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!



Initially, I wasn’t going to do a video on streaming services, ’cause I’ve already touched a little bit on them in my earlier blog posts. However, the way technology is going, I feel that the “vintage” community needs to talk about this more. Yes, I understand the whole nostalgic feeling of buying an actual album in the stores, etc., etc., but these experiences are slowly fading away. They’re not gone, just moving in to the digital world (we’re the belong, archived and preserved). As physical resources for vintage nostalgia seems to dwindle before our eyes at a rapid pace, they’ve thankfully found a new home in the cyber-sphere. Where do you buy your classic music? Are you utilizing all of the various digital services that now have a growing library of vintage films and movies? Which one of these services are the best? I go over just a couple of today’s popular music services, and discuss why I have chosen Rhapsody to be my primary music service.

© 2013 Yogi / Vintagenewscast.com

PamPam Grier was the blaxploitation queen of the 70’s. She was strong, sexy, and took no bullsh*t from anyone on film. She was super-bad! Pam was well known for a string of blaxploitation movie hits such as, Coffy (1973), Bucktown (1975), Sheba Baby (1975), and Foxy Brown (1974). Pam Grier was one of the very few African American women that appealed to such a wide audience in the 70’s. With a great body and a “take no bull from anyone” attitude on screen, her career busted through the movie scene like a freight train. However, when I became a fan of Pam (I was barely a teenager, but old enough to understand) I was worried that she would become typecasted like so many African American women did before her.

You see, although I was very happy that I wasn’t seeing the same o’l actresses playing the same o’l black maids, and or poverty stricken mothers/wives, Pam was a whole different animal all together. Before the seventies black women were not seen as sexy creatures that could actually act, be talented, and blow-up the box offices at the same time; the mindset just wasn’t there yet. Pam2Well, actually, we did have Tamara Dobson (Cleopatra Jones), but, she did not have the same sex appeal like Pam did. Dobson’s image was more of a sophisticated black woman with money, were-as Pam, was more raunchy and not scared of her sexuality. Pam Grier became a cash cow, and unfortunately the types of characters that Pam Grier played, replicated on so many of her other movies in the seventies. She was either taking revenge for a boyfriend, fighting other women in a lesbian bar, playing the feisty hooker who’s goal is to kill the “John”, or taking down some female Madame or female drug lord that looks like either Shirley Winters, or twiggy, or found any excuse to run around topless by the end of the movie. LOL.. 🙂

However, Pam’s career did not seem to be effected by this typecast. She was what people wanted to see. She made straight men drool, empowered black women around the world, and became a gay icon all at the same time LOL. She made so much money for the film industry and won very few awards for her hard work. She has made a few TV appearances on “Law & Order”, “Cosby Show”, and done some cartoon voice-overs for “the Justice League”. She re-emerged as an older, wiser, and reserved Foxy Brown, in a movie called “Jackie Brown”. Jackie Brown was a very good with a number of stars in it. It didn’t have as much action as I thought it was, it is is a great watch for Pam Grier fans. Pam now is in her sixties and still is looking good these days. She is a Cancer survivor, and if I am correct, she is currently on the tv show “The L-Word”.

© 2013  VintageNewscast.com / Yogi

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Almost a week ago, I was listening to an old album I have of Aretha Franklin called “Aretha Franklin – Live at Filmore West.” I have to confess that this was not one of my favorite albums from her. I’ve heard much better albums. Then again, it’s rare that I enjoy live albums; I’d rather see a performance on video rather than hear it (that’s just me). Well, despite the fact that I was not feeling most of the songs in this album, one song stood out. The first song (don’t remember if it was side A or B) was Dr. Feel Good. I love hearing her sing it on this album, not because it was “good,” but because it was hilarious!! In fact it was so hilarious, it is the only real reason I ever listen to this album. When you hear her sing “Dr. Feel Good” on this album, you can tell right away that she was obviously TOASTED!! When you first hear her sing it, I guarantee that at some point in the song you’ll be thinking at least one of these things…. Did she just faint? Or, Is she bugging out on cocaine? Or, is she being abducted by aliens? Or, is she screaming because she thumped her toe???? Your thoughts will go all over the place with this song.

Listen With Rhapsody

Listen With Spotify

tandy_1000_1sSalutations Guys,

I remember when the world’s first affordable home PC (Personal Computer) came on the scene (I believe it was 5.25 floppy anywayz.. LOL). Before the terms single, double and high density came-about, 5.25 floppy disks could only hold less than 720kb; later on it was up to 1.2 mb. The floppy disks were sooo flimsy, if you were not careful, the slightest bend, would destroy the entire floppy. As a kid I thought MS DOS was the greatest thing since “slice bread”. This was because it actually became an ego booster for me, reason being, you had to know what the DOS commands were and how to use them. The commands were not really hard back then, but my family thought I was a genius LOL. My first and I think only game was “Wheel Of Fortune”.  It had a built in CGA adapter, and offered very little visual color. Actually I think the only color I remembered displayed was emerald green. I used to laugh at how Vanna White used to look like in the game (I think it was Vanna White, not sure when and now long was on the show). The game was actually a lot of fun, and because it was the world’s first home PC (I think), There were no other competing computers around to compare bad graphics to, so all were good to us back then.

imagesShortly, after more and more competing companies try to take a piece of this “then” new market, and that’s when “Platform Wars” have emerged. What do I mean? Well, “Platform Wars” were and are in essence people’s personal opinions turned political madness. It was about which operating system (ie apple, IBM, Unix, OS/2, Linux, iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, etc), or line of technology individuals felt was the best. For most of us who were not in the technical industry per-say, many of us based these opinions on our personal experiences, others will base their opinions on sheer market shares and company growth. Literally in some settings, it becomes like a war between republicans and democrats. Today computers has changed our lives in such a big way, I personally don’t believe we should be basing our beliefs solely on a company’s numbers, we should be looking at how well it can do the job in addition too. I’ve spent a lot of money on good brand stuff, and they’ve turned out to be crap..

ss-480-1-0Having said this, I never really had a preference for any particular operating platform or technology. However, as the result of the technology wars, it has made it indirectly difficult for me personally, in terms of entertainment. How? Well, some of you already know that, metaphorically, I am a classic carnivore. The older the music or movie the better; but unfortunately the harder it is to find digitally. Trust me, i’ve digitized a lot of my albums, but it is waaaaay too much work, i’d rather buy mp3s than to encode all of my records and tape collections.

I often run in to 3 annoying problems. The first is DRM, this pisses me off to no end, because often you can only use it with one type of device, or software player (although their are ways of getting around this, its still a pain). Second, streaming services like Rhapody and Spotify have only matched less then half my digital collection (not including most of my physical albums and tapes). Now, technically, considering how old most of my music is, that’s still very good, but at the same time I feel that the music streaming services is large enough now that it should found almost all, in my opinion. lastly, I am flipping back and forth between apple, android, and amazon. There are musics that Amazon has that Apple doesn’t and vise verse. There are music that Google has that neither Apple or Amazon have. It makes you realize how much cinematic and musical history the world has, we just can’t contain it all (either that, we realize how old we are.. LOL).

© 2013 VintageNewscast.com / Yogi

41Yn2Gky3dL._SL-1As a kid, I remember having house parties at least a minimum of 4 times a year. The parties usually would take place at our house or my grandpa’s house.  If it was not a holiday, it was someone’s birthday, or wedding, or communion celebration. We didn’t have much growing up, but what we did have is a lot of love, and LOTS, and LOTS, and LOTS,  of music. Literally every week we’d go out and buy a new album, or 45,  or 8-Track. If I did not have money for that latest song, I would spend hours next to the radio, on the look out so that I can record them. I used to always curse at the dj’s when ever they would talk over the song being played LOL. In terms of music, based on my age, technically I guess you can say I was more an 80’s child. However, I also grew up listening to a lot of music  form the 50’s through the 70’s as well. Music from the likes of, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons; Neil Sedaka; Brooke Benton; Carla Thomas; Herbie Mann; Ken Boothe; Peter Tosh;  and so on. I really missed that era, and I really wish todays music had that same essence that the 60’s/70’s did. Now, todays definition of “real” music, is all about wailing, moaning, and howling, about how bad a guy want’s to get in girls pant.  Actually, according to most young kids today, as long as it has a good beat, they couldn’t care less what the lyrics say. Hmmm then why have lyrics at all if that’s the case? I guess that’s a whole nother Oprah Winfrey Topic huh?

vpi_classic_turntable-1Growing up (it’s hilarious looking back), I remember when we always had a full house of guests dancing. It was like watching a stampede of some kind, because no matter how many quarters you put on that damn turntable needle, it would still randomly jump all over the place. I remember my grandma usually yell “don’t dance so hard”! Then shortly after, it would appear that our guests would start dancing on their tipi-toes… LOL. The limitation of using vinyl really took the fun out of dancing and having a good time. You’d spend so much money on turntables that promise a “bounce free” experience, but they never worked.

Now we are in the digital age. Sometimes I have a hard time accepting the fact that most of this generation has never seen a record player before. Makes me feel even more old 🙁 . For those of us who cherish our oldies, we have a lot to thank digital technology for; or at least it has given you another reason not to be so scared of technology. Technology has allowed us to once again, hear and see all those old music and movies we’ve thought were gone for ever. You know that old favorite album you’ve lent to your cousin and you’ve never got back? Or your favorite Michael Jackson album you’ve lent your best friend, and by the time you’ve got it back, it was far less than mint condition? Damn if you were lucky enough to play it (with all the scratches on it)? Today, not only can you find and play all your old music again @ affordable prices, music that were once out of print, came back in to circulation as the direct result of digital technology. In addition, sometimes you can find special extended versions of the same songs you already love, movies have been re-digitized and enhanced with stunning quality. Most importantly, you never have to worry about your needle jumping anymore, or fiddling with your TV controls to get a better picture LOL. However, I guess there is that drawback of a collector not being able to physically purchase the original album/film; but then again, the shear volume of music and movies that are now available to us, we don’t have the space to contain them all anywayz.

I am not always able to find all of my treasures on line, but hopefully one day we all will.

©2013 Yogi / VintageNewscast.com