Dr. Martin Luther King’s Inspiring Street Sweeper Speeches (Audio)

One recurring theme in many of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s speeches that always inspires involves the job of street sweeper as a parable for self-fulfillment. I’ve always admired Dr. King’s ability to affect not just churchgoers or civil rights activists but humans of all kinds, secular and otherwise, and the “street sweeper” element and its metaphorical allusions to the arts is my favorite example of this.

…[E]ven if it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go on out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures; sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music; sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry…

This sentiment is reminiscent of the anonymously-penned poems, “Be the Best of Whatever You Are,” (often attributed to Douglas Malloch) which Dr. King cites in the sermon. In my searches tonight reflecting on Dr. King, I really appreciated how he introduced the street sweeper at the 50th anniversary of Alpha Phi Alpha in Buffalo, 1957 – “The Birth of a New Age.” A great blueprint for any commencement speech.

“We need more people who are competent in all areas and always remember that the important thing is to do a good job. No matter what it is. Whatever you are doing consider it as something having cosmic significance, as it is a part of the uplifting of humanity. No matter what it is, no matter how small you think it is, do it right. As someone said, do it so well that the living, dead, or the unborn could do it no better.

More and more multimedia from Dr. King’s sermons and speeches in the ’50s and 60s continues to crop up and it’s sometimes stunning how much more impact the words have when spoken by the reverend himself as opposed to reads on the written page or website.

I could not find the Buffalo ’57 audio, however I came across audio of a King speech that includes the street sweeper riff in the King Institute archives at Stanford. This 3.5-minute clip was taken from the full “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life” sermon delivered at New Covenant Baptist Church, Chicago, Illinois, on 9 April 1967. Another recently web-published sermon of note is this one from Temple Israel, a Jewish synagogue in Hollywood from 1965 which popped up a few years ago.

In addition to the King Institute archives, find more audio of Dr. King’s speeches here, here, and here.

Must See: Pink Floyd’s The Wall Performed Live

Like many others, I shrugged off the idea of another Roger Waters tour, bringing the music of Pink Floyd into arenas nationwide sans David Gilmour. As much as Floyd meant to me in my high school years, I haven’t listened to their music on my own volition for at least a dozen years. It would be nice to hear an album that I had loved straight through in concert.

Then I heard about how full bore Waters was going with the production — recreating the spectacle of The Wall on its 30th anniversary and then some — on this Sound Opinions podcast in October. Yeah, I can dig it.

Only top top bands with a serious legacy can truly demand $250 and up for a top ticket and still manage to fill arenas nationwide (often for multi-night runs). But there sure as hell better be some spectacular video / light show / side show to go along with the tired greatest hits nonsense. Regardless, Waters will have absolutely no reason to work again after galavanting around the world for 10 months on the strength of his 30-year old magnum opus. Look for his name near the top of the next weekly Pollstar Top 20 Concerts list.

In this case there was amazing video — the wall featured a steady stream of motion graphics and video, many from the original The Wall, projected onto a huge wall — about 240 feet wide and 33 feet tall. The story of The Wall holds up very well, all the way to The Trial, even if it can get a little tiresome looking at Waters parading in front of the wall alone in love with himself as the lead character in the story as his presumed alter ego, Pink Floyd. A 12-piece band including horns and a childrens choir comprised of kids from the Heart of Los Angeles after-school program took the stage for the cockneyed refrain on “Another Brick in the Wall” and probably the most elaborate and crisp sound I’ve heard in an arena. There were monster speakers in teh back of the house and from the floor, you could literally feel the helicopters closing in from all sides at some points. Holiday season — maybe I was feeling sentimental, but I got major chills a few times.

I definitely recommend seeing this show if you can, tickets were going for below face value for the Staples Center (I got lucky and was whisked in on a friend’s last-minute extra ticket, thanks Gretchen!). The remaining U.S. tour dates are listed below along with a clip from “Hey You” which opened up the second part of the show from behind The Wall.

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Interview with Common at Get Schooled Event in LA – 11/12/2010

I was lucky to get a couple minutes with Common following the filming of Get Schooled for MTV at Ulysses S. Grant High School in Valley Village. We spoke briefly about the event, education, and the ability of social media to empower him and his peers to create change.

Facebook Apps Soon to Vanish from Profile Tabs

It’s been a year since Facebook went public with a Developer roadmap which signalled a shift away from third-party app integration and increased importance on the Home Page news feed. Last October, the Facebook home page news feed went real-time, significantly altering the user experience to focus primarily on the Home Page, as opposed to profiles or third-party applications.

The latest platform change “coming soon” is a bigger blow to the personalization of the profile page. In the past months, we’ve seen all kinds of irritating warnings that Facebook would soon strip application Profile Boxes and to move these boxes to the tab bar. Now, these tabs are the next casualty.

Facebook app profile tab

This is unfortunate in that it limits not only the personalization of ones profile but also the effectiveness of calls-to-action that benefit from users adding custom tabs to profiles as if they were virtual lawn signs. I proudly display a “No on 23” tab in my profile (direct link), so friends and anyone else who lands on my profile page can learn more about an important proposition on the California ballot next Tuesday. It’s alongside two other tabs that are “soon” to be pulled by Facebook: Goodreads and Last.fm — services I use to track the books I read and music I listen to (respectively). I don’t care (or know) if many visitors to my profile even notice these tabs or take interest, however, it adds value as it’s an intricate part of getting to know me. Sure, books and artists that I have “liked” are listed in my profile, but there is nothing live or temporal about that data other than when (in real-time) I click like and it reverberates through my network via the news feed for 24 hours or so.

I’m betting that you also like the ability to integrate 3rd-party applications and services into your Facebook experience and as tabs or boxes on your profile page. Again this is not a sudden occurrence, we were warned a year ago, and more recently applications which depended almost exclusively on the Facebook Platform, such as Causes and Zimride, have gone entirely standalone.

Does Facebook have something in mind to replace this experience or do we just have to learn to accept a more dumbed-down, walled-in Facebook from here on out? What’s next for Facebook application campaigns based on profile tab proliferation, such as those created by PopRule and others?

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Pixies Play 33 Songs for 33 Miners in Chile

pixies black francis chileThe Pixies made the most of their first-ever headlining gig in Santiago, Chile last night, capturing the celebratory emotion of the just-completed Mina San José rescue and bottling it up into a 33-song set.

Listen to the crowd react as Black Francis prefaces the set by recognizing the need celebrate this day and adding, “so we’re going to play 33 songs tonight….”

Can’t possibly dream up a more timely (or easier to write) press release for someone in music PR:

The band’s scheduled performance happened to fall on the very night that the 33 miners were dramatically rescued from 69 unimaginable days trapped 2000 feet below the surface of the earth.

I’m doubly envious as I felt a bit short-shrift by the last Pixies show I saw (at the Palladium this year) especially compared to a 33-song set (plus two-song encore).
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