Tag Archives: University of Massachusetts

Flashback to My First Concert Review (The Monkees) and Why I Chose Another Career

Monkees Review

CLICK HERE to read my first concert review in the University of Massachusetts Daily Collegian. I’m speculating there were no copy editors on duty that night.

The only way to get better at writing is to keep on writing.

A fantastic reminder of that is this ancient music review I unearthed from my college newspaper archives. I was thrilled to get the opportunity to write about a Monkees concert I saw at Foxboro Stadium, although this article is now the only reminder I was there. I don’t remember even a 5-second vignette from that night.

This is a horrifically written review. It’s riddled with typos, cliches and simplistic observations – and quite frankly, it fails to capture The Monkees’ legacy.

According to the insightful 18-year-old me, all three Monkees “contributed to the success of the concert in their own way.”

Here’s how:

  • Lead singer Davy Jones was full of energy. Sometimes “skipping around like Pippi Longstocking.” And at other times, “marching around (like) Bono.”
  • Mickey Dolenz  “enthralled the crowd with his crackpot facial expressions.”
  • And Peter Tork “gave it his all” while at the microphone.

I guarantee you this was the first and last time that Davy Jones was compared to the U2 singer and the world’s strongest girl.

At the end, I slam the band’s critics for daring to suggest they should play more of their own instruments. “But most of the big time critics love to look for the worms in the apple anyway,” I counter.

This Monkees article is the “Showgirls” of movie reviews, so deliciously bad that you just can’t stop reading.

I invite you to do so HERE.

 

 

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Filed under Music Reviews

Secretary of State: The Perfect Gig to Build Up Your Ego Wall

Is it time to commission another Ego Study of the U.S. Senate? Our clipboards are ready.

Is it time to commission another Ego Study of the U.S. Senate? Our clipboards are ready.

Congratulations on your new State Department gig, Senator Kerry. Can’t wait to see your new office…

So right before the 2010 midterm elections, photographer Ilya Mirman and I embarked on an unprecedented visual data analysis project attempting to rank political egos in the U.S. Senate. The Vanity Index algorithm was based on how many times a Senator displayed a picture of him or herself on their wall and how many celebrities were in those pictures — offset by how many times the Senators promoted their home states.

It wasn’t even close. U.S. Sen. John Kerry, the keynote speaker at my University of Massachusetts graduation (oh, and the 2004 Democratic nominee for President), ran away with the contest as you can see below.

There's still some white space on Sen. John Kerry's office wall -- still some future photo-ops to brag about.

There’s still some white space on Sen. John Kerry’s office wall — still some future photo-ops to brag about.

He was the Mr. Incredible of the U.S. Senate, a title that his spokesperson shrewdly embraced. And now that he’ll be meeting world leaders 2-3 times a week, he’s gonna need A LOT MORE wall space.

Mr. Incredible: The Original John Kerry. (Double click for more details).

Mr. Incredible: The Original John Kerry. (Double click for more details).

So check out the original Vanity Index — and let Ilya and me know if you’d like an Ego Study conducted at your company or organization.

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Filed under Election 2010, Political Satire, politics, Vanity Index