08/12/13
rewind button

FYF : Concerts – Alt-J @ The Commodore Ballroom

Playlist: Alt-J – Fitzpleasure

Much like The Black Keys’s Brothers was the soundtrack of my 11th grade year, I listened to Alt-J’s debut album, An Awesome Wave, on repeat throughout my first year of university. That album just resonated with me — I blogged about their KEXP performance and even recorded a drum cover of the song “Breezeblocks”. Needless to say, I was stoked to see they were coming to Vancouver and bought pre-sale tickets to see them several months in advance. My friend, Kett, and I scored second-row spots and the show was fantastic. Also, The Commodore Ballroom is gorgeous.

alt-j concert april 2013

alt-j concert april 2013 2alt-j concert april 2013 3nirel and kett at alt-j

-N

This post is part of a series of posts I am writing about my first year at UBC, upon reflection. Check out the First Year Flashbacks category or look for the “FYF” image beside each post to read more.

08/10/13
rewind button

FYF : Concerts – AMS Block Party @ MacInnes Field, UBC

Playlist: Mord Fustang – Lick The Rainbow, Good For Grapes – London Fog

Like I said, AMS knows how to put on a kick-ass outdoor concert. Maybe it was the fact that I came earlier and saw all the bands play, or the pouring rain, or the four cups of hard cider now that I’d turned 19, but I liked this end-of-the-school-year show even better than its beginning-of-the-year equivalent. Line-up included Mord Fustang, Dillon Francis, K’Naan, Good For Grapes and Anxiojam. After that, I’m excited to see what AMS has in store for Welcome Back BBQ 2013! (Minus MacInnes field, which unfortunately has been ousted to make room for the new Aquatic Centre.)

Looks like Dan has his hands full…

Anxiojam!

UBC AMS block party 2013

-N

This post is part of a series of posts I am writing about my first year at UBC, upon reflection. Check out the First Year Flashbacks category or look for the “FYF” image beside each post to read more.

08/6/13
rewind button

FYF : Concerts – Idan Raichel Project @ The Vogue Theatre

Playlist: Idan Raichel Project – Mi’ma’amakim

My Mama was my valentine this year when she came up from Seattle to visit and see this show with me on February 14th. My friend saved us front-row seats in this intimate venue, so we were actually able to tell Idan Raichel “good job” (in Hebrew) and he answered us, “thanks”! Having my mom and friends at this show, which showcased fantastic musical talent, made it a total blast. Also, check the IRP out if you are into foreign music at all — Idan Raichel is an Israeli artist who collaborates with musicians from all over the world to create masterpieces in various languages.

My beautiful mother & me….just an arm’s length away from Idan Raichel!

the vogue theatre idan raichel project

-N <3

This post is part of a series of posts I am writing about my first year at UBC, upon reflection. Check out the First Year Flashbacks category or look for the “FYF” image beside each post to read more.

08/4/13
rewind button

FYF : Concerts – Bassnectar @ Thunderbird Stadium, UBC

Playlist: Bassnectar – Bass Head

Timestretch was the first dubstep album I ever listened to. Since then, I’ve managed to find a place for the genre in my heart: blasting it during workouts and raging at the occasional concert/music festival. Going to this show made me realize that I am by no means a “raver” — the music was way too loud (yes, I am aware I sound like your grandma) and Bassnectar is not as upbeat as the Skrillex-esque dubstep I’ve been listening to lately. However, I still managed to have some fun, thanks to the friends I was with. Remember, kids — friends are important. Especially at a rave that you went to not knowing it was going to be a rave. Oops.

fyf bassnectar 2012

fyf piglets at bassnectar 2012

My Haida First Floor Piglets!

-N

This post is part of a series of posts I am writing about my first year at UBC, upon reflection. Check out the First Year Flashbacks category or look for the “FYF” image beside each post to read more.

08/2/13
rewind button

First Year Flashbacks : Concerts – Welcome Back BBQ @ MacInnes Field, UBC

Playlist: Morgan Page – In The Air

I’ve always been an avid concert-goer, and my first year at UBC was no exception. A huge part of the reason I chose to attend UBC in the first place is because Vancouver is a beautiful city with so much going on — and if an artist is going on tour, it is likely they’ll play here.

AMS knows how to put on a sick outdoor concert. I definitely felt “welcome” after this show, featuring: Hey Ocean!, Morgan Page, Starfucker, Minxy Jones & DJ She. Partied it up with my new Jumpstart buddies. (:

fyf ubc welcome back bbq 2012

nirel at ubc welcome back bbq 2012

Broken foot? What broken foot? I’m here to dance (safely, of course – don’t want to break the other one…).

fyf ubc welcome back bbq on grass

-N

This post is part of a series of posts I am writing about my first year at UBC, upon reflection. Check out the First Year Flashbacks category or look for the “FYF” image beside each post to read more.

06/12/13
Source: pjmedia.com

Mural.ly: A Creative Platform for Visual People

Playlist: Cuban music station on Pandora (for those of you in Canada over the summer, I’m sure you can find a similar station on 8tracks or last.fm)

Creative Intelligence Mind Map

Sample Mind Map; Source: Google Images

ATTENTION ALL VISUAL LEARNERS OUT THERE:

Allow me to introduce you to your new best friend.

I’ve just discovered Mural.ly, a brilliant web-based platform that allows users to create mind maps and vision boards of all sorts and work on them solo or collaborate with others. I don’t know about you guys, but this is one of the most exciting moments of my life. That may sound hyperbolic, but I do love my mind maps — I wrote my university application essay on them and ended up going to a preeeeetty sweet school, soo…

In all seriousness, though, I added it for free as a Google Chrome application earlier tonight and have been fooling around on it non-stop since. Check out some of the demo murals on their website for ideas and go from there. A mural can be as simple as a sticky-note-filled cork board and as complex as a giant diagram you have to zoom in and out from to view the various components and finally the big picture.

So far I’ve made a bulletin board of what I have to do before I leave for NYC in two days (eep! Excited.) and started working on a giant map of my short- and long-term goals. I know once school starts again in the fall I’ll be aggregating my class notes into big, beautiful mind maps. What will you do with your own web-based creative space?

More exciting things to come,

Nirel

05/22/13
space needle top - seattle 2

Dream Dance

Playlist: Nahko Bear (Medicine for the People) – Aloha Ke Akua

Imagine a place where artists are invited to paint as they please, musicians encouraged to play to their hearts’ content and where everyone celebrates warmth, happiness and love through dance. Welcome to Dream Dance.

Over the weekend, my parents took me to Dream Dance for the first time. They have been going every month for the past 6 or so months and, being in Vancouver, I was never able to join them until now.

It was awesome.

Going around the huge circle-shaped room, I noticed one area where people were welcome to sit and have tea, an area with a bunch of couches and pillows where people talked and cuddled, a spot for anyone to set up an easel and paint, a stage where attendees could play music and a huge wall that someone broadcasted his art onto (while he was making it on his laptop).

My favorite part was doing AcroYoga for the first time (which you can learn more about here). It was both relaxing and exhilarating to balance and take various poses – all while being held up by someone else’s hands and feet.

I also drummed for a bit on a djembe that someone had brought and left a note on the giant sacred-looking dream catcher that sat at one side of the room. By the end of the dance, it was filled with drawings, what people dream for and why they come to Dream Dance.

I think the best description of ecstatic dance I can think of is that I like to dance wildly around my room, in my underwear, to the pulse of the music (something my roommate would get a kick out of last year)…Now it seems I’ve found a bunch of other people who like to do that, too.

WHAT: Ecstatic dance to a combination of live and DJed trance music in a welcoming, non-judgmental environment.

WHERE: Om Culture yoga and dance studio in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle

WHEN: 3rd Saturday of each month

WHO: Smiley people of all ages (there were children running around and septuagenarians getting their groove on) and walks of life (from corporate-by-day to hippie-all-the-time)

COST: $5 for students; $9-$15 otherwise

If you’re in Seattle on a 3rd Saturday (or close enough to get here one month) and you enjoy free-spirited dancing, good music and art and friendly people, you should definitely check this out. Psssst… Let me know if you do, because I might be in the area and attending, too!

Love, Nirel

01/27/13
books

Freeeee Boooooooks!! (and some music)

Playlist: Gemini – Fire Inside

Martin Solveig – The Night Out

Swedish House Mafia – Greyhound 

(Yes, I’ve caught the electronic music bug that since I arrived here have noticed is super popular in Vancouver.)

books

Oh my gosh. If you’re currently taking an English or philosophy class in high school or university, check out these websites before you buy your required reading books. They allow you to download e-books for free that you can read on your computer, iPhone, iPad or e-reader. This has made me so happy.

http://www.planetebook.com/

http://www.gutenberg.org/

http://www.free-ebooks.net/

http://www.openculture.com/free_ebooks

Psst… It’s worth checking out all the links, as some of the sites only have classic books while others include contemporary ones as well. Also, these are only the first few sites that came up when I google-searched “free e-books” – so feel free to google key words yourself and see what you can find! (Just make sure the websites are legit so you don’t get a virus. The ones above are.)

Happy reading!

-N

12/19/12

My heart just melted.

Playlist:  The Frames – Lay Me Down

Wilco – I’m the Man Who Loves You

The Beatles – Girl

I’VE JUST discovered this wonderful Facebook page that someone at UBC recently created, through which people at our school anonymously post positive messages directed at an individual or group.

This page gave me such great reassurance that despite what I’ve heard/experienced about Vancouver being somewhat of a “cold” city (in regards to the way people interact with one-another – ie. waving goodbye rather than hugging/kissing on the cheek), UBC is filled with kind, loving and compassionate individuals.

Anyway, this page is something you’ll have to see for yourself. Even if you’re not affiliated with the school, the heart-warming posts are sure to brighten your day.

It’s called UBC Compliments. (:

Love,

Nirel

 

Edit: I mean, I don’t want to give you the wrong idea about Vancouver – the people here are overall very nice and polite. It’s just that the “warmth” that exists in some other cultures (ie. in Latin America) doesn’t exist as prominently here.

Edit x2: I should give credit where credit is due! As I found out after writing this, Queens University in Kingston, Ontario started the whole “university compliments page” trend. Thanks, Queens U!