Friday, September 30, 2011

Atlas Sound > Terra Incognita

Bradford Cox lead singer of Deerhunter coming out with a new album under his solo project Atlas Sound. I love that name. Atlas Sound, it's a perfect name. Can I join your band? I'm good at drawing atlases.

I was first completely drawn to Mr. Bradford's awesome goggles. The man has a captivating way about him, which translates into his music. "Terra Incognita" is a track off of the upcoming album Parallax due out in November. It's an atmospheric swirly moon mix that is very lonely in a good kind of way. Tastes a little bit like Sigur Rós with less instruments.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Video and single release

Elizaveta first music video premiers! 
if you like it, spread it around to all of your friends and family.  


"Dreamer" Video Credits: Written and performed by Elizaveta, dance choreographed and performed by Charles "Lil Buck" Riley,  video directed by Sarah Renard,  art direction and costumes by Missy Washington, make up by Dehx

The download of "Dreamer" is available for free on the itunes front page this week. Check it out.
The EP is for sale, which I recommend, because the track "Meant" is probably my favorite!

(my photos on the front page, whoohoo)

More to come on the whirlwind trip to NYC soon.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fitz and the Tantrums



Taking a cue from the Austin folk, I checked out all of the acts at ACL; learning from the best and now taking note of Fitz and the Tantrums.

I'm not usually a soul music listener. I blame it on my college work environment. They had The Way You Do the Things You on super loop. I suppose Fitz is on the verge; they have tinges of the Hall Oates era, but they mix with big band sounds and some good bass. The hook on this song is really catchy, and I like his dancing; it's reminds me of those ski exercise machines.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

hate to love, love to hate

like it or not I can't deny that I enjoy this album. The man is talented, who cares if he's a punk?





This obviously is not a moral issue, but I had a similar conversation with some of the kids I used to work with which kind of was. They were so conflicted because they loved Chris Brown, but then when we started talking about the whole domestic abuse issue, they hated him, but then they loved his music, love, hate, music, ahh what to do?

Does it affect your sense of the music when you know the musicians are unworthy of your patronage?

Going to NYC on Sunday, so excited to see my old friends!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Chocolatery


Today I am feasting on some of the best homemade chocolates, butterscotch and mint, whoah! 
These are created by a really talented chef just starting out in North Hollywood. She has a large selection of chocolates that she makes by hand with really quality ingredients.There's a vegan chocolate and vegan peanut butter chocolate too! Her prices are a steal too. 

Need chocolates for an event or party? I seriously recommend!
TheChocolateryLA - at - gmail.com 

Austin City Limits

I am the lucky one. I got to go to Austin City Limits last weekend!

I've been hearing about the art and music scene in Austin for a while now, so I was really excited to finally go! The city did not disappoint. We were only there for a day and a half, but really crammed a lot in. When I got back it felt like I had been gone a week.
I talked to a lot of festival goers; they all truly impressed with their research and interest in all of the artists performing. While most people just go to these shows to see their favorite bands and wander around in the interim, the ACL folk that I met had gone on the website and looked up every artist playing to see who they wanted to check out. One guy told me, "If I'm going to pay to get in, I want to get my money's worth." Amen. That led him to Elizaveta's show.
E's show was fantastic. I left my camera card at home! I was so bummed! Luckily the phone did a mighty fine job.

I wandered around the festival a little in the afternoon. Most of the people I met were really nice and laid back.
The exception was probably Alexander AKA Edward Sharpe and his crew. It was raining and Alexander was walking around on the amp cords bare foot. Had to get a photo. haha
I admit I still like their music. Unfortunately, they weren't really cool. There were a few other artists from the festival backstage listening to the music. They were pretty rude to their fellow festival peoples, plus the whole hippie thing was pretty staged.
I'll give him a break; it's hard to be salt of the earth when you're trying to be a ROCKSTAR!

Funniest thing was, Alexander and co were on the same plane as us coming back from Austin. I guess it shouldn't be so surprising. .

Some quality Texas time: BBQ, trucks with deer decals, and Ron Paul. At least the RP black out is not as dark in Texas.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

drawings and photos from yosemite

I got these flowers for my birthday and I didn't want to leave them at home, so I brought them along in a take-out cup. They smelled up the car nicely, but didn't like the cold much. I felt bad for toting them along after that.

We camped in the valley with all of the climbers. I was envious, except of their pre-dawn wake up call. J made fast friends with a nice Hungarian guy who was telling us about a guy at one of the national parks in California who left honey in his (yellow) car. Kind of like wearing a meat suit in shark invested waters. Obviously a bear broke into his car to feast. It was such a jackpot that bears were breaking into every yellow cars in the area for a while after that. Such smart animals.

It rained and made everything muddy and grey. We were determined to mountain bike no matter what, so the poncho did what it could. By the end of it, we were completely filthy and wet. So much fun.

Yosemite really is one of the most magical places on the planet.

Monday, September 19, 2011

say it ain't so


Anna Karenina to be made into a Hollywood motion picture. I've been moaning about this all weekend to anyone who will listen.

This is blasphemy!

Keira Knightley as Anna?? Anna Karenina was not at all girlish or waifish; she was a Russian woman with a child.

The film version will remove Levin altogether. He's the heart of the book!

Jude Law will play Alexei Karenin, Anna's husband?? Karenin is described as a zipped-up guy with big ears who is much older than Anna.

They call it an "epic romance," and "one of the greatest love stories of all time." Not at all... the real story is much too dark for Hollywood. They will have to end the story half-way through.




Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ronnie Lawlor - Sept 11 Book

While I am clumsily bringing up the past and all that was 2001, I'd like to give a little shout out to one of my favorite professors at Pratt - Ronnie Lawlor.

She has published a book of her drawings from September 11, and it's one of a kind. You will not see anything else like it.

Let me give you a little background. Ronnie is trained and teaches a style of drawing called Reportage. Basically reportage is on the spot visual reporting. The drawing is fast, free form, and captures things that are happening in the moment. It's difficult and requires a lot of practice. Ronnie is probably one of the best reportage artists today.

She studied and taught along side the late (and much loved) Dave Passalacqua. On September 11th, they were both teaching at Parsons in Manhattan. Dave told our class the story the next day. They were evacuated from the Parsons building as the buildings were burning. Like a well-trained martial artist instinctively reacts with the proper move, Ronnie, being a well-trained reportage artist, immediately started drawing. I think my training falls short, I'd just be in shock. (Sorry Ronnie) As the buildings were falling, she was running and drawing at the same time.

The result is amazing. Her collection of drawings from that day are now an important part of history. I can't remember if she showed us or if I saw them at the Fire Museum, but they are unreal. They aren't online anywhere unfortunately. But she has finally released them in a book: September 11, 2001: Words and Pictures by Veronica Lawlor. I definitely recommend it.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

My story September 11, 2001

As promised here’s my memory of September 11, 2001. Bear with it, it’s kind of long and also there are many things about that day that cannot be expressed in words. I’m afraid I’ve done my best.
 
*I would've liked to use my own pictures but they are buried somewhere, really hope I can find them.   
 
New York

As a kid I was always obsessed with New York. I was enamored with the idea of the city. Anything that was happening seemed to happening there. Blame it on all of those 1980s movies, Ghostbusters, etc. I visited when I was nine and always dreamt of going back. School was a good excuse to return.  



I went to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. My roommate, Kelly, became one of my best friends. In September I was still giddy over the room we had scored. As far as apartments go for student housing, we lucked out: fourteen floors up, facing the west, with the view of New York City skyline proper.We had the money view - a wall of windows 15 feet long to view the skyline in all its glory.


September 11/morning

My schedule for that day was a relief. I didn’t have class until the afternoon. So I was taking the time for some much needed sleep. Meanwhile Kelly was up and out by 8 am. It was her birthday, so I was planning to get some surprises together before class, but item of business: sleep late.

I was dreaming away with the typical sounds of the city rolling through the open windows. Anyone who lives in the city knows that it’s never quiet, especially when you live close to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. The cargo trucks roll over metal sheets in the expressway cause huge rattling sounds non-stop. Occasionally it was hard to differentiate those sounds from the gunshots heard in Bedstuy or nearby.

I remember that morning hearing a heavy blunt sound. It was like a gunshot, but deeper and short. In my mind I dismissed it as the expressway and seeped back into sleep.

Commotion from the window woke me up again. I started to hear a lot of yelling. I distinctly remember someone shouting, “Armageddon” as loud as possible. I pulled myself out of bed and made my way to the window. The buildings, gigantic in front of me, were discolored. At first in my stupor I couldn’t make out why the heck they were black, then I realized they were on fire. My first thought was someone's office supplies must’ve caught on fire.

Marty Lederhandler - Associated Press

I turned on our crummy 12 inch TV. The scene became surreal. That’s the only way to describe it. The view from my window was the view on the TV. They were talking about terrorist attacks. It was hard to consider; in my mind, a terror attack would be like Pearl Harbor with tons of strange planes overhead and bombs and chaos and war on the streets. That's how my imagination painted it. I knew that the bomb in 1993 was supposed to be a terrorist plot, but this was not a bomb, was it? The news was saying that two planes had hit the buildings. Why would a terrorist fly planes into the buildings? Certainly there are answers to those questions now, but at the time I was in disbelief. All of the news channels named an Arab named Osama bin Laden as the culprit. My brain was in shock. Skeptic that I am though, if I could have formed words they would have been, “this just happened; how do you know.” 

The news broke away to a similar incident at the Pentagon. It all seemed so strange. Nothing was happening at that moment, just a fire and burning. I remember feeling so confused about the idea of “attack.” It just felt like we were looking at a wounded animal with no sign of the perpetrator anywhere in sight. Some people were calling it a bomb. Some missiles. I didn’t see any planes. It was all so disconnected.

My family called to see if I was alright. “I know you were thinking about going down to Lower Manhattan to look for work today, for once we're happy you aren't a morning person,” that was the gist of my dad’s talk. Nobody had any insights into what happened. My brother called from his naval station in Florida. He told me that they knew it was bin Laden because he was the only one with enough hatred for the American country to do such a thing. Nobody knew who bin Laden was. I went back to the window sill and the silence of the room.

I looked down. There were people on the balconies below me. I saw a guy, that I really couldn't stand from my class. He was video taping. I realized that my cameras was on the desk next to me. So I took a couple of pictures and ate a bowl of cereal on the window sill.

I imagined adjusting to the discolored buildings. It would take some time. I was recalling conversations I’d had about the World Trade Center and even my own thoughts that I’d formed sitting on the roof of our building alone marveling at the starry view. I thought about how two buildings could be the heart of a city and even come to define it. I, for one, dreamed of the New York City as a child. The image that accompanied my dreams were those buildings. Seeing them on fire was like watching a childhood toy burning. I was helpless to stop it. At the same time, I was calm, because this could be fixed.

I had a blanket around me. I put my bowl in the sink and was walking back to the window when Building One started to crumble. It was the most improbable thing. I would've considered seeing a comet before seeing that building fall. Time stopped.  I could not feel my legs; they collapsed under me. I fell into the radiator along the window, lying there with my chin on the window sill sobbing and trying to breathe, watching. There were people in those buildings. This played in my head again and again. There’s no way they all evacuated in time.

Reality was seeping in, but when the second building started to crumble, I became lost. It was too much to bear. I felt ill. Comprehending that hundreds maybe thousands of people are dying right now before your very eyes is sick. I was helpless, useless. I could not feel anything on my body. I dont know if I was in my body at all.


My roommate came back shortly after, we embraced and just cried together. Her boyfriend (and my good friend too) came in with teary eyes. Pacing the room like he always did popping his jaw, cracking his fingers and yelling about how so and so said it was a terrorist attack and the US would expletive expletive…whatever. I wasn’t listening. The phone lines were all jammed. Nobody could call in or out.

Kelly and I wanted to do something; we decided to go down to the blood bank on Myrtle Avenue. I had given blood there a couple times so it was a known location. It seemed the only way to help. There must be tons of injured people.


We made our way down to the street. It was a mile or so to downtown Brooklyn.

Typically in New York everyone on the sidewalk is the definition of stranger. You could bump into another person and not even make eye contact with them. On the subway if you look at someone, they get nervous and sometimes even move away from you. To me at the time, it seemed like a city with millions of particles moving about in close vicinity but never actually touch one another.



I will never forget the feeling that swept over us as we walked into the street that day. Every single person looked up and made eye contact. We didn’t say anything, but with each and every soul we knew what they knew and we felt what they felt. There were no strangers on the streets. Every person was a brother or sister. That was the one miracle that I felt that day. They all were covered with dust and debris coming from the Brooklyn Bridge away from the rising cloud.

When we finally got to the blood bank, they turned us away. There were no injured people. They had lots of people to give blood and no hospitals in need. This compounded our feeling of helplessness. And secured a feeling of dread. There were no injured people. No one survived. That became the scary truth.

We had nothing to do but watch the news. The reruns played again and again: a hundred times, planes, buildings, crash, crumble, bin Laden. I resented the reporters.



Afternoon

It became a concern that the air quality would make us all sick. That this huge plumb of smoke would hit out building head on, and we’d have to tape up the windows. In shock like that, you start thinking practically. But after a couple hours it was obvious that the clouds were moving in one long line high above the city away from Brooklyn.

The day was meandering. People flowed in and out of the rooms in the apartment like a funeral in every house. You embraced the people you really felt close to and wept. And tried to hold it together and talk practically with the people who stopped in just to make contact with others. The doors were all open along the hallways, but people seemed to come to our room -  mostly because of the view. The view was completely empty now. The skyline was like the exhaust left behind a car has sped off.

A friend and I went back down to the street to get Kelly a whole bunch of magazines for her birthday. It was all we could do.

Dusk

The roof of our building had alarms on all of the exits. Pushing the doors open would trigger alarms on all 17 floors, making hundreds of people evacuate. That was the warning. Occasionally one door would be ajar for maintenance. We learned that if the door was closed sometimes you could jam it open  without pushing the handle to get outside without setting off any alarms. It was a gamble. No one went up there much, except maybe me. Anytime it was unlocked, I hung out there. I spent almost every night up there. It was a beautiful sanctuary. It was the most logical place to take in the situation.

We expected the doors to be locked. A lot of people were really paranoid about being out in the open with a terror attack in progress. A couple of us snuck up to check the doors. To our surprise the door was wide open. Twenty or more people were all crowded around the roof ledge talking and watching the endless cloud creeping to the south. The sun behind it made a striking sunset. No one really knew what they were talking about.



The aftermath for me

In the weeks to come, the idea of buildings became unsettling; it didnt really matter how tall. It all seemed to be made out of paper. My apartment, all the school buildings, and anywhere I walked into seemed like it could fall at any time for no particular reason. Everything man-made felt unstable. For a long time being close to the ground was the only time I could fully relax. I felt like being high up in the air was unnatural, living up there was highly uncomfortable.

The parties and hang outs were really ridiculous. People drank beer and acted like they knew what was going on  repeating what they heard on the news. I found myself hanging out alone on the roof many nights.

I went down to ground zero a week later; there were still police all around with barricades making a wide perimeter. You couldn't see anything. Only the absence of the building's previous shadows looming over you.


The aftermath for the nation

The other thing that was slowly becoming clear was the surge in patriotism. That feeling of community during the day of September 11 had dissolved. People were handling the tragedy in different ways. Many with pride and animosity. Suddenly there were American flags everywhere. As school got back underway, we were asked to interpret the events into art. I remember one Russian girl in my class illustrated a group of people being blindfolded by American flags. It seems kind of cliché now, but at the time it was a kind of revelation. That was exactly what was happening; we were just too close to know it. The idea was much more succinct than my piece. I collaged a gigantic board with hundreds of newspaper clippings in mad disarray all fading to black on the right side (right = Republican) They were the war mongers I assumed. The black was supposed to be confusion, which was all I was sure of.


The city was in a mass of confusion: Anthrax threats paired with suspicious notes, bin Laden videos popping up, flashy graphics on the TV, a country going to war. The president declared war the next day! The next day. No proper investigation could be done in that time. There were still people being pulled from the rubble. But that was the prerogative of a cowboy president and the American way - to shoot first and ask questions later. If you did not want to go to war, you lacked respect and appreciation for the police and firefighters that gave their lives and you were not American. 

I was ignorant of our political situation and that of the perpetrators. I felt unequipped to make any decisions based on what was happening. I was annoyed at the audacity of others, wanting to go gun-blazing into war. But I lacked the knowledge to support my view.

I was also ashamed, as many others were, when we started hearing stories of vandalized bodegas and stores that were owned by Muslims. It was a license to steamroll anything that didn't fit the concept of stars and stripes. Those t-shirts with the Twin Towers were being sold on the corner.

Though I wanted to feel connected to all of these people, we were all starting to have very divergent opinions on what was happening and what was to come.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Brilliant announcing


You have to hear these announcers; they made my day. OOOHHH MY GAAAAADDD

have a nice lunch today

It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.
 — Chuck Palahniuk 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

last week


Scene from the music video we shot on Friday. The setting was beautiful in Leo Carrillo at dawn and then up in the canyon by sunset. A loooong day from 4am to 8pm. I'm really excited to see how it looks after being cut, pasted and colorized. My first video credit as art director, very exciting! Lots of art and costuming on the way. We are headed to Austin and New York this month. I am hoping to catch up with some  friends in NYC. It has been way too long. A little bit ironic that it will be near the 10th anniversary of the WTC fall. I was living there at the time, so I'm going to try to write a few things about my experience from that day. It has never been properly cataloged here, so stay tuned. (And if you read this, feel free to say what you were doing on 9/11/01... I'd love to know.)

Little Joy


I love this live session in Dumbo. Unattainable by Little Joy (Rodrigo Amarante, Fabrizio Moretti, and Binki Shapiro singing)

sketchbook from lollapalooza

There were lots of fun pictures from Lollapalooza last month on the iphone, so we printed them out and I added them to my sketchbook pages. Hope you enjoy!





 * more on Elizaveta's website debuting soon

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

hope this ends well


Did you hear about this UCLA student?

Chris Jeon thought a "sick" summer vacation would be to go to Libya to fight with the rebels against Ghadafi loyalists. He bought (or perhaps his unknowing parents bought) a ticket to Cairo, from there he snuck across the border and has joined a faction of rebels. His parents don't even know (at least at the time of the article.) He doesn't speak Arabic. He doesn't know how to shoot a gun. He's planning to come back just in time for his last year in the math department at UCLA. Wow.

What do you think.. idiot, out of touch with reality, adventurer?

Monday, September 5, 2011

ocean in the morning


Leo Carrillo beach at 8am, gigantic waves crashing on shore.
This guy was painting on a huge canvas. I really appreciated what he was up to.
 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

celebrating awkwardness today

A while back a friend asked me to join her for a business luncheon. She thought I had a good eye for character and wanted to see what I thought about a guy she was considering working with. I'm a good friend so I went along. I didn't know that she failed to tell her associate that I was coming.

We were late and in a hectic area of Hollywood, so she let me out to hold the table while she went around to park the car. I walked in and sat down with the guy who looked like an older version of Ray Liotta from Good Fellas. Not a trace of a smile on his face. In fact I think I read "who the heck are you" in his frown. I considered explaining, but then I didn't know how to politely phrase, "I'm here to assess your character." So we sat awkwardly at the table. I tried to ask a few general friendly questions. Are you from around here? Yes. Ah that's nice. Where about? Altadena. How long have you been in this business? 9 years. Do you enjoy it? (I'm grabbing for anything.)

Help me out here. I was dying for my friend to get the frick out of the car and into the restaurant. But the parking was taking forever. We sat in brutal silence for a while. I looked around. I don't know why or where it came from; it was an uncontrollable reaction really. I suddenly heard myself say, "yeeeeeeppppp."

So... yeeep. I can relate to this series created by Issa Rae (She stars in it too.) It's called The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl. Awkwardness is universal. Not only does she point out some pretty funny scenarios, but her whole perspective is refreshing. The other cast members are pretty hilarious also. There are seven episodes to enjoy. Number eight comes out on Thursday. Can't wait! Hooray for independent artists!

Episode one:
I couldn't stop laughing at this character: Darrius
Check it out