{Semi} Wordless Wednesday: Why I’m So Tired

Somehow I made it to work on time. I even managed to shower off the sweat and bug spray odor from last night. I wish I had my real camera so you could see the awesome stage but alas I just had my phone.

The concert was awesome. We had a great time. Kimbra, the Kooks and Foster the People are all incredible live. It was totally worth getting home after 1am last night.

The venue was really nice, too. Parking was slightly chaotic but the sound system made up for it. The Backyard is a small open air set-up outside of Austin. It was the perfect setting for this show. I hope I get to make it back there before we leave Texas- whenever that is.

If you have the opportunity to check out Kimbra, the Kooks or Foster the People live try to go. Like I said- they were all awesome live. They really put on one hell of a show!

20120606-071338.jpg

20120606-071533.jpg

20120606-071549.jpg

20120606-071557.jpg

20120606-071609.jpg

20120606-071616.jpg

20120606-071622.jpg

20120606-071635.jpg

20120606-071641.jpg

20120606-071647.jpg

20120606-071700.jpg

20120606-071709.jpg

Thanks for reading!

June 6, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Music. 1 comment.

Music and Inspiration

I love music…it feeds my soul.

I was lucky to be raised by two people who love music and was surrounded by it all of my life. There are pictures of me as a child, even as an infant, at concerts and festivals with my parents and their friends.

My adolescence was filled with music, too. I played a few different instruments and spent my teenage years going to shows all over Philly and wherever else I could drive too on my limited budget.
Music was a huge part of my everyday life.

And yes, I do believe this world would be better if music filled the streets like a soundtrack to life.

Music is a must for me during my workouts whether it’s being played at the classes I take, Nia, yoga, boxing, or whether I am listening to my iTunes. I workout without music is torturous.

What I am listening to is just as important as having something to listen to. Not like I am a music snob or anything but I look for inspiration in the lyrics and beats so I try to pick songs that make me happy and keep me moving.

And isn’t funny when that perfect song comes on at just the right moment?

“My body tells me no, but I won’t quit. Cause I want more, cause I want more.”- My Body by Young the Giant. My bestie says she thinks of me every time she hears it even though we’ve never talked about this song before. Isn’t that cool?

“It’s not supposed to be easy…that’s why it feels so f***ing good.” Jump on my Shoulders by AWOLNATION

“I think I found my place. Can’t you feel it growing stronger? Little conquerors.” Walk by the Foo Fighters

“You gotta be stronger than the story, don’t let it blind you. Rivers of shadow, this feeling won’t go.” This is Your Life by the Killers

“Never was a cornflake girl, thought that was a good solution.” Cornflake Girl by Tori Amos

“When you’re happy like a fool, let it take you over. When everything is out you gotta take it in.” Good Life by OneRepublic

But my absolute favorite workout song is ‘Timshel’ by Mumford & Sons. It’s not really the kind of song you think of for a workout song; it’s not really upbeat and it doesn’t have a fast tempo. I love it because of the words.

“Cold is the water
It freezes your already cold mind
Already cold, cold mind
And death is at your doorstep
And it will steal your innocence
But it will not steal your substance
But you are not alone in this
And you are not alone in this
As brothers we will stand and we’ll hold your hand
Hold your hand”

Every time I hear this song I think that I am not alone on this journey and for those of you long time readers you will probably remember a post I wrote about this song and how it brings me comfort thinking of you here with me along the way.

Every choice I make, every word I write is for me but I always think of you. This journey; mine, yours, ours, it’s so much bigger than we realize. We lose pounds, we change habits, we exercise but really we grow, heal and evolve. It is truly life-changing.

And when I am on the bike or treadmill and I hear those words ‘you are not alone’ it brings a tear to my eye (as it does just writing it now) because for the first time in my life I truly believe it.

Thanks for reading!

March 9, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, inspiration, Music. 4 comments.

It’s Friday, Let’s Dance

I dedicate today’s video pick to my friend Whitney (@whitgetsfit) who reached her goal weight on Weight Watchers this week. I am so proud of you and honored to call you a friend. For you Whitney, a little AWOLNATION live at ACL Festival! 🙂

Happy Friday everyone! Thanks for reading!

November 4, 2011. Tags: , , , . Friday Jam Session, Music. 1 comment.

Echotone Giveaway

Today is November 1st and I thought it the perfect time to start a giveaway, kicking off my month of thanks. I feel so indebted to you, my readers, for helping guide and support me through my journey so I decided to host three giveaways this month to show my appreciation. I am very excited for this first one because I love the prize so much. The winner of the giveaway will receive a copy of Echotone on DVD. Aren’t you excited?

After my last post about the film I thought about doing a giveaway for the movie because I just loved it so much and really wanted to continue getting the word out about this film. A few days after the post went up I found out that Nathan Christ, the director, had actually read it. I was fortunate to be able to start up an email conversation with Nathan about the giveaway and his thoughts. It turns out, which you will learn in more detail below, they are currently in the midst of creating a 6 part, 6 hour series for television that will tell not only Austin’s story but will also include Chicago, NYC and LA and are putting together the pilot for the series to show to interested networks. In order to get that pilot finished they need to raise a significant amount of money ($15,000) and have recently started a campaign on Kickstarter in order to do so. Once I found this out I knew that I wanted the giveaway to be based around their Kickstarter project. It made me feel like I had a legitimate opportunity to help this pilot get made and hopefully the giveaway entries will make you feel the same way too. Throughout our lives we are given chances to be part of something greater than ourselves and I hope you don’t pass this one up.

Nathan also graciously allowed me to share with you an email I received which can better explain their vision and hopes for Echotone far better than I ever could.

Dear Friends, Family, and Colleagues,

Since I last wrote you, Reversal Films and I have been hard at work getting the political music documentary I directed, Echotone, out to the world. The journey has been monumental for us. The percentage of truly independent films that actually find a home (i.e. we have a distributor and a nice download spot on iTunes) is extremely small. The story really resonates with audiences of all stripes. We have received almost universal critical praise, recently winning the New York Times Critics’ Pick and nabbing an excellent review in the Village Voice.

I see the issues raised in Echotone resonating in cities around the country, no matter where I travel with the film, whether it’s the rampant gentrification pushing artists and families deeper into Brooklyn, a controversial series of legislation threatening the creative class in Chicago, or the major music industry collapsing in LA. All of these stories are interrelated and I am now convinced we must continue filming the story. My vision is to create a 6-part, 6-hour television miniseries intercutting Austin, LA, Chicago, and NYC together to great a nationwide tapestry, a true historical document of a very uncertain time in our country’s history.

We simply can’t make it the same way we made Echotone, though (by fundraising on our own). We must get picked up by a major network – the project is just too vast and we will need too much money and promotional support. That said, we’ve already begun shooting. We must prove the concept to the networks, thereby creating a “pilot.” Thanks to some extremely generous donations, my crew and I worked tirelessly all summer long in Chicago (during the inauguration of newly-appointed Mayor Rahm Emanuel) and New York (during the 10-year anniversary of 9/11) and captured some gorgeous, captivating footage. Our goal now is to shoot the remainder of our pilot in LA, edit the four cities together, and go into sound design (our sound in the original Echotone is one of the most critically-praised aspects of it, thanks to an incredible company called Voodoo Highway).

I’m calling our pilot “the chicken that lays the golden egg.” If we can just make it over this current financial hump, I believe we will be in the position to continue telling this story for years to come. We are already in talks with networks and will be primed to pitch the material in February if we can finish the pilot in time.

15k sounds like a lot, but every dollar truly helps. I feel like all my work making videos in high school onward has been building to this moment. The inertia is huge. Please help in any way you are able. The incentives for pledging are attractive (you can see them all on the Kickstarter page linked below). I’ve also created a new video which visually shows what I’m writing about, including some great new footage from Chicago. Click here to watch the video and to pledge.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to write or call me.

My Best,

Nathan

Contest Details

The contest will run from November 1st through 11:59pm CST November 14th. Winner will be chosen at random (using random.org of course) and announced on this blog November 15th. Once notified, the winner will need to supply their mailing address to me so I can have the DVD sent to you.

You must leave a separate comment for each entry method; i.e. one comment about the trailer, one comment stating you tweeted, etc. Please DO NOT leave one comment saying you did all five. If you do that you will only receive one entry in the contest opposed to five. Also, only one entry per method per person. This means you can tweet that message 1,000 times but it will only be good for one entry. There are five ways to enter, giving you five chances to win.

If you have any issues leaving comments you can email (axid200@gmail.com) or DM (@dacialee33) me and I will add them for you.

How to Enter

1) Head over to the Echotone website and watch the trailer for the film. Then leave me a comment as to why you want to win the DVD. It would be great if you could include something from the footage that piqued your interest but I trust you will enter a comment only after watching the trailer.

My goal for this giveaway is to get as many people as possible over to the Kickstarter and Echotone websites and help them raise funds for the series pilot but I am not going to ask you to contribute in order to be eligible for the prize. Yes, I would love for you to make a donation via the Kickstarter site but I know not everyone can afford to do that so instead I am asking for your help spreading the word about the Kickstarter campaign.

2) Tweet ‘Please help Echotone expand to a multi-city music documentary series. Find out more info about the project here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/reversalfilms/echotone-expands-multi-city-music-doc-series’. Leave your twitter handle in the comment so I can verify.

3) Share the above message and the Kickstarter link on your Facebook wall. Leave your FB username in the comment so I can verify.

4) I know not everyone uses FB or Twitter so share the Echotone and Kickstarter info via word of mouth or email and I will give you an additional entry. There really isn’t an easy way for me to verify this so I will take you at your word just tell me in the comments what you did to get the word out.

*UPDATE* I forgot the fifth way to enter so I am adding it now

5) Talk about this giveaway and the Kickstarter project  including a link to this post. Leave a link to your blog in the comments.

Side note: the great thing about the Kickstarter fundraiser is any donation you make will come with a gift. The gifts range from a virtual high five/special thank you for a one dollar donation, yes you can donate just a dollar, up to a private screening and live performances for donations of 5K- so not only do you get to feel good for supporting Echotone you also get cool stuff in return. The donation details can be found on the Kickstarter page 🙂

In closing I leave you with a message from Nathan Christ. I asked him if he wouldn’t mind writing up a little blurb for the giveaway post and he so graciously did so.

Echotone has been a labor of love from the gate. We are now more than 3 years deep in this project with no intention of stopping. As you’ll see from the Austin film, the issues we are documenting are universal. The goal is to raise money to tell this story not only in Austin, but in Chicago, NYC, and LA. We just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money to fund a pilot. This will give us the fuel we need to tell this quintessential American story during this time of great national uncertainty.

You can pledge to our campaign here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/reversalfilms/echotone-expands-multi-city-music-doc-series

I hope that you are as excited for this giveaway as I am. If you can’t or don’t want to donate to the Kickstarter campaign please help me in getting the word out there. Who knows, you could end up winning the DVD and at the same time we can help make history.

Good luck and thanks for reading!

*No purchase necessary for entry, all opinions and viewpoints expressed are mine and I did not receive payment for or was solicited for this giveaway.

November 1, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Giveaway, Movies, Music. 5 comments.

Echotone

Do you like music? Do you like movies? If the answer to either is yes you need to go watch Echotone – right now. I am not sure if you remember me mentioning this film before (it was directed by Nathan Christ, the son of a man I take Qigong and Tai Chi classes with) and so I am including the link to the film’s website so you can go watch the trailer – right now. While you are on the website you can also go buy the DVD too if you want. I bought it. It’s amazing and I hope you get a chance to watch it. It’s a small, independent, low-budget film but you would never know it. The cinematography is breathtaking, the film editing is seamless, and the storyline mesmerizing it is hard to believe this movie wasn’t made on a fifty million dollar budget. It just goes to show you how blood, sweat and tears matched with raw talent and unfiltered passion can create something magical.

The movie tells the story of the effect of urban expansion on Austin’s live music scene. The film shows us the perspective of all sides; the musicians, the contractors and the city residents. It tells us the story, the whole story, and does so without bias. Although you may empathize with one side or another the film does not force it’s beliefs on you- it allows you to form your opinion which that unto itself is a very difficult thing to do. Not only was this film an eye opener to how the imploding music industry and the commercialization of popular music has affected the ‘local’ musicians it also showed me the what it is like to be truly passionate about something. In the film we see the lead vocalist of Belaire hand making- a long, painstaking process- the CD cover inserts and t-shirts to sell at an upcoming show. Not because she has to but because she loves doing it, she loves creating something unique and special because she is passionate about her music and her art. When the Echotone DVD package arrived at my house it included something else along with the movie. It came with a long handwritten thank you note. Genuine words of thanks written by someone passionate about their work. How amazing? I love this film. I wouldn’t be sitting here endorsing it if I didn’t. If I can get just a handful of people to watch it and in turn maybe talk/write about it too I know it could help get the word out about it. This film deserves to be seen by the masses it is just that good.

Oh, and you can also go to Indie Pix Unlimited, it’s like Netflix but for Indie films, and ‘rent’ the movie that way. I think they even have a free month trial going on right now. If you watch it please blog, tweet, Facebook, etc. about it. I would really appreciate it!

Thanks for reading! Now go watch Echotone!

October 21, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Movies, Music. 1 comment.

If My Life Had a Soundtrack…

If my life had a soundtrack this would be my theme song for the day.

Don’t you think that life would be so much better if there was some way for us to have music, our soundtrack, playing all the time? Even if it wasn’t our theme music but just music in general playing wouldn’t that be great? I know I love it when I am out somewhere and randomly hear some music playing it instantly makes me happy and makes my body want to move. One night MS and I were walking along the river and we passed by the VFW that was having an outdoor event with live music. All of the sudden we could hear them playing ‘Eye of the Tiger’ and we started dancing and punching the air a la Rocky, laughing and having a great time. That was pretty much how I wish life was every day!

What song is moving you today?

Thanks for reading!

September 30, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Friday Jam Session, Music. 10 comments.

What Will You Choose?

I hope this song makes you dance. I heard it this morning on my ride into work and of course couldn’t help but dance in my car. I think it’s a great song to lead us into the weekend and hopefully you choose to make today an amazing day! Love you guys!

Good Life

Thanks for reading!

September 23, 2011. Tags: , , , . Music. Leave a comment.

Austin City Limits Festival 2011

Yesterday Paul and I spent the day in Austin for day three of the Austin City Limits Festival. It was amazing. Definitely one of the best music festivals I have ever been to and I have been to a bunch. Paul and I both agreed that if we were still in Texas next year we would go back to ACL for all three days. It was so much fun. Amazingly my phone lasted through the whole day so I was able to take lots of pictures. Here are some of my favorites.

Entrance

20110919-021637.jpg

Me

20110919-021727.jpg

All the food vendors were conveniently located together

20110919-021823.jpg

They had all different arts and crafts vendors set up

20110919-021959.jpg

The first band we saw was The Airborne Toxic Event. They were great!

20110919-022050.jpg

20110919-022204.jpg

Then we went over to see AWOLNATION who were also amazing live. Really, every band we saw was incredible.

20110919-022330.jpg

20110919-022405.jpg

My favorite flag

20110919-022441.jpg

What an incredible view!

20110919-022549.jpg

Social Distortion signing autographs

20110919-022631.jpg

Aaron Bruno, lead singer of AWOLNATION

20110919-022715.jpg

Trying to capture the beauty of Austin in the background

20110919-022828.jpg

20110919-022850.jpg

Hiding out, avoiding the rain that never really happened, watching We Are Augustines 🙂

20110919-023005.jpg

20110919-023044.jpg

20110919-023119.jpg

20110919-023136.jpg

Dancing alien

20110919-023210.jpg

Social Distortion

20110919-023247.jpg

20110919-023311.jpg

ACL at night

20110919-023353.jpg

20110919-023418.jpg

Sadly I none of the pictures from Arcade Fire came out because the stage was too bright. Here are a few examples 😦

20110919-023716.jpg

20110919-023733.jpg

I hope to write more about the shows themselves and how we spent our day soon. For today I mostly wanted to share some photos with you. Thanks for reading!

September 19, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Music. Leave a comment.

{Semi} Wordless Wednesday: Music That Moves Me

Everytime I am out walking alone I listen to Mumford & Sons “Sigh No More”. This is my favorite song off of that album. I hear the lyrics and it feels like your words to me; helping to guide me through to the end. It makes me happy. It keeps me going. Just wanted to share it with you.

July 13, 2011. Tags: , , , . Music, wordless wednesday. 4 comments.

Randomness

I am at the Silver Stars game with my friend MS. She asked me if I knew that they had remade Footlose; which I did. I have seen the preview for it the last couple times I have been to the movie theater. Then last night I saw a preview on TNT for Dallas. Apparently they are attempting to bring that show back just with a modern story line. Just like 90210, Melrose Place, and Hawaii 5-0. It’s like the pool of fresh and creative ideas has run dry.

It’s not just movies and TV that are into recycling lately, it’s pop music too. I hear it every time I flip through the radio; songs from the past resurrected from the dead only to be over- played back to obscurity. It’s so uninspiring.

Don’t even get me started on reality shows. I am not saying I don’t watch them because I do (biggest loser, amazing race) it just seems that the number of reality shows has grown exponentially over the last decade. The choices have grown from trying to survive on an island or in a house full of strangers to shows about bizarre eating habits (laundry detergent, really?) and the secret lives of gypsies and polygamists. Anything you have ever wanted to do, or learn to do, or wanted to watch someone else do I guarantee there is a show out there for you. Ice Road Truckers, anyone?

Maybe it has all been done before. Or maybe it is modern society dictating the need for these types of things. I am not sure. One thing I do know is that I am slightly afraid of what the future holds for us. It’s just a matter of time before Extreme Body Waxing and the Colonoscopy Hour hit the airwaves!

Thanks for reading!

July 12, 2011. Tags: , , . Life. 8 comments.

Next Page »