Monday, April 28, 2014

Tim Sweeney at Beats in Space

If you spend any time at my house, you'll soon be exposed to Tim Sweeney at Beats in Space, a radio show mixed live every Tuesday night from 10:30 pm to 1:00 am on WNYU 89.1 FM. The weekly show has run without fail since its premiere in 1999.

This video was recorded during the FLOW Festival at the Boiler Room in Helsinki, Finland.

I often play this on my iPhone while walking around San Francisco.

On our music server at the house, my partner and I have nearly all of the BIS podcasts. Tim Sweeney has brought on his show so much amazing talent, it's nearly impossible to choose favorites, but here are mine:

BIS Radio Show # 769 - Part 1 Jamie Paton and Stuart Chuggy Leath

BIS Radio Show # 723 - Part 1 with Jamie XX (from The XX) and John Talabot

BIS Radio Show # 689 - Part 2 with Tim Sweeney

BIS Radio Show # 681 - Part 1 with Veronica Vasicka

BIS Radio Show # 638 - Part 1 with Breakbeat Lou - All vinyl 45's!

BIS Radio Show # 637 - Part 1 with Dukes of Chutney

Monday, April 21, 2014

MAD MEN: The Final Season

The first episode of the seventh and final season of AMC's Mad Men aired April 13, 2014.

Created and produced by Matthew Weiner, Mad Men has been one of my favorite series this century. Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is a fascinating, damaged character who seems split in two: his id does whatever and whomever it wants, while his ego – that part of him knowing right from wrong and guiding him through the mindfield of everyday living – has a powerful corrective effect on his self-destructive behavior with often spectacular results.

I love all of the other characters in the series, but especially adore Megan Draper (Jessica Paré), Don's wife so thoroughly a modern individual as Don is a man shaped by and chafing against the morals and mores of the first half of the twentieth century.

The gorgeous psychedelia of this final season promotional video suggests Don at last transcends the chaos of his destructive duality.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Demi Lovato on the Cover of the Mbashe Butterfly Issue of 360 Magazine

Volume 15 of 360 Magazine is now available at Magzter and Blurb!

Known as the Mbashe Butterfly issue, it features Demi Lovato, U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Zendaya, Lorde, Enrique Iglesias, Britney Spears, Pharrell Williams, Gary W. Goldstein and much more.

I wrote the piece on Gary W. Goldstein, about whom I also write in this post on the blog.

Demi Lovato discusses her current Neon Lights Tour, the reasons why she founded the Lovato Treatment Scholarship, and what's next for the popular singer/songwriter.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"Give Me One Reason:" Interview with Nisha Nandez

Last month, Nisha Nandez released her first music video, "Give Me One Reason," an outstanding cover of Tracy Chapman's classic, featuring guitarist Jason Richard.

I had to find out more about Nisha, whom I'd met through Twitter.

I checked out her album on iTunes and visited her website, where I learned she'd overcome serious personal tragedies in pursuit of her singing career, and that she is a retired U. S. Army officer, who sang in the army band during the first Gulf War.

I was happy when Nisha found some time between her music and MBA coursework for an interview.

I started with:

I really like your cover of "Give Me One Reason." How did you select this song for your first music video?

I enjoyed recording it with Jason Richard and AJ Mancabelli. After I released it on iTunes, I saw how much my fans enjoyed the song, too, so I decided it would be fun to shoot a music video for it. I’d already had so many people asking when I was going to release a video.

"Give Me One Reason" just seemed perfect.

You say on your site music has always been a part of your life. Who are your musical influences?

Primarily, my family. I come from a long line of musicians and singers. My father was a pianist. My mother’s side includes phenomenal singers.

Other influences range from Mozart and Beethoven (I’ve played the flute since I was 9 years old.) to Evanescence, P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, Justin Timberlake and Destiny’s Child.

I just love music. All styles and genres. I listen to music more than I watch television. [Laughter.]

You've been quite frank about the tragedies you've dealt with. What advice would you give someone finding their artistic dreams roadblocked by their current circumstances?

People too often come up with excuses for why they can’t accomplish their dreams or even pursue them.

The only thing that can stop you is yourself.

I’m a firm believer that all things are possible. The only direction is forward, even when life takes you back a few steps.

I've learned to see each obstacle as a learning experience, another great lyric, a steppingstone toward making me a better person. There's nothing I can't achieve if I put my mind to it.

And I believe that is true for everyone, when you just believe in yourself and your dreams.

What's next for you?

I'm writing more songs and looking into some ventures outside of music. I finally complete my MBA this summer and will put that to use. I’m considering going for my doctorate. Not yet sure about that, though. [Laughter.] Graduate school has been quite challenging.

I'm working with some great people toward a record deal that works both for me and the label.

Mike, I want to thank the people I’ve been so blessed to have worked with over the past year and a half, and who have stopped at nothing to support me, listening to me whine, complain and sometimes cry.

There are so many people in my life who have been awesome.

The ones who gave up on me, I thank them, too, because they made me stronger!

I’m so grateful for how well my music career has been going. I hope to bring more music to the world in 2014.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival presents the short film, Miss Finknagle Succumbs to Chaos, directed by Amy Harrison and written by Kirk Shimano.

Watch it now, as the festival is making the short available online for a limited time.

You can read the festival's interview with the director, when you jump here.

Miss Finknagle Succumbs to Chaos was originally produced for the PlayGround Film Festival, whose trailer I worked on and discuss in this post on the blog.

Wonderfully inventive, the short won best picture at the PlayGround Film Festival.

I look forward to more projects by director Amy Harrison and writer Kirk Shimano.