Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Music is Life is Music: Grammy Contemplations


Campaign Creative Features GRAMMY Nominees Arcade Fire, Justin Bieber, Eminem, Cee Lo Green, and Katy Perry

Interactive Web site — MusicIsLifeIsMusic.com — and MusicMapper App Lets Artists and Fans Map and Share Their Musical Journeys Through Social Networking and Geolocation, While Augmented Reality and QR Codes Unlock Exclusive GRAMMY Content

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (January 24, 2011) — The Recording Academy® and TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles unveiled MusicIsLifeIsMusic, a cutting-edge and inventive promotional campaign for the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards®, airing live on CBS Sun., Feb. 13, 201l, 8 – 11:30 p.m. ET/PT. The campaign — which features print, outdoor, digital, TV, an interactive microsite (http://www.musicislifeismusic.com/), and the MusicMapper app — celebrates the songs that have had significance in one's life and the places connected to those songs. Utilizing social networking and geolocation, music fans can then map out their musical journeys and share them with others. This marks the fourth year in a row that TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles and The Recording Academy have partnered on the advertising for the annual GRAMMY Awards telecast.

The MusicIsLifeIsMusic Print and Out of Home creative broke last week (along with wild postings, digital and GRAMMY partner activation) and features GRAMMY nominees Arcade Fire, Justin Bieber, Eminem, Cee Lo Green, and Katy Perry. Earlier this month, 11-time GRAMMY winner and current 10-time nominee Eminem kicked off the first in a series of three GRAMMY promotional TV spots and the second one, with current four-time nominee Katy Perry, just debuted. The commercials are an illustrated interpretation of each artist's life and a journey through their musical and personal milestones. A third TV spot with another GRAMMY winner and current nominee will hit shortly.

"MusicIsLifeIsMusic tells the stories of both nominees and music fans, celebrating the songs that mean the most to us and the places where we connect with them," said Evan Greene, Chief Marketing Officer of The Recording Academy. "This year's campaign really emphasizes the social and mobile music experience, and allows music fans to connect with each other in a way like never before. We are grateful to our friends at TBWA\Chiat\Day for their ongoing partnership and collaboration, and to HTC and Rdio for their support on this year's campaign."

Patrick O’Neill, Executive Creative Director at TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles said, "The best parts of our lives are connected to music, and amazing tracks help define those unique moments. The MusicMapper app brings geolocation and music together in a fresh, engaging way. It's like your audio autobiography."

Through musicislifeismusic.com and the MusicMapper application, which was developed in partnership with HTC MobilityNOW (www.htcmobilitynow.com), fans worldwide are able to connect songs with places and their special memories in a way never before possible. The mobile application — available now for Apple's iPhone and Google's Android — lets the user drop a virtual pin to a specific location using Google Maps, select a song through social music service Rdio (http://www.rdio.com/), and tag a note describing how that song and location defined a special moment in his/her/their life. This can then be shared by posting to a Facebook profile or Twitter account. The application also provides a direct link to each song within Rdio where users can add it to their collection or playlists, or sync it to their mobile phones for offline playback. Additionally, Katy Perry appears in a demo video showing users how the MusicMapper application works, and her musical journey on musicislifeismusic.com reveals some of the songs and artists that have had a memorable impact on her life and career, such as: how Queen's "Killer Queen" changed her life; how "Karma Police" reminds her of sneaking into a Radiohead concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl; how she was inspired to write "California Gurls" after hearing "Empire State Of Mind" at a party; and how she has the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds song title "(Are You) The One That I've Been Waiting For" engraved on the inside of her engagement ring.

Not only will users have the opportunity to map their own musical journey, they will be able to explore other MusicMapper tags through an augmented reality view that provides an innovative, real-life glimpse at how "music is life is music." By using a mobile device camera, users can see others' tags, Flickr photos, and Foursquare check-ins associated with a space when they enter said space. Additionally, fans have the ability to unlock exclusive GRAMMY content, based on their physical location as determined by SimpleGeo. Via a QR code reader on all print material and outdoor advertisements, users may access eight full-length GRAMMY performances from past shows including: Mary J. Blige's "No More Drama"; Coldplay's "Viva La Vida"; LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out"; MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This"; Ricky Martin's "La Copa De La Vida"; Radiohead's "15 Step"; Smashing Pumpkins "1979"; and Tina Turner's "What's Love Got To Do With It."

For more information on the 53rd GRAMMY Awards and the "MusicIsLifeIsMusic" campaign, please visit: http://www.grammy.com/ or http://www.musicislifeismusic.com/, and download the MusicMapper app through iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/musicmapper/id407243114?mt=8) or Android (www.appbrain.com/app/musicmapper/com.xtreme.grammy). For GRAMMY coverage, updates and breaking news, please visit The Recording Academy®'s social networks on Twitter and Facebook: www.twitter.com/thegrammys, www.facebook.com/thegrammys.

About The Recording Academy

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Contemplations of Forgiveness: The key to our spiritual liberation

Today's contemplation is completely random and is a result of running into Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor who tended to Michael Jackson (or not) in MJ's last hours. Dr. Murray is a major part of today's headlines as he undergoes a preliminary hearing to find if there is enough evidence to put him on trial for involuntary manslaughter of Michael.

I was running around church executing my duties for the day when one of the members asked me if Dr. Murray was one of the souls who answered the altar call. I did not know. I did not see. I was busy working as I had already attended the early service. I remember the question gave me pause for some reason. I asked her where he was. She said in the prayer room. I told her that I had not seen him and went on about my business... A few minutes later, I found myself briefly eye to eye with the man... Dr. Conrad Murray.

The feeling was kind of eerie as our eyes locked briefly. He actually acknowledged me. He smiled and waved. I waved back, but my brain was suddenly flooded with thoughts... whoa, this is the guy who killed Michael Jackson!! He was the doctor on scene!!! Is he a quack? Is he even a real doctor??? This dude killed the King of Pop!!!! Who does he think he is to come into our church??? how convenient!! but then again, if not here... where?? How many times have I come to the church filled with tears and remorse asking God's forgiveness?? or His protection? Was Dr. Murray coming to the Lord for the first time??? Or was he asking forgiveness and protection??? Was he returning to the Lord after being away?? or was he already deep into the Lord's arms and rededicating his life... I guess the circumstances of his life are the prime setting for spiritual redemption. After all, this is what church is for.....

The encounter stimulated a tweet:
hannibalradio Greg J
#ConradMurray in church today.... is it time to forgive? This is my contemplation... I am still trying to come to terms that he killed #MJ
I began to contemplate the essence of forgiveness. I admit I was a little alarmed at my feelings. I really was angry with this man. The testimony I have heard infuriates me and I would like to know what really happened and why? But nonetheless, as a Man of God, I realize that I have to forgive this man. Then I started to see that he needs God to stand with him in this time of his life... He needs his love, his protection, his essence. Even if the man is guilty, he needs the Lord...
I began to remember that the Bible speaks of forgiveness from cover to cover and most potently, for me at least, in the Gospel of Mark:
Mar 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Mar 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
It should be noted here that I am not judging Dr. Murray. I pray for justice and that the system will reveal the truth. My angst and analysis against Dr. Murray are no more than the rants of an MJ fan. I do not know him and his acquittal or conviction will not weigh heavily in my life. However, my encounter causes me to take inventory of my own life's issues. In my walk am I forgiving enough? Yes, there are issues that are completely difficult to resolve because of my reluctance to forgive. This reluctance is a hindrance in my quest to walk closer with the Almighty.

I heard a sermon once that I still play from time to time. The preacher says that "unforgiveness is a prison that one can find difficult to escape".... wow.

Forgiveness is the key to our total and complete spiritual liberation.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Contemplations of Kinship: It is what it is.....

I have been hearing and noticing the increased number of people who've had to take custody of their children's children. I've heard the stories. I've heard the issues. But never in my consciousness ever believed it would happen to me....

Incidents of abuse and neglect perpetrated against my daughters children have promulgated a case file with the county authorities in my hometown. At the request of these authorities I attended a meeting/hearing that revealed to me that which I already knew in my heart. I had to take custody and guardianship. It was an all or nothing proposition. The authorities were saying that the only way to keep them from making the children wards of the state would be my willingness to take the kids. Dag... It is what it is....

Now, this scenario would severely rearrange my lifestyle. I am a very social person. My profession demands it.... I have been able to come and go, attend every event, concert, mixer, party that I wanted to without having to worry about childcare or children. Even as I have been married for over twenty years, we do not have children around us.... We live a very active, adult lifestyle. Children in our home would fundamentally change how we lived our lives. Yes, it changes things, but never never never would I allow the system to take my grandchildren.

And so, I have them. Two precocious 8 year olds... They are identical twins with a lot going for them. Almost immediately, we can see the change in attitude... there is a discernible difference in how they walk, talk and even approach their studies. We have introduced them to the action of the Pentecostal church. And the love they have received from our friends and church family has been mind boggling. even overwhelming. It is an altogether positive life experience. It is what it is....

And now, the reality of the situational economics rears its head. But hey, we gotta do what we gotta do to survive. It is what it is.... We've reached out to the county authorities and other so called resources. Some have been helpful, others less than. But nonetheless, we have to  complete massive paperwork, a LOT of bureaucracy and some headache. Can you say major hassle??? I am doing the best I can. It is what it is....

In the process, I have learned that this new role we have assumed is called kinship. Kinship....  They say that more and more grandparents are stepping up to raise their children's children. I am running into so many people who say they are also in the same situation. Grandparents who should be enjoying their life, are now having to do it all over again... raising children. Do we get the same rights? Is the system against us? Not really, but they don't make it easy. It is what it is.... or is it?????

I need some assistance with food. I need some support. What can the system offer? What if I make too much to get assistance? What are my options? Health Care? Do I add them to my health insurance? Can I get some ObamaCare? What about dental? What are my options....??

I want to keep them active. And so bills for Boys and Girls Club, sports, Boy Scouts, etc. so on and so forth are piling up.... But the investment is sound. and I am willing to invest the time into supporting their activities. It is what it is....

And so as I stand up and be there for these young boys, I know that my life's plan into this New Year is different. I have to make amendments to how I do things. How I look at things. How I move forth from this time forward. Things are different. It is what it is.

I have to learn to control my feelings of anger and disappointment with my daughter. The anger is completely non-productive with what we need to do with the boy' s life. In fact, I don't really know how to deal with the boy's mom. I don't need the stress she brings and her way of looking at life is completely adverse to how I look at things and I certainly don't need the mess.... It is what it is....

Kinship. A blessing. But not without a price....... It is what it is.