Thebloomeffect’s Weblog

December 19, 2007

Karina Nistal and The Rebel Crew “Rap for the Troops”(Houston Press)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — thebloomeffect @ 8:44 pm

On the picture-perfect fall afternoon of Thursday, October 11, Karina Nistal has a busy 24 hours ahead of her. The Houston rapper and singer, Best Local Rap/Hip-Hop winner at this year’s Houston Press Music Awards on the strength of 2006 LP Nistyle, and her band Rebel Crew are about to embark on a three-week Armed Forces Entertainment-sponsored tour of U.S. military installations in six countries: Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Djibouti. They depart Bush Intercontinental Airport at 10 a.m. tomorrow, and Nistal just got all the necessary passports and paperwork from the Pentagon yesterday.

“I told myself at the beginning of the year, ‘I’m going on tour this year,’ and even though it’s not my first choice of destinations, we’re still going on tour,” she says over a quick bite at Midtown coffee shop Stir-It-Up. “I’m doing it for me, but not completely for me. It’s bigger than me, it’s bigger than the band and bigger than anything I’ve ever done…..”(Chris Gray, Dec.6,2007)

You can read the rest of the article at this link:
http://www.houstonpress.com/2007-12-06/music/karina-nistal-and-rebel-crew-rap-for-the-troops/

KARINA NISTAL
WWW.MYSPACE.COM/KARINANISTAL

November 30, 2007

LENKY DON – “the dancehall musiq soulchild”FADER MAG REVIEW

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — thebloomeffect @ 6:20 pm

Audio: Lenky Don, “Vanessa” (Fader Review)

Ooh Vanessa! Sweet Vanessa! Lenky Don just wants to get to know you. And he loves it when you shake it like that. Seems like a good guy, this Lenky, naturally vocoded and pining. He got his friends to sing-songily profess that he just wants to get to know you and we are not in a position to argue with a dancehall Musiq Soulchild. 

Starlight Beats & Breaks reggae artist and Rebel Crew member LENKY DON recently received a top notch review in FADER Magazine for his new unreleased single entitled “Vanessa” featuring L.A.’s Kevin Sandbloom and fellow label mate Karina Nistal. More from this up and coming artist soon as he gears up for a 4-track self-titled E.P. release.  Listen to Vanessa at: http://www.thefader.com/articles/2007/10/15/audio-lenky-don-vanessa

To listen to more music form LENKY DON please visit:

www.myspace.com/starlightbeats  or www.myspace.com/lenkydon

Starlight Beats & Breaks
www.starlightbeats.com

KARINA NISTAL reps URB Magazine’s Next 1000

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — thebloomeffect @ 5:33 pm
“She’s not M.I.A., and not trying to be, but Karina Nistal has got that whole free spirit thing going on that makes it easy to put them side by side and compare. Hailing from Houston, Texas, or H-town as she puts it, this Cuban-Mexican artist is flourishing into what could be a new sensation. With her rapidly growing popularity – she has a collection of fans throughout the South, Midwest, and even the UK – she’s spreading the new sound by coming at you with wide array of musical experimentation. On one track she’ll rap in Spanish to reggaeton backbeats, then she’ll flip it on you as she enters the electronic genre and sings over house grooves with Latin infused rhythms. Let’s give props to another fearless female who didn’t walk the pop genre path and instead created one of her own.” (URB, Joanna Munoz)

Stepping up another notch in the ranks, Latin Electro Diva, Karina Nistal makes URB Magazine’s Next 1000. Just completing a month long tour in SW Asia performing for the troops, she is now back home in Houston working on her follow up album to her well received solo debut, “Nistyle” on StarlightBeats. Listen to her brand new single, “Sweet Rain” produced by L.A.’s Sista Stroke at URB’s NEXT 1000 vote link and vote for KARINA!!     http://www.urb.com/promotions/next1000/profiles/653-Karina+Nistal.php

KARINA NISTAL on iTunes:  http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?playlistId=201233741&s=143441&i=201233752

Starlight Beats & Breaks

Starlight Beats & Breaks
www.starlightbeats.com

October 29, 2007

10.20.07 – Bazaar Madness & My *free* visit to the Military Doc!

Filed under: Uncategorized — karinanistal @ 6:31 pm

Well, we left Camp Eggers yesterday and just before we did I went to the bazaar to see what good deals I could find. We ran into Cheif Molina who I accidentally called a Sargeant in the last blog (ranks are a big deal around here) and he took us to a bootleg dvd vendor. It was 2 brothers running the booth Mufaza & Muhammed. Once the Cheif told him who we were and what we were there to do they gave us a stack of bootlegs for FREE! Wooo hooo! It’s pretty cool because it’s about 12-16 movies on one disc (even if the subtitles are in Chinese lol) from one main actor like Wesley Snipes, Sylvester Stallone, Wil Smith, Antonio Banderas, or Brad Pitt. They *love* American movies here and it serves as a good leisure for the military personnel when they’re not working. We had to get over to ISAF quick which was the next base where we were performing that evening. The British soldiers took us over this time so instead of our cool Humvee rides we took an armoured van….booo hooo….we were gettin spoiled. So we put on the bulletproof vests and helmets and rode out. ISAF was only 10 minutes away and we had heard it was mostly a European Forces base so I liked the idea that the Spanish soldiers would understand my songs.

I had been feeling really stuffy and runny all day plus my sinus was kickin in bad. There is so much dust flying around that my poor respiratory system was really starting to suffer. Once we got to ISAF, we met with another Capt who would be our point of contact and he took us on a tour. He said the bazaar was also being held on that base too so I was looking forward to shopping more deals since I didn’t have enough time on the last one. Along the tour we passed the clinic which was closed. I needed some kind of quick fix before the show or I wasn’t going to be able to sing. The Capt told the Doctor my situation and she saw me quickly. Now that’s what I call service! She was a very pretty British lady-doctor and very sweet. After a brief check-up she gave me lozenges, some German type Vicks Vapo-rub, nose spray, drowsy Benadryl (so I could sleep better) and some other oil I’m supposed to use to inhale before I sing. This was the first time in my entire life I saw a doctor without having to pay even a copay.

After the doctors visit we went to the next bazaar. These guys were super aggressive. Even the kids….man, I’m *such* a sucker! They got me as soon as I walked in. “Ma’am! Ma’am! Pretty lady….” then “please buy this” and they practically shove it in your hand. Oh well, I was only out $5 but still I had to raise my guard up a bit so I didn’t lose all my money in a matter of minutes. I haven’t even met grown people who are hustlers the way those kids are! The bazaar was like a flea market where local Afghans had booths set us with everything from jewelry, blankets, scarfs, rugs, instruments, bootleg DVD’s, traditional dresses, and much more. Mark actually bought a really neat instrument at the first bazaar. It’s an Afghan guitar…I can’t quite remember the name right now but he’s been strumming it and it has a really traditional sound to it. He says they are about $500 in the States. He got it for $120 and you can tell it’s handmade. It’s absolutely beautiful and he got a steal for it. Let’s see how he manages to ship it back.

After the bazaar madness, I remembered I had some laundry to do as well as soundcheck. We were playing on site in a club called “the Palace”. It didn’t necessarily look like a palace but it did have a cool Euro feel to it. They served some really good coffee too. All the boys could think about was gettin a beer but they don’t start serving til 7pm. We took care of soundcheck and got ready for the show. By 8:30pm we were on. This was a pretty chill crowd despite the drinking. I really thought they’d be a little more rowdy but I was still feelin under the weather so that may have played a big part in me getting them pumped up. There was something a little bit different about this crowd. A few of these guys were really trying to score afterwards…lol I guess I can’t blame them but Tanya and I were a little creeped out about it. Our bunk roomy for the night named “Cazz” was a really cool chick. She likes to get out and party. Tanya and I were so tired we went back to the room and passed out. She came in about midnight and told us to come get a drink with her and her friends but we were so exhausted we passed on it. We knew we were flying out to Qatar today so we wanted to be well rested.

I forgot to mention we had a really good meal last night. It was snapper and it was soo good! This morning we woke up and had to get going to the airport to fly to Qatar. Today is the first day in 3 days that we aren’t performing. Maybe we can all get over our sniffles. The soldiers were telling us that Qatar is a place for “holiday” or R&R so we are really looking forward to it. The Brits brought us to the airport again. I know a few of my girlfriends who would go crazy over these British military boys. They were pretty hot! Again we put on our vests, helmets, and rode in the armoured van….no longer an adventure after it goes from being a Humvee to a van…pfft!

On the way to the airport I saw more of the Afghan civilization. I could describe it the best way I can but it won’t paint a pretty picture. It just made me feel really sad again but very fortunate in my circumstances. Kabul seems like it’s about a century behind. One soldier even told me that they didn’t have concrete roads til the American forces came. I believe that because all you see is dirt roads and a bit of loose gravel. Also something I failed to mention before.. they sell slabs of raw meat on the side of the road and they are swarmed with mosquitoes! UGH! There should be some kind of Health and Food Services Dept regulation against that but I know that doesn’t exist here ( We really are so fortunate. The women are completely covered with not even their eyes showing. They have some kind of transparent material on their eyes so they can see but you can’t see not one part of them. There are little dust covered shops and even their homes look like they’re made out of mud or clay. Everything is covered in dirt and the village is along the mountain and the desert. The British military really know how to drive that little armoured van too. They kept sounding the sirens to get everyone to move. I felt like the President! We were whizzing in and out of cars and at one point they hit the brakes so hard we all went flying forward!

Now we’re back at Kaia airport. That’s the location were we stayed a few nights ago – remember the filthy prison-like accomodations I was describing? Well, thank goodness we’re not staying here tonight. Don’t get me wrong, at least we had somewhere to stay that night! Our flight for Qatar takes off in a few hours so here we are hanging out in the same cafe where they had the good food. It’s going to be an 8-hour flight to Qatar so we are mentally preparing ourselves for that. We’re taking a military flight so here comes the fun roller-coaster ride with the straps & earplugs! And guess who we ran into!?? The same Belgian officer from last time. He is *such* a sweetheart! I mentioned him before but didn’t give you his name, Henry Lateste. He has been hangin out with us this morning. I want to say he is a really high ranking officer too. Just a big sweet giant! If he wasn’t married, I’d hook my mom up! He said he is really enjoying my cd too. Yaaay!

Anyway, I will catch up more later…just wanted to give you my update for the day! We’ve been gone for about a week now and even though we’re tired, sick, and gettin on each other’s nerves (lol) I am really thankful for this experience. Because of this trip my life will never be the same again. Oh! And we got coined again at ISAF! Woo hoo! Add to the collection!

October 19, 2007

10.19.07 – We got *coined* at Camp Eggers!

Filed under: Uncategorized — karinanistal @ 1:25 pm

First of all I’d like to start by saying I *really* appreciate all of the comments on the blogs. It feels good to know you guys are reading and actually interested

I have so much to tell everyone about Camp Eggers (pronounced Ay-gers.) I’ve met some really amazing people here just as I have at every location. To start Major Pigg and Capt Mack have been wonderful to us. We have a contact point at every base we attend. Since Major Pigg is stepping down in a few weeks, Capt Mack who will fill her spot has also assisted us. She even gave me her cellphone to hang on to which is a HUGE help with the time. I’d say for the past week I have had no concept of time whatsoever. I think my body is starting to adjust. I’ve been waking up at 5:30am the last 3 mornings. The cellphone carrier here is called Roshan which I think is equivalent to our T-Mobile. I don’t know why but I find that interesting. Yesterday when they drove us through the city trying to get us here I noticed their advertisements in Arabic. There’s a beautiful male or female model in the ad and a very modern design, almost American. They are smiling and holding up the product they are trying to sell to consumers. Goes to show in any culture only what’s most attractive holds appeal.

We had an interesting day at Camp Eggers…everyone is giving me static for being such a “communication addict”. I can’t help it! I am having so much fun writing these blogs and keeping you guys posted….I think I am becoming a junkie. I lay in my bunk thinking, “What will I write next?”

Yesterday was interesting because Major Pigg said that one of the Generals wanted to meet us. This is a HUGE deal because the Generals are so busy that if they make time in their schedules for you it’s an honor. We rounded up the crew and 2 of us were missing. Jon Durbin and Mark who we later learned were in the theatre on base watching movies. Pfffft! Our meeting was scheduled at 15:30 (notice the military time) and it was brief. The General basically thanked us for being there and expressed how much he admired what we were doing. He extended a token of appreciation – a GIANT gold coin. It was indeed an honor. This gold coin had our eagle and flag on one side and the country of Afghanistan on the other. He explained that these coins are only given to a soldier who does a big act and makes an impact on base. That made me feel really important! And since our show was that evening and he hadn’t even seen us play yet – NO PRESSURE! lol

We did have an amazing show though – our 3rd one. I feel like we are getting better and more in tune with one another everytime. I love my crew. Tanya (Soulfree) started the set Djing. That is usually how we start all our sets. She gets the crowd warmed up playing everything from Latin breaks to “Last Night a DJ saved my life” and “Crank Dat (Soldier boy)”. Typically the audience gets into her selection. We played outside too which was a nice change but it got really cooooold. I didn’t bring enough warm clothes but thank God for my 3-sunz hoodie and gear. I have been representing my hip hop gear to the fullest out here (thanks to Craig) I’m hip and cute

The crowd started to build. Major Pigg said she sent out 3 reminder emails so people would not forget to come. At 20:00 she introduces us and ON WITH THE SHOW! There were some really active participants this time. One of my favorites was Ray Carr who did the best rendition of the “Trabajalo” dance I have ever seen. Dropped it, popped it, raised it up, and dropped it again. WOW! So much for my little swing….lol he really got the crowd into it and they went crazy cheering and clapping over our interaction. I ran through my set with ease…I’d say their favorites are “La Fuente de Juventud” which Mark, Durbin, and I start acapella. It sounds folkloric at first then we break out the reggaeton beat. That usually gets them to the dancefloor. The soldiers were drinking non-alcoholic St. Pauly’s last night (go placebo) and smoking hooka. I hit the hooka pipe a bit even though I’m not too fond of tobacco. I did it for our boys!

After the set, Tanya, Jon C., and Rick switched turns Djing while the dance party kept going. We took lots of pics again and signed lots of autographs. When I see the joy and appreication on their faces it makes doing what I do so worth it. I met 2 sargeants who were very helpful last night. The first was Sargeant Tapia who is a Medic. She is an amazing pilar of strength. She told me they really needed this kind of distraction on base because they lost someone 12 days ago. My heart sank as I listened. She told me her story and how she doesn’t have a husband or any kids so the military is her family. She is very dedicated to what she does. She told me that lots of people back home don’t understand. The soldiers do not want to come home. Someone has to be there to maintain the order and she doesn’t have a problem doing it. I really admire her comradery. As a matter of fact, these last few days that I’ve seen military women I have to say I admire any female in the service. I know personally, I couldn’t do it but I am more than happy providing my entertainment to them.

The 2nd sargeant I met is Sargeant Molina. He is orginally from Brownsville, TX and based in Alaska. He is serving his 12 months here as the person in charge of all outside vendors. What a neat hookup too! He took us to his office and gave Durbin and I a bag full of deodorant, liquid soap, tissue, hand sanitizer gel, snacks, magazines, and MUCH MORE. While I was in his office I noticed pictures of his family. He has a lovely wife and 2 beautiful little girls ages 4 and 6. There were cards and drawings from them all over his office saying, “I love you daddy”. He said it’s so hard because he feels like he’s missing the best ages in their lives. Before we left his office he played a few recordings that his wife sent him of the girls. Just simple conversation type stuff and a bunch of “I miss you’s”. He had some amazing art on his walls. He said a 12-year old boy painted them. For the longest time the Afghan govt prohibited art to their citizens but slowly art is making a string comeback. The young man’s paintings are very impressive. There is a bazaar on base today and he said we could meet him if we wanted to. He also said he could score us some deals with the shopowners if we were interested in buying anything. Now THAT’S a hookup!

What has stood out to me about most of these stories is that we are here for a big reason. Our military is training the Afghans. That is their sole purpose here besides restoring order.

Today we’re off to ISAF which is another base about 40kilometers away to play for more soldiers. Lots of the guys from last night said they would take the short walk to hear us play again. They really know how to stroke an ego I’m gettin a little sick now so I need to go spoil myself for awhile….tea with honey, lozenges, and a little more rest. I’ll catch up with you guys a little later!

10.18.07 – Bad Allergies, Living Conditions & Adrenaline Rides through Afghanistan!

Filed under: Uncategorized — karinanistal @ 1:24 pm

So…we left Camp Pheonix this morning. That was where we played last night. We were kind of sad to leave Capt. McLeod (he was awesome) and now we’re at a new camp inside the city of Kabul. I have been neglecting to mention that our allergies are SO BAD here from the high altitude and dust. I keep looking at the mountains wondering if that’s where the terrorists, Taliban, or even Osama himself are. Despite how demolished and destroyed the city looks, it really does seem like it could be such a beautiful place.

We had another adventurous ride in the armoured Hum-V’s. It’s like an adrenaline rush everytime. We put on our borrowed bulletproof vests and helmets and took a series of pictures with a few soldiers. We got briefed about the ride we were going to take by one of the lieutenants. He said it would be very dangerous and gave us a few tips to keep our eyes peeled for. He mentioned a Toyota Corolla with a shooter and 2 possible suicide bombers. That put me in a slight panic. Tanya and I said a quick prayer and finally the convoy took off. We were going the opposite way from where we came in with the last hummer ride. Going towards town things looked a little less demolished. There were lots of vendors along the way which made the highway look like a dusty flea market. Lots of wide open fields and it was so bright and sunny.

We drove through town and along the way you could hear our protective shooters riding in the top portion of the Hummer yelling at the civilians to, “Get out of the way!!!” The city was very busy like any city. There were traditionally dressed people with the long-sleeved, button-up gowns and pants then there were the kids, teenagers, and a few middle aged people who wore modern clothing modeling after western civilization. There were people walking, riding bikes, even poor horse carriages pulling wooden crates.

The base we’re at now is almost like a resort to some of the previous bases we’ve been on. It almost feels like we’re in the Carribbean somewhere. We grabbed lunch, ate outside, and they were playing salsa. Now I realize I haven’t mentioned food much….that means I’m eatin GOOD. The military eats 3 times a day. I know regular people who don’t eat that much. Breakfast consists of everything – eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, waffles, hashbrowns, biscuits, omelettes, you name it! Lunch consists of hot dishes like pasta, seafood, fried rice, chicken & gravy, steak & vegetables (it’s all actually kinda good) and there’s even a JUNK line where you can eat chicken nuggets, pizza, cheeseburgers, fries, corndogs, hotdogs, polish sausage…whatever! And you can go back for seconds…lol

KBR (Kellogg, Brown & Root aka Halliburton – sound familiar?) are the vendors providing the food. We were informed that it’s about $35/meal everytime someone eats…WHOA! Thus we have to sign in EVERYTIME we step into a “chow hall” which they call DFAC here. We have to write our name, rank (ours is GS-14 as military entertainers) and the last 4 digits of our social. OH, and it is MANDATORY to wash your hands everytime and you cannot bring a bag. Bags actually are not allowed in any military buildings. One last thing about the “chow halls”. There are snacks as you leave the doors and everyone is allowed to take 2. There are granola bars, trail mix, chocolates, and any kind of candy. I’ve been really hooked on skittles lately. There is always water inside your accomodations…cases and cases of it because the water is “not potable” which means you cannot/should not drink it or even brush your teeth with it. The water around here smells like sewer…ugh! But the shower situation has been ok. They are Community showers and the water is filtered but at least there aren’t the time constraints I thought there would be.

During lunch today we were sitting down with our point of contact for this base. Her name is Major Pigg. She is a very nice lady who will be stepping down in about 2 weeks to go back to the States. She stressed that they NEVER get entertainment here so everyone is REALLY looking forward to it. In so many words she mentioned that we are guinea pigs for the Armed Forces Entertainment so we happen to be one of the very first bands to have ever done this kind of tour. They have had a little bit of entertainment here and there but nothing like us so everyone is really excited about seeing us play this evening.

And on that note, I’m going to retire to a disco nap so I can be ready for sound check this afternoon. More soon and I know I am b/sing on the pictures. I will have some up really soon! Sorry

October 17, 2007

Maya’s HOPE at Village Underground- Tuesday, October 23rd

Filed under: EVENTS, NEWS — thebloomeffect @ 11:36 pm

The lovely and talented NY songstress Maya Azucena is doing a lot for the community and special causes these days. Especially in raising awareness in Domestic Abuse.

Maya has teamed up with Hopeline- the non-profit that works in bringing up these issues and addressing them since so many women are afraid to talk– Tuesday will be a memorable and special occasion and you don’t want to miss out.

Here is the run down of events-

HOPE NIGHT
An Evening of Hope and Domestic Abuse Awareness

Produced by Maya Azucena, Roalh Aarons and Purpose Music Group

HOST:
Sabrina Lamb (Media commentator – BET, WRKS-FM, and more – author and owner of FlirtingTime.com and WorldofMoney.org)

SPEAKERS:
Lt. Governor David Paterson; Berlotte Israel for Voices of Women

Performers Confirmed: Madafi and Band, Karen Gibson Roc, Queen GodIs, Luquantumleap

MAYA AZUCENA will be performing in full concert
SPONSORS:
Hopeline (Domestic Abuse nonprofit)
Verizon Wireless
Purpose Music Group
The Bloom Effect
Rebelution Designs (tee-shirt sponsors) Ladies on the Mic/Shocklee.com (Jo-ann and Hank Shocklee, founder of Ladies on the Mic and original producer of Public Enemy, respectively ONUTTS
FlirtingTime.com

*Pending: Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke; Additional Domestic Abuse services organizations reps

HOPE NIGHT will take place at Village Underground 130 West 3rd Street (by 6th Ave), NYC 10012. The ticket price is $15. The doors are at 6:30PM. Proceedings begin at 7:30PM. NYCGigs.com
Hope Benefit
HOPE NIGHT is a concert event at New York’s popular mainstay venue, , on Tuesday night of October 23rd, dedicated to raising awareness of the impacts (both known and little-known) of Domestic Abuse within the community at large.

Artists, together with select community organizations, individuals and companies, will unite using the platform of Art to bring people together on a common cause. In a positive environment, people are invited to share information and find enlightenment on practical options for someone who may be wrestling with an issue of Domestic Abuse.

The evening will be comprised of powerful performances, interspersed with special invited guest speakers who will eloquently share personal stories about the affects of Domestic Abuse on the community. Madafi and her band will provide the sophisticated Jazz&Soul backdrop for the three inspiring presentations by spoken word artists Karen Gibson Roc, Luquantumleap and Queen GodIs. A running list of facts and statistics will be rotated on a flat screen TVs throughout the venue, along with names of various Domestic Abuse Services and Non-Profit organizations. Tables with literature and representatives from Domestic Abuse Service organizations will be accessible. People can trade information or choose to donate to given organizations. Merchandise with proceeds forwarded to the cause will be sold throughout. 100% of the proceeds of a special “Junkyard Jewel” tee shirt, created by Rebelution Designs, will be dedicated to one of the participating organizations. Maya Azucena will perform a full live concert with guests, as the culmination to an inspirational night.

HOPE NIGHT is a night of empowerment and inspiration. It is a celebration for survivors and those that embrace Life.

“As someone who once experienced years of severe domestic abuse, I can say that I was committed to silence. As strong a person as I am, I still wasn’t willing to address the obvious for too long. It only dawned on me one day after 6 years – when I read a promotional postcard in a public bathroom, listing the ‘symptoms of abuse’- that I was one of “those” women. I accepted excuses for too long. Knowledge and the fact that you have options in life, are powerful things to own.” Maya Azucena

Contact Hope@MayaAzucena.com for more information.

Artist and Host Links:
JunkyardJewel.com
FlirtingTime.com
KarenGibsobRoc.com
MySpace.com/Madafi
MySpace.com/QueenGodisbiz
MySpace.com/Luquantumleap

10.17.07 – Arriving in Afghanistan

Filed under: EVENTS, NEWS — karinanistal @ 11:35 pm

The past few days have definitely been eye-openers for me and the crew. We took our first military flights yesterday. It was like being buckled into a loud rollercoaster where you could see all the air ducts, straps, wires, and wings of the plane. It was SO loud, they gave us earplugs to wear as soon as we got in. The flights were pretty short and a lot of the soldiers were going where we were….Afghanistan.

Our first stop was supposed to be a brief stop…we ended up waiting for our next guide to get us on another Military flight so we could rest for the night. We ended up in the most low-end accomodations…let’s just say I know what prison life would be like. We met a Belgian Sargeant that really helped us out. We went to a cafe and ate some really good Afghan burgers! They really love Brandy there cause that’s all they played. I must’ve heard “I wanna be down” 10 times and I haven’t heard that song since I was 15! We hung out for a bit but Tanya and I were so tired we went to sleep at about 8pm (I don’t think I’ll ever adjust) while the boys went to a Belgium bar. There are a lot of allies on our bases from the Belgians, Polish, English etc. I thought we would be late for our 6am wake-up call so I woke everyone up in a panic at 1:30am. I will never live that down….

I know I’m slacking on the pictures, guys, but I am sooo limited right now with my connections. I will post some up asap, I promise.

Before I end this blog I wanted to tell you about our ride through Kabul to get to this base we’re on. I will disclose the name tomorrow because we’re not allowed to say exactly where we are…

When we left the airport in Bagram where we stayed overnight, we woke up in the morning, took showers, loaded up our equipment again, then pulled up our rides….ARMOURED HUMMERS. Our army escorts put bullet-proof vests and a headpiece on us and drove us through Kabul. It was really sad to see how poor the people there lived. It was like civilization was in dust. There were a few times our escorts would yell at the civilians to get out of the way. At one point the driver (which was a lady) said she thought she saw a sniper on the roof of a building. Their buildings all looked desecrated and destroyed. It was only when I saw the children running on the streets in this dusty town that I got a little choked up. It made me sad to think they didn’t even get a chance….it also made me more grateful to be so fortunate.

We arrived at our camp and met a Capt who has been escorting us around all day. Very nice guy and probably the first person to brief us so well. I finally got to call my daddy today. I’ll admit that was emotional. It was 4:30am central time and he answered on the 1st ring which made me realize he had been waiting on my call. I felt so bad to keep him waiting. It had been such a hectic couple of days and I explained about the luggage and outside communication difficulties ect. I love my family.

I am missing you all…

the more I talk to these soldiers I realize that no matter the hassles and sacrifices, it is SO WORTH BEING here. They all thank us and say how grateful they are for entertainers coming in. And on that note, I’m off to get ready for show #2.

10.15.07 – Manas Base, Kyrgystan

Filed under: EVENTS, NEWS — karinanistal @ 11:35 pm
We had our first show tonight and it was beyond any kind of amazing experience.
We started a little rocky...still recovering from lost sleep, time change,
getting our luggage back (FINALLY) etc. It felt good to *finally* get out of Friday's
clothes...ugh yuck!!! The soldiers expressed so much appreciation for what we did.
It was touching to get their participation during our set.
They clapped after every song no matter how much better I knew we could've started the set.
We're working with limited resources...we honestly needed about 2 more monitors to be
able to hear ourselves the way we need to but we're sharing the only 2 we've got.
Despite the sound issues, we did very well and it touched me to see their  reactions
of joy, excitement, and most of all appreciation.
We receieved a lot of thank you's after the show and requests for autographs and pictures.
The guys are doing awesome. Thanks to Mark for the super sound setup.
Durbin finally got a haircut and Rick loves the food on base. Jon C. is catching
somethin but I suspect it's allergies. Tanya is doing well too.
She spun a great set tonight and had the soldiers dancing )
We're supposed to be up in 4 hours but I wanted to share a few stories with you
about some of the soldiers we interviewed. They all have their own interesting story
about how they got there, the job they're doing, and who they've left back home.
Last night 2 soldiers sat down with us while we were at Pete's Place
(coincidentally the same place we played tonight.) One of the guys was hilarious -
James Massengal (he referred to his name as the "feminine products") lol we really
enjoyed his company and his sidekick Bridges. Then I played pool with Brandon Orlando
(who kicked my butt) and showed me where the internet/phone cafe is on base.
I finally got a chance to call home. I know my mama was worried.
After the show tonight I am reassured that this is where I am supposed to be and I
am so glad I took on this tour. I feel priviledged to be here and see our military i
n action. We are definitely the most powerful country in this world and I am proud to
be American.  A few of the soldiers have warned me about our next stop. They say it
would be a bit tense in Afghanistan...which I had expected. This should be our
toughest spot so I'm glad we're getting it out of the way now. They have warned me
about what I might see so I am mentally preparing myself for all of it.

Urban Gypsy Circus HOWL After party ( Howl festival madness part 2)

Filed under: EVENTS, NEWS — mizmetro @ 11:35 pm

Wad up- Miz Fu%kin MetrO’ here- hope all is well to those out in the digital and physical world.

Wanted to share with you photos from Urban Gypsy Circus’s After Party for the Howl Festival ( which turned out to be one of the best interactive art parties of the year!!!!)

Peep the pics and check out Miz Metro and the Urban Gypsy Circus Multi Media crew OCT 27th @ The House Of Yes Loft:


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Without further ado Urban Gypsy Circus Howl After Party Pics!!:

Above, master shot of stage ( shout out to Kate for building such an incredible pretty curtain : )

Crosby and the Trashion Girls leaping for joy!

Me and the Trashion Girls, I got that look on my face- like watch it, imma bout to bust a move!

Props to Room 404 Media on the projections- just absolute dopeness!!!

(Probably my favorite pic above) Zef Noise on violin, who gave an unforgettable performance, accompanied by the visual art of Room 404 media

FUN FUN FUN, is all I can say, above and below Julie’s BluPrint Fashion Girls celebrate after they strutted their stuff on our concrete runway : ) Hot, Hot, Hot!!!!

Flowers, from the Howl Festival’s benefit party held the week before, oh so pretty!

Chico the legendary Graf Artist who’s beautiful murals cover the lower east side graced our “Community Art Wall”

Here, Anne one of the Trashion Girls ( out of costume) leaves her mark on the Community Art wall as well ( I think she’s drawin a pair of glasses)

Here Crosby defends me from an annoying drunk lower east side yuppie, just joking we were just being silly.

It was a great party.

I hope you can join us on OCT 27th at the house of Yes Loft for the HIp HOp Haven Holla-ween party.

check out: http://www.bluprintclothing.comhttp://www.room404media.comhttp://www.zefnoise.comhttp://www.thenewpop.comhttp://www.thearteriesgroup.com -

much love,

more blogs comming soon- stay tuned!!!

-MIZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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