BevStanton.com


Cats and music. Music and cats.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Sabbatical

This month I am living my best life!! I am on sabbatical for 6 weeks. During week one I visited Yellowstone National Park and Little Bighorn National Battlefield which provided an opportunity to confront my fear of driving while being distracted by beautiful landscapes. Now I am spending time at home learning Adobe Creative Cloud software and creating See America posters that celebrate our national parks. Here is a slideshow of trip photos:

Saturday, February 4, 2017

We Will Survive

Things got real last month when we transitioned from ominous tweets to draconian executive orders. I have worked in nonprofit online advocacy for over 15 years, and this past week have witnessed decades of progress in environmental conservation, LGBTQ rights, and criminal justice reform threatened with a flourish of a pen. My anxiety and depression levels have elevated exponentially in tandem with my job stress. However these steps are helping me get a grip and i am throwing them out there in case it helps someone else:
  •  Attending rallies. It has been particularly energizing to be around young people who embody a brighter future. I hope to do at least one a week over the next 200 weeks. There is power in being part of something bigger than myself. 
  • Talking to older Americans who have survived the Nixon and Reagan years. History does repeat. Over the past 30 years we went from a B-movie actor-president who ignored the AIDS crisis to a hopeful leader who lit the white house with rainbow colors. The pendulum can and will swing back. 
  • Curating my online activity There is a fine line between being thoughtfully engaged and obsessively consumed. Just like we have to avoid toxins in what we eat and drink, it behooves us to be more intentional about what we read on the internet (not all of it is true or helpful!). In the interest of living in the solution and not in fear, I steer clear of speculative dystopian thought pieces and pay attention to actions I can take such as contacting legislators and attending bystander intervention classes. 
  • Remembering life goes on. And keeping my eye on the prize. One day i might be interviewed by a gerontology student to provide a living history and will want to recount all the positive things my generation did during these dark days. The immense public outpouring of calls to congress and rallies at airports have demonstrated how each of us collectively can and will make a difference in the days ahead.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy New Year

Although the year ended on a sour note from a political standpoint, 2016 provided a trifecta of personal milestones: i hit the big 5-OH, commemorated 10 years of employment at a day job i love, and celebrated 5 years of sobriety during a trip to my birthplace, Nassau, Bahamas. Looking forward to 2017 with a renewed sense of purpose and gratitude.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Collaborations

I love being a solo artist but i also thrive on creative collaborations. I get really sick of my shtick after a while and collaborations inject new processes and ideas into what would otherwise be a very flat and stagnant musical journey. Recent collaborations include Cat Canary with the Grins and Novparolo.

My most enduring collaboration has been with Lisa Moscatiello, whose commanding yet nuanced alto is reminiscent of Tracy Thorn and Chrissie Hynde. She has done vocal duty on numerous Arthur Loves Plastic tracks, some of which she went on to record acoustically with her amazing backup band about 10 years ago. We also wrote songs together as the Space Dots which you can hear below. I look forward to the privilege of having her sing on the release that is now in the tinkering stages.



Saturday, July 9, 2016

Memories...

Thanks to Facebook's Memories and Knight Lab's Juxtapose tool I can interactively witness the transformation of my living/dining room. It is reminiscent of the transition from black and white to technicolor in the Wizard of Oz. I clearly do not care about the resale of my apartment as evidenced by my bold color choices. I love living here! Happy five year anniversary!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Ukulele

I have always been tempted by the ukulele but thought it would be too confusing to learn since my main four string instrument is the bass guitar. However one of my friends from college invited me to a ukulele jam which prompted me to make a modestly priced impulse purchase at House of Musical Traditions that I have not regretted! The build quality on the Makala uke pictured above is impressive considering it is priced less than $50.

The ukulele as it turns out is the adult coloring book of instruments. It can be easy or hard depending on your aspirations. As an underachiever, I am happy learning a song a month using online uke tabs or taking lessons with a Ukulele Teacher on YouTube. So far I have learned Katy Perry's "Roar" and the Smiths "I Know It's Over" and the neighbors have not yet complained. It is also a social instrument. I have already participated in two subsequent uke jams organized by local ukulele teachers who lead a group of adults in playing an assortment of current pop songs and oldies. I recommend this instrument if you want a fun musical outlet for 15 minutes a day.