Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year, New Endeavor

This winter break I keep telling myself the goal is to finish the final paper for which my wonderful professor granted me an extension, prepare for my last semester of law school,  and most importantly get a job. Instead (and oh-so-obviously), my mind is filled with all the wonderful other things I could be doing with my life.

The conclusion I keep returning to is that as a person-on-the-go, I am constantly filling my schedule with things to do but not taking the time to properly reflect and meditate about them.  The problem with sitting and meditating is that I am an extrovert! While I enjoy time alone to reflect, I re-charge my batteries through interaction with other people.  This means all the withdrawal, alone, focus, study time involved in finals period wreaks havoc with my inner balance.  I become emo-Julia with pensive philosophical thoughts that lead to sadness and inertia (and a lot of web-browsing).

This particular finals led me to a Quarter-Life crisis, (for anyone who was unaware, 24 is almost 25, a shocking conclusion I reached just days ago) where I tried to examine what made me happy in life and how I ended up in law school of all places.

I also had random, not-productive-to-actually-share-because-I'm-sure-other-people-have-expressed-it-much-better meditations on how we as humans shape our own lives through Production vs. Consumption as well as the roles Reflection and Dialogue can play in our lives.

So in order to have a creative outlet, produce something for the world and have time to reflect I have created a YouTube channel that will work like a vlog, which I will connect it to this blog.  The overall goal would be to use it as a platform for connection and dialogue with other people but more than likely it will just be some sort of public outlet for my creativity until law school makes me too busy to keep up with it.

It will be about things that interest me, and I understand the whole idea is somewhat selfish/narcissistic, but really it will be a way for me to explore who I want to be and what valuable connections exist in my life to allow me to impact the world more efficiently.  This means I will examine my relationship with myself, my relationship with my peers, my connection to the activities that interest me (yoga, soccer, performing), my relationship with random people on the internet, my relationship with my environment, and my relationship with my lord and savior Jesus Christ.

Basically, there are multiple goals: reflection, and dialogue, expression, connections, sharing, creative outlet, and my favorite: productive procrastination.

Here is the first entry/welcome video:

you can go to the channel and check out what else I have up but just know the first two things I uploaded were college art projects and also happened back when YouTube videos had to be supercompressed and you can't see everything... who am I kidding, they're just weird!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Study Music (and videos)

So since it's finals week, I am prone to think about all the other wonderful things I can do with my time besides study.  I've really grown to like the idea of promoting music on my blog, since that's what i spend the majority of my time doing when perusing the internet.

What's ironic here is that in my procrastination I'm going to highlight the music I most enjoy when studying!

So here are some of my favorites to listen to while writing/studying/reading/absorbing knowledge.  Hopefully you can put these on in the background and enjoy some great, mellow, transportative (OK, well I know it's not a word and there's an actual word out there that means the same thing but it's finals week and my brain is fried so give me a break!). Sometimes it's hard not to watch the videos as well...

Sigur Ros "Glosoli"
There are a lot of great videos combining the beautiful music of Sigur Ros with breathtaking footage from Planet Earth, I have to keep the window minimized when watching this one

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Soundtrack "At Wit's End".   Gotta love the sweeping dramatic songs Hans Zimmer composes

Explosions in the Sky "The Only Moment We Were Alone" Epic Post-Modern Rock

Bon Iver "Towers"  Off the self-titled sophomore album, in my opinion the song ends way too soon.  The video is also hypnotic

And a pick-me up song for when you realize you've dozed off cause it's 2:30am and you're nowhere near finished writing/studying:
m83 "Midnight City" the driving back beat is more effective than coffee when it comes to keeping my eyes open late-night.

And an appropriate song for the season that ALWAYS gets me through December Finals Week:
Vince Guaraldi Trio "Christmastime is Here (Instrumental)" Oh Charlie Brown!

Finally, a treat for those who have made it this far:
This is what I did as a study break on Friday... 
 I really need a creative outlet and felt inspired to sing. There may be more coming...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Musical Endorsements

FYI: most of this was previously published as a guest post on another (semi-anonymous?) blog. you can check it out here:
P!nk Persistence

So the big dilemma I have every time I sit to type a blog post…what to write about?  I never can quite commit to just one topic so I end up with multiple half composed blog posts in my head that never make it to the blogosphere (a big reason that I average only 1 post per month). But since I'm already about half-way through this post I might as well just use this as my own personal soapbox to talk about some awesome music that's out there.

I don't know if she's done it on this medium yet but Pinky likes to give me a hard time about my alternative taste in music… and then one to three years later come back and say, "Wow, you were right.  This band is pretty good."  But to her credit, I give her a hard time about listening to Britney Spears but then dance along to it when it comes on in a club.  

Anyway, the musical artist I've become obsessed with since I discovered him around March of this year is an Australian act Gotye (pronounced, oddly enough: "Gore-ti-yeh").  He recently (as in last week) won 6 ARIAS (like an Aussie Grammy) his single "Somebody That I Used to Know" which has gone viral on YouTube and features an amazing artist from New Zealand Kimbra.  While this album actually isn't available in the States yet (unless you buy it from his website and pay to have it shipped) you can buy his earlier album Like Drawing Blood which is fantastic as well (highlight "Your Heart's A Mess").  He also recently announced a show in NY in february (YAY) but tickets sold out so fast today I missed out on getting a ticket (SOOOOOOOOOOOO BUMMED, YOU have NO IDEA!) 
There's the AMAZING Somebody That I Used to Know video:

And the two of them performing the song live at the ARIAS:

Before this becomes a full-fledged advertisement I'll suggest a couple other acts/songs which deserve a look on YouTube or vimeo and can help broaden your musical horizons (if nothing else, checking them out will give you a little break to your work/studying):

Kimbra - Two Way Street (super-talented vocalist, I also recommend the videos for Settle Down and Cameo Lover)

Dawes - When My Time Comes (out of CA, toured with Mumford and Sons, similar sound)

Apparat Organ Quartet - 1,2,3,Forever (Icelandic group of four organists and a drummer, fun claymation video)

Oh Land - White Nights (Swedish former ballerina who looks like the younger sister of Heidi Klum, Molly Simms, and Gwenyth Paltrow)
The Love Language -  Heart to Tell (throwback 60s vibe of the music as well as the stomping)

Angus & Julia Stone - And the Boys (Aussie, brother and sister duo off their latest album Down the Way)

Sia - Clap Your Hands (another Aussie, used to sing with Zero 7, has collaborated with Xtina, a fun an crazy video for a song that's easy to jump around to)