I’ve been trying to think of what to write for a solid hour now. I’ll start something, then backspace every word until it’s all gone, and I think that’s how my mind and heart feels right now.
This isn’t just a case of a musician I was a casual fan of dying too young. Soundgarden is a band that I discovered as a child in the late ‘90s. I have fan art of Chris Cornell that I drew when I was 11 fucking years old. I had a silly teenage crush on him, too. There are old picture files on a zip drive I own that date back to 2004 with titles like “Ohh Chris!” and “So Sexy”.
And now this guy that was so much a part of those silly times is…gone. Just gone. He took his own life. God knows what led him to do this. It could have been the result of months or even years of heartache that wasn’t managed properly. It could have been an impulse decision made while upset, as so many suicides occur that way. None of us will ever know what was going on in his head last night.
His bandmates, his friends, his family, and millions of fans are now stuck in a horrid grieving process that will take a long time to work through. My first thought this morning after seeing that Chris was actually gone, as in gone and never coming back, was about how Jerry Cantrell is going to have to bury another fucking friend of his that died too young. Another one. He has had to watch dozens of people he loved die like this. The same could be said for any grunge musician right now. Another brother. Gone.
But I want to say something to all of you - nearly 1,000 of you - you are so fucking loved. If you’re not loved by the people in your life, there are people like me and others on the internet who are going to be there when your head starts slumping. Please, please take care of yourself. If you’re battling suicidal thoughts, please reach out to me or someone else. Don’t make an impulse decision to leave this world when you have so much more to offer, so much to give. I failed to take my own life three times. I am glad something stopped me each time. Death culture is rampant and it might be comforting to think about when times get rough, but please don’t die.
I am not okay. I’m probably not going to be okay for a while. Last night was a mess and I was already upset about that, but now that Chris is gone, the only thing I can do is kind of divorce myself from my emotions a bit. Regardless though, I am here for you. Please don’t do anything to hurt yourself. Maybe when my head settles we can have some kind of group session about this and play some Soundgarden tunes (or hell, even Audioslave or that jank Timbaland album) to get through this together.
Chris Cornell, the second best voice in grunge, has been silenced, but recordings of that voice will be around for a very long time. I am so grateful for all the times I was inspired by his singing, his songwriting, and his sense of humor. Chris wasn’t just a pretty face - he was highly intelligent and had such a unique way of looking at fame and praise. He didn’t want to be a sex symbol. He didn’t take groupies. He didn’t have that same hedonistic attitude that befell so many other musicians. He was a cut above the rest, something truly special, and I’m going to remember him that way.
I’m going to remember Chris Cornell as the amazing person he was, not for what he did in a split second while alone and hollow inside. He is still full of life through the life he gave to others.
Hey, it’s Cohen. Ash, our Associate Producer who usually runs these, is at E3 this week, so I’m doing the introduction. There was also a weird Affable Karkat vibe when he was answering this own questions, so I rewrote them a little. Here goes:
Obviously people sorta know you if they’ve been reading these interviews, but for the sake of the thing: What’s your name, and what do you do on the Hiveswap team?
Hello there! My name is Ash Paulsen, and I’m the Associate Producer on Hiveswap. As a producer, my basic role on the project is to help organize and sync up each department’s workflow while also facilitating effective interdepartmental communication. In layman’s terms: it’s my job to make everyone else’s jobs easier and do all the “in-between” stuff to help bring the game to the finish line, and that means I do whatever needs doing – which can vary from day to day!
How’d you get your start on Hiveswap?
This is actually a surprisingly straightforward story. Basically, What Pumpkin was looking to fill a producer position on Hiveswap, and luckily they were pointed in my direction by a mutual friend and colleague. So What Pumpkin then reached out to me via email, and I happened to be looking to take the next step in my career at the time. I then began a brief trial period as a part-time producer on Hiveswap to ascertain if the position would be an ideal fit for me. After a while, I was very graciously welcomed into the What Pumpkin family as a full-time producer – I must have impressed them somewhere along the way, and I’m happy I did!
Yeah, absolutely. Having a dedicated person for the work you’ve been doing has made my life easier. You’ve got some experience in 2D animation and video game production specifically, right?
My first production-related job came by way of Nickelodeon Animation several years ago, where I worked for about a year and a half as a Production Assistant on the Butch Hartman cartoons The Fairly OddParents! and T.U.F.F. Puppy. (Prior to that, I’d been working as a Game Master at Nexon – the developer of MapleStory – so this was a huge jump!) I later left Nickelodeon for a full-time position as the Senior Editor at UDON Entertainment, a publisher and art collective specializing in video game and anime art books. Somewhere along the way, I ended up taking on a second gig as an Associate Producer at ShiftyLook, where I got to help make super cool webcomics and web cartoons out of old-school, dormant Bandai Namco Games IPs, such as Bravoman and Wonder Momo.
It was that ShiftyLook job that reminded me just how much I loved producing and wanted to get back into it, so I put some feelers out there and when I was lucky enough to have What Pumpkin come knocking, I was ready to seize the opportunity!
Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into production? I don’t mean me, of course–it wasn’t until we brought you on that I realized how much production work I’d been doing as a matter of necessity, and I don’t want to go back to that life–but just, y’know. Tips and tricks for any aspiring producers.
In terms of advice for launching into a production career, I would say that a self-starter mentality and an honest willingness to take on pretty much any task – no matter how boring or menial – are key. I find that’s the best way to let people know you’re a team player and, in turn, get noticed! If something needs doing, just step up and do it! If you don’t know how to do it, ask questions, but do it nonetheless.
Yeah, including, when you’re not at E3, running these interviews. Speaking of, do you have any favorite games?
For someone who plays as many video games as I do – I’ve been an avid gamer since the original Super Mario Bros. captured my heart when I was just five years old – this is a surprisingly easy answer! My favorite game of all time is Chrono Trigger, a Super Nintendo JRPG you’ve probably heard of once or twice. That game is the total package: a gripping story, memorable characters, killer battle system, legendary soundtrack, and some of the Super Nintendo’s very best graphics. I think my favorite thing about Chrono Trigger is that the narrative can be as complex or as light as you want it to be; if you want to enjoy it as a simple time-traveling romp, you can do that and it’s great. But if you want to read between the lines and really dive into the lore where things get pretty dark and sophisticated, you can play it that way too and it’s even better in my opinion. It’s a game you can enjoy on your own terms, and for that reason and so many more, I just adore CT. My second and third favorites behind that are Okami and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
I just recently finished the Switch versions of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Blaster Master Zero, and Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, and right now I’m playing Horizon: Zero Dawn and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Looking ahead, I am unbelievably, ridiculously hyped for Sonic Mania and Kingdom Hearts III!
Do you pull any inspiration from those for your production work on Hiveswap?
Not in particular… I can’t think of much crossover between gaming and production work, either in terms of the skills required or really at all. I suppose there’s some tenuous connection between, like, turn-based strategy RPGs and project management, but even that’s reaching a bit.
Besides, working on Hiveswap is its own form of inspiration: I have the privilege of working with a team of wildly talented, creative folks on a daily basis, and when you’re surrounded by that much awesome every day, it’s hard not to be inspired to work harder and smarter!
Since this is a remote team, we’ve had people describe their workstations, which has been fun. What’s yours like?
I don’t really have a particular workstation, if that makes sense. Mine is mostly the kind of work that can be done anywhere as long as I have my laptop (I run with a MacBook Pro) and an Internet connection, so my workstation is generally wherever I want or need to be that day. Oftentimes that means a local coffee shop because I don’t fancy staying cooped up in my apartment alone every day, but if I have a full day of meetings I’ll usually stay home. The same ambient noise I go to coffee shops to enjoy tends to become a major liability when people are trying to hear you in a Google Hangout or Skype meeting!
Yeah, I can confirm that, having been in those meetings before you started staying home for them. What about music? Do you like to listen to anything while you’re working?
I constantly listen to music while I work – lots and lots of video game music! Game music has been my jam since I started burning line-out recordings of sound test menus to CDRs as a kid. (Not even kidding. The ‘90s, baby!) Usually it’s upbeat, driving chiptune anthems like the sort you hear in Mega Man games and other retro platformers like Shovel Knight, but I also love orchestral VGM like Final Fantasy soundtracks. In fact, Yoko Shimomura – composer of the Kingdom Hearts games, among so many others – is my favorite musician of all time! I also listen to original chip music and a ton of EDM (electronic dance music, which encompasses so many other sub-genres) as well. I’ll give anything a chance, really!
Anything else you want to say to fans?
I’m genuinely appreciative of and humbled by the opportunity to leave my stamp on a universe as singularly compelling and bizarre as Homestuck. Despite my being a relative newcomer to the project and the wider Homestuck community, bringing Hiveswap to the finish line in a form that delivers on your expectations means the world to me and I take my role in that process very seriously. I’m really, really happy to be here!
Is there anywhere people can see more of your work?
As I touched on briefly earlier, I’m one of the GameXplain crew! If you’ve not heard of us, we’re a Nintendo-focused YouTube channel closing in on 800,000 (!) subscribers, though we also cover PlayStation and Xbox titles when time allows. You can find a link to our channel right here, where you’ll hear me yapping away in all sorts of discussions, previews, reviews, news updates, and more!
We’ll have Ash and the regular format back next week.
Day 14 (I’m late again! shame!) of Octúbre is Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa herself! She was born in 1925 in Havana, Cuba. She came from a working class Catholic family. Her father wanted her to go and become a teacher, but she was instead drawn to music and entertainment. She started by singing for a local radio station. She got her big break when in 1950, she was recruited by Sonora Matncera, a big band from Cuba. She toured with them for 15 years. Like many other Cuba musicians at the time, when Castro took power, she was barred from reentering Cuba, this her and husband became American citizens. Celia them went on to work with Tito Puente. Johnny Pacheco and the group known later to be Fania All-Stars. Celia ha a long and robust career up until her death in 2003, having proven herself to be one of the most famous and well known Latin singers to date. This is especially so since Salsa at the time was very male dominated.
I know this isn't sex ed related but does anyone have any wlw (or just queer) song recs?? I just listened to Kehlani's new song 'honey' and I died a little every time she said "girls" and "women" , I'm not really a fan of many other sapphic musicians (like Halsey or Hayley Kiyoko) so I never really realised how great it is to hear something so simple! SZA is the only other artist I listen to that talked about girls in a song I feel deprived all of a sudden lol
HI! Please refer to this post I wrote on my personal blog! The names with an asterisk are bi/pan/lesbians, and all are women. Please note the use of racial slurs being reclaimed by people of that race, as well as slurs like qu**r and dy*e that are also being reclaimed by those individuals. Transmisogyny can also be noted. Please let me know if you need me to go through and indicate individual songs. I will also copy and add to that list here:
*Bodak Yellow/Lick - Cardi B
Needed Me- Rihanna
*All About Me- Syd
*OOOUUU- Young M.a.
Wait A Minute!- Willow
*Bad Girls- M.I.A.
Feeling Myself- Nicki Minaj, Beyonce´
*Intro- Kehlani(okay this isn’t really a ‘baddie’ song, but this poem is so uplifting it is by Reyna Biddy)
Anaconda- Nicki Minaj
*Tomboy- Princess Nokia (literally anything by Princess Nokia oh my GODD)
Flawless Remix- Beyonce´, Nicki Minaj
I Decided, Part 1- Solange
Better- Missy Elliot
*Jump On It- Big Freedia
*Wish You Would- Mykki Blanco ft. Princess Nokia
*Supermodel/Broken Clocks/The Weekend/Drew Barrymore/20 Something- SZA (basically none of these are like upbeat ‘baddie’ songs but like they are good ubering home from the club with your girls songs)
Well, hello. My name’s Camila, but i like to be called Cam, or Cami. I’m half argentinian, and half mexican. I’m currently studying History in Argentina, but i may move to Mexico in a few months or a year to study Latin American Studies. I love blue, literature, art, series. I go from music to theater, dancing, drawing or painting. Kind of a Netflix -proud- addict, my favorite shows go from Supernatural to How to get away with murder, also including some like Rick and Morty, Skins, Dr. House, and Glee (with many others). I’m a musician and a writer myself (have an acoustic group and I’m editing a poetry book). Also, I’m really into any fandom (guilty pleasures starts with Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Percy Jackson, Dr Who, etc etc) Something really important about me: i’m really into social stuff. I’m part of a comunal radio, a gender-open group, and I’m constantly participating in any movement that involves justice and human rights. My town, particularly, has a long story of popular fight and social movements. I know this is pretty messy. I really want to find a penpal and do this for the first time. I’m open to anyone-boy, girl, it. Age doesn’t matter, gender doesn’t matter. I want someone to know, to be friends with. I wanna send letter, since writing is the thing I love the most. So if you’re interested on knowing me a little bit more, feel free to write. I will be expecting your message <3
As said above, I really don’t mind about which is your age/gender. I’m open to meet anyone who wanna exchange culture, feelings, way of life’s, interest. I only expect them to be tolerant, into social, art, politics, fantasy, etc. Oh, and I’m not looking for any love-related relationship, jic.
George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, Big Sur, California, 11 June 1968.
Photo: American Veda
George Harrison, World-Music Catalyst And Great-Souled Man; Open to the Influence Of Unfamiliar Cultures By Philip Glass
The New York Times, 9 December 2001
“We all naturally remember George Harrison as one of the cornerstones (but weren’t they all?) of the late-20th-century phenomenon known as the Beatles. But for some, George, who died on Nov. 29 at the age of 58, was an icon of another phenomenon, equally influential in shaping the music of today. I’m referring to the world-music culture, which, starting in the 60’s, has become an inescapable aspect of our music life. George was among the first Western musicians to recognize the importance of music traditions millenniums old, which themselves had roots in indigenous music, both popular and classical. Using his considerable influence and popularity, he was one of those few who pushed open the door that, until then, had separated the music of much of the world from the West.
“L'amour est bleu” (English title: “Love Is Blue”) is a song whose music was composed by André Popp, and whose lyrics were written by Pierre Cour, in 1967. Brian Blackburn later wrote English-language lyrics for it. First performed in French by Greek singer Vicky Leandros (appearing as Vicky) as the Luxembourgian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1967, it has since been recorded by many other musicians, most notably French orchestra leader Paul Mauriat, whose familiar instrumental version became the only number-one hit by a French artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 in America.
As an INTJ female, I often struggle to find my place in the world around me. As a child and even now as an adult, I rarely am able to connect with other females. I never was or am the type now to go along with the crowd. I want to get along with others and connect, but their interests just never seem to align with my own.
I do not obsess on outward beauty, fashion, or being “appealing to a man.” As a child I was actually a tomboy, but the boys often gave me a hard time too because I wasn’t one of them. As I grew older and entered teenage life, I got more in touch with my “feminine” side, but I still was ridiculously independent in my pursuits. I take a certain amount of pride in my appearance, I’m always clean and presentable, but I relish a more natural beauty approach. I don’t obsess or over complicate it.
Today as an adult, I find it difficult to truly connect with most people, male or female. Most do not think as deeply as I do or appreciate the pursuit of knowledge as I do, (I know that can sound arrogant, but it’s just a fact). Many men just see me as female and try to approach me in a flirty or condescending way, which just pisses me off. Many women see me as too stuck up or bitchy or “unfemine” in my manner. I have little interest in fashion, interior design, or “cuteness.” My apartment is very clean and organized, but not very “pretty,” because I really don’t care about these things and I have far better things to spend my hard earned money on. Also, my natural interests and pursuits tend to be in more male dominated fields like engineering, sciences, math, and many others. As a musician, I have focused on playing “lead” guitar, especially blues, hence the origin of my username, but once again I find this pursuit rare among other females.
When I do happen to stumble upon a person where a natural flow of conversation and connection takes place, I greatly value that. But then again a problem arises. With men, most often much older than myself, occasionally younger, they misinterpret our connection as something more like romantic interest. This is not so in my viewpoint, but they act upon that notion and just ruin it. I’m not interested in dating much older men, married ones, or those much younger than myself, and once again I find myself alone. ( I will say the younger cutes ones are tempting, but the huge gap in mental states is just too much to bare!)
I tend to connect with females that are either much older than myself, or younger. That is great and I don’t dismiss that, but once again there is a void with those my own age. This is just my reality and I speak of it to simply put it out there, because I feel as if others may experience the same.
I get it, you are not alone.
I would be interested in feedback upon this matter with other female INTJs, and also the unique perspective of the male INTJs as well. Even if you are not an INTJ, but can relate, please share!
Do you think it's too early in Shawn's career for him to win a Grammy? I have a feeling if his album is as good as his last two, or if he works really hard with the right promo, he'll def win on in the up coming year or two...
I think Shawn in - other’s eyes - might be too young to win a Grammy just yet. But I for sure believe the people in the music industry look at Shawn as someone with a massive talent and wide ability to do great things musically. I think most people are aware of the fact that Shawn is one of those people, who can just do great things with his career, because in his young age he’s already come further than so many other musicians older than him. And Shawn is ready to work very hard to improve and he focuses a lot on keep getting better and evolving from album to album. I for sure believe he has the ability to win a Grammy one day, but I think he’s too young for the moment. But I mean, it would be amazing and he would deserve it for sure.
Alright, this is something that I’ve never seen addressed, or if I have it’s just been “Don’t do it.” But I, as many other musicians and actors know, that isn’t always an option. So I’m here to talk to you guys about binding safely while being a musician/actor. For musicians I am mostly focusing on instruments that you use your breath to play. Lets go.
First and foremost, of course, wear a binder that fits. A binder that is too small can seriously hurt you, especially if you partake in actions like this.
It would be best to have a binder that has a velcro clasp so you can re-adjust how tight/loose it is as needed.
If you’ve been playing/singing for an extended period of time, take off or seriously loosen your binder for at least an hour to give your lungs a break.
After you play/sing (and are hopefully giving your lungs a break from your binder), raise both arms above your head and take three deep breaths.
Then take a very deep breath and cough. If there is any rattling, cough until the rattling stops. Binders sometimes cause fluid/mucus to build up in the depths of your lungs, and using your lungs to sing/play an instrument will cause it to build up faster if it is happening.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY. If you feel light headed, if your chest hurts, if you don’t feel well, TAKE OFF YOUR BINDER. You need to care for your body first and foremost. If you absolutely cannot, at least loosen it if possible or stop in the bathroom, take it off, and do the exercise I described above.
Basically everything from above
But if you have a very long scene with a lot of dialogue, or a long monologue, seriously pay attention to your body.
Make sure you pay attention to your breathing. You still need to get enough breath in you, and binders make it harder to do that. If you aren’t able to with the binder you have, you might be wearing the wrong size or it might benefit you to look into one that has a velcro clasp.
I think the band Madness is truly underappreciated.
You all know who Madness are right? If you don’t, surely you know their song ‘Our House’ (in the middle of our street…) Other than that song or perhaps 'it must be love’, most people seem to have forgotten about them. Unlike many other older bands/ musicians from 80s pop bands, classic rock to punk which have great fan bases, it’s sad as they have created so much stunning music but so much lf it is forgotten.
Their music is very cleverly written, lyrically and instrumentally, it can sound hilarious, can be serious and created by talented, good induviduals.
I can tell when listening and seeinf them live that they really care about the music they create and take time to be unique, they do what they do because they love it and I find their music beautiful. I saw them live at an arena last year and it was one of the best things I have ever seen. I wish I could find more madness fans or a good active fanbase.
Here’s a few of their songs I would recommend:
House Of Fun
One Step Beyond
Night Boat To Cairo
Madness (the song)
Tomorrow’s (Just Another Day)
It may not be the kind of music you like (it’s officially classed as ska, new wave, pop), that’s cool, I can’t force anything upon you. It’s just nice to discover new music and I like to share things that I love and mean a lot to me!
"I love a lot of movies by Woody Allen and Roman Polanski and I do struggle about whether it’s ok to separate the art from the artist" <--I debate this with myself almost daily. Not so much with Woody Allen and Roman Polanksi, per se, but with so many other actors and musicians. It's such a tricky question, that's for sure.
It’s really hard and I don’t have any good answers about how I should behave. I’m a committed feminist and to know that these men have done such terrible things to women- especially Polanski- and have taken no responsibility for it is unforgivable. But I’m one person and I don’t have any sway in the film industry so what can I really do? Does my watching of their movies enable them to continue to escape justice? I really struggle with it and I don’t know.
“There was something about him that transcended being a typical fan,
because he was a fan of many other musicians as well, we weren’t his primary
focus. We were one of several bands and musicians that sparked his imagination
in a big way that he had studied, but he had done the same with Frank Zappa and
tons of others. The longer I knew him, the more I came to know how deep his
wealth of knowledge about music was. He wasn’t alive long enough to learn all
that stuff, but he learned it. The transition was we were very obnoxious
individuals at that point in our life, just brash, young, stupid, rude, and
In terms of kinetic and creative energy personified, you’ll likely find no better example than Henry Rollins. At this point, the number of hyphens and creative ventures associated with him have essentially made Rollins a symbol for maintaining absolute focus and
“I was invited to a party last weekend and i knew only one guy. But there were so many artists, musicians and other interesting and very special people and I fell in love with this flat and the souls in it”