Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Earl Sweatshirt’s Compelling Contradictions Come To Life At 9:30 Club

By Chris Kelly, E-mail the writer Midway through his concert Monday night, Los Angeles rapper Earl Sweatshirt asked the crowd, Are you guys proud of yourselves? Like most of his interactions with the audience, the sentiment was somewhere between sincere and sarcastic, but the kids standing in the sold-out 9:30 Club didnt care: Getting teased by Earl Sweatshirt makes you part of his crew. Still a week shy of 20, the Odd Future rapper already has the devoted following and outsize legend that most artists twice his age can only dream of. Two years free of a Samoan therapeutic retreat (his unknown whereabouts inspired endless sleuthing and theorizing on the Internet) and six months after the release of his debut album Doris, Earl is quickly and definitively delivering on the promise of his early work. Looking for things to do? Select one or more criteria to search Kid-friendly Get ideas In the same way that he dazzled with Doris, Earl performed with a presence and skill that belies his age, never getting lost in the tangle of syllables in his densely written songs. Joined by frequent collaborator Vince Staples and DJ/court jester Taco Bennett, Earl treated the gig more like an episode of Odd Futures Adult Swim TV sketch show Loiter Squad than a pure concert. Between songs, the three would lounge at the DJ table, catch their breath and banter among themselves and with the crowd, busting chops as adolescent guys tend to do. The contradictions that make him such a compelling artist on Doris, Earl is supremely confident one moment and self-loathing the next affect the live show, too. He told the crowd he wouldnt play one of his most reprehensible songs, the rape-and-murder fantasy epaR, yet he had no problem playing Earl, a song awash in the kind of violent misogyny and homophobia that Odd Future is known for. No matter how vulgar and violent the lyrics, Earls self-awareness makes them easier to accept: The impish goofball on stage cannot possibly be as depraved as his songs suggest. That quality was on display Monday night, whether he was deconstructing the absurdity of some of his most vile lyrics displaying mock horror at their literal meanings or asking the 9:30 Club technicians for a dark and ominous light before performing the confessional Chum. The crowd, made up mostly of his peers (plus a handful of dutiful parents), was entranced throughout, rapping along and chanting at all the right places. The front half of the room lurched like an amoeba with the testosterone-fueled mosh pits and crowd surfing more common at punk shows. Earl certainly feeds off the crowds energy. Encoring with Drop, he boasted, show me a rapper my age that say he nice as this, and judging by the crowds reaction, youd be hard-pressed to find one. Kelly is a freelance writer.
For the original version visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/earl-sweatshirts-compelling-contradictions-come-to-life-at-930-club/2014/02/18/0d08a6d8-98ac-11e3-9495-4f1ffde91da4_story.html

Monday, February 17, 2014

effective Story Telling Tips & Tactics That'll Make You A More Persuasive Speaker! Part I

Perhaps you've been there yourself. You are listening to a speaker drone on with facts and figures… and figures and facts. At that moment your eyes are rolling towards the back of your head. As I always say - audiences will forgive a lot of things from you, but they will never forgive a boring speaker.

The speaker's job is to engage and capture an audience's mind and tug at his heart strings. You always want to keep them listening. A great way to do that is chuck the fact and figures and use effective stories during your public speaking engagements.

Now, you might be thinking, "But loads of great speakers use stories… I want to be a little different." Guess what? They tell great stories because they work.

Stories are more effectively used to illustrate your point as well as to spice up your speech. Your first requirement, though, is to make sure your story is relevant to the subject at hand. Fit the story to the point you are trying to make, NOT the other way around.

Remember: Telling a story that's confusing and tangential will only confuse your audience and turn them off to what you have to say.

Also, make sure your stories match your audience's sensibility. Choose stories based on your audience's occupation, experience, age, and intelligence. If your stories are too complex for your audience, you'll lose them. No, you are not making up a story for your audience to placate them. But let's say you have a story on customer service, tie your story to it. Customize it by having a good set-up that your audience is in tune with.

On the other hand, overly simple stories, or stories your audience has heard repeatedly, can cause them to fall asleep. Take it from me, the minute they hear the beginning of it their internal judgment machine goes on.

Remember: You should make sure your stories match the occasion for your speech. A little humor at a solemn occasion or solemnity at a light occasion isn't a bad thing, but the overall tone of your speech needs to suit the occasion for which you're giving it.

Use These Sure-fire Tips to Enhance Your Craft!

1) Sprinkle stories throughout your speech so that you can keep emphasizing your message. Stories can also provide a change of pace and lighten up a speech that would otherwise be burdened with advice, facts, or figures.

2) Using self-effacing humor can be an effective tool for bonding with your audience. Talk to the audience about your own mistakes or issues. They'll feel like you're more human, making you better able to connect with them. They will also see themselves in you without being made to feel stupid or less-than themselves.

3) Chuck all the little details that don't matter. The color of the hammer with which you smashed your thumb doesn't matter, nor does the exact layout of the room where you had your most embarrassing moment. Get your story across in the fewest words possible. Writing it down on paper and eliminating details can really help.

4) Keep all your funny stories short and sweet. No-one likes it when you take forever to get to the punch line. You may not believe me, but take it from a humorist: your audience will reward particularly funny, short stories with more laughter. Taking the least amount of time possible to get to the punch line will get you a better reaction every time, but if your story needs a bigger set-up, then you had better reward your audience with a great payoff (punch-line)!

5) If you're going to tell longer funny stories, then they need to be really funny. You also need to be sure your jokes and silly stories are believable to a certain point. Using certain specific details can help the audience relate. For instance, say Jif rather than just peanut butter. Being specific sells. However, don't overload your story with unnecessary details.

It takes a fine balance to get your story detailed and specific without making it too long. Writing the story out can help you decide what to keep and what to cut (edit) .

One last important point: Tell your story to friends and family members in different versions to see which one gets the best reaction. Remember: Hearty laughter lets you know you've hit on the right combination of details and brevity. My humorist friends and I do this all the time.

People with a good funny bone will undoubtedly help you determine what is gold and you should keep, or what you should get rid of.