This is where thoughts become things.

Hi, I'm Daniela. Welcome to my personal lair on the Internet. This is where I write about storytelling, activism, technology and pop culture. Sometimes I post videos. I update my lair when the mood strikes me. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates (@dcap).

Tag : brooklyn

Vloggin’ it up!

I realized the only way I am going to be able to commit to blogging everyday is if I can mix it up with some video. I am excited about unleashing my weirdness and sharing it with my family and friends.

My new channel, therealdcap, is going to be an experiment in self-expression and community-building. And as I noted in my bio, it’s also just an excuse for me to bug out. For the last seven years I’ve been creating media as my profession, which has been very rewarding. But I’ve always enjoyed the online/video folk art of others, and I am ready to start doing my own experimenting again. I’m inspiring by video artists like Laurel Nakadate, vloggers like my IRL friend FilmFuturist, and crazy awesome parents like the SHAYTARDS.

The video below from 2009 is probably proof of why my videos should remain private. But you’re here! I’ve got you now! Bwahahaha.

I love to dance in my bedroom and pretend my spoon is a microphone. Why I keep a spoon in my room is fodder for a future blog post, perhaps.

I’ve been creating personal videos and putting them online since 1999, but rarely shared anything I made. The fact that no one was really watching video online at the time might have had something to do with it. Back then, I didn’t know about these guys, which is probably a good thing. I am pretty sure I would have joined their collective and turned into some sort of “Lawnmower Man“-esque crazy robot lady.

I’m kicking off this daily creative experiment with a look back at what used to make me smile, and will be posting new videos next week. Instead of tossing videos randomly all over the Internet, like the one below on Flickr, I’m going to start being organized with my weirdness and keeping it all in one place on therealdcap. We’ll see how that goes.

Enjoy your weekend! I’m not posting again until Monday — weekends shouldn’t count in this daily posting pact, I mean, come on.

On My Radar: The Shondes & JIVE GRAVE

I’ve been in hiding to focus on my projects, but breaks from hermit-hood are necessary to maintain my sanity. I was only out of the country for a month, but thanks to the rapid cycle of growth and death in NYC, I already have a list of new bands, venues, and restaurants to check out.

Last Thursday (10/28) I went to my  first show since returning from my 30-day shoot in Paris. My BFF invited me to join her on her trek to Bushwick — my old hood — and we ended up at House of Yes for JIVE GRAVE‘s BLACKONE EP release party.

When I exited the train at the Grand L stop, I expected to be overwhelmed by art school kids, but instead found myself surrounded by local families. I enjoyed the site of them carrying armfuls of groceries, teens texting each other on the corner, and dads with their sons returning from karate class. I basked in the warm bustle of early evening street life. As nostalgia momentarily washed over me, my thoughts drifted back to my two years spent in the rapidly gentrifying nabe. It was a time of my life that I’ll always look back on with a mix of fondness and sadness. After being in NYC since 2004, and despite so many youthful distractions, Bushwick was the first place I ever “felt” like an adult.

We arrived at House of Yes pretty late, but the first band hadn’t even finished their soundcheck yet so we had plenty of time. When they finally did go on I wasn’t a fan (frustratingly off-key lead singer), but immediately fell in love with the second band, The Shondes:

Out of nowhere (haven’t thought about those days in years), this band transported me to Ladyfest Bay Area 2002, and all the times I would drive to SF to catch shows by riot grrrl-inspired bands like Le Tigre and Bratmobile. I felt like if I flipped through my old CD case I would find their sleeve in between The Need and The Gossip.

I brought my 7D to the show out of habit, not intending to use it. I didn’t even bring my audio adapter or external mic, but felt like if something went down that pulled my camera to my eyes, I would let it happen.

I haven’t uploaded any photos yet but had to share this quick clip of JIVE GRAVE’s set. Each band member wore the same creepy Eyes Wide Shut-like mask, complete with painted eyebrows. The trembling symbols and matching faces onstage made me feel like I was about to witness a secret ritual reserved for hidden rooms on Ivy league campuses. Geo Wyeth may look like Wolverine’s little brother (in a good way), but his heartbreakingly dark (and uplifting lyrics) reveal a tender side and flare for showmanship:

Geo prefaced one of the songs by announcing “This next one is about colonialism. We all know what that means, right? We all went to college?” What followed were some jams that made me want to simultaneously take notes and pogo. Geo’s voice is nasally, addictive, and his inflections kind of echo around my ears and provide a playful contrast to the artfully arranged melodies.

…I had a closing paragraph here about the connection between my camera, music, Paris, and my identity in NYC, but Dreamhost service crashed in the middle and I don’t feel like retyping. BUT! I will say that I am in the middle of a significant transition in my life and am starting my “dream job” next week.

As a result of all this change, I am going to be open to the idea of creating a personal vlog in December to document what’s to come. Yes, you may see me rambling in front of a camera on a regular basis. Self-indulgent? Yes, fo sho. But I am for anything that helps me to thrive and inspires creativity.

Brain Leaks: She Chose This Dark Place

I’ve been working on this short story for a while. I am attempting to encapsulate a moment in my life that led me on a particular path.

One evening, five years ago, I witnessed something that I could never forget.

I go back to this story from time to time, so I’ve decided to share it with anyone who’s dropped by. All comments welcome.

outsider art

One foot in front of the other takes her from day to night, facing the wind, fists shoved in the pockets of her ratty wool coat as she exhales fish guts and moldy fruit.

New York is behind her, across the bridge, a smoky sky thatched with dark windows and diagonal hallways, strangers who pressed against her with eerie familiarity, cold fingers lingering as they graze her sides. The buds nestled near her eardrums pump a menacing drone that makes them scatter, parted the sea of unfamiliar faces when she reached the Williamsburg bridge, a golden stain over the horizon. She walked into the sun and did not look back.

She chose this dark place, soundless against the cacophony of voices and clanging of glasses, forcing her thin body through the crowd to the front of the stage. A circle of light pools in front of her and she almost reaches to touch it, imagining it feels like the skin of a warm peach. She doesn’t. A neglected ball of hunger festers in her belly. The ground is sticky beneath her, littered with the remains of ancient fliers. She reaches down to touch them instead, a crop of still crisp angles prickling her fingertips as she rips off a laminated chunk. She holds it up to the light and sees a watery smudge in the shape of a man. She drops it.

They parade in front of her, one after the other, with booming voices she scarcely remembers as they exit with a flourish of pumped fists, scattering discs that rain into the crowd. She catches a few, slips them in her purse she now regrets bringing, a painful nuisance that digs in her side with each frantic wave crushing her inward, forcing her forward. Why does she carry so much with her? The air becoming thicker with smoke, stinging tears rush to her eyes, the stage swims.

Somewhere, people who never feel alone are dining together, they are laughing and smiling, she sees this very clearly in her mind and feels something rising in her throat. She turns to leave.

Mic check, one two, one two. A clear, female voice echos above her.

Now she’s dripping with sweat as hungry eyes blink and light the darkness of the room like stars, her own glued to the phoenix in the shape of a woman.

a burnt sky scorched the earth flesh
at the same time the murderous text arose like a phoenix with the glow of death

The light is beginning to seep through the crack bricks heralding daybreak, but no one leaves. She’s drenched in her own sweat, baptized in a steady stream of words that don’t make any promises but swear to continue, never stopping, even when the mic is dead and a raspy whisper is all that remains.

She steps out into the sunlight, clutching the phoenix’s gift that for a moment was pressed in both their hands. It’s not even real gold – painted tin in the shape of a door knocker but she clutches her prize on the bus all the way back to her tiny room in a Washington Heights tenement.