The ‘Dancehall moves next to a sound system’ video concept is a simple yet effective one especially when it’s accompanied by a really nice dusty, reggae/dub cover of The Clash.
I know little of The Clash’s music but LA collective The Lions have opened my ears to the London punk’s back catalogue – and The Lions’ music, of course – for the future.
Sitting at the keys in the dark, he starts up. The drums, the sole accompaniment, join him. The lights don’t come on. 3 white panels at the back of the stage start to slowly omit a haze of deep pink. His silhouette is set against the bands of multi-coloured lights which follow the tempo of the music.
The song ends abruptly. The lights still don’t come on. And another song begins. The deep, morose sadness of ‘Pour Maman’ leads to a crescendo of Prince-like wails and electric guitar combination. The crowd loves it but the cries end quicker than the song started. The panels turn teal and we get a quick introduction and comment about being in the city for the first time.
“I only found out about this guy on Tuesday…” Oh. Back to the music. No time to think.
The interchanging solid strips of colour transform into moving images of graphic designs, hand drawn animation and filmed sequences. We get a better idea of what Gabriel Garzón-Montano looks like now, what with the projections moving over his face but it’s clear he’d rather let the music he’s presenting and the visuals around him take prominence.
It’s so nice to be entertained and inspired by someone that knows exactly what they’re doing. When a new artist comes along it’s not a given you will be presented with exactly that, in my experience.
The Brooklyn-born singer-songwriter, influenced by his French and Colombian heritage equally, is only an EP into his career at 25. It may have only been 40 minutes long but his live show was one of the most unique and assured that I’ve seen in a long time. It could have something to do with supporting Lenny Kravitz last year and this Spin article discovers how he has grown as an artist.
Sometimes I feel like I’m part of an experiment when an artist is making their first steps into performing live or showcasing new work. It can be obvious they’re testing songs, developing their connection with their audience and building confidence in their performance skills.
Logic would say a more experienced performer would be that person/band/group. When a relatively new artist like Garzón-Montano defies that, it makes it much more satisfying.
I’ve been part of a dance group for around 3 years, predominantly performing belly dance. My talented and committed teacher Maggie Zimon put together a choreography with Jovi Baniela Alvarez, another girl in our group, and her husband Daniel Harding, that combined Burlesque/Moulin Rouge style with Zouk Lambada, a Brazillian partner dance, for our most recent show in December 2014.
Rehearsal followed rehearsal, with yet more rehearsals. It was a lot of fun but extremely challenging; it was our longest sequence yet and 3 of us hadn’t attempted Zouk Lambada before. I’d never considered dancing in a partnership previous to this show because I’m too much of an independent dancer. That was a massive battle for me but I got the hang of it. I’m not as polished and professional as theatre performers for example, but I think I (and the rest of the group) deserve a pat on the back. Enjoy!
1. Ancoats mill set against the afternoon sky
2. New York Brass Band at Matt & Phreds jazz club, Tib Street
3. Butternut squash and feta cheese tacos with Mayan spiced hot chocolate and sweet tortilla rolls from Yakumama street food at Guerilla Eats, Blossom Street
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.
Last night I travelled to Birmingham with some of my clubbing friends to a monthly broken beats and house night called Bruk Up.
It took place at the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath, a music venue that has a distinctly soulful vibe going on.
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.
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.
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.
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