Personally, I don’t feel it’s too dangerous, at least no more than any other commercial being aired this campaign cycle. I do think this election is dangerous in general, however. There is so much hostility from both sides that it makes following it tiresome and frustrating, and dangerous in the sense that you can’t walk outside wearing a pro-Hillary shirt or a pro-Trump “Make America Great Again” cap without fear of being punched.
The fighting among Facebook “friends” on Social Media and family members seems downright hostile and brutal. Hell, I have to admit, I am even guarded in my post for fear of being called a bigot or hater. What kind of People have we become? I don’t think I am bigot and I have always tried to be fair and balanced in my opinions.
What will be tomorrow’s Politics be like? How can we go back to the way things use to be? Is this the new Politic?
I hope that this is not a sign of things will be be forever. The riots, the protests, the violence the mudslinging and nasty way the media is treating both Democrats and Republicans.
In any event, I have to say I learned a lot this election. I have learned that anyone is capable of being nasty and hating and thinking their view is the only correct view. I also learned that the status quo does not like change.
Enough said – what do you think of this ad?
Regardless of your opinion or party, a Democracy requires the voices and thoughts of all of us.
Many of us, including myself, grew up with huge dreams and little or no musical talent.
We would soon discover a musician or band we liked and we would listen to and buy every one of their albums and songs maybe hoping someday we would be able to join a band and perform for our friends and family or a stranger or two. On some occasions we might venture to a public space or venue and come across someone playing their guitar or keyboard to a group of onlookers who might be enjoying the street performances as much as we would.
For me, growing up in Southern California, my Father would take us to Olvera Street, the old Pike in Long Beach or to the Redondo Beach Pier where we would listen to the folk singers strumming their guitars and singing beautiful melodies and songs as we slurped up ice cream cones or balanced our hot dogs and cotton candy trying not to drop them on the side walk.
Little did I know at the time that these street performers, then, as well as now, were known as “Buskers” – musicians and street performers who, since the beginning of recorded history, have been entertaining crowds with their amazing talents and musical abilities.
This week our featured up and coming artist, Katie Ferrara, is such a person and she is no stranger to street performing – in fact she has won some prestigious busking awards around the world and even has a small town in Italy with the same family name (Ferrara) which is home to the Buskers festival, a non-competitive parade of the best street musicians. In terms of tradition and dimension, The Buskers Festival held in Ferrara Italy is the most important festival of its kind in the world.
Katie will be releasing her 3rd album – Dream Catchers – in a few days which we are very excited about and as with her previous work will deliver a soothing blend of authentic home-grown folk-pop. Her songs are genuine and emotional and perfect for the free-spirited, curious and open-minded individuals that might stumble upon her on a given night in Santa Monica or in Burbank.
We had a chance recently to run a few questions by her to help learn more about her music, her early path to becoming a busker and what we might expect from her off her Dream Catcher album.
So when did you first pick up a guitar? Are you self-taught?
I started playing guitar when I was in high school. My mom taught me how to play when I was a teenager and when I got to college, I taught myself by learning all my favorite songs. I also learned a lot from jamming with friends on campus and singing in different bands.
What other instruments do you play?
I can play ukulele and a bit of keyboard.
We heard you began your music career while working at Starbucks in London, England. How did you go from barista to performer?
When I was in London I would frequently visit Wunjo guitars on Denmark Street because I needed to buy a new guitar. I came to the UK with a travel sized Martin with no pick-up and wanted something that I could perform with easily in venues. On one of my visits to the shop, I met my French friend Jonathan, who produced my first two EP’s “When Love’s Not Around” and “Naturally”. We started recording when I had nights off from Starbucks. When I wasn’t working, I went to different open mics in the city to play my songs and get feedback from an audience. For me, going to open mics was the gateway to becoming a performer because I gained a lot of support from the musicians around me and found a safe place to practice new songs without having to do a full blown show.
Is “busking” something in your blood or did you develop your love for playing in public over time?
Honestly, I feel like busking isn’t something that I was born to do. It took a lot of trial and error before I figured out a way to feel comfortable doing it. The most difficult thing about performing out on the street is simply logistics and not so much working up the courage to sing. You have to think on your feet, become a problem solver and be ready to improvise. The first time I ever busked on the Santa Monica Promenade, I had to move from my spot because I had set up too close to a fire-hydrant. My amp died that day and I couldn’t hear myself amongst the other performers on the street. Carrying all my equipment was also really difficult because I got tired easily holding my guitar, amp and mic stand in just my two hands.
Over time, I figured out the best time of day to play, I bought a cart and a better amp, and picked the best songs in my repertoire to sing. What really made busking enjoyable for me was being able to play one of my songs and have someone stop whatever it was they were doing and just listen. Maybe the conditions weren’t perfect. I’ve played while it’s raining, on 90 degree summer days, and to empty streets late at night. To see someone make a choice to stop and to speak to them face to face made me feel confident. When you see that your music makes children dance and people laugh, you know you are doing your job as an artist. Its these kinds of experiences that really makes me love busking. Every time I go outside to play, I wind up with a cool story to tell, or I meet new people, or I discover a part of LA that I never would have gone to before! I think I love busking because it’s a way for me to explore different aspects of performing, travel, and be inspired by my surroundings.
When did you decide to come back to the states and further your musical career?
I came back to the US in 2012 after finishing recording my 2nd EP. I felt like there was a lot of opportunity in LA that I hadn’t explored before I went abroad and I wanted to try giving it a shot here before making any big moves again.
Were you back in the U.S. when you won the Street Performing Contest “Feeling the Street”?
What was that like to win that among so many performers?
I felt like my music career had just gone to a whole new level. I gained a lot of respect from friends and fellow musicians in LA because I wasn’t just getting known on a local level, but globally with the trip to New Zealand. When I found out that I had won the contest, it was one of the happiest days of my life! At the same time, I felt like there was a lot of pressure to impress people around me and produce music that was a different style than my own. It was an experience that challenged me to grow as an artist and see a new country!
When watching your music videos I can’t help but notice how natural and authentic you are when you sing. Where does that passion and love for music come from?
I’m passionate about music because it’s been a great outlet for me to express my emotions and connect with others. I feel like when I am singing I can be my authentic self. In a way I don’t feel like I’m “performing” in the sense that I’m acting out a certain character to impress people. I feel like people are just seeing another side of my personality that isn’t normally seen if they meet me for the first time.
What is the biggest highlight in your music career to date?
I think the biggest highlight in my music career so far has been my recent busking tour to the UK and Italy. This trip was something I wanted to do for a very long time. Last year, I did some research on my last name which is “Ferrara” and found out that it is a city in northern Italy that hosts an international busking festival every year in August. I’ve always been told that I should change my last name to a more English sounding one, because I would be able to brand myself better as an artist. When I found out about this festival, l felt like I had been blessed with a sacred name and somehow it was my destiny to be a busker! I wanted to investigate this coincidence a bit more a learn about my family history, so I applied to the festival.
When I found out that accepted as a fringe accredited artist, I booked myself a ticket to London. For a week, I went busking along the Southbank next to the Thames River. I also booked a show at the Troubadour in Earls Court where I reconnected with old friends and family. Then I took a plane to Bologna and from there I took a bus to Ferrara and met up with Borja Catenesi, the guitarist from the Feeling the Street band along with his girlfriend Suzanne. We jammed at the festival and also took a day trip to Bologna where I learned how to get a permit from the police station in order to street perform in the city piazza.
The best part of the trip was the night I sold out of CD’s at the festival and played to a circle of about 50 people on a 900 year old street in the heart of the city. From that night I was able to pay for my travel all through busking. It’s been my dream to be able to travel through music and I hope that in the future I will book more tours across America and abroad through the release of my new EP.
Your new E.P. Dream Catcher is coming out next month in October – what is the theme of the album?
The album centers around the conflict between following your passions and having security in a romantic relationship. I think it’s a theme that a lot of 20 somethings can relate to, especially because this is the time in our lives when we’re finding ourselves and figuring out what our purpose is in life. I called the EP “Dream Catcher” because while I was writing the album last year, I felt like I was chasing after my music career while trying to hold onto so many relationships that weren’t exactly healthy to begin with. I wanted to write something upbeat to keep me going and inspire other people to just be themselves. These songs are bursts in time where I got a chance to breathe and reflect on what was going on in my life.
How does the music and songs differ from your earlier albums?
I think the songwriting on this album displays a different level of musicianship than my previous EP’s. With this album, I explored different song structures and lyrical hooks. When I first started recording, I didn’t have a defined sound as an artist. Some of the songs were folky, some were jazzy and funky, and some had minimal production.
With this new EP, I feel comfortable calling myself a “Folk-Pop” artist. I’ve got instruments like cello, upright bass, ukulele, acoustic guitar, Ebo, and lap steel in the mix. The production is definitely more collaborative than my previous releases. I can’t really say that this album is completely mine—it wouldn’t be possible without the help of my producer Patrick Joseph and the talented musicians I met at shows at the Hotel Café last year. Everyone brought their own unique ideas which to me, created a unique sounding album.
Give us three words that best describes the album and what comes to mind when you think of it?
Relaxing, Hopeful, Charming . When I hear the title I think of sunset melting into the ocean for some reason.
Tell us a little about the writing process – did the songs on your Dream Catcher come to you in a dream or were they something you worked on for a while?
I wrote these songs slowly over the course of last year. They started out as melodic and lyrical ideas that came to me while I was driving to gigs in LA. When I had free time, I jammed with different people and they transformed into songs which I integrated into my set list when I busked. When I’m driving, it’s sometimes the only time when I can focus on one thing and reflect on what’s going on around me. Many of the lyrical ideas also came when I had a chance to relax at home.
Katie Ferrara – Santa Monica, CA
On the album cover, there is a picture of you in a pretty blue dress with what looks like the ocean behind you – where was this photo taken and why did you select that place for your album?
This photo was taken on the Santa Monica Pier. I chose this location because I’ve spent many days and nights performing out on the boardwalk over looking the sea. I find the water to be inspiring. You can look out across the ocean and not know what’s on the other side. I love letting my imagination run wild when I’m playing out there. I also find the color blue to be calming and a good reflection of the music.
Is there any one song you would like to share with everyone prior to the big album release and if you can’t right now what would it be if you could and why?
I would share the song “Jackets” because I love the instrumental arrangement and I think it best reflects the central theme of the album: conflict between being in a relationship and pursuing a career. When I wrote the song, I was so happy to be with someone and have that security, but at the same time, I wasn’t satisfied with myself. I felt like I was putting my music aside or having to hide what I was truly meant to do—which is to sing! The imagery of the Jacket came to mind because I was thinking about what it means when a guy offers his jacket to a girl when she’s cold. Somehow that transferred into the lyrics of the song.
Lastly – you are still very active playing the streets, where are some of your favorite spots to play and when can we see you next?
I love playing in downtown Burbank because it’s close to where I live! I also love playing at the Santa Monica Pier, Melrose Trading Post and the Nickel Market in downtown LA. My next big gig is actually going to be at the new Hotel Café second stage with s full band on Oct 22nd for the CD release show.
I know we said the last question was the last one but we always like asking our guest for a shout out to someone we should keep an eye out for. Who are a few of your favorite up and coming “buskers” and where can we find them?
Tudor Williams-I met him in Burbank in front of the Gap on Palm avenue which is a popular place to perform. What I really love about his music is the songwriting. He’s got a variety of songs in his repertoire, some are serious and others are just plain funny. He reminds me of Blake Mills in this respect. Musically, his guitar and melodies sound really deep yet the lyrics to some of his songs contrast a charming, humorous side to his personality. Check out his song “Somethin bout a blond woman”.
Mimi Gilbert- She’s a master of looping and reminds me a bit of Joni Mitchell. You can catch her street performing in Portland and last time I talked to her she had gotten back from a busking tour in New Orleans. I found her music after looking at some of the artists on this years Feeling the Street website. Her album “Strangers Won’t Exist” will blow you away.
To Learn more about Katie Ferrara and her Dream Catcher EP Visit her website or Social Media Links
It usually comes early in the story, like in The Sixth Sense: The protagonist walks into a room, like the kitchen, and all the cabinets and drawers are open. He’s puzzled. He doesn’t remember leaving it this way. So, he closes all the doors and all the drawers and walks out. A minute later he comes back in — and everything’s open again.
According to a Harris poll in 2013, about 45 percent of people believe in ghosts. In that same poll, almost 30 percent of the respondents said they believed that they’d personally been in the presence of a ghost.
When I poked around looking for “real ghost stories,” I found many accounts like the classic scene described above. You can’t “see” the ghost, but you know it’s there. They mess with the things you can see.
Most scientists, myself included, are pretty skeptical of ghost stories. But after attending a recent lecture on the “dark universe,” I got to thinking: How are we physicists different from anyone else telling ghost stories?
Let me explain.
Over the last few decades, scientists have built a new picture of the universe where about 95 percent of its stuff comes in a “dark” form (27 percent being dark matter and 68 percent being dark energy). But what exactly do physicists mean when they talk about something being “dark?”
Well, basically, they mean the dark stuff acts a lot like a ghost in a horror movie. You can’t see the dark matter and dark energy — but you know it’s with you because it messes with the things you can see.
It’s important to understand that dark matter and dark energy are different “things,” in the sense we’ve inferred their existence through different kinds of phenomena. This means they go bump in the night with stuff we can see in different ways.
Dark matter was discovered decades before dark energy by looking at how galaxies rotate. It was Vera Rubin’s famous work in the 1970s that showed pretty much all spiral galaxies were spinning way too fast to be accounted for by the gravitational pull of the their “luminous” matter (the stuff we see in a telescope). Rubin and others reasoned there had to be a giant sphere of invisible stuff surrounding the stars in these galaxies, tugging on them and speeding up their orbits around the galaxy’s center.
Kind of sounds like those ghostly kitchen drawers doesn’t it?
Dark energy was discovered 16 years ago, when observations showed the expansion of the universe (known since Edwin Hubble in the 1920s) was accelerating. Once again, a form of invisible stuff was invoked to explain the motions of the visible stuff. In this case, dark energy was made accountable for nature’s heavy foot on the cosmic gas pedal.
So how do physicists and astronomers get away with claiming the existence of cosmic ghosts (dark matter and dark energy) when they would probably roll their eyes at descriptions of the more terrestrial haunted-house kind?
The answer is data, its prevalence and its stability.
There are literally thousands of studies now of those rotating-too-fast galaxies out there — and they all get the same, quite noticeable result. In other words, data for the existence of dark matter is prevalent. It’s not like you see the effect once in a while but then it disappears. The magnitude of the result — meaning its strength — also stays pretty consistent from one study to the next. The same holds true for studies of dark energy.
This is quite different from the many attempts, over more than a century, to get coherent, repeatable, large, signal-to-noise data on paranormal activity (a million episodes of Ghost Hunters not withstanding).
Another key point is that evidence for dark matter pushing around the luminous stuff we can see pops up in lots of places other than the rotation of galaxies. It’s needed to explain the bending of light in gravitational lenses and it’s needed to understand the clustering of zillions of galaxies on the universe’s largest scales. In other words, the ghostly dark matter is part of a dense web of observations and their explanations. There isn’t just one reason to “believe” in dark matter.
But here is the rub. For years now, people have been looking for direct evidence of dark matter. This is the equivalent of seeing a ghost with your own eyes rather than seeing the kitchen drawers it keeps opening. After a whole lot of work, no one has found conclusive evidence for a dark matter particle (dark energy is different kind of story in terms of direct searches).
It’s still early in the game but, at some point, if nothing is found, scientists may have to re-evaluate their “belief” in dark matter. In that case, they will have to come up withother explanations for the bumps we know we’re hearing in the night.
Adam Frank is a co-founder of the 13.7 blog, an astrophysics professor at the University of Rochester, a book author and a self-described “evangelist of science.” You can keep up with more of what Adam is thinking on Facebook and Twitter:@adamfrank4
Mood Robot Haunt in the Best Way with Latest Single, “Ghost”
Coming Up Magazine – New Music – New Artists – New People
Globally, the rate of suicide is alarmingly high, particularly in men. Too many men are ‘toughing it out’, keeping their feelings to themselves and struggling in silence.
When things get tough, we need to talk. Reach out, take action, and look after ourselves and each other.
Today, September 10th, is World Suicide Prevention Day, and we believe it’s important to take a look at videos like these and spread love and awareness when it comes to the heavily stigmatized topic of suicide.
Many who have trichotillomania and dermatillomania don’t see a way out of the disorder. We might see ourselves us broken, unlovable, scarred, defective or any other negative thought that might stew around in our heads, and you know what? It gets to us. It gets to us and sometimes when we’re faced with these disorders that so many professionals don’t know about and no one seems to be able to help us with, we get lost, and our thoughts turn even darker. If you’re among those who might be thinking that suicide is the only escape from this, or any of your problems, it’s not. There is help and there is hope. Reach out to suicide hotlines, online support groups, friends, family, anyone that you trust for love and support, and let them know that you’re struggling. Know that you are not alone, and that you can get better, even if it doesn’t seem like it right now. You can.
The thing is: We’d never know it anyway. In a note to clients out Tuesday, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said there’s a 20%-50% chance that we’re living in the matrix — meaning that the world we experience as “real” is actually just a simulation. The firm cites comments from Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Nick Bostrom’s seminal paper on the issue as the basis for its 20%-50% view. Here’s BAML (emphasis added): “Many scientists, philosophers, and business leaders believe that there is a 20-50% probability that humans are already living in a computer-simulated virtual world. In April 2016, researchers gathered at the American Museum of Natural History to debate this notion.
The thing is: We’d never know it anyway.
In a note to clients out Tuesday, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said there’s a 20%-50% chance that we’re living in the matrix — meaning that the world we experience as “real” is actually just a simulation.
“Many scientists, philosophers, and business leaders believe that there is a 20-50% probability that humans are already living in a computer-simulated virtual world. In April 2016, researchers gathered at the American Museum of Natural History to debate this notion. The argument is that we are already approaching photorealistic 3D simulations that millions of people can simultaneously participate in. It is conceivable that with advancements in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and computing power, members of future civilizations could have decided to run a simulation of their ancestors.”
BAML also notably highlights Nick Bostrom’s three probable scenarios for the human race, which are 1. extinction before reaching a “posthuman” stage, 2. reaching posthuman existence but not simulating evolutionary history, and 3. we are in the matrix already.
Reading Bostrom’s 2003 paper, however, makes clear we’d never really have access to full knowledge of any of these scenarios because, as Bostrom concludes, “Unless we are now living in a simulation, our descendants will almost certainly never run an ancestor-simulation.”
This “if true, then true, otherwise false” construct means none of this philosophical struggle really matters anyway.
We’re either in the matrix or we’re not. And if we’re not, we’re unlikely to create the matrix because if the matrix were plausible it would’ve been created anyway. And we’d be in it.
My passion for music has always been difficult to put into words. It’s more about the FEEL and the impact it had and still has on my life. Music is overrated, we trade it, we sell it I know it’s a business after all but we often forget the emotional bond that is created.
Most of the memories that we have in life have a soundtrack we link experiences to sounds, it is scientifically proven that music evokes memories. We overcome our fears thanks to music, we fight against what we think is ‘unbearable’ thanks to music. Music is so much more than what we think it is. YES, The positive impact of music, that’s what I’m passionate about. That’s why I wanna keep representing artists who don’t wanna have their song on radio because of ‘money and fame’ BUT because they understood that getting into the mainstream market is chance for them to reach a wider audience and be a part of someone else’s life and memories. That’s my vision and that’s what I’m hoping to do with ProjectLightAgency.com.
What about you – What does music mean to you? Leave a comment below!
The name Tora Woloshin may not ring a bell for the majority of mainstream music listeners, but she is definitely the kind of pop star that more people should be listening to nowadays. For those that do know her, probably discovered her during the debut season of X Factor USA, quickly becoming a favorite for Simon Cowell, and if there’s one person in the world that can truly spot talent, it’s the ever-so-blunt, veteran talent judge.
Prior to her X Factor premiere, she had gone through a series of auditions for Lucky Break, a singing contest spanning months on end that required her to quickly learn her songs. After making it to the final round, she had been called for the X Factor audition, driving back and forth between the two competitions. While that was chaotic to say the least, it was the moment of one of her greatest successes, winning Lucky Break and capturing the hearts of the X Factor judges and audience alike with her rendition of Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.”
The globally recognized talent contest that recently lent its theme to the gaming industry with the upcoming launch of The X Factor Games as well as the hugely popular X Factor Board Game, helped Woloshin open up a world of opportunities, despite not making it that far along in the competition. From there, her fan base grew, ultimately signing with Fli Life Music, through whom she released her single with.
Her single “Guns & Roses” resonated with her fans and the music industry at large, but after witnessing the corrupt side of the business, she ended her contract with the indie label to write and produce her own music in hopes of collaborating with fellow musicians who share the same vision as her. Though Woloshin may not be recognized by the mainstream, she has already opened for acts like NeYo, toured with hip hop sensation B.o.B., and worked alongside Jay-Z.
Her style is a mix of pop, R&B and rock, which is will be highlighted in her current project, “XXVII.” With electronic dance music dominating the pop music scene, the LA born singer-songwriter tells American Pride Magazine, “I feel like trendy and contemporary is no longer current. Music is going to start going backwards, to the days of reality and live instrumentation. The soul will return.”
It’s refreshing to find an artist that refuses to hop on the EDM bandwagon, and with the release of her new album, Woloshin plans to ignite a pop revolution to bring life back into the genre.
If you want to see , experience and feel what the future of Music will be like then you need to play a few songs by Japanese Theatrical Band, The End of the World.
SEKAI NO OWARI (or End of the World) played to a sell out crowd at the Hollywood Roxy the other night and I was fortunate enough to be invited.
Prior to the show I had listened to a few songs by End of the World and even had done a few features on Coming Up, but nothing would have prepared me for what turned out to be one of the most amazing shows I have been to all year.
This was the first show in the USA for SEKAI NO OWARI and no one knew what to expect since most of their songs are in Japanese and tailored around a Japanese audience. But what transpired was a beautiful presentation of some of their, in my opinion, best tracks including Anti-Hero, Mr. Heartache, Death Disco and my personal favorite Dragon Night.
In all the band played nine of their songs and were somehow able to capture the unique nuances of their recorded music that demonstrated just how truly talented this up and coming band really is.
Sure their English was not the best but that for me added to the uniqueness. To actually hear them sing their songs in English was beautiful as their attempt to communicate with audience in their broken English moved them from a highly produced performance act to humble artist who wanted nothing more than to connect with their audience and demonstrate their personal warmth and love for music and their fans.
Technically the band played flawlessly. The core band members were flanked by two additional members – one playing drums and the other playing electric and stand-up bass . These two additional musicians were wearing tapir masks – or even possibly alien head costumes which immediately made the show other worldly from the moment they took to the stage.
In all it was a fantastically rich show and I am so moved by the bands desire to broaden their fan base to include America. They may likely be the first J-Pop band that succeeds in the US and I would not be surprised if the next time they are here they are playing to sell out crowds at the Staple center or other larger arenas. They are that good.
Thank you SEKAI NO OWARI. Your music is spiritual and big enough to touch the world in ways perhaps you never expected.
Of all the various aliens, axe murderers and leprechauns that inhabit the realms of folklore and myth, there is none so ancient, enduring and captivating as that of the Loch Ness Monster.
More famous than Bigfoot, Chupacabra or the Jersey Devil, for untold years both locals and visitors to the placid highland waters have reported sighting a mysterious serpentine creature gliding through the lake before silently disappearing below the waves again.
Of course, a gigantic Scottish plesiosaur is a difficult thing to miss, assuming that it does exist. There have been many attempts made in the past by scientists and sceptics to definitively prove or disprove once and for all the existence of the legendary creature. But despite using the most expensive radiographs and sonar available, there continues to be fresh footage and images of the purported animal even today. To see the latest sighting of Nessie for yourself, click here for more stories.
Secretary Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have very different views on just about everything. Jimmy Kimmel always wonders about whether people are really paying attention to those issues or not. For the most part, he thinks it doesn’t matter what a candidate says, it just matters which candidate says it. To put this theory to the test, Jimmy Kimmel asked diehard members of Team Hillary if they agreed with some stuff Hillary has said. But the quotes asked about were not from Hillary, they were actually quotes from Donald Trump. So check out if these Democrats agree with Donald Trump?
If you are tired of the current stink of politics from both sides, Vote for the Music.