Tag Archives: Mark Hines

Moon Medicin is trippy. And I like it.

moonhand1_1_7bb66a

Have you ever experienced something that was so trippy, surreal and ethereal that you thought was a dream, but turned out to be real?

Last week, I had one of those experiences.

“What happened?” you ask.

No.

I was not tripping on acid, popping pills or high on the stickiest of the icky.

I saw Moon Medicin at Neuehouse.

Why was it so trippy?

Well, if you’ve never experienced a Moon Medicin show, it will be somewhat hard to explain.

But here goes nothing.

20140620-132834-48514880.jpg

Moon Medicin is a five piece band consisting of lead vocalist and guitarist, Martin Luther McCoy, DJ and background vocalist, Jahi Lake, drummer, Swiss Chris, bassist and background vocalist, Mark Hines, and keyboard and background vocalist, Sanford Biggers.

Moon Medicin is also a performance piece, created by Sanford Biggers, which explores the creative intersection of music, visual and performance art.

Indeed, the pieces that Moon Medicin performs are mashups that push the boundaries of music and performance art.

Moon Medicin shows are one part live music, one part DJ, one part visual and one part experiential.

You’ve got to experience a Moon Medicin show to truly understand how you can be transported from sitting or standing in a performance venue, to a sandy dune in the desert, feeling waves lick at your toes in the ocean, or running frantically through a forest.

Trippy right?

Perhaps it was experiencing Moon Medicin from the steps at Neuehouse.

Maybe it was the combination of the lighting, the massive visuals projected on the screen behind the band or the other worldly music they play.

It might have been the ghostly silhouettes of passers-by against the backdrop of the frosted glass windows.

I could go on and on trying to figure it out, but I’ll do you one better and let you peep a short video from their set at Lincoln Center in April.

Moon Medicin Lands at Lincoln Center – Weird Fishes, Soul Assasinator, The Great Escape from Visualeyz on Vimeo.

If you get a chance, make sure you check ‘em out.

It will definitely trip you out.

Leave a comment

Filed under music

Flatbush Zombies+Visualeyz=Coachella turned up.

 

flatbush zombies

If you’ve never heard of the Flatbush Zombies, I will forgive you.

If you’re a person of a certain age, like me, your musical tastes are fairly pedestrian and rap music probably doesn’t factor highly into your playlists.

You probably listen to more classics and lame tame music (read John Coltrane on Pandora) and your underground music radar has probably been turned off for a while.

For you, music discovery takes the form of recommendations from the NY Times Music section.

You’re not trolling Grooveshark or YouTube looking for the latest hip hop videos.

If you do listen to rap, and are still a die hard hip hop fan, you’re listening to safe established artists.

Rarely do you stray off the reservation.

I say all this to say that it’s highly unlikely that your aural travels have brought you to the land of the Flatbush Zombies.

But now that you’re here, pay attention.

Flatbush Zombies are a three man hip hop group from Flatbush, Brooklyn, formed in 2010.

The trio consists of Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice and Erick “Arc” Elliott.

Since 2012, they’ve put out a series of well received mix tapes and even though they’re relatively new, they’ve built a loyal following both on and offline.

Despite the (trite and repetitive) themes of sex, drugs and alcohol, these kids can spit (spit=rap really well for my slang-challenged readers).

They remind me of the Alkoholics, Cyprus Hill, Wu Tang, and Kendrick Lamar all rolled into one.

Complex lyrical ability, hard hooks, insane production – they’ve got all the ingredients for breakout success.

Having already collaborated with the likes of Action Bronson, ASAP Rocky and others the Flatbush Zombies are not newcomers, by any stretch of the imagination.

But they’re new enough that you might not have heard of them.

And that’s okay.

I was put on when I heard that my man, Mark Hines (aka Yoda) was working with them, and was immediately intrigued.

Flatbush Zombies, as their name implies, aren’t your run-of-the-mill hip hop group.

They are eclectic looking, and very cerebral.

And their videos are ‘trippy’ to say the least.

Standing alone, Flatbush Zombies are bringing the heat.

Their videos are well produced and engaging.

But once you add Mr. Hines’ video production skills on top, everything becomes…well, better.

Visualeyz

He’s working on their visuals for their set at Coachella this week, and I can tell you that it’s nothing short of amazing.

Now Flatbush Zombies aren’t headlining at Coachella or anything like that.

In fact, they’re just one of the myriad of underground acts that Coachella will allow to shine on their stages this year.

But they will probably be one of the few (if not the only) underground act making use of the massive screens on stage.

And with Visualeyz’s tricked out treatment of Flatbush Zombies’ images and video content, their set is going to be off the chain.

So what am I saying?

1. Peep Flatbush Zombies.
2. If you’re going to be at Coachella, catch their set featuring video production from Visualeyz.
3. Thank me later.

Flatbush Zombies at Coachella

1 Comment

Filed under music

Visualeyz. We rocks eyeballs!

The artist formerly known as Mos Def rocks the mic with Visualeyz on the visuals.

The artist formerly known as Mos Def rocks the mic with Visualeyz on the visuals.

If you pay attention to anything I say, you might recall that I dropped the name Visualeyz a few weeks ago.

I was talking about a JDilla tribute featuring DJs Questlove, Mike Nyce and Rich Medina in Philly.

I also brought up Mark Hines, of Visualeyz, who was manning the visuals for the night.

If you read that post, you probably thought, “Who is Visualeyz and what does ‘manning the visuals’ even mean?”

You would have been well within your rights to be curious.

As the purveyor of information, I am duty bound to disabuse you of your ignorance.

Visualeyz is the video production, VJ, and marketing arm of The Marksmen.

The About page of visualeyz.net describes Visualeyz as follows:

Visualeyz is a Video Production, VJ, and Branding outfit that brings stylized club and in-venue video mixing and branding together into a powerful marketing tool. In other words, we rock eyeballs.

Visualeyz provides video mixing and branding together into visual presentations and powerful cultural and social experiences.

That’s a mouthful.

But I feel like I haven’t really said anything.

Let’s try this again.

When Madonna was looking for the final dancer to join her crew, as part of the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange, Visualeyz was tapped to provide background visuals for an on-stage dance routine.

When Masters of the Mix was looking for a crew to shoot and edit the final scene of the second season, announcing the winner, they called Visualeyz.

When the Philadelphia Museum of Art needed to do something interesting to kick off their Art After 5 series, Visualeyz was at the top of their list.

When big dogs need visuals done right, they call Visualeyz.

Visualeyz offers businesses and brands numerous opportunities to connect with and engage their clients, customers, and sponsors.

Whether it’s a small local business targeting a niche audience or a big brand with a national pitch, Visualeyz has to tools to reach them all.

With the proliferation of smart phones and increasingly powerful mobile devices, Visualeyz helps brands target the mobile generation by providing 2nd screen experiences, microsites and integrated smartphone apps that engage audiences before, during and after events.

Visualeyz pushes live on-screen social media feeds, real-time posting of photos, audio and video content to brand profiles, and supplies full analytic data about who attended, how they accessed and interacted with your brand.

They’re part of the same crew who developed the interactive Red Rooster, Tillmans NYC, 1300 Fillmore and Townhouse mobile web apps, which let users browse the venue’s playlist right from their mobile devices.

In a nutshell, Visualeyz helps bridge the gap between engagement and conversion.

I’m kinda excited to see what the future has in store for Visualeyz and the brands they work with.

Here are a few branded teasers.

Okayplayer.

Goodie NYE.

Worship Recordings.

If your a brand looking for a deeper level of engagement with your audience, you better get you some Visualeyz in your life!

Leave a comment

Filed under branding, digital advocacy, iPhone, mobile, technology

Philly Loves J Dilla. Rich Medina, Mike Nice and Questlove pay tribute

Philly Love J Dilla

So a few weeks ago, my people wanted to throw a little party in Philly.

They were putting together a charity event to raise money for the Lupus Foundation.

The event was going to be a tribute to J Dilla, the legendary rapper and collaborator who succumbed to Lupus at 32.

What started off as a simple idea, quickly mushroomed into an over-capacity event.

In two short weeks we got Questlove, Mike Nyce and Rich Medina to play – together - at Johnny Brenda’s and pay homage to Dilla.

With those three sharing duties on the turntables, it’s not hard to understand why it was standing room only.

Literally.

Yameen Allworld played host, as Mike Nyce set the night off with classic headbangers.

Guru.

Tribe Called Quest.

Busta Rhymes.

Rich took over from there, digging deep in the crates.

Michael Jackson.

Common.

De La Soul.

And then it was Questlove’s turn.

Pure fire.

300+ people packed into Johnny Brenda’s in Philly on a Monday night.

Wall to wall bodies, floor to (second story) ceiling.

Accompanied by a steady stream of beats blasting through the speakers, Mark Hines of Visualeyz handled the visuals.

Straight eye candy for anyone gazing up at the two-story projections flanking the stage.

All night long, Visualeyz flipped images up on the screen, drawing partygoers deeper.

In addition to the digital audio and visual play, there were also fine artists on hand getting busy.

Ameerah K and Chuck Styles each created portraits of the night’s posthumous honoree.

Ameerah K paints a portrait of J Dilla live.

Ameerah K paints a portrait of J Dilla live.

Despite the short window to put everything together, the event went off without a hitch.

The night would not have been possible, without the generosity of a few sponsors.

Okay Player, The Couch Sessions, M3 Printing, i-g creative and Two.One.Five Mag were all (partly) to thank for the successful night.

So were the night’s hosts, GLProductions and FlyGirrl.

gl productions

Fly Girrl

And what would a J Dilla tribute been without Yameen Allworld emceeing?

yameen_allworld

I just happened to be in Philly and was able to get a fix.

Before I had to boogie and catch a train back to Montcleezy.

But I was able to capture a few snippets for your viewing (and listening) pleasure.

Questlove gets set to take control of the turntables from Rich Medina.

Questlove gets set to take control of the turntables from Rich Medina.

Anyway, if you want to see more snippets, you can check out the Visualeyz YouTube channel.

And if you want to see all the chatter from last night’s event, visit Twitter and search the hashtag #phillylovesdilla or #phillylovesjdilla.

Peace!

Leave a comment

Filed under music

Jump N Funk and 101 Apparel take over Fluid

101 Apparel featuring Rich Medina

I’m always talking about Rich Medina and Jump N Funk, but what exactly is it?

And although I’m sure that I’ve explained the concept, the written word fails to do it justice.

So this weekend, I decided to shoot a few videos to highlight exactly what JNF is.

Friday night, in the midst of the storm, I made my way down to Philadelphia to Fluid, where Rich Medina, Mark Hines and 101 Apparel were putting it down.

101 Apparel is a clothing line that collaborates with DJs to create custom t-shirt lines.

As their website puts it “101 Apparel was created by designer Eric Crandell in 2006 as a way to seamlessly bridge the gap between art, music, and fashion.”

Friday, night, Rich decided to big them up at Jump N Funk to acknowledge the collabo.

But I’m not going to blather on.

Today, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Here’s a clip of 101 Apparel’s branding incorporated into the visuals for the night.

Rich Medina and Mark Hines at work.

The Roots crew reinterpreted by Visualeyz.

It’s not a party without a Soul Train line!

Classic!

To recap, Jump N Funk+Visualeyz+101 Apparel+Fluid=banging party!

So the next time I tell you that there’s a Jump N Funk party going down somewhere, make it your business to be in the cut to experience this flyness for yourself!

If you’re interested in copping that Rich Medina 101 Apparel collectible, you can get it here.

If you want to learn more about Visualeyz, you can check out their site here.

To find out when Jump N Funk will be in a city near you, go here.

Nuff’ said.

Leave a comment

Filed under branding

The Beatles+Fela+Rich Medina+Mark Hines+Live Scoring+DROM = A night not to be missed.

Fela was the fifth Beatle. He didn't tour with them because he wouldn't rock the bowl cut.

I am an out and out FAN of Rich Medina.

Sure, he’s my dude.

I’ve known him since college.

And yes, we’ve partied and bullshat (past tense of bullshit, and bullshitted is also acceptable) across the globe.

But whenever this fool is on the ones and twos (aka ‘wheels of steel’ aka ‘Technics’ aka ‘turntables’) he just does something to me.

…I get this…

…uncontrollable…

urge to dance.

Literally.

It usually starts with a subtle foot tap.

Then the rest of the leg gets involved.

Before I know it, both legs are similarly compromised

And I’m involuntarily engaged in a two-step.

Slowly side to side.

Shifting my weight alternately on one leg then the other.

Soon, it’s no longer subtle or slow.

There’s a wild stomping going on with both legs.

Not to be outdone, my fingers are snapping.

Hands, a-clapping.

Torso swaying.

I have been mesmerized.

He does it to me every time.

And it’s not like I’m NOT trying to dance.

Why would I be up in the club if I was?

But I’m just saying.

Why you do me like that Rich?

Once, after a particularly raucous set, I had to take a moment to collect myself.

Rich had me going IN on the dance floor.

I was sweating, dreads all wacked out, and I had to catch my breath.

As soon as I had found a spot to cop a squat, there he goes again.

Water, no get enemy…

Water, no got enemy…

And I’m back.

The horns were calling me.

Body all twitching and jerking – of it’s own volition and against my entreaties to remain at rest.

Why this diatribe about Rich Medina’s hypnotic DJing skills?

Because on Friday, April 6th, he and Mark Hines (a guy with similar effects on the eyeballs) are playing at DROM.

The event, Scored & Jump N Funk Presents: The AfroBeatles, is an evening not to be missed.

Just in case you think I’m full of shit, read how DROM describes the night

SCORED & JUMP’N FUNK present the AfroBeatles bringing together an evening of live scoring with rare footage of Fela Kuti and The Beatles with narratives woven from The Beatles acapellas and African cinema. The indelible, DJ, producer, and poet, RICH MEDINA will be hosting and narrating this night of fresh “off-the-wall” music, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!”

So if you like the Beatles…

Or if you dig Fela Kuti…

Or if you’re a fan of live scoring…

Or if you’re into choreographed dance routines…

Or if you simply like hanging out in the city with cool folks…

Then DROM is where you need to be Friday night.

It costs $10 to get in.

But it’ll be well worth it.

Give me a shout if you come.

You’ll probably find me on the dance floor somewhere…

In a trance.

Click the image for a treat.

Leave a comment

Filed under branding, opinion, Smack talking

Digital Stewardship: PAL Digital U.N.I.Verse.City

A PAL Digital U.N.I.Verse.City workstation.

If you’re a forty-something like me, computer classes in high school involved learning to program in ASCII or DOS on a monochrome screen.

If you attended college, there may have been more advanced computer classes, for which you likely moved and stored content on floppy disks.

After college, you used a PC running some version of Windows at the job, and computer proficiency meant that you knew how to use Microsoft’s Office Suite.

You’re up on the latest gadgets, even if you don’t own an iPad or mobile tablet.

You probably have a smartphone, a laptop and an mp3 player.

And you probably consider yourself pretty savvy when it comes to digital technology.

Right?

Wrong!

We are dinosaurs!

Present company excluded, of course.

Today’s youth are exposed to technology, not as a stiff class taught by some bored out-of-touch professor, but as a natural extension of their everyday existence.

Their access to and adoption of technological gadgets, is second nature to them, almost intuitive.

And unlike us, who came into the ‘technological age’ of massive building-size ‘super computers,’ today’s youth have microprocessors in virtually every device they touch.

The Macbook Pros, Xboxes, Playstations, Wiis, Leapsters of today are tens of thousand times more powerful than anything we ever used growing up.

With Facebook, Twitter, texting, etc., kids are more immersed in interactive technology and applications than we ever were.

They can access and touch virtually any part of the digital universe, and regularly use technology to communicate, socialize and interact with one-another and others.

This intimacy, however, has it’s consequences, though.

Cyber-bullying, internet plagiarism, and the regular posting of questionable (and often inappropriate) content are norms, that we didn’t experience when we were using computers and cell phones.

Social media, as we know it today, didn’t even exist.

It’s no wonder that kids are acting…like kids, when they use them these different tools.

I think it’s important that we take stock of what our children are exposed to (from a digital, content and technological perspective), and give them real guidance on the appropriate and responsible use of technology.

To that end, I want to share a project that I’ve been working on with the Police Athletic League of New York City (PALNYC).

It’s called the PAL Digital Digital U.N.I.Verse.City and its a class being offered as part of an apprenticeship program.

The apprenticeship program is the initiative of Marcel Braithwaite, the Director of Centers for PALNYC.

Marcel manages PALNYC’s eleven (11) centers, located in the five boroughs of New York City.

And he wanted to develop a program that exposed kids to technology as a means of both skills/workforce development and keeping them off the streets.

The curriculum we are using for the program was developed by Mark Hines, a graduate of Princeton University, and the CEO and Founder of Marksmen Productions, Inc., a New York city-based creative agency.

Mark has designed a program that teaches real life skills to the youth, using live scenarios which give the students active participation in projects with real time results.

The Digital U.N.I.Verse.City (DU) is a six (6) month intensive audio, video and technology training program, tailored to students of varying degrees of technical proficiency.

Digital U.N.I.Verse.City classes meet two (2) times a week to provide students instruction in digital media production, it’s cultural impacts and ethical and moral responsibilities that accompany the use of these tools.

The program officially launches next Wednesday at the Harlem Center on 119th Street, and Digital Uni.Verse.City students will study media (news, tv, movies, music, art), how it is produced, and begin rudimentary hands-on manipulation of video and audio (DU101/102) in preparation for the Advanced Studio Workshop (DU201).

The Time Warner Center in the Harlem Center has been converted into the PAL Digital U.N.I.Verse.City classroom.

Students who successfully complete the intro courses will be invited to participate in the Advanced Studio Workshop, focusing on professional skill development in (one of the following) music production, audio/visual engineering, video production and direction, video editing, motion effects, journalism and musicianship.

Digital U.N.I.Verse.City instructors include many of our professional colleagues, who are experts in their respective fields.

From Grammy-winning musicians, to New York Times best-selling authors, the Digital U.N.I.Verse.City instructors will offer students hands-on training and skill development on live projects.

The Digital U.N.I.Verse.City curriculum starts with a review of the DU Acceptable Use Policy, which lays out the foundation for every student’s participation in the program.

Most people have never seen (much less read) an acceptable use policy.

But it is the most important thing, for people living in a highly interconnected digital world – and the point of this rambling post.

I helped to develop (read: wrote) our acceptable use policy, which came together after many long sessions, during which we worked diligently to draft something that actually made sense.

For the majority of people who have ever read (read: scanned) an AU Policy, you know its a statement by the owners, administrators or other gatekeepers of any digital or online environment, which provides a code of conduct that users must observe while utilizing (or as a member of) a particular system.

As an advocate for technology, the Digital U.N.I.Verse.City program, gives me a constructive way to address the issue of responsible use of technology by our youth.

More importantly, working on this project has forced me to address the fact that most of us operate without a set of guiding digital principles.

Obviously, I always promote best practices with my clients, and have helped draft numerous Terms of Use, Privacy Policies and various other online instruments governing the use of certain online programs or environs.

But that’s not quite the same thing, when the audience for my usual written verbosity is the youth.

Next Wednesday is our first class (did I say that already?) and I’m excited.

The pictures above were from our dry-run, when we set up the local Moodle we’re using for the class.

Be sure to look out for future posts about how the program is coming along.

Also, feel free to donate to or volunteer at your local PAL!

Leave a comment

Filed under opinion, technology

Stephen Chukumba says: “Jump N’ Funk”

I’m blogging about the Jump N Funk party, which was celebrating it’s 8th anniversary, cause I just got home (about an hour ago), and I’m still buzzing.

8th Anniversary flyer

8th Anniversary flyer

I should have come home and gone to bed to prepare for tomorrow (or today, rather), but it was Jump N Funk, and I was already in the city for a whirlwind round of meetings (the last few days – LOVING IT!)

And I’m glad I went!

The party was at Le Poisson Rouge, @ 158 Bleeker, and the joint was popping! If you’ve never been, LPR is a great space. Designed and optimized by true audiophiles, LPR has arguably the best sound system you’ll find in NY.  Full disclosure: I may be a bit biased because it was designed by my peoples, but the acoustics are banging!

The minute I walked in I saw Rich Medina, our DJ & host, and gave him a pound. From there I made my way straight to the dance floor, to shake my groove thang, cause he was spinning Lady by Fela and I LOVE me some Fela – okaayyyy?

After working up a sufficient sweat, and seeing that Rich’s turntable game was as tight as ever, I spied my frat brother (and fellow digital conspirator) Mark Hines up in the control booth, manning the visuals.

The plan was to give him a pound and head home.

But when I got up there, this is what he was doing*:

Is this picture with my 2G iPhone too grainy? Where's the flash Apple?

Is this picture with my 2G iPhone too grainy? Where's the flash Apple?

Mark in profile getting bizzizy

Mark in profile getting bizzizy

View overlooking the crowd. Check the screen (if you can see it). Umm Apple?

View overlooking the crowd. Check the screen (if you can see it). Umm Apple?

*I promise that the next time, I won’t use stills to illustrate a dynamic point.

and I stayed a little longer that I should have. But damn, I was transfixed. Have you ever seen someone mixing video? That sh*t is ILLLLLLL!

Needless to say, Rich and Mark did their thing, I got my dance on and now I’m up blogging! (Can you believe this guy?)

If you get a chance to go to a Jump N Funk party in the future, I highly recommend it.  I’ll definitely keep you posted on the next one.

Little side note to Dan: If my game is a little off tomorrow, this is why.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized