Sol Magistrum Equitum Dixit

Shadowfax from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Shadowfax from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

By Sol Pérez-Pelayo

One: The dream

Two nights ago I had a dream that would mark all of my week with causalities and consequences that made me wonder about the real meaning or perhaps foreshadowing of it. I was in a field where it smelled of rosemary, thyme, and cassias; across my feet I saw bushes and marigolds that enchanted my eyes. The air was jam-packed with a delicious pressure and it was so hot I was sweating. Mulberry trees were all around where I was and as my hand reached to caress the plants that were beneath my feet, I heard galloping, it was very fast and it came in increasing paces each time. I could hear it getting near. There was no one around me, but the dashing was getting closer every time, and it started to distress me as the strides began matching the beating of my own heart. The pounding was making my chest ache with pain and I had to kneel down to relieve it. I heard a very loud neigh and as I turned to see, my eyes were hurt for one second, I lifted my right arm to keep the sun from blinding me and there he was. The most splendid and whitest horse and I have ever seen. I thought it was Gandalf the wizard’s legendary white horse Shadowfax. He was whiter than an exposed bone in a fracture, so white it seemed to be the source of some cosmic spell, giving out light of it’s own. But this whiteness didn’t hurt me like the sun because I could see it. Feeling his tremendous existence in the same perimeter as I was made me faint. It has to be also the biggest horse I had lay eyes on; it stood on its two hind legs and had a bewildered look in it´s astonishing brown eyes. As I was staring into this striking glare, the Egyptian obelisk of the Vatican emerged behind it. He neighed again one more time making an earsplitting sound and our gaze met and then I woke up.

I woke up sweaty, dumbfounded and feeling a bit quaint. My heart was pulverizing my chest and I sat in the bed. I could still feel the roman garden’s fragrances in my nose and the thought of the horse entranced me. I have a very peculiar and distinctive relationship with horses or at least the idea of them. I really wish to have one of my own someday so we can be friends and love him dearly. They are certainly one of the animals that I love and admire the most but they also have a part of my heart that is dark and I rarely talk about. Why was that horse in my dream? Was there a horse near me that needed help? The horse in the dream wasn’t hurt but he was very upset. The exceptional connection that I feel with horses comes from this maybe unfounded but very heartfelt idea that I can communicate with them. They have always created the impression of animals who are comprehensive and that suffer beyond means. I have this incredible weird trauma with animals being hurt. I hate walking around downtown Guadalajara and see how people can still ride those “calandrias.” I can’t even begin to express my disgust to spectacles were animals such as horses are hurt and mistreated for idiotic and cruel entertainment.

Two: The memoir

The next day I had a vivid memory from my past. Somebody else in literature had a dream about a horse that was a life changing experience. Sometime around my 15 years of age, I came across one of the most influential books of my formation as a human being: Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. This book’s passages have remained in my head for a very longtime now. There is one extract that until today I have not been able to re visit and that continues to hunt my memories. Raskolnikov, the main character, had a series of dreams that foreshadowed events in his life. In one of these dreams he is a little boy and he witnesses a grisly scene of animal cruelty. It was a dark grey day and he was with his father. Outside a tavern stood a carriage with a poor old mare that couldn’t even pull it anymore. It’s driver, a cruel man kept putting people into the carriage, striking the mare harder each time, and forcing her to pull the heavy carriage. Even writing about this now is hard, my skin is full of goose bumps and believe me, its difficult, I’m getting a knot in my stomach just now. I’ll make this short because otherwise I’ll cry and never finish writing this phantasmagoria of an article I want to share with you all. The man continues to hit the mare, some people encourage him and even cheer when the mare cries and bleeds, others cry and are very vexed and sick with worry by this wretched scene. But nobody lifts a finger and the deranged chauffeur blows the mare, even in the eyes to death. This horrific scene will forever hold a place with pain in my heart. Even though it was just a dream in a book, these are things that happen every single day everywhere in the world. Evil continues to exist because the so-called “good” people do nothing about it.

Image by  Katerina Rss

Image by Katerina Rss

Horses are superb creatures; they have certainly given all to humans asking nothing in return, like most animals have. Horses carry and not pun intended here, strong symbolism in almost every culture in the world. Horses are intelligent individuals that have made contact and communication with human beings. They are able to learn commands and tasks, consistency is key to teach a horse simple tricks and routine is also very helpful for the training of these animals. Horses also possess a very particular and interesting ability; they can associate items or voice tones to situations that often got them upset.  There were no horses in Mexico when the conquistadors came. An ancient woman of the history of Mexico called Malinche or Mallnalli who was a translator, a slave and former wife of conquistador Cortez, had an intimate connection to horses.  Malinalli felt that the horse’s eyes were mirrors that reflected everything one felt. In other words, they were mirrors to the soul.

 Another juncture between that horse of my dream and another horse came across my mind that day. I wrote my thesis for my bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Social Sciences about Nietzsche’s works and how his personal life had a direct impact on them. On Nietzsche’s decline there is particular chapter that seemed to have made a deep mark in me, the reason as you will read now will be obvious:

It was January the 3rd 1889, in a cold morning in Turin where Nietzsche had gone off in the hopes of writing a new work that reflected his thoughts and new great ideas. The German philosopher came out his door in the Via Carlo Alberto. Across from his sidewalk something called his attention, a driver of two-wheeled horse-drawn carriage was complaining out loud about his horse, there present. The animal refused to pull the carriage or even move, the driver continues to scream and instigating the animal. The chauffer finally looses his patience and beings to beat the animal with a whip. Nietzsche appalled and horrified by this ran straight towards the horse and threw his arms around it and started sobbing like a little child. Many said he asked the horse for forgiveness on behalf of all humanity, pardon for all the cruelty all animals have suffered. Something must have hit Nietzsche’s insides for good because after this he was mute for two whole days, except for his alleged last words ever spoken'Mutter, ich bin dumm!' ('Mother, I am stupid!' in German), after this he lived 10 years without ever muttering another word.

The connection between the abdominal incident in Crime and Punishment and Nietzsche’s culminating moment, retiring from existence and presence in this world is remarkable. I’ll be totally honest here, when I made this association was one of the most consumable and rewarding moments that gave me a gratifying sentiment in my heart.  For years I couldn’t see or be near a horse and not feel awful, simulating their pain. Even their smell would make me feel uneasy, even though I have always loved them as creatures of innocence and beauty.  As Miguel de Cervantes says “It is prerogative of beauty that it should always be respected”. One time, and I recall after more than 14 years (at the time) of experience modeling, acting and photo shooting in many eerie and less than confortable situations; I came across one that was conspicuously touchy for me.

 

Three: The challenge, a blast from the past

A band from Guadalajara called Sutra (check them out they are awesome) hired me to be on the cover of their album and to appear on their music video as well. Everything was stupendous; the art was very lugubrious and dismal, notions and aesthetics that I find very appealing. The idea was of the pilgrimage of two urban witches walking blindfolded around town, carrying a horse’s corpse. Everything went well until I heard horse head and horse body, dismembering of it etc. My blood chilled. I could feel my hands getting sweaty and cold and I almost chickened out, the idea of holding a dead horse in my hands was way beyond anything I could handle. I have pretty much done very weird and gory things I won’t talk about now, but this reached something that gave electroshocks to my nervous system. Before I could freak out and make a complete fool out of myself I saw the “dead horse” was a model, it was made out of foam and even though it looked completely realistic it was lifeless, but not like life had been taken from it, but in a way that it meant it had never been alive before. I stared at its eyes, not into them. They were so real but I couldn’t feel anything. These eyes didn’t reflect my soul, these eyes were just marbles. We took all day filming this video in one the most iconic and oldest neighborhoods in Guadalajara.

There were times where I honestly felt the horse was going to come alive and start moving, I can almost say I saw it move, it was one of the most uncomfortable and challenging jobs I’ve ever done, not because I was walking around blindfolded or in a tight dress in front of people, but because I really thought this horse was going to move in any minute. I loved doing this and I’m a fan of the band but this was absolutely horrifying and hard for me. Even that scene in the Godfather with the horse’s head has got to be one of the most disturbing film scenes for me.

Four: the present

The morning after as I was getting ready for my early run, I couldn’t stop hearing this roman horse in my head and every time I blinked I saw him and his penetrating eyes glaring back at me. As a fan of metal music I make lists on my Spotify for when I do certain activities, I can almost do pretty much everything to Death or Black metal, but I had found a new taste in folk metal when I ran. There is a function called “artist radio” this makes a “station” based on a artist that you play and it plays songs that are similar or what Spotify thinks you are going to enjoy. I was around my 7th kilometer feeling unusually exhausted, when a song I had never heard before came up and I fell in love. The first thing I heard was a ceremonial group of trumpets announcing something, something of importance, a coronation perhaps. The song was called “I, Caligvla”. The vocals, guttural and strong, were very familiar but the music wasn’t. I turned over my phone and saw one of the most astounding album covers I had seen in a long time. This band is called EX DEO, it’s the side-project of Kataklysm's Maurizio Iacono. Kataklysm is one of my all time favorite bands, no wonder I recognized his voice and felt awful because I didn’t know this was his side project. I felt even more awful when I realized all his songs have to do with the ancient Roman Empire and I had never heard them before. Caligula is my favorite emperor; ever since I read Albert Camus’ play I have been overly obsessed with Caligula and his empire.

This newly found discovery of “Roman metal” made my day. The band was amazing, he had all the themes of the Roman Empire engraved in their songs and albums, however, their songs were still in English, I would be thrilled if they were all in Latin but I guess that’s a challenge. During the week I continued my investigation of Roman Metal, I found a band from Lazio called ADE, their songs are mostly in Latin and I have found both of the bands a ball to listen to, I couldn’t be happier. But the videos that I saw of the band (of EX DEO) were not that cool, the production was certainly very good but maybe its my high expectations due to a “Caligula” 1980 American- Italian film.  This film was produced by famous men’s magazine Penthouse. The intention was to make an explicit erotic, close to pornographic film with good dialogues great actors and real sex on tape portraying the sexual deviants and excesses that have characterized and stained Caligula’s reign.

Five: The emperor and the golden equus

Caligula, whose real name was Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus (Caligula, means "little (soldier's) boot" in Latin), was a very controversial Roman emperor; he was a ruler of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Despite Caligula's popularity with the people, the Senate expressed disparagement for what seemed to be airy eccentricities. Caligula by most history books and even the film production mentioned above is remembered as a degenerate and mad emperor who only used his power to oppress. He entered the senate and his reign with great widespread acceptance; he arrived in Rome like a true rock star. The crowd in the streets loved him and all acclaimed him, this specially because his real father was Germanicus and not the former “mad” emperor Tiberius (suffering advanced syphilis). His first year was great for the Roman Empire, he made treason papers invaluable and gave his army important benefits. Caligula pardoned exiled politicians and helped those whose life had been affected by exuberant taxes. He punished sexual offenders and had the people happy and entertained with gladiator spectacles. He built several aqueducts and made a public reform. However, nearly after this, his health declined and his attitude changed and turned in to a complete monster by engaging in activities that harmed others sexually, he also began executing people without leaving any trails, even within his own family and thus, this lead to his murder. He was emperor for about four years; he was only 28 when he was assassinated.


 

That same day after the run and lunch and all that, one of my good friends called me up to tell me she had gone to one of the most ridiculous places in our city: a nightclub. A popular place for some known to be elitist, full in my opinion with phonies that are mostly gold diggers and low self esteem beings who pretend to find love or snort coke in the bathrooms. I asked her what she was doing there; she said she was just making company for a friend. She said everyone apparently found so odd that they let her in with sneakers and that she didn’t know anyone. They thought she was a foreigner they even pretended to introduce Tequila to her. She couldn’t hear over the loud annoying music when they asked her if she had tasted it, she said no, thinking that they had asked her if she had tasted this particular brand. Somehow this tequila, worth $500 pesos per shot (no joke) was what made these people feel so above everyone else. I asked her what’s in the shot? Gold? We both laughed but to be really honest with you, I felt a little tingle in my spine with fear, really? Are people actually buying this opulence? In the nervous laughter I remembered a really cool, odd and funny fact about Caligula, His HORSE; Incitatus. 

Incitatus was the single most beloved living thing that belonged to the emperor. I read about all the oddities Caligula had for his horse. According to Suetonius a Roman historian that lived around c. 69 – after 122 AD Caligula adored his horse from birth, he had his stable made from white marble, his manger was made from ivory and he often wore purple blankets. Purple was the most expensive of tints back then and a color set apart only for royalty. He wore necklaces with precious jewels and even ate oats mixed with gold flakes (yes! Like those people in the nightclub with the tequila shots!)  He had several servants designated just for his needs, and he was a racehorse who only once lost a single race ever, the unfortunate jockey was executed. How could it be Incitatus’ fault? On the nights previous his race, absolute silence was ordered, whoever disturbed Incitatus’ sleep was killed. Caligula wanted to name him a consul in the senate and this outraged the other senators. This story has two sides like most stories. It is said for starters, that Caligula’s madness[1] had gone way overboard and his exacerbated love for his horse as well; and two, he wanted to make fun of the senators by appointing a horse with no logos and reason so it could do their job if it could live like them.

But one thing is for sure: Incitatus was the horse of my dream. Today is a full moon and I hope he gallops through my dreams to foretell me another even and screaming “cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war”.

Note: HAVOC!  Was a military signal the English used during in the Middle Age to direct soldier into attack, rapine and pandemonium. This phrase is taken from the Shakespearean from the play “Julius Caesar” (III,i 273) “Julius Caesar” after his murder to foreshadow a catastrophe.

Jim Carrey teaches us a perfect way to fight depression

All pictures were grabbed from Jim Carrey's official Twitter page.

All pictures were grabbed from Jim Carrey's official Twitter page.

By Tom Spiegel

The world famous comedian took some time to give us a much-needed life lesson for today's society in which he shows us the ideal path to combat depression: painting.

As a comedy nut that I've always been and also a bit of a closeted psycho therapist, it's inevitable for me to analyze the most talented comics in history, or at the very least the ones who I can remember. The furthest I've gone in my research is Jonathan Winters or Don Rickles, both considered icons of the craft. In all the passion I've found throughout my never ending videos and texts, I have found a pattern that is more familiar with comedians who are more involved in the Hollywood world and worry a bit more about succeeding than actually enjoying the thrill of making people laugh. What I managed to discover in my investigation process, is that the more talented the comedian is, the more he wants to cover other artistic areas in entertainment. 

We have some incredibly quick-thinking improvisational comics, who I consider to be at the very top of the creative realm. Fair examples of this comic are the ones we will discuss in this article. Jim Carrey, Richard Pryor, TJ Miller, Gregg Geraldo, and more importantly Robin Williams; these are the prime examples of creative comic minds who sometimes cross a very thin and dangerous line that can suck their souls and sometimes even spark mental illness they didn't have before. Jim Carrey has been well-known as a diagnosed bipolar comic who has always fought with depression; he has never shied away from the burdens he has to bear every single day of his life. Being that talented has a high price, for some comics being this creative has even cost them their lives. 

There is also the more prepared and sharpened comedian who wasn't good when he started but has improved over the years to levels that only the very best can aspire. In this group of comics, you can easily find people like Ricky Gervais, Louis C.K., Jerry Seinfeld, and Chris Rock talking about their rise to stardom and how hard they worked over the years. These guys need at least a year to write a full hour of material and another year to test it in comedy clubs before they are confident they have a good show, but the misfits like Carrey and Williams were born with the comedy spark since they were little. Both of them were lonely little boys who started developing characters at an early age without realizing they also developed mantel illness; Robin Williams developed dementia for example. 

August the 11th marks three years since Robin Williams sadly passed away after committing suicide, the icon was found hanging in a bedroom door. People already knew how depressed he was since he was young, substance abuse at an early age certainly didn't help in latter years because his illness only grew stronger. But then again, the fact that he needed so many drugs to feel better also means that even sober he didn't feel okay. Fortunately for him, Robin's family helped him find inner peace in the city of San Francisco, and we witnessed some of the most impressive work of his career during his sober years. But as all unhinged creative minds, Robin required something to keep him occupied and distracted from his always present depression. Going on bicycle rides every day seemed to help out a lot, but divorcing his wife and separating from his family was a huge blow for him. 

I remember shedding many tears when I found out about his passing; it's almost as if I had lost one of my dearest friends because I had been following his career for decades. That's when it hit me; I remembered how severe Jim Carrey's depression had been for the past few years. Personal problems had him in constant search of tranquillity and enlightenment, a sudden alarming feeling came over me, and I started researching the latest acting he's done or comedy he's performed. I quickly realized that Jim Carrey hadn't done much in the last decade, he is another one of those artists who feel suffocated by the shallow and empty Hollywood life. Then I stumbled upon a nifty little show made for comedians by a legendary comedian called "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee", my first reaction was searching for Jim Carrey's episode, and there it was. 

This was a few years back, the reason I bring this up is that it soothes me to know that fewer people are as alarmed as I was then after knowing that Jim is alive and well. In that episode with Jerry, he spoke about how much he is enjoying life through painting, the perfect therapy for a person who suffers depression the way he does. Then a few days ago, Jim uploaded a documentary about his experience with painting called "I Needed Color." Watching it reminded me of Robin Williams so much, I felt sad because I knew he wasn't able to find the proper therapy in time like Jim did. But I also felt happy because I saw hope in Carrey's words during the documentary, he knows he is the type of creative mind that needs to feel less involved in the world's problems because they hurt him on a fundamental level. 

Sadly, not all comedians have the fortitude or carelessness to find comedy in tragedy. People like Jim Carrey are compassionate souls who do their comedy with no intention to enrage anyone, other comedians don't care about that, and that's okay. Perhaps the British comics have a more relaxed way of approaching their craft, people like Jimmy Carr, Ricky Gervais, and Craig Ferguson don't take themselves that seriously. Maybe that's where their success is hidden in plain sight, not giving a fuck every once in a while and just letting the comedy flow can also be the answer sometimes. I sure do hope Jim Carrey comes back to act in great comedy movies like in the past, let's hope his new hobby fuels him with motivation, and we get a new timeless character to imitate until the world comes to an end. 

Keep that momentum going Jim, please don't make me miss you and cry for you as Robin did.

Desert Daze 2017

Desert Daze is right around the corner, coming to you October 12-15 this year. In the sixth installment since its inception, Desert Daze showcases a diverse rock lineup featuring some of the biggest names in music, both old and new. Joining the festival's already luminary lineup are the incomparable Iggy Pop, Sleep (performing Holy Mountain in its entirety), Ty Segall and the Freedom Band, BADBADNOTGOOD, Cigarettes After Sex, and The Gories. Check out the updated Desert Daze lineup poster below for more acts.

For the second year, the festival will take place at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Institute of Mentalphysics in Joshua Tree. In addition to the magnificent desert view and Joshua Tree's famed night sky, attendees can enjoy the beautifully maintained grounds of garden paths, fountains, labyrinths and captivating architecture resting atop a rare confluence of three underground aquifers and a measurable magnetic field which causes a palpable energetic effect on desert visitors. 

Prescott McCarthy, Meika May Ginsburg, Non Plus Ultra, Oliver Hibert, Spencer Hibert, Dave Archer, Christopher Bettig, Celeste Byers, Aaron Glasson, Moon Magnet, Future Eyes, Brad Hansen, Beck + Col, and more will fill the landscape with beautiful new art installations and familiar festival staples. More amazing art collaborators to be announced. 

GA Weekend Passes, VIP, Super Duper VIP, Camping and payment plans are available now at desertdaze.org.

Cuando trato de echarte la culpa termino teniéndola yo

All Linkin' Park pictures were grabbed from their official Twitter account.

All Linkin' Park pictures were grabbed from their official Twitter account.

By Sol Pérez-Pelayo

l  would be lying if I said that I was a huge fan, or that I had been thinking about that band or him or prophesying his death for the last couple of days. Even so, I do not condemn those who do, or those who suddenly camefans of the band or singer after his death. I'm not one of those people who criticize others because "they become fans" overnight of somethingthat becomes a trending topic because of a sudden Unfortunately we as artists are worth more dead than alive. I'm talking about the recent suicide of Chester Bennington, the lead singer of LINKIN PARK.

A famous person’s suicide is always news, it is not the first time even this year, (remembering the great Chris Cornell) that Facebook newsfeeds are invaded by the suicide or death of a singer or musician that somehow marked my life at a certain point. The first time I felt this particular pain that ached in my whore body but at the same time without a real location, it was with Kurt Cobain. I found that I could feel closer to these people whom I had never met in person than with the people I talked to on a daily basis. This is because the connection we share comes directly from that unrivaled feeling that a song has, when it touches you, as something ancient, as if it read something inside you that nothing and no one else can.

Since I was very young I have enjoyed listening to music, especially rock and metal. When I was growing up at the beginning of the millennium, a lot of things were changing, and although I spent all of my allowance on CDs, MP3s began to take over the music industry. Even though I was a fan of old school metal like Thrash, Black and American or European Death Metal, I began to take this new kind of music into my esteem. NÜ METAL was not only part of my formation and influence playing bass in my band but also in my development as a teenage girl with very different tastes in a world with a society that lives for stereotypes.

Thismusic genre differed from everything I had heard so far because it combined different styles. These were undoubtedly influenced by Heavy Metal,  the guitar riffs were repetitive and sticky the virtuoso solos of old Heavy Metal disappeared. The voices were a composition of clean vocals, combined with elements of hip hop, rap and even a little guttural screams. At the time I had not analyzed it so thoroughly. I was 14 years old in a world where I wanted to find my way, playing bass, in athletism or writing poems. But it was in music where I discovered a special sanctuary. I think that many of us participate in this almost psychopathic melomania, that exact moment where the world stops, when it breaks into a thousand pieces and each of them outlines a fraction of our personal soundtrack that forges our life and professes a context that illuminates that very moment, which is unique and will never again exist.

For those of us who were born in the last half of the 80s, became teenagers just as the millennium was about to crash it’s way into our lives like a hurricane. It's true that we had our whole life talking about this, we guessed that there would be flying cars and robots with a keen sense of humor as in the Jetsons, but as the date approached, it all seemed like a hallucination. I also remember during that this time, I discoveredgerman philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, someone who would stay with me the rest of my life. I read about nihilism and felt some sort of confort knownig that, like me, others had already felt this strange rage that perhaps was part of my development. A newly acquired hormonal behavior, of a type of adolescent angst without an specific justification, but that conformed a great part of my personality.

In a world where Rick Rubin was the producer of the greatest alternative bands of the world, I longed to find sense in my life through music everyday. I has already identified with musical lyrics before, when I discovered grunge. But Nü metal and Nietzsche came into my life just at the perfect moment. We clicked, iracound lyrics, frustration and the entering a millennium that becameless and less human, and dedicated to the earthly matters was part of what fashioned me.

Although I have always been more inclined towards the heavy, the brutal, the acidic kind of music, I found out one day that my unconditional love of Nordic Black Metal, Metallica and Sepultura and more recently acquired of Korn and Slipknot there was room for something that had never existed until then in my musical tastes. It was my weekly habit to go to the record stores and spend my last dime on records that I discovered on the radio program “El Despeñadero” or on “Metalmorfosis” in the radio of University of Guadalajara. On one of these trips I stumbled over with HYBRID THEORY. One shouldn´t judge a book by its cover right? I couldn´t agree more. Because despite the cover being absolutley hideous someonethings told me to check this band out, a band that I had never heard of but read about in Hit Parader.

I didn´t have to listen to it for long when the record became one of my favorite of the moment. It didn’t take long for me to look up more information about them and found a photo that reminds as one of the most intense memories I have of my teenage years. It was a photo that promoted Hybrid Theory; Chester Bennington´s arms tattooed with flames, just that without a face, and they framed a microphone. The photograph immediately enchanted my eyes. In my last year of middle school this photo became the cover of my English Lit notebook. Only in the United States this record sold 10 million copies,, whether we consider ourselves fans of the band or not, we would have to be diluted by not accepting that they were an influence of cardinal scale, at least in their genre. I would be a hypocrite to say that they did not mark my life in a way, at least with that album. It is true as I said at the beginning, that the band was no longer a one of my favorites, I didn´t listed to them or even knew that they had a new album. I had moved away a lot NÜ Metal and I am now where I love it most forever in Death and Black metal, genres that I have always listened to with singular joy and enthusiasm, so Linkin Park and Nü Metal did not last in my life.

When I speak about transcendence, the most valuable thing left to us by an artist or writer after their death is their legacy. One of my most conspicuous obsessions in both my life and in my writings is the idea of iving eternally through a work of art or literature that achieves transcendence defing time. It is the only way to live beyond the ethereal life we ave, to continue in this world even after or last breath.

With the news of Chester Bennington’s alleged suicide, which I found lamentable, the old ideas of suicide resurfaced in me. Suicide was a subject that obsessed me as a teenage, the idea of having control of your life to the point of being able to decide when to end it and not so much as a last or easy way out of a life which you can no longer deal with and you make the choice to depart from. Both points are reasons by which people may cease with their lives, but I was really intrigued by the idea of hy so many people that I admired committed suicide?

One of them most known Nietzschean theories is the Eternal Return; The same thing is repeated forever. But in a physical idea o nature, not involving things like reincarnation. But to someone who suffers a great deal, why would they want to repeat it all when death could end it? The idea of epeating the same thing involves the idea of Amor Fati or love for your fate. There is a will to live, but this would also mean that there is a will to die. The Will to Power also affirmed by Nietzsche creates the Übermensch who after announcing the death of God enters inevitable nihilism. The idea of he Eternal Return is perhaps a little frightening, since we know that the end of it all is death, but we often do no know the time, place or cause. If we put ourselves against infinity, time, space and the universe we would realize our own triviality, our existence is going to be reduced to living 70 something years and this against the eternity is an insignificance. Should we then decide to live a fuller life because of this, or we could decide to live intensely? Live thinking that everyday can be our last?

Perhaps it´s even unfair that Chester Bennington and Linkin Park were quite successful in their golden times, but it also true that they no longer enjoyed of total support from their so-called fans as it was at begining. Now that he has died, his fans may be collecting regrets, many of having abandoned him in his human and artistic journey, have resurfaced from the depths of their computers or perchance many are new. As I said, I do not condemn this, everyone knows what they do and what they say. The death of someone else opens up in us humans a certain feeling of guilt and trepidation, because we see in it our own death, our impotence to be able to do something, given that it is too late. It is at present too late for Chester, for all the people who called him poser or sellout or for those who stopped admiring him at their own  convenience. It is already late for all of them who still love him and that his death has left a gap in their lives, whether they were close to him personally or not. Nevertheless, it is only late in some way in this life, given the fact that t´s now imposible to to be able to do something more with it. Chester's suicide aroused in me these nihilistic feelings that I stumbled upon alongside his band and my intellectual guide. Philosophy and music will always be part of my life and leverage the way I see and analyze it

In any case, our Mexican idiosyncrasies of dealing with death in a humeours take or as a joke allows us to make pranks about tragedies as soon as possible. The memes or mockeries of something that started out as is something aberrant come sooner thatn ever. I am not sure if it is already something that conforms our Mexican geist or if we are already insensitive to the pain of others, which terrifies me. There are thousands of opinions about Chester´s suicide: if he was a selfish, that he was so famous, what about his family?, etc. The truth is that we can not and do not have the right to judge anyone, but I forget that in the networks we have all been like that, despotic judges of situations that are not of our concern, that everyone online feels that they are experts in all areas even if they have not studied the topic at all.

Until yesterday I hadn´t listened to the band ina long time, possibly and as many do it was because of thenostalgia I felt. I can honestly say that I shifted to my adolescence I was 15 years old again,  back then when I unveiled many things in my life and I returned to those years where I began to strengthen the roots that until now have kept me true myself. Nietzsche says: "The individual has always fought not to be absorbed by the tribe. If you try, you will often be alone, and sometimes scared. But no price is too high for the privilege of being oneself. "

My first ever experience at Comic-Con International

By Tom Spiegel

Even if I have always been an avid movie and comic book fan since I have a memory, I had never really been graced with the opportunity to experience the San Diego Comic-Con due to various reasons. But this year was going to be different; my goal was to at least make it to the outskirts of the convention center and take loads of pictures of sweaties in full-blown cosplays. But what I got was a little bit better, just a tad shy of the full experience. While visiting my favorite video game shop, I encountered a nice lady employee who told me about a chance to work at the Con for a few days, suddenly getting paid to attend the event seemed like an excellent idea. The catch was that I would work as a security guard on the main entrance floor, without getting to go down to the exhibit hall. This was my first chance to actually get to say that I attended Comic-Con, so finally, I decided to go through with the experience. 

Verdict

I gotta say, apart from the excruciating pain my feet went through during all four days of the Con, the experience was actually pretty amazing. I got to interact with thousands of sweaty fans whose faces told the story of a place like no other, a convergence that congregates hundreds of thousands of fans who love movies, comic books, and pop culture, who are mostly quite respectful for one and other. My post was at one of the main entrances in the registration area; I had to deal with people who wanted to go out of the building for various reasons and needed to be re-directed by yours truly in order to get to the other side. For the most part, I had absolutely no problems dealing with people who just wanted their freebie bags, their collectible pin, and limited edition Jack Kirby book with articles about his impressive career. Since I wasn't allowed on the main floor, that was the best I could aspire to get, and I enjoyed every single minute of it. 

I did attempt to sneak into the main floor, at first I did get past the security guards, but I miserably failed after only five minutes of walking in I was politely asked to leave the premises. It was worth the try; I got to take a picture of K2-SO from Star Wars: Rogue One. After that failed attempt, I knew that my main objective was to take as many cosplay pictures as I could, and that's exactly what I did. 

The Strong Cosplay Game

It's hard to imagine how much work goes into making most of the elaborate costumes that make it to Comic-Con, I got the pleasure of taking over 60 pictures that I share with you at the very top of this article. All the toddlers with their cosplay are the ones that get me every time. However, perhaps the most beautiful costumes are the ones I got to see an old couple dressed as Han and Leia, who were walking around the floor holding hands and looking cuter than anything I got to see during the whole weekend. I also got a chance to find a couple of celebrities who were walking across the room to get to a panel. One of them was legendary comic book sweaty John Schnepp who has a show on Collider called Heroes. He was nice to me when I recognized him but looked a bit rushed to get to a panel.

However, the other famous person I met was one of the most recognized film critics in recent history; his name is Scott Mantz. As soon as he realized I knew him, he was incredibly gracious and asked me to take out my phone for a selfie; it's cool when people who get famous don't let it get to their head just like Mantz did with me and many fans I'm sure. But is I want to talk about highlights, there are other details of my whole trip that I can mention, for one I got to attend the event with my brother Diego who volunteered and hung out with me after every shift. Another great moment was when I met the lovable Moose, a local who goes every year for the autographs and got to take a picture with Chadwick Boseman. During a few breaks I got while working, I decided to spend time with him and got to meet a great human being who was one of the nicest people I met. 

For next year, I will try to get a badge for sure, either as a professional or press so I can cover more details of the event for this website. I do believe that we qualify to get in there without a problem, we'll do everything we can to get the full experience of the Con. But as a first time, I really can't complain about everything I saw. And the best part of it was that I got to hang out with some very nice people, both staff, and attendees. Let's hope next year increases my love for the experience. 

Picture taken from Moose Polk's Facebook page

Picture taken from Moose Polk's Facebook page

Trying to put so much on you takes so much on me

All Linkin' Park pictures were grabbed from the band's official  Twitter  page

All Linkin' Park pictures were grabbed from the band's official Twitter page

By Sol Pérez-Pelayo

Estaría mintiendo si dijera que yo era mega fan, o que tenía días pensando en esa banda o en él o profetizando su muerte. Aun así, tampoco voy a condenar a quienes lo hagan, o a los que de repente les entró un amor a la banda o al cantante a raíz de su muerte. No soy de las que critican a la gente porque “se hacen fans” de la noche a la mañana de algo que no conocían pero de pronto por algo como una muerte, se convierte en trending topic. Desgraciadamente los artistas valemos más muertos que vivos. Estoy hablando del reciente suicidio de Chester Bennington, el vocalista de LINKIN PARK.

 

El suicidio de una persona famosa siempre es noticia, no es la primera vez inclusive en este año, (basta recordar al gran Chris Cornell) que los newsfeeds de Facebook son invadidos por el suicidio o muerte de un cantante o músico que de algún modo marcó mi vida. La primera vez que sentí este dolor particular que me dolía por todos lados pero al mismo tiempo sin una localización real, fue con Kurt Cobain.

Así fueron suicidándose ídolos que yo aún sin conocer en persona, pude sentirme más cercana a ellos que con las personas con las que convivía a diario. Esto es, porque la conexión que compartimos es directa de ese sentimiento incomparable que te provoca una canción, cuando te toca, como algo antiguo, como si leyera algo dentro de ti que nada ni nadie mas puede.

Desde una edad muy temprana he disfrutado mucho de la música y sobre todo del rock y metal. Cuando yo estaba creciendo en el comienzo del milenio, muchas cosas se estaban innovando, y aunque yo gastaba hasta mi último “domingo” en CDs, los MP3 comenzaban a invadir la industria de la música. De cualquier modo, aunque yo era fan del metal vieja escuela como el Thrash, Black nórdico y Death americano o europeo, lo que me tocó disfrutar como parte de mi formación y no sólo musical tocando en mi banda, sino musical en formación como una chica con gustos no comunes en un mundo lleno de estereotipos, fue por supuesto y sin lugar a dudas, el llamado Nü Metal.

Este género se diferenciaba de todo lo que yo hasta entonces había escuchado porque combinaba diferentes estilos. Éstos tenían sin duda gran influencia del heavy metal, los riffs eran comunes y repetitivos mientras los solos virtuosos del antiguo heavy metal desaparecieron. Las voces eran una composición de vocales limpias, aunadas con elementos de hip hop, rap y hasta un poco de gutural. Todo esto en ese momento no lo había analizado con tanto detenimiento. Yo tenía 14 años en un mundo donde me buscaba encontrar camino, tocando el bajo, en el atletismo o escribiendo poemas. Pero fue en la música donde descubrí un refugio especial. Creo que muchos participamos de esta melomanía casi psicopática, de esa conmoción donde el mundo se detiene, se parte en mil pedazos y cada uno de ellos perfila una fracción de nuestro soundtrack personal que forja nuestra vida y nos profesa un contexto que ilumina ese momento, el cual es único y que nunca volverá a existir.

 

A los que nacimos en la última mitad de los 80s nos tocó ser adolescentes justo cuando el milenio estaba a punto de adherirse en nuestras vidas como un huracán. Es cierto que teníamos toda nuestra vida hablando de eso, que conjeturábamos que habría carros volando y robots con humor como en los Supersónicos, pero entre más se iba acercando la fecha, todo eso parecía una alucinación. Recuerdo también durante esta época haber descubierto a Friedrich Nietzsche, persona que se quedaría conmigo el resto de mi vida. Descubrí el nihilismo y qué como yo, habían existido ya escritores que sentían esta extraña rabia que quizás formaba parte de mí. De un comportamiento hormonal recién adquirido, de un tipo de enojo adolescente sin justificación específica, pero que conformó gran parte de mi personalidad. En un mundo donde Rick Rubin era el productor con las bandas alternativas más escuchadas del mundo, buscaba encontrarle sentido a mi vida por medio de la música cada día. Con estas letras me había identificado en el grunge, pero el Nü metal cayó justo en el momento perfecto.

Hicimos clic, las letras de enojo, de frustración y el entrar en un milenio cada vez menos humano, cada vez más dedicado a lo terrenal era parte de lo que conformaba mi dedicación a toda esta corriente en la cual crecí.

Aunque siempre me he inclinado más por lo pesado, lo brutal, lo ácido, encontré un día que dentro de mi amor incondicional al Black Metal nórdico, a Metallica,  a Sepultura y recientemente adquirido a Korn y a Slipknot había lugar para algo que nunca había existido hasta entonces en mis gustos musicales.Era mi hábito de cada semana, ir a las tiendas de discos y gastar hasta mi último centavo en discos que había descubierto en el programa de radio el Despeñadero o uno que existía hace mucho que se llamaba Metalmorfosis en radio Universidad de Guadalajara, cuando me topé con HYBRID THEORY. Se dice que no se debe de juzgar un libro por su portada, y estoy de acuerdo de eso,  porque la portada a mi gusto era espantosa, y como mencioné me gusta la música mas “pesada” en cambio, decidí darle a esta banda de la cual había leído en HIT PARADER pera que jamás había escuchado; LINKIN PARK una oportunidad.

 

 

A las pocas veces que lo escuché, el disco se convirtió  en uno de mis discos favoritos del momento. No tardé en buscar mas información y encontré una foto que es de los recuerdos más intensos que tengo de mi adolescencia. Era una foto promocionado el disco Hybrid Theory; eran los brazos tatuados con flamas de Chester Bennington, así sin cara, enmarcaban un micrófono y en seguida, encantaron mis pupilas En segundo de secundaria los brazos en flamas de Chester fueron la portada de mi cuaderno de English Literature. Tan sólo en los Estados Unidos vendieron 10 millones de copias de su álbum debut, seamos fans o no seamos fans, tendríamos que estar negados al no aceptar que fueron una influencia de cardinal escala, por lo menos en el género. Yo estaría siendo hipócrita al decir que no marcaron mi vida de algún modo, por lo menos con ese álbum. Es cierto como dije al comienzo, que ya no era seguidora la banda, que me había alejado mucho ya inclusive del NÜ Metal y me he quedado estacionada ya para siempre en el Death y el Black metal, géneros de los que siempre he escuchado con singular alegría y entusiasmo, por lo cuales Linkin Park y el Nü Metal no duraron en mi vida.

Hablando de la trascendencia, lo más valioso que nos deja un artista o un escritor es su legado. Una de mis obsesiones más pronunciadas tanto en mi vida como en mis escritos es la idea vivir eternamente mediante una obra que logre la trascendencia a través del tiempo. Es la única forma de vivir más allá de la vida etérea que tenemos, de que sigamos en el mundo aun después de haber dejado de respirar.

Con la noticia del supuesto suicidio de Chester Bennington, la cual de verdad encontré lamentable, resurgieron en mí las antiguas ideas del suicidio. El suicidio era un tema que me obsesionaba de adolescente, el tener el control de tu vida al punto de decidir cuando terminarla, no tanto como una última salida a una vida con la cual ya no puedes y decides dejar. Ambos puntos son vertientes por las cuales las personas quizás cesan con su vida, pero realmente me intrigaba la idea de ¿por qué tanta gente que yo admiraba se suicidaba?

Nietzsche habla de su teoría del Eterno Retorno; se repite lo mismo por siempre. Alguien que sufre mucho, ¿por qué querría repetir lo que con la muerte pudo acabar? La idea de repetir lo mismo involucra la idea de amor fati o el amor al destino. Hay voluntad de vivir, pero esto también implicaría que hay voluntad de morir. La voluntad de poder acuñada por Nietzsche crea al superhombre después de anunciar la muerte de Dios y entrar en nihilismo inevitable.  Resulta quizás un poco aterradora la idea del Eterno Retorno, pues sabemos que pasa al final siempre, sabemos que moriremos. Pero no sabemos la mayoría del tiempo cuanto nos queda de éste y ni la causa de nuestra muerte. Si nos ponemos contra el infinito, el tiempo, el espacio y el universo tendríamos la idea de que no somos nada en sí, nuestra existencia se va a reducir a si bien nos va 70 y pico de años y contra el tiempo eterno es una insignificancia. ¿Es que gracias a esto, pudiéramos decidir vivir intensamente? ¿Vivir pensando en que podría ser el último día?

Haciendo un paralelismo, quizás hasta medio injusto; Chester Bennington y Linkin Park tuvieron en su tiempo bastante éxito, pero era cierto que ya no gozaban de tal ni de total apoyo de sus fans como lo fue en un principio. Ahora que ha muerto, y que ha decidido voluntariamente dejar este plano, sus fans quizás arrepentidos muchos de haberlo abandonado en su camino como seguidores, han resurgido de las profundidades de sus ordenadores o quizás muchos sean nuevos. Como dije, yo no condeno esto, cada quien sabe que hace y lo que dice. La muerte de alguien más abre en los humanos un cierto sentimiento de culpa y de miedo, porque vemos en ella nuestra propia muerte, nuestra impotencia de poder hacer algo, porque ya es demasiado tarde. Ya es demasiado tarde para Chester, para toda la gente que le llamó poser  o vendido o que dejó de admirarlo a conveniencia. Ya es tarde también para todos ellos que aún lo quieren y que su muerte ha dejado un hueco en su vida, hayan sido sus cercanos o no. No obstante, sólo es tarde de algún modo para la vida, para poder hacer algo más con ella. El suicidio de Chester despertó en mí estos sentimientos nihilistas que descubrí a la par de su banda y de mi guía intelectual. La filosofía y la música siempre van a formar parte de mi vida y de la forma en que la veo y la analizo.

De cualquier manera, nuestra idiosincrasia mexicana de tratar con la muerte como algo chusco nos permite hacer bromas de las tragedias a la brevedad posible. Los memes o mofas de algo que un principio es algo aberrante no se hacen esperar. No estoy segura si es ya algo de nuestro geist mexicano o si de plano ya estamos insensibles ante el dolor ajeno, cosa que me aterroriza. Hay miles de opiniones: que si era un egoísta, que de que le servía tanta fama, familia etc. La verdad es que no podemos ni tenemos derecho a juzgar a nadie, pero se me olvida que en las redes todos hemos sido así, jueces déspotas de situaciones que en verdad no nos incumben, que hay expertos en todo aunque no hayan estudiado nada.

Hasta ayer tenía mucho tiempo que no escuchaba a la banda y quizás como muchos dicen sólo por el furor o el recuerdo los puse. Puedo decir honestamente que me transporté a mi adolescencia, de nuevo tenía 15 años, descubría muchas cosas en mi vida y regresaba esos años donde empecé a fortalecer las raíces que hasta ahora me han mantenido fiel a mí misma. Dice Nietzsche: “el individuo ha luchado siempre para no ser absorbido por la tribu. Si lo intentas, a menudo estarás solo, y a veces asustado. Pero ningún precio es demasiado alto por el privilegio de ser uno mismo”.

Sergio Brown nos lleva a la Docu-Ficción autobiográfica

Foto por 'Checo' Brown

Foto por 'Checo' Brown

Por Pavel Ibarra Meda

Una de las principales razones por las que fue creado Kinofilia, es por el amor incondicional que he tenido por el cine desde que tengo memoria. Recuerdo los días en los que iba a mi tienda de video donde rentaba todos los VHS que podía y los devoraba en cuestión de horas, esto es mucho antes de que el internet se convirtiera en este monstruo tan prominente que el día de hoy domina la cadena alimenticia en el mundo del consumo. Pero hay una rama del cine que no conocí hasta que estaba más grande, ya como preparatoriano en la ciudad de Tijuana. 

Fueron los tiempos en los que se dieron todos los eventos del 11 de Septiembre, en aquellos años conocí el cine documental gracias a Michael Moore y su 'Masacre en Columbine', después pude analizar detenidamente su 'Farenheit 9/11'. Pero el documental lo conocí de una manera más íntima gracias a una de las principales figuras del género en la frontera, un maestro que cada que puede alza la voz y el lente cuando ve una injusticia. Un nativo del municipio de Rosarito, que por mucho tiempo adoptó a la ciudad de Tijuana como su casa, pero siempre mantuvo gran parte de su alma cerca de la brisa y la arena del 'pueblito' contiguo. 

A 'Checo' lo conocí por casualidad, me tocó ver un anuncio de unas clases de cine gratis en la Universidad CESUN. Rápidamente le dije a mis amigos para ver quién se animaba a ir, aprender cine es algo que siempre he perseguido de una manera u otra. Esta era mi oportunidad para por fin ver un poco más de cerca esta manera de contar historias, de hacer arte. Pero no estaba preparado para la experiencia que me esperaba, me encontraría con uno de los profesores más pasionales que jamás ví impartir una materia en un salón de clases. Desde el primer día mientras nos contaba sobre la historia del cine, de los revolucionarios hermanos Lumiere, del visionario Georges Mèliès, o del virtuoso Jean-Luc Godard, me di cuenta que compartíamos un amor por el cine igual de intenso. Sentía que había encontrado un oásis, mis amigos se dieron cuenta por lo profusas de mis pláticas después de las clases. 

 

Después por cuestiones del destino dejé de tener contacto con él, nunca dejé de consumir cine, fueran de ficción o documentales. Hasta que por allá del 2008 que todos nos conectamos a redes sociales casi por osmosis, tuve la oportunidad de toparlo en un bar por el centro de Tijuana. Era obvio que él no me recordaba, pero sí que recordaba esas clases de Loops Urbanos que impartió a varias ávidas mentes de preparatoria. Yo no vivía en Tijuana en ese entonces, pero en el primer momento que lo vi en redes sociales, no dudé en hacer contacto por ahí para continuar siguiendo su conversación hacia el mundo. 

Una vez que me empecé a familiarizar más con su contenido, me di cuenta porqué es tan apasionado por el cine documental. 'Checo' Brown es un documentalista/activista que siempre se ha preocupado por problemáticas sociales tanto a nivel nacional como local. Si en algún momento he tenido instinto periodístico, éste nació por primera vez de una inquietud por preguntarle sobre sus razones detrás de esta pasión por hacer estas películas. 

Sobre la experiencia de dar el curso de tres días a alumnos que llegaron al CEART de Rosarito (yo incluido), 'Checo' abrió la entrevista dándonos una extensa explicación de cómo fue todo el proceso: "Isa, que trabaja en el CEART de Rosarito me propuso trabajar con ellos. Pero lo consideré hasta que había una nueva directora porque había tenido disputas políticas con el anterior director de la institución. En el año 2009 éramos facciones artístico/políticas contrarias, cuando a él lo nombraron director del CEART ni siquiera me quise acercar. Realmente nos pegamos con todo en aquel entonces, hubo 4 meses de manifestaciones, escritos, críticas, confrontaciones, fue un desmadre. El documental que trata de ese tema está por hacerse, entonces por eso no me había acercado."

"Cuando vi en el periódico que cambiaron de director, fue cuando decidí acercarme con un proyecto en tres facetas. Primero les propuse una conferencia para ir abriendo el tema, luego voy a dar una clase magistral y después, abrir un taller. Me dijeron que sí, en la conferencia fueron 15 personas y en el curso no esperábamos que fuera tanta gente. Para esta clase magistral esperábamos unas 18 personas y terminaron asistiendo más de 25."

"Dando este curso específico con este formato lo empecé en 2014 con un amigo que se llama Pavel Valenzuela, él es mi socio con el que tengo una compañía. Soy parte de una sociedad con Pavel, tengo otro proyecto con un amigo mío de la infancia sobre cine documental, y aparte tengo los proyectos externos en los que siempre he colaborado."

"Pavel fue mi alumno primero por allá del año 2000, después nos hicimos compas y yo le edité su tesis, que fue una video tesis. Después de ahí empezamos a hacer varios proyectos juntos, él se fue a estudiar su maestría en antropología visual a Barcelona un par de años y entre que se fue y regresó estuvimos trabajando tres documentales que se extendieron un poco porque se fue. Cuando regresó empezamos otros y fue ahí cuando CEART Tijuana nos hizo una propuesta para desarrollar un taller, antes de eso dimos un intensivo en el CUT, di otro en Transmedios. Esta es la quinta vez que doy este taller."

"La cinematografía es un campo que en esta zona del país no está tan trabajado, se ha estado construyendo en los últimos veinte años. Aquí en Rosarito tuve una experiencia muy satisfactoria. Yo creo firmemente que bajo el método que yo trabajo, cualquier persona que tenga la disposición de convertirse en artista documental lo puede lograr. Yo sostengo que bajo los métodos que yo trabajo, cualquier persona puede hacer buenos documentales. Yo tengo esa idea de que si un ser humano es capaz de algo, cualquier otro puede hacerlo. Incluso estoy convencido que muchos luego lo harán mejor que yo. Como primer reflexión, a mi me interesa que vaya gente que ya tiene un conocimiento previo, pero también me interesan las personas que llegan por ese impulso de conocer algo nuevo que probablemente siempre estuvieron buscando pero no habían podido conectar."

Sobre su decisión de irse por el lado más antropológico del cine documental y sus ideologías personales dijo: "Tiene que ver más con mi formación artística personal, las influencias que tengo, el tipo de pensamiento que he llevado. Esta forma de pensar tiene que ver con poder hacer una comunión entre mis intereses personales individuales y la comunidad. A mi me toca ser parte de un momento de la historia de nuestra región, en el cuál los proyectos de mayor trascendencia eran colectivos."

"Por un lado yo tengo una formación política de izquierda formada en particular por una escuela del movimiento zapatista mexicano de finales del siglo XX y principios del XXI. La irrupción del movimiento indígena en la política mexicana me hizo entender la distancia socioeconómica entre las clases en México y la desaparición por siglos de los indígenas. Ahí fue donde tuve una conexión muy importante con la gente que como decían los mismos zapatistas, no tenían voz."

Sobre el impulso de documentar injusticias a su criterio, 'Checo' expresó que: "Yo tengo muy claro que la historia es una confrontación de puntos de vista, entonces si me enojo por esa confrontación el que va a salir dañado soy yo. Durante mi carrera, he pasado por un proceso en el cuál me he tenido que desligar de lo personal. Lo que hago es conectarme con mis ideas sin importarme que haya conflictos o discusiones con el otro, todo eso lo veo natural en mi trabajo."

A cerca de la adrenalina de hacer documentales sobre temas tabú, 'Checo' mencionó que: "En el documental que he estado haciendo durante mi carrera, prácticamente he registrado los movimientos socio/políticos de la región donde no he tenido conflictos porque soy parte de los movimientos. Yo voy a grabar las manifestaciones en defensa del petróleo, voy a grabar las manifestaciones en contra de los fraudes electorales, grabo manifestaciones en contra de la desaparición de los 43 estudiantes de Ayotzinapa. De una u otra manera son grupos con los que siento algún tipo de afinidad, sí me ha arriesgado pero trato de no hacerlo."

También habló sobre haber probado la fama internacional, nuestro entrevistado nos hizo un recordatorio de los momentos más significativos en su profesión: "A lo largo de mi carrera he compartido mi experiencia con muchos amigos cercanos que a lo largo de 18 o 20 años, juntos hemos ido creciendo en el aspecto creativo. A lo largo de este periodo, he podido observar que ese movimiento ha tenido un cambio de pasar de las modalidades de representación clásica como las explicativas o expositivas; se han empezado a buscar las nuevas manifestaciones dentro del documental que viene siendo la docu-ficción aparte de las que mencioné."

"Este nuevo género permite adentrarse a ciertos modelos más creativos que permiten hacer ficción dentro del documental y esto a su vez amplían las posibilidades artísticas del realizador. En casi todos los jóvenes que me ha tocado apoyar, casi todos se quedan en el documental basado en la entrevista que tiene que ver con la historia de alguien más y no de ellos mismos. Pienso que los ejercicios autobiográficos como los que propuse en esta clase, pueden ser una forma de sanación psíquica. Esto se ha trabajado ya en el teatro, pero ahora en el documental va a empezarle a pasar a muchos realizadores como me ha pasado a mi, un cambio positivo. El mensaje que yo voy a dar es ese, tienen que hacer este género del documental porque los va a ayudar a cambiar. Si tú cambias a través del cine, no necesitas que alguien más vea tu película porque lo único que necesitas es cambiar tú."

Para poder ilustrarnos más sobre lo que hace, el señor Brown nos habló de uno de sus ya tres documentales que forman una trilogía: "Para poner un ejemplo, en el caso de 'Huracán 76'; en esta historia me voy viendo a mi al mismo tiempo que voy observando a la sociedad. Aquí voy planteando a través de una serie de discursos, la explicación de un entorno histórico/político en el cuál se desarrolla la vida de un personaje (que en este caso soy yo). Empezamos hablando del '68, hasta los movimientos políticos de los '70, hablamos del Zapatismo, de las luchas de resistencia en contra de los fraudes electorales y finalmente, hablamos del contexto contemporáneo de la imposición de Enrique Peña Nieto junto con la desaparición de los 43 normalistas de Ayotzinapa."

"Aquí las películas que son autobiográficas a su vez están inscritas en una circunstancia histórica que ubica al sujeto (mi historia), dentro de una sociedad. Yo como documentalista también, soy el que se ha dedicado a documentar ese proceso. Básicamente muestro imágenes que se van a convertir en registros de la Revolución Mexicana, esto quiere decir que la Revolución Mexicana no va a pasar dentro de 5 años, ya está sucediendo desde hace mucho tiempo. Esas imágenes en las cuales me inserto yo como documentalista dentro de una modalidad autobiográfica, creo que estoy dejando un testimonio para que estos hechos humanos no se desvanezcan en el tiempo o en el concepto de historia como decía Herodoto."

Presentación del libro 'Huracán 76'.

Presentación del libro 'Huracán 76'.

Sobre su nuevo documental Saicología, Checo nos muestra un lado muy íntimo de su experiencia de vida en el que ha tenido que luchar con varios de los más grandes obstáculos en su vida: "En términos generales, te puedo decir que es la historia de un escritor (yo mismo) que escribe un libro con ese nombre y en el proceso de la escritura va mostrando qué significa ser un escritor. Describo mi día a día como escritor, describo los detalles de todo lo que hago. A su vez soy un activista social que tiene colaboraciones artísticas con personas que son mis amigos."

Still del documental, 'Saicología'.

Still del documental, 'Saicología'.

"Saicología significa un viaje hacia mi interior, un viaje con la noche obscura de mi alma, con mi sombra más profunda. Este libro se detona a partir de una cosa terrible que me pasó: lo que pasó fue que en el entorno más cercano de mi familia hubo dos casos de agresión sexual a menores de edad que fueron encubiertas por mi hermana. La persona que cometió este delito de pederastia es su pareja, quien era mi cuñado pero ya no lo considero así, él agredió a su propia hija y a mi sobrina siendo menores de edad. Yo me entero de todo lo que pasó tiempo después, evidentemente no podía dejarlo pasar desapercibido tanto en lo emotivo como en mis pensamientos. Estos sucesos me llevan a la que ha sido la peor crisis de mi vida hasta ahorita, considerando que ya he tenido unas muy fuertes como la muerte de mi madre cuando yo tenía 21 años, o la muerte de mi padre cuando tenía 28."

La manera en la que me contó sobre estos sucesos tan fuertes y viscerales en el momento de la entrevista, me ayudó a conocer un lado más personal de 'Checo', me ayudó a darme cuenta de dónde viene esa inquietud interminable por contar historias de crítica social que logra transformarlas en relatos que pueden llegarse a percibir como muy íntimos o personales. La razón de esto es toda la experiencia que le ha regalado el haber perdido a personas tan valiosas en su vida a una edad tan temprana, pero también sentí que el tema central de Saicología era el más complicado para él porque las personas afectadas en el percance aún están vivas. Entonces me entró la inquietud de saber de qué manera había canalizado tal acontecimiento, después de la primer entrevista el documental aún no estaba terminado. 

Debido a esto, yo sentía que mi entrevista no estaba conclusa hasta que pudiera ver tranquilamente Saicología. Por suerte, para 'Checo' era importante que una persona fuera de su círculo social pudiera ver su producto semi-terminado para así poder agregarle cualquier tipo de arreglo o elemento que pudiera mejorar el filme. Unas semanas después, 'Checo' tuvo la cortesía de invitarme a su casa a ver el docu y no me lo pensé dos veces. Llevé un doce de cerveza artesanal de la Baja, y fui con toda la intención de cerrar un ciclo de entendimiento que me iba a permitir terminar este análisis del personaje que tanto me ha intrigado a lo largo del tiempo que lo he conocido. 

Me di cuenta que dentro de esta última pieza de la trilogía, él se adentró en definiciones y estudios que se encargaron de revelarle lo obscura que puede llegar a ser una persona. Dentro de la experiencia de filmar su día a día, o mejor dicho, noche a noche sin que los demás se dieran cuenta; el espectador del filme (en este caso yo), iba a poder definir la manera tan profunda en la que lo afectó este acontecimiento tan difícil de vivir. Pude ver a su familia más querida, que son sus amigos, compartir con él los momentos complicados después de este suceso y ayudarlo a aguantarlos de alguna manera, y superarlos al final. 

Pero a pesar de lo que podamos ver como espectadores, yo soy de los que piensa que en un estudio autobiográfico documental, el espectador realmente nunca va a comprender completamente el mensaje que el realizador desea transmitir. Para mi, los trabajos de este tipo tienen mucho que ver con la subjetividad, ya que no todos vivimos de la misma forma la experiencia de la vida. No todos los individuos experimentamos momentos exactamente iguales o similarmente traumáticos, comparado con otras personas; es por eso que cada persona va a tener una experiencia distinta cuando tenga la oportunidad de ver el producto. 

Durante la proyección de la película, me di cuenta de lo mucho que se adentra en el proceso a pesar de haberla visto ya miles de veces. Su proceso es el de ir viendo cada detalle para mejorar aspectos con cada proyección que le muestra a diversos espectadores, esto con la finalidad de nunca proyectar el mismo producto; a esta práctica se le llama cine vivo de acuerdo con 'Checo'. En la entrevista me quedó claro, que estamos ante un maestro del cine documental que ya ha probado las mieles del éxito durante su época con el colectivo de música electrónica llamado Nortec. La intención que tiene 'Checo' ya es distinta a la que tenía cuando era joven. Si bien el impulso por siempre tratar de compartir su conocimiento a través de la enseñanza sigue intacto, incluso más fuerte que nunca.

 

'Checo' se ha dado cuenta que él necesitaba una auto-exploración a través de su arte. Para él, la mejor manera de lidiar con los problemas personales siendo un artista, es haciendo cine y expresando su sentir por medio del arte. Para mi en lugar de terapia, puedo darme cuenta que él tiene más que suficiente con seguir manteniendo su ímpetu creativa en constante movimiento. A esto yo le agregaría su buena predisposición de protestar por injusticias que ve en la sociedad, una reacción natural que como seres humanos traemos en los genes, el problema es que algunos se distraen o anestesian al consumir productos que los alejan de la realidad en la que vivimos. Pero 'Checo' no se deja distraer, él sigue alerta y siempre dispuesto a levantar la cámara para documentar lo que considera importante. También, nunca está de más tener a tus amigos que te tiendan una mano cuando estás caído, que te puedan llenar de amor cuando más lo necesitas. El señor Brown está bien cubierto de todo esto, por eso sus productos contienen esa preponderancia. 

Le agradecemos a Sergio Brown Figueredo que nos haya compartido de una forma tan cercana su obra en forma de trilogía, también le agradecemos que nos haya compartido su amor por el cine documental y conocimiento. En una entrevista futura, trataremos de abordar más sobre sus aventuras con Nortec y los proyectos de Bostich + Fussible que en estos momentos están teniendo mucho reconocimiento internacional. 

YOUNG THUG IS HERE WITH A FUCKING GOOD ALBUM

By Ben Magana

Utilizing a hybrid acoustic guitar with tambourine a lá Country, through authentic down-home feel; this seems real. Haphazardly as it is his trademark and modus operandi, Jeffery Williams under his professional alias Young Thug proudly states to the four winds that Family Don´t Matter. In his liquid and reptilian style of rhyme-&-sing, Millie Go Lightly accompanies the Atlanta-native in this the opener from his new album, BEAUTIFUL THUGGER GIRLS. The nihilistic (non/anti) ethos that the album swifts into under the abstract syncopation in the second track where, just as it happened with the album opener, Young Thug’s intention is not to make his words be the meaning, but rather it seems that when he repeats, ’til Infinity, ’til Infinity, etc. he wants himself to be meaning  reflected under this dense but with enough stop-gaps (a trademark of his live act), he is the meaning and the music is just a means for him to rid of this seemingly facile task of making each track a party staple no matter the situation. With Go Lightly accompanying him again, by the third song titled She Wanna Party, now the mood is enhanced with trap beats and a languid atmosphere, this is among Young Thug’s most inviting songs yet. Also notable is the amount of singing he develops as each song unfolds, despite the usual lyrics of pills, girls and thrills that enunciate the kind of escapism the current world desperately needs. Thug is here to deliver the needs of music fans as no one has done recently since Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN two months ago. 

The smooth groove that swings in his personal ode to his family, Daddy’s Birthday, where the lifestyle is intertwined what appears to be affection and perhaps, love? An exaggeration could be, as it also happens on this album as it does with all his work, a mystique of vapidity permeates the album. This time out though, it is a solid artistic development, Do U Love Me goes to a 90’s Nelly galaxy where the party that the album certainly seems to conduct. The complexity of the music as a whole is undoubtedly for sure. On his collaborations with Future, Relationship seems like a summer hit at first glance, all the right ingredients for a hot summer dancefloor full of what the lyrics themselves describes, lots of women interacting in different scenarios, but somehow always there is some codeine, yachts, jet-skis and lots of fucking in-between, all the things that fuckin’ encapsulates anyway. You Said brings back the acoustic guitar of the album opener, though this time his beats and his powerful and melodic howl is there for the taking as he sing let’s get freaky here sing it now, Jeffery, sing that right now. On Fire they all give a jungle atmosphere with those bongos and those sticks that make for the beat in unison with his ever-present drum sequencer companion. The mood engages here with sighing sonic hallucinations, a knotty minimalism as he musically converses about his molly and red bull intake. 

It is here that Mr Snoop Dogg addresses his nephew, Jeffery himself, to make this the album’s cannabis showpiece, and by far the sexiest track of the album, a surefire hit given the chance. One of the major merits the album, with its lyrics of strains and G-Funk-meets-trap innovation, lets the listener know in its tenth track that it is an addicting ode to camel toes, lovely appreciated while they all Get High. Feel It finds Young Thug singing his ass out, all he can about how he can, or if and how does the listener feels by this time of the hypnotic thirtysomething minutes into the album, and the rhymes that fly at such overwhelming velocity that it compares to witnessing some kind of hallucination of falling stars under some drug combination with all the boyz and the bitchez down with him. Me or Us is a tongue-in-cheek full attempt at country-flavored pop, a somehow intriguing concept, Young Thug strumming his guitar while singing/rhyming random predicaments such as his joy of smoking weed in Japan. 

 

By the time the beat kicks in on Oh Yeah, the piano-led song that so far most resembles his former material, in particular his last release, Jeffery. The melodies this time around transcend and certainly arouse even the most casual listener into admiration. Young Thug has grabbed the position one of the most relevant artist of 2017, this is what someone might say by the time the acoustic guitar and trumpets starts to give close to an album that has the necessary components to be on repeat for the time being. Williams says Take Care after describing a multitude of circumstances all juxtaposing each on the other with absolutely no fucks given in the the last track, where he closes it in fact insinuating he is leaving somehow. He has said in interviews he doesn’t think he’s going to live long. He supposedly lives on Xanax, MDMA, water, soda and a daily injection of vitamins. The lyrics at times seem to offer clues into what he really is about, even though it never seems that’s his intention to do so. Let's all listen again.

Com Truise’s last iteration

By Ben Magana

Ever since Seth Haley released his first album, 2011’s Galactic Melt under the Com Truise moniker, there has been a dramatic shake-up in humanity in general, particularly in the mid-decade. When Galactic Melt was released, a nascent social expressive movement known widely as Vaporwave was just taking off and Com Truise seemed to belong in the increasingly 90’s nostalgia dependent and lo-fi/low-brow concept altogether. Haley revealed that Com Truise is in fact a character who specialized in intergalactic voyages, and it’s in his music that this story has been recorded. In basic terms, the musical aspect of 2011’s Vaporwave was mostly either chopped/screwed samples of 80’s synthpop or analog-sounding compositions that seemed empty of human condition as a whole. Com Truise represented, unwittingly according to Haley, a popular strain of the second type of the genre’s then genesis. Nonetheless, Galactic Melt was a syncopated cruise into an electro haven that represented a time where darkness attracted the apparent nothingness of the first few years of the current decade and never since has it been directly compared to the Vaporwave art form it was later classified as.

Six years ahead and oh fuck has the world changed. Needless to say, the once-alienating robotic sounds that make for each thread of Com Truise’s psychedelic techno have become soothing and welcoming. The twelve tracks that form Iteration, his second proper album release that hit streaming sites worldwide June 16, have an elastic empathy about them, perhaps nodding to a more human-friendly Artificial Intelligence in a nearer-than-we-thought future. As it often occurs with instrumental three-minute pop songs that transcend monotonic electronica and truly engages the listener in manners not unlike on what’s going on in the background of some of hip-hop’s up and coming artists such as Playboi Carti for example, who on his eponymous release this year proved that its style now is indebted to this strain of synthesized melodies over fragmented Techno glitches and blurry vocoder voices over in the distance.

Haley has stated in interviews across 2017 that this album mostly represents his move to Los Angeles last year, all the changes this move meant to his music (in his case, the Com Truise astronaut escapes a certain planet with his girlfriend astronaut and live a happily ever after). This means Iteration is the last Com Truise album we are going to get from Seth Haley, which makes the machinery and the hypnotic sonic fractals that make this album all the more poignant and rousing. While not straying far from his debut’s electro sails into a dark litmus that, as it evolved into Iteration and its content, in the end, it is safe to say that Com Truise is our time’s smooth jazz, the languishing escapism that sometimes not even hip-hop has managed to encapsulate as finely.

Enchanted Forest Gathering is here!

By John Karlo Torres

The time has arrived, one year since I last covered Enchanted Forest and things are looking pretty sweet for 2017. There are some new additions to this year's gathering and I am stoked to experience the magic first hand. If you are heading out to Laytonville this year, be prepared for some cooler weather and rain, a different experience from last year's crazy hot days. Make sure to bust out the fuzzy jackets and the leggings for a comfortable, dance all night, play all day time. 

Full-Service Hookah Lounge

I was fortunate to learn about a ton of new amazing artist last year and 2017 has a lot to offer with four incredible stages of music: The Grove, The Knoll, The Saucy Spa, and the Lazy River. In case you missed the news, this will be Tipper's only California, Nevada, Oregon appearance in 2017! Below is the full music schedule:

LOLounge

Part of The Emerald Forest, a new zone sponsored by CannaCraft

 

Enchanted Forest Gathering is one of the best, intimate, magical festivals I have attended and has an incredible amount to offer in dance, yoga, flow classes, workshops, and now comedy. Check out last year's coverage piece here

Check out our Instagram for photos this weekend!

Thundercat slays the San Diego Observatory

Photo by Ben Magana

Photo by Ben Magana

“When it rains it pours…”

 

By Ben Magana 

 

Stephen Bruner is a thirtysomething artist that goes by the professional name of Thundercat, and he is a hell of a bass player amongst anything, to begin with. At their latest gig in San Diego at North Park Observatory, Thundercat displayed the commanding authority they have proven on the contemporaneous music scene through their impeccable third album, Drunk, released early this year. The album was a full collaboration in both songwriting and production with maverick producer/artist Flying Lotus. The album (its vinyl release is a delightful 4-10’ 45-speed discs on a Vaporwave-inspired artwork featuring lots of gold and technicolor felines. The music is a journey across a timeless landscape that appears to morph with each pluck Thundercat himself executes on his six-string electroacoustic Ibanez bass guitar. Across tales of an approval of everyone’s hatred of friend-zones, everybody’s secret envy against cats and a plea from the musician’s help to some of his heroes, literally, being these 70’s pop icons Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. Over the way the album presents such detours on which versatile performances by such current artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell and Wiz Khalifa. A groove-based set of twenty-odd songs, it definitely is among the best albums of the year, if not the decade. 

 

The main DJ from Los Angeles’ club The Low-End Theory delivered an engaging opening DJ-Set (in vinyl, mind you) where he set a party charged mood over the sold-out crowd that rapidly gathered. Upon Thundercat’s arrival upon that stage the crowd went wild and thus he quietly uttered the five words that kickstart Drunk and mayhem ensued in the audience. As usual in all recent concerts I have attended, none of which has been a rock concert as I have frequented more Hip-Hop and R&B music in the last few years, a thunderous mosh pit gathered beside me, as I was on the front-right side. Thundercat had two musicians with him: a keyboard player whose name I do no recall, but he had a stack that included an old Moog synth, a current huge Korg and a Yamaha electric piano. The other musician, the drummer Louis Cole, was a human drum sequencer, as he was armed with a totally acoustic drum set and sounded like any Ableton Live beat anybody could concoct. Some time over an hour after they begun their astral set of music, where many of the tracks were elongated into real moments of Bebop between the three musicians, creating a vibrant delivery of scales in fast velocity that for moments entranced the audience and caused even the last skeptic to embrace the soothing virtuosity coming across from those speakers upon us. 

 

The musicians left the stage and we, I was clapping hard and yelling for more as well, clamored incessantly. The guys returned shortly and went into a 10-minute Bebop jam that left us once again in a state of zonked paralysis even if fully sober, which I was. Lots of pot was smoked inside, the crowd was mostly people in their twenties and although I was among the audience, there was a lot in intercommunication between us and the band, a feeling that has survived the turbulent times we are in, and on the contrary, there was a feeling of union and goodwill among everyone, all through the wonderful music we all stumbled across. As the show ended and I got to digest the experience, it was clear that Thundercat and his two musical sidekicks on this tour carried a torch that was once carried by rock musicians of the past. In one of his wry and sometimes humorous banter in-between songs, Bruner commented on how the video of Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun made him and his brothers storm the TV set, being that the show was played the day after Chris Cornell passed. This to me was symbolic over anything else, that this is our time, where musicianship and showmanship, worked with what were once rock instruments, this magic sound that keeps us going. Excuse me, I gotta go play the “Drunk” record again.

Guillermo Arriaga, el ‘Cazador’ de las grandes historias

Foto por  CECUT

Foto por CECUT

Por Pavel Ibarra Meda

En la que sin duda ha sido unas de las experiencias más gratificantes de mi vida reciente, tuve la oportunidad de tomar una clase de guión cinematográfico impartida por Guillermo Arriaga. Para los que no sepan quién es, estamos hablando del escritor de grandes películas recientes como 'Amores Perros', '21 Gramos', 'Babel', 'Los Tres Entierros de Melquiades Estrada', entre otras películas de renombre internacional. Tuve la oportunidad de ver un anuncio de la clase en Facebook, sentía que ya era tiempo que peleara contra mi miedo de introducirme de lleno en la curva de aprendizaje cinematográfico. La clase fue impartida en el Centro Cultural Tijuana (CECUT). Les puedo confirmar que tomé la mejor decisión posible, ya que esta clase para mi sorpresa, no sólo era de guión si no de cine también. 

Lo que más se me grabó en la memoria sobre Guillermo, fue el desparpajo con el que aborda este proceso tan desgastante de contar historias. Supongo que para él, en lugar de quitarle energía, ver la reacción de la gente con sus historias lo llena de un flujo de positivismo que lo motiva a seguir. Su proximidad con un auditorio de más de cien personas me pasmó, ya que seguramente todos se sintieron identificados con la manera tan amena que Guillermo tiene para relatar cualquier cosa. También me impactó su desinterés por mantener todos los secretos y trucos que ha ido aprendiendo de cine para él mismo. Siendo una persona que ama el aprendizaje y la educación, entre más sepa el auditorio sobre sus descubrimientos, para él mejor. 

En esta clase me encontré con una persona que no sólo me quería enseñar sobre cómo escribir un guión cinematográfico, yo pensaba que iba a aprender cosas más técnicas para ser honesto. Guillermo está interesado en el paquete completo, como casi todos los directores mexicanos que han tenido éxito a nivel internacional. Éste maestro tiene un profundo conocimiento sobre dirección, lenguaje cinematográfico, actuación, escritura literaria, composición de una escena, e incluso se avienta uno que otro chiste de buena calidad. Todos los asistentes de la clase que duró alrededor de 10 horas entre dos días, estábamos agudamente concentrados en cada nuevo concepto que él nos quería compartir. 

Después tuve la oportunidad de sentarme junto a él y otros compañeros de la prensa, para poder entablar una plática más próxima y compartirles este artículo sobre mi primer experiencia con un guionista mexicano que triunfó en Hollywood. La principal intención de Guillermo aparte de impartir esta magistral clase, era la de promover su nuevo libro en la Feria del Libro en Tijuana: "Dirigí la película 'Burning Plane', que acá se le llamó 'Fuego'. Decidí meterme a escribir un libro que después de filmar la película fue complicado. Me metí a dirigir algunos cortometrajes porque sabía que quería escribir la novela y no quería aventarme a dirigir otra película antes de escribir la novela", nos dijo al inicio de la entrevista. 

Después nos compartió un poco sobre el logro que ha supuesto este nuevo libro que terminó siendo bastante denso (700 páginas), pero digerible: "Escribí 'El Salvaje' que ahora traigo a la Feria del Libro en Tijuana, me tomó 5 años escribirlo y la verdad estoy muy contento por la reacción que ha tenido la novela. Desde que este libro era un manuscrito se subastó en la feria de Frankfurt y varios países, ya está comprado en 10 idiomas. Va para su cuarta edición en México, va para su cuarta edición en España y acaba de salir en Argentina, Perú, y pronto estará en idiomas tan diferentes como el chino y el polaco.

"Se trata de una novela muy voluminosa, es una novela de 700 páginas que me tomó el 10% de mi vida escribir. Yo me estaba preparando para dirigir otra película cuando la historia de 'El Salvaje' empezó a decirme que si no la contaba me iba a ahorcar. En varias ocasiones he dicho que las historias que se te quedan te empiezan a oxidar el cuerpo, a envenenarlo. Entonces decidí escribir la novela, dirigiré cortometrajes entre medio para no perder el ritmo, no me alejé por completo del cine pero sí estuve concentrado en escribir esta novela", agregó.

Pero lejos del trabajo literario que nos ha venido a presentar, Guillermo es uno de los guionistas más exitosos en la historia del cine mexicano. Su trabajo en 'Amores Perros' le valió nominaciones a los premios de la Academia, después siguió con esta tendencia con impresionantes trabajos en '21 Gramos' y 'Babel'. A estos tres filmes, Guillermo los llama la trilogía de la muerte, ya que giran alrededor de experiencias personales en las que él mismo estuvo cerca de morir. Una reportera le mencionó que su trabajo daba la impresión de tener mucho que ver con el tema de venganza, él no está muy de acuerdo: "Más que venganza, mi trabajo trata de las diversas vías que tienes para llegar a resarcir el daño que te ocurrió, el camino de la venganza no siempre es el correcto. Yo creo que mi obra es más sobre esperanza y el amor más que cualquier otra cosa".

Guillermo también nos habló de la razón por la que él no sólo se enfocó en escribir cine a lo largo de su carrera y de paso criticó un poco a las temáticas más recurrentes del cine mexicano: "Yo creo que lo escrito es una parte importante de cualquier película pero no es toda la película, la virtud que ha tenido el cine es la virtud de poder contar historias que no son solamente sobre la ciudad de México. Si algo va a enriquecer al país, son las tantas historias que se pueden contar sobre México como país. Yo siento que el norte tiene que rebasar lo que hemos hecho siempre de migración y narcotráfico, el norte es mucho más que migración y narcotráfico. Por eso cuando hice 'Burning Plane' que es sobre la frontera, mi intención era hacer una película de amor entre gringos y mexicanos".

En especial, Guillermo habló de lo fuerte que es la influencia del norte en todo el país, él espera que salgan nuevos talentos a contar historias más variadas: "Yo que conozco muy bien el norte me parece injusto que sólo se hable de eso, no digo que no sean temas muy importantes la verdad, no hay norteño que no se tenga que enfrentar uno a otro. Pero los norteños son mucho más que sólo eso, yo quisiera que siguieran surgiendo historias de aquí del norte pero también quisiera que fuéramos a ámbitos donde no es la migración y el narcotráfico lo que guía las historias del norte".

Aquí fue donde me tocó preguntar dos cosas, la primera fue para saber porqué Guillermo no toca temas de ciencia ficción o fantasía. Su respuesta fue un poco desconcertante, pero también comprensible y muy respetable: "La ciencia ficción y la fantasía no es algo que me llame la atención particularmente la verdad. Cuando fui a Seattle con mi familia, hay dos museos que están uno junto al otro que son el museo del rock y el museo de la ciencia ficción; en el del rock estuvimos cuatro horas y en el otro menos de dos minutos. La única película de ciencia ficción que a mi verdaderamente me gusta es Blade Runner, en cambio estuve diez minutos admirando la guitarra de Jimi Hendrix".

Después tuve la oportunidad de preguntarle sobre el debate de Netflix que recientemente hubo en el festival de Cannes entre Pedro Almodóvar y Will Smith. Guillermo le dio razón a ambas figuras del cine internacional: "Yo creo que va a haber gente que quiere ver películas en su casa y habrá gente que quiera verlas en pantalla. La experiencia de ver una película en pantalla grande no es sólo eso, también es bueno poder compartirla en silencio sin que nadie te interrumpa. Es muy diferente ver una película en casa con todas las distracciones que hay, a estar inmerso en una sala cinematográfica".

Otra cosa que nos quedó clara, es que Guillermo Arriaga probablemente ha entendido que siendo un director de cine, sus historias son mejor contadas por él o por sus hijos que están teniendo mucho éxito recientemente: "De ahora en adelante sólo voy a trabajar con tres directores, yo y mis dos hijos, punto. O dirijo yo o dirigen mis hijos, ya no me interesa trabajar con otros directores. Mis hijos son muy buenos en lo que hacen, no es porque sean mis hijos pero mi hija fue seleccionada a Venecia hace dos años con un cortometraje que hizo, fue seleccionada entre 1400 cortos. No tuve la necesidad de cabildear, me llamaron de Venecia y me preguntaron si tenía una hija que se llama Mariana, me confirmaron que estaba entre los finalistas".

La experiencia de Guillermo en la clase que tuvo la oportunidad de impartir, es algo muy gratificante para él. Nos pudo confesar lo que significa para él, también nos compartió las ganas que tiene de que el norte tenga mayor presencia en el cine mexicano e internacional con temáticas novedosas: "En cuanto a la clase de guión y dirección de cine, yo trato de no guardarme ningún secreto. Hay compañeros que se molestan porque les digo algunos secretos, pero a mi me gusta ver buenas películas y leer buenos libros. Si yo puedo contribuir a que haya una mejor cultura mexicana, no veo porqué no compartir mis secretos de cómo contar historias.

"Yo espero que lo que estoy brindando acá en el norte les sea útil, que los destrabe y les permita tener más confianza en ellos mismos. A veces esto nada más es un problema de confianza en ellos mismos, siempre hay miedo al fracaso, a la crítica, a equivocarse, miedo a bloquearse a la hora de escribir. Lo que yo estoy tratando de decirles es que no pasa nada si fracasan, no pasa nada si los critican, pero sí pasa mucho si no lo haces. Es mejor que te digan que es una mierda lo que hiciste, a que te digan que es buenísima tu idea pero nunca la hagas. Entonces yo les recomiendo que apuesten, no creo que pueda pasar algo malo realmente. No es como que son neurocirujanos a los que un paciente se les puede morir por cometer un error".

Para finalizar, Arriaga hizo un paréntesis cuando le preguntaron sobre el estado actual del cine mexicano: "Estoy muy contento con las películas taquilleras mexicanas que hay ahora. La verdad no es el cine que yo haría, no es el cine que a mi me gustaría hacer. Pero estoy muy contento con que Derbez se meta millones y millones de dólares con sus películas, estoy muy contento con todas las películas taquilleras. Cualquier película que tenga mexicanos y haga taquilla, a mi me hace muy feliz. Porque al contrario de lo que muchos piensan, a mi no me parece una vergüenza ese tipo de cine, me da mucho gusto que se realice. La verdad qué horrible sería que todas las películas fueran como Amores Perros, eso me parecería espantoso. Ojalá haya gente que hiciera buena ciencia ficción y fantasía en México, quiero ver más thrillers mexicanos también. Ya hacemos muy buenos dramas, estamos empezando a hacer comedias bobas pero taquilleras, eso me alegra mucho que exista".

No cabe duda que haber asistido a esta clase fue una experiencia muy importante en mi vida como escritor, tengo relativamente poco tiempo contando historias de corte periodístico. Antes tenía la idea errónea de que los periodistas no estaban capacitados para escribir guión cinematográfico, Guillermo se encargó de acabar con esa noción y me alentó a comenzar a escribir. Como bien dijo él, nadie de los que estábamos en la sala durante su clase tiene talento para escribir guión. Pero esa no es razón para que nos tengamos que rendir sin antes tratar de escribir una historia, gracias a él, ahora puedo aventarme al ruedo y comenzar a contar mi historia. ¡Gracias 'Cazador'!

Foto por  CECUT

Foto por CECUT

House y Rock, los grandes movimientos culturales del siglo XX

Por León Felipe

Los 60 y 70 fueron principalmente influenciados por el sonido del rock; sin embargo, no fueron la únicas texturas musicales en el ambiente sonoro de la época. El house se encontraba ya inmerso en la sociedad americana, aunque este no contenía ni ideologías políticas y sociales se vio involucrado sin desearlo en una de las mayores revoluciones sociales de la historia.

Gracias a la apertura sexual y las practicas de tolerancia del movimiento hippie algunos grupos rezagados de la sociedad empezaron a obtener un lugar activo en la vida económica americana, permitiendo que diversos géneros musicales, entre ellos el house, lograran salir a luz.

Para 1970 el movimiento hippie había perdido gran parte de su fuerza pública debido a que este ya no tenía nada nuevo que ofrecer ni musicalmente ni socialmente; su guitarro-centrismo(1) limitó su música, su ideales sociales ya habían sido tergiversados por el capitalismo y principalmente el uso de la drogas habían pasado de ser recreativo a puramente lucrativo. Alguien tenía que llenar el vació social que había dejado el rock.

Mientras tanto en Chicago, el género underground conocido como house comenzaba a obtener una gran número de seguidores, el ambiente que se vivía en aquellas fiestas era muy puro todavía la avaricia no había llegado.

El desastre del concierto de The Doors en Miami trajo una ola de grupos de pensamiento conservador que se oponían al movimiento hippie, que rápidamente se extendió a lo largo de Estados Unidos erradicando casi por completo este movimiento cultural. A pesar de esto, su ideales de tolerancia y solidaridad lograron escapar refugiándose en los lugares menos esperados, donde la música que reinaba no tenía similitud alguna con la de las grandes leyendas del rock.

El Warehouse de Frankie Knuckles y el Matchbox de Dj Hardy fue el lugar donde la violencia se cambió por vinilos; la intolerancia por cajas de ritmos y el racismo por nuevas texturas sonoras. El sexo desenfrenado y el alto consumo de sustancias psicoactivas mantuvo alejado al ambiente violento que se vivía en Estados Unidos, ya que lo único que importaba era pasar una noche lejos de pensamientos políticos, económicosy sociales, lo único que importaba era la música.

Las ideas van y vienen, cambian de lugar, de personas y a veces desaparecen sin dejar rastro alguno; a pesar de esto, aquellas que sobre salen permanece a través de generaciones. Los ideales de tolerancia y amor en los cuales se forjó el rock emigraron a otros contextos musicales como el house e incluso el Psy-Trance. A pesar de que ambos musicalmente son completamente distintos, la filosofía del rock y el house no se limitó sólo a la música, también buscó cambiar el pensamiento cultural de su época. Y aunque nos duela aceptarlo, lo bello de estos movimientos es que no fueron para siempre, sólo son un pequeño haz de luz en la obscuridad de la maquinaria social.

El "Copyright" y la cultura del remix

Imagen por  Sabina Indira

Imagen por Sabina Indira

Escrito por Alejandro Ricaño

Cuando las grandes corporaciones capitalistas descubren que no sólo de la materia física se pueden obtener ganancias monetarias comienzan una serie de crecimientos tecnológicos, económicos, culturales y sociales. Sin embargo, la evolución de normas sobre la regularización de materia intangible no crece a la par y es cuando los problemas se destapan sin control de manera repentina.

Alguien, en algún momento de la historia pensó que las ideas se podían patentar como material intelectual, esto quiere decir que la persona que gesta la idea, tendrá derechos reservados sobre el material y podrá hacer con ella lo que quiera. Las personas que quisieran hacer uso de la “idea” patentada tendrían que tener algún tipo de autorización del autor, de lo contrario el uso de este material sería de carácter ilícito y pues por muy increíble que sonara, esto se trataría de un ROBO.

Con el paso de los años en el siglo XX, las normativas y los organismos encargados de resguardar la propiedad intelectual fueron madurando y creciendo. Las grandes corporaciones se hacían del material creativo de los artistas (Música, películas, imágenes, etc.)  y vendían el producto teniendo casi todo el control de éste y la sociedad lo consumía pagando por el material. Sin embargo, estas corporaciones jamás esperaron que el nacimiento de la internet diera un giro de 360º en la adquisición de material.

Las personas como agentes consumidores, empezaron a tener un intercambio de productos sin un intermediario que les cobrara por el consumoy fue cuando las autoridades se percataron de que el crecimiento desmedido de la red se había salido de sus manos. Las personas comenzaron a intercambiar de manera cotidiana archivos en la red sin tener la menor idea de que lo que estaban haciendo estaba “mal”.  Es ahí donde entra un dilema, ya que al momento de crearse “internet” los parámetros éticos nos existían. Podríamos considerar que de primera instancia la red se creó para el libre intercambio de ideas, archivos. Las cosas de internet se deben de compartir pues son de domino público. Una especie de comunismo intelectual, donde toda la información es de todos y cualquier persona con una computadora y acceso a internet pudiese tener acceso a lo que quisiera.

Este “descontrol”  desde la visión capitalista tenía que parar. Las corporaciones y el mismo gobierno comenzaron a regular de manera desmedida las interacciones de las personas con internet, la gran ironía es que los autores intelectuales de las obras que se consumían de manera ilegal no eran precisamente los que demandaban a las personas si no las industrias capitalistas.

Ahora internet es una sociedad reflejo de lo que somos, tarde o temprano entra la posibilidad de que termine siendo reprimida y censurada. Mientras el capitalismo sea el sistema económico que nos gobierne, el internet tendrá el mismo carácter capitalista, con normativas y prohibiciones, con grandes empresas haciendo dinero con la creatividad para después poder venderlas, ¿el “CopyRight” llegó para quedarse?

Fuente: Película Remix manifiesto.

CRSSD FESTIVAL 2017 Spring

CRSSD Festival, which is held twice a year at the iconic Waterfront Park in San Diego, has done it again. This year, CRSSD's metamorphosis seems complete - The event has matured. The lineup, sound quality, party goers and vibes can easily put it on the map with top festivals in the U.S. and our neighbors across the pond. 

Friday night was blessed with good weather and better music. Recondite sailed us through an electronic ocean. Tiny highs and lows lifted the crowd up and gently let us down. Then when it was time to move, timely drops hit your body like bursts of wind. 2MANYDJS carried this pace, but with higher energy and quicker transitions. Duke Demont made an appearance, but his set lacked energy. This could be due to the fact that they always seem to turn the volume down on the main stage after 9 pm, which is unfortunate because it is the largest space by far.

All of the normal accessories were readily available at CRSDD. There was a great selection of craft beers and food options as well as chill out areas. If CRSSD keeps reproducing events of this caliber, San Diego will soon have a world class festival on its hands.

 

After Saturday night at CRSSD Fest, the expectation for Sunday was low to be quite honest. I decided to start off at around 3:30 and immediately made my way to the first alcohol booth. After the first drink of the day took the edge off, I was ready to start absorbing the music. 

Sunday seemed to be much more packed and the lines were long. The first act I soaked in was Dusky, who was at the main stage and did a standard live set at what also happens to be my least favorite stage. The party started to pick up back at the City Steps stage where Cassy dropped a sick set of deep house. After she killed it for an hour it flowed seamlessly into Seth Troxler and Eats Everything who tag teamed to perform a back to back set.  

 

This back to back set was super deep at times and also super spacey, leaving me feeling thirsty for more beer.  This also happens to the moment where, for some reason, i was constantly double fisting whiskey and beer and smoking a doobie. My feet couldn't stop moving, because on top of the drugs and alcohol, the music was intoxicatingly addictive and forced my body to feel the beat. After the back to back set was over,  I accidentally made my way to the Flume show at the main stage. My original intention was to catch Claude Vonstroke, but of course nothing ever goes as planned. 

Not only was Flume one of the best shows at CRSSD, but it totally blew away a previous performance I had seen of him years ago. Flume dropped a diverse set of songs and sounds ranging from trap to techno and then back to a tripped out version of RL Grime. He mixed some songs and played some live electronic sounds that kept me on his wave of momentum and energy.  At 10 pm sharp the music ended abruptly and left the thousands in the crowd sad as hell. Satisfied but unfulfilled was the feeling I was left with. There was so much great music but the event ends too early, rolling into the night, anticipating and hoping next year will be just as amazing.

Envision Festival 2017

Photo by: Aaron Correa

Photo by: Aaron Correa

23-26 FEBRUARY 2017, COSTA RICA

By John Karlo Torres

Let me begin by stating that the simple act of writing this piece, is setting in that Envision is over. A reality that I am not yet willing to accept because who the fuck wants to leave Costa Rica and all its magic? Help me by keeping the energy alive and envisioning the journey through this beautiful Costa Rican jungle by the beach. 

For most, Envision festival begins long before actually passing through the entrance gate. Participants came from all over the world, even the most remote islands you didn't know existed. Traveling to another country to experience a festival is a truly special experience. I stepped out of work in San Francisco on a Tuesday with my backpack on to find rain, cold, and busy streets and ended up in San Jose, Costa Rica on Wednesday to heat, humidity, and Spanish language tongues. This complete shift in environment really took this experience to another level and I was stoked to leave the rain behind. If you have any reservations about going to Envision because of the travel, just stop. Costa Rica is an incredible country and Envision is the best excuse to explore this magical land. The travel was part of all the fun and I had some pretty cool highlights along the way. 

Envision sits upon 8 pillars, all working together to create a unique festival experience. The pillars are: Permaculture, Spirituality, Movement, Art, Music, Community, Health, and Ecobuilding. I will touch just a tad on some of the pillars and what influenced my journey. 

PERMACULTURE

jacob avanzato-ef-2-22-2017-2767.jpg

"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature" - Bill Mollison. Aside from the many spoken workshops available whose topics touch the ideas of permaculture, some tangible examples really caught my attention. 

  • Community Carbon Trees gave you a chance to plant new baby trees around the festival grounds to foster new growth and future life.
  • There were no disposable plates or utensils with any of the food vendors or various drink booths. Envision is a Reusables Only event and if you didn't happen to lug around your own reusable dish ware, you could rent a plate for $3 and get a ticket to reuse and reuse over and over again. 

Nature was everywhere and the integration of the village into the landscape was breathtaking. Hands down my favorite festival space I have attended and nothing beats the amazing ocean cove Envision sits upon. 

SPIRITUALITY

Photo by: Jacob Avanzato

Photo by: Jacob Avanzato

Spirituality looks and feels differently for everyone. I personally started my journey to Envision with an intention of spiritual grounding and healing. My life and mind were moving like a derailed freight train and I needed a well overdue reset. 

  • The incredible nature surrounding you at every moment is power enough to connect with your spirit. Being submersed in the jungle, connecting your bare feet to the earth, and smelling the ocean remind you how important this connection is to our well-being. 
  • The Healing Sanctuary was an area where you could take a breather and rest your mind and body. From Village Witches workshops, herbal elixir bars, to Temple of the Moon, Sun, and Earth, if you needed some healing, you were in the right place. If you are more into a light-weight spiritual touch, the yoga and meditation available during sunlit hours was top notch.

MOVEMENT

Photo by: Aaron Correa

Photo by: Aaron Correa

Many of the pillars start to crisscross with one another like a beautiful knitted blanket. Movement touched almost every aspect of life at Envision. Walking around the village all day, dancing until the sun came up, soothing your tired body with restorative yoga to swimming in the beautiful ocean, movement was alive. For the first time in a long time, my whole body was sore by the end of the festival and I loved every ache of it. If somehow you go to Envision and manage to sit on your ass all day, that is straight dedication to relaxation. 

COMMUNITY

Photo by:  Eric Allen Photo

Photo by: Eric Allen Photo

The festival this year probably had around 4,000 participants. It was a pretty large space and I did not feel remotely crowded at all. I can get sort of anxious when shit gets sardine-like but the participant count this year was perfect for me. There were people from all over the world and a cute little map where you could pin your homeland. The community was beautiful, so many healthy, loving bodies and smiles all as diverse as the biodiversity of the jungle itself. A lot if not most of the food vendors were from Costa Rica and it seemed like the local community was definitely involved in many ways. Being a native Spanish speaker, all of the Spanish being thrown around really pulled on my heart strings. <3

MUSIC

Photo by:&nbsp; Eric Allen Photo

Photo by: Eric Allen Photo

I think it is a given that a highlight of any festival is the music. Envision had four stages to shake the sand off your half-naked body or help you get all heated up to the point you wanted to take a deep dip in the perfect ocean. Village, Lapa, and Sol stages all provided great dancey times but BY FAR my favorite stage was the Luna Stage, The Reliquarium created magic. The entire area was beautiful and the stage felt like home. Music was alive and well on-stage and off. People gathered at the beach for daily drum circles, the Healing Sanctuary offered sound healing services and workshops, and the birds and monkeys rounded out the atmospheric ambiance. The best thing about my musical experience at Envision was staying up all night Saturday and Sunday to watch the sunrise and listen to amazing artist. Overall Highlights were Rising Appalachia, Random Rab, Ott., Dragonfly, Dreamers Delight, and an insane set by Clozee. I did not attend Envision for the music lineup but it was an unforgettable treat. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be returning to Envision for many reasons but the music had me up all night with ZER0 drugs. Check out Dragonfly and Clozee, absolutely killed it.  

Filmed & Edited by Remington Wilcox

HEALTH

I was most interested in this pillar before attending Envision and post-journey I was extremely satisfied with the thought put into prioritizing health at the festival. Due to a wasp bite and a killer sun burn I stepped into the free Herbal Clinic and was blown away, a FUCKING FREE HERBAL CLINIC! I was welcomed by enormous smiles and healing hearts each and every time. I am already a big botanical freak and use herbs on the daily so this space really did it for me. Whether you felt physically ill, were a sad panda, or burned your sexy body to a crisp, this free herbal clinic had just the right remedy. Did you know tobacco pulls poison out of wounds?! Seriously though, visit your local Apothecary when you don't feel good, it's straight up magic. 

I ate all my meals in the village and the food was great. Vegan, gluten-free, meat-eater, ant-eater, greens lover, ceviche addict, food hoarder, I mean all the options for every palate. You never know what to expect when it comes to food but I sampled a ton of vendors and was never disappointed. 

I really wanted to participate in healing at Envision and the Healing Sanctuary was everything I wanted for a much needed recharge. It was important for me to support the healing body workers and learn more about the different practices. 

MASSAGE THERAPY

Matt Abrams

Matt Abrams

I was fortunate enough to schedule a deep tissue massage with Matt Abrams and let me tell you, getting a massage in the middle of the jungle is glorious! Matt was super sweet and my muscles were blissfully healed after our session. The hot, humid environment really makes for great massage work. The best part is that I ran into Matt later in the festival at the Luna Stage and it just solidified what a community Envision can really be. 

AYURVEDA HEALING

Susan Melina

Susan Melina

Another healing session I had was with Ayurvedic Practitioner Susan Melina, a wonderful practitioner currently based out of California. This was my first ever Ayurvedic consultation and it completely impacted me, especially post festival. Spiritually this session was absolutely necessary, it affirmed a lot of things I was feeling and shed new light on how to balance my life. We shared a powerful moment and I definitely cried during our session. I also fell in love with Sooz the moment we bonded over our excitement for Clozee and watching Random Rab's sunrise set. Ayurveda is a pretty awesome science of life and quite honestly felt like magic. 

A TASTE OF ENVISION

 

Film Review: American Honey (2016)

Hugo Unwin | Kinofilia Australia

The opening scenes of Andrea Arnold’s American Honey subtly remind us of our place as animals within the natural world. Scavenging for food, protagonist Star commences a 150 minute long existential journey, played with finesse and poise by Sasha Lane in her acting debut. Star displays lichen-like attraction to a passing ragtag group of magazine salespeople follows, as she joins their observance of essential customs, typified by the chanting of southern trap anthems.

This documentation of a particularly American style of escapism is reminiscent of Kerouac and pays homage to this tradition throughout. Arnold's talent lies in stressing the importance of bonds which drive groups of individuals, with patient and lengthy scenes that illuminate traditions, routines and stability for subjects whose liberation is found in crafting their own brand of these essential human customs. Excitingly, the bonds these impoverished youngsters forge in replacement of popular social conventions are on at least one occasion literally borne of fire.

American Honey shines in exploring the dynamic between animals in the natural world by subtly reminding us that we too are such beasts. The sound and aesthetic of fauna consistently entices a conceptualisation of the exuberant teenage and twenty-something subjects as animalistic, while simultaneously reprimanding our instinct to do so through Star's gentle demeanour.

Arnold's depiction of animals can be seen as a nuanced investigation of the connection between an impulse to accumulate capital, consumption, and the human species' place in control of Earth's climate. The bonds demonstrated throughout American Honey show an individual style of human collaboration, the foremost challenge of our age.

Unfortunately, the film loses some focus in a lengthy third act, distracted by the seemingly random and confused driven sexual relationship between Josh and Star. This could be looked upon as an expression of the randomness of reproduction that is commonly, if unconsciously and oftentimes mistakenly, associated with non-human animals' sexual activity.

Uncertainty hangs over the film’s conclusion, guiding the viewer to an acceptance of this is an essential part of the natural order of things. It is a powerful end to a film which places responsibility for empathy and understanding on the shoulders of the viewer, an evocation made throughout this engaging piece of cinema.

A CONVERSATION WITH FLAVIA

FLAVIA is an electronic pop artist based in Los Angeles. &nbsp;Her debut EP, Embers, mixes dark pop and futuristic R&amp;B, exploring the borderland of yesterday's soul and tomorrow's electronica.&nbsp;

FLAVIA is an electronic pop artist based in Los Angeles.  Her debut EP, Embers, mixes dark pop and futuristic R&B, exploring the borderland of yesterday's soul and tomorrow's electronica. 

A CONVERSATION WITH FLAVIA

BY: ANTHONY GIN

Website: WWW.FLAVIA.LA
Insta: @flaviamusicofficial
Facebook: www.facebook.com/flaviamusicofficial
Twitter: @flaviaspeaks
SoundCloud: www.soundcloud.com/flaviamusicofficial
Next Show - Bootleg Theater (March 1st): Tickets

We covered FLAVIA in an earlier article on Sofar Sounds last month. FLAVIA is one of the most exciting artists we’ve seen through Sofar Sounds in the last year and we had a chance to catch up with her last week to hear a little more about her debut EP, “Embers.”  


When did you start playing in LA?

I came to study voice at CalArts in 2009. I started booking shows and performing pretty much right away and did a month long tour across the US. It’s been 7 years…it feels like I’ve been here forever now. I love this city. I love how much music there is. I love the potential for growth, and how much this city pushes you to be the best that you can be. There’s such a deep talent pool and it’s…hard to make it out here. You have to be as innovative and creative as you can be.

Did you find it tough when you first moved out here?

I grew up in Dublin and Florence. When I arrived at CalArts everyone was so talented. I realized I needed to work my ass off to stand on my own two feet out here. It’s competitive in a really good way. I try and stay inspired by other artists.  

What’s the title of your upcoming EP?

The EP is titled “Embers.”

Did you have a vision for your EP (or for your sound) before you started?

There’s no overarching concept, it’s more a feeling that I want people to get when they’re listening to me. I want to bring out people’s strength. That’s what music does so much for me. If people can [listen to my music] and leave feeling empowered - that’s a job well done in my book.

For example…[the song] “Embers”… I had gone through a rough patch, and a long stage of writer’s block. It was the first time it had ever been this severe. Finally, I sat down and wrote that song which is about staying true to who you are and, in the moments when you slip away, just knowing that you’ll always be able to find your way back to your own life. For the most part, the song symbolizes staying creative, staying inspired and trusting that it’s never going to go away.  

A lot of your songs seem to be about the explosive feeling of being taken away by someone. What are you trying to embody in your writing?

I think it’s that feeling when you go through something impactful in your life. Something that is extremely emotional and personal to you that leaves you vulnerable or excited. With love in particular, you transcend. Your world kind of slows down. That’s magical. There’s a window - a period where you feel like that love will never change. There’s a nostalgia too that I love, and the fleeting nature of it as well.

With “No Gravity,” it’s very much that feeling of being on top of the world and transcending, and it was the same with “Chemical Reaction.” It’s about holding onto that moment.

At your last show I spoke with your producer, Ethan Allen, and he mentioned that you transitioned from a different genre…

I was doing a lot of soul and funk before. I think that will always be a part of my sound. I am definitely excited to make the transition to electronic pop. I’ve always loved the pop world. To be honest, it was scary for me to move into it because I felt that it was hard to do on your own. With a band, everyone has their role, but, with pop, I had to trust in a producer to bring my vision to life. Ethan was amazing!

Currently, I’ve been producing my own demos and doing it a little more DIY - which I love! I’ve been learning a lot and digging deeper into what I want my sound to be.

What pushed your switch into dark [electronic] pop?

I’ve always loved pop music. I love how clever you have to be with such simplicity. I also love to dance. I’m literally dancing all the time - at home, in the shower, in my car. I wanted to make something profound that people could get down to.

In terms of the “dark” aspect of it, I write from my core. Sometimes it’s a little dark in there - I think that’s where we all keep our deepest fears, insecurities and desires. It’s not always rainbows and sunshine.

 

How does your writing process work?

I wouldn’t say there’s any one process. Sometimes it’s me on a piano, other times I’m driving in my car and recording infinite Voice Memos. Most recently I got into Logic and have been making beats and writing over them. I went into a writing cave for a few months and have been working on a lot of new material. I’ve realized that no one will find my sound for me, I have to play around and see who I am as an artist.

What’s the sound you’re going for?

I’m going for an edgy, dark pop sound, but I want it to be gritty and fun. I want people to dance to it. I want it to be heavy.  

What’s been your biggest influence outside of music on your writing?

Not to sound cliche, but music is pretty much my entire life. It’s definitely the single most inspiring thing that I do. There’s no end to this madness we call music.

I’m also an actress. That’s another place where I can dig deep and embellish certain parts of myself to create other characters. It’s exciting. Sometimes I’ll try and write music from the perspective of a character that I’ve created. It’s really interesting because there’s really no limits. I also have an incredible friend group that keeps me sane and inspired.  

I’ve been to a few of your shows and you’re a great performer. What are you thinking when you’re up there on stage?

Honestly, most of the time I’m freaking out. Whether it’s two people or two thousand, I always get nervous. A lot of times I get technical with my voice, or all the bits I have to remember to trigger - or dance moves - or keeping time on the drum pads. There’s so much to do up there.  I forget to have fun and forget that I’m doing the thing that I love most.

When I take a step back and realize that, - it’s the ultimate freedom. We have the ability as artists to impact the lives of others, make them feel happy, less alone or inspired. Music has saved me on many days and I hope that I can do that for other people as well.

What’s your plan moving forward?  

I’ve got a couple videos in the works and I’m super excited about these new demos I’ve been making.  I’ve been playing two of them live:  “Does She Like it Rough?” and “Blue.” You can check out both of those at my upcoming show at Bootleg Theater on March 1st. Other than that, I'm writing a ton and working with new people.  

Are these new demos going to be part of a new album or just single releases?

I think single releases for now.  

This is an odd question...but what’s your spirit animal?

Haha. I’m definitely part black panther, but a really cuddly one. Not a scary jungle cat. And, I’m for sure part unicorn (they are real).  I also think there’s some squirrel in me – it’s the part of me that’s doing a million things at once. Squirrels are hustlers.  

Are you working on anything on the acting front?

Yes! I just finished a feature with writer/director Noam Kroll. It’s a really amazing project, I can’t wait for people to see it.

What shows are you playing soon?

  • LA (March 1st) - I’m performing March 1st at Bootleg Theater. I’m opening for a synth-pop band from Austin called The Brinks.  That’ll be really fun. (Tickets)
  • SF (March 26th) - Hotel Utah

eternal 👑 @bootlegtheater march 1 • 9.30 📷@pearlypearlmagic 👄@alyshasherri

A post shared by • FLAVIA • (@flaviamusicofficial) on

FLAVIA performing No Gravity for Sofar Sounds Los Angeles on a rooftop in DTLA. 

Survival Guide To Envision

By John Karlo Torres

 

There are only 7 days left until the Pura Vida begins at Envision Festival in Costa Rica. The joy and magic of these types of gatherings is that although they feel familiar, no two are exactly alike. If you are a procrastinator like me, this is the perfect time to make sure you have everything in place for a beautiful time in the rainforest.

 

 

The Envision website is a great resource to make sure you are prepared for dancing in the rain forest, firing up your centers with yoga, and nourishing your body and mind with delicious meals. Let's highlight some important Envision website links with great information, click the images below for more info!

PACKING FOR ENVISION

Skipping over the camping basics, there are some important items you shouldn't leave home without. Envision finds its home in the rainforest touching the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and it is HOT. If you haven't visited similar environments, the humidity might feel like a force to be reckoned with but preparing a little goes a long way.

  • Electrolytes! - Dancing and being active all day in the hot, humid sun requires extra care. Give your water a boost and bring packets of electrolytes to replenish important minerals and sugars to get you through the heat. 
  • Re-usable Water Bottle - There are no plastic water bottles so come prepared or bring extra cash and support the vendors. Extra perks if you can attach your bottle to a bag or your person.
  • Headlamp - MUST HAVE! If you are camping out in the dark, these little magic beams of light make everything extra convenient. Don't forget extra batteries!
  • Bug Repellent - There are a lot of natural sunscreens out that that come pre-loaded with bug repellent. Enjoy the amazing diversity of the bug kingdom but remember, some do BITE.
  • Waterproof Watch - There are a lot of great artists, workshops, and classes all packed into 4 days. Make a plan on what you want to do and your trusty watch will weather the elements and help you not miss your must do's.
  • Sun Hat - One accessory can make a world of a difference. You might be busy having way too much fun to remember sunscreen. Protect your face with a nice cooling hat. 
  • Shower Towel - If you are looking for something small and light, grab yourself a micro-fiber towel. They come in great colors and dry quickly.
  • Beach/Lounge Towel - It is a good idea to have something other than your shower towel to lay out and enjoy the beach, the sun, and all the other spots exposed to the elements. 
  • Rain Tarp - The rainforest is unpredictable and it could rain at any moment. Keeping your things dry will give you more time to explore and adventure.
  • Spanish Fan - This is definitely not a need to have but helpful if you know you need a little extra something to take the edge off in the heat.
  • Hammock - The village has hammocks but if you like to adventure out and swing from the trees, having a hammock will bring you closer to the life of the monkeys.