When you don't eat meat, and don't eat any animal products, you're a vegan. It's the right thing to do. Here's what famous musicians have to say about being vegan:
In the late 1960s, Wayne Kramer helped forge punk rock as a member of Michigan-based MC5, who influenced groups including the Sex Pistols and Black Flag. By 1976, Kramer was in a Detroit prison for selling drugs. The Clash even wrote a song, "Jail Guitar Doors," about the incarcerated guitarist.
The clean-living Kramer was released in 1978 and three decades later brought together a group of musicians, including British singer/songwriter Billy Bragg, for a benefit gig. Bragg had written "jail guitar doors" on his guitar, and founded a non-profit organization named after the song to provide instruments to prison inmates in Britain. Kramer brought the organization stateside in 2009.
In 2004, on the day before Father's Day, Ron Sarfaty collapsed at Disneyland after suffering a massive stroke. Subsequently paralyzed on his left side and confined to a wheelchair, he was forced to give up his career as a military prototype developer. It took him two years to re-learn how to drive. Making things worse, on March 23 of this year, his van was totaled in an accident.
After his stroke, he began investing much of his time and energy into recording audio and video recordings for local musicians performing at house parties and venues around town. It was a hobby he had enjoyed since 1998, but with his newfound medical condition, Sarfaty's amateur videography work became less a hobby and more a way for him to engage with the local music community. He found that this work gave him a sense of purpose; the musicians he was working with found that Sarfaty's professional quality videos helped them to boost their visibility.
Paris-based artist Benoit Jammes makes darling art from old cassette tapes. Each precisely cut and painted piece is 100 percent handmade, and, the artist says, "hard work but so nostalgia!" Jammes' cassette tape series includes pop culture references (The Matrix, The Simpsons, Kill Bill), meta fine art tributes (Mondrian), and all sorts of other cutesy themes like: The zoo! And rocket ships! And luxury goods! The pieces are made from recycled cassette tapes including those by Michael Jackson and Ace of Base.
Check Jammes' work here and find additional designs and purchase information on his website. (While the actual pieces are going on exhibit soon and are not currently for sale, signed prints are available).
Albert Einstein said, "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." The Beatles said, "All you need is love." The Love Mob, in essence, combines these two concepts.
The Los Angeles-based group performs a capella covers of classics. Their goal? Nothing short of creating a cultural/social/spiritual revolution, by facilitating organized acts of love. (No, not that kind you maniac.)
The notion of opening your heart through music definitely sounds like cloying new age stuff. Tony Moss is aware of that. But he also knows that music can actually open the heart up, as proven by quantifiable data (having to do with electromagnetic fields and planetary energetics). It's called heart math.
Having studied this field for almost 20 years. Moss has created a project called LuvAmp, which has to do with community, ceremony, and the creativity-bursting effects of contemporary ritual, among other things. (Stay with us.) At its foundation, however, is the premise that love feels really good to all living things. Through music, Moss and his LuvAmp band propagate the notion that people are nicer to themselves and each other when they feel love. Call it a subtle revolution. Moss does.
When his father was diagnosed three years ago with early onset Alzheimer's disease at age 55, local rapper Lee Shaner dealt with it the way most people deal with traumatic experiences -- by internalizing it.
"For a long time, [my family] tried to hide that my dad was sick," says Shaner, who raps under the name Intuition. "We'd just make small talk, like, 'Oh, he's doing good.'"
Last week, however, he released a song and video, "Imagining," on his blog that reveals not just his struggle with the illness, but also Shaner's own shaky relationship with his father. Featuring producer Equalibrum's sample of Youth Lagoon's poignant, watery "17," Shaner's voice is dull and flat at first, then it escalates into anger before dropping once again. The video (below) shows Shaner, drinking a Rolling Rock and alone on a baseball field, and his father (played by an actor), drinking the same and alone in a wheelchair.
Seven weeks ago, Christopher Varnardo was homeless on Skid Row. Today, he's a YouTube sensation.
It all came together after the 40-year-old Varnardo serenaded a filmmaker with his song "Brother Man" in June. Captured on a video that can be seen below, it has gone viral, and led to a fresh start for Varnardo.