All posts by Swiper Bootz

A product of 1987, Baltimore, Atlanta, DC, Manhattan, London, Los Angeles and American pop culture; supplementary to scribing, I'm a Pop Transcendentalist by purpose, drummer by passion, and culture vulture by necessity. I freelance life.

East Angelean Echoes and Transatlantic Tempos… Little Boots’ Working Girl Promo Tour, Live at The Echo

The Siren: Victoria “Little Boots” Hesketh

The Sound: Synthpop, nu-disco, deep house, electro house… mercurial melange of old and new

The Scene: East Angelean echoes, deep bass, dark clothes, dim lighting, disco flying, summer swelter, low-key shelter, electronic dance shows, less wubba wubba, more water cooler… minimalist staging, maximalist sound, in a way that pulls facade from the corporate tower and floods the underground… america is all show business, and we cosmic dancers are all working girls… little boots crafted a live exhibition of the most true, down to the automated call center entree and ever-so-business-casual peach two-piece suit… the sound and sentiment are the struggle in that lone ascent… from grime to primetime – by way of broken glass ceilings – Echo Park felt the signature nu-disco, electro-synth-pop, forever cosmic vintage new wave deep house sound in a way only the most first-hand experiential disc jockeys can convey… and time after time, despite the wait, Little Boots, little Ms. Hesketh delivered the synergistic collaborative developmental process that leave audiophiles and corporate executives salivating from bar countertops to corner offices day in and night out…

The Sleeper Soundbite: Tandem segue from Hekseth’s bonafide ode to this city of lost angels, “New In Town,” into the new single, “Get Things Done,” featuring a live collaboration with Hugh Myrone on guitar.

The Scope: Close enough to feel, too close to see anything but vibes, and volume #internalnocturnal

Mood Ring: We Are Mortals

WE ARE MORTALS® is an evolutionary gender-free urban streetwear brand.

We call ourselves MORTALS because we are the ones who understand the brevity of human life and the need to live it fully and limitlessly. We also believe that as MORTALS, we’re all equal. That is why we created our brand around this idea of a future in which we wear our personalities, not our gender identities or other stereotypical labels. Coining the phrase The Future Has No Gender, WE ARE MORTALS® seeks to challenge the conventional and outdated his/hers formula of clothing design and retail. In the future, there will be room to exist in a ‘gray area’ in which our identities don’t rely on gender, sexual, or racial classification. Ultimately, we hope that by removing the traditional gender designations from our clothing, we can facilitate a cultural shift in the way we view gender, sexuality, and each other.

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WeAreMortals living soundtrack, sonic couture for the post-structural human culture, in founder Anji Becker’s own words…

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“(W)orld Town” – M.I.A

She’s an artist that speaks up for causes, represents underprivileged people in the world. she’s fearless, a powerful woman who doesn’t accept traditional gender stereotypes.


“(E)rotica” –  Madonna

Madonna was pushing boundaries in that era, trying to make sex less taboo and exploring all types of sexuality in her videos.


“(A)ll We Perceive” – Thievery Corporation

Calling an early audible with this one, Art Nouveau jumped in with a touch of a sonic 180 but kept in the core theme within WAM: collective perception. As much the deconstruction of archaic limitations and labels, the notion of gender, humanity, mortality, and oneness is entirely built upon perception… and so, for a clothing line founded upon the shared condition of the all, the entirety is nothing more, nor anything less that the entirety of the all in shared perception.


“(R)hythm Nation” – Janet Jackson

One of my personal favorites from the 80s… loved the dancing in the video, and the song reminds me of WeAreMortals because it’s talking about bringing everybody together as one and fighting injustices.


“(E)ast 1999” – Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

They rap a lot about death, which is a theme behind the brand, and I listened to a lot of this back in the day. I’ve always been really influenced by rap and hip/hop, so it’s no surprising I’ve chosen oversized street wear as my genre of fashion.

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“(M)iracle” – Culture Club

Genderless clothing is what we represent, and Boy George was someone who was gender-fluid back in the 80s when it was way less socially acceptable. Amazing how much progress we’ve made in 30+ years!


“(O)ne” – U2

The lyrics talk about coming together as humans and not looking down upon those who are different (because we’re all different). The video also shows U2 in drag, so that was bold for their era.


“(R)eady or Not” – The Fugees

Another AN-audible… post-structuralism is here, ready or not: fashion functions in line with said societal shift #thefuturehasnogender #thefutureispresent


“(T)he Show Must Go On” – Queen

A song about death. We don’t know why we’re here on Earth, but the idea behind We Are Mortals is just to live life to the fullest while you are here, which is what the song is about.


“(A)rmy of Me” – Bjork

Bjork is a huge inspiration because nobody has really come close to replicating her creativity. She represents powerful women with this song. Personally, I feel like I’m creating this brand as an army of me right now as well!


“(L)ast Name Katz” – Zebra Katz

One of my favorite artists right now! I love everything about his music, and what he represents is change because being a queer rapper probably wouldn’t have been acceptable until now. It’s a new movement that started in NY and I hope it spreads everywhere.


“(S)oda” – Boody & Le1f

Le1f is another staple in the queer rap genre. He’s bold and fearless with his lyrics and he always makes you dance!

#WatchThisSpace // Kickstarter

Serving With Slaysia, Ep. 4

Asia… Asia, Asia: Asia. Is a very real thing. And reality will deal. In increasing measure. Well into the forseeable future. Asia is a Hollywood Renaissance. Black, Female, French, Bulldog. Serving for the stars. Slaying for life. Sitting sideways. Shading moonlight. Asia didn’t sign up for this, but — as a wise man once said: you don’t sign up for what you’re born into. Asia was born to slay for life and serve the light. Werk. It. Black. Sheesus. #amen

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I stole Mommy’s cellphone and will be posting photos all day long. I HAVE A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!” – @MissAsiaKinney

Act 1: Serving “I’ll Worry About My Opposable Thumbs – You Worry About Your Data Plan” Realness

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I love to eat while I sketch my ideas for the fashionable puppy line I’m starting!

Act 2: Serving “Let Them Eat Couture” Realness

 

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I get hooked up with the finest in puppy products, so I really have a knack for what’s quality. My vision is to find creative & functional ways for pets and their owners to bond!

Act 3: Serving “Function, meet Fashion; Conjunction Funcshion, meet the Finest Hook Up This Side of Neverland” Realness #creativerebelleion

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ORGANIC GRAIN-FREE LOCAL FARM INGREDIENTS are the best for our body and brain. That’s what I eat! That’s why I’m inspired to also create A Pet Food Line.

Act 4: Serving “GRAIN-FREE MEANS CAGE-FREE MEANS KANYE CAPS – LOCALS ONLY MEANS LOCALS ONLY: #CHICKENS” Realness

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After a sunny morning looking out for ‘Bunnies & Truffles’, I love sniffing around the rose garden for the latest luxuries!

Act 5: Serving “Cosmopolitan Coming-of-Age” Realness… where Botticelli meets the Bildungsroman #HereComesKojiCottontail #PigsLoveTruffles #MaturationStation

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Keep a look out for a special announcement. I’m the star of a new campaign for a major luxury fashion brand. You never know, I could grace the pages of Italian Vogue.

Act 6: Serving … I can’t… Look, at, that, face. The realness can’t be contained by quotation demarcation. Let’s note, that Asia has a diamond and pearl collar that serves “Loving Me Is Like Chewing On These” Realness. She has a purse. Asia, has a… gold clutch, that serves “Reverse Ownership” meets “More Studded V, Mother Monster Couldn’t Get Through To Me” Realness; while the collective spread gives pure “Champagne Meets Crystalline On The Solo Picnic Scene,” “Close Down Roseland, Open Up Rosegarden,” “The Reality of Not Allowing This Face To Fool You – I Beg Of You, Please Realize Said State of All Proximal Realities” Realness to the utmost… Um, and no – I know, but we can’t right now with the over-the-shoulder… it’s, it’s much too much… Asia knows the collective sentiment.

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I love reading high fashion magazines and invisioning the clothes & accessories in dog sizes for my Pet Clothing Line

Act 7: Serving “Hold Your Head High, Paws (Figuratively Considering) To The Sky… They Gon’ Try to Try Ya, but They Can’t Deny Ya #keepitmovinghigher” with an incomparable dose of “For the Stars, For the Gods, Honoring For the Selfie Nation” Realness … and a side of “The Only Time I Envision ‘En’ before a ‘V’ is when I’m Freeing My Mind with 90s R&B #Invision #EnVogue” meets “My Champagne Glass Remains Half Full, I Am Puppy Ambition – Never Thirsty #sipstea” #educationisthemotivation #readupchildren

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In the afternoon, I go for a ride. I have SKIN & FOOD ALLERGIES, so I’m an expert in the most PROTECTIVE, COMFY, & STYLISH FABRICS FOR DOGS. Sometimes even Mommy’s jealous of my lks! …

Act 8: Serving “Keep In Mind That I’m An Artist – And I’m Sensitive About My Skin” meets *”Applause” VEVO Certified Voice* “that scene – my dog” Realness with a daughter dose of “some Eliza Doolittle realness. My life is cinema.” Realness. Um, and again – can’t even with the diamonds (crystals?) in the ears… she hears you loud and alchemically (Swarovski?) clear… girl’s best doublegem twins #SecretSafe

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After a long day of work, laying in the roses, trolling the chicken coop, & walking on the town. I get a nice bath that is gentle on my skin with warm towels that keep this short-hair happy!

Act 9: Serving “Planet Billy GOAT Plush” Realness #ShortAndSweet #KeepItRealDotDotDotClean

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Once in a while I even get aroma-therapy massage and it really helps me wind down if I have an itchy day! Mommy and I can recommend all sorts of soothing remedies.

Act 10: Serving “Scent of a Recommendation” meets “Soothe You Can Use” Realness

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I can’t wait to share even more of my ideas. Look out for even more about me on littlemonsters.com! I can’t speak, but I try my piggy best to show “Thank you” and “I love you” with my eyes. Every dog is forever a puppy and should be loved like one.

Act 11: Serving “Eye Saw The Sign” meets “Hush, Puppy Love” Realness

(… Meanwhile, on Planet Fainting Goat, I’m serving “I just came to littlemonsters.com to have a good time, and ever since they kicked me off for what I assume to be underutilization of said platform – I’m feeling really attacked, and bullied, right now” Surrealness… neither here nor there, just a parenthetical aside.)

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Watch This Space: … and those Brown Eyes.

Lyrically Speaking: “Tom’s Diner” ft. Britney Spears, Giorgio Moroder

Good music speaks volumes… rather than impose analysis, step back and expose linguistic artistry… listen, look, and linger in fantastic rhythmic reality: lyrically speaking

“Tom’s Diner”Deja Vu (2015)

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I am sitting
In the morning
At the diner
On the corner
I am waiting
At the counter
For the man
To pour the coffee
And he fills it
Only halfway

And before
I even argue
He is looking
Out the window
At somebody
Coming in

Could There Ever B

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It is always
nice to see you
Says the man
Behind the counter
To the woman
Who has come in
She is shaking
Her umbrella

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And I look
The other way

Britney Spears 2007 Umbrella On february 19 britney spears

As they are kissing
Their hellos

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And I’m pretending
Not to see them

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And Instead
I pour the milk

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[Giorgio Moroder]

Everybody is welcome
Come on, come on in
Sit yourself down
The parties never end
Love is the drug
That makes you wanna drink
Till the morning after…

I-I-I- …
I open
Up the paper
There’s a story
Of an actor
Who had died
While he was drinking

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He was no one
I had heard of


And I’m turning
To the horoscope
And looking
For the funnies

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When I’m feeling
Someone watching me
And so I raise my head

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So I raise my head

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So I raise my head

Tom's Diner Close

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No matter what the weather, through pain and pressure, never let them see you with your chin down – just keep swimming, just keep DOing – when you feel them watching, raise up and respect the shooter #spearsianlaw

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#respecttheoneinfrontofthesun #universalorder

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#watchthisspace

Never change Brit, never give a buck.

Grooves You Can Use: #APOD :: Crevette, Ep. 1

happy one year and three day anniversary, day I unironically bought artpop on vinyl – you’ve been some kind of sufficiently something

#ANDWILLCONTINUETOBESOINEXPONENTIALLYINCREASINGMEASUREWELLINTOTHEFORSEEABLEFUTURE

#artpopmeanskanyecaps #kanyeshrugsandpoplove

so… – i riffed on a random burst of audio production creativity i had to kendrick daye for the duration of a google drive invite: this is the verbatim transcription

so… i noticed i mixed every track of artpop at some point so… i decided to make a 2 1/2 anniversary ep set … based roughly around the quote: “That’s the thing that poisoned me…. That was the poisonous thing. ‘We just want you to look beautiful’ over and over and over in my head until I just wanted to look ugly all the time.” … so just mixing, mashing, vibing, crashing… it’s … sounds… just the groove for record’s sake…

#kanyeshrugs #whatevenisanartpop #loveandart

apod-text

Vinyl Mind Flow: RAINBOW BODY /// Millie Brown

Full disclosure: I went to an art gallery one day, one thing led to another and here we are.

I don’t know much about art, but I like words. When collected in a contained space, regardless of intended cohesion, sometimes these words take on a life of their own. Regardless of proper punctuation or standardized syntax, sometimes these words manifest into atmospheres of linguistic articulation made visual. Sometimes… the message is nothing more than the mood conveyed, and the connection between messengers new and old. This… could be one of said times. #kanyeshrug

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#SWIPERGETTOTHEPOINTALREADY #IMTRYINGTOBUILDASCENE #LETMEFINISHTHEPATH

Fair warning (because, yes, even more pretense): sometimes i read. people who sometimes read sometimes get wordy, this is undoubtedly one of those times. #THEREWILLBEWORDS these words, again, may not make sense #IDONTWRITEREVIEWS #IWAXRETROSPECTIVEANDWANEDIALECTIC

#HERESWHENYOUCANSTARTPAYINGATTENTION

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Rainbow Body is the fourth Solo Exhibition by British performance artist Millie Brown. An evolution of Brown’s original and most recognized performance work, Rainbow Body presents a survey of the artist’s new home in Los Angeles. Developed from Brown’s non-traditional, performance-based methods of painting from the inside-out, Rainbow Body features a post-contemporary study on abstract expressionism within a California palette.

Using almond milk, food coloring, stomach and hands, Brown creates aesthetically whimsical paintings with a deep underlining of raw human emotion. Each piece tells the story of the Los Angeles sky, its past and its present, its light and its dark.

Viewing the body as a vessel for spiritual practice, Brown pushes physical and mental boundaries to reach a state of enlightenment from which creative expression and healing derives. Rooted in Tibetan Buddhist theology, Rainbow Body is the phenomenon of viewing spiritual transcendence from a third person perspective. Rainbow Body is based on three wisdoms, representing the three categories of paintings: ground, presence, and energy.

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For those of you who don’t read, a touch of how it felt in my head on first blinkk (BECAUSE YOU’RE IMPATIENT, YOU GET THE STANDARD PHOTO QUALITY EDITION *standard photo quality not representative of vivid quality of featured artwork):

And now, for those who do read, a miscellany with the curator:

Natology: so rainbow body, reaching spiritual transcendence, is based on three principals: ground, presence, and energy.

sxb: and was that you, did millie come in and

Natology: Millie said ‘Rainbow Body’ and she said what it was, and i researched it. and then i just know, you know,

spiritual evolution doesn’t just happen by being like: ‘alright we’re on the ground floor, on presence,’ and then it’s like, ‘rad, i just passed this layer,’ like it’s this level – it’s not that easy.

you are on your ground, and then you have a moment of enlightenment, and then you reach presence right. but then – you fxxkin fall right back down, and you’re back on the ground!

so, that’s the way that this show is curated… it shows the natural spiritual transcendence.

so right here you know, it starts off with ground, ground, this is the first piece that was ever made.

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this piece, all of this concentration, it’s a representation – i mean, and this is all unintentional right – but it represents all of the palettes and all of the energy that she used up until this point in her career and then it disperses into light. and remember when we were talking about the aura that just happens to be around this and it’s just so crazy.

sxb: it’s so mental, and i feel like it looks different than it did yesterday

Natology: it does! it always does.

sxb: it seems faded until you see the clear point of distinction in which it’s clearly that, and that’s clearly that. and it’s the mood ring effect…

Natology: this all up here has changed too because of the stomach acid, in the photographs that i have it was much brighter but it’s brought out, the light has brought light into the colors. i think that in art history the things that are going to be most recognized in her work are these negative spaces…

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… you know post-contemporary culture, what i call post-contemporary culture – which is where i mostly operate – it’s mostly you know, art as an experience, and as a part of all of us, and as a part of the art form of what we do: fashion, lifestyle, and, how all of these things cross over interrelate into what the post-contemporary dialogue is and will be. so where is art going and you see that right now we’re living in the most exciting times ever because it’s a tipping point it’s a change in paradigm it’s a historical movement.

sxb: an interesting triad you have is art, academia, and advertising. those are three worlds that kind of fight for that same space of controlling the mindset – because really, discourse at the end of the day is what defines everything. it’s not what you see, it’s–

Natology: how you say it, how you talk about it, how you perceive it and how you tell the story: how you sell the dream.

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because i think like example for me, one of the things that was limiting about academia was that at the end of the day, and again that goes into any of these fields, is that it ends up being a dialogue amongst a very small group of people, so that you can’t really change anything… that you’re all just going so deep down the rabbit hole that you’re only feeding the ego in that conversation, and aren’t really able to reach a larger audience.

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you know, i think that that’s where entertainment really plays in, and how you reach a wider demographic and expand the palette of what is to be the next wave in fashion, art, culture or whatever it is. and again, that all has to do with marketing and advertising… what are the things that work, what are the things that don’t work. there’s a mcdonaldization of culture where everything has been completely watered down and, you know, the mass is just taking what’s fed to them because they’re told that it’s cool – but at the same time you’re having this huge awakening where people who would have never talked about like, a fifth dimension or even just intuition, are talking about it and are like following that intuition and are like being guided to … to what is taking place.

for example: millie brown’s work – HIGHLY controversial, highly powerful

sxb: polarizing

Natology: EXACTLY. that another gallerist would frame a completely different story than the one that i framed or would want… you know, she’s not the first artist who has used DNA, or like has used bodily fluids to create art, and with this greed and two dimensional perspective, you have artists that become pigeonholed into becoming an artist that just makes enema paintings, or an artist that just makes chewed-up bubblegum paintings, or an artist that just makes vomit paintings, and the truth is that just limits the creative expression of an individual.

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that’s why i say like, this is the last body of work of this particular period because from here – you know, Rainbow Body is a concept of dissolving into light – from here, millie dissolves into light. that’s what the performance yesterday was about, that’s what the series is about, and that’s what the performance at the abramovich institute in may is about. blinded by the light where she’s bathed in light, and surrounded by nothing but light and just you know nasa’s recording of the sun…

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and so i think that, and i never noticed the triangles that you pointed out between art, advertising, and academia – but you know, it’s all in how you paint the picture and being able to see understand and to share that story in a way that is … that … that makes sense and that is palatable and that is still super punk rock you know like … i’m still an anarchist i’ve always been super like … on some other sxxt you know like, and a radical, but there’s a way to do it that you know is like… like yesterday when i saw her do her performance i was like, ‘yo, she’s so punk rock! but so elegant and honest and raw in her creative expression.’

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and you know i think, to be punk rock, and this is something i feel like you learn with age… and you know – something that i’ve learned – through time, it’s just, it’s just the way of seeing the world… you know, to be a radical. radical i mean, really just means really getting down to the roots of something…

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and you learn how you can work with the cultural and political climate to get your point across and and do it well and do it the right way and and really be able to stir things up from the root

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but you know you don’t have to be a dirty punk to do it … – ‘cos your mind’s a dirty punk

it’s about how you can get your point across, and again: it goes back to to the discourse, the dialogue, the conversation – because what is anything: it’s the meaning that we give it.

sxb: … the materialized mentality

Natology: exactly.

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… intermission #LIKEWEALWAYSDOATTHISTIME

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So – … I riffed on RAINBOW BODY into a recording device for twenty-five minutes and nineteen seconds: this is the verbatim transcription

(FAIR WARNING: EVEN, MORE, WORDS… EXPONENTIALLY MORE WORDS, VERBOSE LINGUISTIC DELUGES COMING IN WAVES OF INCREASING QUANTITY AND INDEFINITE QUALITY – IF YOU DON’T LIKE SWIPER’S FLOW, YOU ARE BEYOND BEYOND WELCOME TO GO ABOUT YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED DAILY HAPPENINGS.)

#thatsaid …

VINYL MIND FLOW #PROSEWEGO

so, i think, in retrospect, there’s something very salient about the journey of the rainbow body. i mean as much as this has been about millie completely and entirely i think the most … magnetic, and attractive, literally, element of the show and the exhibit and the practice itself is the shared consciousness of it all. i don’t know millie. i only recently met the people with involved with the project, and to be quite honest i was quite unfamiliar with anybody in that room before really – and yet, at the same time, it’s the unspoken bond that was shared between everyone who’s experiencing this transcendence of someone else. and it’s this feeling that you’re drawn to – you’re attracted to the opposite, right. so you’ve got people who may feel that much more human when they’re drawn to millie.

and opposites attract, but likes stay together, so we see this as seeming opposites coming together, and yet you remain there. you remain in this space, this physical space of the gallery as much as this mindset.

once you’ve seen this you cannot unsee the scene. and you can’t you can’t return the purge. and the beauty of it is that for as violent and as aggressive and as unrefined and raw as all of this is… the beauty is that you don’t have to return. and that it’s there, and that whatever it is that you need to release from yourself to get to that next level is there on display

and i think at the core of it is that it is her humanity which is being recorded right now.

this is recording her human condition, this is recording her soul and a condition because your light body your rainbow body is immaterial. and the immaterial is of no worth on a material plane, but it was that immaterial spark – that catalyst, that essence, that eternal body which was controlling this material vessel the entire time.

so it’s that millie’s rainbow body is going through its debutante. it was that rainbow body of millie’s that pulled her away from the academic route in england. and it was that same rainbow body that fueled her journey to the states. whether it be new york or whether it be austin, texas – it was that rainbow body right? that essential eternal something that pushed her there, and it was that same rainbow body that attracted different energies to her, and if we’re looking at the starting point as this collapse and this amalgam of every possible color from the palette becoming black. you look at the genesis you look at the origin point of the exhibit. and this is me just rambling, i mean i don’t have reference points outside of my experience which again is the point of this. it’s just if the origin is the amalgam of all of these colors right, the origin her starting point here in this journey is carrying all of those experiences with her here, all of the energies she interacted with became part of hers. and at that point you know it’s interesting once you get to l.a. the lights are blinding.

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and so to go from england to have that rainbow body propel you overseas through the barbecue pit, and again: i don’t know millie – this is just what has appeared to me through the artistry of this legacy that we now are sharing – you know and to have that take you, i guess fast forward all i know is that she went from england to l.a. and she’s en route to new york and so we come to l.a. the amalgam this genesis point that i suppose, where better to transcend?

where better to rid yourself of this form than the city of angels? naturally that’s going be where we become one of them.

we become a stellar body, prismatic and when you’re walking through the gallery there’s almost this sense that you begin in this void, you begin in this black hole – this entity that is the epitome of magnetism and attraction. so dark, and so dense, and apparently void and yet it is truly in that darkness where all the elements meet and converge and it’s that blackness that we share, and the beauty in that blackness. and it’s so natural and yet in this world of convention social constraints, cultural institutions, and the commercialization of all of this, and the agenda of the dominant patriarchy, the puritanical patriarchy, they mar this sense of beautiful blackness and they make it appear as if it is wrong or as if it is bad or unnecessary or unwanted and unneeded – and it’s interesting because it’s that place that we come together in the blindness of it all.

black is no different than white. absence and presence where there is absence there is presence right. it’s the absence of what and the presence of what. and it’s something you feel – we don’t see it, and what you see is black and white, and what we feel is dark and light – and yet it’s all just shades of the same thing.

there is no pure darkness, i don’t believe. i feel there are shades and hues of a light. and so with this again at the genesis. it’s something i found myself focusing on as i was in the gallery, i kept focusing, my eye was caught on that point of emergence: where is the origin? and it wasn’t even the blackness, it was the corner in a very eastern way. the idea that chinese paintings begin in the corner, and they build this entire story out from that small southwestern corner – much like millie’s journey now.

so it’s almost as if she emerged from england, and you learn yourself academically and what you should be. you learn the system. you’re a part of the system. you keep building that framework and you find yourself as a cog – as a cog that’s moving something forward, that’s a juggernaut that you had no control over creating. that you have even less control over directing and so you remove yourself from it, at the expense of that machine itself, because certain cogs are necessary even though they are overlooked – and millie is one of those cogs.

you know, when you walk through here and i went and seeing those pictures remain, almost understanding that these have not been acquired yet, there’s almost a beauty to that. on one hand not all of these paintings have been bought, the idea that someone has seen it, that has the means to acquire it and has not, for whatever reason, on one hand: it’s a downside to think that, you know someone didn’t want it, it’s unwanted for some reason – the marketplace is what you make of it. on the other hand: it is beautiful that  there is this something out there, that the universe didn’t feel it was ready to be released yet. it’s even more wonderful. or maybe there’s a forcefield maybe these paintings needed to remain on a wall for someone to see them. maybe that potential will come in later. but the idea that presence, the idea that it has not been acquired yet, even though it is out there on display… do you want it to be bought? do you trust the owner? who are you trusting with your children.

and in a similar vein. coming from england, being the necessary cog that was overlooked by this machine, this machine that is falling apart. i feel like convention… academia… they’re falling apart, the idea that you’re losing your cogs. education is too expensive. that’s why you have starving artists, and they know how to teach your kids better than anyone else because they were the part of this system that fell out. and this machine, this old machine reminds me of the industrial revolution. coming from england, much like millie – and yet she is the cog that was lost in that factory, and that factory is falling apart. because slowly it’s eroded. in her years here, she’s helped build perspectives and begun channeling the energy which she’s come in contact with, which include some of the greatest artists of our modern era. whether you know who gareth pugh is, who ruth hogben is, who nick knight is, or you don’t – you probably know who lady gaga is, or vice versa. and you have an opinion on them all, and they all have an interactive opinion on millie.

and all of that’s being brought to l.a. the cog that fell out. and so you go from that, and you come here to this gallery and she becomes a piece of art. art emerged from academia which is beautiful. much like many of our artists now. very well researched, very worldly, and they learned from the book of nomadic nature, the cosmic dancers – and so she turns that sense of lost academia into future art. like a ruth ginsberg, she’s making these paintings in a way that is unfamiliar to the standing order – and that is very fair. a standing order of masculine puritanical patriarchy american globalized free market deregulated business… you’ve got a young woman who really isn’t bound by any of these constraints, as much as she is in this body, this material body that has deemed her a woman of british origin, and that is really all i know about millie.

and the funny thing is that i try to find more conventional words to define who millie is and yet it doesn’t really matter because the point is that she’s really just millie and all i really know is this artwork and i am still able to talk endlessly about this and again that is the point that i am seeing my self in her, in her journey. from england to l.a. to new york. my journey from england to l.a. to new york. and you’re seeing these things, these themes that i would not have thought about before – except they are shared. and then you begin to realize that it is only shared consciousness. it’s only those shared experiences that truly do matter and so it’s what can you…

what is shared, what is differentiated? how do we have a common ground and how do we have … distinct projections.

it’s that commonality and the element of extraordinary. that which we don’t share, that divinity. it’s not shared in this mid space it’s shared at the source. so, while artists appear individually different, they’re all truly artists and the fact that i see myself in millie, and i don’t want to say that. i don’t want to put myself on that pedestal, but that’s what artists invite you to do, to see yourself in them. and then join them. so again, this journey has become a lot of that.

seeing millie bring her work here is beautiful, because l.a. is where stars are made and here millie has made herself with the help of great beings who have honestly given shape and form and propelled stars who we currently watch traverse across this celluloid life.

los angeles, west hollywood, the design district. all of these beautiful symbols coming together and millie at the core of it all. so, you go from academia of england to this new art of l.a. you’ve made a star of yourself in the city of angels and on their wings you travel this rainbow body, once again propelling, propelling this material vehicle. and you shed that in l.a. and you leave your corpse here and at the private show it looked like clay, it looked like chocolate milk. it looked like all of those points of origin. whether a kid watching your saturday morning cartoons, sipping on your yoohoo, or nesquick, or pure chocolate – cocoa and milk. or whether it’s the clay from which we emerge, the crescent –

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that christ consciousness. ingested regurgitated and put on display. glazed stone like an altar descended as the point of ascension for a material body which was left behind, and yet from there, from that rainbow body, we go to the light body in new york – in gotham. where we have a manufactured sun, a represented sun, and it’s almost as if we have this artifice. a projection, a representation in this land of manufacture – which would be new york.

it’s like the moon, it’s lunar. it’s the end of this linear journey. it’s almost as if millie is once again being invited back into the pantheon, invited by marina who is a master of this, of the life experience of this human condition. in gotham where the light projects so proudly because there is no nature on that rock. and millie became a solar body in l.a. where they live in constant close proximity to that solar orb everyday. and millie is bringing that natural light, in a rainbow body, in the ethereal to new york. it’s almost as if she’s at parity with this manufactured nasa projection to become that which has been presented back, and it’s visiting that machine that has fallen, it is visiting the industrialized astronomy of it all. it’s kissing the cosmic, but it’s kissing the cosmic as a peer. it’s kissing the cosmic as … a divine compliment. it’s blessing the ivory tower… from the stellar canopy of your divine residence. and i guess it’s just the purge. i guess it’s just acknowledging your humanity and giving it back to the world that created it, knowing that you are not of this world.

that you came here assuming a position in it, once you recognize the reality in that. the truth and the reality that that is not your end-all-be-all, and recognizing the beauty in the flaws the beauty in the pain… and above that pain is your rainbow body, that you can overcome it all, through what catholics call mysteries, and buddhists would consider the purity, strength and validity of your own mind, to overcome all of the appearances.

so i think in that we all find ourselves. somewhere in that rainbow body. the fact that because it’s a rainbow means it’s shared, it’s something we’re all a part of. it’s going to be years, it’s going to be an eternity, it’s going to be miles before i even begin to fathom the peak of what this all will become – but like ruth ginsberg, this is speaking to a future age and i am merely a present being. and I’m not going to assume i know anything about this. i just know that from england to l.a. to new york from dropped academia to attained artistry to transcended advertising – which is just selling the idea of happiness – y’know… new york is the home of advertising and y’know millie is more than an advertisement. it’s taking art to madison avenue and it’s putting it in front of that billboard, it’s returning the billboard to an altar. it’s making sure that if you’re selling something, right, that your business is based upon the shared consciousness of the christ consciousness over corporate commerce; and not solely the idea of Jesus in the bible, necessarily – it could be that – but just the idea that you, as a temple, you as a canvas, you as the altar upon which you stand. you are that christ, that that is a gateway to divinity.

it’s the thing that i truly love about being a catholic is the idea that you can become that divine. that you are here to prove that this human form can be a vessel. that this human form can be a vehicle to another dimension.

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and all of this is to say that i just walked into a gallery one day to look at some paintings, and i got an invite to a show, and i observed. then i became the observed staring in a mirror, finding my way through the morass and the myriad of elements that are contained in this seemingly vulgar… regurgitation. and vulgar might be the best word for it, it’s common. humanity is common, the vomit is common, it’s all common but the fact that we all know what it’s like to be common. it means that we’re no better or less than anyone else. and because we’re all the same, because we’re all one. so millie’s journey becomes the journey of us all, and i hate to be cliché , but that’s when you know something’s true: when the clichés begin to make sense.

and so becoming a cosmopolitan citizen, you know, creating your masterpiece in three epicenters of the world – and this only being the fourth show, it’s like a presidential tenure, and as millie presides over this art world in the midst of a turning point, a tipping point, and as she does so so subtly, so silently, and yet so loudly – the deafening roars of the regurgitation like a mother bird, like a raven, like a valkyrie regurgitating divinity to these equally divine denizens who have yet to know their destiny – it’s fine, because this dissent away from academia, this dissent away from conventional academia the dissent away from modern advertising this dissent away from assumed industrialized art, all of these things are captured in this rainbow body. and it’s this dissent that speaks to the future age, and it’s this dissent from assumed humanity, from assumed vulnerability, from assumed vulgarity that makes this such a beautiful prismatic display of the immortality of a one millie brown – and quite honestly, i don’t know what to say about this to make it academic.

i don’t know what to say about this to make it something greater than what it is. i don’t know if these words have deterred from millie’s vision, i don’t know if they’ve blinded the vice, i don’t know if they’ve blinded the vise. i really don’t, and i am rambling – but i think the beauty in that is that i found this in my own mental vomit. this mind vomit i suppose is another step toward the realization of my own rainbow body. and this is not to put myself on her pedestal, i know nothing of what it’s taken her to get here, but again for all of the things i don’t know the one thing i do know is that we do have a shared journey and, i mean, from this point on i look forward to travelling the rest of this path and hopefully, one day, from that cosmic canopy, we’ll all just sit atop and reminisce on that day when millie took the crown and became rainbow body brown.

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Street Brilliance: Tupac Lagerfeld Dali, Alec Monopoly

Media makes for a most marvelous canvas…

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when the world muses as such…

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Words, lines, scribes, eyes, Sunset below the artisan’s guise…

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Tupac Shakur…

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thug life, lime light, California love, Gotham in hindsight… muted magnanimity, press plastered prophecy

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Karl Lagerfeld…

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Vogue, Chanel, pose, channel… shade forever thrown, gaze universally shown, the mind the shine, the face – so poker… the judge, the jury, la mode’s the joker.

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Salvador Dali…

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doesn’t do drugs, drugs are he… time melt, mind meld, paint the scene _–_~ surrealistically…

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art c/o Alec Monopoly

protection c/o Bruiser

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new watchers… #watchus

wax on… wax off #andscene

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Le Trap Haus Presents: Vinyl Mind Flow, Ep. 2

The soul is a Gepetto.

The soul is a character, crafted at the hands of a Disney – to portray and display navigation. Precise design, guidance, vision, supposed to nurture and cultivate. Educate, inform, to build the context, the mental escape of this world for the inanimate – it has the power; and channel energy and light by way of inspired design, craftsmanship, workmanship, inspiration, execution, perspective, that creative spark

– and yet: it’s quiet, it’s sure. stoic. astute. precise and so articulate, in so few words, not that it doesn’t know them, but rather that it chooses to explore… the endless possibility in the world of language, in all its beautiful forms, and manifestations. it reaches beyond convention, and creates entirely new points of articulation. highlights them… paths, new roads to explore and ways to get from point a to point b and back again…

– and did all this for a wooden creature. something that he took from nature, something that was assumed to be dead. something pre-animate and in its design it is able to dictate its purpose. its function is inherently in its fashion – how it is built, how it is crafted, what it wears before it was aware, is exactly what determines its role in this life – and we all have that power, and she has that power. and the soul is that power

The soul is the Gepetto in America; when the creator, in this marketplace that never belonged in my father’s house, is Disney.

The Prophiles: Lady GaGa

March 28, 2010

March 28: 1,771 years ago today De Pascha Computus commemorated the Nativity, birth of a man – son of God – who brought mankind from the darkness of sin; today, we commemorate the birth of a woman – deity of Pop – who brought a generation from the dark ages of social oblivion. On this day, ancient Romans celebrated the production of the Sun and the Moon; today we celebrate the personification of The Fame and The Monster. In the midst of a generation described as Godless, artificial, celebrity-obsessed, and lost, emerges a renaissance artist who gave you freedom in the music – found your Jesus, and your Cupid. Happy Birthday, Lady GaGa.

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Lady GaGa the thinkpiece, the evolutionary, the first true renaissance artist of our generation; beyond music, she is the iconography of an era: completely. GaGa is the product of every great artist, ideal, movement, fashion, and fad before her; she is the pulse generating contemporary culture’s aesthetic and identity; and at 24, she has propelled herself to the top of Pop’s pantheon as the matriarchal monarch against which all those who come after her will be gauged – future notwithstanding she has become the barometer against which her own predecessors assess themselves: beg to differ? Mhmm Honey B – thought not.

What GaGa did in her first 18 months was incomprehensible – to truly think about it would tear any human mind to pieces. Four number one singles from a debut album, six number one singles from six single releases, over 10 million albums sold, and over one billion YouTube views worldwide; numbers don’t lie, but men and women do – at GaGa’s feet. Diddy says “Pick a car which one I ain’t been in, pick an actress which one I ain’t swim in;” GaGa’s track record says, “Pick a fiend which one I ain’t fixin’” – she delivers more hits than Frank Lucas; whether she’s writing for Britney, PCD, or NKOTB, sidekicking Wale, Beyonce, or Trina, sharing samples with Kanye, Common, and Cudi, or she is feeding the dead industry back to life and diversifying her bonds like WuTang Clan – this free bxxch ain’t nothin’ to fxxk with. The only thing more diverse than her portfolio is her persona – she is a cultural phenomenon because she is a panoramic projection of everything “now.”

More than any other generation, we have access to innumerable volumes of information and influences; we are the entitled products of everything that came before us, and though we may ignore it, GaGa embraces it. GaGa epitomizes originality as the art of concealing one’s sources – in plain view. She creates music using The Beatles methodology of subtle time signature and key changes veiled under a superficially simple sonic surface, beats that range from Bowie and Mercury Glam Rock riffs, to Darkchild and RedOne club-bangers, to Minogue and Madonna disco diamonds-in-the-rough. Her videos are brilliant melanges of visual themes touching in on the Stonewall Riots and Michael Jackson’s “Bad” a la “LoveGame,” to the faulting of Princess Diana’s death on the “killers behind the cameras” in the “Paparazzi” video – subtly inserting the sound of stabbing knives below the snap of camera lenses as the voyeurs film GaGa’s own demise. “Bad Romance” calls upon Alexander McQueen’s Plato’s Atlantis fashion platform to set the stage for a masterful video paralleling the music industry with human trafficking – the method of payment and purchase: “Beats by Dre” laptops. Her live shows are touted as only described in relation to the magnanimity of Madonna’s Confessions and Sticky & Sweet, and U2’s 360 Tours. She admittedly is what she wears – rather doesn’t wear – and even then is reflective of a grand cacophony of Pop past, present, and future. It’s her Ranier Maria Rilke tattoo branding the iconic German poet’s devotion to the literary catharses, and the Chola “Little Monsters” gang tat directly below. It’s her clothes designed by everyone from Jim Henson to Giorgio Armani, and inspired by everything from strippers to Queen Elizabeth I. It’s her famed “Pop Music Will Never Be Low Brow” video glasses – designed by her in-Haus NASA engineers, capable of syncing up to any Apple computer to play movies, tv shows, etc. Just as The Living Dress resurrected art from the vapid facade of artifice, she is a living cultural convergence.

Past the paparazzi flashes, beyond the bubble dresses, and beneath the bloody lingerie lies the true essence of Lady GaGa: “an artist through and through.” However, artists have much in common with their comrades in cultural renascence: scientists; both describe their work as experiments – part of a series of efforts designed to explore a common concern or to establish a viewpoint. GaGa is that rare hybrid of both an astute artisan and a masterfully mad scientist. She has pervaded every aspect of the public arena by publicizing and personifying hidden-in-plain-view taboos in order to establish a general perspective – her life’s work is to make the clandestine commonplace, because the status quo is skewed. As much a revolutionary as she is a renaissance artist, Lady GaGa treats culture as her canvas, and the social landscape as her science lab. Yet even as she acts as a perpetual fusion of such overarching dichotomies, she does so from behind the veil of the familiar face of a twenty-something New York doll; and thus is why she is the paramount regenerator of a lost generation – even in spite of the blind hatred,

“In the wake of that shock overdose came Lady Gaga. She gave us the spectacle of degradation. She showed us videos of herself vomiting. She chained herself to a pole by her hair. She wore a dress made of bubbles. Now she’s been stripped in prison and committed mass homicide. The images no longer even make sense; the more incomprehensible they are, the more they feed into viewers’ hunger for the grotesque.

cynics can’t help but to bow and equate her with greatness

Past eras have been defined by their art. Greece had Sophocles and Plato. The Renaissance had da Vinci and Michelangelo. Will the 21st century be remembered as the Age of Gaga?”

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“There is no competition too, it feels good to wake up, look in the mirror and the only competition’s you; and even that one ain’t seein’ me…” GaGa’s reflection must have a hard time being she.

Lyrically Speaking: “Youthless” – Beck

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Good music speaks volumes… rather than impose analysis, step back and expose linguistic artistry…  listen, look, and linger in fantastic rhythmic reality: lyrically speaking

“Youthless” – Modern Guilt (2008)

There’s a bottomless pit that we’ve been climbing from
Just to get on level ground
Shake your seasick legs around
Dead of winter in a logo town
Signs of life are soft and flickering
Need a bed to lay my body down
Deadweight to carry down
Some static is lulling me to sleep
Hang your clothes on a chain link fence
In a junkyard say Amen
Your mouth is full of wordless hymns
And run-on sentences

And they’re helpless and forgetting in the background holding nothing
And they’re youthless and pretending with their bare hands holding nothing

There’s a million horses dragging down a monolith
With these trademarks so bereaved
Tied my leg to a barricade
With a plastic hand grenade
They tried to turn emotion into noise
Need a teleprompter for my life
Need a pipeline to the night
My body can’t get no relief
And this life it goes by fast
You’re treading water in the past
Trying to re-animate something that you can’t understand

And they’re helpless and forgetting in the background saying nothing
And he’s youthless and forgetting with his bare hands touching nothing

And he’s helpless and forgetting in the background saying nothing
And he’s youthless and pretending with his bare hands holding nothing

Britney Tweets 2007: Ep. 3

because if ifs and ands were pots and pans there’d be no betta work for tinker’s hands, because pink wigs birthed millennial whiplash, because it’s the rhyme behind seasonal reason, because you’re not B and will never see it her way… because Britney didn’t have Twitter in 2007, because the traphaus was birthed in the wake of Kevin, because Miss Spears will remain the bad bxxch you’ll never know, because they shouldn’t have let her blackout the ‘net #work: nouveau decided to put on a show #luckystarswipgolden

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because education was the motivation, because she blogged before it was cool, because she was an independent publisher in the midst of corporate media, because stellar evolution involves apparent collapse, because she may not have spoken the king’s english but scribed the siren’s hymn, because well before she dropped the scheiße en route to new Britney’s mission she bathed in capital H.I.M., because we voted her to be nouveau royalty in the midst of gop patriarchy, because she faced the fire for her fans while the Administration placed firearms and debt in their electorate’s hands…

because she wants you people to know she’s not perfect, she’s divine #godspeed

 

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because she’s no longer just lucky, but #blessed

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full-stop, never forget who never left, never broke, never abandoned the scene when the known world went pop, shock, and awe.

Stream Fifteen: The Hills Are Alive… with the sound of muses

I riffed on The Sound of Music tribute at The 87th Annual Academy Awards Ceremony into a recording device for ten minutes and twenty-eight seconds: this is the verbatim transcription…

So it would seem the hills are alive with the sound of music… the Hollywood Hills to be exact. This night, this beautiful night, Oscar Sunday, and amidst all of the flashing lights, Mother Monster, the pop mistress, the matriarch of music – on behalf of a flailing industry thought to be dead, thought to be gone, thought to be sold out – rose to the occasion, only to prove that all the charlatans were dead wrong.

Music is that which cements the experience of any moment, that auditory moment where those aural architects, as I said before, are able to manipulate the invisible… to be able to tap into those currents and those frequencies that you cannot see, but that you can feel stronger than any other sensory experience you’ve ever felt before… when you close your eyes, and you can feel your heart beat. When you close your eyes, and you can feel the goosebumps rising; when you can feel that ugly duckling becoming that beautiful swan, rising above it all because it found the rhythm, and it could never fall – it would falter – but never off that cliff never to never be seen again…

And even if you are blind to it, truly that sound will ascend and create some of the most beautiful artwork we have ever never seen. That artwork that cements the scene. That artwork that travels on those currents on those airwaves… with those shared denizens of that domain, those who dwell in that common assumed misery but they dance so blissfully but you cannot see it because it’s hidden…

It’s something you cannot see, as in cinema, it’s something you can only hear, and yet it’s not dialogue, it’s that beautiful rhythmic dance. It’s the choreography of conversation… the choreography of existence, it’s the motion to those the airwaves, those places you tap into beyond the profits.

That intangible space that belongs only to the prophets, those who were wrong in this place and time because they tapped only into the eternal sublime, because they did not hit the charts the way you wanted them to… because they created only art because they needed to, because that’s what the culture was missing in the midst of a marketplace: is that when you worry about the bottom line, you forgot your higher calling… and that’s what she’s here to remind us, and that’s what they’re here to remind us… the commoners, the legends, the baptists, the evangelists, they’re all here to elevate you.

No matter the fact that we’re blind to the sound of the underground, still they emerge. And in the midst of ARTPOP, in the midst of Cheek to Cheek, in the midst of artRAVE, in the midst of “ARTFLOP,” – in the midst of everything that was lost – we have gold gained. In the midst of humanity, in the midst of lost celebrity, we have alchemy. We have a star who becomes a celebrity, who fell beneath the isolation of true artistry, and who emerged a divine human.

We have that with every artist, and yet we have that on this stage. We have a 28-year-old girl who, less than a year ago was turning on a spit, bathing in neon vomit… for the sake of art at the expense of empty pop. We saw her journey. We laughed, we scoffed, we wondered – why Tony? We laid off… and slowly but surely, she popped up in Dubai, she popped up in Tel Aviv, like… why? She showed up with a dog who hearkened to the East, that beautiful, black, wonky-eyed beast, and yet – that dog hit the cover of Bazaar: how strange. And yet she mosied, just dancing around the world, cheek-to-cheek, Heaven, Rocket Number 9, Lady by day, fxxking GaGa by night, who the, what the … so we just stayed and got right – left out on the right side of history, in my case.

And yet everyone else… it would appear to be a disgrace that we forgot about that New York doll. We forget about the little Stefani Germanotta who would sing Whitney from the top of her staircase, who would play the piano at 4get into Julliard at 11, write her first song at 13 – and yet at that stage was still not good enough for pop music. The one who would start singing jazz, the one who was “too theatrical for music,” the one who got tossed in trash cans in high school, the one who left NYU, the one who was too good for Tisch – the one who would eat dirt to prove it. The one who Def Jam turned a tone deaf ear to, the one who time and time again could never prove herself to be “quite pop enough,” in the midst of defining what it meant to be post-pop, definitively.

its stefs day

In the midst of her own shadow she emerged greater than her former self, time and time and time again… and it’s not about GaGa, it is not. It is about all of the GaGas, it’s about the cliches. It’s about the “GaGas in all of us,” it’s about the freak flags. It’s about finding that spark inside you that has no eyes. It has only a soul, and that soul hears these invisible currents. That soul lives in these Hills, and it does not throw rocks when it knows it will end up in the Canyons sooner or later, because it lives in that glass house we like to call fame, because it decided: i will take a chance on this love game, because i don’t know from where i came, but i know i will find myself… and at that point i will have no shame, and there’s no one to blame.

because this rhythm is the only thing i know, and in this frequency i will forever flow, and eternally move, eternally create, and never wait to express, and to cultivate that love supreme – and that is the realized dream of music, and that is what is alive in these hills… – and that’s artpop. hate to say it, but sometimes it’s hard to see the beautiful truth in something we once found shame in, and sometimes it’s hard to find the meaning when we place a name.

artpop is music: plain and simple. artpop is the elevation of the artists amidst all of the artifice. artpop is the knife under the hood that we deliver to hollywood. artpop is what killed that false corpse and left it in a trunk on highway 10 – artpop is the reason it rained today. artpop is because she made it reign, and she was born this way. artpop is Sam Smith at the grammys two weeks ago. artpop is monster balling outta control. artpop is that unspoken… and the Oscars are so lauded, so held in high esteem.

The Oscars are the pillars upon which we posture ourselves as royalty, as American royalty: we lie better than you, we’re show business – because we said so, it’s true. There was no Botox in those hills tonight. There was only the breath in that lung. When she hit that stage, everyone in that room remembered what it was like to be creative and young. To see and to feel and to hear and to experience… nothing but limitless possibilities as to what you could conjure, what you could manifest reality, in this beautiful world of ours. Whether it be a character or a role, an emotion, a feeling, a moment, a story.

That ego is what blinds us so many times, that ego is hidden somewhere in that lens, but never forget that love supreme, never forget what it’s like before you hit that screen. Never forget what you saw in the mirror, never forget what you saw in the reflection of that other’s eyes, and never forget because that’s when you realize the greatness of who you are. The greatness of the collapse and the rise of the star. The hills are alive tonight, and every night, so long as music survives.

freedom in the music – stay jazzed, kids.

 

Le Trap Haus Presents: Vinyl Mind Flow, Ep. 1

And it’s crazy because you’re looking at it, right? And the context is there… and, in that immediate context… it’s like… it’s gruesome, grotesque… and it’s banal, and debased… vicious, and malicious… cruel, punishment and torture – and yet: it’s entertainment. It’s the panopticon: all eyes, on the swinging corpse. Back and forth, back and forth… spin the traverse, publicize the polarity. High and by. Back and forth, back and forth. And here… it’s muted. Here, it’s suspended. Here it rests, in celluloid limbo. Monochromatic faded, and yet, it is so beautiful; in this context revisited: it’s art. It’s anatomy. It’s the expression of the capacity of the human form to transcend to evolve, to hover; above all, in a divine. To rest in the heavens, apparently twisted, manipulated, distorted: it is at peace. The soul knows no material bounds, truly.

TrapperKeeper: Amy Winehouse – Frank

Amy, Amy, Amy… born to blossom, bloom to perish, sleep to wake again.

Drake says you can’t bring the future back, but when Winehouse asks of herself in 2003’s Frank, “Where’s my moral parallel?” she defied that theory. Back to Black was the fateful answer – the artistic masterpiece, and beautiful wane – but as it preceded the U.S. release of Winehouse’s true debut, pre-“RehabFrank became the answer to its own question.

Like Darren Aronofsky‘s Requiem for a Dream, Frank and BtB ebb and flow like the seasons to weave a brilliantly authentic tale of that innate human drive for the unknown ideal. Frank is the Spring. Winehouse, at 19, brought a classic newness to the 2003 London music scene. Yet, the album is unforgettable because of its timelessness. Frank remained, in 2007, that fresh lifeline to American music years later. It was the artistic renaissance resonating the rejuvenation after the Winter-esque BtB.

Amy Winehouse has a gift, she is able to live her music; her vocals don’t merely ride along with the instruments, they reside within them. “Intro” and “Stronger Than Me” sound like a jazz club, The Blue Note. The lyrics and acoustics don’t sound, but rather feel. As she moves into “You Sent Me Flying,” one can’t help but think of SWV at a speakeasy. Winehouse nails the early 90’s R&B vibe, while holding fast to her signature old soul style.

“Flying” segues into “Cherry,” think Brownstone opening for Brubeck – versatility. Never have I heard such a mellow assault as I have on “In My Bed.” It takes Nas‘ “Made You Look” sample, and where the sound effects step back, Amy steps up and sounds off. Winehouse runs the gamut. Yet even with the distinct sounds of blues, soul, jazz, R&B, bossa nova, hip-hop, and lounge, she keeps the sum of the parts static and consistent.

Know You Now” and “(There is) No Greater Love” might best encompass the duality of sound and sentiment: contemporary yet classic, simple yet deeply soulful, authentic and personal, yet atmospheric and enigmatic. Every aspect of the album is a sonic seasonal soundtrack, reflecting cycles and transitions – both natural and human.

The 19-year old’s debut reads like a diary, in the same way Aaliyah‘s Age Ain’t Nothin’ but a Number did – and, again, it is that timelessness, that break from assumed young naivete, which makes this album so unforgettable. Wise beyond its years, Frank reflects the innate desire for the unknown ideal. It is not necessarily the search for love, but rather that something that makes one feel complete.

The focus on the ideal is unattainable largely because the goal is intangible, thus we manifest that ideal into tangible forms. If we want love, we pursue people. If we want wealth and assumed success, we pursue money. Winehouse’s album falls into the former, while Aronofsky’s Requiem, for instance, finds its characters chasing the latter. Amy’s ongoing search takes her from lover to lover finding perfection and defections in each.

From the opening “Stronger Than Me”

You should be stronger than me,
You been here 7 years longer than me.
Don’t you know you supposed to be the man,
Not pale in comparison to who you think I am.
You always wanna talk it through, I don’t care…

to “Moody’s Mood for Love,”

Pretty baby you are the soul, snaps my control,
Such a funny thing but everytime you’re near me,
I never can behave,
You give me a smile
and I’m wrapped up in your magic,
There’s music all around me

it plays both sides of love: the exhausted and the infatuated.

The underlying story though is Amy’s self-reflection. While she waxes poetic about many a distant lover, it is when she gets back to the core that she seems closest to attaining that elusive ideal. Like BtB, Frank sees Amy’s greatest affections held within the inanimate.

It is as if she is most complete when giving life to the idle.

“Cherry” sees her in absolute amour:

Her name is Cherry.
We’ve just met, but already she knows me better than you…
And when I’m lonely, Cherry’s there,
and she plays along while I sing out my blues.

Then – whether she knows it or not – it hits that her man is no match for Cherry, her new guitar

Maybe we could talk ’bout things, if you was made of wood and strings.
You’re so thick, and my patience thin.
So I got me a knew best friend.
With a pickup that puts you to shame, and Cherry is her name.
You might think I’ve gone too far…
I’m talking ’bout my new guitar.

Amy Winehouse lives her music. Cherry is as much her best friend, as it is an extension of herself. It is inanimate, and so is she – detached, lifeless, dependent on whomever it is picks her up to play – until they connect and create music, and breathe life back into the mainstream.

Amy asks “What Is It About Men?” and if “Cherry” is any indication, it is that where her guitar gives Amy life, her men take it away.

“Maybe we could talk ’bout things, if you was made of wood and strings…”

Winehouse is but a Geppetto forever reaching for her Pinocchio, while she’s got Cherry forever in the palm of her hand.

Then, in the midst of a sonic stroll through a season in the life of Amy Winehouse – right at the crest of your delve into her mindset and psyche – an emcee ushers you out. The outro comes to remind you that for all of the emotion and authenticity, Frank was just a show. For the musician who lives her art though, that stage is Winehouse’s world.

After Frank she retires and fades backstage to black, only to rise with the curtain again to introduce an Amy stronger than the former version of herself – so goes the eternal ebb and flow of the truest artist’s finest show.

Frank is an amazing illustration of the beginning, the end, and how they are both contextual parallels.

“October Song” is a masterpiece; it is a piece of art that needs no external interpretation because it is complete in and of itself.

Preface: Frank‘s overseas lapse turned BtB into a bridge between two Amys – a cause and effect, past and future, ego and moral parallel – that are one in the same. Frank serves as the Summer before the Fall into BtB‘s Winter, and the Spring rebirth:

Today my bird flew away
gone to find her big blue jay
Starlight before she took flight
I sung a lullaby of bird land every night
sung for my Ava every night

Ava was the morning, now she’s gone
she’s reborn like Sarah Vaughan
In the sanctuary she has found
birds surround her sweet sound
and Ava flies in paradise

With dread I woke in my bed
to shooting pains up in my head
Lovebird, my beautiful bird
Spoken ’til one day she couldn’t be heard
she just stopped singing

Ava was the morning, now she’s gone
she’s reborn like Sarah Vaughan
In the sanctuary she has found
birds surround her sweet sound
and Ava flies in paradise

This is the sound: Sarah Vaughan. This is the story: release and return, the chase and the wait. This is the so what: the surface, the person(a), the real: Amy; this is the substance, the soul, the ideal: Ava.

This is Frank: unforgettable.

Mood: Stars Rise Over Celebrity Demise Under Sunset c/o Plastic Jesus

Plastic Jesus is a Los Angeles based street artist that specializes in bold stencil and installation work, inspired by world news events, society, the urban environment, culture and politics. His work combines humour, irony, criticism and an unique opinion to create art that engages on many levels.

Stop making stupid people famous

mood: stars rise over celebrity demise under sunset c/o Plastic Jesus… #andthisisthefame

ring: fame stops making stupid people #famous

 

PJ+STOP+ROAD+MARKINGS+DAY-200 Trayvon Martin inspired Street art appears in LA. Horse meat  inspired street art hits North London. "No more Heroes" PJ+Robo+Love-5 PJ+nevermind-2 Graffiti is a crime. PJ+streetart-40+copy

Click here for more work from Plastic Jesus

 

Lyrically Speaking: “Yours and Mine” – Beyonce

yours and mine

i sometimes wish i could just be anonymous and just walk down a street just like everyone else. before i was famous, i was the girl on the hill with the guitar. i was the girl that just wanted a beautiful view of the beach. and now that I’m famous it’s really really difficult to do very simple things. i think it’s the hardest thing to give up. but my mother always taught me to be strong: and to never be a victim, never make excuses, never expect anyone else to provide for me things that i know i can provide for myself. i have dreams. and i feel like i have a power to make those dreams become a reality.

when you’re famous no one looks at you like a human anymore. you become the property of the public. there’s nothing real about it. [just look at these dazzling women, the finest representatives of our nation. ready to reach for the stars and grab the crown!] you can’t put your finger on who i am. i can’t put my finger on who i am. i am complicated i grew up with a lot of conflict and traumas, and I’ve been through a lot. just like everyone else. my escape was always music, and i’m so lucky that that’s my job.

but if i accomplished al of these things and had no one to share it with it would be worth nothing. you know you need something real in order for any of this stuff to matter.

you have to have something that is forever. something that is invisible.

i was brought up seeing my mother try to please and make everyone comfortable. and um i always felt like it was my job to fix the problem. people-pleaser. but i’m no longer afraid of conflict, and i don’t think conflict is a bad thing. because i know that when you grow up, when you learn a few things, you no longer afraid of letting go. you’re no longer afraid of the unknown. you’re no longer afraid of going to certain places in your body and your mind and your soul that may make you feel uncomfortable.

and it all starts with if you can look yourself in the mirror and say i like that person, you know. if i hadn’t gone through some of the painful experiences in my life, i would not be me.

“I feel like my body is borrowed, and this life is very temporary.”

 

i watched my friend’s body deteriorate, and to see someone pass on so gracefully put everything into perspective. we do not value ourselves enough, especially young people don’t really appreciate how brilliant our bodies are. I’ve always been ver very specific and very choosy – very choosey – about what i do with my body and who i want to share that with. people feel like they lose something when they get married, but it doesn’t have to be that way. there’s nothing more exciting about having a witness to your life.

i always consider myself a feminist although i was always afraid of that word because people put so much on it. when honestly, it’s very simple, it’s just a person that believes in equality for men and women. men and women balance each other out and we have to get to a point where we are comfortable appreciating each other.

i have a lot of empathy for men and the pressures that they go through, and the cultures that have been created, especially for african-american men. i have the same empathy for women and the pressures we go through. the woman has to provide so many things for their children. i consider myself a humanist.

you know everybody’s not good at everything. you know, it’s okay to depend on someone. it’s actually what we’re supposed to do, we’re supposed to depend on each other. and when you find the person that you trust and you love and you feel is going to respect you and and take all of the sxxt you have a turn it around and bring out the best in you. they feed you it is the most powerful thing you can ever feel in your life. happiness comes from you, no one else can make you happy. you make you happy.

and one thing that is for sure: the love i have, for music, for my husband, for my child, is something that will last far beyond my life.

#YoursandMine


Serving With Slaysia, Ep. 3

Asia… Asia, Asia: Asia. Is a very real thing. And reality will deal. In increasing measure. Well into the forseeable future. Asia is a Hollywood Renaissance. Black, Female, French, Bulldog. Serving for the stars. Slaying for life. Sitting sideways. Shading moonlight. Asia didn’t sign up for this, but — as a wise man once said: you don’t sign up for what you’re born into. Asia was born to slay for life and serve the light. Werk. It. Black. Sheesus. #amen

Olga’s back for Round 2, Ep. 3

 

Two for Tuesday, Quick and Dirty… #alldogswannalivefancy #bettawork

SWS LookAtChu

SWS Brat

 

covering all time zones and generational gaps #kenneltotherave #whodat

 

SWS glamRAVE

SWS legRAVE

#PAWS