It has been a while since my last Music Monday post. But that doesn’t mean we’re not listening to new tunes over here. Just over a week ago I was invited to the launch party of a new music zine, here in Madrid. Speed Sound Magazine is for people who are always looking for something different to listen to; for open-minded, urban music-lovers. In the editor’s own words: “We want you to discover new young bands, especially national ones, and those from our own city. Because there’s so much talent out there, and we’re tired of seeing the same faces on the cover.”
“The eternal traveler syndrome is this feeling you get of not being comfortable anywhere you go because you always want to be somewhere else. It’s the feeling that you will never be happy in just one place. It’s the anxiety that comes when thinking you’re missing out on something…”
This is how Lucia and Ruben, eternal travelers and writers of the blog Algo Que Recordar (Something to Remember), define The Eternal Traveler Syndrome. And while the words aren’t my own, they could have been. As I watched their short film of the same title, I found myself nodding at every thought or feeling they described. It struck a chord, and they so beautifully articulated (and filmed) an emotion I’ve had, but couldn’t quite put into words, for so long.
I came across Ölend the way one usually finds beautiful things: by accident. And when I discover something this unique, I go to great lengths to find out all about it. Adriana Dumon and Fran Rios started making backpacks by hand for their friends. They loved doing this so much that they turned it into a business. Ölend is an example of the comeback of slow fashion – a return to small-batch production and the use of locally-sourced materials. The Barcelona natives’ love for the craft is what keeps their young entrepreneurial spirits alive, despite a dismal Spanish economy that does not readily support young business owners. Inspired by the alpinist’s packs of the 50s, each canvas backpack is made-to-order, and all colors and trims are picked by the customer. People are catching on and business is flourishing. Even in the midst of a full schedule of orders, Adriana still took the time to answer my questions.
Do you feel like you’ve stagnated somehow? That you know what you want but you’ve reached a road-block and can’t seem to get around it to the other side, which is so close – you can see it – but you just can’t move towards it? I do. I’m at this point right now. Days look like print copies of each other, and I’m not producing a whole lot of stimulating, creative material that makes me stop, get excited and think, this is IT! But I’ve found there is something that helps: someone who has gone through this process telling me not to quit. So if you’re struggling with that gap in creativity, or just need a nudge to keep going, then I suggest you watch the video below.
So it probably goes without saying that awards like the Grammys are no longer a surprise or, for that matter, very rewarding to the worthy candidates. The mainstream, Top 40 hits that have been driving their way into your head all year long are always the winners; while the “fringe talent” are the ones making incredible music and who never make it onto the list of nominees.Feel free to disagree or comment on my suggestions below, but these are a few artists who I think really should have taken home one of those “gold sippy cups”:
A few days ago I was at the launch of a new, local feminist magazine when I first experienced Yoko Ono’s performance-art, Cut Piece. I had never actually seen Ono’s original version and was intrigued as to how the reenactment would take place. A young woman, robed in deep green velvet, sat in the middle of a small stage and lay a pair of scissors in front of her. A pianist played Chopin in the backdrop, and we were told that the audience was welcome to come up at any time, take the scissors, and cut a piece from the performer’s dress to take with them. It was a quietly magical experience, with the classical music and stillness in the artist’s face casting something short of a spell on us. People approached the stage, one by one, in almost equal intervals to cut small pieces of the velvet dress, slowly shredding it and exposing the woman’s pale skin beneath.
My best memories of Halloween were when I was about 6 years old. I lived in a small village, with lots of other kids around, and we would form a huge gang that went trick-or-treating together, basically making the rounds around all of our houses, where our parents stayed in to make sure there was someone to hand out the candy we had been eyeballing in the kitchen cabinet for weeks.
I admire people who start their own business – especially when they’re young, still at university, or with limited resources to count on. My admiration has led me to start a series of posts dedicated to entrepreneurs and their new ventures; interviewing friends, family, and interesting people with new ideas, projects and businesses underway. To start off let’s get to the stomach of the matter with a fresh new foodie company which is providing London the best flavored nut butters I have ever tried: Wanderlust Gourmet Nut Butter.
When looking for a gift for a friend on Regent Street yesterday, I stumbled upon a little surprise. Well, two, actually. One was the madness going on around Oxford Circus (think twice before going on a Saturday in the middle of London’s Fashion Week). The other was a pop-up exhibit forming part of the London Design Festival.