Sure, laughter is great, but music makes great medicine too.
Coinciding with Giving Tuesday is Bedstock, an awesome online event in which artists play sets from their beds as a show of support for kids with cancer and other serious illnesses.
The Decemberists were just one of the many groups who participated. Check out their cozy rendition of "Oceanside":
It's all a part of MyMusicRx, the flagship program of the Children’s Cancer Association. The in-hospital music medicine program features bedside sing-alongs led by trained music specialists, instrument and iPad lending from mobile music carts, and live concerts from international recording artists. The org gives sick kids access to exclusive artist greetings, concerts, music lessons, digitals instruments, and games - anytime, anywhere. Since 1995, MyMusicRx has delivered the healing power of music to nearly 50,000 individual children fighting cancer and other serious illnesses.
Visit MyMusicRx.org to find out more about the growing #MusicHeals program, and learn how you can make a difference.
We take our Christmas music seriously here at HIH. And while we applaud the intentions behind the 30th anniversary rendition of Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" (Kudos for supporting Ebola relief efforts!) we can't help but sense how very staged and "put on" this feels. We can only imagine how many publicists died to make this happen.
Therefore we decided to rev up the Snark Machine and spend some time unleashing what we really thought of this overstuffed cornucopia of pop stars. And to answer the age-old question: No, we DON'T think they know (or care) that it's Christmas. Because, y'know, death, starvation, and the will to live.
Here we go...
00:00:Bob Geldof! Wait, who are all these other people? Oh, the boys from 1D. Okay, they’re famous. Oh good, Bono is back too.
00:09: Who was clamoring for Seal on this bad boy? Does England really lack other relevant singers? Is Seal a big deal? Am I the irrelevant one here?
00:13: I’d like to thank Ed Sheeran for convincing tweens worldwide that men who look like me (scraggly gingers) are sexy and soulful. He tricked everyone, and we all reap the benefits.
00:19: Oh Jesus. Get the 1D boys out of the way. Front load. Niall is really giving this some thought.
00:27: You show ‘em how its done, Eddy. Is this really what he sounds like? Girls like this?
00:35: Is this Rita Ora? What does a Rita Ora look like? Ooooh, the beat drops.
00:45: Oh they did invite other famous people. Hi, Sam Smith.
00:52: Who’s this girl? I’m gonna call her Lana Del Lohan.
Um, that'd be Paloma Faith.
1:00: Fresh off the uncoupling, Chris Martin shows up to put on some headphones. Remember in the last Live Aid rehash he got the part the 1D boys got? Basically, if you don’t open this song or you aren’t Bono, you barely rate. Oh how the mighty have fallen.
1:10: Who is this person? Was Sting not around? Even the engineer seems surprised to see him...just who is that guy in the white T and black cap?
HM: That'd be the producer of the song, Paul Epworth. He's also Adele's producer. He is quite handsome. Actually, he kinda looks like Brandon Flowers from The Killers, no?
KW: Oh, hey girl hey. He is really hot.
1:18: Okay, so he’s ridiculous, but I’d have so much sex with Dan from Bastille and his stupid hair and dumb zig zag shirt and overblown voice. Dan, call me.
But, man these new lyrics are rough.
1:22: Bono, pre-bike injury, waiting for his time to incite the Clarion call. Again, I don’t know who’s singing right now.
1:27: I do know who’s singing right now (It’s Apple’s dad). Do you think he named his daughter Apple to repay Steve Jobs for all the great product placement his band got in those Apple ads?
1:35: Okay, so I have one dream that will never be realized. Okay, I have many dreams that will never be realized, but this one especially so: I want to be invited to this fucking party one year, or any sort of charity sing-along event. This will not happen because I a) can’t sing and b) am not as famous or infamous as Dan Akroyd. But in my dreams, I step up to the mic and I deliver the great Bono line, or maybe the Cyndi Lauper “OH WHOA WHOA WHOA” in USA for Africa, and it’s a great searing call to arms, and for years to come, during the holidays, at karaoke, everyone will want to sing my part when their friends get up and do this song.
That being said: this is his Bono’s weakest iteration ever.
1:45: Okay, Seal. Enough.
1:55: I understand the need for “distinctive” vocals in these things (it IS supposed to be on the radio right? The BBC or something?), but man, nobody REALLY wants to hear Ellie Goulding try to sing.
Maybe Skrillex still does.
Oh good. She got in a whoooooo.
2:02: Oh wow. It's like you smashed Seal’s relevance with Ellie Goulding’s straining and what came out was a big mushy Sinead O’Rebellion.
2:20: The 1D Boys are back, followed by someone I’ll call “Blandly Cute Blonde Guy.” I’m gonna check the roster and guess that this is probably Olly Murs.
BLANDLY cute? Olly is freakin' adorable.
2:22: Hot Dan and his ugly band! And Sam Smith looking every bit the “male Adele.”
2:28: That girl in the red pantsuit is back. Is she Santa?
How DARE you say that about Rita Ora. Just because she has three white whiskers on her chin...
2:30: Remember on the last re-do of this when they let Dizzee Rascal rap over this part? Thank GOD they didn’t do that again.
2:38: What happened to Bob Geldof? Did he just show up, take a picture and leave?
2:41: Being famous and hanging out with famous people and doing presumptively important things looks really fun, I will say that. Just imagine I’m Ed Sheeran in this situation.
The boys from Bastille, however, look like they’re wondering how to monetize this situation.
2:49: Do you think they put Ellie Goulding and Sinead O’Connor next to each other so they could isolate and remove them from the mix?
2:53: Ed Sheeran just reminded me I need to shave.
2:55: Chris Martin and heir apparent, Sexy Dan.
2:59: Bland Blonde and I have the same dance moves.
3:05: Does Phil Collins still not do the drumming in these things?
3:15: Someone just tried to steal the spotlight, good on engineer man for pulling her back in the mix. This is about Africa, not about your career. Oh wait, it is about your career?
How much of this is for the video and how much of this is how they ACTUALLY recorded it? This recording studio has amazingly moody lighting. I’m surprised Madonna didn’t phone in for this.
3:25: Oh. There’s Bob Geldof. All is right in the world (except, apparently, in Africa).
The first week of October is such a wonderful time of year here in Los Angeles: There's the midnight screening of Clue at the Nuart, there are flea markets to raid for Halloween costumes, and then... there's Best in Drag!
Best in Drag Show, the spectacular annual fundraiser for Aid for AIDS at the Orpheum in downtown L.A. on October 6, has announced that Emmy Award winner Holland Taylor (Two and A Half Men), Golden Globe nominee Mireille Enos (The Killing), Alan Ruck (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Bellamy Young (Scandal), and Kathy Kinney (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) will be part of the celebrity judging panel for the show’s 11th anniversary. Also joining: Melanie Griffith and Glee's Dot Marie Jones!
Event co-founder Patrick Rush will be hosting the show once again, and Jeffrey Drew, long-time star throughout the history of the show, will direct, choreograph and helm this year's festivities.
“Behind the sparkles, spangles, and spandex is a great cause – providing housing and food for those who are devastated with HIV/AIDS and poverty,” says Terry Goddard II, Executive Director of Alliance for Housing and Healing. Aid for AIDS is a vital program of Alliance for Housing and Healing.
The 2013 contestants include Sash Carl (Miss California: Beverly Center), D'Nez Westmoreland (Miss Michigan: Electra Caprice Riviera), Stephen Molinaro (Miss New Jersey: Vava Fanculo), Mike Cativo (Miss Puerto Rico: Mimi E), Dajuan Powns (Miss Washington DC: Ciera Lyon), and Aron Ross (Miss Wisconsin: Misty O'Portunity).
Comic-book maestro Stan Lee is throwing a bash benefiting America's real-life superheroes, the men and women on the U.S. Military.
On Saturday June 22, the roof of the Santa Maria Elks Unocal Event Center will be blown off when Daughtry performs at the one-night-only event celebrating the men and women of the Armed Forces.
Legendary creator Lee was inspired in the midst
of the hustle and bustle of last year's San Diego Comic Con when he took the opportunity to speak with two young
servicemen who had lost their legs on the battlefield. Deeply moved, Stan created his POW!er
Concert series to honor and pay tribute to the real superheroes of the military and provide a setting to celebrate
and entertain them in the company of friends, family, and neighbors.
You too can take part in the community
spirit by joining Stan and musical superstar Chris Daughtry as
they show their gratitude to the members of the military in this special benefit
Not only can
you show your support by attending, but for the special price of $25, you can
sponsor an active duty soldier to attend the Daughtry concert next weekend. For more details, or to purchase your
tickets, go to www.stanleespowerconcerts.com.
When you say "Fuck cancer!" out loud, it doesn't feel shocking or forced. It perfectly expresses that genuine mix of defiance and defeat to anyone who has ever watched a loved one fight the disease. If ever there was a time to use the F-bomb, it would be now. That's how Yael Cohen felt when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2009. Amidst the confusion and anxiety, these two little words made the most sense. What helped her turn fear into a ferocious battle cry would launch a whole new mission in her life.
A doe-eyed bookworm with Henry Rollins's punk-rock sensibilities and Steve Jobs's business acumen isn't exactly who you would expect to spearhead a whole new approach to the non-profit industry. Having studied political science, she already understood the policies and procedures needed. She got started (at the age of 22!) by becoming incorporated and making sure everything in her business plan would function perfectly.
As far as the philanthropic world goes, nobody knew where to place Cohen; her organization didn't quite fit into the non-profit landscape—and that turned out to be a very good thing indeed.
This South African-born (Canadian raised) girl with the small stature and delicate features proved to be a fiercely intelligent and driven individual who refused to back down to the disease, the controversy, and the criticism.
HIH: It all started with a Fuck Cancer T-shirt?
YC: Yes, absolutely. It was meant as a moral booster for my mom, sort of personal joke to make her smile. Also, as a family, how we felt towards the disease in the dismissive sense. In other words "we're gonna kick it's ass!" She's also the least likely to use that kind of language, so I didn't really expect her to wear it out. Then she wore it EVERYWHERE and the reaction was incredible! Strangers started conversations with her, there were high-fives and hugs, stories being told on the street. This whole barrier that society usually has just crumbled. It was raw, authentic and vulnerable.
Why do you think our culture feels the need to make cancer patients soften the experience for us, with scarves and wigs? Almost trying to cover up what we already know exists?
I think society feels guilty, confused and uncomfortable about cancer in a lot of ways. Mostly because we don't fully understand it and we really suck at communicating about the disease. There is a huge stigma attached to something that is completely beyond anyones control, there are a lot of questions still out there with empty responses or it becomes a very shallow conversation. And I think that needs to change, because it's sticking around and we need to know how to better communicate and support one another.
Yet we generally don't react to people with heart disease in the same way. Why is that?
I think it mostly stems from a sense of guilt, we feel helpless, don't know what to say or do.
Most of your funding goes to early detection more than research. Can you explain a little more about that?
One of the main things is we don't fund research, and in the cancer space that is rare. To be clear, I feel that research is important and very needed, but that isn't the battle I chose to pursue. That's not where I felt I could make the most impact. We all want that cure to be found and I'm all for that, but I'm also surprised that there hasn't been a larger discussion about the fact that 90% of cancers can be beaten "if" caught at stage one. The public doesn't seem to be aware of this. I don't know how we've managed to avoid telling society about this cure rate. Think about that, a 90% cure rate if detected early, that's pretty amazing.
You described this non-profit as a movement. Is that intentional?
We aren't a charity in the sense we take in money to fund something else. We are a movement, we accumulate people, and we teach and grow together. What we are is a function of our supporters. We have a common goal and we are figuring out how to get there together.
What is that goal?
It's what I call the unicorn goal, to put an end to late stage cancer. I think that all cancers that can be caught in stage one should be. The point, the hope is, that people start seeing this as an achievable goal.
Do you think there will be a cure for cancer in your lifetime?
I damn well hope so. There needs to be exponential growth in education, research and scientific discovery. If you told my parents as young children there would be cell phones and laptops, it would seem unbelievable. We don't know what's going to happen and I think it will blow us all away.
How was it talking at the White House and the UN?
It was really, really cool. One of the moments when you think "Holy shit." I guess people feel similarly to me. I guess I am on the right track with this. It was also terrifically validating for the moment and made me feel like we are going to change lives with this. I never thought I would be in that position, and the first thing I said when I got the call was, "You know the name of the organization, ok, you know I'm Canadian too right?" (laughing)
Did you ever feel that your age hindered you when you first got started?
I've worked very hard to make sure that everything I do is aligned with the core goals of the movement. If you sit with me for five minutes you know that this is all coming from an authentic and genuine place. So the age didn't really interfere with that. I truly believe in it what I'm doing and my head's firmly on my shoulders.
What is your philosophy on life?
There are forks in the road. Different decisions lead to new paths, and for me I think that you have to take risks. Good and bad, you can learn from it, but don't regret it.
How do you feel about certain groups that have been resistant?
Well obviously what we are doing isn't for everyone, and that's kind of the point. That is our strength. If I did appeal to everyone, we would have to dilute down so much of what we do. I don't want to offend, but I'm also not here to please everyone. Even if you disagree with our name, it's really hard to disagree with what we are trying to do.
How is your mom doing now?
She's doing very well, I'm glad to say. Thanks for asking.
Has social media played a big part in the campaign?
Definitely, in both the founding and the growth of Fuck Cancer. As I said we focus and talk to GenY predominantly. For the first time in history, the younger generation may have more access to knowledge than their own parents. They were born with the technology, taught and raised with it, and most kids can navigate a laptop and cell phone better than their parents. The ability to spread a message globally overnight is fascinating. The last generation was dependent on coverage and word of mouth. Our generation is much more comfortable with self-education, and if you want to speak to this generation, you have to go where they are—online.
Tell us about the Cancer Talk Initiative...
From day one, we wanted to encourage a dialogue, we wanted kids to talk with their parents about risk factors, family history, early warning signs and a lot feel awkward about doing that. So ideally this information is for both parties, yes I want the younger generation to encourage their parents to get check ups and screenings, but having our generation be more informed is incredibly important too.
How did you decide who to involve in the Cancer Talk campaign (you have a broad spectrum from Adrian Grenier to Amber Rose)?
We've been very lucky in the people who have chosen to support us, who have come forward and shared our message with their communities and online followers. Each celebrity was socially conscious, media savvy and also trying to live a more healthy preventative lifestyle. We don't want to knowingly put out a mixed-message, have someone supporting our cause and then lighting up a cigarette every few seconds, seems contradictory.
Would you say it was important that you took all the research, info, and knowledge and fueled it into one vehicle? Especially in a world where anyone that goes on WebMD is considered an expert?
Researching information into a concise, accessible space is very important. This generation also consumes medicine differently because of the access, we self-diagnose, we Google our symptoms and WebMD our prescriptions. That can be dangerous. We need to start looking at how we make the accurate info accessible to everybody—easily.
One of the aspects of your movement that I like is that it is a more aggressive stance. Is that warrior mentally intentional?
I'm very comfortable with defending what I'm doing, but it's definitely an active stance. I want people to feel empowered, to take action, and to feel that they have a fighting chance.
Soul Cycle, the latest fitness center to cause a stir in Los Angeles and New York City, has become so popular that it’s been difficult to meet public demand. Indoor cyclists attending Soul Cycle classes are treated to a full body work out, combining a cardio workout with core-strengthening arm weights, and in select studios, “SoulBands” – a resistant band that hangs above the bike that is utilized during a 60-minute workout. Hopeful attendees, unable to reserve a bike online, are lining up around city blocks, inspired by the immaculate studio space, the supportive community, and top notch instructors at Soul Cycle.
Nicholas Pratley, a former HIH hottie, is one of Soul Cycle’s finest instructors and was recently recruited by the fitness giant to instruct in their NYC studios. Fortunately for the Soul Cycle community, he offers many classes to evoke the soul in your cycle! HIH recently attended one of his classes, and we were floored – this guy has it all! The voice, body, look, dance, inspiration and motivation makes for a most invigorating and amazing experience. His ability to get you to work harder than you’ve ever worked, to understand that it will make you feel powerful as an athlete and a person, is masterful. And he does this all while providing the happiest dance party celebration you'll ever have in class.
“One of the many things I love about Soul Cycle classes is that we always ride with intention,” Pratley says. “If you ride with intention, the energy completely changes. It comes from inside you. That's when you feel something awaken in you and we feel that in the room, because we all do it together. Then we simply dance and have fun. I really believe it's the dance, the letting go, that surrendering, that let's the intention in. It’s the surrendering that opens up a whole new part of ourselves. That’s when we see our soul.”
Don’t miss out on your opportunity to discover your true self with Nicholas Pratley at Soul Cycle. While he is based in New York City, he will be making guest appearances at the Los Angeles facility throughout the year. Learn more about his classes as well as the dozens of instructors working at Soul Cycle throughout New York and Los Angeles. Visit their website and sign up today: www.soul-cycle.com
HIH would like to take a moment to bring some attention to a matter that has been near and dear to our hearts throughout the past year. Executive editor Hiko Mitsuzuka, who has had family affected by last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, would like to shine the light on an outstanding documentary coming to a theater near you...
Written and directed by Stu Levy, Pray For Japan focuses on four different perspectives of the tragedy that occurred on March 11, 2011. With each perspective (schools, shelters, families, and rescue volunteers) we meet the victims who faced significant obstacles and fought to overcome them in the aftermath of Japan's worst natural disaster in history. Through these four vantage points, moviegoers will be able to understand the vast ramifications of the catastrophe and the battle these real-life heroes fought on behalf of their loved ones and their homes.
Pray For Japan, which is set in the town of Ishinomaki, features an original theme song written and performed by Okuda Tamio, one of the most popular rock musicians in Japan, as well as poetry written by Fukushima poet Ryoichi Wago (read by famed actress Kyoka Suzuki), and an opening animation sequence directed by Hiroshi Nagahama.
Check out the trailer below:
Pray For Japan opens in select cities at AMC Theatres on March 14. All ticket proceeds will go towards Japan-based charity Japan Emergency NGO (JEN), which provides assistance to victims of natural disasters, wars, and internal conflicts. For more info check out prayforjapan-film.org.
Attention independent film (and marijuana) lovers!
Director/editor Craig Nisker is in post-production on his feature-film debut, The Green Goddess, and you can do your part to help bring this globetrotting adventure to a big screen near you. You can get all the details over here, but before you do, check out Craig's message below.
"Our movie came about from an ad in High Times Magazine. Many years ago, our producer Marc Schultz wanted to make the ultimate pot movie. So he put a quarter page ad in High Times for readers to send in their stoner stories. All he got was garbage. So he gave up.
Two years later, he received a call from an American living in Switzerland, who had seen a the ad. Future executive producer Chris Iverson told Marc that he had money, and was planning to grow six football fields of marijuana (which was legal to grow in Switzerland at the time). Marc's response, "You're that much of a stoner that it took you two years to get off the couch and call me?" Still, it was SIX football fields.
Planting season was imminent. Marc had just five short weeks to cast and crew up the movie, buy all the gear, get everything to Switzerland, and be ready to shoot." And that's what they did.
Did y'all know that only 4% of women around the globe consider themselves beautiful? And that 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful?
Clearly there's something wrong going on, and our friends at Dove have been working to fix those percentages on such devastating statistics. And we at HIH are more than happy to help spread the good word about this spectacular cause.
Kicking off the Dove Self-Esteem Weekend, taking place across the country now through Sunday, Natasha Bedingfield (pictured, right) took to the stage yesterday at the former TRL studios in Times Square in front of dozens of Girl Scouts to perform her inspiring hit song “Weightless” (video below). The event also featured activities led by Olympic gold medal soccer star Julie Foudy and self-esteem expert (and HIH friend) Jess Weiner, all of which aimed to help build confidence in the young women.
We’re making it easy for people everywhere to join the Dove Movement and help reach their goal of inspiring 15 million girls by 2015 (they've reached 8 million so far!) in the following ways:
Participate in the second annual Dove Self-Esteem Weekend from October 21-23, when parents and mentors everywhere are encouraged to commit to spending one hour on a self-esteem building activity with a girl in their lives.
Participate in a local event in your area hosted by one of our three partner organizations – Girls, Inc., Boys & Girls Club of America, and Girl Scouts – by finding a specific event on our Facebook map here.
Download tools like the Girls Guide to the Digital World and other online assets for parents and mentors that offer the resources they need for support and guidance
Actress Brittany Snow hosted a special fundraising event at the Rock & Republic boutique on Robertson Boulevard, and HIH was proud to a part of the night.
Love is Louder, the organization founded by Brittany, The Jed Foundation and MTV, has been building up online support in their efforts to bring awareness to teen bullying, isolation, and depression. "We are here to raise the volume around a critical message - that love and support is more powerful than the external and internal voices that bring us down, cause us pain and make us feel hopeless."
The stars turned out to show their support...as well as a number of fabulous sponsors (Yogurt Stop, Magnolia Bakery, Instinct Magazine, JetBlue, Patron, Fuller St. Productions) and conspired to make one memorable (and fashionable) night.
The event also debuted the new Love is Louder T-shirt which is being exclusively sold at Rock&Republic. The shirt was designed by contest winner Jeff T. Buco (seen below). Proceeds will be going towards the group's strengthening efforts.
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