Thursday, June 18, 2009

Earth, Wind, Fire, Phoenix, Great!

On Tuesday, last minute, I went to see Earth, Wind & Fire. My hood-neighbor Steve Porter and I headed to Boston to find out why this group is one of the most successful bands of time, one of president Obama's favorite bands, and why they've been the recipients of so many Grammys. As I've been working on a project for Philip Bailey, we had backstage passes and met the band after the show. It was an honor to meet Philip Bailey and Verdine White among others. Their performance was full of energy and sounds that crossed numerous genres. By the end of the night, my questions had been answered - EWF are true living legands.

The following night, Elizabeth and I headed back east to see one of my favorite bands. The French band Phoenix was playing at the Paradise Rock Club. I last saw them live back in 2004 at the Irving Plaza in New York City. Like last time, they played an incredible show. This time they played a set consisting mostly of songs off of their new album Wolfgang Amedaus Phoenix and other recent album It's Never Been Like That but only one song from Alphabetical... "Run Run Run" - I hope they come back to the area again soon.

Monday, June 15, 2009

"High Tech for a Historic City" Op-Ed on Xconomy

"High Tech for a Historic City—A 21-Year-Old Web Entrepreneur’s View of the Big Computing Center Planned for His Home Town" - Read More at

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Decemberists to play Holyoke

Now it seems, there's no shortage of good news for Holyoke... The Decemberists might be playing at Mountain Park on August 16th. Who's coming to the show?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Big Day

The press conference for the high tech computing center project took place today at the Holyoke Public Library on Maple St. The room quickly filled with eager listeners, residents, and press. I was very excited for today!

For a full recap of the event, you can check out the Local Buzz's Twitter coverage.

Signing of letter of intent. on Twitpic Pic for last tweet. on Twitpic Brendan Ciecko, explaining the technical aspects of data cent... on Twitpic
Photo Credit: Greg Saulmon

After the signing of the "statement of intent" for the project, the press swarmed to the front. I was delighted to see familiar faces from the state, tech, and academic world. Dr. Susan Hockfield, the president of MIT, and I shared a few words and reflected on enthusiasm of the project and city's potential. Paul Bosco, VP of Cisco's New England operations, gave me a powerful high-five.

Fellow young entrepreneurs / office-mates, Sam and Zach Dunn were also in attendence. They're the founders of One Mighty Roar, a network that includes the rapidly growing blog BuildInternet!. Check it out, good stuff!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Holyoke welcomes High Tech!

A massive technology data-center project involving Fortune 500 technology giants Cisco System, EMC along with world-class academic institution MIT has finally been announced to set stage in Holyoke! This is easily one of the largest economic development projects in the city's history. I'd imagine a project like this will bring an excess of $100 million of investment into Holyoke and will certainly designate the city as a top-spot for high-tech companies. Who's next? Maybe Google, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo, AOL, Akamai? Anything is possible!

Now... why is Holyoke one of the best places in the state / region / country for a project like this - you can read about that in a recap of my involvement in the technology roundtable at MIT last October. - State Set to Make Big, “Green” High Performance Computing Announcement: Effort to Bring Jobs to Western MA

Boston Globe - Holyoke chosen for computing center

Mass High Tech - Holyoke targeted for green data center

Springfield Republican - Holyoke eyed for computer complex - Harvard, MIT, Cisco Systems, EMC to be part of computer research center in Holyoke

Data Center Knowledge - MIT Team Weighs $100M Green Data Center

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Gogol Bordello at House of Blues

Last night, Elizabeth and I went to Boston to see one of our favorites bands Gogol Bordello. The concert was at the House of Blues and we met up with some friends of ours for a night of rambunctious and entertaining gypsy punk rock.

One of our friends scored the exclusive Foundation Room, a lavish private lounge embellished with artifacts from India. The decor was plush and elaborate - the floorplan was a labyrinth with countless offshoots and hidden rooms. We arrived a bit early and got our own sneak peek at the show to come; we walked in as the band sound-checked to "Dogs Where Barking" and a few other songs.

Gogol Bordello hit the stage sometime after 9PM. The band played an energetic show to a sold-out crowd hungry for their Slavic rhythms and punk rock antics. I wish I could see this band night after night - their live performance is that inticing.

After the show we stopped by a late-night party at Kingston Station, a downtown bistro covered in smooth white subway tile reminiscent of many French brasseries you'd find in Manhattan.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Short Films for Great Brands

I very much enjoy when brands shoot an entire mini-film series to push their brand equity to the limits and show they're in touch with their cinemic-side.

Recently, French haute couture designer, Dior released a film noir piece entitled Lady Dior. It's definately worth the watch.

One of my favorite short films of all time is BMW's "Star" featuring Madonna and directed by one of my favorites, Guy Richie. I love seeing Madonna thrown around in a sleek M5 with "Song 2" by Blur as a soundtrack.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Music Venue in Holyoke

Dear Mountain Park, welcome back! It's been decades and now you're back. I wonder who the first band/group will be for the grand opening.