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Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Tools vs. Toys

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

In this era where there is often much debate between the use or often over use of technology in music, DOA anyone? But what are we really debating here? I often like to draw comparisons between tools and toys. When I was growing up and wanting to possess a keyboard there was really only one keyboard that I could afford to buy. Now I’m going to give brand names but let’s just say you could find this keyboard anywhere fine electronic items and watches were sold.

I was often frustrated by the lack of musicality that I perceived as shortcomings of the keyboard. But was it really the fault of the keyboard? Conversely nowadays when I program a couple of string patches to play a nice cascading line am I really an arranger of strings?

For comparison let’s look at the definition of Tool: an implement used in the practice of a vocation. Now let’s look at how a toy is defined Toy: an artifact designed to be played with. Well, I guess we’ll have to define play now. I think that definition can be summed up in one word: amusement.


Chaka Khan Featured on Billboard Magazine’s First-Ever Augmented Reality Cover

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013


Nothing excites me more than seeing iconic artists reinventing themselves and cultivating their relevance through the medium of music and technology!! When I heard about Billboard Magazine’s Star Tribute issue coming together with the 60th birthday of the ten-time GRAMMY® Award winning songstress, Chaka Khan, I couldn’t contain myself. Now you may ask, “what’s the big fuss?” Well, this issue is more than just a simple spread. It is the first issue published by Billboard Magazine that features “Augment Reality” through Printergize, a new and creative way of linking traditional print media with ones online marketing efforts. With this app you simply scan the target object and watch the content take on a life of its own. The awesome thing about this innovation is its utilization of mobile technology that engages the audience in a unique fashion.

Also, this mobile app will go directly to, where fans will see Chaka introduce her 100 Days of Chaka campaign, which marks the 100 days from her birthday (March 23) to the anniversary of the release of her first recorded album with Rufus, Rufus (July 1, 1973) 40 years ago. This app will also highlight a timeline that will commemorate a series of historic moments in Chaka’s career, mixed with celebratory current events. The 100 Days of Chaka culminates with the release of The iKhan Project: Alive! The Commemorative Edition, in stores July 2nd. This CD and DVD project will be recorded the same way Chaka recorded her first album. “I want to experience the magic I felt 40 years ago when I recorded my first record,” says Chaka. “The thrill of recording with all the musicians in one room, the interaction with the producer and the spontaneous moments of the experience.”

So don’t miss out on this great mix of innovation and music engagement from Chaka Khan. The Billboard Magazine Star Tribute issue is now out on newsstands! Go check it out!

About WestStyle Chronicles

My name is Hope West but you can call me WestStyle Chronicles. From video, photography, interviews and blogging, my music adventures always leave me juggling a lot but I wouldn't have it any other way. Whether being funny, opinionated or just plain entertaining, I always keep it 100% WestStyle. To see my wild ride in the world of music, catch my adventures at the one & only....Grown Folks Music!!!! 🙂

Hop Aboard Mark de Clive’s “Space Trane”

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

So I’ve had the pleasure of listening to Mark de Clive’s latest release entitled “Take the Space Trane.” This album seamlessly blends Electro beat productions and live orchestration-provided by the Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra. If you’re already a jazz fan and looking to expand your musical pallet have a listen to a couple of tracks off this futuristic yet accessible album. #FortheLoVeofAllMusic

You can Purchase “Take the Space Trane” on, or
Check him out on Twitter at:

About DJBeni

DJBeni is an ardent music fan who enjoys the hunt for great music as much as the reward of listening. She is also a "foodie" and is as enthusiastic about culinary culture as she is music. DJBeni’s zeal for music and food formed in early childhood due to being fathered by an Executive Chef, the heavy influence of her Aunt who is a Jazz Singer, and being involved in many styles of dance. She now spends her days homeschooling two little boys while playing everything from Flying Lotus to Beethoven as the sound track of her family life. She usually spends her free time experiencing new tunes, flipping through food publications and music reviews; all while continuously creating edgy playlists for her GFM set entitled the “Kouffe Lounge.”

New Technology: “Kandi Koated Spades” Calls A Spade A Spade

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Technology has greatly impacted many facets of our life. Whether you’ve switched from books to Nooks or CDs to MP3, new innovations have revolutionized how we do business, how we communicate and even how we think. But with such rapid change in the scope of this industry, how has it changed the entertaining games known through our summertime barbecues and holiday get togethers? Well, recently I was invited to the launch of The Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Kandi Burruss, with her new iPhone/iPad app Kandi Koated Spades (KKS) to find out. Created by the technological skills of Konsole Kingz, an urban gaming company headed by CJ Peters and Marcus Matthews, the Kandi Koated Spades app recreates the card game experience through multiple online players, reneg calls, trash talking chats and “bragging right” broadcasts to your Twitter followers. For a  glimpse of the highlights along with special appearances from Tiny and Toya’ Toya Wright and RHOA star, Phaedra Parks, here are a few pics for your viewing.

Also, be sure to visit  to purchase this high spirited game and for more information, visit

Photo credits: James Pray

About WestStyle Chronicles

My name is Hope West but you can call me WestStyle Chronicles. From video, photography, interviews and blogging, my music adventures always leave me juggling a lot but I wouldn't have it any other way. Whether being funny, opinionated or just plain entertaining, I always keep it 100% WestStyle. To see my wild ride in the world of music, catch my adventures at the one & only....Grown Folks Music!!!! 🙂

The (Potential) Power of Ping

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

A great article posted by a great friend to GFM! Here is the direct link to the original blog post.

Posted by Kaniele on Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why would you sign up for Ping?? That’s the question that lots of Apple and iTunes users have been asking in addition to artists. Ping is Apple’s version of Facebook/Twitter that allows people to network on their iTunes platform. The idea seems lofty; people are heavily using the other sites currently. To add another network would be to build up your followers all over again. Apple however has the benefit of being the proprietor of the largest record store on the planet. That power can be a blessing and a curse. (more…)

About GFM

Part of the GFM staff, interested in joining? contact [at] grownfolksmusic [dot] com

Michael Jackson- powered by MXP4

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

If you have not already, first and foremost I want you to head over here to the MXP4 website and experiment with the “stripped” Michael Jackson mixes that are provided. I have been having the best time just listening to the different elements of the mix by themselves and then, how they fit into the grand scheme of the production.

A few words about MXP4 which is being heralded as a great alternative to the almost passe mp3. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it over hear at GFM but I’m not a big fan of mp3. Do I use them on a daily basis, certainly because like they are convenient to move around blah, blah blah. Do they sound good? No. But then again we have yet to approach anything that sounds as good as the analog tape vinyl combination, but that’s my opinion. Does it even matter? It sort of reminds me of my hate-hate relationship with Wal-Mart. Is there anything of value there? No, but it’s (allegedly) cheaper and convenient(but at what price)?

But I digress…

Social Media Week NYC: What Is Your Social Music Currency?

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

The sole music-related event at last week’s Social Media Week in NYC was the SoundCtrl “What is Your Social Music Currency” event on February 4th. The event was moderated by James Andrews (former Columbia exec) and featured a panel of Questlove, Andrew Katz from Pepsi, and Marisa Bangesh (Uncensored Interview). Lots of good talk followed, but most of it centered around brands, content, and of course….social media. More video + photos after the jump.


About Maggie


R.I.P. Imeem, GFM steps back

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Updates: Gauge the reaction on Twitter.

Myspace/Imeem Deal Leaves Thousands of Artists Unpaid

MySpace Continues To Get Trashed Over Imeem Shutdown

Well, after many months of turmoil and speculation, it is now official: MySpace Music has purchased Imeem for the fire sale price of reportedly $1 million dollars. For this, MySpace gains access to imeem’s 16 million users, their mobile applications (iPhone and Android), 4 key executives including CEO Dalton Caldwell as well as the technology for their other services. What is shocking is the speed and way in which the transition is being handled. News of the deal closing officially hit yesterday and Imeem users were immediately cut off and redirected to MySpace.

Additionally, access for developers and users of their powerful API platform has been terminated and left many scrambling for options. MySpace has stated that they are currently working to integrate portions of Imeem, but the details of when and what that really means remains to be seen.

Grand Opening, Grand Closing
A significant portion of the GFM model was built around access to these services. Therefore, we regret to announce that the December launch of has been postponed due to these developments. While we have long known that this was a possibility and have a mitigation plan in place, we’ve decided to take some time to assess our position going forward. We’re hoping for the best, but given Rupert Murdoch’s disposition towards a more closed internet….. your guess is as good as ours!

Rest assured, that in the meantime we’ll still continue to bring you the best in GFM via this blog. If you have any suggestions as to what you’d like to see from us, please let us know!

We thank you for your patience, continued support and look forward to exciting developments in 2010.

Image Source: MySpace

About Mista C

Just a cat trying to make sense of it all. Can You Dig It?