Enlightened Conflict

San Juan – So ready

July 10th, 2013

I am planning holiday pretty soon and as the title suggests, I’m heading to somewhere warm and inviting. So today’s selection is to put you too, somewhere warm and sunny and free of work.

Joe Claussell, has to be one of the most diverse Dj’s I’ve ever heard. Once you have read up on his back ground, take a listen to his music, I know you will be transformed as I have been …

See you on the beach

Peace and Blessings and Sand,

Dj Luv Dlux

[music-player]

Song of the Day – Boyfriend

April 19th, 2013

Being a non-top 40 radio guy, I really didn’t buy into the world that is Justin Beiber.  It was  really unbearable for me to listen to.

On the other hand, I’m very open to making bad music good. So world here is my offering of Justin Beiber -Boyfriend – Luv Dlux Feat- J-Dilla.


Peace and Blessings

Dj Luv Dlux

 

All Dollop-ed up with No Place to Go

September 27th, 2010

Well.
(this is how Bruce starts a lot of his posts, and I didn’t want to startle anyone since I’m just “guest-ing”)

Is it just me, or are women’s magazines really just ONE magazine with different covers?  Granted, there are a few exceptions out there (Oprah readers, just stand down…), but after a week cooped up with the world’s worst sinus infection and every magazine I could find, I can confirm that many, many, MANY women’s magazines are indeed little clones of each other.

Let’s run down the list.  Health news:  same.  Beauty news:  same.  Fashion highlights:  same.  Diet news:  same.   Pick up any June issue and I bet you find a “summer beach read” list.  With the same books!  Try November’s “stay on your diet for the holidays and gift giving guide” or January’s “get your life organized for pete’s sake” double jumbo issue.  And don’t get me started on the “get ready for your summer bikini” madness.

Another weird thing:  They use the same pep-talk-y happy/upbeat vibe, the same choppy sentence structure, the same weird words — seriously, when was the last time you used “dollop” in a sentence?

It’s bugging me.  Are these insanely narrow topics truly the only things women are interested in hearing about (month after month after month)?  Is my brain degenerating, insisting I consume magazine “junk food” to keep up with my cheddar cheese Goldfish habit?

So.
(another Bruce-ism to keep you comfy…)

In the true spirit of American protest, let’s send a letter:

Dear Clueless Editor People,

As  loyal readers who (for reasons unknown to herself or others) continues to plunk down $5 every month to read the EXACT SAME THING in every women’s magazine (seriously, how do you DO that?), and who are slightly ashamed to admit they read enough of your publications to make this request, we nevertheless hereby request an immediate BAN on the following:

ALL WEIRD WORDS
Slather, dollop, scrunch, quench, toss, slick, slake, frazzle, tresses (also “mane”), pop-of-color, sparkle, glide, frizz, spritz, dust, glam, smooth, sprinkle, glow, silky, drench, stress-busting, sun-kissed, (clearly this is a partial list…)

SNOOZER TOPICS
– Lose weight (in a second, a minute, whatever)
– Dress slimmer (in case the previous topic doesn’t work?)
– Just 5 minutes a day for “instant” results (for smooth skin, brighter eyes, better health, blah blah)
– Best beauty products (strange how the list CHANGES every month)
– Have better sex  (well…maybe this one is ok…)
– How to attract a boyfriend/spouse
– How to relate to your boyfriend/spouse
– How to break up with your boyfriend/spouse
– How to relate to your ex-boyfriend/ex-spouse
– Look younger now (!)
– Be happy now (!)
– Be friends with the mom/dad/family/in-law/children/best friend you hate
– Buy these crazy clothes in non-matching combinations no one would ever, ever wear out of the house.
– Pair the crazy clothes with shoes no sane, life-loving person would put on her feet
– Identify with all the 16 year old, size 0 models who do NOT look like any version of you who ever lived outside some alcohol-induced delusion.
– Etc. (you KNOW what we’re talking about!)

We realize this involves re-thinking 90% of your content, but zillions of women will thank you for not considering them lemmings headed toward the cliff whose happiness and self-confidence depends on losing 10 pounds in a day, looking 10 years younger right now, or having their thirst “slaked”, their moisturizer “slathered”, and their lip gloss “slicked”.

Sincerely,
The Women of America

And there you have it people.

You know, I really could be a modern day crusader — fighting for the right of smart women everywhere to choose and enjoy well-written, intelligent content.  I’m thinking I’m that one sheep in the Far Side cartoon, shouting out to the flock, “Wait! Wait!  Listen to me!… We don’t HAVE to be just sheep…”

On the other hand, I gotta go finish reading “Walk off your Jiggle” now.  Plus the Fall apple pie recipes are out and my cheddar cheese Goldfish just might make a nice crust.

Addictive song #2 from Owl City

April 28th, 2010

Owl City “The Bird and the Worm.”

Adam Young/Owl City

Ok. This song could possibly be called “part 2 of Fireflies” (because it just sounds like some producer said “hey can we cut out three and ½ minutes of that 7 minute firefly song you wrote and call it something and release it as a song?”).

But. It is just as addictive as Fireflies.

Now. I may have been tempted to call it something other than “The Bird and the Worm” but what the hell. This kid wrote most of these songs in his basement so he can call them anything he wants.

Anyway. If I was right about Fireflies being addictive (and I was as it worked its way to numero uno at one point) I am gonna be right on this one.

It’s fun. It’s catchy. It’s incredibly easy to listen to. It doesn’t have that same infectious hook that Fireflies has, but it is so frickin’ listenable all the way through its sickening. Happy. Bounces along and kind of makes you feel good about life.

“You and I left all our troubles far behind but I still just had one more question in mind”

It ain’t Mozart. It ain’t even U2. But is sure is addictive and fun to listen to. I can almost guarantee it will become a radio regular in the near future.

Some Brief Thoughts on the NCAA Tournament

March 19th, 2010

The first four days of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament have always been like a mini-holiday for me; as a huge fan of the sport, it’s something I look forward to for months.  I love the shear overload of games going on simultaneously, the matchups of powerful programs against unknown mid-majors, the chances for upsets, hell, even the camaraderie of a bunch of people hanging out in a sports bar taking a “long lunch” and playing hooky from work(I remember skipping some classes my senior year of high school to watch the early games on a Thursday afternoon).

I have to admit that due to the extremely disappointing season for my team, the UNC Tar Heels, I didn’t think I would be as in to the tournament this year.  I didn’t even fill out a bracket, which felt strange. And before you say it, yes, I know they won the National Championship last year, and I couldn’t be happier about that.  I don’t want to sound ungrateful for such a successful program, but maybe it’s that success that makes years when they don’t make the tournament that much harder.  Anyway, I decided to head to a local sports bar for lunch yesterday just to see if I could feel that spark again.

After about 5 minutes of watching three games simultaneously, I quickly regained that excitement(the ice cold Fat Tires I had didn’t hurt either).  In fact, in those three games I remembered exactly what I love about this tournament:

  1. The “One Fan from the underdog team”: Sixth seed Notre Dame was playing #11 seed Old Dominion.  Sitting by himself at the bar, a gentleman in an ODU t-shirt, focused intently on the TV above his head.  Unfortunately, the bar’s speaker system was switched to another game, so he just sat there in silence, clapping and cheering quietly under his breath every time his team pulled even or ahead of the Irish.  When the Monarchs pulled off the first upset of the day, several of us at the bar applauded, congratulating the guy sitting by himself in his ODU t-shirt.  As he left he told us, “I’ve got to get back to work, but I’m wearing my shirt at the office the rest of the day!”  You gotta love that.
  2. The “Almost Upset”:  With Robert Morris on the verge of knocking off #2 seed Villanova, you could almost feel the excitement running through the bar as everyone considered the implications of such a huge upset.  The general consensus was “it might really screw up my bracket, but I’d still love to see it happen.”
  3. The “I hate that team so I hope they lose”: Ok, this one might sound a little petty, but c’mon, we all do it.  We all have that team or teams we hate and love to see lose.  Well, for me one of those teams is Florida, and they were locked in a fairly awesome battle with #7 seed BYU.  By the time the second OT ended with BYU victorious, I was almost ready to move to Utah and become a Mormon.  Now, if The Golden Lions of Arkansas-Pine Bluff could only pull off a miracle against Dook later today…
  4. Well, after three games (and a couple of beers), my love for the NCAA Tournament was reaffirmed.  So the Heels aren’t in it this year…I can live with that.  And in fact, my alma mater is in the tournament for only the fourth time ever.  Yes, the UVM Catamounts will be trying to become the first 16 seed to ever knock off a 1 seed when they face Syracuse tonight, so history is not on their side…or is it?  In 2005 UVM pulled off a shocking upset of then #4 Syracuse.  I remember that well, as I was the guy sitting there in a UVM shirt, much like my buddy from ODU yesterday.  Well, at least I know what I’m wearing when I’m watching the games tonight.

when an Immutable Law is broken does it make a sound?

March 15th, 2010

So. In 1993 a pretty smart couple of guys wrote a book called The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing (the smart guys were Al Ries and Jack Trout).

Here are the first two of The 22 Immutable Laws:

1. It is better to be first than it is to be better.

2. If you can’t be first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in.

Uh oh. Apple has mastered making these laws unimmutable. (I am concerned that is not a word).

I am not sure people have noticed (because I believe when you break one of these laws they don’t make any sound) but Apple has been quite successful by not being first at anything they have done nor created any new categories. They have possibly become the absolute best “follower” in the history of business.

Apple is regularly voted the most innovative company in the world. But I am not sure that is the award they should be winning. Its inventiveness takes a peculiar form in that it is “renovation” rather than building. They should be voted the best “renovator” company in the world (boy, that sounds like a shitty award to win, huh?).

What do I mean? Rather than developing entirely new product categories Apple is excellent at taking existing ideas which may not be optimally implemented and showing the rest of the world how to implement them in a much more appealing way.

It has already done this three times.

The Apple Macintosh

In 1984 Apple launched the Macintosh. It was not the first graphical, mouse-driven computer, but it employed these concepts in a useful, pleasant appearance product (they kind of not only understand the usability function, but they also understood that their product – most often seen as a desk accessory – was a fashion statement for the user).

first generation ipod

In 2001, came the iPod. It was not the first digital-music player, but it was simple and elegant, and carried digital music into the mainstream (and once again they understood the “fashion” aspect of the product).

iPhone

In 2007 Apple launched the iPhone. It was not the first smart-phone, but Apple succeeded where other handset makers had failed, making mobile internet access and software downloads a mass-market phenomenon (and fashionable again).

As competitors rushed to respond to Apple’s approach, the computer, music and telecom industries were transformed.

iPad

Here comes their fourth attempt at renovation. The iPad — a thin, tablet-shaped device with a ten-inch touch-screen. Hey. Who knows if it will be successful. Apple has certainly had their share of failures but even in their failures they have been spectacular.

But this isn’t a post on whether they are good at these things. This is about Apple breaking Immutable Laws and being good at something else – Renovation.

So. In the end I believe I like, really like (although I don’t own an i-pod and I hate Macs), Apple because they are a renovator and not a builder (sort of like me but they are bigger and better than I am).

As a great ‘Renovator,’ Apple has this innate ability to identify the essence of an existing or emerging product category, identify the parts (or pieces…whatever) and then put usability at the core of these pieces, making them famous with a really cool façade feature. Somebody called it “re-hashing half baked concepts” but I call it Renovation.

Apple is the ultimate Renovator.

So. With all that said…I think that stupid sounding award I suggested earlier is a valuable award. And nothing to be embarrassed by. Being the best at something is nothing to be embarrassed by.

I vote for Apple as Renovator of the Year if not the century.

Concert Review: An Evening With Slowhand

March 12th, 2010

Clapton at the RBC Center, Raleigh 3.8.10.  Photo by John Rottet

A few weeks ago, I had written a post about the T-Mobile ad featuring Eric Clapton, and mentioned being a long-time fan of his music.  What I didn’t mention at the time was that I had never seen him live in concert.  As a self-admitted music fanatic, I’ve been fortunate to see most of my favorite artists in person at least once, so it always kind of bothered me that I had missed several opportunities over the years to see someone who was near the top of my list of music heroes.

I rectified that egregious error this past Monday night, when Clapton came to Raleigh, playing at the home of our spectacularly mediocre NHL team.  Adding to my anticipation of seeing Clapton, was that the opening act was another rock legend I’d never seen live, The Who lead singer, Roger Daltry (I’m still puzzled by the fact that someone of Daltry’s fame and stature would agree to be an opening act for anybody, but I’m not going to complain).

Unfortunately due to traffic, we missed most of Daltry’s opening set, arriving in our nose-bleed seats in time to catch only the last couple of songs, including one of my Who favorites, “Baba O’Riley”.  Wish we had seen more, but I have to say that it was pretty cool to actually see and hear Daltrey belt out that rock classic.

Clapton and his band took the stage a short time later, and jumped right into a 90 minute set of classics that spanned most of his over 40-year career.  The rollicking bluesy rock of “Tell The Truth” and “Key to the Highway” (songs from perhaps his finest album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs) reminded me of my exploration years ago of all of the amazing early blues legends who were themselves music heroes for Clapton: Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf.  The spine-chilling solo work during “Old Love” (from his late 80s Journeyman album), and the wild abandon he brought to the closer, “Crossroads” (a classic from his days with Cream) were perfect displays of the two sides of Clapton’s guitar virtuosity: on “Old Love”, there’s his signature tone. It’s been said that part of what makes a guitarist truly great is when you can recognize his playing without even being told who it is(think Hendrix, or B.B. King, or even Eddie Van Halen).  Thousands of guitarists play a Fender Stratocaster, but no one really quite replicates that “sound” (See also “Wonderful Tonight” for an example of that unmistakable tone).   On “Crossroads” you hear the ferocity and fluid technical ability of someone who is in perfect command his instrument, yet right on the edge of control. Kind of like a fighter pilot “pushing the envelope” of his aircraft.  Listen to the version of “Crossroads” on Cream’s album Wheels of Fire and you’ll have an idea of why kids in the sixties started spray painting “Clapton is God” on the walls throughout London.

There were many memorable moments throughout the evening, but I had to chuckle a bit when Clapton, during an acoustic set, launched into “I’ve Got A Rock N Roll Heart”, currently being used in the aforementioned T-Mobile campaign.  It had always been an obscure(albeit good) song, but apparently the commercial has helped expose it to a wide audience, as it got one of the biggest receptions (and sing-alongs) of the night.

Another great moment: Hearing “Wonderful Tonight” and almost unconsciously pulling my wife a little closer.  Yeah, the tune might be overplayed and almost cliché (I think it was the theme song of my Junior Prom), but it’s still one of the most romantic pieces of music I’ve ever heard (despite the fact that Clapton actually wrote the song in a moment of frustration, as he was waiting for his wife, who was taking forever to get ready for a party).

There’s something incredibly thrilling about seeing one of my favorite musicians/bands for the first time; the anticipation, the expectations, the sheer excitement of hearing those songs I love (and in the case of Clapton’s work, have loved for most of my life).  It’s the same feeling I had last year when I saw Bruce Springsteen for the first time, and U2 a few months later.  I can only compare it to the joy and excitement a child experiences on Christmas morning.  It’s sad that as we grow older, those moments become fewer and farther between.  I only hope I continue to find that same joy even 40 years or so from now as an old man at a rock concert…I mean, I haven’t seen the Rolling Stones yet, and I’m sure they’ll still be touring by then, don’t ya think?

The Requisite Super Bowl Ad Review

February 9th, 2010

I believe it is a requirement of every marketing/advertising blog to write something about the Super Bowl ads, usually first thing on Monday morning, following the big game.  Well, as Bruce told you yesterday, he was hanging out with his mom and didn’t watch the game, so I figured I should ensure he keeps his “Marketing/Advertising Blogger” street cred by supplying my own quick take on the best spot of Super Bowl XLIV.

My vote for best ad:  Google “Parisian Love :60”

Like every year, there were plenty of ads that made me laugh(Betty White and Abe Vigoda playing football!), plenty that left me scratching my head(the ‘86 Bears doing a remake of the Super Bowl Shuffle), and plenty that were just plain bad(everything ever done by Go Daddy…regardless of how hot Danica Partick is).  The Google ad was the only one that, after watching it, I said “wow, that was a great friggin ad.”  So many other spots were so focused on entertaining the audience or becoming the “watercooler conversation” the next day, that I hardly remember what it was they were supposed to be selling.  I know Doritios and Bud Light ran a ton of spots, and to me they were interchangeable; lots of frat boy humor and not a lot of substance.

If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.

-David Ogilvy

I think there are three things that make Google’s ad great: simplicity, focus on product benefit, and effective use of emotion.   It’s just the Google homepage(the definition of simplicity, by the way), and a demonstration of some of the many ways that its search capabilities can be used to make life easier/better.  No one is getting kicked in the groin, there are no talking babies, and Danica Patrick is no where to be found. Now, if all the ad did was show someone making a bunch of searches on Google, this would have been a supremely boring spot, but the use of the music and the clever theme to the searches (going to Paris, falling in love, starting a family) gives it the emotional boost that makes it resonate with the viewer.

You can say the right thing about a product and nobody will listen. You’ve got to say it in such a way that people will feel it in their gut.

-Bill Bernbach

I really don’t remember any other ads that were as successful in doing that.  So that’s my favorite spot from Super Bowl XLIV(I just love using Roman numerals), what did you think of that spot?  What was your favorite ad?  Any votes for the worst ad of the night?

Enlightened Conflict