Angie's Leap

My dive into blogging: music, technology, saving money

Have a blessed week!

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Rev. Franklin can say it better than I this morning.

“Stomp” by God’s Property & Kirk Franklin

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3 apps for music lovers

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TuneIn. One of the favorite things I love doing when I travel is seeking out new radio stations.  Discovering a station that kicks out the jams and keeps me engaged with entertaining local radio personalities is always a special treat. This is becoming even more difficult as radio becomes more homogenized.  Not hatin’ Tom Joyner or Steve Harvey, but I can hear you guys at home. Oddly enough, I feel more at home in a distant place when I can absorb the local sounds.

All this is leading up to my current love affair with the TuneIn app, which thanks to my college pal Dex, has reunited me with WHUR in Washington, D.C., or more specifically, “The ORIGINAL Quiet Storm.”  Howard University students and alumni know what I’m talking about. That late-night smooth R&B format imitated everywhere was pioneered at the Mecca,  and nobody does it better than Howard University Radio.

The app boasts more than 50,000 stations and 21 genres, from adult contemporary to world music. I browsed for stations by location and immediately started plugging in my favorites, but you use other criteria, as seen below:

TuneIn does require an Internet connection, so you might want to watch your data usage if you’re not on an unlimited data plan. Other cool features:

  • Pro version upgrade (99 cents) lets you record, pause and rewind what you’re listening to.

  • An alarm timer lets you wake up to your favorite station.

  • A “schedule” tab gives you the station’s programming for the day.

  • A “playlist” tab identifies the song you’re listening to and upcoming ones.

  • Integrates with Roku streaming players.

I know I’ve only scratched the surface of the capabilities of SoundCloud. Music lovers who like creating, exploring and sharing new sounds can while away hours (or longer) on this app. I use it to keep up with the creative doings of my DJ sister and beat-making son.  I can recommend both as a source of some serious party or workout music.


I also add podcasts of stuff I want to listen to later if there’s a SoundCloud share button on a Web page.  Want to hear mashups or remixes of the latest hits? Like I said, you can while away hours.

WhoSampled. I like all of these apps, but I feel as though the developers made this one just for me. As the site’s tagline proclaims, it’s all about “exploring the DNA of music.” Does it ever.  The site claims a database of more than 153,000 songs and 56,000 artists. If I hear a hook or lyric and I know it’s from another song, it will bug me to no end until I track down the DNA of that song. Now, thanks to WhoSampled, when you know you’ve heard that beat, lyric or melody somewhere you’ll be able to put your finger right on it. And when you need to school a youngster about the roots of two-thirds of today’s rap … well, you get the idea.

A photo gallery is worth a thousand words, so let me illustrate, via Biggie’s “Hypnotize.” I’ve already allowed the WhoSampled app to scan the music library of my iPad2, and it’s come up with 307 tracks and 200 artists.

This gallery contains 11 photos


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‘Doing it well: Gymwrap stands up to sweat

Editor’s note: Today’s guest blogger, Diane Hawkins, reviews a product aimed at saving women time and money by preserving their dos after a workout.

Actress Nicole Ari Parker released the “Save Your Do” gymwrap which has been featured by Channel 7 WLS-ChicagoEbony magazineThe Root and other media outlets. The gymwrap promises to wick away moisture, allow heat to escape, keep your hair flat and save your hairstyle.

Mission accomplished, somewhat.

After a few extremely sweaty workouts, which included 40 minutes on the elliptical trainer and 30 minutes on the treadmill, the wrap was satisfactory. It did wick away some of the moisture, but I wouldn’t suggest going to an “America’s Next Top Model” photo shoot after your workout. Similar to an elliptical trainer, the gymwrap has its ups and downs.

"Save Your Do" Gymwrap

I found that the key is to wear it comfortably — not too tight — during the workout and for an additional 15 minutes after your workout, allowing the gymwrap to absorb more of your hard-earned sweat. After using the gymwrap, my hair wasn’t completely dry, but I believe that the wrap prevented me from having to drag out my blow dryer as I have done in the past.

I bought the narrow gymwrap because I wear my hair in a ponytail most days. When I untied the wrap, the ribbons in the back were dripping with sweat — but my hair was not. The gymwrap definitely isn’t a guarantee that you will have beautiful, flowing hair after your workout, but it did succeed in preventing sweat from dripping in my eyes and keeping my hair manageable.

Parker’s hair-saving material ranges from $24.95 for the narrow gymband and wide gymband to $29.95 for the full triangle. You can purchase it at saveyourdo.com and receive a $5 discount if you “like” the product’s Facebook page. Also, the payment includes 10 percent of the proceeds benefiting Sophie’s Voice Foundation, an organization that brings attention to children and adults diagnosed with spina bifida.

My rating: 3-1/2 stars out of 5.

Diane Hawkins is a copy editor with the Louisville Courier-Journal and an adjunct journalism instructor at Jefferson Community and Technical College. She also has contributed to Rebellious Magazine and Soul In Stereo, among other blogs. You can find her at HeyDMH.com.

 

Labor Day props to music faves

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She worked hard for the money. The hardest working man in show biz didn’t want nobody giving him nothing. They had a hard day’s night  and worked like dogs. He got the  job done. And though he’s a rock ‘n’ roll Boss, he’s a working man’s hero, too.

Thank you, Bruce, James, Big Daddy Kane, Paul, Ringo, John, George and Donna, for putting in the work.

Bruce Springsteen, James Brown, Big Daddy Kane, The Beatles, Donna Summer