Archive for April 2011

More from Coachella

Saturday, April 30, 2011

2 weeks later and I'm still going through Coachella withdrawals.  I'm sorry I don't have anything more current for your viewing or reading pleasure, but here are 2 videos I took of a wonder hula-hooper and the super cool Tesla coil towers:

And in case you're looking for a more detailed recap of the festival, here are a few links to check out:

Best & Worst Moments of Coachella: Day 1 |

Interpol Light Up Coachella |

Best & Worst Moments of Coachella: Day 2 |

Best & Worst Moments of Coachella: Day 3 |

PJ Harvey Delivers a Harrowing Coachella Set |

So...Lollapalooza anyone?

Add a comment »

It all begins and ends in the desert

Friday, April 22, 2011

I had grand hopes to capture the best fashions, pictures and videos of this year's most anticipated festival, but instead this post shall be "My sights and sounds of Coachella 2011."  I should have known better - you can't both enjoy the music and the people and the energy and try and capture it all at the same time (next year I'm hiring a camera crew).  You either go as a spectator or as a blogger/pseudo net-journalist, because you can't do both and do them well.  With no press credentials, I seemed like a creeper asking girls in the cute getups for their snapshots, even if I am a girl myself.  And did you know that you can't really capture quality video while moving and dancing around?  So, what I've got are some candids, some vids and my opinion on what was good and not so good.  I let lose and enjoyed the magic that is Coachella.

You may think that sounds trite, but I have no way other way to describe the 3 days in that crazy heat as anything but magical.  And you may not understand until you've attended and felt for your self the pounding of the base pulsate under your skin, felt the warm desert wind raise the ghostly goosebumps along your body and seen the absurd amount of glow sticks light up the field.  Every time I attempt to explain the power of this music fest, I'm called a hippie or wannabe Woodstocker.  They can say all they want because I get to keep the memories of those 72 hours where people from all walks of life are laughing, dancing and enjoying life.  Happy Coachella!!

Can you spot my writing?
Light pretty dresses and cute little crossbody bags
and even vintage Louis
The quirky,
the furry,
and the tatts
Let's get to the music, shall we?

The first day tends to be quite exhausting, especially if you drove in the same day.  We arrived just in time for Ms. Lauryn Hill to take the stage.  However, she started 15 minutes late, which ran us into Afrojack's set over at the Sahara tent.  We listened to her open Everything is Everything.  I adored her voice 10 years ago, but, unfortunately, I don't think she sounds the same (just my opinion, folks, no tomatoes please). 

Afrojack is an up and coming dj known for his remix of David Guetta's Sexy Bitch and the heart pumping Take Over Control featuring Eva Simons.  We got their just in time to spot Sir Paul McCartney dancing it up alongside Usher.  Do you see him?

The rest of the evening was a rush to catch Interpol, The Black Keys, Crystal Castles, interspersed with more dancing at Sahara.  The 3 I just named did not disappoint and must be seen live if you find the chance to do so.

Saturday dawned bright and hot and too lazy to get to The Tallest Man on Earth, Gogol Bordello or Sander Kleinenberg.  It was also a very packed day of shows so we needed to reserve our energy.  I kept overhearing festival goers, however, discussing the fantastic performance of Eugene Hutz and his merry band of gypsies.  Seeing them is a true experience and I'm sorry to have missed them.

My first new discovery was the French electro-pop band, Yelle, who lit up the early evening with their "discothèque anthems."  Julie Budet blew Robyn right out of the water.  My favorite moments of the night were: (1) singing and dancing to Little Lion Man along with thousands of the Mumford and Sons fans gathered over at the main stage (you can hear us singing in the background).  It was electric how joyful the crowds' movements and voices were; (2) and cooling down and sharing a moment with my boyfriend during the beautiful and harmonic Falling Slowly performed by the lovely duo of The Swell Season.  The party continued at Sahara with the grandfather of electronica, Paul Van Dyk and Steve Angello.  Listen to the energy here:

The night was made complete by jumping around to the last few songs of Arcade Fire.

The sun setting on Coachella

Sunday is bittersweet - usually the best night of the festival but also it's last.  I caught bits and pieces of most of the performances I wanted to see (The National, Chromeo, Phantogram, PJ Harvey) with the most memorable of the night being another great dj set, this time by Axwell. His remixes of Adele's Hometown Glory and The Temper Trap's Sweet Disposition get you up on your feet whether you like it or not.  The Strokes were not a band I had highlighted to see, but happened to catch the last 20 minutes of their show and was pleasantly surprised by how well their music was suited for the outdoors and a night slot. 

You may be wondering why I spent so much time watching a person work the turntables.  The energy during a hypnotic electronic, house, techno, dubstep or trance set can be unlike any other I've experienced and for this weekend that's what I was craving.  The combination of the beats and the light show and the excitement of the crowd get you riled up and truly make you feel alive.  It's an appreciation of how well some of these djs can manipulate their audience by knowing when to drop that beat.

I did get to end the night with She Wants Revenge's Tear You Apart - that live version continues to reverberate in my head days after hearing it. 

My second discovery of the weekend was Leftfield.  By chance we were strolling by the tent in which they were performing and were pulled in by their dark rhythmic sounds.  They're an English electronica duo known for their "intelligent dance music" according to Wikipedia and have been around for a while.  Considering I greatly enjoy this genre of music, I am surprised I hadn't come across them before Sunday evening. 

No one wants to leave even after the last note has faded into the night.  The mood is high and people are still revved up on the power that is Coachella. A group   had gathered for a pseudo campfire under one of the legs of the spider structure.  We crowded around them and started clapping and chanting and cheering and singing for 15 minutes with just our voices and hands to carry our happiness, while my brother whistled himself hoarse until security herded us out.  It may sound cheesy but it was one of the best moments of my weekend. 

My brother leading us on
I am already counting down the days for Coachella 2012.  I hope to see you there!

Add a comment »

The Who, What and Wear - Coachella 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Main Stage 2010

I can't believe Coachella is 3 days away! I've been counting down since Day 3 of 2010 and the anticipation continues to build. If you've never been and you're a music lover, then I have to urge you to plan to attend in 2012. Music and the outdoors are such a natural pairing and I much prefer it to any indoor venue. The way the music swells around you while surrounded by bright blue sky or inky night makes it feel like the universe is open to you. It's such a beautiful feeling.

The bands I'm thrilled to see that I have not seen perform previously are Interpol, Mumford & Sons, Warpaint, Paul Van Dyke, Duran Duran PJ Harvey, and Phantogram. And in between running from show to show, I will be camping out at the Sahara tent dancing and jumping around to house and dance.  Who am I excited to see again? The Black Keys, The National, The Swell Season, Gogol Bordello and Elbow. I'm inspired more by music more than lyrics - the rhythms, the harmonies, the beats that pulse and weave under your skin and through your being.  Elbow, however, is one of those bands where I find myself actually looking up their lyrics.  One of my favorite songs is called The Bones of You and the words speak for themselves.

Coachella fashion is being blogged about, ideas on what to wear are being posted and stores are displaying outfits to be purchased.  I know what I like to wear - flowy dresses, colorful keds or converse to keep my toes protected, straw fedora to keep my face protected from the sun, ray-ban wayfarers or aviators, lots of necklaces but no bracelets or rings so I don't worry about flinging any of it off while dancing around.  An example of what I will NOT be wearing -

Coachella 2010 - no comment

Go with what makes you comfortable  and what you won't regret wearing hours upon hours later.  A cute little saddle bag or messenger bag is a must to carry your camera, chapstick, sunscreen and cash.  You want to be able to walk around freely without worrying about your bag slipping off your shoulder.  And please, for all that is holy, don't wear heels or wedges - navigating the grassy and muddy grounds will be dangerous for your ankles and death to your pretty shoes.

I plan on doing a Coachella fashion post upon my return and will attempt to post some of my favorite vids while I'm there, so please stay tuned.

See you in the desert!

1 Comment »

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I love it when my Sundays are productive and fun at the same time.  The goal for this past day of rest was to go to the farmer's market, hit up the Melrose Trading Post for some interesting pieces for Coachella (more coming in a later post), buy some new work clothes and try somewhere new to eat.  Sound like a lot?  It was but I've got lots to show for it.

Even though I got to the farmer's market just before it was being packed up, I scored 3 baskets of strawberries, a pound of broccoli, shallots, garlic and mushrooms for all less than $15.  Any suggestions for what I should prepare?

The Melrose Trading Post was quite busy, as it was a warm day, but I had a goal and it was to find some pretty feather earrings to accessorize with for Coachella.  This flea market is very hit or miss.   Of course, it also depends on what you're looking for.  The same booths are there every Sunday, so the pickings can become redundant if you go often.  I do enjoy the people watching though - it's a great place to get style ideas for both men and women. 

My boyfriend and our doggie, Layla
I may have mentioned in my post Where to eat, What to eat? that food options in this part of town are abundant.  It's just a matter of sorting through them all and finding your favorites.  Terroni is a southern Italian spot on Beverly Blvd near The Grove.  It has been open for almost 4 years, but it continues to maintain a reputation of a pretentiousness on the interwebs.  However, I recommend that people try this place at least once because the food was delicious.   Most bloggers and reviewers rave about their pizzas but we had pasta instead.   Fresh pasta is a treat because it gives such great texture to a dish.  Terroni makes their own every day.  The stuffed zucchini flowers were fried perfectly and stuffed with just the right amount of ricotta - definitely competes with Pizzeria Mozza's version.  I will happily go back and try more things on their menu.

The bar inside and a foosball table for nights when there's a wait

What better way to wrap up the weekend, than to buy some fabulous new work clothes appropriate for Spring.  Not that I'm lacking for anything, but I was looking for a nude blazer, a punchy new skirt and couple of tops.  Didn't find the blazer but this is what I came away with:

The shoes are so versatile, I've already worn them with cropped jeans for a casual lunch and dress to work.  The heel is perfect for walking around at work and the d'orsay style is just the right amount of sexy.  Tuck the shirts into the skirt to show off the pleating, add some pearls or any chunky necklace to offset the girliness and you've got two outfits to make Spring in the office a little brighter.

Questions about what to wear to Coachella or who to see?  Be on the lookout for my music festival primer.



Friday, April 1, 2011

 Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
-Emily Dickinson

As summer approaches and as the weather continues to heat up, I can't help but begin to feel buoyant about the possibilities that lie ahead of me.  I feel and see hope in everything and the emotion continues to bubble up demanding to be shared. 

A beautiful azure sky, listening to electronic dance music with the top down, having the ability to give a stranger on the street money when asked, a good hike, watching my boyfriend play with our new puppy, a surprise visit, putting together an outfit that makes me feel confident, new shoes, hearing about my younger cousins getting into great colleges and law school, drinks with friends on a warm night, a new client, 8 year old girls selling cupcakes for Japan.  These may seem insignificant but each one of these moments propels me forward, making today bright and content with the arrival of tomorrow.

I received an interesting comment from a reader after posting "I love. I have loved. I will love."  Her comment was, and I'm paraphrasing, if we spend too much time thinking about tomorrow rather than living in the now, then aren't we wasting the today?  I understand the sentiment, but I wonder, without hope - about our lives, our world, our futures - would we be able to happily live in the now?  She did, however, make a great point about enjoying our moments - "Accepting that everything changes - truly accepting - and that everything will pass good or bad, helps to live in the moment and enjoy the moment which is basically life itself."

So, readers, what is hope to you and where do you find it?

Add a comment »