📷: May 1, 2020 – Self Portrait
The construct of time disintegrating into a Salvador Dali painting made of sand.
At the beginning of this year, I decided I would take a self-portrait on the first day of each month. Well, on the first day of May, I had forgotten entirely about my self-portrait until I was comfy in bed, ready to take off to dreamland. So, I grabbed my phone and started snapping away – and I really like the resulting shot. It captures the peace and surrender that I have found within to navigate this pandemic storm.
Roses & Thorns:
- Celebrating Easter with a charcuterie board and Trolls World Tour
- Hosted a happy hour with my sister and two of my besties
- Discovering Mindy’s 5 mg THC edibles ( I like the Clementine and Key Lime flavor)
- Emergency root canal
- Car being broken into
Where the f*ck did April go?
We’re 8 days into May and I’m finally getting my April playlist up. One of my longest playlists to date. I’ve always been a music fan, there are examples of it all over this blog, but this past month I leaned on music in a way I haven’t experienced since my late teens.
Is the uncertainty of the time bringing me back to the simple escapism of a good tune — possibly (probably).
Top Five of April:
“Still Life” – The Horrors
“Night of the Vampire” – The Moontrekkers
“Fuck Up” – Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
“Pool Party” – Rudy Willingham
“Money – Edit” – The Flying Lizard
Steaming is up by 34% if not more, and I would like to say I am a part of that statistic, but it doesn’t feel like my consumption of streaming content has gone up by too much. However, this is the first time I’m finally coming out with a “What I’ve Been Watching” post — so, I’ve obviously been watching enough content to be inspired to share what I’ve discovered.
A super weird little indie film that involves an abusive toxic puppet named Chippy that sounds exactly like my internal dialogue sometimes. Yeah, that is how I want to describe this movie, because if you can’t sign off on a toxic puppet – then you will have a real hard time signing off on the rest of this indie picture. We basically follow two young people over the course of a weekend in Joshua Tree, and while watching the movie you’re not exactly sure if you’re in on a joke or just watching two people in a Southern California terrarium. It’s no longer available on Hulu, but you can rent it on Google Play and Amazon Prime for $3.99. If you’re down for weird, have an edible, and bored of everything else; then definitely watch The Relationtrip
I was surprised by how much I loved this movie. The soundtrack is fantastic and the acting impeccable. When I saw the trailer I was intrigued because of the music, but then was afraid it would be another dull indie movie similar to Neon Demon. A movie that is all aesthetic.
A common flaw of the indie or alt-film genre is that storylines can veer into the lane of either too complicated or too subtle to be enjoyable. A waste of my time. But Teen Spirit wasn’t! The singing competition is merely a vehicle to tell a more meaningful story about relationship dynamics.
I love ripping on bad trailers. Trailers that don’t make sense for movies at all and get the heart of the movie all wrong. Unfortunately, I can’t fault the trailer of Teen Spirit, because a trailer about the heart of the film – wouldn’t have motivated anyone to actually watch it. It’s like a hidden treasure for those who take the time to enjoy this film. It’s still available on Hulu, and you don’t need cannabis to enjoy it.
Under The Silver Lake
This movie is one of those indie movies that is too damn complicated for its own good and the fact it’s filmed in my backyard* can’t even save it. I wanted to like it, and I just couldn’t. It’s a 2 hour and 20 minute self-indulgent mess. It’s a bad date with a really cute guy. It’s available on Amazon Prime and I had to watch it over the course of two days because I gave up on Friday night, and am in quarantine and had nothing better to do with my Saturday morning – so I finished it. The ending wasn’t satisfying. The whole experience was mildly frustrating. So if you want an exercise in patience and enjoy self-torture, again – it’s available on Amazon Prime
*I live about 20 miles away from Silver Lake (silver lake area) but still consider it my backyard because I grew up in a suburb of LA and as soon as I could drive I went to Sunset Junction and fell in love. It’s no longer the city of my youth, but it still has a special place in my heart.
If you enjoyed Cube, I think you will like The Platform, but you’ll need to read subtitles unless you’re fluent in Spanish. An incredibly unique film that puts a microscope on human nature. Can’t lie, it can be a little triggering especially given the current state of our world amidst a pandemic. An analysis on selfishness, indulgence, desperation, and privilege – oh it’s a think piece that might leave you a bit more unsettled than you were expecting. Violence, gore, and jumpsuits are involved; but if you get past the grim you get to enjoy a really great story. I’m jealous that I didn’t come up with the story. The movie is available on Netflix.
I don’t like Scarlett Johansson. I love Adam Driver. Movie was mediocre. A basic latte. A beige sweater. It probably did so well with the Hollywood crowd because it’s a highly accurate picture of divorce …. fun ? ? ? I only watched it because I was already in a bad mood and kept me in the same place.
Need I say more…
It took a global pandemic for me to be inspired to roll out this mediocre Christmas vlog. My vlogging skills are rusty a-f, it was then and to date.
We’ll see if I ever get my groove back.
It’s been awhile since I’ve published one of these, so let me T-up this series.
I have zero musical talent. I think it’s why I’ve always been a “music person.” I used to interview local bands on the regular, interned for a music magazine, was a part of the music department of Myspace music (when that was a thing). I always fantasized about falling in love with a musician (spoiler alert – I married one). And like I said, I have zero ability to actually make or produce any type of rhythmic enjoyable genius sound outside of dorky sing-song melodies about an activity that I’m actively engaged in. i.e. I’m making a pie – oh my, yes sir – I’m making a pie (apply any tune you’d like)
However, I have one talent that can be applied to music and that is spotting patterns. I love patterns and connecting the dots. Every once in awhile I’ll be listening to a song and think, hey I’ve heard this before, this sounds like another song I’ve heard. I’ll then play the tracks and find their subtle similarities. It will be the same melody except one is slower than the other, or similar chord progression. It’s like the songs come from the same parents, but are completely different. They have the same DNA just different configurations.
I don’t pull sampled music into my Sounds Like database, because those are samples. To me, it’s like cloning a part of a song. I try to find the more nuanced connections.
On that note, here is a very non-nuanced connection as “Honeymooning” by the Holy Motors immediately can be identified as sounding like “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak – but it’s not a sample, so I think it falls on the list.
Looking forward to sharing more sounds like connections.
And for the record — I totally like Holy Motors video better than Chris Isaak’s video, although I feel like Wicked Game was one of my favorite songs as a kid. I was a moody child.
The spark in my soul has been dwindling
For a person who loves to go on adventures, being out and about is what lights up my soul. Whether it’s venturing out on a hiking trail or window shopping and enjoying lunch at a cool cafe – I love the exploration. The spark in my soul has been dwindling
The spark in my soul has been dwindling because of the necessary precautions to slow the spread of coronavirus. I haven’t been bored during this time of “stay-at-home” mandates, but exploring is what makes me feel alive. Then an internet friend posted how she went on a 2-hour walk in her neighborhood using a coin flip to determine her direction on Instagram Story. Color me inspired! I asked Dan if he would be up for a long walk in Long Beach and he was game.
So, the next day, my husband and I put on our masks, brought the dog, and explored the Bluff Heights area of Long Beach.
Needless to say, I feel like myself again.
Also, I made my first Easter Egg…
Sticking with last month’s layout (inspired by a technical glitch) you can find the screenshot representation of my March playlist after the jump.
However, since Spotify is now communicating with WordPress properly, below is the playlist embedded into the post.
Top Five of March:
- “1,618” – Charlotte Adigéry
- “Daddy Long Legs” – Midnight Sister
- ” I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts” – X
- “Ain’t That A Kick” – Peter Ivers
- “Farewell Transmission” – Kevin Morby, Waxahatchee
📷: April 1, 2020 – Self Portrait
The hottest fashion accessory is a face mask.
Didn’t think I’d be writing a blog post recapping my month in the midst of a global pandemic. Yeah, – me and the rest of the world. Not the first outbreak that’s run its course in the newsroom, but the first to cause a global economic shutdown and mass death in my lifetime. Swine flu, Bird flu, MERS or SARS, all viral scares that never amounted to statewide “stay-at-home” mandates. Wow, life is really weird right now.
Scrolling through Instagram stories and seeing a co-worker’s birthday being celebrated by her friends’ in masks dropping off gifts that include a pack of Charmin on her front porch. This is 2020.
Yeah, this is the state of the world. Italy is shut down. Disneyland is closed. Coachella has been moved to October. The hottest fashion accessory is a face mask.
Roses and Thorns for March…
Rose: Going to Joshua Tree with my best friend
Thorn: CoronavirusContinue Reading
‘Instruments of Change’ is another killer exhibition curated by Thinkspace Projects at the Fullerton Museum Center. Dan and I went on the last weekend of February to view the exhibition and I’m glad we ventured into the OC to see it. Afterward, we walked over to a cute little place called Let It Brie for a glass of wine and one of their amazing charcuterie boards. Fingers crossed they make it through this shutdown.
I decided not to do a voice-over in this art vlog because at the moment I’m having trouble finding the words to talk about the work. While at the museum, I just looked at all the colors and detail of the pieces and murals. It left me with an impression, a feeling, and I’m not confident in the words I would find right now to describe my thoughts.
So instead, here is a great article about ‘Instruments of Change’ from the LA Times.
With everything shut down, I’m starting to appreciate art and museums on a whole new level. I can’t imagine I’m the only one who is being self-reflective and realizing just how much they take for granted. Every morning I wake up and return to a place of gratitude, no matter the situation, I choose to start from gratitude.
Sending a prayer to everyone being impacted by this pandemic, and the hope that when we collectively move out of this shadow we are able to embrace the light.
Before shows were being canceled left and right in the name of public safety, I saw Gesserit at Zebulon in Los Angeles. My husband and I had gone to go check out New York gritty post-punk group Gustaf, and Gesserit was the openers. I fell hard for the stormy daydream meets bluesy funk sound. They had an earnest yet soulful energy to their performance that is refreshing in today’s performers.
Below is my interview with the lead singer and creative siren behind Gesserit – Elizabeth.
Name: Elizabeth Wakefield
Favorite Color: I suppose it depends on the context of the color. It changes for me. I really love a celadon green wall or the purple, blue, yellow and electric red hues of a sunset on the beach.
Zodiac Sign ( If you know your moon and rising sign please indulge us ): Virgo sun, Scorpio rising, Capricorn moon
Childhood Hero: It is also difficult to choose just one hero. I really admired Cher and Elvis as a kid. When I first heard them sing I knew what it was that I wanted out of life: Music.
Home Base: Amarillo, Texas
When was Gesserit born into this world? What is the origin story?
The project officially began under that moniker in 2016. I was living in Brownsville, Brooklyn at the time with my friend Adrienne. The living situation was pretty rough. I was heavily into reading Dune and I was inspired by the Bene Gesserit. Reading helped me transcend the harsh reality surrounding me. The original idea behind the project was to create simple ambient soundscapes to reflect that transcendence. Years later in 2018 a full band was formed. I introduced the songs I had been writing over the years to my bandmates and together we created this current iteration.
Loved the set and seeing the incorporation of a saxophone player, how did you guys connect?
I do door at a venue in Brooklyn and one night this experimental noise jazz band called Wave Table began to play and I was totally in awe. They were running the sound through an analog synth and someone was manipulating the music Brian Eno style. There was a crazed man screaming improvised poetry and a woman playing Baritone Sax. I emailed them shortly after that night asking to play a show together. They didn’t see the email for almost a year, but it was Sarah who responded. We ended up connecting and playing a show together and I had an opening in my project, so I asked her to join. She’s become one of my best friends and a super important component and collaborator in the project!
When I heard you at Zebulon, I heard The The influences and a dash of Fiona Apple. I felt like the music could easily be place on the soundtrack of Empire Records or Foxfire – that is all my interpretation. Who are your musical influences and/ or creative influences?
Oh wow, those are interesting comparisons. I really love The The and Fiona. My musical influences are pretty vast. I take inspiration from many corners of music, not really specific genres or artists. As a child, I was obsessed with country music and the Grand Ole Opry. Lately, I’ve been listening to a ton of Beastie Boys, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, Talking Heads, and Leonard Cohen. I’d like to try to deliberately combine these influences for the next record, haha. I imagine that would sound interesting.
I hate 5-year plans. What is your 5-day plan?
My 5-day plan is to enjoy the remainder of my time in Los Angeles before I head back to New York City. I want to take long walks, sunbathe, and see the sunset on the beach one last time.
How do you take your coffee (or tea)?
I like my coffee strong and black. I like my tea soothing and sweet.
Do you have any creative rituals that help you tap into flow?
When I am in New York I spend a lot of my time sitting at my piano bench, playing and writing until I feel satisfied with an idea. In L.A. I’ve been spending a lot of my time sitting in the sun at the park reading books, also with pen and paper at hand, ready to catch ideas as they come.
What are your three favorite spots in NY ( eat, shop, hang out) ?
There is a little cinema called Syndicated directly next door to my apartment in Brooklyn. I haunt that place multiple times a week! Central Park is obviously wonderful. So much of it I have yet to explore. I also really enjoy staying home, honestly. That is probably my favorite place to be above all.
If you have LA favorite spots, would love to know those too…
Going to the beach in Santa Monica is hands down my favorite place to watch the sunset. 1642 in Echo Park is a super cozy bar to catch a vibe and great live bands. My favorite venue we played and visited was Zebulon! Definitely broken in my dancing shoes on that floor.
How much of the set at Zebulon is not recorded and available to stream? When can one expect a release of music?
We played one new song that is not yet recorded, but the other material is from a record we recently finished. I am looking to release the LP this year! Super excited to share it with the world. We currently have one single from the record online called Silence. We are planning to release another single and video very soon!
My husband is a musician and I’m a writer. If we have kids, we’re bound to have a creative child or a rebellious athlete. As a person who is exploring their creative voice, do you have a piece of advice for us that we can keep in mind for our future hypothetical child?
I’m no authority on this! But I would say leaving tons of room for growth and creative freedom is so powerful. There are no rules. Using encouraging language and exposure to culture is so important.