Sufjan Stevens, the Wiltern, Los Angeles

Here’s a taste of the sweet sounding Sufjan Stevens concert last night at the Wiltern in Los Angeles. I knew I’d be blown away, having previously missed Sufjan several times both here and in Chicago — but, wow — the band, er, orchestra was incredibly tight and on it — a new song — Majesty Snowbird (Tad posted it here) — was monumental. The guy is just a disgustingly brilliant talent and wonderful musician.

Jump below to hear the set-closing “The Tallest Man With the Broadest Shoulders” and listen to the audience clap along in 11/7, 6/8, 5/4 and whatever time signatures as the 15-piece orchestra fills in the holes with wings a-flutter.
YouTube has a ton of Sufjan video, especially from the Town Hall shows at the bottom of September/early Oct. Below is a great quality video of this new “Majesty Snowbird” phenomenon.

(If below audio doesn’t work click here for Tallest Man, click here for Jacksonville.

Online News Readership Up Big in U.S., UK

Start spreadin’ it: Online newspaper Web sites are averaging 55.5 million unique visits per month according to a new study released by The Newspaper Association of America. That’s one-third higher than last year’s average over the same period. (Click here to download the complete Fall 2006 Newspaper Audience Database [PDF]).

Across the pond, new Nielsen/Net Ratings research shows that 40% of all Britons with online access use newsfeeds. But, as BBC News — which has consistently been ahead of the curve as far as online news sites — stresses, more than two-thirds of all respondents did not know that the official term for newsfeeds is RSS or Really Simple Syndication. The RSS (or whatever ya wanna call it) revolution is alive! Click here for a PDF of this report. (Thanks Niall Kennedy for blogging this to my attention and also for grabbing the image below):

Also fresh out — The RTNDA’s The Future of News ten-part report, summed up in a great Poynter article / Q&A as “Viewers to TV Execs: We’re Smarter Than You Think.” (Duh!)

Finally, I’ve just gotta post this — YNET printed a translation of a Q&A exchange on The Iranian Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khameini’s Web site which included such issues as masturbating on Ramadan. Read all about it here.

FCC Public Hearings on Media Ownership TODAY

The Davidson Center at USC was filled beyond capacity with an energetic and at times vocal crowd. Shortly after the hearings began an overflow room was set up: the public interest is definitely ALIVE and kicking in support of the local news initiative and other topics of discussion. The FCC commissioners, divided 3-2 in favor of Republicans, found themselves laughing at the most unlikely speakers at the early session which focused on: “Creative Community / Independent Programming.”

Click here to read the Commissioner’s testimonies, click here for audio archives and live video of today’s two sessions (the second this evevining in El Segundo).

* Click here to read the testimony of Lear Center Director Marty Kaplan (PDF).
* Click here to read Patrick Verrone’s testimony (president of the Writer’s Guild of America, west).
* Click here to read the testimonies of the SAG’s President Alan Rosenberg, and VP Anne-Marie Johnson.

Other speakers included: REM bassist Mike Mills on behalf of the Recording Artists’ Coalition, John Connolly, president of AFTRA, and members of Parents Television Council.

Long live local media! Here’s to the FCC getting an earful.