Mélissa Laveaux’s Postman

We need to see, hear, and experience more art of this caliber. Every single day. Check out these fresh visuals illustrating singer and guitarist Mélissa Laveaux’s latest tune.

Mélissa Laveaux • Postman from Terence Nance • Terence Etc. on Vimeo.

back in the day: The Prodigy “Breathe”

This song was released in 1996, and it still bangs 17(!) years later.

The Revival & B.Steady

Back in October, I had the honor of traveling to eight cities in nine days documenting The Revival 2012 poetry tour along with Sekiya Dorsett of Making Chaos. It was an overwhelming and life-altering journey.

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Driving and filming non-stop, cross-country, in a small van with six other women was both exhausting and exhilarating. I learned sooooo much on the fly, was introduced so many new people, and walked away from the experience with a stronger sense of self. The Revival inspired and challenged me every. single. day. We’re now knee-deep in the post-production phase of the film, prepping for the edit, and planning for the release. There’s still a long road ahead, but be sure to keep up with the project by clicking here.

One of the artists whose work I truly admired, was my travel mate and a star in the documentary, Be Steadwell a.k.a. B. Steady, a singer, songwriter, and filmmaker from D.C. B was extremely shy in front of the camera when the tour kicked off, but slowly blossomed and held her own as an amazing woman with a distinct voice and point of view. It was a pleasure to witness and capture her transformation on film. By the end of the tour, I had all of her songs memorized, and didn’t mind having each of them stuck in my head long after we’d said goodbye.

I saw this short profile/interview video that she created about her sound and her purpose. Simply put, B. Steady is a glowing talent who makes honest music that you’ll easily fall in love with.

Check her out…

thank you to J. California Cooper

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This month, I would like to curtsy and high-five some of the artists who have inspired me, and women like me, with their commitment to honesty and self-expression.

J. California Cooper. Author, Playwright, and One of the Slickest Word Magicians of All Time.

Thank you for your voice. Your language feels and sounds like home. Your words are electric with a dash of humor. You’ve mastered how to bend, stretch, and shape your characters into personalities that feel all too real. Reading your short stories taught me how to dream up a character, jump into their skin, and narrate a story around them that reads almost like a conversation. This story from the 30-day Writing Challenge that I completed with my brother was inspired, in part, by you. You are truly a storyteller.

my dream show lineup

About 80 percent of the posts on this blog are devoted to music, from old classics to new obsessions.

I can’t help it. Music just happens to be one of my favorite things to experience and write about. Plus, there are so many talented independent musicians out there (check the archives on this site!), that it’s hard to contain my excitement and not geek out when I come across a new band with music that speaks to my inner (and outer) quirky girl.

Thinking about last year’s all-ladies lineup at the Tinderbox Music Festival in NYC, I thought…

Which artists would I want to see share the stage at an indie music fest?

I thought about it, and it was a pretty simple decision. If I could assemble a dream-team of bands to perform, these out-of-this-world musicians would get top billing:

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(Lame flyer made using the extremely awkward site, FlyerLizard.com)

Can you imagine a lineup like this? I can. Each of these artists are very different and have developed their own sound and flair, but that’s what would make a show like this interesting. A hodgepodge of alternative music goodness. I’m getting excited just thinking about it. Dreams do come true, right?

Enough of my nerdy rambling. Who would you add to your dream show lineup?

girl crush: Sonjia Williams

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On Saturday, I grabbed my camera and hit up the Project Runway Designer Reunion Party for Fashion Week thanks to the super talented filmmaker, editor, and my personal video guru, Sekiya Dorsett of Making Chaos. The goal was to help Sekiya shoot some sizzle reel footage for a former show contestant, and I. had. a. blast.

Here’s where I should tell you that Project Runway is my favorite show. I don’t know the first thing about fashion (and don’t even own a TV), but I’ve been watching the show since Season 1, and love the suspense as each cast of characters whips up creative and funky concepts on the fly. It’s reality TV at its best, and being in a room filled with my favorite contestants was like being surrounded by all of my favorite Disney characters. (I think I giggled the entire night.)

Season 10’s Sonjia Williams, one of the show’s coolest and most memorable designers, showed up and joined us for a paparazzi-inspired photo op:

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Sonjia was so sweet that, of course, I had to do some proper cyber-digging to find some pics.

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How fly is she? All images of Sonjia were jacked from her blog, hauteandlow.blogspot.com. Check her out, follow her work, and keep your eye on this young designer.

thank you to Octavia Butler

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This month, I would like to curtsy and high-five some of the artists who have inspired me, and women like me, with their commitment to honesty and self-expression.

Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006). Author and Otherworldly Genius.

Thank you for your immense imagination. Your words constructed alternate realities and reshaped our image of the past and of the future. Your stories, always led by powerful black women, put us at the forefront and gave us the freedom to decide our own destiny–in fantasy as well as in life. Your legacy continues.

“I just knew there were stories I wanted to tell.”
Octavia E. Butler

delicious tunes: Wishes and Thieves “Let You In”

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Check out these new visuals from Concrete Orchid fave, Wishes and Thieves.

Singer Jolanda Porter’s sultry voice buoyed by a sticky beat and guitar riff combine into a really sweet track. Their music is so cool!

words of wisdom: see it to believe it

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girls are not chicks

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I bought this coloring book from PM Press for my nieces a few years ago. Not sure if the girls ever got around to actually coloring the book (I hope I didn’t scare off my brother and sister-in-law), but it’s still a great concept.

Girls Are Not Chicks is a subversive and playful way to examine how pervasive gender stereotypes are in every aspect of our lives. This book helps to deconstruct the homogeneity of gender expression in children’s media by showing diverse pictures that reinforce positive gender roles for girls.

Color the Rapunzel for a new society. She now has power tools, a roll of duct tape, a Tina Turner album, and a bus pass!

Paint outside the lines with Miss Muffet as she tells that spider off and considers a career as an arachnologist!

Girls are not chicks. Girls are thinkers, creators, fighters, healers and superheroes.

Growing up, my understanding of femininity skewed more toward the damsel in distress than that of the superhero. (Which is probably why I appreciate women who make rebellious art and music so much these days.) It’s extremely important to start early, introducing girls to a range of options outside of the roles of princess, bride, and doll collector. Although, if they’re into those things, then that’s cool too. Books like Girls Are Not Chicks simply help start the conversation.

Take a look inside:

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Some of these little quips may go over a child’s head, but trust me, she’ll appreciate it when she’s older. Get the book here.