Mark Leibowitz’s Backstage

Mark Leibowitz is an LA photographer whose portfolio blends fashion, portraiture, reportage and travel. But the photos that caught me eye are his “backstage” images taken from  coverage of fashion shows. I’ve never been backstage at a fashion event, I’d like to but haven’t. I imagine these photos, however, are the next best thing. He manages to capture the pure energy of the night. Garments flying by creating color fields, faces blurring into nothing but shades of skin tone, melding together both to create a collective memory. Almost as if you’re seeing several peoples perspective on the moment at once.

It’s also New Years Eve, so I need to get off the computer and bid you farewell until next year. If your night manages to come anywhere close to the energy and love coming through these images I think you’ll have brought in the new year with success. Cheers and happy New Year!


Free Music Collection: January 2011

December was a month to reflect back on 2010 so there really wasn’t a ton of new releases to share here. There were, however, piles of year end mixes covering nearly every genre that came into existence in 2010. So that’s where we start this month’s collection, with a super chill mix from Korallreven, a party mix from GOBBLE GOBBLE’s Infinitour and even a couple that bring back some 90s R&B – perhaps a glimpse of whats in store for 2011?

Hope you can look back on the year and smile.

If you need new music daily rather than monthly, follow me on twitter @thinkorsmile. I typically post links there as they are discovered. Or you can follow my twitter list of music bloggers who are doing the dirty work of digging these artists up. Happy exploring.

Think or Smile | Free Music Collection: January 2011

We Get By – Years End Vol. II – Last month I made mention that I was passing on my own “best of list,” opting instead to take part in a project celebrating this past year in music with many other bloggers and artists. Well here it is. It includes a 12 track mixtape of favorite (downloadable) songs of the year as well as top 15 releases of the year as selected by No Modest Bear, Stadiums And Shrines, Head Underwater, Michael Of Holy Spirits, Dead As Digital, myself, Smoke Don’t Smoke, Ears Of The Beholder, No Fear Of Pop, Rollo & Grady, Weed and Ghost Animal. Click the image above (or here) to read more on the project.

If you’re feeling any of these artists show ‘em some love and go see them live. Looking forward to another year of amazing music!


Think or Smile Mixtape 0×006

This one is a little different from my previous mixtapes, departing from the fast paced, blog driven sounds of the summer. It’s a winter mix for your holiday travels, a soundscape of warming bells and tones, full of personal favorites from the depths of my library. This is what gets me through the dead of winter.

Here’s a few recommended uses: driving long distances late Christmas eve, watching snow fall early in the morning, flying home in the dark, alone, with people you love.


Think or Smile Mixtape 0×006 | Tracklisting:

  • Ryuichi Sakamoto: Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
  • Uakti: Japura River
  • Michael Armstrong: Everything In Its Right Place (Radiohead)
  • Triola: Ag Penthouse
  • Jan Jelinek: Universal Band Silhouette
  • Amiina: Hemipode
  • Black Moth Super Rainbow: Runthroughoraroundthepark
  • Bonobo: Kiara
  • Beautiful Bells: Agreen
  • mutual benefit: Piano Experiments In An Abandoned Hospital
  • Dead Can Dance: Spirit
  • Björk: Come to me
  • Pantha du Prince: A Nomads Retreat
  • Ryuichi Sakamoto: Father Christmas

Thank you to Dave of stadiums and shrines for opening my ears to Ryuichi Sakamoto, without you this mix would not be. Fair warning, the opening melody will likely be stuck in your head for eternity. It will be in mine.

UPDATE: I’ve created a print based on this cover art which you can check out at my small online shop.


MEMO (or, like all things this is about love and atlantis)

Nine months ago, BriAnna Olson and Christopher Barnes got together, now there is a baby. An absolutely magical baby called, MEMO (or, like all things this is about love and atlantis). Their past collaborative efforts have been nothing short of powerful, which I first discovered and had the pleasure of experiencing live, through BriAnna’s videos for Christopher’s band Gem Club. But MEMO has a life of its own.

At BriAnna’s request, here’s how to take this in: go to a very dark and quiet room … and you need to close your eyes and whisper your secret name to your Invisible. Then you and your Invisible gotta go here and press play: Its possible that if enough of the right people watch it at the same time then we can summon atlantis from The Depths.

I’ve embedded the video here but highly recommend watching it larger, in a dark space, on BriAnna’s site. It’s beautiful seen on vimeo or a blog but the magic happens when you put yourself in the proper environment and mindset. It can drift you away if you let it. I’ve already watched it several times and each experience is different. At one point I felt I was watching a new life form unfold before my eyes. I began weaving a story of what form of being it could be, wondering if I just saw the moment it became self aware, alive. Everything about it is soothing and I want to dream to it as often as possible.

There’s a very limited edition 78 minute DVD available as well, individually produced and numbered by BriAnna.


Think or Smile Holiday Giveaway

Since starting Think or Smile back in March I’ve had the good fortune of connecting with some truly amazing people and taking part in a few projects I probably couldn’t have dreamed of a year ago. I’m very grateful for all the things I’ve learned and experienced on this journey so I wanted to share a small token of my appreciation with all who’ve joined me along the way. Without further ado…

I’ll be giving away seven packages that include one of each of the following:

Think or Smile Collage Print – Signed 9″x12″ digital epson print on enhanced matte paper.

Handmade Collage Poem Bookmark – painstakingly cut from vintage National Geographic magazines and hand laminated, each piece is one of kind. You can read more about them here. I’ll select one from my collection to be paired with one of the New Directions books below. You can view a small portion of the bookmarks I’ll choose from here.

New Directions Book from the Pearl SeriesNew Directions Publishing has graciously provided their current 7 offerings from the Pearl Series, which highlights selections from the best work of master authors, including Yukio Mishima, Federico García Lorca, Javier Marías, Tennessee Williams, Jorge Luis Borges, César Aira and Sir Thomas Browne. More on the Pearl Series can be found in this suburb write-up. I’ve read a couple ND books this year and they’ve helped get me through creative blocks on more than one occasion. I’ll select one book from the series to be paired with a bookmark.

How to enter: Simply comment on this post between now and December 25th 2010, sharing an experience you’ve had with Think or Smile this year. If you’re new to the site, tell me something interesting… really, I just want to hear from you :)  I’ll pull the 7 winners at random, either from a hat or via random number generator, which ever seems more fun at the time. You can only win one package.

Extra entries: If you share this on twitter or facebook I’ll count those as additional entries, so you can essentially enter three times. Just make sure to mention or tag me, otherwise I’ll have no sure way of verifying. Twitter: @thinkorsmile #giveaway // Facebook: Think or Smile // Short URL:

Since entries close at 11:59pm 12/24/2010 these packages won’t go out until after the Christmas weekend. Consider it an after Christmas present.. everyone likes gifts at odd times, right?

*items pictured above are not to scale… they look more like this.

And the winners are...


Think or Smile | Nathaniel Whitcomb © 2010