D/C’s own rock ’n’ roll expert, Robert Duncan, has just returned from St. Petersburg, Russia, where he delivered a two-hour multimedia presentation on the history of rock to a full house of students and professors. The former managing editor of Creem and author of The Noise: Notes from a Rock ’n’ Roll Era was invited to speak by St. Petersburg State University’s Smolny College, where pop is part of the curriculum. His lecture, titled “The Noise: Notes from a Rock ’n’ Life,” was a 25-year update of his book, covering his experiences with music and musicians from the ’50s to today.
It is probably no happenstance that Duncan’s son, a Russian language major, attends the school, the first liberal arts college in Russia. But when the faculty heard that dear ol’ dad, a widely published critic and scrivener of three books on rock, was coming for a visit, they asked the son to sign him up.
According to the utterly unbiased Duncan, the lecture was a smashing success, with much furious note-taking by the mostly Russian crowd (who are required by the college to learn English) and rousing applause to cap it off. During a Q&A session at the end, one professor politely protested Duncan’s dismissal of prog rock and the band Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Otherwise, controversy was kept to a minimum.
Though Duncan had been counseled that the young audience might be naive about both historical and contemporary rock, there was surprisingly broad recognition when the discussion turned to punk pioneer Patti Smith. And one young Russian, an aspiring rock critic, his blond locks combed over one eye, collared the errant D/C ECD after the lecture to talk about Sufjan Stevens. Another student sporting a jam-band beard danced vigorously in his seat through every song of the presentation, from Elvis’s “Hound Dog” to the Hold Steady’s “Chips Ahoy.” Duncan was later informed that said student usually just talks to himself.
The complete playlist and text of the lecture is posted in the Noise column on this site.
Work + News
Upwork goes nationwide
This week marks the launch of Upwork’s first national campaign. Broadcast TV, digital video and radio show us how all our offices could, in fact, be much larger than we realize.
Chinese frozen food brand, InnovAsian, was languishing with low awareness and living in the long, chilly shadow of category king, PF Chang’s. Fix that, they said.
New business and beyond
DC is pleased to announce the arrival of Noel Johnson as our first director of marketing and client engagements.
A new leader in a new role
Gary Stein joins DC as our first chief integration officer. He’s here to accelerate collaboration between strategy, media and creative.
Nicotine: the teen nightmare
Nicotine is a neurotoxin whose changes to the teen brain could be permanent. And that’s what our campaign sets out to communicate.
How sweet (and also tart) it is
It’s not just the sugar talking when we say that we’re so fired up about our new client: iconic candy brand and childhood favorite, SweeTARTS.
Buy stuff, get Steph
Rakuten is back with the latest installment of the “Power of R” campaign, this time featuring a relatively well-known professional basketball player.
New partner, new locations, new DC
We’re thrilled to announce the acquisition of A2G, a pioneering experiential and social influencer agency with offices in LA and New York.