Wednesday, March 30, 2011
So, I was dancing in my latest biggest circle of creativity that is tumblr today researching anything interesting out there. Then I stumbled across this gorgeous sweet faced lady, Mara Hruby. Oh my, where do I start with her music... She has a very pearly soft mellow voice that matches her face and just makes you want to listen to each and every breath of word that comes out her mouth, but with so much easy soul.
Her vocal references for me would be Tweet & Amel Larrieux. She just does cover tracks, with my favorite one being Mos Def 'The Panties'. What makes her such a gem is the way she carries her notes in her music. You almost forget that she's singing over a 'rented track'.
Check her music out:
Just years ago I remember hearing rumours that Lauryn Hill was pregnant with her second baby. Now the 13 year old Selah Marley is a grown young lady featuring in Teen Vogue magazine. I still think she looks nunus.
Time sure flies...
images via teenvogue
My sister woke up this morning so concerned with what was going on in japan, which led to this conversation.
- Me: Why are you up so early?
- Her: What in the world? Did you not hear about the tsunami?
- Me: I did. I know. It's horrible.
- Her: Heck yes it is. We need to buy sushi as soon as the sushi place opens.
- Me: Huh? Why?
- Her: Oh my goodness. Do i need to explain everything for you?
- Me: Yeah. I don't understand why we need to buy sushi?
- Her: It's because when you buy something Japanese the money goes to japan. or could I send my piggy bank to someone in japan? they need it more then I do. I'll even send them my floaties. I don't need any of it. Why did this happen to japan? they never did anything wrong.
- Me: That's just the way mother nature works.
- Her: Well where's father nature? I'm sure he's gonna be mad at mother nature. She's hurting her kids. She's a mean mom.
- Me: She's not really a mom, that's just what people call it.
- Her: Whatever. Whoever this nature lady is, is a pain in the butt. She's always hurting people. Tell her go to mars, and nature herself over there.
“Christianity has a built-in defense system: anything that questions a belief, no matter how logical the argument is, is the work of Satan by the very fact that it makes you question a belief. It’s a very interesting defense mechanism and the only way to get by it — and believe me, I was raised Southern Baptist — is to take massive amounts of mushrooms, sit in a field, and just go, “Show me”.”
- Bill Hicks
We were on a crowded street corner screaming something about love
We Held hands but your grip felt tighter.
They Looked at us as though we were crazy, foolish, mad even.
I started to lose hope, thought our message was ill received.
You shouted louder.
They all heard and joined in.
Love is the movement.
poem by lostlyrics
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Its gonna be SO much fun, I can already see it all unfold. This will be my second time attending the Festival. Even better yet, most of my gals will be there, unlike the first time. It was just me and Kate...and few boys, of course ;)
So, we're driving in Buddy's car and it will be myself, Buddy (of course), Nana and Rose. 4 in total. Rules from the driver, PACK LIGHT B!TCHEZZZZZ! I've never driven to CT but I'm excited and hope we don't annoy and end up killing each other on the way and then this turns out into a horror movie type scenario, tltltltl!
Ms Noels is already there and Ak leaves tonight. I can't wait :)))
Hell yeah we're gonna dance until our legs fail us ;)
I’m not gon sing a song or nothing.
Um, what that term they call it post traumatic stress syndrome? That thing that
uh, soldiers will get. I think a lot of people get that. It’s like when you
experience somethin and uh, it affects you for a long time afterwards. I guess
everything works that way. Certain things have more impact than others.
Sometimes it visits you in your dreams or when you’re quiet or just at peace or
trying to be at peace. A lot of soldiers get it. A lot of common people get
it. A lot of the time common people are soldiers, that’s just the way it works
This is a soldier’s dream
The other night I was tumbling towards an uneasy sleep
When I had discovered myself
Atop the sweet sticky firmament of my dreams.
Daybreak came and discovered me
With my fantasies pasted to my face.
I cant look at you right now.
"Show me your eyes," she says.
"Later," he says. "Now, now." "NO!"
Shame is a prison you know.
Yeah, well discretion is a fortress
You’re starin and lookin too closely.
There’s so much about me that I hide
That careful eyes will recognize.
If you look closely you’ll notice
That the pattern on this soft cloth shirt
Is made of workin men’s sweat
And prayin folk’s tears.
If you look closer you’ll notice
That this pattern resembles
Tenement row houses, project high rises,
Cell block tiers,
Discontinued stretches of elevated train tracks,
Slave ship gullies, acres of tombstones.
If you look closer, you’ll notice
That this fabric has been carefully blended
With an advanced new age polymer (oh man, that’s nice)
To make the fabric lightweight
Weatherproof, and durable.
All this to give some sort of posture and dignity
To a broken body that is a host for scars.
I am the new landmark. I am the museum of injury.
Soldiers visit me and admire me quietly,
Whispering amongst themselves. You’re no soldier.
Your soft bright eyes never have to
Survey the battlefield,
Much less its collected relics of which, I am one.
So, my flesh bullet-ridden remains hidden
Underneath these soft fabrics
Which I carefully select
That stand in for how I used to feel,
For how I remember feeling,
For how I dream about feeling,
For how I feel about you.
And now your curious fingers want to search
Beyond this tender armor.
I cant look at you right now
(This is my rifle there are many like it but this one is mine) 2x
Your eyes are too careful,
Collecting it all arranging it all;
Surgically, robotically, exactly.
I can’t look at you right now
But that doesn’t matter because
You can look at me and the longer that
I don’t return your gaze,
The harder that your gaze
Starts to run across my back
Like a nervous policeman’s hands:
Brisk, intent, anxious for discovery.
If discretion is a fortress
Then you’re threatening to destroy it
By simply standing at the gates
And refusing to leave.
I can’t look at you right now,
But you can look at me. Do you see me?
My love for Fashion Photography continues to haunt me each time I read up the latest Magazines. April has definitely proved to be one of my favorite month thus far. The 4 mags have my favorite queens on their covers.
Rihanna - VOGUE US - Annie Leibovitz
Scarlett Johannson - VOGUE China - Peter Lindbergh
Kate Winslet - VOGUE UK - Mario Testino
Anna Wintour - WSJ - Mario Testino
Too many magazines, so little time!
images via vogue.com - vogue.com.cn - vogue.uk - wsj.com - thestylistsite.com
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
image via jperiod.com
I've had this album for some time now and never really had time to press my ear against it. You know how it is, life gets in the way and then work bullies its way through next thing before you know it its the end of the day and I'm typing this mail and then...
This album just grand closed my day. What an album hey! What a mellow-jazzy-funkified album! I would prescribe it to anyone who appreciates Hip Hop, no actually scrap that. Its for anyone who appreciates Music. Its for anyone in the world. Its for any human being who has feelings. It also features all the good artists you can think of. Check the back sleeve out.
Its all about love and making the world better ;)
'the revolution will be televised'
images via architecturaldigest.com
The March Issue of Architectural Digest is featuring the world renowned designer, Donna Karan's new tabletop range that she collaborated with the American tableware company Lenox. She is famously known for Fashion which is what put her name out there. As we all know, there's a market for anything out there if you can sell and believe in it. I've always loved her brand positioning, very simple and sparse. Like the DKNY PURE. Plain, crisp and simple.
“It’s very elemental, very close to who I am now,” she says of the collection cast in chic, metropolitan hues and seductively irregular shapes. Neatly tying together Karan’s two sides – the urbanite and the nomad – she says, “There’s a soul in the collection.”
I say cheers to another designer taking it another step. Creativity is about that, no limits. I mean, it is still designing isn't it ;)
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
As an institution that celebrates artistic works of musicians, singers, songwriters, producers and technical specialists, we have come to expect that the GRAMMYs upholds all of the values that reflect the very best in music that is born from our culture. Unfortunately, the awards show has become a series of hypocrisies and contradictions, leaving me to question why any contemporary popular artist would even participate. How is it possible that in 2001 The Marshall Mathers LP – an album by Eminem that ushered in the Bob Dylan of our time — was beaten out by Steely Dan (no disrespect) for Album Of The Year? While we cannot solely utilize album sales as the barometer, this was certainly not the case. Not only is Eminem the bestselling artist of the last decade, but The Marshall Mathers LP was a critical and commercial success that sold over 10 million albums in the United States (19 million worldwide), while Steely Dan sold less than 10% of that amount and came and went as quietly as a church mouse. Or consider even that in 2008 at the 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards®, after going into the night as the most-nominated artist, Kanye West’s Graduation was beaten out for Album Of The Year by Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters. (This was the first time in 43 years that a jazz album won this category.) While there is no doubt in my mind of the artistic talents of Steely Dan or Herbie Hancock, we must acknowledge the massive cultural impact of Eminem and Kanye West and how their music is shaping, influencing and defining the voice of a generation. It is this same cultural impact that acknowledged the commercial and critical success of Michael Jackson’s Thriller in 1984.
Just so that I’m not showing partiality to hip-hop artists (although it would be an entirely different letter as to how hip-hop music has been totally diminished as an art form by this organization), how is it that Justin Bieber, an artist that defines what it means to be a modern artist, did not win Best New Artist? Again, his cultural impact and success are even more quantifiable if you factor in his YouTube and Vevo viewership – the fact that he was a talent born entirely of the digital age whose story was crafted in the most humble method of being “discovered” purely for his singing ability (and it should be noted that Justin Bieber plays piano and guitar, as evidenced on his early viral videos).
So while these very artists that the public acknowledges as being worthy of their money and fandom are snubbed year after year at the GRAMMYs, the awards show has absolutely no qualms in inviting these same artists to perform. At first I thought that you were not paying attention to the fact that the mental complexion of the world is becoming tanned, that multiculturalism and polyethnicity are driving new meaning as to what is culturally relevant.
Interesting that the GRAMMYs understands cultural relevance when it comes to using Eminem’s, Kanye West’s or Justin Bieber’s name in the billing to ensure viewership and to deliver the all-too-important ratings for its advertisers.
What truly inspired the writing of this letter was that this most recent show fed my suspicions. As the show was coming to a close and just prior to presenting the award for Album Of The Year, the band Arcade Fire performed “Month of May” – only to…surprise…win the category and, in a moment of sheer coincidence, happened to be prepared to perform “Ready to Start.”
Does the GRAMMYs intentionally use artists for their celebrity, popularity and cultural appeal when they already know the winners and then program a show against this expectation? Meanwhile the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences hides behind the “peer” voting system to escape culpability for not even rethinking its approach.
And I imagine that next year there will be another televised super-close-up of an astonished frontrunner as they come to the realization before a national audience…that he or she was being used.
You are being called to task at this very moment, NARAS.
And to all of the artists that attend the GRAMMYs: Stop accepting the invitation to be the upset of the year and demand that this body upholds its mission for advocacy and support of artistry as culture evolves.
Demand that they change this system and truly reflect and truly acknowledge your art.
I love such open discussions when it comes to Music. What is your take on this?
~ bring the beat back ~
Healthy and Not So Healthy Effects
Many revealing scientific experiments, studies, and research projects have been performed to try and discover the extent of the power of music. Up until 1970, most of the research done on music had to do with studying the effects of the beat of the music. It was found that slow music could slow the heartbeat and the breathing rate as well as bring down blood pressure. Faster music was found to speed up these same body measurements.
The key component of music that makes it beneficial is order. The order of the music from the baroque and classical periods causes the brain to respond in special ways. This order includes repetition and changes, certain patterns of rhythm, and pitch and mood contrasts. One key ingredient to the order of music from the baroque and classical periods is math. This is realized by the body and the human mind performs better when listening to this ordered music.
One shining example of the power of order in music is King George I of England. King George had problems with memory loss and stress management. He read from the Bible the story of King Saul and recognized that Saul had experienced the same type of problems that he was experiencing. George recognized that Saul overcame his problems by using special music. With this story in mind King George asked George Frederick Handel to write some special music for him that would help him in the same way that music helped Saul. Handel wrote his Water Music for this purpose.
Another key to the order in music is the music being the same and different. The brain works by looking at different pieces of information and deciding if they are different or the same. This is done in music of the baroque and classical periods by playing a theme and then repeating or changing the theme. The repetition is only done once. More than one repetition causes the music to become displeasing, and also causes a person to either enter a state of sub-conscious thinking or a state of anger. Dr. Ballam goes on to say that, "The human mind shuts down after three or four repetitions of a rhythm, or a melody, or a harmonic progression." Furthermore, excessive repetition causes people to release control of their thoughts. Rhythmic repetition is used by people who are trying to push certain ethics in their music.
An Australian physician and psychiatrist, Dr. John Diamond, found a direct link between muscle strength/weakness and music. He discovered that all of the muscles in the entire body go weak when subjected to the "stopped anapestic beat" of music from hard rock musicians, including Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, Queen, The Doors, Janis Joplin, Bachman - Turner Overdrive, and The Band. Dr. Diamond found another effect of the anapestic beat. He called it a "switching" of the brain. Dr. Diamond said this switching occurs when the actual symmetry between both of the cerebral hemispheres is destroyed causing alarm in the body along with lessened work performance, learning and behavior problems in children, and a "general malaise in adults." In addition to harmful, irregular beats in rock music, shrill frequencies prove to also be harmful to the body. Bob Larson, a Christian minister and former rock musician, remembers that in the 70's teens would bring raw eggs to a rock concert and put them on the front of the stage. The eggs would be hard boiled by the music before the end of the concert and could be eaten. Dr. Earl W. Flosdorf and Dr. Leslie A. Chambers showed that proteins in a liquid medium were coagulated when subjected to piercing high-pitched sounds
The Power of Music on Memory and Learning
The power of music to affect memory is quite intriguing. Mozart's music and baroque music, with a 60 beats per minute beat pattern, activate the left and right brain. The simultaneous left and right brain action maximizes learning and retention of information. The information being studied activates the left brain while the music activates the right brain. Also, activities which engage both sides of the brain at the same time, such as playing an instrument or singing, causes the brain to be more capable of processing information.
According to The Center for New Discoveries in Learning, learning potential can be increased a minimum of five times by using this 60 beats per minute music. For example, the ancient Greeks sang their dramas because they understood how music could help them remember more easily ). A renowned Bulgarian psychologist, Dr. George Lozanov, designed a way to teach foreign languages in a fraction of the normal learning time. Using his system, students could learn up to one half of the vocabulary and phrases for the whole school term (which amounts to almost 1,000 words or phrases) in one day. Along with this, the average retention rate of his students was 92%. Dr. Lozanov's system involved using certain classical music pieces from the baroque period which have around a 60 beats per minute pattern. He has proven that foreign languages can be learned with 85-100% efficiency in only thirty days by using these baroque pieces. His students had a recall accuracy rate of almost 100% even after not reviewing the material for four years.
In 1982, researchers from the University of North Texas performed a three-way test on postgraduate students to see if music could help in memorizing vocabulary words. The students were divided into three groups. Each group was given three tests - a pretest, a posttest, and a test a week after the first two tests. All of the tests were identical. Group 1 was read the words with Handel's Water Music in the background. They were also asked to imagine the words. Group 2 was read the same words also with Handel's Water Music in the background. Group 2 was not asked to imagine the words. Group 3 was only read the words, was not given any background music, and was also not asked to imagine the words. The results from the first two tests showed that groups 1 and 2 had much better scores than group 3. The results from the third test, a week later, showed that group 1 performed much better than groups 2 or 3. However, simply using music while learning does not absolutely guarantee recall but can possibly improve it. Background music in itself is not a part of the learning process, but it does enter into memory along with the information learned. Recall is better when the same music used for learning is used during recall. Also, tempo appears to be a key of music's effect on memory.
The influence of music on society can be clearly seen from modern history. Music helped Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence. When he could not figure out the right wording for a certain part, he would play his violin to help him. The music helped him get the words from his brain onto the paper.Albert Einstein is recognized as one of the smartest men who has ever lived. A little known fact about Einstein is that when he was young he did extremely poor in school. His grade school teachers told his parents to take him out of school because he was "too stupid to learn" and it would be a waste of resources for the school to invest time and energy in his education. The school suggested that his parents get Albert an easy, manual labor job as soon as they could. His mother did not think that Albert was "stupid". Instead of following the school's advice, Albert's parents bought him a violin. Albert became good at the violin. Music was the key that helped Albert Einstein become one of the smartest men who has ever lived. Einstein himself says that the reason he was so smart is because he played the violin. He loved the music of Mozart and Bach the most. A friend of Einstein, G.J. Withrow, said that the way Einstein figured out his problems and equations was by improvising on the violin.
Bodily Responses To Music
In general, responses to music are able to be observed. It has been proven that music influences humans both in good and bad ways. These effects are instant and long lasting. Music is thought to link all of the emotional, spiritual, and physical elements of the universe. Music can also be used to change a person's mood, and has been found to cause like physical responses in many people simultaneously. Music also has the ability to strengthen or weaken emotions from a particular event such as a funeral.
People perceive and respond to music in different ways. The level of musicianship of the performer and the listener as well as the manner in which a piece is performed affects the "experience" of music. An experienced and accomplished musician might hear and feel a piece of music in a totally different way than a non-musician or beginner. This is why two accounts of the same piece of music can contradict themselves.Rhythm is also an important aspect of music to study when looking at responses to music. There are two responses to rhythm. These responses are hard to separate because they are related, and one of these responses cannot exist without the other. These responses are (1) the actual hearing of the rhythm and (2) the physical response to the rhythm. Rhythm organizes physical movements and is very much related to the human body. For example, the body contains rhythms in the heartbeat, while walking, during breathing, etc. Another example of how rhythm orders movement is an autistic boy who could not tie his shoes. He learned how on the second try when the task of tying his shoes was put to a song. The rhythm helped organize his physical movements in time.
It cannot be proven that two people can feel the exact same thing from hearing a piece of music. For example, early missionaries to Africa thought that the nationals had bad rhythm. The missionaries said that when the nationals played on their drums it sounded like they were not beating in time. However, it was later discovered that the nationals were beating out complex poly-rhythmic beats such as 2 against 3, 3 against 4, and 2 against 3 and 5, etc. These beats were too advanced for the missionaries to follow.Responses to music are easy to be detected in the human body. Classical music from the baroque period causes the heart beat and pulse rate to relax to the beat of the music. As the body becomes relaxed and alert, the mind is able to concentrate more easily. Furthermore, baroque music decreases blood pressure and enhances the ability to learn. Music affects the amplitude and frequency of brain waves, which can be measured by an electroencephalogram. Music also affects breathing rate and electrical resistance of the skin. It has been observed to cause the pupils to dilate, increase blood pressure, and increase the heart rate.
to be continued...
Top image: Sir Einstein in Palms Spring in 1932 (image via thisisnotporn.net)
I'll tell you why I love this genius. It has nothing to do with Science or his theory of relativity ("e = mc2") that unlocked the world's mysteries blah blah blah. I still don't understand ANYTHING Science related. Seriously. It is simply because when he was young and underachieving at school, when his teachers thought he was too 'stupid to learn', his parents bought him a violin and a piano.
If you understand the science that goes into, not only playing, but perfecting these instruments, you will understand why a man of his brain power took this passion into his adulthood.
One of my favorite quote from him: "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
I will actually post an extract from cerebromente.org on Music and the Brain. It's spot on and explains fully the relation of Music to us human beings.
Any who, have a lovely day. The weather has been winking at me for 2days in a row ;)
Monday, March 14, 2011
I have been a fan of this Dutch duo for a while now. They found each other and I found them. It all started with my love for Fashion & Art photography. They are well known for pushing photography out of its boundaries. For their out of the box way of projecting the normal everyday fashion into something completely different and brain teasing. Their main focus is on how different images and their works lived together in their minds. They have done outstanding work for the likes of Bjorn, Vivien Westwood, V&R, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Chanel, Dior, Narciso Rodriguez, Valentino, etc. They have been in all the top notch fashion magazines, any big name you can think of, they're right in there.
One of my favorite projects they worked on were the 3 photo series they produced:
Final Fantasy: a mix between Adult features and adolescent bodies, inspired by the hype surrounding the skinny Supermodel Kate Moss.
Thank You Thigh-master: merging life size doll-women with human models, creating a sophisticated interpretation lay between glamour and horror.
The Forest: men with feminine body parts.
One of the latest projects they have done on exploring the boundaries of reality, by placing stock photo behind the models, creating a gap between the "real" models and the obviously faked backgrounds, such as in Go Cindy, Go Cindy from 1995 is the Nicki Minaj January cover shoot for V Magazine
I could go on and on and on about their work but do check their work out when you get a nano.
Like I've said before, I hear Photography as clear a I see Music. Art is a gift to the world!
images via thesartorialist & inez&vindoodh
artistic kisses :)
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
So, I've been working my black cute ass off the entire day. Even had lunch while typing mails and answering calls. And no, Mr. Miyake has nothing to do with these multi-tasking powers I possess.
It hit me today that I have the power to channel my energies when I have lots of work to get out with Music in the background, of course. It's always that one thing that can calm me down while when under pressure .
So I decided why not pour myself an overdose of relaxation and accompany it with an alias while I'm at it. You know, that point when I switch into that 'fcuk the world' cruise control mode. This is that very same feeling I get when I'm high off Music. When I'm elevated to a point of 'shut up. don't care. my music is on'. The point where Music makes me levitate and forget about the 'ups and downs', the 'what ifs' and the 'oh shits'. That point where the only thing standing between me and life is Music. The point when the unusual becomes unrestricted in a blink of an eye when the Music hits. The point where possibilities are endless. Because with Music every door automatically opens for my mind to run through.
So the next time you see me in that Music controlled mind-state. Address me by:
brown skin husky voice liquid mellow hip funk 'n hop fancy lover