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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!

Most young visitors are too young to remember this woman. Perhaps you weren’t even born yet. The above is a photo of Vanessa Williams, who was a former Miss America! Winning that crown was huge for women of color all over America! However, her fame and title was short lived, when in 1984 photos of her were published in Penthouse Magazine posing nude with another woman caused a huge scandal! Vanessa was about 21 then, and expressed great shame for taking those photos. However, many people in the porn industry (mostly men) suggested that it would boost her career. It made sense that they would say that right? I don’t know if it actually boost her career, but I didn’t think it hurt it either. What really confused me was that, while the public (and the “Miss America” organization) came down on her like a ton of bricks, the reality was I lot of those same people (men) were salivating over those photos. What a bunch of Hippocrates!! In 2017, I don’t think anybody would be phased by something like this again (except if it were two men), people would go absolutely ape-shit. So many double standards, it’s the one of many annoyances we have in America.

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Ok, while “Album Of The Month” was a good idea at first, I decided to retire this idea. Believe me, it’s not because I don’t have any music to post! I think it’s because of a major shift music streaming has caused, especially in social media. Well actually, if we are to be honest, I think it started with iTunes. Let me explain, before digital media, our mindset was to purchase the whole album from your favorite artist! And if you didn’t necessarily like a particular artist, but you liked their one hit song, you had the option to purchase the 7″ version of the song. When CDs emerged, you usually had to buy the whole CD ’cause there wasn’t too many singles available. At that time, we needed music/album reviewers who specialized in a specific genre, ’cause nobody had money to waste buying a whole album and liked only one song. Fast forward to iTunes, we can now listen to a 1:30 minute sample (which is a lot), of each song on a new album, and buy only the song we like. So, we’re no longer thinking in terms of Albums anymore really, even though we still use the term “album.” Personally, I think we should stop using the word “album” when talking about streaming, and use “digital collections” or something like that. Because the likelihood of someone saving an entire album on their streaming service is very small now-a-days. It would prove to be way too much music to handle at some point, so we usually only save the songs we feel a connection to. In fact, I’ve read there were talks in the UK of starting a new music award category “Song Most Streamed,” and or “Shazam’d.” This made me realize that “best album” doesn’t exist anymore, it’s the song that’s important now. Hence why people share their playlists!! It’s all about the playlists now. Think if it as the equivalent of a “mixed tape.” Technically, even live radio often use pre-programmed playlists (musical line-ups). This will become more evident, as legal streaming becomes even more global. So, I will continue doing the same things I’ve been doing, just no more “Album Of The Month.” It was good for back in the day, but now, I realized it’s kind of pointless. There are so few artists where I can say I’ve liked even 60% of a whole album. I don’t want to just post an album for the sake of doing it. As a blogger, I have a responsibility to post things I genuinely enjoy. Readers who are “Seasoned Folk,” please keep in mind, when I say this, I mean in the context of “digital single downloads,” and “music streaming.” Right now, I’m working hard organizing all my music I’ve imported from Napster to Spotify. Plus, I still have cassettes and vinyls to do. It’s going to take me a while. Once I’ve finished I can start sharing playlists of my favorite songs.

© VintageNewscast.com

Janet’s “Control” album was actually the first CD I ever bought. In fact, it was the first CD I ever bought to play on my first CD player at the time! I can honestly say that I still love the album now the same way I did then. I’ll also never forget her epic performance on the 1987 Grammy Awards. This album was so successful, according to wikipedia quote: “It is listed by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 200 Definitive Albums of All Time.” I don’t recall anyone so young as Janet achieving something so huge like that! I don’t know what the exact numbers are for each song, but just about every single song on that album was a hit. If I remember correctly (if I where to go by popularity) “Control,” “What Have You Done For Me Lately,” “When I Think Of You,” and “Pleasure Principle,” where the biggest cash cows of the album. If I also remember correctly, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis written produced almost the entire album specially for Janet. Interesting, this album also appears to one of the few most recognizable albums that have not changed it’s art work. Janet Jackson’s “Control” is right here on Spotify!

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Legendary Black martial artist Carl Scott. Unfortunately, he has fallen in to the forgotten heroes category. You know what really pisses me off?? He was probably the best Black martial artist ever to hit the movie theater, yet the movies I’ve seen him in had HORRIBLE acting, and I really think that’s what ruined it for him! Watch Carl in action on YouTube. Also check him out here, and here. It was such a disappointment that his career did not sore. I dare say that I liked him better as a martial artist (way better) than Jim Kelly. AND I LOVE ME SOME JIM KELLY!!!!!!! Which is also Ironic because, let’s be honest, Jim Kelly was just a hot sexy man for the camera. Although Jim is gone now, I NEVER saw Jim Kelly as a professional martial artist. He made his money because he was a “Lady’s man, with a gorgeous face.” However, I also started seriously thinking and realized….. Carl Scott, was THE professional martial artist, and got no real recognition, right? But since we’ve had Jim Kelly on the scene, can we actually call racism, back in the day? I mean, Carl was a Black man that could have well been Bruce Lee’s rival, IF he’d worked hard enough! Think about it, we can very well argue he could have been viewed as a threat to a lot of people, on sooo many levels. Don’t you think? Know you’re history! Beyonce, Jay-Z, Naz, Nicki Minaj or whom ever can’t give you this. What can Nicki Minaj teach you? Other than she’s got a big ass, and a foul mouth. She’s no different from any other chicken-head. “Keeping it real.” “Let’s be for real, for real.” Carl is one of our REAL heroes. You keep listening to  bullshitters. You’ll find out later just how little you know about a lot of shit.

© VintageNewscast.com

Participating in an All-Star ball game from back in the day! Star of a show called “Hill Street Blues” Charlie Haid, having fun with “Facts Of Life Star” Kim Fields. I totally forgot she had braces! LOL. At the time this photo was taken in the 80s, she was at the peak of her career. To be honest, she hasn’t landed any huge acting jobs since “Facts Of Life.” Not sure if it’s because she’s been typecasted or not. However, I did think she got some noteriety for being on  a show called “Living Single,” starring along side Queen Latifah, and a few other actors. Although I didn’t watch that show much, I thought it was very funny. It was the only “all Black cast” that I can think of that closest represented the Black community, without making us look like buffoons. Kim blossomed in to a beautiful woman, sporting a blond hair these days. You go girl, not every Black woman looks good with blond hair. She really pulled it off. From the looks of it, she’s doing very well. We not? She will always be remembered as Tootie, from the cult sitcom classic “Facts Of Life.”

© VintageNewscast.com

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.

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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.

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