What Does Elvis Presley Mean?

Elvis Presely playing guitarMost Americans and music lovers worldwide acknowledge Elvis Presley as “The King” of rock and roll. But some people have no idea who Elvis Presley is or what it means to be “The King” to millions of loyal fans.

This is what I learned from Cindy, the foreign exchange student from China that I hung out with for a few weeks.

I was taking a class on multi-cultural competency as part of the process towards my master’s degree in counseling. Our instructor, Vince Noble asked for volunteers to escort foreign exchange students and ease their transition into the USA. He may have even offered extra credit, I can’t remember. But I volunteered and was paired up with Cindy from China.

One day, Cindy and I went an art show at Cal State Long Beach. There were many paintings and several rooms filled with original art pieces created by students. We came upon a portrait of Elvis Presley. I admired the creativity of the piece. Cindy pointed at it and asked, “who is that?”

I was stunned. It was as if my life was flashing before me. I could not imagine how to describe who Elvis was. He is so many things to so many people and I couldn’t imagine what the world, or at least my world, would be like without him.

I managed to mumble out some answer about how Elvis was a rock legend and I hummed a few bars of Blue Suede Shoes and Jailhouse Rock to see if it would ring a bell.

Nothing.

I was speechless.

I had been slapped aside the head once again and reminded that just because I have an experience or a social construct built up around a certain object or person, doesn’t mean everyone else does. Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this, assuming the person you’re talking to knows something when really they don’t; assuming that everyone knows all the same things you do?

Story is Editable

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Positive Hip Hop Podcast Delivered on MP3 and in iTunes

Positive Hip-Hop PodcastThe Positive Hip Hop podcast is a series of shows that feature Hip-Hop with a message.

One of my favorites is Episode 6: “Social & Political Change”. This episode is jam-packed with socially aware hip hop with a great beat. Tracks include: KRS-One – “Illegal Business”, Head-Roc – “America!” and Ozomatli ft Common – “Embrace The Chaos”.

To get all 8 episodes of the Positive Hip-Hop Podcast, visit http://www.theskybeneath.com/podcast/

This Song is About You

Watch it on YouTube.

This video with lyrics included is all about taking charge of your life and it all begins by taking charge of your mind. One of the first lyrics is “half the kids that you grew up with were pushin’ prams by the time that they were just sixteen” then later, those same kids “aren’t pushin’ prams are pushin’ pills to boys and girls who are half their age” (In case you aren’t familiar with the word pram it refers to what most American’s call a baby stroller.)From Sabotage to Success by Sheri Zampelli

I’m here to tell you it’s never too late to change your mind and thereby change the course of your life. If you need help or have a problem with self-sabotage, check out the book From Sabotage to Success.

Stay Positive by The Hold Steady on DJ GAL-VanIZed Jukebox

I learned a lot about people, life, power and music by being involved in the punk rock scene throughout the 80’s. The scene was relatively small compared to everything else that was going on in mainstream metropolis so you would usually see the same people over and over again at shows and it was pretty common to hang out with the people on stage after the show. The musicians and the fans had very little separation or distinction.

I have first hand experience seeing everyday blokes get high in the garage in the daytime and stand on stage in the night time. Some of them painted houses by day and played for admiring fans at night. They usually didn’t get much sleep or even have a place to sleep and food was somewhat of a luxury. I admired their determination and was entertained by their music but I didn’t really idolize them as people because I knew they were the same dudes who were dope sick in the morning and threw their smelly socks on the floor.

Stay Positive

Musicians are just people who are really creative and determined and many of them are humble enough to know that. They want to make a mark on their listeners and they want to be a spark of light for the youth. Now that the youth of the 80’s are old enough to have kids and grandkids, some long-time musicians are aware of their influence and their staying power and the ability to use music to teach and preach.

Stay Positive by Hold Steady is about that aspect of music and musicians, the undying and uniting force of music and music culture that gets passed on from generation to generation.

Read Lyrics to Stay Positive by The Hold Steady

I’ve got a lot of old friends that’re getting back in touch
and it’s a pretty good feeling yea it feels pretty good
I get a lot of double takes when I’m coming around the corners
and its mostly pretty nice its mostly pretty alright
’cause most kids give me credit for being down with it
when it was back in the day
back when things were way different
when the Youth of Today and the early Seven Seconds
taught me some of life’s most valuable lessons

There’s gonna come a time when the scene’ll seem less sunny
it’ll probably get druggy and the kids’ll seem too skinny
there’s gonna come a time when she’s gonna have to go
with whoever’s gonna get her the highest
there’s gonna come a time when the true scene leaders
forget where they differ and get ‘big picture’

cause the kids at their shows, they’ll have kids of their own
the sing-a-long songs’ll be our scriptures

We gotta stay positive
We gotta stay positive
We gotta stay positive
We gotta stay positive

Musical Interlude

When the chaperone crowned us the king and the queen
I knew that we’d arrived at a unified scene
and all those little lambs from my dreams
well they were there too

’cause its one thing to start it with a positive jam
and its another thing to see it all through

and we couldn’t of even done this if it wasn’t for you
We gotta stay positive
We gotta stay positive
We gotta stay positive

—–

An iPod allows you to fit 1,000’s of songs in your pocket; whereas a Jukebox stays in one place and your selections are limited. What would you do if you only got to choose 52 songs to put on your iPod? What would the list include?

Jukebox Mary

Hip Hop Violin – Paul Dateh and inka one Live in Long Beach

Paul Dateh and inka one are famous on YouTube for Hip Hop Violin. Their video has had 4,535,195 views to date. Michael Zampelli and I went down with cameras in hand and captured some of the action live. The Kogi catering truck, an L.A. favorite amongst the crowd at LAist was also on the scene. The line was consistently an hour long and it stayed there even after most of the crowd left.

Here’s the YouTube video that has over four and a half million views on YouTube:

Visit Michael Zampelli’s photo gallery from the Summer and Music Festival, including photos of Paul Dateh, inka one, the Greenmeme art installation, “Urban Lab: Chantilly Clad” and the Kogi catering truck.

Here’s the video of Hip Hop Violin – Paul Dateh and inka one Live in Long Beach:

Hip Hop Lovers Cry “Get Rel!g!on”

“Get Rel!g!on” is the current rally cry surrounding the latest hip hop producer, who’s already began dazzling artists and record labels with his skilled creations and innovative beats. Utilizing a fascinating mix of live playing and assorted sampling, the young producer from Vancouver, British Columbia is generating buzz in Canada as well as the U.S. Rel!g!on is already releasing his own material, as well as working with other artists to build his reputation as a bona fide hit machine in the hip hop game.

Released in January 2010, his first official release, Revelationz I garnered positive attention from reviewers and fans across the web. Featuring heavy hitters such as Chuck D of Public Enemy as well as Planet Asia and Moka Only, Rel!g!on’s first record was nothing short of an instant hip hop success. His inspired, imaginative tracks laid the foundation for ultra skilled MCs to spit their finest rhymes and create memorable, catchy songs.

“Rel!g!on has a nice sound to his production, and it shouldn’t be too much longer before his congregation of followers grows,” said Emmanuel Wallace of RapReviews.com on Revelationz I.

Born in Ottawa, Rel!g!on grew up listening to his father’s musical influence, which included a variety of instruments, singing, and an extensive record collection. Fascinated by keyboards and organs, the fledgling hip hop perfectionist began experimenting with records and a Casio SK 1, beginning the journey of honing his incredible skills. While he started with an old keyboard and entertaining diss tracks about his high school classmates, Rel!g!on rapidly progressed into a respected producer working with artists from Vancouver to New York.

The future is bright for Rel!g!on, as he shows absolutely no signs of slowing down, with a number of impressive projects currently in the works for hip hop fans across North America. He produced two tracks on Planet Asia’s upcoming record Black Belt Theatre, which also features Raekwon of Wu-Tang, DJ Babu and Evidence of Dilated Peoples, Ras Kass and many more. Rel!g!on will also be at the helm for Planet Asia’s entire next full length, slated for 2011. This summer will also see the anticipated release of a collaboration record between Rel!g!on and one of Pittsburgh’s finest MCs, Jasiri X and New Orleans rapper/producer Dain. Check out his MySpace page for music videos and streaming audio, and Facebook for the latest information and updates.

Download “Soldier” feat. Ny Oil & Chuck D

Download “Pyramids” feat. Planet Asia & Jasiri X

Ellen Page on Women, Roller Derby and “Whip It”

Ellen Page and Alia Shawkat take time for a behind the scenes interview about Drew Barrymore’s “Whip It” at the Toronto International Film Festival. This interview captures the spirit of roller derby which includes team spirit, feminism, fun, diversity and a DIY culture.

Page talks about how much she loved the “Whip It” script and working with director, Drew Barrymore. She especially likes how the movie sends a positive message for young women to accept themselves as they are.

“We have a constant saturation in the media, especially with stories about women that involve a lot of judgment and a lot of nastiness” Page said.

“Here’s an atmosphere where women…can be really aggressive and that’s okay…but also have this sense of camaraderie, you know; beat the crap out of each other and then go have beers afterwards, and laugh about it and to really be there for each other and to have a world that’s just judgementless. And that’s pretty nice.”

I agree, that is pretty nice. That’s why it’s worth it to go see this movie and take a young woman that you care about.

Opens in theaters on October 2. For more information about Whip It, click here.