Tag Archives: Music

ASL Version of “Lose Yourself” Kicks Butt

The internet is always abuzz with all sorts of things, but we’re loving this video from Shelby Mitchusson. Shelby isn’t the typical Youtuber submitting covers of famous songs. She uploaded her ASL sign language interpretation to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and does an amazing job bringing intensity and understanding with movement alone.

Check out more of her videos here!

Why I Sing the Blues: BB King’s Life of Purpose

May 14, 2015 will be a day known for the loss of blues legend BB King.
He shall be known as a man who overcame great obstacles to be known the world around for his moving lyrics and his even more moving guitar playing. Born on a cotton plantation in Mississippi in 1925, King was just 4 years old when his parents split resulted in his being raised by his grandmother. It was under the care of his grandmother, however, that he first picked up the guitar as a teenager. Continue reading

Get Pumped with Our Workout Playlist with Tara Stiles

playlistWhat are your essential items you have with you when working out? We can bet that for most of you an iPod or some sort of music ranks in the top 3 things you need to get you up and ready to burn calories. Music is a really great way to get you moving and motivated. That’s why Tara Stiles always incorporates music into her Strala Yoga and teaching sessions – to keep things loose and energized.

Do you have a song that always gets you pumped up? Maybe a dance number that makes you jog a little faster on the treadmill? There are a lot of people that like to choreograph their yoga routines to peaceful music – or if you’re like Tara a little hip-hop couldn’t hurt either. We wanted to spring things up a bit this week, get everyone moving, so we made a workout playlist of our own. Check out the individual tracks below or favorite the entire playlist by clicking here.

PLAYLIST:

1) Pharell – “Happy”  *- If this Oscar nominated jam from “Despicable Me 2” is enough to make Lupita Nyong’o and Meryl Streep shimmy then it is good enough to get us up and moving too.

2) Classified – “Inner Ninja”*- This song makes us feel badass because who doesn’t love getting in touch with their ninja? (Everyone has one)

3) Aloe Blacc – “Love is the Answer”*- You know that unmistakable voice from “Wake Me Up” that won’t leave you alone every time you turn on the car radio? Well check out Aloe Blacc away from the DJ’s and get stirred again.

4) Quad City DJ’s “Space Jam” – In the wise words of Kid President, “What if Michael Jordan had never made Space Jam? And I looooooove Space Jam.” Part of the reason “Space Jam” is so great is because of the killer soundtrack. If this song can motivate a bunch of Looney Tunes to defeat evil aliens bent on enslaving them to an eternity of outer space amusement work then it can definitely push us to do a few more crunches. Plus it’s just the most fun song ever.

5) Taylor Swift – “22” – What is a workout playlist without a guilty pleasure song? And there is no greater guilty pleasure than the country queen of break-up songs herself. To be fair we added one of the only songs not about one of her exes, so let us have this one.

6) Jay-Z – “Run This Town” feat. Rihanna and Kanye West – If your preferred mood while working out is to feel like a boss then this is the song for you. It’s got a good beat and you can show everyone who’s in charge – just try to resist the urge to belt out Rihanna’s soprano verses in case you startle someone.

7) Keri Hilson – “Pretty Girl Rock” – There is absolutely nothing wrong with owning the fact you look fabulous, even in yoga pants and a raggedy t-shirt. This goes for you guys too. Have a little confidence when you’re stepping it out and this is the song to give it to you.

8) Maroon 5 “Moves Like Jagger” feat. Christina Aguilera – It’s possible that the radio also ruined this song for everyone forever – but when you’re trying to face that stair machine there are few jams like this one to make you feel light enough to get up there. Mick Jagger was one of the original kings of swagger so there’s no harm in borrowing a few of his “moves” if you need it.

9) Macklemore & Ryan Lewis “White Walls” feat. Schoolboy Q and Hollis – If there’s one thing Macklemore and Ryan Lewis know how to do it is to make catchy songs. However, the chorus of “White Walls” is what makes this a stand-out hit for us and a necessary addition to the playlist.

10) Justin Timberlake – “Sexy back” feat. Timbaland – Did you think that a playlist could be complete without a touch of JTimbs? Of course not! There were so many good songs to pick from his catalog but this one is a classic – and the theme of this playlist is definitely songs that make you feel awesome and fabulous.

(* = Tara Stiles recommendations)

Want to see all the songs in order? Just press play below!

Year of Intent: Spreading Strala Yoga to the World

Strala YogaSetting intentions happens whether we are conscious we are doing it or not. Our mindset, well being, thought process and actions stem from our intentions. I’ve become much more aware of my intentions thanks to Mallika Chopra, and the whole Intent team. Daily reminders to set an intention to follow through the day has been an expansive and fun journey that I aim to keep on the good foot for. Part of holding myself accountable for my intentions is sharing them with you all here and hearing what your intentions are. With support we can accomplish so much.

My intention for 2014 is to spread Strala to Guides (our word for Teacher) around the world. If you asked me 6 years ago if I would create my own “style” of yoga, I would have said absolutely not. I thought that was just about the most ego centered thing possible, and my aim with sharing yoga and mediation and healthy mindful practices was to help people connect with themselves, not to draw attention to myself as a Guru.

The more I taught and shared what I was sharing the more people continued to tell me, this was very different than other yoga. The style of Strala was almost crowd sourced. The people who came to the classes and the studio wanted to know the name, the system behind the movements, and how they could share this as well. For years I said, “Oh no, it’s just yoga. It’s just easy going yoga.” People kept pulling it out of me, wanting more, and wanting to share. People were already teaching Strala influenced classes years ago before there was a program outlined. People came, they loved what they experienced, and went on and shared and had success. It was really overwhelming to see it all emerge and I didn’t quite know how to handle or formulate at the time.

After constant feedback after every class about how great people felt and “What is this!” I knew there was something beyond my personality of the class, beyond my playlist, beyond my sequence, that people could teach. This was about Strala, not about me, and that was an incredible realization for me personally. I had finally uncovered, “How can I help.”

Because people were having so much success in their lives with practicing Strala and people were having so much success in leading Strala, I decided it was what I should focus all my energy on. I wanted to help and this was working, without any effort in the beginning really. I thought about the style, the movement vocabulary (from my dance background) the healing aspects, the philosophy of “how can I help” over “what can I prove” and how that all filtered into teaching the classes. Where to be in the room, how to touch and support people, rather than fix, permission and freedom to move how it feels good to move. Inhales lifting and expanding. Exhales softening and moving. Energy lifting up like a beach ball being bounced by a group of friends on the beach. The energetic, fun, authentic vibe. I began to formulate in the way my lifetime of dance and pedagogy informed me. I realized formulating a movement system is exactly who I am and what I can offer best. Strala means to radiate light. It’s what happens when people practice and it’s what happens to me when I teach people how to lead it.

My intention for 2014 is to spread Strala. I’ve been teaching the trainings for about 3 years, and the last year has become super energized, and expansive. I feel incredibly confident in the system. It’s about the Guides, not me, and it empowers so many. That makes me feel really great.

I’m traveling around the world leading Intensive trainings at SCLA and other facilities. My schedule is bananas. I can’t keep up with the demand which is super exciting. I’ll be training several other teachers that have been leading Strala for a while to teach the trainings and we will spread the ease and freedom of movement far and wide.

My intention is to spread Strala to Guides around the world.

What’s your intention?

Tara Stiles is participating in our 2014 Year of Intent campaign where we encourage people to use Intent.com to reach their goals and show how intents manifest in daily life. Create an account today to get started or click here to follow and support Tara as she spends the year spreading Strala Yoga to the world. 

Trash: Making Beauty out of What We’ve Thrown Away

recycled orchestraWhat’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word trash?

Dirt. Germs. Land fill, maybe? Trash is what we call the things we no longer have a use for – the things we throw away and discard never to be thought of again. Even when it’s used in a derogatory sense for people it refers to them as the things we don’t want to think about, the things we wish would disappear. Trash is beneath us.

What about “recycle” though? That sounds better, right? It turns out that it’s not just plastic bottles and newspapers that can be re-used or re-created into something else. Things we throw away are being taken by very creative individuals to create new works of art. Favio Chavez is using the trash sent to a slum in Cateura, Paraguay to build instruments for his teenage students.  They make cellos out of rusted oil bins and violins out of old tin. Ordinarily a violin is worth more than a house in that slum. The families who live there raid the land fill for trash to recycle and re-sell and they’ve begun to make instruments for their children. The children then perform in the Recycled Orchestra.

They’ve managed a way to redefine something that inhabits the way they live. They’ve taken something “dirty” – the things we throw away – and made them into works of art that demand to be heard. You can find out more about their project and how you can support (and see the full movie) here.

In a different part of South America – on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil – artist Vik Muniz is trying to change the lives of a community of catadores, garbage collectors. They are an unemployed, marginalized part of society, collecting garbage in the largest landfill in the world for recyclable materials to sell and make their living. Vik creates portraits of them with the garbage they collect every day. His original intention was to create the portraits, sell them and use the money to help the catadores find an elevated station in life, but the art inevitably became a collaboration. Vik would take a picture of each of the catadores and then project it onto the floor of a nearby warehouse and every day the catadores would help him fill the picture with the recyclables they had found that day in the landfill. For three years they filmed the process and created a documentary called “Waste Land.” The workers say that the movie has lifted a stigma around their profession and the country of Brazil uses it to encourage recycling nationwide.

These stories take place in two different places, told by two different people with very similar themes. These projects force us to take another look at areas of humanity where we tend to turn a blind eye. They show us that the things we dismiss can be beautiful, the things we throw away can be works of art. So the next time you’re throwing anything away, take a deeper look.

Thursday Morning Melody: A Little Sea Sick

One of the best things about YouTube is the access it provides to independent artists that we may never have discovered through mainstream access. We discovered Ruby Day a few months ago when Vlogbrothers Hank and John Green held a contest for guest hosts during John’s paternity leave earlier this month. Ruby was one of the spotlighted videos and it blew us away.

Her British accent is super charming, but when you think that she’s only 18 and writing such sophisticated songs, it is incredible. This is her sea shanty break-up song. It’s the one John and Hank spotlighted but it’s also our favorite of hers. Our hearts break every time it gets to the “Admittedly I got myself in to this/But now all I really want is to get out/To be the person that I was before/Who looked around herself and saw/A world a little wider/ than the one to which she was bound” verse. You can see the rest of Ruby’s videos here, and we hope that you fall as in love with her and her voice as we have.

What do you think of “A Little Sea Sick”? Tell us in the comments below! 

Beyoncé Releases Surprise New Album and What It Means for Art in the Age of the Internet

Screen shot 2013-12-13 at 1.51.46 PM“Beysus has risen.”

That’s what my Facebook feed reads to me last night as I’m about to go to bed. The next 15 posts are all various screams of excitement or disbelief that one of the biggest currently performing artists on the planet right now put out an album at the stroke of midnight eastern time. The singer’s fifth studio album is aptly named “Beyoncé” and features her husband Jay-Z, Drake, Frank Ocean and a verse by her toddler daughter Blue Ivy.

That’s the news clip and that is the thing you’ve been hearing all day. Who cares? It’s just another gimmick for headlines, another pop star trying to push themselves to the front (but at least she’s not twerking, right?) The fourth quarter has seen a lot of powerhouse female releases from the likes of Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. Yet, somehow Beyoncé was able to create more publicity for her new album by not telling anyone that it existed than she would have been able to generate had she committed to a routine press release schedule.

The thing that makes this so extraordinary is not about the number of albums that Beyoncé will inevitably sell, it’s that she has tapped into the true power of the internet and used it to her own advantage. For the past 15 years artists have struggled against the internet to release their albums in piece-meal singles with their fingers crossed that the entire thing won’t be made available for free download before they can unveil it the way they want, the way they’ve been planning to do for months beforehand.

Last night, Beyoncé said screw that and released her entire album at once, accompanied by 17 videos for each of the songs in a complete artistic package. Just like Netflix figured out that the new generation of television watchers want their episodes in one lump sum to devour at their own pace,  Beyoncé released her album the same way – because that’s what the internet can do! Rather than try to fight the current and hand out the new creation in tiny pieces with several drawn out release dates – she gave it to everyone at once.

The beauty of the internet is that it allows for people to portray their art in full context. In the statements she’s made about the album release Bey has compared it to a movie, that she wanted to bypass the circus of press and deliver the album straight to her fans. Yes. Digital marketing and delivery is the level playing field. It’s why Radiohead created the same level of stir when they released In Rainbows on a donation basis. Internet downloading has become a cultural norm not because the current generation enjoys ripping off their favorite artists, but because the internet allows us to consume media directly without mainstream filters or interruptions. And it allows our favorite artists to speak directly to us, for us to see their vision as they intended – it provides a streamline connection between us and them the way that art is supposed to work.

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about whether Beyoncé should be heralded as a personal role model (with some seriously intense debate on either side) but professionally she created a new norm last night. This is the formation of a new wave business model. As a professional black female in the entertainment business that’s a big freakin’ deal. Oh, and did we mention she was in the middle of a headlining world tour while she put all of this together? Talk about balance.

So no matter what your opinion is of Beyoncé, this there is a lesson for every creative person reading this. Don’t fight the current. As we’re trying to figure out the next wave of things to come for Intent Blog and Intent.com we’re definitely going to try and take a page out of Beyoncé’s book – use the creative force of the internet to create meaningful projects in full context and create direct connections between us as content creators and you, who we create everything for. If anything Beyoncé proved last night that meaningful impact happens when you create that connection rather than filtering yourself through the highest bidding brands.

Way to be a boss, Bey.

Thursday Morning Melody: A Case of You (James Wolpert version)

We have posted before how much we like a good cover, especially when it re-does the original. Recently on NBC’s The Voice (the best reality show on television by the way, take that as you will) James Wolpert did a show stopping rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Case of You.”

Now we know that trying to cover Joni is trying to walk on hallowed ground. Many have tried and failed to recapture the beauty and gritty of Joni’s bravado, but James actually slowed the song down even more and his smooth crooning grounded this acoustic version into something really beautiful. Take a look at this and tell us you don’t get chills during his last go at the chorus.

It turns out that amazing vocal power runs in the family. James Wolpert is the cousin of famous Broadway performer and Glee-guest star Jonathan Groff! James was eliminated from The Voice in the semi-finals this week but we think with vocals like this we’ll definitely be hearing from him soon (and look forward to it!)

This song has been on repeat for days in the Intent office though and we hope that you enjoy this beautiful and moving rendition of a classic.

What do you think of James’ version of “Case of You”? Did he nail it or is the original better? Let us know in the comments below!

VOD: Lily Allen Bluntly Calls Out Sexism and Misogyny in Today’s Music

Brit singer Lily Allen has always been known for having a bit of a smart mouth, but this week she’s making waves on the internet for her new single, “It’s Hard Out Here for a B*tch.” The title alone is enough to start some controversy, but Allen takes on the various female stereotypes in the new video and doesn’t pull any punches on how women are talked about in today’s biggest hits. Most pointedly she sings in the second verse, “Have you thought about your butt lately and who is going to tear it in two?” which is a direct reference to rapper T.I.’s line in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two.”

Allen makes a few other references to Thicke’s single and video in particular, but her point overall is that it’s time to stop saying that women have made so much “progress” as if it’s time to stop pushing for equal rights when they are treated and painted as caricatures in mainstream media. To see the video click below. Warning: Due to language this video may be NSFW. 

What do you think of Lily Allen’s video? Thumbs up or down? Let us know in the comments below!

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