Friday, January 18, 2008

Day 4: Get on up on the floor

Today began with a breakfast distributors meeting for Lowrey organs at 7:30. There was a guy at my table who was selected as one of the best regional dealers. He kept saying "that's right" whenever they mentioned something about organ sales.

After the meeting I started to really crave one of their Prestige organs. I've never had any desire to own an organ but the spirit took me during that meeting. Lowrey hopes the organ will bridge the gap between generations of players and get people to play seeking something fun. They best demonstrated this by playing the "Peter Gunn Theme." That sealed the deal.

I went back to the "war room" and wrote my story and selected a picture and gave it all to Frank. He went through it and edited it with me.

About the "war room," they call the gathering place where we are supposed to report back to the "war room." I don't care for this naming. It seems to carry with it a negative connotation. I shall dub the room the "peace room" or "writing room" or "tranquility room." Peculiarly enough, the term comes from the military. Go figure. It is a "command center or central place for carrying out orders and for supervising tasks, also known as a headquarters, or HQ."

The rest of the day was spent walking the floor and talking with vendors. Today I hit some pianos and other print dealers. I hit Baldwin, Music Sales Corp., Pearl River Piano Group, Young Chang and Kurzweil Music Systems. I also tried to talk to some one with Roland, but the guy was in meetings. While waiting for him, I saw Brian Culbertson who plays smooth jazz.

Other star sitings today include: Slash, Brian McKnight and two other guys who I have no clue who they are.

I'm hoping to go to a Yamaha concert tonight. John Legend, Jamie Cullum, Sara Bareilles and two others are set to perform.

There were some other thoughts I had while walking the floor:
  1. This town could really use a barber. This may as well be the long hair convention. Most of the business people are well trimmed, but some of the rock enthusiasts have let their hair grow down to the floor. It's like the '80s never ended.
  2. I could really get used to the hotel treatment. My bed gets made by the housekeeping. I really enjoy when they say "housekeeping" through the door. The bathroom is cleaned every day. They tidy my mini-messes. I'd prefer they leave the bed alone but I'll let it go. Everyone calls me "sir." Room service is nice in its way. The food is decent. I've had most of the menu by now. Last night I had a wine sampling at the restaurant. There was a white wine from Cali that didn't have sulfates. That was tolerable.
That's about it for now. Hopefully I get to go to the concert and rock out like only I know how, tired and sober.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Day 3: My Dogs Are Barkin

Lots of walking today as the convention kicked-off. I covered a press conference for Zildjian cymbals and sticks this morning. Took some pictures and notes for a small write up. Below are the big wigs for the company and one of their endorsers, Simon Phillips.

The rest of the day was spent on the floor talking with companies on my beat--keyboards and print--about their new products and trends they've noticed.

The Senior VP, Sales of Carl Fisher said that customers are seeking DVDs and CDs with their sheet music purchases. I spoke with the CEO at Galileo pianos about their line of goods. They make digital pianos. They had this one that is a digital player piano to which you can attach your iPod. If you download particular types of files you can plug in the iPod and the piano will play the song with vocals and the keys move to the notes. That was pretty cool. MSRP: $15,000+. I spoke with three guys at Alfred Publishing. They have some neat books coming out this year.

Tomorrow I have a breakfast meeting to cover at 7:30. Then the rest of the day will be spent covering my beat and talking with execs and other assignments as they come up.

Meal recap:
Breakfast: Waffle at restaurant in the hotel.
Lunch: Room service hamburger with fries and a pear. And no, I didn't put the pear ON the burger.
Dinner: Roasted lemon garlic chicken, which lacked both lemon and garlic, with potatoes and fall vegetables.

Down with Down

Synthetic fibers for me, you can leave the geese alone. I'm not a big proponent of down feathers and comforters. The times I've used them they seem to not retain heat. Par example, last night I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night (I know you wanted to know that crucial detail). By the time I returned to my bed with lack of support in the middle (think V) the sheets were ice cold. Maybe that's more of a sheet issue than comforter, but I'll blame geese.

As to pillows, I like my pillows to have their own form not some malleable mush that makes squishy noises when squeezed.

Day 2 highlights: these days kind of blend into each other. It was really windy yesterday. I saw on the news that a truck was overturned due to the wind. Chalk that up to another sign that the man upstairs doesn't approve of Cali. I think I'd still accept the mudslides, hedonists and earthquakes to have steady temperatures in the tolerable range.

As I look through my photos I recall that yesterday was my first day on the floor surveying the territory. The show really began today (Thursday) but vendors were preparing. I ate at IHOP. That's exciting. Not much else comes to mind for Wednesday. I took a picture of people from Warwick, an amp company.

On to Thursday...

Day 1: The Arrival

I shall never tire of flying into Southern California. This is my third trip in four years to the land of smog and sun. Each time I gaze out the consistently dirty window with rounded corners to behold the earth below. I’m not sure if I love flying or flying to someplace warmer. Soaring above the clouds seems so peaceful. If I could just tune out the snarfing blue hairs and wailing infants I'd be set.

Perhaps it is the different terrain that piques my interest. Peering out the window I marvel at the mountains and rivers. On this trip I noticed some large grassy hills/mountains that looked like bunched up velvet. It’s breathtaking to see the country from 30,000 feet.

So I was flying with my coworker Jenny and we landed in Santa Ana. We hailed a cab and I swear the guy was the one from Troop Beverly Hills. He had the black shades and this blazing yellow Nike cap.

I settled into my hotel room. Decent accommodations. My full report will be given at the end of the trip. The one big strike right now is lack of internet in the rooms.

As to the work part of the trip, yesterday I edited some pages and walked around with the publisher and editor surveying the land.

Last night I had sushi for the first time at a Japanese restaurant near Disneyland. How they could serve flounder, I’ll never know. It was pretty good. I don’t think I would choose sushi if were debating what to get for dinner. It seemed like avocado, cucumber, shrimp wrapped in rice. The dipping in soy sauce just made the thing taste like soy sauce. I did like the miso soup, which tasted salty to my palette but in a non-salty way.

Today should entail some reporting and picture taking. I’m off to shower and get some breakfast. Have to hit the ground running!

Note: I just watched the weather—the abc affiliate has a “Live Mega Doppler 8000 HD,” guess the super-duper Doppler bajillion must be in the shop.

Sub-Note: Where is the Wi-Fi in this place?