A bit of Art and Soul 2011 from the newbie.

Greetings to everyone! I'm new to posting on this blog, so I wanted to share a bit about myself before going farther. I'm a native to Terre Haute, Indiana. I'm a Christian Witch-it's not as odd as it might sound. I am a tarot reader and psychic, and I give readings on a weekly basis at Blue Moon Gifts in Brazil, Indiana. I'm also an aspiriring writer. I have several novels in the works, but nothing ready to publish. I'm an artist, as well. I'm into photography, crocheting, painting, and craft work. Thanks for taking time to read what I'm about to write.

I took part in the fourth annual Art and Soul show that took place on  November 18th, 19th, and 20th of this year. The art show began on Friday night with about eight of us and a small theater group from one of our local colleges, Indiana State University. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to bring my camera until Sunday, so no pictures from Friday and Saturday.

I happily surprise to discover that the artist in the space next to mine was someone I was familiar with, Christy Brinkman-Robertson. She makes the most amazing sculpture out of hot glue. I tried to find an image of the sculpture I fell in love with, but I couldn't find it online. I did, however, find this image in M's Impressions blog.

Christy had the cutest cork earrings with her for the show. Here’s a pair I couldn’t resist:
Here Christy selling her earrings:
If you would like to contact Christy, you can email her at cbrinkman1013@gmail.com or call at (317) 627-6871.  

Closest to Christy was Kace Huber, another amazing sculptor, who not only makes sculptures, but puppets. She and I chatted about designing a Bast Statue for my altar
 If you would like to contact Kace, her email is kace53@yahoo.com. You can also call (765) 653-5031.

Next was Steven Gilbert, designer of hand rendered snowman cards. I had to get a few of those. Here is Steven with his cards:

And here are the cards I purchased, minus one that was set aside to be sent to a deployed soldier for Christmas:
You can find Steven on Facebook or email him at stevengilbertarts@gmail.com.

Next was Dennis Boothby, an amazing artist who makes the coolest picture frames I've ever seen. They extend his artwork so well.
I managed to talk him out of this priceless gem:
Dennis isn't online at the moment, but you can reach him by phone at (765) 795-5150.

I was unable to get a picture, but I received an amazing massage from massage therapist, David Little. Also, there were two Reiki specialists, Rita Palazzolo and Edie Richards. I didn’t get a chance to meet Rita, but Edie, our hostess, was kind enough to treat me to Reiki healing on two occasions. Here’s a picture of Edie with one of her most prized pieces of art, which she said took 10 years to complete.

 Again, Edie with her husband, and our host, Zac Chambers.
 You can contact Edie through her show site: edieartsandwellness.com. This is the site where you can also find a information on upcoming shows. 

My friend Marquis Bunch was downstairs all weekend with his halls of horrors. Marquis hopes to go into SFX art when he finishes up his degree. He likes to demonstrate of his SFX Makeup at Edie's shows, but...yeah, forgot to take pictures. Just picture my eyes rolling, because I'm doing that as I type. I'll plan this better next time. 

Here's Marquis with his fiance, and usual test model, Amber Thomas.
You can find Marquis on DeviantArt and Facebook.

And lastly, here is my husband Timothy manning our booth space.

I hope you enjoyed my bit of ramblings, and that I've made you curious about the upcoming spring 2012 show. Edie is always looking for new artists and performers for her shows. Musicians, actors, and poets are well come. Visit her site and see how you can show off you talents.  Until next time, peace and blessings!
Crystal ~_^


Under Maintenance.

Hey guys! Sorry for the mini-hiatus. You can bet that I'm getting everything & everyone back to writing.
If you'd like for us to research anything, whether that be a comic, a series, a movie, let us know!

I'll be back in the next week. :)



Visions of Scion Interview

Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch has it all--hot babes, steampunk and big guns.

It's like an Alice In Wonderland with guns. It's like a steampunk Wizard of Oz. 
Nonetheless, it's a movie that is destined to take you on an adventure through high stakes and beautiful imagery.

The movie opens with very dark tones, getting you ready for the rest of the movie. The main character, Babydoll, is put into a mental asylum by her stepfather, who pays big bucks to have her lobotomized in five days. Babydoll, whilst dancing, finds that she can take herself and her group of friends into a dream world where they have to find five items to escape the asylum.

There are many different aspects of this movie that are very, very good.

The soundtrack was magnificent. It really matched the dark tone of the movie. I haven't enjoyed a soundtrack that much since Juno. It definitely suited the movie well. The fact that Emily Browning was in three of the songs surprised me; she doesn't have that bad of a voice. I think that's possibly what really drew me in to the movie was the soundtrack

Oddly enough, I didn't mind the acting. I enjoyed the main all-female cast. I thought they carried the movie rather well. I especially enjoyed Jena Malone’s Rocket. I got emotionally invested in her character. Oscar Isaac’s Blue Jones bothered me. I’m not sure whether it was his bulging eyes or his weird 
mustache, but he bugged me. Overall though, the acting was fairly consistent.

Steampunk. That is all I have to say about that.

I know a lot of critics have really put the hammer down on the plot, but I thought it was original and interesting. You will find yourself in a “WTF” moment towards the end, believe me. I will say though that there is a lot of thinking that you have to do to piece everything together. It's not for the simplistic of thinkers.

There was only one aspect of the movie that was unfavorable to me.

The one thing I disliked was the use of the three different worlds. For one, one of the worlds was used for maybe ten minutes. I did enjoy the “dream world.” It was beautiful, artsy and creative. The main world--however you want to classify it--felt unnecessary. 

Overall, this movie has its beautiful moments, but it also has its weird, confusing moments. It’s something you need to experience.

I give it a 85/100.


Vices & Virtues: Panic! At The Disco

The third album from Panic! At The Disco, Vices & Virtues, released just two days ago.  After listening to the single "Ballad of Mona Lisa", I knew I had to check it out. I've never been big into Panic!'s material, but that song alone really drew me in. This album seems to take the electronic/pop-y drive from A Fever You Can't Sweat Out and the motivation/passion from Pretty. Odd. It's a good balance.

"Ballad of Mona Lisa" is one of those songs that get stuck in your brain. It has good lyrics and great instrumentation. It also has a good story behind it (which honestly, I just found out about yesterday). Apparently, it's about a prostitute. I mean, who can deny a good song about prostitutes?

The next few songs seem to carry that same energy. Gives us theatrics and then some. Gives us lyrics like "You won't find me perching here again" and "I led the revolution in my bedroom and I set all the zippers free." 

The high energy seems to dwindle as the album goes along. We are hit with more heartfelt lyrics and slower beats with "Memories" and "Always." I'm not a big fan of slower music, so I tend to not pay full attention to the slower stuff.
Then I got side-swiped/kicked in the face with "Sarah Smiles." This song is a diamond. It's a very fun, old fashioned sounding song. It sounds very Frank Sinatra yet it reminds of Mariachi music yet it ties up like a typical Panic! song. It sounds completely different from any of the other songs on the album. 

The last song, "Nearly Witches" was a great song to end with. Had this song not existed, I would've said that "Sarah Smiles" would've been perfect to end with. I really have no idea how to explain this song; it's ten shades of awesome. It mixes all of the things I love most about music. It has the best dynamics I've heard in a song in quite some time. It sounds like something I'd hear at the end of a Broadway musical. It wraps up this gem of an album perfectly.

To me, this album was pretty damn impressive. It gives us a new perspective on Panic! At The Disco while accenting each song with their unique flair. I think I will be following this band from now on. They've definitely impressed me. Their next single, "Ready To Go (Get Me Out Of My Mind), is supposed to drop sometime in April. 

They are also going on a European tour April-May 2011 and they also announced that their tour in North America will follow in May with the bands Fun (or fun.), Foxy Shazam, and Funeral Party. I'll keep you posted. 


Bright Eyes concert review

A while back I mentioned that I would be going to one of the Bright Eyes shows this year. Well, I went and saw them last Thursday in Nashville; yes, 6 hours of drive time and a time zone between here and there. Every one of those miserable 12 hours was made up for by the amazing show that The Mynabirds and Bright Eyes put on.
I’d never heard of the Mynabirds before the show. The band is led by Laura Berhenn, who also played keyboard for Bright Eyes during the concert. They were okay. Their show was very mellow, sort of like the calm before the Oberst storm (and I mean that). Here’s a link to one of the better songs they played at the show; you can decide if you like them. If you do, here’s a link to their website.
Now, Bright Eyes. Here was the line-up (Song followed by the album):

Firewall- the People’s Key
Jejune Stars- the People’s Key
Take it Easy (Love Nothing) - Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
Four Winds- Cassadaga
Cleanse Song- Cassadaga
We are Nowhere and its Now- I’m Wide Awake its Morning
Shell Games- the People’s Key
Arc of Time- Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
Triple Spiral- the People’s Key
Approximate Sunlight- the People’s Key
Hot Knives- Cassadaga
An Attempt to Tip the Scales- Fevers and Mirrors
Spring Cleaning- One Jug of Wine Two Vessels (EP)
Beginner’s Mind- the People’s Key
Bowl of Oranges- Lifted
Poison Oak- I’m Wide Awake its Morning
Old Soul Song- I’m Wide Awake its Morning
The Calendar Hung Itself- Fevers and Mirrors
Ladder Song- the People’s Key
Lua- Lua and I’m Wide Awake its Morning
Lover I Don't Have to Love- Lifted
(Introduces the band)
Road to Joy- I’m Wide Awake its Morning
One for You, One for Me- the People’s Key

If you haven’t noticed, The People’s Key had the most songs in the concert, followed by I’m Wide Awake its Morning. I like both albums, but would’ve been fully satiated by more Fevers and Mirrors and Lifted. At the very least, it would’ve been easier for hipster me to drone along quietly to lyrics I’m more familiar with.
With that said, I really enjoyed the show. The band, particularly Conor, had an undeniable stage presence. They used several mood-setting lights that aided whichever song they played. Two white-wedged coves which flashed bright red sat on stage over one of the keyboardists and the bassist. A giant screen behind the band, combined with the overwhelming amount of fog, gave the concert a psychedelic, The Flaming Lips feel as it showed giant, vibrantly colored images of different members of the band. Conor’s performance was filled with radical emotional bouts, from a defeated, nihilistic slouch he had during Ladder Song to a sporadic temper-tantrum he unleashed during The Calendar Hung Itself. Even the bliss he expressed in Bowl of Oranges emanated from him, though it was far more reserved than the former two expressions.
Going back to the organization (I wanted to follow a positive with a semi-negative), the and got to a lot of the songs I loved and made the show good to me. The order of the songs, however, didn’t seem to have any sort of linear, overarching theme. It was as if Conor had created a mosaic of several oppositional feelings and images that loosely formed something, though it wasn’t anything concrete. I had wondered before arriving how the band would decide to line-up their show. Every album that Bright Eyes has put out has a different series of moods, different sounds, different themes (especially when you compare his recent albums, which seem to have more condescending tones in regards to religion and politics, and his more self-centered older albums), etc. How, I wondered, would the band possibly link anything from I’m Wide Awake its Morning to something from The People’s Key? The only way they could: an intermittent series of varying moods. This structure didn’t bother me much, but as long as they were metaphorically slapping photos randomly in a scrapbook, I would’ve liked to hear some other stuff in place of the many People’s Key songs they played; some Sunrise Sunset, Don’t Know When but a Day’s Gonna Come, I Must Belong Somewhere… Method Acting… Middleman… you get the idea.
One more thing I’d like to point out is that my thoughts, as well as the thoughts of those I’ve talked to, were confirmed at the concert: Conor Oberst knows that he could jizz on a CD and people would flock to buy it. A lot of the concert was him force-feeding us The People’s Key, a CD that a lot of people aren’t sure about yet. It began and ended with the first and last songs on said album too, which, combined with the amount of People’s Key songs, gave me the impression that he was advertising. Later in the concert, Conor claimed that he was going to end the show on Ladder Song, which he played and then exited the stage. After about 10 minutes of ridiculous screaming on our part, the band finally came back on stage and played four more songs, with an intro to the band in between. I couldn’t help but notice that the introduction to each band member came during the encore, meaning that Conor was very aware that he would be screamed back on stage following Ladder Song. It was minutiae in the general picture, but it still came across as a little pompous.
Though my last two paragraphs may not suggest it, I loved the concert, and screamed along with everyone else in the Ryman Auditorium. I sang along to old songs, mumbled the new ones, and couldn’t stop moving to the beats until the show was over. The experience was well worth the 75 bucks and 12 hour drive and I hope to see them again in the future.

P.S. - Arcade Fire and the National will be in Indianapolis on April 27th. I might go, but the tickets are a little steep. I’ll keep you posted.