Browsed by
Category: Musings

… better together…

… better together…

I realize that I’ve been using a lot of swears lately to acknowledge the elephant in the room. I can’t help it, I have an Italian mother, and sometimes a good old fashioned expletive is the only way to truly convey the frustration I feel every time I turn on the news. Over the past couple of months it has been quite challenging to watch/listen without a deep sense of dread while exclaiming “are you fucking kidding me?” It seems like, everyday, there is a new offense to [fill in the blank: logic, civility, science, compassion, respect, civil rights… I could go on].

I’m generally a positive person, which is why its been so hard to “check-in” and stay informed about these daily events. Hypocrisy is something that I have great difficulty with, I find it to be a tell-tale indicator of a charlatan or manipulator. Unfortunately, there is a lot of snake oil being sold. With that being said, it is completely reckless and irresponsible to “check-out” right now, because there are entirely too many shenanigans going on.

I’ve been mulling on all of this over the past weeks, trying to figure out what I can do as a artist. How can I use my voice to incite an intellectual renaissance. Okay okay, yeah, that’s a little grandiose for some little cog with a blog. But I feel the need to add something to the collective consciousness.

Protest-Bots

So I’ve sent Protest-Bots out into the world, carrying a simple message of unity. A message to remind everyone that we all work better together. If we are going to truly change the world and make EVERYWHERE great, we need to do it together.

A post shared by Happi Devil (@happidevil) on

A post shared by Happi Devil (@happidevil) on

Wake up…
Stay Informed…
Cite your sources…
Call out the lies… and most importantly…
Get Better.

Lush: a set list infographic.

Lush: a set list infographic.

Last night I was lucky enough to see Lush perform at the Roxy on Sunset. The show was rescheduled from April 14th, due to the band having some visa issues [boo!]. Miki was gracious and unnecessarily apologized for having to delay the show to a crowd that had already forgiven the issue. It was wonderful to see and hear the band perform live, and despite being such a small venue, the band sounded massive and full.

Lush April 25 Roxy Setlist
… because I like making graphics…

The setlist favored Gala with Split coming in a close second with one track less at six. Personal highlights for me, aside from the obvious “De-Luxe” and “For Love,” were “Lovelife,” “Undertow,” and “Lit Up.” The new track “Out of Control” slipped so effortlessly into the set, and was absolutely stunning to hear live.

But the show stealer was definitely “Sweetness and Light,” they absolutely slayed the track so much so that I wasn’t even mad that they didn’t play “Nothing Natural.” And I would be lying if I said I didn’t get a little misty when they came out for the second encore and Miki dedicated “Monochrome” to Chris.

Hopefully this little teaser will be a lead in to great things on the horizon and not just a little taste of nostalgia.

Full Setlist in text form [cause yer boring and don’t like infographics]

Lush
April 25th 2016
The Roxy

De-Luxe
Breeze
Kiss Chase
Hypocrite
Lovelife
Thoughtforms
Light From a Dead Star
Undertow
Lit Up
Etheriel
Scarlet
For Love
Out of Control
Ladykillers
Downer
Sweetness and Light

[Encore]
Stray
Desire Lines
Leaves Me Cold

[Encore]
Monochrome

And don’t you know you’re beautiful

And don’t you know you’re beautiful

Now I’m not going to pretend to be a music blogger, but there are some things that just warrant more than a simple post and share on the FaceSpace [but please, by all means, post and share this…].

Lush is definitely one of my favorite bands, and I still listen to them fairly regularly, but its been a while since I’ve listened to their album “Spooky” on headphones. Sometimes moments align and you are struck and simply cannot do anything more than occupy the space that exists between the two speakers in your ears.

“Nothing Natural” has always been damn near a perfect song to me. The bass line starts with a determined stride, encircled with the swirling jangle of the guitar that becomes becomes a wailing wash of reverby joy. Down to Emma Anderson’s beautifully dream like lyrics sung with a wistful longing by Miki Berenyi:

The seasons shining in your hair
And it was more than I could bare
But I can see you in my smile
And you are only beautiful

I’m not going to wax poetic with a ten paragraph essay on every measure of the song. I’ll just say, do yourself a favor, pop in your headphones and lose yourself for 5 minutes and 54 seconds.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

“When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” – CS Lewis

I was reading an article on BoingBoing.net that made a reference to an essay titled “On Three Ways of Writing for Children” written by CS Lewis. The catalyst for the article was a Slate post that essentially said as an adult you shouldn’t read “Young Adult” books. To which I say, “whatever,” while ironically holding my thumbs and index fingers up in a “w.”

But while reading the three points by CS Lewis, I was really struck by the quote above. It really is something to try and embody. It sort of goes along with a lyric from the Broken Bells song “The Changing Lights” that resonated with me this past weekend “you wanna sin, but yer too shy.”

The more we inhibit ourselves from fear of what other people think, the less we are living… its not a new concept… just a reminder… We should strive to allow ourselves to be silly with impunity! 

Just a thought… here is a song…

You are here.

You are here.

I came across a very compelling page by Josh Worth today [thanks Boing Boing]. He put together a wonderful piece that illustrates the emptiness of our solar system. This is something that has always fascinated me as I look up at the night sky and try to pick out our planets vs. the early evening stars. There is so much nothing, and yet, the universe expands into further nothing. A void, but does the void exist in something? An ending that simply twists back on itself?

As he points out, even the atoms that make “stuff” up are filled with nothing. The biggest and smallest things we know are simply filled with nothing. Here we sit, orbiting a star, orbiting in a galaxy with our electrons orbiting protons and neutrons… all filled with intangible empty space…

Mind Blown Bert Sesame StreetAnywho, here is Josh Worth’s Post: If the Moon was only 1 Pixel Check it out, and I highly recommend scrolling rather than jumping from planet to planet… because then you sorta miss the point he was trying to make…

ADDENDUM… This:

 

Need a soundtrack for your Halloween festivities?

Need a soundtrack for your Halloween festivities?

The folks over at Death Waltz may only be two years old, but that doesn’t mean that don’t know whats goin’ on! They are in the business of delivering onto the people, remastered soundtracks from classic horror and cult films!

As an added bonus, they’ve been pumping out some pretty Fangtastic [see what I did there] Mix Tapes! Check out this years Halloween offering!

Some of them are available as a free download through their Soundcloud page. Be Sure to check them out… !

Well Hello…

Well Hello…

So when I moved my site hosting a few months ago, I found that I could easily add a WordPress blog to my site. Which is pretty neat, but then spent the next months passively pondering what the “Happi Blog” should be. Should it be purely dedicated to Happi doings? Should I go beyond that a bit, maybe talk about stuff that interests me? Keep it purely artsy related? Give my random 2 cents about what I thought about certain films? Yeah, there are tons of other avenues to communicate, but it seems like they’re all just saturated and more often than not, a interesting message gets buried, well, unless you pay for the people who already like your page to see your posting, I’m looking at you Facebook.

So after months of not really doing anything, I figure, why not just jump in and see where it goes, eh? So, I figure I’ll start will a little anecdote about what is perceived as “art” in America.

Several years ago, I was moving across the country. My 1985 BMW 325e was crammed with boxes and a mannequin that I had recently acquired. I had always wanted a mannequin to paint up in some funky fashion, though before leaving on my journey, I gave the mannequin a personality, and just couldn’t bear to cover her in paint. So I decided that I would create a travelogue for the mannequin, stopping at landmarks along the way to take pictures of her.

One of the early stops was at the St Louis Arch, and I’m lugging this mannequin from the car to the arch to get a pic, all the while getting quizzical looks from passerbys. Finally, a woman approached me and asked if I was embarrassed to be lugging this mannequin across the park. Don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t trying to be rude, but it just struck me as strange. I had nothing to be embarrassed about, and the possibility of being embarrassed had never entered my mind. I smiled and told her, “not at all.”

Now, fast forward a day and while driving through Texas and we stop at Cadillac Ranch [which, if you are unaware, is a public art installation in a pasture off Interstate 40]. While I was taking some photos of the mannequin posed by the Cadillacs sticking out in the ground, I was approached by an older Italian couple who were on vacation. The man didn’t speak too much English but his first question to me was asking if I was an artist. He was so engaged and excited with what I was doing that he asked if he could also join in and take some photos of her!

The two encounters always struck me as interesting at how different the people’s reactions were when encountering something that was out of the ordinary. Where the conversation the American woman was concerning my level of embarrassment, the older Italian man approached the scene with an engaged frame of mind looking to be a part it. With that in mind, I always try and take a moment to pause on something that I find compelling, and not shy away from engaging.