TED Talks – Maybe txting isn’t quite the downfall of language?

TED

Besides the fact that this guy looks like a rounder, friendlier version of Gustavo Fring – I’m finding myself drawn to this TED talk for so many reasons.

2013, a time when most people in a social setting can be seen together, sitting, not speaking – smiling vacantly at a glowing spot by their crotch from under the table. Depressing but true! The last time I forgot my phone and went out I felt a gaping hole not being able to reach out to the Internet world and search for a meme that would add to the present conversation. My pockets never felt so empty. With smartphones there comes this big social cost, and more people are recognizing the shame of it, not living in the moment and opting for a handheld version of spending time with others. Last month a YouTube video called “I Forgot My Phone” caused waves on the Internet, a sad portrait of a woman’s day shadowed by gadgets and technology.

At the same time, this speech makes some valid points in favour for how social interaction is evolving in a different way.

In 14 minutes, linguist John McWhorter tears down the notion that the casual language of texting has ruined literacy, and has created a generation of young people who just don’t “get” the idea of how to communicate with each other. Rather than that, it’s created a new form of literacy that will undoubtedly evolve in broader and more subtle ways.

And so, the way I’m thinking of texting these days is that what we’re seeing is a whole new way of writing that young people are developing, which they’re using alongside their ordinary writing skills, and that means that they’re able to do two things. Increasing evidence is that being bilingual is cognitively beneficial. That’s also true of being bidialectal. That’s certainly true of being bidialectal in terms of your writing. And so texting actually is evidence of a balancing act that young people are using today, not consciously, of course, but it’s an expansion of their linguistic repertoire.

[ted id=1718]

Best talk I have seen for a while.

(COVER) SONG OF THE DAY // HAIM covers Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball”

HAIM-608x341

The first thing I saw when I woke up this morning was that sister trio HAIM have covered Miley’s latest offering, “Wrecking Ball,” which has become more iconic than I would have ever imagined.

The LA sibling indie rock outfit delivered a raw performance on BBC’s Live Lounge, an equally emotional version of the tune sans the surprising hammer licking and overly literal wrecking ball swinging on set. They were also fully clothed.

Please watch this, it’s really something special.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FCAzeMXln0]

If you don’t know HAIM here’s a crash course of 22 things you should know courtesy of BUZZFEED.

SONG OF THE DAY // FRACTURES’ “TWISTED”

fractures_600

I’m not quite sure where to begin when it comes to explaining my love for MrSuicideSheep, the ultimate tastemaker in EDM on YouTube, perhaps even the universe – though maybe that’s contested.

In any case, this song is truly incredible. Produced by a lone wolf in Melbourne, Mark Zito, aka FRACTURES, this man has so much potential, an old soul and a lush voice that lulls you into that warm safe place. MrSuicideSheep’s endorsement has done very well for Zito, giving him much deserved exposure for his track “Twisted.” With heartfelt lyrics and an amazing beat, the song is both depressing and uplifting, touching on the demon of loneliness that plagues each and every one of us from time to time. Amazing.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3EMzMQ1w58]

Here is another track just because he’s that good 🙂

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/106123888″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Mother Mother / Hannah Georgas at the Orpheum

FOR EXCLAIM! MAGAZINE

Image

Finishing off a tour in celebration of their latest offering, The Sticks, Mother Mother are finally home.

Vancouver singer-songwriter sweetheart Hannah Georgas started off the night with some of her sugary-sweet tunes, mostly from her self-titled second album. The latest has Georgas singing about what she knows best, heartbreak and the like — though her sound is evolving into a new creature with some beautiful electronic moments, which were also shown off onstage.

Headliners Mother Mother came on and played a generous set of songs from across their varied and almost schizophrenic discography. Hailing originally from Quadra Island, the Vancouver-based quintet have carved out a sonic niche for themselves that’s hard to pin down or describe.

Playing some rockier tunes such as “The Sticks” and “In Verbatim,” Mother Mother displayed they have their finger on the pulse of what makes good indie rock. They were perky and driven by a solid bass and rhythm section, which occasionally left a real hip-hop aftertaste. Transitioning to slower ballad like “Ghosting,” singer/guitarist Ryan Guldemond crooned and belted out lyrics in a pseudo defiant way, happy to be home, his faux hawk bobbing in the strobe.

Jeremy Page’s bass lines propelled everything forward, like their rebelling against much of the dream pop that’s infiltrated the indie soundscape over the past few years. Socially conscious and aware, the group played “Little Pistol” in dedication to Amanda Todd, the BC teen who took her life earlier this year due to bullying. Unafraid of sounding like either a brute or an emotional misfit, Mother Mother spanned a massive emotional gambit lyrically.

The Sticks is an elegant but diverse album — something that was further amplified in a live setting. The fact that Mother Mother don’t really have a definitive or self-referential sound comes to a head in many ways. At one moment, it recalls ’90s alternative staples like the Pixies, Violent Femmes or New Pornographers, but can seamlessly transition to into a soulful acoustic ballad of a different variety altogether, with no introduction needed. And therein rests so much of Mother Mother’s charm.

INTERVIEW // PROPHESY SUN

FOR THE POLYPHONIC PIXEL

prOphesy sun is a a multidisciplinary performance artist and musician who lives in East Vancouver. Her latest offering, Bird Curious, is a collection of songs that weave together elements of vocal improvisation, organic room noises and environmental vibrations to create emotive spaces, exploring the fleeting realm of the time. The kicker? It was recorded entirely on an iPhone. Over the past few years she’s built herself up as one of the main creatives of the vibrant East Side scene, performing with Tyranahorse, Spell and Her Jazz Noise Collective, to name a few. Haunting and surreal, Bird Curious was released May 1, 2012.

The Polyphonic Pixel: What made you decide to record your album on an iPhone?

prOphesy sun: First and foremost, music for me is immediate. In my art, my performance tends to be in the moment. Recording on the iPhone was just another style of working in the moment. I’ll have a tune in my head, and then I’ll just record it. For me, another reason why I chose to use this medium is that something that has that feeling of immediacy has limitations too – sometimes my phone will run out of memory space so I have to make room. Another thing is that if I’m biking, or hearing the rain falling, I can record the space I’m in. In the past I have used soundscapes from recordings with a hand recorder, to capture the space I was in at that moment in time.

PP: You’ve told people you tend to do things in “one go.” Why?

ps: I am an improvisor so it’s really in the moment; its just right there, it’s what comes out of me. There’s a vision in some ways, aspects of altering something, but it would lose some of its originality and I’m interested in the source of things. When I go with that emotion or feeling, it will take me somewhere.

PP: How do you feel about people describing your work? Do you feel like people are constantly missing the mark?

ps: It can be awkward or disconcerting sometimes. I feel lucky that anyone would listen to me because it’s a very personal practice that I’m sharing with the world. It’s interesting to hear people clarify things for me, like when I’m doing things in the moment, I have no sense of how it fits with things. It’s like a reality check. I come back down to reality and have others put it into everyday culture.

PP: Bird Curious is your third album. Were there events, ideas or things you felt especially inspired by?

ps: Things for me tend to run along three angles. I love serenades, in not only present and the past, but potential serenades where I could explore if I loved another person, and how I would love them. My second is a real fantasy; I start to push my limitations on what I feel what my voice can do, and how it can evolve. It’s cool to make sounds I had no idea I could make. Finally, I like being open to just being. I sometimes find where these sounds come from, that it’s like a meditative process. The sooner I work within something, I can transport it somewhere else, like fantasy reality, chaotic ethereal space where I can create a soundscape.

PP: Tell me about your music video, for “Moments Pass.”

ps: The music video was not done by myself; I worked with designer Kendra Patton. Her and I got together and I told her I was putting together some work. Her and I were in contact with another mutual friend who was renting space in an apartment building that was to be condemned a week later, so I lined up everything with one crew and used that same space for the video.

PP: Do you find your style of making music to shift, or change since your first album?

ps: I’m moving more into using text or words; in the past I was so focused on finding the melody but now that’s evolving a lot more into language. I’ve really focused on the voice. In my second album, I was shifting a lot between the instruments I work with: a broken harmonica, a kazoo and some broken electronics and sound samples. My first album used a lot more sound samples and my voice, but this album is really just my voice. The evolution of my music now is really about me really pushing my voice more and more, learning about how it’s an innate tool with endless possibilities.

Check out the music video for prOphesy sun’s “Moment’s pass”:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLc2V2PUHOQ]

SONG OF THE DAY // Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans”

I feel as though Lana Del Rey has been a bit of a product of some unfortunate incidences. With her debut album being overly hyped up, and a poor performance on SNL, the singer’s offering “Born to Die” has received mingled reviews ranging from high praise to pure disappointment.

I’ve always liked her work though. While some of her lyrics can be reaching for something at a point she’s not at yet, there are moments of innocence and soulful realization that I find endearing and relatable.

x

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRWox-i6aAk&ob=av2e]

Lyrics:

Blue jeans, White shirt
Walked into the room you know you made my eyes burn
It was like James Dean, for sure
You so fresh to death & sick as ca-cancer
You were sorta punk rock, I grew up on hip hop
But you fit me better than my favorite sweater, and I know
That love is mean, and love hurts
But I still remember that day we met in December, oh baby!

I will love you till the end of time
I would wait a million years
Promise you’ll remember that you’re mine
Baby can you see through the tears?
Love you more
Than those bitches before
Say you’ll remember, oh baby, say you’ll remember
I will love you till the end of time

Big dreams, gangster
Said you had to leave to start your life over
I was like: “no please, stay here,”
We don’t need no money we can make it all work
But he headed out on Sunday, said he’d come home Monday
I stayed up waitin’, anticipatin’ and pacin’ but he was
Chasing paper
“Caught up in the game” that was the last I heard

I will love you till the end of time
I would wait a million years
Promise you’ll remember that you’re mine
Baby can you see through the tears?
Love you more
Than those bitches before
Say you’ll remember, oh baby, say you’ll remember
I will love you till the end of time

You went out every night
And baby that’s alright
I told you that no matter what you did I’d be by your side
Cause Ima ride or die
Whether you fail or fly
Well shit, at least you tried.
But when you walked out that door, a piece of me died
I told you I wanted more-but that not what I had in mind
I just want it like before
We were dancin’ all night
Then they took you away- stole you out of my life
You just need to remember….

Will love you till the end of time
I would wait a million years
Promise you’ll remember that your mine
Baby can you see through the tears?
Love you more
Than those bitches before
Say you’ll remember, oh baby, say you’ll remember
I will love you till the end of time