2 Mar

Frank Zappa Released Satirical Classic ‘We’re Only In It For The Money’ 50 Years Ago Today [Stream]

first_imgFrank Zappa 50 years ago today, on March 4th, 1968, Frank Zappa debuted We’re Only In It For The Money, his fourth-ever album release and the third official LP with his band, the Mothers of Invention. A concept album like the two Mothers albums that preceded it, We’re Only In It For The Money took a satirical look at the hippie subculture that had already begun to implode.The album is thoroughly unapologetic, using snippets of experimental and orchestral music mixed with the same psychedelic rock he’s lampooning as the backdrop for a funhouse-like parody of the hippie culture and mindset. Its cover art, of course, is a parody of the Beatles‘ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cover, reasserting the album’s satirical stance.“Who Needs The Peace Corps?” helps set the tone for the album, as Zappa recites what amount to the tenets of the hippie oath (i.e.“I will ask the Chamber of Commerce how to get to Haight Street … I will wander around barefoot … I will smoke an awful lot of dope”). The track goes on to highlight the apathetic cliche of the “tune in, turn on, drop out” narrative, a charade which was cyclically glorified and perpetuated throughout the Summer of Love:I will love the police as they kick the shit out of me on the streetI will sleep . . .I will, I will go to a houseThat’s, that’s what I will doI will go to a houseWhere there’s a rock & roll band‘Cause the groups all live togetherAnd I will join a rock & roll bandI will be their road managerAnd I will stay there with themAnd I will get the crabsBut I won’t careBecause . . .We’re Only In It For The Money saw Zappa continue to dig into his experimentation with chronological continuity, which would become a trends throughout his prodigiously prolific career. The album was one of four albums distilled from sessions in New York for a project called No Commercial Potential. Pieces of the No Commercial Potential sessions ended up being used for several albums, including the orchestral portions of We’re Only In It For The Money, a revised version of Zappa’s debut solo record, Lumpy Gravy, Cruising with Ruben & the Jets, Uncle Meat and, finally 1994’s Civilization Phaze III.As Zappa stated in Barry Miles’ 2004 biography, Zappa, “It’s all one album. All the material in the albums is organically related and if I had all the master tapes and I could take a razor blade and cut them apart and put it together again in a different order it still would make one piece of music you can listen to. Then I could take that razor blade and cut it apart and reassemble it a different way, and it still would make sense. I could do this twenty ways. The material is definitely related.”The album also saw Zappa continue to push into musique concrète territory, another early thread that would run through his entire career. While recording We’re Only in It for the Money, Zappa discovered that the strings of Apostolic Studios’ grand piano would resonate if a person spoke close to them. Frank proceeded to invite a slew of notable guests (including Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, and Tim Buckley) into the studio to serve as “piano people,” improvising dialogue about topics he provided. These recordings were then used to add psychedelic depth to the album’s various abstract interludes.Celebrate the 50th birthday of Frank Zappa/The Mothers’ third album by giving it a spin below:Frank Zappa, The Mothers – We’re Only In It For The Money (Full Album)[Audio: Spotify]last_img read more

18 Dec

Keys to success: A conservatorship success story

first_img 16SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Debbie Matz Debbie Matz was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the eighth board chair of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). After confirmation by the U.S. Senate on … Web: www.ncua.gov Details This is the success story of Keys Federal Credit Union in Key West, Fla., which recently, against all odds, was returned to its members after the longest conservatorship in NCUA history.When placed into conservatorship, Keys was all but dead in the water. The story of how this unstable credit union reversed course and is now thriving is one of collaboration and determination.Setting SailKeys Federal Credit Union is the oldest financial institution in the island chain known as the Florida Keys. It was chartered in 1940 to serve Key West Naval Air Station employees.The field of membership expanded in 1994 to a community charter serving all islands in the chain. It ultimately reached more than 10,000 members and $120 million in assets.The Perfect StormHowever, the credit union was knocked far off course by the financial crisis that began in 2008. The crisis depressed tourism throughout the Florida Keys, causing massive job losses and a 50 percent drop in real estate values.Complicating these unfortunate circumstances, Keys was weighed down by heavy concentration risk. Real estate loans accounted for more than 67 percent of the portfolio and almost 900 percent of net worth.By September 2009, the delinquency ratio loomed above 5 percent; the net charge-off ratio was closing in on 1 percent; and operating losses swelled to $5 million.Keys had already undergone a change in management, and the Chairman was attempting to merge with another Florida credit union. When that merger fell through, directors of Keys consented to a voluntary conservatorship.On Sept. 24, 2009—one month after I was sworn in as NCUA Board Chairman—the NCUA Board voted unanimously to conserve Keys in order to protect the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.Navigating Stormy SeasDuring the first year of conservatorship, loan losses continued to rise and the net worth ratio plunged to 2.4 percent by September 2010.Given its declining trajectory, Keys was on course to cost the Share Insurance Fund as much as $20 million. But NCUA’s Conservatorship Board had a different vision: to turn Keys around and prevent those losses.In early 2011, the Conservatorship Board made tough decisions to close two branches, reduce staff, renegotiate contracts, and temporarily suspend the real estate and member business lending programs that had caused deep losses. To boost consumer lending, the main office was relocated to a more visible retail location.In May 2011, the Conservatorship Board hired Scott Duszynski as President/CEO. Scott had worked at Keys for 15 years in operations, accounting, strategic planning, and information technology. In addition to his strong credentials, he maintained a strong presence in the local community and positive working relationships with staff and members.At the direction of the Conservatorship Board, Scott immediately implemented significant operational changes. He also began working to strengthen Keys’ relationship with the Navy community and reestablish the credit union’s presence in the field of membership. Righting the ShipImprovement was slow. It wasn’t until the end of 2012 that the local economy showed signs of recovery. Delinquency and loan losses were finally receding, and the credit union started to turn around.At the beginning of 2014, when Myra Toeppe became the new NCUA Region III Director and the Agent for the Conservator of Keys, the Conservatorship Board realized additional, fundamental changes were needed if the credit union was ever to be returned to the membership.This required a revised Net Worth Restoration Plan and development of a realistic, viable business model. Operations were further streamlined; fees were raised to reasonable levels, and loans were shifted from real estate to autos and credit cards.With these changes, earnings improved substantially. Incredibly, return on assets in 2014 topped 1 percent, and in the first half of 2015 approached 1.4 percent. Even more remarkably, Keys outperformed its Net Worth Restoration Plan for four consecutive quarters, and by September 2015 had a net worth ratio approaching 6 percent.Charting the Future CourseBefore returning the credit union to its members, the Conservatorship Board established an Advisory Board of seven qualified and motivated volunteers who would form the credit union’s board of directors and supervisory committee. The seven volunteers were long-time credit union members with varied backgrounds and strong ties to the community.These enthusiastic volunteers participated in numerous educational courses and attended monthly meetings with the Conservatorship Board and NCUA staff to gain an understanding of the duties and responsibilities required of credit union board members. After two years working with the Advisory Board, the Conservatorship Board determined that these seven dedicated individuals were ready and able to guide Keys into the future.Celebrating SuccessAlthough a long time in coming, Keys Federal Credit Union is a conservatorship success story. As counterintuitive as it may seem, this conservatorship ultimately saved the credit union from failure and saved the Share Insurance Fund from millions of dollars in losses. In doing so, it provided members with continued access to the affordable financial services they have come to expect for 75 years.This remarkable recovery was made possible through the collaborative efforts of Keys’ management and staff, the Advisory Board, NCUA staff, and the loyal members who stuck with their credit union through turbulent times.Through sheer determination and commitment by the management and Conservatorship Board, willingness to reshape the business model and make very tough decisions required to stabilize and revitalize the credit union, Keys will remain open to many generations of local residents—hopefully for at least another 75 years.last_img read more

18 Nov

Valamar has launched an innovative online store service – Valfresco Direkt

first_imgValfresco Direkt is an online store that offers in one place the products of family farms, winemakers, olive growers and many other domestic producers with a long tradition in the production of healthy and quality food. Crucially, ValFresco Direkt offers partners year-round and continuous product placement, all-inclusive logistics and the ability to pick up products on the doorstep, as well as packaging and processing of products for the end consumer.  Valfresco Direkt services will also be available for guests in Valamar’s camps with the prospect of further expansion to other Valamar destinations. For Valfresco Direkt, Valamar has contracted cooperation with about two hundred selected family farms and local producers, so we offer top products from Istria, Slavonia and Dalmatia with the aim of expanding cooperation to partners from all parts of Croatia to support the development of local economy and domestic production. .    As part of the preparations for the restart of business, Valamar Riviera, the largest Croatian tourist company, in the past 60 days has designed and developed a new online store service called Valfresco Direkt, which is active since June 8 for Istria.  Cooperation with over 200 family farms from Istria, Slavonia and Dalmatia All interested family farms and small producers can get more information about the project and the conditions of cooperation HERElast_img read more