All photos by Peter Larson
Like everyone else in the universe, let's talk about Lucius' debut record "Wildewoman" because . . . well, it blows my mind and will blow (or already has blown) yours too.
These girls. I'm tellin' ya . . . they put a spell on me.
They released their first full length album on Oct 15 and I have listened to it over and over and over and over and over. And just when I thought I could listen no more . . . I listened again, and it was just as good as the previous 230489282340 plays.
Oh . . . and then . . . THEN . . . there's the whole Lucius live thing. Can't even go there. Not today.
And sadly, because these are the only words I can manage to formulate at this sleep deprived time to convey how GOOD they really are, I've enlisted the help of a friend, writer, and music enthusiast, Kyle Singleton, to do so for me (below):
The pile of crumpled paper that is amassing in front of me, and the realization that I’ve already destroyed what is likely the equivalent of a small forest, has led me to one – and only one – conclusion: "There is no combination of words nor phrases in the English language that will effectively define the spectrum of beauty that is Brooklyn based quintet, Lucius."
Earlier this year came the unofficial release of a “5-song [EP]” from Lucius; self produced and recorded by the band's drummer Dan Molad. With time well spent behind the board on a number of successful independent releases, Molad’s credentials and production/engineering credits are nothing to scoff at (Via Audio, Here We Go Magic). There is often a certain level of hesitation implied when mixing business and pleasure. On the contrary, duality was no match for Molad, who showed a notable level of professionalism coexisting for Lucius. The EP, coupled with the group’s nearly flawless live show, quickly garnered attention and critical acclaim from major media outlets such as NPR, New York Times, and Rolling Stone, as they prepared to head back into the studio.
Wildewoman, out via neighborly and through independent New York label Mom + Pop Music, marks the group’s first proper full-length release. The record showcases an inexplicable raw mixture of talent and accessibility. All 11 tracks have a remarkably distinct independence; the mod-pop “Turn it Around” and the old-timey western feel of “Go Home” highlight the group’s expansive variety and influence. The genre-free nature of the record could prove itself troublesome in the hands of lesser musicians, but the group does well playing to each other’s strengths and manages to stay cohesive and consistent despite diversity in the album’s content. Often mistaken as sisters, the front women of Lucius, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, stitch and weave through disciplined harmonic sequences with near perfect pitch. The pseudo-sisters reject diva mentality and could care less to belt and wail over one another for vocal supremacy. Wolfe and Laessig are a team, and are collectively selfless in their performance. Even at the upper end of their respective registers, the duo remains controlled and balanced. The two appear more romantic than intentional in this practice, displaying it both sonically and aesthetically.
Perhaps most overlooked, is the patient and enjoyable contributions offered by their male counterparts. Where some males might be turned off by the feminine nature and ideals of the songs on Wildewoman, the men of Lucius are happy to cater to the carnivores. Whether it’s the heartbreaking slide guitar of Peter Lalish weeping over the selective counterpoint and backup vocals of Andrew Burri, or the sparse and intelligent percussion of Danny Molad, Wildewoman has something to offer all walks of listeners.
Lucius is currently wrapping up the first leg of their North American tour in the midwest, sharing the remaining dates with Alpenglow and The Spring Standards as they prepare to head overseas next month in support of the new album. They’ll return to the states in early December. If you have the chance to catch the group live, take the opportunity to do so. They will not disappoint.
Check out ilovelucius.com for dates and ticket information.
Lordy, lordy CB2—that's a mighty fine-looking chair. Paired with this product overview, I'm going to have to smash my laptop into a million tiny pieces to resist "putting it into my cart." But, seriously . . .
"A mix of raw materials meets in this refined design by Ayush Kasliwal, a young Indian industrial designer who is keeping the traditional skills of local craftsmen alive with the creation of modern objects that can have a global impact. This eco-minded statement piece takes shape in a smooth frame of locally sourced, solid sustainable acacia wood. In a textural counterpoint, the seat and back are wrapped in unbleached cotton canvas woven with hemp fibers. Stands sculptural on recycled aluminum legs, left unfinished to showcase their industrial nature."
+ Anatomy of a rustic room via Apartment Therapy.
+ A helpful post on how to create a style guide for you brand.
+ Why the world needs Amy Poehler.
+ This little diddy was published on October 9th, but I still appreciate it.
+ Everything about the interior of the Disco Volante pizzeria is perfection. Now, I just need to get to Vienna to try a slice of their pie.
+ There is A Curious Collection sale happening on One King's Lane right now and I may or may not have purchased one (or two) items! Go fill up your cart and proudly share with me your lack of self-control! I want to see what you buy!
+ Ya crazy ol' goat!
+ These are goooooood. Like . . . really, really, good.
+ Every party has it's pooper and that's why they invited this guy.
It's the most wonderful time of the year . . . All Hallow's Eve!
Kidding, ladies. Talented you are, frightening you are not.
I'm over the (full) moon excited to share this post with all of you as the three of us have put some serious thought and time into creating something spine-chilling for you.
Help scare away sickness this season with Heidi's superfood dishes. Her Black Silkie Chicken brew will heal you so quickly you'll glady be under its spell:
The Silkie Chicken (above) used in the soup recipe is black skinned and black boned. Naturally high in powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins, (particularly carnosine with twice as much as other breeds of chicken), the Silkie is a true "Superfood". Broth made from Silkie Chicken affects the kidney, liver, and spleen meridians and tonifies yin and blood, as well as demonstrating true anti-aging benefits.
Black Silkie Chicken Soup's other magic faculties (additional ingredients):
I / White fungus: Prized for its medicinal benefits, namely anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor. In Chinese families, it is commonly used in soups cooked for soothing purposes like nourishing the bodies, healing dry coughs and clearing heat in the lungs.
II / Astragalus root: Used to protect and support the immune system, preventing colds and upper respiratory infections, lowering blood pressure, treating diabetes, and protecting the liver.
III / Wolfberries: Improves and regulates immune system. They are also great for back and leg soreness, weakness and diabetes, and brightening the eyes.
IV / Jujube: The fruits and seeds are used in Chinese and Korean traditional medicine, where they are believed to alleviate stress
V / Bitter apricot seed: Used in Chinese medicine to arrest cough and calms wheezing due to hot or cold patterns—specially for dry cough. Moistens the intestines, unblocks the bowels.
VI / Ginger root: One of the oldest medicinal foods. Ginger is warming and livens energy flow to the stomach. It is good for common cold, nausea, stomach pain, arthritis and cough. If your "yang" is feeling devastated, ginger is your answer.
VII / American ginseng: A well-known adaptogen and general Qi tonic. The Lung and Spleen channels are the most affected.
VIII / Green onion: Regarded as “warm” in nature in Chinese traditional medicine—used it for dispersing chill, relieving congestion and relaxing muscle tension.
IX / Chinese yam: One of the most important and commonly used food remedy in traditional Chinese medicine for generations. The rhizome is known in Chinese herbal medicine to strengthen the lungs, and tonify the Qi, spleen, and kidney.
/ T H E F I N I S H E D P R O D U C T /
In addition to the main recipe, Heidi recommends a few other "Superfood" side dishes to pair with your Silkie soup:
Kimchi (white dish with red/orange "smear"): Consider kimchi as one of the world's healthiest foods. Kimchi is high-fiber, low-fat and loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, but its greatest benefit may be in its healthy bacteria present in fermented foods. Spicy and pungent with Korean red pepper, garlic, ginger, tiny brined shrimp and fish sauce - ingredients known to support the immune system and shorten - or ward off - the duration of cold and flu symptoms. Pick up a jar of kimchi at a local Asian market or try your hand at easily fermenting your own batch.
Tat soi (sauteed greens): Loaded with vitamins A and C.
Preserved (century) eggs: Known for their healthful properties, the difference between a fresh egg and a century egg is its age. Over the course of months, the fresh egg begins to ferment, resulting in a nutritional powerhouse that is already predigested for you and easily assimilated by your body. The egg develops bacteria in order to undergo the process of fermentation, making the egg a powerful immune system booster.
Radish Salad: Used as both a food product and a medicine since before the Roman Empire. Used to help fight cancer, improve respiration, heart health, digestion & detoxification.
So, what do you think? Will you try it?
We double dog dare ya! After all, what doesn't scare you makes you stronger . . .
Silkie Black Chicken & Medicinal Herb Soup
1 black chicken, halved and beheaded, if desired
3-4 clusters of white fungus
3-4 pieces dried astragalus root
3 pieces ginseng root
4 pieces dried Chinese yam
4 slices fresh ginger
6 jujube (dried Chinese dates)
1 tablespoon bitter apricot seed
4 scallions, trimmed
1 tablespoon wolfberries
Sea salt to taste
Place chicken into a deep, preferably earthenware, pot. Add enough cold water to cover. Bring to boil. Once water comes to a boil, remove from heat, drain and rinse with cool water. Clean out pot. Rinse white fungus and soak in a large bowl of cool water for 20 minutes. Trim off hard bottom pieces and discard. Place all ingredients except wolf berries and salt into the pot. Add cold water to cover - about 5-6 cups. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered for 2 hours, adding the wolf berries for the final 15 minutes. Add sea salt to taste. You may choose to strain out the solids and serve as a broth, or serves as is, taking care not to eat the woody herbs. Black chicken are less fatty than other breeds so it is not necessary to skim the little bit of surface fat.
Disclaimer: I am not a Medical Doctor. Any information you receive on this site should not be used to self-diagnose. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.
Feeling prettttttttty sad I missed out on these Loeffler Randall shoes in my size from Madewell. They're basically everything I've ever wanted in a shoe.
Anyone a size 10 or 11? They're all yours!
Last month, I was spending way too much time on Pinterest—as per usual—and stumbled upon this cat illustration that stopped me in my internet purusing tracks. While I'm not a cat lady myself (it has less to do with not liking the animal, and more to do with the whole swollen eyes and hives when I pet one thing), I thought of all the kitty lovers I know that would gladly blow this illustration up to the size of the largest wall in their home.
After studying the subtle details and technique used in the cat illustration, I was interested in learning more about the artist behind the felines, Claire Softley, and her other pieces. I checked out her website and was drawn to her entire body of work.
With information about Claire being sparse on her website, I needed to know more. That lead me to asking the lovely Erica McKeehen to feature Softley in this month's Art Majig column. We decided a Q&A would be the best way to learn more about what goes on inside Clarie's beautiful brain and she kindly agreed to answering Erica's questions. Enjoy!
Q: What did you have for breakfast this morning?
A: Homemade bread (my partner is a wonderful baker) with butter and jam, a banana shared with my son, and a glass of water.
Q: Someone completely unfamiliar with your work asks you to describe it using only three words. You respond:
A: An organized mess.
Q: What keeps you interested in art? How do you stay engaged not only with what you're creating but with what others are creating?
A: It helps that my partner is also an artist; we met at art school. We live close to London, which is an amazing resource, and regularly visit exhibitions and museums. I also have very talented and creative friends. My guilty pleasure is Pinterest. It's good for discovering new work as well as revisiting the work of artists with whom I'm already familiar.
Sidenote: Be sure to check out Claire's Pinterest boards—they are flawless curations of some of the more pretty and interesting things in the world.
Q: Describe your ideal work environment:
A: A large empty space with white walls and good light. In our studio at home I like to work on the floor. It's terrible for my back, but I find it loosens up my way of working. I find a cluttered space is distracting; my ideal space would be stripped back to just the essentials.
Q: It seems like living space and/or domestic life inspire the content of your pieces. Are these themes deliberate?
A: Yes, I have always found beauty in the everyday and the ordinary. My personal work is usually lead by an image, object, or place that I can't stop thinking about. For example, in the motel room series, the images are inspired by a set of 1950s photographic slides that I bought on eBay. They are a collection of amateur photographs recording every motel room a couple stayed in whilst traveling through America. As a set of images they form an interesting and beautiful archive of the everyday.
Q: Any advice to recent graduates of any creative field?
A: I feel wholly unqualified to answer this question, as it took me 5 years after I graduated to begin making any work again! It can be a very difficult and overwhelming time. My only advice is to embrace your mistakes and don't give up too easily.
A huge thanks to Erica for asking questions and to Claire for answering them.
Erica McKeehen is the general manager of a busy downtown Chicago eatery and an aimless photographer who tries to take one day at a time while perpetually catching up on sleep and compulsively cleaning/organizing/furnishing her apartment.
Oh, helllllloooooooo! I'm sorry about the one week hiatus. It's just the ol' too much on my plate scenario again.
This week is going to be good though—really, really good! I've got an Art Majiggy from Erica, a Chou Doun from myself, Emily and Heidi, a test run on a potential new column and more.
I'll be prepping all of the entries tomorrow for posting so I'll see you back here soon.
PS | The illustration above is not one of my own, but I was digging it too much to not share it with you. I unfortunately was unable to find out the original artist to provide proper credit. If anyone has any info, send it my way and I'll be sure to add it to this post!