Month: November 2017

Weekly New Wonders Playlists !!

Pig of Pride

It’s that time again ( or thereabouts), time to gather all the most transcendently wonderful tunes that have surfaced over past week (or so), and bring them together as one. And with that here are the Weekly New Wonders playlists, one on Soundcloud, one on Spotify, go on then.

*Weekly disclaimer : we do 2 playlists because sometimes songs aren’t available in both places and we don’t want you to miss anything !

Why here is the Soundcloud:

And here is your Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/esperanza19/playlist/7aNhnt0SvZy1pWEfotYvCQ

 

Weekly New Wonders Playlists !

Baby Porcupine_Baby Animal Photography Prints

Here are the latest and greatest for your listening pleasure. Haven’t written about any of these yet but going to asap, I swear ! And so here is your opportunity to jump the gun and enjoy. As usual there’s some stuff that is only on Soundcloud, and some that is only on Spotify, which is why there are playlists for each because we absolutely 100% don’t want you to miss a damn thing ! And so you are actively encouraged to listen to both !!

Here’s the Soundcloud Playlist:

And Here’s the Spotify:

Pop Art : Look What I Made You…

IMG_7595

Back in the 80’s “screenshots” had to be done manually. As in you had to literally take a picture of the tv screen with the image you wanted to capture, with a camera. With actual film. And then have that film developed at the One Hour Photo store. I know this because I spent a horrifying amount of time doing it. Pictures of my personal “rock gods” in magazines were not enough, oh no, there were specific images I just needed to have, to own, to be able to look at whenever the hell I wanted not just when MTV let me. And with that I began recording videos off the aforementioned MTV, on our suitcase sized VHS player, and embarking on regular photo sessions with my favorite videos. Of course I did this when no one was home as there was no way I could really explain why I was doing it. “Well Mom, I like Simon LeBon’s mouth in the “Hungry Like the Wolf” video and I want a picture of it, like, in action…so uh, do you think you could pick me up a roll of film when you go shopping later ? Mom ? “. No, best to keep it to myself, acquire my own film, and document my video stills in secret.

One day as I was thumbing through my “Hungry Like the Wolf” photos, the bulb of inspiration lit up and I thought “wouldn’t it be cool to make something with these ?”.

And so out came the glue, acrylic paints, and markers, and born into the world was the “fine” work you see above. I know what you’re thinking, you can literally hear Simon singing “do-do-do-do, do-do-do, do do do, do do do do doooo” just by looking at it. Note how powerfully the 80’s style arrows accentuate the scene.

The photo manipulation soon morphed into doing actual drawings of my beloved idols. These drawings were also a secret. Upon completion, I showed them to no one. They were private. Just between me and the subject/victim as in “This is how much I love you Genesis era Phil Collins, with your long hair and beard, enough to painstakingly render your visage in my secret sketchbook, and accentuate your rakish charm”. 

IMG_7594

“Thanks for capturing my true essence Luv”

Soon after I took things up a notch and drew Sting in multi-colored crayon…I’m uncertain what motivated this medium choice.

IMG_7596

If you visit the Deviant Art website, the insanely vast, and endless home for both inspired and WTF artwork, you will be face to face with literally thousands of portraits, and pieces of Fan Art, featuring every celebrity you could possibly imagine. The Beatles. Hendrix. Jennifer Aniston. Harry Styles. President Lincoln. Stephen Hawking. It’s endless. Well, at some point, someone launched an Instagram account where they reposted very particular examples of those drawings, that uh, didn’t turn out quite right. You know, like a portrait of John Lennon where one of his eyes is looking right, the other looking left.

The point of the feed was, of course, to laugh at these “failed” attempts, to mock the “ineptitude” of their execution, how far off the mark they were. And I used to look and laugh too…but oddly I also found them to be incredibly moving. The overwhelming expression of love I thought I could see in every pair of crossed eyes, off kilter mouth, or Picasso-esque facial feature would occasionally bring me to tears. I understood it, yep. Adoring someone so much that you hunkered down, concentrated, spent hours, days, maybe even weeks, expressing your Big Love on paper or canvas, with true heart on the sleeve earnestness, and soundtracking the whole project with your subject matter’s music playing in the background for added authenticity. Obviously in order to draw Phil Collins, the divine strains of “Misunderstanding” needed to be wafting through the room for it to turn out “right”

If you google “bad fan art”, you can bear witness to some truly mind-blowing portraiture. It’s okay to laugh, but take a step back, look within your soul, and try to remember that some of these things were created with genuine, reverential, uncontrollable love…yes, sigh, I am clearly speaking from tragic personal experience as evidenced above…but even as a spectator, I can tell you, I felt more emotion looking at “cross-eyed John Lennon” than I ever did looking at Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”.

And hey, Simon, Phil, and Sting, I know I strayed from you as the years went by but I hope you can see that I really did love you once. Thanks for being my Mona Lisa’s.

P.S. And YES, I would LOVE to see any youthful, pop music themed works of art you were uncontrollably inspired to create, so send them my way if you feel so inclined  with an explanation and maybe I’ll share them here.

Send ’em to : hope@pickinguprocks.com

 

Weekly New Wonders Playlists !!

image5-19

And so here are some fine, recently discovered things all neatly compiled for your listening pleasure. The playlists include songs we’ve featured plus ones we haven’t so there’s still some discovering to be done ! As usual there’s some stuff that is only on Soundcloud, and some that is only on Spotify, which is why there are playlists for each because we absolutely 100% don’t want you to miss a damn thing ! And so you are actively encouraged to listen to both !!

Here’s the Soundcloud Playlist:

And here is Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/esperanza19/playlist/7aNhnt0SvZy1pWEfotYvCQ

 

Timi Alexander “The Ballad of a Keg Heart”

This starts normally enough, just a nice, soulful, and sad piano ballad, but after a few seconds it’s clear there’s something a little weird and truly off-kilter happening here, right from the title on down, which makes it kind of special. Timi’s vocal is angsty, and occasionally over the top, with falsetto flourishes, and 1 large growl, and chews all the scenery around it. Then about halfway through some weird post-rock fuzz invades the landscape, and hangs out for the remainder of the song, and what I’m saying is, this  really is something else. Weird and wonderful…

Strange Names “Into Me”

Time for a pop break. This is one clever, funny/sad, 80’s style piece of candy ( Can hear a little ABC in there). Ultra-sticky, featuring a spoken word bridge and dripping with wishful thinking, “Into Me” is in possession of one of those chorus’s that’s impossible to evict, in this case, from the guesthouse ( ed. note :see the last verse). Truly infectious in the best way.

Jodie Abacus “When Sunday Comes”

Okay, true confession. I have truly worshipful feelings for both Todd Rundgren, and Hall & Oates. Like forever. Which is to say I’m highly susceptible to hook filled, fatly produced, piano based pop songs. Like this one in fact. And while I have no idea if Jodie is remotely into either of the aforementioned pop gods, this glorious thing is absolutely reminiscent of some of their finer moments. Outrageously melodic, with a fabulous vocal, and a huge, filled to capacity backdrop, it’s just a fine, fine thing.

High Falls “Sucker”

Walking, and harmonizing delicately, with it’s heart on it’s sleeve, chest, face, and everywhere else, “Sucker” is both an acknowledgement, and a plea: lost, hypnotic, dreamy, and all that good stuff. It also brought to mind some of Luna’s more fragile moments, which is always a blessing. This track comes off the NY band’s undeniably sweet, fine, and jangling new album “Bingo”, which you can visit below.

Oddnesse “I Used To”

Immaculate. The sentiment. The tune. Referencing Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again”. “I Used To” is both wistful, and defiant, driving through the desert, and leaving all the bad stuff behind, with the radio f-ing blasting. This is beautiful, and with that, let’s all get outta here…here’s some traveling music :

 

 

Strange Hellos “The Prime”

Well damn. “The Prime” is a big, fat all consuming noise in possession of a high decibel chorus and a glorious sneer. And while there’s an unmistakable Garbage vibe, as well as a little Curve one, there are a couple of oddball touches that set this song apart from those by the aforementioned wonderful bands. For one, there’s an extremely sweet, almost gentle 80’s style synth line that pops up out of nowhere during the second verse. Then a minute later we are confronted with a ridiculously windswept, arms outspread on the edge of a cliff, prog-style break before things return to normalcy. The louder this plays, the more epic it sounds…which is pretty epic.