It’s a new year and I’ve got 2 new shows that I suggest you check out.
For the last blog post of 2011 I’m going to talk about why The Weeknd has my vote for artist of the year. If you have ever talked about music with me in 2011 this is absolutely no surprise at all, but if you haven’t hear me out. Here are my 3 reasons why he has my vote:
1. He promised us 3 mixtapes this year and we got 3 mixtapes this year! He didn’t just make 3 so-so projects he made 3 really solid projects. Fan or not you can’t knock that hustle.
2. He’s changing the sound of music. There is no deny his music sounds nothing like anything you are used to hearing it’s a nice twist to how we usually think about R&B, I think I’m going to call his style sex, drugs, and R&B. If you don’t know what I’m talking about give House of Balloons a spin and I guarantee you will completely understand what I am talking about. He’s not just leaving his mark in R&B land, he is also influencing rap with some classic eerie Weeknd sounds. For those of you that don’t know, The Weeknd had some major influence on the sound of Drake’s latest album, Take Care. We all know after Drake does it the rest of the rap game will be close behind, so I’m sure we will hear plenty of similar sounds in 2012.
3. Finally, the music is just flat out great! I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I can’t get enough of all 3 parts of the trilogy, House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence. Check out my favorite tracks from each mixtape
Wicked Games, House of Balloons
The Birds part 2, Thursday
Same Old Song, Echoes of Silence
For kicks I’m adding D.D., which is a cover of Michael Jackson’s Dirty Diana, because I really appreciate how it was mixed. I think it is just another glimpse into how creative he really is, D.D. sounds some much like his other work and yet it still has the original feel from MJ’s version.
So cheers to The Weeknd and here’s to 2012! xoxo ❤
“I don’t know why we put things off, but if I had to guess, I’d have to say it has a lot to do with fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, sometimes the fear is just of making a decision, because what if you’re wrong? What if you’re making a mistake you can’t undo? …….. We have to make our own mistakes. We have to learn our own lessons. We have to sweep today’s possibility under tomorrow’s rug until we can’t anymore. ..That knowing is better than wondering, that waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beat the hell out of never trying.” – Grey’s Anatomy
“We all — in the end — die in medias res. In the middle of a story. Of many stories.” – Mona Simpson
Let me take you back to July 12th, when Netflix announced that it would be separating the pricing of its highly successful DVD service and its promising online streaming service. In the new pricing model, the price to both stream movies and rent 1 DVD would be $16/month, which is a 60% increase from the previous price of $10/month. Netflix’s consumers were outraged about this price increase and the took to social media and Netflix’s blog to voice their opinion. Of course like with any story there are two sides: 1. 60% is just a shocking percentage, it’s only $6 extra a month and not that many subscribers will end up leaving. 2. There is no way the average Netflix consumer is going to stand for this and a 60% increase in price is unacceptable. I personally was in the 2nd camp, I thought the company would be hemoraging subscribers when the price change took affect in September — I wasn’t too far off either.
Let’s fast forward to September 15th, the day Netflix announced that it was adjusting its 3rd quarter guidance numbers for its domestic subscribers, the previous numbers were off by 1 million total subscribers. After releasing the new numbers the stock price fell 19% that day to 169.25 which was a whopping 40% below the closing price on July 12 of 291.27. Hmm that’s interesting, I know we’re all wondering how could a great company like Netflix, with such promise for growth, in a mere 2 months find itself starting to etch its name on the tombstone next to Blockbuster. I’m sure the CEO and other executives were wondering the same thing; their solution to the problem you ask? For that we fast forward a few more days to today, September 19th, when in the early hours of the morning CEO, Reed Hastings, sent an email to the remaining customer base to “apologize” and explain the reasons for the change. In this letter Mr. Hastings admitted that he was wrong for the drastic price increase and for the way in which it was done. After the apology Mr. Hastings informs us that not only is the price here to stay but that Netflix is completely separating the streaming and DVD services and changing the name of the DVD service to Qwikster. But there’s good news too, you know that pretty red envelop that the DVDs come in? Well the envelop is still gonna be red, just the name and the website that you get them from is different and your reward for being a loyal customer is 1 charge from Netflix for the streaming service and 1 charge from Qwikster for the DVD service. Netflix’s customers of course were in even more of an uproar at this latest announcement; the blog post already has over 21,000 comments in less than 24 hours.
I don’t think many people will disagree that the future of Netflix lies in online streaming but I do think many people, including myself, will disagree with the haste in which Netflix is trying to separate its streaming and DVD rental services and I think they’re losing a lot of customers in the process. Don’t get me wrong, I love the streaming option and I think it has so much potential; I’m talking iTunes, let’s change the whole game, potential. But I have major issues with the lack of content available for streaming; I can only speak for me personally, but if I’m gonna pay for a movie rental service I want to be able to rent almost any movie I can think of including the newer movies. My friend nailed this issue as being “DVDs are declining but the content is high and streaming is growing, but the content is low”. I think most of the customers get that the increase in price will give Netflix more capital that can be used to purchase streaming content but why does the increase have to be so much? Why do the services have to be completely separate? I don’t have the answers but I am curious about the logic behind taking the brand name that they have built with the DVD service away from the DVDs and I don’t think keeping the red envelop is going to ease any frustration when you have to visit two websites to watch one movie. I hope for Mr. Hastings’ sake that I am completely wrong about the way this is all going down and that he, like Steve Jobs, knows the way that so many of us can’t see.
I read an article today that said President Barack Obama now has a Foursquare so that he can check in throughout his current bus tour. This really got me to thinking about how influential social media is going to be on the next election. I think what has made Obama so great is his ability to identify with the younger demographic (a little biased opinion since I fit the demographic). His campaign is definitely taking the steps necessary to ensure that Obama will have deep roots in various social networking site before the election rolls around. I think this is great for his campaign since so many young people are involved in social networking some way or another. With social networking setting up to become a battle ground in politics this coming election the fact that the Obama campaign is taking this seriously says to me that they are definitely not read to move out of the White House just yet. We will see just how important social media is in the coming months. I’m excited to see how this all folds out and I hope all of you are as well.
“Success is a journey, not a destination.”
So, this morning I woke and did my morning twitter check which, usually just involves late night tweets from my west coast friends. But today was different; today Kanye West graced the twitter world with his deep thoughts. He apologized to Taylor and the world 140 characters at a time. I not a big fan of him on twitter but today I was happy I was following him. So for those of you who don’t have a twitter or have one but don’t follow him here it is from start to finish. Enjoy.
Today I was watching a new episode of ESPN’s E:60 and they did a piece on US Soccer star Clint Dempsey. Now if you are like me and you have been following US Soccer over the past few years you would know how good Clint really is; but for those of you know that don’t check out the video after the jump of one of his amazing goals. Anyways, the piece on him was amazing because it just makes you realize that you don’t really know what it took for someone to get to where they are now. So since I can’t find the video of the E:60 segment I will just tell his story.
Clint grew up in a small town in Texas with siblings who all loved to play sports. Clint found that he had a passion for soccer and had aspirations to become a professional soccer player at a young age. So his parents enrolled him in the local soccer league; but before long his skill had outgrown the local talent. His parents then enrolled him in a soccer team in Dallas which was 3 hours away from their home. They would drive him to and from practice 3-4 times a week. But Clint wasn’t the only athlete in the house; his sister, Jennifer, played tennis for the high school. Their parents couldn’t financially support both Clint and Jennifer’s athletic interests, so Clint had to quit soccer so that they could focus on Jennifer’s tennis career. Soon after, at the age of 16 Jennifer collapsed from a fatal brain aneurysm. Soon after her death Clint resumed playing soccer but now with the drive and inspiration of playing in his sister’s memory. The rest is history, he worked his way through high school and college. He was drafted in 2004 by the New England Revolution and in 2006 the English Premiere League club, Fulham, offered the MLS $4 million for a transfer. Dempsey is now known as one of the elite players in the world. You can watch him competing for US in the World Cup beginning in June. For now you can watch the video (as promised) of the insane goal that Dempsey made in stoppage time to advance his team to the quarterfinals of UEFA Europa League. BTW Fulham also made it to the semifinals which begin this Thursday April 22.