Been a while huh??

15 May

Hey guys, who wants some more excuses as to why I have not updated this blog in a month?????

My guess is no one does, so I’m just going to go ahead and admit that it is becoming painfully clear that I am succumbing to the “I just don’t have that much to say to keep consistently updating this blog” disease and it’s hitting me hard. Combine that with the fact that I’m private person by nature, and tend to always keep things to myself no matter what it is, then right there you have the perfect storm for an anti-blog.

This doesn’t mean that I will be stopping the blog, or anything like that. I really enjoy writing and blogging, I just need to find that area/niche/motivation that will power my blog on a consistent basis. So with that said, I want to tell you guys that I will be re-launching this blog in the very near future with a tighter focus and more consistent posts.

On a related note, I am really excited to tell you that I will be joining the blogging team at Iamwhatshot.com, a cultural, entertainment, and arts blog. I will be the resident music blogger, so you’re going to be reading all my thoughts, reviews, quips, about everything I like (or dislike) in today’s music scene. The site will be launching LATEST May 31 , 2011. I will be re-posting my entries here on my blog, I expect anyone who reads it to let me know what they think (good or bad).

You can also follow my thoughts in micro-blog form on my Tumblr page. Here you will find a combination of pictures, videos, quotes, etc… random or not

So to recap, be on the lookout for the following:

1) Re-launch of my personal blog

2) Launching of iamwhatshot.com and my Music section — Latest launch date May 31, 2011

3) Check out my Tumblr micro-blog

I WILL GET THIS RIGHT.

Mu-sick of this…

11 Apr

What’s wrong with commercial music?? Why can’t commercial music be good??

Commercial vs. underground: An age old concept that can crossover into many different forms of music. A concept, that in many people’s eyes, defines you as the type of fan you are and your loyalty to “true” music; one that binds you to a movement of people that associate themselves with what is considered “Real” and what is considered “Fake”. What distinguishes the two?? Who knows. One thing I do know for sure is that this divide that people insist on wedging between fans of music is bullshit, and in my opinion has the opposite effect on music as a whole.

Picture this, person A likes this song POP, and this song NOT POP? To an average person, person A looks to have a diverse taste in music, or totally random taste. Whatever it may be it should say nothing about the person and his/her “allegiance” to music. Enter person B, a self-proclaimed music “head” and ask him/her what is wrong with that scenario and you’ll see that very same head do something like this. After re-assembling his/her brain this self professed music guru will undoubtedly think the following things:

  1. Person A knows absolutely nothing about music
  2. Person A is a sellout, someone who doesn’t value any true loyalty or allegiance to a specific stream of music
  3. So long as that scenario is the case, person A never can and never will have any semblance of a respectable music opinion…anything he/she says with regards to music will be immediately dismissed
  4. Person A should be banished to music purgatory to join these fun people: fun guy, fun girl, and fun dinosaur

Remember I’m not speaking to the genres of music, the quality of music, or anyone’s opinion about said song selections. I am strictly speaking to the right that anyone should have to like any kind of music they so desire and not have to defend their taste in music. Why can’t someone have the full discography of this dude, and in the same breath be telling you how much he loved attending this group’s concert.

I think we need to have a movement to eradicate all of these so called musical pundits, or at least force them to go through a new radical form of musical brain cleansing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the passion these people show and admire the loyalty they display, I just think more often than not their energy in this space is misguided.

I like to compare music to a huge pie, strawberry rhubarb perhaps (mmmmm pie). Now this pie is divided into many slices, some of these slices include artists like your Britney Spears, Soulja Boy, Enrique Iglesias etc… the usual group of artists that almost inevitably are always considered “sellout, bubble gum” music. Instead of deeming anyone who likes any of these artists, or anything else from any of the other slices- why not try understanding that this is all a part of music as a whole, and it is where music has evolved to now. Yes, to many of us music was better back in the day, but to remain stuck in that time machine of only music from when it was “good”, or to remain in a stream of music that is never heard anywhere outside of the most obscure websites, is not only stunting your own growth as a music fan…but is also stunting the progression of music as a whole. Believe that and believe in pie.

Am I a music aficianado…No, do I claim to be the end all be all of music as we know it…absolutely not. What I do have though are strong opinions, and a forum to express those very opinions. If you don’t like what I have to say then I guess i’ll be hearing from you soon :)

Sooooo having said all of that, does anyone know if Lady Gaga is gonna be performing at the Much Music Video Awards??? Imagine…..

p.s. I have been typing this post while listening to this gem on repeat. IT’S GETTING HOT IN T.O.!!!!

My next post will discuss why we as Canadians need to support our local, home grown music. We have talent here people…zeen.

If I worked at Google…

30 Mar

On my first day at Google, I would wear a pair of vintage Horace Grant sport goggles (or a reasonable facsimile) and wait for the first person to tell me “hey man, nice googles!”

If I worked at Google, I would make it a point to either have Sergey Brin , Larry Page or Eric Schmidt send me a personal email. The beginning of said email would read something like this…” Dear Sherief, Welcome to Google, the coolest company in the world, and incidentally home to the coolest air conditioning system in the world”

If I worked at Google, I would immediately write a blog post called “If I worked at Facebook”…I would then go on to say “If I worked at Facebook, I would convince Mark Zuckerberg to sell his beloved company to Google, for $1,800 dollars and a lifetime supply of L.A. Gear basketball shoes“…

If I worked at Google, I would coin the phrase “Google goes Gaga” and then I wou…wait a second…smh

If I worked at Google, I would moonlight as a wrestler where I would devastate my opponents with a finishing move called the “Googleplex”. It would be a hybrid between a suplex and a random calculation of an equation involving a Googol (1 followed by 100 zeros)…I would later be banned from wrestling for being an idiot

If I worked at Google, I would be happier than this guy

If I worked at Google, I would release my first music called “Surfin on my Chrome 22’s”…which would actually mean surfin on the internet using the Google Chrome browser on my 22″ inch monitor

If I worked at Google, I would say that I could come up with a Googol more of these kinds of one liners and probably should take a break for now…stay tuned for when I discuss my imaginary employment with the Harlem Globetrotters :)

 

Those damn Mayans

22 Mar

Mayan calendar = 2012 = End of time or the end of civilization, or at least the end of Jersey Shore :) :) :)

With all that has occurred thus far in 2011, the talk of the aforementioned prophecy from our fine ancient Mexican inhabitants has become more and more prominent, and more and more indicative of the fact that mankind cannot turn down a good “apocalyptic” storyline. Does everyone remember the hubbub (did I really just use that word!?) surrounding Y2K, and how this unseeming programming glitch was going to spell the ultimate doom, destruction, and damnation upon this world of ours. Well it didn’t and I’m sure on January 1, 2000 (2001) more people were concerned with killing their hangover, or wondering what gym to sign up for than actually worrying about the aftermath, or lack thereof, of Y2K.

Yes, the first three months of 2011 have seen a vast array of historical events, everything from full-fledged revolutions, to cataclysmic natural disasters…but does any of this lend more to the notion that the world will come to an end in 2012…Nah! At least not in my opinion.

My main intent for the post, is to remind everyone that you and I can predict the end of the world, just about as well as any other human can…yes they Mayans were human. So instead of heading to Home Depot, or your local Army Surplus store to stock up on military grade shelving units (you know for your canned beans, and marmalade), or indestructible underground pods…why don’t you put your money to better use and buy yourself a pet Lynx, I know I will :)

Sweaty Hockey

26 Feb

The winter of 1987, my parents decided that it was time to get real serious about this being Canadian thing and to do probably one of the more drastic things parents from Saharan climate could do…enroll their only son (me) in HOCKEY!! The reason why I remember this year so vividly is because of two reasons, 1) it was my first hockey season and I was given #99, don’t ask me how I got this number, but I did and I had no clue as to the real significance of these two numbers I was wearing. For those of you, who don’t know, #99 is the very number that this guy made ridiculously famous, so much so that no one else in professional hockey can wear it…EVER. Reason #2, this was the first time I had ever heard my mother swear in English. You don’t understand the impact this had on my brain, my life, my way of thinking…here’s a glimpse at how the moment went down:

Setting: Mom is trying to tie my skates, because Dad was late coming to the arena from work…and action

Mom: I don’t understand why zey make zese sings so hard to tie…whoever heard of shoe wiz knife at bottom

Me: Mooooooooooom, they’re still too loose…I can’t even walk straight…where’s Daaaad??

Mom: Sherief, I don’t know where your dad iz…(mumbling to self in arabic)

Me: Moooooooom, hurry up we’re the last ones in the change room

Mom: I’m tryyyyy…SHIT!! you know what, zis iz good enough

Me: Ummm

End Scene

So that’s how/why my hockey season in 1987 sticks out in my mind so much…important point, never annoy your parents while they are trying to tie your hockey skates, you probably won’t like the outcome. SIDENOTE: after my mom swore, I thought it was ok to swear as well…NO, it definitely was not…AT ALL.

Moving on, the point of my saunter down memory lane was to segue into my real point of discussion, the night of February 22, 2011. On this night I revisited the game called hockey, only this time I had no skates to worry about, no my friends, this time we would be playing hockey on the two feet god gave us and the skill that god blessed us with…some more than others. It was 2 on 2 hockey, one goalie…”hog” as the cool kids called it way back when. The uniform of choice was running shoes on the feet, soccer shin pads, soccer socks, male…I repeat MALE black tights, basketball shorts, winter gloves and a football jersey…you know, hockey stuff. I don’t think I will ever experience such a mix of physical and emotional feelings in my life. The fun and joy I got from running around with a stick in my hands as if I were that same young boy wearing #99, was almost immediately erased with the onset of lung failure, leg numbness and severe dizziness…aka I AM NOT THAT YOUNG BOY anymore!!!

Physical deficiencies aside, the game was a back and forth affair pitting two teams against each other that on paper and in actuality were very evenly matched. The wildcard in this scenario was the goalie, and I use that term very loosely. This goalie (no names will be used) was a brave man, not much earlier, this man had severe back pains and instead of cowering away and calling it a day, he decided to take seven Tylenol 3’s and “get this shit done.” Unfortunately, that is where his nobility ended, for he had a hell of a time actually being a goalie instead of just being dressed like one. He let in 17 goals, among them the infamous “blackberry goal”, in the span of six minutes. Players were literally shooting from anywhere in the gym and scoring- from halfcourt…scores, from the change room…scores, from behind a closed door…scores. Yes, he made some saves, some of them good too, but when you have a save percentage of .136, how can you talk about anything else???

Now usually street hockey games are stopped due to darkness outside, a player injury, a team actually winning, but rarely have you seen a game of hockey stopped because of vomit?!? Yes people, I think all the running and buckets of dripping sweat finally managed to overcome one of us and caused an excretion of all sorts of nasty stuff (hopefully the picture I’m trying to paint is working ;). Anyways, the game ended but the night didn’t…just when you thought this mystery goalie could not outdo himself with the comedy he provided playing goalie…he then provided the following gem:

Setting: Friends basement, eating McDonald’s @ 2am…ACTION

Goalie: Hey, you guys heard of the invisible suit??

All of us: What do you mean invisible suit??

Goalie: Some guy invented this suit that when you put it on it actually makes him invisible. It’s actually pretty crazy how well it works. I gotta picture, check it out…

(goalie goes to his trusty blackberry, the same blackberry that was launched 30 feet in the air from the infamous blackberry goal, and pulls up this picture)

Goalie: See it’s a suit of mirrors, and the reflection from the light makes him invisible! I remember when I was in San Diego, I was just walkin by and I saw this dude…it was CRAZY

 

WAIT, WHAT??? I’ll let you all of you who read this to make your own interpretations haha…can you vomit brain matter??? Hmmmm….

 

TO YOU, FOR U, BY YOU…

9 Feb

This post right here is a quick one, but a very important one at that.

I need all the men that read this post to turn to the women in their lives and tell’em that you love each and every one of them…go head and do that right now.

It’s funny how things can bring a moment of inspiration, or a moment of reflection, or just a plain ol’ moment. This song/video right here spurred that moment for me…Shad if you out there and you ever, ever come across this post I want you to know that this song single handedly inspired me to write this post right here. This is some real good work right here:

To all the women in my life…keep shining…you are beautiful, all the women holdin it down in the motherland of Egypt…keep shining…you are my heroes, to all the women everywhere…keep shining…do your thing,  as the great Tupac once said:

“since we all came from a women, got our name from a women, and our game from a women. I wonder why we take from women, why we rape our women, do we hate our women? I think its time we killed for our women, be real to our women, try to heal our women, cus if we dont we’ll have a race of babies that will hate the ladies, who make the babies. And since a man can’t make one he has no right to tell a women when and where to create one”

peace.

January 25th, 2011 – Egypt, how I remember it… (Part I)

30 Jan

For many people within my inner, and not so inner circles this day will go down in Egyptian, Middle-Eastern, African, and World history as the day the revolution began in my homeland of Egypt. The day that the Egyptian people, largely through inspiration from their North African counterparts, Tunisia, decided that enough was enough and that something needed to be done NOW about Hosni Mubarak’s tyrannic stranglehold on Egypt for the past 30 years.

I really struggled with the idea of whether or not it was my place to be writing a blog entry on the plight of my fellow Egyptians, err, make that my fellow Egyptian HEROES fighting for the freedoms that have alluded them for the past 30 years. To be honest, my initial thought was that I did not want to seem like what I call a “Bandwagon Egyptian”, that all of a sudden since Egypt was in the world spotlight, that right NOW would be the perfect time to show my solidarity with Egypt…maybe post a few pictures, some emotional videos and khalas I would be good on my Egyptian contribution quota for at least the first half of the year. Although I know, and those who associate with me know that is not the case, it was still a concern of mine. Well, if you are reading this then you can see that I got over that thought process and realized that this was WAAYYY bigger than me or any potentially insecure views I may have as to how people would view me or my writing. This was about discussing an event that not only was a first for Egyptians, young and old, but an event that will most assuredly shape the fabric of my homeland for generations to come.

Now instead of focusing on the protests, riots, demonstrations, deaths, injuries, corruption, scandals, conspiracies, politics or any other word you can interchange here…I’ve decided, at least for this post, just to give all of you a picture tour of the Egypt that I know. This way for those of you who are not familiar with Egypt, you can see it for what it was before the endless stream of images depicting burning tires, overthrown trucks, dilapidated buildings, police brutality, and militaristic involvement. Yeah, I think that’s a good idea (I am literally thinking of this as I type)…so without further ado here is Egypt as I remember:

(Please note: I am by no means a professional photographer, or an amateur one, I’m just a dude taking pictures in Egypt)

Near Midan Tahrir, pre January 25th, 2011

*If you look real closely you can see Cairo Inn on one of the windows. This is actually a very famous hostel in Cairo.*

 

This also doubles as a Mini-Van...

*That ladder beside it was actually the guys escape route*

 

Egyptians love cats?? Cats love Egyptians?? Cats love pink stools!!

...and boxes

 

 

A random alleyway that I explored...

*I really can’t remember where this was taken, but I do remember that I liked the imagery*

 

 

Default Pyramids pic with an added flair...

*Thanks Mohammed ;)*

 

Who is this intriguing man of guile and chicanery???

*No one really knows, but one thing is for sure his JIL fenela is always part of his ensemble*

 

The strip at Sharm el Sheikh

*Home of old Italian and British babes*

 

Cool contrast between two constants in Cairo, sand and buildings

*If you look really close, you can see Hosni Mubarak abolishing more Egyptian dreams*

 

We’ve almost come to the end of this picturesque journey. Going through my pictures I noticed two things: 1) Picture files are getting bigger and bigger, 2) Almost all of my pictures were taken from a personal standpoint, meaning there are either a lot of family in them or a lot of background context that you would need to know to understand…I actually much prefer these types of pictures, way more genuine. Next time I hit the motherland though, I promise to take pictures from more of a blogality standpoint. Before I go though, I would be remiss to not show you once last picture from my travels in Egypt…this picture here is very rare and you all should consider yourselves lucky and extremely fortunate to witness such a seldom seen image…

 

 

The early stages of the famous Egyptian Kirsh

*Although quite a regular site amongst Egyptians, never has the beginning stages been so expertly caught in picture form…remarkable*

 

So I think I’ll make this a multi-part thing , wherein this particular post sets the “before” picture of Egypt, then in later posts I will cover what has happened from January 25th onward. When I say cover, I don’t mean reporter type coverage, I just mean my take and observations of what has been going in the country I love during these very tumultuous times. I’m out.

 

“Man is free at the moment he wishes to be” – Voltaire

TA7YA MASR

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