Music Review - Time Is Now (Darius Lux)

~ Posted on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 10:03 PM ~

Oh yeah again! It seems that even as a full-time mummy, I still get to review awesome music as well! Anywho, I was pleasantly surprised when David of Lafamos PR and Branding contacted me (I mean, seriously, ME??!) to do a music review for one of the artist he's working with now. So without further ado, here goes my review:

Darius Lux

Excerpts from Darius Lux's official bio:

"A multi-instrumentalist, a producer, and a performer came back as a free-thinker, a philosopher, and an inspirational lyricist. Combining his appreciation of 60s songwriting, 70s soul, 80s pop and 90s hip-hop into a current mix of soulful, rock-edged pop tunes, Darius Lux found his voice on his debut record “Arise”. He now takes us and his band to the streets of LA for his new EP, "Time is Now."

Darius' music is a statement describing how we can take control of our lives. “For each one of us, life can be full of different fears, but we have to remember that fear is a choice. When we decide we don’t want fear and we have chosen to believe in ourselves instead, we find that we begin to receive the things in life we’ve hoped for.” Darius is currently gigging in Southern California with his band and living his life against the grain - with every spirited note he plays; he urges us to do the same."

"Tah! Tah!" - these words immediately spewed out from Ben's mouth the moment we saw the picture of Darius Lux with a guitar next to him. You guys really have a way to make toddlers attracted to music nowadays huh?! Just kidding! Anyway, back to my feedback:

* ALBUM COVER - Love the guitar next to him, love the creative title with the clock (though I'd prefer it not to be too smudgy...) but do not like the side pose of Darius. His side pose made him look like an angry person. Maybe it was his eyebrows or sideburns or something. Undeterred, I dig more  in the world wide web, looking for more photos of him and voila! He is one good looking guy, they should really just consult me when coming up with the album cover do a full feature pose of him for the album cover, something like this:

Darius Lux
Droolworthy right?!
Darius Lux
Or something artistic like this?

* SONGS - I like the distinct and very clear guitar sounds in the album. The few particular songs that caught my attention and got me grooving along to it are "No Problem", "Best Day"  and "World Keeps On Turnin'". I really like the "Best Day" song, it started off with a really fast rock tune and had this awesome chorus.

There is also this part in the "World Keeps On Turnin'" song which is also meaningful:

Each day is a new chance
To make better choices
Switch off those voices - in your head
Don't be scared just dive in
Be glad you're alive and
You're right here right now...

In summary, I'd recommend this album for those who wants to groove along to some upbeat and catchy rock tunes.

You can get the album at http://www.dariuslux.com/getit.html

I would like to give a note of thanks to David & Amanda (for the password and lyrics) again for this wonderful opportunity to review this awesome album!

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with the authorised password to download the 6-track EP album in MP3 format to assist my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.

Book Review - It's a Jungle in There (Steven Schussler)

~ Posted on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 12:10 AM ~

I have the privilege of reviewing a newly released entrepreneur book by Steven Schussler called:"It's a Jungle in There"

Bedtime

Title: It's a Jungle in There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurial Daring
Author: Steven Schussler

Publisher:  Union Square Press (October 5, 2010)
ISBN: 978-1402762895
Hardcover: 256 pages
Dimension: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches

Excerpts from the press material:
"Wild and crazy ideas. That’s the foundation of Steven Schussler’s impressive career in the restaurant and entertainment arenas. Four years and $400,000 after rebuilding his suburban Minnesota home as a jungle—with a life-sized replica of an elephant near the front door and mist, waterfalls, and 40 live tropical birds flying around inside—and inviting prospective investors to come, Schussler launched his dream business. He watched the Rainforest Cafe grow from an idea everyone thought was crazy into an enormous business success and international phenomenon, while getting a kick out of bringing happiness to millions of kids of all ages.

In his first book, Schussler shares the wild and crazy stories of his life in business. While making readers laugh at his antics—from donning a Superman costume, getting into a wooden barrel, and having two policeman buddies deliver him to an interview for a sales job, which he nailed, to showering a parade with confetti made of real money from the Federal Reserve—he reveals the keys to successful entrepreneurship that he’s discovered through his experiences."

Although, gorilla face on the cover page was not my cup of tea, I presume it is related to how the author initiated his business ventures. Fortunately, I'm not the type of person who judges a book by its cover, otherwise I would have missed out on this awesome book!

Schussler shares his strategies for success by pinpointing the "Five P's" of entrepreneurial success - Personality, Product, Persistence, People, and Philanthropy - which jumpstarts creative thinking, and helps business people turn their ideas in to reality.  Curious, I wanted to find out more about his 5 strategies.

Some of the points in the book that caught my fancy were: 'Don't be afraid to dream, and dream big,’ as successful entrepreneurs tend to have the positive thinking attitude that allows them to reach for their goals. Also, dreaming big gives a person a better chance at succeeding big.

Another chapter in the book that I enjoyed reading was chapter 8: Sweat the Small Stuff - something that an aspiring entrepreneur should take great importance and pride in. I am impressed with how Schussler took the extra mile to ensure his clients are satisfied with their deals and projects. As Schussler mentions early in this chapter, people often fail to realize just how important paying attention to detail is, causing them to lose out on bigger opportunities. Schussler exemplifies this principle with his personal experience in noticing and picking up a cigarette butt on the walkway right outside his office door while he was with a client for a company tour. Attention to details such as this impresses his client so much as it reflects on his personality and his company’s.

I also concur with the chapter that touches on making someone feel special, as it does go a long way and ensures the relationship with the clients remain strong. Schussler provides his readers with examples that show how friendships help forge stronger business ties.

This book is a good choice for individuals who are aspiring to be successful in their business or those who are already in the business world wondering whether there's anything else that can be done to build up their business.

Steven Schussler is the Chairman and CEO of Schussler Creative, Inc., a company that creates theatrical environments for restaurants, retail stores, and attractions worldwide. The award-winning founder of the Rainforest Cafe, one of the fastest growing and top-grossing restaurants in the world, he is also the creator and founder of T-REX™, Yak & Yeti™ Restaurant, Betty & Joe’s™, Hot Dog Hall of Fame™, Galaxy Drive In™ and Backfire BBQ™. A dedicated philanthropist, he is a founding member of Smile Network International and has participated in its surgical missions as a volunteer. Born and raised in Far Rockaway, New York, he has homes in Minnesota and Mexico, and frequently gives talks and workshops to aspiring and practicing entrepreneurs across the United States.

You can get this book from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble and even an autographed copy from the book website itself. You can also read about the author at: http://www.schusslercreative.com/schussler_author.html

I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with a copy of the book by the publisher (Union Square Press) via my association with BookPleasures in order to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.

And if you'd like to read my previous book reviews, you can do so by reading this post of mine called "My Book Reviews"

Music Review - Bethlehem Skyline 2

~ Posted on Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 10:00 PM ~

This is my 1st Christmas music album review! I would like to share my feedback and review on this awesome album called “Bethlehem Skyline Vol. 2” which was released on September 28, 2010.

Featuring songs:

Excerpts taken from the album's bio page:

Christmas is a time of joy and wonder that is often mixed with anxiety and stress as the secular and sacred collide. Even believers are sometimes distracted from the true reason for celebration by the mundane demands of life during the hectic holiday season. For many people, music serves as an oasis in the midst of the madness, a way to focus on the miracle of our Savior’s birth and the beauty of God’s plan. Bethlehem Skyline 2 opens a doorway to worship and invites everyone to celebrate.

Like the songs on its predecessor, 2007’s inaugural Bethlehem Skyline, this new compilation is a labor of love created by the Centricity Music family of artists. Downhere and Jason Gray, who contributed memorable tracks to the first Skyline project, once again participate on this second set. The new album also features songs from Andrew Peterson, Me in Motion, Lanae’Hale, Sixteen Cities, High Valley and Matt Papa.

Bethlehem Skyline was born out of a sense of community, not a company marketing agenda. “The album actually had very humble beginnings,” Gray explains. “It was a project that we all got to work on when we were at a retreat. What is beautiful about it, is that it was a labor of love.”

I love Christmas songs! I've already been playing Christmas carols since early this month... I have been feeling pretty Christmas-sy and I'm so glad I get to review this album! These are the following songs I enjoyed from the album:

* "Do You Hear What I Hear" by Jason Gray - a warm but yet upbeat song with nice lyrics, makes you want to dance and sing along!

* "Give it Away" by Me In Motion - Awesome rock tune, and I love the line where it says "Christmas isn't really Christmas till we can take all we that we are, and give it away"

* "Carol Of The Bells" by Lanae Hale - the tune and melody is just so nice (whimsical like) and easy for the ears

* "Christmas In Our Hearts" by Downhere - catchy, make-you-wanna-dance Christmas song!

* "Long, Long Ago" by Andrew Peterson - I loved Peterson's voice and this song is just so soothing and gives you a fuzzy feeling! Btw, you can read my previous review on his album, Counting Stars.

* "Little Drummer Boy" by Matt Papa - A new rock twist to the classic Christmas song. A refreshing and upbeat tune!

The rest of the songs in the album are great too, just because I don't mention it doesn't mean it's not good. But the above few are the ones that keeps me replaying it over and over again... I know Christmas is still 2 months away, but you really, really should get this album!

You can get the Bethlehem Skyline 2 album from:

https://missinginkshop.com/bethlehemskyline/store/featured/bethlehem-skyline-2.

I would like to give a note of thanks to Penny from Centricity Music for contacting me and giving me this wonderful opportunity to review the album! I received no monetary compensation for this review, I was provided with the authorised and confidential link to listen to the album to assist my review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Please do your own research when purchasing products, as your opinions may differ from mine.