Forgot how much I loved Laura Veirs… #music for #mondays
Forgot how much I loved Laura Veirs… #music for #mondays
I’m loving this post. Just shows that there’s so much I don’t know about this world. Particularly the Stans.
Astana (Астана), Kazakhstan’s Capital City
Along the Ishim River in the center of a vast steppe lies Kazakhstan’s capital city, Astana (Астана). Though a functional city since 1830, Astana only became the nation’s capital in 1997. The past 16 years have brought significant architectural developments, many of which display innovative designs to functionally cope with the city’s drastic temperature fluctuations and symbolically reflect traditional Kazakh culture. And where there’s been architectural innovation, there have been numerous Kazakh Instagrammers to share these wonders with the world.
The city’s main landmark, a 105-meter (344-foot) tall observation tower called Bayterek (Бәйтерек), evokes a Kazakh folktale about a bird that laid a golden egg in the tree of life. Astana also boasts a large pyramid structure, The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation (Бейбітшілік пен келісім сарайы), built to house space for diverse world religions, a full opera house and a natural history museum beneath the stained-glass doves that adorn its glass apex.
One of the city’s newest additions is the Khan Shatyr entertainment center, a series of parks, shops and sites of diversion spanning 140,000 square meters (35 acres) that is covered by the world’s largest tent. The transparent material allows sunlight in while simultaneously maintaining a stable temperature throughout the year.
and that’s the truth.
Really loving this month’s mix!
Friday night: This is the mix for you #mixtape
You guys! We have an abundance of daylight these days! I’ve been (and will continue to be) quite the busy bee - work and le francais and life, etc. But I wanted to snag a minute of your time to share some delicious new music. Look forward to your feedback and comments!
Oh, and I forgot to share my February Mixtape, so I’ll share that now, too.
But, first, a March playlist!
New mixtape! Let me know what you think :)
me too! & she will be performing in Crossing #Brooklyn Ferry w/TV on the Radio, @TheRoots & some other all stars this April. w00t!
This week we’ve got a random assortment on tap: hip hop, design, and Neanderthals.
Why design, you might ask? True, my obsession with architecture, and particularly green architecture, seems to have passed. But a New Yorker article this week on design captivated me.
The thing is, good design is sort of meant to be invisible because it makes things flow easily, so we often overlook it or take it for granted (unless it’s the Brooklyn Bridge, in which case we rever it, but that’s a separate story).
As someone who has visited the building, I can say it is an incredible example of fun, beautiful and functional architecture. According to David Owen in The Psychology of Space, the same firm will be working with the NYC government this spring to redesign Times Square so that New Yorkers no longer walk blocks out of their way to avoid that
hell hole area. What I loved about the article is hearing one of the lead architects explain how good design taps into subconscious cues that humans use when navigating a space. So, for example, while Times Square is currently a pedestrian-only zone, most people continue to walk on the sidewalks instead of the open center space because the curbs subconsciously tell us “Danger! You’ll be hit by a car!” And I thought that was interesting. (FYI: Snøhetta is also involved with designing part of the 9/11 Memorial.)
Shortly after reading the Owen piece, I stopped by the Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public library where I was literally delighted by their redesigned information center. The space now has large desks with plenty of outlets so people can come work on laptops and do homework in a much more open and welcoming space than the upstairs tables ever provided. The workstations include Macs with big, beautiful screens. These computers are loaded with Adobe programs like Photoshop that are likely hard for many to access without the help of a library and I’m excited about that feature. Knowing how to use programs like that can open up a lot of career opportunities for people! There are even group study rooms that you can reserve, one has a smart screen, most have hook ups so you can share PPT presentations and, impressively, one has a green screen and tools so you can produce videos and audio podcasts in that space.
The neat thing about designing spaces and features for the public is that it can impact people and their experiences in big ways. Bringing smiles and giggles, learning and delight to people across backgrounds and interests is exciting. Well, to me, at least!
Now, of course, my week has included some music finds. First, you MUST listen to Michael Kiwanuka’s performance on the Jimmy Fallon show. I already thought MK was a fabulous musician, but his song just pops when coupled with the musicianship of the Roots and the Dap Kings.
In addition, I’ve been trying to listen to some well received albums that I neglected in this past year: Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE, Miguel’s Kaleidoscope Dreams, Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city and Childish Gambino’s Camp (or read the Pitchfork review, which gives the album a whopping 1.6 on a scale of 10).
Do you love these albums? So far, I am enjoying them, but they don’t necessarily grab me in the same way as, say, The Weeknd or Real Estate or m83. But, then again, I’m a music first, lyrics second sort of person. So maybe I just need to listen a little closer. (Oh, and if you’re curious, I’m giving these a good listen because I came across the top 50 albums of 2012 as voted on by Pitchfork followers and then a separate list generated by Pitchfork staff. I had listened and liked many of the listed albums, but want to be sure not to miss out on anything great.)
Get hype! New music video out from Freshlyground (it is glossy and creepy and worlds apart from their previous colorful and saccarine vids), a new track out from Petite Noir (yup, some more SA love) and I enjoyed this video from Laura Mvula - great claps, great outfits and her voice, whoa! And, if you love the Lumineers, La Blogotheque has, as always, some of the most beautifully shot and fun Concerts a Emporter with the group, as they troupe around San Fran with a bevy of fans.
And, to wrap up, a look at Sleeping with the Enemy. It’s a solid article from Elizabeth Kolbert over at the New Yorker about how scientists came to be mapping the entire Neanderthal DNA sequence and just how close (and different) we are from Neanderthals. Sounds weird, but it’s a great read.
The new year is here - which means plenty of new music and concerts to share.
First, here are the two music videos I just can’t get enough of:
Listen & be delighted by PS22 performing Tame Impala’s “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”
I want ALL of Solange’s clothes. And, I want to have a dance party like that, too. Don’t you?
I attended GlobalFEST on Sunday and there were some fun, energetic acts there this year. And the dancing! Highlights included Fatoumata Diawara (she is BOSS, folks). Both sassy and incredibly gracious, her music is a variation on the Malian music you already love along with dance moves & energy that will blow you away.
We all thought Mucca Pazza, an irreverant take on marching bands and cheerleaders, was serious fun and seriously goofy (highlights include their Bring Your Marching Band to Work Day). You can’t help but laugh when they’re around.
We learned that Martha Redbone can sing and I loved that both she and A Tribe Called Red represented Native American culture at the event. There is just not enough of that here (anywhere?)! The dancer that performed with A Tribe Called Red was also impressive - her costume was brightly colored and gorgeous, the beats were fresh and she used a series of hoops to turn herself into an eagle!
I also thought Christine Salem was someone to follow (well, OK, I essentially thought that about everyone I saw at GF) - her deep voice (somewhere between Tracy Chapman & Nina Simone) coupled with African beats is fairly irrésistible.
NPR should be posting all the goodies from GlobalFEST, so you can experience it virtually if you missed the show.
BREAKING NEWS: You can now stream the ENTIRE new Red Baraat album via WNYC. Nothing like RB to get the party started, bhangra style!
JV shared the music video for Sweater Weather by The Neighbourhood - I like both the video itself and the song.
NPR has Jose James’ newest album No Beginning No End as a First Listen. I hadn’t heard of him before, but I think the album is solid. He’s considered to hover between jazz and R&B. Which isn’t such a bad place to hover.
And, yes, I’m still
in love with obsessed with Macklemore. Although, Ray Dalton’s voice and baby face give him a run for his $$. Holla for all those bolo tie lovahs!
On a final note, Freshlyground (my faves!) have a new album out and will be touring the U.S. this March. They are performing at the Apollo Theater here in NYC on March 15th. You can stream most (all?) of their new album on SoundCloud.