Imagine Dragons’ Night Visions Rocks!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

imagine-dragons-night-visions1Confession time Beautiful Thinkers: I don’t listen to the radio.  Not because I’m some snob that thinks that pop music is all auto-tuned garbage. On the contrary, I love pop music.  My problem with the radio is simply that they wear out the same tracks too quickly.  To the radio stations of the world: I need more variety in my life!  And having a DVR doesn’t help; it’s only made both seeing and hearing commercials a foreign concept that I can’t deal with.  So without the radio I need to work a little harder to stay up to date with new music, and it’s moments like discovering Imagine Dragons’ CD Night Visions in iTunes’ new music section that makes these searches completely worth it.

After listening to the preview for Radioactive, the first track on the album, I was hooked.  I immediately downloaded all of their music and I’m glad I did.  The band packed their first full-length album with one awesome track after another.  If all that you’ve heard from this group is their hit It’s Time, which just spent another week on Fuse’s Top 20 Countdown, you need to check out the rest of their songs.  Now you don’t have to take my word for it, that’s the beauty of YouTube, Pandora Radio, and Spotify, that you can check out all the music you want for free.

20120911-imagine-dragons-600x-1347469749The band currently has videos for It’s Time and Radioactive on the ImagineDragonsVEVO’s channel.  The first of the two is set in a post apocalyptic wasteland, a very dark video visually but ultimately beautifully done.  The band also has a couple acoustic videos for the song as well.  The video for Radioactive was my favorite on the page.  Imagine fight club meets demented stuffed animals and you might get close to an idea of the video.  The song can also boast about being aired in an episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

If you end up falling in love with the band as I have, Beautiful Thinkers, you may be in luck to see them in concert.  They are currently touring and you can check out their website to see if they’ll be coming to a city near you soon.  I wasn’t lucky enough to have the chance to catch them because the tour is already on the road and has come and gone from the sunshine state.  But maybe next time fellow Floridians!

According to their Bio page the band is based out of Las Vegas, formed by lead singer Dan Reynolds, guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman.  They released a few independent EPs before signing with Interscope Records and releasing their Continued Silence EP in March 2012. They wasted no time in bringing out Night Visions, which was released on Amazon and iTunes in September 2012.  I can’t wait to see what else this exciting band has in store for us.

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The Boy In The Heart Shades

Be a Video Star!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

Planning a tribute video to that special song by your favorite artist?  Well those videos just got even easier to make!  I found an app for the iPhone called Video Star that makes recording videos to your favorite songs so easy that children could do it!  As long as you have the song in your iTunes library you’re ready to go in just a few steps:

1)   Launch the App

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2)   Tap the “+” button

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3)   Select a song

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4)   Press record

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5)   Press stop when finished

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Once you’re satisfied with your new music video you can send it to YouTube, to an email, or to your camera roll.  It can literally be as simple as that.  If you’re feeling a little fancier though, the app has plenty of features that will help you customized your video.  For starters, while selecting a song, if you hit the adjust button instead of going straight to recording you can change the Speed, Pitch, Start and End times for the song.

Before hitting record there are twenty-four awesome “FX” available in the free version that you can trade out to enhance the color, boarder, and many other aspects of your screen.  My favorite is the one close to the end that lets you record your video in the style of 80’s song Take On Me by Aha. Other than the different screens you can also set a record timer, import more video to add on to your video, and use the basic features of the iPhone camera such as the flash and switching between front and back cameras.

The little musical note symbol next to your plus sign on the main menu will assign you a song to make a video to in order to get free effects for the app. The lightning bolt offers you different “power packs” that can further enhance your video making capabilities. The last button, the heart shaped one, lets you review the app, get support, watch other’s videos, check for upgrades, check on the apps’ social media presence, and watch Video Star tutorials (just in case I haven’t covered everything you need to know and you’re not a fan of the button pressing approach to learning).  And now BTs, I think you’re ready to make yourselves into video stars.

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The Boy In The Heart Shades.

History of Valentine’s Day!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

CAP_vdaycard_clr_final            In honor of this past Thursday’s holiday I thought I’d learn about the history of Valentine’s Day.  It turns out that no one is really sure where this holiday originated from.  …Did I just hear some conspiracy theorist whispering it was the greeting card companies?  I’m not going to go so far as to give them the credit for inventing the holiday, but I can certainly spend a moment indulging in the fantasy can’t I?

So according to History.com, and practically every other source I looked at before getting tired of reading the same information over and over again (How many times was it that I need to repeat a task expecting different results before I’m labeled crazy?), there are a couple of legends floating around about Valentine’s Day and the Saint it honors.

The first story is that good old St. Valentine was a rebel in the face of a cruel Emperor of Rome.  Claudius II apparently didn’t want young men getting married, under the belief that single men made better soldiers.  Who knows, maybe he just wanted everyone to be alone?  But St. Valentine, in the spirit of romance and out of the goodness of his heart, said to hell with the Emperor and kept on marrying people.  Naturally you don’t get handed candy hearts and flowers for disobeying the emperor, so Valentine was put to death and thus martyred by the Catholic Church.

valentines-day-roses-flowers            Story number two places our boy Valentine in prison where he starts up a romance with a young girl.  She was supposedly the daughter of the man that imprisoned him.  This guy must have been smooth, either that or she really wanted to rebel against her father.  Anyway, the legend goes that before his death he wrote her a letter signed “from your Valentine,” a phrase that Hallmark now makes a profit from.

Okay Beautiful Thinkers you’ll have to excuse me but the last history story I found indulges the conspiracy theorists again.  The legend goes that the Pope declared February 14th as St. Valentine’s Day in the 5th century in order to cover up a pagan celebration that occurred at the same time.  It was a Roman festival of fertility that involved animal sacrifices and pairing young men and women together through some sort of lottery name system.

The only thing I could find about Valentine’s Day that didn’t come with a level of doubt surrounding it was that Esther A. Howland is known for making the first mass-produced valentines in America.  That was right up until the greeting card companies killed her and stole her idea.  Just kidding on that last part Beautiful Thinkers!  I hope your holiday was great whether you had someone to share it with or you went crazy on a piñata Jennifer Garner style!

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The Boy In The Heart Shades

Fairytales Retold

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

OUAT-once-upon-a-time-32533280-1280-816

I have no doubt that you’ve noticed a recent trend of revisiting fairy tales. Just off the top of my head I can name the television shows Once Upon A Time, Grimm, and Beauty and the Beast. And let’s not forget these movies: Beastly, Mirror MirrorSnow White and the Huntsman, Jack the Giant Slayer, Oz the Great and Powerful, and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, and that’s just within the last few years.  It seems like everyone and their mother is falling over themselves to retell a fairytale.

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Of course they don’t just tell the story over; each of these movies and shows is bringing in a twist of their own to freshen up these old stories.  The most common of these twists seems to be making our childhood stories into action movies.   Writers are turning damsels in distress into warriors against evil.  Snow White is kicking ass in all of her new incarnations, and from the previews it would seem Hansel and Gretel went from simply pushing the witch into her own oven to an all-out war, hunting witches down with all kinds of creative weapons.

 

9780062513090_p0_v1_s260x420All of these remakes got me thinking: the trend probably isn’t exclusive to the film world.  It wasn’t long before I found Peter Cashorali’s Fairy Tales: Traditional Stories Retold for Gay Men.  I was instantly interested to see how different the stories would be when told as same-sex romances.  Not the action packed modernizations that are seen in films now, it appears Cashorali’s goal was to keep the stories as close to the original as possible.  Even the language he uses when retelling the stories gives them the feeling of a classic fairy tale.

In the collection I found some of the more popular stories like Beauty and the Beast, Rumpelstiltskin, and The Ugly Duckling. But there were more than just the typical Disney classics: the collection also included less popular stories like The Fisherman and His Lover (originally The Fisherman and His Wife) and Godfather Death. In these retellings, gay men have the chance to see aspects of life that specifically concern them, like coming out, coping with the end of their club days, grieving, AIDS, and the most important lesson, to chase love. Peter Cashorali’s stories remind us that love is love, no matter who shares it.  And with the amount of hate in the world today this is something we can all stand to be reminded of from time to time.

Whether you’re a gay man looking for a fairy tale character you can relate to, or you’re just a fairy tale fanatic, this is a charming collection of classic stories reworked for a contemporary audience.

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The Boy In The Heart Shades

Celebrate Valentine’s Day w/ Zombie Love

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

This week I went to see Warm Bodies with a friend for her birthday. (Happy Birthday again Athina!) And I thought what better day to talk about a zombie love story than Valentine’s Day? If you haven’t seen it yet stop reading now, step away from the computer, and head to your closest cinema!  No, seriously if you haven’t seen it yet and don’t want any spoilers stop reading now.  I absolutely loved this romantic comedy gone zombie.  Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer perform brilliantly in this twist of the zombie genre.

new-uk-poster-for-warm-bodies-124023-1000-100Hoult, best known to me for his roles of Beast in X-Men: First Class and Tony Stonem in the American version of Skins, plays the male lead, a zombie by the name of R. (To be more accurate his name used to start with an R before he was a zombie and that’s the closest he can get to remembering it.) The female lead Julie is played by Palmer, who you might remember from I Am Number Four and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.  The two meet when R kills Julie’s boyfriend Perry, played by Dave Franco.  The sight of Julie awakens something in R that inspires him to keep her safe and bring her back to the airplane where he spends his undead days.

In this particular zombie movie, when a zombie eats your brain they experience your memories.  This allowed R to get to know Julie better as he munched on her boyfriend.  The two form a bond that can only be described as star-crossed.  How can a human and a zombie fall in love and be together?  His friends want to eat her and her friends want to shoot him in the head; it doesn’t look very promising.

If you’re a hardcore zombie movie fan you’re probably used to having no cure for the zombie plague, or if there is one, it’s extremely scientific and complicated to fully grasp.  Warm Bodies breaks away from this zombie movie tradition and in the true style of a romantic comedy turns love into the ultimate cure.  Now if the movie sounds too simple it’s because I left out whom the real villains are.  In this film there are zombies, and then there are bonies: zombies have decayed to the point of being completely vicious undead skeletons.

WarmBodiesBoneys_t600The bonies have an issue with R and Julie’s love spreading through the other zombies.  This leads to an all-out war between the bonies, zombies, and the human survivors.  Despite it all, the movie ends happily as R returns to being human, allowing him and Julie to be together in the end.

For all of you that are literary fans, you may have noticed some allusions to Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet in the character names and the plot points.  But when watching the movie you’ll see quite a few more.  Between the balcony scene and Julie’s best friend Nora wanting to be a nurse I think there are enough allusions to safely say that this is one of the happiest retellings of Romeo and Juliet, even with zombies. (Or maybe it’s because of them…?) I’d say there’s a little something for everyone in this movie, making it a must see for everyone.

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The Boy In The Heart Shades

DisneyBound + Interview W/ Leslie Kay the Girl Behind the Idea

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

Have you ever looked at a Disney character and thought wow they’ve got style?  Leslie Kay, the face behind DisneyBound, apparently did. DisneyBound is a blog on tumblr “where fashion geeks and Disney nerds collide.”  The idea behind it is to take a Disney character and create a modern outfit based off of their style.  This can mean finding clothes that match the character’s color scheme and personality or trying to match their outfit exactly.

Looking through the DisneyBound archives you can find outfits from more Disney movies than you’d even remember existed, from 101 Dalmatians all the way to Winnie the Pooh. The archives also have a few themed pages like RunDisney, sports attire based on characters, and Couples, outfits for both you and your special someone.

When you start to look through the different outfit examples it becomes clear that you don’t have to be a fashionista to dress like a Disney character.  You also don’t have to have a lot of spending cash: I was able to put together two different outfits from the clothes in my closet alone.  And a quick trip to the mall for a few key pieces allowed me to pull together a few more.

On a recent trip to Disney World with a close friend, we brought out our inner characters like true Disney nerds.  I wore a Prince Eric inspired outfit and she wore one based off Merida from Brave.  We discovered that we weren’t the only ones in on this unknown Disney secret: while waiting in line at the bag check for Epcot we saw a girl in a purple dress with a flower braided into her hair, which is Rapunzel’s look in Tangled once they reach the kingdom.  My friend couldn’t help excitedly yelling at the girl about how we were DisneyBounding as well. When she turned towards us we saw a Pascal plushy on her shoulder, the perfect finishing touch to her outfit.  She said it was her first time DisneyBouding too.

Check out some pics of my Disney character inspired outfits to see how simple it can be! There’s Prince Eric (Actually worn to Disney. The Little Mermaid is my fav!), Jim Hawkins (From his first scene in Treasure Planet), Dr. Facilier (This Character from The Princess and the Frog is perfect for anyone that likes a little goth in their look), and Rufio (From Hook, not actually a Disney movie but Peter Pan related so close enough.)

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Interview with Leslie Kay:

tumblr_m34ab8WcSK1qj9wxoo1_500TBITHS: When did you start DisneyBound?

Leslie: DisneyBound started about 2 years ago.

TBITHS: Did you always want DisneyBound to be as focused on the outfits as it seems to be now?

Leslie: DisneyBound begun as a travel blog for my best friend and I to channel our excitement for our upcoming trip to Disney World. Originally, it was going to be just another Disney fan Tumblog, but the focus quickly changed.

TBITHS: Are you surprised at how many people your site has reached?

Leslie: I never intended for DisneyBound to reach so many people – so it’s such a blessing.

TBITHS: How did you come up with the idea for DisneyBound?

I was playing around on Polyvore one day and began creating an Leslie: outfit based off of Rapunzel using trendy clothes instead of costume. This is something I had been doing for a few years when I’d shop. I posted that look for Rapunzel and the blog quickly took off from there.

TBITHS: Do you have any ambitions of going further into the fashion world outside of DisneyBound?

Leslie: Yes! My next goal is to launch a fashion line and have been working on a few collaborations with other lines. My “MackieBound by DisneyBound” collaboration with Bob Mackie was my first nod from the fashion industry which was very exciting…so it’s my goal to continue down that path.

TBITHS: What is your favorite thing about your site?

Leslie: For me, I love being able to get to know people from all over the world through DisneyBound. I love talking with fans and getting to know them.

TBITHS: You have a Harry Potter section in you archives; can we look forward to any other Non-Disney character inspired outfits like this to come?

Leslie: Every so often I do do looks based off of non-Disney characters. I think DisneyBound is overdue for a Harry Potter day actually 🙂

TBITHS: How often do you wear DisneyBound outfits?

Leslie: About once a week I’ll make sure to DisneyBound. My days are spent blogging day and night – so wearing super cute outfits often go to waste as people don’t see what I’m wearing daily. But when I do go out, I always try to DisneyBound.

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The Boy In The Heart Shades

Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

Today I learned about Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory.  Up until this morning I’d always thought of this work as the painting with all the melting clocks.  I wasn’t completely sure how I would learn about this masterpiece without even knowing its name, but that’s the great thing about the Internet these days: so much information at our fingertips (that’s right Avenue Q fans – the Internet is more than just for porn).  I started off by googling “melty clock painting” and bam!  There it was: The Persistence of Memory’s Wikipedia page.

Of course I didn’t actually use the Wikipedia page.  If there’s anything I’ve learned through four years studying creative writing it’s that Wikipedia isn’t a reliable source.  But with a quick search of the actual title I was flush with websites ready to tell me everything they knew about this piece of art.  If this painting had a dating profile its stats might look something like this:
the_persistence_of_memory_-_1931_salvador_daliTitle: The Persistence of Memory

Artist: Salvador Dali

Year: 1931

Medium: Oil Paint on Canvas

Size: 9 ½ x 13 in.

Style: Surrealism

Genre: Landscape

Location of Origin: Spain

Current Location: Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) New York, NY

So Beautiful Thinkers what else did I find?  If any of you have studied art, you know that the first thing the world wants to do when they find artwork interesting is define it.  Being a Surrealist, Dali didn’t make this easy for the critics.  There are an uncountable amount of interpretations for this painting.  One of the most common is that this was Dali’s interpretation of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity – a message that time itself is relative to how we experience it.  However, this interpretation is often thrown out because Dali didn’t show an interest in science until after the atomic bombs were dropped in World War II.  Other interpretations lean toward a more psychoanalytical view of the painting, invoking ideas of sleep and dreams because of the closed eye featured under the center melted clock.

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And while Dali never confirmed any of the interpretations of his piece, he did claim that his inspiration came from watching some Camembert cheese melt after being left out on a hot day.  I love the simplicity of that thought.  It could certainly explain the ants and fly that are on some of the other clocks.  The most popular view for these bugs is a symbol of death, but I can’t help think: wouldn’t melting cheese attract bugs too?

I imagine that Dali’s spirit is still laughing at everything we come up with to rationalize this painting.  Who can really say?  Come up with a theory of your own and discuss it with your friends.  Impress them by calling it by its name instead of “that painting with the melty clocks.”

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Keep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

The Ghost Choir Art Show + Interview w/ Afeefa & the Boy

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

This article purchased by Creative Edge Music!

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Keep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Welcome!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

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Welcome to Something New Daily. Not the cleverest of names I’ll grant you but who doesn’t like a twist on an old cliché? “You learn something new everyday.” Like so many of my fellow Americans I’ve decided that a blog is the best way for me to get my thoughts out into the world. More than that, though, my hope is that this blog will keep me writing, thinking, and learning, hence the name of the blog itself. (I just love the word hence; I really should use it more often.)

My hope is that this blog will be fun. I’ve recently come to the conclusion that the only way to be bored these days it to be lazy. I don’t want to be lazy anymore. Thus (thus, another fun word), I will be trying to teach myself something new every day. Whether or not I succeed, I will bring you the details here.

I’m not completely sure how this blog thing will evolve, but to get myself started I’ve made up a little schedule adapted from the daily pop culture lessons exchanged between myself and a good friend. I really owe a big thanks to her, so Beautiful Thinkers here’s a big shout-out to my BFF Annie!!! But getting back on track, the schedule will look something like this:

  • Monday- Music
  • Tuesday-Art
  • Wednesday-Fashion
  • Thursday-Theater
  • Friday-Books
  • Saturday-History
  • Sunday-Free For All

I don’t expect that this schedule will stay forever, but at the moment these are subjects that interest me. Here’s hoping you like them too! As you’ve probably already figured out, I’ve decided to give my followers a title, in the same style of pop icons and cult leaders: anyone following this blog can proudly call themselves Beautiful Thinkers.

With that said, I’m eager to get started, let the learning begin!