Monthly Archives: November 2013

[Greetings from the East Coast!]

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Hello, hello my pretties! It’s been a while since I’ve given my blog a proper update but that’s because of how damn busy things get lately.  John Lennon once said that ‘life is what happens when you’re making other plans’ and after the monster few weeks I’ve had, I whole heatedly agree with the man.

The Disney Studio Lot Getting Ready for the Holidays

At work, we just finished up Fiscal ’13 and are starting the new fiscal year; which means projects, reports and thanks to a coworker leaving the team, a brand spanking new account – that happens to be one of our most visible.  Nothing wrong with that, because with great power comes great responsibility and respect – but it’s a lot more on my plate and sometimes I admittedly eat like a bird.  But that’s only because there’s so much more going on underneath the surface of my life – there’s been some moving and shaking in pretty much every area of my life: from my romantic life to my home life and back to the writing front – there is simply so much going on but I’m waiting til everything’s set in stone to share and celebrate the good news; and trust, it’s all good news.

Over the past three months, there’s been an emotional shift inside of me – back in September, there was a night that both changed my life and reaffirmed that I’m becoming the woman I wanted to be.  But, since then – I’ve pulled back from a large portion of my social circle and have seen more of the inside of my eyelids at 11pm on a Friday night than I’ve seen of flashing lights and crowded rooms.  Then again; everything in moderation, right?  I’ve been an incredibly bouncy kitty over the course of the last year and with three major festival weekends (EDC weekend in Vegas, Lightning in a Bottle and HARD Summer) crammed into one summer, it’s absolutely no wonder that I to reset myself and reevaluate the world I’ve been cultivating.

Sunrise from my Roof

And last, but most definitely not least – it’s the HOLIDAY season; cheer, family, festive drinks and decorations galore!  It probably has a lot to do with being a California girl and not being exposed to weather like I’m getting now (SO COLD!), but I’m a huge fan of the days ranging from Thanksgiving through the New Year.  Usually, my family has Thanksgiving in the Silicon Valley or up in Corvallis but this year, we flipped the game and flew out to Massachusetts so we could spread the holiday cheer from Coast to Coast.  And with my boyfriend’s family out in New Hampshire, we got to kill a lot of birds with just one itty bitty stone – I got to show Danny off around my aunt, nephew and cousin and then I’m meeting his dad and step-mom.  Nervous? Sure, but where there’s whiskey – there’s a way.

Above the Clouds

It’s been cold cold cold; the temperature here ranges from 10 to 35° so if you can imagine, I’ve been freezing my ass off out here.  Remember, I’m a California girl; this right here, this is cruel and unusual punishment.  However, I’m seeing snow for the first time in since middle school and am absolutely enthralled by it!  I can’t wait to see what this week of family time will bring, so hold tight – can’t wait to dish!

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[Rising Star Spotlight] Thomas Jack

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Thomas Jack.’s avatar

Sure, it’s Monday morning – but thanks to the tropical house vibes coming from Thomas Jack, today just doesn’t feel that bad!   I discovered the young man less than a month ago when I caught myself in an unexpected cubicle boogie – his single ‘Booka Shake’ had started playing on Hypem and I was getting down with the get down.

The sultry synths combined with Nate Dogg’s seductive voice pave the way for one hell of a funky remix;  one thing that I haven’t gotten from a lot of American producers lately is the use of ’empty’ noise – a lot of what’s gotten popular is heavily layered, intricate beats that “whomp” and “untz” throughout.  The pieces are chalk full of noises and it feels like your head’s being bombarded with non-stop beats – with Thomas Jack, things are different.  There’s breathing room between notes, there’s wiggle room; other guys, take note.

The man garnishes the ability to take folk and indie singles and infuse them with emotion:  crafting delightfully dance-able tracks and weaving powerful words and melodies throughout his own unique creations.  Thomas Jack successfully creates an ambient atmosphere where only his music exists: if you close your eyes and let yourself drift into the simple yet intricate melodies,  you’ll start to float off to your own fantasy island – fully equipped with flirtatiously colored drinks with contrasting, miniature umbrellas.  Somewhere between the open, staccato notes and the full sounds of saxophones and pan flutes a  sub-genre of deep house reemerges with life.   Yes, you read that correctly – real instruments, oh yes! 

Thomas Jack ft. Adrian Symes - The Final Speech (Original Mix)

He’s already done guests mixes for two of my all time favorite music blogs – Earmilk and Gotta Dance Dirty and has been making his way into multitudes of music bloggers hearts – one quick search on the interwebs and you’ll see the recent infatuation with his music firsthand.  Bottom line, if you’re curious who to watch in 2014 – your answer is right here.

Firebox (Original Mix) - Thomas Jack & Max Simmons

Keep in touch with Thomas Jack across the interwebs and make sure you know when he’s coming to a city near you:

Soundcloud | Webpage | Twitter |  Facebook

[Wednesday Watercooler] Des Hommes et Des Chatons

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One of my favorite morning pastimes is scouring the interwebs in search of breaking stories, hot songs and simply put- the weirdest of the weird.   So when one of my friends showed me a Tumblr page about Men and Cats a year ago, best believe I was hooked.  The entire premise of ‘Des Hommes et Des Chatons” is pairing incredibly handsome male models with adorable little kitty cats in similar poses.  Translated from French, the site’s name is ‘Men and Kittens’ and the result is out of this world amazing.  Can you think of a better way to kill some minutes on a lazy Wednesday?  Yeah, I’m guessing not. A huge thank you to My Modern Met for reminding me just how much I love this blog.  Enjoy the pics and if you’d like to get to the actual Tumblr account, simply click through!

 

Bonjour “Christian Grey” 

[Self Discovery] Let Carl Jung Tap Into Your Subconscious

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Leave it to me to be enthralled by online personality tests but come the fuck on, how could you not be.  One of the best things about the internet is the infinite amount of information (and misinformation) at your fingertips.  Pair that with humanity’s never-ending semi-narcissistic quest to understand yourself and – voila – more personality tests than you could shake a stick at.

As with anything free, you get what you pay for and c’est la vie.  That said, online personality tests range from interesting to absolutely ridiculous.  For every applicable test from Carl Jung or Sigmund Freud there are no kidding at least a hundred tests that label you with an anime character or your 80’s theme song.   Now, nothing against the amusement and entertainment of the ridiculous tests that help you blow off steam and share some laughs – but at the end of the day, my version of self improvement stems from something a little more substantial.  Personal growth and self-evolution should be a natural part of life, not something we whimsically run and hide from and only pay attention to when absolutely necessary.

When I was a young, impressionable high school student – one of my best friends approached me with a personalty test that I still use to this day.  It’s short, sweet and simple – just the way these personality inventories should be.  Little did I know this test came from the mastermind of Jung himself, but it completely makes sense when you consider his background in art and color therapy. Now, I haven’t used it in a very long time so this will be just as fun for me as it will for the rest of you.

This is a great test for a lazy night at home with your significant other, a family vacation or simply a lazy afternoon at the office.  Put simply, as humans we’ve sprawled the seas and marched across the world so the last feasible manifest destiny is of the mind – and what better way to get to know the world around you than getting to know yourself just a little bit better?  So, whip out a pen and a piece of paper and write down the first thing that comes to mind for each item – then hit the jump to see how you stack up.

1. First, name a color. Any color.
1a.

2. Now think of three words that describe that color.
2a.
2b.
2c.

3. Name an animal. Any animal.
3a.

4. Now think of three words that describe that animal.
4a.
4b.
4c.

5. Name a body of water.
5a.

6. Name three adjectives describing it.
6a.
6b.
6c.

7. Imagine you’re in a room. All the walls are white and there are no windows or doors. In three words, describe how that room feels to you.
7a.
7b.
7c.

Follow the jump once you’re done – then the fun part begins!

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[Track of the Week] Drake – Hold On, We’re Going Home

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It’s not frequently that I remember when artists came on the scene, but leave it to Drake to stand out.  The storytelling intonation in his voice lands halfway between sultry and scruffy and when it’s paired with both simple yet deliberate bass lines and minor chords – it becomes thematic and has the ability to move people.  Forget the fact he got his start on Degrassi – or don’t, we all have to start somewhere and truth be told, I’m sure his acting experience only enhances his music making abilities.  Born and raised in Toronto, Drake spent a good amount of time creating mixtapes in hopes of being discovered by a major label.  In 2007, he became the first unsigned Canadian rapper with a video on BET for the single “Replacement Girl”.  Drake was signed to Lil Wayne’s label Young Money Entertainment in 2009; later that year, he released his first EP ‘So Far Gone‘ containing the smash single, “Best I Ever Had“.  I only caught the song on my radar at the time because of a delightful remix by Indie-Electro DJ Matamatics, but it got me curious.  His sophomore album ‘Thank Me Later’ was certified platinum by the RIAA and his third album ‘Take Care’ is behind the (unfortunately) popular and overused phrase, YOLO.  I can forgive that little bit because the more I’ve listened to other tracks like “Find Your Love”,  “Take Care” with Rihanna, “Headlines” and “Swimming Pools”  – the more I appreciate the man’s musical genius as an artists and a lyricist.   

The latest jam of Drake’s that I’ve been obsessed with is called ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ and it’s been remixed to the nine’s by DJ’s across the genres.

Kastle, one of my favorite acts at this year’s Lightning In A Bottle, gave the track a proper deep house mix:

TJR – a crowd favorite from HARD Summer in LA – put a little bounce in Drake’s step with this festival ready remix:

K-Theory gave it a spin and their signature Dubstep infused electro sound on it:

Holy Ghost! did it one better by entire thing themselves; their mix is slightly slower, focused on the vocals and has a Nu-Disco bounce:

DJ Panic City crafted a slightly more upbeat, progressive house mix, with an emphasis on the melody and a few added lines of harmony

ASTR, a duo out of NYC, covered it their way – slowing down the BPM and isolating the vocals; the result is a very sexy rendition of Drake: