Photo by Alan.
According2g is 4
My, how time flies.
4 years ago on this day, I launched According2g.com. At the time, I had no idea where the path would lead, but I just put one foot in front of the other, took out my camera, snapped some photos and started writing – 7 days a week!
Flash forward 4 years later and because of this blog, I am now friends or friendly with so many of my heroes. I’ve had the oppotunity to see and meet nearly all of my living heroes in the realms of music and art. My stories have been reposted on home pages of internet titans and some of my favorite bands, which continues to blow my mind. Earlier this year, a video I took of the closest thing we’ll probably ever get to a Smiths reunion and the went viral and landed me on Rolling Stone and NME’s website, two publications I’ve been reading ever since I was a child! Because of this blog, I had the opportunity to host an episode of “Weird Vibes” for MTV, a channel I’ve been watching since it launched in 1981. Because of this blog, I’ve had the chance to talk to hundreds of my idols and for all of these things and so much more, I am eternally grateful!
In addition, since I launched this blog, here’s a few “by the numbers” statistics:
- I’ve written approximately 700 posts about encounters with some of the world’s biggest celebrities, artists and rock stars.
- I’ve written close to 800 concert reviews.
- I’ve written over 800 posts about art exhibitions.
- There are 1460 days in a 4 year period and the only counting these reviews and experiences, in 6,300 plus posts, I’ve experienced over 2,300 events, which equates to over 2 events in a day, 7 days a week!!! I challenge ANY blog in the world to live up to these standards: taking your own photos, experiencing the events first hand and writing about them, 7 days a week. Many other blogs are much more successful than me, but they are nowhere near as hard working. And that is a fact!
I will not lie and tell you that this blog has helped my bank account as of this writing (but it’s coming, so I’m not worried), but no matter what happens, these amazing life changing experiences can never be stripped from me and that is something you cannot put a price on.
I would also like to put it out there in the world that I am looking to host or appear on more art/rock/celebrity based shows and also would love to collaborate with artists on songs. If you didn’t know, I’ve been known to write some pretty kick-ass song lyrics (however, I cannot write music, so I need your help!) I would also like to work with artists on a new line of T-shirts that I have brewing in my head, so if you or anyone you know can help me achieve these goals, please get in touch.
Back to the blog…
I thank all my readers for sharing these stories in their social media circles.
I thank all the artists whose works have inspired me to keep writing even when it seemed like there was no light at the end of the tunnel, and when you think of all the technical glitches and stress that comes with blogging 7 days a week, this feeling happens a lot!
Last and certainly not least, I thank YOU for reading this.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
All my love,
Photo by G.
When the 90′s house music French duo Daft Punk announced a new album, the blog-o-sphere was tilted on its side. Releasing teaser posters, commercials featuring 30 seconds or less of new music and a sound-byte a day to the music press, you realize that whoever does Daft Punk’s publicity should give up their day job and run for political office. They took a non-event and turned it into a media blitz. The press as well as the fans seemingly could not get enough and for over 3 months, very thin news with hardly any meat about Daft Punk clogged up everyone’s news feeds. The funny thing is, I actually like Daft Punk, but as the weeks rolled on, I got so fed up about hearing about them, I started rooting for them to fail just so the press and all the fans would once and for all shut the fuck up about them! The daily news on this band made me realize that while I’ve bought their albums consistently over the years (and there aren’t many), I like very few of their songs. Sure their debut track “Da Funk” made me shake my ass on a dance floor many times, but upon further inspection, it’s really a song featuring one minute of different music looped together over and over for 6 minutes! They pulled off the same trick for their next big single “Around The World” too. Take a serious listen if you think I am hating for the sake of hatred.
The music industry has changed a lot since Daft Punk first came on the scene and in 2013 the record labels leak the album in full and then are forced to “stream it” ahead of its release date. This gives the label the perfect excuse to account for dubious sales numbers by blaming the bootleggers on an album’s failure instead of the fact that many times, the biggest failure of the record is the record itself! Also, don’t these labels wonder that if an album is under lock and key and somehow it gets out, why don’t they question the hiring managers of these departments. There’s seemingly no accountability when you can loudly shout out in the press “we’ve been robbed!” Why nobody speaks about this very obvious fact is beyond my comprehension, so if you think of the last few years of blockbuster albums and how they’ve all followed this pattern, you can thank me later for being the true voice of a generation. You certainly can’t rely on press release regurgitating blogs because they are never going to jeopardize losing their perks by speaking the truth. Since I do things renegade style and 99 times out of 100 get better access on my own than going through the “proper channels,” the time has come to break the silence! So spread the word!!!!
Back to Daft Punk. I’ve given their new album “Random Access Memories” a couple of spins and I could not be any more underwhelmed with the record. However, I’ve noted that it follows the same pattern as their other albums – 2 or 3 decent tracks with a whole lot of filler. Obviously the best tracks are the ones that feature Nile Rodgers producing. The man knows how to craft a hook and has done so successfully for over 30 years. The tracks he is featured on should actually be called Nile Rodgers tracks featuring Daft Punk and not the other way around, but we can save that for another time. The vocoder is ever present in many of the songs ruining great cameo appearances by Julian Casablancas of The Strokes and the majority of the album features completely forgettable songs. The album hasn’t even seen the official release date and I am already at the point where if I never hear any of the album again, you will not see one tear fall from my eye.
The hype machine has already labeled this album a “game changer,” and for those who really believe that, I urge you to get a better education in dance music because if you do, you will find yourself (probably to your dissatisfaction) agreeing with me 100%. I didn’t come here to make you hate the Daft Punk record. I hope that you like it. I want you to stop allowing the media to force feed you what you “should” like because I am starting to find that with so many big time releases, people only like them because they read somewhere that they should. 6 months, or hell, in the one second attention span generation we live in, 2 weeks from now, I am quite sure once the buzz has died down from this record, your enjoyment of it will have as well. Think for yourself!!!
If you believe the hype, you’ve been Daft Punk’d!
Photo from my iPhone.
Perez Hilton’s Grindr Profile Photo
Internet bully and gossip monger Perez Hilton (real name Mario Lavandeira) has announced that he is a father. This is a sad day for humanity and I express my condolences and deepest sympathy for that poor child.
Perez Hilton is a perfect example of how our society has become a large toilet filled with shit as his flip flopping position on tearing down celebrities and then moments later kissing their asses, depending on which way the wind blows, is VILE. You never see ANY photos that he has taken on his site (and as a perfect example how he just steals - his made up “stage name” is a rip off of a celebrity name for crying out loud!) Instead, he farms out his photos from photo agencies which makes him nothing more than an armchair critic and huge bully as he has surely contributed to the downfall of many celebrities. It’s a sad commentary on society that his website gets any viewers at all, let alone is extremely popular because what he does is promote hatred to the masses and his website has inspired countless other sites to do the same thing. SCARY! Even more disgusting is the fact that since his website gets a lot of web traffic, the same celebrities he’s torn down have to kiss his ass to get coverage because they want the exposure. It’s truly disgusting and should be reexamined. Anyone that looks at that website is nothing more than an enabler, so my advice is BOYCOTT it completely and all sites that promote hatred and they will disappear! Become part of the solution, not part of the problem!!!
As a true fan of the arts and a person who loves meeting and hanging out with celebrities, websites like Perez Hilton really help to ruin the experience for us because it encourages douche bag photographers to try and catch celebrities with their pants down, so to speak, which means they have to be extremely aggressive to make their money (which can cause dangerous situations) and it also makes celebrities uneasy to figure out who their fans are versus people that are just trying to make a buck off of them. For that, I truly despise Perez Hilton and the like.
If I can do my part in spreading this message to the masses, I am all too happy to do so and I encourage you to do the same.
Last year, Perez was 690 feet away from me on the popular gay hookup app Grindr and I couldn’t resist taking a screen shot of his profile because one day I knew it would come in handy. Today is that day. Of course he is not worthy enough to become embroiled in a major scandal for being outed for using Grindr, but if this photo can ruin his happiness like he’s viciously done to so many people, then my work here is finished.
Photo courtesy of the Internet.
As a blogger, a tool that helps you monetize your site is to post ads via Google AdSense. For the technically challenged, here’s how it works: when you sign up for this program, Google places ads on your blog that use key words that are similar to your posts. Every time someone clicks on a Google Ad, you start accruing money, which typically equates to a few pennies or less per click. Before any of this takes place, you must first agree to the Terms of Service on Google AdSense. This is a standard procedure on most websites on the net to keep you in check from having free reign on the Internet and most of all, the service provider covers their ass in case a 3rd party makes a complaint.
Does anyone ever stop to read the fine print? Not usually. These types of agreements have become standard in the lawsuit age we live in. You pretty much have no choice but to agree to the terms or you cannot use the service you requested gaining access to. Typically this is not a problem, but something was recently brought to my attention and it appears that Google AdSense is not much different than an Internet bully.
The blog Worley Gig received in essence an “it’s our way or the highway” automated email from Google in regards to the following post (now disabled for reasons which will become clear below). The Worley Gig covers art, music and pop culture as seen through the eyes of blogger Gail Worley. The site has been around for almost ten years and though it has an international following, the majority of income to the site is reliant upon Google AdSense. Not to give blogging trade secrets away, but while making money from Google AdSense is a nice bonus, it’s far from the point where a blogger can survive on the money that comes in. Of course, blogging for the love of putting the information out there is the reason that Worley Gig (as well as my own site and many others) exist, but it’s nice to receive a little something (which equates to way less than minimum wage) for the countless hours bloggers spend writing.
Back to the blog post in question. Worley Gig covered an art exhibit in 2012 (also covered here on According2g) of artist Andre Saraiva. In the exhibit, Andreopolis, Saraiva has two sculptures: one of Mickey Mouse with a giant erection and one of a mock coin operated pink penis ride (a la a coin operated horse ride). There is nothing overtly scandalous about these works of art, but Google AdSense thinks otherwise.
The Worley Gig received an email from Google AdSense with the subject line “You have 3 working days to make changes to your site.” Yikes! The email went on to say that she violated the Terms of Service by posting photos of adult sexual aids and fetishes and adult/profanity. (See below paragraphs for their definitions of these infractions):
ADULT/SEXUAL AIDS and FETISHES: As stated in our program policies, AdSense publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on pages with adult or mature content. This includes any content that is sexual in intent or may not be considered family-safe, such as sexual aids, devices and fetishes. More information about this policy can be found in our help center.
ADULT/PROFANITY: As stated in our program policies, AdSense publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on pages with adult or mature content, including extreme profanity. More information about this policy can be found in our help center.
Google offered no opportunity to refute these allegations or to defend the post with the easily supported argument that the phallus kiddie ride is a work of art and not pornography or an adult fetish object. Instead, the email warning included a handy tutorial on how to resolve the issue(s):
How to resolve:
If you received a notification in regard to page content, please either remove the content from your site or remove ads from the violating pages. If you received a notification in regards to the way ads are implemented on your site, please make the necessary changes to your implementation. We will automatically review the site again after 72 hours. You do not need to contact us if you make changes. Please be aware that if changes are not made within the required time frame, ad serving will be disabled to the affected website listed above.
Additionally, please be aware that the URL above is just an example and that the same violations may exist on other pages of this website or other sites that you own. To reduce the likelihood of future warnings from us, we suggest that you review all your sites for compliance.
If this fine print was too much to read, I will summarize: Google AdSense basically threatened Worley Gig by saying “comply or forfeit your participation in the adsense program.” Google gave Worley Gig 72 hours to comply with the warning that her site would be reviewed again to make sure all infractions were fixed, otherwise she would be dropped from Google AdSense! Obviously not wanting to compromise her standing with AdSense, Gail removed the popular post immeditately.
If this post had in fact contained offensive pornography or adult sex aids, one can see how the post would have been in violation of Adsenses’ terms of service. But Google only had to skim a few posts of Worley Gig‘s typical subject matter to understand that this was a humorous post about a piece of art. Not even being given the opportunity to petition Google to leave it up under such grounds is an undeniable strong art tactic that reeks of censorship and yes, bullying.
Have you experienced something similar? Tell us your stories! It’s US versus THEM after-all….
Photos by G (except where noted).
If you can see this, you’ve survived the Mayan apocalypse. 2013 is here! I took a brief survey of some of According2g.com’s All-Stars in the fields of art, music and publishing to find out what their 2013 New Year’s Resolutions are. For those, like me that don’t make resolutions anymore, I asked them to tell us what they are looking forward to in 2013. Click on their name to be directed to their websites to learn more about these great minds. Thanks to everyone that participated and I hope 2013 exceeds your dreams, goals and visions!
Mark Kostabi in front of his art.
“I’m looking forward to a continuing Obama Presidency and an improving global economy due to less wasteful, more intelligent and focused behavior. I’m also looking forward to spring weather.” – Mark Kostabi, Artist.
Jill Jones (right) performing with Jeremy Gloff
“I am looking forward to being the bitch I always knew I could be and to just go rogue this year!” – Jill Jones, Singer
“My resolution is to let go of old grudges and start developing some new ones. For the new year, I’m looking forward to human rights, cultural enchantment, and social bliss, but I’m not looking forward to any action film sequels.” – Michael Musto, Writer
“1. I am looking forward to the rest of the country realizing that all people have the right to love who they want and to celebrate that relationship in marriage.
2. I am looking forward to the rest of the country realizing that Muslims are not to be feared and in fact they are just like us.
3. I am looking forward to alternative forms of health care that utilize what is already here on earth. We are cutting down the rain forests and yet there are a lot of plants that can benefit mankind.
4. I am looking forward to humans embracing nature in everything we do. I want advertisements (ie., car commercials where the car dominates nature) to embrace nature not destroy it. We need this planet more than it needs us and if we don’t embrace it and take care of it, it will get rid of us for it’s own survival.
As far as new years resolutions… those are hard because most people who make them don’t keep them and then they feel guilty. My New Year’s resolution is to be nice to nature and humans and to lead by example. My job is to make new things and to not copy others. I want people to celebrate the hand made and to value it over technology. I want people to start talking to each other again instead of texting. Let’s return to the real next year.” - Don Porcella, Artist, Musician, Coffee Maker
Kenny Scharf at the West Hollywood Library
“I’m looking forward to continuing health no matter what happens in 2013. If you’re not healthy and feeling good you can’t enjoy the good times or battle the bad. I’m having a show in late April of new sculptures and paintings at Paul Kasmin Gallery (in New York). Also I’m involved in a futures show at the Museum of Art in Mobile, Alabama, which will include murals, installations and paintings, and a large outdoor mural in Santa Monica, California, as well as other fun and big stuff (more work) that I don’t want to announce just yet. Most of all, I hope the world makes the huge changes (wean off petroleum, for example) that need to take place in order for the children to inherit a better place!” – Kenny Scharf, Artist
“I am finalizing on designs for a t-shirt, cell phone cases, sticker sheets and the Summer 2013 Graphic Sunglasses! I’ll also be honing in on a location to paint my first public mural as well as my first public art show on my own in Manhattan. Some important first steps for the burgeoning artist – ALL of which G will be present and covering…i hope.” – TY, Artist
“I’m looking forward to making more stuff, being in New York more, traveling a little less and meeting more people – friends, neighbours, peers and pizzeria owners. My Visa will expire in 2013 so I need to make the most of being in America before I’m shipped off back to the UK. Cheers + happy holidays” – Jon Burgerman, Artist
Painting (and photo) by Ari Lankin
“My New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier” – Ari Lankin, Artist
“2012 was an amazing, special year. I wish 2013 will be a year of correction - we have to discover new things and understand that many things we like or want are not necessary any more. We have to wake up from some dreams and create a new one better and powerful one. I want to be surrounded with great people in a beautiful places that will bring me inspiration and magic always to touch other people’s hearts and minds. I want the summer to be longer and time to be slower.” – Nir Hod, Artist
“My Resolution for 2013 is to surpass my creative limits and to learn to speak fluent Spanish! Also, to have my project at the Bronx Museum (fall 2013) blow people’s minds! Hope to see lots more of you this coming year too!” – Scooter LaForge, Artist
Eric Eyeball Richardson
“My resolution for the New Year is less porn and more painting or is that backwards damn it!?!
Happy New Year’s, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa!” – Eric ‘Eyeball’ Richardson, Artist
Thanks again to everyone who participated and I hope 2013 exceeds your goals, dreams and visions!
What are you looking forward to in 2013? What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Tell us in the comments section and most importantly, HAPPY 2013!!!!