Monday, December 27, 2010

2010: An ALPHA Odyssey

My last few weeks of 2010 have been spent in Tampa with my family, who I haven’t seen since summertime.  It’s a bit ironic that I ended up bringing freezing evenings and windy days with me from Tallahassee.  If my parents knew that the cold weather would be their Christmas present, they probably would’ve told me to stay at FSU for the remainder of December.  I have a bit of a history of not finding the ideal gifts during the holiday season for friends and family.  It’s not that I’m a last-minute shopper or anything, but I end up picking out the strangest things when surrounded by so many colorful sale signs and new gadgets that come out just in time for the holidays.  I’m one of those suckers who go into Brookstone and think that every pointless invention is the best gift ever until it gets put back into its box after Christmas Day and collects dust for the rest of eternity.  Discarded with those gifts are my memories of the year 2010. Even though my memories of this past year are in the rearview mirror, the lessons that I have learned will stick with me for years to come. 
Calling in for my "Bill Me" segment
on an old school phone.
2010 was a year that ALPHA started to branch out and do new things.  Notably, this year ALPHA impacted the airwaves of paranormal internet radio, an idea that Ron and Scott have been planning out for quite some time.  Our transition into talk radio humbly started as an ending segment on Lake Erie Paranormal’s “L.E.P. Radio” titled “Dead Ends.”  Once we familiarized ourselves on how things were operated and got more comfortable doing talk radio, we launched our own paranormal radio show called “Dead Serious Radio.”  DSR was envisioned to be a show that listeners could get excited about because of the way we address topics that other shows tend to shy away from, while still maintaining a humorous charm that keep fans wanting more.  Part of this want for more DSR comes from my knack to miraculously track down musical talent from all around the country for my “Bill Me” segment at the end of the show, as well as the banter between our witty co-hosts.  I’ll admit it; we can be jokesters at heart.  However, when things get serious, ALPHA gets “Dead Serious.”  See what I did there?  I was able to plug ALPHA and Dead Serious Radio in the same sentence.  I’ve gained the reputation as the shameless plug man on the show, especially in Scott’s absence since I fill in for him as co-host while he is away filming for GHI.  Wow, I’m on fire!  Was that a Ghost Hunters International plug, too?  You bet it was!
ALPHA’s emergence into the media realm has not stopped at internet radio in 2010.  Both Ron and I have been featured on the local FOX station in Tallahassee for an entire episode of the weekly “Live in Tallahassee” television show.  We did a short investigation of the historic Mission San Luis, bringing along the LIT crew to enjoy the ride and pick our brains.  Everything we filmed that night was a one-take shot, so Ron and I were on our A-game and doing what we do best while looking pretty for the camera.  What can I say?  Some people just photograph well, and ALPHA doesn’t fall short in that category.  Watching myself on television certainly was a surreal feeling after it was all said and done.  It’s true that I have the experience of being in a documentary from when we filmed Dead Air back in 2009, but it was humbling to see Ron and me on FOX with a few cuts to commercials thrown into our investigation.  Just when I thought we got our 15 minutes of fame, something even bigger came our way.
During the fall, ALPHA was contacted by the writers at Paranormal Underground Magazine.  They inquired about having our group be the featured story, and on the front page.  When an offer like that comes around, you can’t say no.  As it turned out, no paranormal investigation group has been featured on the front cover of Paranormal Underground.  To be the first group on the cover of the magazine was such a great honor.  The only thing left to do was actually take pictures for the spread.  We went to a location that I swore to keep secret, and went to work as newly established paranormal models… or “Paramodels.” The long hours that went into the photo shoot produced quality pictures for the cover and the featured article.  I was impressed with the end result of our project, and the magazine as a whole.  The November 2010 issue of Paranormal Underground looked great, and had even better articles.  I can say that I am proud to be featured in some quality bathroom and waiting room reading material for the paranormal people out there.
Even though it seems like ALPHA spent a lot of time handling the media, you can rest assured that we stayed true to our roots and managed to conduct numerous investigations throughout 2010.  It’s hard to believe that we would be able to get the whole group together, especially when Scott is gone every few weeks filming GHI episodes overseas.  We overcame the odds, and did what we did best as a whole team.  During the spring, ALPHA went on an investigation spree of a number of locations in Monticello, FL.  Our detailed reports of these investigations can be found on the ALPHA Ghost Team website. 
Hard at work in Monticello, FL.
So here’s to 2010: the year that ALPHA did anything and everything.  I can’t remember a week that I didn’t have any work to do for ALPHA.  From this adventure, I have become more experienced in different forms of media while helping bring ALPHA to the forefront of the Paranormal Field.  It has been a fun ride, but we never forget our focus that we’re about bringing integrity and professionalism to paranormal investigating.  With that being said, it seems like a lot of people out there are starting to notice the work that we are doing and are supporting it.  What is next for ALPHA in 2011?  I don’t want to spill the beans, so I’ll let you wait and find out.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year
from the ALPHA Ghost Team.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Time To Get Dead Serious With Boxer & Clover

I should probably start by apologizing.  I’m sorry that I have not posted any award winning blog posts in the last few weeks.  The excuse that I had to study for Finals Week would have been a good way out, but I’ll be honest and admit that my time was taken up by a little video game called “Call of Duty: Black Ops.”  Who can blame me for letting it consume my life when I have a roommate who is obsessed with the game?  It’s important for me to keep up with my competition before he gets too good.  However, now that my Xbox is sizzling from being overplayed for the past month, I couldn’t have picked a better time to discuss something that has nothing to do with shooting Zombies.  Before I give away what the topic is, I would like to take this space to give a quick shout-out (or write-out) to my sister, Kim.  She spent a lot of time, money, and effort on the new banner for my blog page, and for that I thank her.  Okay, moving on.
Since my November 10th post about The Shoreline on Dead Serious Radio, there has been an absence of posts about other DSR guests.  That changes today, so if you haven’t been listening to our show then you should check out Dead Serious Radio in order to follow along with what I’m talking about.  All the episodes are archived on the site.  We’ll start by hopping in our incredible, edible time machine and going back to the night of November 16th.  This night was one that was out of the ordinary for me, seeing as it was one of those rare weeks that Scott Tepperman was in the United States.  With that being said, it meant that I was off the prestigious co-host duty.  What I did with those extra 90 minutes was prepare for my interview with Boxer & Clover, a Pop Rock group out of Orlando.  Oh, and by “prepare” I mean “take a nap.” 
Having Boxer & Clover on Dead Serious Radio kept up the trend of having Orlando bands on our show.  I would call it a coincidence, but on the other hand it seems like there’s an overabundance of musical talent coming out of that area.  Gavin and Evan came on the show to discuss their new album, “Fate Has Favorites,” which was just released on November 8th.  This album was highly anticipated after the release of their EP titled “What Happens Here” made a big impact on the internet music scene back in 2009.  Boxer & Clover’s new 6-track album consists of smooth songs like “The Attic”, and “Systems in Tune.”  You can purchase these songs and the rest of the album on iTunes for under $6.00.  I’m no Christmas consultant, but I would say that “Fate Has Favorites” would be a great gift for the music lover in your life (especially if you’re looking for quality music on a tight budget). 
                At one point during the interview with B&C on Dead Serious Radio, we were crunching some statistics about the band based on the song rating system.  In December 2009, Boxer & Clover’s song, “Adding to 100 Years of Silence,” was ranked higher than songs from many well-known bands like Fall out Boy, Owl City, and Paramore.  This led me to make the bold statements that will echo throughout the halls of music forever: “Boxer & Clover is better than Paramore.”  I may not have been the first person to say that, but at least I was the first person to declare it on Dead Serious Radio. If you haven’t figured it out by now, Boxer & Clover is really taking off and making their mark on the music industry.  I can see them becoming a household name in the years to come, and an iPod essential.
As we all know, Dead Serious Radio is the main stage for my professional opinions about up-and-coming bans.  I do my best to push the boundaries and say what others don’t have the courage to say. That is why I’m all ALPHA.  If you want to listen to the full interview that I had with Boxer & Clover on Dead Serious Radio, click HERE.  In the upcoming weeks, I will be talking about my other interviews with The Girlfriend Season and Sound We Sleep.  I’m glad I didn’t tell that to you face to face, because I know your overexcitement would’ve ended up hurting me somehow.