Grams of Gold.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUELb7231a79

September 25, 2015, Ottawa, ON – A brilliant amalgamation of electronic music and down-south flow, Big Grams is the brainchild of hip hop heavyweight Big Boi and rising star duo Phantogram. Reemerging in a big way after time spent away from his original super-duo Outkast, Big Boi, alongside Big Grams, offers up soulful hooks and anthemic underlays from team Phantogram, propelled forward by Big Boi’s boisterous bravado, ready at the helm.

Definitely worth every gram.

A World Run On Renewable Energy.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

greenenergySeptember 19, 2015, Toronto, ON – As byproducts of the industrial revolution, how can we ever commit to green-energy when everything that we do and continue to do is centered around the production and utilization of non-renewable resources?

Even in situations where “going-green” is the affable alternative, we are still caught in the paradox of utilizing non-renewable resources in order to erect and sustain these renewable sources of energy. Take for example windmills. An altruistic endeavor aimed at promoting a healthy planetary ecosystem, sure; however, what colour is the windmill? How did you drive the parts over in order to construct it? Were there any plastic pieces utilized during its construction? No? Then how about the rain boots that your manager wore in order to keep his feet dry?

By taking the analytical approach, we can see that no matter how far down we decide to reconstruct our culture, unless we are fully willing to put forth a drastic change with drastic consequences, we will forever be caught in the spin cycle of non-renewable energy. It’s just how our entire civilization has evolved in order to get to where we are today.

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Slowing down – not stopping – seems to be our only viable solution, as, if we are truly committed to making a serious change in this world, we must first ask ourselves: at what cost? Are we really ready and willing to give up our iPhones, internet, tea cups, oil paintings, fashion accessories, speaker systems, etc. cold turkey, just to ‘save our species’?

Though, from where I’m sitting, it kind of looks like slowing down may not be enough and quitting cold turkey seems a bit too unfavorable for the commonly complacent.

[photos via Google.]

Perspective is everything.

MY LIFE,

A VIDEO

G A M E.

When you really stop to think about it, all life is, is just one exceptionally elaborate video game. From school, to work, to play, to making money — all life relies on the same strategies as an RPG(*see: Role Playing Game), as we are much more than these avatars that we seemingly control. By viewing life in this manner, how then can we not be resourceful? During the hard times, maybe we’re just stuck on a level that we can’t yet quite overcome without a little bit of help. Perhaps in adopting this kind of mindset, we can each start to shift some of that tenacity that we hold for video games into our daily life.

Just remember: never give up; never surrender; and once in a while, be willing to put down that controller.

Venture Forth x Discover

/ //

With the advent of social media, when we die, all that will remain will be how we saw the world; each of us with our very own unique set of viewpoints and through our very own unique set of eyes.

Always maintain to push towards and venture forth & discover your own world — one that you tailor make to be just right for you.

In the end, no one can ever truly tell you that you were ever truly right or that you were ever truly wrong. Build your own passions, grow your own goals and establish your own set of beliefs. Find your own way of seeing the world, and just don’t forget to share it with the rest of us.

#STAY POSITIVE

#GET ACTIVE

#BE CREATIVE

The three main pillars for anyone wishing to lead a happy, successful and fulfilled life: Stay Positive,Get Active and Be Creative. These three tenants will help you to maximize your life-experience to the fullest! Adapt, experience, construct and always maintain to be nice to everyone that you meet.

You are worth it!

PandaArt

*note: yes, that’s a banksy panda.

Resonance through brick-work.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

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August 22, 2015, Toronto, ON – Life, in may ways, is a lot like breaking bricks. Seemingly mystical in nature, brick breaking has been a part of traditional and spiritual martial arts for eons. The act, however, is actually quite scientific. Tune in to the right frequency and anything will break.

I used to relish in the practice of breaking bricks. It was exciting, it provided instant feedback, and it offered up many lessons on working through distractions. The lessons learned through brick breaking are plentiful; as, when one is truly ready, even the rocks become the teacher.

Last night, I was afforded this opportunity once again, and, after not having practiced breaking in some time, I had to utilize my most direct form of feedback available to me: sound. You see, when hit properly, bricks make a specific sound when they’re ready to break. A pinging sound that lets you know you’ve hit correctly. No force, just frequency. The trick, then, becomes tuning in to that frequency, that feeling, even before landing your first strike. That way, the brick will always fall on your first go.

Life, in may ways, is a lot like breaking bricks.

In life, we are confronted with many obstacles; things that get in the way of our clarity and direction. Our sense of self belief and conviction. Our intuition and our persistence. Pain, in this case, serves as our obstacle during this exercise. The ability to clear our minds and not doubt our own ability to strike through while disregarding all other previous attempts is the key. There is nothing, really, but this present moment.

Then, there’s the ego. That feeling of ‘I’m not hitting hard enough’, so one ends up hammer the brick with as much force as humanly possible. Yet, the brick still won’t give. Like in life, forcing and fixing will not always work. We need to allow and accept, and make peace with what it is that we are doing. Never pushing for more, and only cleaning the slate whenever we feel like we’ve put in less. Life is about that ebb and flow. Not about forcing yourself upstream, but swimming in and between the current. As most of us know, forcing something to work will eventually leave us feeling burnt out. Or in this case, left with a swollen hand.

The key is frequency. The resonance of getting it just right. Listening, allowing and accepting what comes your way. Not attaching to failure, but basking in the afterglow of finally being able to tune in. You hit the brick and like in life, with minimal effort, everything just seems to go your way. The brick just falls and you’ve gotten exactly what you wanted. Life is a lot like this. When boiled down, life is simply a series of frequencies and vibrations that, when listened to carefully, allow anything to happen. We just have to find our own way of tuning in.

At first, with life and with bricks, we will naturally tend to overshoot. We will jump to ego. But only when we find that right sound, that right pitch, will we ever realize that: all life is vibrating around us at all times, and it’s just a matter of remembering to tune right in. Ultimately, it is we who make our own lives happen; our own choices, our own outcomes and our own beliefs. It is within us to decide what it is that we want ourselves to see and what we want to align ourselves with.

So, really, tuning in isn’t really all that mystical after all, it’s a natural process that we partake in daily; whether we’d like to or not. It’s life, the universe, that subtle hum that surrounds us, only to be realized when we actively sit still and abide in both the space and the silence.

No way!

A bag of rice and 24-hours later, to my amazement, Mr. Nikon has made a full and miraculous recovery! Who would have thought the old ‘stick it in rice’ trick for wet electronics really would have worked? But, I suppose, as the old saying goes – all shots never taken are always missed.

Welcome home, Nikon D5100. I look forward to many more shoots with you by my side.

… Too bad I accidentally wiped all the footage from before you took the plunge.IMG_9282

Goodnight, sweet prince.

A year and a half of service later, it’s finally time to wish good-game to my Nikon D5100 and all of our glorious adventures together. Going out in true fashion, my Nikon decided to take a plunge bottom-first into the lake as my slipper gave out while traversing around a rocky bend. Shorts, shirt and camera, all soaking wet, let’s see what this bag of rice has to offer…

Though, I suppose like TJ beating Barao for the second time, it looks like it’s time for a new era. Welcome, my new Canon photo series’.

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Uncool, Canon cameras, uncool…

Under a month in and my new Canon 70D got hit up with an irritating firmware glitch that not even the message boards of the internet could solve. My only option, send it in for repairs.

Sad to think that my Nikon D5100 lasted over a year and a half with heavy use, was purchased second-hand and still sustains no faults even to this day. Should have listened to Casey Neistat when I had the chance – Canon can be full of glitches; as my brand new 70D-self found out after only under a month of use.

C’est la vie. Such is life.

canonglitch

What do Taylor Swift and Blessthefall have in common? They’re both pretty awesome at the drop-beat.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL


July 1, 2015, Tonroto, ON – I know I’m a little late in the game on this one, but after listening to Taylor Swift’s 1989 on a drive up to Montreal, I had the opportunity to really examine and appreciate the eclectic brilliance of her latest CD.

From beginning to end, Swift’s album offers an extremely easy listen, with pop songs carrying diverse instrumentals that leave something for everybody. If you’re like me and you’re eclectic in your musical taste, this is an album definitely worth checking out.

My personal favourite, next to the driving hip hop-like bass and snare of ‘Bad Blood’, is ‘I Wish You Would’. Being partial to screamo, myself, I was amazed to hear a bit of a screamo-drop beat during the chorus of this anthemic track. Don’t believe me? Jump to 24-seconds of ‘I Wish You Would’ – pause – now jump to 34-seconds of Blessthefall’s ‘Witness’. MAGIC.


Pick up Taylor Swift’s new CD, 1989, wherever you get your music – you wont regret it.

A Blurryface of Awesome.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

Toronto, ON, May 30, 2015 – Uniquely juxtaposing cheery lyrics with somber visuals, the Twenty One Pilots continue to prove that they are a couple of melodic hit bangers with their new video for ‘Ride’.

Twenty-One

Blurryface_album_cover

Debuting their second full length album, Blurryface, the Twenty One Pilots continue in their pursuit to stylistically meld hip hop, electronic, pop, reggae, dance, emo and rock into a brilliant amalgamation that can only be heard to be described. From heart wrenching piano ballads like ‘Goner’, to 60’s dance-pop tracks like ‘Message Man’, to electronic pop-with-hip-hop-elements like their opening track ‘Heavydirtysoul’, the Twenty One Pilots single-handedly carve out a musical niche that anyone would have trouble fitting into just one box.

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Signed to the famed Fueled By Ramen, a record label that has put out other great artists like Paramore and Fall Out Boy, this millennial duo from Columbus, Ohio make listening to CDs from start to finish fun again – with each song gradually taking the listener on an auditory roller coaster filled with both upbeats and down.

Definitely worth its space in your digital library, you can download the Twenty One Pilots’ Blurryface on iTunes now.

photos via: Google.