Stephen Arnold Music

The Most Heard, Least Known Composers In America

International Strange Music Day

It’s that time of year, and International Strange Music Day is once again upon us — can you believe it’s already been a year??  Okay, okay … none of us have actually ever heard of this holiday, but when it came across the calendar, I just had to have a little fun with it.

So what actually qualifies as “strange music”?  Well that, of course, depends on your definition of “normal”, but I’m going to attempt to share five songs that I think everyone can agree reside firmly in the realm of “unusual”.

5) I’ll start out with something odd, but not too odd.  This is a piece of music that, in itself, isn’t all that unusual.  What makes it strange, though, is that it’s being played on an accordion … at blistering speed.  I honestly didn’t know an accordion could be played like this.  His name is Alexander Hrustevich if you’d like to see more.

4) Next we have Genesis.  Not the “Invisible Touch hit machine” Genesis fronted by Phil Collins.  No, I’m talking the weird, early, costumed Peter Gabriel with a negative mohawk Genesis!  In their early years, they recorded some of the oddest music ever to achieve commercial success.  One of my favorites is “The Return of the Giant Hogweed” … literally a song about a harmful, invasive species of plant.

3) At number three is a band that, at least from what I’ve heard of their catalog, pretty much defines “frenetic”.  These guys are incredibly talented, but for me, anyway, they often teeter on the edge of listenability.  Taken in short, controlled bursts, though, they’re actually quite entertaining.  I give you The Mars Volta!

2) You know that “edge of listenability” I just mentioned?  Yeah, these next guys passed that about five exits back!  Even their diehard fans admit The pAper chAse aren’t for everyone.  They turn in inspired performances of really well written and thought-out songs, but they’re … well … just weird!  Case in point, this is one of their most accessible songs.

1) The Residents.  Just … The Residents.

Honorable Mention:  Pink Floyd’s “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a Pict”.  Released in 1969 on the Ummagumma album, this … song? … is an exceedingly bizarre collection of tape loops recorded by the various band members, played back at high speed, and assembled into five of the strangest minutes ever to grace lacquer. Believe it or not, the title is not only an accurate description of the piece, but it’s not the weirdest aspect of the track.

What’s Printed Where – Free Sonic Branding LP

Free Vinyl LP

We here at SAM can’t resist having fun with music – in all its forms. Now we’re doing it again with the latest in our series of limited edition vinyl releases.

Behold our latest creation, “What’s Printed Where.”

What’s the deal?

Well, take a clear vinyl record that you can see through. Next, slip it into a transparent sleeve with a yellow image, then slide that sleeve into an album cover which is also clear, but with a blue image, and voila – it’s green!

You are now looking at a very cool LP fresh off the press from SAM – our 3rd generation sample reel – which isn’t really a reel but a vinyl record (hint: usually works best with a turntable.)

Thus our newest Stephen Arnold Music Vinyl is appropriately titled “What’s Printed Where,” since we never really knew what was going to be printed where.

The fun part is when you first receive your LP, you’ll notice the revamped image of our original sonically branded lady: a girl with a shaved head whom we have always internally referred to as “Mary.” Once again Mary is on our new vinyl, only now she’s green with red ear buds.

But once you pull the sleeve from the LP cover, it turns out our Mary is actually blue…but in fact on the sleeve she’s yellow. Confused? We are too! So let’s all roll with it – because if you reassemble the sleeve out of sequence, you may well see Mary in a totally different light (color, that is).

And as a special bonus, you’ll notice a credit card that we’ve slipped into the LP jacket and, depending on how rough the mail service was and where the card ends up inside the cover…. this card could be green, blue or yellow – until you pull it out and see it’s actually white.

And actually, it’s not a free credit card (sorry!) but a flash drive with all the music contained on the vinyl — for those of you that have retired your turntables. It’s music from our amazing partners we are privileged to work with like CNN, Golf Channel, CCTV China, ABC, ESPN, MSNBC, FOX Business, National Geographic Channel, Time Warner and over 300 local television stations.

Know what’s printed where now? If not, just listen: It’ll all make sense to your ears. And Kudos to Doug Rucker and his amazing team at Rucker and Co. in Dallas for creating something which is nothing short of creative genius.

To request your free LP just click on the email link below. It’s that easy!

Or give us a call at:

We look forward to hearing from you!

“Guitar Legends” Giveaway – TAB 2015

We’re excited to announce our guitar giveaway for Texas Association of Broadcasters 2015: A Road Worn Fender Stratocaster signed by Tom Petty!

Road Worn Fender Stratocaster

The Tom Petty six-string will be part of our “Guitar Legends” exhibit on display at the Stephen Arnold Music kiosk throughout TAB2015. Joining Petty’s axe will be a signed B.B. King “Lucille” Gibson, an exact replica of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Fender Stratocaster, and a historic 1927 Gibson L-1 that matches the model played by blues master Robert Johnson.

Guitar Legends
So make sure you stop by our guitar display kiosk and enter the giveaway! The drawing will take place on Thursday, August 6th, around 5:15 PM, at the Stephen Arnold Music kiosk.

Rules and Regulations:

  • Must be present to win.
  • To be eligible to win, you must be a professional in the Broadcast Industry.
  • Eligible Entries must be registered attendees of TAB. Not eligible are SAM employees, industry vendors, industry trade organizations or college students (unless employees of registered attendees).
  • Eligibility for entry will be verified by Stephen Arnold Music at the time of entry.

Good luck to all the Entrants!

Local TV News Growth – Exciting Trends

Clients keep telling me about the new newscasts they’re launching and so, anecdotally, I know local news is doing well. But last week, Stephen forwarded to me a recent study from the Pew Research Center. Their research concluded that local television’s average viewership grew in 2014. And those gains were predominately made in nontraditional timeslots – namely the very early, midday, and 7pm. Although these newscasts still account for a small percentage of total viewers, they are showing solid growth. The 7pm time slot has grown by 8% over the last five years. And last year, that same time slot saw an 11% increase from 2013.

Pew didn’t dive into who these viewers are or why they’re tuning into local news at these nontraditional hours, but the steady viewership gains is a good reason for stations to seriously consider these timeslots and how they’re approaching them – both their content and their creative. It’s important to connect with these viewers by making your presentation appropriate for the time of day, the mood they’re in, what they’re doing, and the news they are absorbing.

Music is a great way to connect with viewers and drive the pace of the show with daypart-appropriate tracks. All of our news music packages have a plethora of themes written to connect with the audience during every daypart. If, for example, you’re using the same one or two tracks for every open, you’re missing out on an inexpensive and easy-to-implement way to set the tone of your show. And if you’re too short on time to carefully comb through your music package to find the right tracks for all of your shows, well… I happen to know some great creative guys that would be happy to take that on for you.

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Give us a call and we’ll arrange for a complete review of your newscasts. The SAM creative team will make sure all of your newscasts are utilizing the perfect tracks for the audience and daypart to keep your ratings growth on track.

PromaxBDA & Station Summit 2015 – That’s a wrap!

Well, that’s another pair of Promax conferences wrapped up and in the vault (no, not that Vault).  It was great getting to see everyone in Los Angeles and Las Vegas this year!  Normally, we’d be congratulating our two guitar winners, but this year we think Stephen may’ve been affected by that 115º Vegas summer heat, because he decided to give away six (6!) extra guitars in Vegas!

So first off, we’d like to congratulate Peter Burke from Accessible Media Inc, winner of our Tom Petty-signed Fender Stratocaster in L.A.

Next up is Esther Daily (KTVE/KARD), winner of our Las Vegas “Les Paul signed by Les Paul” giveaway.

And as we all know, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing!  So congrats to Coeli Lara (Taylor 6-String Acoustic), Chad Larsen (Gibson Les Paul), Pat Beard (Martin 12-String Acoustic), Mikayla Steberl (Bohemian ‘Moonshine’), Larry Watzman (Fender Telecaster), and Ricardo Sigala (Fender Stratocaster).


And then of course, there was the 5th Annual SAM Jam at the V-Bar, with special guest Byron Bordeaux.  It was a great night, made all the more fun by the large crowd of music lovers, including several who got up and joined in on the jam.  At one point, Byron and his bassist were sitting down, and the entire band was made up of party-goers jamming out to some classic Janis!

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So we’d like to give a big thanks to everyone who came out to see us.  Hope to run into you again next year!


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