Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Tallest Man on Earth
By Daniel Linnell

Kristian Matsson is the artist that is better known as "Tallest Man on Earth".  His work has demonstrated the power of imaginative lyrics that blends his stream of consciousness into a form that connects readily with the human spirit.  The undulating folk music that is inspired by American singers such as Woodie Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Johnny Cash.  Even though he grew up in Sweden with a culture that had roots closely connected to American music, it is clear that his true inspiration comes from those that he is nearest and dearest to.  His home in a remote village in Sweden where he writes and records his music along provides some of the scorching insights that conjure so easily.  Its not hard to see where else he finds strength to make such moving performances when he has his companion, muse, and wife Amanda Matsson on stage singing by his side.

While he started playing classical guitar at fifteen, he has obviously strayed away from the cut and dry, cookie cutter style of music and has gravitated toward a system of open tuning which has allowed him to articulate his poetic styling's while still intricately finding his own voice.  That voice that seems to have matured since his first album, "Shallow Grave" has now added several different types of back-up instrumentation that give depth and vitality to his voice and acoustic guitar which alone provided his music before his latest album, "There is no Leaving Now".  Along with instrumentation he seems to have found themes that are more developed, cleaner, and well polished.

This website shows you a look at where the artist originated, or better yet gives you the reader a feel for some of the earlier work that established Tallest Man on Earth before he became well known.  But well known he became and his unique voice and poetic smatterings are what landed him where he is today.

This next website is a description from his current American label that his was picked up by after his first album, "Shallow Grave".  I think this is a great website to look at to generate even more context to this artist who toured independently during the beginning of his career.  It also gives you a bit of information regarding where he started to be able to play and what venues began to recognize this artist as someone who was really making a name for himself and why.

This little article that may seem unsubstantial to many of the readers really does a great job of giving deep insight into who the artist is and maybe why some of his music has such dark themes.  Not to mention it gives him context for what gives him some of his inspiration and a true look at who the artist is.

Above are some of his favorites by NPR and mine too!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Rascal Flatts

Rascal Flatts
This website includes links to different sections of Rascal Flatts fan base including: news, events, bio, media, fan club, street team, store, rewind
This is a section on the country music television page that is devoted to Rascal Flatts. This includes numerous videos and pictures from their concerts as well as a short bio of the group.
This is a website devoted to the new news about Rascal Flatts and their upcoming tours.

Rascal Flatts are my favorite musical artist of all time. They have ben my favorite artsiest since sophomore year in high school. Honestly, you think as I got older, my taste in music would change, but it hasn’t. I do not veer get tired of all the harmony and the crazy riffs they come up with as a musical group. Rascal Flatts are unique in that they have many songs that are slow and rhythmically consistent, and then they also have songs that are extremely upbeat and catchy. To this day, I still hear their songs from a year ago on the radio. They are popular, compelling, and successful musicians. Rascal Flatts are a group of artist who draws in and responds kindly to a large variety of people. Their music appeals to everyone and is incredibly relatable, which is exactly what it takes to be a successful musician these days.  Their motto in life and especially in regards to their career is "our goal now is to be better than we were yesterday." I think this is portrayed in their variety of music as well as their desire to appeal to a large audience and range of ages. Rascal Flatts have won musical awards every year since 2000 except for 2001. That is incredible.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

     Tokujin Yoshioka

By Amanda Newton

This is the artist’s general website, featuring news regarding recent exhibitions along with information about  numerous pieces. Found within are examples of Yoshioka’s works and his personal profile, discussing the wide variety of mediums that he utilizes; ranging from architectural design to installations and exhibitions.

This page provides links to articles pertaining to Yoshioka’s work dating as far back as December of 2003. Most of the relevant news regarding exhibitions, interviews with Yoshioka, articles that explore further into the creation of his pieces and technical aspects as well as the intent behind the works are all provided through the different links.


This site is another way of looking into Yoshioka’s recent works. It is a news website that highlights more of the major pieces and exhibitions that the artist has been a part of in recent years. Each of the articles provides a brief, technical description of the piece.

Tokujin Yoshioka encapsulates what I believe it means to be a relevant artist in modern times. He places no boundaries on what he will create; he is an author, graphic designer, architectural designer and product designer as well as working in exhibition installations. He has worked with numerous high-end companies ranging from car companies like BMW to fashion designers. He is well recognized in the community and has received many awards for art and design and has works displayed within permanent collections at several museums around the world (including the Museum of Modern Art in New York). However, it is not his high levels of success that make him so important in my eyes. Yoshioka experiments with sensory perception and breaks barriers for the way we participate with art. Like in experiencing his 2010 interactive installation entitled Snow, the observer feels that he or she is witnessing a snow storm around them, reminding them of the “snowscape of our memories and the beauty of nature which often exceeds our imagination,” (quoting his website). 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pink Floyd has always been one of the most interesting bands to me. Every song they've ever written, every album, has something that everyone can relate to. Pink Floyd was made up of Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, Richard Wright, and David Gilmour. They first gained popularity in London in the late 1960's and then started becoming more popular with American audiences. Barrett left the band in 1968 and Waters and Gilmour became the primary songwriters and singers.

There most popular albums are The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), The Wall (1979), and The Final Cut (1983).

this is the official site of Pink Floysd, and gives extensive history and information about the artists, albums, and tours.

this site gives a complete analysis of The Wall album and movie. It goes through every scene and lyric in the movie and album and connects it back to the artists.

an article discussing the possible meanings, motives, and stories behind The Dark Side of the Moon.

The Paintbrush Warrior

        Mark Henson

Few artists can parallel Mark Henson's talent with a paintbrush. His images challenge the viewer at the deepest of levels through erotic, provocative and rebellious images. Much of his artwork centers around dichotomies (such as nature and civilization, wealth and poverty) and highly suggestive sexual postures. As an artist, he is constantly challenging the observer to see beyond the preconceived notions of society and culture to see the beauty, purity and wonder of nature. Henson's views on war, society, religion, sex and other tabooed issues are made clear through the passionate pieces he has made. Because of his innovation, control and manipulation of color, style and technique, and conviction, Mark Henson's work will endure throughout the ages.

The March of Progress
This is a site created and maintained by the author himself. It explores his inspiration, photographs of his work, upcoming projects and much more.

Mark Henson is interviewed as a participant in the Alchemeyez Art Show in Hawaii. He shares his views and ideas about artwork and his inspiration behind his own.

                                             This is a 3:30 minute slideshow of Mark Henson's work. Many of his most extraordinary works are included in this collection. 

New Pioneers
Callie Norman

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Beethoven has always been one of the most fascinating artists to me. Though he wasn't born deaf, he became deaf at such a  tender age that he had no way of truly comprehending the way sound interrelates. Yet, he did anyways. He understood sound in a way that very few have ever understood, and with a disability that would be assumed greatly inhibiting to such an art. I have lived with a lot of adversity in my life and I admire Beethoven for not letting life get the best of him and his passion. Fur Elise was actually the first song I learned to play on both the guitar and piano, and since Beethoven couldn't hear, I learned to play them without sheet music. I wanted to feel what he felt. Interestingly enough I did better figuring it out on the guitar than the piano. His music has such emotion and this has led to a reputation of being quite eccentric.

This is the man:
Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler
Joseph Carl Stieler in 1819-20

The following site is pretty comprehensive and gives a lot of information from his compositions, to his students. It is a great reference:
This site gives an extensive tutorial of everything having to do with Beethoven that could be digitally preserved. From songs to his signature. It is a fascinating site. Check it out.

For a simple chronological list of his compositions check out this site:

Martha Graham

Martha Graham is the Picasso of Modern Dance.

(Martha Graham, photo by Barbara Morgan, 1940)

Martha Graham was an American modern dancer and has been considered as the mother of modern dance. She was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, on May 11, 1984, and died at 96 years old (April 1, 1991). Modern Dance was a new style of dance in 20th century, and because it was different from ballet, people see her dance as ugly. However, she didn't give up because she believed she was chosen to be a dancer. In her dance, we can see a lot of different contraction, release, spiral, skipping and leaping, which created an intensely emotional performances.
I have been dancing different types of dance for couple years, and I found modern class is the most interesting to me. There are a lot leaping and contraction which I wasn't used to in the beginning, but after a while, all those movements help me to express my feeling more which I was impressed. Additionally I agree that dancing should be an art to express emotion, and when I was dancing, it made me feel free.

(credit: Dance Studio 101)

Heretic by Martha Graham
In this video, the first contraction you can see was Martha was wearing a white dress and other dancers wore black dress as black wall.

Acts of Light by Martha Graham
In this video, Martha Graham choreographed the dance and through the leaping and spinning to create a dance with hope.

Diversion of Angels by Martha Graham Dance Company
Until today, modern dance is still growing base on Martha Graham. Her dance company re-perform the dance "Diversion of Angels" in 2010.

Andrea Gibson

Andrea Gibson, Poet/Activist:

Andrea Gibson is an artist I often share to those asking for new influences for their ears, which I often provide with a warning label that her style is not for those who can’t stand the truth. Andrea describes her style perfectly in her interview with the Colorado Springs Independent as “comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable”.
Andrea speaks on issues from LGBTQ issues, to politics, and everything in between including white privilege, war, and bullying, in a way that moves the soul. I was first hooked on Andrea Gibson when I heard her poem Wasabi, which led me to listening to further works of hers including For Eli and Blue Blanket; both poems of which moved me in a way I could not begin to explain.
Andrea’s raw truths come out in her poems with little sugar coating, for example when speaking on the war in ‘For Eli’, Andrea states, “fuck your yellow ribbons; you want to support our troops? Then bring them home, and hold them tight when they get here”, and this is only one small passionate statement she has to make. Andrea Gibson’s biography page is straight to the point that she is “not gentle with her truths”, and highlights her activism on “war, class, gender, bullying, white privilege, sexuality, love, and spirituality”. The bio goes on to quote others thoughts and opinions on Andrea Gibson’s work. Andrea discusses the topic of stage fright in this article and her personal way of dealing with it by dancing, specifically to 80’s music, ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ being one of her favorites. Andrea gives an authentic interview in this article, speaking on what motivates her, her activism, and life in general. When asked what inspired her to write, she states, “Anything that makes my heart race I write about. Anything that makes my stomach hurt. Anything that keeps me awake at night. Anything that makes me want to stay in bed for a week. Anything that makes we wish I could play a musical instrument. Anything that makes me want to move to Canada.”

Stephen "tWitch" Boss

Harper&I Dance Center and tWitch 
24Seven Dance Convention 

Stephen “tWitch” Boss is an extremely inspiring freestyle hip hop dancer from Montgomery, Alabama who is best known for his extensive time spent with So You Think You Can Dance; participating in the competition, becoming an All Star, judging, going on tour, and choreographing for current contestants. From the moment I saw tWitch dance I was inspired. I grew up doing competitive gymnastics through my senior year in high school, but the floor exercise was always my favorite event because I loved to dance. Most of what I learned about dance at the time came from the TV show, So You Think You Can Dance, which introduced me to various styles of dance, countless routines choreographed by world-renowned choreographers, and performances by astounding dancers. After high school, I stopped doing gymnastics and took up dance when I arrived at Western Washington University. The past few years have been an amazing start to my dancing career as I have joined a studio downtown called Harper&I Dance Center, taken many contemporary and hip hop classes, started to teach dance classes at the studio, auditioned and made Western Washington University’s Hip Hop Dance Team, performed at numerous shows in Bellingham and the greater Seattle area, and competed in the 24Seven Dance convention in March 2014. Dance can be a very intimidating hobby to take up when you are nineteen years old because most serious dancers have been training their entire lives. Thus, the reason why tWitch is such an inspiration in my life is because he was purely a freestyle dancer until sixteen, when he started taking dance classes, exploring new styles, and turned his hobby into a lifestyle. So, tWitch’s journey was encouraging for me and pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and overcome the intimidation, self-doubt, and fears I felt when I started to dance, which allowed me to pursue my passion with full force. During the 24Seven dance convention and competition, I got the honor of taking class and learning choreography from tWitch himself. He is an extremely positive role model with powerful advice. Throughout his classes, he taught me to never give up on my dreams, to be confident with my dancing without worrying about anyone judging my movement, and no matter how far I go to “never stop learning”. 

Stephanie Harper and tWitch 
24Seven Dance Convention 

This site includes an overview of tWitch’s journey to become a dancer, including a list of choreographers he has worked with, the films and shows he has been featured in, and several other successes. This is the site of one of the many conventions tWitch works at to help teach and inspire young dancers.
One of the areas tWtich is passionate about is helping low-income families integrate dance into their lives. He is one of the Board of Directors for the Dizzy Feet Foundation, and this site provides information about the foundation’s mission along with each of the individuals involved in the cause.
This site includes a list of the films and TV shows tWtich has been a part of, pictures of him within these roles and dance performances, and a great autobiographical video of his personal journey to becoming a famous dancer.

Kherington And Twitch-Contemporary
This is a video of one of the contemporary routines tWtich performed when he was in the So You Think You Can Dance competition. It displays his versatility as a dancer because it is a large step away from his signature hip hop style.

Fik-Shun and Twitch Hip Hop "Hello Good Morning" Finale Performance SYTYCD Season 10
This is a video of tWitch performing in the most recent season of So You Think You Can Dance with the winner of the season, Fik-Shun, displaying his talent within the hip hop genre. 

Cyrus and Twitch Animation "Like A Criminal" So You Think You Can Dance Season 9
This dance displays tWitch’s signature style of popping and ticking which has inspired upcoming dancers like Cyrus and many others. It also introduces Christopher Scott, a well-known hip hop choreographer. 

Antoni Gaudi

My own personal photo of the Sagrada Familia from the base

Antoni Gaudi was born in 1852 and is best known for his modernism and individualized style when it comes to architecture. After visiting Gaudi’s biggest project, Le Sagrada Familia Cathedral on my trip to Spain I was amazed by the monstrosity standing before me. When Gaudi took over the project he completely changed the original plans to reflect his passions of nature and religion. When Gaudi died, only one of eighteen towers were finished along with the apse and crypt. But he left behind plans and drawings for the generations to come to finish it, in which he included the expected changes of styles over the years. I think what is so amazing to me is the fact that throughout his life and construction of the cathedral Gaudi was changing his own plans often to make every detail exactly how he wanted it to be, each tower, fruit carving and all the intricate designs represent something significant to him. It, along with all his other creations are left behind for everyone to enjoy and a huge symbol to remember the impact Antoni Gaudi had on architecture in his time.

1. This first link has background detail on Antoni Gaudi’s life and how he changed the face of architecture in the late 19th and early 20th century. It also includes descriptions of the main properties in Barcelona built by Antoni Gaudi which includes gardens, sculptures, decorative arts and architecture.

2. This link goes into more detail on Gaudi’s seven main landmarks around Barcelona, and even provides tour options to visit all his buildings in one trip.

3. Lastly, this link highlights in detail Le Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Gaudi’s biggest and most amazing project, which is still in the process of being built after 100 years.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


(photo credit to sailorwahey - Flickr)

Growing up as a non-native English speaker, Westlife was one of the biggest inspirations and played a significant role in my learning process. They were at their peak in the 90s and 2000s, with the original line-up consisted of Nicky Byrne, Kian Eagan, Mark Feehily, and Shane Filan until Brian McFadden joined the group in 1998. Their emphasis was mainly Pop ballads, though they sometimes tried Jazz and Pop-rock. Apart from singing, the band was also gave a lot to charities. Their remastered song "I Have a Dream" collaborating with Indonesian singer Sherina Munaf was used to support a UNICEF fundraiser. They were also involved in the Helping for Haiti charity, Comic Relief, and the Irish Blood Transfusion Service. I remember hearing their lively Pop songs wherever I went, and in those days, it was really a shame for even asking who Westlife was. Then I came to the U.S and it surprised me that the band did not make that much of reputation in the country, except for their one hit single "Swear It Again."It broke my heart the day they went their separate ways in 2012, but the influence of this one-of-a-kind Irish boyband is still with me up until this day.

The Official Site Westlife
This is the official website of the band where you'll find their biography, as well as more photos, and if you find the band interesting, there is a music store also.

Westlife Fanpage
What's the best way to get connected with the band other than their Facebook fanpage? Though the actual group is separated, each member is having his own projects and albums. They can never stop singing! To get the latest updates or even just a quick glance at all the silly things they're doing, this website is the place to go.

Westlife VEVO on Youtube
This is the Youtube link to the band's VEVO where you'll get to listen to their songs and videos.

Hope you'll enjoy their music and find them as inspirational as I did!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Michael Bublé

My favorite singer is Michael Bublé because he has a velvety, smooth, full voice. He also sings in a genre of music that I really enjoy. Swing/jazz music is a favorite of mine. I enjoy the big band sound as well as the fun charisma that is brought by swing, soulful music. Most of his songs are remakes of older songs made by similar artists that Michael Bublé is inspired by, such as Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. Some people have a problem with the fact that he does not write much of his own music, but I like hearing his new takes on classic songs because he adds a modern twist to them. I went to his concert in 2011 at the Key Arena and that made me much more impressed with him as an artist because he was interactive with the crowd even though there were thousands of people. His concert was also very personable because he would make numerous jokes and tell personal stories. 

This is his official website where you can find touring dates, news, and even personal pictures he posts of his family and band. 

This website talks about where Michael Bublé is from and how he grew up. It also explains how he got into music and how he started his career.

There are many of his most popular songs and videos on this website for people to watch and listen to freely. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Elton John

Elton John was one of the most popular musicians of the 20th century. I grew up listening to Elton with my parents, and there has always been a very nostalgic feeling left behind every time his music is played. His music is amazingly beautiful and inspiring to say the least. The way he puts his whole self into the piano when he plays and sings his perfectly crafted songs.  He has done so much inspiring work for the search for a cure for AIDS including starting the Elton John AIDS Foundation which is working towards an “AIDS Free Future!”. I love the way that he embraced his fabulous bisexual (later to come out as a gay man) nature and went all out in everything he did, always putting on an incredibly elaborate show. Elton was and still is a British singer, pianist, composer and has even has his success on Broadway, composing the music score for Billy Elliot. He has sold more than 250 million records and continues to be a huge inspiration for many people around the world.

This is the official site of Elton John. Here you can see videos of his live performances, be updated on the most recent Elton news, buy Elton memorabilia, see his upcoming tour dates and much more. On his home page, it showcases the recent news headlines, which include Elton John’s name, the list leading off with “Elton Sings at Breast Cancer Research Foundation Gala in New York City” which raised a whopping $5.2 million.

This is the official website of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Mateus Balion: Creating an AIDS Free Future. Here you can click through an interactive map of the world to get more information on what is being done to help prevent the spreading of AIDS/HIV all around the globe. Each website allows donations to be made toward the foundation for those who are feeling generous and want to contribute. Also included on each site is an “About EJAF”, “FAQ” and “CONTACT” options, so those who would like further information have the ability to ask any question they please.

This website gives you everything you have ever needed to know or could ever need to know about Elton John. It gives you brief history of his early life, early career, stage presence and sexuality.  You can go into depth learning about his awards and achievements, his recent projects and even his personal life.  This site is full of really interesting fun facts and pictures of Elton at all ages as well.

Hieroglyphics - From '93 'Till

I've listened to a variety of music, but mostly spent my life listening to rap; with a variety of influences from 70's and 80's artists such as Al Green, Chicago, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and a few others more-recently. Regardless, I've found Hieroglyphics to be my overall favorite composers of individual and group constructed albums. (Second place- Cool Calm Pete.) They have such a unique combination of beats: capable of delivering a softer rap style with a smooth, warming delivery-- all the way to the powerful, divine, raw, kind-of philosophical style of rap with jump-in-your-face, grooving-on-your-feet, kind of beats! (I always get so excited when I talk about them.) I find their lyrics, delivery, capability of unthinkable rhyme-bending combinations-- thus creating these pristine, poetic flows where you must maintain focus to fully appreciate their art of style. Even without much focus, I am still rather fascinated and entertained.

Founded in the early 90's, the group has added members over the years and thus officially formed in 1997. They are based in Oakland, California rappers being composed of Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Casual, 4-man group De La Soul, Pep-Love and Domino. Their most successful and emerging album is Third Eye Vision released in 98', but I really like their Full Circle album, and even their new one, The Kitchen released in 0'13, has some highlighters in it as well.

Their most commercially successful and maybe recognizable song featured in an old, skateboarding video-game commercial. This is their more "raw" style.

More on the softer side, yet still has a "punch" to it at times, it's a heartfelt song with a beautiful tone set for it by multiple, unique and powerful deliverer's from different rappers.

Friday, May 2, 2014


Rihanna is such an inspiration and role model to me because knowing the numerous hardships she has gone through, and how she always comes out on top is absolutely inspiring to me. Also, a majority of her songs have depth and meaning to them that everyone can relate to. Personality wise she is very bold and isn't afraid to speak her mind which is like my personality. She is one amazing performer and when she came to the Key Arena, it was a sold out show and one of the best concerts I have gone to. Rihanna carries her head high and spends hours and hours in the recording studio perfecting her songs and the hard work has definitely paid off.

“We Found Love” made history as Rihanna’s 11th #1 hit on the Hot 100, and her 20th Top 10 hit. At age 23, Rihanna became the youngest artist in Billboard chart history to earn 11 Hot 100 #1 hits. 
• As reported by, she collected her 20 Hot 100 Top 10 singles faster than any other solo artist, six years and four months.

"Biography." RIHANNA DAILYCOM Biography Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.      <>. 

This website is very informative on the early childhood of Rihanna, and how she paved her road to fame. She went through a rocky childhood with her parents arguing and such and with her dad having an addiction to cocaine. After the storm there's always a rainbow, which was true for Rihanna as she was signed with Def Jam Records when Jay-Z saw the talent in her immediately after she walked in the room. The website then goes on to explain the releases of all her other albums and top hits. The site is updated daily. 

"Bio - Rihanna." Rihanna. Rihanna, Roc Nation, 2014. Web. 02 May 2014. <>.

This is the most informative and reliable website on the artist Rihanna, because it's her official page. Although no new information has been published in her bio in a few years, from 2005 to 2011 there is lengthy information on what happened in her singing career for each year including what songs became hits and awards she had won for her music. The site also has her music videos, press information and lyrics to all her songs along with tour information and much more. 

"Rihanna Bio | Rihanna Career." MTV Artists. Viacom International Inc., 2014. Web. 02 May 2014. <>.

This website is mostly composed of facts about Rihanna's songs. The facts include what songs topped the chart and for how long they remained at the top, the number of albums that were sold for each of Rihanna's albums that were released, and the hundreds of music awards she has won worldwide. In addition, there is a small summary of her early childhood and the main events in her music career.

 -Alaina Goodey