My Top 10 Songs of the Week “Jus’ Like Toothpassste” : MYFAVORITES


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HAPPY FRIDAY!!! Have a GREAT Weekend!!! GO GIANTS!!!

10. A$AP Rocky featuring Drake, Kendrick Lamar and 2 Chainz “Fuckin’ Problems”


9. Gwen Stefani “Orange County Girl”


8. Lorde “Royals”


7. Danity Kane featuring Tyga “Lemonade”


6. OneRepublic “Counting Stars”


5. Maroon 5 “Animals”


4. Rich Gang featuring Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan “Lifestyle”


3. Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne and Tyga “Loyal”


2. Gwen Stefani “Baby Don’t Lie”


1. Chris Brown featuring Usher and Rick Ross “New Flame”

“The Aviator” Trailer, The Revision : MULTIMEDIAARTS


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Hey, so I uploaded something to YouTube earlier today and I thought I’d go ahead and share it.

Now if you remember my post this past Summer, about me being in that Video Editing class. In that blog post I had three videos, one of which was a trailer for Martin Scorsese’s epic “The Aviator”. That was actually my Final project in the class, and I think I told you guys I was unhappy with it and wanted to try to revise it.

Well, I went ahead and did it and I want you to see it.

So now that you’ve seen it, I guess I should talk about what went into doing this revision and what I’m happy and unhappy about still.

If you watch my first trailer (which looks like a sloppy first draft at this point), you might notice that it was a bit rushed. A lot of the transitions are really sloppy, the text crawl is super basic, and the music is one note and boring. I think what bothered me the most about the original one I did is the time stretch sequences (mostly towards the end), which look incredibly cheap.

However I must pat myself on the back for the first draft, because I literally completed it from start to finish in probably 4 hours total. I ended up getting an A in the class, but I was super-disappointed with the result.

So moving on to the NEW trailer. I won’t go into the gritty details of the process, I just knew a couple of things I wanted to change going into it. Music was key, I wanted something about flying or being in the clouds or the sky. I had chosen a few songs initially (John Legend’s “So High” and Rihanna’s “Get It Over With”), but once I actually started editing I decided on two different songs. Here I used The Wombat’s “Jump into the Fog”, a song I fell in love with last year. The spur of the moment change ended up being a perfect match, especially how the opening of the song is PERFECT to the footage I used.

The use of Kanye’s “Touch the Sky” was a very last minute decision, but I love how it fits in. It’s a change in vibe and tone that was necessary, and I love how certain parts match up with the lyrics (“come up in the spot looking extra fly” when Leo swags his way towards screen). I have to say, Audio and the levels is something I need to master, because I can’t seem to figure out what to do in regards to lowering the music track to accommodate for the dialogue (I’ll be in Sound Design next semester though, so hopefully that will help).

The next big thing for me to improve upon was the text. I hate the text I used in the first draft, and the teacher’s feedback was saying that I should avoid using black backgrounds in the middle of a trailer because it takes you out of the mood. So I worked (semi) hard on the text on this new trailer. I have to tell you all, it took me FOREVER to decide on exactly what the text would say. What I ended up with is close to my original idea, but I went through so many different changes in that text to the point where I almost didn’t include text at all.

I am pleased with what I finally decided on, and the flow of the text. I especially love “to touch the sky” and how the plane and the text seem to dance with each other. There is one small glitch on “A Man who knows no limits” (the opacity goes down, then back up for a milli-second, then back down), but overall I love the text.

So after the music and the text, it was just an issue of dropping the right footage in, which is really the easy part of Video Editing.

So yeah, that’s pretty much it. I hope you enjoy, and hope someone can provide some feedback on my improvements.

My next two projects (which are now personal projects, because I don’t have another video editing class until Spring semester) will be Pixar’s “Brave” and another Scorsese/Dicaprio collab “Wolf of Wall Street”. “Brave” was one of the movies in my Video Editing package, but I didn’t want to use it until I heard a particular song that I felt would fit perfectly with the movie. And I just had a random/out-of-nowhere idea for a “Wolf” trailer and I hope I can execute what I’m thinking. Those should be done and up in the next two weeks (I HAVE the Adobe Creative Cloud on my personal laptop now).

For now, enjoy what I have. I am taking Photoshop and After Effects classes this semester and I expect to post my work online – including this blog where I’ll be able to go into detail about my edu-ma-cation! #STAYTUNED

My Top 10 Songs of the Week “Hush, Hush, Darlin'” : MYFAVORITES


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Are you guys even interested in my descriptions per song? I haven’t done them in a while, mainly because I have pressed for time (end of the fiscal year at work, hella paperwork and shizz). Just wondering if you guys even want to know any of the details on WHY certain songs made the lists on a given week. If not I’ll just post the songs, If so I’ll make more of an effort.

In the mean time, I’m going to write little descriptions on specific songs this week and then if you guys COMMENT (COMMENT COMMENT COMMENT COMMENT COMMENT, PLEASE!) than I’ll know how to proceed next week.

10. No Doubt featuring Busy Signal and Major Lazer “Push and Shove”


9. Melanie Fiona “4AM”


8. No Doubt “New”


7. Kanye West featuring Rick Ross “Devil in a New Dress”


6. Julian Casablancas + The Voidz “Father Electricity”


5. No Doubt “Don’t Speak”

You know those songs that were BIG hits in their day, and sometimes you don’t want to be bothered listening to it years later because it’s like “I’ve already heard that song 59 Bajillion times when it was hot!” Well, No Doubt’s CLASSIC song “Don’t Speak” is one of those… and even though I was going through a big No Doubt/Gwen Stefani kick I avoided the song. On Saturday though I let it play, and it’s a CLASSIC for a reason. GREAT lyrics, GREAT arrangements, GREAT vocals. Perfection.


4. Beyonce “Halo”


3. Cage the Elephant “Come a Little Closer”

This group Rocks! I got into their sophomore album “Thank You, Happy Birthday“, and last year when their third album “Melophobia” was released I Spotify’d that shit and enjoyed it. However I hadn’t really thought about them until I was up late one night and happened to catch them on HBO’s “Guitar Center Sessions” and they performed this song and it brought up good memories about the band. I think this song is so cool.


2. Julian Casablancas + The Voidz “M.Utually A.Ssured D.Estruction”


1. Coldplay “Yellow”

Hooked on “How to Get Away with Murder” (and how it handles racial equality) : TV REVIEW


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For the past month, Thursday nights on ABC have been renamed #Shonda-land because the power house writer and producer Shonda Rhimes is behind the entire lineup. And one can’t help but to be proud of Rhimes, even though I detest “Grey’s Anatomy” and not really all that into “Scandal”, you have to give credit where it’s due. Rhimes, a black woman, is making waves on a major network and has power in an industry that normally shuts women and blacks out.

Viola-Davis-and-the-cast-of-How-To-Get-Away-With-Murder_article_story_largeHer latest show “How to Get Away with Murder” might have me hooked already. Even though I’m not normally a “crime drama” type of person, “Murder” has a real addictive quality to it that makes me want to tune in every week. (Though I normally watch it on the weekends because 10pm is kind of late for me lol!).

Before I get into the addictive details of the show, I want to preface by saying I intended to write about a very specific and small portion of the show. I’ll get to that later, but for now let’s talk about what goes on in “Murder”.

The series follows Annalise Keating (played so intensely by Viola Davis) a hard-ass defense lawyer and law professor, this woman has a very cynical view of humans and seems to doubt everything. The show started (sort of) at the beginning of a new semester when she announces to her class that she plans to chose 5 students that will work for her firm.

Keating takes on a different murder case each week, and so far her track record is flawless. However, the actual murder cases are not what makes this show so intriguing. One of the main draws for me is the side stories of the 5 students and Professor Keating herself that add a little extra sense of personality, humor and mystery.

There’s Michaela (Aja Naomi King), the head strong pretty girl who is determined to become the next Michelle Obama. Laurel (Karla Souza) who is struggling to find her lawyer voice, and definitely has a crush on Keating’s employee Frank (Charlie Weber). Wes (Alfred Enoch) the uber-naive “wait list” kid who is almost unbelievably innocent. He has the hots for his drug dealing next door neighbor (Katie Findlay), a side story that has connected to this weeks case. Even Asher (Matt McGory), the semi-douchey guy of the group, is a great asset to the show since he provides all the comic relief. These characters are interesting, but Rhimes and company only give us small peaks into their lives, which makes the viewer want to know even more about them, which leads viewers to their addiction to the show.

shonda_rhimes_how_to_get_away_with_murderNow, Viola Davis does a great acting job during her lecture and court scenes, but her acting chops go to a new level when her home life is slowly revealed. She’s in a marriage with a man she doesn’t quite trust or love, she has a side-boyfriend in a cop that she used in Episode 1 to win a case. And it seems she has the hots for one of her students Wes, which I’m sure that will play out before the end of the season.

There is also a parallel storyline that intrigues me. Somebody was murdered, and the students are somehow left with the responsibility of taking care of the body. Little but key details are revealed each episode about this murder that happens 3 months after the beginning of the semester. Details like who got killed (Professor Keating’s husband), and which of the students is more manipulative than previously thought (*gasp, it’s Wes). This “LOST” type quality of this “flash forwards” further hooks viewers because we want to fill in all the holes before anyone else.

So yeah, “Murder” is a good show. The acting is good, the pacing is quite fast but manages to work, and the writing is pretty inventive. (I also wanted to add, the styling for all characters but mainly Keating is PERFECTION!)

Now what I really want to talk about is small, but sometimes small differences help  to make big changes.

If you remember last year, my initial complaint about HBO’s series “Looking” was the lack of any lead Asian characters. It seemed like a horrible casting choice because San Francisco is a highly Asian populated city. So I was pleased to see Oliver (Conrad Ricamora), a really good looking Asian man who gay student Connor (Jack Falahee) seemingly used to get information on the case of the moment. It bothered me slightly that Oliver was an IT guy, but I was really surprised to see his arc went a little further when him and Connor had sex that night.

JACK FALAHEE, CONRAD RICAMORAOn the second episode, Oliver was used again by Connor, but later in the episode it seemed as if Connor was genuinely interested in Oliver, “I’m not here for work, I’m here for dinner”. Oliver rejects him at first, but reconsiders before they have yet another steamy sex scene, this time with their roles reversed.

This is a very small portion of the show, and Ricamora didn’t appear at all in the 3rd episode. It’s noteworthy though, because it’s not often you see an Asian man sexualized on mainstream television. Normally, Asian actors get stuck with the “nerdy” stereotype, where they can be smart but not sexual. So I fully applaud Rhimes and company for allowing an Asian man to be shown as desirable and HOT. Connor is what you might consider the “standard of Gay beauty” these days. He’s thin, he’s young, he’s incredibly groomed. So to have a guy like that pining for a guy like Oliver is great. This is the kind of equality I’m talking about, because… WHY NOT!?conrad-oliver-how-to-get-away-with-murder

Seeing people of different races, body types, and etc. in different lights than the stereotypes we are used to is nothing but great. Because in day to day life, not every Asian you see is a math wiz, not every big guy is on his way to Dunkin Donuts, and not every gay guy is attracted to a Tom Daley-type twink. And American viewers need to see characters that are different from the stereotypes, with the hopes that some viewers don’t pre-judge certain types of people based on the limited views they get of them on TV or elsewhere.

How do YOU listen to Music? : IMO

Flashback, 2009.

I was in a Speech class and on my first speech I talked about how much I love music and how much it means to me. In the speech I believe I said that “everybody” loves music, and the feedback from some of the other students really surprised me. Lots of people said they only casually listen to music, some even said they don’t like music at all.

This threw me because all of my life Music has been a key player. My family was big on music, and later in my adult life I bonded with so many friends over Music. The idea that not everyone felt the same way was really shocking to me. It made me feel more special about my love affair with Music, but it also made me question others. Questions like, under what circumstances do they like music? What do they listen to music for when they do listen? And how do they listen to music when it’s on? What do they pay attention to when Music is on? And what might keep them coming back to a favorite song or album?

Me analyzing other people, made me analyze the way I listen to music, which brings me to the question in the title “How do YOU listen to Music?” CasadonteAndyNoiseSynesthesia

When I hear a song for the first time, there are some things I pay attention to and listen for. Here it goes.

1) At first listen I pay attention to the overall arrangement, making sure the melodies and harmonies fit with the production and the vocals. Lyrics aren’t necessarily the first thing I zone into – unless it’s a Singer/Songwriter type track where the words are purposely the main focus.

When listening to different genres I focus on different things. For instance, for R&B I’m listening to see if the track and melody fits – if not I’m almost always automatically turned off. R&B vocals have to be somewhat interesting for me too, unique and creative runs and phrasing will hook me. With Hip Hop I’m just listening to the track, as well the hook and how it fits. For Pop and Rock I pretty much listen to the complete production and see if it’s something I can get into.

katy-perry-teenage-dreamThere are several examples of a song that I liked on first listen, but right now I’m thinking of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” as an example of a song where all the elements work nicely together.

2) What brings me back to a song is normally something very addictive, either a catchy hook or an addictive melody. It has to be something that will stick in your head and pop up at random times in the day, like an alarm reminding you to go and listen to that song.

Recently, Maroon 5’s “Maps” had that catchy quality in the hook (“the map that leads to Yoooou”). Also Ty Dolla Sign’s “Or Nah” and the melody on the hook (“is you really bout your money or nah”). Those are things that run through my head and make me want to download and listen.ty-dolla-sign-or-nah-remix-video

3) I guess finally, a song has to go somewhere. Either the track has to have different variations, or the vocals have to be really creative. Otherwise it’s just a dull song to me, unless of course there’s ONE part that I can’t live without. Black Eyed Peas for instance (and this is retarded), that song “Just Can’t Get Enough” is terribly dull to me even when they switch up the tempo at the very end. What gets me though, “this is mega switch up… SWITCH UP”. I love that part, hence I still have that song on my iTunes.BEP-2-505x299

So now that I gave you a half-assed summary of my Music listening style. What is YOURS?

Bamboozled by “black-ish” ? : TV REVIEW


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blackish2-495x329When it comes to “black-ish“, I really wanted to love this show. I wanted to love it because it showcased black actors on a major network, which is terribly rare these days. It also promised to give a new perspective that hadn’t really been addressed on TV. After watching (and reviewing) the first episode, I though the show would give viewers insight on the mind and opinions of black people in America. A perspective I felt was a step in the right direction… because the media is a great way at opening up an ongoing dialogue about race in America. Understanding different perspectives and emotions, but in a non-threatening and light way, is the only way we can attempt at making changes.

Obviously I continued watching, and by the end of the third episode the show left a disturbing feeling in me. A feeling that my mind had changed drastically about the show, and the feeling that I had been duped.

Anthony-Anderson-and-Tracee-Ellis-Ross-in-Black-ish_article_story_largeOn my previous review, I mentioned that something in the resolution of the episode left me feeling uneasy. In the premiere, star Anthony Anderson was upset that he could only go SO FAR at his advertising firm because he was black. He was upset and acted out, and then his wife played by Tracee Ellis-Ross told him “You need to get over it”, almost saying his complaints were trivial.

In the context of the episode (he had rebelled and was about to possibly lose his job), I somewhat understood where she was coming from, though the line struck me because it felt like she was saying his issues about race were dumb and he (as in WE the black people) need to get over it. But in the hopes that this show would continue to at least address racial issues, I let it go (I got over it!)

Then the third episode happened. Anthony Anderson’s character DJ was concerned that his son didn’t do the head-nod to one of the few black kids in his school. What followed were some very mis-guided lines, specifically when DJ said something about how his children and the contemporary black community have “no struggle”. Basically saying all the race issues in the country don’t exist. Which is a delusional thought and terrible message.ANTHONY ANDERSON, LAURENCE FISHBURNE

So my complaint with the show now is this. If Anthony Anderson’s character is supposed to be the voice of Black America, than it feels like every week he has a complaint and by the end of the episode he realizes that he was over-thinking things and needs to let it go. So, Black America… STOP COMPLAINING!!!

I’ve brought up racial stuff a few times before on this blog, mainly targeting the media because I really do have an eye for that kind of thing. And if you bring up any kind of racial inequality to a white person … 8 times out of 10 they are going to say you are just pulling the “race card” and that the issues aren’t real.

To me, “black-ish” makes white viewers feel like they are right about us black people. When I say that, I mean that those white people who constantly write off black peoples complaints as “pulling the race card” are vindicated in watching this show. That us Black people complain for no reason and need to just “let it go”. Which is the complete opposite of what I thought this show was setting out to do.

But, here’s the thing. “black-ish” has a GREAT time slot. “Modern Family” is one of my favorite shows, and I try not to miss it on Wednesdays. Because “black-ish” comes on right after that, I may go ahead and keep watching it… but i will be side-eyeing it.

Look, the show has some occasionally good gags and a good cast. I’ll admit to laughing hysterically here and there at every episode. I just think this show I first thought would HELP things is actually more damaging than it is good.

I sincerely hope this all made sense. I get this feeling sometimes that I’m not good with my words and can confuse people trying to understand what I’m saying. I will fulfill my #P2P and talk a little about “How To Get Away with Murder” tomorrow. 

#P2P – Promise to Post : UPDATE


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Happy Friday Blog Readers!

I wanted to come and give a really quick update on what’s coming up next for the blog. I figure if I post this as a Promise-To-Post, then I won’t just say “fuck it, who cares” and I’ll feel obligated to post it. I really want to process my thoughts and make this happen.

blackish_wide-cb04bca7d9a6e6cfa0d020745c9474b6c2d727f6-s4-c85What is the post? You might ask. Well it’s about “black-ish“, a show I raved about on the premiere and now I have an almost completely different view of the show. Clearly from my posts about “black-ish” and “Looking” and even my post about “Drunk History“, you can tell that Racial Equality in the media is important to me. That’s what I plan on addressing, and how I think “Black-ish” is doing a horrible job of representing what’s on the minds of African Americans.

Viola-Davis-and-the-cast-of-How-To-Get-Away-With-Murder_article_story_largeHowever, I also wanted to talk about another new ABC series “How to Get Away with Murder” starring Viola Davis. I enjoyed the premiere episode, but the show comes on so late that I missed the second half of the second episode and I completely missed last nights show. However, there was one small detail in that show that I wanted to address. Something good, something that does try to switch up the racial roles on network TV. (I wonder if any of you can guess what I’m going to focus on?)

Anyway, I am trying to decide if I want to combine both shows in one post (which would probably get posted this coming Wednesday), or if I want to talk about them separately (which would mean the “Black-ish” post would come on Wednesday, and the “Murder” post would come on Thursday to coincide with when those shows air). Either way I PROMISE to post both by the end of next week.


So stay tuned.

My Top 10 Songs of the Week “From the Hood to Japan” : MYFAVORITES


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Happy Friday!

So obviously, once you look at this weeks lists, I have been on a serious Gwen Stefani/No Doubt kick this week. I have always loved Gwen, and I have to say that watching her on “The Voice” has made me love her even more. Additionally, I’m tapering off from my HOV kick last week and trying to get into more new music… like Jhene Aiko’s “Souled Out” album which is GREAT. I also have a REAL ‘Blast from the Past’ here, a song I haven’t even thought about for probably over a decade.

Enjoy! Have a GREAT Weekend!


10. Jay-Z featuring Frank Ocean “Oceans”


9. Jhene Aiko “Lyin King”


8. Gwen Stefani “Crash”


7. Vanessa Williams & Brian McKnight “Love Is”


6. Tamar Braxton featuring Future “Let Me Know”


5. Christina Aguilera “Let There Be Love”


4. Gwen Stefani featuring Pharrell “Yummy”


3. Gwen Stefani featuring Eve “Rich Girl”


2. Jhene Aiko “Spotless Mind”


1. No Doubt “NEW”

My Top 10 Songs of the Week “The Big Balloons” : MYFAVORITES


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It’s FRIDAY!!! I’m gonna confess something, it’s sort of an admission of laziness, but after trying to put together 3 different blog posts this week I ended up doing NONE and even today I feel this strange lack of energy (it’s REALLY Hot out here today) and am barely wanting to post this Top 10 list. Obviously , it’s UP, but with no descriptions because today… I CAN NOT!


10. Adele “Hometown Glory”


9. Jay Z featuring Beyonce “Part II (On the Run)”


8. Katy Perry “Unconditionally” (but really, Mia Pfirrman’s version on “The Voice”, which made me get back into the original version)


7. Beyonce “Love on Top”


6. Jay Z featuring Mr Hudson “Young Forever”


5. Katy Perry “Birthday”


4. Julian Casablancas + The Voidz “Nintendo Blood”

(Nope, can’t find this song on YouTube! Boo!)


3. Beyonce “Countdown”


2. Interpol “My Blue Supreme”


1. Jay Z & Kanye West “Niggas in Paris”

My Top 10 Songs of the Week “My Hypothesis” : MYFAVORITES


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Happy Friday Folks!!! This is gonna be a hella random Top 10 list, I’ve been kind of all over the place this week Music-wise. I’ve actually been trying to get through a bunch of new albums (Jennifer Hudson, Interpol, Basement Jaxx, Julian Casablancas + The Voidz) but having difficulties doing it because a) work has been mad busy and I can’t really focus on the music when I listen at work  and b) I tend to always revert back to my Beyonce’s and Rihanna’s when I’m free from work. So… the goal is, next week, to take off ALL my “comfort” music and really really listen to ALL the latest albums I’ve obtained. This week is this week, and here it is. Enjoy!

10. Chris Brown “Add Me In”

I love the wordplay on this “Math = Sex” song.


9. Rich Gang featuring Young Thug & Rich Homie Quan “Lifestyle”

AGAIN, this song is mad dumb but so damn catchy and laid back. Can’t hate. Won’t hate.


8. Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind”

I went back to that Alicia Keys Hits playlist I made (more on that a little later), and that “Part II” of her and Jay’s Epic #1 hit is on there but it always leaves me wanting the original version. Hence, it’s #8.


7. Chris Brown “Lost In Ya Love”

This song is just too cute.


6. Chrisette Michele “A Couple of Forevers”

Another album I’ve been trying to get through, “Better” by Chrisette. Actually I need to listen to ALL of her albums, but this is the current one I’ve been trying to make it through. This song is so beautiful, and she is SUCH a great singer.


5. Jay-Z & Beyonce “Forever Young/ Halo (Live)”

Okay so the big “On the Run Tour” was aired on HBO this past Saturday, and you guys. You KNOW I’m a big fan of both Jay and Bey, but I wasn’t really INTO the show. I almost blogged about it, but work on Monday didn’t allow me the time to wrap my head around all that I wanted to say. However another thing happened on Monday, I downloaded the torrent for the show and watched the parts that I missed (which was basically “On the Run” and this ending number), and I just thought this mash up was amazingly emotional and sentimental and all that. WOW! did I write enough? #Kiiiiii


4. Alicia Keys “Unthinkable (I’m Ready)”

So. I’m gonna do it. Remember that post I made about “Potentially Awesome Greatest Hits Albums“, and later on I said I was thinking of posting the playlists on YouTube. Well I think I’m gonna do it. I want to use cool pictures and cool editing techniques to do it, and I decided to start with Alicia because I LOVE the playlist I made for her. I decided to just start with ONE song and this is the ONE, which is one of my favorites by her. I wanted to just use one to see how easy or difficult it would be, so stay tuned on the YouTube playlists. (By the way, yesterday is the very first time I actually saw this Music Video and I think it’s GREAT! Great message)


3. Ed Sheeran “Photograph”

I actually listened to Sheeran’s “X” album a few weeks ago, and I liked it, but nothing really stuck with me so I decided to give it another listen. This time, this song stuck! So beautiful.


2. Chrisette Michele featuring 2 Chainz “Charades”

YES! It’s still on the list.


1. Beyonce featuring Nicki Minaj “***Flawless (Live)”

My absolute favorite moment on the “On the Run Tour”, and y’all know I am NOT a Nicki fan, but I loved this performance. The dancing, the swag, the energy. The DRAMA and intensity that comes with this song is perfectly displayed on stage, but at the end of the day “Bow Down” and “***Flawless” are FUN songs and that was also brought to the stage. BRAVO BEY! (well, I’m only able to find THIS on YouTube, sorry guys!)


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