Posts tagged with "The Wall Street Journal"

The Intersection Between Chairman Warren Buffett & Chairman Mao Tse-tong

The Extreme Capitalism Hidden Deep Within Socialism

I had the most interesting Uber ride the other day.  My driver was named Ramon.  A very intelligent gentleman whose ingenuity resulted in a plexiglass wall erected between the front and back seats of his vehicle, I noted how clever his idea was in my mind.  He thanked me, then launched into an engaging and highly enjoyable conversation of which I welcomed.  I learned a lot about his life, his gratitude towards the United States as someone who had immigrated here as well as the challenges Covid-19 had placed on his recent marital union.  He hadn’t seen his wife in eight months.  A citizen of Nicaragua, their delay was Covid-19 made.  He missed her dearly but told me that they Facetimed daily.  Still he was grateful towards the United States.  I listened carefully, wondering for a moment, what it must be like to be him.

Ramon continued talking.  Then upon reaching my destination, he proceeded to ask me a question.  He stated that in all his years of driving for Uber, only one person had answered this question correctly.  Intrigued, I was determined to increase that number to two.  He said, “Do you know about Little Red Book?”  I racked my brain.  Unfortunately, the original title holder still stands.  I didn’t know.

Ramon would go on to explain to me what this book was all about then suggested that I read it.  We then went on to exchange Facebook information so that I might share my thoughts with him about it after I had.  Admittedly, before the day was out, I had the book in my hot, little hands.  I devoured it quickly.  A collection of statements, speeches, and writings by the former Chairman of the Communist Party of China, Mao Tse-tong, the book clearly explains the interlinking of Communism, Leninism, Marxism, and Socialism alongside the overriding core philosophies and goals. For those who never read it, pick up a copy.  The relevancy to the transformation our own nation has been undergoing within the last hundred years is clearly laid out, explaining how we arrived to the point that we are today, a time when Socialism sounds good to so many.

What jumped out at me while reading Little Red Book was the extreme Capitalism that lies beneath this philosophy, ideology, political agenda, and (make no mistake about it) religion.

Not unlike in this case, I’ve never known any kind of extremism that was good.  Suffice it to say, I liken Socialism to a triangle, whereby the top point of the triangle must compel the bottom two points to hop on board and work for them, which includes convincing everyone in the middle to do the same, all in the name of equality and safety.  Once this is done, the top point will grow extremely wealthy on the backs of the rest, justifying this by the very equality and security that opened the door to the treasure trove to begin with.  Equality and security among the rest will continue to remain so long as no one decides to question the vast differences in wealth between the upper most point and everyone else.  In corporate terms, the proprietor rally’s his workers. Then, when the company becomes a multi-million dollar entity, forgets who put him there, takes all of the profits, then fires his team one by one when they begin to ask questions instead of rewarding them for jobs well-done and incentivizing them.  Unlike earlier days when our corporate culture took care of its employees garnering loyalty and hard work as a result, so much of what has occurred since, in the form of unfairness and greed, has literally unrolled the welcome mat for Socialism to walk its way into and across our borders.  And yet the solution is just another version of the extreme Capitalism that compelled the outrage to begin with.  It is in the “extreme” that lies the true problem and needs to be changed, whether it be in business, government or human relations in all its forms and definitions.

And it seems another highly regarded Chairman agrees, the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett.  A brilliant Capitalist whose wisdom remains steadfast among generations of capitalists, Buffett prizes human ingenuity and the deployment of resources, harboring a “we’ve only just begun” mentality.  However, he cautions against “Capitalism left unchecked” beyond just in the corporate world.  In an interview with CNBC, Buffett offers this solution to “government left unchecked,”

“I could end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says that any time there’s a deficit of more than three percent of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. Yeah, yeah, now you’ve got the incentives in the right place, right.” — Warren Buffett, Chairman & CEO Berkshire Hathaway.

The idea of fair Capitalism, fair government, and fair human relations is what I think everyone in this nation is really fighting for, not equal even….just fair.  “Everyone” that is but those extreme Capitalists masked as Socialists (the ‘uppermost-point on the triangle’ crowd) who have been reading the room correctly for a very long time and in that capitalized on the very failures extreme Capitalism invoked, including generations of hardworking people who woke up everyday, went to work, then returned home feeling completely taken advantage of and resentful.  And you wonder where the pervasive foothold to Socialism in the United States began?

The reality is however that extreme Capitalism and fair Capitalism can not exist in the same room.  As Mao Tse-Tung put it in Chapter Four of Little Red Book,

 Before a brand-new social system can be built on the site of the old, the site must be swept clean. Invariably, remnants of oldideas reflecting the old system remain in people’s minds for a long time, and they do not easily give way. After a co-operative is established, it must go through many more struggles before it can be consolidated.”

I fear we are experiencing the “sweeping clean” phase of our national conversion with all of us just waking up to what’s been happening for some time now.  In our own greed and extreme Capitalism, we fell asleep at the wheel and are currently driving off a cliff because we lost our credibility with those who helped this country grow rich and their offspring.

Only they don’t realize that they won’t get any richer by allowing us to do so.  The wealth will just be diverted to those coaxing them along.

“People say that poverty is bad, but in fact poverty is good. The poorer people are, the more revolutionary they are. It is dreadful to imagine a time when everyone will be rich.” — Mao Tse-tung 

No doubt, things need to change but trading one master for another isn’t the way to do it.  But have we woken up too late?  I guess that answer lies in the question, “Will we opt for fair Capitalism going forward or extreme Capitalism by another name?”

For the second time in two days, I don’t have a clue.  The tale has yet to be written.  I am certain, however, that we will all soon find out…including Ramon, whose Uber I am darn happy I took yesterday.

“You are a gentleman and a scholar in all senses of the word,” my new friend.  “Thank you for compelling me to take this philosophical journey.  I am the better for it and so will many others be in reading this article.”

My Panama hat’s off to you! (an inside joke)

My Bio:

Laura J. Wellington is the Founder of THREAD MB.  A TEDx Speaker, Award-winning children’s television creator, and author, Wellington’s newest book “Be Careful What You Wish For” releases October 2020.  A Forbes Enterprise Award winner, Telly Award winner, and Buzz Award winner, Wellington has appeared on CNN, Fox News, NBC, ABC, CCTV, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and more.

politics, podium, flag, speech

COVID-19 Fed Policy

By Dennis Notchick, CFP

The United States is mired in its worst unemployment since The Great Depression of 90 years ago. Indeed, COVID-19 has stunted our once-robust economy in many ways.

But at the same time, there is this curious occurrence: Equity valuations in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have hit an all-time high How does that happen with some of the worst economic conditions in our nation’s history?

One of the main reasons: Much of the money dispensed by the Federal Reserve during the pandemic isn’t trickling down to consumers and labor markets, but rather, it’s being reinvested in financial assets, inflating their value. This fresh injection of capital into the money supply can often lead to hyper-inflation for healthcare, housing, and other essential goods that are needed to sustain life. As an example, a recent report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found a senior couple could need as much $325,000 to have a 90% chance of covering their out-of-pocket costs including Medicare premiums and prescription drugs.

The horrific economic effects of the pandemic have pushed the Federal Reserve to spend trillions of dollars since April in many different ways. They also used the playbook from the Great Financial Crisis and Great Recession of 2008 – low/zero interest rates in the corporate credit market – hoping that these rates would stimulate corporate spending, and in turn, spark employment.

But the forbidding economic environment in which we’re living renders that approach ineffective. Why? Ask yourself: Given the precipitous drop in consumer demand during the pandemic, why would corporations spend to produce goods and services if most customers are more likely to stay home?

So regardless of the amount of money the government prints to subsidize corporate credit markets, little if any corporate spending is on new employment. Instead, many businesses are stashing cash accumulated from government-subsidized bond offerings. This in turn paints a long road back to full employment, essential for the growth of GDP.

What does all of this mean as you are planning for your retirement in the midst of this uncertain time? It means you need to know how to minimize COVID-19’s impact on your retirement savings.

Given these factors, it’s all the more important for those near retirement or in retirement to consider these steps:

  • Update return expectations for bonds. The Federal Reserve has made it clear they will support credit markets with zero interest rate policies to 2022 and beyond.  Most investors in retirement have don’t have all of their assets in stocks, but say 50% stocks and 50% bonds.  If half of the portfolio has a lower return expectation, the total return of the portfolio may not be enough to keep up with inflation and the cost of living. Since many retirees are living well into their 80s and 90s, it’s important to revisit the stock-to-bond ratio to ensure you are giving yourself the best chance to keep up with the ever-rising costs of life over your retirement.
  • Diversify your stock portfolio. Adding new stocks to your portfolio for companies that haven’t been hurt by COVID-19 could help you adjust to market changes. The work-from-home movement was already underway, COVID 19 just accelerated it and there are many companies that are positioned well to take advantage.
  • Plan for higher taxes. With the trillions of dollars of national debt issued this year and moving forward to help stabilize the economy, most tax planners are preparing for higher tax rates in the future. It is critical to take advantage of the low tax rates now to reduce your taxes in the future.  While we can’t control the return of our investments, we can control the taxes.  Perhaps a small tax bill now will keep you from a large tax bill later.
  • Stay invested. Many portfolios got hammered in the first couple of months of the pandemic. But despite the uncertainty and volatility of these times, it’s advisable for pre-retirees to stay invested inequities. Staying invested is usually wise because history shows equity investments will recover in time, however it is more important now than ever to know what you own.
  • Review and re-evaluate. Current circumstances necessitate reviewing your entire retirement plan. Work with your financial advisor to adjust where needed. A job loss or other reasons for less income means you’ll fall behind on the savings rate you expected, and that could mean possibly delaying retirement. Spending less or working longer can help you recover some of the pandemic-related losses. As circumstances change, revisit your plan.

The pandemic may affect or push back the retirement plans you made several years ago, but take comfort in the money you’ve saved and know that you can regain some control of your plan with patience, careful thought, and wise action.

About Dennis Notchick, CFP®

Dennis Notchick, a certified financial planner for Stratos Wealth Advisors (www.dn.stratoswealthadvisors.com), has been serving high net-worth families and business owners since 2008. A certified financial planner since 2010, Notchick has worked with many well-respected firms on Wall Street and provides consulting on investment management, retirement planning, and holistic financial planning. He’s been published or mentioned in numerous online financial publications, including The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and TheStreet.

Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Financial services offered through Stratos Wealth Advisors LLC (“Stratos”), a Registered Investment Advisory Firm. The presentation of these topics is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The information also does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any product or security. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed here.

Beat Bugs: Season 3 Soundtrack Set For Release

The soundtrack to the third season of Josh Wakely’s animated Netflix original series Beat Bugs released on November 16th as announced by Republic Records. The soundtrack release comes after the Beat Bugs Season 3 debut on Netflix which premiered back in November 9th.

Beat Bugs: Season 3 soundtrack is available now at this link

Check out the trailer for Beat Bugs Season 2 HERE.

Following the success of the first 2 seasons and a 48-minute special on Netflix, Season 3 attracted a myriad of talent to reimagine classics by The Beatles for a new generation. Yusuf/Cat Stevens recorded “Here Comes The Sun,” while rising Vermont indie pop troubadour Noah Kahan delivered a show-stopping rendition of “You Won’t See Me.” Samantha Gongol of Marian Hill takes on the classic “Let It Be,” Chloe Kohanski adds millennial sunshine to “A Day In The Life,” and Welshly Arms amplify the rock ‘n’ roll gusto of “Revolution.”

Wakely’s Beat Bugs stands out as the perfect gateway for kids to experience the canon of The Beatles.

Beat Bugs Season 3 Tracklisting:

  1. Yusuf/Cat Stevens– “Here Comes The Sun”
  2. Noah Kahan– “You Won’t See Me”
  3. Samantha Gongol– “Let It Be”
  4. Welshly Arms– “Revolution”
  5. The Beat Bugs– “Hey Jude”
  6. The Beat Bugs– “Baby You’re A Rich Man”
  7. The Beat Bugs– “Paperback Writer”
  8. The Beat Bugs– “I’m Only Sleeping”
  9. Chloe Kohanski– “A Day In The Life”
  10. The Beat Bugs– “Yesterday”
  11. The Beat Bugs– “Mother Nature’s Son”
  12. The Beat Bugs– “Good Morning, Good Morning”
  13. The Beat Bugs– “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”
  14. The Beat Bugs– “Oh! Darling”
  15. The Beat Bugs– “The Long And Winding Road”

The Emmy®-winning series and its music have garnered widespread critical praise. The New York Times wrote, “Like most enduring animation series, the writing in Beat Bugs is crafted to appeal to children as well as thier parents, with plenty of allusions to lyrics.” In its piece on the show, Rolling Stone said that by engaging with Beat Bugs kids are “experiencing the music of the Beatles in a way their parents and grandparents never imagined.” The Wall Street Journal also ran an in-depth piece, while Variety covered the project in this article, calling the covers in the series “richly orchestrated.”

Beat Bugs was created by Wakely, following a groundbreaking deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and is produced by his Grace: a storytelling company. Wakely personally selected each of these songs for his integration into the series’ episodes and was closely involved in the music’s production, arranging and mixing. Melodia was formed by the principals of Beat Bugs’ production entities to release music from this series, as well as future film, television, and theatrical endeavors, in conjunction with the company’s partners.

About Grace: a storytelling company:

Grace is a global independent film and television development and production banner led by filmmaker Josh Wakely. Grace’s output is distinguished by innovation, and imaginative creative and business partnerships, combined to cultivate transformative storytelling. Based out of Australia and the US, Grace is committed to producing intelligent, elevatedm talent-driven film and television projects to the worldwide audience.

David Axelrod & Karl Rove

MasterClass, the online education company that enables anyone to learn from the best in the world, announced today that David Axelrod and Karl Rove, two of the most esteemed political strategists best known for respectively orchestrating winning presidential campaigns for Barack Obama and George W. Bush, are setting aside party affiliations to come together to teach the first MasterClass on campaign strategy and messaging. In this class, Axelrod and Rove will demystify the political campaign process and break down their philosophies on what it takes to plan and execute a winning campaign. The class is now available at www.masterclass.com/dakr. Enrollment for the class is $90 for lifetime access, or $180 per year for the All-Access Pass, which grants unlimited access to all new and existing classes.

“It has never been more important to understand how this world of politics works and how to win the hearts and minds of voters,” said David Rogier, co-founder and CEO of MasterClass. “The class isn’t about being a Democrat or Republican — it’s about two of the best political minds of our generation teaching how to win elections. David and Karl break down their respective campaign strategies and debate what is happening in the country today, and how we got here.”

In their MasterClass, Axelrod and Rove will provide perspectives from their professional experiences, as they share their passion for their work and for democracy. They will dive into successful communication and planning strategies from past presidential campaigns, covering the full scope of campaigning — from developing messages and mobilizing voters, to planning, fundraising and budgeting, as well as preparation tactics for debates. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the state of politics today and feel empowered to find their unique voice and place in the political process to help make an impact.

“Ronald Reagan used to say that our American experiment, our American democracy was always one generation away from extinction,” said Rove. “I hope that our MasterClass not only provides a better understanding of the inner workings of elections and politics, but also inspires students to get involved.”

“This is a confusing time in politics. On the one hand, there’s an enormous amount of rancor, with a president who very consciously plays base politics. On the other hand, I’ve seen a renewed sense of citizenship in response, with peoplerealizing the importance of getting involved,” said Axelrod. “As more people are getting engaged in politics, running for office and volunteering for candidates, we’ve designed this class to break down the campaign process.”

Axelrod served as chief strategist for Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 successful presidential bids and is credited with crafting the message of “change” that helped secure Obama’s historic victory. He later served as senior advisor in the Obama White House. Over the course of his career, Axelrod worked on nearly 150 campaigns that he chronicled in The New York Timesbestseller “Believer, My Forty Years in Politics.” He is currently a senior political commentator for CNN, host of the “The Axe Files” podcast, and founding director of the non-partisan Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago.

Rove, the deft political operative and fundraiser credited as “The Architect” by President George W. Bush of his victorious campaigns in 2000 and 2004, served as senior advisor and deputy chief of staff for the Bush administration. He is now a Fox News contributor, writes a weekly column forThe Wall Street Journal, and is the author of two books, “The Triumph of William McKinley” andThe New York Times bestseller “Courage and Consequence.”

Politics is the fifth new category MasterClass will launch this year as it continues to expand its catalogue across a range of subjects to offer educational, inspiring, and engaging classes taught by the world’s greatest minds. With more than 40 classes that dive into processes, techniques and philosophies, MasterClass helps students progress more rapidly towards their own mastery, explore a new passion, or learn a new skill. It offers a unique learning experience, including video lessons, interactive exercises, course materials, peer interaction, and more. All classes are available as part of an annual subscription for $180, or for individual purchase at $90 for lifetime access to the class, and can be accessed online at www.masterclass.com or on the MasterClass mobile app for iOS and Android.

View the trailer for David Axelrod and Karl Rove’s MasterClass below: http://youtu.be/E_jPAd0L3IA

ABOUT MASTERCLASS

Founded in 2015, MasterClass started with the idea that everyone should have “access to genius.” The premier online education platform provides affordable, engaging, and inspirational online classes taught by world-renowned instructors, making it possible for anyone to learn from the best.

MasterClass’ current roster of courses includes:

Culinary Arts: Gordon Ramsay (cooking), Alice Waters (home cooking), Thomas Keller (cooking techniques), Wolfgang Puck (cooking)

Film and Television: Werner Herzog (filmmaking), Martin Scorsese (filmmaking), Ron Howard (directing), Helen Mirren (acting), Samuel L. Jackson (acting), Judd Apatow (comedy), Spike Lee (filmmaking), Ken Burns (documentary filmmaking)

Music and Entertainment: Armin van Buuren (dance music), Christina Aguilera (singing), Usher (performance), Reba McEntire (country music), Herbie Hancock (jazz), Deadmau5 (music production), Hans Zimmer (film scoring), Steve Martin (comedy), Tom Morello (guitar)

Writing: James Patterson (writing), Aaron Sorkin (screenwriting), Shonda Rhimes (writing for television), David Mamet (dramatic writing), Judy Blume (writing), Malcolm Gladwell (writing), RL Stine (writing for young audiences), Margaret Atwood (creative writing)

Design, Photography and Fashion: Annie Leibovitz (photography), Frank Gehry (architecture), Diane von Furstenberg (how to build a fashion brand), Marc Jacobs (fashion design)

Sports and Games: Serena Williams (tennis), Stephen Curry (shooting, ball-handling, and scoring), Garry Kasparov (chess), Daniel Negreanu (poker)

Politics and Society: Jane Goodall (conservation), Bob Woodward (investigative journalism), David Axelrod and Karl Rove (campaign strategy)

Science: Chris Hadfield (space exploration)

For more information, please visit www.masterclass.com.

Follow MasterClass:

Twitter @masterclass

Instagram @masterclass

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/masterclassofficial

Follow David Axelrod:

Twitter @davidaxelrod

Follow Karl Rove:

Twitter @KarlRove

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/karlrove/

Instagram karlrove

Website www.rove.com

Rolling Loud

Fresh off a massively successful festival in the Bay Area, Rolling Loud heads down I-5 to Los Angeles to host another carnival for the culture. Bringing out hip-hop’s best and brightest to the City of Stars for a nonstop two-day event, Rolling Loud Los Angeles proudly unveils the lineup for its 2018 edition. Headlined by Billboard chart dominators Cardi B and Post Malone, Rolling Loud L.A. gathers an unbeatable variety of artists from across the rap spectrum, from established stars like Lil Wayne, Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage, Wiz Khalifa, and Young Thug, to meteoric risers like Gunna, Juice WRLD, Lil Skies and Trippie Redd, to promising newcomers like Flipp Dinero, YBW Melly, wifisfuneral, Yung Bans, and Lil Mosey, to West Coast heroes like Ty Dolla $ign, Tyga, Nipsey Hussle, Shoreline Mafia, Yung Pinch, and Roddy Ricch, plus many others. Occurring on December 14th and 15th at the Banc of California Stadium Grounds in Downtown L.A., Rolling Loud Los Angeles is the perfect opportunity for rap fans to send off the year in style. Buy tickets exclusively at www.rollingloud.com.

Growing from a single day Miami-based festival into a global company and the biggest live brand in rap music, Rolling Loud’s success embodies the spirit of Hip-Hop. In September, Rolling Loud founders Matt Zingler & Tariq Cherif hosted Rolling Loud Bay Area 2018. Headlined by turn-up titan Travis Scott and Taylor Gang ringleader Wiz Khalifa, the artist roster for Rolling Loud Bay Area was as star-studded as they come, boasting Hip-Hop heavy hitters like Rae Sremmurd, Pusha T, Gucci Mane, and Kevin Gates, local heroes like E-40, IAMSU!, Kamaiyah, Mozzy, and P-Lo, XXL Freshmen like Trippie Redd, wifisfuneral and BlocBoy JB, and other rapidly rising stars, including Juice WRLD, Lil Baby, Yung Bans, Lil Skies, and Saweetie. Occurring over two days on the grounds of Oakland Coliseum, Rolling Loud Bay Area brought a blast of hyphy local energy that the rap game desperately needs.

Buy Tickets for Rolling Loud Los Angeles: rollingloud.com/losangeles

Watch the Rolling Loud Los Angeles trailer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5apN3cvQKFk

Featuring a three day lineup and moving from Bayfront Park to Hard Rock Stadium, Rolling Loud Miami proved that bigger is better in 2018. With over 140 artists performing during an action-packed weekend, Rolling Loud Miami 2018 brought capacity crowds each day to the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens earlier this month. Headlined by J. Cole, Travis Scott & Future, Rolling Loud 2018 boasted performances from heavy-hitters like Migos and Lil Uzi Vert, veterans like N*E*R*D, The Diplomats and Juicy J, established names such as Young Thug, Big K.R.I.T., Young Dolph and Rick Ross, and risers like Playboi Carti, Lil Skies, Ski Mask The Slump God, Trippie Redd and many more. Founded by Matt Zingler and Tariq Cherif, recently the new subject of a feature in the Wall Street Journal, Rolling Loud continues to expand its profile as one of the most successful and valuable festival brands in the music business.

Be sure to check out Rolling Loud’s Instagram for the latest updates: Instagram.com/rollingloud

Listen to the Rolling Loud playlist: http://open.spotify.com/playlist/0DWU77onMykmFpoSfedN1A?si=1Fb7f4IESYW5oE4FuO2ubg

Check out the Rolling Loud Miami Aftermovie:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXiwF7NW4DM

“Rolling Loud — which has rapidly become the most essential annual hip-hop festival — was the fire-hot center of the SoundCloud rap explosion last year” The New York Times

“One of hip-hop’s biggest festivals” The Wall Street Journal

“The country’s premier hip-hop festival” Billboard

The Background:
Rolling Loud Festival is one of rap’s premier music festival experiences. The festival was the brainchild of co-founders Tariq Cherif and Matthew Zingler, who began organizing shows in 2010. The two created Rolling Loud Festival in 2015 as a one-day festival for 6,000 attendees. Three years later, the festival’s Miami chapter has expanded into a three-day event, with the festival expanding worldwide in the coming year.

About Banc of California Stadium
Located in the heart of Los Angeles in Exposition Park, next to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the California Science Center, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the California African American Museum, and close to the University of Southern California, Banc of California Stadium is the first open-air stadium built in Los Angeles since Dodger Stadium in 1962. The stadium is a $350 million, state-of-the-art, world-class venue specifically designed to present all types of star-studded live entertainment and creates an unparalleled fan experience for music, sports, and more. At a capacity of 23,500 for concerts (22,000 for soccer), the venue’s unique design provides for an intimate experience with excellent sightlines of the stage from every seat and superior quality sound throughout the house. Banc of California Stadium sits atop the hallowed grounds of the former Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, which hosted some of the most legendary music artists of all time — befitting its history, the new stadium will continue the tradition of hosting the very best in live entertainment.

Beth Ditto × Sam Smith Tour

Today, Beth Ditto announces that she will be direct support for Sam Smith on the upcoming leg of The Thrill Of It All Tour. Ditto will join Smith starting August 14 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN through September 13 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB. Following that run, Ditto will also join Florence + the Machine for two special shows at The Anthem in Washington, D.C. on October 5 and 6. Full routing can be found below.

On July 17, Ditto will appear as a guest on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers to discuss her role in the new Gus Van Sant film, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot, which will be released this Friday. After the film’s Sundance Film Festival premiere this year, Vulture wrote, A first-time actress, the 36-year-old musician Beth Ditto, all but takes over as the large and lovably extroverted member of the group.

Last year, Ditto released her debut solo album, Fake Sugar. The New York Times praised Ditto as a powerhouse singer and noted that the album’s songs have stomp and girl-group melodies, Southernisms in their lyrics and garage-rock swagger. The Wall Street Journal included Fake Sugar in its round-up of The Best Music of 2017 and observed, Great pop for grownups is a rare commodity Beth Ditto delivers. Paper christened Ditto rock’s homecoming queen while People highlighted Fake Sugar as one of its Picks, observing, Whether it’s a glittering stomper (Oo La La) or stripped-down Stevie Nicks homage (the title track), Ditto shines throughout.

Beth Ditto Tour Dates with Sam Smith

8/14 | St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center

8/15 | Chicago, IL @ United Center

8/17 | St. Louis, MO @ Chaifetz Arena

8/18 | Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center

8/21 | Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center

8/22 | Salt Lake City, UT @ Vivint Smart Home Arena

8/24 | Sacramento, CA @ Golden 1 Center

8/25 | Anaheim, CA @Honda Center

8/29 | Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center

8/31 | Glendale, AZ @ Gila River Arena

9/1 | San Diego, CA @ Valley View Casino Center

9/4 | Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena

9/5 | San Jose, CA @ SAP Center @ San Jose

9/7 | Portland, OR @ Moda Center

9/8 | Seattle, WA @ KeyArena at Seattle Center

9/10 | Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena&#a0;

9/12 | Edmonton, AB @ Rogers Place

9/13 | Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome

Beth Ditto Tour Dates with Florence + The Machine

10/5 | Washington, D.C @ The Anthem

10/6 | Washington, D.C. @ The Anthem

http://www.bethditto.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bethditto

Twitter: http://twitter.com/bethditto

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/bethditto/

Hidden Content

Hidden Content launches with world premiere of The Caretaker at Tribeca Film Festival developing slate of VR films.

Filmmakers Jacob Wasserman, Adam Donald and Ant Gentile announced today the formation of Hidden Content, a full-service virtual reality. Their first project was unveiled yesterday at the Tribeca Film Festival with the world premiere of their narrative 360 Cinema project The Caretaker, the first installment of an original horror anthology series.

Created by Wasserman and Donald as well as filmmaker Nicolas Pesce (The Eyes Of My Mother, Piercing), The Caretaker stars Adelaide Clemens, Tom Lipinski, Clara Wong and Diana Agostini, was produced by Max Born and Schuyler Weiss and executive produced by Gentile and Kimberly Parker. The pilot was a co-production with RealMotion Inc. and audio services were provided by Hobo Audio.

Hidden Content has also teamed with film producer and financier Max Born to produce and acquire a slate of VR films and series, as well as develop a VR/AR distribution platform.

Wasserman, Donald and Gentile have been working in the virtual reality and 360 cinema space for some time, having produced high profile VR commercials and branded content experiences, including Samsung’s “Anatomy of Ski” 4D VR Experience for the 2018 Winter Olympics, featuring Olympic gold medalist downhill skier Bode Miller and “360 Meals,” a journey inside celebrity chef Daniel Boulud’s Michelin-starred flagship restaurant, Daniel.

The trio’s first narrative effort, the interactive VR thriller Broken Night
starring Emily Mortimer and Alessandro Nivola, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival 2017 and was also featured at Cannes NEXT 2017.

Hidden Content and Max Born are currently in development on three additional VR genre series, and are in talks with outside creators to acquire new content to build out their 2018 project slate.

* * *

The Hidden Content Team

Jacob Wasserman

Jacob Wasserman has produced notable and critically acclaimed films including James White
(Winner of Sundance NEXT Audience Award, AFI Audience Award), The Eyes of My Mother (Sundance NEXT 2016 Official Selection), virtual reality film Broken Night (2017 Cannes NEXT) with his latest feature films TYREL and Piercing premiering at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. His most recent VR narrative film The Caretaker , which he co-wrote and directed alongside horror director Nicolas Pesce (The Eyes Of My Mother, Piercing), will have its premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.

Wasserman has also produced and directed several award winning commercials, music videos and virtual reality films for clients including The North Face, Gatorade, The Wall Street Journal, Sony Music and Samsung. He a founding partner of Virtual Reality production company, Hidden Content and is currently based in Los Angeles, California.

Adam Donald

Adam Donald is a director who continues to expand his work and collaborations across all genres from Film and Television to Virtual Reality. He is a founding partner in Hidden Content, and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. Donald has worked with the world’s top agencies and directed story-telling campaigns for many global brands, including The North Face, Gatorade, Sony, SKYY Vodka, NBA, Budweiser, and American Express, featuring world class artists and athletes Jay Z, Pharell, Diplo, Courtney Love, Venus Williams, Usain Bolt and Elton John, among others.

He is the recipient of several industry awards, including The New Directors Showcase, Clio Advertising Awards, D&AD Awards, as well as VMA nominations. In addition to his commercial work, Donald recently directed a television pilot for TruTV and co-directed the experimental VR dance film, The Gate. This is the second year he has had a film selected for both Tribeca and Cannes Film festivals.

Ant Gentile

Ant Gentile has worked in audio and video production for over 10 years, serving as creative director and producer for clients including Samsung, ABC, Interscope Records, Atlantic Records, CenturyLink, McGraw-Hill Education, Clearasil, Cengage, 451 Media, and Sun Chemical. Wanting the ability to offer full-service production, Gentile opened a state-of-the-art audio production facility in midtown Manhattan, allowing him to score, mix and sound design projects for his clients, as well as start a music publishing and podcast division.

In addition, Gentile has executive produced two feature length documentaries and has raised significant strategic funding for both entertainment projects and tech start-ups. With a passion for storytelling in new media, as well as relationships tech and VC companies, Gentile joined with commercial and narrative filmmakers Adam Donald and Jake Wasserman and producing VR content under a new banner, Hidden Content.

Nicolas Pesce

Nicolas Pesce’s debut feature The Eyes Of My Mother
was one of the most critically acclaimed horror films of 2016. It premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival in the NEXT section and was released theatrically in the U.S. by Magnolia Pictures.

In 2013, Pesce developed an animated series starring Malcolm MacDowell, J.K. Simmons, and Colin Quinn and most recently he completed his second feature film Piercing ,
based on the Ryu Murakami novel by the same title. Piercing premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in the Midnight section and stars Christopher Abbott, Mia Wasikowska, Maria Dizzia, and Marin Ireland. Nick is writing and will direct the upcoming The Grudge for Good Universe and Ghost House Pictures.

Pesce is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and currently lives in Los Angeles.

Max Born

Born is a film producer and financier and his production of Josh Mond’s James White was the start of what would be a successful collaboration with Borderline Films, with whom he went on to produce Nicolas Pesce’s debut feature The Eyes Of My Mother. Shortly thereafter he developed
Piercing with Pesce and Borderline, which Pesce directed and premiered at Sundance 2018.

In 2017, Born collaborated with Sebastián Silva on his film TYREL,
which premiered in competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. He is currently developing both adapted and original content with Pesce, Silva, and Antonio Campos of Borderline. More recently, Born has refocused on development financing and has already started to build a small library of IP to adapt with more filmmakers.

Also in 2018, Born produced a VR short called The Caretaker,
which will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival and screen in Cannes NEXT. Along with production and post-production partners in this emerging medium, Born is looking to create what would essentially be a small VR studio.

Randall Bell x “Me We Do Be”

Why do some people dive, some survive and others thrive? The answer, Randall Bell, Ph.D., reveals, is surprisingly simple: choices. 

 

Bell, a socio-economist and the CEO of Landmark Research Group, has developed an easy-to-follow formula for authentic growth and success based upon 25 years of behavioral research. 

 

In his book, Me We Do Be: The Four Cornerstones of Success, Bell masterfully interweaves stories from his consulting work on high-profile cases — including Chernobyl, the World Trade Center, and O.J. Simpson — with findings from behavioral studies and his own survey of 5,000 people to reveal the daily habits that can make or break both personal and professional growth and success. 

 

In Me We Do Be, Bell explains that all behaviors can be organized into four cornerstones: 

•    Me is quality thinking that builds wisdom.

•    We habits form quality relationships. 

•    Do actions build productivity.

•    Be designs the future. 

 

There is no one-size-fits-all definition of success. For some, it’s making money. For others it’s having a loving family, winning a competition, completing a degree or beating cancer. The power of Me We Do Be is that it connects all the dots and creates a fresh perspective for moving forward, allowing readers to define what success means to them as individuals, while sharing the foundational elements that apply to everyone. 

 

Previously, the author led a national practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, the world’s largest consulting firm. He has consulted on hundreds of cases, including the Flight 93 Crash Site, the BP Oil Spill, Hurricane Katrina and the nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll. 

 

Often a guest of the media, Bell has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, People magazine, The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, 20/20, Entertainment Tonight and by newscasters on every major television network. 

 

Please see Dr. Bell in a recent appearance on The Today Show.

 

Robert G. Allen, New York Times Best-Selling Author of Creating Wealth: “A fascinating blend of personal anecdotes from Dr. Bell’s vast professional experience interspersed with powerful quotes, insights and a timeless list of valuable habits designed to improve any life. There are many golden nuggets in here.” 

 

Jeffrey W. Hayzlett, New York Times Best-Selling Author of The Mirror Test: “Some think that complex problems require complex solutions. This is not always true. The four cornerstones of Me We Do Be are a simple, effective way to ignite passion in any life or business!”

 

Steve Alten, New York Times Best-Selling Author: “Eye-opening … Randall Bell’s Me We Do Be is as inspiring as Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich.” 

 

Bob Proctor, Best-Selling Author of You Were Born Rich: “Me We Do Be shows how the little things we do can have a dramatic impact on our quality of life; it’s that one small adjustment that can make the difference between winning and losing. Read, learn and act on the great information provided in this book.” 

 

For more information on Randall Bell and his motivational book, please visit the website: www.drbell.com.

 

Available online and at fine bookstores everywhere.

Beth Ditto

Tonight, Beth Ditto returns to her home state of Arkansas to kick off a North American tour in support of Fake Sugar (Virgin Records), her solo debut album. After this eveningߣs show at Revolution Music Room in Little Rock, sheߣll head to Nashville, TN for a performance at the Mercy Lounge tomorrow, March 8. The run includes shows at New Yorkߣs Brooklyn Steel (March 14), The Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, CA (March 23) and Wonder Ballroom in Portland, OR (March 27).

Ditto will perform on NBC Late Night with Seth Meyers on Tuesday, March 13. NPR has hailed her as the force-of-nature performer best known for fronting the pop-punk group Gossip. In a four-star live review, The Guardian said, Ditto alternates between infectiously warm, wisecracking comic and soul-baring torch singer.

The New York Times praised Ditto as a powerhouse singer and noted that the albums songs have stomp and girl-group melodies, Southernisms in their lyrics and garage-rock swagger. The Wall Street Journal included Fake Sugar in its round-up of The Best Music of 2017 and observed, Great pop for grownups is a rare commodity BethDittodelivers. Paperchristened Ditto rock’s homecoming queen while People highlighted Fake Sugar as one of its Picks, observing, Whether it’s a glittering stomper (Oo La La) or stripped-down Stevie Nicks homage (the title track), Ditto shines throughout

Her cover of Im Alive written by Tommy James and first recorded in 1968 by R&B legend Johnny Thunder has been licensed by Max Factor for an international advertising campaign. In addition to releasing six acclaimed albums with the Gossip, Ditto has recorded with such artists as Blondie and disco legend Cerrone, collaborated with Jean Paul Gaultier on her eponymous plus-sized luxury clothing line, modeled for Marc Jacobs. She appears in the new Gus Van Sant film, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot, which recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Beth Ditto ߝ 2018 North American Tour Dates

3/7 ߝ Little Rock, AR @ Revolution Music Room

3/8 ߝ Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge

3/10 ߝ Washington, DC @ The 9:30 Club

3/11 ߝ Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer

3/14 ߝ Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel

3/15 ߝ Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair

3/16 ߝ Montreal, QC @ Fairmount Theatre

3/17 ߝ Toronto, ON @ Mod Club

3/19 ߝ Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall

3/23 ߝ Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre

3/24 ߝ Pomona, CA @ The Glass House

3/25 ߝ San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom

3/27 ߝ Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom

3/28 ߝ Vancouver, BC @ Imperial

3/29 ߝ Seattle, WA @ Showbox