Lakers Ramon Sessions To Become A Free Agent

Ramon Sessions, acquired to add speed to the Los Angeles Lakers’ backcourt, hardly did that, and now he is forcing the Lakers to commit to him as their point guard of the future.Sessions chose against exercising the final year of his contract to stay with the Lakers next season and will explore the free-agency market, his agent said Tuesday.“Ramon has carefully considered this decision,” said Sessions’ agent, Jared Karnes, in a statement. “He had to make a career decision and ultimately decided to do what was best in providing stability and longevity for him in the NBA, and this could only be achieved through a multi-year contract.”Sessions, 26, was acquired by the Lakers at the trade deadline from Cleveland to replace 37-year-old Derek Fisher, who was moved to Houston.The 6-foot-3, 190-pound point Sessions averaged 12.7 points, 6.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds on 47.9 percent shooting from the field and 48.6 percent shooting on 3-pointers in 23 regular season games with the Lakers. Sessions’ numbers plummeted in the playoffs, however, as he averaged just 6.8 points and 3.0 assists while shooting 35.3 percent in the Western Conference semifinals against Oklahoma City.It was his first trip to the postseason in his five-year career after starting off with cellar-dwelling teams in Milwaukee, Minnesota and Cleveland.Sessions would have made $4.55 million next season had he opted in to the final year remaining on his contract. Free agency begins on July 1st. Steve Blake, who has two years remaining on his deal, paying him $4 million annually, is the only Lakers point guard under contract. read more

Are You a Cover Junkie

first_imgWhat sets Coverjunkie apart from other cover sites is both the quantity of posts, and the fact that it’s well-organized and highly searchable. Biemans collects covers by publication, theme (9/11, split-run, premier issues), and art director, and he also publishes complete credit information, a rarity. His tastes are very egalitarian; there’s a healthy mix of consumer, mass market, enthusiast, trade, city and regional, and altweekly covers, with selections from Italy, England, Germany, Russian, and of course, The Netherlands. He also has a strong social media presence on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook, which helps spread the Coverjunkie cover selects fast and far.Coverjunkie is a one-person labor of love for Biemans, but it’s a project that is helping to redefine the essence of how magazines design and promote their covers. In a recent interview, Biemans gave the lowdown on how he puts the site together, and what makes a good Coverjunkie cover.Why did you start Coverjunkie?Biemans: I wanted to celebrate creativity in magazine design, to spread the love for ace cover design. And it was also a response to the “print is dead” statement, which I think is a lot of rubbish! I think a cover is more than just about selling itself, it’s also a reflection of our visual culture. On Coverjunkie you can see this reflection from all around the world, as well as from different decades.

How do you find the covers you post?

Biemans: I browse the good old newsstand and look online and on Twitter. Right now I get 10-15 covers a day by email, some good, some bad. The best thing about Coverjunkie is that some mags send me hard copies. I love that; it gives me a fab feeling. 

How do you select what goes on Coverjunkie?Biemans: Posting everything would be impossible; I get too many covers sent to me. I post the most creative ones, the remarkable ones, the covers that stand out. The hardest part about Coverjunkie is editing the covers and then telling art directors that their covers are not creative enough, and that I can’t post them. I try to email everyone to explain. I hate disappointing people because I know they’re trying to create sweet stuff. But again, I have to be rigorous; when there are weak covers on the website it loses its strength. 

What makes a good magazine cover?Biemans: It’s the creativity that counts. My motto on the site is “covers that smack you in the face or that you want to lick!” I think the ace cover contains news, a vibe, and creativity. Most of the covers have only two out of three of these ingredients. But when it carries three out of three you have an epic one. For many magazines, newsstand used to be the big indicator, but it’s increasingly not that important, at least not in the U.S. I think a cover these days is more about making a statement instead of selling. It’s about creating a vibe that the reader likes (or maybe dislikes). A magazine cover is part of a brand, a very important part because it has a soul and it can give feeling and depth to a brand.What magazines do you think consistently do the most interesting or memorable covers?

Biemans: I definitely prefer magazines that use a different approach with each cover, who use their cover design to make a statement or to spark and surprise their readers. I like The New Yorker when they put newsy items on their covers. And I think The New York Times Magazine and New York rock it hard. Bloomberg Businessweek, they’re crazy, and what I like about them is that creative director Richard Turley and his team take charge and are very brave. I love all the altweeklies from the U.S., like SF Weekly and San Antonio Current! They don’t have big budgets but they create extraordinary stuff. There’s Spanish Metropoli, Texas Monthly, Vice, IL from Italy, Wired from the U.S., UK and Italy, Suddeutsche Zeitung Magazin from Germany….What advice do you have for editors, art directors and others to create great magazine covers?

Biemans: Three things: guts, guts, and guts. Mix that with talented designers with soul and a fab editor to create the best headlines. I’m a strong believer that creativity brings great pleasure to readers, whether it’s on an iPad, website, magazine or even cellphone. I don’t care as long as it’s well-designed and made with soul. Days before last week’s debut of The New Republic’s redesign, its new cover was posted and circulating around the web. The buzz was on, and people were tweeting and commenting on it before the magazine itself was even available for viewing. Today, every editor and art director thinks about creating a magazine cover that can go viral, that will work at multiple sizes on a wide variety of displays and platforms and create hype. Along with this, websites like Coverjunkie, NASCAPAS, and others are now providing a visual forum for magazine covers from all over the world to be displayed and distributed.The Coverjunkie site just celebrated its second anniversary. It was launched in late 2010, the brainchild of Dutch art director Jaap Biemans [pictured below], who has done cover designs for the weekly Intermediair and the glossy, Vanity Fair-like Hollands Diep, before moving over to art direct Volkskrant Magazine, the weekly magazine supplement of a large Dutch newspaper (it’s basically The New York Times Magazine of the Netherlands). Biemans recognized early on that for many publications, the days of covers getting “heat” on the newsstand were a thing of the past. To date he’s posted over 11,500 covers, and Coverjunkie has become a daily must-destination for magazine art directors around the world.Biemans interned at a design firm in NYC in the late 90s, and that New York experience has informed his design and editorial sensibilities. And while Coverjunkie has a definite global reach, he has a big soft spot for very American style-magazine cover design, as well as for the funky, gonzo-style designs of altweekly newspapers like The Village Voice.last_img read more

Anatomy Of A Viral Hit Acoustic Cover Song

first_img Facebook NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Oct 16, 2018 – 11:41 am Donna Missal Covers “Iris”: GRAMMY ReImagined News In Mendes’ case, he spent his early teenage years covering everyone from Adele and Rhianna to Leonard Cohen and Lynyrd Skynyrd on his way to pop stardom. Cara covered the likes of Amy Winehouse, Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, and more. For these two budding pop stars, covers were the ticket to success. But cover songs are all around us (consider the popularity of modern singing competition shows). And as an emerging artist, covers can be a tool to get your talents in front of a new audience. So what makes a cover work and what doesn’t? Perhaps a revisit of Mike Masse’s 2010 viral cover of Toto’s “Africa” can shed some light.It’s tempting to look at the video’s 11+ million views and point to the success of the source material – after all, you read it right here that “Africa” is allegedly considered by science as the “best” song ever (a case we would bet is far from closed). But as SonicBids’ blog points out, the crux of why this YouTube cover took off like a rocket is talent. Masse’s voice not only evokes visions of Toto singer-at-the-time Joseph Williams, he sings the song with a combination of skillful accuracy and authentic passion listeners are looking–or rather listening–for today.What about the look? Masse’s video is a single shot of he and a bandmate playing at a pizza parlor. In fact, many viral YouTube cover videos rely on their low visual production quality to highlight the musical performance. [However, for the best of both worlds, check out the cover versions of GRAMMY ReImagined]. NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Sep 28, 2018 – 2:18 pm Shawn Mendes On Connecting With His Fans & More Email A closer look at how viral videos reveal key takeaways for artists looking to mix their taste and talent with YouTube to find a new audienceGRAMMYs Oct 26, 2018 – 3:17 pm Posting a cover on YouTube is a well-worn path for independent artists seeking to traverse the internet jungle and land the attention of an audience. From Shawn Mendes to Alessia Cara, many artists of many genres have taken this tack to success, but many, many more have tried and missed the mark.center_img Twitter Anatomy Of A Viral Hit Acoustic Cover Song How Acoustic Covers Can Become Viral Hits anatomy-viral-hit-acoustic-cover-song In the case of many viral hits, choosing the right cover is where the magic happens. A familiar tune can bridge the gap between the eager fan and an unfamiliar artist, but a quick search of any of today’s biggest songs can also turn up a sea of competition. But popularity doesn’t necessarily mean a song should be avoided. A request for Weezer to cover “Africa” recently caught enough web attention to convince the band to tackle the classic, so clearly all of the song’s fans worldwide still hadn’t–or couldn’t–get enough.SonicBids’ analysis goes on to note that Masse’s consistency in posting new material on YouTube contributed to the success of their “Africa” cover, but also reiterates the importance of the talent of the collaborators you choose, calling out spot-on harmony vocals from bassist Jeff Hall as the viral video’s x-factor. “Don’t work with musicians unless they meet your standards,” the blog advises, wisely.Despite the strategy, for many artists, there is a joy of covering songs that is a reward in itself. Sometimes it’s easier for songwriters to get lost in a composition they didn’t create, the same way it’s easier to get lost in a house you didn’t build. The trick is knowing what will take off next and, more importantly, having the talent and consistency to capitalize on the opportunity. Happy covering!GRAMMY ReImagined Is Back With More Covers Read morelast_img read more

Going above beyond

first_imgRemember the song Sun and Moon? The lyrics went a bit like, “…I’m sorry baby you were the sun and moon to me, I’ll never get over you, you’ll never get over me…” – yes. Those guys. That’s exactly how I heard some friends discuss Above & Beyond. Let’s get a little in deep: these guys have released three studio albums, two remix albums, one side-project album. Their own two labels – Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep, and are among the most respected imprints in the global dance music scene and have released some 23 Above & Beyond albums and compilations in the last 12 years. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’There have been dozens (and dozens) of singles and mix albums and offshoot projects, all snapped up by a devoted worldwide fan base that has happily, passionately followed this London-based electronic trio since their formation in 2000. Phew. We spoke to Tony McGuinness about their next album and much more. Read on…How did Above and Beyond come together? What started it all?We came together to do a remix for Warner Brothers – Chakra Home. We were all doing other things at the time but the remix was very successful and pretty soon Above & Beyond became the main thing for all three of us. The name came from a guy in the States called Jono Grant who was a motivational trainer – “Above & Beyond” was his tag line. Our own Jono had found his web site and printed the front page out and stuck it on his bedroom wall. When we’d finished the mix we needed a name and it just jumped out at us. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix How easy (or difficult) was it for Above and Beyond to make a mark in the music scene?It’s hard to know what things we’ve done have had the biggest impact since we’ve never stopped making music and touring, but we’ve had some amazing opportunities and, thus far at least, have risen to the challenge of doing something great when we’ve had the chance. Our first remix was of a club classic that, even though we were unknown, became the lead remix on the package and went to number one in the club chart. Our remix for Madonna was on spec, but she loved it so much she made the video to our mix instead of the Radio edit. We got the chance to do an Essential Mix for Radio 1 in 2004 and the mix won Essential Mix of the year. And our first album, Tri-State, got great reviews across the board. So we’ve had some great bits of luck to get some great breaks but we’ve made sure we do a great job when we do. In addition, what we do, which is act like a band and write songs about our real life, sets us apart from almost all our peers, who usually draft in external singer/songwriters. That doesn’t really result in any consistency or connection.Who and what influences you and your music? Who are your favourite musicians?We each have quite different tastes in music outside of what we make together and sign to the label, which keeps our music very diverse and, hopefully, rich in context. Personally I love singer songwriters like Damien Rice, unique singers like Goldfrapp, FKA Twigs and Kate Bush, bands like Kings of Convenience, Blonde Redhead, Royksopp and War on Drugs and electronic producers from Joris Voorn to Seven Lions. Paavo is especially keen on soundtracks, Jono loves a lot of 80s pop like the Pet Shop Boys.Tell us about your favourite tracks? If you could pick one track from your repertoire to go down in history (over the others) which one would that be?Hmm, it always used to be Tranquility Base Razorfish, but I’d probably pick Thing Called Love or Sun & Moon as they seem to have a life of their own, even now. But the new album is just out and there are lots of great tracks on there just bedding in, so let’s see how it feels a year from now. How has Above and Beyond witnessed the change in the music scene from the time you started to now?We started just as trance music was losing its pop credibility and moving underground, so we’ve always eschewed pop music, per se. But recently a lot of pop EDM has created an explosion in public interest in the scene and whilst we haven’t been deflected by that and remain outside it in many ways, it has provided a lot of oxygen to the scene and we’ve certainly benefitted from that. If you could change one thing about the music industry right now – what would that be?The idea that musicians should not get paid fairly for the work they do is ridiculous and the slow but severe eroding in revenues for recorded music is hurting everyone without the means to support themselves in other ways, like DJing. That sucks.If you could change one thing about the world with your music – what would that be?The internet promised a more connected world and in the music business it delivers that emphatically. But politi cally it seems to be dividing us, extreme views which would have dwindled in a locally connected society gain weight in an interconnected world in a way nobody foresaw. Now anyone with a crazy way of seeing things can find people who share those views in another country, which in turn gives validity to the extreme views. The world is more and more divided by issues of ‘race’ and religion and bigotry is rife. As touring DJs we see things differently. We travel to countries that have supposedly different world views and find that people, on the whole, are all the same. We’ve done shows in the same weekend to countries who remain violently opposed and found the same reaction to our music, the same hopes and fears, dreams and aspirations in the people. It’s one planet, we’re one human race and the sooner we realise that the better things will get. What’s next for Above and Beyond?We’re touring the world in support of our new album We Are All We Need, including our biggest ever US tour – six weeks of high intensity touring to over 100,000 people. Then we have a sold out UK tour to look forward to in April. Tell us about the top five songs on your playlist right now. Our new single is called All Over The World and it’s about a broken father/son relationship, illustrated perfectly by the video which is based on Catch Me If You Can. The next single from the album will be Peace of Mind. There’s an extraordinary new single from Andrew Bayer and Asbjorn, a new Danish singer we’ve hooked him up with. It’s called Superhuman and it’s fabulous. Our recent remix Salva Mea is going off in our sets, we’re super proud of that one. All That Matters by Kolsch feat Troels Abramsen is a particular favourite, it’s a beautiful song and the production.last_img read more

Intertwining IndoAfrican dreams

first_imgIndia and Africa are intertwined by their history of freedom struggles against their colonial rulers, as also by their future, pursuing similar developmental strategies to bring prosperity to their citizens. Underlying our strong political relationship are common political perspectives on issues like terrorism, security of ocean routes, larger geopolitical role for developing countries and convergence of interests on climate change. Equally important, the synergy of our economic relations is bolstered by the natural economic complementarity of our respective comparative advantages, the raison d’etre  of  mutually beneficial trade among equals, generating most optimal “Win-Win” options for both of us. Also Read – FM favours cess over additional tax for compensating statesIn fact, the Indian developmental model, especially post-liberalisation of 1991, predicated on large scale public investments in critical infrastructure, followed by domestic entrepreneurial initiatives in consumer goods and services, in a democratic setting, is proving to be a sustainable option and role model for many African countries. India needs immense natural resources to lift its teeming millions out of poverty. We need metals, minerals, coal, oil and gas, to build cities and run industries. Africa needs technology and investments, to leverage their natural resources, but on equal and fair terms, which India offers. Indian technology is “Triple A”, – “Appropriate, Affordable and Adaptable”, which is best for Africa.  Also Read – Indian eves lose to NZ in four-nation series openerThe Continent with the youngest population needs capacity building of its manpower, which Indian companies do well. For instance, the African infrastructure in the hinterland is being built by project companies like OIA, involving construction of thousands of kilometres of electricity transmission and distribution and rural electrification lines or hundreds of kilometres of water pipelines or massive agro-processing plants. We engage local firms and manpower to execute an increasing proportion of the jobs, as they pick up expertise working with us on various projects.  The transfer of knowhow to local partners makes perfect business sense for Indian private sector players, since localisation progressively reduces costs of execution. Significantly, the infrastructure built by Indian firms is changing the face of African economies, since it is not aimed at extracting their natural wealth but linking up with their people, lighting up homes and energising industries and magnifying African agricultural productivity. When the top African leaders arrive in October, Modi is sure to make India-Africa development combination unparalleled and unbeatable.last_img read more