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/

Embers by Just Jack on DJ GAL-VanIZed Jukebox

This video takes you through a time travel of historic world events while repeating the verse “we are all embers of the same fire.” Another way of saying, we are all one and what one person does impacts all people.

Lyrics for Embers by Just Jack

The facts and the figures,
They overwhelm and stifle,
everything that you thought you Knew

The facts and the figures,
They overwhelm and stifle,
from the very first breath you drew

The facts and the figures,
They overwhelm and stifle,
and the petty decisions that you think make a difference.

The above and following verses are layered in loops throughout the song like a mosaic until the song ends

So tiny that they blow away like dust

Through all the devilish things we do

(I can’t help my stupid hope)

We are all embers, from the same fire

—–

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

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.

Toastmasters: What Can It Do For You?

Cynthia Lamb, spiritual counselor delivered a powerful speech at Agape Toastmasters describing some of the benefits she’s enjoyed as a result of her 2 years of membership.

Cynthia started her speaking experience with lots of “ahs” and “ums” in a manner she describes as “all filler, no content”. After using the manuals provided by Toastmasters she learned to be a competent leader and communicator. Toastmasters gave her the courage to pursue her larger goal which is to share a message of spiritual healing through forgiveness with an International audience.

She recently appeared on a panel of experts lead by Blog Talk Radio host, Michelle Ann Johnson titled “Conscious Kickstart” and did a very powerful presentation which included a guided process for forgiveness. She is kind enough to make this available to the world via this YouTube Video. If you need to heal a broken heart for any reason, you owe it to yourself to check this out.

Cynthia Lamb recently earned the highest award Toastmasters offers: Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) and to do it in 2 years is an exceptional feat.

Agape Toastmasters is that kind of place. I joined 2 years ago and I was shaky and hesitant in my first few speeches. I would get so nervous that sometimes I was practically incapacitated for an entire day. But with practice and support, I became stronger and stronger.

I have used the supportive, creative environment to work out some ideas for a character, (my alter ego) Gal Vanized. When I started Toastmasters I had 7 years of experience as a college instructor under my belt. Somehow I had convinced myself or been pressured to believe that I had to “tone it down” and “be professional”. Which meant that pink wigs and punk rock gigs were out of the question.

To that I say, Why?

And this semester I’ve used music videos in my Introduction to Victimology class to highlight some of the songs that describe the abuse of power and control in our society that leads to crime and therefore victims.

I got bold enough one night to put on the pink wig in my Introduction to Domestic Violence class and tell my story of running away from an abuse filled home to find a better life. What Toastmasters did for me is give me the courage to say what I want to say, how I want to say it.

What will Toastmasters do for you?  You’ll never know unless you check it out for yourself.  Toastmasters is an International, non-profit organization. “The mission of a Toastmasters club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every individual member has the opportunity to develop oral communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.”

Click here to find a club near you.

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