Had another music flashback thanks to the Verve today when “Bittersweet Symphony” came on my iPod.
Takes me back to 7th grade. I was about to be 13 years old, and I was a skater. At least I THOUGHT I was a skater. I tried hard, had a sweet board, but sucked. As long as I wasn’t called a “poser,” I was happy, because that was the DREADED word at the time…like a label of DEATH or something.
But I got past that. Rocked it out. I remember listening to this song through my portable boom box on my back porch, putting it on repeat on top of the deck while I shot basketball in my backyard on my cracked driveway.
It was spring, and I remember wearing my “World Industries” shirt, one of my many skater shirts at the time, and the ONLY one I still have today. Back then it basically came down to my knees. Now it comes down to my waste and it fits perfectly. Gotta love it.
Great song. Feelin’ it today. Understand it more now than I did then.
Again, music is a time machine.
If you haven’t heard of the band “Walk the Moon,” check ‘em out! They’ve got a fresh feel with a retro vibe, and their music is FUN. It’s always cool to hear music that’s taking a new direction, and these guys are definitely doing THAT.
Here’s their single, “Anna Sun.” It will get stuck in your head. Believe me.
Pretty catchy, right? I know I wanna catch ‘em in concert as soon as they come to the area, and if they’re in yours, you should too.
As a side project to all of the craziness of school right now, I submitted two t-shirt designs to their management company, Mick Management. I may or may not hear back from them, but either way, I was pretty happy with what I came up with.
Design I: Footprint.
After soaking them in and brainstorming, I took the illustration route for this first design. I wanted a concrete graphic the could display their name with tones of badass-ness and a retro vibe. I used an 80’s typeface for their name and focused on contrast with shadows and the actual footprint. It’s seen here in a black version and a white version, but it could be printed on any color.
Design II: Cartoon Moon.
This design took the fun route (like their MUSIC) and used a pun on their band name, “Walk the Moon.” It’s a goofy, hippie moon wearing a leash giving us a big SMILE and holding a “thumb’s up!” with another 80’s looking typeface surrounding him. He’s super happy.
Anyway. I wanted to share these guys with you, because they’re definitely worth checking out, and I wanted to share the designs with you because I had fun making them and wanted you to see them!
Enjoy the tunes.
Ever seen the movie “Clerks”? I hope you have. It’s brilliant, it’s hilarious, it’s vulgar, and it gives writers like myself the hope that one day I’ll be able to get my own stories produced.
One of the many aspects of the movie I love is how Kevin Smith uses individual words as transitions to continue the plot. It’s great. He blacks out the screen, and we see the word right in the middle of everything for a few seconds before the next scene begins. Apparently he just pulled them from the dictionary, but they work with the flow of the movie. It’s cool.
If my life were a continuation of the plot to “Clerks,” the word you’d see on MY screen would say this:
It would say pressure. I think I’m starting to feel it. I’ve felt it before, in various senses of the word. PEER pressure was never really an issue. I took a puff off a cigar in eighth grade and my conscience punched me in the stomach, so I stayed away from that kind of pressure for the most part. I’ve always had a huge Jiminy Cricket on my shoulder. No.
The kind of pressure I’m feeling right now is pressure against TIME. I graduate in two months and four days, not that I’m counting or anything. In terms of TIME, that’s NOTHING. In terms of WORK, whew…I don’t even wanna think about it.
Classes seem pointless right now. I’m not hating on my professors or my school by any means, but I’m telling you, it is HARD to pay attention when the completion of projects is all I’m really thinking about. I think my memory for new learning is full right now. Gotta re-format and reset to default soon, but right now I don’t have enough time.
Then again, here I am writing this post…but come onnnnn, this is therapy. Try it sometime if you haven’t. Writing to feel better. Hell of a lot more effective than binge drinking or consuming a dozen Krispy Kremes.
It’s cool though. I’ve been through more intense situations than this and been fine. But do you EVER think of the harder things you’ve done in life while you’re in the middle of going through something else that’s difficult? Not easy, is it? Unless you take a moment to THINK about those times.
Gimme that for a second.
Hang on. I’m thinking.
I got this. I’m good. See you in May.
Had a tough time, got a rough start,
and I finally learned to let it go.
Now I’m right here, and I’m right now,
and I’m hoping, knowing somehow
that my shadow days are over.
My shadow days are over now.” —Chorus for John Mayer’s new song, “Shadow Days,” played at his Berklee Clinic last week. It’s in the early stages and it might change before the record, but I’m feelin’ it. Got a “Gravity” vibe and a “keep moving forward” kinda message.
My friend and classmate Mike Sales is making an interactive film for his final iMedia Capstone project this semester. It’s kind of a “Bourne meets Heroes meets modern Robin Hood” deal in which protagonist Jason Medici (played by yours truly) hacks into mainframes and steals from the rich but gives to the poor. The movie starts with a choice for the viewer: RUN or TAKE THE CAR, and from there moves on through the plot and various other choices that all lead to the big ending…but only one path leads to the good one. It’s up to YOU to get him there.
Here’s the first trailer:
I watched “127 Hours” last night, and my arm hurts.
The movie was INTENSE, but brilliant. Danny Boyle (director) brought his usual artistic flair to the film, and the techniques used to show Aron Ralston’s isolation and struggle are so realistic you feel as if you’re stuck between the rocks right next to him.
Even the buildup to the moment where Ralston (brilliantly portrayed by James Franco) gets trapped is well-written. As the viewer, you know what’s going to happen, and you see subtle signs that he’s going to be screwed, like when he’s packing for the trip and he can’t find his Swiss Army Knife, which would obviously be a useful tool in his future situation. They also focus on his Nalgene bottle being filled with water in the sink. He leaves it running and it constantly overflows as he continues to pack. There’s even a moment of foreshadowing SO ironic that it’s almost funny, where he’s hiking with two women and he comments on how the rocks are always shifting, and that he hoped they “wouldn’t shift now.” They obviously get out of that situation, and I don’t know if that moment really happened in REAL life, but the words definitely stuck out to me as the viewer.
You’ll continue to be intrigued as Ralston gets trapped in the canyon. His initial fall intense and the cameras graphically focus on his forearm as it gets crushed, but he stays calm. The guy is a survival genius, and as he sorts out his equipment and water, he keeps chill and tries to plan how to get out of this situation.
As the movie progresses, we see not only his outer struggle of trying to escape, but also his inner struggle in realizing that he will probably die in this position. The movie gets really artistic here, zooming us through flashbacks of family life and escape dreams that seem so real even YOU will be convinced that he’s free for a moment until he snaps out of it and he’s still stuck. This happened to me twice, even though I KNEW he wouldn’t escape until he lost his arm.
All of this leads up to the arm. We all know he’s gonna lose it, but WOW. You can almost FEEL his pain as he starts. He gets to the moment where he knows what he has to do, and with his dull multi-tool, he dramatically STABS his forearm. After a few minutes to gather himself together and a realization that it won’t cut through his bone, he BREAKS his arm. The sounds and visualizations are so intense that you’ll try to look away, but like a car crash, you can’t, because you’re disgusted, disturbed, and rooting for him all at the same time.
He reaches the peak of his struggle, and then, RIP! His arm comes free and he stammers backward several steps. I personally cheered out loud and rewound this moment after it happened. And then, like Ralston, realized that he STILL had a LONG way to go to get to some sort of rescue.
We all know the story has a happy ending, and that Ralston survived, but the STORY of the situation is almost unreal. First of all, the guy is like a real-life superhero/survivor man. It’s INSANE what he got through. It’s also a SWEET reminder to NEVER GIVE UP. You hear this thrown around all the time, and you hear cliches about how your life isn’t as bad as you think it is, but this movie will hit you in the FACE with these two realizations. It’s graphic, it’s intense, but it’s GREAT. Definitely see it.
And if you’re hunting down your dreams, or caught between a rock and a hard place of your OWN, remember to NEVER GIVE UP.
Thanks, Aron Ralston.