Monthly Archives: October 2011

Although I’m usually drawn more towards mellow, folk-type indie rock music, Manchester Orchestra is one of my favorite bands so I was super excited that they were going on tour this fall and were playing at The Glass House in Pomona, a venue I hadn’t been to since probably high school. I have been wanting to see them live for the longest time and finally got the chance last night and man, were they amazing live. With his raw and haunting voice, Andy Hull shares their experiences and struggles with faith, growing up, family, relationships translate into heavy, beautiful music. They have really grown as a band in the 6+ years they’ve been together and hopefully will continue to develop and make great music.

Manchester Orchestra- “Where Have You Been”

Bonus: Andy Hull- “Will Do” (TV On The Radio Cover)

Also, if you haven’t heard the original: TV On The Radio- “Will Do”


My previous post made me think of an artist I learned about in an introductory art class I took in college. Out of all the artists I learned about, this particular artist and his work made the strongest impression on me. Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, or Christo as he’s known, is a Bulgarian environmental artist who, along with his wife and partner Jeanne-Claude, creates art that works off familiar landscapes but in a new beautiful way. Because their work involves large outdoor installations, their creations are often temporary and intangible. And as Christo voices, “it takes much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain.”

The Umbrellas, Japan:

Wrapped Trees, Switzerland:

The Gates, New York City:

Christo and Jeanne-Claude have a project in the works which involves covering miles of the Arkansas River with panels of shiny silver fabric. Read more about it here.

When I think about the city I hope to one day settle in there are several factors I take into consideration. Two of the things are architecture and landscape. By architecture I don’t necessarily mean the buildings have to be from a certain time period or have a certain design style but I do like a city with variety and personality in their buildings. I don’t want to live in a town with track “circuit card” houses, where the only variety comes in color choices (shades of off-white/tan) and show house sample choices (style/layout #1, #2, or #3). Another of my criteria for a city is how much greenery and natural surroundings there is. I need a city with bike lanes, trees, water, wildlife, parks and preferably fresh, clean air.

I love big cities but I also am attracted to rural spaces, which is why I love cities like Portland, the city of bridges but also the city of roses; Chicago, a big metropolitan but is right there on the Lake Michigan front; and Los Angeles, which although one of the most polluted cities in the united states, is nestled in between the Angeles and San Bernadino Forests and the Pacific Ocean. What I like is the juxtaposition of it– city and nature. From Central Park in New York to small community gardens in Los Angeles, architects and city planners strive to bring some of nature to the land that humans have, essentially, destroyed in many parts of the world. These small doses of plant life add immensely to the lives and overall well-being of its citizens and adds to the aesthetics of a city.

But this idea goes both ways, while some projects am to add greenery to the city, others build foreign structures on pure earth. with today’s advance technology, as well as increased overpopulation and pollution, these types of architectural occurrences are becoming more essential. Idealistically, the earth’s natural lands and resources would remain untouched but the reality is that the population is growing and the resources are limited.

Under construction in Milan is Bosco Verticale, a 27- story “vertical forest” skyscraper designed by architect Stefano Boeri, that aims to filter and improve the polluted climate of milan with the diverse plant life growing on each floor of the building. In a related way, the Mentougou Eco Valley, designed by Helsinko’s Eriksson Architects, is a facility built to test the changing environment. This city development plan, which is to be completed in 2016 and consists of research institutes as well as housing built into the lush green of the valley, will focus on different aspects of a city’s sustainability, such as water, traffic, air, and energy. These two projects are really pushing the boundaries of architecture and design while also working for the advancement of sustainable living. This type of architectural juxtaposition is astonishing and that fact that they are also green– it’s a win-win for modern times.

Bosco Verticale, Milan:

Mentougou Eco Valley, near Beijing:

Read more about these projects here and here. has a design competition going on their website where contestants submit drawings inspired by the writer Haruki Murakami. The above illustration is by kvnclu and one of my favorites of those submitted. I was introduced to the writings of Murakami by a friend about two years ago and feel in love with his work right away. The first novel of his I read was Norwegian Wood and since then I have read a number of his work and have enjoyed them all. I love that this competition asks contestants to take inspiration from a different art form (writing) to translate it into another art form (drawing), especially since Murakami does a similar thing with his work. Murakami is known for often making pop culture references in his stories such as the inclusion of the Beatles’ song “Norwegian Wood” in his novel of the same title. If I could draw I totally would’ve entered the contest but (sigh) I can’t. Anyway, check out the website (I’ve shared a video from there before) and the submissions here, They’re all pretty great.

Also, here is a chapter preview of Murakami’s newest novel 1Q84 to be released later this month. Check it out.