Sunday, December 30, 2012


Every year I love to making a best music of the year playlist, but this year I was pretty disappointed. Throughout the year I found myself disliking more new releases than I actually enjoyed them. I'll admit that this playlist was really difficult to make and it consists of only nine tracks. I could have added more songs from other albums from this year, but those didn't quite deserve to be labeled the best music of the year. I will say that 2012 has shown me more new artists than any other year, which could also be why I hated a lot stuff, but I want to keep exploring new things. It really does pay off in the end; I've even added a few of these artists to my favorites list! I'm already looking forward to what 2013 has in store music-wise. With new releases from Foals and the Knife, I have high hopes.

What your some of your favorite/least favorite releases from this year?

Saturday, December 29, 2012


After searching for the right instant camera to replace my Polaroid, my mom surprised me with a a Fujifilm Instax 210 camera about a month ago. I had been debating between which model of Instax camera I wanted for the longest time, either the 210 or 50s. In the end I decided to go with the wide format camera for a few different reasons, the main being that the pictures are much bigger. Also, it was quite a bit cheaper than the 50s so I figured it'd be nice to start out with. Overall, I'm pretty happy with my new instant camera, but it certainly doesn't compare to my Polaroid camera that I've come to love over the years. Here's a pros and cons list (I love these) to illustrate the good and the bad aspects of the Fujifilm Instax 210.

Pros: The film and camera are affordably priced. Easy to shoot with and load film. You don't have to hold the shutter button for an extremely long time like on a Polaroid! Instant cameras are a ton of fun shoot with and I really like the wide formatted photos even though I do miss the classic square Polaroids a bit.

Cons: The camera is HUGE. It's even bigger than my DSLR. The colors of the photos don't seem to be as vivid as Polaroids. The camera has a difficult time picking up reflective surfaces, mostly plastic I've noticed. It's left weird dots on my photos where there's any clear plastic visible, which can be seen on the photo of my melting clock and the picture frame next to it and again on the car headlight in the group photo of my friends. The developing time for the photos is quite a bit slower than a Polaroid. You don't really get to watch it develop right before your eyes as you'd be starting at a white picture for a bit, which takes away a bit from the magic of instant photography. The flash always fires and the viewfinder is a bit off.

Here's a photo to compare the size of the Fujifilm Instax 210 and my Canon Rebel XSI. Traveling with the 210 can be a bit of a hassle. I feel like I'm carrying a toaster around when I bring it with me anywhere.

Despite the fact that I've listed more cons than pros, I enjoy my new camera and my test photos. It's nowhere near as great as my Polaroid 600, but that's something I'll have to get over. I plan on bringing it with me to a New Year's Eve party, which will be a ton of fun!

Aslo, I'd like to say that I got a new scanner! It's a Canoon 9000F which is solely for photos, unlike the one I was using previously, which was a scanner/printer/faxer thing so the quality of my scan suffered quite a bit. You can see an example here of some Polaroids I took at my friend's birthday party. I'm extremely satisfied with this scanner and I'm going to start scanning film myself. It's gonna save me a lot of money in the long run! I just have to remember to brush off my photos or film because it picks up every little dust particle as you can see in the images above. Oops!

Monday, December 24, 2012


Okay, so it's not quite Christmas where I'm located but it's close enough. Tomorrow will be filled with family time, gift giving, and lots of food. I'd like to take the time to thank all of you who read my blog, whether you're just stopping by or you're a loyal follower. Blogging is something I do because I like it and it's really awesome when readers (like you!) take the time to read my posts and even post comments. I get so happy when people comment on my posts, you don't even realize. So thank you everyone; you make blogging an even more enjoyable experience for me. I can't really give all of my readers gifts but just pretend I'm giving you a gigantic hug right now! :) The above photo is of my cat Bones from last year but it was taken the day after Christmas. I wanted to save it so I could share it on time. She clearly was not happy with me for putting that hat on her but just look at how cute it is! I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season. Much love to each and every one of you! 

Friday, December 21, 2012


photo by Lorenzo Dalbosco
If you've been following my blog for a little while, it's no secret that I've become completely enamored with Robert Alfons's band Trust, and him as well. I could go into trying to lump their sound into a bunch of different categories, but it truly is unlike anything I've ever heard. Trust's debut album TRST, which dropped in February, has such a variety among all the tracks that it's hard to pinpoint what genre this music is exactly. I don't care so much about trying to label what it is that I'm listening to; all I know is that whatever it is, I can't get enough of it. I've never felt compelled enough to name any musician or group as my "band of the year" so allow me to walk you through all the reasons why Trust is so special.

First at foremost, I cannot get enough of their music. I honestly can't say this about any other thing that I've heard this year. TRST is the CD that is playing in my car the majority of the time and it's the only album that I repeatedly listen to without getting sick of it. I'm sure why this is impossible with nearly any other musician. 

That voice. Robert's voice is sexy, sinister, and eerily beautiful. I don't mean to keep repeating myself, but it truly is different than anything I've heard. Alfons has proven that he can make great electronic (I don't know what other word to use) music, but he's also proven that he's just as talented when you strip down his songs and he does just that in the acoustic version of Sulk. I admit that I'm still blown away by this version.

The sheer amount of success Trust has had since the release of their debut album simply blows my mind. They've toured Europe with Yeasayer, played at SXSW, played a headlining tour in the States, opened for the Faint, released a number of singles and music videos, and have another headline tour in store for spring. Like, what?! I don't know of any other group that is so new that has played as many gigs.

You probably get that I think this band is really good. Not only on recording but live as well. Usually I tend not to think good things of electronic bands whenever I try to imagine them live. I automatically sort of assume that artists will use technology to alter vocals or make them sound a particular way. Not in Trust's case. Not in the slightest. Robert's voice on the album is what you hear in real life. He really knows how to win over a crowd, as well. I saw Trust in November and there were maybe fifteen people in the crowd. Robert's energy had every single one of us moving, and that's impressive.

Robert Alfons oozes talent and has created a musical endeavor that has left me wanting more. Trust is stopping by St. Louis in March and you can be sure that I'll be at that show. And who knows, maybe fans will be lucky enough to have a new album by then. Until that album is released, I leave you with a B-side from the Dressed for Space single. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


This roll was kind of a bust. I realized that I need to start using the flash I bought for my Holga with my fisheye camera as well. The built in flash is pretty weak and always leaves an awkward shadow on the right half of my photos since the flash is located on the left side of the camera. Oh well, you shoot and learn! The only downside about using a hotshoe flash is that they're practically blinding and leave you seeing stars, so I would feel bad taking photos of people or at gigs. Haha, my subjects might just have to deal with it though... 0:)

Sunday, December 2, 2012


After debating for a really long time as to whether or not I should buy a Holga 135BC, I finally did. A few years ago, I had received one of the original Holgas as a birthday gift. Unfortunately, those are formatted to use 120 film so I had to rig my camera in order to be able to use 35mm. It did not work, so it's been sitting on my shelf of cameras for decoration. Recently I discovered that Lomography now offers a 35mm design of the classic Holga. Of course I wanted it! So naturally when I had a 20% off coupon code for their online shop, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I opted for the "black corners" edition because how could you not want a Holga to have that gorgeous vignetting? I think my first roll of film using this camera actually turned out pretty decently. I did have a few issues, though. The focusing is kind of difficult. After shooting with a DSLR for so long, I'm used to precisely focusing images. You can't do that with this little guy! But, I think that's what makes toy cameras so much fun to shoot with. You've got to forget about being so technical and perfectionistic about shooting. Just go with the flow! Another issue I was faced with was that this camera is very light hungry. I bought a flash to use for indoor photos, but shooting when the sun is starting to set does not produce very good results. Overall, I'm really happy with this camera and can't wait to use it more!