Music Monday: Rad Horror

photo: jesse deflorio

Happy Music Monday! The past few weeks I’ve been stuck inside rental cars shuttling myself between classes, Philly and Jersey (thanks, Night Riots), but the upside to that was the amazing sound system in the cars I had. One thing I can’t stand about driving long distances in my parents’ van is the CD struggle. Even if I manage to shove a bunch of albums into the glove box it’s pretty much impossible to switch them out while behind the wheel. On top of that I don’t have access to a physical copy of every album ever made, which doesn’t really work with my attention span. I’m a big fan of Apple Music and the shuffle button.

Luckily the new age wave of rentals come with a USB hookup for the stereo, and I was able to flip between singing along to U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and blasting Harry Styles’ latest release. However none of that really compared to jamming out to Rad Horror’s debut album Before You Got Too Cool while driving up the Garden State Parkway.  The North Jersey natives released their first full length last December and are currently stationed out West playing shows in a LA residency-type format.

My current favorite song on the album is “I’m a Loser;” the opening track portrays a heartbreaking sense of worthlessness in a way that makes the listener really feel the emotion behind the lyrics. “Am I real or am I dead? Or am I at my bitter end?” the song asks, while backed by instrumentals that are surprisingly upbeat. Despite the message of slight self degradation the song turns into an anthem of sorts by the end, which is what really drew me to it. While many equate being called a loser with failure, Rad Horror embraces the title and has created a piece that is both relatable and profound.

“Queen of Hearts,” and “I Don’t Wanna be Your Boyfriend” are two of the album’s other standout tracks for me, but be sure to check out the full set of songs for yourself over on iTunes or Spotify. You can find the band on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to keep up with tour dates and future releases.

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Photojournalism Assignment:

This week’s assignment in Social Media for Writers focuses on photojournalism. Luckily, I’m also taking Multimedia Production this semester and have some great shots to share.  These were taken a few weeks ago in Philadelphia at Reading Terminal Market.

The first picture was taken at a bakery, and shows a pastry chef filling eclair shells. The original image had a little color distortion, so in the edited version I used the White Balance tool to clean that up a little.  I also cropped it to a square as required in the assignment, and brightened the image slightly.

The second picture was also taken at Reading Terminal, but shows a “scene” with customers at a fabric stand as opposed to a single subject.  I really liked the bright colors of this booth, and didn’t have to do much in editing.  Like the first picture I cropped it to a square, and played with the lighting a bit as well.

Personally, I do not see a huge problem with editing photographs for use in news stories.  The only thing I would worry about would be cropping, if the tool is used incorrectly the image could be cut off in the wrong way and not show crucial details.  This could be a problem if the image was central to how a story is perceived by the public.

Audio News: Throwback with The Mosers

This week’s topic in my Social Media for Writers class is audio news.  After careful deliberation, I decided to publish the rough audio from an interview I did for another class with one of my favorite local bands The Mosers. They’re currently on a bit of a hiatus, but I really enjoyed working with them and thought sharing the “behind the scenes” of the interview would be a great way to fulfill this assignment.

Check out the full interview here!

Blogging

My first post on this blog is an assignment from the Social Media for Writers class I am taking this semester.  I’ve always wanted to start my own blog, but was unsure of myself and not ready to make the commitment.  I’m really excited to start posting on here as the weeks progress, and hope to make it a regular thing from now on.

Blogs can be a very useful tool for professional journalists as the platform can help them connect with their audience in ways traditional news writing does not allow, and also lets them add a more personal touch to their writing.  Blogs can be single subject with one writer, or span several genres and allow for content from many different contributors.  This kind of platform gives both readers and writers the opportunity to learn new things and communicate with each other about the given topic.  I think the ability to learn from your readers is a fantastic way to keep people interested in journalism and news as the print media fades throughout the coming years.

There can be downsides to blogging, however.  It takes time to build content into a following, and it can be disappointing when you do not get the response you were hoping for.  The textbook encourages writers to post once a day, but if you do not have the time to write each day you can start to feel like you are falling behind.  Another negative is the large number of blogs that already exist; how does one compete in a market already saturated with content?  And with all that content swarming the internet it can be hard to decipher between what is beneficial or truthful and straight-up lies.