Learning Spanish through music.

I am learning Spanish and I find that learning songs is a great help…I learned this when I was a teen and still know it to this day!!! Hopefully I can become more fluent especially with the increase in Spanish speaking workers coming to Atlanta.

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CHOA thank you gift

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Our client Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta surprised us with a gift yesterday, 6 gallons of ice cream. And it’s not just your standard ice cream … this stuff was from Jake’s (local Atlanta midtown/Highlands/Emory creamery). There were 6 different flavors. The client literally was thanking us for the wonderful work we did and the success from the campaign we launched this past quarter…rare in the ad biz these days.

Heart and Def Leppard in Atlanta…Electric…Literally!

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Last night the atmosphere at the Lakewood Amphitheater was electric…literally! I experienced one of the strongest displays of thunder, lightening and rain that I have ever seen just before the Def Leppard/Heart concert was to begin.

The venue lost power during Saturday’s viscous storm, which led to an hour of will-there-or-won’t-there-be-a-show guessing as fans waited for the gates to be opened. My friend Nick and I stuck it out! It wasn’t a pretty start, but most fans attending would likely agree that the concert was well worth the wait.

Eventually, with the storm passed, electricity restored and safety concerns cleared, the concert was a go, with Heart taking the stage at 9 p.m. for a condensed 40-minute set What a shame…they have some great hits, but anyone who has seen Ann and Nancy Wilson and the rest of Heart live before knows that the sisters put their all into everything they do.

Though Ann’s voice was lost in a poor mix of the opening “Cook With Fire,” the sound clarified for the sweetly sexy “Never,” re-dressed with an acoustic foundation and harmonica, and “What About Love.”

Ann, looking slimmed in black leggings and boots and the eternally cool Nancy, who came onstage wearing a top hat and still, at 57, managed to scissor kick her way through “Crazy on You,” navigated a powerful set high even if short on time.
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The ‘80s hits “These Dreams,” steered by Nancy’s wispier voice, and “Alone,” anchored by Ann’s husky pipes, have easily retained their singalong quality – a necessity at this show – even if they represent the poppier side of Heart.

No one should forget Heart’s roots, and I guess that is why they were a perfect match for Def Leppard last night, the sisters and the four members of the band, including the indispensible Debbie Shair on keyboards and percussion, tore through a trio of classic rock staples – the serrated guitar steamroller “Barracuda,” the prog-rockish “Magic Man” and, to end their set, a thunderous version of “Crazy on You.”

At 10:15, after the recorded strains of Def Leppard’s traditional pre-show song, AC/DC’s “For Those About To Rock (We Salute You),” boomed through the nearly sold-out venue, a mirror ball dropped above the stage and the quintet appeared, banging out the new “Undefeated.” A four-on-the-floor fist pumper born to be played relentlessly at a stadium near you this fall, the song, from the just-released live “Mirrorball” CD, represented the only detour for a band that hasn’t much altered its playlist the past few tours.
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Performing on a spectacular tiered stage lined with panels of video screens and beneath a ridge of relentlessly spinning lights, the band had ample space to rock n’ roam. The light show was so well done it almost matched nature’s dazzling display before the show.

Singer Joe Elliott’s voice has always been a gruff instrument, and on this night, while it was sometimes swallowed by the huge sound of the band, it just as often soared on long-held notes in “Animal” and “Rocket.”

The front line of bassist Rick Savage and guitarists Vivian Campbell and (shirtless) Phil Collen infused the band’s songs with gorgeous harmonies – always a hallmark of Def Leppard’s sound – that are the perfect complement to their metallic guitar riffs and drummer Rick Allen’s steady electro-beats. I am still awestruck by the Allen’s expertise with one arm he is still one of Rock’s best.

“Foolin’,” in particular, sounded full and fresh, and the extended version of the beautifully complex “Rocket” included a dynamic interplay between Campbell and Collen.

Though it appeared that Elliott wasn’t going to talk to the crowd, instead to focus on fitting in the band’s full set, when he, Collen, Savage and Campbell sauntered down the catwalk extended about a dozen rows into the crowd for an acoustic segment, he indeed had something to say.

“We weren’t going to let a little proper rain spoil the party were we?” Elliott asked as the crowd roared. “But you should all get a pen and paper and write to your local electricity board and [tell them] that their generators suck!”

With that statement Elliott and the boys strummed through “Two Steps Behind” and “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak,” which kicked into its full electric grandeur midway through.

Savage pulled out his Union Jack bass for the zippy instrumental “Switch 625,” which segued into what is perhaps Def Leppard’s most epic song, the melodically layered “Hysteria,” which aped its recorded counterpart with technical proficiency and lyrical heart.

It was impossible for most in this generation-spanning crowd to refrain from playing air guitar or air drums at the first notes of “Armageddon It” and “Photograph.” I am sure by the last moments of the show the band had erased any trace of hindrances of earlier in the night. Electric.

Eagles Concert in Atlanta

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The Eagles may never get the critical adulation of the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, but they still have what it takes to entertain. And they didn’t disappoint the die-hards who attended last week’s packed Green Concert at Piedmont Park with a set list laden with greatest hits from their 1970s heyday…although my favorite, Already Gone, did not make the set!

Their vocals, harmonies and musicianship were impeccable. Their sturdy portfolio of songs, played ad infinitum on the radio over the decades, were well represented, from “Take it to the Limit” to “Hotel California” to “Lyin’ Eyes” to “Life in the Fast Lane.”

The audience (50,000 strong) vibe was happily California mellow, the odor of a certain illegal substance wafted through the air and the backdrop of a half-crescent moon and the Atlanta skyline comforting. With each song I was thinking, dang am I that old?

Though Don Henley, at age 63, is looking his age thanks to a paunch and white beard, he hasn’t lost his vocal skills, infusing songs with a sheen of sadness and longing, especially “Desperado.” I loved it.

Unlike other bands, which cut out solo hits by individual band members (no way the Go Go’s are playing Belinda Carlisle’s “Mad About You”), the Eagles were very generous. Atlantans heard three solo hits each from Joe Walsh and Henley, plus “Funk #49″ from Walsh’s band James Gang. (Sorry, Glenn Frey solo fans. No “Heat is On” or “You Belong to the City.”)

Henley’s solo hit “Dirty Laundry,” with the video screen popping up shots of Bill O’Reilly, Nancy Grace and the recently ousted Rick Sanchez, remains as relevant as ever 28 years later. Walsh was the loosest, goofing around after being introduced with some silly vocal exercises. His solo songs provided some welcome punch and edge to the proceedings.

While “Desperado” is typically their final song, they decided on the spur of the moment to play a second encore. It took a few moments to get ready because the crew wasn’t ready for it, but they gave the crowd an excuse to sway a few more minutes to “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” to conclude their two hours.

Here was the set list:
1. Seven Bridges Road
2. How Long Play
3. Take it to the Limit
4. Hotel California
5. Peaceful Easy Feeling
6. I Can’t Tell You Why
7. Witchy Woman
8. Lyin’ Eyes
9. One of These Nights
10. The Boys of Summer
11. In The City
12. The Long Run
13. Life’s Been Good
14. Dirty Laundry
15. Funk #49
16. Heartache Tonight
17. Life in the Fast Lane
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18. Take It Easy
19. Rocky Mountain Way
20. Desperado
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21. All She Wants to Do Is Dance

Dali’s Late Work at the High Museum

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This was a great treat…we went to see his work at the High Museum in Atlanta this week…
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His art and his personality were larger than life. This exhibit brings together a stunning collection of more than 40 paintings, plus film, sculptures and photographs—many never before seen in public.

According to the High’s team this exhibition shares for the first time the diverse body of work that Dalí created in the last forty years of his career. Reinventing himself during the 1940s, Dalí used his art to visually explore science, psychology, and religion—as he often said, painting the subject matter of his time.

Wish I had continued painting after seeing this…

Oprah Launches Oprah Mobile

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With the launch of Oprah Mobile, the daytime TV queen appears to be laying the groundwork for a bigger push into digital media in advance of the debut of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) on cable TV next year.

The App, optimized for the iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Palm Pre phones, offers a window into Oprah’s media empire — including clips and previews from “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” weekly polls, articles and photos from O, The Oprah Magazine and Oprah.com, and her Twitter updates.

Released by Winfrey’s Harpo Studios, the Oprah Mobile app sells for $1.99 in the App Store. A spokesperson for the studio said Monday the app may extend to OWN, though it’s not yet decided. But that seems like a pretty good bet, given the increased emphasis her forthcoming cable channel will place on digital distribution. Robert Tercek, president of digital media for OWN, said the project will build new media into programming from the ground up.
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He also noted that OWN would carry over the core of a digital audience from past efforts like periodic live Web broadcasts of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Oprah Mobile would seem to fit that strategy to help cultivate a wider digital audience via smartphone users, which are estimated to make up as much as a quarter of all U.S. mobile subscribers.

Down the road, it’s not hard to envision a comparable Oprah app for the iPad to showcase her various properties and extend live programming and interactive features, including m-commerce, to mobile devices. Tercek last month waxed enthusiastic about the Apple tablet, pointing out the advantage it has over any competing gadget because it comes with the ability to run existing iPhone apps (which would now include Oprah Mobile).

Tercek will have to make sure Oprah doesn’t get too out in front of her audience — which he acknowledged isn’t exactly the early-adopter crowd — in embracing new mobile and digital tools. No need to worry about impressing Apple fanboys.

Offering Oprah Mobile for free instead of charging might’ve been a good way to start, for instance, but the new cable network’s creators will have to test different approaches and learn as they roll out Oprah 2.0.