I gotta get me a pair of these asap! 🙂

Fresh off of their successful launch of the hiking boot inspired Air Royal Mid, Nike Sportswear went back to the lab and developed the Air Royal Mid “Metro Pack.” These shoes feature black patent leather, black suede toe area, perforated Swoosh, and a tonal tongue patch. The shoes also come with a light grey mid-sole and black laces. Get your hands on these classy, understated sneakers before they’re gone.

Available now at Kix-Files.





New York – Michael Jackson’s famous white glove sold for $350,000 at a memorabilia auction Saturday, soaring far past pre-sale estimates, and a black jacket he wore during a 1989 world tour fetched $225,000.

The Jackson memorabilia was the highlight of an auction of hundreds of rock ‘n’ roll items, including many not associated with the King of Pop, who died in June.

Darren Julien, chief executive of Julien’s Auctions, which ran the sale, called the glove “the Holy Grail of Michael Jackson,” and many expected it to sell for far more than its pre-sale estimate of about $50,000.

With the added commission, the final price excluding taxes ran to about $420,000.

The buyer was Hong Kong businessman Fossman Ma.

Bidding for the strap- and zipper-laden black jacket Jackson wore during the 1989 “Bad” tour soared to $225,000, more than 20 times its initial estimate. With commission, the tab came to about $275,000.

Fans and dealers turned out at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York’s Times Square for the sale that included a car driven by Jackson, as well as David Bowie’s guitar and memorabilia from the Beatles, Bo Diddley and others.

“I never got to see Michael, and now that he’s gone, this is the closest I could get,” said Jazmynn Moore, 19, a student from Manhattan.

The glove was worn by Jackson when he first staged his signature “moonwalk” dance at the 1983 “Motown 25” television special.

The opening bid of $10,000 leaped immediately to $120,000 before reaching $350,000.

Most of the 80 Jackson lots consisted of items from the singer’s friends and family, the auctioneer said.

Jackson was somewhat of a collector himself, having paid more than $1.5 million for the “Gone With the Wind” best picture Oscar statue at a Sotheby’s auction, one of the highest prices ever paid for memorabilia at auction.

The auction house had valued the Jackson collection at $80,000 to $100,000.

But Julien said such pre-auction estimates were intentionally conservative to help generate interest.

Many of Jackson’s items sold for 10 times, or even more than 20 times, the estimates.




WOW! The business of music is really changing at a rapid pace…


A tidal wave is washing over Europe, and it has already begun to transform the digital music landscape overseas. In the next few months, the company expects to make its way to the U.S.

Spotify is a program similar to iTunes that lets users listen to just about any song on demand. For free. The application takes a page from the Google model — give a fantastic product away and plan to make money from ads.

It also has a “freemium” component — that is a business model where the cow and milk are free, but the bells and hormones cost extra.

In order to play music on smart phones (including a spiffy iPhone app) or store songs to be played without an Internet connection, users must subscribe to Spotify Premium, a 10-euro-per-month plan. Each subscriber can sync three devices with up to 3,333 songs.

But Spotify has said in prior interviews that it expects the majority of users to stick with the free version. For that reason, U.S. record labels are skeptical, according to a recent story in the Financial Times. Subscription services such as Napster and Rhapsody have failed to attract significant followings.

The Financial Times also claims that Spotify delayed its launch in America due to roadblocks in talks with the labels here. Spotify spokesman Andres Sehr maintains that it’s still on track to make its way stateside early next year, as the Swedish company has told Pop & Hiss for weeks.

Because “the U.S. is the largest music market in the world,” Sehr said, “it’s a long process.”

Compared with the back-and-forth with European labels when Spotify was just starting out, this is nothing. “We negotiated with the record labels for two years before we launched,” Sehr said.

“We’ve shown that we’re really popular,” Sehr said in a phone interview from Stockholm. “There’s data, and we see how things work.”

“Really popular” might be an understatement. According to firsthand accounts from folks across the pond, Spotify is practically ubiquitous in some circles. Barely a year old, the service hit the ground running in the half-dozen countries it operates in.

We’ve been testing the software for about three weeks. It blows the doors off of anything on the market and poses a major threat to several music services fighting for attention.

The ones we mentioned earlier, Napster and Rhapsody, priced at $7 and $13 a month, respectively — done. Spotify can do just about everything those guys offer for free, supported by periodic ads that are fairly unobtrusive and can be tailored to the user’s mood (based on song choices).

Piracy? Why do it? Most new music is just a search away on Spotify. It’s even more convenient than piracy, and the price is right.

Apple’s iTunes could certainly lose some sales. Songs you don’t need to own can be streamed whenever you get the craving for some “Poker Face” (actually, that’s a song you need to own). Plus, Spotify sells downloads for certain tracks in its library. For users spending all of their time in Spotify, why switch over to iTunes to buy a song?

ITunes won’t be fizzling out any time soon. Its store has a stranglehold on the download market. It also has a richer interface, complete with artist info and reviews. Spotify’s presentation is very simple, with a major emphasis on search rather than discovery. You have to know what you want.

For that reason, Internet radio services such as Pandora and CBS’ don’t have to worry. Spotify’s radio feature doesn’t come close.

But on-demand listening has been dominated by YouTube and, more recently, services such as Lala, which got a major boost from its deal with Google. Spotify has a huge market to steal and monetize. As Wired notes, its playlist feature, which lets you organize streaming music, is indeed the killer app.

Spotify came under fire recently in a report citing that Lady Gaga earned $167 from royalties in the last few months. This is a stupid argument. Artists, especially those signed with majors, make pennies or less per track sale and practically nothing for a stream. That’s nothing new to this service.

The industry that would probably suffer most from Spotify is piracy. Labels should note that earning something is better than nothing, and this app is the best shot we’ve seen at stomping out a black market that has flourished online for more than decade.




Bugatti. Has there ever been an automaker that earned so much buzz for building so few cars? In addition to creating the world’s fastest production car (the 253-mph Veyron 16.4) and the priciest (starting at $1,705,769), the Molsheim, France-based Volkswagen subsidiary has dazzled prospective buyers with one stupendous limited edition after another since the Veyron’s debut back in 2005—even though the supercar’s total lifetime production was long ago capped at a mere 300 examples. The polished metal and bare carbon fiber of the Pur Sang came first, followed by the ultrachic Fbg par Hermès, the all-black Sang Noir, the matte-finished Bleu Centenaire, and a colorful quartet of L’Edition Centenaire cars. The open-top Grand Sport stole the show at last year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and this year, without missing a beat, Bugatti unveils the first special version of its rarer-than-rare roadster—and possibly the last limited-edition Veyron before the car’s successor bows in 2011 or 2012.