Late last night I finished reading “Daisy Jones & The Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Initially I was drawn to this book by it’s unique (to fiction) format. The story of a fictional band and the history behind it’s demise is told in subsequent interviews by band members, love interests, producers, managers and journalists. Years ago Aerosmith used this format for their memoir in “Walk this Way”. It moves you through the history with everyone re-telling from their own perspective. Daisy, is an interesting strong-willed mess of a girl but she’s talented. Billy, the lead singer of The Six, is equal in ego, charisma and talent as she. Throughout the book, I saw traces of real musicians from arena rock bands of note mixed within the characters, I won’t list them but they were there. She did do a good job of hitting all the realistic ego based infighting that inevitably goes on within a successful band…everyone can’t truly have a say. Although I did enjoy reading it, I found the ending unsatisfying – if you read it you very well may disagree thinking it ended as it should. I felt for a main character, especially such a interesting wild child of a character, Daisy came to a rather dull resolution. If you read or have read this book, I’d like to hear your take in the comments.
Aileen Xu of Lavendaire
If you’ve taken a tour around Youtube lately, you know that there are no shortage of vloggers, influencers, some interesting and others…well, not so much but I love that the platform is a leveler of sorts, giving everyone a chance to win viewership. My subscription list has been growing of late, with some interesting lifestyle vloggers. I favor vlogs that just follow through days as a sort of online journal and all of these ladies have interesting varied content. Here are some of my favorites for you to check out:
Lavendaire – Aileen Xu makes probably the most beautifully edited videos out there. The content is lifestyle with subjects like: self awareness, creative inspiration, beauty, finances, organizing, photography…actually she has so much content I’ll let you scroll through yourself, but these videos are so lovely and Aileen so engaging I highly recommend her channel.
Renee Amberg – Renee’s video content is beautiful as well. She is a young woman living in Florida who turns out vlog style vids on subjects such as beauty, diet, fashion, books, exercise, etc… She’s vibrant and I always feel inspired after her vids and learn something or find a new product to try. A fave.
Rachel Nguyen (That’s Chic) – Rachel has been around for awhile and was actually the first one that I got interested in. She has worked in the fashion promotion industry and her content is varied, with vlog style follow her around her day type content, organizing, product recommendations, some diet rec’s and some beautiful travel logs.
Niomi Smart – Niomi is a lovely girl living in London and her videos are on similar subjects as the above, diet, exercise, vlog style but her standout ones are her beautiful travel logs. She has traveled to Greece, Paris, Italy and Japan usually with her boyfriend Joe. Niomi is vegan and has written a cookbook called “Eat Smart“ that you can find on Amazon.
Gemary – Gemary lives in Miami and has videos on fashion, beauty, diet and takes you around her life in Florida. I’ve only just started to watch Gemary’s vids but am liking them as well as her blog posts.
Any time I’m in a creative slump, I call on my favorite authors, musicians, filmmakers for some inspiration. There are so many past and present to draw on and everyone has their favorite ones. One of mine is the Texan filmmaker, Richard Linklater. There is much to be inspired by in his body of work thus far. I like artists who refuse to compromise their core vision, that first passion or desire to do what they do, create what they do…they hold fast to it. Which is all the more admirable, when they get the kind of success that the big studios want them but only if they do it their way and they refuse to relinquish control. Most of the great ones, go back to Independent filmmaking to retain complete control over their work, like Linklater and Ed Burns. I recently watched two documentaries on Richard, one on PBS American Masters Series “Dream is Destiny” and the other is free on the streaming website Tubi Tv called “Twenty-one years: Richard Linklater. I love the collaboration with Kim Krizan, as well as Ethan Hawke & Julie Deply, that resulted in the Before Sunrise Trilogy. I love character driven pieces and this was the best, a conversation over a night roaming around a strange city between a young man and woman. Add in his brilliant Dazed & Confused, Waking Life and Boyhood… Boyhood was wholly original and it reminds me of Jessie in Before Sunrise talking about his ideas of filming in real time…obviously it was percolating in Richard’s creative mind way back then. If you haven’t seen “Boyhood” you really should – if only for the original way it was filmed over a 12 year period with all the actors/characters aging naturally. An original creative thinker, and voice for you to check out if you’re feeling the creative slump currently.
January would have been even more of a drag had it not been for one of my favorite writers, Paul Auster. Just after the holidays I got a cold that lingered a bit and involved much coughing, so I picked up some cough drops, curled up with a blanket, hot tea and this book, which is a good one that took my mind off the cold. Book of Illusions centers around a silent film star, Hector Mann who mysteriously disappeared seemingly into thin air and another man who goes on a pilgrimage to research Hector’s entire film catalogue in an effort to distract himself from crushing grief from a grievous personal loss. A worthwhile read, with interesting ending… So, thanks Paul.
Better late than never…I’m finally getting the rest of the promised Spotify playlists up. This one is currently available for listening. Growing up in the sixties and seventies near Detroit, most of what you heard on the radio at that time was R&B, those Motown greats and we were blessed with so many talented ones. I’ve compiled some of my absolute favorites here…my Motown Memories.
I wanted to give the blog some new life in 2019 and to add something curated…but what? Then I was working on a post and listening to Spotify as I often do. I start up one of my favorite playlists and play it light in the background while I write. So then the idea…how about some Just Under the Surface curated playlists? I always love finding new playlists on Spotify – one of my favorites as mentioned in one of my monthly faves is Dinner in a Mid Century Modern. So I’ve scribbled down some ideas in my bullet journal for different types of playlists and will be setting them all up in January. The first, Turn it Up! is obviously rock and I’ll probably add about three more. I made a page dedicated to Spotify at the top. I hope you’ll check them out (check back soon for more) if you have the Spotify app and that you’ll dig them!
Every new year you hear it…do you make resolutions? Do you keep them? Everyone wants to know. I don’t really make new year resolutions – most of us fizzle out on carrying them out anyway… But ever since I started Bullet Journaling, I make plans throughout the entire year, month by month and find that I keep most of them. If you’re not familiar, it’s just a freeform calendar/journal that you design in any notebook for yourself, around your specific needs, plans and schedule. The “futures” listing I make at the end of each month is a goal to of course carry them out, and if there are things you still want to do on there by months end, you carry them over to the next months futures. If you keep moving them over without getting them off your list, you – well, at least I, feel annoyed with myself. I decide at the second month it’s carried over if it really is necessary and if so, I make sure to get it done. I’ve been doing this and keeping on track for two years now and I would recommend it to anyone. Because you are the designer, you can customize it anyway you wish, with diet/exercise trackers or daily habits. If you search youtube, you will find some great ideas from creative people on ways to customize your own. I hope everyone is finding some inspiration and feeling hopeful that 2019 will be a good one… Happy New Year!