Interlude: I’m A Hypocrite

I’m a hypocrite. I’m an internet kid who hates determinism. I HATE being in public spaces enjoying myself, only to see everyone else missing out because they are glued to their devices. I get mad at myself for being on my phone at sundown, yet feel the need to document the sunset anyways.

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A few weeks ago I got locked out of my Apple ID and thought the world would crumble around me (Update: I survived thanks to the miracles of science and medicine, and eventually got back in after 2 weeks #fuck2factorauthentication). Well, one good thing came out of it at least – I had no music on music on my phone for a while. I know that sounds like a bad thing, but bare with me.

I hadn’t been back on my Soundcloud account for quite a while, and having no music on my phone gave me a reason go back in and indulge in some old ‘likes’ that I’d woefully forgotten about, while also giving me the chance to explore some new stuff. [“Tran-“]

[“-SITION” *Anthony Fantano voice*] The theme of the playlist this time around is Soundcloud gems, old and new. So, blast back and enjoy. (Since it’s been a little while, I’ll give y’all a few extra sounds this week.)

HHT Interlude: Vol. 3

How To Be A Good Storyteller

Your grandparents (or maybe even your own parents or older siblings) always told the best stories. It seemed as if their seemingly billions of years on the planet so far had all been encapsulated into an endless number of amazing and awing stories that made you second guess that you really knew anything about them at all.

There’s something to say about a person who has good stories to tell. Follow these steps and you too will be able to leave a lasting impression with any sub-urban legend that you decide to recite.

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Here is how to become a good storyteller: 

You’re a creative. But you’re a special type of creative. You’re not special in the way that what you make is any more important than any other medium – perhaps even less special in that regards in the eyes of some – but special in the way that your medium is a little less obvious. And a lot less tangible.

You see, musicians make music, singers make songs, photographers take photos, writers write, but storytellers… well, storytellers simply just live.  They live to do things. Sometimes with purpose, and sometimes with luck, storytellers live to share their experiences; professional glorified dreamers you could say. (Disclaimer: these things are not mutually exclusive! Many photographers, writers, poets, etc ARE storytellers.)

Now that’s fine and all, but at the end when you’re old and you’re gray and you’ve been through it all, will you just automatically have these stories? Well, some people will. Some people naturally live more ‘exciting’ lives, simply by figuring out what their purpose was at an early enough age and having the resources to make the most of that execution. You? You will be the special case that has only one resource to coincide with your purpose: gumption.

You’ll be in a position where people question your intentions. You don’t seem to take anything seriously, and you’ll “waste” your time on acts of spontaneity. You’ll be able to see past the foreseeable “risks” on the top row of the eye chart called ‘life’ to focus on the fuzzy yet existent rewards on the very bottom row (‘1, or 2’). You’re not content with living vicariously. This is the mentality that will land you in some VIP section in some club in some city that you’ve only seen on TV, and the same mentality that will leave you wondering how so many people can be content celebrating with bottles that aren’t theirs. If it’s not your bottles, then you haven’t worked hard enough yet – but, you’ll have a story to tell about that night anyways.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to accept that it won’t always work out; sometimes the story won’t have a happy ending. You’ll accept that sometimes the hot air balloon ride doesn’t happen, and sometimes you don’t hit that game winner. But you accept that as many times as it doesn’t work out, it will work out. You enjoy the gamble. You not only trust yourself, but you trust the process – you understand that you can win the lottery more than the Philadelphia 76ers if you put yourself out there.

You understand that you can’t tell the story if you can’t be there to document it. If you weren’t there, did it really happen like that? You understand that if it didn’t happen like that, that you will from here on out have a responsibility to tell it how it did happen – with a few evolving add-ons that are a byproduct of time and excitement.

One day, you know that you too will be a grandparent and that you’ll hold the civic duty of capturing the young minds of kin and taint them with your minimally exaggerated stories that will be maximally exaggerated by their scale-less minds. For the time being though, you simply live and practice your medium with everyone who mistakenly asks to hear you tell the far-too-long-form version of what happened “that one time…”


Like the fresh prince that I think I am in my own mind, my life has recently been flip turned upside down. I keep having to remind myself that yes, this is real, and no, it’s not an accident. Whatever is happening to be as a product of my medium; I’m a storyteller.

In the past 30 days I have been to 20+ cities, in 3 countries, spanning 2 continents. I’ve logged and endless amount of kilometers, and squeezed into far too many uncomfortable plane seats. I’ve enjoyed a plethora of oversized hotel beds, and snapped enough pictures to fill up a handful of memory cards. I’ve witnessed rappers ride miniature motorcycles, and seen comedians roast their own children. I’ve been to playoff games, and stood front row at every concert I’ve been at.

(Above: Only a few of the multiple shots I’ve taken over the last month or so. Trust when I tell you that the next edition of ‘Throwaways‘ will be crazy.)

None of these are embellishments, and none of these statements are meant to gloat. To me, they’re simply stories for me to tell you about, later (and I do plan to tell y’all about them, soon), in hopes that in return you’ll go and chase something crazy that you can tell me about the next time. Thinking about people who never have the realization of the person that they are meant to be is something that is enough to keep me up at night. If the fact that I have been able to materialize all of these dreams by age 22 is enough to do that for you, then I guess I’ll keep telling stories.

Or maybe I’m just wasting my time, and my grandkids will be too busy on their iPhone 42+’s to listen to my stupid stories anyways.

-A how-to, by Hospey.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey

Throwaways: Sydney

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I know that y’all thought that I forgot about this set of photos. That’s probably because I did forget about these photos. But I swear I have semi-good reasons. Semi-good reasons that I can’t tell you about. Yet. (If you know, you know).

Long story long, I’ve been out of Sydney for about 1 month now. Certain blessings caused me to truncate my stay in Aussi-land, though I do plan to be back – sooner, rather than later. Sydney was one of the best times of my life, after being one of my hardest times.

The first weekend in Bondi with friends was promising (this initial stay is what is pictured mostly in this photo set). The sun shined bright, the drinks flowed cold. Finally, after we all went our separate ways, I set up a red pin near Bondi Junction and officially called Sydney “Home”. My first job seemed like a surefire money grab but turned out to be nothing short of another wasted opportunity. My new home was large and seemingly clean, though the living situation was far from perfect. I never questioned why I was out there, though admittedly I struggled at times.

I also can now confirm that everything that did transpire happened for a reason. If I hadn’t hated my first job, I would’ve never got my job at Ravesis and made my first real set of Sydney friends, met my first set of good Sydney people. If I spent a larger part of my first month around a larger abundance of people, I would’ve never taken the time to work on myself – this proved to be the most crucial. If I didn’t have to leave so soon, I wouldn’t have nearly the same desire to go back one day.

I know that I’ll look back on my first solo travels, long after all is said and done, and know that my strange times is my Sydney have defined me in some way. Thanks, Australia.

P.S. Thanks to Maria for reminding me about these photos.

P.P.S. More about those ‘semi-good’ reasons, later.

-Hospey.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey

How To Write A Music Review:

As I’m sure is pretty apparent to most of you already, music is probably the most important thing in my life. No, I can’t actually make music – but I sure can consume it.

Over on my original website, Redleafgoldteeth, we’ve been covering everything you need know about music for a little over 2 years now (with over 220,000 views as a co-sign), so fittingly the news of a new Kendrick Lamar album had us rolling with excitement. Now, even though I’ve never been a huge fan of Kendrick personally, something about the singles stood out to me and I got really excited for the release date to arrive – thankfully the wait was relatively short. And when it finally got here, I was not let down one bit.

I won’t say too much about it here, but check out some excerpts from my comprehensive first-listen (oxymoron?) review of DAMN. below, where I tell you exactly what I liked, my favourite songs, the missteps, and even attempt to unpack a few references.


Here is how to write a music review:

You can see it in his eyes.

Kendrick Lamar is tired. He’s tired of being “humble” – he’s tired of being the good guy. The 29-year-old Compton wordsmith is tired of America – and all of the bullsh*t that comes with it. Being that dude is exhausting, whether that means being that dude that raps good, or that dude from the hood. On DAMN., Kendrick Lamar let’s this be known.

The intro story, “BLOOD.”, is great. A strong duality is exampled, and I’m not sure if triality is a real word, but if it is, this is definitely an example of it even more so. Lamar, in the same weary tone, weaves together a tale of wickedness v. weakness, and the hypocritical, withered, pointing finger of the USA.

“DNA” is possibly the hardest track on the project, with a heavy Mike Will instrumental. To be Kendrick, or Drake, or Kanye, sifting through filing cabinets of the coldest beats ever created must be an amazing feeling. The production quality of the project alone is enough to start it off at a 6/10 without having to vocalize a single lyric. “Imma make it look sexy” Lamar then exclaims on “ELEMENT.”, another standout cut/ Instagrammable caption generator…

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REVIEW!

How to Watch The Sunset

There are few natural feats in life that deliver as much sheer beauty as a sunset.

You might have or favourite spot, or maybe you’re a chaser wherever you are. Maybe you like to go by yourself, or maybe you have a special sunset buddy. Regardless, there is something special about that transition from golden hour to moonlit dusk.

But what is the best way to perfectly indulge in the sunset? Just follow these pointers.

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Here is How To Watch The Sunset:

“Bondi Sunset” – “5:38”, google replies. 5:14, you take flight off the main doorstep.

I don’t know why, but you’ll ALWAYS be late, so plan ahead. Try to time it so that you arrive at your spot at least 15-20 minutes before the sun is scheduled to start setting. And remember, even if you’re early, you’re still late. So don’t worry too much.

Tucked in the hills of North, Bondi in Sydney, Australia, a magical spot presides. It’s not the most secluded, or the least known, but it’s perfect. It’s a mere meetup for the non-existent sun-setters club, and you’ve just gained membership. You have only a handful of minutes until it’s time, and the bus is pulling up as close as it’ll go, each stop beforehand playing Jenga with your angst. At this point, with your nose pressed against the window, the billowy clouds over the bay will start to seem closer than science should allow. You’ll hop off the bus as cumulus destiny seems to summon you. You’ll want to stop and set up camp right then and there, but you haven’t quite made it to your spot yet – snap out of it. You will start the playlist.

 – – – – –

“Clouds Never Get Old”; Bas harkens the sky with a bouncy ode as you stroll to your spot, gazing up at the sky as if it was your first time seeing it. “Palm Trees” will play as you settle in. Relaxed and taking in the beauty, you’ll seek out the perfect vantage point. A few minutes will pass, and as the sun struggles to peek out over the skyline the cotton candy clouds will 2-step as Frank Ocean’s intro begins. “Pink+White” takes over your soul – green, your body.  Hearing Frank naturally makes you want to hear more Frank.

The beginning of the 2nd half of “Nights” marks the end of another day to most, or the beginning of another for a creative, as you peer out and finally seem to understand the color navy. (Not an ocean blue, but it’s not quite purple either. It’s underneath the clouds, yet never eclipses the horizon. As sure as you’ve ever been of anything).

Sampha’s hymns a background for your truest admirations. You’ll embrace the beauty of the sky, the day, maybe the person you are with (I’m not too sure), and finally exactly where you are at this very moment in life, and realize that even if you never think of this moment ever again, you’ll never forget it. “4422”. The actualizations set in and the energy of your surroundings and everything in reach resurface as the harsh vibrations of “Foreign Fields”. Maybe it’s the lack of sun, but you have chills.

Quiñ’s voice haunts you, and you free-fall back to earth with cinder blocks of emotion bound to your ankles. Gerald gives you something(/someone) relatable(/regrettable) to think about, and you feel it. (I’m not sure what that something is, it’s ineffable, but you’ll know it when you feel it). The quintessential nighttime song, nothing else man-made has ever made you feel that way.

 – – – – –

The sunset is now over and so is the playlist, and you’ve already started trying to re-materialize the fading ink. One by one the stars start to appear, and you start to attempt to rationalize the last 28 minutes.

You can’t because there isn’t anything to rationalize. It was just another perfect sunset.


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This was the sunset tonight. I really wasn’t lying. It’s really hard to write about, or even remember these type of evenings after the fact.

I wrote this piece by hand during an early April sunset in Bondi, my first after another bout with a creative block. All together I spent about a month piecing together the ideas for this, starting venturing to a bunch of ideal spots, experimenting with the right songs for the playlist, and finally getting out and testing it out for myself. The block coming via an abundance of overwhelming news, I think this is exactly the piece I was hoping for, and needed.

Again, the listenable playlist is here, in case you missed it (I would’ve embedded it, but 8tracks’ WordPress add-on looks horrendous, and Frank isn’t on Soundcloud). Try it out at your next sunset, and let me know if it works for you too.

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Lord knows I haven’t seen the sunrise is almost 3 years, but I don’t think there is anything I love more than a good sunset. Maybe that is just the night-person in me.

a how-to,

by hospey.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey

Throwaways: Byron Bay

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Byron Bay was the quintessential beach town vacation spot. As a newly formed clique, we swiftly made the transition from 2 European’s & a couple of Canadian FOB’s to a set of slightly less functional, fully less productive hippies. Nearly every meal was consumed on a curb in front the establishment that we overpaid for it at, and footwear was always optional. The beach was less of a pit-stop and more of an assumed starting point. We were all ‘locals’ for the week.

Starting off as a trek to what I figured would be just another beach town that was well over-hyped (it seemed to be on everybody’s recommendation list) soon turned into an iconicized adventure straight out of an old movie, with an equally iconic strip of 35mm to accompany it. My first time shooting in black & white was admittedly nerve-racking considering disposable cameras don’t always give you much to work with, and without a sample to play off of I was merely an amateur with a white cane.

Although some of my l8 night shots came out completely black, I’m pretty happy with what I ended up with and I definitely ended up with more usable shots than my first roll (+ my new favourite shot of all time – guess which one hint: it involves a confectionary smile). I think I’m going to play around with black & white some more.

Next time someone oversells Byron Bay (or a black & white disposable camera) to you… just take their word for it.

-Hospey.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey

Interlude: I’m Thinking About Horses

 

I’m not much of a poet, and I don’t know my 5-7-5’s from my 5-7-5-7-7’s. I’ve got friends that write poems, and I’ve been interested in the craft for a while, but I’ve never pursued any deeper interest in it. Mike Posner of all people (yes, the “Cooler Than Me” guy), might’ve just changed that for me.

I’ve been spending a lot of time by myself which has its shortcomings, but also its benefits – one of which is getting a lot more time to listen to new music or projects that I’ve been meaning to check out. Although it was less of a wait this time around, I finally got around to listening to the edgy self-titled debut from Mansionz (composed of veteran underground all-stars Mike Posner & Blackbear). Besides the fact that I’m a closeted Blackbear stan and that they tapped Dennis Rodman for a feature verse, the production quality alone between the pair made this a probable project to enjoy.

I listened to a few singles beforehand but after hearing nothing that really excited me, it was put it on the back-burner with Drake & Goldlink dropping projects in the same time frame. It wasn’t until I decided to embark on an 18K walk to catch up on music that the blaring background music from the Batman bad-guy lookalikes started to make an impact.

Sonically, Mansionz is near perfection. The aforementioned production & pairing abilities of both men are unparalleled – they blend the beginning and end of each track to create the feeling of one continuous flow and the execution is flawless. A bevy of two-parters become whole; incognito bump bops two-step with passionate cries of teenaged frustration… even though both men are in their late 20’s. Even the cringeworthy lyrics seem intentional. The seemingly dull singles that turned me away originally now fit like sharp pieces into a little emo puzzle.

Starting with “I’m Thinking About Horses”, the climax of the project is properly placed in the center of the album with a quartet of #sadboi songs that complete the aesthetic. Familiar collaborator G-Eazy even checks in for a surprisingly decent verse to finish it off.

The talents of each artist are showcased and highlighted in a few different parts throughout, though Posner’s solo spoken-word is absolutely on another level. His locution seems perfect, both in realistic relatability and harsh semantics:

I’m thinking about God. I’m thinking about sex
I’ve been holy all day and acted in ways that deserve adjectives like “honorable,” “good,” and “straight”.
But it’s after 10PM now and I’m bored
I watched a movie on the internet alone and now it’s over
I pick up my phone and text every female I know within a 15 mile radius.
It’s a terrible thing that deserves adjectives like “chauvinistic,” “objectifying,” and “asshole-ish” .
I made that up just for myself

Posner thinks about god, sex, his dad, death, and of course, horses. He wonders how such powerful, majestic creatures allow humans to objectify them for a meal ticket; he wonders why we do the same.

Without getting too much deeper, I suggest you check out the poem (above) a couple of times for yourself and try to make sense of it. As a noted before, I don’t know much about this stuff either, but something about it just seems perfect at the moment. To be honest, the dude makes me want to start toying around poetry.

Check out Mike Posner’s recently released book of poetry, teardrops & balloons, here.


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Interlude: I’m Thinking About Horses

As noted I’ve been spending a lot more time on this trip by myself, just thinking about my next moves. Perhaps it’s better this way; my constraints stay limited, and my efforts are now focused planning out my next act of spontaneity (that’s an oxymoron, right?). Anyways, the playlist is probably a little different this time around, as my tastes usually mirror my circumstances in the moment.

I’ve included 2 tracks off of Mansionz (look up any of the previewed songs on YouTube), a creepily cool track from Lil Uzi Vert (something about the double entendre in the ‘all my friends are dead’ hook is so damn dope to me), another Bas feature, the soulful Sampha cut off of More Life, and some new Jarreau Vandal to finish it off.

So, ya. Enjoy. Go think about some horses, or something. (This sh*t kind of feels like a book club – listen to my playlist and we’ll discuss next week, haha.)

Postscript:  Another benefit of alone time? I’ve been writing A LOT more. I’ve even challenged myself to write every day, in fact. What good is a writer that doesn’t write? A good man one told me “perfect practice makes perfect”, so I figure that still applies. Not everything will be suited for here or RLGT, but I promise I’m working on some new stuff for y’all. (All 4 of you).

A new how-to & a new edition of Throwaways coming at y’all soon.

HHT Interlude: Vol 2