What is Poetry?

What is poetry?  The Webster Dictionary defines poetry as “writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm.”  I tell you that poetry is much more that just writing, it is everything that a person’s responds to emotionally.  Poetry could be the sound of the wind whistling from blowing at a tree, a wonderful painting that tells a story, the beautiful sound of music from an instrument, or an American love film in black and white.

Poetry is painting or art; with every stroke from the artist it begins a new sentence.  It is a silent way of writing for an artist to express their self without speaking.  There are no forms and can change in shape or size.  It is an art work that hangs from the walls of an art museum or displayed at an exhibit for people to see or the 16th century painting, Mona Lisa by Leonardo Divinci that has been study for many years.

Poetry is a tale from medieval times about a knight that falls in love with a king’s princess and runs off with her or a short sonnet from Shakespeare’s poem that catches the reader’s attention and changes their emotions from being joyful to sad.  It is the “get well” writing’s in a card that is read by a sick patient to show that someone is thinking or cares about them or a powerful speech like Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech to encourage support and bring a nation together to fight for equal rights.

Poetry is music or lyrics from a musical artist like Tupac Shakur that speaks the truth about hate, crime, living in poverty, and rising to fame.  It is the sound of a wonderful instrument playing a soothing sound in an orchestra or the beautiful sounds that birds and insects make at the break of day light.

Poetry is a romantic 1939 American classic film, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell or a gruesome film like Silence of the Lambs by Jonathan Demme.  Poetry can be anything a person thinks, says, or sees if it affects a person mentally, physically, or emotionally.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Legalizing Marijuana

Legalizing marijuana is a very controversial subject in the United States.  Marijuana is thought to have originated in the mountainous districts of India, north of the Himalayan Mountains.  It is a plant that has been used in rituals and prescribed in some states in the United States by doctors to help patients therapeutically.  Though, the United States Penal code states that any person can be imprisoned for up to one year for possession of one marijuana cigarette and imprisoned for up to five years for growing a single marijuana plant, some state have legalize its use for medicinal purposes.  In my opinion, doctors should be able to prescribe marijuana in any states in the U.S. to patients as they already do with cocaine and morphine.

The negative and long-term health consequences of smoking marijuana effect the respiratory the same way as smoking a cigarette.  Marijuana affects the brain which controls the sex and growth hormones.  In males, marijuana can decrease the male sperm count and cause abnormal sperm.  As in female, marijuana affects the brain as does the male.  Mothers who smoke marijuana on a regular basis have been reported to have babies with weak nervous system.  According to the usdoj.gov website, heart attack is five times higher than usual in the hour after smoking marijuana.

Even though there are negative effects from the use of marijuana smoking, there are also the positive sides which I agree on.  If marijuana is used for medical purpose to help cure a patient therapeutically, it should be acceptable as long as it is controlled and not abused.  Drugs that are labeled illegal like Cocaine are used in Novocain and Morphine is used in surgery rooms are currently in today’s market, so why should marijuana be any different from the two.

According to onlinespot.org research website, marijuana has been found to help people who are terminally ill, who have nausea, pain, appetite loss, and glaucoma. This medicine does not cure a person, but can help temporarily to make the pain go away, so the person would be able to have temporarily control over their body.

In a story featured in High Times website, a man by the name of Jim Barnes was diagnosed with HIV and was taking anti-viral therapy for his illness and had side effects of nausea and pain throughout his body.  The drug was causing him difficulty, so he took marijuana which helped him out, so he stopped the anti-viral therapy, which was causing him the side effects.  Another man featured in the story was Greg Scott, who was also diagnosed with AIDS and losing weight, he took marijuana to maintain his appetite, which helped him, so the doctors told him to keep on doing what he was doing because it is helping him with his weight.

Marijuana has been labeled as a recreational or illegal drug in the American eyes, which has turned many people against it.  If people would look at the positive effects it has done to ill patients, then they would see the positive use of marijuana.  A normal or healthy person would look at marijuana as an illegal drug, but for an ill patient, it is probably their last or only hope to temporarily calm their pain.  Marijuana in my eyes should only be legalized for the purpose of medicinal use and medicinal use only.  So it is time to change the way we think of marijuana and legalize it for patients who need it.


Speaking out against drug legalization, http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/demand/speakout/index.html, last accessed June 5, 2012

More states move toward allowing medical marijuana use, from the web at, http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-03-25-pot_N.htm, last accessed June 5, 2012

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), from the web at http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3391, last accessed June 5, 2012

Marijuana and AIDS, http://www.marijuanalibrary.org/aids.html, last accessed June 5, 2012

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Alex Steiweiss

Before the 1940’s, record stores that were devoted to sell records were a rare thing to find.  How record albums were sold was in appliance stores alongside the record players, in the same aisle as refrigerators and washing machines.  They were displayed like books on a shelf with a brown sleeve, which the vinyl was placed inside.  This was the way it was for many years until a brilliant man by the name of Alex Steinweiss came along.

“I love music so much and I had such ambition that I was willing to go way beyond what the hell they were paying me for. I wanted people to look at the art work and hear the music.”  – Alex Steinweiss

In 1917, March 24th, Alex Steinweiss was born in Brooklyn, New York.  His father was a female shoe designer from Warsaw and his mother was a seamstress from Riga, Latvia.  After he was born, his parents moved to the lower East Side of Manhattan, New York and settled in Brighton Beach part of Brooklyn.

Alex Steinweiss was the man who invented the cover for music albums and created a new form of art after rebelling on how dull the record covers were and persuaded his boss at Columbia Records to let him experiment with his brilliant ideas.  Before he came up with such an idea of album art covers, vinyl records were simply just sold in brown wrapper or sleeves to protect the record.  After replacing the brown cover with fancy art, the company’s sales jumped over 800 percent in 1940’s.  With his illustration, he took the industry by surprise, which help revolutionize the way music was being sold.  For the next three decades, he made art work for genres of music like jazz, classical, and companies like Columbia, London, and Everest.

He later continues his art with Decca and London and did a series cover of logos and labels for the startup of Everest Label from 1958 to 1960.  His final period of work designing covers for records was around 1960 to 1973 still working for Decca and London, which his new development were die-cut designs and collages.

The first cover that he did was an album cover for a collection of Rodgers and Hart Songs performed by an orchestra; it showed a high-contrast photo of a theater with the title in lights.  This was just a simple idea of a record being attached to music, as Paula Scher, designer record cover for Columbia in the 1970’s era.  Other album cover designs he did were, The Beatles Sergeant Pepper and Nirvana’s Nevermind.

During his younger years, Alex Steinweiss had spent time studying at Brooklyn’s Abraham Lincoln High School under designer Leon Friend.  He had also hung out with a group, which they were known as the “Art Squad,” and collaborated on poster and signs for events at that school.

He has once stated that, “If someday, I could become a great sign painter, that would be terrific,” because he was amazed on how some of the students in his class could take a brush and dip it into paint and make beautiful letters.

After graduating, he Alex Steinweiss earned a scholarship to the Parson School of Design.  He had also worked for the Austrian Poster designer Joseph Binder, who influenced him to use the style of flat colored and simplified human figure, which was popular at the time.

During the war of World War II, Alex Steinweiss became advertising manager for Columbia Records.  He then left for a job at the Naval Training and Development Center in New York City to make training materials and cautionary posters.  After the war was over, Alex Steinweiss we back to Columbia Records and freelance for them.  During one meeting, the president of Columbia showed him an innovation that the company was about the release.

He was later asked to develop the album cover for the new format from Columbia’s record sleeves.  With the help of his brother-in-law, he opened his own manufacturer company, but under his contract with Columbia Records, all patent were to be waived while working for them, so the right was no longer his but the company who invested in his company.

He had also, design art work for bottle companies, posters, magazines, books, and titles for TV shows.  There is one today that is still around, which is the design for the coca-cola bottle.

Alex Steinweiss had claimed that his Steinweiss’ signature font, the Steinweiss Scrawl, appeared in 1948.

At the age of 55 years old, Alex Steinweiss left the music business, due to the new and emerging rock era designs that he knew he could no longer compete with.  After he left, he started making ceramic work (pots and bowls), his own art, and later started painting in musical themes.  It seems as if he left the industry, but still had a passion to continue on being attached to music, either in another or portraying it in art form.  His wife and him later moved to Sarasota, Florida in 1974 and comes out once in a long time just for public appearance.

In 2001, Alex Steinweiss was featured in the Carlos McCormick’s gallery show, the “LP Show.”  It originated in New Yorks Exit Art, and in 2002 traveled to the Experience Music Project in Seattle, Washington and then to the Andy  Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In 2003, an award, Alex award for excellence in album art cover, was named after Alex Steinweiss in honor of him from the CMP Information and the International Recording Media Association.

In 2010, his wife of 71 years died and survived by a daughter; six grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.  He died later the next year in 2011, in Sarasota, Florida.

There are about 100 art albums designed by Alex Steinweiss in the archives of museum of modern art.  He also received awards as the AIGA Medal and the Art Directors Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award.  There are many art works that he had never published that is in the Steinweiss Archives.






Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Females in the Music Scene/Industry

In the music and entertainment business, many women have been over looked and not as recognize as their counterpart, the men.  Throughout my life, I had never bought a female singer’s record or gone to a concert, which a female was the main singer of the night.  It is not that I do not like woman who sings, but it is their music that is not as appealing to my ears as the men’s music that have a story line, which I can relate to.  Even though I do not personally listen to female musician’s music, I do hear it over the radio plays when my car radio is tuned into a Hip-Hop, Country, or Soft-Rock station.  So it will be a little difficult for me for this week’s research on the three female musician or entertainment icons: Beyoncé Knowles, Aretha Franklin, and Marilyn Monroe.

To start off, Beyoncé Knowles, after briefly reading several internet web pages about Beyoncé, I do not seem to like who she is and how she got where she is at.  She was basically a suburban brat.  Even though I do not like her, she has contributed a lot to the female community by making songs that help empower them.  With her fame, she helped donated $100,000 to a relief fund when Hurricane Ike hit and also organized a fund raiser for the victims of that hurricane.  With her opening her new cosmetology center, she will be donating $100,000 annually.  Yes, she haves money to donate to make herself stand out and use as a tax deduction at the end of the year.

Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul, was born from a father who was a preacher.  This woman was a very talented singer, song writer, and pianist.  She learned to play piano by ear and probably learned her talented singing from church.  Her music to me seems to be a blend of jazz and gospel together.  She seemed to have gone through a rough time in life, at the age of 14 she had a child that she did not state who the father was and her grandmother who helped raise her died during her childhood years which she suffered a tragedy.  She rose to fame and also fell from fame through her professional career. So, in 1980 she made a comeback which launched several major hits.  In 1987 she returned to singing her gospel music and also that year, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  In 2009 she performed at the President Barrack Obama’s inauguration. And in 2010, she went through a surgery and was said to have pancreatic cancer.  She is a pure pioneer for women in the entertainment business.

Marilyn Monroe was a very sexy iconic woman that stood out during her time that she was living and famous.  Being raised in several foster homes, she was able to beat the system and made herself an icon.  Even though her movies did not do well, she did do well with her looks.  It does pay to have good looks and use it.  It seems that with her sexy personality, she was able to get around things that the usual person would not be able to, like getting out of a psych ward.  I do not dislike her for using her beauty as a powerful weapon, because that was probably her only way to get away from poverty and reality.  I do not think that it was all her that helped her to fame, it was more of Hollywood that enhanced it.

In all, I would think that Aretha Franklin and Marilyn Monroe had much more things in common, because they both had a rough life growing up and are from a not so upper class neighborhood like Beyoncé.  Beyoncé had it all; her mother was a well-known hair dresser and clothing designer and her father a salesman.  One thing that I thought Aretha and Beyoncé had in common was that, there was nothing mentioned about drug use or drug overdose, and they are both still alive.  Marilyn Monroe used drugs and overdosed, which caused her death.  But, all these three ladies do have one thing in common; it is that they are famous and that they are women.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Famous Folks of the Music Industry

After reading from several websites and watching several youtube videos on Ahmet Ertegun, Quincy Jones, and Tommy Tallarico, I was able to learn something positive from each individual.  They are all three great men with the passion and love for what they do, that is probably why they are so successful in their field of passion.  They are men with great visions and timing in the entertainment business.  I envy their success.

Out of the three, I would say the Ahmet Ertegun would be my favorite.  He was a man who had a vision, an ear, and the love for music.  In the videos posted on youtube.com, he was the main guy interviewing his artist and telling about his passion.  At his artists’ performance, he would sit in the front row and from the looks of it, he really does enjoy every moment of the entertainment. He seemed to always have a sense of humor and tells stories of how great his artists’ were.  The man is full of life.  Even his former contracted artists’ speak highly of him.  With someone with that kind of a caliber, he would be someone I would emulate.  The artists’ that he worked with were great artists’, but they lack the resource to help them achieve higher fame.  With Ahmet’s help, these bands were able to grow to a level they would not have become if they would not have met Ahmet.  This man was a great man and loved music so much, he would later slip and fall at the Rolling Stones concert and later died from the injury.  This would be what I call, “Falling in love and dyeing for your passion.”

I had never heard of Tommy Tallarico until this research.  I would say that he is quite a game enthusiast.  The man creates sound for games and gets paid millions, I cannot hate on that.  He is like a child-game-freak that is getting paid for making music, playing games, and being himself.  Who would not love to be him?  I know I would.  I am not a person who plays game on a regular basis, but reading about how he got where he is makes me want to rethink about why I do not pick up a game console control and play with my nephews.  Whatever he did paid off big in the end and still does.  He drives a Ferrari and lives in a mansion full of superhero’s and game characters, this must be the life of what every gamer dreams about when they are an addict to it.  I do not know if he is a pioneer of the music for games, but it does sure seem it that way.

Quincy Jones Jr., this man seems to have touched every aspect of music in his life and still does until this day.  He looks very intelligent, full of knowledge and has stories to tell.  He seems to be a very well respected man in the entertainment business, since he haves a record of working with people from the sports industry like Shaq to the broader entertainment industry.  He also haves an autobiography, Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones,”about him that was listed on the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal’s best-selling list.  This man is an achiever who keeps on achieving goals and does not seem to be stopping anytime soon of what he is doing.

I would say that all three men that I wrote my opinion about were pretty close to having many similarities.  They all have a passion for music is living quite well off of their passion.  All three has received many achievement awards for their contribution to the entertainment business.  What they have done has made a big impact in the lives of many people who enjoy the same love of music as they do.  Yes, the three love music, but it is the level that they took it that made them stand out for us to study and learn from.  These three great men are like people of our pass that we study in history class throughout high school and college.  There is a reason why we study them, it is that they were the ones that made the mistakes and learned from it, so we would not have to repeat the same mistake they made and start off were they left off.  This is a bad example but, it is like people who wait until their parent’s die, so they could cash out on the life insurance as a beneficiary and use half of it to invest into another life insurance so their children and children’s children ,continue to the next generations, would continue the same investment and live comfortably.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Music Entertainment Industry Websites

Industry Websites

The World Wide Web (WWW) has a plethora of websites for amateurs, or professionals in the music industry to do their researches on musical instruments, software, for knowledge, or to just simply purchase an item.  There are also many other websites that people visit to download or upload beats, listen to instrumentals or music before purchasing a track, or music for people who are always seeking or on the lookout for something new and different to listen to.  One of the websites that I visit regularly is SoudClick.com which people can upload or download music from for free or from a purchase.  Another website that I started visit for music software and hardware is Sweetwater.com, thanks to a friend that showed me the website.

I found out about SoundClick.com back in the year 2004, but did not regularly visit the website or create an account with them until this year (2011), when I decided to take my passion of listening, recording, and creating music seriously.  This was a website that I would start to visit regularly on a weekly basis, and get new ideas for creating beats and leasing artists’ beats or instrumentals, for a small fee, to use for someone’s vocal that I am recording.  Thanks to websites like SoundClick.com, that has help make my creativity easier.  SoundClick.com is a place for artists’, or everyone that is in the music industry, to the average listener to come to a central location on the net as a community and share what they have to offer, from listening, posting, exposing, advertising, or just to leave a constructive comment.

Last month, I was having a hard time finding information for a class, about a console’s patch-bay, so a schoolmate showed me the website of Sweetwater.com, which had a link to a glossary page with information about many equipment and things in the music industry.  I tried searching for a glossary in Guitarcenter.com, but it came up with nothing.  This was very interesting and helpful at the same time.  Also, their prices are pretty fair and with free shipping, free life time tech support, and a 2 year free warranty.  This site is one of the best that I came across.  The person who designed the website, designed it in a way where it looks friendly and welcoming for people who does not know how to navigate that well or no only a little about musical instruments, equipment, software, or hardware.

There are probably other sites within the WWW, that I have not come across yet, that have better deals or features than the two that I had mentioned.  In my opinion, I believe every warehouse that has a website is out to try and dominate the other for personal gain by offering something different and unique.  With this world becoming more and more high-tech and wireless in the music industry, pretty soon we will have less and less stores where we could actually see and hold the product being sold, unless it is a product of demand.  Back when I was young, I remembered buying my first Pearl Snare Drum from a music store off of Arcade Street on the East Side of Saint Paul.  At the time, there were many music stores around the Twin Cities that I could have my parents drive around and look for the best price, but now, I could compare prices by just sitting in my bedroom and having several music sites pull up to find the best price to choose from.  I do not have to drive all over town to find the best priced music instrument, I could purchase it by clicking and plugging in a few bank account numbers and they will guarantee me a brand new not touched in the box item.  That is probably why I only see a few music stores in the area that are still surviving, even though they charge you with a state tax, from people who are not net buyers, because they like to physically feel, test, and see the item.  Or from people who are in quick need of equipment, wire, or plug at the moment.  As for me, I am a net buyer, the only reasons I end up at Guitar Center is to just to touch, feel, and test the equipment that I have in mind and then go purchase it from the website that I found the best deal.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

About a Man: Bob Hope

Bob Hope

Before enlisting into the military, I had no idea who Bob Hope was, and what contributions he did for the United States of America’s Armed Forces.  During my first overseas deployment to Afghanistan, one of the service members in my unit talked highly about Bob Hope and an organization he was a part of.  Not knowing who he was, I asked them kindly, who this highly talked about man was.  Many service members would look at me with a strange face and said, “You do not know who Bob Hope is?”  I truly did not know who he was, so I decided to do my research on who Bob Hope was and what is so significant about him that these troops were constantly ranting about.  I searched through the internet, read many articles, and came to realize that, the care packages that I was receiving was from an organization named the USO (The United Services Organizations Inc.), which was founded in 1941 in response to President Roosevelt’s request to boost military personnel’s morale and provide recreation services.  Bob Hope played a significant role as a member of the USO, he would voluntarily fly overseas to perform live for the troops where ever they were stationed, no matter if it was on a base in Germany or in the middle of an Afghanistan desert.

Bob Hope (Born Leslie Townes Hope) was a British born American who was an actor, comedian, author, golfer, and a generous humanitarian worker.  Throughout his career, he has appeared on Broadway, television, radios, and movies.  Being born in England, he was the fifth of seven siblings.  In 1908, his family moved from England to Cleveland, Ohio.  In 1920 at the age of 17, he became a United States citizen.  In 1934, he was employed at Educational in New York and made his first film and was later fired for making a comment about John Dillinger.  He also served as an honorary chairman for Fight for Sight; he also donated $100,000 to establish a Bob Hope Fight for Sight Fund. When he was 95, he made an appearance at the Prime Time Emmy Awards. On July 2003, he died at his home in Toluca Lake.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment