Sometimes I get lucky. I was super lucky this past Thursday as I got to attend to the SF Symphony Spring Gala. This is an event I wouldn’t think to attend but the opportunity to see an innovative and truly talent artist like Monae with a symphony was a rare opportunity. Her music is theatrical and cinematic and I knew with the SF Symphony it would be a great performance and experience. It was an impressive sight to see the whole symphony on stage along with her band of talented musicians.
Monae was amazing. She has such a great voice and puts on an excellent show. Her love of theater comes through in her dynamic performances. The energy she brings to her singing and dancing makes her so much fun to watch. It is so exciting to see her dance moves. You can see the James Brown and Michael Jackson in her moves.
She opened with Smile, a beautiful poignant song based on the instrumental from Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times. I wonder if she is basing her interpretation on Michael Jackson or Nat King Cole. I have a lot of questions for her. I would love to Terri Gross her for more than 15 minutes.
The best part for me was her beautiful introduction to the song ‘Cold War’. She dedicated to those in the audiences that working to being their own unique person resisting the pressures to conform and appreciating themselves for who they are.
Below is the video for ‘Many Moons’ from her first album ‘Metropolis: The Chase Suite’. I knew I would really like the album once I learned the album was built around Metropolis the 1927 silent film. I love the aesthetics and the message of the film. The film is perfect since social inequality in the U.S. is at an all time high and very similar to the social conditions of 1927. I was glad to see she continues to use the Metropolis concept and aesthetic in QUEEN with Erykah Badu.
Are you a taker or giver?
First let me explain…For the last 3 years I have been quietly thinking about collaboration and how important it is to accomplishing great things. It was set off by an interview with Mark Moffett, the ant guy. He talked about ant communication and collaboration. Ants are tiny but they get together and do tremendous things for their small size.
I continued to think about collaboration when came across different articles related to it like Jonah Lehrer’s New Yorker piece “Kin and Kind” on the debate over the role of altruism on evolution and Martin Nowak’s Scientific American article “Why We Help”. Maybe it is all about the survival of the fittest and most cooperative.
Then this past March I read an article in the New York Times called “Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead?” I didn’t get the chance to finished the article but I was fascinated by the piece’s description of Adam Grant. He is a young highly productive professor who makes the effort to help students and colleagues or connects them with others who can help. It turns out that giving (with some healthy boundaries of course) is beneficial, motivates and can lead to greater personal success. Would the possibility of a big payoff encourage more people to collaborate with others as well as connect others? The comments by readers are interesting and insightful. Women and men with children point out the problems with his theory while others share their work experience that contradicts his studies.
Below is a NYT video interview link with Adam Grant talking about his book “Give and Take” and explaining what is a giver, taker and matcher.
What are you – a giver, taker or matcher? Were you a giver but got burned so now you help no one or you require immediate payment – quid pro quo style? Or did a bad giving experience it turn you into a taker?
To support Arts in the Schools Grant Program, the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council is putting on The Big Draw Chalk Festival May 10 & 11th, 2013 in Downtown Pleasanton. It is an opportunity to watch professionals create chalk drawings and make your own.
The amazingly creative group I work with put together this great video for The Big Draw. It is under a minute and charming.
Follow us on Twitter @PleasantonArts#drawninchalk#pleasanton#chalk
Share the video and post it on your friend’s FB pages especially if they live in the Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore area.
You have been accepted to the Intensive One Year MBA and yes, that would be the appropriate reaction. You have just signed yourself up for a ton of work – not only did you volunteer but you are paying to have a fire hose of information crammed down your throat in one year. Congratulations! You are a smartypants and a masochistic.
Enough of my sarcasm – the MBA program can be a roller coaster ride but it can be less stressful if you do your best to follow the advice below.
Reduce your stress
Group Work Advice
8. You need to learn how to work in a group. First start by understanding your individual work process. This is important for working in groups. You can’t figure out how to work with people if you don’t understand yourself.
9. Eventually, you will take a class that provides a framework for how to work with a team. Instead of waiting for that class, I recommend you establish within your team agreements on how to work with each other. Are there rules for how to express criticism of a teammate’s idea without offending the teammate? Is everyone comfortable with giving and accepting criticism?
10. Break up the group project into steps or pieces that can be tackled one at time. It can help make the project less daunting.
11.Set up different deadlines for each phase of the project. Make sure everyone agrees to the time line and is committed to meeting the group deadlines. See advice #2 and #6
12. Finally, it is a good idea to do your reading so you are prepared in case a professor calls on you.
I think that is enough advice. It can be tough to implement just 2 two of the items listed above much less 12 but that is grad school and life – juggling competing priorities and deadlines.
Hey Kids! Check out the piece in the SF Guardian about Surya Dub coming back. You can tune to Kush and Maneesh on Monday, July 23, 2012 when Surya Dub takes over Off the Beaten Path.
Brownout is on a West Coast Tour appearing at the Elbo Room this Friday with support by DJ Oz & Chucha Santa Maria. I caught some of their set at the Roxy. They sound real good & tight together which can be hard for six or more musicians to accomplish. If funk is your thing you will probably dig Brownout.
For the new A Tribe Called Red Album click here:
If you have ever gone to a Pow Wow and ever wanted to remix the Pow Wow drummers, this is the album for you!
Off The Beaten Path with Victoria Z on KPFA 94.1FM for February 20, 2012
Artist Song Album Label Year
Ana Tijoux / Shock / La Bala / Nacional
Ana Tijoux / Si Te Preguntan f. Los Aldeanos / La Bala / Nacional
Ani DiFranco / Promiscuity / Which Side Are You On? / Righteous Babe
Ani DiFranco / Which Side Are You On? / Which Side Are You On? / Righteous Babe
Balkan Beat Box / Part of the Glory / Give / Nat Geo Music
Balkan Beat Box / Enemy in Economy / Give / Nat Geo Music
Novalima / Festejo / Karimba / ESL Music
Novalima / Zarambe / Karimba / ESL Music
Bill Ortiz / I Still Believe (Montgomery Bus Mix) / Winter in America / Left Angle
X-Pensive Nframa / Aundy Adoley( Douster Remix) / Aundy Adoley / Akwaaba Music
Stand High Patrol / Entertainer / Midnight Walkers / Stand High
Maribou State / Got Me Down Jason Burns Remix) / /
Bro Safari & le Doom / Boink / Da Worm / Jeff002
Boogaloo / Xibaba (so shifty remix) / Xibaba / top billin
Dubmatix / Easy Down (Marcus Visioniary) / unreleased
Applescal / el diablo / /
Mak & Pasteman / Playboy / Playboy / Hot n Heavy
Ras Zacharri + Roommate / The Place feat Chezidek / single / Avacaudio
santero feat illaman / we bring da vibes / we bring the vibes ep / santero music
Off The Beaten Path with Victoria Z on KPFA 94.1FM for February 13, 2012
Artist / Song / Album / Label / Year
Jorge Drexler / Soledad f. Maria Rita / 12 Segundos De Oscuridad / Warner Latina
Andrea Echeverri / Quitapesares / Dos / Nacional
Ana Tijoux / Sacar La Voz f. Jorge Drexler / La Bala / Nacional
Novalima / Cardo / Afro / Quango
Brazilian Girls / Sirenes De La Fete / Brazilian Girls / Verve
Nickodemus & Osiris / Mariposa (Bonita Fly Mix) / Turntables on the Hudson Vol 4 / Giant Step
Los Rakas / Abrazame f. Faviola / single / Soy Raka LLC
Boogat / Dos Cervezas / Pura Vida / Masalacism
PPP / On a Cloud / Abundance / Ubiquity
Sola Rosa / Turnaround f. Iva Lamkum / Get It Together / Melting Pot
Bonobo / Eyesdown f. Andreya Triana (Warrior One Remix) / Black Sands / Ninja Tune
Fat Freddy’s Drop / This Room / Based on a True Story / Quango
Creep / Animals f. Holly Miranda / single / Creep Intl
Creep / You f. Nina Sky (Subswara Remix) / single / Creep Intl
DJ Rekha & Dave Sharma / Pyar Baile f. Zuzuka Poderosa & Meetu Chilana / single / Beat Bazaar Music
DJ Rekha & Dave Sharma / Bhanghall / Basement Bhangra / Koch
Guillermo Gomez Pena / Greg Landau Hipsterismo 4 Round Whirled
Novalima / Zarambe / Karimba / ESL
J Boogie / Blue Mountain Dub f. Jazz Mafia / Undercover / OM
Massive Attack / Girl I Love You f. Horace Andy / Heligoland / Virgin
Pretty Lights f. Leann Rimes & Dr. Ralph Stanley / Wayfaring Stranger / Re:Generation / Greenlight
Skrillex f. members of the Doors / Breakin’ a Sweat / Re:Generation / Greenlight
Anna Sia & Ill Gates / Gene Splice / single / Muti
Beats Antique / Alleyway / Elektrafone / Antique Music