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first_imgdeLphi, Saturday afternoon at the LodgeSometimes you find the spot, the vibe, the soundtrack and the krewe in the tiniest spaces when the lightning strikes; such was the case for deLphi‘s simmering set on Saturday afternoon. Tucked into the cozy confines of the former village, Nevada City’s ethereal empress returned to her rightful place, lording over the people and weaving sexy magik for the West Coast dancefloor shwirl. Super steezy in her special lane, salacious 90’s R&B over future-fresh bass textures, deLphi built a steady head of steam with one banger after the next. Some of the jams that still stick out in my mind: Phoreyz’s luscious short-pause edit of the dearly departed divine dimepiece Aaliyah and her sensual sayonara “Rock the Boat,” former Bonobo siren Andreya Triana’s “Gold” (Fakear remix), The Polish Ambassador’s rewiring of Blackstreet’s omnipresent come-on “No Diggity,” and the mighty Mos Def’s early, hungry, verbose gymnastics on “Habitat” off his classic solo debut Black on Both Sides. Badd, badd gyal, deLphi was keeping it thorough; look out for madame and her forthcoming mixtape Love Notes. Photo: Alyssa KeysPhoto: Alyssa KeysSunset Spanking, Saturday evening at Favela BarThis annual disco-house swag-a-thon is on my personal can’t miss Lightning in a Bottle itinerary each and every year, and for good reason. The resident servants-in-swerve are Lovelife/MusicIS4LOVERS OGs DADON and Jimbo James, and these fellas now-legendary sunset joyrides at the Favela Bar are fantastic voyages guaranteed. This year would be no different, as San Diego invaded the Brazilian ghetto with a packed neighborhood hoe-down and a jammin’ dance floor wave of deep house and disco funk, a merciful fate from the deepest of crates. As the sun raced over the horizon, we popped our collars and strutted our stuff, beckoning the arrival of one more Saturday night live.Dimond Saints, Saturday night at the Thunder StageI was first introduced to Dimond Saints in the live element at Lightning in a Bottle 2014, where they torched the now-defunct Bamboo Stage with the promise of a new tomorrow. I declare with conviction that I have not been the same boy since. Three solar turns further into the abyss, we’ve watched, danced, and shook our collective heads in awe as an-ten-nae and Releece have mined the heart of darkness, leveling up with every high profile performance. This writer has journaled extensively about their live excursions, from Envision to Bicycle Day, Symbiosis and beyond, and I can say unequivocally and without hyperbole that this Lightning in a Bottle set was indeed their finest hour. From the opening notes and gossamer vox of Yaarrohs “Innocence”, the Oaktown voodoo alchemists finally harnessed the sparse percussion, erotic elements, 808 mindstate, and just the right amount of heartbreak. Their future-moon muzik delivered a focused, cohesive vision that was matched in execution; they finally got it all dialed.Employing the services of Releece’s childhood homie Matt Silberman on sax and MIDI flute, and CL Behrens‘s on bass trombone, the dynamic duo piloted the pilgrimage into the portal. “Hirohito” transported us back to the opium dens with its Persian perfume and minimalist instrumentation, “Way Down” was a deafening dirge equal parts New Orleans and Nostradamus. Reece and Adam brought back a couple beloved edits, “Hard Time” (Seinabo Sey) got mashed with “Sum Luv,” and their third remix! of Lorde’s Tears for Fears cover “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” An-ten-nae’s medicinal mayhem courts the frayed ends of sanity, Releece’s beats the perfect foil; together sharp as “Ginzu” the “Saints” howled “What the F*ck?” at a “Crunk Moon.”Despite a penchant for the heart filling and emotional  (Yaarrohs’ pensive “Find a Way” and ghostly, longing “Stay”), it would be their larger-than-life take on Kendrick Lamar’s colossal “DNA” that “destroyed” Lightning in a Bottle. “They got dark, and then got evil, It’s inside their DNA!“ Dimond Saints reminded us all with a ten-ton sledgehammer that they still can uncork blood-curdling cannon blasts of conscious anthem-trap, when they find themselves with a few extra f*cks to give. The Saints and their squadron were rewarded with an eruption they won’t soon forget. With that, these Oakland avengers theatrically unmasked, embracing their vulnerabilities, writing the first notes of their next chapter, and boldly revealing themselves as the true rhythm stars.Photo: Sherman WellonsBob Moses, Saturday night at the Lightning StageImmediately following the Saints séance, we hustled to the massive Lightning Stage for the groovy live house of headliners Bob Moses. Originally a minimalist deep-house duo from Vancouver, Jimmy Vallance (keys) and Tom Howie (vox and guitar) have fleshed out their live performance into the realms of rock gods, without sacrificing a sliver of vibe or aesthetic. Having seen them on a recent club tour, I found myself curious about how the enormous scope of this stage and their Saturday night primetime slotting would transmit into their set. This was lost on neither the group or the shimmying thousands who had assembled, and both factions rose to the occasion with hella pomp, given the circumstances. With the addition of powerhouse drummer Joe Zizzo, Bob Moses has successfully transmutated into a full-fledged band, their meditative deep-house ocean dives spiraling into fits of arena rock bombast. From the opening jam “Like it or Not”, to the early era’s reflective reverberations within “Far From the Tree”, the duo plus Zizzo mainlined the vibe from a loaded-rig dripping in sultry. Highlights from this raging rock concert of four-on-the-floor frenzy included “Days Gone By,” “Winters Song,” the haunting gamesmanship within “Grace,” and the swaggering hit single “Tearing Me Up.” Nothing but pride and admiration for the fashion in which these boys have navigated Mt. Zeitgeist, and damn if they don’t look real cool doin’ it, too.Photo: Michael RoushKaytranada, Saturday night at the Lightning Stage Somehow, we mustered up the intestinal fortitude required to rage the final stage of this night’s legendary Vibe Olympics. The stretch run arrived in the form of Kaytranada‘s ninety-minute, slow’d n’ throw’d journey into the bountiful bosom of House n’ B. The Haitian-born (by way of Montreal) “Dilla of House” managed to up the ante, delivering a fun yet ferocious dance party of prodigious proportions. Beginning with “Despite the Weather”, an orgasmic slab of stutter step electro rare-groove, Kaytranada was a sorcerer of smooth, unveiling one luscious slow house heater after the next. Rihanna’s “Kiss it Better” and Teedra Moses’ “Be Your Girl” were souped up with vital ingredients and given the Kaytra treatment. The homie brought the CHI-town vibes with some Roy Ayers and had a look through AlunaGeorge’s “Kaleidescope” taboot.As the set pulsated its way into the night, Kaytranada was nothing if not careful about having “One Too Many,” but a “Meditation” led to otherworldly “Vivid Dreams.” Funky guitars and a First Ave groove unleashed half-time arpeggiated analog synths — this was a “Breakdance Lesson” ten thousand strong. By the end of this mouth-watering set of the sexiest music heard all weekend, just about every last dancer looked like a pharaoh. The mad scientist manning the decks must have seen the same, because he forwarded a titanic version of the Anderson. Paak collab “Glowed Up”, a herculean housequake that threatened to decimate the entire premises. In a classic example of last night a DJ saved my life, Kaytranada last-responded with a flamethrower; calling out to rhythm nation and the ghost of The Ummah alike with his torrid, damiana scented remix of Janet Jackson’s tantalizing come-on “If.” Lightning in a Bottle may tout itself a Leave No Trace event, but as the sexy trifecta of Dimond Saints > Bob Moses > Kaytranada came to a close, there were more than a few pairs of panties dropped, strewn about the lawns as far as thine eye could by Eric Jon De Leon A whirlwind of divergent and reverberating energies surrounded the behemoth festival, Lightning in a Bottle, during her 2017 incarnation, an alchemy that made the event’s cultural and artistic achievements all the more remarkable. Venerable LA conglomerate The DoLab is an ever-evolving force of nature — the minds, body, and soul of Lightning in a Bottle — realizing the festival and its ethos and vision into fruition each and every year. With a dedication to art, progressive social movements and justice, community, the environment, yoga, and education that rivals any other gathering of its kind, Lightning in a Bottle has established itself with such impact that The DoLab has pivoted to more contemporary, gen-pop events like their wildly-popular presence at Coachella.Some chatter in recent times threw a little shade at The DoLab, thinking that its Coachella influence has invaded or pervaded Lightning in a Bottle. One cannot deny the sense of a community’s lowest-common-denominator, or maybe that’s just the radical inclusion that The DoLab mined from its Black Rock City genetic code and inspiration. The assembled twentyish-thousand ravers, hippies, revolutionaries, shamans, ex-patriots, b-boys, and b-girls certainly included some low-hanging fruit, and a brief peruse around the festival grounds revealed more than a few bros and sparkleponies, too. It seemed that the brand-new, shimmering lake filled with water for the first time since the festival has resided in San Antonio Recreational Area made for more than just an oasis in the formerly dusty expanse; it brought people together, along with their floaties and an abundance of good vibes. All things reconsidered, the congregation that decamps to Bradley, CA each Memorial Day weekend for Lightning in a Bottle is among the most compassionate, colorful, vibrant, open, forward-thinking, tolerant, sexy, and enjoyable festival communities that this writer has had the good fortune to enjoy.The Official Lightning in a Bottle 2017 Aftermovie! At Lightning in a Bottle, so much can be told and written about the plethora of cross-cultural ceremonies, culinary art, and holistic awakenings. Roaming around the enormous venue, one could simply enjoy all the non-musical options for the duration of the festival and depart full and happy. Among the most treasured and powerful gatherings is around the Sacred Fire, a wonderful communal space for humans to connect, pray, or just be. On the fun and games side of the equation, there’s the Soap Box Derby; giant Skee-Ball; Sitcommune, which is a hip-hop puppet show presented by The Fungineers; late-night speed dating; Highlove Vitality Elixir Lounge, a burlesque/carnival/psychedelic/steampunk/circus elixir bar with live music and dancers; the infamous Amori’s; an interactive lysergic hotel called The Lightning Inn by Imagine Nation; Android Jones Samskara VR experience; and those are just the tip of the proverbial lightning bolt, if you will. Climbing Poetree, Friday afternoon at the Lightning StagePhoto: Sherman WellonsOver several performances, crowned by a powerful ceremony on the main Lightning Stage, revolutionary hip-hop goddesses Climbing PoeTree reached deep into the hearts and minds of those assembled. Spitting flows fantastic, educating and elevating with potent themes of awareness and justice, co-creators Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman made their presence and messages felt with hip-hop authority through multi-voice spoken word, beats and rhyme play, along with a hybrid live band throwing the urban riddims alongside world music. Vocalist Gina Breedlove brought an element of royalty to the proceedings — a humble yet commanding stage presence regal in voice and spirit. These wonder women were augmented by keyboardist Kevin Njikam, Audiopharmacy’s Teao Sense (musical director, DJ, multi-instrumentalist), Desirae Harp (vocals), and killin’ drummer Ahmed Regab. Zena Carlota played the kora, and Ross Plunkett trumpet. Berkeley-based activist/musician Lydia Violet sang beautifully, plucked clawhammer banjo and coaxed tear-jerking tones from her violin.CharlesTheFirst, Friday afternoon at the Thunder Stagephoto: Eric Jon De LeonPsychedelic bass grommet CharlesTheFirst‘s ascent to the proverbial big time has more than just his name in lights; it could be described as rapid, meteoric, and most definitely deserved. The young Jedi took the decks on a splendid, sunny Friday afternoon and delivered a confident set that was rich in his trademark atmospherics, with hip-hop cadences and rumbling roots underneath subaqueous synths and sampling — a British woman whispered of being lost, but she knew nothing of our descent. A transfixed Thunder Dome trusted this touched sonic philosopher to navigate this vessel as he saw fit; we followed Sir Charles on a ravenous run through a forest with no name.  Key track: “Versicolor.” Photo: Alyssa KeysPhoto: Sherman WellonsPhoto: Sherman WellonsPhoto: Sherman WellonsIn a sort of controversy that I am neither informed enough nor remotely inclined to discuss (but as a reporter simply must acknowledge, The Temple of Consciousness, a beloved spiritualized, educational space for many years at Lighting in a Bottle, did not return for 2017). There is a deep divide (and legal entanglement) between the brilliant, passionate people who gave birth to the festival and created its Temple. This year, the superheroes of Living Village Culture, along with many other collaborators, unveiled The Compass in place of the former Temple. The results were, in a word, astounding. Look out for a feature on the inaugural Compass at Lightning in a Bottle 2017 from renowned journalist Maria Herrera.Beyond all of this and so much more, Lightning in a Bottle is still a music festival, first and foremost. And this is Live for Live Music, which is what I do, and why you’re here. Last year my mission was an ambitious one, as I attempted to “review” the entire festival; an exercise in futility as Lightning in a Bottle is too enormous of an undertaking for any one writer or article. Nonetheless I did my best to paint the full portrait, and you can check that out here. For Lightning in a Bottle 2017, I am taking the inverse approach, especially since our trip was short, we raged, raved, and readied ourselves for revolution in all of about 75 hours onsite. Sadly, we were forced to miss most of Sunday; that meant FOMO for flaming hot sets from Naughty Princess, MORILLO, and Bonobo, both the live band and a festival-closing DJ set at the Pagoda Bar. For these aforementioned reasons, and in the spirit of brevity and potency, the forthcoming review is merely one version of an LIB excursion; here is but a smattering of the fantastic music we encountered at Lightning in a Bottle 2017. I encourage readers to seek out the dozens of other accounts of this incredible festival available all across the interwebs.ThursdayThursday night at The Beacon StageAs Lightning in a Bottle 2017 got going in earnest, there was a flurry of under-the-radar sets that had the dancefloors buzzin’ deep into the evening. Bass culture mafioso ChrisB. (LA) and an-ten-nae (Bay Area) tested new joints in back-to-back sets at Pagoda Bar, a side-stage that saw the cutting edge in low-end theory all weekend long. Yet it would be the new Beacon Stage that played host to a carnival of color and style for a lengthy Thursday night run, beginning just before 7 p.m. with the celestial Yaima and flowing all the way ’til the delectable deep-house duo KMLN pulled the train into elevation station after 4 a.m.. Between those bookends, the Beacon saw three diverse sets forwarded by some of the newest NorCal sheriffs in town. Nevada City world music adventurer Brian Hartman threw down a global groove with help from Kr3TURE on sax, while the steeziest hip-hop krewe to come through since who knows who, Jumpsuit Records phenomenon Ultimate Fantastic, showed and proved with a slammin’ live set, stealing hearts like thieves in the night. However, consensus would have the night belong to the man they call Aabo. The Oakland-based producer/multi-instrumentalist Aaron Bortz continued to stay three steps ahead while laying back in the cut with his feet on the dash. The future is bright for this fresh talent who slayed on opening night. On Friday evening at The Beacon, a similar cast of NorCal characters showed up to support and sit-in with Jumpsuit’s resident vibeologist saQi, as frequent collaborators KR3TURE, Pharroh (of Ultimate Fantastic) came through, along with Nevada City style queen and femcee Deva Carolina.Photo: Alyssa Keysphoto: Alyssa Keysphoto: Alyssa Keys Photo: Juliana BernsteinSaturdaySaturday morning, as I ambled homeward bound in a blissful, if somewhat dissociative malaise and the purplest of hazes, just before the sun rose, I stumbled upon the most grandiose, theatrical karaoke stage and studio one could ever imagine. After Dark Karaoke was the Disney World of karaoke joints, and was literally under a bridge downtown. Shout out to the dude who, at the stroke of 5 a.m., donned the requisite pink apparel and attitude and mighty-morphed into Harlem hero Cam’ron. A circus-tent Cameron Giles spit a method-acted perfect rendition of the Dip Set champion’s huge call-and-response hit “Hey Ma!”, complete with his honey in the front row answering every “I smoke” with its “me too,” every “let’s slide” with its requisite “alright.” Granted, they had the words right in front of them, but still, they sure as hell got it on toniiiiiite!Late Saturday night, on a similar wander’bout though of different geography, we came upon a full-blown rap cipher going down in the middle of town. I recognized one of the emcees voices immediately: Jackson Whalan, who is no stranger to a freestyle battle or a SNAG situation. Whalan was in the company of emcees Narayan from Zion, J Brave & Guido from Luminaries, conspiracy king Truth Now, and the beats and rhymes were powered by a bikrophone sound system (bike powered) pedaled by none other than the ubiquitos Cello Joe. Members of this very same rap krewe were on hand when Guayaki hosted a hip-hop throwdown Sunday at sundown and the Yerba Mate masters played host to the essence of the culture in a peculiar, if not perfect, location. center_img photo by Eric Jon De Leon Elephant Revival and ORGONE, Friday evening at the Grand ArtiqueNederland, Colorado folk family Elephant Revival put on a glorious performance at The Grand Artique, over in Frontierville — a cowboy town revisited. The group’s ornate instrumentation was a welcome respite from the gobs of EDM bass droning into the sky, and their vocal harmonies soared majestic throughout a set that included covers of Jefferson Airplane and Pink Floyd. Immediately following, LA garage-funk stalwarts ORGONE stormed Frontierville and sauntered through a spicy, sizzlin’ set of 70s smooth grooves. Despite the absence of founder/guitarist/swag institution Sergio Rios, ORGONE soldiered through and sent us off for sunset with a slug of the vintage.Photo: Michael RoushBarclay Crenshaw, Friday night at the Thunder StageLast year, it was Jamie XX who came out of left field and socked me good (admittedly, I had been living under a rock). This year, that holy shit! set came courtesy of one Barclay Crenshaw. The kitchen-sink alter-ego of Dirtybird mayor, Claude Von Stroke, Crenshaw detonated the Thunder Stage on Friday night with a chunky set of bangers. Leaning heavy on the golden-era of NYC hip-hop, Crenshaw flipped Busta Rhymes’ ginormous “Woo-Hah, I Got You All in Check” over the iconic DJ Premier’s nebulous, neck-snappin drums and sample chop (Funk Inc.’s “Kool is Back”) on Jeru the Damaja’s 1994 classic “Come Clean.” I mean…. Seriously?! Respect to the dude for bringing the ruckus twenty years later, as he continued the Big Apply bully squad with blends from A Tribe Called Quest, Jay-Z, and more. He mixed in originals too — electronic-leaning rap music from his self-titled debut LP. Later, Crenshaw deviated into some lush, jazzy jungle of the same 90’s era, a smidgen of Bukem breaks and Cujo styles. There were trunk-rattler 808s and booty-bass rollers that would see Masta Ace reborn, and Barclay winked at footwork and juke but never gave up the digits. To bring his magnanimous set to a close, Barclay Crenshaw did the unthinkable: he cued up the everlasting Slick Rick narrative “Children’s Story,” released on Def Jam back in 1987. Thirty years! The cops ‘n’ robbers action flick gone nursery rhyme was older than two-thirds of the kids raging the Thunder Dome. No remix, no edits, not a bell or nary a whistle. This DJ played the OG record, and let that shit hoo-ride out into the night, and then he rat-a-tat-tatted, and all the peeps scattered. On the straight and narrow, our soul was cast.Photo: Eric Jon De LeonTroyBoi, Friday night at the Thunder StageBritish trap-warlord TroyBoi and his “world fusion trap hybrid” was among the most anticipated sets for many at Lightning in a Bottle 2017, and the teeming masses that showed for his just-after-midnight marauding at the Thunder Stage were clearly ready to rumble. The bombastic bloke’s set was a futuristic fury of colossal drum patterns and atomic bass, dialing up nuclear tunes from behind the board, then running to the front of the stage to get hype. Mixing in his own “OG,” “Grimey,” “Du$h,” and “7th Sense,” and utilizing a snake-charming Japanese pan flute in “Sensei,” TroyBoi’s unique concoctions embody the globalization of electronic music on hydroponic steroids. The robust DJ is on record that his heart and now his home, are in the States, and Troy has been taking a deep dive into the U.S.’s bottomless well of Black Music history. This was evidenced with “Wallz,” a juicy jam based off Michael Jackson’s swaggadelic “Off the Wall,” three minutes of hyper-sexualized heaven. With collabs from dubstep emperors Flosstradamus (“Soundclash”) and Dirty South hero Waka Flocka Flame (“Too Turnt Up”), TroyBoi was deep in these streets and had the kids wylin’ out with a reckless abandon that would have even the cagiest ragers quivering in their LED Air Yeezys.Photo: Eric Jon De Leon Too Many Zooz, Saturday late night at The Grand ArtiqueThe remaining hours were but a blur of sound art, movement, and colors in the void. New York City subway kings Too Many Zooz enthralled a capacity crowd at The Grand Artique beginning at 2 a.m. going nearly til the morning. If Manhattan 50’s hard-bop hit a base pipe, scarfed down a muffalata in New Orleans, and then beamed to Berlin’s Love Parade, that would possibly hint at the artistic intestines of Too Many Zooz. For almost two hours, the trio of Leo Pellegrino (baritone saxophone), Matt Doe (trumpet), and David “King of Sludge” Parks (drums) brought their aggressive brand of brass-house and sonically cyber-bullied their way into Frontiersville, sending every last reveler home happily tarred and Karl BabaVokab Kompany, Saturday late night at Amori’s Casino and BurlesqueAt the tail end of this adventure, a tradition like none other scored by the avant-garde and hosted at a mecca of progressive, psychedelic culture, we happened upon a late-night, speakeasy burlesque casino. The joint was outfitted with a live music venue and fine dining, its inhabitants partied deep into the night. The proprietor and establishment’s namesake Amori was a balloted mayoral candidate in Los Angeles. Vokab Kompany, a San Diego live hip-hop krewe, torched a packed Amori’s til the wee hours. Bringing a decade-deep catalog of poignant, emotional raps and funky, bass-heavy EDM jams at a transformational music festival in Northern California. Vokab Kompany, fronted by emcee/vocalists Matt Burke aka Burkey Baby and Robbie Gallo aka Rob Hurt, are a definitive SoCal institution, all the cool, genuine parts of Linkin Park rap-rock chemistry, and devoid of the Hot Topic queso. The amber-hued energy and sophisticated Spicoli surfer-steez called to the ghosts of Bradley Nowell and Andy Irons. Vokab Kompany was powered by a robust backing band; Vikingo Burkhiser (Bass Guitar), Tyler Olson (Drums), Geoff Nigl (Keyboards), Jesse Molloy (Sax), and Richard Galiguis (Guitar) were nothing short of a clinic in synergy. A perfect resolution to an epic ten-hour stretch of dancefloor adventuring and human connection.Photo: KraussSundayBrian Hartman, Sunday afternoon at Favela BarNevada City, CA is home to many a superb selectah, yet Brian Hartman brings a special brand of blessed. When I first encountered him, he was pretty entrenched in playing choice, succulent deep house. Over the past four-ish years, Hartman has renewed his fervor for live instrumentation and world music of interest to him in his halcyon days discovering music, then back-burnered a bit as he settled into a certain lane. Travels around the globe to perform at a diverse array of music festivals has brought his focus back to world music flavors, and it has revolutionized his sound and setlists, making him one of the more in-demand DJs in the region. Boy, can this man move the crowd! On a beautiful afternoon at Patricio’s phenomenal hang Favela Bar, Brian Hartman returned to a perch he knows quite well.On the final full set I took in at Lightning in a Bottle 2017, the NorCal dance floor arsonist found that perfect balance, that delicate ratio of bliss to bump that he’s been seeking. Between the global riddims and cross-cultural consciousness, Hartman delivered a soundtrack intertwined with the sensual, frenetic energy, and bottom-end oomph inherent in his (former) blend of deep house. Yet he sacrificed little world music aesthetic whilst pushing the subs with authority. Like Dimond Saints the night before, Brian Hartman finally got it all dialed in, and the people responded purposefully and vigorously — the only way we know Alyssa Keys (from Beacon set)Big thanks and gratitude to Lightning in a Bottle and it staff, volunteers, and tremendous community. The artists, the speakers, the chefs, and the tweakers, you are what makes this festival flow. The DoLab, please don’t ever change — the Flemming brothers’ dreams and dedication are appreciated and celebrated, all the way around the globe. Respect.Photos: Alyssa Keys, Karl Baba, Michael Roush, Eric Jon de Leon, Krauss, Juliana Bernstein, Jacob Avanzato, Sherman Wellonslast_img read more

first_imgWith all due respect to the traditional Financial Services (FS) industry, if someone told me five or ten years ago that in 2017, financial services would be associated with words like “innovative” and “disruptive,” I probably would have laughed.Organizations like banks and investment management firms have traditionally never been considered particularly fast-moving, and when there are trillions of dollars at stake, the general consensus is that’s just fine.But the FS establishment today is undergoing a massive transformation that is truly unparalleled, even by Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial standards.When it comes to money, there is absolutely a mobile app for thatThe acceptance level by consumers of alternate banking and financial services providers (“fintech”) is at an all-time high. The level of trust is higher in those organizations that offer tools and services grounded in ease of use, convenience and innovation.Many people are willing, for example to do their taxes online for free. They’re willing to send and receive payments on a mobile app they’ve never used before. This level of disruption makes Uber’s take on the taxis look like child’s play. Ease of use is the primary driver and that’s very, very telling about both the changes that have taken place, as well as what we can expect in the future.Smartphones and mobile apps have replaced traditional credit or debit cards for many consumers. By comparison, if we look back at the retail system, it was just three years ago you couldn’t make a purchase without a physical credit or debit card. Now its business-as-usual to pay for everything from your morning Starbucks, to a bag of dog food on Amazon, all online or through your phone.And it’s not just major retailers that are benefiting from the rise of applications in the retail, finance and payment spaces. Smaller businesses and individuals that use point of sale technologies such as Square can accept and process payments through their smartphones with a card reader or a QR code.Next, look at the process of transferring money from your bank, whether to an individual or a business.The ability to transfer funds on an interstate level in the U.S. has been around for a while given that the funds (all in U.S. dollars) travel within the traditional banking system. Today apps like Venmo and PayPal enable people to transfer funds directly from their bank accounts or credit cards to people via their smartphone.Moving money on an inter-continental basis has been a greater challenge. For decades, consumers have had to go through Western Union to send money internationally, but as the world becomes increasingly more flat, moving money across continents – in different currencies – has the potential to be the next big disruptive push in the way that consumers manage and move their money.The trade off: Ease of use versus institutional loyaltyMillennials are leading the charge in adopting many of these new banking and payment technologies. Having grown up with the internet, many millennials are less concerned about sharing their data with a new financial organization, or experimenting with new applications. How millennials perceive value differs largely from the way that Generation X or the boomers do, for example. For millennials, it’s less about loyalty to an established institution and more about the quality of service and ease of use a company can offer.As a result, this is opening the massive FS market to a new generation of entrants. The barrier to entry in the financial space has never been lower. Many of the startups in banking and financial services focus on ease of use, speed of change, mass customization – in short, the tenets that originated in the internet world.Many of these new players have absolutely no experience in the financial space – and despite what you might assume, many consumers aren’t scared off by that. In fact, it’s often the exact opposite. People are used to doing business online. The reality today is that having a brick-and-mortar presence isn’t a barrier to entry, in many cases it can be considered a hindrance. Online bank CapitalOne is a good example of a financial organization that is thriving, while many traditional retail banks with their physical neighborhood branches are struggling.Certainly consumers need to be skeptical before transferring funds to an alternative financial institution or mobile app, but I think there is an awareness that many of these startups are investing heavily in cyber defense and encryption because they get it: their business is gone if they get breached.Consumers are used to the models that come with internet-based services and technologies. Services like the credit reporting company Credit Karma have perfected the “freemium” model for financial services that offers users services for free, but then monetizes those services in another manner. To access your account, you might need to sit through an ad, for example.  And consumers are used to this – it’s the same understanding that retailers use with affinity cards. Safeway, as one case, provides its club members with a discount on products, in exchange for information about their purchase histories.Will everyone move their checking and savings accounts into online banks? Perhaps not overnight, but with many banks charging fees for customers to speak with human tellers at their branches, the appeal of going online suddenly seems much more appealing. Even with insurance, there are startups that offer low-cost policies entirely online simply by having users enter in some numbers. It’s an entirely agent-free process, just a few clicks and you’re suddenly saving up to 30 percent on car insurance!Disruption comes from within: Recruiting the best minds from techTraditional banks are going to be going the way of the Dodo bird if they don’t innovate and embrace modernization. Banks and other financial institutions need to figure out that if they’re not easy to use, they’re probably in for it.If you look at the banks that are thriving, it is the ones that have adopted and adapted to the digital transformation, the ones that have hired people with data analytics skills and who are using data analytics skills in the space to offer services that are better suited to what their end customers actually want. CapitalOne, for example, has as many presenters at Hadoop conference as traditional tech companies!At the end of the day, it’s all about the Benjamins. People are incentivized by money – it doesn’t drive every decision, but it’s often the most primary thing. When you’re talking about money being managed by a computer, or depositing a check simply by photographing it, that’s not something I would have anticipated 10 years ago.Looking ahead, what I think we’ll see as consumers is an arms race to win our business, both by the emerging disrupters and the long-term established institutions. Five years ago the arms race within financial services was fueled by hiring quality talent out of Silicon Valley with a migration of well-known executives to both big financial houses & startups.What are the other benchmarks for disruption – will it be machine learning and artificial intelligence? Continuing to raise the bar on talent and innovation? Shifting and evolving the business models? A model that can beat a human trader on investing money – that’s one potential outcome. It will be interesting to see if more institutions pick it up. People are starting to take notice.last_img read more

Showy plant picks

January 17, 2021 | tqujrlgr | No Comments

first_imgFrom a Golden Isle tour through the largest collection of native plants in Georgia to Georgia Gold Medal winners, “Gardening in Georgia” has something for Georgia plant lovers statewide.”Gardening in Georgia” airs on Georgia Public Broadcasting stations across Georgia each Thursday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.The show airing May 17 and 19 will give a glimpse of the walled rose garden at the newly renovated, renowned vacation jewel, The Cloister, on Georgia’s Sea Island. A little-known gem is at Georgia Perimeter College in the south DeKalb County neighborhood of Panthersville. The college’s Native Plant Garden has plants of the Southeast and ferns from around the world that can easily grow in the South.Each year, a committee of Georgia plant experts selects trees, shrubs, vines and flowers that flourish in the state. Gardening guru and show host Walter Reeves will reveal his six favorites from this year’s Georgia Gold Medal plant list.Reeves, a retired University of Georgia Extension agent, will also show how to transplant Lenten roses.”Gardening in Georgia” is coproduced by GPB and the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Each show is geared to Georgia soils, climate and growing conditions.The 2007 season is made possible through an underwriting gift from McCorkle Nurseries and support from the Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association. For more on “Gardening in Georgia,” visit read more

first_imgA few years ago, Charley was the one to really sit with me at Gorilla (of the Green River Narrows) and meticulously pick apart and explain the line through that beast. I felt so inspired that I ended up running Gorilla for my first time that day! (Thanks again, Charley!) And here he was, the first time I’ve seen him since, excited to show me down Raven Fork for my first time.I was beyond happy to have him there. I had met Paul during our hike out from our previous attempt but did not yet know Clay or Andy. The whole crew was more than patient with Sean and I as we hopped out of our boats to scout pretty much everything. They were extremely encouraging, and because they were willing to take the time to pick apart the rapids and explain the lines, Sean and I were able to complete our personal first descents of the Raven Fork.What a day! The rapids lived up to every little bit of their reputation. There were fast slides, tight slots, boofs, intricate maneuvers, combinations of all of the above stringed one after another and pretty much anything you could really ask for from a one mile stretch of river. We had perfect sunshine and one of the first warm days of the year. The stars aligned for an absolutely perfect day. We spent the rest of our break resting, recovering and getting skunked on the Narrows – not quite the full action packed week we had imagined, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! It’s Friday afternoon, but not just any Friday afternoon… It’s the start of my last ever Spring Break. While most of my peers have plans to swarm the beaches of Panama City, Florida, my friends and I have a very different intent. We are going to venture north into the mountains in anticipation of a full week of action packed, world-class whitewater kayaking.Our first destination – the infamous Raven Fork, known among Southeastern paddlers as one of the highest quality creeks around. This river packs 15 Class 5.0 rapids—as well as a handful of refreshing Class IV’s—into its one-mile plunge down a steep valley in the Great Smokey Mountains.I’ve had my eye on this gem for about a year now, but for some reason or another never caught the right rain at the right time with the right mental preparation. But that was all about to change. This was my chance. Sean, John, and I loaded up boats Friday night in anticipation of getting an early start Saturday morning and meeting Burton in Cherokee. Our goal was to make the most of the daylight and leave plenty of time for scouting the many steep bedrock slides of the Raven Fork.On the drive up there is nothing but mist and light rain, just enough to taunt paddlers hoping for levels to bump. When we arrived in Cherokee we got a visual of 15 inches on the bridge gauge.“That’s higher than I was hoping for, but I think I can make that work. It’s still doable,” I say to myself as the other members of the group voice the same concern almost verbatim. The immediate area had not gotten much rain, so none of us were expecting the level to rise much more.When we get to Manny’s place, the unofficial take out, we happen upon a small group of enthusiastic paddlers. It’s an intimidating bunch with a majority of the faces belonging to the renowned, top-notch paddlers of the southeast. My group and I get geared up and head up the mountain as quickly as we can. I’m hoping my Jeep Cherokee can make it up the notoriously rough put-in trail, but we have no such luck. Still full of excitement and anticipation we show no regret towards the idea of having to shoulder our boats from here.“How long can the trail stay this steep?” I think to myself as we ascend towards the put-in, trying not to psych myself out thinking about all the gradient we are ascending.After all, what goes up must come down, right? After an uncomfortable eternity of hiking through the world’s sloppiest, muckiest, and slipperiest mud, we can see a few trucks ahead.“Made it!”, I thought, but I was wrong…very wrong. About this time we hear a large truck powering it’s way through the slop as it comes up behind us.Paul Butler parks among the other trucks as we arrive to the ‘parking lot’ on foot. Wouldn’t it have been nice to score a ride on that thing!Photo Courtesy of Clay LucasWe meet many of the faces we saw at Manny’s at the parking lot. They were fortunate enough to catch a ride to the top, and thus still have enough breath for laughing and joking. My group and I seize the opportunity for a much needed breather.Eventually, the group begins to move again up, down, and across what I assumed would be a very short final approach to the water. I should have known that would not be the case, as there was no water in sight, save for a tiny mountain spring trickling across the footpath.We spend the next mile and a half or so ducking under a seemingly endless number of fallen trees on a narrow footpath, often having to improvise a new path where the existing path disappears under deadfall.Along the way I spent a couple moments catching my breath and taking in the scenery. To our right was a steep ascent to the very crest of the ridge, and to our left was a steep, narrow gorge blanketed in fog. Sounds of cascading water rise from below, but the fog cover hides the origin; I am forced to use my imagination to picture the rapids below.Soon my imagination is interrupted. We’ve reached what Burton refers to as the “Hillary Step,” comparing our hike to the final stretch climbers must conquer before summiting Everest. Here we scramble over a patch of rocks obstructing our path, squeezing between bushes and pulling aside branches to maintain some visual of what lies ahead.After immerging, the path more or less disappears, and it’s every man for himself for the final 100 yard descent over a mess of moss covered boulders before reaching the water.When we reach the water we take a minute to collect ourselves. We all agree we are going to portage the Class 5.2 “Anaconda” and seal launch into the water below. We regroup in the river’s left eddy above Headless Horseman, a Class 5.1, and line up single file to take a stab at it.albo 2Photo Courtesy of Chip AlboWe agreed that we had all seen enough photos and videos of the iconic rapid to know the line, so we elected to run it blind. Burton went first, then it was my turn. I line up for the standard line, moving towards the right wall, and just before going over the plunge I notice how much bigger the hole below is compared to any video I had seen before.I end up getting flipped over my stern and ride the remainder of the sluice on my head – there was plenty of flow to pad it out. At the bottom I roll up and take my spot in the eddy and watch John and Sean follow.John had just about as much luck as I did, but Sean has a clean line. In the eddy we commented on how much water there was pumping through the river bed and elected to get out to scout the next set of drops: a small Class IV+ with some poorly placed wood, Right Right (Class 5.0), and Razor Back (Class 5.1).As we are hopping out of our boats we get word from Raven Fork regulars that the level has risen to something more similar to 20 inches.“That’s a lot more water than I bargained for!” I thought to myself, but decided to put eyes on the next set anyway.We were able to scout Right Right but couldn’t find any real way to put eyes on Razor Back without first having to run Right Right.It looked doable; however, Sean, John and I made the call to get out while we could. We were confident that we could run what we were able to see right now, but the further we went down the river the further we got from the trail and the bigger the rapids got. It’s difficult to shake what I assume to be the paddler’s equivalent of “Summit Fever.”We were so close to achieving something we had dreamed about for a year. We were right there! I kept reminding myself that the rapids would only get bigger and the trail only further, and made the decision to hike out. Abandoning the closest I’ve ever come to reaching my dream of experiencing the Raven Fork.We returned to Atlanta that night and took a full day for rest and recovery from our hiking excursion. I was slightly disappointed with having to walk off, but at the same time, I was highly energized and excited about having seen the rapids and knowing they were within my reach when the time came.Sure enough, later that day we saw a gauge visual posted on Facebook. The water level had begun to subside after reaching a reported 24 inches and would be prime for a second attempt on Monday.Sunday night Sean and I loaded up the car again and headed north. We camped out near the Chattooga and made it to Cherokee as early as we could on Monday morning.This time Burton was not going to be with us to show us down, but we lucked out. We got to Manny’s and by a stroke of luck joined a crew consisting of Charley Bartlett, Paul Butler, Clay Lucas, and Andy Hobson. They agreed to show us down for our first time, and Paul’s truck made getting to the put-in a heck of a lot easier.Photo Courtesy of Chip AlboPhoto Courtesy of Chip Albolast_img read more

What credit card perks do you want?

December 17, 2020 | tqujrlgr | No Comments

first_img 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Did you know just over 80% of Americans own and use a credit card? It’s a pretty important piece of the loan portfolio for many of the credit unions and banks that we work with, but there’s always one big question: what do people look for in a card program?According to a recent Harris Poll survey, the most important feature isn’t a rewards program. Three-quarters of card-holders that were surveyed said having no annual fee was either essential or extremely important in choosing a credit card, and 56% were looking for low interest rates.The survey broke the data down even further. Here’s a few facts you may find interesting:86% of men between the ages of 35 and 64 and women aged 45 to 64 don’t want to pay an annual fee.Adults between 35 and 54 years of age were more likely to seek out low interest rates.Lower in priority to those surveyed are foreign transaction fees (29%) and the ability to get cash advances or loans (21%). continue reading »last_img read more

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Student loan debt continues to trend upward and remains prominent in the news. LendKey has performed research to assess how borrowers felt about their college choices when considering their ability to repay their student loan debt. The company found that 53.9% were very pleased with the ROI their college or university provided them. Given the rising cost of tuition, students and their families are definitely still seeing the value of borrowing to fill the gaps among scholarships, grants, and their personal funding when they’re financing higher education.More than half of borrowers were very satisfied with their college or university choice given their ability to pay back their loans. The borrower’s satisfaction with their college or university choice increases with age substantially, which aligns with career advancement, paid off student debt, purchased homes, and established families. However, there is an opportunity to educate these young borrowers on their borrowing and repayment options. continue reading »last_img read more

first_imgThe two patients are currently being treated in isolation at the city’s referral hospital for the virus, the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital (RSPI Sulianti Suroso). Read also: Anies issues decree on increasing Jakarta’s COVID-19 alertness levelThey were previously admitted to Mitra Keluarga Hospital in Depok on Feb. 27. The Depok administration sent a circular to about 70 medical workers of the private hospital who may have come into contact with one of the patients, ordering them to limit their movements and avoid crowded areas.The Health Ministry said it tracked the movements of the two patients and found at least 48 people had come into contact with them.The Jakarta Archdiocese issued a statement on Monday suggesting churchgoers suffering from respiratory illnesses, such as cough and breathing difficulties, to stay at home and consult with their doctors.It also suggested that churchgoers bring their own hand sanitizers and allowed them not to hold hands for the sign of peace ritual. They were also given permission to bring their own crosses for the Good Friday service ahead of Easter. (ars) The Jakarta administration will reduce the number of mass gatherings as a precaution after two residents of Depok, West Java – located on the outskirts of the capital city – tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), marking the country’s first confirmed cases.Governor Anies Baswedan said on Monday his administration would suspend the issuance of new permits for mass gatherings.”The provincial administration won’t issue any new permits for events that will gather people in large numbers. The permits that have already been issued will be reviewed,” he told reporters at City Hall on Monday. Read also: Jakarta steps up efforts to tackle COVID-19 following two confirmed casesJakarta is scheduled to hold several large events this month. Pop culture festival Head in the Clouds Jakarta, initiated by Asian-American label 88rising and scheduled for Saturday, announced its postponement following the news.Anies also called on the public to avoid visiting places where cases of infection cases were reported.Officials announced Monday that a 64-year-old woman and her 31-year-old daughter tested positive for COVID-19 after the daughter was in contact with a Japanese citizen at a club in Jakarta on Feb. 14. The Japanese citizen tested positive for COVID-19 in Malaysia on Feb. 27.center_img Topics :last_img read more

first_imgNBC News 3 December 2018Family First Comment: In Colorado, the Drug Policy Alliance found, the number of black juveniles arrested on marijuana charges grew after legalization. In 2016, a Colorado Department of Public Safety analysis found that black people living in that state remained three times more likely than white people to be arrested for selling or possessing marijuana. In Washington state, an ACLU analysis found that in 2014, the first year in which marijuana became available in legal retail stores, a black adult remained three times more likely to face low-level marijuana charges than a white adult. In Colorado, the Drug Policy Alliance found, the number of black juveniles arrested on marijuana charges grew after legalization. In 2016, a Colorado Department of Public Safety analysis found that black people living in that state remained three times more likely than white people to be arrested for selling or possessing marijuana. In Washington state, an ACLU analysis found that in 2014, the first year in which marijuana became available in legal retail stores, a black adult remained three times more likely to face low-level marijuana charges than a white adult.The truth behind those figures is complex, as state legal systems have not fully caught up to the new reality of legalized recreational pot. “Law enforcement officials and prosecuting attorneys continue to struggle with enforcement of the complex and sometimes conflicting marijuana laws that remain,” according to the 2016 Colorado Department of Public safety report. Some of the arrests involve people buying or selling small quantities on the black market, often to avoid new taxes. Public consumption is illegal in many states where recreational, small-scale possession is not. And, many criminal justice reform advocates say that fundamental problems in policing and prosecuting — including arrest goals and individual and institutional bigotry — remain.States have also faced the question of what should happen to people who have criminal records for low-level marijuana offenses that are no longer crimes post-legalization. In Colorado, Washington and Nevada — a trio of early legalization adopters — state officials refused to take up bills or vetoed measures that would have sealed or expunged criminal records of people convicted of low-level marijuana crimes before legalization.In 2017, criminal justice and drug policy reform advocates convinced Colorado lawmakers to pass a bill allowing people convicted of misdemeanor possession or marijuana use to have those records sealed if the case would no longer constitute a crime. The records are not expunged. Oregon did something similar in 2015.In Missouri, which legalized medical marijuana, lawmakers have trimmed the waiting periods for those who want to have their misdemeanor criminal records erased from 10 to three years. In Maryland, Massachusetts and Vermont, where minor marijuana convictions can be expunged, people still must initiate and then navigate the process and pay the costs. A drug conviction can make it difficult to impossible to obtain work, student loans and even government-subsidized housing.READ MORE: read more

Duterte lambasts medical workers

September 25, 2020 | tqujrlgr | No Comments

first_imgDuterte responded to the call of the medical group as he placed National Capital Region, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan under modified ECQ for 15 days starting today. In an address to the public late Sunday night, Duterte said that the healthcare workers could just have written a letter or asked for an audience to request Metro Manila’s enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)  shift instead of going public.“There is no need for you and for the guys, 1,000 of you, telling us what to do publicly. You could have just written us a letter. Lahat naman ng sinasabi ninyo sinusunod namin,” Duterte said. MANILA – While he has approved the grant of additional benefits to them, President Rodrigo Duterte unleashed a rant against healthcare workers for trying “to demean the government efforts.” In a letter to Duterte over the weekend, medical groups had pleaded for a “timeout,” asking for a two-week return to ECQ in Metro Manila as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country continued to surge. “Pero huwag kayo magsigaw-sigaw rebolusyon. Sa totoo…Magsabi ka rebolusyon, go ahead, try it. Sirain natin, patayin natin lahat ng mga may COVID. Is that what you want? We can always end our existence in this manner,” he added.“I dare you, do it,” he further said. “I don’t give a fuck if you gather one thousand, two thousand, but bear in mind na kayo mismo ipa-take over ko…tingnan ko kung ano ang lagay ninyo. We are not incompetents here because we are not doctors.”Earlier in his speech, Duterte has approved healthcare workers’ additional benefits like risk allowance for private sector healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients; P10,000 to P15,000 for every healthcare worker that gets sick; life insurance; free accommodation; transportation; and testing./PNcenter_img “I am sure that is not in your heart, I am sure that in your despair, I would like to tell you na ang iyong gobyerno ay hindi nag-iiwan ng mga trabahante. We are doing everything possible to alleviate the situation, to assist our healthcare workers,” Duterte said. “Kung sabihin ninyo you raise the spectacle of agony ninyo, you treat it as if you are about ready to stop work, huwag naman ganon kasi kawawa ang mga kababayan. Sino ang aasahan namin?” he added. He said that while he understands that the health workers are “bone-weary” after several months of battling the infectious respiratory illness but he said that they should not demean the government efforts against COVID-19.last_img read more

Football Friday-Week #4 (9-13)

September 24, 2020 | tqujrlgr | No Comments

first_imgCountry 103.9 WRBI-The Batesville Bulldogs will be hosting The Rushville Lions in a battle of unbeatens.WRBIRADIO.COM-The East Central Trojans travel to Franklin County to battle The Wildcats.  It’s Homecoming in Brookville.WRBI’s Countdown To Kickoff will be at 6.Other area games.Greensburg hosts Lawrenceburg.South Dearborn hosts Connersville.Milan hosts Eastern Hancock.  Homecoming for The Indians.North Decatur at Knightstown.South Decatur hosts Edinburgh.We will keep you updated with the games tonight.Indiana Sports Talk with Bob Lovell follows the games.last_img