If you think rock is dead, you need to see a smoking hot band from Nashville named DeeOhGee. They’ll set you straight in 10 seconds flat.

On a hot Friday night in July, I am at Fitzgerald’s Nightclub near Chicago waiting for DeeOhGee to kick off the club’s annual American Music Fest. I have not been to a concert since seeing Michael Kiwanuka at the Chicago House of Blues on February 4, 2020.

God, how I’ve missed live shows.

I miss the hot combustion created by the artist and the audience together. I miss the personal connection you feel with…


“You can almost hear music in the silence of this empty stage.”

Those are words of disc jockey Grant Turner during one of the spoken interludes on the album, Stars of the Grand Ole Opry: 1926–1974. I picked up this double-album for $5, sealed. Listening to it now is like taking a journey through American history.


Paul Richardson walked into a grey conference room where 25 men and women, all of them unemployed like himself, sat at desks arranged like a school room, glancing at laptops and mobile phones, and murmuring to each other.

He found one empty seat in the front row, opened his laptop, and logged on to the New Directions career counseling website as he had been instructed to do.

“Welcome to a New Life. Your New Life,” the screen in front of him announced with large letters. …


Amazon just made another land grab. Amid widespread speculation, on May 26 Amazon confirmed the signing of an agreement to acquire MGM for $8.45 billion. The deal marks the second-largest acquisition in Amazon’s history (next to its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017). The deal will add 4,000 MGM movie titles to Amazon’s burgeoning film library available to subscribers of the Amazon Prime Video streaming service. Those titles include many James Bond films (of which MGM owns partial rights) and many other popular movies such as Silence of the Lambs. Amazon will also acquire 17,000 television shows. Make…


It’s important to know how to build your personal brand. If you don’t, you give agency to everyone else to tell your story for you. And you may not like what you hear. Or you won’t be heard at all. So don’t let anyone tell you that personal branding is crass and uncouth. They don’t know what they’re talking about, and they are doing you a disservice.

Why Personal Branding Is in the Public Eye

The concept of personal branding is not new, but it’s become more prominent in the digital era as people become more conscious of the image they want to project on social media. Whether…


Fifty years ago, the Doors released, L.A. Woman, now widely regarded as a masterpiece. But L.A. Woman almost died in the recording studio. In December 1970, the Doors were floundering as they attempted to make the album at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles. Lead singer Jim Morrison, lost in the grip of alcoholism, had run out of songs to write, and the band played so poorly that producer Paul Rothchild quit. So how did the Doors manage to turn things around? …


“Being in the room where Sinatra was performing could make a man feel, if not immortal, at least wholly alive.” — Charles Champlin

What was it like to watch Frank Sinatra perform at the height of his creative powers in Las Vegas, the place where the gods of entertainment descended to rub shoulders with mere mortals amid garish neon and the eternal whirl of slot machines? Sinatra at the Sands, recorded in 1966 at one of Frank’s favorite places to swing, offers a glimpse.

It’s been said that during Sinatra’s glory years, men especially loved him because Sinatra lived a…


When I first heard of Clubhouse from technology writers on Twitter, I thought the invitation-only social app with a waiting list to join was a toy for elite Silicon Valley bros. But after making my way past the velvet rope (thank you Jeremiah Owyang), I quickly learned how wrong I was.

Clubhouse is a social audio app, meaning that people communicate exclusively via audio chat. What’s different about Clubhouse from other social apps is that members communicate only through talking with each other, which adds a completely different dimension to social interaction online. You cannot see the other people you…


How does a business say farewell? Family Video is showing us how: with grace, humanity, and gratitude. On January 5, Family Video went out of business. All its brick-and-mortar stores closed. But the brand is still alive — ironically in the digital world that helped usher in the company’s demise.

Family Video’s corporate Facebook page is something to behold. On Facebook, Family Video continues to share tributes from customers and ex-employees saying farewell. Keeping the digital lights on and letting letting the Family video community comment openly on social media is a branding masterstroke. Here are some sample posts:

  • “I’ll…


Bruce Springsteen is catching some flak for appearing in a Jeep ad. He does not need the money. So why would the Boss do a commercial? Here’s the answer: he wants to keep his personal brand relevant and visible. And that’s a lesson everyone should heed, no matter who you are or what you do for a living.

Bruce Springsteen broke through during the album-oriented era when heavy radio airplay, touring, and mass-media PR helped his music find an audience. When MTV came along, Springsteen adapted to the video format by learning how tell stories visually. His career became…

David Deal

Writer and pop culture lover.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store