Monday, March 24, 2014

Musical Monday: Don't Be Afraid

So rather than highlighting a particular band or style, the theme this week is "Don't Be Afraid." Basically life is full of hard decisions, rocks and hard places, giving up things we want for other things we want more, but with the right perspective and the right support, a bit of courage, a belief in something greater, and a willingness to try we can find ourselves where we want to be, or need to be and there's no point wasting time in worry or fear... at least that's what I'm attempting to tell myself through these select songs.

For the Spotify Playlist, click HERE!(I tried to embed the playlist here but couldn't figure it out in time)

Or continue on in our usual fashion (but note, I haven't watched these videos all the way through to approve they're SFW, so you might need headphones on the live performances)

CHVRCHES: Strong Hand
A bonus track off of The Bones of What You Believe, it makes be happy to have the deluxe version because I dance to this all the time in the car.

"When the pressure's building for a great white hope, do you give up the things you love?"
"Will I be the strong hand, keeping you safe? Or will I break you in half?"

Lucius: Two of Us on the Run
A magnificent Christmas gift from one of my best friends, their 2013 album Wildewoman is a great pop album that deserves your attention.

"So run and tell the story of how we made something of ourselves now"
"There's no race, there's only a runner; just keep one foot in front of the other."
"1, 2, 3, even when you get tired, just keep one foot in front of the other."

Bombay Bicycle Club: It's Alright Now
The new album from Bombay Bicycle Club is a great sophomore effort, showing a more mature, polished sound. THis track in particular reminds me of late band The Middle East's Blood (but mostly cause of the oh-ooos)

"It's alright now oh-ooo-oh-oooo-oh-ooOOOoo"
"Let me be your fortress"

San Fermin: Daedelus (What We Have)

San Fermin has such a great sound, and with so many instruments and different vocalists, their 2013 self-titled album was one unique sounding track after another.

"Don't you know it's awfully hard to dream"
"It's hard to talk about, when inside you're freaking out, when it's going quickly and you doubt you're anything"

Yellow Ostrich: Don't Be Afraid

The closing track on Yellow Ostrich's recently released album Cosmos basically gets the whole message of the post across in one song (which is how it inspired this whole post to begin with). However, it's too new & unknown to even make the YouTubes so I definitely recommend spotifying it just to hear the album and this track!

"Don't be afraid, don't be so hard to find"

Monday, March 17, 2014

Musical Monday: Getdown Snowdown!

More SNOW!?! This is cause for celebration, both because Work got cancelled but also because this will likely be the last snow of the year. I like a good break from work, but I definitely get a bit claustrophobic feeling cooped up at home. So I decided to share a jam that makes me wanna get up and groove, cause if nothing else, at least I'll get some good cardio done today.

Matt Corby: Trick of the Light (Live on the Resolution Tour)
Matt Corby has made us wait sooooo long for his full length album, and in the meantime puts out a few singles to whet our appetites, like this gem. He also tours around Australia, which is all well and good, but for those of us on the other side of the world, we only have youtube videos of the performances to keep us going until that glorious day when he finally finishes an album.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Foto Friday: Modern (Snow) Art

So if you live on the East Coast, you saw a ton of snow this spring. And apparently, it's not over. The weather gurus are now predicting 3-6" on Monday,.... That's St. Patrick's Day! Crazy right? Maybe we can pretend the snow is a real life representation of how he drove all the snakes away? Cause I don't think we'll see any slitherers out if there's snow on the ground.

Anywho, with all the snow, I decided to get creative with a few of the storms and I decided to do "A Study in Snow; Modern Art Series." I'm lucky enough to live near DC and some AMAZING Smithsonian Art museums. Of course the big player in the game is the National Gallery of Art, both the East and West Wing (the West Wing is so large as to require multiple trips or a LOT of time) but the smaller more focused museums like the National Portrait Gallery, the Freer, the Sackler, etc. are great, in particular I love the Hirschhorn, I even follow the museum on twitter!

So I decided to create tributes to some famous modern artists through food coloring, Gatorade, some filters, a can of soup, and of course: SNOW!

Here are the tributes I came up with:

One: Jackson Pollock
A Study in Snow; Modern Art Series One: Jackson Pollock. (2014) Food Coloring on Snow.

Jackson Pollock, Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist),1950, National Gallery of Art, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund, 1976.37.1

Known for his unique "dribble" technique (and dribble is totally the curator-approved term), Jackson Pollock's pieces are instantly recognizable. If you want to know more about the man behind the splatter, go see the biopic with Ed Harris and Marcia Gay Harding, it's great! You can also create your own "Pollock" just wiggle the mouse below (click for new colors):

Painting Games | Paint Games

Two: Mark Rothko
A Study in Snow; Modern Art Series Two: Mark Rothko (2014). Gatorade on Snow, Digital Color Filter

12 (Black on Dark Sienna on Purple)

Known for his HUGE canvases and emotional depth he could portray with just a few shapes and colors (or "bands of ambient colors" as the critics put it), Rothko might not be as well known as the other artists but his was one of the first exhibits I saw that began my love of modern art. You don't have to fully "get it" to experience it, and people can walk away with different meanings and interpretations and therein lies the fun.

Three: Andy Warhol

A Study in Snow; Modern Art Series Three: Andy Warhol (2014). Mixed Media Collage in Snow, Post-Photo Digital Filters

andy warhol campbells soup art (5)
Andy Warhol. Campbell's Soup Cans. 1962

This instantly recognizable pop artist is what many people think of when they think of modern art. The man, his art, and his legacy can be quite polarizing, people love or hate it. Apparently, in 2012, Campbell's Soup sold special tribute cans of soup in honor of the piece's 50th anniversary:

What artist would you do a snow tribute to? What other materials would you use? Do you have a favorite art movement or period? How'd your "Pollock" piece turn out? Tell me in the comments below or via twitter @itzbizr