[The Audiofiles] Required Listening for HARD Summer, Day 2

Well, it’s happened – it’s August!

 It’s been officially one year, 200+ posts and 80+ subscribers since I started this amazing blog last Summer and I have to admit – it’s the best kind of therapy a girl can have.  Thoughts stream from my brain, through my veins and onto the screen with beautiful synchronicity and I’ve watched myself grow from a confused young lady to a less confused woman.  Also, I’ve realized that it’s a crying shame I never formally created a 2013 Bucket List because there’s a lot of things I could be crossing off right now – like this:

My first Drive Thru Car Wash!

To that effect, this week has been beyond bonkers and full of wonderful food and good company [ per usual; noticing a theme, yet? 😉 ].  First things first though, I love the way that new months are announced! Whether it’s a friendly ‘Rabbit, rabbit’ or someone posting Bone Thugs n Harmony, the first of the month is always full of wonder [ e.g. ‘I wonder how the fuck this year has gone by so fast! ]  I remember last Summer when I was getting ready for HARD – while most girls are sitting around debating about outfits, getting excited about makeup; I’m sitting around drafting schedules and figuring out who I must-see this weekend.

Tracklist:

  1. Justice – Helix
  2. Bassnectar – Upside Down
  3. Empire of the Sun – Walking on a Dream
  4. Zedd – Spectrum
  5. Crystal Castles – Plague
  6. Disclosure – You & Me (Baauer Remix)
  7. Dillon Francis – IDGAFOS 2.0
  8. Etc!Etc! x Brillz – Callisto
  9. Flosstradamus – Rollup
  10. Gesaffelstein – Control Movement
  11. Mr. Oizo – Secam
  12. Busy P – Still Busy
  13. Claude Vonstroke – Beat That Bird
  14. Breakbot – Baby I’m Yours
  15. Brodinski – Let The Beat Control Your Body
  16. Felix Catral & Clockwork – The Fire
  17. Rudimental – Feel The Love
  18. Justin Martin & Eats Everything – Feather Fight
  19. Eats Everything – Jagged Edge
  20. Paper Diamond – Can We Go Up
  21. Breach – Jack
  22. J.Phlip – Big Ass, Party Hat
  23. Cashmere Cat – Mirror Maru
  24. Don Diablo – M1 Stinger (gLAdiator Remix)

Unfortunately, with how much vacation I’ve taken and the limited amount of time I’ve been able to update, I haven’t done a ‘Wednesday Watercooler’ piece in forever.  And, with the amazing news that I’ve been hearing and reading about lately it’s truly a shame! So, before we get into the fun and fabulous post I had in store -I thought I’d hit you with a dose of awesome links and reads to make your cheeks hurt from laughing and turn that pretty mind of yours in circles.  We’ve got the whole spectrum: science, silliness and of course – cats, so let’s dive in

So, here it is – your Friday Fun Links:

Music: Revealed: The Part of Our Brains That Makes Us Like New Music

Funny: 16 Problems Every Petite Girl Deals With, illustrated by cats

School: Teacher Takes Student’s Phone, Sets Passcode as Math Problem Answer

Science: The trouble with teleportation: It could take quadrillions of years

Cats: Cat Stowaway Survives On Freighter From Philippines To LA

Equality: 75 Unforgettable Moments From Minnesota’s First Day Of Marriage Equality

And a few videos – just because they’re AWESOME:

Homeland Season 3 Preview:

Living in a Van Down By The River…

And with that, a fabulous weekend to you and yours! Xx

[The Audiofiles / Music Monday ] Keepin’ It Moving

In standard, normal, everyday time it’s really only been a week since I’ve been home from Lightning in a Bottle but truth be told it feels like another century ago; another me ago, even.  If you want to get down to brass tax – yes, in all honesty the weekend was absolutely transformational, mercurial and magical all at the same time.  I’ve spent the past week in a solid state of reflection about life, the universe…and literally anything and everything under the sun.

My love; my life.

Part of the reason Lightning in a Bottle was such a big deal for me emotionally was that it represented multiple turning points in my life.  First and foremost, back in 2010 I actually had a ticket for LiB – but because I was just diagnosed with Vasovagal Syncope  I sold my ticket to get my health back on track.  The year after, in 2011, was my best friend’s bachelorette party in Vegas and there was no way in hell I was missing that – so this year, my adventures to and at LiB seemed more than necessary and slightly overdue.  Then mix in equal parts falling in love with my boyfriend while two of my best girl friends leave LA for Montreal and Boston respectively, and I had a whole mess of a machine to figure out for myself. Phaedra and Jessica represent two different worlds of friendships to me, but are equally loyal and loving friends; it was a blessing to have them get to know each other last summer and as people have always said – how lovely it is that I’ve met two souls who make saying goodbye so difficult.

It’s not that I define myself by the friendships I keep, but I place a lot of value on their opinions and moral codes; then again, shouldn’t we all?  In the absence of both of them I’ve been doing some soul searching and emotional wandering with this mantra in mind: we’re all cups, full to the brim of emotion and with each interaction with others we’re constantly tipping out our emotions and being refilled by the thoughts and feelings of others; I’ve come out of my shell within the last two years and maybe the shape of my cup has shifted, or I’ve switched from still to bubbling water.  Either way, I’ve watched myself grow – mature – evolve – and I simply don’t have the same needs, nor the same amounts of patience, that I used to have.  Meaning a lot of introspection into what it means for me to both have a friend and be one.

Besides taking time to detox and emotionally decompress, this past week has been about intertwining friend groups and developing the framework for future plans and ideas.  Simply put, every since LiB there’s been a sense of passion, dedication, creativity and urgency from my group of friends – business plans, life goals, trajectory altering decisions – they’re being made en masse and I couldn’t be more impressed.  As my boyfriend put it – they didn’t call it the ‘Maybe Lab’ and they don’t call it the ‘Do Lab’ for nothing; we can’t wait to see what’s possible when we put our minds together for something positive!

Besides the introspection, we did manage to have a bit of fun over the past week:  last Thursday I discovered that one our of favorite DJs and Producers – Pretty Lights – was playing a free show at the Amoeba records in Hollywood so I went with a few of my guy friends and had an absolute blast! He even freestyled for us – so legit.

Pretty Lights gettin’ funky

And now, for the next two weeks, I’ll be doing absolutely as little as possible as I get ready for the ruckus and shenanigans of Hard Summer!  Just because I’m not out and about prancing to the beat doesn’t mean I feel like sitting still – so here are some jams to help you get through your Monday – your week – your whatthehellever – just dance!

Tracklist:

  1. TJR – Whats Up Suckaz
  2. Disclosure – F For You (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs Remix)
  3. Skrillex & Damian Marley – Make It Bun Dem (Dead Battery Remix)
  4. Major Lazer – Get Free (Ft. Amber Coffman) (Andy C Remix)
  5. Fatboy Slim & Riva Starr – Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat
  6. Sound Remedy – Chiaroscuro (Original Mix)
  7. Boys Noize – Starwin
  8. Diplo ft. Mike Posner, Boax van de Beatz, RiFF RAFF – CROWN
  9. Mounties – Headphones (Sleepy Tom Remix)
  10. Neon Jungle – Trouble (Monsieur Adi Remix)
  11. Foreigner – Cold as Ice (A.Skillz & Nick Thayer Bootleg Remix)
  12. Major Lazer – Bubble Butt (It’s The Kue Remix!)
  13. Gareth Emery & Krewella – Lights and Thunder
  14. Thrift Shop – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Kinetik Groove Remix)
  15. HeRobust x gLAdiator – We Are
  16. Rusko – Lift Me up
  17. Deadmau5 – Suckfest 9001
  18. Knife Party – LRAD (Erotic Cafe Remix)
  19. Calvin Harris feat. Ayah Marar – Thinking About You (Laidback Luke Remix)
  20. Krewella – Live for the Night
  21. Sleepy Tom – Let It Go
  22. Tommy Trash vs A Trak – Tuna Truffle (Tommy Trash Coachella Snack)
  23. Matthew Koma – One Night (Vicetone Remix)
  24. Smallpools – Dreaming (The Chainsmokers Remix)
  25. Capital Cities – Safe & Sound (Panic City Remix)

[Doing It Right] LIB 2013 (or, How I Survived The Hippie Olympics)

When’s the last time someone not just asked – but insisted – you keep your childlike imagination and magic alive?  For most people trying to make a name for themselves, it’s been a hot minute; and from a young age it felt like most of my friends from high school had their formula for success figured out.  They left our hub in the Silicon Valley for a four year degree that would inevitably translate to infinite amounts of success in the “real world.*”  Me, on the other hand, well….I had loftier dreams and less tangible goals.  I found that love and happiness are better when shared, however you can’t hold them in your hands or stuff them in a box in a corner; a college degree doesn’t make either of them more valid and all the money in the world can’t replace them.

You can travel the world and have all the experiences you want, but there’s something so incredibly special and connective about music festivals.  But take into account my generations propensity to say ‘fuck the man’ and ‘fuck the system’ and the fact most of our spiritual belief systems have little in common with organized religion and you’ll see that the festival is our ‘church’ and our friends are the ‘community’.  Thousands of people jumping to the same beat, hearts syncing in time and singing along with the music; we are in worship and music is our savior.  A recent study has even shown choral singing to be on par with the health benefits of yoga.  My eyes were opened in 2006 with my first Electric Daisy Carnival and again in 2011 with my first Coachella; but if I said that either of these events held a candle to Lightning in a Bottle I would absolutely be kidding myself.  Don’t get me wrong, the music and crowd at the other events are phenomenal in their own right – but Lightning in a Bottle is something completely and utterly different.

The other festivals are centered around music – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that; but Lightning in a Bottle is about the culture that surrounds music.  There were speakers on multitudes of topics, including authors Daniel Pinchbeck (“Breaking Open The Head“) and John Perkins (“Confessions of an Economic Hit Man“), yoga sessions taught by yogis from all over, areas where you could experience sound baths and even a ‘Pineal Playground’ set-up to warp that pretty little mind of yours.  Live artists were out at stations around Lake Skinner during the day and had ample resources for inspiration; from light installations in trees to full on fixtures out in the parks – the people of LIB brought their A-game and you could tell how excited they were to share their unique visions and creations with the world.  What’s more is that almost everything was interactive – you were encouraged to touch, play and experience.  I felt like an overgrown five year old on vacation!

Now, I have to admit I was a little nervous going into everything – I haven’t been camping since I was five and my parents can tell you, I wasn’t exactly “good” at it!  I was so nervous that I would be unprepared, so I made a lovely little cheat sheet with a list of all the ammenities I’d need for the 5 day, 4 night excursion and there’s a few things I can tell you off the bat, first and foremost: I TOTALLY overpacked! I could have brought half as much clothing and would have still had options on what to wear; and there was so much creativity that went into some of the outfits!  Definitely something to take note of for next year.

And as far as camping is concerned….it isn’t exactly camping when you’re with thousands of your new best friends, kickass sound systems, awe inspiring sculptures and have Lake Skinner as your playground.  Everywhere we turned, there was literally something new to experience and someone to meet that chances are – you have some ridiculous connection to. Before the festival even started, I realized in line for wristbands that I was in college dorms with the girl in front of me and for my phone being dead, I ran into at least 50 friends I’d made in college or at festivals.  I even met a girl who used to live in my apartment complex in LA!

My friends and I decided to cruise in to Lake Skinner on Thursday night so we could get the whole festival experience; we wanted a chance to set-up our tent in a leisurely manner and explore the festival grounds.  We waded through a sea of people to get our wristbands (one thing about hippies – they’re a punctual bunch!), we were lucky enough to have friends there starting at 2pm because the line took approximately 7 hours from start to finish for them, compared to our measly 3 hour wait.  Once that was over, you could see eyes light up and smiles pop up on everyone: shit just got so real! Once we got our massive tent it was off to explore…

The second day started with exploring the Temple of Consciousness and the Pineal Playground; we got to be part of a sound bath and then headed down to the lake to catch the view.  Between the swings, shade and speakers we had so much to do during the day before the music started; there was definitely a ‘sleep, eat, mingle,  rave, repeat’ vibe going on all weekend and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  Now, before I get into my favorite pictures from the weekend I have a little PSA about the event.  As with every event, not everyone can have a life changing-best weekend of my life experience; it’s simply not feasible – but from the sounds of it people went to an entirely different festival than my friends and I.  The Do Lab gave us more than I could have hoped for with festival grounds like Lake Skinner, top notch productions, amazing art and a culture of people that I can only describe as the middle section of a ‘Hippie-Carnie-Raver’ Venn-Diagram.  I had the time of my life and I hope everyone gives the festival a chance to change them for the better instead of living vicariously through someone else’s bad dream. Though LIB has been around for a hot minute, being able to experience Lake Skinner together for the first time was such a great experience.  Eyes, brains and hearts were wide open and ready to explore.  I know a lot of people are whining and lamenting the fact their reality didn’t match their expectations but expectation hangovers happen when people aren’t willing to take responsibility for their actions.  I got to explore the festival grounds on Thursday when no one was around and take full advantage of the art, fog machines and light fixtures before people got there; on Saturday when the music in the camp turned off, my friends and I hunted down some music and created our own little community within the LIB community and have created bonds to last a lifetime.   Essentially the festival, like life, is an adventure and it’s up to us as individuals to make it magical; and for me – it was so, so much more than that! So on wards – to pictures!

Thursday night at the Bamboo Stage being silly with the boyfriend

Swings, for all ages!

Under the shade of the Tepees

Sunset on Lake Skinner

The people with signs made my day! Also, thank you Mud People for showing us how to get down!

Woogie Withdrawls: It’s a real thing.

Getting to connect with artists and watch them do their thing was awesome; the festival oozed creativity from every angle.

 

Before I get to the videos I just want to say a big thank you to the crews at the Do Lab and Lightning in a Bottle; this was a truly eye opening and awe inspiring weekend and I can’t wait to move the world the way the festival moved me.  I’m a better person for being there and have made friends to last a lifetime.  Thank you, thank you from the bottom of all of our hearts for the weekend of the year and can’t wait for the next one!