Archive for August, 2009

I have to say I am truly happy being who I am.

August 27, 2009

I know a lot of people sit there and think I am negative. They think I am a drama queen. That I always look at things in the negative.

I learned tonight that Im not as bad as I have been led to believe and Im DAMN proud of that.

I am someone who believes there HAS to be good people left that are willing to give others a chance and opportunity at life. I am someone who seriously believes in giving people chances. I will hear about someone dying and even though they did something stupid and horrible in their lifetime, I will give them the respect of hoping they are in a better place.

Last night all I heard was negativity. I heard peoples responses to others deaths and it was met with anger. I asked a question concerning government assistance for people and met with hostile close minded people who were against it. I saw a post on universal healthcare and saw all the people who were adamant about how horrible things were getting.

It was enough to make me cry tonight but only for a quick minute. After I cried, I realized why I was crying. I was crying because I truly do feel optimistic about things and people. I have hope. All those others who talked trash about others, they sincerely dont have it in them to look at the good and try to open their minds to the possibilities. They are miserable people who really are not able to be happy or hopeful and thats sad.

The good thing about it is, it makes me feel a lot better about myself. I DO have hope. I do see how things can work and look forward to them working. I am someone who wants people to get help. I want to help.

I know many people think of me as naive and idealistic and honestly, if you do, THANKS! Im proud. Im happy that I have that in my heart. I dont ever want to lose it. I can rest easy now.

Im Back Bitches!!!

August 25, 2009
My sandals on the beach

My sandals on the beach

So yes Puerto Rico was a good time and a learning experience. It was also trying, but thats what vacations are a little bit of everything. Lets make a list of what I learned:

1. I still hate planes. Its good to know that Im freaking out over nothing and Im just insane but yeah, still dont like flying.
2. I actually dont mind the heat in PR. Its hot as fuck but you still have energy to do stuff despite it.
3. I love staying in an apartment. It had its serious issues (one of the bathrooms caused a major glitch in our trip but it was ok) but it made me feel like I actually lived in PR.
4. God there were a lot of panhandlers in PR! I hadnt seen so many before. All or most were junkies and/or gambling addicts.
5. There were a lot of businesses that were gone… including my favorite gelato place that I had been looking forward to going to. The good thing was that I took pictures of the vacated venues to get an idea of where I could open my business.
6. Graffiti in Puerto Rico is pretty cool and artistic.
7. I love how cheap the buses are
8. Taxis are way better
9. I wish the Plaza de las Americas Mall existed here in NY.
10. The mall has a movie theater. We saw Half Blood Prince one day and Inglorious Basterds another. Both were awesome.
11. The beach is awesome! I only went one day but it was still cool
12. I really wanna live in Old San Juan its so beautiful.
13. I was soooo bad when it came to my eating habits. Im back on track now though.
14. My family is crazy and talk a lot.
15. My great grandpa is really old and messed up but still funny as hell.
16. His dog Papito is cute as hell but INFESTED with ticks.
17. Wallgreens is everywhere
18. Sprite Zero is awesome.
19. My cousin is a producer of a tv show out there AND an investor in one of the clubs in San Juan, verrrry good to know.
20. I missed everyone and was stressed out at times but I do think I can handle living there.

There were more things to add to this but I think this is enough for now.

Just a note to everybody

August 15, 2009

Just letting you all know that I shall be in Puerto Rico for a week with my mom and best friend, Jay.

It should be fun. Despite getting hit with The Curse a day before my trip the good news is, I will still have enough time to get out to this beach this trip around. I’m going to help my great grandpa with somethings, (ie getting his money into a bank instead of it being stored in his mattress and freezer… I shit you not, getting him a shopping cart because he cant lift like he used to, and double checking that his water is working) Hes weakened a lot. He still manages to get around though and for 98, hey thats pretty good.

Aside from that we will be doing a bit of sight seeing, eating, (cheating on my rules….just a little bit, not going crazy), relaxing on the beach, enjoying the beauty of La Isla de Encanta, and yes deeply thinking about moving down there.

We found out that the apartment we are renting for the week is for sale for 335 grand. I know that seems pricey, but for a New Yorker like myself, a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom in the Condado area of San Juan right next to the lagoon, and a block away from the buses is pretty fucking reasonable.

Now can we afford that? Hell to the no! But… If thats the price of one apartment in that area it gives us something to think about.

All in all it should be a nice vacation. Yes, Im terrified of air travel but I am trying to calm myself down and I know things will go ok.

Til then!

Music Review: Amanda Palmer

August 13, 2009
The Great Amanda Palmer with the Danger Ensemble

The Great Amanda Palmer with the Danger Ensemble

You don’t come across musicians like Amanda Palmer as often as you would like (well, at least as often as I would like!).

Back in the day musicians, painters, actors, writers, all joined together to live their art. They would have collaborations and feed each others creativity. It was supposed to be. The knowledge that every artistic endeavor, be it music or fine art accented the other. Art in all its forms were each others’ muse.

Today, while we respect the different genres and classifications of art, we don’t see bands like Fall Out Boy having intense artistic retreats with painters or poets. These days all we see is the celebrity. The parties they go to and make spectacles of themselves so they can be famous. Its not about growing as an artist.

Now granted, I’m not saying ALL are like that and who knows, maybe Pete Wentz and Maya Angelou do have tea parties in the park discussing culture and its influence in art. I’m not a paparazzo so how would I know? My point is, if it is happening, you sure as hell don’t hear about it as often as I feel is important.

NOW BACK TO AMANDA!!

If you don’t know who Amanda Palmer is, for shame! You totally should! Massachusetts-brewed Amanda Palmer first made herself known to the masses (ok well I can only speak for me) in the punk cabaret band The Dresden Dolls. Now focusing on her solo work for the time being she has a most fabulous album called “Who Killed Amanda Palmer”. I have to tell you, this woman already impressed me and won me over in The Dresden Dolls, they are one of my favorite bands but she has won my respect and support in all her future endeavors with this album.

This album floored me. I heard the album and songs like Runs in the Family, Astronaut, Guitar Hero, Oasis (to name only a small few) were just smacks of shock to my face. Only Amanda could make Oasis (a song about rape and abortion) a fun little diddy. The emotions run rampant in this whole album, its funny, scary, sad, and makes you think. Its real. Its life. When I first heard the cd I loved all the songs, still do. Later on I realized through the magic of Youtube, that she did a dvd video compilation to go along with many of the songs from the album. I heard the whole album and didn’t realized that the songs were dipicting a story. Its a musical. At least thats what I got from it. Very avant guarde and contemporary. I watched it and it made me cry.

*note to everyone, when something artistic makes me cry…. its a fabulous thing*

I will be honest, if you are looking for an angelic, innocent sound like Tori Amos or Kate Bush, then you’re out of luck. Although she follows in their footsteps when it comes to imagery and boldness in their lyrics, the sound isn’t ethereal. Tori makes the music sound innocent and pure with her voice and composing of music while Kate uses prose and symbolic wording. I love both but Amanda handles it differently. She much more brave in her songs. Yes its beautiful, shes an amazing pianist, you can tell when she’s playing the emotion is hitting those keys. Yes she may not have the angelic voice Tori or Kate has but the love and the emotion is in it 10 times more. It’s real. It’s home. Its your eccentric cousin laying down her weirdness for you to hear. She may be the black sheep of the family but you look forward to sitting next to her and listening to what she has to say because although you may be more quiet, shes pretty much saying things most of us are afraid to hear yet we all relate to in one way, shape, or form. She has no problem being blunt. Who knew being blunt and honest could be so fucking beautiful???

Aside from the music, she is still one of the most artistic people I have ever heard and read about. Her blog (look to the left of my page shes the first one on my blog roll) and twitter are endless pictures and discussions about meetings with fellow artists, working on different projects, traveling the world, doing her own art, and helping other artists with their own projects. This is a woman who thinks like the artists of the past did and I fucking love that!!! Artistry can have a focus on music but music alone can be boring. Fine art, poetry, theater, all of it need to be in constant contact. It needs to be discussed, worshiped, praised, and studied. You can tell in Amanda’s style and in her way of thinking that she believes in a mantra that follows these ideals.

Oh! One thing I always thought was really awesome about her! Before she really made it to where she is now, she would make money as a performance artist in the streets of Boston. She was the Eight Foot Bride, a living statue. Here’s a pic:

Amanda Palmer as the Eight Foot Bride

Amanda Palmer as the Eight Foot Bride

Whenever I see Amanda and hear her speak or blog, it makes me so happy. No I’m not an obsessed with the woman (I’m too lazy AND too busy at the same time so yeah never gonna happen for ANYONE) in fact, that’s WHY I think she’s so awesome. She doesn’t come off as better than anyone. She’s an equal. I’m friends with people like her. She’s an artist who is just an artist and enjoys being so. As an aspiring actress, writer, and singer, seeing her do what she does, doesn’t make me wish I was her, because shes just like me. It just makes me feel good to know I’m not alone in my way of thinking. That its possible to be that way and be successful.

Artistry is all. If you need to know what that means, do your research. Check out Amanda Fucking Palmer!

Video time. God, there are soo many to choose from. This is the video for Runs In the Family which is part 4 of the “Who Killed Amanda Palmer” video series. I highly suggest checking them all out in order.

My Amanda Palmer Music Blog…. not yet…

August 8, 2009

Yeah my next music review is to be about the most awesome Amanda Palmer.

I havent written it yet, apparently. Im kinda nervous about it. I mean, I want it to be perfect. I want it to describe everything I feel when I listen to her. How her blogs, tweets, and interviews give me a drive to succeed. I want it to be reasonable and honest.

Why am I so intense on this particular review?

I want her to read it. I know it sounds stupid but I follow her on twitter and when fans comment and whatnot she does normally take the time out to respond. I would hope she would be able to see my mention of the music review and read it.

I dont even want anything out of it to be honest. I just want her to read something that would make her happy. I mean for me if someone wrote something about the work I do and acknowledge and respect it, it would help my self confidence if only for a minute.

However yes, there is a very reasonable and logically chance that she wont read i and as bummed as that would make me, it wouldnt change anything. It would still be really important because its a way of improving my writing. I want people to want to read my blogs and look forward to them, to reminisce about an artist from the past, to discuss their own opinions about artists I may not like that they do or vice versa. I love to talk about music and I really hope people want to discuss it with me.

here’s hoping!

Dear Ryan O’Neal

August 5, 2009

Ryan I just would like to say first and foremost, I am truly truly sorry for your loss of the love of your life, Miss Farrah Faucett. Unlike some people I actually do believe that you did truly love her. I know you will miss her terrible and the adjustment will be a long and hard road.

That all being said, I would still like to make sure that you know…. I don’t like you. You are a creepy creepy man. You have been creepy since the moment I ever saw you with your daughter Miss Tatum O’Neal.

I say that I don’t like you but I DO believe you are just a very mentally disturbed man who has many many problems. However I dont pity you because it seems like you are aware you have problems yet you do nothing to help yourself. You havent in all the years of your children’s lives so why should you do it now?

There is a reason why Farrah never married you. She knew you were sick. She felt sorry for you and did love you up to the very end but she knew marriage was not going to help either of you.

You admitted believing it was funny that you hit on your own daughter at the funeral. A) Eww, B) EWWWW.
A) because thats your daughter. B)DUDE THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE JUST DIED AND YOU WERE HITTING ON WOMEN?!?

Your kids dont like you. You and your kids do not have a bond. A family needs a father figure yet they all resorted to drugs. What does that tell you??? Dontcha think maybe they were driven to it by having a father who really sucked at being one??

I dont blame you directly for their drug taking. No matter what the exuses are in the world for people being driven to drug use, they themselves are the ones that take the initiative of using knowing the damage it can cause. Whether you helped them along like your eldest son claimed on Larry King the other day or not, really doesnt change the fact that they still did them on their own. Your daughter had a drug problem, your two sons had AND have drug problems. Get the clue big guy, you screwed up somewhere.

I dunno how I would feel if I exclaimed the truth about my own father and in return he bold face lied to reports just to cover his own ass.

Ryan, honey, now you need to understand something. You can lie all you want but you need to understand…. the whole world KNOWS you suck at your parenting duties.

I honestly would respect you more if you admitted that you were a lousy dad. I mean the fact of the matter is many people arent cut out for the job. It doesnt make you a bad guy it just makes you a bad father. It makes you a bad guy when you try to pass off things like they arent your fault.

Dude, in your interview you actually said you were surprised how none of them are in jail at the moment. What the hell is wrong with you??

I truly wish you sanity, Ryan. I dont like you but I dont hate you. I just think you need a lot of help and need to learn to face facts and just admit your flaws. It would ease up that troubled mind we all know you have. I can see it, I really can. When I saw you in the documentary it was obvious that you genuinely WANT to be a good person, you just fuck up a lot. Admit to the fucking up, try to fix things at least a little bit and your mind would be more at rest. I seriously hate seeing people go on they way you do.

Take care, and I know Farrah is your Angel!

Natalia

Music Review: Amanda Marshall

August 5, 2009
Thiks pic doesnt do that mane of hair justice!

Thiks pic doesnt do that mane of hair justice!

Amanda Marshall really was someone I listened to A LOT in the late 90’s. Alanis came out pretty much around the time I was growing weary of MTV and their LACK of substantial music videos. Everyone was popular and over played and thats admittedly yet another of my many pet peeves. Its stupid I know, but when a musician that I like becomes overplayed, I lose interest.

So I found myself blaming Mtv a lot and found salvation in a Canadian based music channel called Much Music. Sadly this channel has become Fuse and I dont watch that channel either anymore but back in the mid to late 90s it was my salvation for some good music. I ended up become huge fans of many female singer songwriters in the folk/rock scene. People like Alanis Morissette, Jann Arden, Bif Naked, and of course, Amanda Marshall.

That voice is an amazing one to listen to. I mean its raspy, soulful, alternative, and folky. It turned me on. No joke.

Amanda Marshall is this tiny little woman with this HUGE main of blonde hair I envy to this very day! You see this tiny little thing and hear that voice and you think “Wha?? Nahh …. did that noise just come out of her mouth???Whoaaa!”

I am a fan of cheesiness, I dont deny it. At least to a respectable level, and yes she too has crossed the borders at times HOWEVER her songs are powerful and epic. Let it Rain was what sold me. Beautiful Goodbye I heard when I was a figure skating freak and Rosalyn Sumners skated to it. The powerful ending where she says the lines “Sometimes I cryyyyyy, Its a fools lullaby” to this day sticks with me. Her hit that crossed the Canadian border was Birmingham which was about a woman leaving an abusive relationship and not looking back. Around this time Elton John was really bitchy about musicians that were coming out and he praised Amanda Marshall which I thought was cool cuz I didnt realize how respected she was in the business but I mean, with that talent and voice, I guess it was just supposed to happen.

After that album (which was self titled) she came out with one called Tuesday’s Child. I really only liked one song from it because she hit that snag of sounding great but EVERY song pretty much sounded the same to me. If I Didnt Have You was an awesome song, but ask me what the other songs were on that album, and pshh… damned if I remember!

What I love about Amanda is shes not fucking stupid and blinded by record execs and fame. She KNEW she needed to switch it up and she did. Everybody’s Got a Story was her 3rd album and she changed it around a bit. There were more dancey and pop like but didnt lose her folkish heart. Songs like Sunday Morning After were AWESOME. “Its the sunday morning after and baby who the hell are you?!?!”, she was having fun with this album and it showed. She also was giving it to the people that pissed her off like in the song Double Agent. In this song she is expressing her disgust at people who use racial stereotypes and dont realize that they insult her when they do. “Im a double agent on my momma’s side…” refers to her bi racial upbringing (father Caucasian, mother Carribean-Canadian) and how people would say things that were derogatory in her presence not realizing how it made THEM look. This was probably her most biographical album out of them all.

Since then Amanda hasn’t really done anything. She kinda disappeared. I mean shes around but she hasnt released a cd since. There is an expectation for her to have a new one next year but its not verified. Shes never been one for the celebrity status and has kept a low profile so who knows when we shall be honored by her presence in the music business again. Here’s hoping!

This is the video to Sunday Morning After. I find the song itself really funny and wish it was on a karaoke list somewhere!! Haha!

Music Review: Altered Images

August 4, 2009
Altered Images

Altered Images

I know sooooooo many of my friends have NO idea who this band was. They are a brit band from the 80s led by a pint size pixie of a singer named Clare Grogan. Their hits which only really charted in the UK were I Could Be Happy, Happy Birthday, and Pinky Blue.

I honestly am not into them as much as I probably would have liked to be. They really came out of the 80s punk scene after Siouxsie and the Banshees, but were never dark, they were extremely cheerful sounding and just damn adorable! The problem is I only knew of I Could Be Happy and Happy Birthday, they were the only songs that I remember hearing on the radio and seeing on MTV back in the day. I tried looking for stuff from them and its really hard. Sadly I dont have any of their albums. Honestly Im sure NOW I most likely wouldnt be too into them.

I have to thank the stars for Youtube and my friends Wendy and Chris for getting me to watch Nevermind the Buzzcocks. A brit panel show that focuses on music and usually has Brit stars on it from the past and current. Clare Grogan was on it and she really is a tiny pixie that is silly a bit ditzy but loveable!

The band eventually broke up and Clare tried solo work and then became a prominent British tv and film actress starring in shows like Red Dwarf, Eastenders, and Father Ted. The band kinda reunited but more than likely just Clare leading with a different lineup.

I highly recommend checking them out just for the sheer feeling of “OOOOOOHHHHH NOW I remember them!”

Here is the video for Happy Birthday:

Music Review: Allister

August 3, 2009
Allister

Allister

Allister is a band originating from Chicago. Mainly pop punk they have been around since early 2000 and are still going with a new line up. Technically they are on hiatus, but they havent broken up.

I dunno the whole pop punk thing I cant get into if the songs have no substance. At least Blink 182 are clever and funny with their songs. Allister really doesnt do anything for me.

I also find it annoying when you “claim” to be punk, “claim to do a PUNK cover of a song, yet the song doesnt sound punk at all. All you did was cover it, bro.

Seriously the only songs I enjoy listen to are two covers. The first (and best) is their cover of Fraggle Rock. Its awesome. It makes for a cool punk song. I give them props for that. The other is their cover of Backstreet Boys, I Want It That Way. Its a good cover but its NOT punk. They kinda backfired on the whole, “lets make fun of this song” route and just did a so so cover.

They dont have HORRIBLE original songs, they just dont do anything for me. They all sound the same so I just dont find them interesting.

Here’s a video: Its for their song “Alotta Nerve” The video is kinda lame I wont even lie.

Music Review: All American Rejects

August 3, 2009
Your typical emo boy band

Your typical emo boy band

Ok, up until this point I think I can safely say I have been for the most part, kind. I may have negative feedback on artists but they are on my itunes for a reason so I always have something good to say about them as well and do my best to focus on that. I will TRY to be the same with this particular band but I gotta be honest, its gonna be haaaarrrrdddd…..

The All American Rejects. *sigh* I dunno you guys I am not a fan. I have ALWAYS had an issue with bands like this. Its a mix of lack of originality and over hyped publicity that really make it difficult for me to enjoy a band. Its the same recipe for an emo “rock” band and its soooo played out. Im not gonna sit here and be a hypocrite though. Some have in fact won me over but this band really couldnt. They are just sooo lame and boring to me.

I do admittedly find it sweet when bands come from the middle of nowhere. Small town boys who make it big. It tugs at the heartstrings cuz you know damn well when you come from Bubblefuck, Whoknowsit, USA there isnt a lot of promise in finding fame and glory. These guys come from Stillwater, Okla fuckin homa for Pete’s Sake. Whodathunkit?

It also doesnt hurt to have a lead singer that looks like the guy who plays Clark Kent on Smallville if he had an eating disorder (a bit too thin for my liking) and gorgeous bedroom eyes.

And yes, yes, he has a nice voice. The thing is though. How many guys in emo bands SOUND like him? Seriously, Ive lost count. Not to take away from the blessing of having a singing voice but seriously how did they make the cut?

I do like the song Dirty Little Secrets, its up on my itunes. Its a cute song. It sticks with me inside my head from time to time. I have no shame in admitting that.

However THAT BEING ALL SAID. They have a new album out. I just checked out a video from their new album (2008 rather) and I gotta admit, it sounds different. They are trying to evolve and I sincerely respect when a band does that. The song Wind Blows, is actually really nice. Nothing like the other crap theyve done. I give them props for it. I like where they are going and who knows what the future brings, maybe they will make a fan out of me afterall.

I am not a fan of this band though. I respect that they are out there doing what they do, but thats as far as I can go with it. Sorry folks!

Video: The video for the song Gives You Hell. Its pretty bad but pretty funny at the same time. Meh, its all I could find to be honest.