State ‘rankings’ placing Florida last are based on thin air and snark

Florida Beach photo; Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Florida Flamingos; Florida Beach photo; Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Media are breathlessly touting results of state ‘rankings’ that place the state of Florida dead last in an analysis of states ranked from “best to worst.” The list started with the “worst.”

Headlines blared from eager media who probably are still smarting from Democrats’ loss in the Sunshine State in November, 2016. That’s beside the point, though.

What is inside the point is that media who deliver your evening news on traditional networks actually took these ‘rankings’ seriously.

These aren’t real ‘rankings’.  Continue reading “State ‘rankings’ placing Florida last are based on thin air and snark”

Erykah Badu gets an earful on social media after Vulture interview

Snip from Badu singing "On and On." [YouTube/Vevo]
Snip from Badu singing “On and On.” [YouTube/Vevo]
So many musicians these days get political, it’s hard to keep up. Most hail from one side of the aisle and follow party talking points.

Right now R&B singer Erykah Badu is getting an earful on social media after making remarks about her brand of humanism, including her assertion she saw “something good in Hitler.” The interview appeared on a site named Vulture. Continue reading “Erykah Badu gets an earful on social media after Vulture interview”

Frozen in Florida, but saved by an indie

space heater from Paschal Brothers in Jacksonville.
A beautiful sight: space heater from Paschal Brothers in Jacksonville.

You move to Florida, even in the northern part where I live, you pretty much take weather for granted. While it’s true we do have concerns during hurricane season, in our area we have been very lucky. Extreme weather events are rare here.

Until recently, we forgot what frozen felt like.

All that changed with this week’s weather. New Year’s was fun, but cold. When the temp drops into the 20s, you start to remember what real cold feels like.

When your HVAC system experiences sudden death, you really start to feel that real cold.

That’s what landed my husband and me at Wal-Mart late last night, in search of space heaters. “This is probably a fool’s errand,” I told him as we headed out. We did our best, but no one open at night had any heaters. By this morning, I felt sure no one in Jacksonville had any.

Little did I know we’d be saved by an indie business.  Continue reading “Frozen in Florida, but saved by an indie”

From Gunboat Diplomats, two songs released ahead of new album

Gunboat Diplomats album cover
Image: GunboatDiplomats.com

Gunboat Diplomats isn’t your typical band. As we reported in 2017, this band focuses on recording and distribution across various media instead of relying on group gigs to survive.

Our Christmas mail brought news of two songs Gunboat is releasing from the new album titled “Manifest Destiny.”  Continue reading “From Gunboat Diplomats, two songs released ahead of new album”

As holiday rush begins, Christmas Bird comes to visit

Christmas Wreath
Christmas wreath/Indie Art South

Every year I swear we will manage holidays better, and every year I fail. With Christmas approaching, our calendar is full of gigs, social events, and gatherings.

Most years we kick off Christmas on a quiet note. My husband and I decorate—well, I decorate and he assists with the hard stuff—and then we make coffee and a snack and walk around looking at our Christmas décor. We might watch a Christmas movie.

This year, our quiet moments were interrupted by a feathery visitor.  Continue reading “As holiday rush begins, Christmas Bird comes to visit”

With latest ‘sexcapade’ firing, do indies see opportunity ahead?

Lauer firing Twitter moments
Lauer’s firing topped social media on Wednesday. (Via @TwitterMoments)

As a long time observer and chronicler of culture, I’ve often wondered how much farther pop culture can descend.

Courtesy of the mass entertainment complex, we’ve been subject to mishaps with a bra on a Super Bowl stage, the perpetual dehumanization of the individual purely for sexual purposes, and a positively reviewed big film that begins with a child’s torture. Recently news feeds also brought breaking news on a Victoria’s Secret model who fell on the runway, “but recovered.”

I ask you. What else could she do? It’s strange that we focus on content like this when so much else is going on around the world.

We’re also subject to political speeches at various concerts whereby entertainers tow their party’s line and lecture the rest of us about our own beliefs.

Should we call for enacting standards? Continue reading “With latest ‘sexcapade’ firing, do indies see opportunity ahead?”

On music, LeBron James may be cheap, but freebies are irresistible

Spotify message
Spotify, like Pandora, has both a freebie and a budget-friendly premium version. (Snip: spotify.com)

Going unnoticed among the news gossip cycle is an interview a sports network presenter did with LeBron James. The interview sparked some commentary on a popular music site, leading to the conclusion James is “too cheap” to pay for streaming music.

As the interview disclosed, James still has “Pandora with commercials.”

How cheap is James, really?  Continue reading “On music, LeBron James may be cheap, but freebies are irresistible”

Mary J. Blige concert a bridge across the river ‘Turmoil’

Jen Day ThompsonBy Jennifer Day Thompson

I tend to avoid news sites. I even find myself staying away from social media some days. For a self-employed musician, social connections and engagement are everything. But every time I peruse Facebook or watch a local news broadcast, I’m bombarded with messages of hate and tragedy. I don’t report to an office each day.

My office is across the hall from my daughter’s bedroom. I may spend 3-4 days at home, working on music as I’m able while raising a two-year-old. When the end of the week arrives and our gig schedule kicks in, I venture out to towns in the  Southeast to make new friends and see old ones at our shows.  Continue reading “Mary J. Blige concert a bridge across the river ‘Turmoil’”