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Tuxedo – ‘Do It’

 

It’s Thursday, it’s nearly the weekend and I’m going to get over this bad cold by tomorrow. Let’s celebrate.

Tuxedo’s silky smooth throwback has been given fitting visuals after the track was released last year. Who can resist a dance circle headed up by one of the coolest valets, who happens to work with Mayer Hawthorne, around? Not me.

Watch out for more from Tuxedo (who may or may not be Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One) in 2015.

Road trip: Bruk Up in Birmingham

Last night I travelled to Birmingham with some of my clubbing friends to a monthly broken beats and house night called Bruk Up.

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It took place at the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath, a music venue that has a distinctly soulful vibe going on.

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Bruk Up is definitely one for the dancers; there were break dancers, jazz dancers and even tap dancing. I’m not sure what style my moves come under but they seemed to work. There were observers too but the majority of people are there to dance and involve themselves wholly in the music.

The energy in there was amazing and it was pretty cool to share the dancefloor with Detroit musician Amp Fiddler, who had been performing in another part of the venue, for a few minutes.

It was great to find a significant amount of people committed to a dance culture rare to see in UK clubs.

This video of one of the many dance offs captures a little bit of what went down. I will definitely be back.

 

The final Bruk Up of 2014 is Saturday December 6th. Full details are yet to be announced online but check out their website here.

Reflecting on completing the Digital Marketing: Challenges and Insights MOOC

Digital Marketing

Education isn’t a topic I usually cover on here but I think it’s fitting to blog about recently completing a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). Why? Well, one: the course topic was about digital marketing and I’m a blogger. Admittedly I take a relaxed, creative stance towards Gone Out but blogging isn’t just a fun spare-time activity, it’s a core area of digital marketing. And two: I work in marketing full time. It’s always beneficial to develop professionally so with permission from my boss, I got started.

The free course, hosted on a closed-license platform you have to register for, was ran by digital marketing and business experts Lisa Harris and Tom Chapman from the University of Southampton. Participants were able to utilise traditional learning resources such as videos and reading material, with the additional benefit of discussion forums, downloadable material and interactive maps so we could see where everyone on the course is from. There was a large UK contingent but there were also Spanish, US and Argentinian participants among others.

I worked to the topic breakdown provided under the platform’s 3 week sections. I found this easy to handle as part of my work day but would recommend that if you need to, ask you manager or superior if that’s okay. The bite size topic breakdowns formed discussions, surveys, videos and articles. There were various topics I found interesting and engaging, including the fact the glossary contained an explanation of who Bruce Willis is.

In all seriousness, I began the course by learning about storytelling strategies. Business owners and marketing staff from various companies spoke about the methods they use to tell a story about their brand. Before anything, we considered the concept of knowing what your audience wants. It’s a basic but essential part of marketing. It’s common sense that, when looking at the web today, marketers should consider whether consumers want to be engaged with or communicated to. This raised many questions. For example: how do we engage? Does my audience want to watch YouTube videos of your brand activities such as staff working on an eye-catching project? Do people want to share their stories about the brand on Facebook? Do they want to use Twitter to ask you questions about a product? Is a static website good enough? The weird thing about this is, I know it’s important but I wasn’t fully aware of how important. It’s easy to put material together just because you like it but if your audience doesn’t care, it’s not going to be popular, sharable or sellable. This topic area further emphasised the need to go back to basics every time.

We also considered devices and how marketers can adapt to presenting material suitable for specific devices, customer journeys, digital assets, privacy and targeted advertising, analytics, web observing and gamification.

The Digital Assets topic interested me more than I expected. There were both personal and professional aspects to consider. It left me wondering about the online services we use and whether we are in complete control of the information we upload to them and update them with. Essentially many of these services can cancel accounts at any time should they need to. What would happen to your photos? What would happen to the digital footprint you’ve created? Where do your downloaded music tracks, books and films go? These services do provide terms and conditions so I think it’s very much worth reading them if you want to be completely aware of what you’ve agreed into. Oh, back up your images on your computer too – like I didn’t when I deleted MySpace. My picture of Amy Winehouse smiling into my camera when I saw her live is now lost in the digital ether. Boohoo. You may say deleting my profile without removing the images was a silly thing to do, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear how many people have a relaxed attitude to displaying their personal content on the web.

Professionally, I believe it’s about being as clear as possible as what a business is going to do with prospects and customers information. Regardless of whether marketers think people are going to read the terms and conditions or not, it’s not cool to be fill them up with jargon so people unwittingly sign up for something they aren’t entirely clear about.

The course has opened my eyes to new and previously used digital marketing methods, both in my job and for this blog. It’s a good idea to be more mindful of my actions as a marketer, especially as one that aims to engage readers, users and customers in an ethical and forward-thinking manner. This course was a great way for me to consider developing new working patterns and learn about what is right and wrong in the world of digital marketing.

Find out more about the Digital Marketing: Challenges and Insights course I did, and others at futurelearn.com.

I Heart Berlin

My last-minute trip to Berlin exceeded my expectations. Everyone I know that’s visited, said I would have an amazing time. But I believe you never really know what a place is like until you’ve immersed yourself in it. So I was taken aback at how right they were.
Berlin Sights
Top 3 things I did
1: I went out, of course (I didn’t do the whole techno/house ‘thing‘ though). It’s my kind of place because everyone goes out late. It’s also very relaxed and I didn’t feel any kind of danger travelling through the city on my own at night. For the moment I wasn’t alone, I was very lucky to have a guide in my old flatmate who now lives in Berlin. It was mainly down to her that I had so much fun. We watched live comedy and drank tea cocktails at t Berlin in Kreuzberg, sat with a black and white straw model at Sameheads in Neukolin and I went on a solo mission one evening, where I danced to Grandmaster Flash and Maceo from De La Soul at Cassiopeia in Friedrichshain. My stay was made complete by “singing” along to Whitney Houston’s ‘I Have Nothing’ with the most amazing gay guys at Privatleben in Prenzlauer Berg. I would recommend them all.
Berlin Fun2: East Side Gallery (Berlin Wall). A great living piece of history that gives people the opportunity to actively learn and consider. I have many emotions about it. For me, it raises questions about what life was like on either side and what it means for the city now.
East Side Gallery3: Friedrichshain district. Just walking through this part of East Berlin is very cool. The grafitti, market stalls, cafes and shops are super interesting. It’s a shame I didn’t get to experience more of it in the day time. I definitely will be visiting here when I come back.
Walking Around

The 3 main things I took away from the trip are:

1: It’s famous history isn’t hidden away and the way Berlin and its people have reacted to it in a positive manner reflects a progressive city which is accepting of lots of different cultures.

2: The people I met were lovely. Straightforward, kind and friendly.

3: I didn’t ever feel like I was anywhere else. Berlin has a very strong identity.

Berlin really did steal my heart. I could go on about it even more but essentially Berlin is an experience to make your own. A must see city and definitely one I have to visit again.

Weekend house vibes

Sy Sez feat. Phoenix Pearle – ‘Send Me High’

 

Sy Sez Dub Mix is my fave.

Aside: It’s really easy to miss the ‘z’ on this keyboard and press ‘x’ instead. So I’ve nearly written Sy Sex several times.

Soul Clap feat. Robert Owens – ‘Misty’ 

 

Really loving this package. At a push, the Louie Vega Roots NYC Mix is the one for me.

Have a good weekend, everyone x

Prepping for Berlin

I’ve booked a last-minute trip to the German capital and I’m pretty excited. When I get the chance to travel, I grab the opportunity with both hands.

Top of my to-do list, of course, is clubbing. House nights to be precise. I might be a bit stuck seen as, according to every travel guide I’ve read, techno is the dominant genre in the city. I don’t mind a bit of it here and there, especially Detroit style, but it’s just not my go-to. I mean, I could just go to a night to ‘experience’ it. But as I’m meeting with up with a friend who’s independent and may have other plans apart from seeing me, the debauchery isn’t exactly suited.

It’s apparent that, after doing a little more research, Berlin’s music scene doesn’t begin and end with techno. I’ve already found 2 deep house nights taking place on the night I arrive.

J.A.W , Floating Points, Sadar Bahar and Andrew Ashong are playing at basement club Prince Charles, while Deep Fried hosts Jovonn and Arnaldo (from Manchester!). Even Berghain, the club many consider to be the utopia of techno, is showcasing dub gods The Bug and Mala while I’m there.

I’ve heard that Salon-Zur wilden Renate is a good club to go to for less techy vibes from Berlin-based DJs. It’s good to check out the local talent and I love this mix from Couleur, who appears to play there quite regularly. If this is anything like what’s in store when I visit Berlin, I’ll be more than happy. Get me there, now.

Introducing: Tanzlife

 

Ahh Stockholm, the home of lots of beautiful things and even more beautiful people. It’s also got a pretty nice party scene going on and Local Talk is a leading name.

I’m loving their latest mix, courtesy of Polish DJ, promoter and producer, Tanzlife. So nice. A great way to keep the house vibes alive after my extended weekend of partying at Southport Weekender’s Camelot party.

Want more? Check out Local Talk and Tanzlife on Soundcloud.

Southport Weekender presents: Camelot – 30/08

 

Camelot, Park Hall Hotel, 2pm to 6am, Saturday 30th August

It was a quiet August bank holiday, filled with grown up things like DIY and free street festivals.  I’m not complaining though, because I’ve energy and money to party this weekend.

I’ll be making the short journey from Manchester to Park Hall Hotel for Camelot, an 18-hour party ran by the organisers of Southport Weekender.

The line up is an impressive mixture of local, national and international names. The likes of The Unabombers, Dimitri From Paris and Ron Trent stand side by side with Afro-Coalition DJs, James Morgan from Liverpool night Hustle and Stretford Dogs Club of Development fame.

Another highlight is Jasper Street Company’s live performance with The Basement Boys, who will no doubt be providing a sequel to their all-conquering Sunday afternoon performance in May. 

It’s a fitting end of summer celebration for the Southport Weekender family, who’ve hosted and enjoyed Minehead’s Southport Weekender and Suncebeat in Croatia this year.

Check the link for the full line up.

Don’t miss out on your ticket, which are available online until 8pm on Friday 29th August and on the door for £5 extra. Hotel rooms are available separately.

Saturday 30th August-Sunday 31st August, 1pm to 6am, Park Hall Hotel, Park Hall Road, Charnock Richard, Lancashire, PR7 5LP, £45 adv, £50 on the door, room prices are separate.

Hot ticket: Now Wave presents FKA Twigs at RNCM – 04/10

Don’t forget, tickets for FKA Twigs at the Royal Northern College of Music are on sale from 12pm on August 15th.

It’s a great venue for a performance from the Young Turks artist, who did a sold out show at the Dancehouse just over 2 weeks ago. She’s also garnered national attention; releasing her debut album, LP1, at the beginning of the week (11/08/14).

I’ve been a bit late to the party; I only heard Two Weeks the other day. But the moment she hits that note, I knew she was worth the hype.

Be quick. Now Wave have a great reputation and in the Manchester gig world, it usually means a sell out.

Buy tickets here.

Saturday 4th October, 7.30pm, Royal Northern College of Music, 124 Oxford Road, M13 9RD, £12 adv.

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