Our Four: Our Favorite Sounds, Visions, Words & Voices of 2013

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Fourculture wants to share the joy we have received from all the wonderful artists, musicians and writers we interact with. Each of us come from varied backgrounds and have varying tastes in everything. We thought it would be fun to share with our readers our crews four favorite Sounds, Visions, Words and Voices of 2013. So without further ado we present Our Four.

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The Artist D, Executive Editor

SOUNDS:  
SIRPAUL really hit me this year. I had the pleasure of speaking with him about his art and music many times and I really adore his quality. Plus it’s great to rock out to in the car…with the windows open…at stop lights. Glow!

Inside the Mind of Andy Warhol by Scooter LaForge
Inside the Mind of
Andy Warhol
by Scooter LaForge

VISIONS: 
Scooter LaForge provides a visual interpretation of bridges into my mind’s eye. Quirky and kookie and fabulous!
Check out our feature on Scooter here: 
http://issuu.com/fourculture/docs/fourculture_issue_9

WORDS: 
It’s like I’ve met back up with my best friend when I read Quinton Crisp. The art of being has never been so clear to me and obvious that it is what I too most desire to do. To just be me.

VOICES:
Fourculture columnist Darya Teesewell’s voice sticks with me for 2013. An adventure in all sorts of gangsterisms. It is hard for someone like me to find someone to take me even further into the uncensored, but Darya does it.  Check out Darya’s latest column here: http://issuu.com/fourculture/docs/fourculture_issue_9

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Paula Schlepp Frank, Managing Editor

SOUNDS:
Sorne would have to be my pick for this one.  This guy is the epitome of art and music all wrapped in one incredibly imaginative package.  The Adversary would be my runner up. Both artists are telling stories and creating art that bring their music to life.

VISIONS: 
Issue 7 brought us the images of Iain Reid who consistently pulls at my heart with his photographs.  The depth of emotion he can get from a “simple” photograph is truly stunning. Our interview with Iain: http://issuu.com/fourculture/docs/fourculture_issue_7

Under-the-Empyrean-Sky-by-Chuck-WendigWORDS:
This year saw the release of Under the Empyrean Sky by author Chuck Wendig.  I happen to enjoy dystopian novels and true to Wendig form, he delivers a story that pulls no punches, entertains, and provokes thought.  I love Chuck’s writing and can’t wait for the next books to come in this trilogy. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/portfolio/under-the-empyrean-sky-heartland-1/

VOICES: 
Can I say I love all of the voices we share in Fourculture?  I couldn’t possibly pick just one.  Darya Teeswell continuously entertains with stories of her life in the underground.  Frank Cotolo never fails to crack me up with his tongue-in-cheek fiction, and Adam D shows us a new side to his life as a musician.  All different.  All important.

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Ann Marie Papanagnostou, Creative Director

SOUNDS:
The Unified Field by IAMX Released in March, this album is all about accepting human nature for what it is.  Chris Corner takes us by the hand and walks us through 12 awesome tracks, allowing us to question and accept the bizarre ways of humanity. With hauntingly beautiful vocals, intense lyrics and intricate instrumentation, The Unified Field delivers. 

VISIONS:
Iain Reid –  In Issue 7, we featured the work of Iain Reid, the man behind Beanotown Photography.  I adore all of Iain’s work but his street photography is what initially caught my eye.  In each image, he captures the emotion and energy of his subjects and for a moment, you’re experiencing life through someone else’s eyes.  It can be very intense and very beautiful.  He still talks to me despite my ridiculous fangirling. Our interview with Iain: http://issuu.com/fourculture/docs/fourculture_issue_7

AlmNewAge11x14WORDS:
Storypeople. The goal of the Storypeople is to encourage people to live, to experience the world.  As someone who doesn’t have a great deal of time to properly enjoy a book, the Storypeople keep my imagination alive with the short stories they produce each day.  In just a few lines of text accompanied by a vibrant illustration, the reader is directed to think about an idea or experience.  And I think that is exactly what a story should do.

VOICES:
The Strangers Project is a collection of anonymous journal entries or letters from strangers.  Created by Brandon Doman, this project now features the stories of over 7000 individuals.  These stories of joy, hope, frustration and despair are shared on the project’s website and social networks.  Each entry is given a platform. Each person is given a voice.

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Darya Teesewell, Columnist/Contributor

SOUNDS:
Ali Farka Toure’ and Vieux Farka Toure’Tabara — Vieux’s guitar, accompanied by his father’s brilliant Kora, plays a shimmering traditional piece from Mali that haunts me every time.

A Fracture by Robyn O'Neil
A Fracture
by Robyn O’Neil

VISIONS:
My friend Robyn O’Neil.  I love her wistful, calmly apocalyptic landscapes, populated by Bison, tiny, busy people and sad palm trees.

WORDS:
I still love reading Yukio Mishima; re-read Forbidden Colors about life as a deeply closeted homosexual in Tokyo in the fifties.

VOICES:
Excluded by Julia Serano. The brilliant Julia Serano continues to parse the confusing sociopolitical world of being Trans and female.

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felicia c waters, Promotions/Contributor

SOUNDS:
To me the best of 2013 in new music has to be the release of the The Head and the Heart’s new record Lets Be Still. They have assimilated the couple of years they have been on the road, the acts they have opened up for and a sense of maturity, and wrapped it up in a big bow of luscious harmonies and gorgeous melodies. For me it was like Christmas morning. The anticipation, the excitement, the feeling of being free, was all worth the wait.

A very close second is at the complete opposite end of my music spectrum. Body/Head is the new project from Kim Gordon formerly of Sonic Youth and the album is Coming Apart. It is a journey through a soul full of angst, fuzzy guitars, and feedback. It’s an album that you listen to with a glass of whiskey, lights low and mind open so it can be blown.  http://fourculture.com/mind/rock-music-is-alive-and-well-and-living-in-the-fuzz/

$T2eC16V,!zkFJCr)zz8MBSY17wbrK!~~60_3WORDS:
Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What it Means to be Black Now by Touré. This was a very interesting read about the state of race in the United States today. Touré is so smart, his insight is amazing and I look forward to hearing his views every chance I get.

VOICES:
Hands down for me it is Rachel Maddow. Smart, funny, nerdy and she mixes a mean cocktail. Being the political junkie that I am, I appreciate the integrity and thoroughness she brings to every one of her pieces. She also wrote a pretty major book called Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power where she examines the slow slide into the secretiveness of how the US goes to war. I can only hope that one day I can be an eighth as interesting and knowledgeable as she. http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show

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Kathy Creighton, Contributor

SOUNDS:
Hearts Fail was one of my most challenging assignments, but I stuck through it. Since then, Edward always includes me in his #FFs and thanks me whenever I share his posts of various social media.  Thank you Edward for making me a better journalist.  Check out the Hearts Fail feature here: http://issuu.com/fourculture/docs/fourculture_issue_7/78

VISIONS:
Hans Haveron was a major turn in my path. Through him I was introduced to the world of street art and welcomed into “the tribe”.  Sharing him I still feel like I brought light and beauty to readers.

The Giant Storybook Project

WORDS:
The Giant Storybook Project.  Herakut have come up with a spectacular way to promote their upcoming book.  This project is global and the pages cannot be missed where they are painted.  It is totally unique.

VOICES:
Save 5 Pointz. This series has been incredibly personal. Both my photographer (my son) and I were blessed with experiencing 5 Pointz in June.  No photo or video does this living gallery justice.  The sounds-cars, trucks, trains, the city. The smells – some not so pleasant, food, exhaust, spray paint.  Sites – traffic, skyscrapers and the warehouse complex. It was breathtaking and something I will never forget.  I wish I, Ann Marie, Fourculture, our readers could have done more to possible save this great place. I intend to do everything I can to support what the great artists who left there marks, their souls on that building with their future work. http://fourculture.com/mind/5-pointz-its-not-over-til-i-say-its-over/

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Derek Joseph O’Neal, Contributor

SOUNDS:
WoodkidThe Golden Age. This is easily the best album of the year from neofolk singer, songwriter, and director Yoann Lemoine under the moniker Woodkid. Standout Track: ‘I Love You’.

IAMXThe Unified Field. The fifth studio album from IAMX (solo project of Chris Corner) is pure, electronic sex. Standout Track: ‘The Unified Field’.
http://www.iamx.eu/

The NeighbourhoodI Love You. The debut album from The Neighbourhood puts this alternative rock band in the spotlight. Standout Track: ‘Everybody’s Watching Me (Uh Oh)’.

The Civil WarsThe Civil War. The sophomore album from alternative folk band The Civil Wars proves better than their debut. Standout Track: ‘Dust To Dust’.

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Marguerite O’Connell Barazi, Contributor

SOUNDS:
Fall Out Boy Save Rock and Roll. Two very dear friends introduced me to the music of Fall Out Boy while the band was on hiatus and we vowed to one day see Fall Out Boy perform – together.  When Save Rock and Roll was released and the band announced shows in Texas, we made our plans: J1 flew in from Alaska, J2 drove up from Galveston and we spent one week together, saw two shows and each got a commemorative tattoo.

CHVRCHESThe Bones of What You Believe. The first live performance review I did for Fourculture was CHVRCHES recent Houston show. I also was lucky enough to do a review of the music video for their single, ‘Lies’. This band is definitely a new favorite of mine.
http://fourculture.com/mind/chvrches-rocks-houston-and-proves-ready-for-a-bigger-stage/
http://fourculture.com/mind/chvrches-unveils-music-video-for-lies/

Monte Pittman A Dark Horse (single). Monte Pittman’s talent never stops amazing me. The diversity of his solo music as well as his touring gigs – he effortlessly slips from acoustic to Rock to Pop to Metal – shows why he has such a devoted fan base.
http://fourculture.com/mind/monte-pittmans-single-a-dark-horse-is-a-winner/

VOICES:
Fourculture Magazine. I am an Indie Music addict, an Art-aholic and the Written Word is my air. Fourculture Magazine feeds my addictions and actually lets me contribute to its voice.  What more could I have asked of 2013?

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Mark SharpleyContributor

Having only joined Fourculture half way through the year, it’s safe to say they have kept me busy! But here is my four of 2013 of the genres we cover.

SOUNDS:
My album of the year? More Light by Primal Scream. Bobby Gillespie and company go back to the Screamadelica era and blend it with Vanishing Point to produce a brilliant album. With guest vocals coming from Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant, this album is a winner and shows that Primal Scream just get better with age

VISIONS:
The Stone Roses – Made Of Stone. After THE musical comeback of 2012, director Shane Meadows decided to show the world just why The Stone Roses will always be regarded as one of the most important bands around and just watching the Heaton Park footage will always send shivers down my spine.

qau-AQAAQBAJWORDS:
Morrissey, Autobiography. Mozza has always had one or two words to say about certain subjects and now, to quote Half a Person, let him tell you the story of his life. A very well written book about a man who changed people’s lives by simply fronting The Smiths, armed with daffodils.

VOICES:
Billy Bragg. Simply because of his defense of the independent music scene as it has been his scene for over 30 years and will continue to be that until he hangs his guitar. His Outstanding Contribution to Music at the Association of Independent Music awards is testament to his belief and presence outside the mainstream music jungle

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Serena Butler, Contributor

SOUNDS:
One that really stands out for me this year is the latest album from Russia’s pop powerhouse Sergey Lazarev entitled Lazarev. I’ve been following Sergey for a few years now but finally the time has come for him to make his United States debut which drops on December 3 via iTunes.  With tracks that seem to fit every mood and every occasion, this is my most played album of 2013. Thanks to the Official American fan club for hooking me up with a copy!  When he hits the US on December 8th, you’ll all know why without looking here why Sergey makes my four.

VISIONS:
For my visions of 2013, I have to hand this one to Banksy. I’m impressed by the fact that no one knows who exactly he is. He could have riches and international fame but the way he shuns notoriety in order to pass his message through art, is truly inspiring. I was following closely calling the number for the NYC showing, pressing random numbers until I found out that there was a new piece going up that day. Especially when he donated the piece The Banality of the Banality of Evil for charity; he’s got the awareness of what he’s worth, knowing he can make a change with his art. Whatever 2014 brings from Banksy is going to be huge.

downloadWORDS:
This year I haven’t had much time to read as I would have liked to, as many of you know I moved just recently. I hope before the end of the year to get a chance to read the latest by Neil Gaiman entitled The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I’ve always been captivated by Neil’s poetic style and when I finally got a real taste of his work in seventh grade with Coraline I’ve been hooked ever since.  Without reading it yet, I’ll give it a pass to make the four because he is Neil freakin’ Gaiman. Many of us here at Fourculture would love to get a moment to pick Neil’s brain. So Neil, CALL US!!! http://neilgaiman.com/

VOICES:
This year one voice has really captivated me from day one and that would have to be Malala Yousafzai.  Her courage and hope for the world is one that all of us can look up to. She looked in the face of dangerous men and said no, you will not take away my chance for a better life just because I am a Woman.  It takes a lot of courage to be nearly left for dead and still move on with her message, let alone from a teenager. Her experience has taught me not to take my opportunities in America for granted.  I am blessed to be where I am today. Malala, you are a real hero.

 

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Written By

Ann Marie likes art, music and cat videos. She writes occasionally and is a fierce twitter connoisseur.

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