Thursday, July 31, 2008

My First Time...

The memory is so vivid - my body trembling, shaking, the tears in my eyes and the sweat that broke out over my body. Get your mind out of the gutter, I'm not talking about sex, but rather my first time experiencing and participating in what has since been dubbed as the ubiquitous and ever elusive "viral campaign." I was working in experiential youth marketing at a big agency working on a big account. One of my colleagues sent me an IM with the link and a note: "you have to see this! It's hysterical!" The link brought me to what was then iFilm, and the clip was as follows:

Yes, that did it for me; I fell hook, line and sinker for that 15-second clip, dubbed "Afroninja,". The first few hundred times I watched it I was overcome with guilty, pleasurable waves of uncontrollable laughter, and to this day when I look at the clip, it brings a big smile to my face and more often than not elicits at least a chuckle or two. In those first few innocent viewings, I couldn't wait to send the clip to everyone I knew, and did so with reckless abandon and gusto. I was so happy to be the guy in the know, the "influencer" sending all my friends a clip that I knew that would enjoy as much as I did. Fast forward years later, after The Dramatic Chipmunk and Chocolate Rain videos, and it turns out that Mark Hicks, the stuntman whose misfortune while filming a Nike commercial blazed a trail throughout the net, may end up having the last laugh. He is apparently making a full fledged movie called Afroninja: Destiny based in large part on that very clip. Check out the great interview with Mark on Wired.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

FooFighters Rock On and Rock Hard!

Last night I attended the Foo Fighters concert at the Izod Center (formerly Continental Airlines Arena) in New Jersey. My love for the Foo goes back sometime now, back to 1990 and the days a little grunge band out of the state of Washington called Nirvana shook up the world and changed the face of music as we now know it. Back then Dave was merely the silent drummer for the band and in awe of front man Kurt Cobain (let's face it, back then everyone was in awe of Kurt).

When Kurt died in 1994 after only three albums and Nirvana dissolved, Dave formed Foo Fighters, and released the first album based off many of the songs he'd written while on tour with Nirvana, but never recorded. Pretty friggin' great stuff on that first album. Since then, Foo has grown and matured, as have I, and Dave has become somewhat of an elder spokesman who deftly bridges the gap between 80's rock, the early days of 90's grunge and the current days of "alternative" in all it's many forms. Granted, Dave is no Kurt, and Foo's music definitely does not have the intensity, depth or passion that Nirvana had, but it's still good ol' rock and roll music, and the band puts on a kick-ass concert, and that's all fine by me.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hasbro Flexes and Facebook Submits - R.I.P. Scrabulous?!

I saw the writing on the wall months ago, but ignored it, couldn't bring myself to accept the inevitable, and now the inevitable has happened. With one simple message, office workers, friends and foes alike are in mourning. What was this powerful message that has evoked such an outcry? Behold...

Scrabulous is disabled for US and Canadian users until further notice.

This is the culmination of the just recently announced suit that Hasbro filed against the Agarwalla brothers, the blokes behind the ubiquitous Facebook app, Scrabulous. Of course Hasbro has an alternative motive (no, really?!) and hopes that players going through Scrabulous withdrawal give the official Hasbro version of Scrabble on Facebook a try. Silly corporate old school brand - don't they realize that social networking platforms have become so popular if not a part of the fabric of many people's lives in part to avoid being told what to do and how to do it by "the man." No, no no Hasbro - this was a bad move, and though I understand the intention, the execution was poor. Wouldn't Hasbro have been better served by reaching some formal agreement with the Argawalla brothers, and working with not just them but with Facebook by creating a rev share model that all would benefit by having? I mean really, who played Scrabble with regularity until the app was developed for Facebook? Embrace the light Hasbro, turn away from the Dark Side, and embrace your consumers, for they mean you no harm.

For all you diehard Scrabulous fans who refuse to give in to the man, open a new browser window and play Scrabulous on, which still appears to be functioning.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

EA's Dead Space new gametrailer is AWESOME!

Wow! I'm not a heavy gamer, more the casual type - you know, once in a while I'll throw in Call of Duty, Madden, or the likes and get my game on. I've never been one to really anticipate a new game the way I do a new gadget (iphone anyone), movie or cd from one of my favorite bands. That said, their are exceptions to every rule, and Dead Space is that exception. Check out the following trailer - I defy you to not feel some sense of excitement and awe...

FYI - this is a Red Band video, the ESRB would not allow this trailer to be released for the US.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Talib Kweli - Rock To Save Darfur Concert

So last week, I attended a Rock To Save Darfur concert benefit at BB King's on 42nd St that featured one of my favorite MC's ever, the lyrical master Talib Kweli. For those that don't know, Talib is a Brooklyn MC who represents the next generation of what to me was one of the Golden Era's in hip hop, the time of the Native Tongues. Talib, Mos Def, Common are all cut from the same socio-political cloth.

Anyhoo, the venue was packed with a surprisingly young, diverse crowd, and the night of "edutainment" included speakers and performances all to shed light on the current genocide in Darfur, where 400,000 have been killed and millions made homeless. All proceeds from sales for the night went towards organizations dedicated to ending the suffering in Sudan. Check out the video from below of Talib (sorry for the poor quality, crappy camera phone!).