MUSIC, SPIRITUALITY, Uncategorized

Stop thinking you’re listening when all you’re doing is waiting for your chance to speak.

Even if society never seems to learn from the mistakes of our pasts, at least we’ve got artists who never stop screaming with piercing voices and ground shaking bass.

Maybe one day we’ll listen. Like actually listen.

Like, stop thinking we’re listening when what we’re doing is waiting for the speaker to stop so we can say what was on our mind the whole time they were trying to open up to us.

Stop thinking we can ignore the issues of today as though they’ll go away tomorrow.

Stop thinking our problems are bigger than others; face it – we’re in this together so now’s the time to put your ego aside and embrace your neighbour. It’s the only way we’re going to make it through this mess. Politicians survive off fear mongering. Evil, manipulative people survive off of divisiveness – anything to say that you are better than the next person. You’re not better. We’re all a mess. And if you accept it, and accept that the person next to you on the street is just the same as you with a different history, then we’re one step closer to overcoming the politicians’ ploys and the manipulators’ tricks.

Your lack of true listening generates the fuel that feeds the ignorance of the world.

Let’s get smart, people, through collective consciousness… and not just an OM-chanting displaced place of the privileged “wishing/praying” for change… nope, this is the time for real grit and in-person commitment to one another, no matter the colour, time of day, trend of the day, dollar fluctuation, temperature, disaster or award ceremony – fuck those distractions. Connect for real. Get real, get brave with one another, and above all, actually listen to one another every single chance you get.

Metalheadz released this super sick 3-track EP by René LaVice & Future Cut today and this is how it made me feel.

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MUSIC, Uncategorized

Super raw, super real. Two artists who deserve to blow up.

Debby Friday.

Holy shit. Her recorded music is speaker-exploding, her live performance is scintillating.

Bandcamp rated Friday’s “Death Drive” the 26th best album of the year so -gddmn!- you’re bound to see|hear much more from her this year…

Sebastian Paul.

Inexplicably rugged and tender all at the same time. Addictive as fuck, too.

The clever Diplo/Mad Decent crew have already snapped this fella up so – yep you guessed it – big things in store for Paul…

You gotta give artists like this your love. They aren’t holding back one bit – every pore of their souls are poured into every beat, every lyric.

Raw and real, they remind us to be the same.

Get out there and support your local artists.

Love life. Be good to one another. Encourage one another to express yourselves freely and jump up and down and scream in unison when they take the stage and bare their souls. Be brave together. Crush the mediocre together.

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MUSIC, TECH, Uncategorized

Because we appreciate things that don’t last

This is brilliant. What a way to grab people’s attention to your music.

Release music that’s only available for one month.

Do it regularly so you can feature new artists all the time.

And how clever, to produce it easily and give it a super appealing low fi vibe, record it on a phone.

Love it.

Listen to Etran de L’Aïr‘s “Music from Saharan WhatsApp,” buy it, and keep tuned in for more from Sahel Sounds.

“For the year of 2020, Sahel Sounds presents “Music from Saharan WhatsApp.” Every month, we’ll be releasing an EP from a musical group in the Sahel. Every album will be recorded on a cellphone, and transmitted over WhatsApp, and uploaded to Bandcamp – where it will live for one month only. Available for pay as you want, 100% of the sales will go directly to the artist or group. After one month, the album will be replaced by another one, until the end of the year.” ~ Read more about this wicked project on their Bandcamp page.

/// another example of how brilliant and artist-supporting Bandcamp is. I’m such a fan of this platform. ///

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ART, MUSIC, Uncategorized

Must listen album of 2019, with caveat

One of the most powerful and moving and important albums of the year, you must listen to Lingua Ignota’s “Caligula.”

The caveat? It’s heavy as fuck. The subject matter is dark (read Revolver’s excellent article), but that’s what makes this such an important album: the artist is taking the material on with fierce ferocity.

I witnessed her performance live in Vancouver on Dec 1, and as I tweeted, Vancouver just got Lingua Ignota’d.

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While the audience was awaiting Daughters, the entire venue (Rickshaw) was absolutely transfixed by Lingua Ignota’s performance. Silence during each song, and heartfelt applause after each and every one. We knew this was not a show for shock value. This was the real deal.

In my notes, I wrote:

The piano driven passion of Tori Amos with the impossibly epic goth vocals of Esben and the Witch and theatricality of Zola Jesus. Fucking unreal. Rickshaw was stunned and in love.

If the artist doesn’t agree with any of those references, I must say I mention them with total respect. Of course, you cannot compare anyone of such unique artistic expression as Lingua Ignota to anyone before.

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ART, MUSIC, TECH

Could research tools revolutionize the arts?

Through my current communications and marketing job, I come across a lot of very cool projects. Did I ever mention how satisfying and inspiring it is to realize that researchers are the same as artists – creating new things because they are driven to – only they work in academia, as opposed to nonprofits?

Anyway, the most recent inspiring thing I came across is this: The OSF (Open Science Framework). It’s “a free and open source project management repository that supports researchers across their entire project lifecycle.” In short, it makes researcher’s projects easier to manage, by allowing contributors, with the option to make parts of the project public. It manages files, data, code… streamlining everything to increase efficiency.

Read all about it here: cos.io/our-products/osf/

I want to do the same for the arts! Does anyone know a programmer I could work with and some grants I could tap into? Let’s make this happen!

I’ve been thinking a lot about bringing techniques and tools used by academic researchers into the world of art creation to shake up how artists do what they do. Sure, a lot of artists might not be into it, but I believe there are also a lot who would be! Those artists who already work in digital media or coding, for sure. Then the ones who regardless of their medium are already tweeting, streaming video, or using modern tech to further their careers.

If you’ve got any ideas on this subject or know anyone who’s already doing this, I’d appreciate if you’d share what you know! Send me your comments.

Oh, and I’m rarely going to end a post without some inspiring visuals or music. Here’s what’s been getting me going the last couple of days. New stuff!

Brand new Methyl Ethel album. This Aussie artist is so unique; this new stuff is on another level: Listen to Triage
(track 7 – wow!)

And I’ve always been a sucker for drum and bass, and Nobody Asks by TMSV is where it’s at.

Till next time, peace, love, art and respect!

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MUSIC

Feelin’ Good, Every Season

Because this groove is just so irresistible.

I actually first heard this on Nightmares On Wax’s Late Night Tales album. But it’s a remixed version. Still awesome as f**k, and I’ll tell you, I played that album back in the day (mid-2000’s).

But hearing this full version is even better. Have to admit: while I recognized Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz)’s voice, I was unaware it was a duo with Tony Allen, Afrobeat legend. Allen is still going strong, most recently recording an EP with techno legend Jeff Mills. What!

That’s mighty inspiring. Legends who just don’t quit! May we all have that level of energy and drive.

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ART, FILM, MUSIC

Here’s to two thousand more

Two years ago today, I launched a little project called VANDOCUMENT.

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I created it because Vancouver has a vibrant passionate arts scene – from theatre to visual art, from contemporary dance to music – and the amount of talent here is huge, the amount of fresh content being created is massive.

It deserved to be – it desperately needed to be – documented. To give the artists and galleries and festivals a record of what they’ve done.
To use as promotion.
To build their portfolios.
To help them continue to do what they love to do most.

And to connect Vancouverites with the best local emerging art. To show that there is SO much more happening than what is advertised at the VAG or coming to the Commodore.
To educate our city in it’s own creative culture.
To break down barriers and preconceptions.
To make our local art more approachable, more accessible.

So this is what we’ve been doing at VANDOC since May 10, 2013.

2 years on, this isn’t just my little project anymore. VANDOC is now a team of over fifty people (!): dozens of incredibly talented and dedicated writers, photographers, videographers, sound recorders, illustrators, dancers, designers, painters, editors, party organizers, social media pros, accountants, musicians, students, researchers.

2 years and hundreds of articles later, our collective ears are to the ground; we’re digging into the best and most exciting art created by Vancouver’s local and emerging artists.

Since the new year alone, we’ve published 29 original articles featuring the work of nearly 100 artists at 24 venues across the city. We tell these stores through gorgeous photo galleries, sensory-packed written reviews and interviews, video recaps, and even field audio recordings.

Some 2015 highlights:

  • We continued our relationship with SFU Woodward’s
  • and with VIVO Media Arts, documenting rad experimental events such as the Quiet City series
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  • We triple-teamed Centre A for a photo / video / written opus
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  • We helped launch a new artist interview podcast series called 8minuteswith
  • We documented some of the new Field House residencies, adding audio field recordings to our documentation tool kit along the way.
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  • Hello Kitty-bordered photos landed in our pages(!)
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  • and we set a precedence for discussing activist art and culture, with #KMFaces, video, in depth reporting and more
    141212_No-Way-Cabaret_Photo-by-Jakub-Markiewicz_0247-531x800

We’re often asked if we need more contributors, since it seems we have a big team (which we do), but the door is always open:
If you dig art & want to help in connecting Vancouverites to our city’s art, and want to help in celebrating our city’s artists through documentation,
if you want to get your writing, photography, video, or voice published
if you want to expand your network of cool, involved, engaged, creative individuals,
say hi!
sayhi(at)vandocument.com

Here’s to our team of over 50 incredible, amazing, inspiring, talented, a wickedly fun contributors! Here’s to Vancouver’s artists! Here’s to all the supporters of the arts! To all the enablers of the arts – those of you who throw events and make it all happen! Happy Birthday!

Support art. Love yourself. Connect with the people around you.

Big love. Here’s to two thousand more brilliant years of arts documentation.
Ash

VANDOC’s channels
fcbk + twitter + vimeo + tumblr + soundcloud + instagram

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