Philly’s Got “Good Medicine”

I’m beginning to learn that Philly’s actually not so bad of a place to live. We have a pretty big art scene and I’m not just talking about the Philadelphia Museum of Art. There are tons of smaller art galleries around the city that I’ve passed thousands of times without even knowing and so many new art installations. Let’s take South Street for example.

If you’re not one to venture to South St. often or are a first time visitor, upon first glance, it’s just a crowded street with an odd variety of people, where cars drive around blasting music, and the smell of Jim’s Steaks fills the air, but there may be some hidden treasures.

What you may not know, I sure didn’t, is that 4th & South St. actually begins what is known as Fabric Row. Apparently, this has been around for about 100 years and I never even knew about it, but I’m so glad I do now. Six blocks of boutiques, art supplies, restaurants, tattoo shops, and Paradigm Gallery & Studio.

Good Medicine - Alex Yanes & Dennis McNett

Dennis McNett, myself, Alex Yanes standing in front of “The Feels”

My discovery of Fabric Row came from my search for Paradigm Gallery & Studio, an artistic space for both the visual and performing arts, and its open to the public. I had recently seen a story on Instagram of Alex Yanes, Miami native and super talented artist, working on some new pieces for an art exhibit that would be displayed in Philly, so I HAD to go see it.

“Good Medicine” is the name of the exhibit currently on display. It’s a unique collaboration between Alex Yanes and Dennis McNett, both known for their wooden sculptures amongst other forms of art. If you haven’t heard of either, I strongly recommend checking out their work. A mix of vibrant colors and ridiculous detail, it’s a must-see.

Dennis Mcnett's Big Mary’s Resurrection

Dennis Mcnett’s Big Mary’s Resurrection

I was lucky enough to enter the studio with both artists standing dead center of this amazing piece. Of course, I geeked out and asked for a photo (don’t mind me, look at that work!). Their styles so drastically different, but they really found a way to fit them together.

Absolutely stunning work by Dennis McNett aka Wolfbat. I must’ve stared at this for a good 30 minutes. Some of these lovely pieces were up for sale for those lucky individuals with such a budget. I will one day own an Alex Yanes!

So, if you’re in the city between now and July 21, 2018, definitely stop by and take in some of the awesomeness.

Good Medicine Paradigm Gallery + Studio

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The Perils of Perfectionism


Per·fec·tion·ist
noun
a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection.


 

If you’re anything like me and see yourself as a perfectionist, this may be your biggest flaw. How could you take a word which basically translates to being the best and see it as such an imperfection? Well, it’s simple, nobody is perfect.

As a perfectionist you simply will not and quite frankly cannot settle for less than the idea of perfect. You’ll tweak and tinker, scrap and rebuild, doubt and critique until you’re left feeling unsatisfactory about something that may have been A1 from the start.

I recently did some nail art that was inspired by a street artist I follow, Adam Kiyoshi Fujita, and absolutely love his work. On a whim I decided to post it to social media and to my surprise he actually reached out and was impressed by it. Adam Kiyoshi Fujita Inspired NailsHe’d asked me to send him some more pics showing off my design and that’s when my anxiety set it. The curse of perfectionism strikes again!

Instead of jumping on the opportunity, I decided to spend the next few hours freaking out about how unsatisfied I was about my work and all of the pictures I’d taken. Rather than feeling gratification that he’d found interest in my work at all, I felt pressure, stress, and depressed I’m not 100% ambidextrous (talk about an adverse reaction).

After my nervous breakdown I finally decided it’s best to send something than nothing, so I sucked up my unrealistic high standards and sent what I thought was best out of what I had. Turns out he loved what I had to show!



“The only thing we have to fear is…fear itself.”
– FDR


Perfection is imaginary. It’s opinionated and varies from person to person, yet there are some of us who still try to attain the unattainable, and want to satisfy everyone and ourselves. Though it’s great to give yourself standards, it’s unhealthy to strain for an impossible standard. It’s the fear of creating something sub par to those around us, but we really are our biggest critics.

The truth is, in creation, there will always be room for improvement because an artist’s work is never really complete. The mind is ever-changing and new ideas and inspirations can stem at any moment. Whether it be the moment you were in when you began painting, writing, or recording, or in a moment shortly after or even years after. The important thing to remember is not to waste time scrutinizing and missing an opportunity trying to create the best version, when you could create a variety of amazing things. In the words of Shia LaBeouf and Nike, “Just Do It”.

The Best Worst Axe Throwing Competition

Ever consider axe throwing?

It had never even crossed my mind before a few months ago. A coworker had mentioned it to me and I immediately said, “That’s what I want to do for my birthday.”

Aside from laughing hysterically for a good 2 hours, I was able to get some clips of me and a few buddies attempting the sport for the first time. I also decided to put together a little spoof competition video, check it out…

Jason Richardson & Luke Holland Tour

The Jason Richardson & Luke Holland Tour is definitely one you should catch this summer.

Insane storm in Philly caused me to miss out on the first of the night, but I got there right in time for David Maxim Micic. I’d seen Jason Richardson and Stolas prior, so my anticipation laid in both natives, Plini of Austria and David Maxim Micic from Serbia. They did not disappoint. You could feel the love from David Maxim Micic on stage with his first time being in the U.S and it surely was reciprocated. Hoping to see his following grow after this tour and much more of him in the future.

Stolas is always fun to watch. Sergio (also guitarist of Sianvar) does a bang up job every time I’ve seen him. Watching this dude shred while spinning in circles on the ground is something to witness. I actually got to meet up with him after their set for a pic and some quick words. He informed me of their last minute decision to join the tour due to some van issues, but glad they got everything squared away in time.

Reign of Kindo, my first time hearing of these guys. Live they sound beautiful, lovely pipes on the vocalist, but just not my forte. Although the crowd did not agree, lots of positive feedback during their set. You can tell there’s a variety of influence from all genres for this band.

Sad to say, but in a slightly good way, Plini brought most of the crowd in at Voltage Lounge. It was a sold out show and I do believe this is where it went, seeing as how it cleared out a bit after his set. So many Plini fans, so many engaged. This wasn’t his first time in Philly, he’d been here a few months back at the Trocodero. Trying to make up for what I missed, there was no way I wasn’t seeing him this time. My only wish was that the sound quality was better. With a packed show the garage door was kept open, causing mega sound loss. All in all it was awesome to finally see Selenium Forest & Atlas played live. With serious technical issues throughout the night, many were nervous he’d would be cut short, but there was plenty of time for him to perform magic on stage.

Kinda glad it emptied out, helped me to get a much better view of Jason Richardson burning through frets. It got a little moshy during Tonga, which is always a good time. It’s so satisfying watching Jason sweep so clean. You can tell there’s lots of devotion in this dudes playing. I would have loved to see more of Luke Holland though. This kid is super talented and it would have been cool to see their stage setup facing one another. From Omni to Hoes Down, absolutely flawless. I honestly don’t think Jason Richardson gets enough credit, but credit is definitely due.

NEW RELEASE – The Contortionist drops new single, “Reimagined”

Less than a week after dropping their creepy mind boggling teaser, The Contortionist has just announced a release date for their newest album Clairvoyant, which is now available for pre-order!
We now have something to look forward to September 15th. Their first single, Reimagined is already racking up much views and feedback on YouTube.
There seems to be a mix of emotions for the new song ranging from utter excitement and anxiousness for more, but others are finding the new single just falling short.
Comments suggesting they’re moving in the direction of a much more “radio friendly” sound. Somewhat agreeing this is nothing of what we’ve heard from their previous album and definitely steps up from Exoplanet. I was personally anticipating a more Language-esque vibe for their new material, but all hope is not lost. 
Not only do we have the album to geek out for in upcoming months, but the start of them touring with headliner Between the Buried and Me with accompanying band Polyphia is going to be sick. Philly natives get the honor of being the first stop on this tour. Tickets now on sale and I’m sure we’ll see many sold out shows on this run. 
If you haven’t seen their newest video for Reimagined, check it out here.

Street Art & Poutine, Oh Canada: Instagram Worthy Sites in Montreal

Montreal Skyline from Mont Royal
Crossed another one off the list this year…Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Home of some really great eats and so much art.
Canada has been on the bucket list for a while now, it was just a toss-up between Toronto and Montreal. A few recurrent visitors spoke so highly of it, I was sold on Montreal. I have a love for architecture and historic cathedrals and this place definitely has some gems.

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Reasons to Get Lit on the Lit AF Tour

lit

The Lit AF Tour was without a doubt LIT AF!

Philly was not only the eighth show of the tour, but the eighth SOLD OUT show in a row. That’s pretty big seeing as how next week marks only a year since the release of Polyphia’s second studio album, Renaissance.

This wasn’t my first time seeing the prog metal band perform live, but it was the first time I got to see them headline Continue reading