October 2011

MUSIC&pop culture&television&The Sing Off31 Oct 2011 11:32 pm

Now we’re down to seven groups and they lead off with a Halloween medley which must’ve felt weird when they recorded it weeks ago… sounded good though… the judges seemed to get a kick out of it… tonight they’re tasked with superstar medleys, which is three songs from a superstar mashed up into one… should be interesting… off we go…

now playing: Singing in the Rain/Umbrella by Glee

Urban Method chooses Rhianna as their superstar… i like Umbrella, but i’m pretty tapped out on her catalog at that point… this is a longer performance than i expected, and the medley portion was much more distinct than i had hoped… they are trying to prove that they are more than a rap group, and it comes through fine, but they have lost a little of their identity with it… it was pretty good, but nothing spectacular… Sara says she loved the last song and they should be more confident… Shawn liked that they showed the potential of the girls and compared them all to candies that needed to be unwrapped… or un-rap-ped… Ben thought it started off well, fell apart in the middle, then came back together in the end and overall it was great…

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Bookshelf25 Oct 2011 10:45 pm

Average Joe – Troy Meeder
I finished this book a while ago and I just haven’t gotten around to reviewing it. Sometimes I like to let books simmer in my subconscious and develop into more complete thoughts, deeper insights, and practical solutions. Sometimes – as in this case – they don’t. In fact, Average Joe all but disappeared from my thoughts shortly after finishing. It’s not that it’s a boring book or a “bad” book, but it’s definitely a lightweight approach to a pretty heavy topic.

It seems that the topic of embracing manhood and engaging men within the church has become a hot topic. [continue reading this post…]

MUSIC&pop culture&television&The Sing Off24 Oct 2011 11:02 pm

eight groups left and it’s hip hop night… which is interesting and obviously tips the scales in Urban Method’s favor… they open with a B.O.B. song, Nothin’ on You that i’m not completely familiar with, but it sounds pretty good… probably better than the original… not sure how many are going home tonight, but i’d have to guess we’ll see two more go home… wait, did he just imply that Boys II Men is 20 years old?… yikes… okay, so, two sets of four and then a sing off battle to eliminate one group… sassy… off we go…

now playing: Whatcha Say by Solo

The Dartmouth Aires take on Flo Rida’s Club Can’t Handle Me… i think one of the groups did a Flo Rida song in the first season… well, this is definitely not in their comfort zone… they’ve donned some sterotypically ghetto fabulous outfits, but they don’t seem quite as comfortable as they normally are on stage… the hook is working pretty well, but the leads are struggling a bit… it was alright, but could’ve been better… Sara said it had swagger because they started out chaotic and rushed, but they settled in eventually and it was fun to watch… Shawn shouts out to hip hop and then tells them they put their style on it and he would hang out with them… good job… Ben says it was a little disjointed, calling it polka hip hop but lots of fun…
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business&creativity&general&innovation24 Oct 2011 12:34 pm

My son really likes dolphins. We took him to a “Dolphin Experience” a few years ago, where we got in the water and were able to pet, hug, and otherwise interact with a dolphin and he’s been pretty hooked since. So, when a movie about a dolphin rescue hit our radar, we knew he’d want to go and we thought it a good family outing. I expected a somewhat sappy saga with a dramatic score and a heartwarming outcome. I didn’t expect a clear example of innovation at work. However, A Dolphin Tale delivers both.

Yes, it’s a comforting, family-friendly movie that pulls at your heartstrings as you empathize with a boy determined to rescue a dolphin (his only real friend), a man struggling to keep his business and mission alive despite a lack of funding and other obstacles, and a correlation (which I expected to be more prominent) between a wounded soldier and a wounded dolphin. What stood out most, however, was the innovation and persistence of a prosthetics specialist who rose to the challenge and managed to repurpose and modify current technology to solve an emerging need and provide a new solution. [continue reading this post…]

MUSIC&pop culture&television&The Sing Off17 Oct 2011 11:40 pm

Ten, count them ten groups converge on the stage as we dive into the mix with a supergroup performance of All Night Long… party… fiesta… forever… guilty pleasures night and lots of groups… so, not much time to chit chat… off we go…

now playing: Dynamite by The Yellow Jackets

The Yellow Hoodies, i mean Jackets start things off on the right note, picking a Spice Girl tune for their guilty pleasure… and they are definitely having fun and making it their own… quite a performance and no problems with the vocals… Sara says it was a ton of fun… some tuning issues, but she would watch it again… Shawn says it’s burned into his retina and all of it was good, even though some of the harmonies were a little off, so far so good… Ben says it was really entertaining and a smart arrangement… it was a starburst of energy…
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MUSIC&news&pop culture&television14 Oct 2011 06:59 pm

As a long time fan of hip hop, I’ve been able to witness first hand the marriage of faith and hip hop from the early days. And by early, I mean when Stephen Wiley was “Rappin for Jesus” to the be-be-beat, Michael Peace was “R-R-Rockin’ it Right,” and SFC was telling us to “Listen Up.” Yeah, the days of cassette tapes and cardboard. When Christian rap, Holy Hip Hop, or whatever you want to call it (Call It What You Want?) didn’t have it’s own section in the Christian book stores because there wasn’t much of it and they didn’t know what to do with it.

And when I “broke” into the industry of writing about CCM, it was largely because of my personal history and love of hip hop – a CCM subgenre which seems to always be “on the rise.” By providing credible coverage through popular media outlets, I like to think I helped give a mainstream voice to the marginalized subculture, though I recognize I was never more than a small cog in the large mechanism that is the CCM industry.

I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs – more than speedboats – through the years. Seen artists get shine and stained, but despite all I’ve seen, I still get pretty excited and, moved, when I see a good thing happen in the industry. [continue reading this post…]

MUSIC&pop culture&television&The Sing Off10 Oct 2011 11:40 pm

now it’s time for the other six to perform two songs each – one current radio hit and one from the 60s but first, a supergroup rendition of Rhythm of Love by Plain White Tees on a stage that’s been transformed into a field full of artificial flowers and sunshine…

now playing: Sing by The Sing Off Contestants

Whew… i finished my Lucky Charms just in time to catch The Deltones open the night with Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga… i typically only like Lady Gaga songs when they’re mixed down and rearranged as a capella tracks a la Glee’s Gaga episode… this one’s pretty nice, but it’s clearly a strain for the lead vocalist… too bad… it’s a soft opening to the competition tonight for me… Shaun says it was really solid… Sara says they were a little static physically… Ben says it was a really solid performance…
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MUSIC&pop culture&television&The Sing Off04 Oct 2011 08:35 pm

six of the remaining twelve groups perform tonight and they lead off with Somewhere Only We Know, which i’ve always found to be a haunting and enchanting melody… they did a solid job as they pretty much always do as a giant group… tonight they’ll sing two songs each – one current radio hit and one from the 60s… always fun… i might not type as much because i’m eating popcorn and my fingers are greasy…

now playing: Motownphilly by Boys II Men

Vocal Point kicks it all off with Never Say Never without their bass vocalist, sadly… they went with the green jackets and ties this week and they’re doing a great job… i’m honestly not familiar with the original version of this tune, but this version sounds pretty good… they’re a very cohesive group… Ben says that he enjoyed it, it was fun, and they sang the hell out of it, which is a lot to unpack, knowing they’re Mormons… Sara says they’re like wholesome Thundercats and despite some rough spots, it was really good… Shawn makes fun of them for singing Bieber, but tells them it was a really good performance…

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