I make a playlist every issue, not only to listen to while reading, but to give you samples of some of the stuff I review. I hope you enjoy it!
"The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions."
- Ellen Glasgow
Why are you even doing this?
Ok so long story short, it's been a rough year. Physically, mentally, psychologically, and even spiritually: exhausting. Life's been abrasive enough to the point where my skin is shedding, and I'm asking myself "what am I doing?" It's a question I think we should ask ourselves often. At least often enough. Recently I've been having this reflection; I guess the more accurate question I've been mulling over is:
What do I want my art to do?
I've been doing it. Art. I'm always doing it, whether I want to or not. But I've kinda been shitty about it. I have things to say that I don't. Things I want to do that I haven't started. I enable myself. I also inspire myself. But what's the point of having ideas and things to say and do if you aren't. This is an opportunity to do that.
I make photographs.
In case it was ambiguous (it wasn't.) Over the short life span I have managed to live so far, I've taken to photography. Specifically people. I like the intimacy of just being with another human being, looking at each other, and just taking everything in. It's very personal to me. I love it, and it's most likely the reason I love acting so much too.
But we won't be seeing much acting in this digizine now, will we?
Back to people.
Why do we look at them? In its most basic form, why does our focus turn to a person? Maybe it's something that they do. Something funny. Something jarring. Something kind. Mostly I find its just because of the way people are. The culmination of action and thought all wrapped up in a nice, squishy, meat package. Humanity is beautiful isn't it?
That's what this first issue is about. Complimentary explores beauty, and what helps us realize it.
I hope you enjoy it, and trust me when I leave you with this:
You're made of the stars, and it will always get better from here.
A bit ago, My close friend Rowan Hall and I had a nice morning filled with photos, coffee, and conversation. It was truly amazing. Seeing as her birthday was coming up, and I had inherited some family cameras recently, it just made sense to conjure something up.
I told her to bring something she felt great in, because her feeling great makes me feel great. We had such a refreshing morning! It kind of took me away from everything else in my life, And taking pictures of that was just icing on the cake.
What's the best compliment you've ever gotten?
Rowan: Oh my god, that's so difficult, because the best compliments are never the ones that are like "oh your hair looks nice." or " Oh! your whatever outfit." It's always, like, about your... person as a whole.
Well, what's the most memorable compliment you've gotten?
Rowan: Well, the other week, since I started watching Game of Thrones, someone was like "I see you as a total Khaleesi, and not like in looks or cause you're blonde or anything, but just because you like, really take life by the balls. That's a really amazing compliment, because that's about who I am. And that's a character who's famous for just being... amazing and badass. Doing exactly what she wants to do.
Also, I remember someone told me... I think it was a teacher. (They) said that " You know, Rowan, I really get the feeling that you're the leading woman of your life... That's a good one! That inspires you, Because you're like "Yeah, I am the lead of my life! I'm in charge. I'm the main character. I get to call the shots. There's nothing worse than feeling like a side character in your own existence.
Ok. What's your favorite way to give a compliment? Any tricks of the trade?
Rowan: When you think something nice about somebody, you have to say it. You have to! Because, otherwise, they're not going to know that someone's just sitting around thinking really nice things about them. And that they are doing something good. I think the best way to compliment someone is the second you think it: just say it. Don't act weird about it.
I feel like a lot of the times people like... Apologize for having nice thoughts about somebody.
Rowan: Right?! Ive been noticing I say sorry all the time lately. "I'm sorry, you have really nice hair." Why are you saying that? But I think you just... the second you think it, you have to say it.
What's the most important thing to consider when giving a compliment?
Rowan: I think people NEED to not put themselves down when they compliment other people. I think especially being a girl: that's ingrained in you. The idea that If somebody else has something like beauty or something that you want, you can't have it suddenly, or (that) another person's beauty or goodness or intelligence takes away from your own. So often I find people who are more in touch with their emotions say compliments in ways that are harmful to themselves.
"Oh you look so nice today, I wish I looked like you."
"You look so good without trying. I always have to try."
I wish people would compliment almost as if it's a gift to themselves, because I feel like the more you compliment other people, the better it is for everyone.
You just end up bringing everybody up.
Rowan: And it sounds so corny. I hate that, but... Being nice is so much better! You know? Like, when you try a little bit in a day, or maybe worse: when you didn't try and you're having a shitty day...when someone compliments you, that can turn your whole day around.
And it can be something as benal as your hair, or it could be something important... something you've been working on forever. When somebody takes the five seconds to compliment that, that's like the sun rising in the west sometimes.
I know this isn't necessarily a new release, but ever since Ego Death dropped I haven't been able to shut up about it. It is such an explorative and beautiful piece of art. It's thematically intimate, and it transcends its own neosoul genre to a certain complexity I have yet to find in any whole albums in the last five years at least. It is truly an album that will both eclipse and inspire many.
Favorite songs: Get Away, Palace/Curse, Just Sayin/ I Tried, Special Affair.
The best way to listen to this album is completely from front to back without pause. Preferably in a space with minimal or ambient light. Another person with you is great. For example my friend Caleb and I first listened to this album in the darkness of my living room with just the light of the TV.
This album is as nostalgic as it is creative. It has such a askew feel to it while still maintaining a instinctive beat that I'm so intrigued by. I consistently find myself resonating with the lyrics of these songs as well as the longing progressions. It speaks to my sadder self in a very odd and alluring way... Definitely a nice album to listen to.
Favorite songs: American Appetite, Irish Margaritas, Inheritance, Up Against It
A great album to listen to when you're cleaning on your Sunday off. Easy listening when having a cup of joe or smoking a stogie. Great when you're writing a digital magazine too...
Ok, this album is just plain fucking awesome. If you are into classic rock with a touch of soul and a hair of rockabilly, look no further. The really impressive part about this album is how dynamic the tracks sound. It's even more impressive when these tracks take you through period pieced arc reminiscent of everything 70's, filled with quotable and powerful verses that you totally wish you had thought of first.You cannot listen to this album without bumping your head or swinging your hips... It's scientifically impossible.
Favorite songs: Take It Easy, Had 2 Know, Ha Ha Ha Ha, Mirrored In Reverse
This is most definitely a roller coaster album, so I suggest listening to this one in the car. Whether on a road trip to the beach, or even if you are stuck in traffic and need to lift your spirits, this is what the doctor ordered.
Stuff I thought was beautiful.