Weekend Tunes, March 28th 2015

God bless shuffle and the rediscovery of forgotten corners of your music library.

Welcome to another installment of Weekend Tunes.

Back in September of 2008, I went to a concert at the Somerville Theater with a group of family friends to see Zucchero Fornaciari live on his own birthday. I had a great time, and I am certain Zucchero (pronounced: tsukkero) had a great time as well. He was clearly already well into his birthday celebrations when he first walked on stage, I distinctly remember a slight stumbling quality to his gait.

Other than understanding that he is a rather famous Italian artist, who lives in the genres of blues, rock, and pop, I am not particularly familiar with Zucchero, his discography or his career. Instead, I would like to present to you the one album of his that I am very familiar with.

Zu & Co. is the perfect accompaniment to entertaining:

On Zu & Co. you will find an assemblage of collaborations with such well regarded artists as Miles Davis, Eric Clapton, Sting, Pavarotti, Andrea Botticelli, and B.B. King… yes, it’s amazing, I know!

zu & co

Just as Zucchero’s name suggests, the music on this album is very sweet. It is simple, easygoing, toe-tapping, hum-along type of music. There’s a bit of optimistic and bouncy pop, a few touching or heartwrenching ballads, some slick, movement-inspiring rock, and just a touch of stirring, modern blues.

But most importantly, there is excellent trumpeting by the one and only Miles Davis. Dune Mosse is my favorite track.

Followed closely by Zucchero’s collaboration on Sting’s early 90’s track [Mad About You], Muoio Per Te.

I can just imagine a steamy evening here in New England; sun setting, drinks flowing, the grill smoking, and Zu & Co. providing the essential groovy ambiance.

Video preview of album, as provided by the ever brilliant Google search engine.

iTunes & Amazon (physical copy)

ASSA 2015

Last weekend, I sat in at the annual meeting of the Allied Social Sciences Association. Having many meetings organized by the American Economic Association, my intention remained to be the continued exposure to the professional field of economics.

Now, that sounds rather dry, I realize, but I insist that this post has relevancy to any and all who may read it.

Briefly, the purpose of this annual meeting is for professional and academic researchers to present their work (projects they have been working on for years or have recently started), and also for attendees to network on a hyper level. Getting a glimpse at what topics are consuming the resources and attention of these esteemed and influential individuals, institutions, and universities is an incredibly illuminating glimpse of what issues are concerning the greater population. Continue reading

Playing Film Critic Again

A film critic is not something I’ve ever aspired to be.
However, I have played the part before, and when you stumble upon such gems as the two movies which my eyeballs have recently digested, it’s practically criminal to not share your experience and to not urge others to view them for their own interpretation.
Last night, I was visually spoiled by The Great Beauty, and today, I was witness to the workings of Citizenfour.
Rather than in the order of social significance, I’ll address them in chronological order, by which I viewed them.

The Great Beauty, in essence, is a sumptuous film. Continue reading

Sugar: Nutrient and Drug

With Halloween being just a day away, now seems a fitting time as ever to talk about disguises and poison.

With that particularly vague statement, I am addressing “sugar”, by which you can assume I am referring to any number of widely used, added sweeteners: cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, etc.
Sugar is ambrosia, the sweet nectar of the Greek gods.
It’s instant energy without the hassle of thorough digestion.
It very well may be one of the key participants in human evolution and advancement, along with beer and wheat (similar products I know, but I’m referring to their applications).
In short, sugar has become a very valuable ingredient in our modern diets. Continue reading

Economics: A Story of My Niaveté

My original understanding of economics went something like this: “well it’s like a more practical philosophy”. I don’t mean “practical” as more valid, but naturally more applied rather than perceptive. Seeing as how our lives revolve around money and the exchange of it for goods, experiences, services, social needs etc., economics seemed to be all about the fine details of how this money is shifted around and how people, companies, organizations, governments, etc. decide where it goes. Continue reading

Personal account from a Millennial

There are a few social issues that have been circulating around for the past few years, that are gaining a lot of traction recently.

Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg
Knowing Your Value, Mika Brzezinski
The Unbelievers (2013)
Religulous (2008)

I find all this very strange, because these hardly seem like “issues” to me, as in “an important topic or problem for debate or discussion”. While there are riveting conversations on panel discussions, bestsellers based on these topics, “exposés” on the news and in incredibly well made documentaries, and in common conversation with my elders… They just seem to already be figured out in my brain and in the brains of the bulk of my friends. Continue reading

Agricultural Industry Equation, and I Suggest We Reinvigorate the Victory Garden Campaign

My studies at JWU, while composed of many wine tastings, plenty of time in front of a stove, and too many “pretend you own a restaurant” projects, were independently supplemented by research inspired by my own intense and possessing curiosity.  I found myself sincerely disappointed that we rarely took a glance at the agricultural industry. Our scope, as food industry professionals,  began at the inventory list of a supplier and ended with what we place on the plate of the customer. True, there are plenty of intricacies in between and there is so much to learn in that cross section of the process, but it’s still a limited view. Continue reading