Location: Los Angeles, CA

Gavin Turek: She's No One Trick Pony

Gavin Turek is definitely no one trick pony. The trained dancer, enchanting vocalist, and songwriter goes above and beyond what it means to be a triple threat. She's an unique individual whose musical talents and evolving style cannot be pigeon-holed into any one genre. Her song "Let Me Go" has an 80's vibe to it, yet when you listen to "One Trick Pony" it has an alternative, pop, Grimes-y feel to it. See, even I'm unsure of what genre to compare it to exactly, but that is what's so wonderful about her music. You can listen to any one of her songs and feel the raw emotion in her voice, relate to all the captivating lyrics, while having a dance party in your apartment at the same time. I got the chance to interview Gavin about her vibrant style and discover how she has evolved into the performer she is today.

Gavin Turek, 25
Los Angles, California

How did you first get introduced to music? What made you start writing?
My father plays the piano and my mother is a singer, so me and my sisters were exposed to music constantly since we were little girls. My parents had great taste so Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, Bob James, and Laura Nyro were always playing in our house. I remember driving in the car with the entire family working out harmonies and singing until we reached our destination. I was maybe 9 or 10 when I started writing songs with my sister. We took it very seriously and recorded all of our songs on a cassette tape.

You collaborated with TOKiMONSTA for several tracks on their Creature Dreams EP. What was it like working with them, and how is it different from working solo? Are there any plans for collaborations with other artists in the future?
Me and Jenn (TOKiMONSTA) met a few years ago over myspace...I know crazy. We barely ever complete a song in the same room or state for that matter, but our collaborations have always been very easy and organic. I am naturally inspired by her music, so lyrics and melodies come almost immediately. We worked on her upcoming album as well which will be released early next year. I would love to continue making music with her. Otherwise I think me and James Murphy from LCD Sound System, Greg Kurstin, and Justice all need to collab at some point....besides in my dreams.

Where were you or who were you with when you first heard “Little Pleasures” on the radio? What was your reaction?
I was driving, by myself, on my way home from work around 12 am when I heard "Little Pleasures" on KCRW. I think I screamed then broke out laughing. I was so happy. I definitely rolled all my windows down and blasted it. Was a good moment.

What has been your favorite performance so far? Why?
I recently completed a residency at The Central in Santa Monica in November. The last show we played was too a packed house and I felt so much genuine love from the audience. Their energy literally fueled me that night. I felt like I can run a mile after that performance because they gave me as much as I gave them.

What's on your iPod at the moment?
Lots of Little Dragon, Phoenix, Dirty Projectors, LCD Sound System, Lianna La Havas, Sanitgold, The Police.

Describe your personal style, its influences and inspirations. How is it different than everyone else’s?
I would describe my style as refreshing, vibrant, bold, and sometimes meek. I am not afraid to rock anything yet don’t feel the need to be over the top.

What’s in your wardrobe you can’t live without?
Little Black Dress.

A phrase you use too often?

What’s the best advice you've been given?
Be confident in your uniqueness.

What’s something people don’t know about you?
I still get nervous before I perform. My stomach flips and my hearts beats so fast. It sucks.

Be sure to check her out on: Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.

Hot Topic Thursday: Performance Artist Protests Animal Testing

I just learned about the LUSH Cosmetics campaign to STOP animal testing by cosmetic companies. I'd imagine that the majority of us don't think about animal torture when we put on our makeup in the morning. Animal torture and cosmetics are not two topics that go hand and hand. This is the precise reason that 24-year-old performance artist Jacqueline Traide, a vegan and animal rights activist, created a piece to make more people aware of the plight of these animals.

At the London location of LUSH Cosmetics, Traide underwent a multitude of shocking procedures in the stores window for close to ten hours. She subjected herself to being covered in lotions, having liquids squirted in her eyes, shaving her hair, being force fed among other things. She did all of this in front of hundreds of onlookers demonstrating the things laboratory animals - dogs, cats, chimps, bunnies, etc endure during testing. 

images via Facebook / Lush Limited Cosmetics
LUSH is a cruelty-free company with the mission of shocking and unnerving passerby's with the hope of getting them to understand the horror of animal testing. The majority of consumers are unaware of what goes on behind the scenes of the products they buy on a daily basis, and the beauty industry definatey takes advantage of this. In this day and age we have made so many groundbreaking discoveries in technology and science that it is unecessary to continue to test on animals.

LUSH's Fighting Animal Testing campaign has been very effective. They have over 700 stores across the US, Europe, Australia, South Korea, Russia and so on, and everyone is encouraged to sign the petition and join the movement. You can sign the petition here to demand an end to this frivolous practice. In addition, the Human Society campaign has a page where you can learn 10 ways to help animals in laboratories. It's never too late to try and make a differnce.

How did you react to her performance? Did you think it was too intense to watch? How do you feel about their awareness campaign, and do you think it was successful in alerting people to this issue?divider

Can't Stop Me Now!

I had been wanting to change up the website for awhile. Lucky for me we finally got our break for the holidays! Thank goodness for free time! I think the graphics took me a day or two to make? It was really the coding/photo-shopping that took me a bit. Some of the buttons kept coming out distorted so I kept tweaking things!

I moved the sidebar to the left and made buttons instead of just hyperlinking images :] I made my banner a little bit bigger too, and changed the portions of the blog. The best way I can describe it is that I tried to make my blog feel more homey/inviting. I wanted it to be a better expression of my personality! I think the new design is brilliant, although I know I'm going to be changing it again ha ha. I get bored easily and my mindset is always changing... Let me know what you think! If you have any suggestions just drop me a line. 

Anyways, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know I did (even though I'm a vegetarian). You would think that being the only vegetarian in my family for the last ten years would be difficult, but they have always been so supportive. I had everything! Mac&Cheese, Greens, Yams, Rolls, Cranberry Sauce, and a beautiful wildcaught fish that my sister cooked for me. It was so good and all the leftovers were even better today! ♥ 

The title comes from Afrojack, he's one of my favorite DJ's. I saw him live this summer and it was absolutely mind-blowing. Afrojack and Steve Aoki played a set together and it was so freaking amazing!! If you ever get the chance to see either one of them you need to. Before you die. Seriously. 

Oh! You can check out "Can't Stop Me Now"  here.

Miscellaneous Musings: Mademoiselle Maurice


The Princess & the Pea

images via Free People

"For the girl that feels like the little things in life should be cherished forever."

Artist You Should Know: Deep Sea Arcade

I learned about Deep Sea Arcade when I got one of their songs from iTunes free download of the week. I almost wasn't going to download the single "Girls" it because my computer was already running low on space, but in the end I just said forget it and I downloaded it anyway. Once I heard the song I was so glad that I did! I loved it! The catchy beat, and melody was all I needed to put a smile on my face. That's why I almost always download the free song of the week. The majority of the artists songs offered are really great. Did you know that Lana del Rey was a featured artist of the week? And now she's an international superstar! Never underestimate something just because it's free. It's probably better than you think!

Location: New York, NY

Surfing Safari

"Let's go surfin' now
Everybody's learning how
Come on and safari with me
(Come on and safari with...)
Early in the morning we'll be startin' out
Some honeys will be coming along
We're loading up our Woody
With our boards inside
And headin' out singing our song."
images via Teen Vogue
Location: Houston, TX

11 Ways to Become More Adventurous

I know that I didn't do the typical number of ten, but that's because I decided to do things a little differently. I've complied a list of things I think will help make you more adventurous! I've already tried each and every one of the things on the list this week. I ended up meeting new people, getting a little lost, discovering more about myself and now I have a bunch of new stories to tell! Go ahead and give it a try, just by reading this post means you've got a devious sense of adventure of your own. Go for it! You've got nothing to lose!

1. Drive or walk a different way home today – Get a little lost today and go on an alternative route to get to your destination. Sometimes when we take the road less traveled we discover new places, things or even people that we never knew were there before!

2. Go off the grid – Hang up and hangout. That's right. Try and go a full 24 hours without any technology. I know, I know that sounds insane but it can be surprisingly refreshing to be cordless. Give it a try and leave the gadgets at home. Instead of looking down at your iPhone screen take the time to look at your surroundings, you never know what you might be missing.

3. Give one compliment to someone you don’t know everyday this week – Often times the best way to create a new adventure is through meeting new people. Often times giving someone a compliment is a fantastic way to break the ice. Also, you can make new friendships just by asking where someone got that rad jacket or whatever it is that they're wearing. You never know, you two could have a lot in common!

4. Walk in the rain, and jump in all the puddles – Too many times when it rains people are too busy running away from the rain, trying not to get wet. Instead of running away, take the time to appreciate the rain. Kick off your shoes, grab your friends and go jump in as many puddles as you can find. Granted if it's 50 degrees outside or a hurricane is ripping apart your city this may not be the best idea. Make sure you use your best judgement.

5. Say yes whenever possible – It's just as easy as that. Say yes. Although, this is one rule where you have to say "yes" to something even when it's inconvenient. For example, if you would rather stay in and watch TV when someone invites you to go to a movie or an art gallery or something you can't say no just because you don't want to. On the other hand if someone asks you to help them steal something or hurt someone else then obviously this rule does not apply. It's a hard one to balance, but try your hardest to put yourself out there. I think you'll find that it's more fun to get out than it id to stay in.

6. Be spontaneous - Pack a weekend bag, a tent and go camping with your friends, or go on a trip that you've always wanted to go on. You only have this one life to live. If you keep putting things off because you plan on doing them one day, then you'll end up grey with a bunch of wishful thoughts. Take action now, because sometimes it gets harder to do the things you love as you grow older.

7. Talk to a stranger today – I don’t mean throw yourself at someone, or endanger your life by making rash decisions, but by meeting new people it's easier to kick start your adventure. Everyone has a different background that can teach you something new. Maybe the guy that sits across from you goes rock climbing every weekend. Perhaps your friends mom used to be a world class traveler. Get over your fear of making a fool out of yourself and start talking to people! What's holding you back?? Oh, they might be rude? Who cares? You'll probably never see them again. Besides, generally speaking people are nice when you are. Although, I would advise against being so gung-ho for the adventure show that you leave your common sense at the door. Be aware of your surroundings and take caution when necessary.

8. Make a bucket list – Make a list of all the things you've always wanted to do and then figure out how to make them a reality! It doesn't matter how silly you feel that these things on your list are. You're doing this for yourself and nobody else. At the end of the day it's you that is living your life. Not the people around you that try and dictate what you need to do with your life. Stop listening to the naysayers and start checking things off your list!

9. Wear a color you’d never think you would wear - This is one where you can really express yourself! Have fun with it! Even if it’s just wearing clown shoes or putting on something silly that you've always wanted to wear, but never had the guts to do so. Now is the time! Be brave and let loose!

10. Buy a cookbook and try making a new meal everyday for a week – Not only will this hone your cooking skills, but it will also give you a break from the monotony of the food you eat everyday and allow you to explore the food of other cultures. Go to the bookstore and pick up a book you think looks interesting. Don't have any money for a book? No excuse, you can always go to the library.

11. You know that one thing you've always wanted to try? Try it! – This post is all about being adventurous. Get out there! Climb that mountain you've been meaning to visit, go skydiving, or even just say hello to the girl/boy you think is cute. Any step is better than no step at all! Every person can teach you something new, so get out there!

Light Side of the Moon

images via Nasty Gal

"Fierce angels thrive in a total eclipse, basking in a brightness that never ends". 

Artist you should know: Iggy Azalea

I first heard about Iggy Azalea  from an article I read on Refinery 29 not too long ago. The article featured her style as a musician and asked her a few questions. I thought her style was on point and decided to look her up on Youtube. I wanted to see what genre she was in. Man was I in for a shock! The first song that came up was called "Pu$$y" and the next one was called "Murda Bizness." I was like "okayyyyy" and decided to try "Murda Bizness" and I thought I was going to hate it, but after the first few minutes I actually liked it. I couldn't believe how deep her voice was, but I legitimately liked the song. And the way the video was making fun of pageant girls, that was pretty finny too. She's probably going to go pretty far if she keeps this up.

Location: Houston, TX

Hangin' at the Scout Bar

This week has definitely been a time of learning and growing as an adult. I went to a friends show in Houston at the Scout Bar this Wednesday. I overheard this older guy (he was maybe thirty-six or so?) saying how he liked younger girls and he just couldn't wait to talk to them and sleep with them. It was so bizarre, I still can't believe that people think like that nowadays. Ageism is definitely a real concept and its such a shame that people discriminate against others for such a stupid reason. Not even 30 minutes later the guy comes over to me and starts chatting me up. He's all "oh how are you liking the show?" I'm like "you know its cool I just came to hangout" and then I told him my friend Jon, who was onstage playing at the moment, told me about the show. The guy's eyes practically lit up like he hit the jackpot or something. He starts to tell me how he's in a band too and asks me to Facebook him saying that he'll get me into all of the shows for free blah blah blah. Such a creep. I pretended to listen to the guy for like five more minutes before brushing him off and going back to enjoying the show.

The show was for Eve 6 and Everclear, if you're not sure who they are you should look them up they're both pretty wicked bands. Even though everyone in the room was in their 30's to 40's I still had a great time. Although, with me being a mere twenty-two years old (even though I've been told I look like I'm eighteen *sigh*) I definitely stuck out like a sore thumb. The Scout Bar had a really cool atmosphere and it was pretty awesome that the bar was smoke free with a pretty nice sound system. Eve 6's set was really good. It was cute because a couple next to me told me they met during on of their concerts in the 90's and they had been together ever since :]

Once Eve 6's set was over I went to go help the merch guy sell stuff because for one I was bored and two I was waiting to hangout with Jon haha. I thought it was pretty rad that the band was so nice. No matter how strange some of the fans were the band still treated them with respect. Which is huge! I've seen so many bands make fun of awkward people and quite frankly it makes me sick.

After all the fan stuff I got to hang out with my friend Jon in this little backstage room, but it was cool because all of the bands that played there signed the walls and stuff. We just drank and talked for while. I ended up meeting this one guy (who said his dad owned the House of Blues, but who knows if that was even true) and he really cracked me up. He kept saying how white my teeth were! He'd be like "what do you do to make your teeth look like that??" I'm like "I brush them everyday!" It was insanely hilarious, probably because of the alcohol, but we just laughed together.

Definitely a night to remember, as it's always fun meeting new people. Shout out to the Scout Bar and Eve 6 for a good show and a great time!
images via rockmomcolorpic
Location: Santa Monica, CA

Planetary Rose

"I see Your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside Your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say
You're beautiful

I see Your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
It's all proclaiming who You are
You're beautiful."
images via Planet Blue