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Rules Of Life

Andy, your career has stretched over decades, and you’ve been involved in so much pop iconography its sometimes hard to digest. So for you, looking back on everything that you’ve done, what has been your biggest regret, and, conversely, what has been your proudest accomplishment?

Andy Kim: I have no regrets. I have not one single regret. I was born with a wonderful DNA where I felt that my life was not a race against someone else or another artist. It was probably internal, ya know? I needed to this. I didn’t know why and I didn’t understand. I don’t come from a musical family and didn’t go to Julliard or anything, but I had this kind of vision of stuff that was so powerful that I just needed to find it. I have no regrets. There are times when, for many years, I’ve been irrelevant—and it was OK! I had my moment. No one is responsible for anyone else’s dreams. I don’t need a babysitter. I just needed to know that I could do this. I just think that my happiest time or my best time, upon reflection, is that I had the courage to do this. I had the courage to go to an environment that was the Brill Building and was actually welcomed but I had the courage to take this step.

Via Pop Matters

Sometimes expressing emotions without holding back at all can be hard, because vulnerability can carry a stigma of weakness. Was that something that ever crossed your mind when it came to sharing your music?

Growing up, sharing how I felt and being vulnerable was considered a strength. It was something that I wasn’t good at for so long, that when I finally learned how to do it, I realized that I felt better and the people I was trying to communicate with felt better, as well. It’s something I’m still working on. Even when it’s hard, when people know how you feel, there’s no room for misinterpretation or misconnection. It’s important to be connected with people. It’s important for the people you’re close to to know who you are. If you shut any side of yourself down, especially that vulnerable side, which is where a lot of love comes from, it’s unhealthy. It is misconstrued as being weak, but that’s a militant upbringing. You’re told not to cry, to walk it off, but it’s OK to acknowledge and embrace pain—and share it. It can be really cathartic and positive.

At one point in your life, you were in a long-term relationship with someone who was extremely unsupportive of your music and your art. How does someone keep making their art when a person they care about in their life doesn’t want them to make it?

It was unbelievable that I even went on as long as I did. There was this driving force inside of me that felt [music] was important for me to do, that it felt good to do. For someone I cared about so deeply to not accept this part of me, like everything else about me was fine except for this one part, that’s not somebody loving you. I realized that I knew who my real friends and my family were, and what unconditional love meant: Where, even when it’s not easy, you accept it and you’re open to it. It just wasn’t love, so I didn’t keep that person in my life. Life is too short to surround yourself with people who aren’t looking out for you.

Via Rookie Magazine

From The Age:

Australia’s 25,000 entertainment industry workers are more likely to suffer from mental health issues, have higher rates of suicide and are paid much less than the rest of the community, according to research from Victoria University.

The pilot study highlights a work environment that is “unhealthy, often divisive, competitive and lacking social support” and concludes “there are strong indicators these creative workers have a disproportionate rate of mental health issues”.

In 2012, the Australian Road Crew Collective identified 70 roadies who had died prematurely, many from suspected suicide. That sparked Entertainment Assist, a charity that helps people working in the entertainment industry, to try and found out why.

The Pratt Foundation funded the pilot study, which was completed by Dr Julie van den Eynde, Professor Adrian Fisher and Associate Professor Christopher Sonn, from Victoria University. For the Phase I report, the researchers interviewed entertainment industry workers across three employment groups.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

Here’s a kind of funny one, because I can’t think of the best career advice. Earl McGrath was a friend of [Atlantic cofounder] Ahmet Ertegun‘s, and he was a little bit of an art dealer. He would say things like, “Why are you buying a new couch when you could buy a painting? That couch is fine.” His apartment was kinda like that — it had these incredible contemporary paintings everywhere and hardly any furniture.

So, not that I’ve bought extremely expensive art, but I have always bought art, and I’m sitting in my kitchen and there are four great paintings in here. So maybe the best advice I’ve gotten is, “Buy art.”

Via Billboard

Dan Reynolds on his strained relationship with his parents and his mother’s hesitancy about him becoming a musician:

“You know, I’ve always kind of had strained relations with my parents, just because I was kind of left-of-center compared to what my family comes from, which is a very conservative family of doctors and lawyers. I told my mom I wanted to be a musician when I was little, you know. It was scary for her, and she was—she didn’t forbid me, but she didn’t quite… you know, she didn’t…. How can I put it… She didn’t fully embrace it… Especially when I talked about dropping out of college to pursue it. She was scared about it, but my dad was always actually secretly into it. He’s a lawyer, and he’s the one who kind of instilled the love of music into me in the first place. He’s always been into Paul Simon and the Beatles, the Beach Boys—all those artists with the great melodies. That’s where that came from.”

Via Vegas Magazine

Oliver Sacks has cancer. Damn. I hope you live out the remaining days with the greatest happiness anyone has ever had on this planet. You, of all people, deserve it.

From The New York Times:

Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts. This does not mean I am finished with life.

On the contrary, I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight.

This will involve audacity, clarity and plain speaking; trying to straighten my accounts with the world. But there will be time, too, for some fun (and even some silliness, as well).

I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends. I shall no longer look at “NewsHour” every night. I shall no longer pay any attention to politics or arguments about global warming.

This is not indifference but detachment — I still care deeply about the Middle East, about global warming, about growing inequality, but these are no longer my business; they belong to the future. I rejoice when I meet gifted young people — even the one who biopsied and diagnosed my metastases. I feel the future is in good hands.

From NBC Philadelphia:

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The trick to balancing on slick sidewalks is to “walk like a penguin.”

At least, that’s the advice coming out of Little Baby’s Ice Cream in Northern Liberties.

Instinct tells us to do the opposite and center our weight mid-stride, which works on dry walkways.

However this tactic forces legs to split your body weight in half and rely on both feet to maintain balance — not the best idea for icy streets.

The local ice cream parlor posted a simple infographic on their blog to remind everyone to think of gravity and mimic penguins. Shifting one’s weight onto the front leg keeps people – and penguins – from slipping.


You are always told to recover for yourself, but the only way I got my head out of my own ass was to remember that there were other asses to consider.

I now inhabit a life I don’t deserve, but we all walk this earth feeling we are frauds. The trick is to be grateful and hope the caper doesn’t end any time soon.

– David Carr, The Night of the Gun

What do you think is the biggest misconception about you?

The thing that bothered me the most was when I had to return to the public eye in ’95 or ’96 when my husband died. We lived a very simple lifestyle in a more reclusive way in which he was king of our domain. I don’t drive, I didn’t have much of an income, and without him, I had to find a way of making a living. Besides working in a bookstore, the only thing I knew how to do was to make records—or to write poetry, which isn’t going to help put your kids through school. But when I started doing interviews, people kept saying “Well, you didn’t do anything in the 80s,” and I just want to get Elvis Presley’s gun out and shoot the television out of their soul. How could you say that? The conceit of people, to think that if they’re not reading about you in a newspaper or magazine, then you’re not doing anything.

I’m not a celebrity, I’m a worker. I’ve always worked. I was working before people read anything about me, and the day they stopped reading about me, I was doing even more work. And the idea that if you’re a mother, you’re not doing anything—it’s the hardest job there is, being a mother or father requires great sacrifice, discipline, selflessness, and to think that we weren’t doing anything while we were raising a son or daughter is appalling. It makes me understand why some human beings question their worth if they’re not making a huge amount of money or aren’t famous, and that’s not right.

My mother worked at a soda fountain. She made the food and was a waitress and she was a really hard worker and a devoted worker. And her potato salad became famous! She wouldn’t get potato salad from the deli, she would get up at five o’clock in the morning and make it herself, and people would come from Camden or Philly to this little soda fountain in South Jersey because she had famous potato salad. She was proud of that, and when she would come home at night, completely wiped out and throwing her tip money on the table and counting it, one of her great prides was that people would come from far and wide for her potato salad. People would say, “Well, what did your mother do? She was a waitress?” She served the people, and she served in the way that she knew best.

Via Alan Light interview in Medium