Saturday, September 19, 2009

Creativity and Education - Watch This!

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Kanye and Taylor to Record Together



(ACORN MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE - New York, N.Y.) According to close relatives of country music teen sensation Taylor Swift, she and hip hop bad boy Kanye West were planning on recording together - even before West's "meltdown" at last night's MTV Video Music Awards. Does this mean Kanya's impromptu outburst was staged, like Sacha Baron Cohen's ass ride on Eminem's face last year?

Here is what we know:

1.) Kanya West has booked studio time at Sound Investments Recording Studio in Scranton, Pennsylvania, not far from Swift's home town of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania in early December.

2.) Representatives of Swift have secured the recording rights to the song "Strange Fruit", a Billie Holiday classic written by a high school teacher around 1936. Several members of the Video Music Awards audience "quoted" lines of the song as Kanye West was escorted out of Radio City Music Hall.

3.) Taylor Swift, born on December 13, 1989, is in fact old enough to have sex in Pennsylvania.

MTV is insisting they were not part of West's tirade in front of a live television audience, but have yet to release an official statement.

Kanye's Apology to Taylor Swift

Kanye's web site apology to Taylor Swift for his outburst at the MVA Awards. Autotune that mutha. Has the English language come to this?
I'M SOOOOO SORRY TO TAYLOR SWIFT AND HER FANS AND HER MOM. I SPOKE TO HER MOTHER RIGHT AFTER AND SHE SAID THE SAME THING MY MOTHER WOULD'VE SAID. SHE IS VERY TALENTED! I LIKE THE LYRICS ABOUT BEING A CHEERLEADER AND SHE'S IN THE BLEACHERS! ........................ I'M IN THE WRONG FOR GOING ON STAGE AND TAKING AWAY FROM HER MOMENT!................. BEYONCE'S VIDEO WAS THE BEST OF THIS DECADE!!!! I'M SORRY TO MY FANS IF I LET YOU GUYS DOWN!!!! I'M SORRY TO MY FRIENDS AT MTV. I WILL APOLOGIZE TO TAYLOR 2MRW. WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD!!!! EVERYBODY WANNA BOOOOO ME BUT I'M A FAN OF REAL POP CULTURE!!! NO DISRESPECT BUT WE WATCHIN' THE SHOW AT THE CRIB RIGHT NOW CAUSE ... WELL YOU KNOW!!!! I'M STILL HAPPY FOR TAYLOR!!!! BOOOYAAAWWWW!!!! YOU ARE VERY VERY TALENTED!!! I GAVE MY AWARDS TO OUTKAST WHEN THEY DESERVED IT OVER ME... THAT'S WHAT IT IS!!!!!!! I'M NOT CRAZY YALL, I'M JUST REAL. SORRY FOR THAT!!! I REALLY FEEL BAD FOR TAYLOR AND I'M SINCERELY SORRY!!! MUCH RESPECT!!!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Detroit Lions and Their Special Day

I Got the Music in Me


After a break of twenty two years, I'm going slowly back into music.

Back in 1987, my first wife and I divorced, and I elected to give up music professionally. I got a real job; the high ticket / impulse sales world of off-site time-sharing. My priorities changed completely almost overnight. And to be honest, I was way too busy to even listen to music. My job was commission only, until I was promoted into management, and it didn't take too long before I promoted to Sales Manager. But that wasn't my real goal. My goal was to be successful enough to build a sales organization on-site - on Paradise Island in The Bahamas. Before long I moved to the most beautiful country on earth.

While in The Bahamas, I worked constantly, and listening to or playing music was almost impossible. Sure I heard (and sometimes sat in) with the local hotel bands on the island, but that consisted of playing "Yellow Bird" and other tourist favorites. When I left Nassau and moved to Freeport, I played occasionally with country star Jimmy Dean (yes, the sausage guy). He had long since retired from music and his business (he sold the sausage company and continued to earn one million a year working one day a year making those commercials). He lived on his yacht docked at the Xanadu. If Jimmy got drunk enough, he would come looking for me. He would bang on my door at 2-4 in the morning, and made me come downstairs and play bass for him, while he sang and played the lobby piano. It was always entertaining, but that abruptly stopped when he figured out I was working on nailing his daughter Connie.

After twelve years, my second wife and I moved to Jamaica. I didn't even bring my bass with me. But I started listening to local reggae, and more importantly, Jamaican Dancehall. The rhythmic assault was inescapable, it literally held the country together. In Ocho Rios we lived close to the center of town, and the music blasted until daylight. I developed a real appreciation for Dancehall, which I still have to this day. But as I said, I wasn't playing music, just avidly listening to Beanie Man, Bounty Killa, Lady Saw, Tanya Stevens and a host of artists around town.

Fast forward five years, and I'm back in the States. I've been content to ignore music here. But now Brandon is nine, and I've been giving him saxophone lessons. Hes been at it for a three months now, and is showing remarkable progress. That is giving my the motivation to go into the books and re-learn what I've buried into my subconscious. I am totally enjoying the process. I've got two years to bring him up to speed, and I'm using this time to teach him both saxophone technique and music theory. By the time sixth grade rolls around, Brandon will have a huge head start!

I'm listening to a lot of sax around the house now, trying to show the kid what the instrument is capable of. And for the first time; I pulled out my bass and held it reverently in my hands.

I have a long way to go. I'm going to take advantage of the fact I haven't played in twenty two years by entirely re-learning the instrument. I used to play with a pick, and used a fretted Fender Jazz Bass. Just before I "retired", I put an incredible fretless neck on it, but never really got around to practicing with it. Now, I have the time to study fretless, as well as learn a three finger technique so I can throw those guitar picks away.

My goal is get technically proficient enough to take a online course or two this Spring from the Berklee College of Music, without looking like a complete idiot. Wish me luck.

Reflection

Today is a day of Reflection. I didn't lose someone close to me eight years ago, but that fateful morning change my life forever. As it did the entire country. I was living in Jamaica at the time, and Brandon was nearly two. We came downstairs, wrestled the TV control from his stepbrothers, and I watched in horror as America was lashed again and again. Brandon's mom couldn't understand the deep sense of lost I shared with my country. I remember watching CNN intently that morning, but I also remember quickly looking back at my two year old often; making sure he was close by, and safe.

We lost so much that day. We will never feel completely safe again.

Q: Where can men over the age of 50 find younger women who are interested in them? A: Try a bookstore under fiction.