A little #NativeAwesome to get your day started

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love and represent for Aboriginal DJ group, A Tribe Called Red.  Here’s a video that might give you a glimpse into why that is.

As an urban Indian with what is best described as a “pan-Indian” identity, these talented artists produce music that bridges the gap between traditional and modern; Native and mainstream.  I connect with their musical movement so deeply, that each piece feels like another song in the soundtrack of my life.

I hope you enjoy this video as much as I do and it cures any lingering Monday blues.  Have a great week, y’all!

And, remember:  It’s [always] a great day to be Indigenous!

-NativeJournalist

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Aboriginal DJ Group “A Tribe Called Red” Drops Their Debut Album…and it’s FREE!

Photo courtesy of Exclaim.ca

Ottawa-based Aboriginal DJ group, A Tribe Called Red, released their debut alum for FREE today!  The best way I can describe their sound is a modern, electronic remix of traditional Native pow wow drumming and singing.  Whatever you want to call it, you can’t deny how incredibly awesome and talented these guys are.  Some of my favorite tracks include: “Native Puppy Love,” “Woodcarver,” “Red Skin Girl,” and “Look At This.”  All the tracks are good, though.  But, don’t take my word for it, go check it out for yourself!  Download the album here…and be sure to spread the word!

Here’s a piece I did about A Tribe Called Red’s music and their “Electric Pow Wow” while visiting Toronto last year for ImagineNative.  Enjoy!

-NativeJournalist

Artist Profile: A Tribe Called Red

Check out my work-in-progress…

Ottawa-based DJ Trio, A Tribe Called Red, holds what they call “Electric Pow Wows” in various cities around Canada and the U.S. in an effort to celebrate and preserve their culture. We recently caught up with the group during a performance in Toronto. Here is Amy Stretten with the story.

-NativeJournalist

I’ll be at this year’s ImagineNative film + media arts festival next week!

I can’t wait to attend this year’s ImagineNative film and media arts festival in Toronto next week (October 19-23)!  It’s my first time going and I’m really looking forward to what’s in store. 🙂  I really miss Canada and my Aboriginal peeps up there!

While in Toronto, I’ll be filming the amazing DJ trio “A Tribe Called Red” during their performance at the opening night party for a project I’m working on.  I had the privilege of working with these guys on a package I did for APTN National News this summer about the controversy over an Irish showband called “The Indians.”  They really are incredibly talented!  Don’t take my word, though…check them out for yourself on soundcloud.

More to updates on ImagineNative to come!

-NativeJournalist

Artist Profile: Traditional Native American and R&B Singer, Mother and Activist – Kyra Climbingbear

Click the photo to see the video

This is just a short glimpse into the life of Kyra Climbingbear, an urban Indian living in New Jersey.

She is Eastern Band Cherokee and Lumbee and Black, is a singer and an activist. Climbingbear is the mother of two small girls and is an R&B and traditional Cherokee music singer.

To learn more about Kyra visit her website.

For more about the producer and editor of the video visit AmyStretten.com

Note: I apologize for the rough introduction. I will be refining this video shortly. Please check back for a new and improved version soon!

-NativeJournalist

Google (and the world) celebrates Michael Jackson’s birthday

Todays Google logo is a tribute to Michael Jackson
Today's Google logo is a tribute to Michael Jackson

The King of Pop is again remembered by what is decidedly the most well known search engine on the world wide web: Google.com! Google changed the double-Os in it’s name to an image of Michael Jackson’s feet with his famous sparkling white socks and black penny loafers

On a side note…Yesterday I had the chance to meet choreographer and director Kenny Ortega who was directing Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” concert, but is now directing the film with the same title as a tribute to the work and legacy of the King of Pop. I’ve heard there will also be some moments here and there in the film that show the softer, human side of Michael Jackson. (I hope I will get to see it in theatres!) Yesterday I also met Michael Jackson’s old personal assistant and assistant to Ortega since 2007, James Phares, who shared with me some very touching memories of Michael Jackson. He told me how thoughtful, sensitive, and loving he was with all those he came in contact with.
Read more about Kenny Ortega and his work at his website.

While I was never lucky enough to meet Michael Jackson, I have been a huge fan of his since I was a little girl. I used to dress up in this weird color-block outfit that was black on one side and white on the other and match my shoes and socks (and hairbands even!) and perform “Black or White” for my family in our living room. I loved that video because it was the only pop video I knew of that blended so many scenes from cultures from around the world (not just those representing “black” or “white”), including my own. Seeing Native Americans dancing in a music video (not to mention Michael Jackson’s music video!) made me feel as the only-Indian-girl-at-her-school-practically-her-whole-life, like my culture and I mattered. My people were not just worthy of respect, but we were cool, too! Michael Jackson has meant a lot to me throughout my life not just because he is the best performer to ever live, but because of where he stood with the human rights movement, bridging the gaps between so many different peoples, and continually poking holes through the racial glass ceiling. He will always be my hero and my inspiration to dare to dream the impossible. I love and miss you Michael…Happy Birthday!

Check out Michael Jackson’s website here.

I’ll leave you with what I think is one of Michael Jackson’s best videos!

Sunset Strip Music Festival to be held Saturday, Sept. 12 @ 2pm

This looks like a fun event for the whole family! Check it out…here’s some information from the event website:

The street festival will include two outdoor stages on The Sunset Strip between Doheny Drive and San Vicente Boulevard from 2-9 p.m. as well as performances in the music venues within the closure – Cat Club, Key Club, The Roxy Theatre and Whisky A Go-Go – throughout the day. More than 30 bands will perform.

Bands confirmed for the street festival include Korn, Chris Cornell, Pepper, Kottonmouth Kings, Shiny Toy Guns, Shwayze, LMFAO, Unwritten Law, The Donnas, Fishbone, The Knux, Iglu & Hartly, Iration, Super Mash Bros, The Pricks, The Ringers, thenewno2, Earl Greyhound, Awolnation, The Tender Box, Eulogies, Nico Stai & more! Check the lineup for new additions. The street fest will also include food and merch vendors, beer garden and interactive entertainment.

For more information click here.

-NativeJournalist