Album of the Week: Sarolta Zalatnay

I find that  playing music sung in languages other than English helps my kids understand that there are places other than the United States and bands other than Black Eyed Peas that can crank it out. So, let’s pick a country…  say Hungary and let’s pick a time – say 40 years ago – with that let me introduce you to Sarolta Zalatnay. Discovered amid the staff picks at Green Apple Bookstore in San Francisco (arguably one of the best – if not the best, book store in the city) – it’s a fav on our play list rotation. Sarolta Zalatnay

So, if you like killer hip-hop back beat, fuzzed-out wah wah guitar, lots of big crunchy power chords and a major dose of Janis Joplin with a pinch of Geddy Lee via Budapest circa 1969 then you’re gonna love her. Check out the grooves in Itt a Nyár and Hadd Mondjam El or the haunting Adj Egy Percet). I’ve tossed a few of her songs into some iPod play lists where several fellow musically discerning friends were clearly intrigued… and stumped. They would first look vacantly towards the sky as if they were trying to place the sound, then look quizzically at me – with expressions of delight yet wonder – their well honed databases of all things musical clearly unable to call up the artist. Click hear to get the album: Zalatnay

Egyser Itt a Nyar Adj Egy Percet Hadd Mondjam El

I have to admit that, even at my advance age of forty-something, discovering a random golden nugget like Sarolta still makes my day.

Motion Painting Masterpiece

Came across this truly amazing video of Italian street artist Blu and NY based artist David Ellis mashing-up their two distinct styles into a graffiti-based motion painting collaborative called COMBO for this year’s Fame Festival in Grottaglie Italy. It’s a four minute piece (it loops twice) that took them one entire week to create. In it you’ll see Blu’s familiar characters and designs crawling and interacting with the building itself. Makes you breathe a sigh of relief that creativity and originality still exist out there in the world.

If you liked COMBO – then check out Blu’s piece MUTO from last year. Click here.

Are Our Wives and Mothers Becoming Unhappier?

If you believe that one of the biggest contributors to the well being of children is the strength and dynamic of the relationship between the father and mother – meaning that the health and stability of the primary relationship contributes greatly to the ability to be better parents, then today’s Forum subject warrants your focused attention.
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This morning’s show focuses on the findings that women (and more so – mothers) have been becoming unhappier while men’s happiness has increased – which is the conclusion drawn from 37 years of data from the General Social Survey which has tracked Americans’ moods since 1972. Click here to listen to the discussion between Betsey Stevenson professor of at the Wharton School of Business, Christine Carter, executive director of the Greater Good Science Center and author of “Raising Happiness” and Ruth Rosen, professor of history at UC Berkeley and former columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle and The Los Angeles Times. The discussion explores several potential causes such as the tendency for perfectionism among women, unrealistic expectations and media influences.

I was lucky and got to catch the whole broadcast on the drive down to Palo Alto this morning for a meeting. Let’s all give hugs, kisses and gratitude to our old ladies today.

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Wee See for Me (and you too)

I’m a big fan of The Polyphonic Spree – the choral symphonic rock group from Dallas Texas, which is headed by Tim DeLaughter. So when I came across a company, Wee See, that produces visual stimulation DVDs for infants with music scored, composed and performed by Tim, I had to check it out. For a quick taste of the experience, click here:

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Fans of The Polyphonic Spree will recognize the bright and shiny melodies in the DVDs which are slow methodically dynamic high contrast black and white animations that are soothing and actually pretty fun to watch. I can imagine a concert or party (for grown-ups) with these as visualizations in the background. Here’s a sample of one of the DVDs:

Temptation by Marshmallow

An almost painful but hilarious experiment of kids managing their impulses. I’d be interested to see how adults fare. I wouldn’t be surprised if grown-ups acted more impulsively then the kids. It’s a fun watch. I came across this at a great kid-related, design-based blog called Wee Saw.

Album of the Week: Dandelion Gum by Black Moth Super Rainbow

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A favorite in our house, Dandelion Gum is BMSR’s third album and is laden with trippy, psychedelic and highly melodic songs that sound like they were written and played by a group of martian kids on too much cough syrup.  It’s electronic/rock that’s played and recorded live – no sequencers were used, which explains the warm, child-like feel to the songs. Check out “Drippy Eye” and “When the Sun Grows On Your Tongue”. Weird, fun, kid friendly… and its got a great beat! Check it out.

When the Sun Grows on Your Tongue

Po Bronson’s New Book on Raising Kids

Po Bronson – NYT best selling author, collaborates on a new book on how to raise children… NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children…that is based on research by psychologists, neuro-imaging scientists, demographers, sociologists, and others that all independently come to the same conclusions. It definitely turns a lot of conventional wisdom upside down and “pops” many beliefs on what works and what doesn’t when it concerns raising children.

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