Author: Hope Silverman

Weekly New Wonders Playlists !!

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December. The best smelling month of the year, I think we can all agree.  And with that here are the latest and greatest to breathe in to. One thing to note : the Soundcloud playlist features 9 tracks that as of this writing are not posted on Spotify, so I recommend  checking out the Soundcloud especially, so you don’t miss what could potentially be your # 1 song this week. Enjoy !

Soundcloud is here :

Spotify is here :



 

 

 

 

 

 

spotify:user:esperanza19:playlist:7aNhnt0SvZy1pWEfotYvCQ

 

Praa “Modeling Clay”

I know. This sounds like some lost Prince song, circa 1988 with Wendy & Lisa singing lead (and a damn good one at that). Sparse, off-kilter, full of air, space, and sweetness, I think the man himself would wholeheartedly smile on Praa for this, and what could ever be cooler than that ?

Edina Mira “Gone”

Massive Attack’s “Unfinished Sympathy” from 1991 is practically it’s own religion: it’s easily one of the greatest singles of the 90’s, and maybe forever…and that’s the song that instantly came to mind upon hearing this for the first time. While “Gone” is nowhere near as orchestrated as the former, and is more defiant than desperate (the other featured trait of “Unfinished”) it shares a similar skeleton, especially in regards to it’s emotive, and world weary vocal, and subtle yet epic hook. It’s damn beautiful and I wish it were even longer.

Cousin Kula “Working For It”

Here are a couple of languorous, spaced out, and gorgeous grooves from Bristol band Cousin Kula, sounding equal parts Tame Impala, Pink Floyd, and I swear, Scritti Politti ( honorable mention to the swoon-inducing 1979 West Coast style keyboarding action also very much present in both tracks) . To put it more succinctly, this is the sound of a blazing sunset being viewed through a spaceship window. Both these tracks are featured on their newly released “Oodles ” EP, and yeah, they are kind of special.

Weekly New Wonders Playlists !!

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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 !

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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…

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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”. 

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“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.

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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 !!

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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…