MTV Music: No Way?!?

As anyone who grew up in the '90s can tell you, the "music" part of MTV has become more of a joke than reality. With the recent news of the canceling of Total Request Live (which was a joke of a music video countdown anyway), the only time that MTV can seem to squeeze in music videos is for a few hours after midnight. They wouldn't dare thinking of wasting time on music during the day when they could be showing re-runs of "Next," "The X-Effect" and the "Real World/Road Rules Challenge."

Well it seems like MTV has had a change of heart, slightly. The new MTV Music allows users to search for any music video that MTV has ever shown, from ABBA to ZZ Top. It's not quite the same as actually showing music videos on TV, but at least their recognizing their original mission. Either that or they got tired of people just putting the videos up on YouTube and decided to take some control of it. Either way, I'm just glad to see that MTV has finally done something right...there must still be some brains in that operation somewhere.

I will now leave you with one of my favorite music videos ever, starring none other than Christopher Walken.


"You Can Vote However you Like"

The awesome students at Ron Clark Academy, a middle school in Atlanta for low-income students that is run by Ron Clark, laid out the choices in the upcoming election in a slightly different way: by changing the words to T.I.'s "Whatever You Like" to create "You Can Vote However You Like."

Maybe the candidates should start having rap battles like this instead of debates. It would at least be more interesting.

Not only is this song amazing, but these kids are really intelligent and know what is going on in this election. I'm willing to be that they're more aware of the issues than a large part of the voting population. This school, those teachers and those parents are definitely doing something right down in Atlanta.

Here is an interview from CNN with some of the kids, and you can see just what I mean.

In totally unrelated news, the Athens Drive High School womens golf team, coached by my step-dad, Tony Alcon, won the North Carolina 4-A Championship yesterday!! Congrats to him! I am kind of scared to see him without a beard and mustache though...



After fighting with Google Apps for a while, I finally got the new and yet-to-be improved www.coreyinscoe.com!!! Right now it will just host this blog, but soon (OK, somewhere in the future) I'll have it set up as a semi-legitimate website with the blog as a separate page.

But until then, enjoy www.coreyinscoe.com!


Music is Awesome

Hello faithful reader.

I have three awesome musical notes for you guys on this absolutely gorgeous Sunday.

First, I just got done interviewing Tripp and Grace from Vinyl Records UNC, a student-run record label at UNC-Chapel Hill. It was an awesome conversation and I'm so excited about what they will be doing in the coming months now that they have their three bands (Lafcadio, Apollo, Lake Inferior) signed and started on recording. I'll be putting together a full article on them for Uncharted, so be on the lookout for that.

Next, iLike is streaming the new Ryan Adams and the Cardinals album, Cardinology. I'm listening to it now and I'm a fan. But of course I've always loved Ryan Adams so I might be a little biased. Head over to Facebook and take a listen.

Finally, as if Barack Obama hasn't brought enough awesome music to Chapel Hill on behalf of his campaign (Superchunk, Arcade Fire and James Taylor), there will be one final concert in support of the presidential candidate on the terrace of Graham Memorial on UNC's campus. The line-up is a mix of great local artists, new and old:
The dB's
Ivan Rosebud
I Was Totally Destroying It
Greg Humphreys
Regina Hexaphone
Billy Bragg

The show will be November 1 from 9am to 1pm. Admission is free and there are no tickets required, so get there early. Even though it's the night after Halloween, I might have to fight through the pain and check out some great music.

Enjoy the music!!

Oh, and GO VOTE!!


Opie, Andy, Richie and the Fonz endorse Obama

I usually don't pay much attention to celebrity endorsements because, frankly, I don't trust them. Like they know what is good for regular Americans living in their Beverly Hills mansions or massive Manhattan studio apartments. But child actor/director Ron Howard puts a little old-school flavor into his endorsement.

As a born and raised North Carolinian, I grew up on The Andy Griffith Show and all the guys in Mayberry. It's kind of scary how much an old Howard looks like an 8-year-old boy when he shaves and puts on a wig. And I'm glad Andy is still going strong. I love that man...

And the Fonz!! This is the best thing he's done since the music video with Say Anything.

Maybe this is just what NC needs to turn blue on November 4...I can only hope.


Ben Folds Five Video Posted

If you weren't one of the lucky few who saw the Ben Folds Five reunion show last month, here's your chance! MySpace has finally posted the video of the first part of the concert on their Front to Back page. This is only the Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner part, so there's no awesome encore.

I haven't gotten a chance to watch the whole thing yet so I'm not sure if I get any face time. Let me know if you see me. (I'm on the left side -- from the stage perspective -- and about 15 rows back.)


Ben Folds Five - MySpace Front To Back concert


Uncharted: UNC's new arts magazine!

For some crazy reason, UNC doesn't have an arts magazine or journal. For being such a rich artistic community (Ackland Art Museum, Playmakers, not to mention the great music scene), this comes as quite a surprise to me. Well fear not, young reader, help is on the way.

Uncharted is a new arts magazine that will be covering the great UNC-Chapel Hill community. There are three "sections" of the magazine -- visual arts, dramatic arts and music. I have started working for the music section (of course) and have already gotten started on a couple of stories for the first issue, which is due to come out sometime around mid or late November (if all goes as planned). At first the issue will be online in a .pdf format.

I'm really excited about getting this thing going after so many failed attempts on a music magazine over the last few years. UNC and Chapel Hill/Carrboro have needed something like this for a long time and the editors really seem dedicated to make it happen.

Check back here for more updates on the magazine, or go to the website: www.uncartmag.com.


Look at the Pretty Colors!

Enough said.

From DailyKos

UPDATE: I just realized that you can play around with this way too optimistic electoral map. Click on the states to change them from blue to red or somewhere in the middle.

And I'm back...

I hate that I didn't get to post any over the last few days, but I had a legitimate excuse.


And this:

Oh yeah, and this:

If you haven't figured it out yet, I spent this weekend at Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. The only other parks I've ever been to are Carowinds in Charlotte and Disney World Magic Kingdom, so this park just blew my mind. I love roller coasters and thrill rides, but nothing compares to the coasters they have at this place. I was actually nervous getting on a couple of them, which has never happened to me before. If you ever get the chance to go, I highly recommend it.

One suggestion I would make: to make the Maverick even more terrifying, have Palin and McCain figures talking throughout the ride. They must say "maverick" at least 20 times during the two-minute ride.

Anyway, now I'm back to the grind in Chapel Hill which means more regular posting. Get excited.


Frank Gehry -- Architectural Awesomeness

I was talking to one of my coworkers at the Tarheel Book Store today when the Experience Music Project in Seattle that I went to during my summer road trip came up. My coworker then started talking about Frank Gehry, the architect that built the EMP and a slew of other buildings around the world. I remember the EMP looking like a crumpled ball of colored tin foil and wondering how it could stand, but I knew nothing of his other work. We did some fun Google Image searching and I couldn't believe what I saw.

His designs are so crazy that it was even rumored that he came up with his ideas by crumpling up paper and throwing it on the ground. Though this isn't true, his designs are still terribly bizarre.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.


The "Dancing House" in Prague

The Stata Center at MIT

Pritzger Pavilion in Millenium Park, Chicago (which I also visited on my road trip)


This is why he has to win

Because any person who gets support from people that hateful and ignorant should be nowhere near Washington.


Are you kidding me, Justin Crowder??

After censoring a fair article about the "UNC bubble mentality," last week, the Daily Tar Heel decided to publish this little gem of an Op-Ed piece by guest columnist Justin Crowder called "Your O.C. votes won't make real difference." Wait, seriously?

Let's go to the tapes:
"The truth is that no matter which man in sworn in as president next January, very little about our day to day lives will change. The average American will still work 40 hours a week for less than he or she deserves, people will still complain about rising prices and the sky will still be that lovely shade of Carolina blue.

"This lack of change is because our system of government is stagnant. The two-party system exists to propagate itself. Sure, Democrats would love to have a dominating presence in all three branches of government, but they most certainly don’t want to push the Republicans into oblivion. They need each other because their paired existence ensures no bothersome third party gets in the way of their shared power."
OK, fair enough, the two-party system isn't exactly my favorite either, but it's not like that is going to change any time soon. Now here's the part that really got me:
"The Young Democrats would have you believe that North Carolina is a battleground state that may swing the election in favor of Obama, but with the state’s voter demographic, Obama is fielding a college team against an All-Pro team. At UNC it becomes easy to forget that we’re in a very solid Bible Belt state that usually goes red. Some may call predicting an Obama loss here a poor judgment, but history predicts his loss.

"Harshly put, a vote for Obama here in Orange County will be nothing more than trying to empty the ocean with a single bucket. By the same token, a vote for McCain is like trying to raise the level of that same ocean with a bucket. North Carolina is not going to go any way but to McCain, just as California will inevitably go blue."

Excuse me??

Sure, he goes on to say "I’m not saying you shouldn’t vote, because voting is one of the greatest civic duties," but that doesn't make up for the fact that he basically said that it would all be in vain. That's exactly what we need, someone telling the already apathetic young voter population that they don't need to vote. Thanks, Justin.

Even if we ignore his stance on voting, his column is, for lack of a better phrase, completely full of crap. I don't know what news he's been reading -- if anything -- but North Carolina is definitely a battleground state. Obama has a six-point lead according to Public Policy Polling, a three-point lead according to Rasmussen Reports and is dead even with McCain according to Pollster.com.

Maybe he should do a little research next time instead of spewing out more of this trash from his dorm-room computer.

Here is a video of Rachel Maddow talking about the close race in NC including an interview with NC Governor Mike Easley.

Here's how the race looks in NC according to Pollster.

Where the Hell is Matt?

If you're having a bad day, I promise this will make you smile. The power of dance.

According to his website, Matt decided to leave his home in Brisbane, Australia, and travel the world after quitting his job. He started WheretheHellisMatt.com to let his family keep track of where he had been. A friend recorded him doing his "signature dance" in Hanoi and it became a YouTube hit and eventually caught the attention of Stride gum. They asked him to take another trip through 39 countries and seven continents in 2006, still doing that signature dance. Then, a couple years later, he asked Stride if he could do it again, but this time have other people dance with him. This video is the final product of that idea.

My favorite part from his website:
"Matt was a very poor student and never went to college. When he got older, he was pleased to discover that no one actually cares. Matt doesn't want to imply that college is bad or anything. He's just saying is all. There's other ways to fill your head."


Wayne Sutton and Ginny Skalski visit Blogging Class

My blogging/social networking class with Paul Jones is by far the best and most informative class that I have had in college. Besides getting me obsessed with the internet and all its wonderful powers, it's given me the chance to hear from industry professionals about what online journalism is about and how it will change the industry.

Today Wayne Sutton and Ginny Skalski from MyNC.com and 30threads.com stopped by to talk about their websites and how citizen journalism works. The talk was streamed live on 30threads.com and a copy of the video is still online. There was even a live chat going on during the class with some of the students involved as well as live tweeting from many of the students. It was an internet extravaganza!!

After talking for a bit about MyNC, the conversation quickly shifted to a topic that seems to be on the mind of every college senior: jobs. With newspapers dying and online media taking over, where is the place for traditional journalists?

According to Sutton there is still a place for traditional journlists in a different medium, i.e. a blog. If all you really do is write then you can find something you're passionate about and write on a blog about it.

The most important things for graduating journalism majors to do, according to Sutton and Skalski, is to build a "social media resume." When employers search your name, they should be able to see a blog that you have, your Facebook profile (and that it has more substantive stuff than drunken party pictures), and any other social networking you've done online. Newspapers and other forms of journalism realize that this is the future of news and your value to them increases if they see that you've been doing it for a few years.

It also helps to have a broad skill set. Just being a writer may get you a job, but you have a better chance if you can also take video and do video editing, have photography experience, or know how to use flash and create online content (which is why I'm trying to get into this multimedia class). And Sutton and Skalski also stressed the importance of owning this equipment rather than renting it from job to job.

Long story short, there is a job out there for new journalists, but it's not going to be in the traditional style.

While that makes me feel a little better, I'm still not excited about the job hunt that will be happening soon.

UPDATED: here is the video from class today. Thanks to Wayne Sutton.
Free Videos by Ustream.TV


Tina Fey for Vice President

Here is yet another spot-on mockery of VP nominee Sarah Palin by Saturday Night Live cast member Tina Fey, this time taking on the debate last Thursday. SNL lucked out with Fey being a perfect twin to Palin and they are definitely taking advantage of it. Queen Latifah plays moderator Gwen Ifill and is sure to throw in a few jabs about her upcoming book, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. Totally unbiased.



Born Again Floozies

Since this started as a music blog, I occasionally feel compelled to report on a new band. This is one of those times.

The Born Again Floozies are a Indianapolis-based quintet with an infectious brand of indie/experimental pop. Just look at the instruments:
Joey Welch - Guitar and Voice
Amy Andrus - Tap and Perc
Nancy Moore - Voice and Perc
Charlie Krone - Trombone and Voice
Melissa Williams - Tuba
Yeah. Tuba. That automatically gives it cred in my mind. Ironically, there's a girl in the UNC tuba section named Melissa Williams. Weird... And who uses tap dancing in a rock band? Somehow they make it work, and rock.

Anyway, check them out below, especially their song "We Got the Power (Love Letter From America)." I just love the little vocal harmonies and, of course, the tuba bass line.



Thoughts on the VP Debate

Biden looked good. Palin looked flustered at the beginning, but seemed to gain confidence as it went on.

What I can't stand is that Palin talked for a full hour and a half and I'm still not sure what the hell she was saying. It just sounded like "Gibberish gibberish gibberish TALKING POINT gibberish gibberish Maverick gibberish John McCain." She tried so hard to be cute but it just doesn't work.

It honestly terrifies me that there are people that will vote for a woman that believes humans and dinosaurs walked the Earth together, can't name the magazine or newspaper where she gets her news, can't name any Supreme Court case that she disagrees with other than Roe v. Wade and she thinks she has foreign policy experience because she can see Russia from Alaska.

I think Biden won, but really what does it matter?

This is much more entertaining:

And this is just scary. SNL doesn't even have to change her words to parody Palin.

DTH Censorship??

Earlier this week, Daily Tar Heel Op-Ed columnist Danny Randolph quit the campus paper because he felt like he was being censored. From an e-mail that he sent around:
This past weekend, I submitted a column for publication that included
indirect criticism of the Daily Tar Heel.... Essentially, the column warns against the UNC "bubble" mentality. In making my arguments, I rely partly on the kinds of
stories the DTH chose to cover last week during some of the most intense moments of the financial crisis.
Allison Nichols, the Editor-in-Chief, explained to me in an email that she was "uncomfortable" with what I was "implying" about the DTH. She thought I would "confuse" readers about the purpose of the DTH, a local paper.
Long story short, Allison Nichols ended up not running this story. Randolph believes that he was being censored because he spoke ill of the DTH.

At first I assumed that Randolph had written some off-the-wall column that didn't make any sense and unfairly blasted the newspaper. But after reading the article I thought it was fair. It talks about how as college students we have a tendency to be trapped in the college bubble and ignore what is going on in the outside world and this is shown by what the DTH chooses to cover and not to cover.

It's a relevant article and a valid opinion about how the paper should run. Yet Nichols felt that it wasn't worthy enough to be published. A columnist is given the power to write about what he/she feels is important. They are put on the opinion page for specifically that reason: what they write is their opinion and does not necessarily represent the ideas of the paper. As long as it is not false, misleading or terribly offensive, columnists should be able to publish whatever they want. Anyone remember Jillian Bandes? Sure, she was eventually fired, but at least she was not censored. She was allowed to say what she wanted and was fired when it came out that she took quotes out of context.

As a response, DTH Public Editor Eric Johnson (yes, the same Eric that gave the DTH a big pat on the back a couple of weeks ago) wrote an article Wednesday called "Editor is more hands-on: Critics say expanded role shuts out dissenting voices." Hands-on. That's one way to put it.

He spends the first 90% of his article saying how she is just more hands on and is trying to bring higher journalistic standards to the opinion page by not running things that are controversial. She nearly killed a negative editorial about the move by News & Observer to bundle "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West," a controversial movie about Radical Islam with the paper. This caused Opinion Editor Aisha Saad and Associate Opinion Editor David Giancaspro to also quit the paper.

That is not being hands-on, this is trying to stifle dissenting voices. Sure, an editor for straight news gets to choose what stories should be reported and run based on space and newsworthiness, but it works a little differently on the Op-Ed page. An editor doesn't get to choose what gets to be run based on how controversial it is. What happened to journalists being watchdogs?

At the end of Johnson's article, he says:
Personally, I think Nichols should have run the column Randolph preferred and that a fully independent editorial board is preferable to one managed by the editor.

Nichols respectfully disagrees, but she still printed this column.

Sure she did. You kissed her ass for the last 400 words.