Atlanta shut down in February for a bit as well. These photos sum that time up for me.
As chronicled before I participated in the Google+ 365 Photo Project for 2012 and 2013. For 2014 I decided against it, because I found that trying to find something new and/or inspiring on a daily basis was quite challenging. Then a funny thing happened I found that I was still taking photos quite a bit, not every day but certainly more than I expected. I actually missed doing it as it was a routine and made me pay attention to things that I normally would not pay attention to. As such I’m going to begin publishing some of those photos here. A story may be attached, a story may not. At any rate I hope you enjoy it.
H/T to M Hardy, I needed to do this anyway. Thank you.
First up, a couple of shots from January. I am fascinated by heavy equipment. I blame my father an automotive guy and being Hoosier surrounded by farmland, tractors and such. The photo above is of construction near my job (the old location). What made me take this photo was the giant “screw/drill” entering the ground. If you know the proper name, please feel free to drop that in the comments. I’m curious.
The two icy looking photos are from Snowmageddon/Snowpacalypse I in Atlanta on January 28-29 of this year. I’m sure you saw all of the hoopla and jokes. They were all TRUE. We were shut down until that Friday. The shut down was pretty fab as far I was concerned as I had plenty of food, wine and naps to pass the time away.
Look for the next installment of whatever this is going to be called on Not an Expert soon.
As a Gmail user most times I pay no attention to the ads that pop up. Around the time of this article I recall having an email discussion with some friends about these same ads and how our emails are “read” in order to target the ads. I laughed because while we were having the conversation I checked my email to see ads were for luxury baby clothes, a European cruise, on-line universities and loans. The luxury baby clothes was particularly hysterical because I was 46 at the time, so babies were NOT in the future, the rest of them made complete sense based on the mail that was in my box at the time. Could this info been intercepted just by scanning the headers, sure, the email content? Sure? Do I care? Yes but…
I don’t know why, maybe its cultural, maybe its big brother paranoia but I’ve never felt secure about ANY communication method other than face to face and even that is dicey depending on the content of the conversation. I always assumed that there is some level of snooping that goes on by the government, having come up in the era of wire-tapping and Watergate and all. That’s not to say that I’m in favor of the government snooping on its citizens, I am not and that’s a discussion for somewhere else, but I assumed that it happens. However, the idea of a for-profit company snooping, even if its only by electronic means and it’s only for targeted advertising is kind of unseemly. What’s even more disturbing is that users of the service supposedly accept snooping when accepting the terms of service. What? I certainly didn’t agree to that and I doubt that a)anyone would agree to it and b)many people even read the terms of service in the first place to figure it out.
What do we do? I think we watch the progress of the original lawsuit. Links to the source documents can be found in this NYT article. As a non-expert, that is all that I can offer. Is Google within its right to read scan email headers for targeted ads? Do you believe your right to privacy has been violated? Is there anything an average Jane/Joe can do about it? Please feel free to let me know either way in the comments or consider a guest post on the subject.
Thanks to WCLK I learned of the Schemes and Dreams Foundation benefit concert on May 5. The featured performer for the evening was the Robert Glasper Experiment. At last I would finally get to see Glasper and the group in action after missing the opportunity to do so at Jazz Fest last year.
About the Benefit
Schemes and Dreams “is a 501(c)(3) based in Atlanta, Georgia that teaches our youth the value of nourishing their creative outlet while also creating a path to wellness and personal success. We provide programs for at-risk youth that avidly support them in formulating progressive schemes to follow and become their dreams.” The audience was able to enjoy the fruits of the foundation’s music program in the form of Jazz Future, a group of high school students.
Jazz Future played a short set featuring a few standards and closed with a lively take on Roy Hargrove’s Strasbourg/St. Denis. Following Jazz Future were the Be-Hip All Stars. A collective of musicians who are all artists on Be-Hip Records. Standout performances from the collective came from Akeem Marable on saxophone and Lester Walker on trumpet. The collective closed with a nice rendition of Donald Byrd’s Alter Ego.
The Robert Glasper Experiment entered the stage with Glasper thanking the audience for supporting Black Radio while making jokes about his belly, the Best R&B Album Grammy awarded to the group for the album, and how people think that he has all the artists that appeared on the album in his pocket. What we found out on this evening, was that it doesn’t matter who this group has in its company, it can play with anyone and play anything.
Set List (as I recall it)
All I Need (Radiohead)
Think Twice (Donald Byrd/Erykah Badu)
No Church in the Wild (Jay-Z, K West, F Ocean)
Cherish the Day (Sade)
I think I’m In Love (Unknown title and artist)
Ah Yeah (Glasper/Musiq/C Michele)
All Matter (Glasper/Bilal)
Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
Letter to Hermione (D Bowie/Glasper/Bilal)
Encore -Say Yes (Floetry)
This set list is an excellent representation of what the Robert Glasper Experiment is about, a cross genre musical exploration, with a jazz foundation. All the songs were at once recognizable, but were interpreted to be more funky, more mellow, more jazzy or more striking than the original. I loved every single minute of the performance but was particularly enthralled with their interpretations of No Church in the Wild, Cherish the Day and Smells Like Teen Spirit.
Drummer Chris Dave is THE Funky Drummer that James Brown sang about it. Bassist Derrick Hodge has some bass virtuoso chops and is newly signed to Blue Note Records. Saxophone, Flautist, Vocalist Casey Benjamin can do everything. I’m not much of a vocoder person but Benjamin is GIFTED, he makes it sound sweet and there was all manner of swooning going on during Ah Yeah and Say Yes. Then there’s Glasper.
Glasper sat alone on stage under a red light. His playing, I’d like to describe as waves of sound. Not crashing waves, but continuous, consistent ones. These waves are produced on what sounds like five pianos/keyboards at a time. I did not recognize the songs that he played, what I did recognize was his technical prowess and his touch — waves.
This Experiment is successful. The versatility, skill and musicianship of the band was on full display as evidenced by the set they played. The performance was seamless with some playful bits from Glasper interspersed. What I really enjoyed about this show was that the music was the star. As great as Glasper and his band mates are, the music they played moved the crowd and at the end of the day what else can you ask for.
If the Robert Glasper Experiment comes to your town, queue up for a ticket if you want to hear and experience something that will stretch your musical sensabilities.
For more information about the Robert Glasper Experiment and upcoming tour dates please visit the website.
(Note: Black Radio 2 is complete, some of the artists on the next release include Brandy, Faith Evans, Jill Scott and Dwele. Stay tuned.)
My anger at the death of Google Reader that is…
I joined Twitter during the fall of 2008 to stay on top of the elections. The political folks that I followed were sharing links to articles relevant to the election. Following those links to the designated blogs, I found that many of those blogs were ones that I’d like to read on an ongoing basis. The difficulty was keeping up with all of them. Bookmarking at the time was all I knew and doing that for every blog, then clicking through these everyday would preclude me from doing my job, the one I got paid for. The election and my involvement in it was as a volunteer but I still need to stay on top of news and polls and things. Somebody on Twitter, I’m not sure, who pointed me to RSS. I could subscribe via this RSS thing and get everything in a snippet. I could get snippets from all over the web and look at them in one place (an aggregator) that aggregator was Google Reader.
Now the web is blowing up with the news that Google Reader will be shut down on July 1st.
What the f#-%/+%+#;;&(;-1($/&(&*+$++%! I’m not happy about this news at all. For the following reasons:
All of that comes crashing to halt, momentarily anyway for me. I guess I’ll check out Lifehacker and see what they have to say about alternatives. I’d like to know what you have to say about the end of Google Reader. Let me know in the comments. As for Google, shame on you!