The melody in this song feels like the summer before my senior year of high school.
The summer solstice has come and gone, meaning we are officially in the second part of the year. Yes, half of 2019 is gone and we are barreling towards 2020. It’s the perfect time to be reflective and set out fresh intentions for the year. In the spirit of mid-year evaluations, I am sharing what I deem to be the best songs of 2019 thus far. The top 5 songs pulled from my Q1 and Q2 playlists, that must be added to your summer playlist for road trip listening or poolside chilling.
“Trouble on Central” -Buddy | A harsh reality weaved into a beautiful melody.
“Dance With Someone!!!”- Busty and the Bass | Love this insanely funky song, but I just saw a live performance of this song, and it’s a total Rick Astley like experience.
“Can’t Hardly Wait” – Justin Townes Earle | Sometimes a cover is just as good as the original. This rendition feels like a cool breeze on a hot day, salty skin and simple adventures.
“The Jangling Man” – The Cleaners from Venus | This song swirls up so much nostalgia, and I was only just introduced to The Cleaners from Venus, but the melody in this song feels like the summer before my senior year of high school.
“Lost on You” – LP | I have a total crush on singer-songwriter Laura Pergolizzi and this song. The emotion in the delivery twists the echoing pain of unrequited love and rejection. I could roll around in the self-indulgent lamented pain that drips from every word. #obsessed
BONUS: “Viktor Borgia” – Stephan Malkmus | This song is awesome, but the comments on the music video, if read with love – are flipping AMAZING. My favorite: “When you need to make a Dadtronica video to embarrass your teenage daughters but don’t feel like changing out of your lawn mowing outfit.” – Luke Larsson on YouTube
Enjoy the above tunes and more on my Q1 & Q2 2019 Playlists. I’ll be back in December to share Q3 & Q4.
In the meantime, let me know who I should look up or listen to. I’m welcome to suggestions.
How is it already November? How are we already in the second month of Q4?
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately, ok let’s be honest, when am I not self-reflective.
I journal on a daily basis, and it’s interesting how the same frets, insecurities, anxieties, hopes, dreams, aspirations – they just cycle through the pages. To be super honest and transparent, I don’t feel like I’ve grown in the ways I’ve hoped to grow over the last few years. And yet I KNOW I’ve grown in different ways that I didn’t anticipate or plan. It’s like my life is one long road trip, and instead of getting to my desired destination, I discovered something different and interesting in a roadside attraction.
Now, what I need to come to terms with and accept is that although I didn’t get to my destination, I can’t regret the experiences and lessons I learned by the roadside. Life is the greatest adventure, the only thing linear about it is that there is a beginning and an end, but everything in between is filled with curves, roundabouts, peaks, and valleys. This year is almost over, and I think it’s fair to say that I’ve done the best I could with it. But it’s not over yet, and I’m not racing to the finish line. I’m back on the road, with a new map in hand, and ready to burn rubber!
(*ok I’m done with the road trip metaphors – for now 😉)
Interview with musician Dev Ray, a genuinely disarming gemini.
“It changes all the time. Lately, it’s been humming into a voice recorder while driving, not very safe but sometimes necessary.”
Dev Ray is a genuinely disarming Gemini. Not that I find most Gemini’s terribly intimidating. But I like how that sounded, and Dev really is a refreshingly genuine person. To me, there is no pretense to him as a person or his music. He possesses a quality that is similar to the dreamscapes of Michel Gondry’s Science of Sleep and creates a sense of familiarity like you could have gone to elementary school together. His new tune, “Can’t Hide” out on Dangerbird Records reflects the ray of morning sunshine that Dev Ray embodies. The songs upbeat melody would soundtrack the speed up footage of a night with friends which is carried out until the sun rises over the horizon, feet in the sand and holding hands.
Find out more about this awesome person’s musical ambitions and adventuresome discoveries in my interview with Dev Ray below.
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Favorite Color: Oh, this is a hard one. I feel like people judge you the most off this. If I say blue I’m boring, if I say green people will think all I care about is money and if I say purple they just won’t believe anything I say! Seriously though, I feel like it changes all the time. As you get older you discover new colors like chartreuse or azure. This is my very frustrating way of answering this question!
Childhood Hero: Oh, another tough one. I guess I would say, Pee-Wee Herman. I was obsessed with The Movie and his playhouse show. I think his zany humor made it into my personality somehow. Him or Mr. Rogers. I always liked how he changed his sweater and shoes when he got home, I do the same thing.
Super bummed to have missed the show at Dangerbird. How did it go? What do you feel like before a show – do you have any rituals.
The show was great! I was really nervous and overwhelmed at first! A lot of people showed up! The Dangerbird backyard was packed. When I made it on stage though I felt alright. I guess I like being on stage, ha! I was actually influenced by a post that Cecilia from the band Gothic Tropic made where she did a pre-show dance ritual when she was touring for Beck, I assume she does it for her shows too. I was inspired and love dancing anyway so I danced around a little bit before the show in front of the audience and it alleviated a lot of my nerves.
Loving the material available on Spotify, the single “Can’t Hide” and your super silky rendition of “So Excited.” What is your approach to developing songs and melodies – do you hum a tune into a voice reminder and build it out or just start strumming out notes. For those with no musical talent (ie: me) what’s the breakdown in approaching an original song and/vs a redux?
It changes all the time. Lately, it’s been humming into a voice recorder while driving, not very safe but sometimes necessary. I think I wrote “Can’t Hide” a few years ago on my old Yamaha keyboard. It was originally a slow disco song with slide guitar and a weird key change. I changed it up and was gonna use it for another band I was in called Dr. Fadeaway. The drummer Sal suggested a more upbeat drumbeat he borrowed from The Cure. I took the song back and used it for Dev Ray! “I’m So Excited” started when I jokingly sang it out loud at work in a very monotone, blasé way. I later realized after playing the chords on the organ that it actually would work slow and the chord progression is just so beautiful.
Is there a full EP or album on the horizon?
I hope so! I definitely have enough songs for an album. If Dangerbird likes me enough and these singles do okay then hopefully they will let me do a full album and release it for me!
Best “hole in the wall____” you’ve discovered? (it can be bar, restaurant, store, club etc…)
Best hole in the wall restaurant is Thai Pepper in Hollywood. I lived in Franklin Village for a while and was always on a budget. This place just west of Franklin Village by the 101 is so affordable and this little old lady with a hunchback runs the whole damn place herself.
Favorite comfort food, is it homemade or at a certain place?
hmmmmm…waffles, cereal, mashed potatoes.
Do you have an awesome book or documentary recommendation to share?
You’ve done a tour or two in your lifetime – what is an “on the road” story that comes to mind and makes you laugh or smile?
Touring with Nima from So Many Wizards is always a riot! I was especially making him crack up a lot during our last little desert tour. We were sitting in the back of the van together most of the time. On my first ever tour with So Many Wizards, we played SXSW 2013 alongside the band Social Studies. I made out with the lead singer/keyboard player Natalia and that always brings a smile to my face.
If you had the opportunity to Matrix download one subject (this includes the entire scope of said subject) into your brain – what would it be and why?
Tap dancing or ballroom dancing. I eventually want to learn every social dance there is.
Last three artists played on your preferred form of music consumption. (Spotify, iTunes, soundcloud, record player etc… )
Phoenix – Ti Amo, Deerhunter – Fading Frontier, Peter Gabriel – So, all CD’s in my car!
Wise parting words
You can put sunflower seeds in your yogurt, cereal, and sandwiches.
I’m practicing this radical truth thing which is incredibly uncomfortable and yet healing
I seem to always use playlist publications as a time to give a little life update. So, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I’ve had a rocky Q2 of 2018. At the end of March, a bunch of dirt was stirred up in my life and I had to start confronting a lot of pain and anger from my past. I’m practicing this radical truth thing which is incredibly uncomfortable and yet healing, so in the last few months, I’ve been supporting (with the help of my sister) my estranged father. Trust that the emotional and at times physical demands (I’ve unloaded two large stuffed storage units in the last 2 months) of that relationship is incredibly draining.
But I’m sick and tired of being so god damn tired. I’m done with thinking and talking in circles. Yes, I don’t LOVE my life right now, and I feel so off track and removed from my center. Yet, I know I am the only one that can change things. I’m a firm believer in positive action yields and attracts positive results. I don’t know what exactly I’m searching for, but I know I want to be at a higher vibration – so here goes me sharing and putting some positivity out into the world with a fun new playlist.
Playlist: Dormant Volcano | duration 52+ mins
“Pretty Woman” – Lo Noom / “E.V.P.” – Blood Orange/ “My Offwhite Flag” – Dirty Projectors / “Hope the High Road” – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit / “Let Me Get There” – Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions/ “Jane Eyre” – Sur Back / “We Are Going to Be Friends” – Bright Eyes, First Aid Kit / “Baby” – Angharad Drake / “Something for you M.I.N.D. ” – Superorganism/ “Truly Madly Deeply” – Yoke Lore / “Seventeen” – Sjowgren/ “Brass in Pocket” – Pretenders / “The Bus Song” – Jay Som / “God Only Knows” – JR JR / “Promises” – Aly & AJ
I just got out of my French class, but by the time you read this “just” will no longer be relevant.
I’m also currently craving french fries. By the time you read this, the sentence will still be relevant as I’m always craving french fries. Perhaps when you read this, I will have satiated my craving momentarily, or still be yearning for their salty goodness.
However, I created a playlist that I’ve aptly titled “French Fries” that has the songs that peaked my curiosity in Quarter 1 of 2018, and surprisingly has a lot of French tunes.
à la prochaine, prendre plaisir | see you, enjoy!
p.s. At the end of 2017 and start of 2018, I was also working on my “WAKE UP BEKKA” playlist that I thought I’d share as well. That playlist is always taking good “wake up” songs, so feel free to listen and leave a recommendation.
The day David Bowie died, I took the day off of work.
I work for myself, so it sounds more dramatic than it actually was, but I hope it communicates the extent to which I loved Bowie. I grew up listening to the full Bowie catalog, but truth is I never really liked the song Under Pressure. I think Vanilla Ice ruined the baseline for me. So whenever it came on I tuned it out, I just waited for it to be over and move on to the next song. Until today, and I realized, Under Pressure is the anthem America needs right now.
Last year was a dark Christmas, we were all anxious to get out of the misery that was 2016 and then Donald Trump was elected President and it left many of us wondering what new hell have we entered into. And now that 2017 is coming to a close, we’re more familiar with this new world that is Alice’s LCD laced wonderland. Tension is high, civility is low. Humanity has wins like the fall of Harvey Weinstein and the election of openly transgender people to public office and government positions. Yet, the heartbreaking loss of life due to acts of terrorism like the mass shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Spring Texas, the vehicles that plowed into crowds in Spain and New York, leaves us watching the pain and suffering rise, wondering if a tweet will set off a nuclear attack while ordering avocado toast for brunch.
It’s bleak. Despite all the good, there is all this bad and the pendulum continues to swing violently back and forth. Not to mention that the troubles of Americans still hardly compare to those in war-torn countries, so lets all choke on a slice of perspective pie before bitching about the post office or parking this holiday season.
When I finally listened to the lyrics of the song, I felt it outlined our current social environment poetically. Showing us the woes of humanity, only to give us the one real solution that is universal and stands the test of time – LOVE.
Yup, act in love. Live in love. Be love to those you’re compelled to hate. Give love. Love is the release valve.
So, Under Pressure is my new anthem to keep me accountable for my part in this thing called life.
Once upon a time, I would publish monthly playlists on this here blog. Well since May, when wedding planning went into overdrive, I stopped posting playlists but didn’t stop creating them. Then in August when wedding planning went into hyperdrive, I stopped creating playlists because I was focused on creating the playlist of music that would be played at the wedding. So now that I’m finally married, I have an aptly named Finally Married Playlist. I’ve taken the two unpublished playlists, Dada Movement and Dusty Pages and compiled them into one 3 hours and 17 min long playlist with a few bonus tracks starting from God Only Knows – our first dance song.
It’s been a minute. It always is. My blog is like my 10th friend. I rotate it into my life like the coffee and cocktail dates I try and schedule with my IRL human relationships. Now, that I’m in the 100-day countdown to getting hitched, I really don’t expect this to be any easier, but I can always hope. The game plan? Eat healthily, secure six hours of sleep a night, avoid alcohol, and take my supplements. Sadly, although I had a playlist created in May I never published it. So, I’ve combined May and June into one 2 hour dreamscape of cool hits for hot days 😉.
I’ve attended Coachella once as a festival goer, and have been working at the festival in the merch department for the last 3 years. That totals up to 4 years of Coachella experience. So let me share my insight with you! The desert elements can be brutal and I keep a few essential items in my purse while going between my shifts at the record store and favorite band sets. My camping guide is even more comprehensive and hopefully, I can put that together between now and Thursday, but none-the-less here is what I keep in my purse.
My cell phone/camera. Instead of carrying around an extra camera, I will just be filming and taking photos on my cell. I also keep my phone on airplane mode most of the time to save its battery. The first time I went to Coachella as a festival goer, I challenged myself to unplug and not be on my phone to distract myself from my awkward social anxiety. There are so many friendly people in the world, open yourself up to meeting a few by just saying hello!
External battery charger. Fortunately, there are dozens of charging stations inside the festival. But do you really want to be attached to an electrical box instead of discovering a new band? No, no you do not. Bring an extrenal battery charger and you’ll be safe from experiencing FOMO.
Tissues. There is a lot of dirt and dust. Tissues keep me from driving myself crazy with the sniffles.
Cottonelle Flushable Wipes. A few years ago flushable toilettes were installed at the Empire Polo fields that helped provide alternative options to the porta potties. But regardless you are using the same bathroom as hundreds of other people, and in case you happen to go in one when there is no toilet paper – now you have a backup. (the tissues are good for this too obviously)
Wet Ones. A lot of the food inside the festival is finger food and after touching money, grass, dirt, just everything… my hands feel gross. Before eating I like to wipe my hands with wet wipes to keep things clean. Instead of just using regular gel antibacterial, the wet wipes actually remove the dirt instead of turning into sanitized mud.
Face Mask / Bandana. It gets really windy in the desert causing dirt to fly into the air and get lodged in your lungs. Even if it’s not a windy day/ night, upon exiting the festival dirt is kicked up into the air by everyone walking around you. Stay healthy by protecting your lungs, keep a face mask on you. Don’t get the Coachella cough – it’s not cute.
Sunscreen. Pretty self-explanatory. Skin cancer, also not cute.
Band-aids. Blisters happen. If you’re not used to being on your feet for 12+ hours while dancing and walking about 5 miles over the course of the day, then just have some band-aids on hand. Better safe than sorry.
Allergy Medicine (Zyrtec). You technically can’t bring allergy meds into the festival, so take some before going in. I get pretty bad allergies since there is so much grass and dirt in the air. I take a little Zyrtec and I’m good to go for the day.
Cash Diet. I like to bring cash to the festival because it helps me manage my spending. The food is amazing, the beer garden is on point. So instead of using my card, I like to use cash. Plus then I’m able to tip the vendors. It’s physically exhausting working the festival, especially for the food vendors working in hot tents cooking yummy eats for everyone. Tips can be super encouraging.
Sunglasses. I bought my first pair of prescription sunglasses in 2012 for my first Coachella experience. I knew I’d be in the sun all day and I wanted to protect my eyes. It’s been one of the best investments I’ve ever made. I recommend for those who do not need prescription sunnies, to bring cheap sunglasses so they don’t get lost. But for those that wear glasses like me, treat yo’ self.
I seriously have so many tip, tricks, and hacks for navigating Coachella.
If you have a question, feel free to leave it below!