Thursday Profilin': Jeremy Hagen (Saved By The Bell Edition)

By copycatsmedia, February 26, 2009 5:01 pm

sbtb

We thought we’d have a weekly feature to give our customers a little background about some of our employees, partners, and clients.  Check back every Thursday to get to know the COPYCATS Media family a little better.

This week features Jeremy Hagen, who works in the art/prepress department and is our resident Saved By The Bell expert/enthusiast.  He is going to rate each question after he answers it and let us know whether he liked it or not.

What is your favorite Zack Morris scam, and how would you have changed the details of this scam so you would have gotten away with it?

When a show like SBTB enters ones life you cannot pinpoint just one scam.  I mean, they are all gems but here is a good one:

 The episode where Screech gets his first zit and names him Murray.  In chemistry class he makes a mistake and his experiment explodes in his face.  The next day he is upset because the zit is gone.  So Zack comes up with the idea of selling the stuff, but he first does a test on Craterface Coburn to show the entire school that it works and eventually starts to sell Zit Off.

Later on, Kelly is freaking out because she has a zit on her nose, so Zack gives her some Zit Off, she uses it, and the zit goes away.  Screech then realizes there is a side effect: the cream turns whatever it touched maroon.  So now Kelly’s face is maroon and she is freaking out even more.  But the genius that is Zack Morris convinces everyone that the reason her face is maroon is because she has so much school spirit.  Of course, later on she wins homecoming and everyone is happy the end.  Another bit of amazingness from this episode is that Mr. Belding caught Zack selling Zit Off and told him to cease sales, but Zack promised to name it Beldasil.

So, yeah, I wouldn’t change anything Zack did.  He’s a genius and can do no wrong in my eyes. 

Rating:  GO BAYSIDE!

Forget comparing yourself to a favorite character.  Let’s say you had the opportunity write yourself into the Saved By The Bell series; what would your character be like?  What would he wear?  Who would he hang out with?  Where would he sit on the high school hierarchy of popularity?  What late 80’s-early 90’s high school stereotype would you embody?

I personally am very offended that you would have the nerve to ask me such a question. I mean, SBTB is pure genius and nothing needs to be changed. I don’t want to think about me being a character or anyone else for that matter.

This question gets a huge VALLEY.

How do you explain the Tori Paradox?

The bigger question here is how do you explain that Tori Spelling who played Violet Bickerstaff (Screech’s love interest) didn’t go on to become one of America’s favorite actresses of all time. I mean with SBTB on her resume you would think she would have the opportunity to do some great movies (although everyone should go and watch Sol Goode, trust me).

This one was kind of weak, but of course I turned it around to make it amazing, so this one gets a HOT SUNDAE!

Well, what about 90210?

90210 was OK, but it was more about Brandon, Brenda and Dylan.  Donna doesn’t hold any water in my book when it comes to that crappy show.  In fact, 90210 didn’t even cross my mind.  That just shows you how much the show sucked.

What famous guest star would you have liked to remain on the show as a regular?

Nobody really.  Although the guy that played Johnny Dakota was a real cool guy.  I enjoyed his character, but he turned out to be a loser.

THERE’S NO HOPE WITH DOPE.

What important life lessons have you learned from this show that you still carry today?

I’m not going to answer this one, because whatever I have taken from SBTB over the years is very special to me and…….*eyes start watering* I can’t finish.  I need to leave now.

B B B B B B  B  B B B B B B - GO BAYSIDE!!!!!

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And The Survey Says…

By admin, February 25, 2009 11:43 am

logoBy way of Hypebot, I came across this Youth and Music Survey from Marrakesh Records in the UK.  In the first paragraph of their introduction, they refer to their small collection of pie charts and bar graphs as “ground-breaking.”  In my opinion, no new ground was broken,  but the little information they provide includes a few interesting tidbits.

First, I thought I would address the claim that 60% of 16-24 year olds would rather go without sex for a week than music.  It makes for eye-grabbing headline, but nothing more. 

This statistic doesn’t surprise me at all.  I’m sure we all can recall plenty of weeks where we’ve gone without sex, but how many weeks have we gone without music?  It’s nearly impossible to imagine these days.  Think about all the places where music is played or listened to: 

  • At the gym
  • On the bus
  • In your car
  • At shopping malls and stores
  • At restaurants/bars
  • At your office or workplace
  • On the soundtracks for movies, TV shows
  • Radio/TV commericals

Now imagine all those scenarios in silence.  It’s really eerie.  Would you want to go an entire week without music? 

We would probably gain more insight if young people were asked if they would rather give up television or internet over music for a week.  Those are comparable media outlets that play a significant factor in many people’s lives.  But that wouldn’t generate silly headlines, now would it?

Here are the more important things that stuck out to me: Continue reading 'And The Survey Says…'»

Copying the COPYCATS

By admin, February 24, 2009 1:51 pm

I found another blog out there with roughly the same name, but they really have nothing to do with CD/DVD manufacturing.  It’s a Tumblr blog that goes the by the headline “Copy Cats” and the sub-header “Cover songs, remixes, mash ups & nothing else.”

Each day, they post multiple cover songs from all sorts of genres and artists.  It’s mostly an audio track, but occasionally there are videos posted there as well.  I’m finding it highly addicting.  I recognize original songs and artists being covered by musicians I’ve never heard, and original songs and artists I’ve never heard being covered by musicians I do recognize.

If you can’t stand to wait until something new is posted, try browsing their archive.  It goes back pretty far.  I’ve made it to page 15 out of 113.  Overall, it’s a really cool resource if you’re looking for new artists to check out, or if you just want to hear fresh takes on some of your favorite tracks.

Recession Proof!

By admin, February 20, 2009 12:54 pm

It’s a goofy phrase that everybody seems to be throwing around these days.  We’re all looking for that one industry that’s completely immune to whatever the rest of the economic world is doing.  Despite record companies cutting back and record stores shutting down, there’s  still a bright spot in the music industry.  That glimmer of hope resides in live music. 

By way of musicindustryreport.org, I came across this article talking about music stores thriving.  They cite people’s need for an emotional outlet during tough times as the reason for their sustainability. 

Working at a CD duplication company, this doesn’t entirely surprise me.  There are a few things I notice about our customers.  We have independent musicians of all ages come through here, but the majority tend to be younger.  One naturally assumes they don’t have too many financial responsibilities (unmarried, no children, no mortgage payments).  Without those constraints, they are able to get by with less.

Stat Shot from The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Stat Shot from The Onion - America's Finest News Source

They are also very dedicated to their bands and music.  They often put whatever extra money they earn back into the band, whether it’s for touring, buying new equipment, or doing another CD replication run of their latest album.  They’ve always been resourceful enough to come up with the necessary funds in the past, and I see that resourcefulness coming in handy now to keep their music going.

I’m really not seeing a big slowdown in live shows being played around my hometown either.  In fact, I’m really impressed when I look at a band’s tour list and it includes a bunch of venues in small towns that I never thought would host live, original music.  It’s good to know that if you look hard, there’s plenty of venues for you to play.

There’s money still being spent out there, but it’s shifting to different areas.  Instead of people purchasing mainstream music from big record labels, more are spending money on the growing numbers of independent musicians that are releasing albums and playing shows.  So despite trouble in certian areas of the music industry, live music from independent musicians still seems to be a hot commodity.

More CD Replication Sales Advice

By admin, February 19, 2009 12:29 pm

Posted by Adam Wachter

It’s all about knowing your client.

This is how I usually dress when meeting customers for the first time.

This is how I usually dress when meeting customers for the first time. I have a lot of clients from the North Pole.

In the CD/DVD manufacturing world you need to learn to adjust to your customers.  You will have a very wide range of customers.  People from all over the nation and world with different backgrounds and different ways of life.  One minute you will be on the phone with a corporate big-wig doing 100,000 units that needs to be done NOW, and as soon as you hang up the phone, you have a local independent musician in the front of the office waiting for you to get their 200-unit CD duplication project started.  Both are equal to me here.

Even if I dont like the cut of their jib, I still need to make them feel comfortable with me and reassure them that I’m going to help them get want they want.  My sales bible really comes from just this one clip:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDWrAwXSVh8]

The main lessons to take from this rabble are:

  • Know your clients
  • Treat them fairly
  • Don’t light crap on fire or you will kill your client relationship

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Always Be Closing

By admin, February 18, 2009 12:03 pm

Posted by Chris Brummund

I got a little sales lesson to share.  Here’s the situation:

I went to a local show at bar with three friends.  The show had four bands on the bill.  I was familiar with two of the bands, and even had one their CDs.  The rest of my entourage hadn’t heard of any of these bands.

Despite them not being familiar with any of the performing artists, they still enjoyed the music.  In fact, all three of my friends were particularly ecstatic about one of the acts.  They were so ecstatic about this musician, that they were each wanting to buy a CD.

Surveying the room, we didn’t see any merch table.  I advised my friends that most artists will bring copies of their album to sell at shows, but sometimes there’s no merch table, so you just have to go ask one of the band members.  I also advised to wait until they’re done packing up their equipment, but one of my friends decided to go up and bug them right away.  The person she talked to was very friendly and chatted briefly with my friend.  She came back a minute later.  We were told that they do in fact have CDs on hand that she can purchase once they finish loading up their equipment, or she can buy their album online or in a few different local record stores.

And that’s where the sales error was made.  (Video after the jump) Continue reading 'Always Be Closing'»

COPYCATS Featured Artist: Grieves

By admin, February 17, 2009 11:02 am

An emerging artist doing with business with COPYCATS Media is Benjamin Laub, aka Grieves.  I’m not much for writing reviews.  I’ll just say we like his music.  His latest album, 88 Keys and Counting, makes it onto steady rotation on the office CD player.  Salesman Ricky Coles just can’t get enough of that laid back Seattle-based hip hop.  He’s said so on numerous occasions.  88keys_graphic_black

But if you want something a little more descriptive, here are some tidbits from the press release:

Since the release of his first full-length album, Irreversible, Grieves has been called a breath of fresh air, a breakaway phenomenon, and a lyrical mastermind. Touring constantly, Grieves stunned crowds all over the country with his distinctive voice, lyrical precision, and unparalleled style.

88 Keys and Counting, a joint venture with friend and renowned Seattle based producer, Budo, is a matured record with themes that will challenge fans old and new alike. Armed with a distinct and fluid sound, Grieves’ second effort is not to be overlooked.

88 Keys and Counting separates itself from other hip hop releases by blending musical elements that are rarely found in the genre. A combination of singing and rapping are tethered together by guitar, horn, and keyboard driven instrumentals. Ultimately an intense album, there are a few breaks with songs like Identity Cards (featuring Luckyiam of Living Legends fame) and Greedy Bitch, a catchy break up song that will be stuck in your head for days after hearing it.

Need a third party opinion?  Sean Moeller of Daytrotter.com had this to say:

It’s a very swirled, Neapolitan ice cream sort of sound that Grieves goes for, bringing in many disjointed elements and influences that range from George Clinton’s deep-throated goofiness at times on “October in the Graveyard,” to Ice Cube-type flow, to Alkaline Trio black eyeliner, gothic punk rock tones, to the romantic side of the coin. It’s a mutt of a sound, but he’s showing himself to not only have improved his lyrical game, but also to have beefed up his musical chops by doing away with the majority of samples that he previously relied on for homemade music that he used his own hands to make.

That’s why I don’t write reviews.  I have trouble expressing this artist’s awesomeness in such eloquent terms.  You can read the rest of the review right here.

And of course, we always want to know what how our customers feel about the service here.  How was Ben’s experience at COPYCATS Media?  When asked for some feedback, he had this to say:

I know it sounds corny, but I carry these dudes’ card around in my wallet just in case I meet somebody I feel needs to know about them. I have never done anything like that. I don’t even have a business card for myself. I just got a stack of theirs.

COPYCATS is my first and last stop when it comes down to my CDs. I get a beautiful product, fast turn around, and a few drinking buddies when i’m in town. You really can’t beat that. Thanks guys!!!!

Thank you for the kind words, sir.  We’ll certainly raise a glass to that.  If you are a touring musician also looking for drinking buddies while in the Twin Cities, you know where to find us.  Oh, and we can help you out with the whole CD duplication thing, too.  But if you just want drinking buddies, that’s cool.

Should Have Went to USC

By admin, February 13, 2009 11:21 am

Posted by Chris Brummund

I’m not one to sit around and watch awards shows, but find myself in the habit of reading all about them the following day.  I’ve been scouring the internets to find some video of the Grammy performances.  

I found the performance by Radiohead to be the most intriguing.  Maybe it’s the inner nerd in me, but I instantly gobble up any track with a marching band providing the backing instrumentals.  The band backing up Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood was the Trojan Marching Band from the University of Southern California.

While my time with the Minnesota Marching Band was incredibly fun, it was not quite as cool as that (but trust me, we were still very cool).  If only we had done some backing instrumentals for a Prince performance, then we could’ve matched USC’s cool points.

Enough of my fond band geek memories.  Here’s the video:

[googlevideo=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5175317999285072447&ei=JkaTSZe8CZ-2-wHctOGwAg&q=radiohead+15+step+grammy&hl=en]

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Delivering Your Replicated CDs and DVDs

By admin, February 12, 2009 12:12 pm

We do a lot of out-of-state business here at COPYCATS Media.  If you are purchasing CD or DVD replication services from us, then you need to consider shipping time and costs when ordering and comparing prices.  Unless specifically noted, your quoted price does not include shipping.  So what can you expect your shipping price to be?

When we ship a CD replication order packaged in jewel cases, they are usually shipped in boxes that hold 120 CDs each.  They can weigh anywhere  from 25-30 lbs., depending on what print option you choose.  For example, CDs packaged with 12 page booklets will cost more than CDs packaged with a 2 panel insert.  The size of these boxes are typically 13″x11″x13″. 

Taking all of these estimations, you can go to a website like UPS.com and get yourself an estimate.  When I enter in a shipment from Minneapolis to New York, the price for ground shipping would be about $16 for a box of 120.  If this were a CD replication order, than you would have at least 1000 copies of your CD to be shipped.  If you do the math, that totals up to 8 and 1/3 boxes of CDs.  Multiply 8.33 boxes times $16 per box, and you get a rough estimate of about $133 for ground shipping.

If you entered all this information into the UPS shipping calculator, then you may have noticed the prices for expedited shipping.  They can cost up to $140 per box if you choose the Next Day Air - Early AM option.  That adds up to over $1,100! 

If you are in a bind where you need your CDs the next day but don’t have that kind of cashflow, what do you do?  I’d recommend two things.  The first is downgrading your shipping option.  Do you really need it first thing in the morning (or will you even be awake before 8:00 AM)?  If not, then get the Saver option where your delivery will arrive sometime in the afternoon.  It is estimated around $100 a box.  That will bring down the cost, but it’s still quite a bit of money to pay for shipping. 

The next thing I’d do is split up the shipping.  Do you really need all 1000 of your replicated CDs the very next day, or could you get by with just 100?  If so, then have one box of CDs shipped overnight for $100 and have the rest shipped standard ground at $16 per box.  That will get you what you need on time without completely breaking the bank.

The last thing I thought I’d share is this map of shipping zones.  It shows the approximate time it takes to receive ground shipments from us.  If you’re in the Upper Midwest, there’s not much need to get overnight or 2-day shipping, because that’s how long ground shipping takes anyhow.

Estimated ground shipping time from Minneapolis.

Ground shipping times from MN: Yellow-1 day, Brown-2 day, Green-3 day, Red-4 day, Orange-5 day

If you have other questions regarding shipping of your CD or DVD replication project, feel free to contact one of our sales reps.

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Would a brick-and-mortar CD Baby store work?

By admin, February 10, 2009 2:32 pm

Following up from last Friday’s post about the Korean government providing financial support for independent musicians, I found another article this week talking about the emerging indie music scene in that country.  I’m seriously considering pitching a plan to my bosses about opening a COPYCATS Media branch in Seoul.  The market seems ripe for CD replication businesses and other music related industries.  But it also gives me some ideas that could be applied over here.

The TV news story shows a record store where only albums from independent artists are sold.  I know there are quite of few record stores here that feature plenty of independent and local music, but I have yet to find one that sells it exclusively.  You’ll still see big label artists being sold alongside the independents. 

I got to thinking if this business model could revive some old brick-and-mortar stores.  For example, what if CD Baby decided to open a physical store that only sold the independent music that was submitted to them.  Would a store like that succeed?  I think it could in the right conditions. 

The biggest challenge would be getting people to come to a record store full of music they’ve never heard.  The next biggest challenge would be to get them to listen and buy that music they’ve never heard.

Here are some things I’ve pondered while daydreaming of this indie music mega-store: Continue reading 'Would a brick-and-mortar CD Baby store work?'»