Sunday, September 19, 2010

Skipping Beats (Original) by Sofie Zamchick

Another beautiful song by Sofie Zamchick. The notes on youtube say this was composed for marimba and strings by Sofie for a Julliard Pre-College Ensemble Concert.

Lover's Row (Original) by Sofie Zamchick

Amazingly beautiful. Inspired by The Odyssey and the women who love Odysseus. She wrote it for a high school English project.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Leona Naess - Heavy Like Sunday

I'm heavy like Sunday and I want to be your reason why

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

“Excuses” by the Morning Benders

This is beautiful!
“Excuses” by the Morning Benders: "

“Excuses” by the Morning Benders


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Carolina Chocolate Drops - Hit 'em up Style

You must stop everything you are doing at WATCH THIS right now! This is on their new album. I had the pleasure of seeing them win the Mount Airy Fiddlers' Convention in my hometown of Mount Airy, NC a couple of years ago, and I am so proud and pleased with their success since then! Their new album Genuine Negro Gig is amazing, as is their first album. You have to see them live, so check out their tour schedule at their official website! They will be in Charlotte on April 16, and I hope to go!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New This Too Shall Pass video

Wow, OK Go is really going all out with this new album:

I am mesmerized by this video.  It brings back some sort of childhood fascination brought on by Sesame Street animated videos, the game Mousetrap that I played with my neighbors, a Discovery Toys marble run set I loved, and a fascinations with all things domino and marble related. 
I really hope OK Go keeps this up and creates many more amazing videos.  I'm glad there are still musicians out there who really put thought in their art. 

Mister Rogers


Read this list of 15 reasons Mister Rogers was the best neighbor ever, from the Mental Floss Magazine Blog. Also, there is a video of Mister Rogers and the time he went to Washington to save PBS! Without him, we may not have public broadcasting!

Mister Rogers Neighborhood was one of my favorite television shows when I was a child, along with Sesame Street. The imaginative nature of the show captured my mind so much as a child, and it has inspired me in so many ways. My favorite episodes were the ones featuring trips to factories and places to see musical performances. I also LOVED Emily the Poetry Lady, Lady Elaine Fairchild, Henrietta Pussycat, Ana Platypus and my FAVORITE: the Daniel Striped Tiger!
March 20 is his birthday, and the celebration is Won't You Be My Neighbor Day. There are all sorts of ideas for Won't You Be My Neighbor Day at the website, including a Sweater Donation Drive!

Visit this site at pbs to vote for the best Mister Rogers' Neighborhood video! I was torn between the Competition video, because it has the crayon-making section, and the Celebrating Music episode. I distinctly remember watching both of those episodes when I was young! I'm not going to tell you which one I ended up voting for, because I don't want to influence your vote. It was wonderful watching the episodes and reliving my childhood for a little while!

Friday, February 26, 2010

This too shall pass

You may remember the band OK GO from last year's famous viral video featuring a crazy treadmill routine.  I listened to their first album a few times, but now the new album is out.  It is produced by Dave Fridmann, who is the behind the Flaming Lips' best albums, and he adds a whole new psychedelic funk vibe that I'm really into right now.  This video was the first song I heard from the album, although this is a live version of the song featuring the Notre Dame marching band.  It's amazing that this song is played live.  PLEASE LISTEN:

OK Go - This Too Shall Pass from OK Go on Vimeo.
This is the official video for OK Go's "This Too Shall Pass" off of the new album "Of the Blue Colour of the Sky". The video was filmed live.  It was directed by Brian L. Perkins and OK Go.
Buy the album here: 
Download an mp3 of the live audio from this video for FREE at the band's website:

Friday, February 19, 2010

My Life in Music: Cat Power

July 2000: Road trip to visit my friends Brian and Afua in Chapel Hill for my twentieth (twenty-first?) birthday.  

Honestly, I can't remember if it was 2000 or 2001.  That was almost a decade ago, so things get hazy.  

I insisted on a stop at a Franklin Street record store for Moon Pix, Cat Power's fourth album, but first to me.  Cat Power captured my heart with "You May Know Him" and a cover of "Moonshiner" I heard in some random corner of the internet.  I was obsessed with discovering new music at that time, and she was my favorite new sound.  I couldn't wait to get home and share the cd with Gregg, so it must have been 2001.  

Photo by Stefano Giovannini
 Cat Power/Chan Marshall's voice had that bit of a raw an edge, a quirk that many turn away from on first listen, but it is what reached through those tiny computer speakers and tugged at my heart.  I remember crying upon first listen of both those songs.  Back then, when I actually traveled to record stores to buy actual RECORDS (meaning VINYL for you young folks), music was such a different experience.  I still relive that through Gregg's record collection, but that's a story (and such a story) for another day, my friends. 

Now, I present you with Cat Power's "You May Know Him" and "Moonshiner" (traditional tune of unknown origins, but famously performed by Bob Dylan in '63):

Fast forward to 2006.  Boone, North Carolina.  My boyfriend is always on top of everything in the music world and he keeps up with all the new releases of our favorite musicians.  I can't keep up with things like this, and I can't stand to miss an album by a month or two, so I am very thankful for him. Cat Power released a new album, but he was uncertain if we would like it because she went in a new direction with different arrangements and a whole band, plus there were none of her famous covers.  The first time or two that I heard it I didn't really like it.  I remember saying to Gregg that it hadn't captured me in the way her previous albums had.  Gregg agreed, but he said he had a feeling it was one of those albums that sneaks up on you when you least expect it.

We started listening to the album on the way to Mount Airy and with the third listen, I was captivated. Since then, The Greatest has blown my mind more and more each time I hear it. On first listen, it didn't grab me because of the distinct difference, but now, now it is such a story, such an experience.  I felt that she, Chan Marshall being her real name, had slipped into another place and went somewhere dark, and I discovered a new aspect of the album each time I heard it.  It was only recently that I read about the breakdown she had after that album, and felt like I somehow could see it coming when I listened.  It is one of those albums, like PJ Harvey's Rid of Me or the Afghan Whigs' Black Love, that you simply MUST hear in it's entirety.  In fact, very soon I will post a list of albums that I can only hear when I have time to hear the whole album.  

I leave you with Cat Power's "Love and Communication" which is the final track from The Greatest.  
I almost feel bad posting it, because it is SO MUCH BETTER when heard as the final track of the album, because it completes the story, but here it is:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

PIF - Pay it Forward

I was inspired by the this post to start my own Pay it Forward chain!  I will send a special surprise gift to the first five people who do the following:
  1. Choose five items of your own to give away. The items can be books, handmade items, craft supplies, art, knick-knacks, or whatever you choose.
  2. Write a post on your own blog offering the five items to five people who do the same.
  3. Come back here and leave a comment with your e-mail address and a link to your PIF blog post! 
My surprise gifts may contain any the following items (depending on what I'm able to track down in all this mess):  craft supplies, a book, stickers, clippings, ephemera, stationary, blank cards, old stamps, trinkets, and lots of love.

    Vintage Valentines

    I love vintage cards, and when I am able to purchase a scanner, you are in for a delightful treat!  Upstairs in my attic, a whole box of cards from the past 60 years awaits.
    For today, I have a nice present for you!  I found these images years ago, and they were free for taking, so here they are!  I hope you use them for your special someone!




    Happy Early Valentine's Day!

    Sunday, February 7, 2010

    rikrak studio blog & good news

    I won a contest on the rikrak studio blog, and my prize is a lovely scarf from the beautiful bridget etsy store!

    You should most certainly check out both the beautifulbridget etsy shop and the rikrak studio blog! Rikrak has a congratulatory entry featuring a kind blog nod for me! I recently found the blog through a link to the Handmade Olympics, which was a contest to celebrate the world of handmade items! There were multiple categories, such as "our favourite handmade goodie that inspires loveliness and wellness. Nominations were accepted (and I nominated some of my favorite items from etsy shops in each category), and the results will be here soon, so watch closely! I can't wait!

    Rikrak also has an etsy store, which has handmade items featuring my favorite: vintage fabrics!
    This design-your-own sustainable quilty clutch purse has the most amazing fabric selection:
    I think I like c14 or c15 the best!

    The fabrics remind me of the fabrics my mother and granny had in their sewing collections.  My granny was a seamstress for her entire life, and she made most of her children's clothes when they were growing up, as well as sewing for customers.  She taught my mother how to sew and my mom, in turn, made most of my clothing when I was growing up, as well as many other handmade items!  She was able to stay at home with me when I was young because she used her talents to sew for others.  I loved having my mom at home because she is such an inspiring and creative person and she always made sure that my every day was a day of inspiration and beauty. My mother has now worked for the past 20+ years, but she has begun to create again and will soon open an etsy store.  I will keep everyone updated about this.  She will sell handmade raggedy ann and andys, as well as other fabric dolls, made with vintage or vintage-inspired fabrics.  She will also sell the most beautiful and unique dream catchers, antique silverware mobiles, children's room fabric decorations and mobiles, and many more items.  Keep a watch on my blog for updates!

    Saturday, January 30, 2010

    I love Seth Godin's definition of art. It is inspiring in itself:

    Making art: "

    My definition of art contains three elements:

    1. Art is made by a human being.
    2. Art is created to have an impact, to change someone else.
    3. Art is a gift. You can sell the souvenir, the canvas, the recording... but the idea itself is free, and the generosity is a critical part of making art.

    By my definition, most art has nothing to do with oil paint or marble. Art is what we're doing when we do our best work.


    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    The 60-year tradition at Edgar Allan Poe's grave has sadly ended!

    Mystery visitor fails to appear at Edgar Allan Poe's grave for first time in 60 years: "A mysterious visitor who left roses and cognac at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe each year on the writer's birthday failed to show early Tuesday, breaking with a ritual that began more than 60 years ago.... (click on the link to keep reading this fascinating story...)"

    Monday, January 18, 2010

    Laura Izibor - SHINE

    Crayola Evolution: 1903-2010

    Crayola Evolution: 1903-2010: "

    Crayola Timeline - Small

    From a humble eight colors in 1903’s original Crayola box, an explosion of diversity has arisen in the Crayola ecosystem. Designer Stephen Von Worley has analyzed Wikipedia’s list of Crayola crayon colors and created an infographic (shown in miniature above) demonstrating the Crayola Explosion of the past 107 years. Von Worley even coined “Crayola’s Law,” stating: “The number of colors doubles every 28 years!”

    There are currently 133 “standard” colors in the Crayola lexicon (although some have been fired), and a variety of bizarre “specialty” crayons with glitter, scents, stripes, and so on. With all this diversity, I’m not sure what my favorite color is. Oh, who am I kidding, it’s obviously Bittersweet Shimmer, one of many colors in the Metallic FX collection that sound like, let’s be frank, stage names for exotic dancers.

    Further reading: 5 Times Crayola® Fired Their Crayons, Retro Video: How Crayons Are Made, and Wikipedia page on the term Crayon: “a stick of colored wax, charcoal, chalk, or other materials used for writing, coloring, and drawing.”


    Sunday, January 10, 2010

    8% of Human DNA Comes from a 40 Million Year-Old Virus

    8% of Human DNA Comes from a 40 Million Year-Old Virus: "

    A team of scientists led by Keizo Tomonaga of Osaka University determined that a virus dating from 40 million years ago is embedded in human DNA. This infection, known as the bornavirus, might be the cause of schizophrenia and passes from generation to generation inside human cellular nuclei, filling out 8% of human genetic code:

    The assimilation of viral sequences into the host genome is a process referred to as endogenization. This occurs when viral DNA integrates into a chromosome of reproductive cells and is subsequently passed from parent to offspring. Until now, retroviruses were the only viruses known to generate such endogenous copies in vertebrates. But Feschotte said that scientists have found that non-retroviral viruses called bornaviruses have been endogenized repeatedly in mammals throughout evolution.

    Bornavirus (BDV) owes its name to the town of Borna, Germany, where a virus epidemic in 1885 wiped out a regiment of cavalry horses. BDV infects a range of birds and mammals, including humans. It is unique because it infects only neurons, establishing a persistent infection in its host’s brain, and its entire life cycle takes place in the nucleus of the infected cells.

    Link via io9 | Image: US Department of Energy

    Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide