Millennium Performing Live at Sol Night Club

Sol Night Club
Sunday, January 18, 2015 @ 7 PM
www.solvenue.com
313 E. Carson St.
Los Angeles, California 90745

See award-winning artists Nxus, Lisa Trindade, Lotis, Dalal, Millennium and others take the stage for one epic night of live performances. DJ's will be spinning the hottest club hits before and after the live sets. Drink specials will be offered all night. Admission is free (with the password 'Akademia'). This event is open to ages 21 & over only. Dress code is club chic.

 

Millennium Performing Live at Sol Night Club

Sol Night Club
Thursday, December 4, 2014 @ 8 PM
www.solvenue.com
313 E. Carson St.
Los Angeles, California 90745

See award-winning artists Nxus, Lotis, Dalal, Millennium and others take the stage for one epic night of live performances. DJ's will be spinning the hottest club hits before and after the live sets. Drink specials will be offered all night. Admission is free (with the password 'Akademia'). This event is open to ages 21 & over only. Dress code is club chic.

 
Many thanks to Avastar for picking up Millennium's feature story!

Mobcity Magazine presents The Music Issue: Part 1. Enjoy!


    

Veteran Music Executive Ken Wilson Talks About The Akademia and the Changing Musical Landscape

From senior posts at Arista Records, Columbia and MCA to J Records and Warner Brothers, veteran record executive Ken Wilson has shaped the careers of legendary artists such as Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Seal, Sade, George Michael and many more, leading to record sales in excess of $2 Billion.


“The traditional music business model has changed dramatically over the past twenty years. But while many doors have closed to new artists, many new doors have opened as well. The Akademia brings together the expertise of top record executives and producers to help guide the careers of new up-and-coming artists and groom them for success,” states Ken. "I look forward to The Akademia becoming a major force in the near future."

Ken Wilson started his career in music at Arista Records. There he worked with acclaimed artists Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Billy Ocean, Taylor Dayne and Kenny G. Ken continued his journey on to Columbia Records where he served as Senior Vice President of Radio Promotions. He became responsible for the success of artists such as Mariah Carey, Maxwell, LL Cool J, George Michael, Kriss Kross, DaBrat, Slick Rick and more. He then went on to MCA Records as President of Urban Music where he oversaw operations in the urban music division, signing KC & JoJo of Jodeci, Rahsaan Patterson, Anthony Hamilton, coordinated the success of Mary J Blige’s ‘Share My World’ album and New Edition’s ‘Home Again’.

Ken Wilson’s reputation then brought him to J Records where he reported directly to Clive Davis as Senior Vice President of Urban Music. Once again, Ken played a key role in the success of artists such as Alicia Keys, Luther Vandross, Monica,  Busta Rhymes, Mario, Fantasia, Jamie Foxx and Ruben Studdard, to name a few. After a long tenure at J Records, Ken moved to the west coast to serve as Senior Vice President of Urban Music at Warner Brothers Records. There, he was responsible for urban radio airplay and marketing efforts while managing budgets and overseeing field staff. Here he has been instrumental in the careers of Seal, Eric Benet, Mike Jones and V.I.C. of ‘Wobble’ fame.  Ken is continuing to guide successful artists, such as Beyonce, Johnny Gill, Eric Benet, J. Cole, Juicy J and Cee-Lo, through effective marketing and promotions.

The Akademia Music Awards is based in Los Angeles, California and supports musicians interested in receiving a higher degree of market exposure and recognition in the new music business era. As one of the six Akademia board members, Ken concentrates his efforts on the Hip-Hop, R&B and Gospel categories, guiding artists from the earliest stages to commercial success.

You may contact Ken with questions or requests for assistance at ken@theakademia.com

Mobcity Magazine is a compilation of Millennium press received during the past month. Enjoy!

www.WhoIsMillennium.com




Ladies, You Wanna Roll In My Eco-Friendly, 124-Mile Range Electric Mercedes?

By Benjamin Rowley
      


On their website, www.WhoIsMillennium.com, pop rock group Millennium projects an image that is futuristic, edgy and difficult to classify. Now, it seems we must add 'socially conscious' to that list. With the recent release of their music video 'Wide Thing', the group flaunts its obsession with all things big. Yet, to more than the casual observer, the exact opposite message becomes apparent. The video is, in fact, a well-conceived artistic commentary on the super-size era. An era that, frankly, warrants a critical look.

Step outside your door this summer and you're likely to experience some of the hottest and most unbearable weather in recorded history. That's global warming- the issue that was ignored by millions of people purchasing large luxury SUV's and cruising around the past few decades. The 'Wide Thing' video begins with Millennium stepping out of a giant, gas guzzling Mercedes Benz to deliver the first chorus before cruising around aimlessly through fast food hell. They may as well be portraying millions of people innocently going about their daily routine for years, unwittingly bringing about the end of the world.

Curious to know the truth behind their video and where the group really stands on environmental issues, I decided to contact them. 'You're right about the meaning of the video. You might be the first person to get it.', jokes Stryker, singer and bassist for the group. 'We actually bought that same Mercedes model when our baby was born, concerned about safety and the need for cargo space (being musicians). I remember watching the fuel gauge visibly decrease while driving along. Two years later, in a momentary bout of sanity, we sold the car. We would think seriously about buying an electric car for everyday driving now.'

So what are some of the exciting new electric car options available for the environmentally-savvy? Here is the top ten list that I could gather from various company press releases. Knowing Millennium's penchant for big things, I made sure there was a healthy range of over-sized options:

    Tesla Model X
Likely to have similar numbers to the Tesla Model S and some wicked falcon-wing doors, the Model X is likely to sell well. Elon Musk, who is making $4.3 million on his contributions to Model X development, has said that it is going to be even better than previously announced. That might make up for the fact that its production was pushed back from the end of 2013 to the end of 2014 back in March 2013, something that must have disappointed the hundreds of people who reserved the crossover within just a few days of its reservation availability. Initial numbers for the Model X was 0–60 MPH in 4.4 seconds. That’s faster than the BMW i8 for less than half the price. The Model X will also have all-wheel drive, which the Model S doesn’t have. Price: $60,000
   
BMW i3

I know it’s no Tesla, but it’s still a freakin’ nice car. Here are few stats on the BMW i3: 0–60 MPH in around 7 seconds; very tight turning radius (under 11 yards / 10 meters); range of 81–100 miles (130–161 kilometers); a 10 on my smoothness rating. Technically, the i3 already launched in Europe at the end of 2013. Price: $41,350

   
Mercedes B Class

This beauty from Mercedes will come with a range of 124 miles (200 km) on a single charge. That’s a lot more than the average EV. It goes from 0 to 62 MPH (0 to 100 km/h) in a respectable 7.9 seconds. The car is supposed to hit the German market at the end of 2014. No word yet on when it will hit the US market. Price: TBA

   
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

The Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid actually replaces the the Porsche Panamera Hybrid. It is supposed to have an all-electric range of about 22 miles, not too bad for a PHEV. The car is supposed to have an estimated fuel economy rating of 53 MPG, despite a combined output of 416 horsepower, 435 ft-lbs of torque, and a 0–60 of 5.2 seconds. And it looks cool. Over the Porsche’s lifetime, the company intends to sell  about 10,000 vehicles. Price: $99,000 
   
Cadillac ELR

Technically, the first Cadillac ELRs started delivery in December, but we may as well say that the car is brand new in 2014. The Cadillac ELR comes with a hefty price tag, and many have said that it’s unwarranted given that the vehicle doesn’t compare to the less expensive Tesla Model S. But, for Cadillac lovers who want a luxurious plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the Cadillac ELR looks nice. It has a respectable 35 miles of electric-only range, and, well, it’s a shiny Cadillac. Price: $75,000

   
Mitsubishi Outlander

Mitsubishi is in the doldrums in the U.S. market, with low sales and a range of vehicles that do little to capture the imagination. Perhaps the Outlander Plug-In Hybrid will change that, with more modern looks and a significantly greener powertrain than previous Outlanders. Under the hood there's a 2.0-liter gasoline engine, but twin 60-kilowatt electric motors--one for each axle--provide a healthy 245 pounds-feet of torque in electric-only mode. Electric range in EPA testing is unconfirmed, but based on the Japanese 35-mile estimate, we're expecting a more realistic 20-25 mile range. Once that's depleted, you still have the engine providing backup power--though the Outlander can operate in series or parallel hybrid modes too. Price: TBA
   
Nissan e-NV200

With trials going on in the UK, Barcelona (where it is also being manufactured), New York City, and Japan, this van is just getting going, but assuming no surprises in the trial programs, I think we’ll see a lot more of the e-NV200 being sold & delivered in 2014. It will definitely be sold in Japan in 2014, Nissan has announced. We’ll see about elsewhere. Price: TBA
   
Kia Soul EV

Reportedly 120+ miles per charge and just $35,000, this could be a real EV competitor. We’ll see what the final numbers turn out to be. Some reports are that the Kia Soul EV will hit the US market in 2014, while others are that it won’t hit the market until 2015, but deliveries in its home country of Korea are definitely scheduled for this year. And don’t expect that deliveries to other countries will take too long - Kia has an aim of making this the “the first electric vehicle for the global market.”  Price: TBA (perhaps around $35,000)
   
Volkswagen e-Golf

The Volkswagen e-Golf should be coming to the US market in 2014 (4th quarter). It made its North American debut at the LA Auto Show in November. Some early numbers for the e-Golf are: “25 mph from rest in 4.2 seconds and to get to 62 mph in approximately 10.4 seconds;” 70–90 average miles of range on a full charge; 115-horsepower electric motor; 199 pound-feet of torque. Price: TBA
   
Chevy Spark EV

Initially, I suspected the Chevy Spark EV to be one of the small but growing range of "compliance cars"- electric vehicles designed and built solely to meet California's requirements for electric vehicle sales. Thankfully, that isn't the case - Chevrolet is actually rather serious about the Spark EV, and as well as making it available beyond just west coast markets, they've thoroughly re-engineered the gasoline Spark for its new electric powertrain. The styling differences are subtle - some blue paint here, a Volt-style grille there - but under the skin it's a real wolf in sheep's clothing. A 110 kW (130 horsepower) electric motor gives it far more shove than the gasoline model, and its 400 pounds-feet torque output matches that of a Ferrari 458 Italia supercar. The Spark EV will go on sale in several U.S. markets, as well as Canada, South Korea and Europe. Price: $32,500 
     
Millennium's 'Wide Thing' music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX0ZxbvVDPA

A Big Fat Lie

By Casey Hawthorne

In the 1950s, Americans encountered a fast-growing epidemic that seemed to have emerged from nowhere but had quickly become the number one cause of deaths in the country:  heart disease.  Partly spurred by President Eisenhower’s heart attack in 1955, the nation fervently sought an explanation for the disease.  The man with the answer was Dr. Ancel Keys, an imperious physiologist clutching his now infamous Seven Countries Study. In his research, the finger pointed to fat as the cause of heart disease, more specifically, the saturated fats in red meat, eggs and dairy products. 

 

It was speculated that the saturated fats found in such food should be avoided because they would raise cholesterol, clog arteries, and as a result, cause heart attacks.  In 1961, Keys strongly insisted that the American Heart Association advise Americans to cut down on saturated fat.  By 1980, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued their dietary guidelines to avoid foods with fat of all sorts and replace them with calories from fruits, vegetables and with carbohydrates in general.  After five decades, the idea that fat is bad for you has now been so ingrained in our culture that it is almost taboo to enjoy a steak, pick up a gallon of whole milk or use butter instead of margarine.  And yet, decades later, cardiovascular disease continues to be the nation’s number one killer.  And since 1980, Type 2 diabetes has increased 166% affecting nearly 1 in 10 Americans.

Are you ready to have the blindfolds removed?  A 2010 meta-analysis concluded there was no significant evidence that saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.  In addition, those results were echoed by another meta-analysis published in March in the Annals of Internal Medicine that drew on nearly 80 studies involving more than half a million subjects.  It turns out that fat was never the enemy, but because it was admonished so resolutely, Americans turned to excessive carbohydrate consumption.  The response to the issuance of the 1980 USDA guidelines was a complete upheaval in grocery stores resulting  in a proliferation of low-fat and non-fat alternatives, skim milk, nonfat yogurts, yolk substitutes, low-fat frozen dinners and low-fat cookies and crackers.  Americans’ diet now consists of more potatoes, pasta, grains and carb-ridden junk food, which incidentally contain a lot of fillers and artificial ingredients to replace the fat but still taste palatable.  And because non-fat foods are not as satiating as foods with animal fat, Americans have increased their caloric intake of these low-fat and non-fat foods.  The problem is that carbohydrates break down into glucose, which causes the body to release insulin-a hormone that is very efficient at storing fat.  Excessive carbohydrates lead not only to obesity but also to Type 2 diabetes and, as mounting evidence suggests heart disease.  Dr. Keys' Seven Countries Study was severely flawed, ignoring data from countries and segments of the population that did not support his hypothesis.

It’s time to accept the facts that fat is an essential part of a healthy diet and that the effective path to reducing obesity and the risk of heart attack is through regular exercise and balanced nutrition.  This means the whole concept of dieting, and the resulting radical changes to macronutrient ratios in the diet, is essentially flawed. In fact, as the disease statistics point out, it is downright dangerous. So eat what your body naturally craves and incorporate regular exercise into your routine. You’ll see the positive effects almost immediately.

‘Our latest single Wide Thing touches on the obesity epidemic and the sort of warped view of attractiveness that emerged about fifteen to twenty years ago. At the same time people were obsessively avoiding fat, obesity rates were still rising. As a result, the media was split down the middle with some glorifying the full-figured woman and others glorifying the emaciated, anorexic model. This polarized view confused people even more and obscured the path of moderation to good health,’ postulates Millennium.   ‘In the music video, by taking Sapphire, who’s fit and healthy, on a fast food binge in a quest to obtain a larger posterior, we sort of took the logic of that era and turned it on its head.’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX0ZxbvVDPA

CEO of Radio Conglomerate Makes A Power Move
By Adrian Freeman
June 6, 2014 


Most athletes, trainers, boxers and even martial artists will say that most of your power is concentrated at the core. Grant Percy, Chairman and CEO of the international Power FM radio conglomerate will probably tell you different.  Earlier this February, Percy announced that several of his affiliated radio stations will break away from the traditional radio broadcasting to spearhead the new Power FM online division.  The Power FM stations involved in this initiative include San Francisco, Boston, Rome, Paris, Manila and potentially others. If all goes well, Percy will also announce several collaborations with key music content providers by the fourth quarter 2014. These collaborations are designed to infuse the network with fresh new music.

‘There are innumerable benefits to Internet radio over traditional terrestrial radio broadcasting,’ states Percy.  'Through the web, we can provide a greater variety of music, better sound quality and reach listeners all across the globe.  And now that mobile technology allows listeners to bring their favorite stations with them into their cars, gyms, homes, coffee houses or anywhere, I believe it is only a matter of time before all of the terrestrial radio broadcasters make the logical leap to the web. I am both excited and eager to make this transition happen.’ 

Stay tuned for more news on the expanding Power FM online network at www.powerfm-radio.com

Marquix Global Network-                
Leading the New Media Movement To Internet Content Delivery                            
 

By Jason Fitzer

From television to cable to the Internet- the next stage for media providers is becoming clear.  Currently several big media companies are struggling with this change in their desire, and perhaps stubbornness, to keep their television or cable empires intact.  However, it is an undeniable fact that more and more people are now turning to the Internet for their movies, TV shows, sports programming and music. Not only is it more convenient- they can access it anytime, anywhere- but it is much cheaper as well. The trend towards how people are accessing media is evident. Sensing this gigantic shift, some media providers have begun creating online divisions (albeit modest divisions) to their network.  Then there are the rare few who have dared to defy the old model completely and have made a bold switch to providing their media content exclusively online.  In January of this year, Vince McMahon, CEO of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), announced the launch of his WWE Network, which streams 24/7 content to Internet viewers for a small fee per month. This risky move could alienate McMahon’s traditional television partners and cannibalize his existing pay-per-view customers. However, it also has the potential to boost revenue and greatly reduce costs over the long term.

One month prior to McMahon’s announcement, James McCalister, CEO of the syndicated news company Marquix Global Network (MGN), also announced the big switch from their current television-based model to an exclusive Internet-based delivery model. Unorthodox moves or what’s known in the entertainment industry as ‘going over the top’ is McCalister’s modus operandi. Although MGN’s mission is to provide the latest developments in a wide range of current events- world news, science & technology, health, entertainment and lifestyle- McCalister admits that he has a passion for entertainment.  In preparation for the launch of their beta site, executive producer Warren Mills and his team have put together a music segment for MGN titled ‘Who’s Hot in Music in 2014’, which introduces a roster of new artists to viewers including Amanda Markley, Nicky Barot, Millennium, Shattrholik, Sol Romero, OneSixTwo and other rising stars.

When asked whether or not he was worried that the complete switch to Internet content delivery might flop, McCalister responded, ‘All explorers, adventurers and trailblazers worry about the path that lies before them, but it doesn’t mean you don’t press forward.’

The All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

By Oliver Hektor

Today marks the day that I have decided never to step foot in an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant again.  You may think that it had to do with the particular restaurant I went to.  On the contrary, the new restaurant was a beautifully adorned grand banquet hall with wall to wall sumptuous entrees from sushi and dim sum to steak and crab legs.   The patrons however were a little less than remarkable.  One tiny elderly lady joined me in the Brazilian barbecue line where I waited patiently for one of the attendants.  She looked at me and eagerly pointed to the small sausages.  

 

I nodded and called to one of the chefs to assist us and ordered a slice of top sirloin for myself.  The tiny elderly woman then curtly informed me that typically the person who is waiting in line first should be served first.  Taken aback, I kindly informed her that I was waiting in line first but she denied it and indignantly turned her attention back to the meat attendant.  Later at the dessert line, I opened the small glass sliding door where more than a dozen types of tiny delectable desserts stood wait.  As I carefully chose my dessert and was removing it from the shelf, a woman opened the glass sliding door from the opposite end, bumping my wrist, causing my miniature mocha mousse cake to go splat on the counter.  With a huff, she stomped over to the other side of me, impatiently waiting as I reached for a new cake.  A few seconds later, an oversized woman towered over me in a different line as I used the small tongs to take a couple more items.  She impatiently snatched the tongs as soon as I was done with them.  Was I missing something here?  This was an all-you-can-eat buffet where they served food all day.  There was no impending cut-off time when the restaurant would close the buffet lines or a time limit on how long you could sit at your table.  Why were people so strangely impatient?

As I looked around, I saw people dodging to and fro with their plates and a determined look on their faces as they made a bee line for the food.  They sat and inhaled their mound of food only to rush back to the buffet line two or three more times for more fodder.  Close by were glassy-eyed waiters who stood and watched all of the guests gorge themselves silly and would step in occasionally to ask, ‘Are you done with your plate ma’am?’  Some guests were overweight, some were downright obese, a few had terrible acne and still others just had an ill-favored look about them.  I had a sickening feeling in my gut, and I don’t think it was from the sashimi.  A feeling of disgust crept over me as I took in this alien all-you-can-eat buffet culture.  There is something inherently distasteful about a restaurant that asks you to come and shovel in as much food as you can in one sitting for twenty bucks.  Perhaps people are caught up in the idea of getting their money’s worth and then some.  But if you look at it in another way, you are paying for a three-pound weight gain, indigestion and a lower self-esteem for eating like a bear going into hibernation.  It just doesn’t seem to be worth it.

If I could describe the atmosphere of the buffet restaurant in one word, it’s manic.  That is what happens when there is no official end to a meal and moderation goes out the window.  Each bite is a different dish and all the flavors just mash together under the constant, frenetic mastication.  I glanced up and saw a petite woman working on her dessert plate with a couple other semi-finished plates pushed aside.  I was reminded of a music video I saw called ‘Wide Thing’ where an Asian girl with blue hair shovels bite after bite of crappy fast food in her mouth in order to appease her boyfriend who’s into big butts.  By the end of the video, her butt is five times as big as before and her boyfriend nods approvingly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX0ZxbvVDPA That music video could have very well been shot here. As I regarded the buffet crew one more time, all I could do was shake my head disapprovingly.  This is definitely the last time I’m going to an all-you-can-eat buffet!

Mobcity Magazine is a compilation of Millennium press received during the past month. Enjoy!

www.WhoIsMillennium.com


The Robot Economy-
New Grads Beware

By Hitesh Patel      

if your prospective job involves learning a set of logical rules or a statistical model that you apply to task after task, it is ripe for replacement by a robot. - See more at: http://www.whoismillennium.com/press_room/the_robot_economy_new_grads_beware#sthash.HYjgd8EA.dpuf

'If your prospective job involves learning a set of logical rules or a statistical model that you apply to task after task, it is ripe for replacement by a robot.'        

   
     

Congratulations! You've worked hard for four years, slogging through endless lectures, study groups, tests and, of course, countless embarrassing drunken blowouts, to emerge a victorious new graduate. Your future couldn't possibly look any brighter, right? Well, the problem is that while you were toiling away the past four years at your studies so that you could land a plum job, so were millions of computer programmers also toiling worldwide. Their work, however, was of a decidedly different nature- making sure the plum entry level jobs that you might have stepped into become automated so that their employers can use that money towards what they deem to be more important ends.

Don't feel too bad, though. This is the continuation of a trend that began with the first programmable machines and has only gained momentum. While it may seem like cause for despair, it is not. It is a call to adapt. Frank Levy of MIT and Richard Murane of Harvard, a pair of economists who have studied the impact of automation on human employment, describe this next phase as the 'Grand Restructuring'. Simply put, if your prospective job involves learning a set of logical rules or a statistical model that you apply to task after task, it is ripe for replacement by a robot. As computing power continues to increase and programmers continue to innovate, there are very few occupations that will fall outside of this category. Levy and Murane predict the surviving jobs will be of three kinds: solving unstructured problems, working with new information, and carrying out non-routine manual tasks. It is hard to imagine a robot that could plot corporate strategy, design buildings, fix plumbing problems or style hair for instance.

Sanjiv Singh, a longtime faculty member of the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, provides a viewpoint from inside the robotics field. According to Singh, robotic devices can relieve people of jobs that are dull, dangerous or dirty, whether those jobs are on mind-numbing assembly lines or in unpleasant environments, like clearing land minds or welding on the ocean floor. They can also enhance people's ability to performs tasks. Yet the worrisome step is when robots go from assisting human workers to making them obsolete.

One view from outside the field comes from someone in the creative arts. Stryker, singer-songwriter with pop rock group Millennium, eschewed a lucrative corporate position long ago to pursue a creative path. 'We were helping to implement a company-wide software system designed to integrate virtually every department's function, from product development to inventory management. I came to understand through this experience that the jobs we held (even executive-level ones) could eventually be rationalized down to a complex but definable decision tree and then automated. That raised an interesting philosophical question about the meaning of such work. Music, art, film, literature, or poetry could never be meaningfully automated by machines. I think that says a lot about the uniqueness of those occupations. It also seems plausible that it will be the creative community that charts a course through the new era. Consider that everything we are witnessing- workplace automation and the rise of robots- was envisioned by writers and filmmakers decades ago.' Millennium recently released their new single 'Wide Thing' and plan to release an album soon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX0ZxbvVDPA

So what advice should be given to new graduates eager to begin their journey in the working world? A modicum of caution seems well advised. Mastering creative, analytical or intuitive work is not for everyone, but it may be the only path to a long-term, productive occupation. Once you've landed a position, rather than simply acquiring new skills and moving to another routine job, try to migrate to a position that is generally non-routine and therefore, protected from automation.

  

10 Naughty Things To Do For A Happier Life                                          
By Lorilei Alexander

Usually people associate the word naughty with an action that is either mischievous or indecent and that could get you into trouble.  Well here is a list of ten things that are currently considered naughty but are actually really good for you.  Over time, I bet others will adopt this naughty list and perhaps even add a few new items of their own.

1.  Have make-up sex every time.  You should be getting busy at least a couple of times a week anyway.  Sex boosts your immunity, lowers your blood pressure, reduces anxiety and the best part is that it counts as exercise.  So why not head to the bedroom after a little lover’s quarrel?  You’ll get all of the above benefits, plus it will make you feel emotionally closer to your mate in short order.

2.  Eat the thing that you crave most.  Stop denying that voice in your head that is yearning for cookies or other prohibited treats.  Depriving yourself will only make you irritable, lead to more cravings and eventually cause you to break your strict diet for good because you are miserable.  Occasional ‘cheating’ on your diet can actually positively stimulate your thyroid and rev up your metabolism.  Feel free to indulge in your favorite treat once in a while, particularly when that cookie monster inside is getting more earnest.  Take a cue from these artists who clearly stay fit but have no compunctions about hitting fast food row https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX0ZxbvVDPA.

3.  Drink every day.  This should not be read as ‘get drunk every day’.  The alcohol in beer and wine helps stimulate liver antioxidant production, protects against heart disease and lowers the risk of hypertension.  Of all alcoholic beverages, red wine is the megastar.  It contains antioxidants such as resveratrol that have been shown to lengthen life span and reduce bad cholesterol.  So go ahead, kick back and enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day with your meal.

4.  Have a real talk with someone, not just chit chat.  Find someone you have been meaning to spend some time with or would like to get to know better.  Have a real heart-to-heart conversation with them in which you really get to know them (i.e. no topic is off limits).  It is better to do it over a drink.  If you said something too offensive, you could always blame it on the liquor later.

5.  Clean out your closet and afterwards, reward yourself with a shopping trip.  It feels good to let go of things that you don’t use anymore.  Ask your siblings if they would want your old clothes or donate them.  Treat yourself to one new purchase for every five pieces you give away.  You deserve it.

6.  Walk around the house scantily clad (or naked) and whenever you pass your reflection gasp and say, ‘You’re hot!’  It is time to banish the negative self-talk.  In most cases, such talk is simply not true but if you repeat it long enough, you may start to believe it.  So tell yourself that you are amazing, brilliant and sexy every day.

7.  Take advantage of free stuff and act like you did them a favor.  Complimentary items can come in many forms, whether they are product samples, fitness classes, or a free bang trim.  Some people feel that there is always a catch attached to accepting these items.  But no one is going to force you to buy the full-sized product or join the gym on the spot.  So enjoy what they have to offer and don’t give it a second thought.

8.  Masturbate whenever the urge comes.   Studies show that ejaculating five times a week, whether by copulation or masturbation, reduces the risk of prostate cancer.  And for women, remember that sex carries a whole range of benefits- benefits that also include hormonal anti-aging effects.  Whoa, slow down!  At least finish reading the rest of this article first.

9.  If someone is getting on your nerves, tell them they have something stuck in their teeth.  Making them feel a little self-conscious will get them to retreat to their corner fast and gives them a chance to rethink their approach.  Sure it might be a little capricious, but if they’re in your face about something, then why not?

10.  Don’t answer your phone or email.  You are in control of your life- not others.  If things begin to feel more hectic than normal, do yourself a favor and unplug.  You can always listen to your messages and respond or delete them later after your sanity returns.

Have anything to add to the naughty list?  We’d like to hear from you.

The Wide World of Fast Food

By Marcela Linton

Every June, the quest for the perfect summer body resumes.  There is no shortage of information out there on diet plans, exercise tips, juicing or pills to sift through.  But if anyone actually had the right formula, there wouldn’t be so many articles out there contradicting each other.  There would be more people out there proudly flaunting their chiseled bodies.  It’s time to scrap all of the outside information and begin really listening to your body.  Sometimes you need to give yourself permission to indulge. You’ll find that genuine cravings only come up once in a while.  Now let’s be honest, most fast food out there is total crap. But for those rare companies who’ve honed their recipe over time, credit must be given where credit is due. There is certainly a wide range of options available. We asked Los Angeles pop rock group Millennium, who just released their new single ‘Wide Thing’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX0ZxbvVDPA about their guilty food pleasures. While they had no shortage of answers, here is their Top 5 list of fast food entrées that get it right.

El Pollo Loco Spicy Chipotle Chicken Burrito

‘Over the decades, El Pollo Loco has honed their Spicy Chipotle Chicken Burrito to a science.  I have been eating there on and off for years now.  The key I’ve found is to substitute the standard pinto beans for barbecue black beans. Not regular black beans - barbecue black beans.  Pure heaven after I come out of the studio starving.’ –Stryker

Fatburger Chili Cheese Fries

‘Once in a while, I crave chili cheese fries, but not just any chili cheese fries.  Fatburger makes the best ones.  If you order the skinny fries, then they are extra crispy and not soft and mushy like thicker fries.  I also order them with extra cheese.  The great thing about Fatburger is that they are open 24 hours because you never know when the craving might strike.’ –Sapphire

Rubio’s Fish Tacos

‘Now don’t kid yourself. It may be fish, but there ain’t nothing healthy about these batter-fried, sauce laden-babies. That said, they taste like awesomeness and for $1.50 each, you can’t go wrong. There’s a Rubio’s around the corner from our gym so, once in awhile, when I feel like undoing a week’s worth of fitness progress, I stop by for my fix.’ –Stryker

Troy’s Carne Asada Burrito

‘This is my ultimate comfort food.  I have been going to this burger joint in Highland Park, California since I was seventeen-years-old.  I ask for their Carne Asada Burrito with rice, salsa, beans and cheese.  The burrito is monstrously huge, so usually I get three meals out of that one order!’ –Sapphire

DiGiorno’s Italian Style Supreme Pizza

‘We have been to many pizza parlors (Italy included) and have found that few of those pizzas taste as good as a DiGiorno’s frozen pizza.  Whenever we crave pizza, we just head to the frozen aisle in the supermarket.  After about twenty minutes in the oven, we pop open a bottle of red wine and the pizza party is on!’ –Stryker

Party People Make Way! Millennium Releases ‘Wide Thing’    

By Kip Littmann

I thought I had somewhat figured out the group Millennium until they invited fans to take a walk on the ‘wide’ side.  Their second single ‘Wide Thing’ off their upcoming album is an interesting hip-hop/rock fusion, mildly reminiscent of The Troggs 1966 chart-topping hit ‘Wild Thing’.  Like the 60’s anthem, Millennium is betting heavily (no pun intended) on this hip-hop/rock track to have the same, well, wide appeal. Beyond a doubt, this is a song that people can groove to, even as they ponder the possible meaning of ‘wide thing’, sung over and over again throughout the pulsating, bass-heavy chorus. 

The official music video for ‘Wide Thing’ has had mixed reviews leaving some listeners shaking their heads in amusement and some shaking their heads disapprovingly.  According to Millennium, it is those who find the video humorous who are closer to understanding the intent of the song.  So what is the deeper inspiration behind ‘Wide Thing’?  Surprisingly, it’s not the young woman in the yellow leotard with the huge ‘badonkadonk’.  Let us flashback to the early 2000’s when urban music dominated the airwaves and popular culture.  If hip-hop had come to represent anything during that era it was excess, characterized by an obsession with big things.  There were hip-hop songs about big cars, big blunts, big money, big bling, and, of course, big booties.  Millennium’s single appears to be something of a throw-back to that fascinating era that captivated the world, in all its glory and ridiculousness.  Remember diamond grills or the XXXL pants that fell down to the knees? 

With or without any deeper meaning behind the song, Millennium does reveal a willingness to take huge risks with their music and to avoid taking themselves too seriously. By the end of the music video it begins to look a lot like a playbook for living young, and wide and free.  Or, in view of Stryker and Sapphire’s rampage through fast food hell, how to make a big ass of one’s self (pun intended). Check out the music video for ‘Wide Thing’ and decide for yourself at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX0ZxbvVDPA.  Please note that the video is rated PG-13 for images of thongs, big butts, wanksters and mild sexual innuendo.

Mobcity Magazine is a compilation of Millennium press received during the past month. Enjoy!

www.WhoIsMillennium.com

 

7 Ways To Simplify Your Beauty Routine This Summer

By Kaitlyn Fleur

The temperature is climbing to near triple digits and as oppressive as the heat may be, there is an upside. Thankfully, you can dramatically simplify your beauty routine giving you more time to focus on the more important areas of your life.  In only a few minutes, you can be the hot woman you know you are rather than just a hot, sticky mess.

1. For the body:  After a shower is the best time to massage a moisturizing lotion all over your body for smooth healthy-looking skin.  If you are used to hot showers, you may want to cool the water at the end of your shower so that you are not too heated when you put on the lotion.  Don’t forget to rub the lotion on your cuticles, elbows, knees and the heels of your feet.  We recommend Jergen’s Ultra Healing Lotion for soft, luxurious skin.  If you will be outdoors, do not forget to apply sunscreen as well to protect your skin from harsh UV rays.

2. For the face:  Use a gentle exfoliating cleanser at least every other day to bring out your radiant, glowing skin.  For best results, make sure the exfoliating beads are small, spherical beads which are non-abrasive and gentler to the skin.  We recommend Tata Hara’s Regenerating Cleanser.  Follow with eye cream and an SPF daily moisturizer or nighttime moisturizer.

3. For the face:  Forget the foundation and powder this summer and use CC (Color Correcting) cream, which is not only more lightweight than foundation, but offers more benefits for your skin.  It hydrates, preps, and corrects the skin as well as offer hydration, SPF and anti-aging benefits.  In just a few seconds, you could dab a pea-sized amount throughout the face and blend.  Use your ring finger to blend a little more CC cream under your eye, the sides of your nose and mouth, and any other areas that need a little more coverage.  We recommend Smashbox CC Cream.

4. For the eyes:  If you will be mainly outdoors, skip the eye makeup altogether and sport a pair of stylish sunglasses.  If you want to look glammed up, instead of powdered eye shadows, glide on Sephora’s Jumbo Liner across the base of each eyelid.  Not only are they simple to apply, but they are waterproof and come in a variety of cool colors from Peacock to Gray Glitter.  Finish your eyes by curling the lashes.  If you do not feel complete without mascara, go ahead and swipe on one coat of waterproof mascara to your upper lashes.  If you are concerned about melting makeup, lightly spritz Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray and leave your worries aside.

5. For the lips:  Skip the lip liner and lipstick.  To save time and to make your lips happy, use Clinique’s Chubby Stick Intense, a very moisturizing, highly pigmented lip balm that comes in a variety of flattering shades.  Sapphire of pop rock group Millennium usually keeps two shades in her purse: Roomiest Rose for a daytime look and Maraschino Cherry for night.

6. For the cheeks:  Nix the powdered blush and reach for a cheek stain such as Benetint by Benefit.  Dab a couple drops to the apples of each cheek, blend immediately and voila, you have the perfect flush.

7. For the hair:  Put away the hair dryer and curling iron.  Summer is the perfect time to give your hair a break from the heat.  Simply wash your hair the night before.  When it is ninety percent dry, rub a quarter-sized amount of soft styling gel such as Wen Sweet Almond Mint Styling Gel and create one big bun at the top of your head (or two Princess Leia buns for more curl).  In the morning, unravel the buns for soft, touchable curls.  If it is too hot to put your hair down, go for a bun or a ponytail accented with pretty accessories such as hairclips or headbands to step up the look.  If you will be mainly outdoors, try on a cute floppy hat or fedora.

You are now ready to be your cool, calm, confident self, even through the hottest days of summer!

The Vanishing Art of Written Communication

By Alfred Sunderland 

As I sat down in front of my computer at work the other day, I saw something in my inbox that stung me. Three minutes prior, I had received an email from a coworker (who we'll call 'Donna') who works only five cubicles down from me.  Before reading the note, I was wondering in the back of my mind why Donna did not just stop by or pick up the phone.  As I opened the email, I leaned in closer and shook my head in disbelief.  This is what was written:

      

 

ALFRED- WHAT’S THE STATUS OF THE FEATURE LAYOUT? YOU SAID IT'D READY THIS MORNING. JUST CHECKIGN. PLS LET ME KNOW ASAP. THX, D

Now mind you, I am not an obsessive-compulsive person by nature. Yet I doubt there is a single person who would consider this to be a professionally written communication.  The note was all in caps, contained spelling and grammatical errors, and the overall tone of the note was off-putting.  It was similar to an annoying text I received from my roommate a couple days ago asking if I could return his DVD to the video store.  I looked around the office and saw the blue-lit faces of employees as they stared at their computer screens or scrolled through their phones.  It is quite evident that the art of written communication is slowly vanishing from society-at-large.

It has been said that chivalry is dead.  Now, with the age of smart phones and social media, I believe the subtlety of written communication is also dying.  Sadly, not much care is put into writing any more as the pen and stationary have become nearly obsolete in today’s fast-paced society.  As soon as a thought arises, it is almost simultaneously typed out and sent.  Messages to friends and family have become standardized, short and devoid of any character or deeper meaning.  Instead of exploring all of the possible ways to express how you feel, you now have 5 - 10 abbreviations such as lol, lmao and smh that are universally understood and universally meaningless.  You also have emoticons that produce happy or sad little yellow faces next to your message or as a standalone in response to a message.  If you’re in a relationship, good luck trying to decipher the nuances and complexities of the other person based upon email or text messages.

I feel grateful for not growing up in the impersonal age of email and smart phones. When I was in junior high, I wrote poems to a girl for three months straight.  Every time she climbed aboard the school bus, I would hand her my small outpouring of love in a note and she would smile shyly at me.  In high school, I wrote pages and pages of love letters to my girlfriend.  I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything.  I believe that life is language.  What we are saying to each other through written communication is a direct reflection of the quality of our thoughts and lives.

According to the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, an astounding 32 million adults in the U.S. cannot read.  Twenty-one percent of American adults read below the fifth-grade level.  The current literacy statistics have not changed in the past ten years. Judging by the billions of acronym and error-laden messages circulated daily, these statistics seem quite realistic.  Even the well-educated legions of corporate employees seem to have fallen into the efficiency trap in written communication, as my earlier example illustrates.  The art of language is vanishing, but who has a vested staking in its defense?  Everyone.  People in all roles will reach a point where they must employ the full power of language with all of its subtlety and nuance to articulate a vision, defend a course of action, or persuade others to their cause.  If that capacity is gone, they will be unable to compete with those who’ve got it.  This includes businesspeople, scientists, politicians, artists, entrepreneurs, homemakers and everybody else.

Even a rock artist.  According to Stryker from the Los Angeles rock group Millennium, ‘People underestimate the importance of good written communication.  A couple of months ago I received a terse, poorly worded email from an artist manager following up on the status of a production collaboration.  The email was signed with a ‘W’.  I immediately had this gut feeling that I did not want to do business with this person because of all of the implied signals of poor character neatly encapsulated in that email.  I soon cancelled the deal and explained that written communication that is thoughtless, rife with errors, and blunt to the point of being rude wasn’t going to cut it.  And please don’t sign a ‘W’ for your name like you’re the former president.  That was the last straw.  He lost a ten-thousand dollar deal.  I retained my dignity.’

The importance of creativity has been marginalized in the past two decades, driven by the society’s push towards rationalism and efficiency.  Yet, creativity is the ability to invent, imagine, problem-solve and think out of the box- abilities that are all central to our survival and prosperity.  Written language is a big part of expressing that creativity.  If we continue to limit written communication to fewer and fewer words, we unwittingly limit our creative vocabulary and the very breadth and scope of our ideas. I pause, chuckling at my paranoia.  A couple hours later, I receive another note from my coworker Donna.  It just contains a question mark. smh. I give up.

 

The Quest For The Ultimate Barbecue

By Matheu Cardoso           

Memorial Day is a time to remember the brave men and women who died to protect our freedom and way of life.  And what better way to honor that sacrifice than by spending the holiday with family and friends, having a barbecue and enjoying a sumptuous feast. 

Now, as you ponder the possible menu options that you will prepare for your guests, you may want to think about the last barbecue you attended.  Did you leave the barbecue feeling like you gained five pounds in just one sitting? Did your thoughts then turn to the next time you would visit the gym or how you might otherwise offset those extra calories?  Good eating from the grill does not necessarily translate to hot dogs and hamburgers with chips on the side.  That kind of eating will only create a house filled with guilty, overfed guests. 

Countries from all around the world have grilled meat as part of their cuisine.  Brazilians have churrascarias, Middle Eastern countries have kofta and the Far East has Korean and Japanese barbecue.  The difference between these countries and traditional American barbecue is that they complement the grilled meat with an astonishing array of healthy side dishes.  In fact, it would appear that the meat was one of the side dishes in a well-balanced cornicopeia of food.  To put this in perspective, there are two types of expressions that Brazilians use to describe how they feel just after a meal.  ‘Estou cheio’, which means ‘I’m stuffed’, has a negative connotation.  ‘Estou satisfeito’ means ‘I’m satisfied’ and reflects a positive feeling.  You want your guests to finish their meal feeling satisfied and not stuffed.

Because you have a three day weekend, it’s the perfect amount of time to get the groceries, marinate the meat and prepare the side dishes to please every guest and create a memorable Memorial’s Day.  Here is a sample menu that may give you some ideas on how to create your barbecue banquet.

Soy Honey Ginger Marinated Chicken

Notes:  Use chicken breast, thighs and legs.  Clean the chicken by removing the skin, rubbing salt and lemon on each piece and rinsing with cold water.  Pat dry with paper towel.  For the marinade, use low sodium soy sauce, honey, freshly grated ginger, fresh lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper.  Coat evenly and marinate overnight.  In the morning, stir the marinated chicken to recoat the top pieces.  Remove from refrigerator a few minutes prior to placing it on the grill.

Grilled Steak with Bordelaise Sauce

Notes:  Filet Mignon, New York Strip, T-Bone, Ribeye or Sirloin steak are all amazing coming straight off the grill.  Choose one or more cuts for your event.  Generously coat each side of the steak with salt and pepper.  It is best to make each steak ‘made to order’ since it is best served hot and cooked to individual preferences.  To up the ‘culinary ante’, prepare a Bordelaise sauce with red wine, shallots and fresh herbs such as thyme and rosemary.  Heat and occasionally stir the sauce until it forms a demi-glace.  Remove from the heat and stir in some fresh parsley.  Sprinkle fresh thyme on the cooked steak and drizzle a spoonful of the rich Bordelaise on top. 

Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken

Notes:  Place spinach leaves, grape tomatoes, and thinly sliced red bell peppers and carrots in a large mixing bowl.  Add the grilled chicken cut in slices from above.  Just before guests arrive, mix in a small amount of dressing made with good virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar (so the salad is not left soggy after an hour).  Leave more dressing on the table for guests to help themselves.  For a sweeter twist, add chunks of just-ripened mango to the salad and add a little honey to the dressing.

Grilled Eggplant, Zucchini and Asparagus

Notes:  Choose vibrant colored vegetables at the store.  Cut eggplant and zucchini lengthwise.  Lightly brush the vegetables with olive oil mixed with salt and grill to desired doneness.  In addition to the eggplant, zucchini and asparagus, you could also pick up red ripe bell peppers and tomatoes.  When the tomatoes are soft and look like they are about to burst, take them off the grill and cut in half or quarters.  When the bell peppers are charred on all sides, place in a bowl for ten minutes.  Remove stem, seeds and outer skin and cut lengthwise.  Add a few minced garlic cloves, olive oil, salt and pepper for a delicious side.

White & Brown Long Grain Rice

Notes:  To please those who prefer brown rice over white and those who do not like the texture of brown rice, try a one to one mixture of the two.  As you heat up the water, add a spoonful of butter or margarine and a dash of salt.  Fluff the cooked rice with a fork before serving.

Strawberry, Melon and Mango Fruit Salad

Notes:  For a refreshing finish to the meal, cut strawberries, watermelon, honeydew and mango in tiny chunks.  Take a big ripe orange and also cut into small chunks adding the orange and its juice to the rest of the fruit and mix well.  Garnish with mint leaves and serve in glass dessert cups.  To satisfy guests with an even bigger sweet tooth, serve with a fruit sorbet in flavors such as mango, strawberry, pineapple or lime.

Wine & Hors D’oeuvres Commentary

Red wines such as Cabernet and Malbec pair well with grilled red meat.  Given the warm weather, some guests may prefer a crisp white wine such as Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.  You may also want to have a few bottles of ice cold amber or dark lager on hand.  For those who do not drink alcohol, you might offer refreshing spritzers made with an exotic fruit juice, such as Raspberry Lemonade, and sparkling mineral water.  While pouring themselves a drink, guests can graze on assorted olives and crudite while waiting for the main course.  If time permits, you might prepare baba ghanoush dip with the grilled eggplant and homemade pita bread for an appetizer.

‘It’s often overlooked, but Filet Mignon is still the best steak to grill’, according to Stryker, a devotee of the grilling arts.  ‘But unlike hamburgers, if you screw it up, it’s an expensive mistake.’  When asked how he and his family planned to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend, he replied ‘Well, Sapphire will be cutting, marinating and prepping for about four hours.  If I mess it up with my five minutes on the grill, I might be joining the other casualties of war this Memorial Day.’

Millennium: From A Slow ‘Walk’ To A Sprint

By Glen Rupert

Millennium, the pop rock group from Los Angeles, has certainly proved that their debut single ‘When We Walk in the Place’ can persevere. Whether it’s pop, rock or dance audiences, there is something in the vibe of their first single that is gaining traction, according to companies tracking national and international radio play worldwide. It didn’t hurt that the group took the time to create two additional remixes of the radio version since the song’s release in January 2014.

 



The first remix of ‘When We Walk in the Place’, appropriately referred to as the ‘Swagging Remix’, is the EDM version complete with cutting edge sounds over a slick, sexy beat.  Swagging, though not yet officially listed in the Oxford Dictionary, is defined as pimp walking with  swagger.  However, a broader interpretation of swagging is the celebration of individuality, personal style and self-confidence, as evident in the ‘Swagging Remix’ music video.

The ‘Rock Remix’ that followed opened our eyes to a surprising fact – that the members of Millennium are all classically trained musicians. The rock remix video shows Millennium with their instruments rocking out to a stripped down, funky version of their debut single. Stryker is on bass guitar and vocals, Sapphire on keys and vocals, Gaku Murata on guitar and Brad Dawson on drums.  In an era of studio produced beats, this sort of live musicianship is nothing short of refreshing. The ‘Rock Remix’ will be hitting the airwaves this June.

From the original pop version, to the ‘Swagging Remix’ and finally the ‘Rock Remix’, Millennium displays the sort of range, musicianship and defiance to easy classification characteristic of some of the most enduring artists. Only time will tell whether these traits, coupled with excellent songwriting, and tight production will lift the group to eminence.  Check out Millennium’s song and vote for your personal favorite (Dance, EDM or Rock) by clicking on the links below and liking or commenting on the videos.

Official Music Video                Swagging Remix                       Rock Remix

  

  

 

Amgen Bike Tour Through Pasadena Reveals Ugly Reality of Civic Greed and Police Lawlessness

By Christopher Odalis

It seemed like another beautiful Saturday morning in sunny Pasadena, California as hundreds of people showed up to dine, shop and enjoy a relaxing day. 

 

 

    

Some were aware of an event scheduled that day and were forced to stay clear of the main arteries Colorado Blvd and Union Street that run through the city. They certainly didn’t expect what came next. Unknown to residents who had parked their cars in various parking structures before visiting the gym, restaurants and shops, they would not be getting out any time soon. Upon returning to their cars hours later and trying to exit the parking structures, they were met by armed police on bikes and on foot, barring them from exiting. By unanimous accounts, it was like a scene out of iRobot where the policeman began rudely and methodically yelling at residents to return to their cars. When asked why they couldn’t leave, the officers said it was because of the bike tour and that they would not be let out until hours later.

The problem was that nothing was posted at the entrances to any of the parking structures warning people that if they parked there, they would not be able to exit until later. For those who needed to pick up children, attend to elderly parents, respond to a family emergency or other urgent business, it was a very serious problem.  And it was happening to hundreds of people simultaneously. A call to Lieutenant Tracey Ibarra of the Pasadena police department yielded a simple denial of any false imprisonment allegations, though she did sympathize with residents' complaints. However, the law provides a test for determining what constitutes false imprisonment. The results of this test call into serious question the judgement of the officers on the scene:

(1) Were people willfully detained from leaving? Yes. The police denied exit of the vehicles. Clearly everyone in the parking structure arrived by car and could not get where they needed to go without that car.

(2) Were people detained without consent? Yes. Clearly they did not consent to being detained.

(3) Were people detained without the authority of law behind this detention?  Yes. None of the residents were suspected or accused of committing a crime. The permit that the police department thought gave them the authority was most certainly contingent upon proper notification to businesses and the posting of notices at the entrances of the parking structures- notifications that failed to happen.

What made the situation even more maddening to Pasadena residents was the cause of their unlawful detention. It was not a raging building fire. There was no deranged fugitive on the loose. It was a corporate-sponsored bike race where an group of weekend warriors suit up to ride an insane distance so they can brag to colleagues on Monday about their ‘accomplishments'. But it gets even better. What corporation was sponsoring the bike tour? Amgen, maker of Epogen. Remember that oxygen-doping drug that caused the disqualification of Lance Armstrong and nearly every other leading cyclist in the Tour De France?  That’s the one. Widespread use of Epogen single-handedly destroyed the event, which has not since recovered. Amgen now faces over $1 billion in fines and settlement fees for illegally promoting Epogen. Which begs the question that any city official should have asked before agreeing to partner up with Amgen: Why the heck are they sponsoring a bike tour, of all things?

Now, one has to step back and marvel at the chain of events.  Amgen effectively ruins cycling's most venerated event the Tour De France. Amgen decides to establish its own Amgen Tour of California where, coincidently, blood testing of cyclists will not be conducted, thus increasing use of its lead product Epogen. Amgen pays millions of dollars to the municipal boards of twelve cities, including Pasadena. The city greedily accepts the money with no questions asked and force-feeds it through their planning commissions. No public hearing is called to weigh the pros and cons with residents, no referendum is held and consequently no consent is ever obtained from the people. To put perspective on this, if an apartment complex three blocks away wants to add a unit, they call a public hearing.  It’s absurd that an event taking over the main arteries of the city, affecting over 100,000 residents, causing untold inconvenience and hardship, would not warrant a public hearing.  Lastly, this ill-conceived plan hits the streets and the police department suddenly finds itself in the embarrassing position of unlawfully detaining hundreds of people against their will.

Just how upset are residents?

‘I just left the 24-Hour Fitness. I came in from the street that allowed access to the parking structure. When I came out to leave I was told by these police officers that I couldn’t leave. I was told I would be detained until 4 PM. I’m a Pasadena resident and I didn’t see anything on TV or receive anything in the mail so I don’t understand,’ stated Tim Brooks.

Rosemary Tong, another Pasadena resident, was equally stunned. ‘I live in the area and didn’t receive any notice from the city.  Only the side streets were blocked but there were no signs on the structure. I have to work at 4 PM and can’t get out.’

Melinda Walters entered a parking structure through an open street but upon exiting later was blocked by police and the exit gate. She was forced to sit in her car for two hours. ‘I was not allowed to leave the parking structure. There was no sign saying we would not be able to exit until 4 PM. Otherwise, I would not have parked here.’

Miguel Hernandez, a Pasadena resident, drove into a parking structure where, again, no warning was posted. ‘I’m not able to leave and am being detained at the moment. It’s kind of a hassle. They’re saying I can’t leave until 4 PM. The police aren’t even trying to help us.’

‘You tend not to think about civil rights abuse until it happens to you. Right now, we’re being held in the parking structure unable to pick up our two-year-old daughter because there are three Pasadena police men barring the way. These are not respectful, concerned officers of the law, these are rude, belligerent thugs who think it’s acceptable to shout out commands and trample people’s rights. I’m surprised violence hasn’t erupted,’ said Stryker, singer from pop rock group Millennium.  ‘I’m out with my wife Sapphire and not looking for trouble. But if you’re going to bar the exit without any prior notification and infringe my rights, then be prepared for some unpleasantness.’

Three of the officers identified in the unlawful detentions were officers Brown, Watson and Roehl. 'The callous and rude behavior of these officers was completely unacceptable. They knew something was wrong with what they were doing, but instead of re-evaluating the situation and figuring out a way to help people, they became antagonistic bullies,' stated Melanie Fischer, a resident of Highland Park who had eaten breakfast at Mi Piace restaurant before returning to her car and encountering the police.

The Pasadena bike tour debacle calls into sharp focus two deep-seated and alarming trends. The first is corporate and civic greed causing city officials to push through permits for lucrative events without due consent from residents. Ironically, if such consent had been sought, someone might have pointed out the glaring parking structure issue. Yet, no one seemed to be thinking about residents’ rights at city hall, with big money at stake. In short, the bike tour debacle reveals a dismal failure of city officials to execute their civic duty- namely to represent the interests of the people, not the interests of big corporations like Amgen. The second alarming trend is the increased lawlessness and militant attitude of police officers. Logically, if city officials are willing to trample over residents’ rights, that attitude will extend down the chain of command to them. But while the first type of rights violations can be concealed from the public behind closed doors, the second type cannot.

Gazing down Union Street, there are certainly not the crowds of enthusiastic supporters that Amgen and the City of Pasadena had hoped for.  Instead, there are crowds of enraged residents whose cars are trapped in parking structures against their will, while the Pasadena police shout rude, fascist-style commands at them. Amidst the angry and bewildered throngs are a conspicuously few people cheering the cyclists on. They have Amgen shirts on. The scene pretty much says it all. It’s not the scene Amgen and the City of Pasadena hoped for, but it looks like the scene they rightfully deserve.

Mobcity Magazine is a compilation of Millennium press received during the past month. Enjoy!

www.WhoIsMillennium.com

Breaking The Barrier
With Family

By Lorilei Alexander

                                

Yes you have reached adulthood.  You are a mature, reasonable, responsible individual with a good head on your shoulders.  You have a place of your own, you work and you pay the bills.  You may have a family of your own and consider yourself a good spouse and parent.  So why, oh why, is it that visiting relatives can leave you feeling like you are that misunderstood teenager living under your parents’ roof again?  Of course there are many of you that get along splendidly with your parents and siblings and that is a wonderful blessing.  Unfortunately, others are not so blessed.  When it comes time to get together with relatives, some of us suffer through uncomfortable small talk or even cold silence with a family member and some have terse exchanges that make for a bittersweet family gathering.  And some go back and forth between the two.  We cannot delve into all possible reasons why family relationships can be stressful.  Every family has a unique history and dynamic that would require years of psychotherapy in order to understand the ‘Why?’.  The real question that this article will attempt to address is the ‘How?’- How might my family get along better?  How might we develop a stronger family bond?

Communication is one of those words that have been used quite liberally as the key to successful relationships.  But good communication is not simply just talking to another person.  It is putting thought into what you want to say to the other person.  It is talking to the other person with compassion with the end result of developing a stronger bond with that person. Venting your frustrations, sarcasm, and making snide remarks does not qualify as good communication.  The other person may clam up or retort back, but either way, he or she will not feel comfortable opening up to you and that is often how trust is lost. 

According to an ancient Indian text, speech should have the following four qualities.  Take a moment to seek the wisdom in each of these qualities and see how similar or how different they are to your own communication style with your family.

1.  It should be beneficial to the listener (hiit)

When you offer advice to a family member, decide if the counsel you are about to offer will really make the other person’s life better.  For example, nagging them about an extravagant shopping spree might be trivial compared to talking to someone about a serious gambling addiction.  In addition, the listener needs to believe that you are really looking out for his or her best interest.

2.  It should be brief and to the point (miit)

This point does not mean that you should be curt or that your conversation should last less than sixty seconds.  It serves as a reminder that you should pause frequently in order to really listen to the other person and not unconsciously monopolize the conversation.

3.  It should be pleasant to the listener (prit)

Surprisingly, this point does not mean that all your conversations need to be all positive or what my friend has coined as ‘love and light’ discussions.  There have been many a serious and spirited exchanges between people that actually deepen the bonds of friendship because respect was fully present during the dialogue.  In addition, they had a chance to learn a lot about the other.

4.  It should be the truth (satya)

Good, open communication requires trust.  Your family members need to know that you will always speak the truth.  People can always sense if the truth is sugarcoated or that there is something that is being kept from them.  If you are not open and honest with them, they will not be open and honest with you.

There are sometimes physical barriers to connecting with family.  For instance, if your family members live in another state or country, it requires a lot more effort to maintain closeness. Stryker, singer-songwriter of Millennium states, ‘My family is spread out all over the country- Los Angeles, Boston, Tampa, Seattle, Albuquerque. Yet, I don’t want that to get in the way of keeping in touch. I think every family member has a valuable perspective to offer. I just have to go into those Skype calls with an open mind and be receptive to what they have to say. I’ve also learned to suffer minor aggravations in silence.’

Also as we grow older, we sometimes make the mistake of thinking that we cannot learn from our family members anymore.  Perhaps the young adult feels that there is no more wisdom that can be gleaned from their parents, perhaps the parents still look at their children as children, and perhaps the older sibling will always feel like they know more than the younger one.  It is best to keep the past in its place and treat each moment anew.  Only then will you have more than a father, more than a mother, and more than a brother or sister.  You will have a friend.

The New Face of Radio           By Gerald David

  

The media conglomerate Berkshire Media Group, headquartered in London, UK, recently acquired one of the world’s fastest growing network of radio stations, adding to their growing portfolio of media startups. In a press release, Robert Harrison, CEO of Berkshire Media Group, promised ‘significant changes to both management and programming to restore balance to the network’, and has certainly delivered on that promise.  Before the company had acquired the stations, they had operated as a loose confederation of independent stations for many years. The network content is now managed centrally, giving Berkshire Media Group an enviable platform with which to launch new music and introduce new artists to a global listener base.

Among the stations acquired were powerhouses KMIX Radio Los Angeles, WNYR ‘The Rock’ of New York City, WCTR Chicago and others. The network also includes a collection of top stations in Tokyo, Rio De Janeiro, London, Sydney and other major cities.  The attractiveness of these stations, in addition to their fresh playlist of new artists, is the fact that there are absolutely no commercials, putting the focus solely on the music.

KMIX Radio Los Angeles has the highest listenership within the network, playing songs from new artists across the globe in a diverse range of genres, including pop, rock, hip-hop, country, folk, latin, dance and electronica. New rising stars include Seven Story Fall, Millennium, Nicky Barot, Chase Allan, Aoede, Mackadenice, Sol Romero and many others.  KMIX Radio was recently reorganized and placed under the strategic management of veteran program director Glenn Eisner, who has since revamped the playlist to include a fresh roster of the most promising new artists. “As a commercial-driven station, we were under enormous pressure from management to meet revenue targets. The quality and variety of music we could play was heading in a downward spiral. When the station re-organized, I saw this as an opportunity to once again bring great music to listeners, without the involvement of big corporate interests. I think our listeners are really going to love what we’re unveiling in 2014.”

Finding opportunity in sectors that have been hard-hit by the digital era requires patience and vision. Based upon Berkshire Media Group’s track record of successful start-up ventures, Harrison and his group appear to possess both.

Spring Cleaning- Getting Rid of Mental Clutter

By Olivia Carter

Usually when people mention spring cleaning, they are referring to tidying up their household or work area, whether it is turning their closets inside out or completely reorganizing their files.  They feel compelled to clean and organize their environment once a year, although for some it should be more often, fed up with the increasing entropy that is surrounding them.  Rarely do people think about de-cluttering and organizing the thoughts that occupy one’s mind.  Much like a computer, you need to organize the files of thoughts in their proper place and delete the files that are no longer needed and are just slowing the system, i.e. you, down.  This type of mental spring cleaning is important so you can go about your day productively, creatively, stress-free and be able to do more of the things that make you happy.

Here are a few tips for spring cleaning your mind:

1.  Pick up a pen and paper and just write down everything that comes to mind.  Ray Bradbury, acclaimed author of Zen in the Art of Writing, believes that free-writing is the key to getting rid of creative blocks and allowing the imagination and ideas to flow freely.

2.  Schedule date nights with your significant other, fun time with the kids, time with your friends and alone time for you.  They are all important and should all be treated as special and sacred.  Spontaneity is fine, but actually having a set day to look forward to every week is better than worrying about when you last went out as a family or when you last saw your best friend.

3.  Stop procrastinating.  All bad habits, even procrastinating, can be replaced by good ones.  If that item in your To Do list refuses to be crossed off and you cannot delegate it, try completely changing your attitude about the task.  Pretend that you are someone who is curious and intrigued by the project and see how much easier it is to get done.

4.  Spend less time worrying and more time doing something about it.  If you are worried about an interview or an upcoming presentation at work, focus on preparing your materials and practicing what you are going to say.  If you are worried about meeting your in-laws, use your mind to imagine how the meeting will go in the best possible circumstances.

5.  Exercise at least every other day.  When you concentrate on your body, you begin to get out of your head space and feel more grounded and focused throughout the day.

6.  Find time to meditate every day for a few minutes.  According to David Lynch, author of Catching the Big Fish, meditation is crucial to sharpening your intuition and living creatively.  It could be in the early morning, right before you go to sleep or any few minutes you could steal during the day.  Sit quietly, breathe deeply, and watch your thoughts as if they were clouds slowly drifting in the sky.

7.  Spend time with Mother Nature.  When your mind is going a mile a minute, sitting down and being around nature is the best medicine to feel more calm and refreshed.  Visit a park, beach, courtyard or garden and allow the stress to melt away. 

8.  Turn off the phone three hours before bedtime.  Being on top of your game also means being able to unplug and getting eight to nine hours of rest so that you are ready to take on the challenges of a new day.

9.  Do what you need to do before bedtime to relax and decompress and make it a ritual.  It could be a good book, a hot bath, a cup of herbal tea or writing in your journal.  According to Sapphire of pop rock group Millennium, ‘Once we put the baby to sleep, Stryker and I watch a DVD to decompress from the day.  Watching a movie, whether it’s action, sci-fi, drama or comedy, puts us in another world for a couple of hours.  After the movie is finished, we spend a few minutes in light-hearted conversation before we drift off into dreamland.’

10.  Forgive old animosities.  Life is too short to continue carrying such emotional burden.  Summon up the reserve to talk to the person about burying the hatchet.  If that is not possible, write a letter to that person that you could keep for yourself, rip up or burn or take some other ceremonial action that will help you release old hurts and move on.

11.  Learn to give your significant other breathing room and they will do the same for you.  A few weeks ago, one of my friends told me that her husband was a little controlling at parties and claimed that she always acted ‘annoyingly loud and boisterous.’  Her husband, who is also a good friend of mine, had told me earlier that Jenny would complain incessantly when his brother would come over to watch a game on television.  Neither was giving the other the necessary breathing room to be happy. Understand that your significant other does not intend to irritate or upset you and is just being themselves.  Pick your battles, offer an olive branch, and keep your relationships harmonious. 

12.  Take an hour out to think of an effective system for taking care of the daily or weekly mundane tasks as efficiently as possible so they take up as little space in your mind as possible.  Ask your family for assistance or delegate tasks at work.  Here are a few suggestions to get the ball rolling:

a.  Develop a weekly meal plan for the family so you do not wonder about what to make for dinner.  This will also help with the grocery shopping list.  Have the children prepare their school lunches the night before.

b.  Develop a weekly cleaning schedule for the family and post it up so that everyone knows when it is their turn to do the dishes, the laundry, vacuum, water the plants or wash the car.

c.  When you arrive home, always place your purse, wallet, keys, phone and sunglasses all in the same place so that you do not need to look around for them later.

d.  Except for the baby milk, always have the diaper bag stocked (i.e. diapers, wet wipes, extra clothes, blanket, changing pad, stuffed animal).

e.  Always keep the medicine cabinet and toiletry cupboards stocked so you are not scrambling to find an aspirin when you have a headache or a band-aid for your child’s scrape or cut.

f.  Schedule all doctors or dentists appointments for the family on the same date.

g.  Work on the household budget and accounting with your significant other or roommate so that you share financial knowledge and responsibilities.  Determine who will be in charge of which bill or if possible, set up automatic payments.

h.  Keep all passwords and important documents in the same location so you won’t have to hunt for them, individually.

You are a brilliant person with amazing capabilities.  When you give your mind the necessary room to work optimally, it can work for you instead of against you.  You will be more proactive versus reactive to your environment and have more mental energy for the things that matter most to you.  Happy spring cleaning!

   

Rock Is Back. Rediscovering The Art Of Making Music.

By Daniel Parker

Reprinted with permission from 
                                                            

The world is familiar with the celebrity musical icons of the day, so much in fact that they don’t even need to be named here.  Even a five-year-old Indonesian girl living in a nipa hut on a remote island can tell you exactly who is dating who and trivial information such as what their last relationship fallout was all about.  The difference between the musical icons of today, and those of twenty years or so ago, is the reason for their celebrity status, which does not necessarily have to do with songwriting ability or musicianship.  Back in the day, a popular artist would write songs, record albums, perform in front of thousands of fans and, of course, host notorious backstage parties that sometimes leaked to the tabloids. But they also had private lives and were able to take vacations away from the public eye.  Although the paparazzi have existed since the birth of Hollywood, the power of the media has grown exponentially with the advent of the Internet, social media, smart phones and entertainment programs that cater to people’s vicarious instincts.  The result is that the lives of these ‘artists’ are often continuously on display for the public to see, observe and judge. Yet, aside from technological advances, there is a darker reason for this trend.

However, before we go there, there is another phenomenon worth examining: The average age of music performers has dropped considerably over the past few decades. No doubt, record companies have found it far easier to exploit young performers in the 15 – 21 age group. And why not? They have not lived long enough to cultivate a strong artistic drive, experiential base or standard of reference for what constitutes a healthy adult life. That also explains why most popular performers behave like such oddballs in their private life. They react similar to toddlers who do things that they know are wrong, blatantly in front of their parents, in order to test their boundaries.  They want to be free from the confines of people’s expectations of what they should do and, as a result, they behave recklessly.  Up until now, the public has remained plugged into to the lives of music celebrities much like one would follow their favorite soap opera or sports team.  Furthermore, it appears that the people were more interested in news regarding club altercations or DUI’s rather than the actual music, a telling acknowledgement that the person lacked any lasting artistic merits worth discussing.

Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter. There are a growing number of people who recognize that something is missing from the modern music performer.  Most people are now aware of the hidden assembly behind a commercial singer, including songwriters, artist & repertoire staff (A&R), producers, engineers, marketers and others who work together to create the commercial product.  Independent songwriters write the songs, A&R managers find those songs by posting notices in industry trades, the producers pick the best ones (often out of thousands) and together with an engineer, record the singer’s version. If the instrumentation of a song is out of date, they throw in some slick new electronic sounds and make sure the vocal tracks are pitch-corrected to perfection. Many commercial artists refuse to allow anyone except the engineer in their recording sessions. It’s little wonder why. The whole machinery depends upon the illusion that this ‘artist’ somehow lived the experiences, passionately wrote about them, sat with a piano or guitar to compose the song and then sang it. The precise opposite is now true. Some unknown songwriter out there lived the experience, wrote about it, composed the music and even sang it first. But that unknown songwriter, daunted by the risk of failure and the overt corruption of the industry, decided they were too unattractive, too poor a singer, too obese, too remote, too something to ever be liked by people. So they sold their song and their life experiences to someone they had never met in exchange for rent money.

The modern record company originated in the 1970’s as middle men between real artists and the public. In that era, before modern recording technology, the integrity and musicianship of these artists was self-evident. While the companies brought some business acumen to the table, the artist’s vision was, for the most part, respected and protected. In the decades that ensued, as profit became the main objective, corporations mistakenly began to think of themselves as the creative ‘tastemakers’ of modern music. In reality, they scrambled to chase down and capitalize on each musical trend, becoming little more than glorified banks. They muscled in on artists’ careers and demanded an ever-increasing percentage of returns.  By the turn of the century, they had completely seized control of the production process from start to finish and the product quality began to suffer noticeably. Real songwriting and musicianship has all but vanished from commercial music. Judging by the decline in music sales and the declining interest in commercial radio, the pendulum is now beginning to swing back. People are taking back their music, realizing that corporations were never, and never will be, well-suited to creating art.

An increasing number of people are shunning the roster of corporate artists in favor of high-quality, independent artists who write, produce and perform their own music. Though the number of these musician/songwriters has shrunk, thanks to nearly two decades of artistic decline, they do still exist. And they are uniquely positioned after years of songwriting and musical training to give people what they now seek- great songs played with live instruments.  Fans of these songs are not interested in perfection - they are merely asking for something real.

We caught up with Stryker, one such songwriter/musician from the group Millennium to get his thoughts:


Tell us a little about yourself and Millennium.

We’re a four-person band (bass, keyboards, guitar and drums). Our music is pop rock with both acoustic and electronic influences.

Let’s get right to it.  Do you have a bone of contention with some of today’s pop artists?

Well, I wouldn’t say that. I’m just not personally interested in listening to music that doesn’t come directly from the artist. I think that connection is everything in music. The Japanese have a word for everything else. Karaoke.

What do you do differently from the other artists?

Nowadays, it seems like everything we do is different. For starters, we write, sing, record and produce all of our own songs. I can’t name a single major label artist that does that. Also, we’ve never sold our songs to major label artists, even though we’ve had some offers.

        

But you do admit to using electronic software to enhance the sound of your music?

Absolutely. There have been some great advances in sound and recording technology. We love rock, but none of us are interested in recreating the rock era exactly as we remember it. We’ve changed and the world has changed too. Rock is coming back, but it’s not going to look and sound the same as we all remember it.

Is that what made you and Sapphire shift from the wireless mic’s and dancing to picking up instruments?

Oh, you’re gonna call us out like that! (laughing) Well, we’re both classically trained musicians. Sapphire played piano and I grew up playing piano, cello and bass. As Millennium, we explored the electronic pop element out of genuine artistic curiosity. But because we produce our own music, we had the freedom to shift gears when that approach was no longer hitting the mark in terms of our desired sound. Lately, with me returning to bass and Sapphire returning to piano, it just feels better musically.

Who are the other members of Millennium?

We’re fortunate to work with two other very talented and hard working musicians, drummer Brad Dawson and guitarist Gaku Murata. Brad is the sort of drummer every group wants- impeccable timing and an impressive command of different musical styles. Gaku is a quiet guy who let’s his guitar do the talking and he can solo forever.  Both of these musicians have the type of raw talent and technical ability that sets a high bar for all of us. Damn them (laughing).

How can we get a taste of how you might sound live and completely acoustic?

That’s easy. We just released a video of us performing our new single ‘When We Walk In The Place’ live. Considering we recorded one live take (and a second pass for vocal harmonies only), I’m surprised it sounded half-decent. This is the simplest song on the album, as it is built around a single concept or feeling. Interestingly, when we translated it live with fewer instruments, it achieved more sonic complexity than the dance version. There’s something to that.

What do you think is the future of modern music?

I can’t say for sure. I just know that music is something we do purely for the love of it. I’m sure modern music will continue to change and evolve and, hopefully, we’ll continue to evolve with it. If we’re lucky, what we’re working on will resonate with people at the time. If not, I’m okay with that too. I’m not interested in fame for its own sake. I just want to be able to look in the mirror at night before I go to bed and know that I’ve been true to myself.

The Hottest Neighborhood in the U.S.A.

By Christopher Odalis

For those of you who may have a distaste for Los Angeles, a chaotic, sprawling metropolis with no clear center, you are evidently not familiar with Eagle Rock, a beautiful, quiet L.A. neighborhood nestled between the cities of Glendale and Pasadena.  This is a community you will likely become acquainted with as it was recently ranked #2 among the top areas to live in the U.S. according to Redfin’s list of ‘Hottest Neighborhoods of 2014’ and as presented in ABC 7 Eyewitness News.  But considering that the neighborhood ranked as #1 was an obscure place in frigid San Francisco, the title truly goes to this Los Angeles neighborhood of Eagle Rock.  As longtime local residents will tell you, Eagle Rock, founded in 1911, is a hidden gem that has surprisingly kept much of its small town charm and appeal.  But unlike other small towns where you would need to drive forty-five minutes to get to the city, Eagle Rock is within one of the largest, most famous cities in the world.  Downtown LA and Hollywood are only a few minutes drive away.  Eagle Rock is a humble community, home to the renowned Occidental College, famous for being the alma mater of our current president.  For the past fifteen years, Eagle Rock (and more recently its neighbor Highland Park), have gradually become artistic communities attracting well-educated hipsters from all over the country.

Besides drawing in homebuyers and small business owners, both Eagle Rock and Highland Park’s unique and alluring small town vibe has caught the eye of the entertainment industry as well.  Scores of trucks containing crew, camera and lighting equipment are frequently seen outside local shops and restaurants on Colorado Boulevard, York Boulevard and Figueroa Street shooting scenes for television, film and video.  The latest project was a music video for Millennium’s new single ‘When We Walk in the Place.’

Interestingly, Sapphire of Millennium grew up in the area.  Although she moved away for college a few years ago and has lived in other areas, she eventually found her way back to Highland Park where she is currently living with her husband Stryker (also of Millennium) and their two year old daughter. ‘Highland Park and Eagle Rock have changed so much since I was a child and definitely for the better.  Some of the oldest places are still around like Troy’s, Ruby’s Bakery and All Star Lanes and now there are some awesome new places added to the mix.  My parents still live in the same house that I grew up in and they are only a few blocks away from us.  I always get a good feeling of nostalgia every time I drive around the neighborhood, whether it’s going over to see my folks, passing my old junior high, or seeing my old piano teacher’s house around the corner.  So in essence, some things have changed and some things haven’t.  Either way, this truly is home for me.’

   

According to Stryker, ‘I grew up in Peoria, Illinois, a small town with a population of 120,000.  When I moved to Los Angeles after college, I lived in Hollywood, Venice Beach and Beverly Hills which are all pretty densely populated areas. When our daughter was born and we decided to move closer to the grandparents, you can imagine my surprise to find that they lived in a community with a small-town feel, yet perched right in the middle of the city. That’s Eagle Rock. Everyone is so friendly everywhere we go, just like back in the Midwest.  It’s a great place to raise kids, but still situated close to key elements of the entertainment industry.’

If you are new to Los Angeles, visiting from out of town or entertaining guests, you will not regret spending time in Eagle Rock and checking out some of the amazing local restaurants, bars and cafes listed below.  See for yourself why this fast-growing hipster community was listed among the Hottest Neighborhoods of 2014 and why Eagle Rocks!

Maximiliano’s

An elegant lively atmosphere offering fine Italian cuisine as well as a fine selection of wines. For a true Italian delight, try the scrumptious Maximiliano spaghetti and meatballs. The pan roasted pork chop with sweet potato is also a good choice.  Finish off the meal with their dark chocolate cake and you have reached food heaven.  5930 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. 90042 |T: 323.739.6125323.739.6125 | www.maximilianohp.com

The York

“Your neighborly gastropub. It's a real bar without being either a scene or a dive, a cafe with a frisson of night-life sensibility, a meeting place with pleasingly edgy design and appealing food -- and a homey spot for regulars." –Los Angeles Times.  5018 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. 90042 | T: 323.255.9675323.255.9675 | www.theyorkonyork.com

Highland Café

A great coffee shop serving Handsome Coffee that also boasts a tantalizing lunch menu.  Try the Chipotle fish tacos!  Outdoor seating is available to enjoy the beautiful LA weather all-year round.  Great place to post up and chat with a friend or catch up on some reading.  5010 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. 90042 | T: 323.259.1000323.259.1000 | www.thehighlandcafela.com

Camilo’s

A California bistro with a diverse menu using only the freshest ingredients.  The Camilo’s eggs benedict with fresh fruit is a must try.  Brunch served until 3 p.m.  2128 Colorado Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. 90041 | T: 323.478.2644323.478.2644 | www.camilosbistro.com

Greyhound Bar & Grill

Recently opened, this neighborhood pub offers a fresh and hip atmosphere for locals with a great selection of craft beer, Old World wine and spirits. For a great deal, visit during happy hour, 4-7 PM and try their delicious gourmet burger with some refreshing Schlitz!    5570 Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA. 90042 | T: 323.900.0300323.900.0300 | www.the-greyhound.com

Donut Friend

Forget everything you know about a donut.  This bakery makes delicious, fresh and creative donuts- made to your specifications or select from one of their delightful creations such as Chocolate From the Crypt. 5107 York Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. 90042 | T: 323.995.6191323.995.6191 | www.donutfriend.com

 


  


Evan Cardigan on Keeping Radio Hot and Relevant

By Jonathan Fister

Evan Cardigan, CEO of the growing Hot FM franchise has just announced the unveiling of several more online Hot FM stations. The new online station rollout includes local stations in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Shanghai, Istanbul, Buenos Aires and others.  The company’s strategy behind this enormous undertaking is to provide hotter, newer music more efficiently than ever before to a virtually unlimited number of listeners.  Their strategy appears to be one tacitly endorsed and employed by a growing number of terrestrial radio stations.

According to Cardigan, ‘It is our role as music providers to deliver quality music to an expanding listener base.  In order to do that, we need to keep up-to-date with technology and people’s preferences.  The reality is that people’s music listening patterns are changing.  Nowadays, they are less likely to tune in to traditional radio in their cars or homes.  It is essential for any business, especially radio, to change with the times in order to stay relevant.’

For more information or to tune in to Hot FM, click on any of the following station links.  Feel free to contact the program directors below to request new artists and music.

HOT FM- KHTL RADIO
Los Angeles, California USA
www.hotfm-radio.com/losangeles

Program Director: Jay Cabrera
Email: jay@hotfm-radio.com

HOT FM- KHTP RADIO
Phoenix, Arizona USA
www.hotfm-radio.com/phoenix
Program Director: Nick Statton

Email: nick@hotfm-radio.com

HOT FM- KHTS RADIO
Shanghai, China
www.hotfm-radio.com/shanghai
Program Director: David Chen
Email: david@hotfm-radio.com

HOT FM- KHTI RADIO
Istanbul, Turkey
www.hotfm-radio.com/istanbul
Program Director: Ozgur Ozel
Email: ozgur@hotfm-radio.com

HOT FM- KHTB RADIO
Buenos Aires, Argentina
www.hotfm-radio.com/buenosaires
Program Director: Esmeralda Ortiz
Email: esmeralda@hotfm-radio.com

Mobcity Magazine is a compilation of Millennium press received during the past month. Enjoy!


www.WhoIsMillennium.com

Street Style: Fashion Fabs & Faux Pas

By Marcela Linton

On the streets is the ultimate place to display your style and personality, but unfortunately street fashion happens to be the most difficult thing to get right.  Think about it.  You know what office attire is.  You basically know what to wear to a special event such as a wedding, your parents' 40th wedding anniversary party or prom.  You definitely know what to wear to go to the gym, the beach or to go skiing.  In each of these situations, there are clothing guidelines and parameters. For example, you would not wear your workout clothes to a wedding or your swimsuit to the prom right?  If so, high school dances have changed a lot since I went to school.  If you go out with your friends for drinks tonight at the new martini bar, you know you need to wear something maybe a little tight, a little revealing, maybe it’s your go-to little black dress or maybe it’s in a more eye-popping color, and very high heels.  But what do you wear when you’re just out and about the town?  The parameters are definitely less constricting and the possible outfit choices are endless, which is why street style intrigues me so.  But make no mistake- there are limits, nonetheless.  Let’s take a stroll together and check out the fashion fabs and faux pas of the past month.

 

Fashion Faux Pas

I don’t even know your name, call me psychic, but something tells me you’re a Simpsons fan.  The outfit would have been passable if there was only one headshot of Bart, but all over the skirt and top is just plain ridiculous.  Better yet, let’s leave the cartoon characters for your PJ’s, preferably if you live alone.  And if you are bringing someone over, hide your sleepwear along with your other Simpson’s paraphernalia because you will just freak him out.  Last piece of advice:  Do not mix yellow pieces with red unless your name is Ronald McDonald.

 

Fashion Fab

I love the mix of casual and elegance in this ensemble.  You have a casual shirt with a classy, intricately patterned skirt, sweet-looking pumps and purse with a delicate chain that hangs off the shoulder.  Adding to the cute casual vibe, you have a black kitty phone case.  The disheveled hair and oversized sunglasses show people that you just threw this outfit together at the last minute, but your well manicured red nails say, I am very polished!  Bravo.

 

Felony Faux Pas

Where do I begin?  It looks like you, sir, want to get noticed.  I’m thinking that it is a really cold day, but that is no excuse for offensive fashion.  Seriously, if the fashion police got a hold of you, you would definitely get twenty-five to life.  Stick with a palette of two to three colors with only one eye-popping color and lose the fez.  The only thing I’m okay with is your shoes, and even those don’t exactly thrill me.

 

Fashion Fab

This man is definitely in the fashion forefront of street style with an outfit that screams bad boy from top to bottom.  It is refreshing to see that a man does not need to wear a suit and tie to have style.  The power in this outfit lies in the harshness of his multitude of accessories, which include several chains around his neck and one dangling from his waist, a scorpion belt, silver spiked bracers and pitch black, edgy goggles that amps the mystery of this modern urban warrior.  All these accessories adorn an all black outfit and sturdy combat boots.  His sleeveless black hoody with the silver zipper pulls the ensemble together nicely.  When asked, he identified himself as Stryker from the music group Millennium. Figures.

 

Faux Pas

I admire your um, creativity.  Speaking honestly, your outfit is a cross between Japanese sixth grader and Beetlejuice.  Please stop flashing the peace sign at me because your get-up just screams crazy and the peace sign is only helping that image.  You can pick one item from your outfit, but only one, such as your skirt, top or coat.  Then go home and rebuild your outfit from that, using complimentary color tones.  Now run along before anyone else sees you.

 

Fashion Fab

This is an example of how you can still have style even on a chilly day.  The dark chocolate leather jacket and dark, not-too-skinny jeans display functionality in keeping one’s self warm.  But to keep this from looking like a 1980’s Jordache ad is the fact that his rolled up jeans peek just above his slightly worn-looking brown leather shoes and his matching leather belt is casually untucked at the end.  Strangely, the full red scarf that he has perfectly tied around his neck and tucked into his jacket is not de-masculating in any way.  It is actually a refreshing break from his attire, which is entirely made of leather and jeans.  And the final piece is a tan colored leather pack that states that he does not care to be too matchy-matchy with his ensemble.

www.WhoIsMillennium.com

Millennium Releases
‘When We Walk in the Place’ Official Music
Video

By Werner Caspar
                                                
I must have impressed Stryker and Sapphire with my mad swagging skills during our last interview because shortly after, I was invited to the Millennium music video shoot to watch them in action. 

 

Swagging, I learned, is pimp walking with a swagger and is a heavily used theme in the video for their debut single ‘When We Walk in the Place’, a slightly narcissistic dance song about the importance of embracing one's own personal style.  This was going to be a two-day video shoot and they had a lot on the agenda.

Day One:  The first day of the shoot was set in an intimate Hollywood club where roughly a hundred crew and cast members gathered shortly after sunrise.  In the midst of all the commotion, it felt like being at a casting call for Moulin Rouge.  This outlandish circus included a black opera carriage driven by a rather buxom brunette on a sleek motorcycle, a gold-suited pimp, an Asian dominatrix with her muscular man-slaves, an alien, a toddler with her bottle, a drummer boy, an astonishingly rotund woman, Iron Man and more.  Wave after wave of extras filed in and while helping themselves to coffee, were met by an affable and efficient woman with a clipboard who quickly signed them in as club dancer, VIP patron, skeleton gang, etc.  I swear to you that the pizza we ate during lunch break did not have any special mushrooms in it and this was all actually happening.

The gold-suited pimp was Stryker, who brandished a leopard print cane and matching leopard print shoes.  His pimp hat precariously held a three-foot long black feather that poked everyone in the eyes every time he turned around.  The Asian dominatrix was none other than the blue-haired Sapphire dressed in a black leather dress and gloves.  Her ‘pets’ were scripted as two male models whom she kept close by her side in spiked collars and heavy chained leashes.  Earlier that day, we discovered that the two burly Olympians that she had previously auditioned had cancelled at the last possible minute.  Upon learning this, the woman with the clipboard began sizing up the current pool of men to see who could play the part.  Strangely, I was not even in the running.  In the end, it was the drummer and one of the camera men who were chosen, de-shirted, oiled up and collared.  A second later, I saw the anxious camera man fervently doing pushups in the corner as a last ditch effort to beef up his pecks.  Meanwhile, Stryker and Sapphire took the matter in stride- literally.  They were relentlessly swagging to the beat of the music.  When asked why all the practice, Stryker looked at me with a sober expression, ‘I’ve got goldfish in my shoes, bro.’ Point taken.

The crew and the actors took their places and the cameras began to roll.  Scene after scene unfolded and needless to say there was a lot of swagging and a lot of dancing.  It was not even noon and the set looked like a very happening nightclub.  After a quick costume change, they shot a performance scene of Stryker and Sapphire on stage.  He was still dressed as a pimp, but this time in red velvet with zebra print and an oversized wide-rimmed hat.  She was dressed in silver sequins with shiny silver tennis shoes.  Suddenly, they broke into an extremely cheesy 70’s dance routine and the crowd went wild with laughter (think Saturday Night Fever meets Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Air).  After ninety minutes of filming the performance scene, the duo was still on stage having the time of their lives.  Judging by the liquor flowing on set, so were the cast and crew.

The rest of the day proceeded smoothly as they filmed one VIP table scene after another, each having its own unique set of characters including the Blues Brothers, LA gangsters, Virgil Farley and his entourage.  Virgil was the original pimp who, despite his notoriety in the 1980’s, was widely respected by both cons and cops alike.  The table that received the most attention had a petite blond with the word ‘Millennium’ painted across her otherwise pristine body from her voluptuous chest all the way down to her thighs, compliments of body artist Lasco.  At the end of the day, approximately fourteen hours after gathering the cast and crew together, the set was now littered with coffee cups, half-eaten danishes, pizza crusts and upside down shot glasses.  The crew began to break down their gear, and people began exchanging numbers, Instagraming photos of themselves and each other, and saying their farewells.  Everyone was utterly exhausted, except for Milennium who appeared even more energetic than ever as they eagerly talked about the upcoming shoot the next day.

Day Two:  Millennium and crew were now going mobile and virtually every scene would consist of Stryker and Sapphire swagging around town.  The game plan was a bit fluid.  When a particular location struck their collective fancy, Millennium and crew would hop out of their vehicles and film a scene.  For example, if Sapphire needed a peppermint mocha, off we went to the nearest coffee shop to film Millennium swagging with their coffee and newspaper in hand.  They visited a vintage record store, picked up their dry cleaning, and came out of a drugstore with what looked like a pack of Magnum condoms (we won’t ask).  After driving all over town, the crew nonchalantly decided to film a scene of Millennium pumping gas, in a pretty scandalous manner I might add.  I may never look at a pump the same way again.  Needless to say, wherever they walked they drew attention, stopped traffic, and were approached by onlookers.  When a crowd gathered in one location, Millennium took time out to give swagging lessons and the crew obliged by filming these Los Angeles residents strutting their stuff.

After a long day of filming around LA, we headed back to the studio just before sunset.  It was a wrap!  Everyone began to relax and talk about dinner options.  Sapphire removed her thigh high boots and gave a sigh of relief.  Stryker, on the other hand, sat pensive, deep in thought.  Just as someone was about to make a run for burritos and burgers, Stryker said in a steady voice, ‘We need a shot on Hollywood Boulevard.’  After a brief period of stunned silence, protest erupted on all sides.  But after thirty minutes, Stryker convinced the group that it would be the perfect scene for the climax of the song.  As we filmed the final scene of Millennium belting out their last line of ‘When We Walk in the Place’ right in the thick of Hollywood Boulevard, an onlooker cried out, ‘Aw hell no! He got the goldfish shoes!’  Yes, the better to swag with, bro.  Everyone smiled knowing that indeed it was the perfect ending to one amazing and crazy ride.

The music video for ‘When We Walk In The Place’ is now live at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YfOxi56ShQ

You can learn more about Millennium and what they’ve got in the works at www.WhoIsMillennium.com

Mobcity Magazine is a compilation of Millennium press received during the past month. Enjoy!


www.WhoIsMillennium.com

You, Me and the Baby Makes...                                          

By Jody Yaniv

It makes me deeply sad to hear about couples breaking up a year or two after having a child.  I stop to wonder what could have possibly gone wrong to break up a beautiful new family, filled with hope and promise.  Perhaps I am a hopeless romantic when it comes to love and family.  To find someone to love and to create another human being together should be a strong and transcendental bond right?

   

So why is it that shortly after the baby’s first birthday, so often we find out that the new parents are having marital problems.  I understand that it is not easy having a child, but to deem the relationship (and the family) over after a few tough months?  It seems all too rash.  Did they have marital trouble before she became pregnant and were hoping that a baby could bring them closer together?  Or were the added responsibilities of having a child just too much for them?  My eyes start to moisten when I try to imagine what the baby went through during his first few months in this world as his parents’ relationship quickly unraveled.  The arguments, the raised voices, the tension- all arising from his or her sole trusted guardians – must be horribly traumatic.  I also feel sorry for the parents as well.  The mother has gone through so many physical and emotional changes from being pregnant, to delivery, to breastfeeding and taking care of an infant.  And the father’s life has changed drastically as well.  But still, what about the undeniably positive aspects of bringing a new life into this world?  Why is it a joy for some and such turmoil for others to be with one’s family day after day?

What I find especially intriguing are celebrity couples who split up shortly after entering parenthood. Perhaps this is because we are privy to all of the positive and lurid details courtesy of the media.   Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr, J-Lo and Marc Anthony, Christina Aguilera and her ex, Hillary Duff and her ex, just to name a few.  I have not met these people personally, nor do I know what they went through as a couple.  In fact, I do not know if they ever even loved each other.  What I do know is that they have thousands of dollars to spend on home chefs, maids, assistants and child care professionals each month to make their lives infinitely easier and they still couldn’t make it work!  So what hope is there for the rest of us?  The emerging message is that money does not make things easier or better.  So what do families need?  You probably answered with the word ‘love’ and you would be correct.  Second question:  What do you need to do to show, nurture and grow love?  It is not through expensive trips, jewelry or the latest toys for the baby.  Like love, it is something that money cannot buy.  It’s your time.  Family requires your presence, not your presents.

    I don’t understand the term burden, sacrifice or duty when one is referring to family.  These are such strong negative words to describe what should be acts of love.  ‘I sacrificed my job/promotion to spend time with my child.’  ‘It is part of my duty to be a good husband/wife.’  Whatever you do for your family should be done with love and a sense of privilege.  To have a family is a blessing.  Think of all of the single people out there wishing for love or couples out there who cannot have children, or worse, have lost their children?  One shouldn’t have to be reminded that family, not career, should be the number one priority.  If you felt gratitude and appreciation for your family, you would instinctively display your love for them every single day and weather the difficult times together.

I came across a touching story about a young couple named Stryker and Sapphire.  They had met at work, fallen in love and gotten married.  They wanted to have children, but had trouble conceiving.  She saw doctors in Los Angeles, took many tests, experimented with different technologies, tried hormone creams and even saw a fertility specialist abroad.  By then, they had all but given up.  After five years, completely out of the blue, she became pregnant naturally and they were overjoyed.  The pregnancy however, was not without some risk.  The doctor had ordered her on bed rest for a couple of months and the baby arrived six weeks earlier than expected.  Fortunately, their daughter Milan was born healthy and is now a beautiful two-and-a-half year old.  Sapphire and Stryker are both singer/musicians in a group called Millennium and they both feel fortunate that they can work from home and spend all of their time together as a family.  According to Sapphire, ‘I feel so blessed that we were able to have a child.  Milan is a beautiful light in my life and my husband is my rock.  I know that together, we can overcome any obstacles.’ 

‘Any split with children involved is a disaster, whether you’re in the public eye or not,’ says Stryker, the youngest in a family of three that was torn apart by divorce at a very young age.  ‘My experience taught me one thing:  Parents must give as much priority to each other as they do to their children - perhaps, even more.  Because it is only through their example that a child can truly learn how to cherish, love and stand up for another human being.’

Although some of us may not be able to integrate our personal and work lives as closely as this family, there are ways to deconstruct and rethink your life so that you can spend more quality time with your family.  I went to a dinner party a few weeks ago and met a woman name Julianne with an adorable, bright-eyed three month old baby boy.  Through the course of the night, she informed me that her husband worked hard and traveled so frequently for business that the baby would always cry when he was home and would try to hold him. Most people know that fifty percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce.  What cannot be accurately measured is the percentage of couples who are separated or remain miserable in their current relationships. Although this paints a grim picture, I believe this trend could be reversed with a conscious change in priorities, putting our families at the top of the list. Some of the choices that could easily improve the quality of our family life are listed below. Ask yourself honestly:   
   


- Do I work over-time?  If yes, you’re probably not giving your family the priority they deserve.  Ask your employer about capping your hours at a normal eight hour workday.  Also inquire if flex time is an option.

- Do I frequently travel alone for work?  If yes, you may be inviting in a host of marital and family issues by being away for extended periods of time.  Bring your family along on the next trip or speak with your boss about sending one of your colleagues on instead.

- Do I spend more than thirty minutes one-way getting to and from work?  A long commute coupled with long work hours will sap energy that should be reserved for family.  Consider moving closer to work or finding a job that is closer to home.  Although moving or switching jobs is a big decision, it may be well worth it in the long run if it saves your family.

- Is work too demanding or am I unhappy at work?  Consider starting your own business doing something you love.  You can then make your own hours and spend more time with family, have them visit you at the office or even have the luxury of working from home.

- Do I check in with my spouse often during the day?  Communicate with your spouse often to see how they are feeling.  Frequent communication will not only brighten their day but keep your bond strong.

- Do I plan and look forward to taking my spouse out for private, romantic engagements once or twice a week?  Couples time during the week is needed to remind you both of your love and the commitment to one another that goes beyond parenting.

- When I am home, do I often check messages or emails?  If so, learn to put away the phone for the evening and devote one hundred percent of your attention to your spouse and child.  Have dinner together and talk to one another.  After dinner, avoid the television and do something engaging or relaxing as a family.

-When I am home, do I allow my child to spend hours in front of the television, on the phone or i-pad?  Next time, instead of placing a technological device in front of them, try playing with them, reading them stories and talking to them to develop a greater bond with your child.

Most importantly, remember that your life and the outcome of your family relationships are under your control and are governed by the choices you make along the way. Choose wisely.

www.WhoIsMillennium.com

 

Millennium Poised To Compete In Hard Rock Rising
Global Battle of the Bands

By Olivia Carter

The pop rock duo from Los Angeles who call themselves Millennium have gained enviable momentum in the past few months, following the release of their first single ‘When We Walk In The Place’. Their song garnered The Akademia Music Award for Best Dance Song, was picked up by KMIX Radio Los Angeles and has gotten the fashion-forward duo numerous write-ups in the press. So what’s next? Well, for a group that differentiates itself on the basis of being real musicians who actually write all of their own music, the logical next step is to compete in (and hopefully win) the pre-eminent live performance contest of the year: Hard Rock Rising Global Battle of the Bands.

There is also a personal reason for entering this fiercely competitive contest where  thousands of musical acts compete at 82 venue locations worldwide to determine who will go to the global showdown. For Italian-Indian singer Stryker, it can be summed up in one word: Rome. Going to Rome, Italy to compete against the world’s top acts would represent a lifelong dream- bringing their music back home after two generations abroad. Sapphire, who also regards Rome as one of her favorite places on earth, admits to a special feeling when in the eternal city. Both feel an undeniable connection to the culture of Rome and hope to be able to test their mettle in this modern day gladiatorial challenge in front of 40,000 people.

Like the gladiators of old, Millennium is following an intense regimen of rehearsals, gym workouts, yoga and martial arts to elevate their mind and body to the level necessary to go head-to-head with the pros. They embrace the philosophy that battles must first be won in the mind before they can ever be won in the battlefield. They are also very zen-like about the outcome, recognizing that whatever happens in the competition ahead, the true value of it lies in the journey and the lessons they stand to learn along the way.

Want to help Millennium achieve this lifelong dream? Simply click below to vote for them by downloading their free song clip. One minute of your time is all it will take to show support for this talented duo and to help lift them to the final competition.

 

From Stagnation To Swag-Nation

By Christian McGahey

In view of the president’s state of the union address, our nation is facing a crisis.  It is a crisis of apathy on all fronts really- warfare, elections, healthcare, unemployment and yes, even fashion.  We all have our areas of expertise.  I will not pretend to be a political or social expert and waste your time with my trivial opinion on the state of the nation with regard to these important areas. I am a fashion editor and therefore my focus will be on the crisis of apathy towards one’s personal style.  This is one of the few things we have direct and immediate control over and yet it is being 

shamelessly neglected by a good majority of the people. The fashion that I am writing about is not the outfits you find on the Parisian catwalks, rather it's the clothes you wear every day.  The thing that most people fail to realize is that fashion is a reflection of who you are on the inside.  Just as your feelings are an indicator of your internal environment, your fashion also speaks volumes on how you see yourself and how the world sees you as well.  The context for your fashion choice is also essential.  For example, if fashion could speak on your behalf, what would an old flannel shirt, shorts and dingy sneakers say?  If you were wearing them to go hiking or to do some garden work, it would say, ‘I enjoy the outdoors and being around nature’- perfectly acceptable.  But if you wore that same outfit to a fine restaurant, it would state (in a low and depressing voice), ‘Deep down I’m ashamed of how I look.  Maybe if I pretend that I don’t care about how I look, people will think it’s cool.  I’ll make up for it with my wit and sparkling personality.’ 

I am not talking about wearing Dolce or Armani.  What you wear is a personal statement that reveals your uniqueness and creativity and has nothing to do with expensive brand names.  Good taste and impeccable style are gifts that we each hold.  Somewhere along the line, we have built apathy towards our outer appearance believing for some God forsaken reason that it does not matter.  You dressed up for that job interview and, once hired, dressed up for the first few days of work.  Through fashion, you told your work peers that you were sharp, on it and completely put together.  Then you became more complacent about your appearance, eventually wearing wrinkled, mismatched clothes thinking no one would notice.  Business attire turned casual until one day, and every day after, you started bringing that big, comfy, ugly sweater to the office.  Your fashion is now screaming, ‘I don’t give a flying duck (spelling auto-correct) about work.  Put me out of my misery and fire me already.’  Another example:  You finally found someone that you are really into.  You take your time getting ready for the first date, picking the perfect outfit.  Maybe you went shopping for new clothes or shoes or maybe you took your favorite outfit to the cleaners.  Whatever the case, you made sure your outfit said loud and clear, ‘I am hot.  If you choose to be with me out of the millions of other people out there, you won’t ever look back baby.’  Flash forward a year later when you seem to live in t-shirts and sweats and your partner can’t even remember the last time you got dressed up.  Your clothes, and you yourself are saying, ‘Things have become routine, boring and stagnant.  Maybe we should take a break from each other for a little while…’

Do the clothes make the man or does the man make the clothes?  Maybe it is a ‘which came first, the chicken or the egg’ kind of question, in which case, who really gives a ship (spelling auto-correct).  What matters is that they are definitely related.  It is time to choose the clothes that are an exact representation of who you want to be; correction, of who you really are.  Why?  For the sake of career advancement and opportunity, for the sake of a long and stimulating relationship, for the sake of your child who dies of embarrassment every time you pick him up from school, and so that arrogant Maître D will stop giving you that beady eyed glare already.

Now that I have given you the ‘why,’ it is time to start listing the ‘how.’

FASHION TIPS:

1. Take an hour to look through your closet.  Your closet is where you house the clothes that you have collected over the years, some you currently wear, some you would not be caught dead in now, and others that just do not really speak to you anymore.  It is time to turn your closet into a functioning wardrobe.  Separate the clothes that know you will never wear anymore and donate them.  I do not think I need to tell you to throw away any shirts, socks or underwear with stains or holes on them, but just in case.  TMI, I know.

2. Now that you have pared down your clothes some, perhaps you will need to shop for a few items to complete your wardrobe.  Have fun shopping and do not rush the experience.  Let the pieces call to you.  Avoid the sales racks or online shopping at this time because you will just be setting yourself up for acquiring a so-so article of clothing that will go to the donation pile in the near future.

3. Wear clothes that give you confidence.  Nothing says more confidence than clothes that fit perfectly.  Find the right size so it is not too tight or loose and that it is the perfect length- right below the ankle for pants and right below the hip for suit jackets.  For shirts and blazers, make sure that the shoulder measurements are correct.  If needed, find a good, inexpensive tailor to make the necessary adjustments.  Note: The cost of tailoring the outfit should not be more than the outfit itself.

4. Do not be afraid to be daring and original.  As long as the end style is a true reflection of who you really are, feel free to diverge from what is trending now.  Like Macklemore said in his Thrift Shop song, do not be one of those dozen people at a party who pays fifty dollars for the same damn t-shirt.  Choose the clothes that you want to wear and put your own personal swag into it.  By swag, I do not mean ‘silly wild ass guess.’  While it is difficult to describe, it definitely embodies style, confidence and a willingness to be different and you just know it when you see it. I typed in the search word ‘swag’ and came across this link to Millennium, a music group: www.WhoIsMillennium.com/photo. After checking out their photos, well, let's just say you get a sense of just how adventurous personal fashion can get.  It is important to note that your personal style may change over time.  That is okay because it means that you are changing and growing as well and that is a good thing. 

 

It is time to collectively shake off the sweats and the mounting lethargy.  To go from a country of stagnation to Swag-Nation.  To begin to know in our hearts that we can change the world for the better, one article of clothing at a time.  Once our personal truths are no longer suppressed but reflected in our style, we may be better equipped, not to mention better dressed, to tackle our nation’s issues.

www.WhoIsMillennium.com

5 Fitness Tips That Will Serve You Well

By Stryker

Featured in Avant Garde Magazine

Now I already know the first question that’s going to pop into your head. Why should I take fitness advice from you? Okay, so I’m a singer/songwriter for Millennium, a pop rock group from Los

    
 

Angeles. I admit that’s no reason to jump on my fitness wagon. You also shouldn’t take my advice because I happen to be a certified fitness trainer, have an extensive background in nutritional biochemistry, nor because I have a black belt in Shaolin Kenpo. The real reason you should heed the advice that I’m about to give you is this: I’ve been working out consistently since I was 12 years old, without missing a week. That means that what I do in the gym is sustainable over the long haul. I’m no big buff dude, but I’ve maintained the same physique, body fat percentage and lean body mass since I was eighteen years old.  I’m happy with that. For anyone who's interested, here are the basic guidelines that keep me going:

1. Three Times Per Week is Enough
For most people leading hectic lives, this should come as good news. Three 90-minute sessions per week is sufficient to get all of the health benefits of working out (cardiovascular, pulmonary, muscular, etc.). Adding more sessions per week risks over-training and muscle injury which can easily lead to brief or permanent hiatuses from the gym.

2. Forget the heavy weights
From my standpoint, there's no sane reason to grab any dumbbell over 40 lbs or to stack more than 200 lbs on the bench press or squat rack. Ha! This guy is a little punk, you’re saying. That’s the ego talking. Sure, most of us can lift more weight than that. But it’s not going to produce any additional health benefits and it’s exactly that sort of competitive mindset that leads to injury and brief or permanent vacations from the gym. I guarantee you can achieve the same burn safely by using lower weights and by concentrating on good form and slow continuous movement. Another downside of using heavy weights is more insidious. We all have a natural psychological aversion to pain. You may overcome that aversion for a period of time when hormone levels are high and other factors align. However, the moment those factors are not aligned, you will stop going to the gym. Simply put, if you establish a high threshold of pain and intensity in your workout that you cannot consistently meet over the long haul, you are setting yourself up for failure.

3. Stick to simple exercises
I can count on ten fingers the exercises that are needed for a complete workout in the gym. Yes, I know a hundred more exotic exercises. But over time it's the basic linear and circular movements that have proven to be the most effective.  I always have a good laugh over some of the off-the-wall exercises I see fitness trainers instructing their clients to do. Most of those clients never come back after their five-session pass is up. The clients that do stick around continue doing this litany of bizarre and dangerous exercises without any supervision which quickly leads to injury (sometimes even to the people standing nearby!) The truth is, not being able to stick to a simple set of exercises that are beneficial and safe sets you down the wrong path. Be wary of the mind’s subtle attempts to sabotage your workout and resist them by keeping it simple.

  

4. Don’t over-train
This point gets at the heart of what motivates us to work out. In a healthy state of mind, we work out to maintain and enhance the beautiful aspects of ourselves. It is an act of self-love. When we work out our bodies too hard, too fast, over too short a period of time, we are no longer motivated by self-love but by self-hate. We are trying to change the image in the mirror because we don’t like what we see. These kinds of negative emotions are not going to get you through the long haul. The best way to avoid over-training is to 1) limit each exercise to 3 sets of 10 – 12 reps using moderately challenging weight, 2) limit 2 exercises per muscle group and 3) take a rest day in between workout days. There is a sound scientific basis for these limits. Over-training triggers the body’s chemical pathway for ‘fight or flight’ leading to increased cortisol production and the storage of fat. Cardio is another area where people tend to over-train. I tack on a 15 minute jog on the treadmill at the end of my workout and call it a day. After all, brisk weight training is a cardiovascular workout, so there's no need to overdo cardio. Over decades of training, I’ve observed these limits to work very well. Be wary of over-training, as it points to negative motivating factors and directly sabotages our fitness goals.

5. Eat right and avoid sports supplements
The answer to the secret of how to burn fat and tone muscle does not come in a bottle. It comes in the form of a gym membership and a good workout plan. These so-called sports enhancement supplements carry a number of undesirable side-effects that may hurt you in the long run. The only three supplements I have found to be worth taking on a daily basis are ones that everyone should take, whether or not you work out: 1) a multivitamin/multimineral tablet, 2) a calcium tablet (500 mg) and 3) coenzyme Q10 (100 mg). The science supporting these three supplements is irrefutable at this point. That said, it is important to get a sufficient amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat from your daily diet to support your workout and overall health.  This is quite easy if you stick to lean meats, such as chicken breast, fish, non marbled pork and red meat, in conjunction with rice, pasta, vegetables and fruit. Nothing new there. I‘ll be honest, over the long term I'm not sure whether it’s possible to get the macronutrients necessary to support a rigorous workout regimen on a vegetarian diet (but that’s a whole other article). When it comes to diet and exercise, the first concern is having sufficient energy to power through your workout. To this end, it is okay to eat up to 15 minutes before exercising. The second concern is having adequate building blocks for muscle growth and antioxidants to detoxify the body after your workout. A healthy diet with the three supplements mentioned satisfies these requirements every time.

If you’ve read this far, then perhaps you’ve become aware of the fact that effective training is quite simple. It requires positive motivation, discipline to stick to a routine and the ability to procure healthy food. If it’s so simple, then why is it so hard for people to get and stay in shape over the course of their lives? The answer might surprise you: Because people are quick to embrace the idea of looking and feeling healthy, but they want it to happen overnight. They don’t realize that the value of a goal lies not in its achievement, but in the many intervening days of methodical work that produce that outcome. Or to paraphrase Aristotle, excellence is in habit. Only by recognizing and resisting the impulse for immediate gratification, can we take the steps necessary to achieve ideal health in a moderate, self-sustainable fashion. Hopefully, if nothing else, this article serves to focus our thoughts and get us back on a realistic path to long term health.

               'I can count on ten fingers the exercises that are needed for a
                            complete workout in the gym'. - Stryker

www.WhoIsMillennium.com

 

Finally, there’s a station that will make you fall in love with radio again. KMIX Los Angeles ‘The Mix’ is the only station playing songs from the hottest new artists from across the globe in a diverse range of genres, including pop rock, hip-hop, country, folk, latin, dance and electronica.  You’ll love expanding your musical tastes with songs this good from the newest rising stars such as Seven Story Fall, Millennium, Nicky Barot, Shattrholik, Nenna Yvonne and more! The best part is there are NO commercials on KMIX- only great music!

KMIX Radio was recently reorganized and placed under the strategic management of veteran program director Glenn Eisner, who has since revamped the playlist to include a fresh roster of the most promising new artists. “As a commercial-driven station, we were under enormous pressure from management to meet revenue targets. The quality and variety of music we could play was heading in a downward spiral. When the station re-organized, I saw this as an opportunity to once again bring great music to listeners, without the involvement of big corporate interests. I think our listeners are really going to love what we’re unveiling in 2014.”

Tune in now to the best mix of top artists from all over the world only on KMIX Radio- Los Angeles. Listen from your phone, in your car, or from your computer at home or work by simply clicking on:
www.kmix-radio.com

www.WhoIsMillennium.com

 

What Your (Fake) Friends Won’t Tell You

By Kaitlyn Fleur

I just read this really awesome article where the author bitch slaps his twenty-something male readers into shape by simply telling them what they need to hear no holds barred.  It was a ‘how-to-be-a-real-man’ piece that was honestly crude, hilarious and contained a hell of a lot of profanity.  But I have no doubt that reading it has helped tens of thousands of guys out there and that number is probably growing exponentially at this very moment.

I was always taught ‘if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.’  Since reading my new favorite author’s article, I feel liberated to un-bite my lip for once and put out a female version of that article.  There probably hasn’t been a refreshingly blunt article for women because we are sensitive creatures.  We commiserate with each other about how ‘hard’ things are and as a result, keep each other from being the bad asses that we were born to be.  Sadly, we may not even have a real friend who can tell us honestly and directly what we need to hear that could bump up our game and make us better people.  Well ladies, consider me your first real friend.  The kind of friend that will tell you your flaws and beat that inner tigress out of you so you become stronger and better than ever.  This advice is for you.  And since I am a lady myself, I will refrain from any profanity.

Point #1:  Superwoman

Fake Friend:  ‘I know what you’re going through.  It is impossible to do everything.  We’re not Superwoman.  Men have it so easy.’

Real Friend:  Yes, you can be Superwoman.  Be a whirlwind, be a force of nature.  Be perfectly imperfect.  Stop looking flustered and thinking you can’t do it all, because you can.  Sure, maybe you can’t do it all at the same time but that doesn’t mean you should be paralyzed.  Take a breath, and do something on that to do list of yours.  When you’re done, cross it off the list and move on to the next item.  Stop whining.  Stop saying you don’t have any help.  And stop saying that there is no time for everything.  There is always time for something so quit complaining and do that.  You’ll find that you may have more energy to do it all if you stop using your energy towards your mini-meltdowns.

Point #2:  Appearance

Fake Friend:  ‘Stop worrying that you look like you just got out of bed.  You look fine!  We’re just going to the store.’

Real Friend:  Yes, you need to look good all the time.  If you don’t make an effort to be presentable, it tells people that you don’t care about yourself, so why should they?  I don’t mean you need to take two hours a day to primp and get ready.  I repeat- it should not take you more than fifteen minutes to look decent.  If you need to run errands and don’t have a lot of time, just make sure your clothes fit nicely and your hair strands are in their proper place (no Alfalfa hair). Dab a little concealer around the eyes, add a flattering shade of lipstick and voila!  Now you can walk out the door with confidence.  In the same breath, I will say that you shouldn’t put on so much make-up unless it’s a special event or you’re going out clubbing.  You’re not supposed to look like you just stepped off the make-up chair all the time.  You’ll just look like you’re trying too hard and honestly most guys don’t like a lot of make-up on a woman anyway. 

Point #3:  Sex

Fake Friend:  It’s okay that you can’t remember the last time you’ve had sex.  You’ve been so busy.’

Real Friend:  No, it is not okay that you haven’t had sex in a couple weeks or more.  I don’t care if you’re pregnant, have two kids, or pushing sixty, you need to have intimacy in your life.  We are sensual creatures.  We need to feel wanted and we, too, have desires.  If you keep postponing it, your body will assume that you are no longer your young fertile self and it will age.  If you don’t use it, you will lose it so hurry up and get busy.  I would say three times a week is ideal, twice a week minimum.  While it is true that it kind of kills the sexiness if you have to make a sex date with your partner, if plugging it into your planner is the only way it will happen then go for it.  Make it a priority right now.  You’ll feel more sexy and be less bitchy.  It is the ultimate stress reliever. 

If you’ve hit an extremely long dry spell with your man, it may have to do with whether or not you are treating him like a man.  Do you nag him too often like he is a child?  Do you treat him more like a logistics assistant who helps take care of household chores, bills and the kids?  Just asking.  Treat your man like a man and he will treat you like the sexy woman you are.

Point #4:  Kids

Fake Friend:  ‘How’s the little one?  They take up every minute of every day and night don’t they?  Well, I guess we’ll have more time for sleep and everything else when they turn eighteen and move out (annoying laugh)!  Anyway, let’s do a play date soon!’

Real Friend:  Yes, kids are a game changer.  But they can change your game for the better and here’s how.  They teach you to be in the moment through their wonder, joy and delight over all the things we take for granted.  The love you never knew you were capable of giving to another human being makes you care more for other children and humanity as a whole.  They make you a better time manager and thus more efficient in accomplishing the most important things on your list (yes, that includes time for sex).  Do not fall into the trap of making your kids your whole life.  You owe it to yourself, your child, your spouse and everyone and everything you hold dear to have a balanced and fulfilling life.  The minute things feel out of balance, you need to take a time out to de-stress and rejuvenate.  Have your spouse, mom, sister or trusted friend watch the baby for a couple of hours while you go out to a coffee house, gym, yoga class, or even stay at home for a nice hot shower.  Then go back to being your calm, cool and collected self.  I’m not saying it’s easy and I know since I too am a mother.  I’m saying that we need to stop feeling like that juggling monkey on a tightrope and take more control for our happiness and well-being.

Point #5:  Exercise & Other Healthy Habits

Fake Friend:  ‘Are you sure you gained fifteen pounds?  You look great.  In fact, you look skinnier than ever!  Now let’s split a tiramisu already!’

Real Friend:  Put down the fork and go to the gym.  If not for health and longevity, then at least exercise to look good.  No more excuses.  You’ve got to exercise three times a week.  Finding the right workout partner can definitely be a wise move. Sapphire and Stryker of the Los Angeles pop duo Millennium juggle parenthood, a heavy workload and a social life, but they make a point of working out together at least three times per week.  According to Sapphire, ‘Usually only one of us is really down to go to the gym on any given day, but that person carries the torch and makes it happen for both of us.’  While I’m on my fitness soap box, I’ll add quit smoking altogether and stop drinking like you’re borderline alcoholic.  I’ve seen young women in their twenties who look like they are almost forty (wrinkles, dull skin tone) due to night after night of cigarettes and shots.  Stop now.  If you’re ‘only a social drinker/smoker’ but you party hard three or more times a week, then ease up and stop being so ‘social.’

Point #6:  Knowledge

Fake Friend:  ‘Why do you want to learn how to do that?  When are you going to have the time anyway?  Let’s just go shopping and then be home in time for Glee later.’

Real Friend:  You need to make the time to develop more knowledge and skill sets.  If you’ve got Point #2 (Appearance) covered, then be mindful that you’re not spending so much time in front of the mirror that you neglect your beautiful brain.  We focus too much time (not to mention a good chunk of our paycheck) on looking good.  Just add up the cost of all your make-up, moisturizers, lotions, hair care products, designer clothes, purses, heels, etc. and you’ll be able to feel me on this one. That’s not to mention the trips to the hair and nail salons and occasional facial.  And where has all that taken you?  Are you now a gorgeous goddess that everyone flocks to and worships?  Even if you do look good, you are just another pretty face or nice body in a sea of hundreds of thousands of other beautiful women.  And there are more hot women springing up every day.  Sickeningly, they also seem to be getting younger every year.  Anyway, you need something else that will make you stand apart from others.  If you say you have a great personality, than kudos for you.  But there are a lot of pretty women who are nice as well.  What else have you got?  Think more about accomplishments versus character traits and you’ll be on the right track.

I could probably go on, but the truth is I’m kind worried I’m pissing off a lot of you women out there.  Instead of thinking of me as a real friend, you’re probably thinking I’m a real bitch.  Well, honesty can be a real bitch sometimes too.  Hopefully I’ve given you something to think about.  Who knows, maybe you’ll even thank me later.  Don’t worry, I won’t hold my breath.  Say what you want, but unlike you’re so-called friends, I want you to be the best that you can be.  You’re welcome.

www.WhoIsMillennium.com

Mobcity Magazine is a compilation of Millennium press received during the past month. Enjoy!


www.WhoIsMillennium.com

The Sultans of Swag
How a trip around the world turned an ordinary couple into something else

By Michael Stratford

Opposites do attract on so many levels.  Growing up, she was the shiest Asian-American in metropolitan Los Angeles and he was a rebel-rouser in small town Peoria, Illinois.  If they went to the same high school, they would have hung out in very different circles.  They probably wouldn’t have said two words to each other.  Ironically, they were both very studious.  She went to college to study Chemistry and he studied Biochemistry.  Both got their Masters in Business Administration.  But she was the nerd who sat in the front row taking notes, and he was the smart ass who loved challenging the teachers and making the other students laugh.  They also had an affinity for music.  She took private piano lessons for ten years and joined the church choir.  He trained in piano, cello and bass guitar, and composed and produced his own songs.

His home town evidently became too small for him because at twenty-one years old, he packed his bags into a rickety old Dodge and drove to Los Angeles in search of something.  A few years later, she graduated from college and joined the workforce. Their paths crossed for the first time at a large nutrition company, both having landed jobs in the same department.  She was still the good girl, attentive and respectful during meetings, and he still had the rebellious streak, constantly challenging protocols and procedures.  But they were intrigued by each other and began spending time outside of the office.  They each liked being with someone who was so different from themselves.  Of course there were clashes.  She would tell him to slow down and try to follow the rules for once.  He would tell her to stop holding herself back and be a little more crazy.  This tug of war only accelerated their evolution as people and developed into a bond that was unshakeable.  They knew each other's strengths and weaknesses, helped to foster each other's talents and had each other’s backs at all times. 

Life grew stable and he again began searching for meaning in what had become a predictable professional path.  They took trips to Brazil, Philippines, Italy, France and Turkey, but it only intensified their desire to experience new frontiers.  At the time, the Middle East was constantly in the news, its people and their religious beliefs largely enigmatic or misunderstood by the western world.  Perhaps the answer to what they were searching for lay there.  After much deliberation, they jumped the corporate ship and moved to Turkey.  Living overseas was everything they had imagined and more. Their time there provided the opportunity to reflect and also brought them into close contact with causes that became dear to their hearts.  During this time, they also faced countless challenges, including tacit accusations of being CIA agents (why else would a couple with their education, martial arts training and no apparent business ties settle there?) After two years living abroad, they just woke up one day, gazed across the splendid vista of the Mediterranean and knew it was time to return.  But the life they would return to was destined to be different this time.  Their time in the volatile Middle East had somehow given them clarity of purpose and the confidence to enter a different type of war zone - the music industry. They moved back to Los Angeles to create music together.

    Like most creative works, the process was a bit like alchemy. Melodies would come to him during the night and he would record a rough vocal take on his Android phone in the darkness, half asleep with eyes squinting. They'd write lyrics over the breakfast table or in a cafe and took their time cultivating each song. Then they would record their voices, hers a soft soprano and his, a steady tenor.  They would both smile at each other when it sounded and felt right, and laugh hysterically when it didn't. Composing, producing and mastering were all done by him. They had been back in Los Angeles about a year and were performing at The Roxy on Sunset Boulevard.  That's when things began to happen. One of the audience members turned out to be Ken Wilson, the Arista and Warner Brothers executive behind Alicia Keys, Mariah
   

Carey and K-Ci & JoJo among others. Ken had enjoyed their set and invited them over to his table afterwards.  He then said something that would change their view forever and open up a new window. He pointed to the crowd and said, “Look at all of those people in their shirts and jeans with a drink in hand after a long day at work. You talk like them and you dress like them, but you’re not like them. You need to let the freak out.”  And with that simple bit of advice, the last vestiges of doubt fell away. Thenceforth, they continued to consult with Ken, whose sage advice proved invaluable. They also began working closely with Kevin Black, the Interscope executive behind Eminem, Black Eyed Peas, Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani & Prince, Kevin's partner Jahnei Neamo, and BJ Lobermann of Virgin Music. On the production side, Nalo Duvalle, Omer Avni, Adam Peri, Andrew Achilleos, Javier Mosley and Gordon McGinnis were among the multi-platinum producers who helped them to refine their sound. However, such collaborations occurred sparingly in order to preserve the creative integrity of their music. In general, they learned to heed advice that resonated with them, while other suggestions like ‘Let’s bring in a team of songwriters', ‘Let’s get artist X to sing this hook', 'Let’s get four strippers in bikinis to dance on stage' or ‘Don't let people know you’re a couple’ were all politely put aside.  They knew who they were and what they wanted. Throughout this process, they truly came into their own style, music and purpose.

That was two years ago. They now call themselves Millennium. They half-joke that they will be together for a thousand years.  She is Sapphire and he is Stryker.  The origin of their names is not known.  Their debut album Fusion is a collection of songs in a range of genres, such as pop rock, dance, funk and reggae, inspired by their life-changing journey together.  It is a story of the fusion of two lives into one and the exultant and difficult times shared throughout the years.  Having been among the first to hear the album (which is due to land in stores in the near future), I can say that it is rare for such  a combination of songwriting ability, musicianship and artistic identity to occupy the same space and time- perhaps occurring only once in a generation. Millennium's first single ‘When We Walk In The Place’ is a bold dance song about embracing one’s own personal style. From a couple that has walked all around the world and back, this song carries added weight.  The truth is, even before they donned the spikes, jewels and furs, the couple drew attention.  People here and overseas would comment that they had this positive energy. But until they learned to take risks and embrace their own identity, that energy had been largely muted. And so the opposites that we invite into our lives, be them our choice of relationships, new living environment or career, wind up serving the vital role of testing and defining us. If we live our lives in the safe lane, we never acquire that self-knowledge. And without that, other knowledge we acquire really doesn't add up to much. Such has been the journey of Millennium. Back from a soul-searching stay in the Middle East, one thing is clear: Personal style is definitely something that these Sultans of Swag have got locked down. The next step is up to them.

www.WhoIsMillennium.com

    

Millennium's Bold Dance Single 'When We Walk In The Place' Generates Global Buzz

By Werner Caspar

It was just an ordinary day for Millennium in Los Angeles. I was sitting across the table with my pen and pad. Stryker was sipping his coffee reading the Wall Street Journal and Sapphire was thumbing through emails on her Android phone. The breakfast table was littered with the wreckage of pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon and fruit. Suddenly Sapphire shrieked causing Stryker to spill his coffee and momentarily bite his lip in mild irritation. "Newswire wants to feature us in an article!" she gushed excitedly. "And it's titled..." She paused for dramatic effect. "The Sultans of Swag!". Stryker shoveled more pancake into his mouth, took a big swig of coffee and looked up with a grin. "Cool!"

Like I said, it was just another day for Millennium, the innovative pop duo out of Los Angeles, California that is quickly generating a buzz for some good reasons. First, Millennium has a look that turns heads. Even on an off day, Stryker is typically seen with a fur on his shoulders, high-tech goggles, spiked wristbands and giant black combat boots. Sapphire, is often spotted in a tight metallic silver dress with white fur boots and lots of bling (sapphires of course). Secondly, they write, compose and produce all of their own music. While Stryker will insist that the music they create is derivative, drawing upon the work of his favorite artists from decades past, it does feel like a breath of fresh air in the stagnant mire of pop music. The truth about Millennium is this:  The two live in a sphere that few of us could fathom or understand- a combat zone of beats, fashion and original music. It occupies their every thought and word from the moment they sit down to breakfast to discuss strategy to the moment they retreat from the studio late at night. Millennium is a force to be reckoned with, gifted with great songwriting ability and an unusual ambition to express their life experiences through music.

Millennium's first single "When We Walk In The Place" is the perfect opener. It's a bold and slightly narcissistic dance
song about the importance of embracing one's own personal style- at first listen. However, I'm convinced that in a society that is becoming increasingly homogeneous and creativity disinclined, the seriousness of the song cannot be dismissed. Curious to know the real inspiration behind 'When We Walk In The Place', I asked Millennium if my alternate impression was correct. Both exchanged nervous glances, seeming uneasy that such a critical interpretation should arise. "Honestly, we weren't thinking that deep when we wrote it. It's actually a song that ran through my mind when we'd walk into a restaurant, bar or club. It's completely self-centered and comical. I think that'll come through in the music video." So what's the video about? "Well, you'll have a to wait a couple weeks to see, but basically we're just swagging across the city running errands, getting coffee, going to the drugstore, dry cleaners, gas station..." Okay, that all sounds rather tame. But that's probably exactly what they want me to think. This duo doesn't do tame so there's bound to be a catch.
    

What's swagging? "Swagging is what people first started calling our walk when we started filming the video. It's pimp walking with swagger, or  Swagging for short. It garnered enough laughter on set that we decided to film an entirely separate video 'Swagging In L.A.' which features ordinary Los Angeles residents doing their version of swagging.  It really is quite entertaining." Swagging? Hmm, is it a bit like this? I ask the question while beginning a faltering limp across the living room floor that sends both Stryker and Sapphire into a fit of laughter. "You've got it brother. You're swagging!"

Judging by the writeups Millennium is receiving in Newswire, Avant Garde, Source One and others in response to their first single, Millennium is seriously swagging too. The new dance club hit 'When We Walk In The Place' can be purchased here on:

           

www.WhoIsMillennium.com

    


The Art Of Swag

By Benjamin Rowley

It has been over two thousand years since Sun Tzu authored the Art of War, perhaps one of the most influential and definitive treatises on military strategy and tactics of all time. Since then, would-be leaders and conquerors from across the world have drawn inspiration from his work.  Since time immemorial, wars have been an instrumental force in defining our national boundaries, our political, economic and social structure- whether we’ve favored them or not.  Most people despise warfare because of the toll in human life and the economic cost that always trades off with healthcare, social services and education. But until recently, war has been viewed as a necessary evil as evident by the U.S. defense budget of $716 billion last year. Then an interesting thing happened with the recent crisis in Syria. While there was a clear moral case for a military strike against President Assad’s regime following the use of chemical weapons, there emerged no collective cry from

the global community for such a strike. The truth is that the world is tired of war being used as a means for achieving political, economic or ideologic objectives. Defend your homeland if attacked? Absolutely. But other than that increasingly rare scenario, war simply doesn’t add up to a positive number in the final value calculation.  The battlefield that Sun Tzu originally depicted is no longer relevant. So what comes next?

It is not written on bamboo scrolls.  It has not been printed in books. It has not made any newspaper headlines. Yet, there is an audible rumble in the ether that may soon reveal a new social and political force to be reckoned with. Like money, it conforms to the rules of the have and have-nots, but it is not financial in nature. It is more powerful than governments, stronger than corporations, more influential than the media and it is already right under our noses. Swag.

While it is nearly impossible to describe what ‘swag’ is, one key aspect seems to hold true.  Swag is closely correlated with entertainment. In the old paradigm, governments and the military wielded power, corporations wielded money and the mass media wielded influence. Swag, on the other hand, will operate in counterintuitive ways, promising to rewrite all of these past rules. For example, here’s what the new era of swag means for:

Politics                          

The old axiom: A government is more powerful than any one individual.

The Swag axiom: An individual is more powerful than any government, and way more interesting.

Nothing new or truly creative has happened in the halls of any government since its inception. Who would you rather sit down to chat with for thirty minutes, Obama or Robert Downey, Jr? Might be a tough call for some, but not for most. Take home message to governments: Understand your function in the new era and adapt. The political system is not interesting to anyone anymore. Yes, it inspired some cool espionage movies, but you can’t keep taking credit for Matt Damon’s work. Get in line quick or risk being dismantled for something with more swag.

Business

Old axiom: Corporations are the most efficient factors of production for tangible and intangible products, including music, film and art.

The Swag axiom:While corporations may continue doing a fine job of making our toothbrushes and vitamins, they’ve got no swag when it comes to intangible products.

The committee mentality of corporations always cause any truly creative product to regress to the mean. When a group of people are involved in any creative decision, the result is a mediocre offering so devoid of swag that is has no value in the new era. Meaningful music, film or art can only come from an individual. The enterprising corporations recognize this and have switched their focus to bankrolling the already-successful, creative individuals. Interestingly, this axiom also seems to hold true for intangibles such as financial products or telecom services. How many more billion-dollar class action lawsuits can Bank of America withstand for defrauding customers with its intangible fee practices? Let’s see. Take home message to corporations: Stick to making tangible items cheaper, better and faster than your competitors. When it comes to intangible products, just realize that you’re hopelessly out-swagged and will eventually have to resort to unscrupulous practices to show a profit.

Mass Media

Old axiom:Mass media shapes people’s preferences and beliefs.

The Swag axiom: The individual determines their own preferences and beliefs through exposure to an unlimited and un-vetted body of information via the web and social media.

It doesn’t matter where something comes from or who wrote it. All that matters is whether or not it resonates with you. Besides, when is the last time you actually bought a magazine off the news stand or watched the nightly news?  Take home message to mass media: Give up on trying to play God with people’s minds. The best thing you’ve got going for you is communication infrastructure. Keep that running well and leave the interesting content to individuals with creativity and yes, swag. That last thing the world wants to see is another season of American Idol or the Bachelor.

Relationships

Old axiom:Your financial success is more important than your relationships.

The Swag axiom: Family and relationships come first.

Your primary relationship and your family is the foundation upon which all true success is built.  The most expensive marble table will fall to pieces and be worthless if the legs give out. Somehow, this wisdom got lost over the years in favor of materialism and narcissism. Now, proponents of that mentality are lonely, unhappy, and stuck with three sets of alimony payments. Hmm, couldn’t see that coming during the ‘I’m about my paper, bitch’ hip-hop era of the last two decades.

Money

Old axiom: Being a billionaire is the highest aspiration a person can hold.

The swag axiom: Billionaires are completely swagless.

Swag is authentic and founded upon the personal struggle to assert one’s own complex and often conflicting identity upon the world. It needs no money behind it, it needs no executive team behind it, and it needs no corporate sycophants rallying behind it. Swag and the entertainment value it holds is the new world currency. Why do you think all of these billionaires are frantically trying to rewrite their legacy by buying their way into charities and rallying behind social causes? You can’t buy love, baby. And you can’t buy swag. 

       

Take home message to would-be billionaires: The big lesson of the past few decades is just how quickly things go to hell when money becomes the operating criteria. Evidence of its corrupting effect is clear in every sector- government, higher education, healthcare, banking, media, you name it. Trust me, what didn’t work for these sectors, isn’t going to work for you. Take money out of the discussion when establishing your priorities and give your swag a chance to breathe.

Marketing

Old axiom: You can create any image or backstory for a person or product and people will eventually buy into it.

The Swag axiom: Swag is all about authenticity.

By authenticity, I mean basic self-acceptance. It’s our strengths and our vulnerabilities that make a person intriguing. Authenticity also plays out through our deeds. It’s also about the willingness to eschew a steady paycheck in order to pursue something that is personally meaningful. In other words, swag can’t be fabricated – not by a corporation and not by you. It must be earned.

If history proves correct, what began as a rumble in the ether will likely turn into a mighty roar as this new paradigm rewrites all of the rules and assumptions of the past era. Which brings me to the couple pictured in this article. I first met Millennium when they performed at a Los Angeles night club nearly two years ago. After watching the third flannel and jeans wearing rock band exit the stage, Millennium came on and I suddenly woke up.  Stryker walked on stage wearing a gold fur, goggles and giant black combat boots and Sapphire followed sporting a metallic silver body suit and white fur boots.  As I was making my way to the main bar, they tore into the first song of their set generating a wall of sound unlike any of the other acts. They delivered song after great song, moving around the stage in a euphoric cyclone. Then suddenly, their set was over and they were gone from the stage. Later that night, I spotted Stryker with his arm around Sapphire in the VIP area splitting a bottle of red wine. Both were laughing and talking with a trio of people outside the velvet ropes. In the deafening roar of the club, I had an epiphany. Swag. The word just popped into my head. I couldn’t remember any of the other artists’ songs that night- they all seemed to meld from one into the other. But I remembered Millennium and their music.

By the time I had organized my thoughts for this article, Millennium was already generating a buzz and I knew I wanted to feature them. Sure enough, when I typed in the URL for their website www.WhoIsMillennium.com, there on the home page in bold type was a quote from another magazine ‘Sultans of Swag’. I felt a rush of excitement, like a scientist who had just had his results confirmed by another scientist. It wasn’t just me. Swag was real.

www.WhoIsMillennium.com

Sexuality vs. Sensuality

By Theodora Conrad

 

 

Let me let you in on a secret.  Being attractive has less to do with how you actually look and more to do with how you act.  That ‘it’ factor, that special something that leaves us breathlessly attracted to someone is…sensuality.  The ability to be sensual is within each of us.  It is a higher order art form that is practiced and crafted to perfection over a period of years.  Unfortunately, in modern times the art of sensuality has largely been lost and replaced by its vulgar distant cousin twice removed- sexuality.  The words sensuality and sexuality may appear to be similar but in actuality, they cannot be any more different.  In an attempt to describe this lost art form, we must in fact argue semantics and there is no way around it.  To understand the essence of sensuality, we need to understand sexuality and via comparison and contrast, identify and develop this latent power inside us.

In sexuality, what you see is what you get.  There is no mystery or intrigue.  Once the other has seen and perhaps experienced what you have to offer, there is a law of diminishing gratification and he or she will look for something else to catch their attention.  Both the journey and the destination are all about (meaningless) sex, as indicated in the word sexuality.  A person with amped sexuality is a firecracker that fades as quickly as it goes off- a bonfire that is big and bright in one moment, and a pile of embers the next.  What is probably off-putting about sexuality is that it is a very masculine type of trait.  It is an aggressive, sometimes intimidating, impetuous, in-your-face display that stamps you with an expiration date in the eyes of so-called admirers.  Ouch, but true.

On the other more refined hand, sensuality is mysterious and intriguing.  It will keep those of both sexes fascinated and wondering what you do to make yourself so damn appealing.  Sensual individuals take their time enjoying their movement, radiating a palpable energy.  Being sensual is a soundless intimate conversation with another.  It is a dance, a duet.  And when a sensual being decides to be intimate with someone, it is incredibly pleasurable to both parties and can almost be considered to be a divine act.  As opposed to sexuality, sensuality is a feminine trait.  It is a warm, inviting, attractive energy that makes others feel privileged to be in your presence.

The issue with today’s single population who bemoan the fact that they are still single is that they are either too sexual or not sexual at all.  They do not realize that there is a broader and more pleasing alternative.  For decades now, the concept of true sensuality has been lost to the individual.  This is probably because its dominant and blatant cousin was more useful in raking in the dollars. Hence the expression ‘sex sells’.  Sexuality is connected to almost every product in the market, from video games to cars to cigarettes.

Even pop icons today are notorious for lewd, crass, unapologetic behavior in an attempt to be so-called sex symbols.  You have Justin ‘I-can’t-take-my-hand-off-my-crotch’ Bieber, the S & M Queen Rihanna and the twerking, tongue-wagging Miley.  Unfortunately there are some things that you cannot un-see.  It is all a pathetic attempt to create shock value through explicit sexual suggestion.  Their examples of overt sexuality are fostering a generation of both young, awkward nymphomaniacs and young, withdrawn asexuals.  Perhaps that is a slight exaggeration but it might not be too far from the truth.  In fairness, there are pop artists out there who demonstrate more polish and sophistication without waiving originality and edginess.  Whether they possess a higher degree of maturity, self-honesty, or are simply willing to reveal more vulnerability, the net effect is greater sensuality.  For example, I came across an up and coming pop duo from Los Angeles called Millennium who is actually a husband and wife team.  Looking through their website, it is difficult to find any explicit sexuality in their songs, photos or music videos.  And yet, the couple oozes swagness and sensuality and you will not find their music lacking either.

What makes sensuality special is that it focuses on the beauty of one’s inner self, whereas sexuality is focused almost solely on the outer self and is truly superficial.  Now that we have extensively defined the two terms, which type of person would you rather be, a sexual or a sensual person?  I thought so.  While sex does in fact sell, it is cheap and inferior to priceless sensuality.

www.WhoIsMillennium.com

New Year's Resolutions

By Tameka Gaillard

Welcome to a new year and welcome to a new you.  You have got to love the start of a new year, brimming with hope and excitement and ripe with potential.  Amazing change is right at your doorstep and it all begins with your New Year’s resolutions, your blueprint to an exciting, new life.  I cannot overemphasize the importance of writing down your resolutions. It is the necessary act of articulating what you want and what is important to you.  Perhaps you believe that your resolutions are pretty

much standard and do not require a lot of thought- lose ten pounds, make more money, find the perfect relationship, etc. Well, if you wrote out your resolutions in such a general way e.g. ‘lose x pounds’ then yes, it is probably on everybody’s list.  But what makes written resolutions unique to the individual and an incredibly effective tool in creating life changes are the details.  How do you want to lose that extra weight?  At the gym, running outdoors or learning to play tennis?  How do you want to better your financial situation?  Finding a higher paying job, getting a second job or starting your own business?  And how are you going to find ‘the one?’  Going out to more social events, getting set-up by one of your friends or online?  These choices and all the fine yummy details are staggering and only you can answer them.  The more specific the resolution, the greater the chance the resolution will materialize and thus, a happier new you.

I would venture to guess that your response would be along the lines of ‘Well, if resolutions were so important, then why don’t more people change for the better year after year?’  Good question.  My answer would be that as people grow older, they become more comfortable with their daily routine, i.e. where they go, what they do and who they see, making change difficult.  Interestingly, the people around them are also comfortable with seeing them the same way and may inadvertently keep them stuck in a rut.  Even though on the inside they are earnestly searching for something new, different and better, there is a fear of change that keeps them from exploring the world and living up to their full potential.  I truly understand the routine mentality.  I like knowing what the schedule is days beforehand.  Anything less would make me anxious.  I do not do well with uncertainty, surprises and spontaneity.  But these are the conditions where change thrives.  My ninety-year old violin teacher, the sweetest most wholesome woman with fiery Lucille Ball hair once told me that ‘A life without change is a life full of regrets.’  Through the years, I have taken that wisdom to heart and have been less resistant to change.  I have come to think of change not as an intruder but more as a welcome visitor.

How does one invite change into their lives, without leaving it all behind to go backpacking in Tibet or riding a motorcycle all over South America?  Perhaps the key is allowing a little of the extraordinary to enter your everyday ordinary.  I came across an interesting music video the other day where a handsome couple was doing normal everyday errands together such as going to the drugstore, the cleaners and even pumping gas.  Seems pretty mundane, however he was dressed as a pimp with a gold silk suit wielding a leopard cane and she had thigh high silver boots and electric blue hair.  With their smiles and laughter, they looked like they were having the time of their lives at a space-aged party instead of running around doing chores.  The well-chosen title of this video was ‘When We Walk In The Place,’ by Millennium.  I am not suggesting that you run to the nearest thrift shop or dye your hair some funky color, although if those actions call to you for some reason, then maybe you should try it.  The point is that change first begins with the mind.  We can learn something from these ‘Sultans of Swag’ about opening our minds to the multitude of possibilities and realizing that we have some control over our life and happiness.  Whether your life is mundane or magical, it is all up to you.  I admit I felt a little bit liberated after watching this video.

It is not too late to write down your New Year’s resolutions.  Take your time with it and enjoy flushing in the details.  Call me old-fashioned but I think keeping that list visible every single day will actually ensure that those resolutions will manifest and not get swept under the rug again this year.  It is your personal letter to the universe saying ‘this year is the year that I will make things happen’ and the universe responds with a helping hand or a nudge in the right direction along the way.  I wish you all an eventful and extraordinary year!

www.WhoIsMillennium.com

Does A College Degree Matter Anymore?

By Olivia Carter

In an economy where the unemployment rate is high and job growth is slow, it’s no secret that more universities are stepping up their marketing efforts to attract students with the lure of high-paying jobs after graduation. Job placement statistics have become a measure of a university’s competitiveness and are a key component of nearly every university brochure or website. At the same time, there has also been a flood of new entrants into the business of higher education, most catering to students seeking trade or technical training for a specific profession. The combination of these factors makes the short-term trend in higher education crystal clear- universities must produce employable graduates who can fill the slew of entry-level jobs that still remain in the nation’s sputtering economy. The federal government couldn’t agree more, throwing both money and fast-tracking authority behind educational programs with the potential to reduce the nation’s staggering unemployment rate.

  






However, the entry level jobs that most colleges are now aiming students for are jobs with little opportunity for advancement or career growth. Meanwhile, many layers of middle and upper management, along with many departments, are vanishing as companies find ways to improve and automate their core processes. The jobs that are increasingly available require a sufficient level of technical training and the ability to do repetitive work for a long time – or at least until the company can find a way to automate even those tasks. In an effort to grow enrollment and contain spiraling overhead, universities are falling over each other to capitalize on this trend. As a result of this shift, what is happening to the requirements for obtaining a university degree? Furthermore, for those not interested in working a repetitive job for the rest of their lives, what value does a college degree still hold?

We followed up with a number of graduates in different professions to find out:

Eric, a graduate in Finance from Rutgers State University of New Jersey did a brief stint as a low level analyst at a large mutual fund company before realizing that there was no opportunity for career advancement. He quit and founded his own investment firm, in conjunction with two partners. “I expected things to be different when I graduated, but the economic climate was just not favorable. Much of what I needed to succeed was going to have to be learned out in the field by running my own business. Although the college credentials look good on paper, I could probably have jumped into this straight out of high school.” In spite of this, Eric still endorses the overall shift in higher education, if not slightly tongue in cheek, stating that “I’m glad to see colleges becoming more practical and job-oriented. Especially when it comes time for us to interview and hire more interns.”

Stryker, a graduate in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois-at Urbana Champaign, began working in the nutrition industry before taking an unusual turn to became a singer and producer for Los Angeles-based pop rock group Millennium. “I was lucky to attend a strong liberal arts university before this recent shift in higher education. Universities should not be looked at as job-training. It’s a once in a lifetime chance to broaden your imagination and knowledge in a safe environment. The best thing you can take away from those four years is the ability to learn.” When asked why he took such a radical turn after graduation, he replied calmly “Most people don’t know what they want to be when they go to college. In my case, I knew I wanted to do music but my parents didn’t agree. But that was fine, because I wasn’t there for job training. I was able to get a well-rounded education and write music on the side. Bottom line is this- A degree shouldn’t define a person, it should give them a higher level of freedom.”

Jeffrey, a human resources specialist for one Fortune 500 company agrees and is conflicted over the trend in higher eduation. “On the one hand, we are receiving more specifically qualified applicants for entry level positions each year. On the other hand, many of them may not have the broad-based education and creative communication skills required to take on higher level positions in the future.”

www.WhoIsMillennium.com

How To Look Good For A Video Shoot

By Alessandra Clarence

Whether it is a music video, a company holiday party, or your best friend’s wedding, there is more to looking your best on the big day than make-up, a manicure and a hot dress.  In fact, the clock begins ticking at least one week before the event.  I am not talking about any radical diets or extreme exercise programs, which may zap your energy and have you feeling moody, stressed or groggy.  The idea is that you should enjoy the occasion to the fullest and of course, look amazing at the same time.  We turned to Sapphire, singer for pop rock group Millennium and the mistress of transformation for a few tips on how she prepares for video shoots.

  

Do you look forward to video shoots or do you dread them?

I actually welcome them because it’s a chance to get your body on track again just in case you haven’t been eating the best foods, working out as much as you should or not getting enough sleep.  I see the shoots as a reminder that I need to take care of my body.  The most expensive makeup artist and lighting and camera equipment cannot make you look well rested, vibrant or healthy.

So what is the first step to fabulous?

At least one week before the shoot, I begin to be aware of what I normally eat and drink on a daily basis and make sure to cut out all the naughty stuff.  We all have our weaknesses.  For me, it is flavored lattes, cheese and desserts.  This first step is an exercise in restraint. 

And what are the next steps?

The steps that follow require me to be a little more proactive:

- I step up my usual workout regimen by going to the gym an extra two days that week, staying for an hour longer than normal, and using weights that are at least 5-10 lbs. more than I’m used to.  Working out with my partner in crime, Stryker, is key to keeping me focused and determined.  I also take fitness classes that are one level more difficult than I normally take.

- I have chicken breast or fish the week up to the shoot, rather than having other dishes like pasta or beef with rich sauces.  I also consciously eat more veggies and fruit.

- I drink water all throughout the day and while I am having my meals to keep me from overeating.

- I make it a point to get 8 hours of sleep every night.  If I am not able to get 8 hours, I take a nap or make sure I get some physical rest the next day.

That doesn’t seem too bad.  And what do you do on the day of?

Video shoots have been known to last 20 hours straight.  I have a big breakfast, a large cup of dark roast coffee and treat the day like one big adventure.  I feel like the hard work is now behind me and now I only need to focus on being present, being genuine for the camera and having fun!

www.WhoIsMillennium.com

   

The Day I Found My Voice

By Sapphire

All these years of feeling trapped, tense, constricted and holding my tongue.  Out of the blue, I was offered an opportunity to express myself freely, unabashed, whole-heartedly as the part of Sapphire in the music group Millennium.  Sapphire is not some fictional character that I made up to attract attention.  She is to me what the Phoenix is to Jean Gray. We are the same person, but she is the part of me that was suppressed from the world as I was growing up.  I admit that I am frightened showing this part of me.  But there is a faint voice telling me that I owe it to that four-year-old girl inside me to continue to pursue this path and see where it leads.  That way, all those years of being afraid would not feel so wasted somehow.  Regardless of how intimidating this new role is for me, there will be no other opportunity like this again.  I refuse to add this to my list of regrets.

To me, being in Millennium is not about me singing.  Unlike me, there are many amazing singers out there who can belt out notes like nobody’s business.  I am just a soft soprano with a limited range, a C+ on vocal aptitude at best.  It is about channeling the songs through me to allow me to express myself and my personality more openly and to awaken elements of me that I never knew existed.  This is similar to how an actor uses the script to channel emotions that already exist within them, thereby bringing their character to life.  The difference is, as I mentioned before, Sapphire and I are the same person.  It comforts me to know that no one else can play the role of Sapphire.  No one else has her personality.  No one else has her voice.  Whether she skips on stage or trips on stage, she will be real and authentic.  She will be me.

My motives for being in Millennium are not purely selfish.  Deep down, I want to connect with people.  I have avoided making strong connections with people for most of my life.  I wanted to prevent the possibility of disagreements, misunderstandings or hurt feelings but in the end, I missed out on many good friendships and many happy moments.  I refused to take on the bitter and thereby missed out on the sweet.  From now on, be it love or hate, for better or for worse, I am ready to be vulnerable, honest and open to the world.

I believe everyone’s story is special.  Everyone’s voice, regardless of how small, should be heard.  If you go through a very difficult or painful experience, every time you say yes to an opportunity, you are moving forward.  You begin to live life fully, as you were meant to.

www.WhoIsMillennium.com

Merchandise Matrix

By Jody Yaniv

Do we really buy a product for the product itself, or do we buy into the notion that we will become a different person after acquiring that product?  Is that item some kind of magical amulet that will transform you into a more desirable individual with a charisma quotient that goes through the roof?  If you really believe that to be the case, then the price of those brand new boots, sunglasses, watch, smartphone or fill-in-the-blank is a definite bargain. 

Regretfully, I have spent thousands of dollars on material items that have given me a few hours of gratification at best, but have not changed me in any way.  A good portion of my youth has been spent trying to discover my best, most incredible self in malls or store catalogues.  By some random fluke, I was able to receive several fashion magazine subscriptions for free.  After a few months of sifting through endless ads on facial serums, clutches and bangles, I had the startling realization that I have been living in a Merchandise Matrix all my life.  Everywhere I go, whether it is in my car, online or watching television, there was some billboard, ad or commercial telling me I needed this one special product to make my life complete.

        

 

 

 

Not everyone goes through this aha-I’m-living-in-a-web-of-lies moment in the same manner, if at all.  For Sapphire, a singer with pop rock group Millennium, it was living out of the country for a while that allowed her to get some space from the materialistic clutter.

‘I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to live abroad for a couple of years in a beautiful, quiet seaside town.  Instead of driving cars, people took pleasant strolls around town.  In place of malls filled with mass produced items, there were bazaars filled with one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted pieces.  In place of Starbucks, there were quaint cafes where people spent hours in deep conversation.  And in place of Whole Foods, there were farmer’s markets filled with the biggest, most brightly colored fruits and vegetables I have ever seen.  When I returned to the US, I must say I was impressed by all of the abundance in this country.  But I soon realized that it was mainly an abundance of stuff and a significant lack of the things that really matter, like quality time with loved ones, children, parents and good friends.’

Put another way, Sapphire was unplugged from the matrix and once you have been unplugged, you see the material world in a whole new light.  Now I am not promoting an ascetic lifestyle or asking you to ban the purchase of all material goods for the rest of your life.  But before you whip out that credit card to buy the next new, shiny thingamabob, ask yourself if you are purchasing this particular item because of its actual benefit to you, or because you want to look like the model on the magazine (who just so happens to be heavily airbrushed by the way).

 

    

Can This Los Angeles Group Redefine Pop Music?

By Karin Francisca

Darkness appears to have descended upon the world of pop music. Following the embarrassing debacle of the 2013 MTV Music Awards and other staged attempts to shock audiences employed by major artists in recent months, the music industry once again appears to be teetering on the verge of collapse. As the increasingly desperate antics of pop artists and their record labels further alienate audiences, it is no longer clear what direction mainstream music will take. But if history proves anything, it is at that exact point of emptiness and uncertainty when the seed of the next big era is planted. By most indications, this seed will not come from any of the emerging experimental pop artists whose commendable risk-taking is too much of a moving target and fails to yield anything accessible to mass audiences.

It’s even less likely to come from any of the emerging teen pop artists whose out-sourced lyrics and music represent the most tiresome aspects of the status quo. This seed must embody qualities that have long been missing from pop music, such as honesty, creativity and integrity. However, it must also appeal to modern sensibilities, adhere to the highest production standards and produce music that is both familiar and new- an enduring staple of any successful pop act. Enter Millennium. If any seed could possess these qualities, it would certainly be pop music’s newest anti-hero, an emerging group out of Los Angeles, California with a big future.

Exactly what ideas come to mind when you hear the word Millennium?  Futuristic? Trend-setting? Cutting-edge?  Perhaps the word invokes images of the ancient world and its timeless ideals passed down through the ages. In the case of this group, you would be correct on all counts.  There is an intriguing tension between the old and new worlds in Millennium making them hard to discern and, at the same time, hard to dismiss. Their image alone is a striking combination of Cleopatra meets Riddick. Their music runs the gamut from hard-hitting electronic dance to pop rock, funk and reggae. Yet all of their songs have a timeless melodic quality with the potential to win over mainstream audiences. Who is Millennium and what makes them so different?

Millennium consists of singer/songwriters Stryker and Sapphire, both classically trained musicians with a lifelong love of music. Stryker and Sapphire are not teenage rubber people singing about things they couldn't possibly understand nor have any connection to. Both possess some life experience and have something to say about it through their music. As a result, their songs convey unmistakable integrity, going against the grain of today's pop music in a major way. The duo is also backed by Brad Dawson on drums, Gaku Murata on guitar, Nathan York on bass, and Fred Smith on keys. 

   

There is nothing superficial about the look and sound of this group. Stryker is as sensitive, complicated and temperamental as his image conveys, and Sapphire is as sweet, sassy and unpredictable as her image would lead you to believe. However, beyond their distinctive style is their equally distinctive sound. According to one music industry executive, ‘Millennium is pop culture at its best’ - a group that can create great songs in almost any genre, whether it’s rock, dance, reggae, funk or acoustic.  However, what actually sets Millennium apart in a crowded industry is their soul.  No, I’m not referring to the American Idol version of soul, where a singer passionately belts out someone else’s song.  Millennium’s definition of soul lies at the heart of how they create music- by writing, composing, recording and producing all of their own songs in their own home.  This purist approach opens up a direct, uninterrupted channel between the life of the artist and the life of the audience. The difference between this approach and the production-chain approach currently used by most pop artists cannot be overstated.  While this may sound like a harsh indictment of music industry practices of the past decade, it certainly explains the current crisis in pop music. It also explains why a group like Millennium may be uniquely qualified to bridge the chasm between old and new and usher in a new wave of music.

Change is an inevitable part of life and nowhere is this more evident than in pop music, where the shelf life of a typical song has shrunk to about one month. This is the natural consequence of continuing to manufacture music with no artistic soul. In the current system, whatever beauty and inspiration that was initially captured in the mind of the songwriter gets diluted and lost through the chain of other songwriters, singers, composers, producers, mixers and mastering engineers. It’s a small wonder why music today has become little more than background to people’s lives. Beneath the precision-manufactured, shrink-wrapped pop puppets, there is nothing human for audiences to connect with. Worse, there is nothing to fall in love with. Anyone skeptical of this need only visit YouTube to check out who attends concerts by great artists of the 70’s and 80’s (who, incidentally, haven’t had a song played on radio in over 30 years). The answer: Stadiums full of loving fans who share a real, lifelong bond with the artist. Now, fast-forward 30 years and consider who do you think is going to attend the Stephan Moccio/Sacha Skarbek /Maureen Anne McDonald/Dr. Luke/Circuit/Larry Rudolph/Miley Cyrus production team concert?  Yes, it’s okay to laugh. We both know such a fiasco would never even materialize. But the point is clear. Change is inevitable, but the qualities of artistic honesty, creativity and integrity hold their value well through decades, centuries and even millennia.

Millennium has already released a couple of provocative singles from their upcoming debut album entitled ‘Fusion’, which is due to be released next year. The album is definitely worth the early attention it’s garnering. Anyone wishing to hear what pop music of the future sounds like could easily start here, where artistic integrity and great songwriting meet cutting-edge acoustic and electronic production.  The radical, yet timeless, image and sound of this group make them one to watch in 2014. To learn more about Millennium and its members, visit www.WhoIsMillennium.com.

 

Thanksgiving- A Time To Count Your Stressings, Part II

By Margo Zimmerman

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to all.  To those of you who hosted the highly anticipated event this year, I sincerely hope you were able to enjoy the holiday amidst the hustle and bustle.  Now that the last of your guests have left and you have time to muse upon the madness, please share with us your stories. We would love to hear them.

'Thanksgiving evening. These past two days, I spent several hours immersing myself in the Internet perusing Thanksgiving recipes, techniques and blogs on brining, aromatics and gravy. By the way, preparing gravy could easily be a college course given the depth of information that I found on the web. By the end of my information gathering, I was half expecting to receive my online degree as a turkey connoisseur.

I purchased a 20 pound frozen turkey two days ago. To the wise chefs out there, that entire statement raises a red flag: 20 pound, frozen and two days ago. Last night, as I finally had some mental space to focus on Thanksgiving dinner, I decided to check on the bird which was thawing in the refrigerator. To my horror, it was as frozen as the day I bought it and a quick forward calculation told me that it would not be ready in time for guests the next day. Back to my trusty Google. A few minutes later, I hurriedly filled the kitchen sink with cold water and ice and placed the wrapped turkey in the water for several hours. Before bed, I placed the turkey back in the refrigerator with an earnest prayer to the Thanksgiving gods that it would be thawed by morning. It was a night of restless sleep, muttering gibberish, probably something about the dreaded gravy process.

Morning came and hallelujah the turkey was thawed. It was time to get busy. The classical music was playing and I was in the zone. Once the turkey was cleaned, stuffed and in the oven, everything moved like clockwork. I even had time to make a bonus appetizer: Butternut squash and carrot soup with sage and nutmeg (which later proved to be a big hit). By the time my family filed in through the door, all the dishes were more or less ready and surprisingly, there had been no disasters. The turkey was golden and roasted to moist perfection. My sisters ooh’d and ahh’d at the fresh cranberry sauce, which included pomegranate seeds from my father’s garden. I had forgotten to add the requisite two sticks of butter to the stuffing but no one seemed to mind and, in fact, they complimented the healthy twist. Oh and I am very pleased to say that the gravy was outstanding, rich and savory with fresh rosemary, sage and thyme. To complete the meal, there was an Urth Caffe pumpkin pie and all those who have had the pleasure of trying it understand that this is truly the lord of all pumpkin pies. A few hours ago, it was the only dish that I had confidence in and even if disasters had abounded and we were forced to order in pizza for Thanksgiving, at least we would have some yummy pie.

My family each brought their own special dish as well. My sisters made a cheese and green bean casserole and mushroom scalloped potatoes that were delicious. Roasted pig graced the table as well to the delight of my turkey-phobic mother. My father eschewed his dietary restrictions for a glass of red wine. My ‘no-sugar-please’ sister delighted in a slice of pumpkin pie, her diet kryptonite, with whip cream. My baby niece was happily slurping on the soup. Throughout the evening there was good wine, good music and good conversation- the stuff that the best memories are made of. As everyone finished their meal feeling satisfied, I breathed a contented sigh and looked around the room at my wonderful family. The true meaning of Thanksgiving slowly sank in. I had prepared the food with love for the people that I love and it turned out well. But most importantly, we were all together and everyone was safe and healthy. For that, I am truly thankful. Happy Thanksgiving.'

- Sapphire, singer for pop rock music group Millennium

 

Thanksgiving- A Time To Count Your Stressings

By Margo Zimmerman

It is that time of the year again when the Thanksgiving holiday can either have you feeling blessed, as the name thanksgiving would suggest, or stressed. If you are in the category of those feeling stressed, chances are you are hosting for family or friends this year.

In appreciation for all the brave and wonderful hosts throughout the country and their endeavors to create the perfect holiday banquet, we have asked you all to share your experiences. You are not alone.

'Thanksgiving is only two days away. This year, I have taken it upon myself to host this event promising a glorious feast with all the fixings. I knew this serious task would fall to me this year seeing as that my sister just had a baby and my mother has a strange phobia to consuming this beloved holiday staple. In fact, Thanksgiving has become increasingly complicated over the years as extended family and the list of each member’s dietary agenda have grown. We have my mother with her turkey phobia, my sister requiring a strictly balanced diet (translation: an absolute precise ratio of protein to vegetables and little or no sugar), her husband who is the lumberjack meat and potatoes man, and my father who needs to stay away from red meat and alcohol. Of course you have those who are watching their weight (this is LA) and those who can have a Thanksgiving meal for three days straight, just like the pilgrims, and not gain an ounce. It is no wonder why I am facing a sense of paralysis as I force myself to sit down and write out the dreaded shopping list. I doubt anyone thirty years ago ever faced such a dilemma. In this day and age, one needs to consult a dietician in order to prepare a meal. What ever happened to a good old-fashioned Thanksgiving meal with a golden roasted 20-lb. turkey, cornbread stuffing, savory gravy, luscious cranberry sauce and a decadent pumpkin pie?'

- Sapphire, singer for pop rock music group Millennium

Stay tuned for Part II of Thanksgiving- A Time To Count Your Stressings

RSS feed