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

Don't Need Sleep to Dream.

Top - My Mom's
Beanie - Secondhand
Leggings - My Friends
Earrings - My aunt made them
Shoes - Jeffery Campbell 

Just a chill outfit for the weekend. I shot again with my absolutely brilliant friend Ashley DeHoyos. She's so talented that it is abso-freakin-lutely insane. You can check out her blog HERE.  It really wasn't cold at all yesterday, but I just got back into town today and the temperature has been dropping so I'm expecting it to be cold tomorrow. Finally! Ha ha. I love having summer weather in the winter, but its super abnormal! To anyone that says that climate change is a myth I'd like them to come down to Texas and experience our 77 degree weather!

I got this shirt from my mom when she was cleaning out her closet over the break. I really love the 80's vibe it has. My friend let me borrow her leggings right before the break and I have yet to give them back... I know I have to, but I love them so much! I'll guess I'll just break down and buy a pair ha ha.

I've been listening to alternative music while I've been back home. Rock and alternative were what I mainly listened to in high school and I think being back home makes me relive those days. I stumbled across this brilliant artist Zella Day on my little music escapade and I seriously love everything that she sings. Each song is so original and has a carefree vibe. My favorite song so far is "No Sleep to Dream". It's a lovely song with a catchy melody, and listening to it just makes me want to spin around in a slow circle and dance. If you have a second please check it out here. :] Hope everyone had a lovely Saturday! 


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."
Location: Huntsville, TX

One Man’s Trash, that's Another Man’s Come-up.

These last couple of weeks have been insane with midterms and projects popping up left and right. Thank goodness we're about to get this week off for Thanksgiving break! I shot with my friend Logan Hickle this weekend. He's a really talented photographer and he takes some seriously amazing pictures. You can check out his badass blog HERE. We shot in the downtown area at a bunch of different spots, but it was brilliant to just walk around and take pictures. For once it was kind of cold for Texas, so I dressed accordingly. The 'jacket' I'm wearing is really a shirt that's made of flannel so it keeps me really warm. I'm in love with all of the different colors :] I got it from a local thrift shop in town, I think it cost me a whopping twenty-five cents ha ha. Another thing that I'm really into right now are bracelets that are attached to rings. I got mine from Mr. Kate via Nasty Gal a little bit ago and every time I wear it I always get compliments on it.

On a side note: I really want to do a bunch of DIY stuff for my blog over the break. I do a bunch of projects on my own and I just keep forgetting to document them! So, over the break I'm hoping to take the time and photograph my most recent projects ♥

I heard the song "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis a couple of weeks ago and I am in love with it. I feel like he's talking about my life! Going thrift store shopping all the time, and getting all excited over what you find. The only problem that I have with the song is the references he makes to fur coats and hats (I am extremely anti-fur and a 10 year vegetarian) which is why I haven't purchased the song...but that's a story for another time. You should definitely check out the song HERE. The guy looks absolutely nothing like I thought he would...in a refreshing way! Hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday!!

hat / secondhand
jacket / secondhand
leggings / my friend's
bracelet / nasty gal

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".