***Disclaimer: I am not discouraging or encouraging purchase of the products discussed in this blog.***

If you don't like what I say--hire me so that you will!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Da Mayer

As your music-loving media maven I feel it is my duty to introduce you to some of my wonderful musician friends.  Oddly, the two I plan to feature first are friends in the same hip hop crew.  I believe in these men and their music, and I think you could too.

First up: Mayer Hawthorne

Me, Karla, Mayer
I have to say I am sort of a music snob.  If you discuss music with me, than you discover my general disdain for today's R & B genre.  To say I think it is terrible (with the exception of Neo-Soul) is an understatement.  The quality of the material within the songs and the lyrics has decreased exponentially, and the artists themselves cannot sing.  When people ask me why I feel this way I explain that I grew up listening to my parents music: Motown, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder etc.   I wish that quality of music would revive itself.  Generally those that disagree with my stance on today's R & B concede that the music of our parents generation is unquestionably better.  Fortunately, there are now a group of artists that have focused on soul, and one of them happens to be Karla's (my sister) close friend!

Yesterday Drew was in the New York Times, and needless to say we were beside ourselves with excitement.  If you are  unfamiliar with Mayer Hawtorne here is a taste of loveliness that your ears have been begging for.  Maybe So Maybe No,  is my favorite song.  The video is pretty sweet and I have to give Henry DiMaio some major credit for standing out above the pack:

North Coast Music Festival 9/5/10
You know when you listen to a CD that you love over and over, and finally see the band live and it is beyond disappointing? I hate that!  It leads one to feel they have been tricked by the sound engineer.  Well, I am happy to say you will NOT have this problem when you see Mayer Hawthorne.  Seriously.  I can say this with authority, because I have had the opportunity to see Mayer Hawthorne live three times within the last six months.  I have also seen them in a variety of venues: in a large theater with awful acoustics, at the North Coast Music Festival, and in an intimate club setting.  They rocked it every time, and I was never disappointed.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Each time their show has gotten better and better.  The show is a fusion of hip hop, classic soul, and a little funk.  It is also a fun dance party guaranteed to have you leave with a smile on your face.

 One of my favorite aspects of the show is the eclectic crowd.  In a city as segregated as Chicago it is rare to see the races, ages, hipsters, hip hop heads interact.  Mayer Hawthorne is one of the rare catlysts that bring these groups together-that in itself should explain the magic of these performances.  

Finally, I would like to add Strange Arrangement is one of those CD's that you can listen to straight through on repeat.  Yes, it is in the ranks of "Nevermind" "College Dropout" "Rage Against the Machine" "Off the Wall" "Reasonable Doubt" "Are You Experienced?" and "Midnight Marauders." I'm sure you're thinking "Yeah, right you're just saying that because you know the dude."  To that I say: if you remotely like or love any of the aforementioned albums I implore you to check out Strange Arrangement.  It would behoove you to give it a try.  Trust me your ears and soul will dance.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 17, 2010-NUD

Anton and I (Mid-Dougie?)
I hope everyone had a great Halloween. I did. I was a pirate--YYYAARGGHH MATEY!!!!  Truthfully, I was a pirate because I received an eye-patch during Michigan Homecoming.  Long story.  I already had the clothes so I decided to have a comfy, cheap, and fun Halloween. The evidence of said fun:

 Just thought I'd share that little nugget, because I LOVE Halloween.

Now it is time to discuss the point of this post.  I truly believe we need to get the word out about NUD as quickly as possible.

I am quite sure you are pondering, "what is NUD and why haven't I heard of it?" NUD was invented by Jimmy Kimmel. It is National Unfriend Day (November 17, 2010).  He explains his rationale below:

Frankly, I think Jimmy is onto something.  I know that social media has integrated itself into our 2010 way of life, but I think that as first generation users we need to be critical of  our usage.  Our number one concern should be the rationale of inviting all these "friends" into our personal lives.  Now, I have been on Facebook since 2004. I was on there when one needed a .edu domain to register, and they were building the network up slowly school by school.  Back then it was exciting to see the daily announcement of schools that were finally granted access to the medium (especially if you had a gaggle of close friends who attended said school).  When they opened Facebook up to the world things started to go crazy.

All of a sudden family members I had no idea who they were wanted to be friends and join Family groups.   This is not to say that I don't love my extended family (I love you guys!), but seriously if I can't pick you out on the street what is really the point?  So you can check my status and feel like you know me if/when we finally meet??  (If I haven't met you at 28...I am going to assume the chances are slim). Or perhaps you want to check my pictures and see what a day in the life of Gloria is like? I don't get it. 

Another use I do not understand is inviting work and/or industry people into your personal space.  I understand that social media can be used as a networking tool, but honestly I am not trying to have you "know me intimately" for us to network.  Would you really hire someone that you knew went out faithfully every Thursday night for Thirsty Thursday? Or what about if they received the School Night Badge on Foursquare and it showed up in their wall posts?  No, you would not take them seriously. Especially after you saw their weekly video and photos from said outings. **Disclaimer: I am just using this as an example, and am by no means describing myself. Hello potential employers!!**

While I am on the subject of appropriate vs. inappropriate friendships, why is it that when I meet a man (in the romantical way) the first thing he wants to do is friend me on Facebook? Maybe I'm a Facebook prude, but I only "friend" people I know.  That means I've known you longer than a conversation, a drink, a meal, even a few dates.  It does not grant you full access to stalk my personal life.  You are denied the right to see my pictures of adventures with my friends, where I am at the moment (I love my Foursquare), how I'm feeling, and who we have in common (so that you can pump them about information on me).  When I explain this to men, they seem taken aback. Maybe this is because I am not the norm, or maybe it is because I do not reciprocate said interest in them.  Either way, if I get to know you in a romantic way I would like to leave the social media aspect out of it as much as I can.  Let me get to know the real you, not the online you.  I believe technology has made people lazy in all aspects of their relationships.  It is time to take the power back!

The aforementioned laziness, stalking, and clogging of my news feed are a few reasons why I think National Unfriend Day is great.  Not everyone you meet needs to be your "friend." Cut the fluff!! It won't kill you-it'll probably make you stronger! 

I have a high school classmate who will be getting the axe on National Unfriend Day.  I thought said friend was a nice guy-we even had our lockers near each other and he loved to sing G-L-O-R-I-A!!! Every period to me. (Yes it was that irritating, but it grew on me).  Now, he writes things that I believe are truly offensive and racist.  Hello sir, not everyone shares your political, social, and moral views; perhaps if you want to put said comments on the internet you should do it on a forum #ImJustSayin.  Have some discernment people. 

Lastly, I want to take the time out to say thank you to ALL the veterans and soldiers around the world.  Without your willingness to fight for the freedom s we take for granted I would not be able to express myself.  It is much appreciated. You are in my prayers.