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"F*** Kevin Durant" - Lil' B.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Scene Report 5/27

This is a scene report from my neck of the woods. I had a busy week! I saw two shows, which is a lot for me.

The first was Allergy and Tashme at Faith/Void on Sunday. I wanted to see Tashme because I met Lautaro a couple months ago. I missed them on April 27 at the benefit show cuz I was getting wild in Talla-Fuckin-Dega, baby! They were great on Sunday. Allergy is a tight band who play fast punk, but they have way too many pedals. I was making sour faces during their set, and the guitarist threw a water bottle in my general direction. Coincidence? I wanted to creepy crawl on their pedals. The band might have sounded better.

I overheard some kids talking about a dude who was X'ed up at a show but smoked weed the day before. LOL DRAMA!

The second show was Backtrack et al. at Coalition. It was a pretty hardcore crowd. Hardcore kids are the nicest people, but the crowdkilling is too much for me. There was a guy outside playing a tree branch like a theremin which was pretty trippy. Definitely look for him at the next show and give him a dollar cuz that shit is jokes. Regulate was the band I wanted to see most. I became hip to them after their singer Seb was on the first Axe to Grind. I was gonna ask him about the Migos but I chickened out. Backtrack was pretty good. "Their Rules" went over great live. The other bands were chill I guess.

There was some drama in the parking lot before Backtrack's set. Some dude was going off. Apparently he tries to fight at every show and his girlfriend cheated on him. I certainly don't want it with that man. I hope he overcomes whatever's making him mad.

I finished some album art this week for a project scheduled to drop on June 2nd. It was a favour for an old friend. I'll post it here once it drops.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Happy International Women's Day

This image doesn't match with the visuals of my blog but I don't give a fuuuuuck
I would like to dedicate this special day to a lot of great women. Mostly my mom and my sister. Dr. Jessica Langer deserves a lot of credit for being an inspiration to the women in my class. Those aforementioned women in my class deserve a lot of credit for putting up with Ben and I, as well as generally being awesome. Thanks to all the women in my life.

International Women's Day should be every day, but it's not. If you're a woman, be proud! Today is your day.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

The Evolution of Instagram

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I came late to the Instagram game. I think I joined in 2012. All my friends already had it. I remember my boy saying, “it’s all about what you like, man.” Instragram triggered a weird pattern of behaviour in me. It became all about the two m’s – models and memes. I started taking a lot of selfies, and for some weird reason, I wouldn’t let my followers/following ratio go below 1.

Instagram was different from Twitter and Facebook in that it didn’t reinvent the wheel. There were a million photo-sharing platforms Instagram had to compete with, but some of them were kinda douchey. Instagram was successful because 1) it was primarily a moble app 2) it focused on the “social” part of social media and 3) it simplified the shit out of everything. They made it all about easy metrics – follows, likes and comments.

From this combination of simplicity and visual appeal arose primordial versions of what we now know as “the influencer”. People were thrust into the public consciousness just by having popular Instagram accounts. We knew their faces, fashions and lifestyles, and we also knew how powerful their reach was.

Companies took to Instagram for much of the same reason. Unlike other social media platforms, you could straight up advertise on Instagram and people would react with it in droves, as long as it looked appealing. This really bode well for photographers, visual artists and the fashion industry. Inevitably, strategic partnerships began developing between brands and influencers. This crossover started with detox tea companies (as the old joke goes), but real companies eventually got wise to Instagram’s marketing potential. Somewhere along the way, Alexis Ren ended up in a Hyundai commercial.

Instagram used to be my favourite app until recently, but things have changed. The explore function used to be my favourite. Now for some reason I can’t make it single photo view without clicking on the pictures, and when I click, it takes me to an “explore page” of just that account. Does anyone know how to change this? It’s seriously ruining my procrastination steez/meme dm’ing. I also don’t like the new algorithm-based timeline, I find it buries my friend’s pictures behind all the Tinder bots I’ve been tricked into following. 

Friday, 12 January 2018

The Evolution of Twitter

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I joined Twitter in first year of college, 2009. Twitter was introduced to me in journalism school in terms of its capabilities as a "huge rss feed/wire service". Twitter made it easy to give real time updates on live events, which you could classify using this new thing called hashtags. This was called livetweeting.

If you had a public account, everyone on the Internet could easily access your tweets - a capability that didn't exist anywhere else. You could also personalize your profile to an extent that didn't exist on Facebook, but with less of the options for ugly shit that made Myspace a disaster.

The public relations students at my college were probably learning about Twitter as well. Twitter revolutionized PR. If someone had beef with/questions for a company pre-Twitter, they would have to write a letter to the editor or some shit. With Twitter, people could write literally anything about your company and millions of people could see it just by searching your company's name. I feel like this forced a lot of companies to start using social media. It used to be like the fuckin wild wild west before all these companies figured the game out. You would get real time help and genuine solutions just by talking shit on a company online.

Microbloggers were popular on Twitter. Mans would have all their tweets be about a specific thing, and interested people would follow them. I remember when the dude from "Shit my Dad Says" got a book deal, which legitimized him irl. Funny, cuz nowadays authors are legitimized when they get a blue checkmark on Twitter. How times have changed.

The evolution of Twitter's features/interface has -until recently - been subtle. However the company's "off the field" evolution has been anything but.

Oh dear...
On one hand, Twitter has always struggled to monetize it's success. Plus you have the whole awkward takeover/dismantling of Vine. On the other hand, Twitter has been a key tool in actual political revolutions. It also became a "demilitarized zone" where otherwise boring companies started developing their own voice and even feuding with each other. Twitter's main differentiating factors, the @ and # functions, are now staples across social media.

Twitter changed a whole lot in 2017. The character limit doubled. The Timeline changed from chronological to algorithm based. I'm starting to see garbage in my feed just because someone I follow liked it. Twitter is more and more resembling Facebook to me (aka advertisement soup). I get the feel Twitter may be doing some last-ditch attempt to save itself.

You used to go on Twitter to laugh at dril. Now you go to watch Hamburger Helper combat sexism and see the President of the United States threatening to start WWIII on a daily basis. I honestly don't know what to think of Twitter anymore.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

XO Blog Life

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I think I'm gonna start paying for a music streaming service, cuz I don't wanna hear Spotify ads anymore. Should I pick Spotify, Apple Music, Google Music or Tidal?


Spotify are industry pioneers and set the standard for what is possible. I also like their brand better. They have a whole swath of influencers, digital media platforms and other stuff outside of streaming. They seem the most genuine in terms of having roots in the industry.

Apple Music

Apple's losing the battle on a music related front for the first time in a long time. Apple music is compatible with my iPhone/iTunes but since I illegally downloaded my iTunes, will it disappear?

There's no free version so I'm not familiar with the interface. It looks pretty good. Is it nice?

Google Music

I've used this shit before and it sucks haha. Plus the interface hurts my brain.


Tidal is really pushing the community aspect in your face. It has an entire "Athletic" type platform where you sign up to get quality journalism. Which is a cool idea

Just from the looks and what I've heard, I'm suspicious as all hell, but I wanna bump this one Jay-Z record on repeat.

Which one do you use? Is it worth it to switch from Spotify? Should I even pay for this shit? 

Monday, 8 January 2018

Could I become a legit Gab Troll?

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I recently caught wind of a website called "Gab", which was billed to me as the alt-right Twitter. Twitter has, in my opinion, flushed itself down the proverbial toilet these days, so I checked Gab out.

I know, I know. Gab is a haven for Nazi trolls who caught Twitter bans, but I'm an open minded guy. I'm willing to use anything if it has redeeming value.

So I went on Gab. This is the login page:

Nice. I'm a huge fan of free speech. It's one of the best tools for marginalized people to be heard in society. I'm thinking, at this point, maybe Gab isn't as bad as it's made out to be.

So I go to the Explore function, and college football is one of the topics. Seems innocuous. So I click, and here's literally the first thing to come up:

This got me thinking. Could I become an influencer on Gab by being a vaguely annoying, but loveable left leaning goon? Like Tomi Lahren but progressive and a dude. It would be easy to make a splash. All I would have to do is have crazy takes like "white privilege exists" or "cis dudes privates' smell like cheese" and thousands of people would spazz. 

I could post three times daily, linking to a right, mainstream and left leaning media source, every day. Gab gives me 300 characters to work with. 500 followers in six months would be something to shoot for.

There are some roadblocks tho. Would there be enough left-leaning Gabbers(???) to follow me? I could scoop libertarians on some "open borders for all" trip and evolve from there. Some right-leaning women have been big in the anti-harassment movement, they could be allies too. The risk is that not enough lefties would come over to Gab, leaving me without a support base of serious followers.

Another thing I'd worry about is getting doxxed or harassed irl by some of these so called "free speech lovers" when they inevitably disagree with me. I'm not sure I can deal with that. But it might be worth it to fight the good fight.

I would love to actually try this. It would be a big career boost and maybe I would actually school some racist turds along the way. Is this a good idea? Do you have any good ideas for how I could execute it?

Friday, 5 January 2018

The Evolution of Facebook

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Mark Zuckerberg came out today saying his New Years Resolution is to "fix Facebook", because it's apparently gotten too off the rails with fake news. What a serendipitous time to debut my mini blog series, "Remember When: The Evolution of Social Media." Today we'll focus on Facebook.

Facebook is the most popular social media site, according to like, studies or something. However, it was at one point second most popular, next to MySpace. I got Facebook in 2007, right around the time it switched. What a different time it was!

Facebook used to be all about your friends. They would post statuses and photos, which you could "like". The status bar was locked at "Vince Guglielmi is _______." So, if you wanted ice cream, you had to write "Vince Guglielmi is hungry for ice cream" as opposed to "Vince Guglielmi wants ice cream." Or you could write on your friend's wall and be like "wanna get some ice cream?" Yeah. People used to write on each other's walls. Crazy.

A screenshot from 2007 Facebook.

Business was different too. Pages didn't exist yet, so advertising was much harder. People would create fan groups for their brands/artists/whatever. Fans even ran those groups sometimes. In order to see anything from a group page, you had to be a member of the group. Sharing didn't exist in any capacity.

Filling out your profile used to be a big deal, especially the relationship status part. There were a few options; Single, in a Relationship, Married, and 'it's Complicated'. Imagine hitting someone/getting hit with the "it's complicated" request? What a savage maneuver. You could also fill out info about your favourite bands, movies and books, which people would spend hours doing.

Facebook gradually started changing, adding third-party apps, chat functions, and pages. Apps were nuts. They used to have all sorts of extra stuff like "pick five lists" where you could like "create your 5-member dream band", and it would show up in your friend's feeds. There were also Buzzfeed-style quizzes for days. Facebook eventually dismantled the ensuing cluster-fuck, but not before harvesting all the information, I'm sure.

Fan groups slowly got replaced by Pages, which wasn't a big deal at the time, because most companies weren't smart enough to make fan groups anyways. Looking back, though, Pages were a really big change in Facebook's advertising and community engagement capabilities. At one point, Facebook took the bands and movies people said they liked on their profiles and instantly made people fans of the pages. Savage.

Nowadays, Facebook looks more like a classifieds section than a reflection of anything your friends are doing. People used to post full photo albums of every party they went to, now they share their one curated Instagram post from the party and that's it. When's the last time you wrote on someone's wall, except for on their birthday? In a business sense, the new algorithm seems to have made it easier to buy your way to the top. Facebook isn't even trying to hide that fact. They were practically begging me for four bucks, to boost my post, today. I know you're a publicly traded company with families to feed and all, but like, chill out man.

Despite my bitching, I still go on Facebook multiple times a day, as do many other people in this world. The company has created a brand as ubiquitous as Nike and Coca Cola, and I have a hard time believing Facebook will disappear in my lifetime.