If I Could Turn Back Time - Cher0:00
Cronos, 1993 Dir. Guillermo del Toro
Cronos, 1993 Dir. Guillermo del Toro
The only thing I love as much as making artwork, is collecting and spinning vinyl records as my alter ego Mira Mira. I am super lucky to be thriving in both arenas over the last 3 years and I most of the time I am able to make ends meet. However, recently our little family had some unexpected medical costs so I've set up a Patreon page to help offset our expenses. I am eager to try out this platform for creatives to directly reach and monetize their contributions.
HOW IT WORKS
Each patron signs up at whatever price point meets their budget (can be as little as $1 a month!) and in return will unlock special all vinyl mixtapes with complete song lists they can download for keeps. I created one this weekend with vinyl collected from my recent visit to Mexico City and it's the perfect summer mix for your road trip cross country or your trip to the pool.
Every little bit helps, even if it's just sharing this with a friend with the link above. Our little family thanks you for your support!
Creating a set and setting a mood sonically isn’t unlike making a visual composition for me. Found images = found sounds. As Mira Mira—my DJ persona—I get to make sound collages and be the public performer I always wanted to be. Keep on eye on my growing Soundcloud account to listen to all my vinyl mixes made especially for your enjoyment.
Major props to la mera mera Laurel Barickman aka RECSPEC for my most awesome logo.
-Roberta Flack, Go Up Moses
Quiet Fire, 1971
A mixtape offering to remind us all of our freedom. The psychic liberty we have to change our minds and the music to help move our body in the direction best meant for us...even when that just means to the dancefloor with friends & lovers. Happy Friday!
2017, wow! We've made it this far and as this first month of 2017 has provided so much necessary frenetic energy, I'm sliding into this week with a little focused meditation. As my soundtrack, I'm thrilled to announce a recent collaboration with UK-based dark ambient band, Slomo. Their fourth album ‘Transits’ features a small painting of mine for it's cover and the deliciously slow celestial tracks are perfect for moving with intention and grace.
‘Transits’ finds the duo of Holy McGrail and Howard Marsden further psychedelicising their core guitar/synth drone sound with loops, bit-crushers and ring modulators to deliver three shimmering pieces for frozen night skies.
The music is psychedelic, instrumental and abstract and I'm honored to have worked with the musicians to bring a face to their new sound. Follow the link above to experience Slomo's music and float away.
The TEXAS HEAT is something really special. It's hallucinatory, detoxing, and my absolute favorite annual surreality check. Here's a little mix I made to help you accept the things you cannot change and learn to love the high temps. Throw on your chanclas, grab a cold chela or Topo and chill out!
It is a rare treat that I get to exhibit my work in my home town of Austin and I was honored to show a few of my recently created monoprints alongide a site specific wall work at MASS Gallery as part of their spring exhibit, Extended Technique.
Long associated with improvisation and experimental modes of expression, the musical term “extended technique” refers to a variety of unorthodox approaches to playing a musical instrument. These methods elicit unfamiliar sounds and blur the distinctions between instruments.
In this three person show, the diverse methodologies of each of the artists challenge and expand the boundaries of their own mediums. Though all aesthically varied in our approach, we all three work with a musician’s spirit of free play and improvisation. It was incredibly rewarding to work alongide the curators to better understand my own association with the musical world beyond just the affection for my favorite song's lyrical qualities. Through my discussion with them I was able to more fully recognize the breadth of my extension of the painting medium and its similarities to the creative process of sonic composition and improv.
As with each group show, I am now totally smitten with new artists and the work of David X. Levine and Kaz Oshiro is pretty incredible. Can you believe the works of Levine are all done with colored pencil?!
David X Levine, Tin Can Painting, 2011, Color pencil, collage, and graphite on paper
Kaz Oshiro, Untitled Still Life, 2013, Acrylic on canvas. Photo by Joshua White JW Pictures, courtesy of Honor Fraser Gallery.
Another marriage of music and making came with the gallery's Close Encounters series. The program series encourages participating artists to devise a program designed to provide new methods of engaging the public’s curiosity and invites them to participate intellectually or physically with the exhibition space, as well as the artist’s work and concepts. For our edition, David X. Levine and I decided to expand upon our shared affection for the songs that fill our everyday to create a playlist for sharing with MASS's audience. The result was two stellar mixtapes you can hear below! All in all the show has been a breath of fresh air in my busy schedule and a welcome opportunity to play. If you are in the Austin area, the show is up now through June 4. Come visit!
Have you heard?! I'm joining the ranks of the all girl, all vinyl DJ crew called the Chulita Vinyl Club! Take a listen to a mix I made for my girls.
They don't walk,
they just glide in and out of life
They never die,
they just go to sleep one day
-Sons of the Silent Age from David Bowie's 1977 Heroes
Yesterday's news of David Bowie's death came to me from the radio in the living room as I wiped sleep out of my eyes to greet another Monday. As the day unfolded with jam-packed social media feeds and radio news and television announcers sharing songs, images and thoughts about what David Bowie meant to the world, I took retreat to my studio.
It feels selfish to be sad about a man's passing, a stranger who you never met, a person you only knew via media and music, but yesterday and today and probably for many days to come, I find myself dim with the concept that the world lost such a true original with the passing of Bowie.
I stumbled across this 1979 BBC Star Special recording that Bowie did via a DJ friend Tommy Blackburn and it's a wonderful listen. Bowie sharing music that he loves, it's simple and easy and like his own music and song writing poetry is a wonderful treat for a grey day like this one. ♥ RIP David Robert Jones (1947-2016)
Meant for any autumnal gathering that might find you stressed out or if your find yourself in need of soothing sounds to get lost in while hanging round a crackling fire.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ENNIO MORRICONE!! This Roman born composer over his long career has scored several hundred films over the past several decades and in almost every imaginable musical style (and for almost every imaginable kind of movie), but he is most identified with the “spaghetti Western” style of soundtracks. I love the tracks he did for the dark, 1969 murder mystery film Vergogna schifosi (Dirty Angels) alongside director and often collaborator Mauro Severino. A true original and a lovely soundtrack for the blustery fall days we have been having!
More traveling means more music for weird road trips and airport waiting rooms. Heading up to NYC to visit friends and to work on a great big project with Uprise Art!
Welcome to Me, 2014 Dir. Shira Piven
Cooking up some posts about my recent month in Mexico City, but until then movies and music are ushering in the fall as we say goodbye to another summer!
Singing out loud to these songs has helped train and tame my tongue over the last month, so hopefully when I land in Mexico City tomorrow afternoon the Spanish palabras will just flow! Okay, there are a few songs in English and Portueguese, but you'll get the vibe. If you are interested in what I'll be up to in D.F., follow along with my Instagram!
Texas heat only getting hotter and sometimes my brain feels like it is frying like this collection of songs.
A mix to take along, ENJOY! Oh, and please place your trays in their upright position :)
HAPPY EARTH DAY!! Even though this song is about the moon let's love all our astral entities today, hmm?
Hardware, 1990 Dir. Richard Stanley
What happens when the majority of your days are jam packed with projects and deadlines? Well folks, that's when really horrible/great B movies enter your life telling you stories about the rampage of a self-repairing robot in a post-apocalyptic slum. And you know what, you like it.
Created in conjunction with an essay I wrote for Dirty Laundry magazine. These selections are favorites culled from my collection, and in my humble opinion, are essentials. Basically, they never fail to have me feeling some kind of way.
Take a listen, what do you feel?
DIRTY LAUNDRY MAGAZINE // dirtylaundrymag.com
Tunes to take us onto the next adventure carrying peace and love in our hearts ♥
Possesion, 1981 Dir. Andrzej Żuławski
The sun moves so differently through the sky these days and suddenly, as August moves into November, everything is golden and glowing. Long live fall, where open car windows bellow melancholy songs like these.
I have been absolutely slammed this summer and while I usually get to make awesome bouncy summery mixtapes of my own, I have been relying on the kindness (and good taste!) of strangers! Though can a blog that you frequent weekly, if not daily, really be a stranger?!
I don't have to tell you how INCREDIBLE the folks at the LA-based blog Aquarium Drunkard are, but their playlists sourced from guest DJs from all over the world never cease to impress me. In fact, I owe 1/2 my music collection to tunes they've turned me on to!
So instead of sharing my own compilation, I thought I'd turn you on to this incredible two hour journey that AQ contributor Chad DePasquale has created so eloquently entitled BLUE AUGUST MOON. Some of my favorite cuts are Irma Thomas's Ruler of my Heart, Eunice Collins's At the Hotel and the well timed Stockhausen spoken qoute, “We are Changed”.
So what are you waiting for here is the download link and please please PLEASE do yourself a favor and take a leap over to AQ's website for more clever mixtapes!
I Am Divine, 2013 Dir. Jeffrey Schwartz
It is studio time all the time and the heat is beginning to go to my head as I gear up for some exciting September projects. What's a girl to do but crank up the stereo, stand in front of the oscillating fan and work!
Five Easy Pieces, 1970 Dir. Bob Rafelson
Breezy psychedelic tunes for these woozy days of spring!
Valley Girl, 1983 Dir. Martha Coolidge
This is Spinal Tap, 1984 Dir. Rob Reiner
SXSW reminder to not take this music thing too seriously ;)
Opening Night, 1977 Dir. John Cassavetes
Welt Am Draht/World on a Wire, 1973 Dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder
It's finally feeling wintery here in Texas with yesterday's temp a balmy 86˚F and today a chilly 36˚ F!! I haven't gotten around to making a new xmas mix, but this one from last year is pretty darn good. Enjoy it and brush off those bah humbugs!
I am thankful for EVERYTHING I've got including you! This year has been full of perfect challenges for growth, new opportunities, new loves and I am so lucky to be alive. Here is to many more things to express gratitude for in the coming year and if you ever want to send that special someone a note thanking them, might I recommend the super sweet cards from Laura George?! THANK YOU!
I've been absolutely and excitedly swamped this month as I have been preparing brand new collections of work for various projects, both locally and around the country. Finally, I've gotten a chance to dive into the vibrant and creamy dyed paper I made in August and working on ideas that I have been carrying around as Austin slowly enters into fall. Changing leaves, first loves and new loves, deaths and goodbyes, and saying hello to the end of another year has me reflecting on the circle of life. Funny how things are new and old all at the same time, the older you get. These tunes have been ushering me through it all, enjoy!
Phantom of the Paradise, 1974 Dir. Brian De Palma
Feel like sipping aromatic teas and being cozy with my favorites ♡
Looking For Mr. Goodbar, 1977 Dir. Richard Brooks
Blow Out, 1981 Dir. Brian de Palma
Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón, 1980 Dir. Pedro Almodóvar
The Driver's Seat, 1974 Dir. Giuseppe Patroni-Griffi
Medium Cool, 1969 Dir. Haskell Wexler
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, 1974 Dir. Martin Scorsese
The Guru, 1969 Dir. James Ivory
The Electric Horseman, 1979 Dir. Sydney Pollack
Mermaids, 1990 Dir. Robert Benjamin
3 Women, 1977 Dir. Robert Altman
Aquarium Drunkard is one of my favorite blogs with lots of fun musical rabbit holes to fall into. If you don't know you better ask somebody, because it's really that good. Through Aquarium Drunkard I was introduced to Turquoise Wisdom aka Zach Cowie through his absolutely AMAZING mixes dreamily getting me through hours in the studio and various late night culinary adventures. As of late, I have been digging his exceptional MP3 tumbler, Play it as it lathes, described as "a song for you every weekday from the collection of zach cowie/turquoise wisdom & his friends. sometimes rare, sometimes dollar bin-- always from vinyl.” It has turned me on to lots of sonic gems, as well as helped me revisit ones that had only lived embedded within a mix tape like this one. So, I apologize in advance for the hours you are about to lose getting lost in his sweet collection, it is completely worth it!
Bonsái, 2012 Dir. Cristián Jiménez
Minnie and Moskowitz, 1971 Dir. John Cassavetes
2046, 2004 Dir. Wong Kar-wai
The Music Room (Jalsaghar), 1958 Dir. Satyajit Ray
What's Up Tiger Lily?, 1966 Dir. Woody Allen
Eyes of Laura Mars, 1978 Dir. Irvin Kershner
Originally released in 1972 this song was off the only album Mellow Candle ever released. An extraordinary record, lead female singers Clodagh Simonds and Alison O'Donnell harmonise beautifully over dynamic, piano-led arrangements. Having been remarkabley young at only 15 and 16 years old, the girls joined up while still in school in Ireland. This song is so lovely and warm and has been on repeat in my studio as the temperatures have finally gotten cooler in Texas.
This sweet song from The Beach Boy's 1968 Friends is a little gem from an album containing two songs penned by Dennis Wilson. Often considered by fans as the 'dark horse' of The Beach Boys, Wilson wrote tender lyrics for this album, as well as other albums he created during his solo career. Friends wasn't an immediate hit at the time, but there are some beloved tunes like the title song and the lovely album intro recorded by Mike Love upon his return to the group from his transcendental trip with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The song here is meditative and soothingly simple, which makes it perfect to hum along to in the studio.
I don't need to tell you how much I love music, I mean I really really LOVE music and being the voracious soundhound that I am, I look high and low for tunes to fit every moment of my life. Studio, office, roadtrips, and bedroom louging all have their special set of sounds, which brings me to my recent discovery of Mixtape³ which has me giddy with each click of the play button. It's the motherlode for musicphiles offering sonic gems with special categories ranging from cumbia to solar system to the most curious believe it or not! series. If you are like me, I've just introduced you to hours and hours of listening glee and if these mixes couldn't get any better the cover art for them are pretty dreamy, too. Le sigh, just listen and you'll know what I mean! ♥
The album The Visitors was ABBA's 8th and final studio album. Full of dark synthy sounds and songs about the Cold War, lost love and regret, you can feel the end of ABBA coming through your speakers. The title song The Visitors is both psychedelic and soaring with the classic air of triumph over despair that encapsulates the exact reason why Bjorn, Benny, Agnetha and Frida have my heart. Next to this song, I'd have to say 1977's Eagle is my second fave. Again, it's the call to action and the sense of fearlessness that gets me, proving that even through sadness you can hold your head up high.
I have been the biggest fan of Os Mutantes ever since I was a wee teen and stumbled across Baby on a scratchy mix given to me on a worn out cassete. Their bizarre Brazilian mystique has always enchanted me, heightened no doubt by the fact I don't understand a lick of Portuguese. In the company of other Brazilian innovators like Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, you can't deny that their moment in time was especially magical. Oh! and don't even get me started on Brasília, the renowned capital that was purpose-built in 1960, featuring a grand urban plan by Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer, with Roberto Burle Marx as the landscape designer. Crazy, wild stuff!
I've always been a fan of Alice Coltrane, but it wasn't until recently did I look into the amazing world of Dorothy Ashby. She seriously blows me away with this funky ryhthm that somehow captures a sultry mystic that has me wishing for a spicy, bitter cocktail and a chaise lounge. I have played this song on repeat for weeks and each time I find myself daydreaming about something different. Give it a whirl and see where it takes you...
On first impact, this song feels like brass jewelry, tambourines, and long and flowy caftans. The mood infused in Helen Banks song—one of many collaborative works with Vangelis—transports the listener to another place and time, perhaps another planet, but you know that might be taking it too far. Little is known about Banks, but she is credited for writing lyrics for songs by Demis Roussos, Rod Stewart, Elvis Costello, Dick Rivers and Nana Mouskouri among others. I am pretty pleased I stumbled across this one on Art Decade's burgeoning archive of musical wonders.
I can't get enough of this song. Perfect tune to get up and go and then some! I find myself hopping around the room to this one and other Yellow Magic Orchestra wonders. Kinda quirky, but awesome!
It's no lie the 4th of July is my favorite. Fireworks, color coordinated outfits...pie. You can't beat it!
Misnomer maybe, but this re-edit of The Yardbirds' For your love is kind of amazing!