Monthly Archives: February 2015

[Oh, Snap] Sunday Funday at Thousand Steps Beach

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The tides are in our veins.

Photo by Daniel Leist

Calming and cathartic, the ocean beckons with a quiet roar masked as a whisper – cascading from shore to shore in enigmatic harmony. Growing up in the Bay Area, only a hop, skip and a jump from local beaches like San Gregorio, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz and Capitola, and spending a good amount of my childhood on the Oregon coast – I have a plethora of fond memories building sand castles and feeding s

ea gulls while unearthing sea glass and haphazardly discovering beautiful raw stones.  And even though I spent my collegiate years right on the beach in Santa Barbara, I could’ve spent a lot more time actually at the beach. So whenever I get the chance to finally hit one up, the five year old trapped in this 6’0 body gets butterflies in her stomach and stars of excitement in her eyes.

Photo by Daniel Leist

Life, as they say, is what happens while you’re making other plans and the other weekend was no different.  After a haphazard morning leaving Los Angeles, timing had proven tumultuous and schedules had shifted. Thankfully, it was a beautiful day and there’s nothing quite like hitting the road with some good jams and great friends. Soaking in the wonderful weather over Valentine’s Day weekend, a great few days filled with lots of love and great company, my wanderlust waved me over to Laguna Beach’s Thousand Steps Beach. Located just off of the Pacific Coast Highway, tucked away between two bluffs – Thousand Steps Beach is a gem among beaches with loads of soft sand, caves to explore and loads of blissfully breaking waves for hydrophilic humans.  Though it’s not technically a thousand steps to get down to the beach, there are definitely enough to warrant a lazy afternoon soaking up some rays.

Photo by Daniel Leist

We couldn’t leave before Sunset on the beach and as we thought, it was absolutely stunning. Sprinting out to the water to snap a picture, my body tangled in itself and the necklace I was wearing broke and my pendant, a beautiful little piece of Amethyst that I got at the Gem Fair in Tucson,  tumbled through my sweatshirt and plunged into the current.  I watched three or four waves swoop, swish and rearrange the stone and instinctively thrust my hand into the water. Miraculously, I saved it – and it hasn’t left my neck since.  This was almost two weeks ago and I’m still finding grains of sand on it!Last, but certainly not least – as the sun went down, the creativity heated up and we tried our hands on some light painting.  Danny took hold of the wand, our friend All Day Jimmy was behind the camera – and the result: magic!

What’s your favorite beach to soak up the sunshine? Let me know in the comments below!

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[The Audiofiles] Rising Star Spotlight – /ˈl o͞ o s i d/

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Call me crazy, but music has the ability to make me smell colors and taste shapes; the backbeat of a melody propels me through the past while a flawless vocal track ushers me into the future.  Art takes the form of the artist, meaning that they’re as much immersed in the final product as the craft itself.  That being said, I’ve been scouring the internet for any and all information about /ˈl o͞ o s i d/, and they’re as elusive as their music is ethereal to my ears.  Seamlessly flowing through glitch infused, four to the floor beats that are equally trappy and sultry,  /ˈl o͞ o s i d/ is blazing the path for Future Bass – and doing it in style.

Each original song individually makes my head, heart and feet explode in a multitude of ways.  On a sonic stroll through his original tracks, I first honed in on the groovy, multi-layered, Dim the Lights – a sexy track marinating in Dubstep a few weeks ago and since then have single handedly been responsible for at least 100 of the songs plays.

My next discovery was the Festival House banger ‘Chaos’ – and I’ll say it now, as a writer – I’m in lust with how he names his tracks. From start to finish, this one just begs to be played at 3AM in the middle of a crowded sweaty warehouse.

Last but not least on the original single tip, there’s ‘I Want You’ – a future bass track that completely crosses over into Tech House, and does it absolutely right.

Not to mention the wide variety of sultry, slippery remixes ranging from Faithless’s infamous track ‘Sleepless’, John Mayer and Evanescence.  Each mix tip toes around the original foundation, pulling and pushing on the meter while injecting a seductive bassline into the heart of each melody. Not to mention, ‘Sleepless’ comes off as a wild, underground warehouse club banger – the way it always should be played.

On his Website, he hints at big things happening on March 2nd – do I smell an LP release? Or maybe, just maybe – you can tell us who you are. Until then, keep turning out the amazing tracks – and I’ll keep blasting them on repeat.

For more on /ˈl o͞ o s i d/, make sure you check out their socials –

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud 

[Write On] This Coming March, Say Sayonara to San Francisco’s Bay Bridge Lights

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bridge

Over the last few years, The Bay Lights have become a shining staple of my visits home;  the sea and sky, both ablaze in sweet synchronicity.  The brainchild of the Illuminate the Arts group and Tisch trained artist Leo Villareal, The Bay Lights started sparkling almost two years ago on March 5, 2013 much to the delight of San Francisco Residents. From dusk until dawn, 250,000 LED lights sprawl the length of the Westbound bridge in seemingly haphazard patterns, ebbing and flowing with electric current to an unspoken but innately understood rhythm.   In the beautiful words of ItA themselves –

 “Our highly aspirational mission of changing humanity’s future for the better via public art—some would call it impossible—is a reflection of our core beliefs. The best of our projects will always be radically accessible, free to experience and widely viewable.”

Standing 500 feet high and almost 2 miles wide, the Bay Lights currently stands as the world’s largest LED Light Sculpture. Oh, and then there’s there’s that whole fact she’s a stunning, fully functional bridge bound by a singular cable woven through the breadth of the structure.  Crafted in honor of the bridge’s 75th anniversary, the reign of the Bay Lights unfortunately draws to a momentary close this coming March. As the two year art permit expires,Caltrans will begin simultaneous maintenance on the bridge’s cables which are purported to be suffering from both corrosion and cracking. There will be not just one, but two public ceremonies cementing the end of an enchanted era down on Embarcadero near Waterbar.  Join in the fun on March 5th at 8pm or March 6th at Sunrise – and if you’re one of the first 1000 people, you’ll end up with a free snazzy LED candle!

If you’re like me and a tad uber sad about the Never fear, because Illuminate the Arts is in cahoots with the State of California on a long term proposal that brings the installation back, brighter and better than ever in 2016 to. So go now, frolic to San Francisco and get your fill before the lovely Bay Lights go off in March. And while you’re at it, pay some tribute to Illuminate the Arts and the Bay Bridge Lights Project by visiting their socials –

Illuminate the Arts: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

[The Audiofiles] Prowl for the Perfect Beat with LA’s Low End Theory

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Delve into the unique underground music scene in city of angels, as music aficionados at the Low End Theory Club passionately pursue the creme of the crop in the industry as they go ‘Looking for the Perfect Beat.’ Fall down the rabbit hole as you’re fully immersed in the hip happenings of the Summer of 2013 – an epic Summer of music in LA, indeed. Featuring the likes of auditory tastemakers like Thundercat, the Gaslamp Killer, TOKiMONSTA, Jonwayne, Baths, Daedelus, Ras G, Teebs, D-Styles, edIT of the Glitch Mob, Astronautica, Free the Robots, and Matthewdavid – this is a no holds barred look into creative process of these internationally acclaimed musicians. Stock up on some snacks and get cozy on your couch as the didactic soundtrack for the film virtually creates itself to the pulsing beat of LA nightlife.


Looking for the Perfect Beat – Trailer
from Alpha Pup on Vimeo.

Told in time as a 24 hour narrative, the viewer is firmly implanted in the heat of the moment and the heart of the dancefloor while given a creative fly on the wall perspective. ‘Looking for the Perfect Beat’ beautifully delves into the humanity of the artists, expunging their craft while learning about them on a more personal level. Directed by seasoned music documentarian Matthew F. Smith, and produced by Low End Theory club founder Daddy Kev, ‘Looking for the Perfect Beat’ provides a holistic view of L.A.’s key players in this generation’s electronic music landscape while instilling hope for the future of cross-cultural creative unions. Purchase the full movie on Vimeo here

You can catch Low End Theory every Wednesday Night in Los Angeles: 18+ at Airliner – 2419 N Broadway 90031, Quarterly in Japan: Tokyo – Osaka – Sapporo – Himeji, and sometimes in Europe, NYC and San Francisco.

For more on Low End Theory, head to their socials –

Website | Facebook | Twitter

[The Audiofiles] Enrapture Yourself in the Feminine Mystique with Alia’s Female Medicine Project

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Even though we’ve made ample progress for women within dance music, EDM could almost be a coined term for Electronic-Dance-Misogyny. Somewhere, within this male dominated industry and between the scantily clad go-go dancers at nightclubs and PTot’s proudly displaying nothing but pasties and Little Black Diamond shorts, there’s been an emblematic shift in the treatment of woman; the great news, is there’s a new generation of woman out there who are confident trailblazers, well dressed disco sirens and engaged members of the music scene and it’s about time you’ve heard their roar.

With the support of transformational artists like Kayla Scintilla and Eve Olution, West Coast Bass Music recording artist Alia has made it her goal to build up the female bravado within the industry. It’s not about diminishing the talented men out there, or waging a gender battle – but about establishing an empowered female entourage, willing to creatively curate their unabashed talents and make themselves vulnerable enough to share their craft with the world.

“I have a theory: I’ve worked with women very closely for over a decade as a facilitator and coach and I have noticed that women are struggling with personal confidence. They often don’t feel safe to be fully expressed which can hamper their creative expression. This is often why we don’t see them stepping on to the stage as much as the men. I have become passionate about supporting women to move through their inner experience of their limitations so that they can feel safe to step out and let this project be an inspiration and a model for how women can come together to support each other to create great art and grow our careers.”
-AliaAnd as Kayla Scintilla says on his Facebook: ” Great to see the rise of the feminine in the scene… not as a take over of the masculine but as a much needed balancing of the scales. The only way we can truly dance is together!”

Bringing together an all star cast talented artists across the board, like vocalists, musicians and producers like Aleksandra Dubov, Amae Love, Amma Lightweaver , Ali Kane, Amadora, DJ Dakini, Eleanor Tara, exceptional violinist HANNAH, Heather Christie, DJ Dakini Wahkeena Sitka, Prrisma Liquid Love Drops, Kaia Ra, Kristyn Pixton and Choreographers KC Baker, Tenley Wallace, Sonya Stewart – Alia is empowering the feminine mystique through collaborative, creative endeavors while inspiring passionate, positive women to put themselves out there for the world to see. The final album will be mixed by the masterful masculine energy of Chris James, Geometrae and Theo Brahma of Entheo with the final mastering by Dubvirus.

Meeting their goal on Kickstarter means they’ll be able to produce a unique 13 track album on a smaller imprint, market the album and cover the costs of the campaign.

“We will share the Feminine Medicine original music as it is ready bringing along some the vocalists on the album to perform live with me and a number of high-caliber dancers and choreographers to create a full infusion of the Divine Feminine. This will also include costumed performances choreographed to the music. In addition, we plan to mount the full stage show choreographed to the full album of music at a Bay Area location in the Fall. To produce this I already have 5 talented choreographers on board and at least 10 dancers.Let’s build a world where women feel free to express themselves creatively; head to the Kickstarter here, and join the cause. For more on Alia, check out her socials –

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

[Life Hack] Booking A Fun Filled Getaway for Your Crew

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We all have them, those days that go so erroneously wrong that you’re not just committed to the fact you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, it actually – literally -feels like you woke up on the wrong side of Mercury Retrograde. Thankfully, that all ended on February 11th and according to Punxsutawney Phil, we’re* going to be suffering* through another six weeks of winter.  For the record, those asterisks are to denote that we is the Royal, East Cost, we and suffering is because I’m empathetic; I live in California, we watch winter from TV while we tan; anyways.   Last December, my friends took me on an impromptu road trip to Big Bear – it was my first time really playing, hiking, reveling and flat out dancing in the snow and I simply couldn’t get enough.  And to boot, I was reveling in a bit of pre-Retrograde good luck: the company I’ve been contracted to for work was bought out, and in the happiest of mishaps, I woke up with a some extra bounce in my step and cash in my bank account.   If an adventure with just a few friends was fun, an adventure with more was obviously better – so I immediately started plotting our escape from LA. It might sound a little silly, but I’ve never in my thirty years of living planned a getaway for more than two people – so this was an adventure in more ways than one and I’m eager to share my do’s – and don’ts! – of booking a group trip.

Booking dot Yeah

Photo by Jimmy Eid

Being the first time I’d ever secured a trip for a group of more than two, I was more than a little nervous. Sure, when I’d gone to Avila Beach the year before I had a group of seven with me – but I’d taken over another friend’s booking, and as it turns out I only got to witness the easy part.  Considering the state of the economy and current wages, I abide by the principles of  ‘Balling on a Budget’ and I do it well.  Next time you want to secure a cabin rental for a group of 6+, there’s a few ways to do it.  The incredibly rote way, would be a Google search on “Location” + “Group Cabin Rental”; but if you want to get more bang for your buck, there are a few sites that feel like striking gold.  We all know that  AirBnB is a hip, happening, wonderful resource.  From single room to entire home, you can rent based on your necessity – but for large groups, the options dwindle down or are exponentially expensive. Three equally wonderfully options are FlipKey, VRBO and Home Away.  FlipKey has spotted luck depending on your Metro, so obviously the more obscure the more difficult; and for the last two, I’m a huge fan – so it’s no surprise to me that they’re actually tied to the same information hub.   If you’re looking to book an entire cabin or house, these are the sites that you want.

Location, Location, Location

Sandy beaches, blossoming blue skies and sunny dispositions – that’s my vacation personality, so when it came to booking a Winter vacation – I had to do some crowd-sourcing.  Don’t get me wrong – I definitely  have fleeting fancies of being a snow bunny, at least for a night or two.  When you’re planning your group’s getaway, you’re not only taking your preferences into consideration – but you’re taking a simple random survey and through intelligent data analysis, you’ll find the best options.  Yes, I got all statistical on you for a second but for good reason – you at least want some people to come; right? Make sure you pick a vacation, or staycation, spot that has plenty to do for the whole family.  When we were in Big Bear, there was skiing and snowboarding for my snow kittens, a hot tub for the ones who preferred to stay warm and a national park just moments away; we had DJ equipment, photography gear, mood hoops, Cards Against Humanity and Mood Hoops – literally something for every personality type.

All My Party People In The House

Last, but most definitely not least – your crew!  It’s not a party without the posse, but be sure to set some ground rules before you go because let’s face it – money and friends not only don’t mix, but have the potential of ruining an otherwise wonderful weekend.  If you’re fancy enough to finance the cabin yourself and have your friends pay you back, more power to you – because of my aforementioned work situation, I was finally able to do that and it took such a load off of my shoulders.  But I’ll be the first to tell you, it doesn’t always work that way – as I found out when I went to Arizona at the beginning of the month.  Alleviate your anxiety, and tell your friends that the way to secure a spot over the weekend is to drop a little down payment for the room.  From their entire deposit to a simple $20, every little bit helps in getting you back to square one – and keeps you from discussing or dealing with money on an exciting weekend away from the “real world.” If you’re feeling frisky and want to get super organized, Facebook Events are a great way to keep track of RSVPs and last minute notes, while Google Docs provides the perfect forum for shopping lists and sharing ideas.

Photo by Jimmy Eid

[The Audiofiles] Bass Physics Revamp Echosmith’s “Cool Kids”

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With a tinge of Electro Soul and a whole lot of bass expertly layered over glitch infused Dubstep – Colorado duo Bass Physics has been cementing a name for themselves in the festival circuit. In the past few years, they’ve graced the stages at Global Dance Festival, Decadence NYE, and South Park Music Festival – just to name an elite few. When these gentlemen take the stage, a sonically soothing vibe resonates over the crowd while smiles abound on dancing faces.

While on tour the past year, their releases were kept to a minimum – good thing that’s all about to change. For their first release of the year, Bass Physics laid their eyes on Echosmith’s indie pop hit “Cool Kids” and never once looked back. The groovy new single is currently available for Free Download, so dance your way to their Soundcloud and have yourself a little mini tribal while you’re waiting for the weekend to set in.

From our own experience of growing up in a public school system, there is enormous amounts of pressure on kids to conform to social norms, good and bad. Preventing natural development of character, our society emphasizes being normal or “cool,” rather than being independent and unique. This track inspires us to ignore the norm and live the life that we want to live; we aim to inspire others to do the same.

UPCOMING SHOWS:04/10-12 – Euphoria Music Festival – Austin, TX
04/25 – Red Rocks Amphitheater w/ Savoy – Morrison, CO
04/30 – Waverly Hotel – Cumberland, BC, CanadaFor more details on Bass Physics, head to their socials –

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud