HITS Daily Double
Barrett: So, my faithful Jewish friend, what makes an artist stand out amongst all the clutter?
Jesse: Well, my trusted Armenian comrade, it starts with a unique sound that breaks the mold.


Admit it, You Missed the Big Lug While He Was Gone, Didn’t You?

That’s right, folks, although I am not technically back on the HITS payroll, I have decided to bring back Weakend Planner. After seven months of being away from the music industry, I realized it is my passion, and I could no longer stay away. I am currently in the midst of launching my own company, and in the meanwhile, while I sit around the HITS office and look for stuff to do (which everyone appears to be doing as well), I thought it would be fun to revive the Planner. Of course, the 28 cents my dad offered me per entry—which is more than new artists are getting as an advance these days—also helped in my decision to try something new. Each week, my business partner and I will write a weekly rant where we discuss all things music. Depending on the response, we may create a blogspot so that you can respond to the opinions we throw out. As before, I will critique the big movies of the weekend, and give you the insight on the hottest shows of the weekend. Now, without further ado, I present to you: The Weakend Planner.

The Hottest Shows of the weekend:
This section will be different than before--from now on, we’ll just highlight what we think are the cool shows of the weekend. Please check your local listing for times.

Friday, April 11th
@ Sonar, Baltimore
Vampire Weekend @ Brown University, Providence, RI
Nada Surf @ Terminal 5, New York

Sat., April 12th
Sick Puppies & Saving Abel
@ Canes Bar & Grill, San Diego
Taste of Chaos Tour Featuring Atreyu, Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, more @ Event Center at San Jose U., San Jose, CA
Hotel Cafe' Tour featuring Ingrid Michaelson, Cary Brothers, Marie Digby, Meiko and more @ The Music Box @ Fonda, Hollywood

Sun., April 13th
3 Doors Down
w/ Red @ McDonald Theatre, Eugene, OR
Athlete @ Schuba's Tavern, Chicago
Hot Chip @ The R Bar, New York

Street Kings:
Has an amazing cast that includes Keanu Reeves, Forrest Whitaker, Chris Evans, Hugh Laurie, Common, and The Game. It was directed by the writer of Training Day and written by James Ellroy, who seems to have the corrupt-cop genre down cold. I have heard pretty good things about this movie; I have my fingers crossed that it isn’t just a good trailer, like 10,000 BC.

Also Opening this week:
The Visitor
Prom Night
Smart People

The Airborne Toxic Event:
I just found out about this band last night as they played a show for Indie 103.1 in Culver City, I didn’t get to the show, but I was privy to some of their music, and I must say it is quite sensational. They are more of an artsy band, which is right up my alley. I think this band could be around for a while. They just signed to an indie label and were lucky enough not to have to sign a 360 deal. The single “Sometime Around Midnight” is spinning on the radio now, and you need to check it out.

Jesse Beer and Barrett Yerestsian discuss all things music
Barrett: So, my faithful Jewish friend, what makes an artist stand out amongst all the clutter?
Jesse: Well, my trusted Armenian comrade, it starts with a unique sound that breaks the mold.
Barrett: Wow man, you made me TiVo the Lakers game for this? I’m falling asleep over here…you’re almost as dull as a Mike Dunleavy press conference…
Jesse: No but seriously, you can have great songs and even have a label backing you but unless you are doing something different to separate yourself from everything else out there, you will get lost in the fold.
Barrett: That’s still incredibly vague, my friend…
Jesse: Well, given that you Armenians think you know it all, what’s your answer?
Barrett: Did you know that Armenians and Jews have a lot in common? We have a similar history, we have the facial hair of a Nova Scotia highland ox and we both hang out at Jerry’s Deli at 1 a.m.
Jesse: All right, Professor Yeretsian…you’re getting off topic. And frankly, since when did you become the authority on the anatomy of North American wildlife?
Barrett: Look man, no need to get testy.
Jesse: Yes, you’re right. Perhaps we should go on a meditation retreat with your beloved Coach Phil Jackson after this.
Barrett: Seriously, I agree with your point about an artist being different, but there is much more to that answer…
Jesse: And that’s why, my friend, there is so much mediocrity out there—because that special “something” is so hard to come by, and those who are lucky enough to have it usually lack direction.
Barrett: If you have that special “something,” then the dots can connect if you are properly guided and are willing to do what it takes to succeed. The fact that music is so readily available and accessible nowadays is both a blessing and a curse.
Jesse: Well Mr. Producer Extraordinaire, how does someone achieve that special “something”?
Barrett: That’s the million-dollar question, and normally I charge for my answer, but since you and Lenny bribed me with tickets to the Lakers-Clippers game, I will share some insight.
Jesse: Aha! The moment of truth…
Barrett: Assuming you have a great song, it starts with a distinct voice (Amy Winehouse, Duffy—or Bob Dylan for the older generation), which has to draw the listener in with a unique combination of confidence, vulnerability, imperfection and attitude.
Jesse: Interesting, while the industry focuses on making the singer sound perfect and almost robot-like, you’re saying that vulnerability and imperfection are important?
Barrett: Not just important…absolutely necessary…

Stay tuned as the dynamic duo continues their weekly rant on each other and all things music.

Barrett Yeretsian is an established producer, songwriter, composer, and drummer with countless credits to his name. He is also an avid Lakers fan. You can contact him at www.barrettyeretsian.com.

Jesse Beer is a manager, independent A & R consultant and a die-hard Clippers fan. You can contact him at [email protected].