Archive | May, 2015

Rating Demos Can Be A Super Girl’s Best Friend (or How I Learned To Love The Secret Comic Book Television Show Wars Sweepstakes and Chase the Stream).

21 May

NielsenTVheads

Ok – ALL CHANGE!!

Change the pace. Change of direction. Change the story.

CHANGE THE FUCKING CHANNEL ALREADY!!

.But before you do, please welcome the newest edition to the CHANGE family….CHANGE the STREAMING.

Four years ago when I decided upon the CHANGE of format for this new addition of PP Guru family of blogs, I was going to delve into my deep-rooted love of everything media-related. Not be distracted by thoughts of obscure elitist progressive rock and spoiled rich comic book rock star meanderings that I explored more in-depth on the old BlogSpot blog which my erstwhile editing partner, Sparky Santos took full control or neither did I intend to reminisce about the weekly angst-ridden fellatio depravity brought up on by ex-porn actress girlfriends that dominated my myspace version.

This wordpress version is supposed to be the real version. The real version of me, actually, cajoling the early millennial days of yesteryear when I was making some great strides of being constantly employed AND never bored in the television and movie industries.  But now, over fifty ageist has crept in, robbing me of a few opportunities here and there, now that anyone from recent graduating classes of USC or UCLA can push you off the edge of a winding curve with a mere snap of the finger, if you’re not caught up to the date with the latest version of Excel, Photoshop or Power point.

Not to mention, being in the possession a BA. The new license to work in an entertainment industry EVEN though most studios, such as Warner Bros were founded by a quintet of high school dropouts who owned a string of Nickelodeons who wouldn’t know a University of Phoenix diploma laser printout if it bit them on the ass (they never gave a shit about my educational background when I was gainfully employed by them for four and a half years helping out in the MIS and Script Service departments. The millennial smarty pants are now taking over and trying to CHANGE shit around from beneath my ball dropped sack.

Anyway, work in my line of enjoyment has become so scarce in this whoopee do economy. Some days are good and a lot of them are bad but still I’ve been deviating from this blog’s goals – and I’m try to get a few things back on track,  mainly with the subject of television ratings.

The other blogs will still be on schedule. I’ll be starting up a Steven Wilson blog one in a week or so. And I’ll be getting back into producing some new comic book work hopefully in time before the year is out BUT in the meantime, if any of you follow me on facebook – you may become silly aware of that I’m obsessed with watching comic books come to life on television and movies.

I usually reserve my Sundays to watch them all in an amazingly clusterfuck of a marathon, now that there’s such impregnable force amount of them – and WHEN I’m finished with watching them – I’m obsessed how well or a how big of an audience initially tuned in commercial watching warts and all.

Then I like to pit them all together in a death race.  And I then get a massive chubby when others’ my favorite facebook friend show loses.

I’m just people metered wired that way, it seems

Now beginning next fall – there will be three new comic book based shows premiering on the all the major broadcast network schedules – plus already some are in the development or early production phase or simply on stand by to premiere on the cable stations and online binge watching platforms.

They are:

THE WALKING DEAD on AMC (cable) Sundays – the ratings colossal winner.

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD  on AMC (cable) Sundays starting November.

GOTHAMFOX Mondays

SUPERGIRLCBS Mondays starting late October

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LUCIFERFOX Mondays (November)

THE FLASH – THE CW  Tuesdays

MARVEL’s AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. – ABC Tuesdays

MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER – ABC Tuesdays (mid-season) January 2016

iZOMBIE – THE CW Tuesdays

ARROW – THE CW Wednesdays

LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (a DC super hero team up show featuring THE ATOM, HAWKGIRL, FIRESTORM, THE WHITE CANARY, RIP HUNTER, CAPTAIN COLD and HEATWAVE) THE CW – Thursdays(?) (mid-season)

NETFLIX’s MARVEL’S DAREDEVIL – NETFLIX

POWERS – PLAY STATION NETWORK and CRACKLE

That’s a total of 13 shows currently in rotation.

BUT there are pilots galore still awaiting word on whether they’ll be getting the go-ahead on your widescreen television or laptop.

THEY ARE:

PREACHER – AMC (probably Sundays in the Walking Dead slot while the Walking Dead and its’ spin-off are on hiatus)

DMZ – SYFY

TITANS – TNT (another show that takes place in the CW/DC Universe)

NETFLIX’s Marvel’s AKA JESSICA JONES – NETFLIX (possibly late summer or fall 2015)

NETFLIX’s Marvel’s LUKE CAGE, POWERMAN – NETFLIX

NETFLIX’s Marvel’s IRON FIST

NETFLIX’s Marvel’s THE DEFENDERS.

So, anyway you look at it, that’s 20 shows total based on comic books. 20!!

Jeez- didn’t have that many when I was a kid growing up. Back then, CBS was the ruler of the late seventies super hero rabbit-ear airwaves with WONDER WOMAN, INCREDIBLE HULK, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, and a few cheesy television movies that starred DOCTOR STRANGE and CAPTAIN AMERICA.

Genres come and go. When I was a three or four-year old tyke, Saturday morning cartoons in the mid to late sixties were permeated with nothing but super hero influenced cartoons due to the crazy campy live action Batman television series starring Adam West and Burt Ward (which is sort of enjoying a renaissance at the moment, in which legal issues between Twentieth Century Fox, who produced the show, and Warner Bros, who owns the rights to the DC Comics character have been resolved to release the entire series on DVD and Blu-Ray. Now if only the same could be done for the Green Hornet.). Superman started the super-hero cartoon trend in an animated series produced by the now long defunct Filmation studios, and it snowballed into some studios even creating their own brand of super-hero universe, most notably Hanna-Barbara with their World of Super Adventure that included some memorable characters like Space Ghost, Mightor, Frankenstein Jr, and the Herculoids. Then by time the seventies rolled around, the comic book inspired character died down to a whisper with silly animal fare such as Scooby Doo and Dick Dastardly and Muttley, with only the sanitized practically pulling your punches non-violent Super Friends catching popularity. Super Hero cartoons nearly evaporated altogether if it hadn’t been once again for the resurgence of the Batman phenomenon when Tim Burton directed two Batman movies that once again saw the popular character emerge in his own art-deco animated series in 1992 and then that caused an avalanche of more super hero themed shows to follow in the 1990’s – especially when Fox started airing the X-Men animated series which prompted the movie studio to follow suit with the Bryan Singer X-Men series of films.

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So trends begat trends.

Riding on an encrusted cape flapping super powered wave right now – BUT sometimes trends tend to die down after a while – sometimes for a long while. As a pioneering television nation, we used to be fascinated with Westerns, then it was World War II themed shows (I loved Rat Patrol and Garrison’s Gorillas when I was three or four years old as if they were seen and produced yesterday). Sci-fi and mystery anthologies were once considered the rage in the late fifties or early sixties. Trends come and go. The Super hero or comic book based themed show won’t last forever, but while they’re on in the here and present day. I will tend to bask in the moment.

BUT the most important deciding factor that keeps a show’s heart still pumping is primarily ratings. Nielsen ratings. Pure and simple.

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And just what Nielsen ratings, you ask?

It’s how we measure shit. It’s what draws advertising animals to your product like a slab of meat to either sometimes long savor the herbs and spice scented filet mignon OR to tear it apart like cheap mayonnaise dried bologna in a matter of a week or two and you’re left digging the corn out of what’s been left behind. No syndication deals and no place in the mighty annals of culture dominion, my friend.

And there’s a big reason why Nielsen is synonymous with television audience measurement. Since day one, the media industry has to offer the expertise it needs to make the best marketing decisions possible. Today, expansive and representative television measurement services capture video viewing across all screens: television, computers and mobile devices. National and local TV ratings help media companies and brands decide how to spend the nearly $70 billion on TV advertising in the U.S. alone. Ratings are only one of the audience measurement services.

As technology continues to evolve and media companies try new ways to attract viewers to comprehend what consumers are watching and nowadays WHAT they’re watching it on.  Today, viewing video is a personal and mobile experience—anytime and anywhere. Take for instance when Netflix debuted Daredevil to streaming platforms- Netflix was very hard assed about releasing the their ratings data – as if it were top-secret government information – so it took upon a different set of eyes such as the marketing consultants from the company Luth Research from San Diego to conduct a ratings measurement experiment on their own. What they did was they contacted a sampling of 2500 known Netflix subscribers and asked them to volunteer in a survey to ask them what they were watching on the paying streaming service. According to an April 28th article in Variety Magazine:  “Daredevil,” the first of multiple superhero dramas coming to Netflix as part of a deal with Marvel, premiered April 10, and saw strong sampling, with an estimated 10.7% of subscribers watching at least one episode in its first 11 days on the streaming service.” Daredevil was successful in breaking the third season premiere of the streaming service’s previous most downloaded crown darling “House of Cards” which had attracted 6.5% of its’ subscribers within the first thirty days. Approximately analysts cobble that data and contend that IF Daredevil had been airing weekly on the ABC Network, rather than a pay cable station its first episode would’ve probably scored a higher rating than Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D usual average of 1.6 to 1.7 GAA Live + SD rating.

But I’m probably getting ahead of myself here. To the untrained novice, I probably just mentioned a bunch of useless jargon that you’re scratching your rumpus trying to figure out.

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Let’s try to break it down a bit – so I took the liberty of plagiarizing some nifty terminology from the Nielsen Research homepage and some Wikipedia snippets. Plus I have a print outs of my own personal reports from the time I used to work for Sony Picture Television while I was manhandling the Seinfeld market list for some 217 odd stations across the US for a two-year period.

The most commonly cited Nielsen results are reported in two measurements: ratings points and share, usually reported as: “ratings points/share”. There were an estimated 115.6 million television households in the United States, up 1.2% from the previous year because of the inclusion of televisions that receive content over the Internet. A single national ratings point represents 1% of the total number, or 1,156,000 households for the 2013–14 season. Nielsen re-estimates the number of television-equipped households each August for the upcoming television season.

Nielsen measures more than 40 percent of the world’s viewing behavior—hundreds of channels, thousands of programs, and millions of viewers. Their measurement breadth allows clients to plan programming and advertising for their ideal audience. That great lipstick ad you saw during your favorite reality show—that was no accident—it was informed by big data.

Electronic and proprietary metering technology is at the heart of Nielsen audience measurement. In addition to capturing what channels viewers are watching on each television set in the home their meters can identify who is watching and when, including “time-shifted” viewing—the watching of recorded programming up to seven days after an original broadcast. Rating demographic come in many different forms, but the most prominent ones that are usually captured in the adult rating between the age range of 18-49, or 18-54. And they’re even determined by sub categories of ratings to make up the big score, both male and female, and teens and even children factor in the equation as well although not so much past the 10:00PM hour. Once you reach the age of 2 – you’re part of the process, baby.

Depending on what side of the people metered picket fence you’re on, you’re either

THE Gross Average Audience (GAA) Rating – The sum of the percent of households or persons tuning or viewing during the average minute of each telecast of the program, including repeat telecasts during the report interval. Duplicated tuning and viewing to the same program (or its repeat telecast) by the same household during the report period is counted each time.

Or you’re simply part of the:

AVERAGE AUDIENCE (AA) Rating: The average number of people who tuned into the given time selected and expressed in thousands or as a percentage (also known as a Rating) of the total potential audience of the demographic selected. It is also known as a T.A.R.P – Targeted Audience Rating Point. If you’re the atypical fanboy – this is probably your stop.

Chosen at random through proven methodology, Nielsen’s U.S. TV families represent a cross-section of representative homes throughout the country. Viewing is measured by using national and local people meters, which capture information about what’s being viewed and when, and in the major U.S. markets, specifically who and how many people are watching. TV set meters are also set in many local markets, and are collected through more than two million paper diaries from audiences across the country each year during “sweeps”—specific periods during the months of February, May, July and November. (May 2015’s stats are about to be announced in a couple of days from this post) To measure video content viewed on mobile devices, incorporate, census-style data from third parties, such as the previously mentioned Luth Research from San Diego, Ca are applied to capture the breadth and depth of consumer usage.

Nielsen delivers a constant, real-time stream of information, revealing tuning behavior during programs and commercials. Clients can tell which commercials are being watched, as well as which ones have the strongest engagement and impact. Then in turn, a commercial block is created to be the most effective for a specific brand and for which markets will be developed to make the best return on investment for brands.

And you don’t watch your shows right away – with the advent of digital platforms and devices, not to mention, your own cable box, you can watch them whenever you want but be wary advertisers are not patient people, they’re the ones who are footing the bills to sponsor most of these broadcast shows to be made. If appointment television doesn’t really pan out for you (overnight viewing, Live +SD), (SD = same day) then you can count yourself in the viewing race either by a Live +3, Live +7, or a monthly measurement (which is rarely taken) type of installment binge watching plan.

Still, the biggest choice on what programs will be the biggest hits is up to the consumer, but deep intelligence into viewing behavior can improve both return on investment and brand reputation. And that’s where we’ll leave it at this juncture. By the time fall 2015 rolls around, I’ll have more Nielsen ranking gathering secrets to bestow upon you. Until then, try to catch up on your digital platform and watch some of those mostly good shows. Daredevil being the most excellent.

PULL UP AN EASY CHAIR FOR SOME NICE RELAXING LOUNGE PROG (aka Shoegazing Away On a Thin Ice of A New Day)

4 May

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So, here arriving at last is a sort of fade in, fade out series of blogs showcasing my favorite music heroes from the Kscope Music label, a certain record label out of London that signs up bands or artists who have a sort of progressive rock edge to them, but are not wholly committed to the real progressive rock genre as we generally know it. Especially when you have other mitigating influences such as alternative rock, thrash, death metal, folk, and world music expanding the palate of your musical repertoire.

I’ll eventually get to almost every band by dedicating a blog to each sub-genre they appeal to. This entry focuses on two particular similar sounding bands,  who both released stunning albums during 2014 that signified atom splitting growth in two separate directions than what they originally intended to do. The names of these band are the Engineers and North Atlantic Oscillation.

Next month as his North American tour approaches my area of Los Angeles, I will be contributing an entry on the solo career of Porcupine Tree and No Man, and this label’s founder, Steven Wilson.

As you probably gathered – I am a real sore butt hurt about this label. I try to grab each and every new release as they become available in the US – some releases you have to simply order through online distributors such as www.burningshed.com

From what I can gather, both The Engineers and North Atlantic Oscillation fall under the sub-genre: Shoegazing. Which is a interestingly curious moniker for a genre. Wikipedia defines it as this

Shoegazing (also known as shoegaze) is a subgenre of alternative rock that emerged from the United Kingdom in the late 1980s, pioneered by bands such as My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Slowdive, Chapterhouse, and Ride. It lasted there until the mid-1990s, with a critical pinnacle reached from 1990–91 and a new zenith achieved again from resurgence in the early 2010s. The British music press—particularly NME and Melody Maker—named this style “shoegazing” because the musicians in these bands stood still during live performances in a detached, introspective, non-confrontational state, hence the idea that they were gazing at their shoes.The heavy use of effects pedals also contributed to the image of performers looking down at their feet during concerts.

My first exposure to both these shoegazing acts,(and I’d also like to count another band, Norwegian prog music duo Carptree lumped into this category as well).as with many of the Kscope family roster was through a CD sampler that was included with a UK imported magazine called Classic Rock  that opened up with a brand new Anathema song not heard from in nearly six years entitled Thin Air, (this is circa 2009). I think the sole reason I picked up that Classic Rock magazine was just for the sheer Anathema track having previously owned their 2004 album “Natural Disaster” released through their own independent label years previously. It was a big event at that time when Anathema signed with a blossoming label such as Kscope- as the only albums I had from the label were the latest The Pineapple Thief album “Tightly Wound” and Steven Wilson’s first solo album, “Insurgentes”. So naturally I’d be curious to hear what else this offspring spawn of the Snapper label had to unleash upon the unsuspecting “thirsty for adventure” music world.

With one CD player spin each of a sample track from both bands, The Byrds influenced “Hang Your Head” from the Engineers’ second release, Three Fact Fader, and NAO’s “Drawing Maps From Memories” from their debut album, and boy I was immediately hooked.

Disclaimer: as with my previous Yes Log entries, I supplement my biographical sections with Wikipedia text

Engineers are a British shoegazing/dream pop band. The band was formed in London in 2003 by bassist/guitarist/keyboardist Mark Peters, singer/guitarist Simon Phipps, bassist/guitarist Dan MacBean, and drummer Andrew Sweeney. After the release of their second album Three Fact Fader in 2009, MacBean and Sweeney left the band, and were replaced by bassist/vocalist Daniel Land, drummer Matthew Linley, and keyboardist Ulrich Schnauss. Phipps and Land would later leave the band before the release of 2014’s Always Returning. Engineers’ sound has been described as “hazy, ethereal, and atmospheric,” and the band often cites the works of The Beach Boys, Brian Eno, Cocteau Twins, Spiritualized, and Pink Floyd as influences.

Engineers were signed to the Echo Records label in 2004, and the band recorded and released their first single “Home”/”New Horizons” in April 2004; both songs were re-recorded for the band’s debut album the following year. The mini-album Folly arrived on 27 September 2004, preceded by the single “Come in Out of the Rain” a week prior. The mini-album also featured a cover of Tim Hardin‘s “If I Were a Carpenter“, and the original recording of “Forgiveness”. Their eponymous debut album followed in March 2005, preceded by the re-recorded Top 50 single “Forgiveness” in late February. The album’s second single was “Home”, which was released in June 2005 but failed to chart. In early 2010, “Home” became the theme song for the fourth season of the United States TV series Big Love, replacing “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys which ran from season one through three. That’s where I came in with my recognition of the group, having been following the HBO show, and wondering why in the hell was the theme music changed halfway through the show’s run. It took me a while to hunt down the debut album, as it wasn’t easily attainable as most of the K-Scope releases are these days. (the ones I haven’t been able to locate, the record stores I deal with don’t usually follow through with individual import orders from K-Scope. I’m usually told that the label charges too high when it comes to shipping product), but then it was on independent label, and it just happened by chance that some guy brought in a few promo copies to be dumped in the used section and I found one for $5.

Whilst in the process of mixing their follow-up album, the band split with Echo Records and their future became uncertain. After a period of silence, bassist/guitarist Mark Peters posted a message on the band’s official forum in February 2008 that the second album would be released digitally in the first half of the year, and that the band members had been working in various side-projects apart from Engineers. The digital release of the album never came to fruition. On 29 August 2008, Peters posted a new message stating that one of the tracks from the second album, titled “Sometimes I Realise”, had been remixed by DJ Sasha for inclusion on his album Invol2ver.

By 2009, the band signed with Snapper Music sub-label Kscope, and their second album Three Fact Fader was released on 6 July 2009. Again, as I previously stated a couple of paragraphs back, I wasn’t on the blood trail for this album until I went on a mad hunt for North Atlantic Oscillation’s debut album and stumbled upon it by accident while I was purchasing the NAO album, of which I promise to explain more fully in the second half of our program.

On 1 February 2010, it was announced that Dan McBean and Andrew Sweeney had left the band, with Peters noting, “No arguments or disagreements prompted anyone to leave, but when we got back together to play after Three Fact Fader was released it was clear we had all moved on personally and professionally.” Shortly thereafter, it was announced that Phipps and Peters would continue with a new line-up, and musicians Ulrich Schnauss, Daniel Land (of the band Daniel Land & The Modern Painters), and Matthew Linley (of the band Gilbert) were added to the official line-up.

Engineers’ third studio album, and first album with the new line-up, entitled In Praise of More, was released by Kscope on 27 September 2010.The album was largely written and recorded by Mark Peters, with assistance from Dave Potter and Ulrich Schnauss. Personally, this album isn’t really to my liking – not adventurous as the previously two efforts with the exception of two tracks, “To an Evergreen” and “Twenty Paces.”

On 2 June 2014, after a brief silence following selected live dates, the band announced their fourth studio album, Always Returning. The album is set for release on 11 August 2014, and is to be the band’s first release with just Peters, Schnauss and Linley as the core members of the group. Of the lineup change, Peters confirmed that “based on mutual agreement after a recent conversation, we decided that Simon (Phipps) would sit this one out. There are no plans to tour this album, so Daniel (Land) wasn’t needed either. As the band was essentially a solo project since 2009, no one has ‘left’ in the traditional sense – they’re just not on this album.”

NAO-news

North Atlantic Oscillation are a post-progressive rock and electronica band from Edinburgh, Scotland. They are signed to the Kscope record label and released their debut album Grappling Hooks on 22 March 2010. The band currently consists of Sam Healy (lead vocals, guitars, keyboards), Ben Martin (drums, programming) and Chris Howard (bass, bass synth, backing vocals).

The band was initially formed in 2005 by Healy, who had played in several bands previously, and Martin, who had moved from the English Midlands to Edinburgh to study. The duo later expanded to a three-piece when they added Bill Walsh to the live line-up. After Walsh left at the end of 2009 he was replaced by Howard, although Walsh still appears on-stage with the band from time to time on guitars and additional keyboards, and has produced several remixes for the band. The band are named after the North Atlantic Oscillation, a fluctuating change in the atmospheric pressure differential that exists between the Icelandic Low and Azores High.

In November 2009 the band released an EP titled Callsigns EP. As well as containing their own song “Cell Count”, it also featured a remix by Engineers (also signed to Kscope) and a cover of “I Only Have Eyes For You“, a song made popular by the American doo-wop group The Flamingos during the 1950s. During 2008, financed by Healy, the band recorded and mixed their debut album Grappling Hooks which was released on 22 March 2010 on the Kscope record label.It has received largely positive reviews from critics including the NME and Uncut magazine. Clash described the album as, “a near-criminal stockpile of beeps, buzzes and glitches generously sprayed over a spacious psychedelic rock canvas”. However, some critics offered negative views. This included Drowned in Sound who criticised the record for failing to, “hit the heights it aims for”. Nevertheless, during the week of its release it was featured as ‘Album of the Week’ on Zane Lowe‘s popular BBC Radio 1 evening show. Lowe himself described the music as, “super exciting new Rock n Roll for a new decade.

Their music has been compared to contemporary American bands such as Grandaddy and The Flaming Lips, Scottish bands such as The Beta Band, and 70s prog-rock band Pink Floyd. Their music combines elements of electronic beats with alt-rock guitars and “hazy vocals”.

In 2013 Healy released a solo album under the name ‘Sand‘, also on Kscope Music.(sadly, this is hard for me to find in my area.)

In August 2014, North Atlantic Oscillation announced their third studio album ‘The Third Day’. The album was released on 6 October 6, 2014 via Kscope Music.

Both acts in addition to helping out one another on their albums have also been strongly recommended by their label compatriot Steven Wilson. Both bands on occasions have also had the distinct pleasure of opening for Steven Wilson for and on any of his tours with Blackfield, Porcupine Tree, or his solo band, and Wilson usually contributes a bonus remix of a song or two for their EP singles.

Both new releases from these bands venture into the territory of intriguing sounding instrumentals “Innsbruck” on “Always Returning” and the trippy “Penrose” on “On the Third Day” (which I’m trying to ear train myself to nail down – it’s the best Tony Banks tricky sounding keyboard tribute in years).

As a bonus, I’d like to include a third band that could fit in this sort of niche. It’s a Swedish act that I’ve sort of lost contact with over the years, my last exposure to them being my long defunct myspace page (very popular for hosting the second version of this blog- if you’re lucky enough to find a trace of it on those long evaporated cyberlink vapor trails) – but they were influential to me in coming up with the phrase – “lounge prog”

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Registered only as a duo, Carptree have a musical notoriety of keeping a very low-key presence in letting fans knowing when or where they’ll strike next either as a duo consisting of Carl Westholm on keyboards and Niclas Flinck on vocals OR being enhanced by studio musicians calling themselves the No Future Orchestra. Between the years of 2001 and 2010 they have released five studio albums, Carptree (2001), Superhero (2003), Man Made Machine (2005), Insekt (2007) and  Nymf (2010). It was with the third album, released through German label, Insideout Music that brought me to their attention. Upon first listening of the title track, my initial impression was right down to the core, that the heart of the piece is just a guy signing to another guy’s jazzy piano riffs. They could easily tour as an acoustic lounge act, singing and performing these plot enriched songs If you close your eyes and listen to opening track “Titans Clash Aggressively To Keep An Even Score” (yeah, that’s quite a mouthful for a song title) or even the closer track “This Is Home” would imagine fitting just as nicely on a David Bowie or Elton John record, with a few flourishes of Kate Bush sprinkled in between.

In a way, both Engineers and NAO sort of blazed a trail with this quirky stripped down quality. To them their sound is sometimes noisy with industrial and white noise influences, but their overall atmosphere is not too invasive. Deep down, between the two acts, they mostly operate as single entities – each a singular driving force masquerading as a group collective, Engineers has Mark Peters and NAO has Sam Healy as the core nexus dictating their basic skeleton ideas into a computer notepad until they get the opportunity to make them sound more larger than life in the studio and then later having to hire live musicians to perform it and bring it  humanly to the stage as possible to make it sound inhumanly as possible.

But I bet you both bands have the ability to rethink the performance as a acoustic lounge act – just one on a piano and finding a Bobby Darrin soundalike or a barber shop quartet mimicking its’ do wop Beach Boy backup harmonies and taking it to the cheap bars and coffeehouses as possible on just a single tank of gas – but only these days, real grand pianos aren’t cutting the mustard these days with all the sounds stored on a simple e-book or . Heck, it’s what I would’ve done if I had gotten permission to adapt Genesis’ Lamb Lies Down to Broadway to comic book form – take it out on the road with a female singer to perform the Lamia and Lilywhite Lilith with some simple knuckle dragging lounge lizard honky-tonk electric piano arrangement.

I can surely dream pop my life away, can’t I?