Get in the Holiday Spirit!
(Funny Christmas Video)
So here’s the story behind our first short film entitled “Holiday Dip”
Approximately 2 years ago in 2009, my younger sister Ricca was driving around with an expired registration on her little Mitsubishi Lancer who she calls “Lance.” Of course, she was still driving all over the place because she had to get her holiday gift shopping done. One day, as we were making our way home from our little holiday shopping adventure, she and I started joking around about the fact that her tags were expired yet here she was still whippin’ & dippin’ all over the city and driving all over place!
As we continued to joke around we came up with a little Christmas Jingle about her expired tags which ended up turning into her holiday theme song for the whole Christmas season and it continued to be the theme song for the years to follow!
Fast forward to present day 2011
Ricca and I were sitting in the kitchen one evening in early December joking around (as usual) reminiscing on the holiday theme song we made a couple years back. We started to sing it and as we were both cracking up and laughing hysterically we got inspired and said:
“wouldn’t it be funny if we made the little song into a movie??” DING!! LIGHT BULB MOMENT!!
So we began to toss around ideas about a back story leading up to the theme song. It was wildly hilarious (in our opinion) and absolutely HAD to be brought to life. So we made plans then and there to make it happen…and we did!
Here is the final project!
A culmination of about 2 days of filming, countless hours of editing, “Holiday Dip” theme song included! We had guest cameos in the film by my Tia Margaret, my Mom and the film is starring my beautiful sister Ricca Venerable!!
Written, Directed, Produced and Edited by Iwalani Venerable.
HEY! It’s a FAMILY AFFAIR!…and we definitely had a blast making this little film!
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Here’s the little song. Wanna hear it? …here it go!
“Holiday Dip” by Ricca & Iwalani Venerable
(sung to the tune of Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town”)
I’m checkin’ the streets!
I DIP from police!
Check left! Check right!
Cause my tags ain’t right!
Gotta get home before I get arrested!!
Umm…WHAT’S A SHPONGLE?
I had never heard of the group SHPONGLE before… that is, until Halloween weekend 2011 when Theo Williams of SambaFunk! (a Bay Area dance and performance company) invited me to film during their world tour and show at The Fox Theater in Oakland, CA!
I had no idea what I was in store for during this show! When describing the show to my friends all I said was… “PSYCHEDELIC-ELECTRONIC-TRIPPY-HALLOWEENISH-MUSICAL-CIRCUS ACT!”
Many featured dancers performed for all of the songs Shpongle played. I saw everything from a dancing SLINKY, to a Japanese wizard, to a half-man/half-beast thing with these LONG lee press-on nails. There were belly dancers, samba dancers, a unicorn and I think I even saw a contortionist of some sort….
The best way I can describe SHPONGLE’S musical style is: psychedelic, electronic, instrumental music with an eastern flare combining lots of synthesized and vocal accompaniment with the excitement and energy of a full band experience! YOWZAA!
SambaFunk! performed during Shpongle’s song “Beija Flor” which can be described as an electro-esque Samba style song. The band saved this song for the Encore of the show, and when the SambaFunk! dancers came out the crowd was ecstatic!
I love the way the SHPONGLE experience is described on their website:
“…a strange hybrid of electronic manipulation and shamanic midgets with frozen digits squeezing the envelope and crawling through the doors of perception, find a new pair of dice…extra numbers and colours an infinite expanding bubble, filled with a bizzare, strange world of dripping halucinatory wallpaper, a garden of earthly delights………..Shpongleland…..a place of well being, and reflective surfaces, morphing like an Anacondas skin and shimmering like a million colour changing squid, at fifty fathoms.. truly unfathomable like seperating water from it’s wetness, the Ineffable Mysteries unweave …”
YUP…that’s exactly what it was. LOL!!!
This show was nothing like I had ever experienced before and I won’t ever forget it! The energy of the entire show was amazing. And SambaFunk! TORE IT UP Fa Sho!!!
SambaFunk Performers from left to right:
Meredith “LadyVenom” MacFayden, Theresa Stevens & Kwic Time
BAY AREA MUSIC IN FULL AFFECT!
…Time To Make It Happen
I got to work on my first music video this year with my good friend Fritzo. He did a Hip-Hop collaboration album called iKilledFritz which he started back in 2009, it finally released in 2011 and he decided to make the first music video from the album from the song that we did together called “Make It Happen”…
We went up to San Francisco for 3 days of crazy filming in October. Needless to say we encountered many challenges along the way all the way from crashing rooftop parties, chasing down taxi’s who wouldn’t pick us up, watching hippies get slapped across the face for a dollar in the Haight, filming 2 different music video on the same night, taking the wrong bus lines, running 5-LONG ass city block from downtown to the 4th & King Cal Train station, getting lost on several occasions EVEN with GPS (how does that happen???) running out of camera batteries, missing trains, filming with no story board and just letting the creative energy unfold as we filmed. hahaha! what an adventure!
We both learned a WHOLE lot in the process to say the least. I met Fritzo at San Jose City College for one of my first gigs and he has been believing in my movement from the JUMP. He put me on this track and best believe he is makin’ moves in the Hip-Hop and arts community “REUNITING THE ELEMENTS OF HIP-HOP” with the BRING IT BACK TOUR which unites incredible artist from all walks of life.
I am so grateful to Fritzo for helping me take this step on my musical journey with a first music video. The song is HOT and the video looks great.
Check out “Make It Happen” feat. LaniGrooves
(Hip-Hop, with live electric guitar played by yours truley, rappin done my Fritzo Tyler of Bring It Back Networks & BringITBackTour.com) This song is dedicated to EVERYONE OUT THERE THAT IS MAKIN’ IT HAPPEN!
KEEP THE DREAM ALIVE!
by Iwalani Venerable
I was thinking…
Ya know, we are constantly upgrading and updating to restore external MATERIALS like our computers.
Our phones. Our homes. Our cars. We continue to update..and upgrade.
Installing bug fixes, apps to make them run smoother, waiting on pins and needles
contemplating whether or not to install todays upgrade because “Wait, isn’t the next one coming out in a few days…?”
Unquestionably. Unwavering. Never doubting the fact that it is now…
Just as a Fact Of Life. To keep up with the time…
As time and technology shifts forward eagerly. Consistently. At lightning speed.
INSTALL MORE RAM! UPGRADE THE MOTHER BOARD! GET A NEW BATTERY! RUN AN ANTIVIRUS SCAN! CLEAN THE CACHE!
YOUR SYSTEM IS AT RISK!
HMMMMM……. so I was thinking…
What if we applied that same principle to ourselves.
We are Super Computers yet why is it so difficult to remain constant with our “human upgrades?”
What if we were on a never ending chase to upgrade the body. The mind. The spirit.
Just as we continue to implement computer upgrade after upgrade…in a terrifyingly magnified, digitized world.
We are the Super Computer Of Life. The Human Body. The mind.
Too busy trying to upgrade your computer, your phone, your car or your home,
Remember to take time to consistenly upgrade the body, the mind and the spirit.
To keep the super computer that is YOU in peak condition.
Peace & Love ya’ll!
My good friend got me this journal for Christmas in 2007. She wrote a heartfelt message on the inside that inspires me to keep writing in it.
I’m a doodler and amateur cartoonist. I like drawing with mechanical pencils and ultra fine tip rolly ball pens.
I like how this collage of little quotes and doodling evolved over time.
First page of my journal…
Click the Pic!
by Iwalani Venerable
One of the things that inspires me most is dancing.
Feeling the music and electricity flowing through me.
Into my bloodstream out of my pours in a sweaty blissful feeling of self expression.
I always say… When all else fails. Dance it off!
I love dancing and have been dancing ever since I can remember. Mostly freestyle, hip-hop, some jazz influences and of course Michael Jackson, who is in his own category as far as I’m concerned…but I’ve never danced Samba. The first time I went to Theo’s SambaFunk class I was in for a total surprise. Pleasant surprise I was like…daaaanng his legs are just a goin and going, it was so fast and you have to get loose and move your hips with the quickness … I had to stop for a good ten minutes to take a breather. I was kinda stiff and my hip was hurting like my joint needed to pop. So I got to wigglin and shakin it faster and then! my hip Popped! whoooo I was moooovin’ after that man. I have been hooked ever since. lol
The experience of dancing in the Carnaval parade was definitely an experience I won’t forget. I think the thing that made SF Carnaval so special was the energy of this group. The drums, the funk, the laughter, the good positive energy made it an unforgettable experience.
I hope to team up with the SambaFunk Tyme Playahs on some music collaborations in the future… gotta get workin on that.
Check out this saucy video I made of the SambaFunk Family doin their thang at Carnaval.
Sorry some parts might be a bit shaky… Dancing and trying to film dont mix! lol
SambaFunk lead by King Theo is based out of Oakland, CA. Its an awesome dance, fitness & cultural workout. Combining the cultural elements of Brasilian Bahia style Carnaval Bloco with African American Funk.
I love shakin it at SambaFunk. its always a party…and the community of wonderful people I’ve met is unmatched.
BELIEVING IN YOURSELF IS AN ATTITUDE
by Napolean Hill
“If you are going to be successful in creating the life of your dreams, you have to believe that you are capable of making it happen. You have to believe you have the right stuff, that you are able to pull it off. You have to believe in yourself. Whether you call it self-esteem, self-confidence, or self-assurance, it is a deep-seated belief that you have what it takes – the abilities, inner resources, talents and skills to create your desired results.
Believing in yourself is a choice. It is an attitude you develop over time. Although it helps if you had positive and supportive parents, the fact is that most of us had parents who inadvertently passed on to us the same limiting beliefs and negative conditioning they grew up with.
But remember, the past is the past. There is no payoff for blaming them for your current level of self-confidence. It is now your responsibility to take charge of your own self-concept and your beliefs. You must choose to believe that you can do anything you set your mind to, anything at all, because, in fact, you can. It might help you to know that the latest brain research now indicates that with enough positive self-talk and positive visualization combined with the proper training, coaching, and practice, anyone can learn to do almost anything!
Of the hundreds of supersuccessful people I have read interviews on, almost every one of them said “I was not the most gifted or talented person in my field, but I chose to believe anything was possible. I studied, practiced and worked harder than others, and that is how I got where I am.” If a 20 year old Texan can take up the luge and become an Olympic athlete, a college dropout can become a billionaire, and a dyslexic student who failed three grades can become a best selling author and television producer, then you too, can accomplish anything if you will simply believe it is possible.
If you assume in favor of yourself and act as if it is possible, then you will do the things that are necessary to bring about the result. If you believe it is impossible you will not do what is necessary and you will not produce the result. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The choice of what you believe is up to you.
You can be anything you want to be, if only you believe with sufficient conviction and act in accordance with your faith; for whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”
“I’m old enough to see behind me, but young enough to feel my soul…” ahh Lenny Kravitz. Love Lenny Kravitz.
you ever feel like its so long waiting and negotiating. wasting time and energy going back and forth..from the left to the right side of the brain, when you come to the conclusion that you should have come to the conclusion a long time ago, I only say what I know and what I know is what I feel. I am a very feeling person and just try to stay real as real as I can to everything that matters to me. Peoples priorities are different though. She said she feels like a robot… Hmm…you feel like a robot? what? body and brain on auto pilot? you wanna know what goes on in my head? I don’t think you do because piled on top of your bullshit this shit might not get through. Everyone for themselves but don’t take time to look through, you try to paint a nice pic over the obvious is that you dont care maybe you jut need to do you and …and the clouds thats are coming over head just a few but it grows into many if you don’t react soon….
This is just a freestyle write a little. sit at my desk as I let my brain go and just let my fingers find their way the natural brain waves flowing down into my fingers from my veins to the tip of the nail, everything is unveiled at the sight or the sound of a rhythm, the sight of a rhythm can you see it can you actually see a rhythm happening? Isnt rhythm something that’s heard or something. No. Felt. hmmm. seen?… yes I can see a rhythm happening. don’t know man I really don’t know. I don’t know much, I do know that I don’t know that much, ugh that’s so cliché but it’s the truth.
As an artist, it is up to us to share our art with the masses. Its intimidating to share something that is created out of very intimate moments or experiences. But as much as we want to keep our creations safe from rejection or disappointment. Remember, your art is for the world to experience.
The next step as an artist is to go from artist to creative entrepreneur.
In order to reach a new level of success for your art you need to know yourself. What are your abilities and what are your challenges? How can you improve and what areas are you an expert?
You will succeed as an artist because it is what you are here to share with the world. As long as you are committed to growing personally, artistically and professionally then you will succeed.
Get yo hustle on mane! Connect with other artists and shine your light for the world to see.
There is a love for creating that feeds every artist. The artist takes on a new shape because of what’s being created and the art is then embodied by the new shape of the artist. It’s an ever-evolving process with both artist and creativity flowing into and out of each other. Shedding skin and renewing oneself while taking lessons from the experiences of the past, creating visions of our future all the while trying to stay present within our daily human experience. Art is a driving force, a passion. Passions will not leave you alone. Getting in touch with what you are passionate about is what feeds our soul. It is what we are here to contribute to the world and the universe around us.
When we are passionate about the things we are doing and following what makes us happy… then we are doing what we are meant to do.
I love working with other artists and collaborating, learning and getting inspired by other musicians. I recently teamed up with Misstress Entertainment and am performing with the All Female Hip-Hop Rock group THE ELECTRIC AFFAIR out of Oakland, CA.
Lead by the powerful and energetic Mack Misstress, The Electric Affair is bringing a fresh new sound to Bay Area Hip-Hop and Rock.
Members: Mack Misstress-(Lead Vocalist) Felix Lee-(Guitar) LaniGrooves-(Guitar/Vocals) Tatee Joy (Vocals) Stixx-(Drums) DJ Rapture-(DJ)
WATCH THE ELECTRIC AFFAIR RIP IT UP AT SOUTH FIRST STREET BILLIARDS IN SAN JOSE, OCTOBER 2011
Take a behind the scenes look at the powerhouses of Misstress Entertainment and The Electric Affair! We like to have fun! Come ride wit’ us ! Music & Life…
This is a showcase that me and my band did in October at the Media Center in Palo Alto, CA. 30 minute music showcase including interview! This program aired for two weeks on Bay Area TV channels in the peninsula. Check it out!
Lani Grooves, a bay area indie R&B band joins American Songwriter in October 2009. Iwalani Venerable on vocals and guitar, Manny “Manteka” San Gabriel on bass, Evan Bayless on drums, Rafielo Baez on hand percussion, and special guest, Von “Skywalka” Collins on vocals. Becky Sanders is host, taped at the Mid peninsula Community Media Center in Palo Alto.
Underground/Indie Hip-Hop in The South bay?
There has always been an ongoing effort to keep live music and art thriving in San Jose, but when it comes to hip hop it seems that there is even more of a struggle to keep the underground alive.
If you are an Indie hip-hop artist/MC/Freestyle MC then you should definitely check out “The Cypher” which is a weekly hip-hop open mic night hosted by Audio Dru of KSJS 90.5 Ground Zero Radio. It’s a night of DJ’s playing instrumentals, mixing and scratching while the emcee’s come up, spit 8 bars then pass the mic. In the true tradition of hip-hop, emcee’s come out to “The Cypher” to showcase their skill and battle on the mic. Every Wednesday night at Johnny V’s downtown San Jose, hip-hop heads posse up to test their skills. Every week there are new featured artists that come and showcase their music. Featured artists usually get a 20-30 minute showcase. For an Indie hip-hop artist this is a great venue to come work on your craft, gain some more fans and possibly get a featured artist showcase!
Chris Grunge, Fllossafee, Rahman Jaamal & DJ Luicidal
Bay area hip hop artists such as Matre, Dante, FTB, Realization, No Cando, Lucky Lucianni, Sideways Burnouts, Aivar Lush & Fresh Coast, Abel Abilities, Blank Manuscript, Freefall Crew, DJ Abe, DLabrie, Soliscin, Joint Venture, Ray Resurrection, HKrush, Paulie Rhymes, Grown Folks, Pariah, SharkStyliens, Elements of Style, Ex-I, Slop Opera, MexTape, Language Arts Crew, RecLeague, Soap Box Melodics, Nima Fadavi, Al Pancho, Manik, VidaKillz & Mycon
By Iwalani Venerable
“How do I, as an Indie singer/songwriter in the South Bay get more exposure? “
A friend asked me to name some good venues to perform at as an Indie singer/songwriter here in the Southbay area. I am a performing artist so I have done some of my own searches for performance venues. The key is getting out and meeting the people. That’s where it’s at! Go to open mics, art & culture events, and industry networking groups.
How do I find them?
If you are an Indie artist or group in the bay area looking to gain more fans through open mics and live featured artist showcases check out www.bayareaopenmics.org
They keep an up to date list of venues in the bay area that offer weekly open mic events. The list is broken down by area (Southbay, Northbay, East Bay/Peninsula)
It gives all the details of the venue including address, phone number, hosts name, equipment available, and length of performance slot ranging from 2-3 songs or 15 minutes per artist.
This is a great way to connect with other artists, musicians, singers & songwriters to build your fan base.
Remember to ask for email addresses! They are golden.
Another site I found is www.westcoastsongwriters.org, this is a great non-profit organization for Indie singer/songwriters to become a member of. It’s another great way to network with other musicians and learn from industry professionals about songwriting. They hold ongoing workshops and networking events as well as songwriting competitions/evaluations. It’s a great opportunity to get your songs or music heard by a lot of pros in the industry and connect with other local musicians!
www.westcoastsongwriters.org keeps an up to date calendar with information regarding upcoming songwriting competitions and workshops around the bay area. They also keep an extensive list of performance venues looking to book singer/songwriters for gigs.