3.31.2009

Tuesday Guilty Pleasure


It's Tuesday, and you know what that means. Tuesday Guilty Pleasure!! Wooo! You have the pleasure of seeing something that I love but I really, really shouldn't. Apparently last week I succeeded in getting techno stuck in everyone's head. Now you know why I love that song.

This week, I had to think a while before I came up with a song, but I think this is a good one. I've always loved Elton John. I'm not ashamed to say that. But this song is one that I probably shouldn't admit loving.

But don't even talk to me about the bastardized version from Moulin Rouge.

3.30.2009

Roy Williams in his underwear

Four days and seemingly 20 pounds later, I'm back from Memphis! It's great to be back home, but it's going to be a short day. Since the Heels took care of business against Oklahoma, they are the East Regional champions and will be heading to the Final Four in Detroit!! And guess what? I'll be there with them! We fly out on Wednesday (so soon!) and, if all goes well, we'll be coming back late Tuesday. Look for more blog posts this week about the Motor City. Along those lines, I have more pictures and stories from the last two days in Memphis that I will post here soon.

But that's not what I want to talk about now.

Despite the fact that one of my favorite people is sharing the stage with one of the people I despise the most and that the argument that Coach K has sold out to American Express has kinda lost some credibility, this commercial is absolutely amazing!



First, I can't believe that they got Coach Williams to do this commercial in his underwear. At first I didn't think it was him but just a really good look alike. But then I knew that the rest of the coaches were real and it just had to be him. Then, the fact that they got Roy and Coach K to do the commercial together is great. And, of course, Bob Knight is a wack-job and just completely makes this commercial. And just watch Pitino bang those drums in the back. Classic!!

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On an unrelated note, Chris, Benji and I have decided to create a new blog called "Perpetual Bacchanals." (If you don't know what that word means, don't worry, I didn't either. Thanks, online dictionary!) It is a comedy blog (hopefully) that will detail life after college without a job in a terrible job market. Should be a good time! Feel free to laugh at our strife.

3.27.2009

Dancing in Memphis, Day 2

I've seen ducks and I've eaten ribs. Check and check. I'm going to keep this post brief because I need to go to bed so that I can get up to go to Graceland, but I just had to share some things with you.

First, the marching of the ducks. This video isn't great (my poor digital camera) but you get the idea.

video

Then, earlier in the day, I got to go see the boys practice before their game tomorrow against Gonzaga. They looked good and had some fun. Marcus Ginyard stood with the press people and took pictures the whole time and Ty Lawson just stood at half court with coach most of the time.



Then, to top it all off, I got me some Rendezvous Ribs. The place is hidden down a back alley right by our hotel. It seems like a complete hole in the wall, but we all know that the best food comes in places like that. Our massive party of 23 was shoved in the back of the waiting area behind this divider with a sign that said "Private Party." That didn't bother me any. The tables had pitchers of sweet tea and water. I was all set.

Here's a look at what I ate this evening: a full rack of ribs with some beans and slaw. Mmmm mmmm.



And, finally, a trip to Memphis is nothing without a walk down Beale Street. We hit it earlier in the day on the way to the arena, but you have to see it at night. One great thing about Memphis: no open container laws. But since the athletic department is paying for me to be here, I'm not allowed to drink. I have to come back....



We did decide to go to B.B. King's blues club on Beale and enjoyed the awesome house band that was playing. We also got to watch dook get destroyed. Memphis lost too, but people didn't seem to be paying much attention to that in the bar. I guess basketball isn't quite as serious here as it is back home.

Now to bed. Tomorrow we're up early to get over to Graceland. Then, tomorrow night, it's game time.

Go Heels!!

3.26.2009

Dancing in Memphis



Graceland, blues, ribs and Mark Cohn. Welcome to Memphis!

After a nice drubbing of Radford University and sneaking past the pesky LSU Tigers, the UNC Tar Heels have made it to the Sweet 16. And I'm right along here with them.

We are in a ridiculously nice hotel, the Peabody, that has a unnecessarily large TV for such a small room. But the best part is the fountain. And the ducks. If you don't know anything about it, the Peabody is famous for the duck march, where the Peabody ducks march into the fountain in the middle of the lobby and hang out for the day. Then at the end they march back out. I can't wait to see it. Oh, and be sure pictures will go up.

But first on the to-do list is to enjoy what some call the best ribs in the country at Rendezvous Ribs, which is apparently right across the street from here. Then onto the blues clubs on Beale Street. And maybe a little trip to Graceland. I'm in Memphis, I figure I'll make the most of it.

Our first game is Friday night, so until then I'm a free man in the heart of Memphis. Go Heels!



Side note, this is one of my favorite photos from last weekend. Dook played Texas right after our game and the Texas cheerleaders took advantage of our "friendly" rivalry by involving us in the cheers. I'm also pretty sure that AJ stole this sign from the cheerleaders. Oh well.

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Some other fun information:

Here's a great article on the newspaper industry. Some government officials are thinking about making newspapers nonprofits to save them some money. But that would mean that they can't be involved in political issues, like endorsing a candidate.

I also decided to set up some YouTube playlists so you can check out all the videos that I post on the site. I have a general one and one specially made for the Tuesday Guilty Pleasure series.

3.24.2009

Brand Newz

I can't believe I forgot to post about this earlier. Just caught up in the rush of my last semester I guess....

Anyway, earlier this semester we had a special visitor come to our community journalism class. He's a professor at North Carolina Central University. He teaches a hip-hop class. Ladies and gentleman, Professor Play.



That's right, Christopher Martin (right), "professionally known as" Play from the hip-hop and comedy duo Kid 'n Play, is a professor in Durham. You may be wondering what in the world that has to do with my community journalism class. I'm getting there.

One of our goals this semester was to put together a community newspaper run by high school kids in Durham. We've had some problems getting this off the ground and are looking for any support we can get. Then our professor stumbled upon Play. Since he left the rap business, he's taken on a hobby: broadcast news. But this isn't just any news, it's Brand Newz.

Brand Newz is a website devoted to having amateur reporters from all over the country send in videos reporting the news and answering one simple question: "What's good with you?"

In class, Play said he was tired of 24-hour news doing unfair reporting and telling viewers what to think. Then BET took their news show off the air. With Brand Newz, Play hopes to fill that void of good news coming directly from the people, not talking heads telling you how you should feel.

Play did all the work himself at first, claiming that he was "putting stuff together the McGyver way." But the website has come a long way. He now has a small staff working with him and even plans on putting together a 30 minute version of Brand Newz on the MyRDC channel. He already has two-minute shorts that run on the channel.

One of my favorite videos is sent in by "Young Izzy." He films himself trying to get a job at a job fair at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. It's the perfect example of the kind of story that Brand Newz is all about. Check it out.

And if you're not sure who Kid 'n Play is, click here.

Tuesday Guilty Pleasure


And we're back again for another exciting installment of "Tuesday Guilty Pleasure," where I bear my soul and risk ridicule to tell you something that I love even though I really, really shouldn't.

Unfortunately, this weeks selection was inspired by the not-so-stunning dook basketball band this Saturday. They played butchered this song (all I could really hear was the drum beat) during their game against the University of Texas and all the dookies hopped around mindlessly, as they do so well.

Anyway, enough dook bashing (is there ever really enough?) and onto the music. This week's song comes from Cascada. Don't know who that is? Oh yeah you do. Good luck keeping yourself from jumping around and throwing your hands up in the air when the chorus hits.



You may now cease the fist pump and sit back down. Man, that felt good.

3.17.2009

Another one gone...


I know that journalism is in a rough spot, but this is getting absurd.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer rolled of the press for the final time today. The paper, started in 1863, has stopped its print edition citing "a fatal economic spiral compounded by dwindling subscription rates, an exodus of advertisers and an explosion of online information."

The Hearst company, who owns the P-I, put the paper up for sale earlier in the year but said that if the paper didn't sell within 60 days they would shut it down.

The P-I is going to keep its website going and fill it with columnists and local news. But the paper as it's known and loved is gone. There still is a major daily in the city: the Seattle Times.

On top of this, the News and Observer recently announced that it was cutting another 11% of its workforce including 27 full-time jobs.

You'd figure that every newspaper in America is struggling right now. You'd be wrong. The little guys are getting by and, in some cases, even expanding.

Take the Carrboro Citizen, a small community newspaper (circulation ~5,000) in Carrboro that started printing in 2007. While all these other metro-dailies were struggling and cutting jobs, this little weekly announced it was expanding in January of this year.

Why are they thriving while everything else is dying? My community journalism class got a chance to visit the Citizen and Editor Kirk Ross had something to say about it. What it all comes down to, he said, were the huge companies (like Hearst and McClatchy, who owns the N&O) who bought all these other papers with the hopes that they could condense their operation and make more money off it.

Long story short, it didn't work. The huge companies are swimming in massive amounts of debt. And who pays? The newspapers. Ross said that Raleigh is a great newspaper market and the N&O is a money-making venture. But McClatchy is in debt so the local newspapermen take the hit.

That's why you see all these smaller papers getting along just fine. So when you see the news about newspapers crumbling and cutting back, don't think that the whole industry is dying. Oh no. The big metro dailies are struggling and looking to make a change, but all the small, hyper-local community journalists are doing just fine.

Tuesday Guilty Pleasure


I truly apologize for my absence last week. I know you were waiting with bated breath for the second installment of the Tuesday Guilty Pleasure series. But I was in Daytona Beach with limited internet access and even more limited motor skills most of the time. I have no pictures to share with you, and that's probably a good thing.

But never fear, the latest edition of things that I love but really, really shouldn't is here!!! (Applause)

If you really know me, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise. I have a terrible weakness for pretty girls that play piano. I can't help it. They can sing about hating men all they want, but if it's with a piano in front of them I'm going to be singing it at the top of my lungs with the windows rolled down.

So when I heard this song in 2005, Anna Nalick stole my heart away.




That's right, "Breathe (2 AM)" is my guilty pleasure. I own the album. I'm not ashamed.

3.15.2009

March Madness!!!

March is my favorite time of year. Spring is coming, school is wrapping up, baseball has started and, most importantly, it's tournament time.

The brackets are official, now it's time for the fun part. I've already filled out three different brackets with random -- and often unexpected -- upsets all over the place. But, of course, the big winner is always the same: UNC all the way. And I'm not alone. Four out of the five talking heads on ESPN picked Carolina to win it all. I hope it doesn't jinx us.

Over the next three weeks Carolina will fight for their sixth national championship and guess what? Your faithful blogger will be there every step of the way. That's right, I'll be traveling with the band as far as the team goes. So don't be surprised when this blog becomes a sports blog.

I'll be sure to take my camera and document everything that I can. First game is on Thursday against Radford. Unfortunately it's only in Greensboro, so no exciting traveling. But if we get to the Sweet Sixteen we'll be in Memphis, Tenn.

I'm so excited I have chills. Go Tar Heels!

In other news, the "About Us" page of the Carrboro Commons has been updated with the new staff members. Check out my picture and the corny bio that I wrote myself.

3.04.2009

Carrboro Commons 3

Here is your twice-monthly message announcing the release of a new issue of the Carrboro Commons!!!

I have to say that this issue is absolutely amazing. We have some awesome people on staff. I would love to work in a newsroom with any of these guys.

This issue, I wrote a first-person account of Dance Marathon. It was tough to cram those 24 hours into a coherent article, but I really like the final product. I hope you enjoy it.

But don't stop there. Check out some other great articles about the collector's fair, the Carrboro Community Dinner, Carrboro Beverage Co., Rainbow Soccer and Cliff from Cliff's Meat Market, which includes an awesome video shot by Carly Brantmeyer.

Over the next few weeks the Commons will be on a bit of a hiatus due to spring break, but we'll be back with our fourth issue April 1.

3.03.2009

The newest member of Vinyl Records is...


...Colby Ramsay!

He wasn't my first choice, but, like I said in my earlier post, you can't really go wrong with any of the performers that I saw. I do have to give Colby some credit though: I saw him standing by the door at Lenoir dining hall with a computer asking people to vote for him. Might have skewed the results a bit, but you can't knock the determination.

Check out recordings of his and all the other performances from the February Face-off here, and be sure to keep checking the Vinyl Records website for more information about Colby and the other three artists.

Tuesday Guilty Pleasure


To keep life interesting and to keep me posting on a regular basis, I've decided to start a series called "Tuesday Guilty Pleasure." On this glorious day of the week, I will share with my lovely readers something (most likely music) that I really like, but probably shouldn't.

But there is one condition: you can't judge me (too much).

So for the first installment, I'm going to go big. I've gotten heat for liking this song in the past from many of my friends, but I can't help but be addicted to the beat of this song. It's so, well, toxic.

That's right, my guilty pleasure is Britney Spears' song "Toxic."

Admit it, you either really liked her music or thought she was really hot back before she hooked up with K-Fed and got preggers.

On a side note, there are lots of great covers of the song that are even better. One of my personal favorites is by Yael Naim ("New Soul," that song from the MacBook Air commercials). You can find that here.

So sit back, relax, and dig that beat.




P.S. I know you love the graphic. That's what happens when you put Paint.NET in the hands of an amateur like me.