Entertainment Poll: Is it Really the Critics’ Opinion That Influence Others?


Over time, we have seen how the public can somehow be influenced by a likely expert or longtime critic about some form of entertainment. Whether it is music, film, books, or even award shows, there is a relationship that is established between the views of the outside world and the opinions of the other, who quite possibly experienced something about the form of entertainment differently. Even though these factors may prove to be viable to the influence of people and what they can be exposed to, others have fallen into opposition on whether it is actually the critics’ opinion that may influence the public.


I recently conducted an audio poll about the subject of the critics’ influence on the public and it was interesting to receive results from participants, as some agreed or felt that there were other factors that influence an audience of people. In genral, these results reflected how far media has transcended when it comes to influencing a group of people. I conducted this poll by asking people in the 20-70 age group, for the simple reason that I wanted to make this study as varied as possible. It is possible that people who are older may have a different view about the role of critics or any other type of influence from a younger person because in truth, they have experienced and become more accustomed by what the media presents to the public in different ways.

When I asked a 70-year old if it is possible that the opinions of critics can often times make a huge impact toward the public when it comes to entertainment, the participant agreed heavily with the fact that a critic can easily influence someone:

“I feel that critics are in someway associated with advertisement. It only goes to show how we try to emulate or admire someone or something in entertainment.”


I also asked two other people who were in the 30-50 age range the same question and they agreed that it is in fact the responsibility of the critic, when it comes to pursuading someone about some form of entertainment. However, there were two participants out of the overall five who felt that other factors play an enormous role when it comes to the relationship between entertainment and the public.

One 41-year old participant felt that there was a “50/50 chance that the critic had a heavy influence on the public and their relation to entertainment models.” She added:

“The only time an entertainment critic influences someone is if they are unfamiliar with a particular artist, filmmaker, or author. I think the real split comes with the loyal fan because if you love a person’s work, it just so happens that you are accustomed to whatever they put out.”


Another participant, who was 21-years old, felt that critics don’t have any influence when it comes to the public and entertainment, for the simple reason that in today’s world, there are many forms of media that can influence people in different ways.

So, what do you think? Is it possible that an opinion from a critic can easily influence someone, or is there an exception to the rule? Is media the only factor? Please write your comments below and follow this page! Thanks!

Please listen and enjoy my audio poll here:


Random Thought: Dr. King’s “Where Do We Go From Here? (The World House)” Reaction

Hello everyone,

I wanted to make a small diversion from music this week, to open your mind to something extraordinarily provoking. Given that this is ultimately the last week of not only the month of February, but Black History Month, I wanted to give my random thoughts on a very prevalent, yet underrated piece of writing from a man whose message and profound vision transcends all borderlines and barriers. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote this piece around the time he won the Noble Peace Prize in 1964 and it stands as a stunning affirmation of Black progression and where we are now in America! To read a transcript of this powerful writing, please visit http://www.schooloflife.org/worldhouse.htmPlease comment and follow! Enjoy!


In looking at King’s Where Do We Go From Here? passage entitled “The World House,” there is much that can be uncovered and examined when we look at the systems of America. For example, we normally associate black struggle with “freedom,” “racism,” and “justice,” but there is something more that we tend to overlook when examining the depths of the Black experience. From Dr. King’s point of view, progression is one of the most unique forms of looking at the microcosm of America and the world as a whole. It is a form in which you can actually see how struggles have spread further more inside and outside of America and into other dynamics and cultures. The fact that people have not been able to fully distinguish themselves from the oppressive and dehumanizing measures of certain systems speaks volumes to the often exploitative measures that American governments often take today when trying to control and govern a particular nation. If we could separate the different angles that Dr. King takes when trying to present his argument about the idea of “the world house,” we could see how he goes about applying this idea to the race relations in America, the motives of the world that we embody, and most importantly, how we must remove ourselves from separatist ideas and more unified ideas, while understanding our own culture as well. 


While reading “The World House,” we can see that King is making a case about equality, in a way that we can learn from each other and live together in a more established society. There is something other than what history has shown us and more about race relations in this country. He sets up “the World House” as a melting pot of values, visions and cultures from which people from all walks of life are living and working together. It has its set of discourse communities, such as racism, poverty, and war, but these communities tie people together in some way—whether it is under good or bad circumstances. 


One thing that I personally found interesting about King’s comments on poverty as it relates to “the World House” is that he believed that people in this country and other wealthy nations should join together and assist more underdeveloped areas who are in need, as it is our utmost duty. It seemed that he was more concerned about commitment and unity among all men and women because it was the only way progress could happen for any nation or movement. However, he believes that assistance should not be utilized by more wealthy nations as a strategy to control and govern poor nations, as it would result in corruption and disorder for both parties.  I think we can definitely apply this to the society we live in today because as unexpected situations unfold in both other countries outside and inside the United States, we see that there are many people who try to help each other in bad moments, but there is this notion that what we offer is for a “good cause.” I find that Dr. King’s argument on commitment and service speaks volumes to today as it pertains to poverty because helping one another should never be a one-time situation, it should always be a form of uncompromised generosity. This is one of the ways progression can ever take place in not only the new Black experience, but our larger society today.

Record Store Day At Dusty Groove America!

Hello people! It is that time of the year where music lovers, DJs, and vinyl collectors come together to dig out rare, collectable and groovy gems. It is a time that people also build friendships and social groups based solely on the different music that they come across on this particular day. Yes, record store day is one of those important days for the music heads. As a matter of fact, Dusty Groove America held its annual record store day last week, in honor of all of the music lovers and collectors, such as myself, and what an enlightening experience it was. I even took a couple of pictures to show how amazing it really was!

Sounds of laughter, conversation, cash registers, and music from studio speakers filled the entire store.

It is a day that has usually gone down as one of the proudest days for music lovers. It has had its share of criticisms from people who are stuck in the ever-changing digital age of today, but it has stood its ground. Record Store Day across America has grown in stature yearly, since the renaissance of vinyl has gotten more exposure in recent times.

As the day went on, the store was filled with crowds of people from the back room (shown here) to the front.

Dusty Groove America continued to pay homage to the music lover by observing the annual holiday with new surprises and unbeatable music gems. When first arriving at the store for the event last week, it seemed as if there was no one was present. The advertisements and flyers that plastered on the walls around the store varied from promotions of upcoming concerts to legendary icons. Thousands of discounted vinyl records, used CDs, cassettes, and DVDs were perfectly stacked in brown cardboard boxes, which sat in wooden containers. After a couple of minutes, the store instantly became packed with anxious music lovers, ready to usher in the celebration.

Everyone was awaiting the opening of Dusty Groove's annual event.

One avid vinyl fan, Robert Williams, 35, declared that he believed that record store day is the best holiday since Christmas. “One thing that I always look forward to every year is record store day as it is so revealing to check out stuff that I wouldn’t normally find in other mainstream music stores. I recently converted to being a vinyl audiophile not so long ago as well, so that is another great thing.”

The hot items of the day were the used CDs, vinyl, 45s, and other miscellaneous items.

When the store opened at 10 in the morning, no one was to be found until the next hour.

As the day winded down, I brought some great items. Can you identify any classics in this stack?

For more information about Dusty Groove America, log on to its internet store at http://www.dustygroove.com or visit the Chicago Store. Great place to visit, especially for music heads and novelty collectors. If you have ever visited this spectacular store or share other information, please comment on this blog post and follow my page. Thanks so much and let real music live!

Special: Remembering Whitney Houston (1963-2012)

There has been a sense of disbelief and shock in the atmosphere since the evening of February 11, 2012. The news of the unfortunate passing of Whitney Houston was one to remember because it was so sudden. Her angelic spirit, anointed and earthshattering voice, and undeniable love to others proved to be enduring qualities to her life. In between the glamour and praise, there were the demons and trials that caused her eventful decline, as her reign as one of pop’s greatest voices nearly came to a close. In the 1980s and 1990s, she conquered and broke down barriers that were never crossed in the entertainment industry. From record-breaking singles and albums to top-grossing films, Whitney singlehandedly dominated the industry in her own right and influenced generations of new female talents to come. Her later years were filled with much turmoil and wounded hope as the vibrant and brilliant voice became shattered and the tabloids intensified with negativity. But, she tried to be resilient and strike it out on top again by staging a comeback. In the end, it proved to be way too overbearing for her to handle, even though her spirit remained intact.

I was one of those devoted individuals who was utterly shocked when hearing about Whitney’s passing on Saturday, Feburary 11, 2012. First of all, it was a weird weekend for me, as college assignments and daily personal chores had become stressing and overbearing. Secondly, the hype of the upcoming 54th Grammy Awards seemed to be so huge, with alot of talk about top-billing artists such as Adele, Kanye West, and The Foo Fighters sweeping honors during the ceremony. Friday night before her passing, I recall reading an article about Whitney at a pre-Grammys event, reporting her actions and presence. The photographs that were featured in the article displayed a different view of a woman who was embarking on a second transformation in life, after an entire decade of personal and professional struggles. Wearing disheveled all-black attire, sweaty and on the verge of being exhausted, Houston possessed a weary and confused spirit. What was even more alarming was the sliting of her wrist, which endlessly spurred out blood. I began to wonder if she had relapsed into the destructive lifestyle that brought her life and career to a halt or if she had too much of a festive time at the event.


I had spent that entire night thinking about Whitney’s life and family. The photographs that I viewed were permanently ingrained into my conciousness as it was unlike any other thing I ever experienced about Whitney Houston. It was only the next night that I had saw a plethora of statuses on my Facebook wall declaring that she had passed. Being a hardcore music collector and enthusiast, I was stunned because it seemed that Houston’s rich musical output reflected the times and moments that not only introduced us into Houston’s life, but gave us an insight into how we should live our lives. Her music spoke to us on many levels.  


Even though she struggled with substance abuse, I always had this idea that Whitney was going to be one of those icons that would never depart from us so soon. Like another major icon, Michael Jackson, who died three years earlier too soon, her passing is a testimony to the ills of fame and the price of excess. But we must never forget her joy on Earth and the undeniable legacy that she left.


May her spirit remain vibrant and long live Whitney Elizabeth Houston (1963-2012).

Please leave your comments and celebrate the love and life of Whitney!

Valentine Songs: Top 10 Love Songs Ever Written

Hello Chicagoeans!

I’m back again for my Valentine songs series, in which I want to give you my concensus on the top 10 love songs ever written. There have been so many songs that define the true essence of love, but the songs that I have chosen are just a couple of my top favorites. Some of these songs are well-known, others are lesser-known. Make sure you hunt these songs down either at your local record store (most notably Dusty Groove America or Amazon.com) or at your favorite digital music store (iTunes). This soundtrack of music is destined to make your Valentine’s day a serious delight. Here we go…

Image courtesy of Getty Images

#10: “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” by Michael Jackson: Sure Michael Jackson had so many timeless love songs and ballads during his reign, but this ranks as one of his top ballads. He shared this exceptional duet with singer and longtime friend Siedah Garrett.

Image courtesy of Allmusic.com

#9: “In A Sentimental Mood” by Duke Ellington & John Coltrane: This jazz standard has stood the test of time when it comes to emotional love songs. The sentimentality of this magnum opus makes this an instant Valentine’s classic!

Image courtesy of Getty Images

#8: “No Ordinary Love” by Sade: Sade is one of those artists that easily define the idea of love. She has re-written the love songbook in her own way with her relaxing voice and this classic stands as one of her greatest songs ever.

Image courtesy of Getty Images

#7: “Send One Your Love” by Stevie Wonder: The seventh wonder of the world, Stevie Wonder, is truly a genius when it comes to well-written love songs. This classic ranks as one of my favorites for the simple reason that the message and innovative instrumentation encapulates everything I love about Mr. Wonder.

Image courtesy of Pop Bytes.com

#6: “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston: Many consider this to be the most overrated and most requested love song ever, but the brilliance of this song will always be Whitney Houston’s exquisite vocal performance. Whitney made her rendition of Dolly Parton’s original the definitive version and her Award-winning standard.

Image Courtesy of Getty Images

#5: “All About Love” by Earth, Wind & Fire: No, this isn’t EW&F’s most popular or requested ballad, but this is one of my top soulful ballads. A major departure from their diverse funk sound, Earth, Wind & Fire truly redefined love during their prime.

Image courtesy of Rolling Stone.com

#4: “I’m Still In Love With You” by Al Green: No romantic time like Valentine’s day is complete without the sexy and sliky sounds of the incomparable Reverend Al Green. Even though his catalog of music is unmatched when it comes to the soundtrack of love, this classic is a definite must for lovers on Valentine’s day.

Image courtesy of Getty Images

#3: “The Makings of You” by Curtis Mayfield: Chicago’s very own and a legendary maverick, Curtis Mayfield expressed love in the only perfect way he could in this classic. If you’ve never listened to this song, it is a must not only for Valentine’s day, but forever.

Image courtesy of MP3 Lyrics.com

#2: “Betcha By Golly, Wow!” by The Stylistics: One of the classics from the Philadelphia soul era of the 1970s from one of the greatest male vocal groups ever. A breezy and soulful meditation on love and a perfect message for that special one in your life.

Image courtesy of Getty Images

#1: “Adore” by Prince: Being that I am a hardcore Prince fanatic, no Valentine’s day/love song playlist would be complete without his majestic and commanding music. This classic is just no exception. The horns, lyrics, and the heavenly vibe sounds like poetry set to music. Plus, Prince talks about the admiration and beauty of love. How perfectly suitable for Valentine’s day?

So, there you have it Chicagoeans! My picks for the top ten love songs ever written. May these songs bring you happiness and fulfillment this upcoming Valentine’s Day. If you felt that I left worthy songs out of list or any other quirks, please comment on this blog and enjoy the music!

New Video: From Cottage To The South Loop

Music: “Nerfertiti” by Miles Davis from the album, “Nerfertiti” (1967).

Hello everyone! I’m back once again with a new video. This video, “From Cottage To The South Loop,” is one of the many photojournalism projects I had the pleasure of conceiving. This photostream captures the intensity of Chicago, which is essentially a tale of two “cities.” It is a sentimental photostream of my neighborhoods in Chicago. From the gritty pavements and environments of Cottage Grove to the intellectual and smart scenes in the Downtown area! Please enjoy, rate, comment, and subscribe! I’ll really appreciate it.

Favorite Chicago Place at the Moment: Dusty Groove America

I consider myself to be a hardcore music collector and enthusiast, but I often find it perplexing to find record/CD shops that appeal to my music interests. Of course, the availiability of music has changed completely, with the increase of music downloads. Also, the economy has changed, with the decrease of record/CD shops nationwide. Yes, there are still places like Best Buy, FYE, Target and Walmart that carry physical compact discs, but in the Chicago area, it is hard to find alot of music shops that carry rare, collectable and out-of-print gems that cater to the more underground, DJ, music aficionado, like myself!

Dusty Groove America has become my favorite place in Chicago at the moment, for the simple reason that it embodies what I love most about music. Old-school R&B, jazz, blues, hip-hop, and rock is what this amazing record store delivers, but the biggest part of this record store is the vinyl. Dusty Groove has become a monstrous establishment for lovers of the vinyl age. I am a vinyl head as well, with over hundreds of vinyl in my personal collection and I credit Dusty Groove for expanding my horizons! The prices are well-manageable and the staff are so down-to-earth and respectable. How can one not love a place like this?

Best of all, you can get money by selling albums that you’ve had in your own collection. Whether your albums have been collecting dust or just haven’t been played, you can bring them to Dusty Groove and get money back. So, if you want a place where you can seek out rare grooves or just be nostalgic, you should definitely check this place out!