Friday, February 22, 2013

Is Justin Timberlake overrated?



I'm not ashamed to admit that I was once a big New Kids on the Block fan. I'm being a bit preemptive to assume that I should be ashamed since most former NKOTB fans that I know seem to stay in the closet.  This shame is apart of the reason why Justin Timberake amazes me. He was only one 'boy band' away from one of the most discredited boy bands of all time. He was nothing but frosted hairspray with a cherry on top yet he gets more respect than some of the most talented artists of my generation.

Justin Timberlake is a very talented individual. His skits on SNL is (in my opinion) some of the funniest SNL content that I have every seen.  He has also released several great singles in his solo career. He has moves, he has grace, style, charm: he has everything that we (the people) look for in a star but why him? Jordon Knight played instruments, he co-wrote some of the NKOTB material and he was just as young as JT when he had his boyband stint. Why didn't we let Jordon mature and grow  into becoming a greater talent. At some point we simply chose to credit JT as being a truly respectable artist. 

(Before I move forward let me just state for the record that I LOVE Justin Timberake and this is NOT  a 'diss' piece....well maybe it is but just a lil).  His new single features Jay-Z who also happens to be the king of 'pop artist validation'. It's like the most popular kid in school is reminding us that JT is cool and he is 'down'. When I play the super slow track (suit and tie). people go crazy and I can't help but feel that it's a total bite off of R.Kelly's 'step in the name of love' 

Maybe I'm feeling a little hate. I understand the popularity of Justin Timberlake I'm just not completely sold on the respect and credibility that people thinks he deserves.  People trash and discredit Justin Beiber all the time but the kid can run circles around JT with all the instruments that he can play. JT is a decent actor and is very funny but that has nothing to do with music.  I have this feeling that his next album is going to be a grammy winning, super smash hit and  I don't really get it. I  just don't. 20/20 seems like its going to be a great album but I'm just not sure if I will ever be willing to consider Justin Timberlake as an amazing and incredible musical artist. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Frank Ocean In a few words

respect, responsibility, integrity, pure, original, beauty, talent, grace, courage, strength, and awesomeness! This is an album that you buy in it's entirety, not a track list that you choose from;)


Silencing

When I first got my I-phone I managed to accidentally turn off the ringer with out really caring that I was missing so many calls. I never bothered to turn the ringer or noises back on again.  I suppose I was unconsciously shutting down from living my life like I was always 'on call'.

My phone blows up everyday with texts, emails, calls, comments, status updates and everything else. I sometimes wonder.... Why and when did I make myself so accessible to so many people? And in this process did I end up making  myself a bit inaccessible to the people that actually matter to me?

How many more times would I talk to the people I love if I couldn't just text them? How many more people would I make time to see if I didn't get to read their updates everyday? When did it become OK for me to experience a meaningful moment over the phone? It's like phone calls are the new "intimate".

I'm a purist. I collect vinyl.  I still own VHS tapes (even though I don't have a VCR). I don't want to get my messages as they come I want to CHECK them. I want kisses and hugs not Xs and Os. I want to hold my nephew not look at his photos, I want to hear about my BFs trip to Mexico as we are drinking coronas and she is telling me every little detail.  Silencing my phone is simply a small step to keeping me closer to my life, which just happens to be a life that I really love:)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Original Pressings

When it comes to shopping for vinyl I only buy 'original pressings'. The other options would be a 're-issue' or a 'bootleg'.

Originals pressings are obviously rare which makes them more valuable. There is no such thing as an 'original' in "perfect" condition.  All records, especially the good ones have been used and played. There is still a mild thickness in the silence between the songs that indicates that the record has lived a while. I'm a vinyl junkie so I'm addicted to that sound;)

Re-issues can be misleading because they sound and appear to be an original but they're not and though some collectors might settle for a re-issue..... most would prefer the 'real thing'.

Bootleg records are usually very easy to identify. They don't have any of the original artwork and sometimes the quality of the songs are compromised.

The traditions of collecting vinyl has changed since all records now are becoming scarce but the values still remain the same for me. The world is full of bootlegs and (very misleading) re-issues while originals are still valuable and hard to find. In a world that is absorbed with social media and MP3s it seems like everything that is real is starting to go extinct. Even bootleg MP3s can sound so clean and pristine. But at the end of the day: an original that is scratched up and damaged will always be better than a bootleg in 'perfect condition'.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Eat The Fugu

In Japan there is a famous puffer fish known as Takifugu (fugu for short) that contains a very lethal amount of tetrodotoxin in it's organs. In fact there is enough terodotoxin in one Fugu to kill 30 adults. Fugu is considered to be a delicacy in Japan and in order to avoid death upon consumption of Fugu the fish needs to be carefully prepared. Japanese law requires that only licensed chefs can serve Fugu at their restaurants. People claim that the taste of Fugu is worth the risk and that a small amount of terodotoxin creates an exhilarating sensation on the tongue.

Death by Fugu consumption has become pretty rare due to the intensive training a chef must acquire in order to serve Fugu. Even though the probability of being fatally poisoned is low.... most people would rather not play 'Russian roulette' with their dinner. In general people do tend to play it safe and not take risks but that same fear of death can be coupled with a fear of living.

Lately I have found my self contemplating the consumption of a few (metaphorical) Fugus. I was really fearless in my youth and I often veered towards pure irresponsibility but I have no regrets.  I am actually grateful for being so reckless because if I was scared to eat the Fugu I would never have become a DJ. But at some point I wonder if I consumed the poison and if a part of me stopped living.

It's one thing to spend an afternoon bungee jumping but my definition of "living" is following your passion regardless of the risks. I'm not sure when I started playing life a little safer than usual but I know that that's not who I am.  Maybe I'm still reckless but I'll never be scared to eat the Fugu. It won't make a difference if it kills me because if I stop eating the Fugu than I might as well already be dead.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

My 'Sweat Anthems'

My musical selection at the gym is not what most people would expect. I don't always go for fast and up tempo tracks.The music that motivates me is charged with intensity. I go for the hard and aggressive beats regardless of the BPMs. I also go for soulful, inspiring and emotionally driven songs. The following are some tunes that raise my pulse and helps me burn. (yes it's REALLY random!)

Eminem Lose Yourself
End of Time Beyonce
Dead Prez Hip-Hop
Talib Kweli Get By
Erasure Chorus
Stevie Wonder As
Robyn Dancing on My Own
Beastie Boys Watcha Want
Cyndi Lauper Drove all Night
RadioHead Rainbows
MobbDepp Quite Storm
MOP Ante Up
Will I Am Scream and Shout
Rihanna Wait Your Turn