Tag Archives: Norma Jean Magazine

Farewell Norma Jean

It’s funny I was writing about the end of chapters referring to all the projects in which Omar and Cedric were involved in the past which eventually were necessary to the birth of Antemasque.

And I find it funny because yesterday one of the most remarkable chapters I’ve experienced was also finished. Norma Jean Magazine, the online site I’ve been involved with for the past two years and a half, has been officially closed down, thanks to a wonderful statement Andrea published on the web.

norma-jean-banner

It’s sad we couldn’t face the high demand of contents as a consequence of tough work and really good articles thanks to all the contributors who shared their stories and thoughts with us. For some time we were posting articles on a daily basis. That was insane considering we were only two girls trying to cover editing, writing, recruiting, reading new stuff from people interested in contributing… It was getting hard to keep all things at the same level, having our responsibilities and daytime full time jobs. What started being a hobby, with very pleasant results turn out to be some sort of obligation, and it required lots of time and effort. We handled until we weren’t able to cope with that, and for some time we had the hope that eventually we’d be able to resurrect the magazine. But it was impossible, we weren’t motivated, and we felt constantly frustrated and guilty for not working on it anymore.

I reckon this was the best way to finish it, through a statement. Norma Jean Magazine didn’t deserve to die agonizing, and it’d been agonizing enough already.

nj power

I can’t be but grateful, because this magazine has opened me the doors to other sites, blogs and magazines, it’s been a good opportunity to learn about editing and writing, I’ve met lots of interesting people, and thanks to NJ Andrea is my friend. What else can I ask?

Alpha and Omega. Everything can be summarized this way.

It’s been the end of NJ, but who know what will come next? It’s the end of a magazine, but it doesn’t imply the end of a friendship or the willing to write and communicate. We’ll see…

In the meantime, I’d like to thank all those who stopped by and spent some time reading our articles. I think we did something big, and I’m proud to be part of it.

Farewell Norma Jean! You’ve been good to me.

PARTY TIME

I knew it was to be wild, it’s always like that, but I didn’t know it was gonna be such an awesome night.

party nj

My birthday-Norma Jean Magazine party at La Caja Tonta was a total blast. I’m good at gathering people, and I love the way all my friends eventually get on well among them no matter how different they can be. I’m so grateful for having my friends! I know I’m a very lucky person in this sense. Some friend was very accurate when defining close friends as the new and chosen family. I concur.

The aftermath of an animal party is usually painful. First because of the hangover, and then due to the chemical imbalance which always come a couple of days later after experiencing a huge wave of euphoria. Strange as it might be, I’m not at this point, even though Tuesday’s been a rough day, coming back to work, finding 587 mails in my Outlook inbox, and feeling wasted.

At this moment I can’t stop laughing while remembering situations, conversations and all the silly events which took place last Saturday night. Really, it was impossible something was wrong considering the dream team of party animals we were present. What a blast. Can’t wait for the next party, really.

party nj 2

Not that I mean to self flatter, but I’m proud to say the party was a success in many senses, and it was great to enjoy a session in my own hometown after more than 11-12 years. The bar, the vibe, people, and party mood were perfect, and the night went wild. Still I could manage to write down all the songs. Sometimes I’m really amazed of myself. Anyway, for the record, here’s another playlist. 

Oh, yeah! I’m 37 now. Sounds like a horrible age, but you know, at the end of the day what really matters is the state of mind. And mind is in great condition 😉

FOUR SMALL DREAMS

These last weeks are being pretty intense but  unfortunately the bad side of the coin is that I don’t really have much time left for writing. Seems that everything happens in Spring-Summer, and with the arrival of good weather and longer days, everybody is planning activities, feeling like socializing and including me in those plans, which is great.

Last weekend was a crazy one. I attended two events completely different from each other, but very pleasant and funny all the same.

Since Norma Jean Magazine is getting quite popular and apparently influential on social networks, we’ve started receiving invitations  for events such as art exhibitions, movie premieres, book presentations, fashion shows…We cannot attend most of them because these are held in different cities, or just because the event is not something we might be interested in.

I went to my first event as one of the Norma Jean girls last Friday, and I enjoyed lots. There was a party held by Quicksilver which consisted on an opening cocktail, with lots of wine and great food, to warm up, and then the projection of an audiovisual experiment directed by Thomas Campbell, a quite established name in the skate universe.

chiwoks

I think I already explained here skateboarding is one of my main frustrations as I’ve never learned nor found anyone who was willing to teach me, and now I think it could be a bit risky to start doing it, even though I’d try something easy and calm. I’ve also been fascinated with the skate universe, photography, exhibitions, aesthetics, and this punk-metal 90s side of this way of life. Truth is that if I was asked I could only name about 5 famous skaters, Peralta, Alva and Adams, Tony Hawk and Burnquist. I’m an ignorant.

Thomas Campbell, the director, is a multidisciplinary artist: painter, sculpture, photographer and now filmmaker, and his relationship with the skateboarding world is really tight. For many, this California guy is an important and established reference.

His last project, is an audiovisual experiment named Four Small Dreams. A piece of 22 minute length, shot analog on 16mm film, featuring Basque skater Javier Mendizabal and young Madars Apse. The sequences, shot in different Spanish cities, Canary Islands, Mallorca and California, are excellent, and the lysergic soundtrack provided by an unknown band named Chiwoks, who were playing simultaneously, created a great atmosphere with real epic moments.

Analog shooting is very expensive, much more than digital even though the equipment might be more modest, so think of the limited possibilities of something as unpredictable as skate boarding. The way Javier Mendizabal put it, you had to be very careful, very concerned, and achieve a decent level of skating to provide footage worth enough editing for the project. It sounded like hard work, many hours and money invested.

Another curious aspect related to Four Small Dreams was all the promo and the support from Quicksilver. I was explained that big skate/surf brands which have become too mainstream getting away from the original philosophy, are starting to recruit established and independent pro skaters and artists related, support their projects and in that way attract that community left behind at some point in the past targeting more mainstream.

The party was held at a very cool place, the Chapel at MACBA. We were around 200 guests, bloggers, skaters, hipsters and other personalities. Catering was excellent and there was lots of booze. Sound was perfect, projection outstanding. And at the end of the party we received a t-shirt of the film as a gift. Think of this party repeated in several cool cities. Make calculations. Promo budget is scary. And the question which comes to mind, regardless the quality of the product (which is good and I recommend it), is obvious: is it really worth it? How could success be measured in this case? Will Quicksilver recover their committed to skate image? Will they stop being regarded as a mainstream non exclusive brand?

mendizabal y toi

I have no idea, but what I can tell is that personally it was a great experience, and I enjoyed talking to the director (we ended up discussing about QOTSA discography)and adorable Javier Mendizabal. Both were extremely friendly and accessible and I really liked it. I really wish Four Small Dreams reaches more recipients than the 200 people at the chapel.

 ** Yep, I was wearing my vintage Nashville Pussy t-shirt reading LET THEM EAT PUSSY. I was acting on behalf of Norma Jean Magazine, and really it couldn’t be more appropriate considering Michael Douglas’ last week statement blaming his throat cancer on cunnilingus (bastard!).

2012 HIGHLIGHTS . THAT’S ALL, FOLKS!

Toi December

In essence 2012 has been one of the toughest years in my life, not because of personal relationships this time, the truth is that something as common as losing a job in a critic moment, while there’s  a terrible economic crisis striking the country, can affect a person to unsuspected limits.

My last period uprising trend was suddenly stopped at the end of March, and 6 months unemployment have brought back quite negative stuff I thought being overcome and forgotten. I will focus on that in a while, not today, I’m not in the mood, but yes, I can advance you my self esteem has become more vulnerable to start with.

Being this 2012 mainly marked by this 6 month period, I’ve also lost some control of myself, and chaos has been present. Perhaps I’ve abused on partying way too much, routines disappeared for some time, and mayhem has been remarkable sometimes. Nowadays I’m trying to get back on the right track, and this year turning point might help me to focus.

Still, not everything has been crap, there are lots of remarkable things I will never forget, thus, being a list lover, I will tell you about them.

 1.    NORMA JEAN MAGAZINE

My relationship with this online magazine started when I was asked to write a review about Shame, the film. Since then, I’ve written more than 30 articles (in Spanish), covering a wide range of subjects: squirting, speed dating, flirting at 35, sex while menstruation, Tarantino and his chicks, corsets, women and music… and I’m proud of being involved in this project and become co-editor. Moreover, since I’ve been writing for Norma Jean Magazine in Spanish, I’ve received invitations for collaborating in order sites, and a proposal coming from an independent publishing house. Through this magazine I’m learning lots, and getting acquainted with very interesting people. Really, a blast!

nj cover

 2.    ANDREA

Lou introduced me to the other half of Norma Jean, Andrea, in April, right after losing my job. Chemistry was obvious since the very beginning and we liked each other right away.

Andrea is a hard worker, a great student and a perfectionist, yet she has a great sense of humor, very compatible with mine. With Andrea the team work has made sense for real, regardless the distance, and I have to thank her for being so inspirational.

Andrea and Toi

 3.    MISS ARIANNA

When I first discovered Arianna’s work via Tumblr, I knew I’d have a piece inked by her the soonest.

She had these 3 days available at Swan Song Tattoo in Rome as a guest artist, and I booked with her right away. I only spent 12 hours in Rome, 6 of them at a tattoo parlor, and I got my lighthouse, my guide, so powerful and firm, it really encourages me to keep on looking forward.  I will never thank her enough, and she will never fully understand what she did to me.

my lighthouse by andrea

 4.    THE WEDDING AND THE GIFT

Artie and Mayra got married, and Kiko, Agnès and I decided to look for the most special gift we could give them: a wood carved piece of the cover of Harvest Moon album awesome Bryn Perrot especially made for the occasion. A unique piece for one of the most rockin’ couples I know, and love. The gift arrived late, the wedding was amazing, and I can’t now wait for meeting baby Ariadna as soon as she’s born.

5.    RICH ROBINSON TOM PETTY, FU MANCHU

These are the artists and bands I moved my ass abroad to see live performing. Amsterdam, Dublin and London were the locations, and as usual, the quality of sound of the venues was impeccable. Special mention to my hostess Sofia, my rock sister, for having me at her flat even though she was in the middle of her exams, and my travel companions Artie, Mayra, Javi, Ani, baby Celia, Gonzalo, Yolanda, Veronica and Joaquin. Anytime, and hopefully soon, friends.

fu

6.    SINCE MY BABY LEFT ME

Yes, this blog, my pride and joy, and my actual baby. This blog was here for me, with its arms open to embrace any crap I wanted to pour on it during these previous months of uncertainty. I’m very glad readers’ response is improving and, even though you don’t comment much (I like to think shyness is to be blamed), visits, subscribers and fav’s are remarkably increasing.

Thank y’all!

 7.    VISITS FROM FRIENDS

This has been the year my Hellhouse has received most visits, and I’m glad my friends wanted to spend some time by my side. Lou, Andrea, Sofia, Agnès, Kiko, Dave, Arantza, Mayra, Marisa and Julio…it’s been great to have you here. Hope you have felt at home, at least I tried you did. Also those hanging out evenings and nights, watching films, eating pizza, playing poker, thanks for coming too.

hellhouse by Lou

Ah! Before I forget, those days I spent with my all time best friend Diana, at her summer house by the sea, were incredible.

 8.    QUIT SMOKING

This wasn’t a resolution for 2012. I didn’t plan it in advance, although I was getting disgusted with so much compulsive smoking. it was a box a day, too much considering I had been a social smoker all my life till my “divorce”, when I started smoking like craze. On Monday I thought I had to reduce little by little scheduling my cigarettes, however by Friday I didn’t want to have even a drag.

My initial anxiety was translated into sleeping 3 hours, truth is that as soon as I got unemployed I earned weight. There’s still lot to do to get fit and lose some weight but I’m on the right way. I’m glad I don’t smoke any more.

9.    COOKING

It’s been 2 years and a half since I stopped eating meat (I never liked fish) and chose to become vegetarian, and this year, in order to enjoy a more balanced diet and also tasty meals, I’ve been looking for new recipes and improving my cooking skills. I still have some challenges in mind for next year, I hope to accomplish.

 10.   SOCIAL NETWORKS

You might think this is something stupid, but thanks to FB and Twitter I’ve got acquainted  lots of new people, discovered artists and musicians, recovered old friends (Tani, so good to have you back!), and even flirted with guys. Thanks to ARF forum I’ll never go to a show on my own, news on Twitter, which spread lightspeed, attach me to reality even though I cannot stand TV news, and I know lots of tattoo artists worldwide thanks to FB. Remembering the main motto of Antonio Montana, with internet, THE WORLD IS YOURS.

The world is yours

Good times are to remember, bad times are to be buried, keeping only the lessons learned from the fall.

Hope 2013 is much better than this one. I wish you all the best friends!

ALBUM OF WEEK 37 – METALS

Since I’m currently writing some posts, or perhaps I should call them articles (even though I do not consider myself a  proper writer), for Norma Jean Magazine, when looking for women oriented topics of discussion , I’ve started being more interested in women and music, discovering many artists such as Cat Power or Lana del Rey. I’ve been forcing myself to pay more attention to girls in the music world, almost completely dominated by men. I already adored Neko Case, Heart, L7 or Kasey Chambers, but the challenge is to learn more and add new names to my record collection.

I had never heard of Feist, or Leslie Feist before. The way I used to process music or new bands was thanks to an external advice or tip saying Hey Toi! You gotta check this out!” and because nobody had explicitly mentioned this artist,  my brains just ignored any possible trace of her.

It had to be an unidentified girl at one of these musical forums who mentioned her and this time I paid attention. You know the best thing? This stranger is quite a bitch to me, and has sometimes tried to get on my nerves with her subtle offensive comments, but I have to admit her taste in music is outstanding.. Hello Lullaby! I’m talking about you 😉 When I read some of her comments insisting on Feist’s last album, Metals, I felt curious.

Even though she’s different, the strength of the songs, her voice, and the structure of songs, plus all the arrangements make me think of an early 1990’s Tori Amos, some of PJ Harvey, and this 1990’s wave of female artists, which shared a defying attitude wrapped in a delicacy haze. Whenever I listen to How Come You Never Go There, the redhead Tori Amos of Under The Pink era brings out in my thoughts

Apparently the Canadian artist took a break of two years because she was saturated with music, and defined herself as “emotionally deaf”, thus Metals meant some sort of comeback.

There are many aspects to highlight in this album. The opening of the album with the stomping of The Bad in Each Other is really powerful. The combination of complex arrangements featuring all kinds of instruments, more sophisticated as violas, clarinets and synths, together with the simplicity of tambourines, feet stomp, chains, and other simple percussion devices, and the standard guitars, bass and drums, adding the intensity of filling backing vocals, create amazing climax at some points. Feist’s voice, with a wide register, and that languid and nostalgic voice, is quite evoking. Some songs talk about love and despair like Comfort Me, others are full of nature imagery, as in Graveyard and Anti-pioneer, and all of them share this noticeable haze of sadness and nostalgia … perfect for this time in the year.

Metals in one of these albums born to be listened at maximum intimacy, better if alone, and with a subtle light. A candle, a glass of red wine, and your blanket would make the experience completely fulfilling.

If I was to define this album with just one adjective, that would be BEAUTIFUL.

THE FREAKEST MONTH IS DONE

I remember when my granny used to tell me that, the older I got, the faster time would pass by. She, as in many other things, was completely right, and sometimes I do feel very scared, as I see my life slipping out my control.

Some day very soon, I will tell you about one of last inspirations, Bill Hicks, the stand-up comedian, but in the meantime, I will quote a sentence that is coming to my mind almost on a daily basis: “I’m running out of time”.

Remember a couple of weeks ago I told you people were inquiring after my sleeping routine, sounding a bit worried about my heath ? Have you realized it happened as I predicted?  Eventually, I knew I was gonna crush, and that’s what happened last week…human body is a perfect engine after all, don’t you think?

Perhaps because my inactivity was so remarkable due to flu killing effects on me, and now that I’m getting back in business, this week comments and inquiries are related to my proactivity. Yes dears, apparently I’m a very active person, however I disagree, my constant feeling is that I’m great at wasting my time, which could be better optimized.

I don’t know whether I’m being conceit right now, nor how to call this exercise, but since I did it last month, I feel like repeating writing a list of the most remarkable achievements and activities done these last 29 days.

February, the shortest month of the year, however a tough one, still carrying the heavy burden of Xmas, and some of you of sales, on our backs, it’s not a very funny month.

1. Amsterdam and Rich Robinson. Truth is not all months you can start enjoying a flash trip to an European city with the major purposes of visiting a friend and attending a show of one f the core members of The Black Crowes. I feel very pleased and grateful to Sofia first, and to Rich Robinson  too. On the other hand, I’m actually quite proud of writing and then  transcribing visits and memories of those days to this blog, in order to share such moments with you.  And finally, the opportunity to collaborate with Popular 1 Rock Magazine by reviewing the show is, once again, an honor.

2. Considering I’m terrible at special occasions in terms of outfitting, I’m also glad that, thanks to my new fashion expert counselor, Eulàlia, I already got the perfect dress for my friend Artemio’s wedding. Cannot reveal the outfit yet, because he might peep, and it’s a surprise. You might wonder this has to be taken as a surprise. Well, believe me when I say I’d never looked so feminine in my entire life, so yes, we can make of this the event of the year. And hey! I dig, I look fine 🙂

Also, we also have the wedding present ready, and it’s a very special and amazing one, but again, it cannot yet be posted, or the surprise, and this is to be a surprise, would be ruined. What I can advance is that it’s exclusive and unique, as Artie and Mayra are, and that we, Kiko, Agnès and I, have thought of it with utmost love and tenderness.

I know you ain¡t suffering from panic attacks, but from here, you’ll be duly acquainted with The Rock n’ Roll Wedding.

3. I’m super glad and excited for being confirmed, while I was in Amsterdam, of an appointment I’ve got with Miss Arianna Settembrino in Rome, at Swan Song Tattoo, in mid April, to get one of her incredible pieces inked. I already talked about her super pro work. Positive she’s one of the current best tattoo artists in Europe. I really can’t wait to see the piece on my right forearm. It’s not that I’m wealthy all of a sudden, but referring to the subject I started this post with, time’s running and we have to take the chances as they come. We’ll worry about money afterwards.

4. Dj’n Session @ Psycho R’n’R Club. Can’t add anything to what I’ve already said about these sessions. First, I can play my own music out loud  in a bar, get free drinks, I’m surrounded by friends and people in party and dancing mood, and in this case, Psycho boys, who always make me feel at home…Can’t get enough of dj’n!

5. Very proud about being invited to write for Norma Jean Magazine. First assignment was a review on Shame, Steve McQueen’s controversial film, featuring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. Hopefully more posts to come.

Even though I don’t think this fact has to be added to the list, I’d like to remark that it’s been 6 weeks since I quitted smoking, not yielding. To be honest, I don’t feel better nor worse, I don’t miss smoking most of time, but I’m still sleeping weird.

Hopefully I will add a new activity I finished February carrying out, next month. I’ve recovered my rollerskates, so I can refresh my poor knowledge of inline skating, and improve my skills. Now that Spring is almost here, and weather is smothering, it’s time to hit the road, and start enjoying some activities outdoors, once and for all.

And yes, I also purchased my blog domain so Since My Baby Left Me has now its own identity. Really glad about it!

Such has been February to me, a bit shaken by flu last week, but a good month after all. how ‘s been your February?