Category: The Arts


It’s time for The Arts! Sorry I missed a post previously, wasn’t feeling too good (and I got a copy of Tomb Raider >.>). I’m still working on improvement so The Arts! will be light.

Moses Supposes
This awesome animation video is amazing and very fun. It’s of a ghost girl and these two possessed shoes which create a fantastic, tap dancing feature based off the 1952 song. It’s really a great animation short film, watch below!

Rhythm Heaven Fever
This game I stumbled upon via my friend Tre playing it on Twitch. This is a vid of him playing (and he’s just doing it for fun so if there are any prolonged screens or selection picking, that’s why) and wow, it really does seem like a fun game (It’s for the WiiU if anyone else is also interested). I really like the mini game “Cheer Readers 2” (start at 10:50) because the beat is impeccable and catchy. The visuals are also stunning for the Cheer Readers. I also like “Hole in One 2” (starts 13:10) because of the cute beat. The whole game seems great.

Here’s a vid:

Watch live video from TWCflorkin on TwitchTV

In case you can’t see it, here is the link.

And that’s all for The Arts! for this week. Next week is Ask Black Witch. Send in your questions! Good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated! And I’ll double up on the questions since I couldn’t answer any in March due to the series. Get them in!

Before we get started, have you seen Huffington Post’s feature of me in “Celebrating The Diverse Spirituality And Religion Of African-Americans”? You should check it out.

Music Inc
Without a doubt, I love this game. I learned about it via Tumblr and am glad I did. It is a free mobile game created by UK Music, the Intellectual Property Office and Aardman Animations – I am a big fan of Wallace and Grommit since I was a child so I was like “Meh, meh, SOLD.” – and it creates a pretty realistic glimpse into the music industry and “let them experience the challenges encountered by artists in the digital age”. Oh man, is it a great game, here are some screen shots:

Screenshots_2014-02-10-20-44-26

Screenshots_2014-02-10-20-35-45

I like that it is pretty neatly packed with you trying to find artists to sign and furnish them into world-class performers that, of course, will earn you major money but it comes with unforeseen bumps such as song leaks, the fiscal effects of piracy, frustrated musicians, online flame wars and how everything means so much, even if it is just a little. You can track song stats your performers made, release songs, shelve songs, put folks on tour, get them producers and other outside creators, bump up their image and more! It’s a great game that does not go for gimmicks to prove a sobering point that making it in the music biz is really, really hard. As you’ll see, none of this is easy or cut and dry. However, it’s possibly not really directed at artists like the review said since artists are not really at the center of this game but someone trying to start up a label. The artists kind of seem like horses in a stable or a gaggle of kids you have to take care of.

With the game, I wish you could have options to go on tour with other folks on your label (if you have more than one or two artists). I haven’t unlocked all the tiers of the game so maybe you can but I haven’t seen it yet. I would like that because it’s extremely realistic when performers go on tour, they tend to sometimes be on the same label, which rakes in more money for the record company. And it would be great to have the option of various artists on your label being able to guest on other label mates’ songs since that happens as well. And more diverse music hopefuls! They’ve got a great line up so far (some of them being light spin offs of actual performers), I want to see a bigger sea of different faces. Or at least have more different people pop up on the “Pick an artist to sign” section once your label gets more notoriety since that’s also pretty realistic as well as bigger labels have more people clamoring at them than start up labels. I think a little of a “Help” section may be nice, too, because even I was perplexed a couple times and I actually know how the industry works (for the most part). Oh, and I was a bit frustrated (because it’s me), that there were no songs for me to hear because I kept thinking, “I don’t know what the song sound like so I don’t know how to play the market!!!!! But I also wanted more input from the artist. I mean, they’re the ones the business is dealing with, I wanted to see “An artist complained about their 360 deal, they wanted a 7 months/5 song option!” or something like that (since the game goes with months and songs instead of years and albums, even though the latter is what really happens in reality). Again, as aforementioned, this game is more so pointed at the person starting a label and artist trying to express themselves without going broke.

I showed my friends this game because I thought it was that interesting and one, Vicki, had this to say:

“Mmkay so it’s an addictive strategy management game and it’s hard as sh*t. The most I’ve been able to do is sign 2 artists but I wind up going bankrupt and having to start again….Reading the review explains why the game plays like it does. Like for example, no weight is placed on the actual song and the artists are treated like not people. There is a ton of emphasis based on piracy. This game was just made to portray multimillion dollar recording agencies in a sympathetic light when if you look at how the artists are treated, they’re just money makers. In the game, you start out with £1000 when in real life, these companies have billions. Like it’s designed to make you think that the business is suffering. That being said, it’s a really fun game. Kind of like Spent.”

I actually agreed with this notion because the artists, once you think about it, are pretty faceless in a way. You get a name, face and genre but you don’t treat anyone different based on their genre, sound, etc etc. That’s probably why it frustrated me earlier because I couldn’t hear music to determine how I wanted to go with the music because the artist doesn’t really play a part except to be like a horse in a stable.

So far, this game is amazing even though there are some flaws and I highly, highly recommend you check it out. It’s a fun game that can get frustrating at times because the music industry is actually frustrating but very enjoyable, all in all. You have got to play this game. It’s playable on iOS and Androids devices.

Le1f
Le1f’s music is really an interesting sound and with very interesting visuals. I first heard of him from his video “Wut”

I think this video is great because not only does the rapper show his skills in flowing with his deep, gravel voice, he shows different body types and even uses White bodies as props, which isn’t commonly seen. Usually it’s Black folks being used as objectified props (Ex: Miley Cyrus, Die Antewoord, Lilly Allen, Mackelmore, Grimes, the list goes on and on and on and on) so the imagery is really striking and (certainly refreshing). That and he has an uber crisp Harlem shake. Le1f would have been a better rapper to tote about in regards to gay rights than Macklemore because Le1f could actually count for a better representative of being gay and interacting with hip hop than Macklemore ever could, who’s only song about being gay was about having a gay scare. Not to mention, just like Paganism, gay lgbtq groups have a “White is right” problem, which is probably why Le1f doesn’t always get the shine (as well as other gay rappers who are minorities) that he deserves.

If you want to know more about him, look him up here

Website

Twitter

Soundcloud

Orisinal Games
I used to play these games so much, I loved them dearly. Back in around 2003-2005, there weren’t a lot of gaming sites online and I remember coming across Orisinal as something cute and gentle but challenging. And these games are created and coded by a girl, which is fantastic! Look at all the work she’s done.

Orisinal

I really like the game High Delivery, a game where you collect flowers using a fan and deliver them to heaven. The sound and visuals are very serene, I love the game very much. I highly recommend playing it.

That’s all The Arts! for February! Next week is Ask Black Witch. Remember, good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated.

Here are The Arts! features for this month!

Dee-1
I heard Dee 1′s music at Lupe Fiasco’s show back in December. It stood out to me because it was actually interesting to listen to because it wasn’t the same usual stuff I hear rappers say. I think part of that has to do with the fact that he was a middle school teacher before being a rapper and that clearly affected him. I liked this one song that he performed that night, “Really Feel This”:


What I also noticed that in his music, he doesn’t curse nor say derogatory things about women, which definitely appears to happen more frequently in hip hop than rock, my home genre. This isn’t to say sexism doesn’t happen in rock but it is far more frequent and directed in hip hop, and usually at Black women so I’m a very tough customer when listening since I rarely hear anything different. At least in Rock, I don’t have to hear Buckcherry and Jet all the time, I can hear Paramore & Veruca Salt. It seems Hip hop wants to be a sausage fest almost on a Brony level so I find Dee-1 music to definitely stand out, which I really like. Listen to this track below, “Zero to Kilo”:


I really think Lupe made a very good call bringing Dee-1 on the tour.

Check Dee-1′s music out here:
Twitter
Website
Facebook

Love! Love! Fighting!
This online manga is fantastic! Absolutely fantastic. I love it so much. The artistry is brilliant, the plot is both fantastic and funny and to top it off, it’s an interracial love story that is not White person/other person! I get so sick of that, it’s rare to see other parings of any type. (If you’re sick of it as well, I also recommend Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. Miles Morales is Afro-Latino). Instead, this is a Black Woman/Asian Man pairing, which is the least common pairing seen. I like how the creator made the lead overweight because that not only provides an interesting dynamic of the main character and the world she’s in in a realistic manner, but also it’s finally someone who is not wafer thin and that is a very uncommon representation I want to see more of, plain and simple. The story is not written in a Koreaboo fashion either, which is dehumanizing and very objectifying. It’s just a really good story that is very well made and I enjoy reading.

The story starts with Oriana being stressed out from work and in sore need of a break so her cousin Krisa takes her on a trip that Oriana would never forget. To Korea to see her grandfather but because Krisa unknowingly entered her into a variety show to sponsor the trip!

Here are a couple  pages:

Love!Love! Fighting ex1

Love!Love! Fighting ex2

Here is where you can check out the manga in full online and even preorder a physical copy:
Website
To Pre-Order a Physical Copy

Deino
Deino’s music videos are amazing, I love how creative they are and impacting as well. They’re based on the vocaloid software which carries the very famous vocaloid (a vocal android) Hatsune Miku, which is the focus of the majority of these videos (or at least her darker counterpart, Calne Ca, which he created). Here’s one of the first videos I’ve seen from him years ago, Machine Muzik:

I really love the creepy feel and the fast pace of the music, it’s really engaging.

Another video that I like is this one, which is very dark and creative, “Bacterial Contamination”. I really find the deformations, and corrupted imagery intriguing. It’s a major break from things that are saccharine cute, which can be annoying because that’s so one-dimensional.

Here’s his information if you want to see more of his works:
Youtube
Website
Vocaloid W[k] page
NicoNico

And that’s The Arts! for this month. Next week is Ask Black Witch. Remember good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated!

The Arts!: It’s the Holidays!

It’s the holidays and as per tradition, I always post these holiday favorites here on Black Witch. This year, we’re going to have some new ones with the traditional ones. But before we get started, did you know you can play with shelter kitties over a live feed? Yep! Thanks to Oregon Animal Shelter, you can play with shelter kitties using robotic toys and see over a real-time live feed. Check it out here! You can even snap a picture of the kitties you play with.

Using the internet to do some good in the world, awesomesauce.

Now on with the holiday vids!

We all know that I love Janelle Monae, she’s adorable! Check out this wonderful holiday ditty of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”

Following up with DMX’s really awesome rendition of “Rudolph, the Red Nose Reindeer”

Now on to the Black Witch holiday classics!

Of course, the best holiday based rap battle I have ever heard. Santa and Blitzen are sounding off, as played by KRS-One (Santa) and Lupe Fiasco (Blitzen). The vids are out of order sadly this time. the order is this: 1,3,2. It’s still good tho.

And here’s this fantastic rendition of Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby” by Princess Neptune. It’s really catching with her hauntingly beautiful voice

And this is a late add but I really liked this humorous holiday hip hop/pop parody created by 2-Cent:

And that’s The Arts! this month, yup yup.

Next week is Ask Black Witch, so if you haven’t sent in your questions, do so. Remember, good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated!

Here’s The Arts for this month! W00t! And, readers, I’m going to be doing something special for this month’s Ask Black Witch: I’m going to answer the questions via voice! More details below. Let’s get to it!

“Jimmy Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin’”
This documentary was on PBS American Masters. I was really surprised how well they did a good job on the documentary because PBS has been slipping over the past few years, race and culture wise. This was a remarkable documentary about a notable guitarist, his life and his career. Here’s more info from the site (also has the documentary in case the embed code doesn’t work)

“Paris Is Burning”
This outstanding documentary lets you peer into the world of ball culture, which is mostly dominated by Black and Latin gay cultures. It is extravagant, intellectual and simply fantastic. It features greats such as Willi Ninja and discusses the dances, the culture and the lives from the mouths of those who live and breathe this culture as well as how it helps them define their LGBTQ identities.

This is the trailer for the vid but the full documentary is here. (Couldn’t embed it)

“Century of the Self”
This is a great (and long – 4+hours) documentary about advertising and psychology. It’s really useful albeit it has its short comings with being overly White-centered and hetero-centered. It doesn’t really go into the lives of anyone who isn’t White and how it affects them and the section they did on racism was really scant and poorly done (it makes it seem like Black anger and frustration with racism is a delusion they have, not an actual experience (which it is)). It has some good information but bear those shortcomings in mind.

Alright. Movie day is over! Next week is Ask Black Witch. Submit questions via twitter, tumblr, email or even using the submission box on the side. I’ll be answering questions by voice and it will be fun! Remember, good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated.

Alright, it’s The Arts!: Samhain Edition! Here, I am posting more witchy based creative materials that you can use! Don’t forget, you can still submit to Samhain Pickers to win a chance for a free divination reading from me, Black Witch!

Want to send in an entry form? All info will be at the bottom of the post, three winners will be picked on Samhain/Halloween.

Now for the Arts!

Mythology Dictionary.com
Want to use a great online dictionary that isn’t God Checker because you want something strictly factual, not overly snarky? Mythology Dictionary is for you! It is ahhhhhhh-mazing! I really love it, I found it looking up new deities dictionaries. Usually whenever I check out mythology, I look up entries on African deities because if you need a litmus test on how well an all-around mythology dictionary works, look up anything that isn’t dedicated to the European deities. If the book has pages on pages about Aphrodite but a thumb print size scribble about Yemeya and the book looks and feel like it could substitute a brick, put the book down … or just lob it at the author’s head. Just chuck it. If it’s an online dictionary, just chuck your online device at them instead. Or a rock.

What I love most about it is how thorough it is on everyone and if there are deities of different cultures that happened to have the same names, they’ll get referenced too so you can learn more about the world or maybe you got the name right but the culture wrong. It’s a fantastic resource that I would highly recommend to anyone, new or experienced, because it’s such an outstanding resource for learning about different deities. Actually, this site will be replacing God Checker in my “Links of Interest” now.

Angelology Dictionary
Ever since having that mention about angels and thrones and such, it kind of has gotten me back into the gear of looking up (good) information of angels because hey, never know when you need the info and I founds a nice, useful general use array to use for when I get back into sigil working (I’m a wee rusty). These books are it!

encyclopedia of angelsThe Encyclopedia of Angels (Rosemary Guiley)

encyclopedia-angels-richard-webster

Encyclopedia of Angels (Richard Webster)

Remember folks, angels are not exactly people with wings so take caution!

Gryphon’s Moon
Avalon Moon would have been here but they’ve gone offline with their shop but Gryphon’s Moon is still here with their fantastic cloaks, Pagan wall hooks (which is great for me because I forever misplace my keys) and fantastic stuffs for all your magickal needs.

Planetary Hours
I know I featured this before but it bears showing again! It is a fantastic site that is great for any magickal practitioner that wants to know the correct day and hour to cast whatever they want. It’s fantastic for anyone who doesn’t want to pick up an ephemeris. Annnnnnnd it is localized so you’ll never make the mistake of finding out the correct hour for casting and discovering that it’s for a town three time zones over. It totally simplifies magick working.

The Hermetic
For my more hermetic practitioners! Here is the Hermetic Library. Read in English and Latin noted and not-so-noted works regarding hermeticism, Thelma and occultism. I just am speechless at the thoroughness of the site. There are writings from William Butler Yeats, Aleister Crowley, Florence Farr, and Swami Vivekananda. Just so much information all in one place. Outstanding simply!

Alright, now that’s that for The Arts:! Samhain Edition. Next Friday is Ask Black Witch. Don’t forget to submit questions! And for those who want to submit an entry for Samhain Pickers , here’s how you do it:

Send in an email to thisblackwitch[at]hotmail.com with “Samhain Pickers” in the subject line. In the body of the email, type:

- Name
- Email
- Type of Divination want done (option: dream interpretation, tarot, cartomancy, natal chart reading):

And press “Send”! Winners will be picked on Samhain/Halloween!

Also, I can’t believe I nearly forgot! Ustream chat on Halloween! It will be done at 9 PM EST on Halloween/Samhain. Be there! Ask me questions, interact with me, whatever. Let’s talk!

First of all, sorry for the lateness! Here to bring you comics and superhero goodness. Let’s get into it!

Qahera
I really liked this superhero because there aren’t really any Muslim superheroes and especially girl ones. What I really like the most is that she defends women from street harassment all the while sufficiently showing exactly what street harassment looks like (derogatory comments, grabbing people, etc.) and how scary it can be to experience. And she’ll also show the flaws in “White Feminism/White Saviorism” (*cough*Femen*cough*). However, what I find that is most appealing is that the creator clearly took time to flesh out this character, not just go “She’s going to be the sock puppet/cardboard cutout of Feminism”, which happens to a lot of social issues girl characters, which can be frustrating.

Here’s two samples of the work:

Qahera sample

Sample 1 (Click for full size)

Qahera sample2

Sample 2 (Click for full size)

You can only wish for a superhero like that to exist in real life. This comic is in both Arabic and English and you can check it out here

Static Shock
Static Shock is a favorite superhero of mine, that’s for fact. There is such a dearth of good Black superhero movies (we all know why*, despite Spawn and Blade showed it can happen) so it’s fantastic to see with the advent of accessible media, people can make these stories come to life.

Princess Princess
I noticed Princess Princess around the same time I saw Princeless (This almost makes me want to do an “All Black Everything comics giveaway”) but didn’t get into it immediately until I noticed it was a series. Here’s a page:

Princess Princess sample

Click for full size

What I find really cool is that it’s two princesses that are the main leads in the story with two different backgrounds (one is trapped in a tower, one wants to be a tomboy) that by themselves, could make for a usual princess story but instead are intertwined in a fashion that is intriguing and entertaining. They adopt the roles and traits of rescuer and damsel in distress but not in the same, boring, classic fashion, the girls actually are dynamic and challenge the cookie cutter idea that girls can’t be complex or round characters.

And that’s all. Ask Black Witch is on Friday (I promise it’ll be on time). Send in your questions here, via email, using the submission form, on Tumblr or on Twitter. (Don’t know any of the handles? Just go to the Black Witch Network page and you’ll find all that you need)

*If you feel out of the loop: it’s racism. Look up Green Lantern and Whitewashing in superhero movies. Then look up Black Panther movie.

I’ve been busy, busy, busy this week. That means short films!

The Roper

I saw this at Artscape during their short films. It was very captivating for me and really cool to see a Black cowboy in action doing what he loves. The second song beginning with accordion is absolutely poppin, too.

Electronic Purgatory

If you have seen the Afro-Punk Documentary (and by the way, Afro-Punk Festival is this weekend. I won’t be there though), then you’ll love this. It’s about the Black rocker, the history of rock and why s/he does not receive the shine they deserve.

Children

This fantastic animated short film is brilliantly made about how schooling does not exactly breed thinkers and intellectuals but can be more of a crushing institution that can apply enough pressure to make one pop.

That’s all for this week! Next week is Ask Black Witch! Remember, good questions are appreciate, bad questions are eviscerated!

The Arts!: P.O.D.

I am gonna have a jam packed weekend thanks to P.O.D. coming by tomorrow at Rams Head Live (and Artscape and a Straight Line Stitch show). I’ve been a fan of them for the past 11 years so this makes me very excited! As a result, I’m gonna completely get lazy on The Arts! and just post up P.O.D. related music. The hecticness will be over by Wed so don’t be afraid to ask a question for Ask Black Witch.

I really got started with P.O.D. back in 2002, I happened upon their “Sleeping Awake” music video in an air conditioned kiosk during Artscape. I was really blown away by the visuals and the fact that for once, I wasn’t staring at an all-White band. Mainly the visuals.

I really liked P.O.D. and they very easily became my favorite band ever. My favorite album is Brown, which is an acronym for “Believe, Receive, Obtain, Wisdom, Never die”. It’s a fantastic album, I highly recommend it.

My parents…weren’t so keen. Firstly, it’s rock and here comes the stereotype that I’m supposed to like on R&B and Hip hop or something is wrong with me and my Blackness. Then there’s the band’s name of Payable On Death. It’s the “Death” they had a problem with and wondered if I was listening to something Marylin Manson style. I managed to win them over (kinda) with P.O.D.’s convenient religiosity. They’re a bit more accepting of it now than when I was a teenager.

Dude, I really like the music video “Rock the Party (Off the Hook)” because of how lively it is.

Now, they came out with Murdered Love, which I absolutely love. Aw, man, it very much is a great album that has not overly changed in sound too sharply (a la Linkin Park*) but definitely evolved. A like from me on the album is definitely “Murdered Love”

And they just came out with a new music video for one of the gentler songs “Beautiful”.

So I’ll be enjoying myself listening to the band I’ve stuck with for nearly half my life at this point tomorrow (technically today since today is Friday). Huzzah.

Check em out!

* LP would be my other favorite band, sharing a spot with P.O.D., but doesn’t change the fact their sound changed drastically between Hybrid Theory to Living Things)

Alright, some of you probably have learned that the unemployment rate for Blacks is 13% (the national percentage is about 7.5%) and we also are aware that it is so difficult to find a good job nowadays. Simply finding a job isn’t enough, it has to be with substantial pay. So here are some sites I have come across that are really helpful!

Before we begin, we’re going to use an example career so you can see everything through and through so we’ll use my career: Library Science.

Now, when looking for jobs, everything is online nowadays. I don’t have an MLS or an MLA (Master degree) currently so I have to look for Library Technician/Assistant/Associate jobs and I have been working in libraries, both academic and public since I was in my mid-teens. That means I’ll put in Google: “Library Technician jobs – Maryland”. Find out the job name of what you want to get a job in, add your state or city name and click “Search”. Indeed and Simply Hired are good places to look but don’t be afraid to look in other spots but be cautious with Craigslist, the postings could be false.

Here are some other sites that are very useful:

SquawkFox: Resume and Cover Letter series
It is important to have a fantastic resume and cover letter. I was taught how to write one in high school but learned as I got older that not everyone got that built into their curriculum. SquawkFox is fantastic in explaining resumes and cover letter and how to write an effective one.

Here is her Resume Series

Here is her Cover Letter Series

I really like her action words list and her tips about it.

They’re really good, I highly recommend them. If you’re still stumped in writing resumes and cover letters, don’t worry this next site will help.

LiveCareer
This is a great site to help guide you to create your cover letter and resume by making you fill out a short questionnaire to see what you want to write for (Changing careers? Have gaps in your employment?) and even what career you’re tailoring your resume for (you wouldn’t apply for a library job with a resume you’d use to apply to an architecture position) and they let you pick out from a range of templates with easy-to-understand fill in guides so you are getting help in writing your resume and cover letters but you’re still reflected in your writing. It lets you tweak the writing in and mix and match until it is perfect and represents you in the best light for the position.

And you’ll be grateful for the free account you make there, you can save past resumes and cover letters, download them so you can put them in Microsoft Word or whatever you like. And here’s a quick tip – don’t send .doc to prospective job applications. Send .pdf instead because A) it looks more professional B) formatting can get screwy because people have different word processors C) it can’t be altered. And you can export word into .pdf easily, check on Google if you don’t know how.

O*Net
O*Net is great to find out job descriptions and the skills, tools and the educational requirements those positions need.

This is one for a Library Technician position

You can see the skills needed for the job, the tools, the knowledge that I would need and more. It also gives a bit of a look at the prospect projection for the job in the next few years (and, huzzah, it’s a growing field) and even the basic salary. If you really want to check the salary of a position, this next site will help you.

Salary.com
This site is really good if you want to find out the scope of how much a position is supposed to pay and the best part, it is localized to your area.

Here’s what it is for a Library Technician (here as “Technical Librarian I)

Lib tech Salary

And also you can look at another sheet that breaks down job statistics

This is great for you to research if you are underpaid or interviewing for a job where you negotiate your salary because remember, they may try to pay you less because of race and gender, make sure they stay fair.

Glassdoor
Glassdoor is great to find out if a company is as sterling as they present themselves to be. There’s salary information, interview information and reviews on office culture there. Of course, people with negative experiences are more likely to speak out than those with positive but when you see a business with too many complaining reviews, consider that a red flag.

About: Interviewing Questions
This is great to ready yourself for interview questions and also, there’s another page where there are specialized questions for jobs. This is really great for those who have jitters about interviewing because you never know what they’re going to ask.

And that’s The Arts! for this month. Next week is Ask Black Witch so send in questions! Submit using the submission forms on the right, email, comment, so many options. And remember: good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated.

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