Move in the right direction.

Better yet, just move.

I dig the Gossip and I’ll admit – I’m late to the party on their latest album, especially this single. But you know how certain songs come to you when you’re ready for them. This is that moment.

I feel as if I’m finally moving in the right direction. No point in reminiscing. It’s less about even thinking or being cognizant of WHICH direction and just getting granular (and yet being observantly macro) about momentum and motion in any direction.

About getting back into the swing of things. And going with the flow. And just having opportunities present themselves and (with a wink) accepting them for what they are.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12zPU-8bsTE

August already?

I cannot believe we’re in the second half of the year. Where has the time gone and where have I spent so much of it?

Thankfully after a delightful sushi kiki/catharsis yesterday with my pal @CMYKChicago, I wrote a “Dear John” letter that was a long time coming. And she had some great wisdom to impart upon me and to remind me that (as even Mr. Satre said earlier in the week, which makes me believe the universe is TRULY trying to slap some sense into me) things don’t always happen on my timetable.

So with more focus on surrender, and after yesterday’s video post – more smiling, I’m just going to enjoy my life for what it is right now and the fun I’m actually having vs being so focused on this tiny piece that I currently and indefinitely will have no control over. Might as well smile, have a cocktail and just dance, right?

I’m not going to apologize for who I am and how much of a romantic sap I can be and how I crave love, but I also know that I’m not the type to play the games.

Big project at work that’s coming up is pretty exciting. A first I think for all of us involved so I’m pretty proud and terrified and eager to have this under my belt and do it all again.

There are some gentlemen that I’m entertained by at the moment. And I’m not forcing myself to pick or commit or feel obligated. You know me…always rushing in to fall in love and be ready to settle down. So I’m taking some other advice and being a Carrie. And while I feel I know what that means, I have not watched Sex in The City but someone lent me the entire series so in my moments of singledom, I’ll be watching; taking notes and probably realizing how much my life is probably already mirroring the show.

Remember, the clock is ticking. And it’s not about cramming it all in, but it is about just reveling in the time I have and enjoying the flavors.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL2wGYCINwY

Erased.

I’m gonna put it all behind me
Like nothing ever happened between us
Nothing ever took place between you and me…
Yes
Nothin’ ever happened
And if you se me walkin’ down the street
I won’t even recognise you
I’ll just erase you from my memory
Put it all behind me
Because you are erased
All erased…

you’ll be sittin’ on someone else’s couch
You’ll be eatin’ off a stranger’s plate
Everything is gonna get wiped out
Like a new start
Like a brand new fresh clean slate
Well here I go remembering again
All the anger and the blame…
People in glass houses shouldn’t throw those stones
but … something just flew through my window pane

My my my my …

I’ll be in a brand new pair of running shoes
And you’ll be walking on down different street
in a brand new suit and a fresh clean shirt
Makin’ telephone calls…
Keepin’ in time with someone else’s feet
Keepin’ in time with someone else’s feet

This song is everything I am today. Thanks, Annie.

httpa://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2R4d1CI0wY

Catch up.

 

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted and to the chagrin of my own declaration to blog every day, I’ve humbled myself to realize that sometimes you can only pre-plan content so much and that life will interrupt you in many good ways, namely in the visit of guests.

My mom came to visit for the weekend and I took her to see the Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil show, which was truly fantastic. It kind of raises the bar for concerts – but I realize that not everyone is an amazing aerialist or acrobatic, but still…hire more of these performers for your concert, Madonna!

Other than that, we did some running around and adventuring, leading to a lot of, “How much farther do we have to walk?” being uttered by the person who doesn’t live here.

So regardless, I’m just letting you know that I’m here and not slacking on the responsibility of writing but there are things brewing in my head that I’ll be addressing when I have more quiet/down time.

I leave you with one of the songs performed at the show on Friday night, the lesser known (or commercial) single, “They Don’t Care About Us.” I’m telling you…if you get the chance to see this show, just go. You’ll undoubtedly know about 85% of the music and be blown away by the visuals, including the best stripper known to man (or woman) and who in a few mere seconds, became my idol.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNJL6nfu__Q

Wynter Gordon’s Human Condition

The only thing I really knew about Wynter Gordon (by choice) is that she had a song I loved called “Dirty Talk” that I played the shit out of in 2010. Then my only other memory of her is that after I moved here, Nic worked at a bar and she came to perform and he said she was terribly drunk and just a hot mess. That’s the image I carry around for her.

I did dig a little bit to listen to her With The Music I Die album that came out a year later and I wasn’t blown away. It sounded like nothing cutting edge or terribly new, with my assumption being that as a strong writer for many other artists like Jennifer Lopez and Mary J. Blige, all the gems were given away for more money.

So I was a little bit taken aback when I heard and saw the first single from the first EP in her four-part The Human Condition series. “Stimela” opens up the scene on the Doleo (Latin for “pain”) and kind of strays from her dance pop stable footing, venturing into a more adult and mature sound. Honestly, it’s like a peppier & more interesting track from Sade.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAFj9aSX6KM

“Stimela is the very first video I directed. I wanted it to be an emotional visual art piece, displaying humans as free, powerful animals. We are all running from something or searching for something; our instincts have been ignored. This is me finally listening to them. This is to finally listening.”

Gordon told Billboard that she felt underutilized and not authentic just doing dance or pop music and these EPs will be truly representative of all of her musical passions.

Doleo will be available for free from WynterGordon.com.

Hodgepodge.

I’m reading The Accidental Creative: How to be brilliant at a moment’s notice by Todd Henry for our work book club. There’s a passage that totally rang true and harkened back to my post the other day about my lone wolf tendencies.

In the chapter about relationship building, Henry talks about balancing the multiple personalities we have because of our multi-tasking between coworkers, projects, etc. He states that a number of creatively gifted people are more apt to be introverted.

“Introversion doesn’t mean that we don’t like being around people; it simply means that we derive our energy from being alone rather than from being around others.”

So there you have it. I’m not so weird after all! It’s not just me. It’s all of us creatively gifted people. I mean, I was even in GIFTED classes in middle school.  All these things are adding up to prove that perhaps my isolationism isn’t so bad. But left unchecked for too long, it does become disruptive because it leads to tunnel vision.

Henry goes on to state that we’re bred for interaction and that the only way to discover ourselves is by being around other people. We need each other in order thrive and survive in the world.

I’ll try and remember that the next time someone shoves behind me on an already packed train. Or when someone stops right at the top or bottom of an escalator as though they’ve completely lost the will to move.

And in other news, I’ve totally been in a Chaka Khan phase right now and just going through her catalog. Her ’81 song “Fate” is hot. And you may recognize the sample:

httpa://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFQdCRQd3yg

Here’s another thing I’m digging so hard. A foodie blog called TheKitchn has AMAZING recipes for any occasion and there are so many amazing things that I’ve bookmarked and plan to make, including this wedge salad:

Fiona Apple sings, screams at Chicago Theatre

Bone-thin and wiry, Fiona Apple has learned to let out the beast inside her when she performs. Tapping into a primal yelp that is less apparent on her records, Apple spent much of her show last night in Chicago going from soft whispers to strong vibrato to shouting screams. And for a 34-year-old recluse, you’d be surprised of the amount of power that she can exude on the stage – when she isn’t sitting down right in the middle of it, mind you.

Having only four albums under her belt in the span of sixteen years, it seems that paper bags biodegrade faster than Apple puts out new material. But what she does release is always worth the wait. She’s not of the same fabric as a Gaga or Rihanna, churning out manufactured hits from a pop factory. Each of Apple’s albums is crafted from inner-turmoil, love, despair, awareness of self-destruction and an acceptance of who she is, which is to say an extraordinary machine.

This was the fourth time I’ve seen Apple and she’s clearly changed as a live performer. From the first two tours, she was more concerned about singing and explaining herself. The last two have become more frenetic, with nearly no speaking and a lot of lurking in the background when not vocalizing.

What seems odd to me is that I wonder what it must be like for her to put together a set list, knowing that she has a limited back catalog to build from and knowing how young she was when having written songs like “Criminal,” which must seem somewhat irrelevant but yet the biggest hit of her career.

The show was a packed 90 minutes with a number of fan favorites, including one of my own, the haunting and bitter “Get Gone.” Only four songs from the new album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, made an appearance, with probably the most captivating being “Werewolf” and “Daredevil,” a song that I’ve fallen in love with completely.

Check out the album version of “Daredevil” –

httpa://youtu.be/cBdJ6zZhyp8

I also wonder if this entire tour is a bit forced, knowing that the recent album is probably old news to her – it sat on a shelf by Apple’s own choosing to wait out label hierarchical changes. Could it be that she’s emotionally moved on, too?

Although Apple seems to have become more comfortable with the actual performing, but not of the responsibility to stand upon a stage and be looked upon when not singing. Several times she gyrated and undulated to the band’s outro jams, slowly collapsing onto the floor, cross-legged like a six-year-old.

My only issue with her as a live performer is that she screams to the point of losing all the intricate melodies that make her recorded music so rich and worth repeated listening. I find it also odd that she doesn’t really reinterpret or mix up the songs that much and keeps a ‘rock’ vibe to the show, when it’s apparent through performances of “Extraordinary Machine” or the Conway Twitty cover “It’s Only Make Believe,” her voice is best when not forced and when couched in an acoustic arrangement.

If ever a person could be the 21st century reincarnation of tin pan alley music, it would be Apple. And what’s unfortunate is that there were not more covers or songs performed in this style.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yToh1PoYb6k

As the show unfolded, you got the sense that Apple really is made for the creation of music and not necessarily the performing. She drifted around the stage like a girl lost, seeming disconnected from the audience and lost within the music and herself. Perhaps it’s my own selfish desire to want more dialogue from her or at least an attempt to connect with an audience that is known for being die-hard and loyal as the day is long.

But maybe it’s the aloofness we find so captivating and what keeps us coming back for more. The air of mystery is working for Apple in ways that other pop contemporary musicians have abandoned for total transparency on Twitter, Instagram or their own 3D films.

With Apple, it’s always been about connecting with the music. Maybe she’s right not to dilute the power of her work and she’s keeping it (and the rest of her) as something sacred. And as she says herself, she’s free to do anything she wants.

httpa://youtu.be/EfXvIs9bojM

I recommend you purchase The Idler Wheel today. And if you are new to Apple, I’d also start with When the Pawn.

*Edit: I forgot to mention that as the house lights went down for the first song in the show, a woman had a seizure right in front of my friend and I and it was utterly terrifying and a mess.

Forgivable people.

There are people that you click with. Or so you think. But under exentuating circumstances, perhaps; under the guise of quick-fix interaction without the promise or possibility of building upon, they falter outside of the bubble in which they are spontaneously combusting.

Let’s face, some people are condemned buildings, with hazard tape placed by every lost soul who lost a part of themselves in him or her, warning everyone else that the foundation and ground is so unstable here that no one should set forth.

It happens. We’ve all met this guy. We’ve all been this guy. Or girl. We’ve been the person who cannot be trusted with feelings, especially when it comes to another’s. We’ve all been reckless, we’ve all been careless, we’ve all been a little bit selfish. When you know that what you are doing is ultimately going to just hurt the other person.

But what’s interesting is that I think people act this way out of fear of having their OWN feelings hurt. I mean, I’ve acted that way at times but probably as a defense mechanism because I didn’t want to put myself into a position where someone else hurt me first.

httpa://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUbZYjQMFK4

As we all grow older, I think we become more aware of our ability to emotionally terrorize others by our lack of presence and commitment, which is also detrimental to our happiness. By treating others so poorly, we clearly show no signs of self-care. As the old saying goes, “Treat others the way you’d want to be treated.”

I have to remind myself of this all the time, especially with loved ones. I tend to be curt and short with people I’m in relationships with and that could be for a number of reasons.

So as I engage in new relationships with people in any form, I remind myself to look for possibility and see people for what they are and how they fit within the prism instead of defensively assuming there’s evil at work. Even though there sometimes is.

It takes a lot of life for you to reach a point where you see people for whom they really are and not hold it against them. In many cases, seeing the truth can inform how you treat or care for people.

I used to hold grudges against people who dicked me over. But now it feels so trivial and pointless. I just don’t have the care or the energy to expend on someone who isn’t giving two shits about me or my life. What is the point in holding on to a memory that’s no longer a reality? The fact is when people pine away for an old flame (and I’m holding a mirror to myself here, dear reader), they lose sight of the fact that neither you or that person will ever go back to being those people. You are inherently changed and different today than from the person you were yesterday. There’s no returning. There’s no going back. There is only forward.

So forgive yourself. And forgive whomever you need to in order to get your life back.

For whatever reason you feel betrayed, it’s better to just move forward. People will go back on their word, betray the image they’ve presented of themselves that you liked or become more concerned about who they’re being seen with. Insincere and fakeness are subjective terms, so I can’t sit here and being to label people when I know others could just as easily label me – and I know there’s a bit of truth in those labels. I’m not going to fight it.

But I try to stay away from that sort of mind trickery that they are playing on themselves and the others who swarm to the bullshit they’re selling. I dislike the confusion that people make between “judgment” and “opinion.” I have no judgments against anyone’s life, but I have opinions and life my own life accordingly, for better or worse.

It’s a good reminder that none of us have a right to call out another person because we disagree with how they live their life. That is unless we’re directly affected. But be aware that you might be talking to a brick wall – if you feel hurt already, I doubt a verbal spat is going to wake somebody up from just being a real asshole. Pick and choose your battles with people. Know who is worth fighting for.

We’re all just living, making choices of who we want to be and who we don’t want to be and aligning to people that we are inspired by. There’s so little point in expending the energy in fostering antagonistic relationships with people, but some people just crave the fighting and need an arch-nemesis in order to solidify their own identity.

It’s all part of the belief that none of us are bad or good. We’re just at varying levels of wholeness. And depending on where you are at in your own intellectual/emotional/spiritual/sexual/professional journey, you will always change and change the people you connect with.

So just go ahead and forgive yourself for losing friends, for cutting ties with people, for defriending and unfollowing, for speaking your mind and saying your goodbyes. Sometimes it’s necessary for us to be disconnected in this life.

Part of Katy Perry

I have a confession. I used to adamantly avoid Katy Perry with a passion. Sure, I loved “I Kissed A Girl” like everyone else but soon just dismissed this boisterous, dorky, loud-mouthed pretty girl even before the revelation came down that she was raised in a devout Christian home and (so we were led to believe) turned her back, sang about snogging a girl and hit the big time.

However, Katy hooked me with her somewhat sleeper hit “Thinking of You.” For whatever reason, the song resonated completely with me at the time and would resonate with me many times later. Disconcerting because it’s a song about longing to be with a former lover while you’re in the throws of a new relationship. Yep, totally an awkward but relatable topic. Pining for the past, Perry and I were united.

Continue reading Part of Katy Perry

Sovereignty please.

(The above piece is a photograph of a work from my friend Tully Satre’s Limbo 2012 collection: cotton American flag strips on canvas. I was also honored to be featured as a piece of work in his show and I am happy to say I’ll be hanging on some stranger’s wall for the rest of time.)

Here we are, another 4th of July. But this time it feels so weird because it’s smack dab on a Wednesday and I’m pretty sure that everyone is used to having it as part of a long weekend. I mean, I’m off today and I don’t even know what to do with myself. I tried to go to the beach this morning but the combination of people and flies made it unbearable. Bombarded in every sense of the word.

Continue reading Sovereignty please.