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Sunday, March 31, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): EASTER MONDAY 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): EASTER MONDAY 2013: imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog While it may be easy for some to move on (to the next big thing), I'm still pondering the events...

EASTER MONDAY 2013

imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog


While it may be easy for some to move on (to the next big thing), I'm still pondering the events of last week.  The proceedings in the Supreme Court were paramount to supporters of marriage equality, as well as to opponents who've compared any additional 'liberties' to same-sex households (now seeking federal recognition and thereby eligible for all the rights, privileges and benefits (approximately 1138) afforded heterosexual couples) as tantamount to the resurrection of Sodom and Gomorrah, or the end of civilization.  Justification based upon religious beliefs (for the continuance of DOMA) is hardly novel; the necessity to protect 'responsible procreation' offered by Charles Cooper seemed antiquated, and the argument from Paul Clement (supporting DOMA on behalf of Republicans in the House of Representatives) resting on an alleged federal need for uniformity in administering benefits fell just short of absurdity.  All that hubris followed by collective disbelief at the reading of House Report 3396 (which accompanied the passing of DOMA by the 104th Congress); apparently the Republican controlled Congress decided to reflect and honor [of] collective moral judgment and to express(ed) moral disapproval of homosexuality.  If this expressed sentiment, no--judgement based on fear/prejudice/bias, isn't reason enough to continue advocating for a separation between church and state, what is?  If our elected officials prefer to pander to a more fundamentally-inclined religious base, what chance for advancing liberty and equality for those whose beliefs fall outside of a narrow Judeo-Christian doctrine?  And it makes me wonder . . .

  For those fortunate among us to be attending the Egg Roll on the White House Lawn,  cheers to the delights of chocolate eggs and fuzzy bunnies.  
Happy Easter Monday to all.

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): EASTER SUNDAY 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): EASTER SUNDAY 2013: imagesourceunknown WISHING EVERYONE A WONDERFUL EASTER!!

EASTER SUNDAY 2013

imagesourceunknown




WISHING EVERYONE A WONDERFUL EASTER!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 27.3.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 27.3.13: imagecourtesyjjjjoundblog Just like everyone else, same-sex families eat around the kitchen table, do laundry on Thursday evenings, ord...

VT 27.3.13

imagecourtesyjjjjoundblog


Just like everyone else, same-sex families eat around the kitchen table, do laundry on Thursday evenings, order take-out meals, mow the lawn, and raise children (whether biologically theirs or adopted, foster or borrowed).  Just like other couples (straight, bi, swingers, gay-curious, or those on the down-low) they deserve the same privileges and rights (and tax benefits).  Seems ironic that the religious right which bemoaned the sexual promiscuity, social irresponsibility, and decadence of the early 'pioneers,' now chastise the LGBTQ community for finally advocating for stability, security, respect, societal approval, and all the responsibilities inherent to being a member of the community.  I can't understand the so-called 'threat to marriage' that arises as a result of marriage-equality, nor do I understand the inherent fear, ignorance and bigotry that seems pervasive on the part of some.  And to all the others (who understand that full-equality for all citizens means better families and communities and show it), a heart-felt THANK YOU!! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 25.3...

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 25.3...: VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 25.3.13 : imagecourtesystylesalonisteblog No, it's not BLUE MONDAY at all.  In fact to...

VT 26.3.13

imagecourtesyblackworkshoptumblr


Outside my window a new day approaches.  Dawn accompanied by the song of early birds and the scolding chatter of squirrels is much more pleasant than the piercing ring of an alarm-clock.  In less than hour (or two)  marchers/demonstrators/placard-holders/concerned citizens/disenfranchised members of the community/zealots/bigots/the curious/tourists and assorted gawkers will gather at the steps of the Supreme Court where inside nine justices will deliberate on the issue of marriage equality in America.  It's pretty hard to say that they will be deciding on the definition of marriage (see DOMA and Prop 8); which, unless one peers behind the veil of popular culture and accepted 'world history,' may seem irrefutable and impermeable.  Instead the real decision will be whether or not certain groups of individuals can continue to enjoy the benefits and privileges of a certain type of societal contract currently unavailable to others because of a extremely narrow interpretation of historical precedent.  Seems archaic and un-American, as well as against the true spirit of democracy, doesn't it?  As well as contrary to the teachings of a more inclusive, more forgiving, more benevolent Creator.  The world watches and waits . . .


Monday, March 25, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 25.3.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 25.3.13: imagecourtesystylesalonisteblog No, it's not BLUE MONDAY at all.  In fact today is another beautiful day and I can't wait to h...

VT 25.3.13

imagecourtesystylesalonisteblog



No, it's not BLUE MONDAY at all.  In fact today is another beautiful day and I can't wait to have my first cup of coffee, and then get out to face numerous challenges and new opportunities.  Perhaps after supper and before bedtime, I'll high-five myself in satisfaction for having done it all (and this includes cleaning the driveway and sidewalk of this morning's snow). Wishing you all the best Monday ever!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): THE SUNDAY POST 24.3.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): THE SUNDAY POST 24.3.13: imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr On some days--this one in particular, I just wanted to stay in bed all day.  A recent trip to the 2nd c...

THE SUNDAY POST 24.3.13

imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr


On some days--this one in particular, I just wanted to stay in bed all day.  A recent trip to the 2nd center of American modernity (namely Miami, Florida) was filled with lots of going-outs and not a single bit of staying-in; thus, today seemed ideal for down-time and off-line.  Upon reflection, the bright star known as South Beach, seemed filled with sharp contrasts and some distilled ambiguity; no, nothing as dramatic or unpleasant as waiting for the Gore-Bush election results, or the furor of last year following the Trayvon Martin shooting.  Nevertheless, perplexing when I consider the prevalence of the white-on-white-on white color palette found in many (or most) interiors, both in private residences and the hospitality industry.  This, an almost surreal, hyper-real emphasis on techne appears diametrically opposed to the surrounding environment where the charms of nature are experienced best through first-hand experience (or, for some, solely appreciated from the lofty heights of a glassed-penthouse on water's edge).  A stroll through the walkplatz revealed a tropical, passionate, frenzied playground where both locals and visitors traverse beneath an unforgiving sun.  The former in daily toil, and the latter in search of a bronzed perfection plastered on every billboard between here (or there) and infinity.  Still, and in spite of any criticisms, this tiny sliver of decadence and desire remains a noteworthy diaspora from which the spirit of resilience (and freedom!!) continues to triumphantly emanate . . .   

Thursday, March 21, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 22.3.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 22.3.13: imagecourtesystylesalonisteblog designdarrylcarter 'The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will ...

VT 22.3.13

imagecourtesystylesalonisteblog
designdarrylcarter



'The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one.'

--ELBERT HUBBARD

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 21.3.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 21.3.13: imagecourtesy79ideasblog "The greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, and not on our circumstances." ...

VT 21.3.13

imagecourtesy79ideasblog


"The greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, and not on our circumstances."

--Martha Washington



Monday, March 18, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 17.3.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 17.3.13: imagecourtesynotesondesign.tumblr "I talk to God but the sky is empty." --Sylvia Plath

VT 17.3.13

imagecourtesynotesondesign.tumblr



"I talk to God but the sky is empty."

--Sylvia Plath

Saturday, March 16, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 16.3.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 16.3.13: imagesourcenotesondesigntumblr "Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom s...

VT 16.3.13


imagesourcenotesondesigntumblr



"Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes.
  You are free."

--Jim Morrison

Friday, March 15, 2013

VT 20.3.13

imagecourtesyarchipile.tumblr



"The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off."

--Gloria Steinem

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 13.3.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 13.3.13: imagecourtesybrillanteinteriors "Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television." -Woody Allen

VT 13.3.13

imagecourtesybrillanteinteriors



"Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television."


-Woody Allen


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 12.3.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 12.3.13: imagecourtesyinterioralchemy.tumblr You can't wait for inspiration.  You have to go after it with a club. --Jack London

VT 12.3.13


imagecourtesyinterioralchemy.tumblr


You can't wait for inspiration.  You have to go after it with a club.

--Jack London

Monday, March 11, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 11.3.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 11.3.13: imagecourtesyinterioralchemy.tumblr "Art is the lie that enable us to realize the truth." --Pablo Picasso

VT 11.3.13

imagecourtesyinterioralchemy.tumblr


"Art is the lie that enable us to realize the truth."

--Pablo Picasso

Saturday, March 9, 2013

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: (VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peep...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: (VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peep...: (VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: VT 8.3.13 : imagecourtesythestylesalonisteblog designbarbarabarry Not even the thre...

THE MUSIC VT: LUCA LASERRA

photo: alberto gonzalez
styling: obe santos
makeup: judy jacomino




LUCA LASERRA WANTS TO PLAY!!!
The PEEP-MASTER Interviews Luca Laserra


PM:  Fans have been watching and waiting for the new album; what can we expect?

LL:  I have been feverishly working on the new album.  I'm eager and excited to unleash my new album and share it.  It's been a true labor of love. I've put in blood and sweat, as well as tears, to this album and I hope it shows.  It's really a new extension of me.  I like to say it is innocence bleeding into decadence with no apologies.  There is definitely something for everyone with the new record.  It's a slight departure from 'Adrenaline' my first record.  I feel that the sound is of a more mature me expressing an adult point of view.  Yes, a progressive-house beat with pop sensibilities.

PM:  Did you write all the songs yourself?

LL:  Yes, I wrote every song on this new album.  Writing for me is very emotional, and cathartic.  I love the idea of channeling a point of view through the power of words and melody.  I see it as a creative freedom, whether it is autobiographical, or living through another's hardships, or celebrations.  I feel that it comes naturally to me.

PM:  This sounds very personal and unguarded; what was the end result?

LL:  17 unapologetic dance tracks.  The songs sort of bleed into one another and tell a story--one which is about celebrating life, humor, love, and sort of getting through the bull-shit one encounters daily.

PM:  And the mood throughout?

LL:  Sexy! Fun! Playful! Hard!

PM:  Hard? How?

LL:  Throughout my life, I have had many doors slammed in my face, and even now it still happens--perhaps less than before.  Does that make me change my mind, or, do I have a change of heart in doing what I do? No!  I remain relentless in anything I do.  I live my life as my own, and believe that no one has the power to control my happiness, or destiny. Only I can do this!  I'm not interested in pleasing everyone nor would I want to try.  Those certain individuals who understand me and get what I do: that is the ultimate gratification.  The others that won't, well, they can piss off . . .

PM:  Who helped with the album?

LL:  I worked with an amazing producer, Josh Riptide, who understood my vision and ran with it.  It was not an easy process and I am certain Josh can say that he may have wanted to ring my neck once or twice.  I know that when someone is passionate and is determined to share a particular vision, things can sometimes get heated.  In my case, I am stubborn and meticulous, and sometimes this gets me in trouble.  Yet I would change nothing about myself, or the album.

PM:  Are you satisfied with the results on the album?

LL:  With the new album, I felt much more secure and confident as I moved into a whole new dimension.  I explored different sounds, wrote lyrics and melodies differently, and I was more at ease while doing so.  Initially, while preparing the concept, I wrote the lyrics for nearly 35 songs and then pieced them together to create the perfect synergy with the music and the image.  Many times I struggled internally as I searched for what was perfect for me.  I guess making this record was sort of therapeutic . . .

PM:  Therapeutic; how so?

LL:  Whenever I write a song, it is also a soul-search.  In the process I visit demons; I am forced to face my individual reality.  I think writing is very therapeutic.  It allows you to become a better version of yourself, and it allows an individual to visit aspects which otherwise are ignored or avoided.  Writing, and music, saves me a lot on therapy bills, which could be good.

PM:  Any songs that you're particularly proud of?

LL:  I have several favorite tracks, one of which is 'Up All Night;' this, written as an ode to love.  i think that many listeners can relate to this song.  It's about feeling something that has been suppressed for a long time, and can no longer be restrained.  It's a very special song to me.

PM:  Perfection and sexy may seem contradictory, yet some of the photos released suggest that you may have successfully married the two.  What was the idea behind the images?

LL:  I worked with a great team to capture the essence of the look seen on the new album.  Obe, my stylist for the shoot, provided me with an inspiration board of ideas.  We wanted color, a certain edginess, and sensuality with a modern twist.  We wanted each image to provide a narrative central to the theme; and in the end that is exactly what we got, and I am proud and thrilled.

PM:  As a musician, in contrast to an actor, how hard is it to portray sensuality on a photo shoot?

LL:  Creating music is like making a movie; you have a script and a story line.  There's a lead role which you inhabit from the beginning to the end, and in between there's a climax.  When I prepare myself to record a song or do a photo shoot, I get in character to portray whatever it is that I want to evoke through imagery, or music.  Sometimes it just expressing a mood, and other times it's an extension of an alter ego that is brought to life and shared.  It may also mean that you must dig deep to create 'reality' from fantasy or imagination, or, learning to live vicariously though another's point of view.  Maybe a distorted reality, nevertheless, it is real while being experienced. 

PM:  Recent photos show a moody, sensual being; what was the mental fantasy that propelled the image?  Are there certain characters that you repeatedly turn to in order to fuel your imagination?

LL:  I am always attracted to mystery; and characters of some ambiguity or fluidity.  I think that in some ways they tend to be an extension of a myself, perhaps an alter-ego.  In the particular photos that you speak of, I strove for a sexual undertone which reflects my decadent side--that mysterious and dangerous vibe that permeates my music, and life.  And with the hyper-colored shots I wanted to project innocence: something joyous, wondrous, an almost child-like trust and delight (at the world).

PM:  Could be dangerous; what happens when innocence collides with decadence?

LL:  Magic happens!!  I think that there is something almost cathartic in merging innocence and decadence, and then watching it bleed into something new and unexpected.  As a child you are often told 'don't do this' or 'don't do that,' yet the curiosity is overwhelming.  Sometimes you discover that whatever one thought is bad can turn out to be good, and infectious.  This can play a great synergy in your fantasy and reality.  With this album I had a clear vision of what I wanted; an 'un-interruption,' so most of the tracks bleed into one another.  I tell a story in which the I've unlocked the doors to my sanctuary and listeners are invited in to observe and experience my dreams.  Unapologetically, I am here to transport the audience to a 75 minute long fantasy.  It's my dance dance where I show my skills at being progressive, and hard, and sultry.  This place is where I've been for the past year, and I wanted to share it . . .

PM:  What artists inspire you to keep pushing boundaries?  Artists who seem to hit the mark, and maintain it?

LL:  I am inspired by so many; the list could almost be endless.  Yet some who stand out for sheer artistry and inspiration are Nina Simone, Sade, and Frank Ocean; they share this incredible force and power to move with the power of just words.  Madonna, Frank Sinatra, and Coldplay continue to evoke a degree of craftsmanship immeasurable.  My tastes are eclectic and I get inspiration from many genres; if I am moved and provoked, I submit (to the power of the music).  Thankfully, this happens again and again . . .

PM:  When do we get to hear the new tracks?

LL:  The album is slated for release at the beginning of summer with a tour scheduled for the fall.  Some of my older tracks can be heard on my FB page, instagram or at soundcloud.  And if you dare, catch my live show . . .

Friday, March 8, 2013

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: VT 8.3.13

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: VT 8.3.13: imagecourtesythestylesalonisteblog designbarbarabarry Not even the threat of unmanned drones hovering ominously overhead will keep m...

VT 8.3.13

imagecourtesythestylesalonisteblog
designbarbarabarry


Not even the threat of unmanned drones hovering ominously overhead will keep me from venturing out today.  I will also put aside any thoughts of the ongoing sequestration, a burgeoning national debt, and repeated calls by some for entitlement cuts; instead I plan to putter in the garden all through the glorious weekend.  Happy Friday to everyone . . .

Thursday, March 7, 2013

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: VT 7.3.13

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: VT 7.3.13: imagecourtesywhatwilsonwantsblog Looking outside just now, it could be easy to forget that just yesterday a snow-storm was expected to...

VT 7.3.13

imagecourtesywhatwilsonwantsblog

Looking outside just now, it could be easy to forget that just yesterday a snow-storm was expected to blanket many parts of the East coast.  Instead, just loads of rain were received, and the garden seems quite rejuvenated as a result of this.  I see tiny shoots on the clematis vine and the rose bushes will blossom early and abundantly; butterfly magnolias and forsythia will erupt shortly, and the crocuses are almost ready to burst forth in proclamation of spring.  All this activity makes me happy.  Have a wonderful Thursday . . .

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: VT 6.3.13

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: VT 6.3.13: imagecourtesythestylesalonisteblog There's a big, big storm approaching and so far I've resisted the panic-filled drive in pu...

VT 6.3.13

imagecourtesythestylesalonisteblog


There's a big, big storm approaching and so far I've resisted the panic-filled drive in pursuit of toilet-paper, bread and milk.  Batteries and candles seem more essential, as well as knowing that the snow-shovels and bags of ice-salt are within easy reach.  Hopefully we'll be spared the worst of it and things can continue normally; and if not, we will just have to dig in, or out, of whatever Mother Nature sends our way.   And after, mugs of hot-cocoa and jigsaw puzzles by candle-light will keep our spirits bright.  

Monday, March 4, 2013

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: VT 5.3.13

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: VT 5.3.13: imagesourceunknown While walking through the garden this morning, I well understood the reticence of the lenten roses to show themsel...

VT 5.3.13

imagesourceunknown


While walking through the garden this morning, I well understood the reticence of the lenten roses to show themselves.  The weatherman calls for heavy snow accumulation tonight or tomorrow and the brisk winds made a quick retreat inside seem sensible.  Patience is called upon for yet another week or so; or, until the cherry trees at the Tidal Basin erupt in their yearly glory of pink blossoms signaling that spring has finally arrived.  Today, the glossies provide unlimited pleasure . . .


Sunday, March 3, 2013

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: THE SUNDAY POST 3.3.13

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: THE SUNDAY POST 3.3.13: imagecourtesydesigntraveller.tumblr The easy availability of 'bargains' has led to a society which is overwhelmingly gripped by...

THE SUNDAY POST 3.3.13

imagecourtesydesigntraveller.tumblr


The easy availability of 'bargains' has led to a society which is overwhelmingly gripped by a sense of unrest.  Almost nothing is purchased for the long run; instead some base their aesthetic, as well as sense of being, on the quick fix, the easy change and the next big thing (soon to be showcased on next month's magazine cover).  Heirlooms seem to be a thing of the past, as are the virtues of thrift and preservation.  The average consumer is reluctant to pay for materials of a higher quality, and the craft-person has been deemed irrelevant.  Shoddy products and inferior goods made overseas under sometimes questionable working conditions have swept through the marketplace like a tsunami and no-one is beyond reach.  If creativity and small industry is to survive (and thrive) in the 21st century, I believe that all of us must reexamine our values with some degree of urgency before mediocrity (or inferiority) becomes the new normal.

Have a wonderful Sunday!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: VT 1.3.13

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: VT 1.3.13: imagecourtesynotesondesigntumblr Finding one's way along the road (of life) is tricky; countless twists and turns and just ahead...

VT 1.3.13


imagecourtesynotesondesigntumblr


Finding one's way along the road (of life) is tricky; countless twists and turns and just ahead there appears to be an impasse seemingly impenetrable.  Still we trudge on, trusting that there is an end, all the while grudgingly acknowledging that its the journey that really counts . . .

Happy Friday and thanks to those exemplary individuals who inspire us to never give up!!