Yondr: Better concert experience or going a bit overboard?

Yondr is a San Francisco-based startup that offers a solution to annoying mobile phone addicts at concerts, comedy shows, and even schools. You can even use their system for your wedding or bar/bat mitzvah to keep people from posting unflattering candid pictures online or browsing the internet when they should be paying attention.

They created this pouch that you lock your phone in for the duration of the event. You keep the pouch with you at all times. It can be unlocked with a special device, kind of like the ones shops use to remove anti-shoplifting tags, and used in a designated area, like the lobby.

While it has been around for a few years, I just recently heard about it because a musician on my Facebook newsfeed shared a post mentioning that Jack White is banning phones at his shows with the help of this system.

This got me thinking…

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What’s in my makeup bag?

I was inspired by Nallie to write this blog post. Check out her blog! She writes a lot about mod and vintage style and fashion. She has great dress sense and she’s really cool!

Over the years I have improved my makeup skills and felt that it is worth it to buy more expensive makeup. I used to be so bad at makeup that I would hardly wear it and that times I would wear it, my eyeliner looked cringey. You’ll find pictures if you scroll back far enough on my Instagram or Facebook profile.

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Austin Powers: The movie that changed my life

Crazy on Classic Rock: Origins Part 2

Austin Powers came out on 2 May 1997. At the time I was almost 3. While I loved comedy at that young of an age, I don’t think I would have understood it then. My sense of humour then was watching America’s Funniest Home Videos until late at night. My mum has home videos of me laughing at that show. The first real comedy film I liked was Rush Hour with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker and I liked it when it came out, back in 1998. My favourite line was “push the goddamn button!” I was 4 then. When I was about 10-12, I adored movies like The Naked Gun, Mrs Doubtfire, and National Lampoon’s Vacation. So I have a long history of comedy being my favourite genre.

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Review: “Here Comes Spring” by The Keepers

The Keepers are a four-piece Indie and Mod inspired band from Northampton, England. They are made up of Jordan Jones – guitar and lead vocals, Liam Taylor – guitar and backing vocals, Oli Rumens – bass, and Taylor Hart – drums. Jordan Jones founded the band in 2015 and the band released their debut EP, No Exit, in October of that year. You can find it on Soundcloud or buy it on iTunes. One year later, they released the single, “Lancashire Rose,” which has a psychedelic sound with a touch of punk. You can listen to it on Spotify or buy it on iTunes.

The band will debut their follow up single, “Here Comes Spring,” on the radio on the 5th of May and release it on the 9th of June.

The single has a psychedelic, droning, polished sound reminiscent of Temples and The Urges. It shows a growth and evolution in their sound since their debut EP, sounding more complex and layered. It has an energetic, garage rock feel and will make you feel like it’s the late 60s again. The vocals by Jordan Jones have a Britpop and British Indie sound, the guitars by Jordan Jones and Liam Taylor have a psych sound and they work well together, and the rhythm section by Oli Rumens and Taylor Hart is solid, adding layers to the song.

The artwork for the single, which has a beautiful, trippy film photography look, fitting perfectly with the sound of the song, is by Jordan’s girlfriend Nallie.

Overall, I would give this single 5 stars and I am looking forward to future work by the band and I see them making it big in the psych scene. Give The Keepers a listen! You won’t regret it!

Update: The Keepers debuted their single on BBC Introducing in Northampton on 29 April. Click here to listen to the programme.

Opinion: Is Record Store Day just a “Black Friday” for Record Stores?

This year is the 10th anniversary of Record Store Day. For those who don’t know what Record Store Day is, it’s on a Saturday in April (and there’s a Black Friday Record Store Day too, but it’s not the main record store day) dedicated to supporting your local record store. Most cool record stores will have local musicians perform and the shops sell limited edition reissues of records, many times on coloured vinyl or on picture discs. Sounds pretty cool, right? It’s always great to support small businesses rather than Walmart.

Coloured vinyl looks pretty cool and I can see why that’s an appeal. Take a look at this early 80s intro for Top of the Pops. If you want to see the behind the scenes intro for it, click here to watch it. I love the colours and the theme song, has to be one of my favourites along with the “Whole Lotta Love” intro in the 70s.

But why do I have issues with Record Store Day?

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Being a woman who loves classic rock and talking about it on air

This is the first post of a two part series I call The Diversity of Classic Rock: Origins where I talk about how this came about and a little bit of my life story, when it’s related to classic rock. Something that wouldn’t fit on an about page.

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Classic Rock: More diverse than the US Presidents?

In the nearly two years I’ve been writing The Diversity of Classic Rock, I can confidently say that classic rock is more diverse than the US Presidents. As far as religion, definitely. The US has never had a Jewish president, Muslim president, Atheist president, Buddhist president, or Hindu president. I can think of quite a few rockers who are Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, or Hindu. As far as ethnicity, definitely. All but one president were white. Let’s take a look at Ultimate Classic Rock’s Top 100 Classic Rock Artists. How many are non-white or mixed? Let’s count!

  1. Phil Lynott – Thin Lizzy – half black, half Irish
  2. Tommy Bolin – James Gang – half Syrian, half Swedish
  3. Tetsu Yamauchi – Faces – Japanese
  4. Ronnie Wood – Faces/Rolling Stones – Romani
  5. Tico Torres – Bon Jovi – Cuban-American
  6. Sammy Hagar – Montrose/Van Halen – Lebanese-American
  7. Randy Castillo – Motley Crue – part Hispanic and Native American
  8. Tiran Porter, Cornelius Bumpus, and Willie Weeks – Doobie Brothers – Black
  9. Robert Plant – Led Zeppelin – half Romani
  10. Alice Cooper – part Native American
  11. Carlos Santana – Mexican
  12. Randy Jackson – Journey – Black
  13. Arnel Pineda – Journey – Filipino
  14. Royce Jones – Steely Dan – Black
  15. Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson, Lamar Williams, Oteil Burbridge, – Allman Brothers Band – Black
  16. Marc Quiñones – Allman Brothers Band – Puerto Rican
  17. Jerry Garcia – Grateful Dead – Hispanic (technically of Spanish European descent.)
  18. Rickey Medlocke – Lynyrd Skynyrd – Native American
  19. Slash – Guns N’ Roses – half Black, half British
  20. Freddie Mercury – Queen – Parsi Indian
  21. Robbie Robertson – The Band – First Nations (Native Canadian)
  22. Jimmy Crespo – Aerosmith – Puerto Rican
  23. Kirk Hammett – Metallica – Filipino
  24. Robert Trujillo – Metallica – Mexican and Native American
  25. Eddie and Alex Van Halen – Van Halen – part Indonesian
  26. Jimi Hendrix – Black and Native American

Granted, classic rock is a much bigger pool than say the US Presidents, of which there have been 44 from 1789 to the current year, 2017. The top 100 classic rock artists list isn’t an exhaustive list of all classic rock musicians and is just a little taste of the great music of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Even thinking beyond ethnicity, classic rockers are diverse in other ways like sexual orientation, gender identity, and class.

I made these infographics below to show the lack of diversity in US Presidents. The lack of diversity is not something that should come as a surprise, given America’s long history of racism. Slavery, manifest destiny, The Trail of Tears, segregation, Jim Crow, the KKK, voter suppression, immigration quotas, employment discrimination, housing discrimination, Native American boarding schools, internment camps, economic inequality, stereotypes, and hate crimes are just some of the forms of racism perpetrated in the country.

Note: On the infographic that says 10 Notable Candidates for President, this is just about them being the first (insert ethnicity/group here) to run for president – just facts. Their political views are not going to be discussed. This infographic isn’t claiming that these candidates lost because of their gender or ethnicity. 

12The Presidential Race- Lack of Diversity in US Presidents.png4

America wasn’t always as diverse as it is today. According to historical records, the US was 80% white in 1790, hovering anywhere from 81-87.5% white in the 19th century, and it wasn’t until the 2000 Census that the percentage of white Americans fell below 80%.

Why the lack of diversity in presidents? This is why I took a look at voting rights. For centuries, non-white Americans were not allowed to vote. The 15th Amendment, on paper, was supposed to prohibit racial discrimination in voting, but in practice, it was a different story.

Black Americans were unequivocally granted full citizenship in 1868 with the 14th Amendment. Native Americans born in the US were not granted citizenship until 1924 with the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924. Asian Americans struggled for decades because the laws failed to account for people who were neither black nor white. Cases such as Ozawa v United States and United States v Bhagat Singh Thind are examples of Asian-Americans who immigrated to the US and could not be naturalised and the courts ruled that Japanese people and Indian (Asian) people could not be naturalised. It wasn’t until 1952 that the laws prohibiting Asian-American immigrants from becoming citizens and alien land laws (a form of discrimination that discouraged Asian immigrants from settling permanently by limiting their ability to own property) were ruled unconstitutional. Mexican-Americans were at one point considered white because many were of Spanish descent. However, since at least the early 20th century, Mexican-Americans were discriminated against with unequal pay, housing discrimination, and employment discrimination.

What if you were mixed? There was the one-drop rule, which said if you were, for example, 1/8 or 1/4 black, you were classified as black even if your skin was pale. For example, my grandfather was half black, this makes me 1/8 black. I would be classified as black during Jim Crow even though I have pale skin and wavy hair. However, many white-passing people lied if they could in order to survive. A lot of how you were treated depended on appearance. There is no one look to being mixed.

In many states, anti-miscegenation laws were passed, meaning that interracial marriages were criminalised. Even in states where there were no laws against interracial marriages, you’d be considered an outcast for dating someone of a different ethnicity. Landmark civil rights decision in Loving v Virginia (1967) struck down laws against interracial marriages.

In the case of Southern and Eastern Europeans, the Immigration Act of 1924 limited the number of admitted immigrants from those regions. Here is an article that talks about Italian-Americans and the discrimination they faced. Polish-Americans and immigrants from Poland faced a lot of discrimination as well, with jokes and stereotypes, employment discrimination, and politicians making racist comments about them. There was also a lot of anti-Catholicism in the country. Here’s an article about how various European immigrant groups in America went from being considered as “other” to being considered “white.”

The election of Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 was proof that the country has the potential to move towards diversity in elected officials. There are a few things to question: Why are there so few women in the House of Representatives and the Senate? Do women have little interest in being politicians? Are schools discouraging women to be in politics? Do voters have sexist attitudes?

Why are there few Black, Hispanic, and Asian Representatives and Senators? How many are running for the House or Senate? If they were unsuccessful in running for office, why? Are racist attitudes to blame? Or is it that voters just liked another candidate better?

We also cannot forget local politicians, who affect peoples lives more directly. People care the least about these elections and care more about the President, who at the end of the day doesn’t do as much directly. There’s a lot more to look at with the diversity of the government. The President is just one person.

Don’t just vote for someone for their gender, religion, or ethnicity. Vote for them because you like their ideas, because you think they would be the best choice. Politicians: give people a reason to vote for you. Don’t throw the average people under the bus, it can hurt as we saw with Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

My experience living overseas: Holidays and Homesickness

Not too long ago, I wrote about classic rockers who were immigrants. That post was all about the classic rockers. I don’t like talking too much about myself on my Diversity of Classic Rock posts because it’s all about the classic rockers. “Who me? I’m just a worm,” to quote Labyrinth. I felt like writing a Christmas related post this year because I haven’t been feeling the best emotionally. 2016 has been one crazy, rollercoaster of a year. It’s been a sad year politically with Brexit and Donald Trump. A sad year in classic rock history because of the loss of so many classic rock legends.

Has the year been only bad? No, of course not. For me, it’s been good. I have moved back in with my boyfriend. I got to travel a bit, not as much as last year, but still I got to go to New York and Los Angeles and hang out with some really cool friends. I made some great friends in my Journalism Masters and learnt so much from them. I have learnt so much more about classic rock. I also have been writing a good bit about things that aren’t classic rock. My hair has grown a good bit from a bit past shoulder length to chest length. Here’s to it being waist length in the new year! Okay, maybe it’s a stretch to expect my hair to grow that much, but I can dream.

Let’s get on to the real topic of the blog since I always end up rambling. Living overseas, so far away from family isn’t easy. I miss a lot of things. I miss my family. I miss my mum’s cooking. I know I can’t just wake up, get out of bed and say good morning to my parents. At least not without looking stupid. I am far away from pretty much everyone in my family. I miss all the holiday celebrations and the road trips. I have no idea when I’ll visit again.

Continue reading “My experience living overseas: Holidays and Homesickness”

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