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September 22, 2010

Happy Wednesday, my friends!

Today I’m listening to Beirut, and even though I’m sitting at my desk in San Francisco, it feels like I’m at an Eastern European coffee shop. This band is amazing. Lead singer Zach Condon started Beirut as a solo project at the age of 20 (now 24) in Santa Fe New Mexico, yet his voice sounds like a man who has lived a long life in France. Even though he is from the states, his travels through Europe at 17 influenced his authentic and captivating Balkan folk sound.

“There are three ways I see music used in the modern world,” Condon says. “One is for thinkers: They approach it analytically. Then there are people who use music to get a raw attitude out. And then there are people who are simply looking for beauty, for the sentimentality that good music has.”

At my grandma’s house I grew up listening to Julio Iglesias. I remember it as sort of in the background to whatever I was doing, drawing, writing, being a child. I also remember thinking his songs were sad and beautiful at the same time. Today, another same powerful and emotional voice with instruments from another time and world are still so beautiful. Cheers, grandma! You would like Beirut too.

Postcards from Italy

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September 17, 2010

It is said: Some lives are linked across time;
connected by an ancient calling that echoes through the ages.
Destiny.

September 8, 2010

Happy Wednesday! Today, let’s rock with The Black Keys! Love these guys!!

The Only One

September 1, 2010

It’s perfectly acceptable to have a 2 lb. bag of chocolate outside of October.

September 1, 2010

Join me, and celebrate awesome music today.

The National are serious, they write personal, literate songs, with relatable anxiety and reflection. And singer Matt Berninger’s voice is like “chocolate and wool” (sadly, I can’t take credit for that ), comforting yet overwhelmed.

The characters in National songs have real jobs, have uninteresting sex, get drunk, and lie to one another. They do so during the regular course of a workaday week, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays…music chiefly interested in the complications of being a stable person expected to own certain things and dress certain ways. On the National’s fifth album, High Violet, those constraints are starting to wear on them, which makes a lot of sense: they wear on most people.

Conversation 16

Bloodbuzz Ohio

August 31, 2010

I’ve always liked Jada Pinkett Smith. She’s mysterious and cool and confident, and obviously beautiful. I found this list of hers in my mindless poolside reading material, 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me…I think #5, 6, 9, 10, 16, 17, 18, 22 and 23 are really interesting. #17 is such a beautiful statement, I’ve never heard it before. Tupac is my favorite rapper too and my son has absolutely taught me the most in life. People are fascinating, I love to learn from and be inspired by the positive ones. 

1. I met my husband, Will Smith, when I was 19 and auditioned to be his date on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. They said I was too short to play the part.

2. Four years later, Will asked me to play his girlfriend on the show, but I said no because I thought he was too tall.

3. When I turn 60 and leave the red carpet, I am going to get the tattoo arm sleeve I have always wanted.

4. I won a lip-synching contest in high school performing “Baby I’m a Star” by Prince.

5. I haven’t consumed alcohol in 13-plus years.

6. I finally love being a girl.

7. I find fame to be quite unnatural. Humans are not built for extreme adoration.

8. Jamey Johnson, Sugarland and Toby Keith are my favorite country artists.

9. I love religion and have contemplated going back to school to get a world religion degree.

10. If I had my way, I’d wear jewelry, a great pair of heels and nothing else.

11. First white guy I ever kissed: Michael Vartan…psych!

12. My favorite Latin singer/actor is Marc Anthony.

13. I have three pet red-tail boa constrictors, named Beauty, Logic and Passion.

14. My favorite metal bands are Mastodon, Crowbar and Skindred.

15. I brought home a dog and two cats from the streets of China after filming The Karate Kid.

16. I have over 40 filled journals.

17. I look at how one chooses to live her life as a piece of art.

18. This year, I’m devoted to building wells to provide clean water for villages across Africa through CharityWater.org.

19. The Smith family has already helped build several wells in Ethiopia.

20. I’ve produced a Broadway musical [Fela!]; now I want to perform in one.

21. Carol’s Daughter’s perfume My Life is my new scent.

22. My go-to outfit is a pair of black sweats and crisp white sneaks.

23. I like writing and receiving letters.

24. Our children, Trey [17], Jaden [12] and Willow [9], have taught me the most in life.

25. Tupac and Mos Def are my favorite rappers.

August 27, 2010

Who created the 8 hour work day?! My guess is, the devil.