5 Questions with @Dogboyinc…Ramble

The search for a dog trainer plagued me and Rocknroll_ELLE for several months. First there was the “alleged” Dog Whisperer of the neighbourhood who is studying to be a zoologist who failed to show up or cancel last-minute several times. We would run into him and he would act like we went on a few dates and it went bad. Seriously. Next we went to a puppy class where we learned “your pet doesn’t work for beef jerky, it works for love” and apparently if that doesn’t work use a choking collar. I used the American Kennel Club for references and found one I liked but she was getting married and occupied with that.

Finally our neighbour insisted we use Dog Boy Inc. His logo is pretty awesome and I was glad that someone  I knew had used him before and low and behold we had a winner. Robert Haussman, aka Dog Boy, has trained Elle to even roll over and play dead aka “bang bang.” I think it’s an absolute necessity of any urban dog owner to get some kind of training for their dog and so happy I found a really excellent one!

1. What questions should a pet owner ask about a potential dog trainer?
The thing to be aware of when hiring a dog trainer is that training is a fairly unregulated field.

A. Ask if they have any certification. The certification council for profession dog trainers has a pretty good track record and has an online database of trainers for dog owners who are in the market.

B. I would also ask what their method of training is and be sure it is humane in nature and doesn’t revolve primarily around dominance, or shocking and choking your dog. Although leadership is a key element to a healthy relationship with your dog, many trainers mistaken this for the need to use force to force the dog to submit which is nonsense and has a tendency to do more harm then good.

C. Last I would ask for referrals. Be specific, if you have an aggressive pit bull than ask for a referral of someone with an aggressive bit bull who they have worked with.

2. In your opinion is training a dog necessary for urban dogs? All dogs?

I think training your dog is the ultimate way to spoil you dog. It is responsible pet ownership to be sure your dog knows what is expected of him and what is appropriate behavior in the humane environment that he shares with you. You can’t punish him for rules he doesn’t know he has broken. So yes absolutely!

3. A couple of weeks ago a delivery man who was mauled by 3 pitbulls in Brooklyn. There were signs posted saying ‘beware of the dog’ but he did not speak English. One of the dogs died in the mayhem and the other two were ceased and await action. Do you think those Pitbulls are trainable to be aggressive but not immediately attack a person who is in their space?

That’s tough to say. More than anything it is a responsibility issue for the owner. If you have dogs for the purpose of protection (which I am not a fan of in the first place) there should be preventive steps in place to ensure the safety of the community you live in. You wouldn’t leave a loaded gun out on the coffee table during a dinner party, someone could get hurt or worse. Pit bulls get a very bad reputation because of owners like this. These particular dogs we’re likely trained to be aggressive and poorly trained at that. I think it boils down to stupidity. And it is unlikely that the dogs will be able to be trained to be selective about who is and is not allowed on the property. This is an issue I take to heart since I love the bread and so many are put down each year because of stupid humans.

4.  In your experience, who needs the training more the humans or the canines?

Humans! Lol. Dogs are fairly predictable, humans are always a wild card…

5. A lot of new dog owners face the challenge of training their dogs but strangers want to pet their dog and throw off the behaviour. What are some tips for to avoid the awkward neighbor from rewarding your dog with affection while you are training your dog?

Try and involve them! Tell them you are in training and you can really use their help. They will either joyfully participate or recoil in horror. If someone is particularly uncooperative tell them your puppy is sick and highly contagious…lol.

5 Questions with @mrlippman…Ramble

I met @mrlippman when I had just started working at Yahoo! He and Michael Lippman came by to talk about premiering a Rob Thomas video and at the end they revealed they were in business with my favorite artist, George Michael in the U.S. again. An audible gasp was all I could respond in my utter amazement. George is my musical Highlander after all so it thrills me to have Nick Lippman as the first music artist manager answer 5 Questions!

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Vocation: Artist Manager, VP, Business Development
Sign: Virgo!!!!

1. As part of your job as an artist manager, you took the plunge with Matchbox Twenty on USB keys. What made the idea stand out from all the other items you get pitched?

We at Lippman Entertainment are always looking to be at the forefront of the music industry, technology is the forefront and new avenues of music distribution are what we are all trying to wrap our heads around. When I saw the USB wristbands I was immediately drawn to the meshing of simplicity and technology. The key to the wristband was that it was not just a wristband, but an album, artwork and it was reusable flash drive, meaning that it could also hold more information than we had preloaded so fans and consumers got great value for their money. We were very happy with how the wristband has turned out for us and our fans.

2. What are the biggest challenges working with established artists vs. breaking in new artists?

The biggest challenges working with an established band in today’s industry is getting them on board with all the new social media and the role the band has to take part in to keep the consumers interested. The old album cycle, tour, single on radio etc… days are over. What was once considered “selling out” is now considered a necessity to survive.

Breaking a new artist is a different difficult challenge. The new artists understand all of the above that needs to go on but they do not comprehend “quality control”. Just posting something to post it may have a negative effect even thought the band/artist thinks that fans want content, which they do, but be careful about what kind of content and keeping that content consistent with the image of the band. One key I always tell new bands is to stay away from posting inside jokes, the public doesn’t understand them and they are now more alienated than they were before. Fans want to feel like they know the band and are a part of the team. Also with the declining of tour sales, more established acts are being packaged with other known acts leaving lees room to take on an unknown band and help them get discovered.

3. With the advent of YouTube, the market is flooded with so many hopeful artists. Do you it as a discovery tool?

I honestly don’t look at YouTube as a discovery tool, I look at you tube as a follow-up tool. If I am turned on to a band and really like the music, I will go to you tube to try to see if I can see some live footage to make sure the band can play the songs and has a presence. It’s easy to be fooled buy things such as “plays” and how much people watch something on you tube, MySpace, etc. so I personally don’t look at those stats unless its something I am pursuing then I want to find out the “truth” behind the numbers.

4. What advice would you give to a new artist on finding a manager?

There are a number of things I would advise but here are the main ones. Find someone who is WELL CONNECTED but also WELL RESPECTED in the business. Relationships are the MOST IMPORTANT thing in the business and more so is the REPUTATION of the manager. Make sure the manager is well versed on the internet, social media and new media worlds. Also make sure the manager is aware of the NEW MODEL of the record industry and is not just trying to do the whole major label deal as the only route thing… It is worth the investment in a great manager but all artists need to understand it’s still and always will be about the songs. A manager can get you to the most important people in the biz, but if the music is not there then nothing will happen. Finally make sure your manager believes in YOU, your music and where you want to go. You need someone who doesn’t give a fuck if they hear 100 no’s because they believe and will work for that all important YES.

5. You are part of The New Atlantians founded by fellow artist manager Anthony Cordova. Could you explain what the group’s purpose is?

The purpose of the New Atlantians for me is being a part of something bigger than yourself. Anthony (Cordova) is one of the few people in the world i truly admire. He does things with his heart and looks to do whats best for the world. I admire that and strive to be like that myself. The New Atlantians is a place for me to being amongst like-minded and equally as hard-working people all trying to make a change for the better in all aspects of our lives, where we can count on each other to help both philanthropical and on the business end. I have been to over 14 events and have made some life long friends, have done business with them and have been a part of numerous charity events. I am proud to be a part of the New Atlantians.

5 Questions with @lizapalmer…Ramble

I was at the library (they still exist, try one you may like it) last year in search of a good read when I saw a very intriguing title Seeing Me Naked by @lizapalmer. It’s about a pastry chef from a literary family who must stop being so critical and start accepting the world has other plans to make her happy if only she can let down her guard and let go of the past. I was ‘sucked in’ from page one.

I wanted more from this author, Liza Palmer, who had created such believeable characters I felt like I was with them at brunch in LA and driving up the 101. Fortunately for me there is a bookstore a few blocks from my apartment which is open past 6 P.M. when it the urgent need to read anything Liza had written hit me. Fortunately, her debut novel, Conversations with the Fat Girl, was available and incidently is currently optioned by HBO for a series development.

As fate would have it, one day @lizapalmer tweeted about the relaunch of her website. Thus a retweeting & comment of that lead me to connecting with Liza herself. When her new book  A Field Guide To Burying Your Parents was released, the pleasure extended past to  reviewing it for SheKnows.com and most delightfully getting to interview Liza.

There are so many rules to everything we do. Liza’s characters break out of the way society sees them, push forward through their issues and face who they were meant to be instead of who people expect them to be. Palmer’s characters resonate as real people because she is such a spark plug herself.

Location: Los Angeles
Vocation: Writer
Sign: Leo
website: www.lizapalmer.com

1) You’ve mentioned in interviews your creative process starts with questions. What have the questions and challenges you’ve asked your characters to face that have taught you something about yourself?

I think it’s all about this puppet theater of self-discovery.  I ask the same questions we all ask. Conversations with the Fat Girl was me asking questions about who I was – who I really was. Seeing Me Naked was me asking questions about who I was in the reflection of my parents. And A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents is me asking the question of who I am without my parents.  It’s just this ongoing conversation about these giant set pieces in our lives.  The next book (White Picket Fences: And Other Crimes Against Humanity) is me questioning what it means to be a woman.  BUT!  And there’s a big but – writing novels shouldn’t be therapy.  It can’t be.  Oh my lord, no one – NO ONE – wants to see that.  Like a friend of mine says, everybody like a hot dog, but no one wants to know how its made.

2) Your third book, A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents brings up the deep subject of what happens when the roles reverse between parent and child as the caretaker. Which Hawke character reflects how you would deal with those situations?

I think it’s in my nature to question (as evidence by the screed above) so Grace is my natural doppleganger.  I have Huston tendencies – which is understandable as those two characters are really two sides of the same coin.  But, I think each sibling is another path – which was the idea.  Grief makes us do really crazy, beautiful, amazing, bizarre, unexplainable things.  Which is why WE NEED A FIELD GUIDE.

3) Some writing courses advise staying away from writing flashbacks yet Field Guide completely does this seemlessly. What was the most difficult part of writing flashbacks and tips you would give other writers for attempting it?

Ugh, the flashbacks.  That was BY FAR the hardest part of the structure of the novel.  We thought we were going to do trading chapters – one in the present, one in the past – but that didn’t work for obvious reasons.  It was an amazing writing exercise as I had to build this whole past life for the Hawkes – even more detailed than usual.  It helped me immeasurably.  I guess it’s about just diving into the world you’ve created.

Do you dare dive into the pensieve?

Like a pensieve.  You know?  If your character is experiencing something – what baggage are they carrying around that might make a cameo in that scenario?  Because the truth of the matter is that we’re all just Jacob Marleys – clanging around with chains from our past.  And the Hawkes really needed that illustrated in 3D – shit, I should have set this whole thing on Pandora.  I COULD HAVE MADE BILLIONS.

4) You’ve spoken about the notion of “Kill Your Darlings” when it comes to the edit process. Could you elaborate on what that entails?

It’s about getting out of the way. Taking your ego and all your “craft” and this and that and ‘I was trying to do this can’t you see’ and ‘the genius of that line lies in the….’ and letting the narrative breathe a little.  It can’t be about you.  There’s no place for it.  If you think a line or scene is hilllllarious, but it doesn’t move the story forward or build a character or work really at all (and who hasn’t thought that?!?!?!) put it on a t-shirt, but don’t weight down your prose with it.

5) Music seems to play a big role in your life including getting inspired for the title of Field Guide from Death Cab For Cutie. What are you listening to now & do you listen to music while you are writing?
I’m pretty much obsessed.  It’s kind of a problem.  What am I listening to RIGHT NOW????  Kids by MGMT.  I made a mix for a friend and I’m testing it out for flow.  THAT’S RIGHT.  For flow.  It has to not only contain amazing songs, but it has to build a mooooooood.  Man oh man.

I just downloaded the new David Gray album – and it’s breathtaking.  The song, Kathleen?? Yeah, it’s pretty much on repeat.
I love anything Timbaland does – I think he’s a genius.  I’ve been on a whole Pearl Jam kick – Crazy Mary and Wishlist being the top of the pops for me. I love the alt-country: Drive by Truckers, Kings of Leon, Son Volt…and then going back to the OG: The Band, Lynryd Skynyrd, Bad Company, Marshall Tucker Band – I love it all.  I know…no method to the madness.  And there’s nothing like a Joni Mitchell song while driving over Laurel Canyon.  Court and Spark????  Perfection.

While I’m writing I have a tendency to repeat songs over and over again.  I lean on movie soundtracks during writing – they have that swooning emotionalism I need.  I love Finale by Danny Elfman from The Kingdom soundtrack.  Anything from the Narnia movies.  The Transformers soundtrack is bananas.  Anything by Harry Gregson Wagner and Thomas Newman will do – they’re brilliant.  I thanked James Newton Howard in my acknowledgments because I must have played The Healing off the Lady in the Water soundtrack non-stop for months during the final edits of Field Guide.  Just beautiful.

I like to make playlists for the books, characters and really anything that will get me out of writing.  So, Field Guide had like 7 playlists:  Grace, Grace 2.0, The Grace Project, The Hawkes, Majesty (I imagine it was particularly majestic)…and on and on.  I think Grace and John had their own playlist.  It’s pretty tortured.  Sidebar:  Someone made this heartbreak mix and I snagged a copy of it – um…no Tori Amos.  WTF????  I mean, is that even a heartbreak mix????  HOW CAN YOU HAVE A HEARTBREAK MIX WITHOUT PRECIOUS THINGS????  Well, you can’t.  So…

I could seriously talk about music all day.  Ahhh, Kathleen just came on.  Must swoon.

5 Questions with @wallaby212…Ramble

I owe my rock re-education to @wallaby212. We worked together at GetMusic.com. Hailing from the O.C., he wore shorts a lot and over-sized gas station attendant shirts, proudly proclaiming his love of hometown hero Stacey Q. Below your instant gratification moment for Dance Break:

And now back to @wallaby212…. a huggable man with a great laugh, he is one sharp tack who has managed to grow and change with each iteration of the web. Back in our GetMusic.com days once our offices were consolidated (hey you didn’t think this recession/layoff thing was new did you?) to one floor. Our doors were diagnol to one another and so we often blasted music we wanted the other person to hear and be passionate about– imagine a music company playing music. Shut the front door!

Now there's a man I wanna hug!

The amazing Krinsky added to my contact list and my music library which was overloaded with pop music (hello my nickname was Teen Queen.) He still keeps me on the bleeding edge with an annual holiday mix even to my speakers will dig.

Location: the 415
Vocation:online music whore
Sign: Aries

Blog: djwallaby.blogspot.com

1) What are your expectations for Sydney Mardi Gras?
I’m expecting a huge parade that’s also a huge street party, since that seems to be the centerpiece of the whole two weeks.  I’m also excited to see John Waters doing a one-man show at the Sydney Opera House (!). Beyond that, I’m equally excited about seeing as many marsupials as possible.  Marsupials are the coolest.

Wallaby up to mischief!

2) Why did you start a ‘song of the day’ blog?
I was curious to try out blogging (november `05), but I didn’t feel comfortable doing a blog about me, even though a lot of me comes through anyway.  I also geek out on specific songs all the time and I was excited to have a platform to gush about them, in detail.

3) What are the biggest differences between the gay scene in New York vs. San Fran?
I’m not sure it’s fair for me to compare.  I came to NYC single and largely friendless, whereas I came to SF with a partner who introduced me to his friend network, so I had new SF-based friends coming in.  As a result, I can go out to lots of bars here, in SF, and run into people I know, which makes going out lots of fun the majority of the time.  In NY, I usually had to plan to meet up with people to make sure I had folks I knew with me – which is funny because, otherwise, I run into people all the time in NY.

4) As a frequent business traveler does ‘Up In the Air‘ provide insights into life on the road? Are you addicted to travel? How do you define ‘cutting back’ on travel?

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I want to.  There’s all this stuff in the trailer about how the George Clooney character is a travel points whore – which is exactly how I am, so it was funny to see that up on the screen. I have gotten a little OCD about my travel, where I am constantly checking my points, gaming for upgrades, plane seats, etc.  I have scared people with my list of rewards programs, their related credit cards and so on. At the same time, my excessive work travel winds up subsidizing some great personal travel, so I think it’s worth it – I’m doing it for my personal travel and the possibility of greater comfort in my work travel.


5) What are the best places in the world to get wild?

I’m hardly the judge of that – for all my travel, i’ve only been to a couple of places in the world – i’ve just been to them over and over and over!  And I don’t know about ‘wild’, per se, but I do love Amsterdam and Paris – they’re probably my favorite worldwide travel places so far, but I have a lot more places to check out.

5 Questions with @basemwasef…Ramble

I met @basemwasef while he was working in the Talent Department at Disney Channel. He was sweet, funny and helpful which was not very typical in the executive corner I worked in at the time. While I decided to forego Grad School in Ireland after they lost my application (seriously? yeah seriously) and stay at Disney Channel, Basem turned into a great friend. He was that very rare creature one hears about– a native Angeleano!

Those were the days when we would play pranks on people and had a lot of fun. We got to hang out with The Backstreet Boys in New York and Britney Spears in Orlando as well as all a lot of popstars in LA.

One thing about Basem, he was always full of surprises and shows up in a different ride almost every time I see him. After lunch at Fred Segal’s with another friend, he asked us to come with him out to the parking lot because someone was dropping off a car for him to review. He drove off in a Bentley while I returned to my leased silver Honda.

Basem’s love of cars and motorcycles is a life long passion that turned into a career. He gets flown all over the world to review the world’s most amazing rides so it was only a matter of time until he wound up capturing some of that passion into book format. His first book Legendary Motorcycles includes a foreward by his pal and fellow enthusiast Jay Leno.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Vocation: Author, Journalist, Photographer

Sign: Taurus

1) How did you first get involved in reviewing the world’s most amazing rides?

Strange but true: I’ve been a car and motorcycle fanatic and enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember, but didn’t connect the two until I was in my thirties.

In 2001, I wrote a spec piece for an upscale lifestyle magazine looking for an auto writer, and was awarded an assignment to compare four convertibles (for a pittance, incidentally.) Three weeks later, I had over $200,000 worth of (borrowed) sports cars sitting in my garage.

Since then, I’ve expanded into testing motorcycles and written two books (Legendary Race Cars and Legendary Motorcycles), and contribute regularly to several magazines including Popular Mechanics. I also serve as About.com’s Guide to MotorcyclesThe automotive journalist lifestyle has been described as “living like a rock star, but getting paid like a roadie,” but I love what I do.

2) What are your favorite cars and motorcycles of this year? And what are some that you’ve seen that will be coming out in the future?

I was lucky enough to test the $2 million, 1001 horsepower Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport, and am happy to announce that I walked away with my driving record intact. It’s a stunningly fast, immensely powerful car, the likes of which will probably not happen again soon. I also recently flew to Monte Carlo to test the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz fuel cell vehicles (which run on hydrogen and emit nothing but water vapor), and was impressed. They’re nimble, roomy, and virtually silent, and will be on an extremely limited lease program next year for about 70 lucky Americans.

On the other end of the financial spectrum, I get an enormous kick out of motorcycles, and often insist that $10,000 bikes are usually more fun than $100,000 cars. That said, I think Ducati’s new Hypermotard 796 is an exceptional bike; it’s got a potent power-to-weight ratio, and is especially entertaining in urban settings. I tested it in the winding roads surrounding Bologna, and had an incredible ride, despite a typhoon-like storm. I was also impressed with KTM’s RC8R, which I tested at Laguna Seca raceway; it was surprisingly comfortable and refined for a fearsome, 170 horsepower superbike.

3) Your second book, Legendary Racecars came out this year. Could you describe what it’s about? (ps I think this is the PERFECT Christmas gift!)

Legendary Race Cars features 25 chapters on some of the most historically significant race cars in existence, and I traveled extensively through Europe and the U.S. to photograph the vehicles and interview key personalities. It was a huge undertaking, but it was also a thrill to meet some of my heroes and shoot some of the most beautiful machines that have ever competed in motorsports.

My first book, Legendary Motorcycles, also profiles iconic machines and the personalities that made them famous. I drove cross-country to photograph everything from James Dean’s first and last motorcycles to Evel Kneivel’s bikes and the Harley chopper allegedly featured in Easy Rider.

4) Who has the most impressive personal collection of automobiles that you’ve seen?

Jay Leno wrote the foreword to my first book, Legendary Motorcycles, and he’s got an impressive range of cars and bikes; everything from 1930s Duesenbergs and Bugattis to iconic supercars like the McLaren F1 and the Lamborghini Countach are represented, not to mention a fair share of quirky rides like a one-off custom powered by a tank engine and a turn-of-the-century Stanley Steamer that runs on… you guessed it… steam.

Jay also referred me to Dr. Fred Simeone, who has a staggering collection of sports cars at his Simeone Museum in Philadelphia. Dr. Simeone’s tastes run from Alfas that competed in the Mille Miglia to Porsche 917s and a Ford GT40 that ran at Le Mans.

The great thing about both collections is that they’re dynamic; the vehicles are often run and appreciated in motion, rather than simply admired as garage queens.

5) Your an expert on cars, motorcycles but let’s talk about your photography skills — you have some incredible shots in this book. What kind of camera do you use and do you think it’s vital to your profession to be able to enhance your writing with photographs?

I’ve been a photography nut since I was in junior high. When I finally made the transition from film to digital, I went with a Canon 5D, and recently upgraded to a 5D Mark II.

Because publishing budgets have dropped significantly, being a double threat—ie, writing and shooting—certainly helps. And while having a high-quality camera is important, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of spending loads of money on equipment while not developing your technique. Learn what your camera can do by taking a class or reading up on its features. But don’t forget that the most important tool is your eye; good decision making and original creative choices will produce better shots than the latest, greatest camera at the hands of somebody without the means to maximize its capabilities.

5 Questions with @blinblin100…Ramble

It’s been a helluva of decade. Last night I went to a Christmas party and ran into 2 former bosses and 5 former co-workers I haven’t seen in about …ten years. It was interesting that a few of them are still working together at a new company. It was during that job at GetMusic.com (which I still can’t believe was ten years ago) when I met the incredible @blinblin100.

The first time I met her in person it was in LA for a release party for the band Orgy. She had this incredible outfit on that fit the theme of the party, which was later shut down by fire marshalls (yes her outfit was that hot!)…. too bad it wasn’t in time for the parking garage to still be open. I have no idea what I wore but the term ‘fish out of water’ comes to mind especially since my sister and I got hit in the head a couple of times by a wayward cameraman. I was there to take photos for a contest. After GetMusic went away, and I started GrrlGenius Inc., she was one of my first clients hiring me to do online promotions for a slew of rappers including Ching-a-ling Chingy, the lovely Kylie Minogue, and Mr. Smoothe –Javier. Uh oh I just had a flash back of meeting Chingy in LA asking him about his bling when I was with Blin. Bling + Blin = hijinx!

Since then we’ve become fake sisters when we were late to join up with our fake parents for an annual Superbowl Yahoo! party in the Palisades. Yeah, we were shopping at The Beeevvvverly Center. The following year we were um late cause of a mani-pedi that went way too long.

@blinblin100 is direct, has a wicked sense of humor and she infects people with the things that she likes–her passion for ‘Lord Of The Rings’ even took us on a journey to New Zealand. The LOTR museum was our first stop. Seriously? Seriously. I can feel the sunshine as we ate lunch at a nearby pub afterwards marvelling at the wonders we had just seen.

Location: the black tower
Vocation:
I market things
Sign:
Sagittarius

1) What are your top five songs of the year?

I’m going to give you more than 5.  And don’t make fun of the amount of records from work (ed note: Universal). We put out great music.

Breathe – Anberlin
Bounce – MSTRKRFT


1901 – Phoenix
Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z
Alligator – Tegan & Sara
Country Roads – Ryan Bingham


Soft Shock – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
A Place to Hide – White Lies


Revelry – Kings of Leon
Passion Pit – The Reeling

2) When you worked at Capitol what was your favorite campaign you executed?
Coldplay & Corinne Bailey Rae

(Note: I’m so jealous Blin got to work with Coldplay, the only band I’ve ever wanted to meet, that I have yet to in person….although technically we were sort of stalking Will Champion at a Grammy party.)

3) Who is your favorite character on Family Guy and who do you most resemble in terms of personality?

Stewie of course.  I don’t resemble anyone – I’m special in my own way.  They would need to draw me in.

4) If you weren’t in the music industry what career would you like to try your hand at?

I would try being a history teacher or an archaeologist.  Or possibly a combination of both.  But both careers require more education and I’m over writing papers or taking tests.

5) What is the key to winning at darts?

Balancing a beer in the other hand.

Final note: @blinblin100 does take requests, but ultimately she decides who she allows to follow her.

5 Questions with @AdamsWorldBlog…Ramble

As you can tell right away from this photo, @AdamsWorldBlog is a pretty fun guy. I first met him online while promoting Chingy and a bunch of other rappers. Adam stood out because of his passion for hip-hop and most of all for always delivering what he promised!
We finally met in person at a Mya show over in the dreaded Times Square area. It was sort of sad because the stage at B.B. Kings was so tiny and she had 4 dancers who really didn’t fit in that environment. Anyway @AdamsWorldBlog remains one of my favorite online personalities as a veteran of the space.
I respect the way he conducts interviews, does his research (unlike a lot of radio stations. People what’s so wrong with at least reading a damn wiki on your subject) and for his ability to keep going and stay positive.
*
LocationFairfield, CT (the home of whiffle ball!)
Vocation: Journalist & Occasional Rabble-rouser
Sign: “I’m on balance like a Libra”
*
1) Why did you decide to go back to school?
I decided to head back to get a masters degree because eventually, when all is said and done with my career, I want to teach journalism, preferably entertainment journalism.  I see the way things are headed in the field and the combination of groupies with laptops, and general gossip mongers, leaves me feeling like there’s going to be a void of real, honest to God, entertainment journalists.  My goal is to help fill that void.  There are also a lot of skills needed to be an entertainment journalist that aren’t taught in traditional journalism classes, like how to network effectively, and exactly how many free drinks is too many.  Hint – if you’re palming the ass of the artist’s cousin you’ve probably had one too many.  I had to learn these lessons by trial and error, but would love to pass them on to aspiring writers.

2) What are your current projects?
Right now I have four main gigs in addition to any freelance work that comes my way.  I have a bi-weekly hip-hop column at the Fairfield Weekly, which is our area’s version of the Village Voice/LA Weekly.  I’m a pop columnist and feature writer for 101Distribution.comMy weekly pop column, Pop Shots, takes a humorous look at the week that was in pop music.  I’m the Interviews Editor at RapReviews.com and I also have a monthly underground hip-hop podcast, The Adam B Experience (which was also the name of my former radio show), on the site.  Finally, last, but certainly not least, I have Adam’s World (www.adamsworldblog.com), my super amazing blog.  Since my nickname ever since my radio days has been Adam B, I like to say Adam’s World is the one place where everyone wants to be a B-Lister.  If you happen to see a dope emcee rockin a yellow “I’m a B-Lister” shirt, they’re reppin Adam’s World and Adam’s World is reppin them.  Every Monday I feature a new Artist Of The Week from the indie music scene.  They’re usually hip-hop related, but I’ve been known to switch it up on occasion.  Throughout the week I use the site to both syndicate my work from other sites and post up interviews and commentary that are exclusive to Adam’s World. The list of notable interviews in the Entertainment and Music sections of the site includes Russell Simmons, Ron Jeremy, Morgan Webb,Taryn Manning and A Fine Frenzy.  I told ya I’m not afraid to switch it up! {laughs}

3) You’ve gone to a lot of shows over the years. Have any horror stories? (like the one that got your blog everywhere!)
You know it.  I actually have quite a few horror stories.  There are the mundane ones, like the time at Webster Theatre in Hartford where security was on my case the entire night about taking pictures even though I had a press pass.  The ones you probably want to hear about, though, are the really crazy ones, like the time back in 2004 when I was at an event for Lil’ Jon at a club called Butter in NYC.  The party was in celebration of the launch of Crunk Juice. That was the night Andy Dick took a… errr… “liking” to me and rather than using his words to express those feeling he tried using his hands.  The incident qualifies as one of the most horrifying moments of my life.  The really sad thing is, after nearly a decade of doing this gig, Andy Dick remains the only celebrity to grope me.  Step up to the plate Shakira!

Then there was the event that ended up getting my face on Gawker.  That event, however, was one I didn’t even get into.  Grubman PR was throwing something in the city, this was around two years ago, and I RSVPed and was told the day before the event that I was on the list.  So I took the train in from CT, which I do on a regular basis, linked up with a buddy, and headed to the spot.  We arrived on time only to be told there was a problem with the list and the place was already full.  Not at all thrilled, because there’s nothing like a two and a half hour round trip train ride for nothing to get me in a bad mood, when I arrived home I filmed a quick video about the night for Adam’s World.  Gawker picked it up, mocked me, and all of a sudden I was receiving emails congratulating me on making the front page of the site.  It was pretty crazy.

4) Any advice for the kids with stars in their eyes about becoming a journalist?
Don’t do it yet, I still need the work! No, in all honesty, the most important words of advice I can give to any young journalist are to not be afraid to ask the tough questions, and to find story angles that will be relevant for longer than a couple weeks.  I see far too many interviews that are only about one current situation, or a specific album or movie that’s about to be released.  Those are all well and good for current events type of stories, but they’re nothing anyone will want to read more than a week after they’ve been published.
Great features have a long shelf life.  Also remember that journalism is your industry, so keep up to date on what’s going on in it.  Oh, and don’t get discouraged when you have a bad month.  A wise man once reminded me that this job is like a roller coaster ride, you’re gonna have your ups and downs, just realize when you’re down an upswing is right around the corner (thanks @PaulGargano!).

5) What are your top five albums for 2009? *yes it’s already that time of year!
I usually have a big feature on Adam’s World in December running down my Top 25 albums.  Are you asking me to scoop myself?  Hmmm, well, let’s see… I’ll say this, there are a lot of good choices in just about every genre.  I’m very excited about the rebirth of synth pop and artists like Lights and La Roux.  There’s been a lot of great hip-hop released this year, including albums from P.O.S., Wale and Vinnie Scullo.  And staying true to my “switching it up” form, I’ve also been digging the latest releases from A Fine Frenzy and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.  So my top five… is still under construction, but I’ve found a ton of awesome bricks to work with.