Winter’s coming and I still don’t have broadband registered on my name. Yet, I have come out of hiding because I am simply dying to tell you what a f&*!#% great album Big Grams released. To outline why this is the best thing you’ll hear in 2015, however, I thought I should start with some background details..
Phantogram is an outstanding US duo, which is constantly redefining the art of music as we know it. Please note I am intentionally not mentioning any specific music genres here. It’s just that there is no point of me trying to label their sound because whatever I come up with, it would be utterly inaccurate. What’s so special about Phantogram‘s music is the way Josh ‘Mother-Fucking’ Carter (a.k.a. JMC because he obviously “makes so many fuckin’ dope beats“) and Sarah Barthel collaborate with each other. They’ve managed to fully sync their love for music and their ideas of what they should be doing, which enables them to create some absolute masterpieces.
I can talk about my endless love for these guys and how they embody everything I like about everything all day long but I feel like I’d be going off topic. So, let’s get back to Antwan Patton or André 3000’s “brother for life“, better known by his stage name Big Boi.
Unfortunately, I am no Big Boi expert but as far as I’m concerned – he will always be the man,.. the legend who reached out to Phantogram and initiated all this. History shows that one day Antwan woke up and heard some Phantogram, shared JMC’s killing beats on his website.. and one thing lead to another. Moral of the story is that Phantogram found themselves working on three songs for his album “Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors”, which left him wanting more.
Big Grams‘ EP, which features 7 songs, came out right when I was starting to get anxious about the fact that Phantogram have neither announced a new EP/LP nor some further tour dates for Europe. Not gonna tell you about that time I missed their London dates because that’s a truly painful story but hey-ho.. Good news is that right after I got all hyped up about Big Grams, Phantogram announced that III is coming. I must say that Big Boi and Phantogram did such a great job on their album that they managed to both satisfy my hunger for some real good music and leave me craving for more. Obviously, that’s what Sarah and JMC are particularly good at.
What impressed me straight from the beginning, however, was Big Grams‘ approach to launching their record. After laying low for quite some time, they kicked off by teasing us all on social media with short samples from the album. Each sample came out with its own trophy, which represented one of the seven deadly sins. Oh, yes.. and they even have their background stories, which you can check on their Tumblr page that’s been used for engaging with all the die-hard fans out there (including myself).
I. “Run For Your Lie” – Sloth
II. “Lights On” – Pride
III. “Fell in the Sun” – Envy
IV. “Put it on Her” – Lust
V. “Goldmine Junkie” – Greed
VI. “Born to Shine” – Gluttony
VII. “Drum machine” – Wrath
Needless to say, they’ve been killing it on Instagram and Twitter without making their Facebook page the holy grail of Big Grams updates. Interestingly, their website also didn’t serve this purpose because they came up with one helluva good integrated approach of talking to the right people at the right places instead. YouTube, iTunes and Spotify were a must but what surprised me is that they even came up with a game. A game! How better could it get???
Supergrams (e.g. the game) basically proved that this record was thought through from begging to end. The game allows you to play as an 8-bit member of the band to leverage the seven deadly sins by nabbing coins and power-ups, whilst avoiding various pitfalls along the way. You see what I mean?
They didn’t even miss out good old traditional media. This is when I realised Big Grams will be taking Phantogram’s game up to the next level. Why? We’re not talking popularity here. We’re talking strategy. So far the band has been maintaining a really strong relationship with alternative media such as Pitchfolk and Flood. However, this time around they premiered their album on Jimmy Fallon and kicked off their media campaign with a Huff Post interview. Did I stress enough they’ve been using videos a lot? Well, I most certainly enjoyed their live-chat sessions on Facebook.
There’s also Leroy (who’s the cutest morkie that ever lived on this planet). Because why the hell not?
However, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t talk music in this post. I’d say the album is flawless but I am still fighting my bias towards Skrillex. Yet, there’s a very good reason why they teamed up with him so I am not gonna question that choice. Thus, it’s no surprise the majority of people, who are neither Phantogram nor Big Boi fans, were all hyped up about Drum Machine before they even listened to the entire album.
Still, there’s the track with Run the Jewels. I must confess that the very thought of having Phantogram, Big Boi and Run the Jewels in the same room makes me shiver. Hence, Sarah and JMC, known to have a sweet spot for hip hop, had it coming for a while (see video below). I just never thought they’re gonna hit a gold mine with Run the Jewels even though I was hoping that would be the case when I randomly spotted a photo of Sarah with Killer Mike. Yet again, I still wonder what would happen if you mix up some Phantogram with Danny Brown. Oh, my darling..
I cannot simply wrap up this post without making note of Sarah’s new “hot blonde” look. It most certainly makes a massive difference.. not so much for her (because she’s a Goddess) as much as it does for me. That one shade of blond keeps reminding me this is Big Grams rather than Phantogram. It also makes me quite happy because it sort of signifies that Sarah and JMC were smart enough to find a way to channel their ideas in a way that does not interfere with whatever the hell they do as Phantogram. Yet again,.. what an album!
I’ve been listening to Big Grams 24/7 and the more I listen to it, the more fascinated I get with the way Big Boi, Sarah and JMC managed to create an album, which carries a little bit of something extra special from each one of them. This album most certainly managed to excite me about what’s coming next for those two – not only as Phantogram but as part of Big Grams too. I must say I am a bit concerned about the side effects Phantogram’s 3rd album will have on my psychological state because I don’t even know what to expect. I am just sure it will be brutal.
Some last words before I go offline again – I am genuinely proud of Barthel and Carter, who have remained true to themselves, which allows them to create the music they want not the music that would sell their records. This seems like a luxury nowadays, which is probably why you don’t get to meet bands like Phantogram every day and why you don’t get to listen to collaborations like Big Grams that often.
I wanted to drop you a quick note to say apologies for not being able to write much. I promise I will back soon! Just going through some hard times in good old London but I do think of you and I do miss you! Many thanks for all the e-mails and sweet messages. I’ve got loads to share with you but just need to sort out my life first.. a bit.
I’ve been finding myself in rather uncomfortable situations more and more often lately. The reason – I practice yoga. The real reason – many people don’t generally understand yoga so they instantly assume that since you have anything to do with the practice, you must be (I quote) “some sort of a hippie”. As it so happens, I’ve randomly mentioned something yoga-related in conversations with acquaintances, which tends to lead to me listening to people speculating about the real reason why I practice yoga. This is good though! Trust me. I can reassure you there would always be someone out there, who wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to laugh out loud in your face or to make a silly sarcastic remark.
To be fair, I get it. I honestly do.. to some extend. This is why I’ve been doing my best to avoid confrontation because I don’t see any point of justifying why I’m doing something that makes me feel good. Duuh! However, having just completed Adriene’s 30 Day Yoga Challenge, I felt a sudden urge to write about yoga and the reasons why most of you probably shouldn’t do yoga.. just yet.
Sports have always been an important part of my life but it’s always been about getting better, faster, stronger, etc. Back in the day I spent a fair amount of time exercising but I considered myself a rather gym person. Even though moving in the UK was a relatively degrading experience on this front, I managed to find my way back to sports. In other words – I was going through some hard times and it got to a point, where I had to do something sports-related to let go of all the negative emotions I’ve been accumulating for a really long time.
I started off by going back in the swimming pool and slowly adding the gym in my routine. For health reasons I had to find something less overwhelming for my body so I started practicing pilates, belly dancing, zumba and then power yoga (in that exact order really). I got hyped up about trying out new things so I tried one of Adriene’s weight loss videos and I hated it. I hated it to an extent where I didn’t even consider doing yoga again for another two years. However, that’s simply my fault – I just didn’t understand yoga.
I can’t tell you when was the exact moment I realised I get it but I acknowledged my understanding of the practice halfway through my yoga challenge. Yet, I clearly remember the moment when I realised I am ready to give yoga another chance… It may sound weird but it was Adriene again. I got across Adriene’s morning yoga routine and I was extremely impressed by the peculiar way she stretches her toes, whilst flowing through vinyasa. This made me watch a couple of more videos, which resulted in occasional yoga practices every now and then; reading about yoga; doing the yoga challenge and so on..
It sure as hell took me a while to understand what Adriene has been going on and on about. “Finding what feels good”, however, is no longer something that the funny girl from the colourful YouTube channel repeats again and again. It basically became my number 1 goal in life – as it should have always been. Yet, to get here I took my body and my mind to a long journey – from doing sports for the sake of not killing someone to syncing my breathing, my movements and my intentions for the sake of making my body feel good and teaching my mind to let go of everything that would usually keep me wide awake at nights.
If you can relate to that.. Namaste! If not – you’re just not ready. This is why you probably shouldn’t do yoga.. now. Or perhaps you should – just for the sake of staying fit. However, I wish that someday you’d be able to understand the power of this practice, which is all about self-realisation. Funnily enough, to achieve self-reaslisation and understand it’s actually a ‘real thing’, you probably have to take a shortcut in life.. and do some yoga asap.
ASL: 20, Male, Plovdiv
His thing is.. entertaining people.
We met.. because of The Ble Channel.
About: Good old Tsvetoslav Tsonev introduced me to two randomly exciting things. First of all he showed me that actually there are indeed Bulgarian youngsters (broadly speaking) out there, who listen to some fine Hip-Hop. Kudos for that by the way! Second – he is guilty for introducing me to Kristian Tanev.
Because of Kristian’s peculiar sense of humor I literally spent about an hour thinking about what is the most appropriate way to introduce him to you. Thus, because of my intense struggle to find the right words to do that, I decided I should just go back to basics and talk about the emotional roller coaster his videos take me through.
It all starts well when he introduces himself. Then, one minute later you find yourself grinning at the screen, looking over your shoulder to see if there’s someone behind you. It’s just that Kristian’s videos make you feel like you’ve opened a porn website at work and you are not sure whether you should close your browser or you should just keep watching. This is how it goes all the way through until you finish with his video and you’re not sure whether you spent the entire time laughing because Kristian is wildly inappropriate or because he is ridiculously funny in a rather ‘youthful’ manner.
Apart from all that, he has hair women would die for and brains men would envy. Add his sense of humor to the mix and you’d probably be one step closer to getting to know him. Although, I must say that Kristian is much smarter than you’d expect and he’s probably a lot more handsome in person than on the screen.
Who the hell is Kristian Tanev?
A comedian, Youtuber, singer, programmer and #@$%^* addict.
What does a YouTuber do?
Waste people’s time with videos.
5 things you will never ever show online.
All the homemade porn I have, pictures of me as a baby, thoughts which I have during the middle of the night, the tattoo I have on my arse…and lastly – my true self.
I woke up one day in my ‘father’s’ body and..
.. I confirmed that I am better than him in every way.
Draw me something.
Here’s something I drew in the 5th grade..
Also spotted in BBC News, The Guardian, The Telegraph, etc. Full article HERE.
ASL: 21, Female, Running Wild
Occupation: Free spirit
Her thing is.. Art.
We met.. at one of my part-time jobs in my 2nd year at uni.
About: I truly believe milestones are important because they allow us to look back and reflect on our progress to wherever we are heading. Yet, I must say that I often neglect milestones like Wordchaos.’s birthday or the fact that at the moment you are reading my 40th Chaosbook. post. I am certain I would have missed this one out as well but a few months ago I was writing my Happy International Women’s Day post when I realised it’s been 40 posts (and nearly two years) since I introduced you the first ever Chaosbook. persona.
To celebrate this, I though I should introduce you someone extra special. Therefore, I tracked down the person who I would most kindly like to blame for inspiring me to start this project – Nadine.
I met her at one of my part-time jobs at uni and she made me a huge favour on her first day at work. She just became the ‘new girl’ in team, which took off quite a lot of pressure off of me really. I know it sounds bad but she handled it better than I did so we’re all good! However, when you meet someone like Nadine, it simply doesn’t end there. This is why I persuaded her to join me for a “Kristine Special” on our day off. So, she came to my place, we got drunk and I cooked her my extra-special carbonara recipe. Then we spent the rest of the evening talking about who the hell Nadine is and how on Earth did she end up at my dinner table.
I remember staring at her unbelievably beautiful blue eyes when I came up with the very first idea of Chaosbook. I was going to start interviewing talented people (like Nadine herself) to help them do what they love or at least get more people (my beloved readers) to read about what it is that they are passionate about. For Nadine, that was art. For me, that was the beginning of a new project. So, thank you Nadine and thank you red wine!!!
PS. I am 99.9% sure I shared my idea with her that night but who knows.. It might be the wine that got me to think I did. I guess we will never know!
Where do you seek inspiration?
I seek inspiration in people, photos and travel destinations.
What does the fox say?
Really depends whether you’re just listening to that awful Swedish song.. Then it goes something like “Uhnmmmuhmmmhujjmmmm” but really it’s a horrible sound they make. I know that from living in London for 3 years and having the biggest fear of foxes.
Describe happiness in a sentence.
To travel, is to live. (Famous quote from H.C. Andersen)
Top 3 places where you’d live until the end of your life.
I’d probably go for Sweden, London and NY!
I woke up one day and I was a world famous..
.. self employed business woman! I am running a big firm and I am doing loads of work for the 3rd world.
It’s been a while. Oops! I know I really let this break last way too long, didn’t I? Sorry! I didn’t really meant to but here’s what happened..
Back in April I was in the process of writing my dissertation and to be fair it was absolutely horrendous. Yet, I am happy to tell you I am now almost officially (have my graduation ceremony in November) a BA PR grad. Wohoo! After 4 years of compromising my social life, my sleep and my health I can finally say “I made it!” .
Before I even had a chance to see the results from my finals, I was hired by the world’s largest PR firm. Six weeks later I am enjoying life as a full-time PR pro and I love it. What I also love is London! Yes, I also relocated and that’s perhaps one of the best decision I’ve made in my life so far.
Even though I’ve been keeping myself busy as usual that’s not what really stopped me from bringing Wordchaos. back to life. Since this year I will be celebrating this blog’s fifth birthday I wanted to revamp it a bit more than usual. Unfortunately, the changes I want to make will cost me a lot.. London’s not the cheapest place to live so some minor sacrifices have to be made but what’s more important – any drastic changes made to the blog will re-format all my content. (Sad face.) Having that in mind I’ve been going around in circles for months, being completely unable to make a final decision about whether I should just go for а brand new layout.
Yet, an hour ago I was having a random chat with someone really special, who suggested they love the blog as it is and it’s time I started posting again. Well, here I am – back on track, with Chaosbook.‘s next issue coming up tomorrow morning!
Yeah, also let’s not forget the new London inspired banner. That should be enough to keep my mind at rest until the blog’s birthday in October.
Warm kisses from sunny London,