Just random stuff from my design folder.
Just random stuff from my design folder.
It’s entirely too easy to forget that LORDE is not a 34 year old woman channeling her teenage angst to portray youthfulness in a world entirely too overtaken with sex, drugs and the Kardashians. But alas, here she is in her music infancy with an album that excels in areas most artists aren’t even able to touch. She’s able to take her emotions and relay a message of thoughtfulness with an undertone of wit that drives the listener wondering what makes the singer so down and out. Then it becomes clear, LORDE may seem mature (and hell, she most absolutely is) but when it comes down to it, she’s a 17 year old girl gripping with 17 year old girl problems. Nothing makes this point more apparent than the track “Ribs” off of the singer’s debut album, PURE HEROINE.
For me, Ribs is the cornerstone of the entire album, the track that stops everything and makes you truly listen to the croonings of this future Hall of Famer. She battles loneliness and oppression and borderline depression about growing older and leaving a certain mindset forcing her to rethink her situation. She notes that her parents let her stay home to really let the feeling sink in which is such a transformative and universal notion only experienced when one isn’t allowed to make decisions solely on their own.
At first listen, this song appears to be solely focused on the fact that the singer is obsessing over a potential sole mate, possibly falling in love with her best friend. Furthermore, it appears that the singer is feeling the crunch of getting older and wanting to settle down with this person. However, it becomes painfully self aware when the Broken Social Scene song “Lover’s Spit” is referenced. These two songs share very similar symmetry in not only song writing, but also context. In BSS’s tune, it not so shyly alludes to blowjobs and how lonely hooking up becomes after going through the motions a million times. A longing for another is the sole context of that song. In Ribs, LORDE is experiencing this same push by seeing her peers going through the same motions and wanting so much more for herself, wanting to grow out of the norm and become truly unique, which seems to be the common theme in PURE HEROINE.
There are two transformative times in one’s life, the first occurs in the late teenage years when one has to figure out next steps and go through the awkward steps to independence. One usually breaks free of their cliques and rebels against their parents. The other occurs in the mid to late twenties and is usually characterized by boozing, feelings of self loathe and trying to sow some oats before Dirty Thirty, this is caused by the same feelings experienced in the late teenage years. This cycle is so perfectly summed up in Ribs that I can’t wait for LORDE to experience her twenties so she can profess those feelings.
LORDE, you rule.
I did it, I survived SXSW. Although Gabe Shepherd doesn’t agree (he’s often muttered SXSW: 1, Brunty: 0 because I spent the last night asleep on the couch) I feel like I conquered a little bit of Austin this week. For those not familiar with the two-week long conference, let me just say this. For 14 days, the idea of “Austin Texas” goes out the window and 200,000 people descend upon a town to unleash the beast known as South by Southwest. For the first week, the streets are cluttered with older white guys wearing badges looking for a good time; this is known as the Interactive portion. During this time, you can find yourself at a tradeshow engaging in conversation with vendors slinging the hottest new social media service, image suites or website hosts. If you’re lucky, you’ll experience panels with industry-leading professionals in the entertainment industry and in the back of everyone’s head during this time, through buzzwords like ‘synergy’ or ‘engagement’ the same thought is repeating, “where’s the party tonight?”
It’s no secret that SXSW has become one of the hottest party spots in the country masked by keynotes and swag bags, but I had NO idea people could party for a week straight. I mean, I’m a born and raised Vegas dude and this BLEW me away. All you hear about during the day is where the secret party is that night while your phone is blowing up with notifications for scavenger hunts to get into Kendrick Lamar’s secret show. It’s overwhelming in the best way possible. When we first landed in Austin, Gabe warned me that you can’t see it all, boy was he right. You try to experience as much as you can in the hopes that you leave with hitting up a few of the meetings/panels you had hoped to sit in on. This conference is the pinnacle.
The notion of ‘come expecting nothing, leave experiencing everything’ is so utterly true that I simply cannot begin to explain the transformative nature that occurs while at this conference. I found myself having ‘Jimmy Neutron brain blasts’ all day with new ideas on better social media techniques, how activations can push your brand in a way not possible in other marketing mediums, graphic novel ideas, tv show ideas, blogs and just about every other category under the sun. To put it lightly, SXSW is absolutely the most inspiring place I’ve ever been.
So what happens after the interactive folk leave? Well that’s when Austin really lives up to their tagline of “Keep Austin Weird.” During the final days of the interactive portion, you start to notice a climate change. The attendance begins to get lower in age, it starts to smell of patrol oil and flannel pattern is noticed as far as the eye can see. It’s during that time that you realize that the Music portion of SXSW has arrived and the hipsters have overtaken the town.
Luckily, I was only in Austin for a day of the music festival, but that was plenty for me. I’m a pretty weird dude, but even this was a little too weird for me. Walking down 6th trying to get a cab for the airport, I saw a trio of vikings, a John Lennon lookalike, raver girls, a biker gang, a dude that looked like Ab Soul, goths, preps, jocks and every other high school clique you can think of. The music portion of SXSW is when things get rowdy and after a week of walking, interacting, not sleeping and destroying my liver, I was pretty ready to get out of Texas and into my own bed with some True Detective streaming.
So what did I learn this week in Austin? 1. We’re living in an age where we are all broadcasters. Our social networks have become publishing platforms and we’re all lending our own voice to the universe in a way that has never been possible before. 2. I can’t party like I thought I could. I think it’ll be a long time before you see me at The Gold Spike. 3. Vegas hipsters aren’t that bad, really. Go to another city and experience their hipsters or better yet, go to Austin during the music portion and experience all of America’s hipsters and you’ll learn to hate hipsters all over again! 4. I’m never missing another SXSW again. This is the most important conference you can attend as a marketing professional and content creator. The things you learn in a week at SXSW will rival that what most people learn in their career lifetimes. If you have the chance to go to Austin during this conference, do not pass up the opportunity to better understand your career, your passions, your limited and most importantly your self.
Oh and I finally met our one true god, Nicolas Cage.:)
Well it’s official kiddos, we’ve got ourselves a gallery space! Nestled in the heart of downtown, we’re located at Emergency Arts on the 1st floor right across from our friends at DTLV. We can’t wait to show you what we have in store for the space, but first, I wanted to take a minute to fill you in on why we decided to get our own gallery space instead of utilizing some of the amazing spots in and around downtown Las Vegas.
We announced on Monday that we were looking and now, three days later, we have the keys in our hand and are starting to move in this weekend. A lot of you are probably thinking, “well that was quick” or “think you may have rushed that, dudes?” The short answer to that is, “no.” You see, it’s always been in the cards that Jacob and I were going to go in on a space, since Day 1 of 80s Kid-ness, we have talked about opening a brick and mortar in some form or fashion. After our interview with Lucy Vegas (which you can read by clicking here) we went skateboarding around Fremont Street, way east of where everyone hangs out. We started seeing development, the future of what DT will look like and started talking about how badly we wish to own some of those buildings. The conversation then went to “why not?” instead of “wouldn’t it be cool if?” and we started trekking around looking for our dream spots. Once reality set in and we remembered that we’re a couple of 20-somethings without a huge bank account, we started really thinking about where our dream spot would be and simultaneously we said “The Beat.” You see, The Beat has always been very special to us, it was the heart of downtown when we first started hanging out there three years ago and honestly, our favorite galleries are housed there. We’ve seen our friends exhibit there, we’ve seen murals go up and murals come down and most importantly, it’s the only place that truly understands artists. So, we hopped back on our skateboards, skate or died our way to The Beat and got all necessary contact info. Fast foward to today and the lease is signed and so begins what is known to us as Phase 2 of The 80s Kids, we’re officially art curators.
Ok, so now the second part of the equation, “why didn’t you just utilize someone else’s space in town to showcase your work?” That’s a good question rhetorical reader, it’s an easy answer really but not easy to address so I’ll tread lightly. Gallery owners are in this business for one reason, to make money, most curators will only showcase work that they either 1. know will sell or 2. are known to sell. SO, 80s inspired pop art isn’t really on the top of gallery’s list to showcase because $20 prints won’t make them much commission so they stick to fine art which yields high price points and potentially lots of money flow. It’s basic business logic and I’m not faulting them for thinking this way, but after being denied multiple times or just plainly not hearing back from almost every gallery in town, it’s time that we do it ourselves. The really exciting part is that The 80s Kids gallery space won’t just be a spot for us to show our own work, we want to make sure that people in our position don’t get snubbed like we did for the past year and a half. Oftentimes, artists have a few pieces, not enough for a full show but want to showcase their work. In fact, we have tons of talented friends who make one offs that are AMAZING. Well, now it’s time to give those artists a place to shine, a place to show their pieces. It’s about community and it’s about time to show that off for the little guys because art isn’t about commissions.
I’m sitting here typing with shaking fingers looking at blank walls excitedly picturing what this space is going to look like with a fresh coat of paint and some depressed monsters murals. I hope you’re as excited as I am for this space because it is literally a dream come true for me and just one of the exciting things about to happen this year. Stay tuned. :)
“Que a una chica le gusten las mismas porquerías raras que a ti, no significa que sea tu alma gemela”
I’m a clown. I know most of you already know this, but I don’t take myself seriously at all. What many of you don’t know is that I mask my self-esteem issues, pitfalls and general insecurities with humor to mentally deter myself from dwelling on that which makes me a very sad individual. What even fewer people know about me is that I’m a very, very depressed person that has issues with trust, honesty and communication. Due to these incongruities in my personality, I’ve burned a lot of bridges and left people feeling cheated, disarmed and/or distrustful which makes me fall into a deeper shell masked by a smile and tasteless/crude humor. I’ve battled with depression for the better part of my life and grew up in a family in which personality detriments were to be unspoken and brushed under a rug in order to pursue a greater feeling of general approval. I didn’t find out until I was in my early 20s that my entire family battles the same feelings of inadequacy and depression and instead of banding together, we were conditioned to mask these feelings with biting sarcasm and an air of betterness that is unwarranted. In an effort to “build more open and honest relationships,” I’ve decided to detail my history with depression, this past year of my life and my steps to recovery and how I’m dealing with depression today. This is the hardest year.
I was fortunate enough to have a perfect childhood full of family trips, an abundance of love and most importantly, parents that loved me. That’s not to say perfection doesn’t have its pitfalls, but for the purpose of this post, it was perfect. Despite the perfection of my upbringing, I constantly battled with thoughts of unworthiness, social anxiety and bitterness. No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake these feelings. My family life was wonderful, I had three amazing siblings and parents that loved each other with a mom that was the definition of an amazing parent. She was nurturing and caring and the mom that every kid wanted for themselves on field trips. Needless to say, I used to get jealous quite a bit of a dude named Chad hugging my mom way too much, but this helped me better cope with the emotions behind it and that I couldn’t always have things my way. As I graduated elementary school where I was well-liked and had friends who shared my mutual interest of comic books, action figures and Star Wars, I entered a world of puberty, awkwardness and stupidity: Junior High.
If there’s one word to describe middle school, it’s uncomfortable. For a pipsqueeky blonde kid that kind of resembles Macauley Culkin in wearing a Wolverine shirt, it also spelled disaster for my social life. I was bullied in junior high and I was bullied hard. I remember hating waking up to go to school because I knew I was in for a day of harassment, fear and verbal/physical intimidation. There was a six foot two Latino kid that decided to make my life a living hell just because I was short and liked nerd stuff. There aren’t many people i wish ill upon, this kid was a giant ball of horrible. Think Hitler mashed up with Kim Kardashian and you pretty much had this asshole. I didn’t talk alot in junior high because I felt my opinions were invalid so I found solace in video games and music, two escapes I still partake in today. My days were long and dreadfull full of torment, my afternoons were spent in Hyrule or battling Shinra while discovering bands that explained how much growing up sucks. (ie Pop Punk) Some days I would lock myself in my room and record songs off the radio that spoke to me on a cassette tape or call radio stations to request songs just to hear them again. I would put “Dookie” by Green Day on repeat for hours just to listen to reassure myself that there was another world out there that was far better than the world I was living in now. This lasted for two and a half grueling years.
Just to give you an example of what I had to deal with, here are a few antecdotes that I can laugh about today and ended up being life altering in the best way possible. Of course they both involve girls.
In sixth grade, I was in an all-girl flute class. No, I didn’t play flute but there were only three oboe players in the entire school and I happened to be one of them and so we were thrown into the flute class. I had to deal with the constant giggles that this associated me with and instead of taking control of the situation and embracing the fact that I was the only boy in an estrogen-lad class, I did what any beta male would do and kept to myself. In this class, the lead cheerleader had her posse of cheerleader friends who were particularly nasty and who I, of course, had a crush on. On April 1st, she decided to ask me out. My heart fluttered and I thought my life was about to change. Instead, I thought better of it and told her to ask me again the next day. She never spoke with me again.
Later that year, my GATE class had a play about the 60s. We danced and sang and it didn’t do much to convince me that I was in a Gifted and Talented Educated class, but that’s besides the point. One day during rehearsals, a cute girl was talking to me and then said she wanted to kiss me. Again, my heart flutters as I was about to experience my first kiss and I shyly whisper, “yes.” She proceeds to put her fingers over my lips and kiss her fingers while simultaneously kneeing me in the balls as hard as she could. I keeled over and over the next few days, my testicle swelled to the size of a softball. To make matters worse, I had to show my mom my nut. Word from the wise, avoid showing your mom your nut at any cost, it’s not a fun time.
Anyway, that was just sixth grade. Seventh and half of eighth were just as bad and full of more horrible stories, but for the sake of my sanity, I won’t delve into those and will just keep them as suppressed memories. :) However, in the middle of my eighth grade year, something amazing happened. I joined a band. Overnight it seemed, I became cool. (Whatever that means.) The popular kids were talking to me, I was invited to skateboard with kids after school, my opinion in music was regarded instead of trashed. I spent four months on the other side of things and boy, was it a breath of fresh air. My entire demeanor changed and I didn’t mind going to school. This was the end of Chapter 1 in depression.
Chapter 2 began in college. I got cheated on. Hard. I found out in front of an entire school assembly during a poem being read by the principal. Every eye in the auditorium looked at me and it fell silent as I got up and left that gym. It hit me pretty hard. I’m not saying it was unwarranted, but it was definitely a difficult thing to go through. Cue the depression. I remember sitting in my dorm room a lot and saying I was “sick.” I think I spent an entire week in my room one time, not leaving for classes or food or anything. Halo 2 also came out that month, so I spent a lot of time playing that. This was the only time in my life that I felt suicidal and that scared me. A lot. I don’t want to go into too many specifics, but it was the most difficult time of my life and I still look back at how hard that semester was. I’ll never forget it.
This was the turning point in my depression, I realized it was a real affliction. I realized that I was a sad person and it gave me a better way to deal with it.