Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, May 11, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 14



 Mountain Views News Saturday, May 11, 2013 



Book Reviews by Jasmine Kelsey Williams 


 It’s been three years since 
Small Black released their 
fuzzy, hazy, chillwave 
debut, “New Chain.” Now 
the boys from Brooklyn 
figure that a minimalist 
approach could be the 
right change for their 
sophomore release, “Limits of Desire.” Although 
home recorded and produced, the quartet ditch 
the exclusivity of snyths and samples found 
on “New Chain.” This time around there are 
more acoustic guitars, alongside live drum. This 
resonates a deeper importance on a more natural 
development with their newly developed sound. 
With a clutter of bands in the same sonic dome, 
Small Black may have figured a way to navigate 
from the back of the pack to the frontlines. 

 The heart of every song is found within the 
soft, twee vocals that manifest into the listener’s 
ears. The gang of four has made grand strides in 
transforming themselves from past to present. 
However, it’s not as if an alteration was necessary, 
but a strong yearning for it was intensely 
expressed by the band in interviews. “Limits of 
Desire” brings a lot of washed out elements to the 
forefront. Despite the emphasis on changing their 
sound, Small Black still carries a torch for pleasant 
sounds and beach-y induced melodies. While 
“New Chain’s” overall sonic sound drowned out 
the vocals, leader singer Josh Kolenik’s vocals are 
fully put in front of the music on this new album. 
There’s so much more now to connect with, like 
Kolenik’s crisper, cleaner, melodic singing. His 
range may stay in place within the ten tracks 
found on “Limits of Desire,” but that’s okay when 
they sound utterly this pleasurable.

 The first single, “Free at Dawn” is an example 
of what Small Black set out to do. By cleaning 
up the haziness engulfed on “New Chain” and 
expressing a more spacious sound, new light has 
emerged for a band that has mind/heart set in a 
direction unexplored. That path may not be all to 
foreign, especially to those who’ve surveyed the 
landscape for quite sometime, but the addition 
of Small Black is more than welcomed to bring 
in new life. “Sophie” errs towards 80s soft pop 
influences. For that, it’s damn well endearing 
for a reason. It’s another example of how Small 
Black trade their penchant for chillwave for 
simplicity and gleam. It has a terrific, laid-back 
melody that screams dreamy pop to the fullest. 
The flow of it reminds me a little of “Gypsy” from 
Fleetwood Mac. It’s a beautiful addition to the ten 
solid tracks Small Black has materialized. “Shook 
Loves” is quite captivating and has a touch of 90s 
slow R&B lightly glazed over it. Perhaps the most 
disappointing track is the final one, “Outskirts.” 

 This is the longest one lasting over six dreary 
minutes. But make no mistake, Small Black has 
crafted a dazzling sophomore album that builds 
upon its debut and exceedingly surpasses it.

 There may be those who believe Small Black 
isn’t reinventing a genre. That’s fine. However, 
they’re adapting to their new surroundings in 
such marvelous fashion. The kids from New York 
are progressing, maturing, and learning that their 
own “limits of desire” are only restricted by lack 
of growth. From the looks of it, they’re growing 
in a rapidly fast pace. 

Grade: 9 out of 10

Key Tracks: “Free At Dawn,” “No Stranger,” “Sophie,” 
“Shook Loves” 

RAGE By Jackie Morse Kessler

Having progressed into the second week of May, we now move 
on with the second of Jackie Morse Kessler’s Riders of the 
Apocalypse series (and yes, the listing is continues backwards). 
Taking place before “Loss” and after “Hunger”, “Rage” focuses 
on our protagonist 16-year-old Melissa Miller (aka Missy). 
“Rage” will take on a much more serious tone with teen readers 
as Missy uses cutting (a form of self-harm) to cope with her 
emotions and the humiliation she suffers through at school. 

The early chapters will have readers curious, as they focus on 
Missy and how she struggles with her self-mutilation, while 
later characters such as the other Riders and Death keep a 
minimal profile. When Missy finally encounters Death and 
he provides her the opportunity to be a Rider, Missy not only 
opens up to it, but is finally provided with a tool that helps 
her overcome her pain: control. As the later chapters move 
forward, readers will be able to share Missy’s sense of freedom 
with being a Rider, but also will gain insight as to how and 
why Missy battles with self-harm, along with battling her most 
personal inner demon: the spirit of War itself, who tries to urge 
Missy into satisfying her own personal vendettas against those who hurt or wronged her. Kessler 
brings forth raw and blunt details with Missy’s struggles (both inner and outer), as well as the 
vivid imagery of War as a Rider of the Apocalypse, and how Missy craves not just the control 
that comes with her newfound power, but also on making peace with herself and those around 

Readers will not just sympathize, but also may be able to put themselves into each character’s 
shoes, and learn their motives for what they do and how they act. Those who also struggle with 
self-harm and have struggled with it may also be able to find comfort and solace when reading 
“Rage”. Published and copyrighted in 2011, and receiving praise from various critics as well 
as Bulletin and Kirkus Reviews, “Rage” is not just an excellent pick for your booklist, but will 
also complete the Riders of the Apocalypse series, and show that all people have the power of 
changing their own lives to find what brings them peace and even calmness.
Artist: Small Black 

Album: Limits of Desire 


Release Date: May 14th, 2013



The latest on Business News, Trends and Techniques

By La Quetta M. Shamblee, MBA



While not a very common problem, if you've got it, it can have a terrible impact on your listing: The 
Messy Neighbor. If you live next door to a "neglected" property, you might lose up to 20% of your 
home's market value, particularly with buyers looking for any excuse to reduce their offer.

It's technically not your problem, but ask not for whom the bell tolls. It's well worth your time and 
effort to resolve this situation amicably. Always be respectful, and don't let your emotions get the 
best of you.

Unless you believe your neighbor is "unhinged," you should begin with a visit to their home and a 
positive attitude - no name-calling or finger-pointing. Don't grab everyone on the block and gang up 
on your neighbor - you'll get better results if you go alone or with one other person.

If you find your messy neighbor is unwilling to take care of their maintenance, it may still be in your 
best interest to do the work yourself or with the help of other neighbors. No, it's not fair, but if you 
want a fair sales price, this may be your only option.

As a last resort, you could file a complaint with your property owners association or city government. 
You could be referred to a mediator who will help settle your disagreement cordially.

Years ago, I went to lunch at a local restaurant with a group of seven co-worker’s to celebrate our 
supervisor’s birthday. It seems that we were forgotten after we were seated at our table as orders were 
taken and delivered to most of the tables around us. Somehow, our table had not been assigned to any 
of the servers on the floor and none of the staff had notices. Finally, the manager made the rounds to 
our table and realized the oversight. We informed her that we had already been waiting for almost 20 
minutes and had a limited amount of time to get back to the office.

She apologized, called a server over to take our order immediately, then instructed the server to 
inform the kitchen staff to expedite it. When our orders were ready, the manager helped the server 
deliver the food to our table. She was making it clear to us that we mattered as customers as she 
demonstrated her intention to “right the wrong.” About half way through the meal, she returned to 
check on us, asking if everything was okay and if we needed anything else. We were impressed with 
how she’d handled the situation, but she went even further when she handed us dessert menus and 
informed us, “A dessert for each of you is on the house, and since you may not have time to eat it here, 
we’ll pack it go.”

This scenario holds some important lessons about turning a negative customer experience into 
something really positive. If the manager were to receive a grade for how this was handled, it would 
definitely be an A+. All businesses can take a page from this manager’s playbook, which is outlined 
in three steps:

1) Acknowledge the problem that the customer is having. Initially, it is important to listen 
to what the customer has to say and it doesn’t matter whether you agree or not. By listening, it 
may minimize or alleviate the customer’s frustration and set the stage for an amicable resolution. 
Sometimes, a customer simply wants to be heard, with not further expectation other than “reporting” 
the problem to someone in charge.
2) Address the problem by letting the customer know what you can do, and plan to do. It isn’t 
always possible to resolve the problem immediately, so it may entail informing the customer that it 
will require an addition process and additional time on our part.
3) Action by you “in the moment” gives the customer confidence that something concrete will 
be done to address their concerns. Your first action must be a sincere face-to-face apology for their 
4) Atone with an offer of something appropriate for your customer’s unfortunate experience. 
Sometimes, the initial policy is sufficient, but you should use discretion to select a response to 
encourage the customer to have a positive impression of your business.

In the earlier example, the manager understood both the challenge and opportunity of resolving the 
matter with our group. We were a table of customers who worked at a nearby company, which meant 
that some of us might be regular customers, and we were there for a special birthday celebration. 
Considering that our final lunch tab was over $150 (without the tip), her offer of a free dessert was the 
“icing on the cake” for how each us viewed her impressive approach to customer service approach. 
When we returned to the office and shared our experience, the restaurant became of the most popular 
“go-to’s” for special office celebrations, as well as the weekly after-work “happy hour” spot. You can 
bet the restaurant recouped the cost of our six free desserts many times over. 


Managing your on-
line reputation is about 
understanding perception. What first impressions 
are you giving people when they glance at your 
social media? 

What do your numbers say about your 

What do you think when you stop by a Facebook 
business page and only two people have “Liked” 
the page? Quality connections on Social media 
are very important but higher numbers can 
validate a business. It’s sort of like driving by a 
restaurant. If you see a line outside the door and 
a long wait list, something tells you that they 
have good food. If you see a business page on 
Facebook with 5,000 “Likes” something tells you 
it has value. If you’re the business that has only 
two “Likes,” don’t be discouraged. Start making 
it a priority to promote your Facebook page and 
deliver interesting content. Track your numbers 
on a monthly calendar to keep motivated and 

When was your last update?

If someone searches for your business or product, 
they might land on one of your social media sites. 
If you haven’t posted an update for six months, 
guess what they might assume? They might think 
you have gone out of business. Keep your social 
media sites active and current. Give yourself a 
strategy and set up a system for consistency.

Is your content in-line with your business?

If you are using social media to create awareness 
about your business, stick to safe content that 

doesn’t offend. Don’t mix your politics and 
religion into your business posts. Think about the 
types of things you’d share at a live business event 
and practice that on-line. It is easy to offend 
people on social media. People don’t always 
remember exact words, but they do remember 
how an interaction made them feel. How do you 
want people to feel when they see your brand? 

It takes time and effort for a business to create 
awareness, establish trust and build a loyal 
following. Establishing an on-line presence is one 
of the most important things you can do for your 
business, just make sure it is working for you and 
not against you. 

About MJ: MJ and her brother David own HUTdogs, 
a creative services business that specializes in internet 
marketing strategies and Social media education. 
“Like” them on Facebook for trending news in social 
media, internet marketing and other helpful tips, www.

Sign up for their upcoming classes and presentations at: 


Chamber Networking Breakfast May 16

 Jim Cooper of Conscientia Research will reveal the 
secrets of data-based target marketing used by the biggest 
corporations, and demonstrate how it can easily 
be applied to any business, at the next monthly Arcadia 
Chamber of Commerce Networking Breakfast, 
7:30 a.m. Thursday, May 16, at the Sunset Room of 
Santa Anita Golf Course. 

 Jim Cooper has the knowledge and connections to 
effect change for any organization. He is trained in 
economics and political science, with an emphasis on 
trade, decision making and foreign policy. His experience 
is broad and deep across a multitude of industries 
and sectors, and is able to apply this knowledge to help 
companies gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

 Networking Breakfasts, sponsored by Rose Hills 
Memorial Park & Mortuaries, are held on the third 
Thursday of each month. Most breakfasts include a 
featured speaker and a tribute to an Arcadia Business 
Icon. Attendees are invited at the beginning of each 
program to introduce themselves and say a few words 
about their business or organization. Business cards 
are drawn at the end of each program to determine 
winners of raffle prizes.

Tickets are $15 for members who RSVP in advance 
and $20 for non-members. To make a reservation, 
contact the Chamber office: 626-447-2159 or by e-