"Brave" - Derek Koehler

LateHw today: a poem "Brave" by Derek Koehler.

"I wrote this as an homage to one of the most touching films I've ever seen, 'A Monster Calls'. I find that we are a great deal stronger, braver, and more resilient than we give ourselves credit for," -DK

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Check out more of Derek's work on Twitter and Insta!

"$ilk w/ Alysia" - Mariami

Mariami is back to introduce our new theme "Homage" with a collaboration with West Coast artist Alysia called '$ilk.'

"The song came to life this summer when I was staying in Malibu! I met an amazing artist named Alysia from the Bay, we began working together and this song came to life as an empowerment song for women. We channeled the symbolism of female goddesses, what they represent in terms of beauty, grace, nobility, power -- we want our listeners to feel that and channel that for themselves" - Mariami

Stone Irr

LateHW today: Music Video "In the Rain" by Stone Irr !

"I wanted my friend Hugh to take the artist lead of directing this video. He really loved the track and decided to hone in on the uneasiness and discomfort expressed in the lyrics. So what better way to do that than have a mannequin follow you around while wearing the same clothes as you?" -SI

Check Stone Irr out on Spotify, Facebook, and Bandcamp.

"Interlude in Northern New Zealand"

LateHW today: a poem by Kayla Tostevin.

"I wrote this on vacation almost two years ago. The (non)relationship didn’t ultimately work out the way I wanted it to, so it sounds a little foolish in some ways  now, knowing what would actually happen when I returned from New Zealand. But this poem captured my feelings well at the time, so it’s got that kind of photographic importance to it" -KT

 

***

 

"Interlude in Northern New Zealand"

 

I lost the bottom of my stomach

somewhere on the familiar side

of the Pacific—somewhere

in yesterday, since this island exists

eighteen hours ahead of you and the us

you left up in the air again. So I filled

the extra space with lantern festival

lights from paper dragons furious

and fragile, with the untranslated

stamping roar of the Maori war dance

haka, with the rumbling ocean toss

of great surfacing whales, and with

an unseasonable wind that screamed

all through tomorrow night.

 

Hours after your sunset, I accepted

a cup of something sweet and hot

and orange enough to be sunrise

in the black Waitomo caves, icy water

pouring through a hole in my boot,

tiny worm-made stars pricking the dark,

everything smelling like old rock

and isolation, and this drink

was the only part of the tour the guide

did not tell us the name for, but

I recognized it settling in my gut.

 

All my souvenirs except that one

spilled out and shattered

on some Auckland sidewalk,

and cicadas crawled in, buzzing

their shrill, surging electricity.

They carried the uncertain kind

of certainty that washed over me

when I jumped off a bridge tied

to my ankles. On my way back

to winter covered in sunburns,

on my way home to yesterday,

time-shaken, I found the lost

bottom of my stomach and pressed

it into place, trapping the insistent

insects and the drinkable sun, saving

them for the next time we talk about us.

 

***

 

You can follow Kayla Tostevin on Instagram.

 

Icarus/Scream

LateHW today: Art by Sam AC Smith.

"It's a cross between Edvard Monk's 'The Scream' and Henri Matisse's 'The Fall of Icarus.' I figure it's a literal take on the theme. I like exploring positive and negative space in my drawings and doodles, specifically by overlapping enclosed shapes to give everything a checkerboard feeling. I think of it as establishing rules for each drawing or doodle" -SS

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Check out more of Sam's work on Instagram and Soundcloud.

Requiem Fo Dat A$$ | A Holy Child Halloween Special

LateHW Today: "Requiem Fo Dat A$$ | A Holy Child Halloween Special" a spooky music video collaboration between Holy Child and Primrose Path Productions.

***

We also have an exclusive interview with Primrose Path Productions (director: Savannah Power) and Holy Child:

What was The Holy Child’s inspiration for the song? What was Primrose Path Production’s vision for the music video and how much collaboration was involved with this creation?

PPP: The Holy Child came to me with the idea of doing a 1930s Dracula movie-inspired video with some hints of voodoo mixed in. I immediately loved the idea and through discussions we discovered the plot of Dracula luring a young woman (Johanna) to his lair with the help of his henchmen. I watched the old Dracula film again and tried to incorporate some of its elements into our film, while still giving it a modern realist twist. My biggest contribution to the film I think was the idea of the wedding scene at the end, I just really wanted that POV shot coming down the aisle before the end reveal. We originally had them marrying at the end and that was it – no twist! But we all felt kind of icky about letting this poor damsel fall into Dracula’s hands so easily. It was actually Robert the lead singer who came up with the idea for the twist ending which I LOVED and immediately adopted.

HC: The song was a group collaboration, one that is pretty equally written between band members and their parts in the song. This also being the first song written in this manner with the current line up for musicians (Robert, Johanna, Ferny, Anthony, and Zeke). The song having its own creepy tone, inspired the lyrics (written by Robert) to relish in a ghoulish storytelling of his own character. Once written, music video ideas started pouring out, and as soon as a music video was suggested to Savannah (Primrose Path Productions) she was able to pick up on exactly what we were envisioning and the creative flow began.

2. We love the addition of the close up of the girl’s fist clenching the keys, very relatable and that along with other elements (that we don’t want to spoil) elevate this from the typical “I’m checking this girl out” theme by making her a little smarter than the typical horror protagonist. What inspired this? Without spoiling the ending did you guys put any other elements that fit this idea of realism in a fantastical story?

HC: The music video idea is inspired by the 1934 film Dracula, but with our own 21st century twist. We didn't feel right about a "damsel in distress" situation. 

PPP: Trigger Warning: I know I said this already, but I’m extremely glad you commented on that particular shot. The key shot is an externalization of what I call “rape fear” which is something that most women constantly have nagging at them as they walk home at night, go places alone, go running etc. I included this specific image in the video to recognize that this fantasy story isn’t so far removed from our natural world and that this horror is in fact, real. I’ve also had several men ask me since this came out what the deal with the keys was and that in of itself is proof that we still need to have more dialogue about women’s experience of rape culture. Not only did I want her to be smarter than the average damsel, but I wanted her character to be an echo chamber for women everywhere; wanted women to feel represented and empowered as she battles Dracula like a badass.

4. How did you guys decide on lighting and the stylistic choice of going black and white? 

PPP: I think most people have a soft spot for old Hollywood films and sometimes I think it’s nice to pay tribute in a sense to all the creations that have come before us; the black and white 4:3 choice is symbolic of both of those themes for me.

HC: We wanted to keep it feeling like an old horror film.


5. I love how the song builds and gets more and more chaotic? How did you guys decide on the crazier bits where these epic guitar solos are happening/the world seems to be spinning around her to elevate the story?

PPP: Pretty early on we decided that the breakdown Latin section would be associated in the video with the “trance” that Dracula’s bite puts our damsel into. The fun part of that for me was in the editing, and trying to make the video escalate the same smooth way the music does!

HC: Writing a song is a lot like writing a story; with an intro, climax, and conclusion. The crazier bits came about from our collective and eclectic musical backgrounds that span many cultures and genres. 


6. Clearly this was inspired by classic horror films-- what’s your favorite horror movie?

PPP: Hmm that’s a tough one…I think I’m going to go with “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night” which is fitting for this conversation as well…

HC: Honestly, we are not super into horror films, and are a buncha scaredy cats. It wasn't about a love for horror as much as a love for old hollywood style classic movies with bombastic props and unreal scenes. 


7. Thoughts on Twilight as a representation of vampires? 

PPP: No comment…

HC: Glitter wasn't in the budget. 

8. Is there a specific a$$ that inspired the title to this song?

HC: Robert (the singer/Dracula) is married to Johanna (keyboardist/damsel) and he went about telling the story of falling in love with her through the eyes of a crazed animalistic character. 

PPP: I think we all know it’s Johanna ;)

***

Follow Primrose Path Productions on Facebook and Instagram.

Follow Holy Child on Facebook and Instagram.

#TBT ~ Light and Dark Music Videos

We’re switching things up this week and adding Music Videos into the mix.

Shefali’s Picks

Havana, Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug

I asked Rebecca to change the theme to Music Video this week purely so I could write about the Havana video Camila Cabello dropped Tuesday. It is visually very stunning and also follows a crazy, meta plotline--similar to an episode of Jane the Virgin (and not just because of the Telenovela opening!)

What I love about this music video (and Jane the Virgin, Mindy Project, other TV Shows about modern romance) is the idea that it subverts the classic romance story that we grew up seeing. In past films/shows/telenovelas people have gone to extremes to display their affections to each other--even the so called 'realistic' romances are highly stylized unrealistic depictions of what 'love' actually is.

I picked this video for Light & Dark because its reveals the light and dark of romance while also showing what can happen if you hide behind a screen and never go out and experience the world for yourself. What makes this video even better is that it DOES have highly stylized/theatrical moments where the main character is watching herself on her TV at home and in the movie theater--blurring the lines between her imagination, what she wishes she could have, what she wants, and what she really needs/gets in the end.

Blow, Beyonce

Two sexy videos for very early on a Thursday. Be prepared. This is one of my all time favorite videos and is also very visually stunning. I picked it specifically for its insane lighting, but also because of the outfits, visual style, and incredible dance sequences.

I also just wish I could hear the conversation that went down in the Knowles household before: Beyonce to Solange “Hey we’re going to wear 80s clothing and ride mini bicycles” Solange “I’m in.”

Rebecca's Picks

Hello!! I've been feeling a little witchy considering Halloween is right around the corner, so that influenced my picks this time around. S p OOky! 

Wuthering Heights - Kate Bush

Leave it to Kate Bush to take a simple concept (her in a white dress in front of a black backdrop) and make it weird and beautiful just by the way she moves her body. On paper it seems very 80s and corny: she's awash in a glowing light, and she's miming being trapped in an invisible box for a good portion of it, and yet she transcends all of that in a way that other artists at the time just can't. This is true for pretty much all Kate Bush videos I've watched.

There were 2 versions of the video for Wuthering Heights. The one above is literally light and dark, which is why I initially picked it, but I'll include the "red dress" version too because I like it more, and to heck with the rules. It's hard to describe, but both versions present a version of beauty that just feels a little off kilter, which makes it more beautiful and entrancing. Kate Bush in general always gives off vibes that play with the mix of light and dark. Her voice is ethereal, but she's singing about gothic literature. She seems witchy, but she's a good witch. 

I Don't Care - Eartha Kitt

 

This video is a straight up hoot! It never fails to make my day. Again, this is visually light and dark, but it's also a play on good and evil in the sense that Eartha Kitt is a man eating catwoman, but she DOESN'T CARE, and that's why it's so delicious. It also flips the script on the male gaze, sexualizing all the men in the video, who strip down and dance at Eartha's will. 

Eartha Kitt was unapologetically herself, independent, and sexual in a time when that wasn't so acceptable for women, to the extent that her outspokenness got her blacklisted for years. I love that a song that's a big "F**k You" to the haters is accompanied by a completely bonkers music video. Society might label you a witch, a temptress, a monster, but you turn those men into cats and ENJOY IT. 

Linda M. Crate

Late HW today: Poetry by Linda M. Crate!

~~

you can have who i was

you left me

feeling so naked and bare

exposed to the elements,

and ever questioning

eyes;

 

no one ever minds

their own business

especially when you tell them to

i could see them trying to pry

apart the secret of me

 

i clung to you

thinking you'd give me safety

instead you threw me to

the wolves

i was slaying my own dragons like always—

 

maybe i should have listened

to my instincts that told me to run

instead of my heart which insisted that you

were good when you were clearly

a rotten apple with an angel's face

 

i was your cinderella left in the wood

you were a prince charming unfair and untrue

so i peel away all that i was and give her to you

because i am a new woman now

i don't need all the vulnerability i once was.

~~

i reassured myself

one day you'll be exposed

for the fraud you are

won't take my revenge

because that's beneath me

 

i know heaven has sweeter karma

than i could ever hit you with

so i will watch as everything embracing

you in its warmth becomes coldness

 

i don't want you knocking on my door

asking for my summer's heat

when you were always winter's son

trying to splinter me with nightmares to destroy

 

my dreams and my hopes,

and it nearly worked

took me so long to recover myself;

had to weave myself a new tapestry

 

reminded myself that i was a warrior of love and light

that my magic and my beauty were all my own

i was worth more than you could ever possess and that's

why you discredited me for everything i was.

~~

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has four published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), and My Wings Were Made to Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017). Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. The third of the seven book series Centaurs & Magic was published November 2016. Her novel Corvids & Magic was published March 2017.

Check her out on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook !