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Reality Shopping and the group psyche

On July 12th covering ,

This Onion interview with Matt Taibbi, who I only know as an annoying and smug guy who comes on the annoying and smug Bill Maher show that I watch religiously, is brilliant in many respects. The topic is superficially political, but it’s really about the national psyche.

Taibbi is a keen observer of the way people in groups distort reality for emotional reasons. Never mind whether you like his politics or his blunt and profane manner of expressing himself. He deserves notice if only for the wonderful phrase reality shopping, which describes groups that have been gripped by a particularly virulent form of groupthink. Read more »

The magic of buy-in Part I

On July 4th 1 Comment covering ,

Here’s something I see all the time with couples, families, music groups, and businesses of all sorts.

Somebody has an idea that will affect everyone, and some risk is involved. The idea could be “let’s go to a movie” or “let’s go camping” or “I think we should approach X manager for representation” or “let’s make this capital investment”.

All of these ideas require agreement form the other parties, and all of them could go badly or well. The movie could be lousy, it could rain, the manager might be the wrong one, the investment might turn out to be bad. Got it? Read more »

Who owns the band?

On May 27th 1 Comment covering ,

This comes from some recent conversations I’ve had with musicians. The notion of “who owns this?” for bands and chamber groups can be complex. Even with a well-worked-out band agreement it can be complicated. When a music group is young, lots of people support the band from lending a couch to crash on to running the merch table to contributing money and in-kind goods and services. The fans contribute to the band by telling their friends and by … well, being fans. In both the classical world and the pop/rock/etc world, managers invest time on the hope there will be revenues in the future. Read more »

How to Work With a Prima Donna

On May 25th 2 Comments covering ,

Here’s an article of mine in the February Atlas Plugged.

How To Work With A Prima Donna

Michael Jolkovski, PhD

“Prima Donna” (Italian for Leading lady) and Diva are terms originally used to describe the temperamental and demanding tendencies of Opera stars, the rock stars of the 18th through the early 20th centuries. The music may have changed but these demanding tendencies flourish in every medium and genre.

In my practice, I spend a lot of time with my musician clients discussing the problems of working with Prima Donnas — as well as trying to moderate their own career-killing Prima Donna tendencies Read more »

What makes a band gel?

On January 11th covering

Not a hair-care preparation — what makes a band develop that unifies je-ne-sais? A new blog by dumbdrummer explores the question. This is highly worthwhile. I don’t have time to say more.

(via Madame Monet)