Friday, 28 December 2012

Kathleen Hanna on Beyonce on Haters

The Riddler Song got its first YouTube hater today. As a delicate writer I feel the urge to take it overly personally (whilst also being astonished I survived this long without haters). Luckily there is an inspiring quotation for every occasion and here is one about haters by musician and artist Kathleen Hanna:
“Beyoncé isn’t Beyoncé because she reads comments on the Internet. Beyoncé is in Ibiza, wearing a stomach necklace, walking hand in hand with her hot boyfriend. She’s going on the yacht and having a mimosa. She’s not reading shitty comments about herself on the Internet, and we shouldn’t either. I just think, Would Beyoncé be reading this? No, she would just delete it or somebody would delete it for her. What I really need to do is close the computer and then talk back to that voice and say, Fuck you. I don’t give a shit what you think. I’m Beyoncé. I’m going to Ibiza with Jay-Z now, fuck off. Being criticized is part of the job, but seeking it out isn’t. That’s our piece to let go.”
Like most haters, my hater didn't even have a basic grasp of grammar (if they put as much effort into learning grammar as they did hating they could all get Masters in English Language I'm sure) so I take much comfort in the fact that if by some kink in space and time they did ever fall foul of Eddie they wouldn't last five minutes.

If you ever fall prey to haters remember this: they hate on you because you are better than them and they know it. You have more talent in your little finger than they do in their entire body and they know it. It's easier for them to try and bring you down than it is for them to try and reach your level and they know it. Just going out there and baring your soul makes you stronger than them so don't ever forget it.

Friday Feature 2012 Round-Up

Friday Feature Round-Up 2012 from rachel.yelding on 8tracks Radio.
1) Silver Zephyrs - Haley Bonar
2) Been Better - Kyla La Grange
3) Muddy Hands - Chutes
4) Echo - The Hush Sound
5) Cold Shoulders - Gold Motel
6) Things You Do To Me - Stamps
7) Static Waves (featuring Katie Herzig) - Andrew Belle
8) Marsh King's Daughter - Eisley
9) Cameras - Matt & Kim
10) That's the Trouble with Love - Frank Gorshin
11) Now a Quick Haunt - The King Left
12) Sleeping Limbs - ohnomoon
13) Angelo - EMA
14) Blue Light - Mazzy Star
Unfortunately I couldn't include every artist / band who has appeared as a Friday Feature this year as 8tracks doesn't support .wav or .m4a files (boo to them). Please enjoy anyway, check out all the other Friday Features and support these guys! If you don't buy their music they can't make it and I can't feature it for you.
See you in 2013 for more Friday Features!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Alternative Gingerbread Men

Somehow my Christmas turned alternative this year...possibly down to the construction of the Sasssquatch Wreath. As part of this alternative Christmas (please feel free to replace Christmas with whatever holiday it is you celebrate this time of the year) please allow me to introduce you to my alternative gingerbread men (plus the sacrificial gingerbread man made to stop mum's boyfriend eating the others during the night......):

Let's play a game! I'll show a picture of each gingerbread man before I show who it is supposed to be and you can see if you guessed right!

Hulk Hogan, brother!

A crime scene chalk outline

Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor Who (something weird happened to his trousers between icing him and taking his photo...I think he went back to the 80s and got them stonewashed!)

Robert Englund as a very happy Freddy Krueger (possibly went back in time with the Doctor...maybe time for Freddy v Doctor Who film?)

An Oompa Loompa

Pyramid Head from Silent Hill

Arkham City Riddler <3 <3 <3

Two Face

This was lots of fun! I'd definitely like to make more! Maybe you guys have someone you'd like to see immortalised in gingerbread? I'd love to see your suggestions! I must say I'm quite tempted to do a whole batch of Batman gingerbread men. Let me know what you think!
Oh - and I'll leave you with a riddle from Gingerbread Riddler...

Friday, 21 December 2012

Little Cyan Wreath

I made another, smaller wreath for my mum's boyfriend (yes she has one and I don't...I'm taking applications though *hint hint wink wink nudge nudge*). If you would like to make your own wreath here is the original post.

Friday Feature - Mazzy Star

For this week's Friday Feature we're celebrating Mazzy Star, an alternative dream rock band from Santa Monica, USA who have been creating bewitching music for nearly three decades. Their music is iconic for two reasons a) Hope Sandoval's dreamy, lilting, crooning, melancholic, comforting vocals and b) their use of almost completely acoustic instrumentals (with the odd electric guitar). David Roback writes nearly all of Mazzy Star's songs and it is due to this and his decision to steer away from hopping on musical trend band waggons that their music is as enjoyable and timeless today as it was twenty years ago. If I was to be flippant I'd say it is music to get high to (in particular their first 1990 album She Hangs Brightly) however it is also music to dream to, music to drink cocoa whilst watching rain run down the window to, music to comfort a friend to and music to enjoy insomnia to.

Where will I have heard them before?

If you're American you're probably most familiar with their single 'Fade Into You' (from 1993 album So Tonight That I Might See) which has been in a billion films and TV shows from Batman Forever to End of Watch. UK visitors are more likely to recognise 'Into Dust' (also from So Tonight That I Might See) an album song which made it into the UK singles charts twice! First in 2009 for a Virgin Media advert and then again in 2011 after featuring in this Gears of War 3 advert.

During Mazzy Star's 1997-2009 hiatus both Hope and David explored solo careers. Along with her own music Hope performed on tracks for The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Chemical Brothers, Air, Death in Vegas and Massive Attack. Meanwhile David performed in and wrote three songs for 2004 film Clean.

Featured Song: Flowers in December

Where can I hear more?

Mazzy Star has released three albums to date (a new one coming soon apparently) and two special singles 'Common Burn' and 'Lay Myself Down' (2011) all of which are easily available to download - the cheapest place being Amazon where She Hangs Brightly (1990) and So Tonight That I Might See (1993) are only £2.49 each! DEAL! Among My Swan (1996) is a little more expensive but is actually my favourite and in my opinion the most accessible (with She Hangs Brightly being the least) however when the other two are so cheap and with So Tonight That I Might See containing their most famous songs why not get all three in one go? You'd be mad not to.

What is their website?

Next week: I'll do some sort of end of year round up...I'm still thinking on it!

P.S. Don't forget to suggest your own favourite singers and bands!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Fall in love far too hard...

...with all the wrong people.

Summertime is nice and hot,
And my life is sweet like vanilla is.
Gold and silver line my heart
But burned into my brain are these stolen images,
Stolen images, baby, stolen images.
Can you picture it,
Babe, the life we could've lived?

Hello? Hello?
C-can you hear me?
I can be your china doll
If you like to see me fall.
Boy, you're so dope,
Your love is deadly.
Tell me life is beautiful,
They all think I have it all.
I've nothing without you.
All my dreams and all the lights mean
Nothing without you.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Friday Feature - EMA

This week's Friday Feature is super cool tough girl EMA aka Erika M. Anderson, a noise rocker from South Dakota, USA. She is probably the closest a singer song writer can get to recreating the sound of an entire industrial band. She is musical Marmite. A fact she is completely unapologetic about. She is noise. She is extreme distortion. She is heavy, heavy pulsing beats. She screams and you think you get what she is about but then suddenly all the noise will drop to reveal she also has the most beautiful, husky, gentle singing voice. Mixed into all this contradiction are incredibly catchy tunes.

Where will I have heard her before?

EMA's previous bands include Amps for Christ and Gowns. She is very popular with Spin and appeared on their tribute to Nirvana's Nevermind album singing 'Endless, Nameless'. 'The Grey Ship' was used on an episode of Adult Swim's Off the Air.

Featured Song: Grey Ship

Where can I hear more?

EMA's free music usually comes courtesy of SPIN. Check out her two albums Little Sketches on Tape (2010) and Past Life Martyred Saints (2011).

What is her website?

Next week: We'll enjoy flowers in December with Mazzy Star

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Undefeated - Planning and Writing

Hi guys! I've decided to get an extra early start with my Comica / Cape / Vintage Short Graphic Story entry so that I have no excuse for any mistakes. I also thought I'd share my process with you (seeing as I am supposed to be a writer after all!) All posts about my entry will be headed and tagged with Undefeated.

Writing program, inspiration picture and mood music - the holy trinity! (chocolate is also good)

Don't hate me - I know you don't want to hear it - but the backbone to any good story be it a novel, a film or a comic is good planning (and YES even a four page comic is capable of having a story with a beginning, middle and end). On a practical level it just makes everything easier when you come to writing / drawing. I think the worst thing to happen once you get your creative juices flowing is to have your flow ruined because you've realised an epic hole in your story.

I think finding an idea that works is the hardest part! There are so many one-line ideas that sound cool that when you actually think them out suddenly become a lot harder to make sense of, are too long or too short for what you want them for...if you can think of an idea at all! There are some days when they just won't come and the more you force them the worse they get. At film school we had to generate ideas all the time. Somehow this usually involved picking words out of tobacco tins - the more random the words the better (coat hanger sandwich anyone?). Random pictures (paintings, photos) are also good. I really recommend going for walks. It is amazing the things you notice when you have no predetermined destination. Like my old tutor Brian used to say, you can't be a writer sat in your ivory tower, you have to live life to write life.

Okay so you think you have an idea! WRITE IT DOWN! Tony Grisoni says it's not an idea if it's not written down. And it's so true. You can't see the flaws if it's not written down. You also can't see what you like about it and that's just as important. Write it out then leave it - a day, a week, a month, however long it takes for you to forget bits - then come back to it and see if it still makes sense and that you still like it. If it does then you can write out the script!

Take as long as it takes - you want your script to be as perfect as it can be so that you don't have to worry about correcting mistakes when you're drawing - when you're drawing all you want to be worrying about are artistic choices, not whether your character motivations are wrong...though if it's been a year and you still haven't produced four pages you're in trouble. I use Final Draft for writing my graphic novel scripts however 2000AD and Dark Horse both have example scripts for you to study the format of if you don't have a script program. I recommend not writing more than seven panels per page unless it is an indie comic, in which case the world is your oyster (though I wouldn't go over twelve). Basically the more panels per page the less space there is for picture detail and dialogue. Look at the kind of graphic novels you want yours to be like and see how many panels they use per page and how they vary this number for conversations / action / heart felt moments.

Things that stop you writing:
- TV
- The Internet
- Talking to people
- Cats

Take yourself to somewhere solitary and comfortable (though not so comfortable that you're falling asleep) and either write in silence or to music (some people find even music too distracting). Joss Whedon says not to write to music with lyrics but I actually find music with lyrics very inspiring - do what's best for you - Joss recommends film soundtracks...the running joke is if you need a rousing soundtrack pick The Dark Knight. I make playlists for every project I write and play them on repeat. When I'm stressed I play calming music. I'm kind of stressed at the moment hence why in the picture the music playing is Belle and Sebastian.

If you're visually motivated make mood and character boards that you can look at when you need an inspiration kick. In fact just the act of selecting pictures and assembling them will help focus what it is you want to write. Below are two boards I made - one for The Automated Heart and one for Paradise.

Once you've got a good script you can sketch out your page layouts. This can be as rough or as tidy as you like - it's purely for you and is so you can see if what you've written will actually fit / look like how you imagined it would when you were writing it. Think of it as the graphic story equivalent of a storyboard. If you have an indefinite amount of pages this stage doesn't matter so much however if, like me, you only have four pages it's essential! What could be worse than putting all that effort into drawing three of your four pages only to discover you have too much to fit on the last page? Below is mine for another idea I had. Even though it's only on the back of a piece of scrap paper it helped me realise that some of the panels that looked cool in my head wouldn't work so well on a piece of paper with the other panels around it.

Well done! You've officially finished the planning and writing stage!

See you next time for the character design stage!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Friday Feature - ohnomoon

This week's Friday Feature is ohnomoon, a shoegaze / indie rock group from New York, USA. Their music is incredibly dreamy yet also substantial (unlike a lot of dream pop which can be so ethereal it feels empty)...a bit like listening to a Cardigans XX collaboration. This sound is created by distorted, hazy electrical guitars and beautiful, slightly husky vocals courtesy of Katherine Lee. Listening to their music is like succumbing to sleeping gas - it is deceptive - its airiness disguises something much stronger and intoxicating.

Where will I have heard them before?

ohnomoon contains Corey and Graham from The King Left. They are still very new but they have featured at Deli shows and have performed at many other New York venues. They are probably best known for the cover of David Bowie's Ashes to Ashes.

Featured Song: In the Mouth a Desert (originally by Pavement)

Where can I hear more?

You can get all of ohnomoon's music on their bandcamp page!

What is their website?

Next week: EMA

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Comment Settings

I've changed settings so that you don't have to log in or use word verification to leave a comment. I know some of you were having problems leaving comments - hopefully it should be easier now :)

If I end up getting super spammed I'll be changing it back though.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Holy Bat-Freak! Riddler Trophy Replica

I should be writing or something but £$^*$%*!!!! I bought this instead:

It's a scale size Arkham City (I guess Arkham Asylum too then) Riddler Trophy! It's actually much bigger than I thought a Riddler Trophy would be at 19 x 4 x 5 inches / 49 x 10.5 x 13.25 cm (H x W x L). That's pretty damn tall! Heaven knows where Batman stored them all...or how Eddie managed to fit them in all the places he hid them!

You can also buy a pink / red Catwoman trophy too!

There will only be 440 green Batman trophies made (hehe in-joke) and 100 pink Catwoman trophies. I suppose since the pink ones will be rarer I should of got a pink one...but Edward Nygma's my fictional crush not Selina Kyle...and I wanted a green one XD

Before you go, "OMG Rachel - what a waste of money!" I never spend this much on myself (and was feeling down) so I figure when something comes along that you really really want and you know will make you really really happy be it a Chanel dress, a BMW car, a piece of Kobe beef or a Riddler trophy...get it!

Check out more details of how to get your own at Triforce's official website.

Hit or Sh*t

Not a zubox film I wrote but definitely my favourite so far...and it's interactive! Yay! Way forward I hope!

Share with all your peeps!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

2000 Hits?! Thank you!

Wow guys! That's another 1000 hits in less that three months! Thank you! I'm ill at the moment so seeing this really cheered me up. I'll try and continue to post content that you enjoy - please do leave a comment if there is something in particular you like - and when my writing becomes more in demand I'll be able to post more about that too.

As a thank you here is a preview of something I work on in between writing. Because I don't know when I'll finish it I'll share the 'work in progress''ll give you something to look forward to maybe lol

The song is 'Where is My Mind' (by the Pixies) covered by Placebo.

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