YabYum Seven: Tara Logsdon

unnamed (10)Who are you and what do you do?

Tara Logsdon and I create socially-enlightened art installations using teddy bears.

How did you get your start?

I ran a stuffed animal hospital at age 5 out of my bedroom closet and it all kinda snowballed from there.

What inspires you?

Vibration, motion, math, quantum connections, astronomy, philosophy, patterns, diagrams, triangles, trespassing, abandoned spaces, esoteric belief systems, old books, smart people, handwriting, dreams, rituals (especially those involving fire) … the freedom to follow whatever signals pull me no matter how subtle.

What do you like about AZ?

I feel very connected to the desert. There is undeniable honesty in its sparseness and all living things must be hardcore to survive here.

Where can we see you(r) work?

For the past couple years, I have been working in conjunction with the house of intuition in Los Angeles so my “bearot” and “sacred bearometry” are integrated in their stores and temple.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

This is a long, ever-changing list but I am currently obsessed with the idea of puling off large-scale land art in our desert with the hopes it could be the start of a series or something that would outlive me. I also want to live at least one year at Auroville in India.

What is your mantra?

accept>adapt>repeat

~

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Radio Phoenix Podcast: There Is Danger

There is Danger

There is Danger joined us live on Radio Phoenix for Rise. They brought along some swell tunes (the complete playlist can be found below) and we talked all things There is Danger – past, present, and future.

Complete Playlist:

There is Danger “Gold Mine”

dent “Visit Us”

Of the Painted Choir “Margaret the Murderer”

Sweetbleeders “We Were Never Here”

Yojimbo Billions “Already Left”

There is Danger “Youth”

North Brother Island “Jenny Lind”

Rajiv Patel “Make Like a Tree Pt. 2”

Bear State “My Baby”

Pro Teens “Goodnight Moon’d”

Underground Cities “Talk Slow, Move Slow”

Recorded live on July 6, 2016.

YabYum Seven: Rossitza Todorova

Rossitza Todorova TransluminalWho are you and what do you do?

My name is Rossitza Todorova and I am an artist. Drawing is my primary art medium with which I create works on paper, installations, and artist books. In my work, I explore the relationship between place and memory creating landscapes that capture the flux of time.

How did you get your start?

I was encouraged as a child and told that I had talent. However, it was when I immigrated to the US from Bulgaria that my artwork became a way to connect with my new surroundings and helped me to assimilate into my new home. Being an artist is more than a passion, it’s synonymous for me with identity.

What inspires you?

I find the most inspiration while traveling, I love the moment of getting in the car or on the plane where I get to look out the window and feel myself moving toward something. The transition into a new place is often the feeling I am striving to capture in my work.IMG_8604

What do you like about AZ?

I have also been so very lucky to learn from and work with wonderful, genuine, intelligent people that have supported my art and my ambitions in work and in my personal life. I really love the art community here and am so proud to see how it is growing.

Where can we see you(r) work?

  • May 26 – September 29, 2016 – “Aesthetics Primary,” Fifth Street School Mayor’s Gallery, Las Vegas, NV
  • August 15 – 26, 2016, “Artist: In Residence,” Harry Wood Gallery, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
  • September 2 – 23, 2016 “Visions of Grandeur,” Chartreuse, Bragg’s Pie Factory, Phoenix AZ
  • July 18 – December 14, 2016 – “Rossitza Todorova,” Las Vegas City Hall, Las Vegas NV
  • August 6, 2017, “Anderson Ranch Art Center, 50th Anniversary Annual Art Auction,” Snowmass, CO
  • Visit my website

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

Have a retrospective at the New York Guggenheim. And, visit every continent and country on earth.

What is your mantra?

Ship, always ship.

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7 Stellar HipHop Music Videos

Mega Ran
“Hype Man”

TruthCity
“Changes”

Blaza Duval
“For the Glory”

Vaskez Malakay
“Usain Bolt”

Kahlee & Digital Martyrs
“Perspective”

Zemma Williams
“Get Money”

JayCobZ
“Dutty Wine”

5 Mellow Indie Albums

Daniel Morones

He’s in the News Again

L.A.-based musician Daniel Morones crafts orchestral indie pop. In fact, more than two dozen musicians appear on his latest release, He’s in the News Again. That’s an orchestra, right? The new album opens with “Straight Outta USA”, a short introduction, before the title track kicks into play. Here you’ll find an interesting juxtaposition: the grating, overlapping voices recounting gun violence, followed by the effervescent indie pop of Daniel Morones. It serves to inform the listener that while the music remains uplifting, the message hidden beneath is often serious. Morones draws from early pop influences – particularly those of the 60s and 70s – and, while that can be heard throughout He’s in the News Again, there is also a modern indie sensibility that is equally discernible in the sound. Daniel Morones created an album of subtle yet persistent beauty with He’s in the News Again. Give it a listen for yourself here…

Twelve Birds

Slave of Love

In just six tracks, Twelve Birds manages to create one of my favorite mellow indie pop albums to come out of Phoenix this year. The warm and genial sound has just enough texturing through added instrumentation to keep the tracks interesting without overwhelming the listener with unnecessary flourishes. Refreshingly thoughtful song constructing meets enlivening melodies on Slaves of Love. The title track almost has an electro-pop feel; as if Postal Service and the Beatles meet on a street corner and decide to hang out. “Together”, the closing track, has a BritPop feel that resonates with innocence. At the middle of the EP, you’ll find “King Nebuchadnezzar Summons Daniel” parts 1 & 2 – a melodic meandering through Biblical ruminations. Sean McCauley is the man-behind-the-band at Twelve Birds. Spend some time with Slave of Love below…

Jak

One in a Million

Texas singer/songwriter Jessica Kitowski performs her own brand of experimental indie pop under the moniker Jak. As soon as I started listening to One in a Million, the LP Jak released in May of this year, I was enchanted by the artist’s minimalist approach to electro-infused indie pop. One in a Million opens with “Rabbit Hole” which sets a meditative pace for the rest of the album. The overall sound comes dangerously close to homogenized – the album’s one fault – but Jak manages to avoid this pitfall through gentle permutations from sweet yet accusing on “Downward Spiral” to self-reflective on “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” to haunting on tracks like “One of These Days”.  All too often these days, artists who implement electronic elements in their music-making tend to over-indulge, creating a muddled sound, but Jak avoids all that. The result is tastefully minimal. Listen to One in a Million by Jak here…

Emby Alexander

Sound of Phoenix

This album may not be the sound of Phoenix but definitely sound in Phoenix and one worth knowing. I’m of course talking about the latest release from Emby Alexander: Sound of Phoenix. The bold name is matched by a bold sound. The band is not afraid to get strange in the name of experimentation and you can hear that on this release. “Rich as the Priest Asks” kicks off the album and listeners will immediately discern that Emby Alexander is not your typical indie act. They’re creating a droney, dreamy pop. And I don’t mean “dreamy” as in the bubbly  bedroom pop all the kids seem to love these days. No, Emby Alexander has a strange effect on the listener like that feeling you get after waking from an all-too-real dream and realizing you were in another world altogether. Tracks like “California Drugs” have me wondering if the band’s tendency toward experimentation extends beyond the recording studio, ahem. “Honey I Know” and “In Your Doorstep Bleeding” are favorites. As the names of these tracks might suggestion, there is a strong undercurrent of romanticism that scores many of the songs on Sound of Phoenix. These expressions feel authentic which makes them all the more compelling. Other acts should take a tip from Emby Alexander: go boldly after new sounds. Make it weird and find out what works. I listen to submissions all day, every day, and shit all starts to sound alike. Not this. Emby Alexander chases after a different beast. Listen to Sound of Phoenix here…

Christine Harazim

For Love

This four-track EP from Christine Harazim is both short and sweet, offering ruminations on love and loss and love once again. Harazim grew up on a farm in North Carolina, but relocated to Nashville after attending the Berklee College of Music. For Love provides four coffee shop-pop tracks that the 19-year-old coed who continues to live on inside of me would love to jam on the way to class. The EP opens with “Shine On” which, sadly, is not the best choice for kicking off the recording. A solid track, let there be no doubt, but not the strongest on the EP by any stretch. For me, it’s all about the carefree “We Just Sing Love Songs”, but the closing track, “No Boundaries”, is also a gem. Harazim possesses a sentimental side that shines through in her music. Give For Love a listen below…

YabYum Seven: Sandra Ortega

unnamed (11)Who are you and what do you do?

I am a follower of Jesus, clothed as an artist, working in pastels and now oils. A member of the Arizona Pastel Artists Assoc. and Pastel Society of America. I also work at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. I am in a ministry to women in crises. And I’m married to Larry Ortega. We have two adult children and six beautiful grandkids.

How did you get your start?

My sixth grade teacher believed my art was good enough to enter it into the Laguna Beach Art Festival’s Children’s Exhibit. An she also entered it into Chapman College children’s art exhibit in Orange County. I finished my formal art education at Cal State Fullerton.

What inspires you?

I am awe struck at the dance of sunlight on an object. I am inspired by other artists of all mediums. And the human spirit is inspiring and emotionally captivating.

unnamed (1)What do you like about AZ?

I love Arizona! Coming here from Hawaii in 1980 it took about 3 years to get acclimated, but the beauty of the desert slowly came into focus. The desert is stunning. And I witness the most beautiful sunsets from my porch. Where else can you travel from the desert to ponderosa pine forest in an hour and 30 minutes? Arizona is truly the land of enchantment!

Where can we see your work?

I am in group shows two and sometimes three times a year with the Arizona Pastel Artists Assoc. I just got back from the Bisbee Plein Air Festival, where I was one of the two judges. I sold my plain air piece on display there. You can also see my art on my website.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

My desire is to transition my painting style from a representational to more abstract. I also have a short bucket list and hope to accomplish that.

What is your mantra?

Observe the beauty around me each day, love people, love God.

 

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Radio Phoenix Podcast: Man Hands

Man Hands

Local punk rockers Man Hands came down to the Phoenix Center for the Arts for another installment of Rise on Radio Phoenix. And of course they brought along some stellar tunes. The complete playlist can be found below.

Complete playlist:

Man Hands “Chloroform”

The Screamers “Vertigo”

Lenguas Largas “Little C’s”

Consumer “Made in China”

Silver Shadows “By My Vampire’s Side”

Mighty Sphincter “Temple Dogs”

Joke Flower “Dirty Hands”

100 Flowers “Contributions”

Poolside Sacrifice “Homicide is Cool”

US Depressed “Motorized Bicycle Male”

Destruction Unit “God Trip”

Spray Paint “I Need a Bag”

Chandails “Cult”

The Feederz “Avon Lady”

Recorded live on June 15, 2016

5 New ElectroPop Releases

MRCH

I Love You But You Don’t Know What You’re Talking About

That’s a rather long EP title for a band I would usually describe as terse. They don’t even give us a vowel in their band name and most of their tracks have one word titles. The breathy electropop of MRCH, however, isn’t short on style. “Light” opens the five-track EP, I Love You But You Don’t Know What You’re Talking About. This isn’t upbeat dance music. This is dreamy, meditative electronica pop meant to induce swaying in a club setting. Although, in all fairness, you could definitely dust off some of those New Wave dance moves for some of the tracks on MRCH’s latest, including “Ruins” and “Spin”. The EP is available on Spotify and iTunes, but you can preview “Ruin” here…

Iska Dhaaf

The Wanting Creature

Iska Dhaaf is an artist I want to keep an eye (or ear) on. It is only with his fourth release – The Wanting Creature –  that I even discovered Dhaaf and his musical endeavors, but I plan on delving the complete discography. The latest album opens with “Invisible Cities”, aptly named for its decidedly urban feel. Listening to this song, I can imagine tearing through a cityscape in middle of the night, windows open and music blasting. The Wanting Creature definitely provides some dance-able electro-pop despite its darker reflections on city life, a recurring theme on this album. At other moments, the music swims toward the listener at a meditative pace. The Seattle artist currently resides in New York, but The Wanting Creature was released through Brick Lane Records out of Seattle. That seems appropriate because The Wanting Creature has a mellow, West Coast vibe. “Chrysalis” and “Laura Palmer” (of course) are stand out tracks for me, but, overall, The Wanting Creature won’t leave you wanting. Preview the album before purchase here…

Beginners

Beginners

This five-track, self-titled debut from L.A.’s Beginners offers a high-energy, club-ready mix of music to get you moving whether on a dance floor or in your bedroom. The EP opens with “Ever Love” and fans of alt-electro-pop will be uplifted by the effervescent vibes. That invigorating energy doesn’t diminish although it does transmogrify throughout the release from the New Wave feel of the synths on “Let Go or Get Dragged” to easy permutations between chill and edgy on “So Close I Almost Believed It”. The closing track, “If It’s Not Enough”, takes on a plaintive hue without losing that Beginners’ sound. Overall, this EP is a promising start for Beginners. The band already has a new album in the works due out in September, but before that release hits public ears, give Beginners by Beginners a listen here…

Foresteater

Nightlife of the Exploding Heads

Mikey Pro out of Phoenix creates music under the name Foresteater. The act’s debut EP kicks off with the single “Very Friendly People”, but it’s not until the second track, “High and Bright”, that I really start to feel the Foresteater groove. Pro started writing the album after he had a dream wherein there was “a band playing on an island in outer-space with electric rainbows everywhere.” That’s actually a great visual to call to mind when listening to this album. Foresteater offers up effervescent, spaced-out electro-pop, something a little more dreamy than dance club. “Nighttime Honey” has a slowly building energy that envelopes the listener before the closing track, “Dress in Yellow”, mellows out a little with the EP’s most indie track. Recorded with Bob Hoag over at Flying Blanket Studios, Nightlife of the Exploding Heads was an unexpected boon to my afternoon listening. Check it out for yourself here…

Koala Bear

KBTP

Koala Bear describes his unique brand of electronica as “Drug Pop” and, while we never want to encourage disreputable behavior, I can imagine that certain foreign substances in the blood stream can induce a trance-like state with the addition of a KB soundtrack. The largely instrumental debut EP – KBTP – offers listeners four dreamy and uplifting tracks that are simple in design, but held our attention from start to finish. Coming in a just a little over ten minutes in length, my only complaint about KBTP by Koala Bear is that it leaves you wanting more. You can download the EP from Koala Bear for free through Bandcamp. But first, give it a listen here…

YabYum Seven: Emmett Potter

unnamed (2)Who are you and what do you do?

Emmett Potter and I am an artist.

How did you get your start?

I started in photography in the late 80’s and transitioned into graphic design by the 90’s. By 2006, I was really wanting to get back into creating artwork, but had no idea what direction to take. In 2008, I quit my day job and rented a studio at the now defunct Kollective in downtown Phoenix. The building is now occupied by FilmBar. That is where I met my wife, the artist, Kristin Bauer. We then became studio-mates in a little house on Portland Street with a friend of ours and then transitioned to a space in Scottsdale by 2010 that became our studio and also served as the home of Squeeze Gallery. That was where I really started putting up my work and selling as an artist.

What inspires you?

[A] good artist, my wife and kids, Carl Jung, pop culture, consumerism and life in general.

What do you like about AZ?unnamed

I like what AZ is becoming culturally, the desert landscape, and the good quality of life that is affordable in the Valley verses other metropolises.

Where can we see your work?

Currently, I was just in a two person show at Carlos Queso in Los Angeles and I will have a piece at the I.D.E.A. Museum in Mesa this summer.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

A long, healthy life.

What is your mantra?

My mantra is: “The Dude abides.”

 

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