DC-native Young Summer (born Bobbie Allen) creates music that has soft beats, a smooth melody, and a bit of an ’80s vibe to it–in a good way, of course. “Taken” captivates that style almost perfectly. The music video for this song, directed by Allister Ann, is very basic, yet captivating. It’s basically just Young Summer singing in a blue, shiny dress (that reminds me of a mermaid with mirror scales) in the desert amongst various geometric shapes. The simplicity of the music video doesn’t distract you from the actual song itself, which I think is awesome. It allows us to enjoy Young Summer herself and her melodic song at the same time, giving us the best of both worlds.
This song tugged on my emotions a bit; I mean the chorus itself made me want to lie in my bed and cry for no reason. At all. But that is the beauty of music, it can cause us to feel emotions and such that we may have or haven’t felt before. Although I haven’t listened to her full album, Siren, I am pretty sure all of her other songs carry the same brilliant lyrics and melodic, chill vibe. Forget about your troubles this morning, listen, and unwind.
|Recommended by Alecxis Rubic||Monday, July 6th, 2015||No Comments »|
If you’ve heard of JR but can’t put a face to the name, it’s no surprise. He’s kind of like the Banksy of France. No seriously, nobody actually knows exactly who he is, all they know is that he’s an extraordinary photographer and filmmaker. He also has completed some memorable street art in his time, and he’s won a TED prize. So basically, he’s a contemporary art god.
His latest film project, Les Bosquets, which roughly translates to “The Groves,” is based on the story of actor Ladj Ly and the New York City Ballet’s performance of “Les Bosquets,” which found its choreography inspired by the French suburb riots that took place nearly a decade ago.
What’s extraordinary about this trailer is that it incorporates just about every form of modern art—dance, music (did I mention that Pharrell Williams helped compose some of the beats?), street art, performance, and photography. If there’s any video that testifies to JR’s mastery of the arts, it may just be this one. Do yourself a favor and watch it.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Thursday, July 2nd, 2015||No Comments »|
We stumble across lots of cool, interactive projects designed by coders/animators who are looking for new ways to blend art with the digital experience. VOID, a new project produced by Hi-REs, is another interactive experience to join the fray. The project takes you on an immersive experience through space as you fall through a glittery black void, hence the name. The experience is structured much like a book, with a prologue, chapters, and an epilogue. However, the narrative is nonlinear, telling the tale of various black mirrors and ice that can be clicked to reveal cool effects. But if you approach VOID expecting an actual storytelling experience, you’ll be disappointed. Instead, forget trying to figure out the point of VOID and instead focus on simply enjoying the experience, especially the interactivity. Each chapter has a different, cool effect to play with, making it fun for mindless tinkering. Sit back, and fall into it.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Thursday, July 2nd, 2015||No Comments »|
In Kim Wright’s new novel The Canterbury Sisters, nine women meet up for a walking pilgrimage to Canterbury. The women agree to amuse themselves on their walk by each telling a tale about love, combining the themes of Chaucer and chick-lit.
It’s a little bit confusing keeping track of all the characters. Narrator Che worries about the same thing and uses her mental mnemonics to remember their names. But as the stories unfold, the women tie into their Chaucerian counterparts and it’s easier to identify them. For example, Claire tells a story of her fourth husband’s racy secret, and how it destroyed their marriage, and she ends by giving up on marriage and taking up with the young pool boy, just in case you weren’t sure if she’s the wife of Bath.
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Thursday, July 2nd, 2015||No Comments »|
When it comes to Japanese dream-pop musicians (Cokiyu, Sapphire Slows, Cuushe), sometimes it’s hard to distinguish their sound from one another. There’s a particular formula to the genre–whispery voices floating over twinkling, glitchy electro–that hasn’t really changed much since 2003. But Noah, a new voice in the scene, is changing that. While the foundation of what makes J-electro is still there, she manages to finally drag the genre kicking and screaming into 2015, complete with a fresh r&b/trip-hop sound that conjures FKA Twigs or Jessy Lanza over any of the other Japanese musicians I mentioned. Her appropriately titled 2015 mixtape, Mood, wavers between ghostly hip-hop with an ambient air, while her debut full-length, Sivutie, hints at an even more fully-realized sound.
I haven’t listened to Sivutie yet, but its single, “Flaw,” gives a taste of what to expect. While a slight departure from Mood, “Flaw” shows that Noah is more than willing to take bold, new steps outside of what people typically expect from dream pop. And the video ain’t bad either. Double win.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, July 1st, 2015||No Comments »|
K.I. Press explores the very human desire for intimacy in her riveting poetry collection Exquisite Monsters. Unlike other poets who might have chosen to use flowery language as they explore the depths of the human psyche, Press’s writing seems jarring at first. She juxtaposes topics such as motherhood and mourning with bizarre imagery and metaphors. From quirky pop culture facts to biomechanical androids, Press is fearlessly and unashamedly weird. However, if you stick with her bizarre collection, you’ll soon discover how she combines such disjointed topics into one whole. With vicious wit and a deft hand, Press takes her readers on a dark journey through our desire for intimacy.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, July 1st, 2015||No Comments »|
Everybody knows that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were soulmates—and in this vintage interview footage of them from 1966, it’s pretty clear to see. Just listen to the way they adoringly support each other during the footage, not only verbally but physically as well. At one point Taylor blurts out, ”Well we love each other. Our occupation has nothing to do with our emotions.” And at another, you can actually see Burton dabbing her with a handkerchief before dabbing himself. It’s short, it’s simple, but it holds all the emotions of a love meant to last a lifetime. Watching this interview feels like you’re looking right into the souls of both Taylor and Burton, because that’s just how transparent their love appeared.
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Wednesday, July 1st, 2015||No Comments »|