This playlist is brought to you by Drunk History, Insecure, Betty, Skate Kitchen, my husband, and a guy walking down my street at the same time I was walking my dog. No joke, I used Shazam on half of this playlist and stopped a man to find out what he was playing on his Bluetooth speaker (it was The Dells).
I’m all about giving proper credit where credit is due, and I wasn’t listening to nearly as much music in June as I usually do. So, if it weren’t for the above — this playlist would be twenty-minutes tops.
Top Five of June:
“Elastic” – Joey Purp
“Magnificent Romeo” – Basement Jaxx
“When The Going is Smooth & Good” – William Onyeabur
“Slippin” – Quadron
“Run For Cover” – The Dells
📷: July 1, 2020 – Self Portrait
On July 1st, I was in bed when I remembered to take my self-portrait. Fuzzy front-facing camera phone self-portrait it is what it is…
Roses & Thorns
- Getting a necessary wakeup call & realizing I could be doing so much better
- Learning and growing – working towards being a true ally
- My sister’s birthday and getting her a TCO “No Bitch” mug to celebrate
- Police Brutality
- Violence Against Trans People
My last snail mail was written only two weeks ago. I don’t have a lot of new things to say or a fresh take on the monumental shift that occurred within our society and myself in June.
I talked about in May’s Snail Mail.
I explain my mental space in the intro leading up to an awesome interview with the band Draag. Thank you again to the band for being so gracious with the delay in posting their interview.
I’ve added banners to my blog that links out to Black Lives Matter and Transgender resources. I want to be a part of a solution, not perpetuate a problem. In June I received the harsh wake-up call, like many (but not enough), that my complacency was actively harming the people I love.
Yeah, not cool dude. Not cool.
Anywho, I write this snail mail to mark the start of this month on this here corner of the internet and go on to post much more interesting content. 🙂
The sound of a cold morning where the dew on the leaves has frozen.
I usually do a write up about how I know or discovered the person or band I’m interviewing. How the music makes me feel or the images it conjures in my mind, but today I’m called to go in a different direction.
I had reached out to Draag for an interview on May 17th, before our country and world took a sharp turn toward collective radical social justice reform. Radical because I think a majority of society was sleepwalking. A shift has occurred, and whether that shift makes you excited or you’re just waiting for things to “go back to normal,” a fundamental shift has happened so buckle up. I view this time as a moment filled with growing pains good and bad. One of the bad growing pains is cancel culture, I’m not here for it and I hope we evolve past it. But I do think there should be more accountability for the voices you give a platform to, and that is a responsibility I am taking on by publishing the voices of other creators. I’m happy to share I did a little social media sleuthing, and Draag is black lives matter aligned. Because I only want to highlight the people who believe in making the world BETTER for other people.
Jessica, the vocalist for Draag graciously responded to my request for an interview quickly after I reached out. I was excited to read through the band’s answers and was looking forward to getting Draag’s interview up, but Camari Carter had also sent in her reply quickly and she had an event coming up that same week that I wanted to help support.
Then I was asked to pause and listen, and I did – happily. As I work towards creating what my new reality will look like and the content I share, I’m VERY excited to share this great interview with Draag. I’m not sure how I came across them but their track Trauma Kit was added to my February playlist, and I’ve been getting into their dreamy escapism sound ever since. I don’t know what you call the wee hours of the morning, but if there is an A.M golden hour – that is the time in which I’d want Draag to be my soundtrack.
Name &/or Nickname:
Zodiac Sign (bonus points if you know your moon and rising sign):
Adrian: Cancer Sun, Cancer Moon, Virgo Rising
Nick: Taurus Sun, Aries Moon, Virgo Rising
Shane: Pisces Sun, Virgo Moon, Aries Rising
Ray: Pisces Sun, Virgo Moon, Taurus Rising
Jessica: Leo Sun, Pisces Moon, Aquarius Rising
When was Draag born into this world? What is the origin story?
Adrian revived some songs he wrote when he was 9 years old on his karaoke tape deck in September 2013. He wanted to condense everything he loved about music into this project, so he recruited a bunch of audiophile toneheads, female vox, and a lot of synths and guitars. Our first EP Nontoxic Process was released in 2018, but we buried our first two mixtapes, made during a time that felt like a completely different band.
Who are some of your creative influences? They do not have to be music related, just creative people who have developed work and put themselves out into the world in a way you admire and perhaps subtly influences your own creative choices?
Kobe Bryant, Ed Templeton, Anna May Wong, Alexandro Jodorowsky, John Carpenter
Do you have any rituals that help you tap into a creative flow?
Shooting free throws in my backyard. To be honest, eating a delicious and nutritious meal actually really helps.
You had a residency at The Echo the month before LA went into “shelter-in-place” mode. First, how was the residency and secondly, does the residency and those shows hold a different meaning knowing they were some of the last live in-venue performances for at least a solid chunk of 2020.
That’s exactly what’s been running through our minds. The residency was everything we could have hoped for, and more. Initially, we declined the offer out of fear. We’re happy to be a part of that tradition – I think Silversun Pickups also had an Echo residency at some point. Despite van problems, amp tubes going out, guitars and drum pads giving out, the stress and pressure of handling all our gear onstage and the meticulous sound checking that we require, the opportunity to play music or be a spectator in a live setting is a blessing, as we’re even more-so realizing now.
Have you guys been doing any virtual/digital performances during this time? We live-streamed (just two of us) for Cancelled Fest with Goon, Reggie Watts, Alaska Reid, and among others.
Favorite comfort food, is it homemade or at a certain place?
Authentic mariscos (Mexican seafood). Shoutout Rosarito Fish Market (San Fernando), Mariscos El Viejito (Sun Valley), and Mariscos El Jato (Boyle Heights)
What’s a song that always makes you dance or instantly puts you in a good mood?
“Down” by 311
Do you have an awesome book, documentary, or general “you must watch this” recommendation to share?
“The Last Dance” makes me want to dominate every aspect of my life.
If you could have the power to read people’s minds or talk to animals, which power would you choose?
The power to summon any music recording gear or instrument imaginable at any time.
If a song off your latest EP inspired an ice cream flavor, what song would it be and what would be the ingredients in the ice cream? “Ghost Leak” is Melona (Honeydew flavored Korean ice cream bar): the bittersweet taste of nostalgia
Apparently my dog really mellows out to “All Mirrors” by Angel Olsen…
Top Five of May :
“Quarantine” – Levitation Room
“Twenty Four Hour Party People” – Happy Mondays
“Cynical Girl” – Marshall Crenshaw
“Jewelry” – Blood Orange
“Hope to Die” – Orville Peck
*Bonus: “Automechanic” – Jenny O.
📷: June 1, 2020 – Self Portrait
A seam in the space-time continuum has burst, and we are in a new dimension.
My eyes are glazed and red from the tears. My face – puffy and pink from the crying. Our country is screaming out in pain, and this was my self-portrait for June 1, 2020.
Roses & Thorns
- Moved our mattress into the den for a Friday night sleepover
- Went on a beautiful long drive
- Watched Julio Torres Zoom Fundraiser “My Sun Aquarius”
- Watching a woman use her whiteness as a weapon on Christian Cooper
- Watching the life drain out of George Floyd
An hour before I took this self-portrait, I had done some breathwork. The exercise triggering an avalanche of pain and gratitude to pour out of me, my face soaked with tears. I cried over the victims of police violence. I cried over the hatred that people spew. I cried over the chosen ignorance of those who refuse to recognize the system of racism in our country. I was crying because I felt guilty and filled with shame for the times I participated in a system that has oppressed black people. My intentions were good, but I wasn’t practicing anti-racism in my life. I was failing the people I love because I had grown apathetic and convinced that I could never take down our countries system of abuse – I certainly couldn’t solve this problem.
The apathy translated into a complete ignorance of our local and state governments. A total unawareness of how city budgets get allocated to departments. Asleep at the wheel focused on the federal system, instead of paying closer attention to the dumpster fire in my own backyard. I would pay attention to the props in state elections, but not the weekly city council debates. Blind to my influence over the judges who decide how to sentence non-violent criminals; probation and rehabilitation or maximum sentencing because the person fit into the box of “societal nuisance.”
I wasn’t ready to write my May Snail Mail Letter until now. Twenty-days from when I snapped the self-portrait and twenty-seven days since the death of George Floyd.
It’s hard to think about how to write a recap of May when it feels like a completely different world. A seam in the space-time continuum has burst, and we are in a new dimension. One where people are brave enough to protest amidst a deadly pandemic. All walks of life coming together to risk their health and breath to make sure no black man gasps “I CAN’T BREATHE” on camera again. The chance at a new kind of society. A new approach to equality. An end to the allowances made for the generations before us.Continue Reading
I am an imperfect ally. I have a full post on this statement on page 2 but first the art.
An Instagram friend @joannathejoyful shared out a powerful quote about art and protest, that I wish I remembered/recalled, but its sentiment has been with me this entire week and inspired me to curate a collection of art and graphic design work from Instagram. I searched the #GeorgeFloyd and #BlackLivesMatter hashtags on Instagram and pulled the pieces that resonated most with me.
I have not reached out to the individual artists for permission to share. I will happily remove any artwork from individuals who do not wish to be featured in this post.
🎨 currently unknown artist x please let me know
🎨 Arty B: https://www.instagram.com/artybraud/
🎨 Broobs: https://www.instagram.com/broobs.psd/<center>
🎨 Monyee Chau : https://www.instagram.com/monyeeart/
the artist has made a very important update to her post/art acknowledging the complicated racial implications of the image she created and the damage of the “model minority” narrative has had on black people.
🎨 Nikkolas Smith : https://www.instagram.com/nikkolas_smith/
🎨 Shirien: https://www.instagram.com/shirien.creates/
🎨 Rudy Willingham : https://www.instagram.com/rudy_willingham/
🎨 Jess Bird : https://www.instagram.com/blessthemessy/
🎨 Danielle Coke : https://www.instagram.com/ohhappydani/
🎨 Sakina Saïdi : https://www.instagram.com/heyimsakina/
Click to page 2 for more thoughts on being an imperfect ally….
Please excuse my lack of words and ability to string them together in a fancy sentence structure.
I’m feeling drained.
I’m feeling tired.
Brain = Jello
But I have a great interview with the band Draag that I’m excited to post and I have a weird hang-up about back to back interviews. So thankfully I have this Sounds Like post I can put up between Camari Carter’s interview and Draag.
I admit this Sounds Like post is a bit of a reach, but I swear there is something here. I am picking up on some musical patterns and I hope you are too.
Harry Style’s ‘Sign of the Times’ sounds like Dr. Dog’s ‘Abandon Mansions’
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
One of my favorite podcasts, Fishnet Flix, dissects the fashion looks of different films and taking a page out of their book, I’d like to start sharing the looks I love from various movies I enjoy too — whenever the mood may strike.
Yesterday, I was in the mood for watching a film that had a dreamy stylized aesthetic and an uplifting storyline. Surprisingly, I find that combination is hard to come by unless you watch movies from the sixties or fifties. And that is how I landed on re-watching the 1961 classic ‘The Parent Trap’ on Disney+. I remember loving the looks in the film as a kid and always liked the original better than the Lindsay Lohan remake.
So without further ado, here are ripped copyrighted moments from ‘The Parent Trap’ all rights reserved to Buena Vista Films and Disney. Hopefully, this post will land in the realm of educational use.
Can we all agree that vintage bathing suits are just SO MUCH more stylish than today’s scantily clad looks!? I love this gingham print suit on Sharon, and although it’s a look for a modest teen, this modest thirty-something would rock it in a heartbeat.Continue Reading
My mother is one of the most intelligent and resilient women I know, and for this Mother’s Day, I’m going to stop being ashamed that I live with her.
Yes, I’m a thirty-three-year-old married woman with an established career who lives with their mother. For the past 15 years, I’ve carried a growing shame about living with her, and it wasn’t until I was in quarantine with my Mom did I unpack that baggage.
Shame is interesting, it’s non-discriminate, and regardless of status, it finds a way to infect our souls. A seed that is planted in our psyche and grows over time, influencing how we move through the world, protecting the little secrets we have around our shame. Movies, television shows, media, in general, has painted the picture of a very pathetic adult who lives with their parent. A person who is unmotivated, non-directional, a slacker, lazy, ungrateful, entitled, a stunted-adult who is irresponsible and has a bad case of Peter Pan syndrome. It’s a characterization that I don’t identify with and does not accurately depict my husband at all. I am absolutely terrified of being boxed in by that stereotype. If the story were flipped and my mother happened to be living with me in my house, I’d be painted with a sweet altruistic multi-generational home narrative, but that isn’t my story. I would be lying if I tried to spin that story too. Instead, I’m tangled up in my shame because except for a small three-month stint in Venice when I was 20 and living with a few co-workers, I’ve never lived on my own.Continue Reading