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Author: Emmanuel Aouad

1-UP’s Not so Secret Power Ranger Obsession

So it’s no secret that I have on obsession with the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers…

It all started when I was 5 years old and my older sister made me watch the first episode. I was extremely opposed to watching anything that was not a brightly colored cartoon with high contrast to catch my eyes. During that first episode everything left me in awe… there were explosions, high tech (for the time) warp scenes, a dude floating around in a tube and a dude who DANCED WHILE HE FOUGHT!

HE DANCED WHILE HE FOUGHT!!!
(I used to be a really bad dancer when I was a kid)

I watched the Power Rangers religiously in the following years from MMPR to Power Rangers in Space (And a few other arcs sprinkled here and there). It was so bad that I tried to get my mom to change my name to Jason and Tommy (Because I wanted to be the leaders haha) and during TV turnoff week at school my sister and I made my mom record (on VHS) the Green with Evil arc where Tommy Oliver gets introduced. I mean I just want to stress how important it is to remember I was 5 or 6 years old, a lot of the world to me was still brand new so like… my mind was constantly being blown by the acrobatics and alien monsters and the zords… OH THE ZORDS!!!!

I don’t know exactly what it was that resonated with MMPR so much more with me than other TV shows. I still caught Dino Thunder and Mega Force but I will never forget that feeling running home from the bus stop to see what crazy plan Rita and Zed had cooking or how the rangers were going to foil the Machine Empire. Maybe it was the fact that these were real kids doing real martial arts and stunts (mostly). Maybe it was the fact that I’m kind of corny and like whenever shows resolve themselves into some hidden life lesson about character and integrity.

Maybe I’m just weirdly obsessed with MMPR. (We can go with that one most likely)

Either way at the end of the day it’s something I love, and fortunately the original rangers are pretty cool and hopped in this video for me 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1013465235339223

~1-UP

For the Love of Music Volume 5 : Random aka Mega Ran

So I’m a big Mega Ran fan it’s no secret. I stumbled across his albums right before I finished my senior year of Wabash then Forever Famicom and Mega Ran 9 got me through some tough times in my life when I first moved to Dallas.

Fast forward about 4 years later I have not only have met this respectable fellow multiple times but am fortunate enough to call him a friend. When I was in Phoenix in June for work we got to hang out for a bit and I saw it only fitting this random chat be the next volume of “For the Love of Music.”

Get to know a little bit about the life of an Indie Musician.

The struggles, the balance and what makes it all worth it from the homie himself – Mega Ran.

SkyBlew’s Unmodern Life

SkyBlew’s UNmodern Life

As you may know, i’m preparring to release my album “SkyBlew’s UNmodern Life” at the end of this month. So, I decided to write a blog of some sort to discuss the process of creating the album and also a summary of what the album is about. The album is a mixture of Hey Arnold, Rocket Power, Video Games and real life themes. It’s been VERY challenging for me to make this album because I had to try to push myself further than I ever have before. I had to decide which route to take with this album. It could either be; VERY CORNY or it could be something that’s refreshing, creative and never done before. I chose some of these concepts because, I felt they relate to my life currently, and in the past. Especially Hey Arnold. That show had some really deep episodes that I didn’t fully understsand until I got much older. That’s why I chose songs like “The Ballad Of Pigeon Man”, “Parents Day”, and there’s alot more that I won’t give away just yet. My life has always been UNmodern lol. I won’t give too much away, so you will just have to wait and see, lol.

I feel like this album helped me mature even more, mentally and musically. Digging into your life, you tend to evaluate some of the choices you made and are currently making. As I was writing these stories, I realized things that I could of done differently. This album has its serious moments and its fun moments are well. The sound is totally diverse. I try to bring something different which each project, and i’m very proud and excited to share this one. I want to give a big thanks to the big bro (Mega Ran) for reaching out and wanting to help me push this project through his RandomBeats, Productions label. All I want to do is spread LOVE, good music and positivity through the melodies. I want to be the voice for this generation and give them someone to look up to and I feel this album is really gonna register with some people. Really touch their lives. I feel the state of music currently (ESPECIALLY HIP HOP) needs some sort of liberation. Music can be used as the number one tool, that taps into the listeners brain and also the soul. You gotta watch, what you let into your spirit.

It’s also gonna be the first project i’m gonna sell, so that’s exciting too, I guess lol. I had to come to terms with this decision because, I have been giving all my projects away for free, you know, because I just wanted it to get out there. Especially for the people who may can’t pay $7 or something for music. Times are hard in this economy, you know? But, this is also my career so I guess, I need to make some income lol. I have known for a while that my supporters been waiting for the chance to, well you know, actually support me lol. So, when I made this announcement, they were excited. Guess it was the right choice. We shall see lol. This is just the beginning of my journey, but i’m learning every step of the way. The coolest nerd you ever heard, signing out! Okaaaaaaay!!!

-Paint The Sky,Blew!!!

 

1-UP and DFW Nerd Night

So I started going to this thing called DFW Nerd Night around January of 2013 per request of my friend Bryan (Beaker). It was a cool little party at a Barcadia in Ft Worth (Which was like an hour drive lol) where people played board games and donated items or money to a charity of the group’s choice that month. I met the organizer JR Honeycutt who coincidentally was wearing a Yoshi shirt to compliment my Mario shirt, handed him my paper towels from the wish list (for the animal shelter that month) and exchanged contact info.

DFW NN 1

Fast forward almost two years to the second anniversary of DFW Nerd Night (Or birthday since we get cake :D). From January 2013 up to now I have had the pleasure of working with a wonderful group of people to help calmly drive decisions and choose charities for Nerd Night.

I’ve organized music for over 10 of the events, made both podcast intro songs, helped vote on charities and watch it grow from the little party at Barcadia to an event which regularly brings out 100+ people to the J Gilligan’s in Arlington.

As JR so eloquently posted the other day “We’ve raised almost $35,000 for local and national charities and we’ve never charged a penny for any of our events.”

I’m especially excited to go this weekend as one of the charities I suggested is who we are working with this month for Nerd Night’s second birthday!

If you want to swing out we have the party September 6th at J Gilligan’s in Arlington! (400 E Abram St, Arlington TX 76010)

Check out the event posting here (As a reminder it’s free!)

Check out DFW Nerd Night:
Website
Facebook
Youtube

Hope to see you out (or even at your own local nerd night!)

1-UP

NPC Collective – Sound Samurai Approved

I would never pass up a chance to catch up with the stealthy sound samurai himself K Murdock. I personally got to meet him almost two years back (at the same show I met Random at) and every time I run into him he greets me like family. Extremely talented producer and a super stand up dude – get to know him a little bit from the NPC Q&A below! 

1. What are you nerding out on currently?

Apps! For my iPhone, for my desktop Mac, I even found some for my Playstation… and I’m so friggin’ organized, like I spend hours (literally) organizing my apps then I barely wanna use them after. lol

 

2. What’s your most recent game played?

I’m still hooked on Mass Effect 3… its like my 3rd play through but this time I’m finally playing ALL the DLC as I’m very much a perfectionist on stuff I like. Other than that, Hitman GO for iOS is phone, it’s like a turn based strategy game to get Agent 47 to his mark… its dope!

 

3. What music is on your playlist?

I listen to a lot of beats music playlist and most of those are about classic hip-hop from the 90s or synth-pop/R&B from the 80s. I have been hooked on artists like jazz vocalist Gregory Porter and Odd Future’s The Internet a lot too. Also the instrumental trio BADBADNOTGOOD as I also am always listening for new dope beats for my instrumental podcast.

 

4. What do you do in your downtime?

Video games and listen to audio books or podcasts… Also i love me some binge watching when theres a new series I’m into.

 

5. Any past/present involvement in community activities you’d like to speak about?

I used to do weekend tutoring and workshops for inner city junior high kids when I was in college and that sparked my passion for eventually trying to teach and give back. Whether its speaking to kids at a local school or mentoring a young student… Lets go! Most recently, I helped engineer a remake of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On” for The DC Humanities Council commissioned with a group of young adults; Very proud of their message in lieu of the Ferguson incident… So timely! Here’s a link

 

6. What are you trying to learn to do right now?

How to play chess and effectively manage my time better to be more productive!

 

7. What should Nerdy People of Color get out of our website and collective?

Let it become a haven for people who are also nerds of color and think “Geez, no one can relate to me.” We have an array of entertainers and personalities from different walks of life, and thats dope to me as it not only shows the beautiful spectrum of us NPCs but also that the content we produce is fresh and positive too.

 

8. Favorites: (I don’t deal in absolutes)

a) Movie? Big Fish

b) Food? Pizza

c) Website? thats too open, website for shopping, downloading torrents, generating memes? I mean I need more specification! lol

 

9. What’s upcoming for you?

Finally starting the follow up to Hero Muzik… In time for a certain 20th anniversary of one of my fave RPGs next year! That and working on a new project for my main group Panacea too!

 

10) Talk about a person or event who made you who you are today.

Easy. My late uncle Melvin Lindsey who was the originator of the radio format “The Quiet Storm” in the late 70s. I grew trying to emulate him, went to the same university and tried to follow his path but my road took me down the technical side of audio. But to be honest there would be no “Sound Samurai” without him. He was a great influence to me and others on and OFF the air!