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ShadesOfSepia.com

I am the proud owner of 2 blogs. The first is called VintageNewscast. The primary purpose for this blog is to help my visitors rediscover rare & perhaps out of print classic music and film on digital format; the kinds of music & film that usually are NOT promoted in the digital realm! This includes most internet radio, “On Demand” audio/video streaming services, printed magazines and advertisements for DVD’s and Blu-Rays, and online entertainment (especially non-collector) stores. My blog is about cultural diversity! So, if you’re expecting to see only one type of music or movies here, this is NOT the blog site for you! :-) I am one of the very few multicultural bloggers of color to own one of the most diverse classic music/movie blogs in cyberspace. Here, you will see many genres of music and movies from 1995-ish and older. I also try to keep my fans/visitors informed as to the direction of music and film within digital technology. The second blog is called ShadesOfSepia. My goal there is to capture history, culture & our community through my camera lens. In essence ShadesOfSepia will serve as my photographic diary; telling stories of New York City with my camera; taking photographs all over; sharing subjects I find to have beauty, or of special quality. Creating an historical archive of the people of New York City. I also like to share my photographic art, mostly derived from my photo taking. I am attracted to many different types of photography, and I hope you enjoy my photographs. Please don't forget to bookmark both my sites. I think you will grow to enjoy and love them both; as I work hard to give you the best content not seen anywhere else. Thank you!
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Like many old school fans, I still have quite a few old cassettes from back in the day, when I used to tape off the radio. Now that we have such amazing technology today, I’m glad I didn’t actually through away all my old cassettes YET. I’ve been shazaming a LOT of my tapes over the years, which allowed me to get rid of a significant amount of cassettes. Now, I’m not the type of person that would tell a stranger to throw anything away that has sentimental value to them (especially if it’s a vinyl album or something like that). However, I do recommend using Shazam to help you retire those old tapes to make more room for other things. Manly for three important reasons. First, finding a good cassette player has become hard to find. I’ve purchased a number of cassette players and they all sound like crap. In fact, a couple of them ruined a few of my tapes. And I’m not willing to spend upwards of $300 for a “good cassette deck,” when I know I’m only going to use it for the purpose of Shazam’n’.  Second good reason to Shazam your cassettes, you don’t have to hear the dj bable anymore.. LOL. I used to hate when they’d talk through the song I liked. But I knew they did it so that we can buy the album. Thirdly, Once you Shazam something, and or save it to your Spotify, it stays there forever! Even if the license on a song expires, it’s still listed! The nice thing about that is, if you can’t find it in any other album, you can just purchase it from Amazon or Google (DRM free). At this point I Spotify will ALWAYS have free accounts, so I really really doubt you have to worry about anything. Oh yeah! One more thing, you don’t have to run around asking friends if they know the name of a song!! 😳

Some of the songs I’ve Shazam’d lately are, “Touch Me (All Night Long) by Cathy Dennis,” “Sweet Love by Anita Baker,” “Midnight Blue by Melissa Manchester,” “Don’t Turn Around by Owen Gray,” “Let It Whip by The Dazz Band,” “Jungle Love by The Time,” “What Is Love by Haddaway,” “Broken Wings by Mr. Mister,” “Suavecito by Malo,” and “I Can Dream About You – Dan Hartman.” Those were just a few of several thousand Shazams, and tons of tapes 😫 😐; but it was all worth it. If I were to throw them all away, that would have been music I wouldn’t ever hear again. Mainstream radio doesn’t play music from my generation anymore period. One thing you’ll learn, even when it comes to streaming services, hand picked music is not the same as a computer generated playlist based on habits and algorithms. But, it’s good for the young kids who don’t yet have a musical perspective.

© VintageNewscast.com

Wow! What can we say about actor and producer, Forest Whitaker? He’s come a long way. The first time I ever heard Forest’s name was (I believe) a movie called “The Crying Game (1992).” I also think this was his first director project as a matter of fact. That movie shocked the hell out of me. I won’t give any spoilers just in case no one as actually seen it. But there’s a character in the movie that you kind of suspect, but you weren’t sure, because our culture just wasn’t there yet I guess? I do recommend watching it, tho it drags a little bit “pardon the pun,” LOLOLOL. It does have small suspense scenes, but I think this was more of a thought provoking movie, than a “get you out of your seat” kind of movie. He has made movies ranging from “Repo Men (2010),” to playing Idi Amin in “The Last King Of Scotland (2006).” I’ve enjoyed most of his movies, although I haven’t seen “The Last King Of Scotland” yet, the reviews are insane. He is an inspiration to many actors, because he started at a time BEFORE this unbelievable pressure to be beautiful and physically attractive.

© VintageNewscast.com

Hey guys! Did you get a chance to check out Twitter’s new mobile features? This came out of nowhere! I had no idea! Well, actually, maybe I did LOL. I started to notice some slight changes to their website. Such as certain buttons took on a new shape, and the profile menu has changed as well. I like the change, the site seems more organized. However, I was thrilled with the new changes on their Android app. On your mobile, you’ll immediately notice two new extra features on the bottom of the main menu. “Night Mode,” and “QR Code.” The night feature pretty much turns the background dark, and the text more bold using the color white. It’s almost like using the “Night Mode” on your GPS. I love this look, as it makes things not only easier to read, but more comfortable on the eyes. I suggest this mode for people who are always on mobile twitter. The second feature I love is the QR code feature. This goes to show you how we’re advancing with technology. Between QR codes and Spotify’s new “Scannables,” I can see these being used A LOT for printed advertisement of new albums. I can also see these used a lot in place of business cards. All smart phone has scan capabilities. This will eliminate the need to have a pen on the go, or messing with creating a new phone book entry “on the go.” The one thing I’ve quickly noticed though, Twitter’s scanner is compatible with text, whereas Shazam can only read URLs it appears. I also notice that Twitter has one major advantage over Shazam. That advantage is, Twitter allows you to see the URL first, and asks you if it’s OK to take you there! Why is this an advantage? Because that link can have a malicious code on the other side! When Shazam scans a URL, it automatically takes you there. Kudos to Twitter!! Should always pay attention to links! If it don’t look familiar, don’t click on it! I forgot to do a “Mystery Movie,” this month. But for next month use twitter’s scanner for now on. It may not be necessary for me to always send you to a website.

© VintageNewscast.com

You know, I’m not sure if a lot of people are aware of this but, Netflix streaming has changed from a five star user rating system, to a thumbs up rating system. I was really upset about that at first. I actually called to complain about. True fans of anything, especially when it comes to music and movies know, a rating isn’t always as simple as just a thumbs up, or a thumbs down. Sometimes you need that 5 star rating system because it allows you to rate movies that are complicated to rate. There are movies where we feel neutral. In other words, there are movies not bad enough to say don’t watch, but they’re not good enough to recommend them either. The Netflix rep told me that the rating system was changed to simply help them to programmatically suggest similar movies we’ve thumbed up. She claimed that this is what users have been asking for. I said to myself, “really?” If that’s true, don’t the users realize that we’re then forced to like or don’t like movies we feel neutral about. I don’t think that’s good either. But of course, because the representative I was talking to was obviously speaking as an employee, and not as a movie fan, I didn’t feel like she identified with what I was trying to say. So, what else is new right?

I just found it so hard to believe that users have chose to become so simple minded that they would ask to get rid of the five star rating for a thumbs up! Then I’ve realized, this may be because of the popularity of sites such as Facebook, and YouTube. It just maybe because sites like those are so heavily used that, it may be more a matter of desiring consistency. But those sites aren’t movie sites, they’re social media. If this is truly what the majority of users are asking for, I think this is a huge mistake, and this is not helping each other (from the standpoint of a real fan). The best way I can explain it, it’s like remembering that song you heard when you met your first boyfriend, and trying to explain how you emotionally felt to a computer in machine code (zeros and ones/no and yes, without the ability to offer context). It’s just not possible. Well, I know I can’t do anything about it, but it’s still so disappointing tho. Just my humble Opinion. If you ask me, I really do think it was a decision to force people to watch movies marked bad, ’cause those studios are not making any money. If you offer their true five star rating, why would anybody watch a 1 star rating? Well, as we all know, it’s not the first time they’ve made bad decisions.

© VintageNewscast.com

 

I love Rita Coolidge. I love her singing voice, it’s so smooth and so relaxing. She has one of those voices you can listen to while relaxing on a beach somewhere. I know I really shouldn’t have her under the “One Hit Wonders” category. However, there isn’t an album that she’s produced where I’ve like nearly the entire album either. But, when she got a hit, I usually loved it! The one song that has always stuck in my head, was a song called “We’re All Alone (1976),” and it remains one of my favorite songs from her throughout her career. Now, there are a few other songs I love from her. “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher,” which I believe was first song by the legendary Jackie Wilson. The next song is another interpretation she did of a song called “Fever,” which was first song by Little Willie John in 1956. I also love the song she did called “All Time High,” which was the theme song to one of the James Bond movies, called “Octopussy.”

Rita was born 1945 in America, and she’s is both singer and songwriter. Although she’s a decent songwriter, unfortunately she hasn’t had a hit since the 1980s. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, her last truly big hit was in 1977 when “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher” hit number 2 on the American pop charts. She was married to Kris Kristofferson, and has actually written a lot of songs with him to my understanding. You may remember Kris Kristofferson, from the movie “A Star Is Born (1976),” co starring along side Barbra Streisand.

© VintageNewscast.com

Hi guys! Do you remember this young boy? He is none other than Alfonso Ribeiro! You know Alfanzo! Well, younger kids may remember him as Carlton from “Fresh Prince Of Bel lair!” However, I remember where he got his first start on the Broadway play called “The Tap Dance Kid!” Now, every were I’ve checked I get the ball park of 1984 for when the play hit big, but for some reason I’m thinking he was around longer than that. Although I can’t recall what!?!? Here in this photo he’s just dancing having a good time with family and friends (I’m assuming his family and friends).

© VintageNewscast.com

While we are enjoying the new movie streaming era of commercial free binge watching, there exist a new issue arising that I haven’t heard anyone address yet. That is the need for a new rating system for TV Shows. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve noticed more and more TV shows (regardless of the subject matter) are showing more and more sex scenes. While many producers have always made the argument that “sex is a part of life, and it should be normalized… bla bla bla” something to that effect. However, my argument to you is, we’re no longer watching video at home anymore as the result of 4G. Half of Internet users spend just as much, or perhaps more time on their mobile devices than their TV, and many of these TV shows are not “mobile/public safe.” Particularly vampire and medieval TV shows appear to be concentrated with the most sex scenes (be it straight or gay now). Sex is being used to the point where in many cases it doesn’t even fit in to the movie, but they put it in there anyway. For instance, a woman is about to be viciously attack by a werewolf, and a guy breaks through a door with silver bullets and saves her. The next thing you know, before you’ve made your next eye blink, they’re already under the sheets. Now, if this was supposed to be “realistic,” this bitch was just attacked by a werewolf, having sex would be the LAST thing on a woman’s mind at that moment. That would be the “reality of it.”

Not only do many of the added sex scenes make absolutely no sense, I’ve noticed these sex scenes are getting longer and longer, and more realistic looking. In fact, some of the sex scenes are better than the rest of their acting ability. In my mind, it’s almost as though these producers are using sex in the event the movie turns out not to be that good. You know? Like if “Basic Instinct” was a bad movie, at least you’ll rent it to see Sharon Stone do her crazy sex thing. New producers must work harder to create better content with good actors, and not use special effects, CGI, and sex as a replacement for a decent script and acting. Is this what we’re reduced to? Regular movies appear to have the correct ratings on most of the movies I’ve rented. Although I do which they would expand rated “R” by adding “sex,” and “sex with violence,” so that I’m not surprised in public. TV shows are NOT marked properly. You can’t blame Netflix or any other streaming service, it’s the movie studios. Streaming companies only provide the content. I remember in the 80s-90s parents have made such a big stink over having TV ratings, so they can better manage their children. Now it seems that sex is soo normalized that no one is saying a word. Yet, these same people worry about who’s gay? Come the f*** on!

© VintageNewscast.com

From left to right: Keith Wilder, Mario Mantesse, Ernest Berger, Johnny Wilder, Rod Temperton and Eric Johns outside a place called the “Sands,” which if I remember correctly, it is a casino joint in Las Vegas. The band Heatwave was arguably one of the most popular bands of the 70s. These forgotten musicians have earned the right to be called legends! I feel what made Heatwave so successful, is each band member’s unique cultural and ethnic backgrounds, coming together to produce their unique sound. People don’t realize how important this group was, not just musically speaking. In a world where people still prefer to focus negatively on our differences, this ethnically diverse group came together because of their differences to create awesome music. Their signature song that put them on the map was a song called “Always And Forever,” and today is arguably the most played song at weddings and 70s parties.

© VintageNewscast.com

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