The reason I started this blog in the first place was to talk about things that I like. And I’ve been really excited about a lot of different things recently and I wanted to share them with you.
First up is the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I know, late to the party (again) on this one. (Why do I always discover things long after everyone else?) I saw their Carpool Karaoke with James Corden and I had always kind of heard of them, but they just never intrigued me. Until I saw this video. I'm watching it and thinking, “Who are these grown men wrestling on someone’s lawn?”. So I googled them, like a good researcher. It turns out I actually like more of their music than I originally thought and I just liked their personalities. Now I have found myself down the long rabbit hole that I go down with any new band I find and I can’t say I’m mad about it. It’s suffice to say, I’ve been listening to them a lot.
Of course, I think all of the members of the band are cool and interesting, but one in particular caught my eye: Josh Klinghoffer. Josh is the newest member of the band, replacing John Frusciante. I really related to him when he said he was a California native who always wears 3 layers and he was in fact wearing a sweater and long pants in LA in June. A man after my own heart. But before touring with the Chili Peppers, Josh had his fair share of other musical pursuits, including a band called Dot Hacker. They are still together and still perform from time to time. And they are my next favorite.
Dot Hacker is unlike a lot of bands I’ve heard, probably because of Josh’s high, almost feminine singing voice. I actually wasn’t sure I liked it at first, but sure enough it grew on me. They currently have 3 albums, to which I’ve listened to 1 of and not even the whole through. I know that’s bad but I got stuck on a song called Eye Opener and I’ve just been playing it on repeat. I just really like it. So much so that it is on my Currently… music playlist (which you should check out).
Moving away from music, I’ve been very fortunate to have been doing more portrait photography shoots recently that I am very excited about. I’ve been getting really great results that my models are happy with and that I’m happy with too. That’s not always easy to do as I am still learning all the ins and outs of photography, but I do have to say that a great lens makes all the difference. And let me tell you, I have found a great lens. For my friend Giulia’s senior picture shoot, I used a Canon 50mm with an f/1.8 which, with such a low aperture, makes for great portraits. I was very happy with the results the lens gave me and the fact that it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg, which some lens absolutely can do. I did find some struggles in the manual focusing, but hopefully with time and practice, I can sort that out. It’s interesting to look back on my past portraits and see the difference that this lens, and plain old time and practice, can make.
In health related products, I want to talk about this great tea soap I found while on vacation. It's from Virginia's First Tea Farm and it smells wonderful and makes my skin feel great! It is used with real tea leaves, which can be found on the bottom of the sample I was given before I bought the full size. And what’s even better is the tea is grown locally in Virginia and was being sold at a local farmer’s market. It was a great experience feeling like a local, browsing the booths, supporting a local small business, and finding a product I love. I would definitely recommend these all natural products that are really nice.
In craft-y news, I recently ordered prints of some pictures off my phone for a little DIY project and I found a great independent business out of San Francisco called Social Print Studio. Not only were there lots of different size options and for really great prices, but they’re also just a really cute company. Like it says on their website, they’re just a group of friends and pets printing photos. How cute is that? And they sent me a little newspaper about their business with my order and it was filled with warmth and humor and just fun and it made me want to go work with these people. All from an app business. And my photos were very well made, had a nice matte finish to them, and were super affordable. Needless to say, I will be ordering from them again and would 10/10 definitely recommend them to anyone who needs pictures printed.
Speaking of DIY, I also had a week of feeling crafty where I decided to take an old frame that was beat up and scratched and I repainted it to create a cute little collage of me and my friends.
When it turned out that my photos were actually bigger than I had anticipated, I had to once again be crafty to figure out a way to display the other photos. Here are the results.
That’s all for right now! Thanks for coming on this little journey with me talking about stuff I like. I will be linking to things I talked about in this blog below for anyone who is interested.
RHCP’s Carpool Karaoke: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfudXO_vzWk
Dot Hacker on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2PnETbh55Irnv3VAFBALfd
My Currently… playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/emmaelizabethx7/playlist/3vHXD9mC3y2h1ufJuv2dZQ
Canon 50mm f/1.8: http://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/ef-50mm-f-18-stm
Tea soap: virginiasfirstteafarm.com (I would recommend the Black Tea Soap and the Rosemary, if you’re intrigued but overwhelmed by the options on the website)
Social Print Studio: https://www.socialprintstudio.com
(And if you use this code, you’ll get $5 off your order: 8ZNVWLYFI1 )
I don’t really have much to say about these. I’d rather you take a listen for yourself instead of reading something I say about it because honestly, I don’t know what I’m talking about musically, okay? I just like these a lot and think maybe you will too. Some are new. Some are not. Some are new to me, but everyone else has been listening to them for a while. Oh well.
Here’s what I’ve been listening to currently:
Spirits by The Strumbellas
Eye Opener by Dot Hacker
Gold by Kiiara
Guillotine by Jon Bellion
Unsteady by X Ambassadors
Close by Nick Jonas feat. Tove Lo
Skin by Kyla La Grange
1965 by Zella Day
Colors by Halsey
I’ve been thinking about this idea for a long time and I’ve decided to just do it. So, starting off my first Music List with my Top 5 Favorite Artists! At least my favorites of my short seventeen years, that is. I’m sure and am fully expecting that it will change over time. I will leave links and such for you to take a listen to what I enjoy filling my ears with and you can think what you want about it. Pretty cool how subjective art works.
Now without further ado…..
1. David Bowie
Golden Years- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRD0ghlFSgk
This is probably not a surprise to anyone. I feel I make my love for Bowie very clear. I admit I knew some stuff, but didn’t discover the majority of his work until after he died. But oh my god I’m so glad I did. A huge musical talent but also a huge artistic talent, I just find him creatively inspiring and he makes me want to do more and be more every time I listen to him.
Also I included two songs because I just couldn’t decide.
Losing My Religion- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=if-UzXIQ5vw
Shiny Happy People- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCQ0vDAbF7s
I’m also including two here and it’s for this reason: one is actually good and is almost universally agreed upon as a great song. The other one the band themselves hate and was almost the theme song for F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I’ll let you decide which is which.
3. Ed Sheeran
Give Me Love- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZ9hB107AHs
Between his eps and full albums, it pains me so much to only pick one song to show you. I did it, but I also recommend spending time with his music. The way he crafts words and emotions into songs is unlike anything in current music. I’d venture to say he’s one of, if not the best, modern songwriter. He doesn’t just write songs that will sell, but songs that actually mean something and have some heart in them.
4. the 1975
Love Me- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJ5bZuUlftI
I feel like the 1975 get some negative talk because people think they’re the “basic girl’s band” but maybe everyone likes them because they’re actually really good. And they are really good. What I love about them is their sound is like a reboot 80s new wave alternative, which I grew up listening to. So when someone says “oh, they sound like (this 80s band), they’re not original”. Well, they probably sound like that person because that’s what they grew up listening to.
Anyway, this is another band that I would recommend listening to all of their stuff because I personally really like all of it. The song above, “Love Me” , sounds like “Fame” by Bowie at the beginning and it’s satirical, which they’re really about. That and juxtaposition. Really about that juxtaposition.
5. Wolf Gang
King And All Of His Men- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCyAIaBDBEo
Last but certainly, definitely not least, the band that holds a special place in my heart. About 2 years ago, I saw them open up for Bastille at Stage AE in June and then by September that year, they made their way back and I got to meet and interview them for the blog that I had at the time. One of the most nerve racking experiences of my life but they were so kind and warm and they made it also one of the best experiences of my life, for which I am still so grateful.
They have since broken up to pursue other projects, but I still hope and wish that they had gotten bigger success and maybe broke into the mainstream. Oh well, but I still think everyone should check out their first album, as it is my personal favorite of the two they released. It’s called Suego Faults and it’s an album that every single track is so good and worth a listen.
All of these artists make me very happy and I hope you’ve maybe found some new songs to make you smile too.
When did we lose our ability to communicate? Or rather a better question, did we ever have it? As people, we find it hard to communicate with one another. Even the Founding Fathers struggled. The Founding Fathers especially struggled.
Are we improving upon what they did? Or are we actually reverting? We hold them up as some of the greatest minds our fair country has ever seen, but shouldn't they be the most ignorant? After all these years of improved ideologies and technologies, shouldn't we be smarter by now? Smart enough to know that communication is the key to reform.
I see it like this: every person on the planet is in an ongoing relationship with every other person on the planet. A relationship that, at it's very least, all you have to do is coexist. What's the number one thing in a long lasting relationship? Communication. What's the second thing? Compromise. Why can't we give these things to each other?
I would love to have just a big therapy session for the whole of planet earth. A place to talk about how each other makes us feel. Is this idealistic and naive? Yes. It's also physically impossible, but good communication isn't. Have good conversation amongst friends. Even amongst enemies. Communicate with your representatives. Call them, email them, annoy them. That's their job, to hear you and your concerns. Politicians seem to forget that they are public servants. Remind them.
I myself cannot vote this year. I am on one hand saddened, that I cannot perform my American right, but also glad, that I don't have to make the impossible decision that you all do. But please, if you can vote, do. Because if Brexit will teach us anything, it's that democracy does work and your vote does count.