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Archive for the ‘entertainment’ Category

Listen to Woody – Don’t Be a Dickhead

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

Speaking of Woody Harrelson…celebrity or not, this guy is green inside and out. He’s stepped back from his Hollywood career and life to find a more “right livelihood” and he’s not shy about spreading the news of what he’s learned and experienced. If you don’t yet know Woody, here’s a good place to start.

He lives in a sustainably-minded community on the island of Maui, where they get all of their energy from the sun and grow much of their own food. He believes in particpation in the global community. He co-founded a website with his wife (and involving 5 other committed people) called, “VOICE YOURSELF” where they hope to “promote and inspire individual action to create global momentum towards simple organic living and to restore balance and harmony to our planet.” For years, or perhaps decades, he has been involved in many green initiatives besides his recent venture with Alanis Morrisette.

In fact, I stumbled upon (as an ’employee pick’ at our local video store) this socio-political documentary, “GO FURTHER”, filmed by Ron Mann. Made in 2001, it is probably even more important to watch today, as Woody and a group of friends set out on a bicylce tour (deemed the SOL – Simple Organic Living – Tour) of the West Coast, followed by a bus fueled with hemp seed oil.Their mission? To raise awareness about sustainable living and a wide range of topics, such as organic food, alternative energy and political activism. The travelers included a yoga-teacher, a hemp-activist, a junk-food addict, a raw food chef and a college student who was persuaded to join them. A lot happens along the way – this film will draw you in both mentally and emotionally.

Woody believes we have time to clean up our lives and the planet if we can simply, “Stop Being Dickheads.” I’m willing if you are. Watch this film, visit the site. Be inspired.

Stands for Soul and Sounds Like S*x

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

From Tao, Brattleboro, VT

We, in our lastest guise as Creato-Destructo, a newly formed media production company, focusing on music videos, put up a poster around town last week. It went like this:




Well, it took only a couple days to hear from a band in town and after a brief conversation, we were invited to attend their rehearsal yesterday. Not surprisingly, we were led up a narrow staircase to an attic space above a garage with one window. There, amidst boxes, sleds and an old treadmill, I watched four guys quietly maneuver themselves and their numerous instruments in the cramped space.

FLABBERGHASTER doesn’t talk much. And, as it turns out, they don’t have to. Somewhat unexpectedly, my body and soul was blown away by what came next. They played 4 extended numbers, and it was only at the finish that I realized that despite the fact that I was standing directly between two drum sets, I had not moved.

Flabberghaster’s myspace page claims they are simply, a “bunch of dudes from Brattleboro who love playing music”, which belies their calm demeanor yet defies their huge soul-shaking sound. As a Fusion/Jungle/Funk/Jazz/Rock band, their musicianship includes a myriad of instruments – guitar, keyboard, percussion, Didj, trumpet, bass and saxophone – and they create a sound that I immediately called, pure “sex”. (A description later confirmed on their myspace page.)

We’ll start shooting tomorrow. Stay tuned up.

Musical Inspiration at Shakori Hills

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

I spent last weekend at the bi-annual Shakori Hills Music Festival in Silk Hope, NC. This a beautiful piece of forest and fields which hosts a green-style, grassroots event that once experienced, captures your heart and soul. At times like this, I’m reminded just how much Music Matters – it brings us together and it spreads positive and passionate energy like wildfire.

Four music stages, a dance tent and an almost never-ending drum circle around a bonfire at Shakori provides all styles of musical magic. A young local group, The Beast, highlighted Saturday afternoon with their Hip Hop, soulful jazz. The band has been described as “beautifully rebellious and refreshingly conscious.” The lead singer, Pierce Freelon, brought down the house with his heartfelt lyrics and tribute to his mom, grammy-winning Jazz vocalist, Nnenna Freelon, who came up on stage to sing with her son, finishing with a moving bearhug between the two. In fact, it didn’t finish – the audience pounded the stage for an encore.

Saturday night brought the “old time” sound of Donna the Buffalo, as well as one of my favorites, an electrified blues rock group called Scatterbones, which rocked me into a second wind that I used later to drum into the night. In fact, sleep was not a top priority once the stars were out and it’s probably not an accident that the dance tent is next to the Coffee Barn, serving up Fair Trade and Organic Larry’s Beans coffee, “25 hours/day”.

This festival is also a model of mixing fun with green-ness. All food vendors are required to compost and recycle, a portion of the lightlighting was solar powered and a bio-deisel bus brought people in from stops all throughout the Triangle for 4 bucks/ride.

Why does music matter? Because it has the ability to bring us deeper into ourselves, beneath the layer of conformity and apathy. Because music carries messages, subtle and otherwise that can plant the seeds of Change.

More and more musicians are gaining green creds, from Radiohead to Black-eyed Peas, an inspiring part of our collective journey. Go to IdealBite to download a playlist by the artists doing right by the planet.

The Art of Obama and Heroism – Barcelona

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

By Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

From the looks of these images, much of the world loves Obama. It’s breathtakingly moving to see the joyous reaction of people from all over the planet. We are filled with more than admiration and hope. Many of us are filled with a need for heroes and a sense of “Expectation”, so confirms artist, Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada (as reported by Daniel E. Slotnik in the NY Times).

Last week, Mr. Rodriguez-Gerada, with the help of some 40 volunteers, completed artwork using hundreds of tons of gravel and sand and covering 2.5 acres of Barcelona beachfront – a portrait of Obama’s face. The Cuban-American from NYC, wanted to demonstrate not just support of the candidate (now Mr. President), but “to reflect on why the world needs heroes and show the nature of hope and heroism. You can see a rendition here on the artist’s site. The portrait will soon be visible on Google Earth.

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