Unison.

It’s Friday! Get up and dance with me to Céline Dion’s “Unison”. I vividly remember dancing to this track back in the day on a solo trip to Montréal.

Music.

I’ve started playing around with Logic Pro X on the MacBook Pro again. I enjoy editing and remixing music. I don’t really feel the need to DJ in a club or on the radio anymore, but making remixes and exclusive edits of songs? Totally my jam.

Lust.

I’ve lusted after this dancer since I first spotted him in a music video in 1990. His name is Paul Surety and at the time he was a ballet dancer, though here he’s a pop music dance instructor. Today he’s remixing instrumental trance music in Europe.

Bonus points if you can name the (obscure in the US) dance track from 1990 in which appeared with the singer in the music video.

I always thought he looked like a fifth Baldwin brother.

Total Geek.

So I remember this song from when it first hit the clubs in 1986. I was out of high school, becoming comfortable with my sexuality, and really loving the whole dance club scene (that I could find at the time).

Seeing this video for the first time in a very long time, the geek in my can’t help but marvel at the amount of computing power that was necessary to generate the graphics in this music video. I’m pretty certain there was a Commodore Amiga involved.

Here’s Tia with “Boy Toy” from 1986.

Agenda.

Pet Shop Boys have released an EP called “Agenda”. Pardon my language, but it’s fucking brilliant. “Clash” features a review.

The theme of the four track EP is on point. Described as “three satirical tracks and one sad track”, it sounds like classic Pet Shop Boys with modern lyrics. The last track, “The forgotten child”, made me cry.

Here’s the track listing, you can probably figure out the overall theme on your own.

  • “Give stupidity a chance”
  • “On social media”
  • “What are we going to do about the rich?”
  • “The forgotten child”

I’ve included the lyrics to “Give stupidity a chance” to portray the vibe of the EP. It is available on Apple Music, Spotify, etc., and the CD is available for pre-order from their official website.

“Give stupidity a chance”

Intelligent people have had their say
It’s time for the foolish to show the way
Let’s lead this world a merry dance
Let’s give stupidity a chance

We’ve heard quite enough of experts and their dealings
Why face the facts when you can just feel the feelings?
Let’s lead this world a merry dance
Let’s give stupidity a chance

Forget political correctness
I mean W-T-F
I don’t wanna think about the world
I wanna talk about myself

Instead of governing with thoughtful sensitivity
Let’s shock and awe the world with idiotic bigotry
Let’s lead this world a merry dance
And give stupidity a chance

You say corruption, I say justified reward
Keeps the cronies loyal chairmen of the board
Let’s lead this world a merry dance
And give stupidity a chance

Forget political correctness
Let’s talk man to man
Chicks are always up for it
You gotta grab whatever you can

We need a leader who knows that money means class
With an eye for a peach-perfect piece of ass
Not a total dumb-cluck, just one of the guys
Let’s give stupidity a prize

Let’s lead this world a merry dance
And give stupidity a chance
Let’s give stupidity a chance

Feel It.

The Amazon ad keeps blaring on the television. This year the ads feature “Can You Feel It” by The Jackson. That track was sampled by The Tamperer featuring Maya in “Feel It”. When I was in radio there was a stretch of a few weeks where we played “Feel It” every 96 minutes.

So here’s the video:

Frustration.

It’s hard to believe I started this blog when I was still working in radio. It’s  been over 15 years since I was doing my thing as “J.P. Marks” on the radio waves on the Mohawk Valley in Central New York. Despite the decade and a half of time passing by, I still have a “radio dream” a couple of times a year. Last night was one of those nights.

My radio dreams usually manifest themselves as a frustration dream, and to the best of my knowledge this type of dream was common amongst DJs. The scenario always heads toward the same place. I’m my present age but I’m back on the radio. I’m trying to keep the music playing, answering the phones, and making sure commercials and jingles are lined up as required by the “clock” (schedule) dictated for the station. In these dreams I always end up with panic moments: I can’t read the catalog numbers on the carts, music is ending way before it’s suppose to and bringing about the dreaded “dead air”, or the phone is ringing loudly when I’m trying to talk on the mic. Sometimes I can’t read the spot log, or I knock down the hour’s worth of carts I would always stack to the right of the console (I was pretty anal about being prepared back when I was really on the radio). I’m trying to enjoy being back on the radio but I just can’t get it together.

These types of dreams are usually a symbol of something else going on in my life. I don’t miss my days on the radio. I loved being on the radio back in the day but I don’t really miss it. Once in a while I’ll listen to local radio when we’re traveling just to hear what other stations are doing these days. I know all of the segues are being controlled by computer now and there’s a really good chance the DJ isn’t even live or local. Voice tracks are timed to always sound flawless. I don’t find a lot of fun in that, but hey, that’s where we are today.

The song that kept having problems in my dream last night was “Sleeping Satellite” by Tasmin Archer. A great track, and in my dream I even remembered that it was cart #133 (Tom Cochrane’s “Life Is A Highway” was #144 at the station I worked at), but I couldn’t hear the entire song in my dream last night. So here the song as found on YouTube.

Inspiration.

The best technology is the technology that allows us to connect to our chosen devices. I don’t believe that we are ever going to get anywhere as a technologically advanced society if we simply _use_ technology. When we use our gadgets to connect on a human level; this is when we can move forward together.

I am sitting at the flagship Apple Store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Earl and I have been here a couple of times, including opening day. I am sitting in a tier sitting area that is designed to allow folks to sit down, do what they want to do and connect with one another. Apple envisions their new stores as a Town Square or Community Center. I feel that vibe sitting here on Michigan Avenue.

I’m looking around at all the folks using the technology around me. I see nothing but Apple devices, which is to be expected, though occasionally at an Apple store I’ll see someone using a Samsung smartphone or a Lenovo laptop, grabbing some of the free available Apple Wi-fi. They are not chased out of the store, nor are they told that their device is stupid and that they should switch to iOS or mac OS. Folks should have a technology experience that best suits their needs. There’s no pressure to switch to Apple products here; instead questions are answered.

When Earl and I were visiting friends last weekend, I noticed that one of our friends was using one of the later iterations of a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. I don’t follow the Android space that much, but it was one of the phones where the display wrapped around the edges of the phone into the bezel area. I asked him how he liked it. I was surprised when he said that he wasn’t really a fan. The wrapped around edges of the phone made it difficult for him to do some things. That was an interesting thing to me; I wonder if that had been considered when Samsung designed the phone.

There’s often discussion about how Apple is late to the party with some of the enhancements in their phones. I believe that Apple fully investigates, at least most of the time, how the changes they make to their hardware or software experience is going to be received by the user. There’s little to gain in being first to the market with a new feature; there’s a lot to be gained when you offer the best experience of a new feature. This is something that I think Apple full embraces and appreciates.

The Amazon Alexa technology that we are using for our SmartHome set up works well, but it comes nowhere near to meeting a 100% human, confident, trustworthy experience. Last night I noticed that Alexa had stopped turning our lights on and off on command. It turns out that she had completely forgotten what devices we had and was pretty much brain dead on our setup. It took a few moments to convince her to get her wits about herself again (she had to rediscover all the devices in the house). While she was relearning our home alphabet, I asked Siri to turn off the lights in question. Now, we haven’t used Siri for this in quite a while but Siri happily obliged on the first try and surprisingly did it faster than Alexa has ever done the same task. While we have several Alexa devices scattered about the condo and we fully rely on Alexa to handle our smart home tasks, it doesn’t mean that she’s better at it. With Apple’s delay in the release of the HomePod, we went with available technology. I’m very interested to see what Apple does with Siri integration into HomePod. I’m confident that they will be cautious and won’t disappoint.

There’s always a reason behind Apple’s methodical release of hardware, software, and assorted features. Sometimes this deliberate approach is frustrating. In a country where people like to rally into tribes and teams, it’s easy for “the other side” to bash Apple for not being first to the party. Many want a winning and a losing team at everything. This will be the eventual downfall of our society.

Sitting here at the Apple Store, watching everyone use and embrace their technology, I feel inspired. I mostly feel inspired to do the Right Thing, in my professional career, as a private pilot and as a husband and a member of an awesome chosen family.

Do The Right Thing, no matter how long it takes.

Stamp Your Feet.

You got game, baby, bring it on, bring it on.

I can’t believe this song is 10 years old. Donna Summer always had an amazing voice.

Cool footnote: This track was co-written with Danielle Brisebois, who played Stephanie on “All In The Family” and “Archie Bunker’s Place”.