fog of showbiz. Their goals are clearly defined and supported by a game plan that can be conducted at a livable pace, under their direct control.

The Holodigm is their sanctuary and provides continuous career direction as each enterprise grows. We hold no equity interest in the activities or entities produced by "Academy" and "Society" members. When appropriate, we may invite partnerships with promising talent through our professional division Holodigm Media. The business that is built will belong to those who build it.

Our staff of coaches and consultants is being implemented at this time and will provide a constant source of seasoned professional advice to our members online. Additional services and products provided below market price will facilitate production and marketing activities ensuring a faster rise to profitability. Individual successes and failures will be shared among the membership through The Holodigm Forums, Blogs, Social Network and Chat Rooms. The members, pursuing the same goals, each get to benefit from the other's learning experience. There is no template to follow; it is a real-time live experiment.

With a clear focus on the two primary activities of recording and performing, combined with effective Internet marketing, the team can build and operate its own business. The mystical fuel of "talent" drives the engine and combined with other "star" factors, like, great songs, charisma, sex appeal, hero worship, authenticity, passion and desire, they can build a fan base.

Nepotism, personal wealth, sponsorship, talent TV and personal relationships can enhance and accelerate the process. However, these are stairway to heaven possibilities that will not exist in most cases. Generally speaking, The bands and managers will have to do the work themselves.

Traditionally, investors want something for the risk they take. And that is only fair. However, during my fifty plus years in the music industry I have never seen a record company make a fair deal with an artist. And, I have never seen private investment pay off for the artist or the investor.

The money will want a permanent piece of the company. Unless they contribute something else to the artist's enterprise this will become inequitable eventually. In an industry where only ten percent of the artists will survive there won't be much venture capital available.

The Holodigm concept concentrates the artists and managers on the job of building a viable live act, in local and regional markets, around which products can be developed and sold. It focuses on do-it-yourself systems, mechanics and protocols. And, it forces the players to run their enterprise as a business without giving away equity to third party service providers.

Artists who wait for investors will be doomed to fail. Those who take action on their dreams will create their own destiny and they will reap the reward. They will own their masters and publishing and the most talented will build a permanent annuity to support them in their old age.
I totally understand the pressure you were under the day we met. I am a long time observer of your significant accomplishments and hold you in the highest regard. The work you do in support of the continued growth and development of our business is significant and necessary. In time the labels will let go of the old paradigm and embrace digital download distribution for their catalogs. And, they may even be able to buy up a few new acts as they emerge. But, it will never be the same.

The music industry is thousands of years old and will not expire under the weight of digimodernization. The record business is just over a hundred years old and will surrender to the digital sword. In the transition the business of recording will fall to the hands in which it belongs, the men and women who create music.

New artists will no longer be imposed by record company moguls or A&R producers of the month. They will be discovered, nurtured and revered from the fan base up. The information super highway is the arena and the Internet is the rocket.

I hope you will visit www.HolodigmMusic.com and consider that perhaps the new paradigm exists and only has to be implemented. This concept evolved from an historical observation of the effect of new technologies on the record business pre Napster; and, on my personal experience directing careers as an agent and personal manager in the postmodern era.

The invitation to speak to my class still stands.

Pax et Amo. Hartmann

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Music Business FAQ - February 9, 2010

HolodigmMusic.com

Cyber-Bucks

L. Grandy asks:

You mentioned in your blog in 12/10/09 that, "The big four stalled at Napster and allowed download distribution to be developed by others. By trying to preserve the highly lucrative CD market they let the big cyber-bucks get away." Do you think there is any way for the 'big four' to regain the cyber market? or are they doomed to control the less lucrative CD market?

Hartmann responds:

The Big Four record companies attempted to destroy Napster before they understood what it was truly all about. The governing executive corps of the postmodern label system lacked the long term vision to imagine a music world without plastic and paper. RIAA lobbyists attached the appellation "theft" to the file "sharing" process and sued their customers. The backlash from this futile tactic ensured their eventual demise. By the time the dust settled, Napster was a shadow of its former self and various similar systems took up the slack and made music free for the taking.

The old paradigm could only have been preserved if the global fan base embraced the idea that sharing was stealing. However, that did not resonate with the cyber-youth culture that simply and irrevocably considers the information super highway their indomitable domain. If it is on the web, its free for the taking. This is demonstrated millions of times a day, as music lovers explore the myriad of genres and styles instantly accessible and forward their discoveries to their friends.

Never in recording history has so much music been available to so many people at such a low cost. The obligation to pay lays between the mind set of the consumers and their affection for the act. Everybody under thirty knows how to load a song on their iPod or install it on their computer. They can stream it any time they want and pass it on at will. There is no guilt or hesitation involved in the exchange. The participants recognize that they are supporting the artist by distributing their music to a wider audience and no power on Earth can stop this practice.

This places the advantage clearly in the hands of the musicians and bands that are willing to recognize the Internet as the new radio. Except the airplay is free and record companies have no control over the system. The power now belongs to the artists who accept the challenge to create their own business enterprises, without investment from third parties. In the end, ownership of their masters and copyrights will far outweigh the value of a label's contribution to a band's career development. A tight bond with the fan base is all their survival will recquire.

The artist + fan connection is forged in the crucible of concert performance. Without a strong and entertaining live show an enduring relationship between the two will never form. When it does happen, it must be nourished and maintained through direct communication on the Internet. A band's fans are the lifeline to their survival. Once acquired a fan must be invited to join the act's support mechanism. Membership should be valued and specific. Symbols of partnership and specific identification of status and priority must be awarded to the most ardent supporters.

No major paradigm shift happens in a vacuum. The transition out of the postmodern era into the music renaissance will not be accomplished by the flip of a switch. The major labels will endure for another decade as digimodernization slowly swallows their extant catalogs. The older generation might repurchase their favorites for awhile longer, but in the end downloads will be the only delivery system for music. The artists will market their CDs and ancillary products directly to their fans from self owned and operated web sites and at live events. Only the most talented will make a profit and survive. The less talented will give up and join the army.

Thousands of laid-off record company employees will lead the vanguard of entrepreneurs who will attempt to revive the old way or try to invent the new paradigm. The Big Four have the most incentive to create a new system, but are not likely to accept the loss of high profit CDs as part of their formula. This lack of imagination will precipitate their downfall. The concept of 360 degree participation is a good idea, but an act doesn't really need a label to establish such a program.

The artists will be better served to create their own record companies dedicated to their success. New bands will be built one at a time by managers in partnership with the act. If the CEO's survival depends on the artist's success a band's business will be assured of full time attention.

The labels are the traditional enemy of the artist and they are not going to have a long term place at the table. The subscription and advertising based distribution models being devised today will slip away and artist direct streaming will dominate. The labels will die off because of their failure to engage in artist development and the participation of big business will fall to the ISPs and telephone companies. The big winner is the music fan who will decide where it all goes form here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Music Seminar - Tommy Silverman - February 3, 2010

HolodigmMusic.com

An Open Invitation to Tommy Silverman:

The New Music Industry Paradigm

Dear Tommy:

Thank you for a very interesting day at the New Music Seminar. In our brief conversation, I was somewhat shocked that, for as long as you have been pursuing this concept, that you seem to have totally missed the target. I suspect it is due to your RIAA affiliation.

I have been exploring the new music industry paradigm concept for over seven years and my 2500 students and I have debated every aspect of how the stars of the music renaissance will be born. They will NOT be dictated from record company board rooms down; the superstars of tomorrow will rise from the cyber-grass-roots up. The last to know what is happening will be the major labels. When an act creates a significant enough following through live performing and web integration the majors will try to throw money at them but it will be too late. No self respecting artist will enslave himself to the old paradigm.

You profess that a band needs an investor; but the labels are not investing in new artists. In fact, what can a label really offer an act today? Certainly they aren't going to give them any significant money to record, and fortunately for the artists, they don't need it. Record companies will promise them radio airplay but will fail to deliver it. The radio game is way to expensive and even if they did buy some spins, who is listening? Not the kids in a world where iPods rule. Furthermore, the oldsters don't buy records anymore because they already own the soundtrack to their lives and couldn't care less about new acts.

Just what do the labels have to offer, tour support? Forget it. There is no value in going into debt to play for 200 people in Chicago. In fact, a band does not need an investor if it has a great live act and a modicum of talent. What new artists need is to become the dominant musical force in their local region. If a band cannot make it at home, it can't make it anywhere. If it can make it at home, it can make it everywhere.

From San Diego to Santa Barbara there are hundreds of venues playing live music every night. If a band starts at the bottom of the food change and works its way up, they will accomplish Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours of practice and they will build their 1000 true fans. If they develop an efficient merch system, nourish their fan base with "personal" attention and play each regional market monthly within a 100 mile radius of their homes, they will build a following.

All talent being considered equal, this system will not put their earnings into long distance travel, over-priced fuel, over-weight baggage and hotel rooms. Controlling all income streams and channeling the earnings into expansion of their product line and the extension of their performance radius will allow them to grow. If this doesn't work, they should reconsider their act, perhaps it isn't as good as they think it is. This is the TALENT business and only the talented succeed.

Bands today must own their own masters and publishing and create a booking mechanism that allows them to develop their business one fan at a time. If they can sell 1000 tickets in any given market they will be added to the big shows that don't sell out. They will connect with the headliners who will take them on tour at a profit. And the world will come to there door. This is how the postmodern record business was born and this is how the music industry will be regenerated in the music renaissance.

The first level of success is survival. Of the millions of acts on http://www.myspace.com/ only ten percent of the competitors will reach that plateau, and they will earn ninety-nine percent of the money. Survival means, I make my living from music without a day job. The other ninety percent will never make a profit and will eventually be sucked down the black hole of broken dreams.

As you pointed out several times, nobody actually has to buy music. They will pay for it only if they love the act like we loved Elvis and The Beatles. This affection is most likely to occur at live events where the bonding is most intense. The fan probably already has "shared" the music or why is he there in the first place. They all saw MTV and they know when the buy the band's products they are putting food on the table and contributing to the act's survival. Fans will only purchase CDs and merch after they have already joined the act's support team.

Where is the place for three-sixty deals in this scenario? What can a label do for an act, today? Even if they could deliver the always dangled airplay, who is listening? There are no brick & mortar stores and anybody can access digital distribution without a middle-man. Radio is a default source for music and this generation does not want to be told what they like; they want to tell you. To them it is not "stealing" from the act; it is free record promotion. The connotation of "sharing" has no immoral quotient and the cyber-youth will not adapt to the RIAA standard.

I would love to have you visit my class at LMU some Wednesday evening to present your point of view on this subject. I have seventy-five students who would like to hear what you have to say. And I must admit I too am curious to hear someone try to defend the label's justification for their continued existence. I hope you can find the time to take up this debate. I enjoyed your speakers, but failed to see a new paradigm within the conversation. Pax. John Hartmann