Category Archives: you really ought to know

Crazy Cool: Sand Art

Image via Wikipedia

You guys might already know that StumbleUpon is one of my favorite things about the internet.  I “stumble” all the time, finding new music, art, and recipes.  A few days ago, I came across Kseniya Simonova, a brilliant sand artist from the Ukraine.  Winner of television talent show “Ukraine’s Got Talent,” this 26 year-old uses her fingers and a mix of volcanic sand and salt to tell stories over a lighted canvas.

She only started painting with sand three years ago, when her husband suggested it after the economic downturn left them unemployed.  She cared for their son during the day, and practiced with sand from 10pm until early morning.

Most of the work Kseniya creates tells an emotional tale, but many, like the video below, show the evolution of a place or people.  Check out Kseniya Simonova’s interpretation of the circus:

Neat-o!  Her back must be killing after standing for hours on end painting.  You can check out more of Kseniya’s videos on her YT channel.

What do you think?  Have you seen Kseniya Simonova’s sand art before?  Thanks for stopping by! xx


Music Monday: Pop! Goes the Acoustic Cover

I’m baaack!  I’ve had a wonderful break back home in Hawaii.  The wedding (my boyfriend was the Best Man) was beautiful and so much fun.  I can’t believe it’s already over.  But back to real life.  And back to blogging!  I’ll post some of the highlights of my trip later, but for now it’s Monday!  You know what that means. . .

This week I’m going to do something a little different.  Instead of bringing you info about a newer artist, I’m going to bring you several amazing covers.  If you don’t know, I have a deep love of Pop music, so I lourve to hear my favorite club bangers* and radio hits  done in a new acoustic way.

First up, it’s Tiffany Eugenio with her take on Usher’s “OMG.”  This multi-talented Canadian takes the edge off this club hit by stripping it down to just her and a guitar (she also plays piano on other covers).  Her voice has a kind of Sarah MacLachlan vibe that transforms “OMG” from Hip-Hop to an almost ethereal ballad.  Long story short:  It’s really pretty.




Next, my obsession, “Karmin” does a badass rendition of Rihanna’s “Only Girl in the World.”  Seriously, it’s fire.  With Amy on vocals/ guitar and Nick on the cajon, this cover is probably better than the original.  Check it out, then watch their other rad covers (a favorite is   Enjoy:

Support Karmin by picking up their EP on iTunes!

You’ve probably heard of Boyce Avenue.  Their the most watched channel on YouTube, or something.  Anywho, they put up this version of Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” a few days ago, and I’m a fan of it.  It features bandmemember Alejandro singing and playing all instruments- cajon, piano, and guitar.  Me likey.

Btw, is it just me, or is cajon the most fun word ever?  Sounds kinda dirty, right?  Anywhoo. . .

Finally, it’s George Azzi with an amazing cover Timbaland and Justin Timberlake’s  “Carryout.”  Not only can he play his brains out, but I’m pretty sure that he’s wasted in this vid.  Just sayin’.  This vid is a part of his “Undress A Cover” series, featuring acoustic covers of kinda ridiculous pop songs.  I think it’s the best one.

You can get Azzi’s EP, “Dark Rooms Have No Corners” on iTunes now!

*This is not my term.  I would never make up something so ridiculous.

What did you think?  Are these cover-artists the business or what?!  Or should I take another long vacation so I can get it together?  Let me know!

Music Monday: Local Natives

Cover of

Cover of Gorilla Manor

You might already know about Local Natives. They played SXSW last year in support of their debut album, Gorilla Manor.  They’ve had a bit of buzz surrounding them since then, but I’ve yet to see a whole lot about them.

In any case, I really like these California boys.  I’d probably describe them as a sort of Fleet Foxes meets Arcade Fire. . . in Africa.  They’re a very percussion-heavy band, and it’s led to a sometimes dance-y sound.

But it’s not all about the beats.  Haunting 3-part harmonies abound, and with songs about grandparents  (Airplanes), you know there’s more to this group than just a frantic beat.  I really love this album, from start to finish.  I’m still uncovering things about it that I like, months later.

Check out their video for “Airplanes:”

And “World News,” which was directed by my college buddy, Matthew Lessner  (He has nothing to do with my selecting them, though.  I just found out about it while putting together this post.  He was amused):

So, what do you think?  Let me know!  If you don’t already have it,  pick up Gorilla Manor on iTunes now!

Who Are These Kids?!

A few weeks ago, a friend posted this video on Facebook:

After watching, I just had two questions:  Why is that girl grinding like that?(and why do I LOVE it?!) And, Who are these kids? After some simple clicking on the links they provided hardcore research, I discovered that these three kids are Kris, Joelle, and Sophia.  They are students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, which is the school I would have gone to had I not been stuck in Classical music hell.  It’s produced some stars in the music biz, like Paula Cole, Rivers Cuomo, Gavin DeGraw, Diana Krall, and John Mayer.

Banners at Berklee College of Music

Image via Wikipedia

And then I thought, Duh.  Because Berklee is all about producing Pop artists.  But, like, really fierce, excellent musician Pop (and Jazz!) artists.  So, of course these kids can sing.  Now, my intrigue has turned into an obsession.  I’ve subscribed, I’ve re-watched, and followed the links.  Here are my faves (so far):

Sophia and Kris cover “Like a Star” by Corrine Bailey Rae

Joelle sings the eff out of Christina Aguilera’s “Lift Me Up”

Do you remember her from American Idol?  Yeah, btw that Kris kid is deaf now after she screamed in his ear.


You Really Ought to Know: The Hunger Games

This series by Suzanne Collins is my new obsession.  The first book, The Hunger Games, is amazing.  I couldn’t believe that a Young Adult novel could have me so engrossed, and provoke so much thought.  Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down.

A synopsis from Barnes & Noble:

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival.


There are three books in the series, with the last slated for release in August of this year.  As of March of last year, Lionsgate is set to release a Hunger Games movie.  I can’t wait to see how this futuristic world is captured on screen.  Read it and tell me what you think!

You Really Ought To Know. . .


Okay, so you probably already do, but you haven’t been able to get his music until recently.  Thankfully, his new album, “Complete Me,” is finally available on US iTunes.
FrankMusik’s vibe is pure electropop- a perfect mix of catchy melody and winning dance beats.  (I’ve had at least 2 of his songs stuck in my head at any given time all week)  Check out his video for the single “3 Little Words” here.  I dare you to go an entire day without humming it afterward!

Give This Woman A Grammy


Watch the lovely and talented Ledisi tear it up on the Wendy Williams show.  In case you forgot, Ledisi was nominated for a 2008 Best New Artist Grammy.  She is jazzy, soulful, and I love her!

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