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A break to the heart, this processes has been difficult. I cannot pretend to be at full peace only honest that it's been painful to lose an inspiring good man and it will definitely take time to be at peace. My love and support to the Cornell family and all friends, colleagues, and fans who have been effected by Chris' untimely tragic death. On my blog, I have written a memorial statement. I created this drawing in his Chris' memory and poem soon to be shared, Sunlight Filled Bloom. Thank you Chris for being beautifully kind, honest, loving, and giving. Chris Cornell Blossoms, pen and sharpie on drawing paper, (drawn on 9"x11" paper, size tbd), 2017. #chriscornell #soundgarden #audioslave #inlovingmemory @chriscornellofficial @soundgarden #spreadyourwings #seattleson #chriscornellblossoms #illustration #memorialart #johannafalzone

A post shared by Johanna Falzone (@doll_legs) on

Cornell: A Good Man

As said in Southern Gothic literature in the world of Flannery O’Connor, “A good man is hard to find.” A good man was Chris Cornell. A man I have thought of when meeting men in my own life. Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, and many other male artists have served as examples to young girls including myself growing up to learn what a good man is: devoted to family, loving and supportive of his wife, compassionate, motivated, kind, honest, and concerned about giving back to society.

I was first enchanted by Chris Cornell when his band, Soundgarden released the eerily beautiful song, Black Hole Sun. His voice reached ranges I didn’t quite understand at the time, but coveted greatly as with many bands of the nineties decade. I loved every musical journey he took, he was always writing and creating work in various styles. He was not only a creative inspiration, but a person who exhibited gracious character.

What made Chris a good man was not being perfect, it was being human, real, and good-hearted. His imperfections were the epitome of his beauty. He didn’t hide where he had been, what he went through, and how he evolved. I respect the honesty of people, not just their artistry. He has always been involved with his family, giving them the love and time they deserve. Fame didn’t corrupt him away from what was really important in life, he bestowed kindness. Even if when he found himself in dark places, he knew to come out, he knew to get help. Chris also dedicated part of himself to helping others not just with his music, but with his philanthropy. Chris and his wife Vicky started, The Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation to support vulnerable children. As someone who grew up knowing and now works with children in these delicate and hostile situations, this only made my appreciation for Chris and his family to grow broader. People do not always know what is done behind closed doors, sometimes even when they are open. We often times pay too much attention to the hype of fame and entertainment that we forget people are using their talent and success in other positive ways. While yes, Chris’ music has deeply impacted my life in a wonderfully special way, but his personal contributions to the children of our nation is just as impactful, if not more. Not only has he supported underprivileged children, but he has in addition donated all proceeds from his song, The Promise for the film, The Promise to the International Rescue Committee. This charity responds to humanitarian crisis efforts supporting healthcare, education, and other services to people who come from areas in conflict.

The day Chris died was surreal looking back on it days after. Thursday in the early morning, I awoke an hour or more before my alarm normally goes off. Something inside of me said to wake up and check my phone. The news reports were freshly coming in and I was in disbelief. The first posts I saw were on Instagram, people were posting pictures and messages about him passing. At first, I thought this all was some kind of sick joke, but certain people I follow wouldn’t joke about something like this. I kept seeing official articles and I wanted it all to be a nightmare. I wanted to wake up and everything to be fine. I wanted it to be a mistake, misreporting, wrong person. What I wanted was not true. I cried and cried ugly wet messy tears and blew obnoxiously into tissues. This was a strike all too close to home. It all dawned on me, the day before was all signs and I had not known.

Wednesday, Chris was with me all day in spirit. I was thinking about him while I was at work, how proud I was of his song, The Promise, seeing all of the Soundgarden tour photos and video footage. On my way home from work, I listened to one of my favorite Audioslave songs, Set If Off. I’ve always loved to sing along with him because I could actually keep up. I was enjoying the ride home like he was sitting next to me and were singing along together. Before I went to bed, at 11:29pm I shared a video clip of Soundgarden’s By Crooked Steps. Chris is seen closing the laptop of a young Hipster wannabe musician who relies on just a computer and has no real musical talent which is prevalent now. I share the same frustration Chris does with this new fad of using technology instead of actually knowing one’s craft. It’s not just loving the song, its loving the visual accompanying it and how both together speak volumes. I ended up falling asleep around midnight after posting the video. Little did I know, Chris was leaving the world, fading away as I was falling asleep. It was as though his spirit was fading all day and communicating not just with me, but his audience that night of the show in Detroit. None of use were consciously aware, nor do I believe Chris was aware. They say when you really truly care about a person, there will be signs all around you, there will be a feeling within you, an urgency you don’t quite understand trying to speak to you about what’s happening. The wake up call, hurry up, something is going on!

I didn’t want to explain this to my Mom, she and I had seen the film, The Promise together and I had prepared her for Chris’ song. I told her how amazing it was and how proud I was of his opportunity to be involved with creating something about such an important tragedy in history. She became a fan that day in the theatre. We were the only two left as the credits started and Chris’ voice made its debut over the speakers, sweetly entering our ears, we sat there and listened. I held back tears, I didn’t want my Mom to see me cry, just like Thursday at work, I didn’t want anyone to see me cry. I grieved alone. My Mom found out on her own and texted me at work, I confirmed it all, she was upset as well and more upset and confused when I told her how.

On Friday, Light My Way drove me to work and Be Yourself drove me home. It was like lullabies soothing the ride and emotions bouncing inside my stomach and mind. The tears were welling up in my bottom lids. Later, I met up with my best friend and former college roommate for dinner and to say goodbye as she was leaving for a summer theatre job in New York. We discussed how surreal it was to know the people we spent our lives following and inspired by were all slowly dying. It only reminds me to keep moving, to be strong, and continue helping others.

There will be various opinions on Chris’ death, I do not know what he was exactly going through, but I can tell you I understand the darkness and fight it everyday. To know he is free, is how I grow to accept his death. We connect ourselves with people and our selfish attachment can cloud our vision and make us forget the person who had died is the one we need to be concerned for and knowing they are in a place of relief. We may not like it, I certainly do not, the situation is upsetting, but we cannot change what has taken place. We can only learn from these situations and help people in the future to prevent tragedies as this one. This is hard to accept, Chris, his family, and friends had many events to look forward to, but at some point we have to be thankful Chris fulfilled his destiny of giving beauty to the world. He has been called home. We must have peace in knowing Chris is home. We must understand even though Chris is no longer here, his spirit lives on, and he has planted seeds to bloom and grow amongst this world to bring new hope, talent, success, and peace. He can comfort children in a new way, a way so powerful, I believe every child will be guarded by his spirit. There was a beautiful moment later in the day on Thursday when my cousin’s daughter was taken off her G-Tube and told her condition was improving. I can only believe the strength from Chris helped finish this phase of her recovery.

I wish Chris’ wife and children love and healing. They are impacted more than anyone will ever be, they deserve respect as they endure this painful time. I am 100% in support of Vicky’s statements. I do not want to use this time to go into detail, but I’ve been there, I’ve had friends go through it as well, we need to be careful about the things around us and who and what we entrust our mental health with. Take one day at a time, meditate, practice yoga, breath in and out, smile.

You are free Chris, spread your love, goodness, and wings even wider.

Sincerely,
Johanna Falzone, May 20th, 2017

(The drawing I created in Memory of Chris. I had originally planned for him to be part of the next round of paintings, but after his death, felt it couldn’t wait and I needed something that represented him in a new form. There is also a poem I wrote, titled, Sunlight Filled Bloom, due to not having copyright protections yet, I am currently not sharing it at the moment, but will in due time.)

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Note: This was an unpublished post from a couple of weeks ago.

Self explanatory… some of you might be able to handle this and some may not, its all a matter of being open and personal preference.

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Maybe its me waiting to take my meds at midnight or I’m just having a Nirvana night, but I’m posting some interviews for my own pure enjoyment of watching them, and now you’ll know where I got my philosophy of walking up escalators which also spans to people movers at the airport.

Note to the Jerks last year: When I play Nirvana in the painting studio doesn’t give you the right to yell “Nirvana Sucks!” TWICE from your little Graphic Design Photography Hipster Labs down the hall. Next time I won’t be so nice about it…

Kurt actually stopped wearing his fake glasses because his Mom I think it was told him he looked like his Dad, read Heavier Than Heaven and you will understand why he disliked that.

What they say about Aberdeen is true.

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My new short film “Marry The Surgeon” is now on my vimeo, took me forever to decide where this would go and how the audio was going to be, but I finally made the decisions on what to do and executed them!

This film is a spoof on Courtney Love apologizing to Madonna after the 1995 MTV VMA interview with Kurt Loder.

Click Here For All My Vimeo Videos

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Marilyn Monroe Leggings I own by Betsey

As we all know Betsey Johnson is officially closing her clothing line forever and all of time after a long 30+ years. For 21 of those years I enjoyed the colorful clothing designed by her. As a child I dreamed of wearing the clothes, once I got older I still dreamed of wearing them. As a child what I did not realize was how expensive Betsey’s line was; I was too infatuated with looking at the models wearing the flowery fun bright creations that I assumed I would have a wardrobe full of  when I could fit into them. When the time came that I could wear her clothing I was saddened that my mother could not afford to buy me Betsey Johnson. I found it very hard as a teenager finding clothes that mimicked her designs, after all teens my age only wanted to wear preppy clothes and I just didn’t want to look that way. With the

The Betsey Dress I wanted to wear to Prom, but was around $350.

lack financials I also lost much confidence in my body with gaining weight and

attaining womanly curves that just were not flattered by the Junior Section.Over the years I obtained a necklace, a pair of leggings, tights, leopard pajamas

and 3 pairs of socks by the famed designer when they were on sale at Macy’s and the boutique. Still dreaming about her clothing, I just became so jealous of those rich girls

Betsey bikini I bought on clearance at Dillard’s

who got to wear her dresses to the prom. All I wanted was a Betsey dress.A couple of years back I gained enough confidence to finally wear bikini’s again, after shopping up and down I could not find anything that had underwire or was cute that would lift and flatter my Double D chest, but then at Dillard’s there it was on clearance, a Betsey Johnson Blue and Red Rose bikini. I went into the fitting room, tried on the top and BAM! that was it, lift, cute, fits, supports. I bought the bikini and felt so awesome, but still I had yet to own a dress.Three months ago I was shopping in my favorite resale shop and stumbled upon a Betsey dress, yes finally. I paid $26 for the dress, it’s black with white lace that synched

Betsey Dress I bought at the re-sale shop.

at the waist, it showed off my Marilyn Monroe curves and my Kat Bjelland baby doll

look. Although the dress needed some altering, I bought it anyway because it was an easy fix.Last month I found out the dreadful news that my favorite childhood designer would no longer be in business and all of her clothing would go into liquidation. My Mom and I were shocked and decided that this would be my last chance to own something special from Betsey’s collection. We drove to the boutique at the fancy mall in the city. When we entered the store there were sale signs

Betsey Dress I bought at the boutique with price tags showing the original price before the discount.

everywhere and bunches of cute dresses. We looked at all of the racks, we oohed and awed at the

designs, but we kept seeing the $300 price tags, and in reality 40% off of $300 is still notaffordable. As we made our way to the back of the store my Mom and I spied a beautiful black lace floral baby doll dress in my size. The price tag was $138 + 40% off, still too much. I became extremely saddened, once again I could not afford a Betsey dress from the boutique even when they are on liquidation. I began to wander to other dresses as Hole’s song Doll Parts started to play, I became even more sad because at that moment Courtney’s lyrics described how I felt, I wanted to cry. I just wanted to be able to buy a brand new Betsey dress, a dress that doesn’t need alterations, a dress that fits like a glove, flatters, and reflects my personal style since the tender age of three.

The full Betsey Dress

My Mom kept telling me try it on, try it on, just see. I was hesitant because I did not want to fall more in love with the dress, but I caved when one of the workers came over and asked if I wanted

a dressing room. I followed the girl to the dressing area, closed the curtain, and slipped the dress on. As I looked at myself in the mirror I was amazed at how well the dress fit. I came out and my Mom lit up and began to say how great the dress looked, and then all three of the girls working atthe store gasped, complimenting me on how good I looked in the dress. I felt like Courtney Love on the 1995

Courtney Love on MTV Unplugged 1995

episode of MTV Unplugged with the lace sleeves, flowing short length of the baby doll dress, and my wavy platinum hair messy from lifting the dress over my head. My Mom said that we were going to buy the dress and we would split the cost. I agreed. I felt like part of my childhood dream came true, I finally had that one Betsey Johnson piece that I longed for, I can forever remember my childhood every time I wear it.

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