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About Penny Lane

I'm passionate about music, a lover of pop-culture, a runner with a mad sweet tooth and an addiction to coffee. Read my musings about life, movie soundtracks and live concerts. If you see me on the freeway I am most likely singing very loudly in my car. Honk and say hi!
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Velodyne And Bottle Rock Napa Valley Partner To Benefit Good Causes

NightAudienceBRVelodyne Inc. proudly partnered with Bottle Rock in Napa Valley over May 9-12, joining such headliners as The Black Keys, Kings of Leon, The Shins, Flaming Lips, Train, Cake and Zac Brown Band in supporting local and national charities.  With over 60 bands, comedians, top Napa restaurants and wineries, this festival was a must for anyone into the festival scene that could appreciate a well-organized event at a clean venue.

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The Black Keys

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The Black Crowes

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Kings of Leon

As with any first year event, there were some kinks to work out but all things considered this festival was great. The bands did not disappoint. We saw set after set of incredible talent, performers who brought the crowd exactly what they came to see. The highlight for Velodyne was being able to get our headphones autographed by some key artists such as The Black Keys, The Zac Brown Band, The Flaming Lips, The Shins, Dirty Projectors, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. These autographed headphones were donated to the online auction to benefit the Lung Cancer Foundation, the Breast Cancer Fund, the International Mental Health Research Organization, the Napa Valley Youth Symphony, and several more local and international non-profit organizations.

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Autographed vFree for the online auction to benefit charity

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Autographed vTrue to benefit charity

Nightly, Velodyne hosted a VIP Afterparty where we gave out free t-shirts, stickers and tsotchkies. We had a listening station where festival attendees could try out our vFree bluetooth and our vFree studio headphones. They were available for purchase at a significant discount with a special coupon code. Also on display (and for sale) were our new headphone skins, which can be used to personalize the vFree headphones, as well as an upcoming unreleased wired headphone. We also held a skin design contest, where VIP partiers could let out their inner artist. We had so many beautiful, intricate and colorful designs entered into the contest that it was hard to choose just one. The winners we chose each received a vFree headphone to go along with their personalized skin. It was really a lot of fun to see what people could come up with, given a blank canvas and a few Sharpie pens!

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Fun and unique skin designs

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ViP Party Attendees of all types of artistic skill and ability enjoyed creating skins

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Vintage Trouble on stage at our VIP Party

Additionally, one of the festival bands, Vintage Trouble, rocked us with a powerful performance at our VIP Afterparty. They blew us away with incredible shows twice in one day. Most of us had never even heard of them before seeing them at the festival. That was part of the beauty of Bottle Rock, after seeing some incredible bands, we became fans!

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Vintage Trouble back stage during their daytime performance at Bottle Rock

Velodyne’s first turn at Bottle Rock was a lot of fun and we hope to sponsor this event next year. Hope to see you there!

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Velodyne at Live 105.3 Ticket Pre-Sale for BFD 2013

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This past Saturday, Velodyne Acoustics participated in an event at  Shoreline Ampitheater in conjunction with the Live 105 ticket sale for the BFD concert which will be held on May 19, 2013. The tickets for this event, which boasts artists such as 30 Seconds to Mars, Silversun Pickups, The Mowgli’s, Atlas Genius, Jimmy Eat World, and Of Monsters and Men were sold at a steep discount ($10.53) for this one day only. Over 2,000 hopefuls flocked to Shoreline in droves and some camped out overnight to get these tickets.  Velodyne was there, with the back of our LiDAR Lexus packed with headphones.

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We held a contest to give away hundreds of pairs of the vFree Bluetooth headphones, as well as our vPulse in-ear headphones. This provided a great opportunity for more people to experience the excellent sound quality, portability and customizability of these wireless Bluetooth headphones and have fun while waiting in line.  Velodyne staff and interns from Live 105 were walking around with pairs of vFree around their necks and some displayed the custom skins. There were two easy ways to enter to win.  The first was an Instagram contest, where you could photograph yourself or your friends trying on a pair of our vFree headphones. and post to Instagram and/or Twitter tagging @VelodyneAudio using the hashtag #VeloBFD. Obtaining 20 likes on your photo would secure a you a free pair of vFree headphones.

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The second way to win another free pair of headphones required a creative flair. Velodyne provided blank headphone skins and art supplies for contestants to design a custom skin for the vFree headphones. Velodyne is currently in the voting process on the designs and will notify winners this week.  There was much excitement as people retweeted and liked their photos people and came to claim their prizes. We had several hundred entries into the drawing and over 200 people left with new Velodyne headphones! All in all, it was a great day at Shoreline!

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Women In CE – “Together We Can Get Things Done”*

L-R: Campbell, Smith, Hall, Benedetto, Millman

We are in an age where women are truly expected to do it all. Today, a “working woman” is an outdated reference, as all women work whether it be at home or in an office. If you have a career, you are still in charge of managing the family and matters of the homestead. Today, we make decisions about what products are purchased at work and at home. Somehow, many companies are still failing at how to properly market to this demographic. How do women in consumer electronics navigate around an industry where all the products are designed by men, primarily for men and the companies are dominated by men?

During CES 2013, Velodyne President and Chief Industrial Designer Marta Hall was invited to be part of a Women in CE panel discussion put on by Living in Digital Times, moderated by Women in CE Founder and Custom Retailer publisher, Carol Campbell to address these issues. Hall was in amazing company – Andrea Smith, Lifestyle Editor of Mashable, Sandra Benedetto, Director of Product Management at THX, Ltd., and Amy Millman, Founder of Springboard Enterprises. The hour-long panel covered many topics, and it was interesting to find out what technical products the panel can’t live without. Not surprisingly, most of the women rely heavily on tools to keep them organized, and connected to work and family such their iPhones (2 panelists chose this) or tablet, such as the Dell convertible tablet laptop that Millman leans on heavily. Hall, ever the artist and the designer, depends on her Wacom, which is a tablet that she can draw on which responds as though she were drawing with a pencil.

The women also discussed which were the top products and booths that were seen on the show floor. Big draws for the panel were various, from products related to the “connected home” (security, lighting, appliances) by use of apps and various devices, to the health related devices that give the public access to  health information without a visit to the doctor,  and Ultra HD televisions. Naturally Hall gravitated toward a 3D printer that she is excited to look into when more time permits. There were also discussions about which booths simply had their marketing strategy all wrong and were actually offensive to women, such as those who still employed “booth babes” and the hard drive company who had nude women in body paint within easy reach of ogling trade show attendees. The panelists brought to light their strategies of how to target other women with their products. Velodyne’s vFree headphones provide ample opportunity to personalize and customize which is something that appeals to women.

The panelists had a lot of insightful contributions. Benedetto brought up the need for better plans to market to women and build the business to apply to women as decision makers in the home. How did flat panel TV’s start becoming the way of the future? How did Velodyne subwoofers start moving toward “big sound in a small box”? It’s because women did not want these behemoths in their homes any longer. As Campbell said, “What products are going to come and live in her house?”Millman rounded out the conversation with a slide presentation with a variety of women-driven products that solve problems that are important to women, such as the Roomba. Yes, a robot was created to clean for women who did not have the time. Brilliant.

Smith brought up something that resonated with most of us in the audience. “Bring me something to…make my life easier.” Apps and tools to help keep our lives organized abound in our digital world. The key is keeping the apps simple. The reality is most of us only use a handful of apps on a regular basis despite the several screens of apps we have on our smart phones. Now, if there were only one master app to keep us organized, watch our children, get us where we need to go and get dinner on the table. A woman can dream…but likely, a woman will be the one to make it happen.

 

 *This phrase is taken from a quote from Andrea Smith at the start of the panel discussion

**Full video of the panel discussion can be seen here: http://youtu.be/47k69JGqYjA

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Wordless Wednesday

It’s Hump Day! Time to pop in your vPulse in-ear headphones and JAM.

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Wordless Wednesday

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Photographic Recap of The Bridge School Benefit

Recently I posted on the blog about having my in-ear headphones on non-stop, getting psyched for the Bridge School Benefit Concert last weekend in Mountain View, CA at Shoreline. It was definitely an amazing night! The sense of community coming together for a good cause –  to benefit The Bridge School –  was definitely in the air. Some of the artists I had seen prior to this show, but for most it was the first time I had ever seen them perform live.

The highlight of the evening was without a doubt, Jack White. His all-female band Saturday night brought the house down.  Guns N’ Roses was a little strange, maybe out of place, as the performance would have been fine but the F-bombs Axl dropped several times in front of the students and their parents were a little jarring. The shocker of the evening was Eddie Vedder who was not on the bill but came on to do a couple of songs before GNR came on. I would have very much welcomed a full set from him!  I enjoyed Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Foster the People, and Ray LaMontagne, all artists whom I have seen before. Steve Martin was really funny and entertaining with the Steep Canyon Rangers. Gary Clark Jr., Lucinda Williams, Sara McLachlan and k.d. lang all put on a great show for everyone.

Every year it’s a different lineup, but always acoustic and always a good time. For the last few days, I have constantly had my headphones in, listening to some favorites but also getting acquainted with Gary Clark Jr., whose set I really liked. Here are some great images from Velodyne friend Jay Blakesberg who was there to document the 2-day concert.

Neil Young plays to the students, warms up the crowd

Neil Young, the Godfather of Grunge

Gary Clark, Jr.

Lucinda Williams

Steve Martin

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Sarah McLachlan

Foster the People

 

Ray LaMontagne

The Flaming Lips

Jack White

 

Eddie Vedder

Guns N’ Roses

Various, Finale Saturday

Various, Finale Sunday

Hope to see you there next year!

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Music Monday – Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Psychedelic Pill, the forcoming release from Neil Young and Crazy Horse

It’s Music Monday – What are you listening to? Sitting at my desk working, I’ve had my vPulse headphones in and buzzing along to Jack White, Foster the People, The Flaming Lips. Usually my musical choices are chosen on a whim but not this time. I’m getting very excited for The Bridge School Benefit concert next weekend!

You may not know that Neil Young, iconic singer-songwriter who has a career spanning over 40 years and – count ‘em – TWO inductions into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame has two sons with cerebral palsy. In 1986, Neil and his wife Pegi helped start The Bridge School, which specializes in educating children with severe speech, communication and physical impairments. Twenty-six years ago, the first Bridge School Benefit Concert was held, with performers including Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Nils Lofgren, Don Henley, Tom Petty, Robin Williams, and Bruce Springsteen raising the funds necessary to open the school in 1987. Every year since, with the exception of the year the school opened, a benefit concert has been held with a performance by Neil Young – with the full line-up playing acoustic instruments.

This year, the concert is the weekend of October 20-21, 2012. Here are the artists scheduled to perform:

As always, this line-up is impressive and the night will likely be legendary. I couldn’t be more excited to attend a killer concert while contributing to a great cause. Enjoy this video of “Ramada Inn” by Neil Young with Crazy Horse; it’s got that raw, unmistakeable, rockin’ signature Neil Young sound I have grown up with and respected my entire life. Enjoy the rest of your Music Monday!

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“Pin It To Win It” Pink v-Pulse Giveaway

The new pink vPulse are in stock now. Three lucky people will have a chance to win a pair of these highly coveted in-ear headphones which retail at $99. It’s easy to enter – just go to our website,  and pin the pink vPulse image to one of your pinboards to get started. Complete the rafflecopter below and you will be entered to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Velodyne Supports the Community: Music Matters Family Festival

 

The Surf Spot in Pacifica, CA will be holding its first annual Music Matters Family Festival September 23, 2012. 100% of the proceeds will go to Music Matters in Pacifica. MMiP is a new program of the Pacifica Education Foundation that advocates and raises funds to support the instrumental music program for 6th through 8th graders in the Pacifica School District.
 The Surf Spot is hosting performances by The Refugees (Tom Petty Tribute Band), Curt Yagi and The People Standing Behind Me, 5D and Green Room Music. There will be a special guest deejay. Doors open at noon and there is a $5 admission – 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Pacifica’s Music Matters Foundation.We hope you and your families can come out and support children’s music programs, while enjoying the fun  lineup of bands, games, food and drinks! Velodyne has donated a few “swag bags” that Curt Yagi & The People Standing Behind Me will be giving away. You could walk away with a pair of vPulse in-ear headphones that retail at $99!

Good swag for a good cause!

Surf Spot Restaurant. 4627 Coast Highway. http://surfspoteats.com/ For more information on Music Matters in Pacifica visit http://www.musicmattersinpacifica.org/.

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