may 17. buy this when it drops. janelle monae is seriously a beast for this album. it's a conceptual masterpiece. she easily and seamlessly transitions from genre to genre without confusing the listener. and she bends time and space to take us on a euphonious journey through her mind. i'm in love.
i remember the first time i was introduced to the talented woman that is lena horne. i was about 5 or 6, and my mother played for me the film, 'the wiz,' in which lena played glinda the good witch. her presence alone made me stop and take note. and then when she opened her mouth, and the voice that poured out, filled with so much exuberance, so much strength and confidence, made me fall instantly in love. out of all the jazz ladies, because of this memory, she is easily my favourite. she's left behind a legacy of timeless music, elegant beauty, and a sweet spirit. RIP.
i never got around to posting this... but i got the pleasure of seeing/hearing/photographing the gaslamp killer spin at unit in tokyo. he's a dope dj/producer, and his sets were amazing. very high energy. from the music to his disposition. he was a really cool dude. pics from the event are featured above... below is a youtube clip of his music.
check out this amazing house, casa son vida, in palma de mallorca, spain. it's an amazing piece of architecture. definitely drool worthy. i can't even imagine being the owner of such a glorious place. well, one thing's for sure: i'd be the host to some amazing parties. anyway, to see more photos, head over to wallpaper's site.
controversy. badu's new video is definitely something to discuss. it's an open table for discourse. makes us think. what's really going on with the world? when we shoot people down who have differing opinions and varied outlooks rather than talk with them, pick their brain and simply agree to disagree. this ties in directly with the post below-- the danger of a single story. let's educate ourselves, people. let's not live blindly. badu hit the nail on the head with this one. but then again, she usually does.
my friends and i started our own book club some time ago, and one of our selections, "half of a yellow sun" by a nigerian author called chimamanda ngozi adichie, resonated with all of us. it was such a poignant piece of literature. at any rate, a friend of mine recently brought to my attention this lecture where adichie speaks on the dangers of a single story, or rather, how dangerous it is for a person to have a biased view of the world-- if one takes at face value what one sees in the media, without having been to a place or known its people, instead of being their own judge. this speech had a profound effect on me, as the message is something i try and spread wherever i go. suffice it to say, watch the video below. and pick up any of her books if you're in need of a good story.
i was in paris recently, and had an opportunity to visit le centre pompidou to see the soulages exhibit before its end on march 8. it was such an amazing display of his work; i was blown away by his talent, and his versatile use of the color black. the video below, although in french, takes a walk through the exhibit with soulages himself, and one can see first hand just how the exhibition panned out, and how strong and visually stunning his work is.
so, hot chip is back with a new offering for 2010, one life stand. it sounds dope so far, though i'll admit i haven't given it a good enough listen to provide a review... but that's not what i do here anyway. i like people to decided for themselves. so, check it out if you get a chance. they usually don't disappoint. and to see when they'll be coming to an area nearest you, check out their site. watch their latest video below:
fashion house PRADA has collaborated with an amazing chinese artist, yang fudong, to create an innovative, visually stunning short film, which both effortlessly and brilliantly showcases prada's latest collection. set in shanghai, the short plays off the chinese belief that "the whole year's work depends on a good start in spring." i'm extremely excited to see how far the design house goes with this new visual marketing campaign. watch 'first spring' below...
the sleeping pills i swallowed have me a bit loopy. but this new corinne bailey rae album, the sea, is the perfect sonic backdrop for my headspace right now. i have never before now felt like i was making love to an artist through their music. she has me open. her melodies are reaching down into my soul. her voice is tickling the back of my neck. the live instrumentation is brushing against the rest of my skin. sigh. it's everything i need and more right now. it's listening to me. speaking to me. cuddling with me. and it will go to sleep with me. if only it were possible to make love to music. we'd both be needing a cigarette about now.
"I am becoming frantically bored with life…or perhaps I am just crazy. I thrive on inconsistency, yet life here is too inconsistent. Contradictory but true. Life’s too fickle—does what it wants to do when it wants to do it. Perhaps I am only complaining because life is not doing for me what I think it should be doing. Life and its inconsistencies should be aligned with me, in agreement with the decisions I am making in my life. But the opposite seems to be happening. There are too many days where I feel unstable because events are conflicting. Activities are questionable, nonsensical even, but at times there can slip between the cracks some wondrous moment—a time where all pessimistic thought begins to disintegrate—and life is full of unsullied, awe-inspiring whimsicality. This is where the uncertainty comes into play. Those made-for-film moments are too remarkable, too startling to be continuous—nothing amazing is ever eternal. And to reach such a peak, to reach such random peaks at random points in one’s life, causes the in-betweens to be ruthless, ennui-laden moments where one begins to question one’s own existence. Twiddling fingers, sleeping, rummaging through cabinets for food that isn’t there, watching deplorable television programs and daydreaming rather than creating new realities become a habitual norm. And it is a norm that takes on a life force, has a mind of its own—strong willed—as it eventually becomes an aspect of ones life that is not necessarily capable of or liable to change. And a lot of time gets wasted. Pondering instead of doing. Imagining instead of being. Existing but not living. Longing for those peaks, those better-than-cocaine-high moments where things are soaring—life is actually grand. But those moments seem to only exist in the literature one is reading, the film one has set aside time to watch or in the art with which one has taken the liberty to become familiarized. Essentially, one begins to live in a fantasy.
As I lay here racking my brain to find something interesting to do, I can’t help but be overcome with this absurdly intriguing desire to live some other life. In some alrernate reality. Some pseudo-noninterventionist reality that exists only in the worlds of Miller and Baldwin, Bertolucci, Allen and Almodovar, Khalo and Warhol. Some quirkily fascinating, complex and witty, deeply disturbing thing of a life. Pleasurable to say the least—and richly inspired. It seems, though, that my life will never be as one could imagine or wish one’s life to be, as I was not born into extraordinary circumstance, nor am I much of an anomaly that weird and fucked up people would be drawn to attaching themselves to me to suck me into their tragedies. No, I am not so lucky as to have been pulled into such ludicrous circumstance. So here I sit, alone in a dimly lit room—half crazy or at the very least pretending to be—praying for some incredulous thing to plop down into my lap.
A pack of unopened Gaulloises lay on the floor adjacent to my feet. I haven’t yet found the nerve to break the seal and indulge. I look down at the rectangular carton and smile; it seems to be peering back at me, mockingly yet apathetic—uninterested in me for my lack of gull, my inability to commit… my reluctance to partake. I look away, an attempt at salvaging my self-respect. To feel as though I have some sense of control, some level of pride. I glance at my arm and am struck by how flaky my skin is. I begin to scratch feverishly. I stop and blow on the appendage, bits of dead skin rising and falling, eventually becoming a part of the backdrop. I begin to scratch the surface once more—eventually I realize how unsanitary the act is. Abruptly, I stop. I rub my arm gently as if to comfort it. I close my eyes and breathe deeply.
I begin to stir, and I move from my position on the floor. I rise, and walk in circles around the disheveled room, stepping over stark white paper and clear plastic water bottles, once-white oxford shirts and saddle-brown wing-tipped shoes. A dampened towel strewn about, an eye mask directly beside it. Wire hangers, socks and coins—dollars worth of coins all splattered about as if the floor were a wishing well. I heard the carpet gasp for breath, as if it were being smothered by the objects; it was already on its last leg though, I thought, so why not let it die. I keep circling. Thinking I would eventually be inspired or grow weary and pass out from exhaustion—at least the act of my having fainted would add a morsel of excitement to an otherwise mind-numbing existence. Nothing happened though. Physical exhaustion never set in, only annoyance at the redundancy of circling a lifeless room.
Sleepless nights, such as the one I am experiencing at the moment, are so intense one hopes to die. The more one tries to sleep, the more tension gathers and builds between one’s brows, and the more absurd and random thoughts begin to appear in one’s mind— one can easily mistake this level of insomnia for going insane. I lay here, physically exhausted, body unable to move from this spot on the bed, yet my eyes are wide open—they are drying out from the lack of lubrication blinking provides. My mouth is forced open by an unremitting yawn. I am still awake, however.
I think I am going crazy…
…Or perhaps I am just fanatically bored with life."
i am a couple days late writing this, but i doubt it's much of an issue. at least it's getting written. i'll start by saying "wow! what a year 2009 has been." for me, personally, it has been a year of reflection and progression. i was blessed to have been able to find myself in a number of situations where self-reflection was a necessity and, ultimately, a newfound self-awareness and self-betterment was able to come about. i was blessed this year to have stayed busy and on the go, with my feet touching american soil for only a short amount of time. i became immersed in a number of different cultures, made a number of lasting friendships, reconnected with old friends, was amazed by music, art and film, and realized my own potential in varied artistic genres. it's my hope, in 2010, that i can continue down this path of discovery and realization, challenging myself as i would challenge another, and remain consistent with carving out my niche. it is also my desire to continue surrounding myself with individuals from whom i can learn, and with whom i can grow, experience and live. x