A/V + Book Club, November Edition

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Megan Amram is a genius whichever way you spin it- from her brilliant one-liners on twitter, the beautiful messages within her poetry, her amazing career that’s exploded at such a young age (Parks and Recreation writer/story editor), being named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30″ and Rolling Stone’s “25 Funniest People on Twitter”, or her educational accomplishments (eh hem Harvard University). But aside from being an intellectual heavyweight, the best part about her is that she is one of the most kind, genuine, compassionate, down-to-earth people I have ever known. Total marriage material- the full package! I first met this brainy babe in Miami for the O! Miami Poetry Festival, and I instantly connected with her- maybe because we’re both pale jews with the same favorite movie (A Clockwork Orange) and hot racks?: I wanted to talk to her the entire night and keep her all to myself. So, naturally, she came out with “Science… For Her!” which is a book of science written from the perspective of women’s magazines (see: cheeky gender commentary). She is the best person ever, so go support her and GET IT!

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While in New York, I picked up two books to bring back with me on the plane: 1. “Is It My Body?” by my hero and Sonic Youth member Kim Gordon; a series of writings on art and music ranging from neo-Conceptual artworks to broader forms of cultural criticism, contemporary art, architecture, music, and the performance of male and female gender roles. 2. A University Press book entitled “Politics in a Glass Case” (best name ever) that a lovely employee of The Strand found for me: This book discusses what happens to art when feminism grips the curatorial imagination, and how sexual politics become realized as exhibits. I’m so excited to incorporate what I learn with my own curating.

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I have not been as inspired by ANYTHING, in years, as I was with the film Under the Skin, directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Scarlett Johansson. ScarJo plays an alien sent on a mission to seduce men in an effort to send their insides somewhere, most likely a portal to her home planet. My favorite films tend to be those leaning toward the surreal- those that are abstract and dream-like, describing an idea or a message without coming outright and saying it; Under the Skin definitely achieves this in a way that is cinematically stunning and unique. It evokes so much, but I really love the study of humanity’s vanity and superficiality, and also what happens when you become vulnerable and let the world penetrate you. SO GOOD.

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I think I will love anything Grouper will ever make; even if she made a compilation of recordings of her blowdryer, I’d still probably listen to it on repeat. Grouper’s atmospheric, haunting and ethereal music has been a favorite of mine for years now- it puts my spirit at ease and I can listen to her albums all the way through, over and over. Ruins is no exception. Although quite different than her past albums, with a stronger, heavier use of piano, it’s still in line with her specific voice and creeps in the same way all of her other songs do. It’s like the background music to my soul.

New House in Burbank

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The past couple of months have been very overwhelming for numerous reasons; one of those reasons being that I moved from East Hollywood to Burbank. Burbank is a combination of suburbia and major studios such as Disney, Warner Brothers, ABC, and NBC. There are quaint, charming houses- bungalow and cottage style- rows of antique shops, small independent restaurants/shops/cafe’s and a modern downtown area. It has a definite small-town feel, which I love coming home to, but its set amongst the entertainment industry. Instead of waking up to a honking Hollywood Blvd, I have orange trees, front and back yards and mountain views. There are lush Northern trees that line the streets and create a welcoming, serene state. It’s also right next to the Toluca Lake area, which has some great hangout spots and giant houses that I will never afford but are nice to look at. I’m still only about 10 minutes from my favorite areas in LA, so it’s really the best of both worlds!

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The space is bright and completely renovated- with real hardwood floors! It’s a 3 bedroom house with a backyard, side yard and front yard. There’s central air and heat, a dishwasher, and a washer/dryer. The decorating process is going to come along slowly, but SURELY! We’re trying to go for a modern and minimal feel, but still keep it bright and happy- basically the concept of Jonathan Adler’s brand.

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I am decorating my bedroom based on the moon (I know, so LA), so I wanted curtains that had a cosmic vibe but were still simple and minimal. I ordered these cosmic curtains from Urban Outfitters. They remind me of the early-evening sky on an open field.

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Speaking of all things lunar, I am going to hang up a moon calendar because they look really beautiful. I like to think the moonlight will tuck me in at night. JUST LET ME BELIEVE IT!!! This one is by Margins on Etsy; it’s letter-pressed by hand and features tree-free cotton paper.

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This next calendar is more detailed and uses gold-leaf on heavy recycled matte paper. It’s by Katie Vernon!

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A finishing touch to the bedtime dreamscape I’m creating is Uncle Milton’s Moon in My Room. Perhaps intended for children (as most great things are), I actually saw this at a birthday party for a four-year-old! Haha! But why should they get everything fun? Why can’t I have a magical glowing moon comfort me in the night? YOU SEE MY POINT, YOU SEE IT!

Stay tuned for all the renovations we will be incorporating!

W/// by Weltenbuerger

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Weltenbuerger is my new favorite store- and the exact answer to all I’ve been craving lately: simplicity, functionality, minimalism. Perhaps it’s all the chaos that’s going on in my life, but I’m making a dedication to converting to the type of clothing I mentioned; to move on from overt, busy, excess. I think I’ll feel more grounded somehow. I’d rather have a few strong pieces made from quality fabrics and local, eco-friendly design that will last me for a long time rather than my mix-and-matched collection of chaos. I’d rather my personality do the talking without my clothes suggesting something strongly. I plan on hanging on to a couple of my favorite wild, costumey numbers but other than that, I’m making this shift which I hope will infiltrate my way of life in other areas. I care less about being viewed as wild and I think I’ve held on to a lot of nostalgic fulfillment in terms of the way I dress.

Weltenbuerger carries various designers that support this style of wear, but I am posting the line“W/// by Weltenbuerger”, created by the store’s wonderful and intelligent owner I had the pleasure of conversing with today. He incorporates unusual fabrics like bemberg and ribbed tencel as well as linen with metallic thread, fine fabrics and juxtaposed materials in these designs. To be perfectly honest, I kind of wish I could accumulate an entire wardrobe from this shop. In time, perhaps.

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If you don’t live in the LA area, you can order Weltenbuerger  online! And I highly suggest supporting this incredible designer and curator.

Baskin Robbins Japan Halloween Sundaes

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I was on my way out the door to get a Baskin Robbins Halloween sundae when I realized that THEY WERE ONLY CREATED FOR JAPANESE CUSTOMERS. I know, a blast to the heart. Why is Japan so cute? Why can’t Americans like things with faces on them more? Oh well, I will live vicariously through these photos (let’s be real- it’s all about the appearance anyways and now I won’t be consuming the calories mwahaha). Halloween is just the best.

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Storytelling Tuesday- The Past

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Tuesday night I participated in a storytelling event at Echo Chamber Creative Headquarters in Echo Park: Rhea and Sarah have been putting on great community-oriented events and established a space where like-minded artists can come together to share and unite. Readers included: Amber D. Garza, Aurora Pringle, Brenna Cheyney, Brodie Foster Hubbard, Jen Venegas, Kelli J. Williams, Tori Holder, Rhea Tepp and Jesse Marie Dicarlo Wagner.

The theme of the reading was “the past” and participants contributed stories from old diaries, livejournal and their own personal archives. There were incidents of first periods, first sexual intercourse, health concerns, death- it was all in. Some were comical. Some were absurd. Some were melancholy. Some were abstract.

I read 3 journal entries I wrote when I was 16 about my confusion of the male species, and my first experience in the East Village of New York City: That experience was what made me move to New York when I was a bit older. I talked about “punk rockers” and cool gay boys, vegetarian restaurants and terrible tattoos. It was absolutely mortifying, but I think it was both challenging and broadening nonetheless. I hope I don’t look back on this blog in the next decade and feel the same embarrassment, but I won’t hold my breath.

Both audience members and readers were welcomed to craft pages for a communal zine about the theme of the past, and they will be releasing it via their photocopier soon!

 

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Aurora Pringle did this awesome performance called “All Your Favorite Girls Are Motherless” based on many famous pop-culture icons that, in turn, do not have mothers in their lives.

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The Sacred Door

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The Sacred Door is a children’s book by Carly Jo Morgan; inspired by her own daughter. It is a visual  journey of an inquisitive soulmate duo learning the importance of manifestation. Two canine  companions, The Boo Boo and Wings Livinright, set out on a cosmic expedition to find a place where all dreams come true.  Along the way they encounter a series of mystical characters who offer clues and challenges that propel the pups to far-off lands and places deep within themselves. An epic poem about companionship, faith, perseverance, and the power of nature, The Sacred Door is a beautiful book for all ages to treasure.

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LA bands in July

One of the best parts of living in LA is all the great talent that is available- especially the music scene! There are so many venues promoting and sharing the music of up-and-coming artists, even I force myself out of my cocoon to see performances from all walks of life.

This month, I attended a few different shows both for work and for pleasure, and here are a couple of snapshots of musicians I recommend!

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My babes Skylar and Piper of PURO INSTINCT playing at Los Globos (photos by Jessie Askinazi- moi!) Check out an article I did featuring some photos I took and a list of their favorites over at Bullett 

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Guy Blakeslee of the entrance band performing some of his new solo work at Los Globos. He has one of my favorite voices and is an incredibly inspiring artist. He makes beautiful collage work to accompany his albums- definitely check it out. Photos by me!

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Singer/Rock N’ Roll God Danny Cieplinski of The Vigils. I got to see these killers play at The Kitty Club at Boardner’s in Hollywood. They’re definitely one of the only  bands around to bring you the true rock n’ roll experience.

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Singer Wynter Gordon of THE RIGHTEOUS YOUNG at Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles. Photo by Jessie Askinazi (moi!) Wynter has one of the most beautiful, powerful voices and her band’s set was one of my favorite shows I have seen in years. She brings so much passion and pop but knows how to have fun and take over the stage. She’s a serious soulful savage superstar.

 

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