Tuesday, July 7, 2015

mckendrick lamar & the yam woes

Friends!!!!! Do you ever think about how amazing people are?  Because I do.  A lot.  I am fascinated by mannerisms, quirks and how people are attracted to different things.  I am obsessed with passionate people, people who have found their niche or ones who want to explore everything and everywhere.  That's where I'm at.  I want to try everything.  I want my life to be an experiment.  I want a life where I am spent creating.

My pal Pete believes in my work and he's always honest about what I'm doing & encouraging.  WHICH ROCKS.  I hope everyone can get someone like that, who's always willing to create.  Swiggity. You can always have people who admire but Pete jumps in with two feet.  Who knew exploring parking garages could be so cool? 






These kiddos rock.   I have been writing quite a bit of poetry recently & I think Pete and I are going to mix some synth stuff with spoken word.  I have no clue what to do regarding synthesizers, I'm going to leave that all up to Pete.  

Also.  I'm obsessed with the song Cavalier by James Vincent McMorrow as of late.  I had found it quite a while ago, but it's such a great one.  It's so peaceful & I love that.

ROCK ON KIDDOS. Get creative.  Do cool things.  Compliment strangers.  Write poetry.

Friday, April 24, 2015

i named a plant emmett

Hello blogging friendz!!!!! I have been on an absolute photography *kick* as of late, I have been taking my NikonD60 absolutely everywhere.  I think I have been taking photos every other day.  I took a photoshoot with my pal Mikaela who did some siiiick jumping shots and one with my friend Clarissa where we went tromping around a cute little city near us.

Lifeeee-wise.  I have been kind of at a standstill.  I haven't found much motivation besides my photography as of late.  Everything seems routine. 

In honor of Earth Day, my pal Kirsten and I visited a local gardening store and bought some succulents.  Of course, we gave them fun names.  Kirsten's plants are Profe Flug (named after a Spanish teacher at our school), Nachito and Gale.  I named my plants Marty and Emmett after characters from the movie Back to the Future (greatest movie of all time can we agree).

Kirsten is so excited about Earth Day that she wet her plants!!!!!! HAA HA punz.

   On Wednesday, I got the amazingingiging opportunity to shoot some photographs of a band at my church that plays at our youth group.  It's an eclectic little group of professional musicians and they play contemporary Christian songs from bands like Gungor and Hillsong which is pretty neat. They were so sweet, they told me I could sort of romp around stage and do what I wanted. Uh, cool, thanks???

This image is part of a series I'm working on for a photography portfolio called "the unforeseen series" where I focus on different people all with the same element, each of them has their eyes hidden in some way. It's sort of still in the works, but eeep I'm super pumped about it.

I got part of my head shaved yesterday, which is now a thing.  I've always been sort of fascinated by the sidecut look, but honestly I was a little worried about how it was going to turn out.  I didn't want half my head shaved off or something (also I never have had a razor come towards my head before which was slightly concerning). But I really like how it turned out.  Subtle.  

I will be uploading more photoz soon because I have been taking sooooo many photos.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

i'm fairly local.

DUUUUUUUDE.  Twentyone pilots just released their plans for their new album.  And a wOrLd tOuR.  AND A NEW SONG. OH, AND A NEW MUSIC VIDEO.  This is all too much for me to handle.

The new song is called "Fairly Local".  It's different, but I personally don't think in a bad way.  It is an intense preview of what is to come on their upcoming album Blurryface, that will be released on May 19th of this year.  (!!!)

Twentyone pilots is a two-piece band made up of the adorable singer Tyler Joesph and the spunky-hair-always-dyed-a-different-color drummer Josh Dun.   It's hard to classify twentyone pilots into a genre.  It's like part ukelele-punk-rock and part good-white-boy-rap.  I'm pretty sure there is not a specific genre for that. Their first album Vessel is probably my favorite album I've ever listened to.  Their lyrics are just so powerful and familiar.  The most popular song by them is Car Radio and with good reason.  It's poetry.  Spoken word put to music.  It's really quite beautiful.

Perhaps what I like most about twentyone pilots is how much they really care for their fans.  The tweet announcing the new album said "Your album is called Blurryface, available May 19.  Your world tour starts this fall.  Your new music video is here now."  This music isn't just about them.  It's about us.  Fans are a part of who twentyone pilots has and will become.  I've never seen a band like that. Really in all honestly, ever. 

Screenshot of the Video. Property of Fueled by Ramen and twentyone pilots.

This new song is darker.  The music video for "Fairly Local" features a red-headed drummer Josh Dun and an even-more-intense-than-usual singer Tyler Joesph.  I know a few fellow twentyone pilots fans aren't quite sure what to make of this song yet.  They say that it feels a little *too* mainstream for this band and that the lyrics hold less meaning than some of their original songs.  While I can see their point, I really enjoy this new style.  And I can't wait to see what else they have in store.  Just maybe, without the chorus repeated quite as often.  See fo' yourself.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Music You Should Hit Up: My friendddd Andrew Bailey

Eeeep.  Our school has this thing called a "capstone project" where you basically choose a career path and then do an in-depth project based on your interests.  It's a decently-big deal.  Some people kinda waltz around the system by doing a project showcasing ceramic projects or something and some people go hardcore and cure a disease.

I came up with this idea to create a mini album-sampler-EP of sorts containing songs written by students at my high school.  I would help record them in a studio and create album art, lyrics sheets, etc.  I'm talking to my principal about it in a few days and I'm super excited (and nervous) about it, quite honestly.  Eeep.

One of my pals Andrew Bailey is really supportive of my idea.  He writes his own stuff and he's real good.  Reaaaaaallll good.  He's such an interesting guy that has a lot of ideas and is really good at articulating them.  He agreed to help partake in my lil sampler-EP capstone project, which makes me so happy.  So happy.  He has a honest, organic and engaging voice backed by some sunny acoustic strumming. You should give him a listen in the meantime.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

I wish I could sport a man bun.


Hello friends. Contrary to popular belief, I did not fall of the face of the earth, I just was just experiencing an existential crisis of sorts.  It's that time of the year, I suppose.  Spring is sort of around the corner, but not quite here.  Everything is just sort of routine.  I'm not a huge fan of routine, I always have to be doing something different and on the go.  So, I took it upon myself to step out of my routine and try to reach out to some different people that I want to get to know better.  However, all my plans seemed to fall through.  I'm a chaser.  I always am looking for a new adventure to experience, but not many people ever seem to want to chase after me.  But that's not true. You just have to be patient.  I truly believe God has huge plans for me.  Yee.


My frin frand Maggie & our new Eskimo friendz
I decided that I'm going to start bringing my nikon everywhere.  I want to document everything & everyone.  Life is so cool, ya feel?  I'm gonna be the girl with the camera.  Yes. 

Rehearsing before our one act performance at the Guthrie
Cool kid hangz amirite

Oh, yes.  This photo was released the other day.  That's me, there, right behind Sean the lead singer of Smallpools.  *heavy breathing*

I've been listening to a lot of Childish Gambino and SNCKPCK recently which is a really odd combination of rap and sunny ukelele playing.  Completely different ends of the spectrum. But I like it that way.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Band to Know: Volcanoooooo Choir

Volcano Choir is the most familiar band you've probably never heard of.  Seriously.  Few have heard of this side project featuring Justin Vernon, the vocals of Bon Iver.  The band consists of Vernon and band members of Collections of Colonies of Bees, a band that greatly influenced Vernon to continue his passion.  Uhhh why is nobody talking about this??? With the mellow sophistication that came off the Bon Iver self-titled album, Volcano Choir slays.

Credit: Volcano Choir Webpage
The Wisconsin six-piece loosely formed in 2005, starting out as a collaboration which created the album Unmap in 2009.  I watched a documentary on these guys (being all intrigued about their music ho hum) and they said it was hard for them to make the first album because they all were individual artists, never really meeting in person.  Repave, which was released in 2013 is their second and most recent studio album was more of a group effort.  They say their success lies in their strong relationships with each other before starting the project. And a humble project, at that.  Volcano Choir proved with their Repave release, that they are much more than a "side-project". They are a bit under the radar, but not something to be overlooked.

My friends Evelyn and Darby encouraged me to give them a listen but with the warning: it's hella sad.  And they are right.  Soft piano and guitar playing to back Vernon's vocals really gets to your core in songs such as Byegone, Tiderays and, well.  The entire album. Which isn't a bad thing.  The lyrics are beautiful and organic. Nothing about Repave seems forced or unauthentic. Those who love the richness of Kodaline and Local Natives will love the sounds of Volcano Choir.  And banjo enthusiasts.  There's a lot of banjo.

Check them out yo:

Music Video: Tiderays - Volcano Choir

Mini Documentary: The Making of the "Repave" Album

Volcano Choir
Discography: Repave (2013), Unmap (2009)
Noteworthy songs: Acetate, Tiderays, uhhh the whole album???

I went out on a study date with Evy and Darby, which is where they told me to listen to Volcano Choir.  While at ze coffee shop, I doodled a bit.  Yeee.


A few recent instant photos taken with my Instax Mini 7s.  From left to right........
1. Scattergories & chill board game night
2. This was taken with our very high class McDonalds dinner for our February school dance
3. I took this at the Hozier concert.  If you squint and lean your head the right way, you can see him.
4. Taken at the Smallpools concert last Saturday.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Concert Review: Smallpools won't be "Small" for Long

In the student center at Hamline University in St. Paul, the enthusiastic four-piece Smallpools got ready for their first gig of the year backstage.  "Backstage" is a loose term here, where the performers are fully visible behind a mobile stage set-up for Saturday night's Winter Wonderland show. The show was put on by Hamline's student-led radio station.  With only a self-titled EP and two singles released to their name, Smallpools has managed to garner support from an American audience.  The California-based group formed in 2013 and have been known best for their indie pop song Dreaming which made it to the top 24 on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart

Lead singer Sean Scanlon on keyboard during Bruce Lee
The audience consisted of mostly Hamline college students or college students that lived in the Minneapolis area.  My friends Clarissa, Jane and I were one of the only high schoolers at the gig, I'd have to say.  Crowd-goers ranged from die-hard fans that "couldn't wait to see their favorite band perform live" to students hanging on the fringes of the stage, just wanting to have a good time. The Winter Wonderland show consisted of three acts: Step Rockets, YONAS and (of course) Smallpools.  

The opening act, Step Rockets is a local Minneapolis indie rock band that I had high hopes for.  A local indie band, yes please(!!!) And, quite frankly, I was a little disappointed.  They were unfamiliar to me and their lyrics didn't grasp that familiarity that would win me over when seeing them live.  They knew what they were doing, but the guitar-playing overpowered the vocals.  I couldn't really figure out what the singer was saying, which is pretty critical to understand an opening band and what their about.  I did dig the song Kisser which I looked up on ze web when I got home, which I dig (a significant amount) now I that I can hear the lyrics with less guitar.  The video is pretty swiggity as well, featuring the band playing in an aquarium. 

Don't get me started on YONAS.  I'm not sure what to make of his songs, but boy was he entertaining.  I had no idea what to expect from this solo rap artist, let alone expect how much I enjoyed his performance.  In addition to a few pieces of his original work, YONAS creatively played popular radio hits such as Take Me to Church over the speakers while he rapped over them.  This worked to his benefit, as it made the audience feel like they knew his work and would sing along.  His songs ranged from these covers to more self-centered songs like YONAS where he spelled his name out for the duration of a song.  Yikes.  He seemed to be trying a little "too hard" in my opinion to win over the audience, with actions such as pouring out a water bottle over the crowd and reiterating who he was over & over, but there was no arguing about how passionate he was. #Yonasnation.

Joe Intile tuning in between Mason Jar and American Love
Smalllllpoooooools.  This was the act all had been anticipating and they delivered.  After walking onto the stage, they quickly dove into their short Intro piece which sounded like a heavier version of an orchestra tune-up featuring the drummer Beau Kuther and confident lead-singer-with-majestic-hair Sean Scanlon conducting the audience with a baton.  Other members of the band include curly-haired bass guitarist Joe Intile and enthusiastic guitarist Mike Kamerman who flailed around stage with his dance moves.

Early on their set, songs off their EP No Story Time and Over & Over won the crowd over with the same energy in their original recordings.  A few more unfamiliar songs Bruce Lee and Dying 2 Live were a relief that Smallpools can deliver more than just their songs off their EP.  Some songs in the middle, Picture and Cover (Real Hero) felt like filler pieces, but were enjoyable to listen to (just not an all-out dance party like the other songs).  That being said, the last 5 songs in the set were killer.  Mason Jar and Killer Whales were crowd favorites, fit with an amusing story as to how the song Killer Whales came to be.  Sean talked about how early on, the band would *shamelessly* search their name on the Internet to see what people were saying, but all they would find were articles about this group of environmentalists that were saying how killer whales shouldn't be kept in small pools. Yes. They ended their set with Dreaming, which was a satisfying dance party.  



Overall, the band was light-hearted and didn't take anything too seriously.  The show had a few technical errors like Sean's mike stand falling over or his keyboard switching to a weird setting in the middle of song, but these minor details didn't seem to phase them.  I personally think moments like this make live music what it is.  It makes music more real, ya feel??? The student center was a make-shift venue, but it worked well.  The show wasn't seamless, lighting at the venue blinded me at times- not taking into account my sensitive eyes- but it was a highly impressive student-lead show.   I am definitely getting involved with a student radio at whichever college I decide to attend. Definitely.

With clear vocals and straight-forward sunny guitar riffs (similar to that of Walk the Moon or Bad Suns) leading up to intoxicating indie pop choruses, Smallpools was a satisfying headliner.  Smallpools is used to the opening band slot, but are moving into the headlining category with a tour for their upcoming Love Tap album this spring.  (I love Smallpools but I really wish they picked a different name for their album. Sadness.)  I wasn't drop-dead stunned by their performance like I was with Hozier, but I was left wanting more after their 12-song set.  Killer.

Winter Wonderland ft. Step Rockets, YONAS and Smallpools
February 21st @ Hamline University, St. Paul
Smallpools Discography:  Smallpools EP & singles Killer Whales and Karaoke
Notable Songs: Mason Jar, Over & Over, Dreaming