[Oh, Snap!] Street Art V13 – San Francisco

If there’s one thing I simply can’t get enough of, it’s art – in any way, shape or format.  Live music, performance art, museums, musicals; you name it – I love it…and street art is absolutely no exception.

Graffiti, street art and acrylic art are magnificent ways of intertwining nature and art and making the creative process into a public forum. My boyfriend and I have made a habit of taking what we call ‘Urban Safaris’ to hunt down these mystical murals that wind up around, inside and behind abandoned buildings and warehouses; the good news is, those aren’t the only places you can discover great pieces of art.  From what I’ve discovered on my own, LA has three amazing areas for Street Art: the Melrose and Fairfax area, the Silver Lake Area and in Downtown around Japantown.  And now that we’ve been making bi-monthly trips up to San Francisco, we’ve gotten to explore the Mission and have fallen head over heels for Clarion Alley, Balmy Street and Cypress Alley – where the following pictures were taken; enjoy!

[2014: A Brave New Year]

Over the past year, I’ve made myself stop and notice when the workings of the world fall into step and New Years Eve was absolutely no exception to this rule.  From the ambiance and the incredible art (both created and sold at the event) to the plethora of people watching and incredible live musical acts, my creative pallet was equally engaged and satiated.  To boot, it’s officially been one year with the man of my dreams and I couldn’t have picked a better way to celebrate our love than in a ‘Sea of Dreams’.

When we came back from San Francisco last night, I’d developed a new-found bounce in my step and I’d found a soft place for my head in the clouds.  I’m still reeling, reliving and loving all of the moments from this trip – and let’s be real, from 2013 in general. So, what do I have up my sleeves for 2014?  For the long list, you’ll just have to stay tuned in to find out – but the short and sweet of it expect some stellar Festival + Concert Coverage, DIY-deas, Adventures around California, Yummy Recipes, Life Musings and More.  But, until then – let me leave you with some highlights of my last trip!

First stop – Menlo Oaks to visit my mom and gallivant through our awesome backyard!

San Francisco’s Ferry Building from Pier 14.

Pickled Quail Eggs @ The Alembic (Yummy!)

Playing tourist with my favorite Partner-in-Crime.

Sea of Dreams: The Ladder of Dreams created by Sea of Dreams founding father, Joegh Bullock

Thievery Corporation gettin’ down on the Main Stage and then with the ball drop…

Surprise! A-Trak brings Dillon Francis on stage for some back-to-back action.

Last stop – the Marin Headlands for that killer view of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge. Parting with the city is always bittersweet, but it’s lovely to have another place besides Los Angeles and Corvallis that I can call home.

[The Audiofiles] Dive Into a Sea of Dreams

Enjoying the festivities around the corner from my apartment at The Grove =)

When the holidays approach, there’s essentially one thing on every Audiofile’s mind: New Years Eve!  And then, of course, there are the quintessential questions that go along with it – what city to venture off to, what festival to attend, who to go with and last but most definitely not least, which sets to listen to and which you’re okay missing.

Whether you want to admit it or not, there’s a ton of planning that goes into celebrating the beginning of the New Year and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed a new-found appreciation for it because for my first three years in Los Angeles, my NYE plans were non-existent and I was more or less okay with being a recluse.  Which, after two years of going to Together As One and several years of simultaneously celebrating my best friend’s birthday with the coming of the New Year, was definitely not in my character – but neither were the circumstances in my life

Thankfully, 2011 was a year of change and evolution for me and I haven’t looked back since.  The year before, I dove into Together As One head first and without a safety net – I’m guessing that sounds slightly strange for those of you that have been following my adventures and incredibly bizarre for those of you that know me personally, but if you will – hear me out.  After going through four crazy months of reconciling an ex’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder I was on the hunt for myself again and New Years Eve gave birth to a version of myself that I’ve been waiting for.

Next Tuesday from 9pm to 4am, Sea of Dreams will take over Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for an evening of positive energy, creativity, vibrancy and connection. Created by the creative geniuses at AnonEvents and thrown by the good people at Sunset Productions and Another Planet Entertainment, Sea of Dreams is now in it’s 11th year in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The event itself is a menagerie of high end performance art, stunning live musical acts, an extravagant ambiance and breathtaking decorations fit for Burning Man.  And to top it off, the community surrounding the event is as rich and vibrant as the festivities themselves.

Photo: MKGraph

In the past, headlining acts have included crowd-favorites like Bassnectar, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Ghostland Observatory, Beats Antique, Adam Freeland, Tipper and FreqNasty – just to name a few; and this year’s lineup is definitely one to compete with!  In the past, the musical talent has fallen more on the experimental side – as you can see above; but, as times are a changing – so are the musical acts and the community around them, and it shows just how big the event has gotten with the unexpected addition of mainstream EDM acts like A-Trak and Dillon Francis.  Now, don’t get it twisted – I love them; I just didn’t expect to see them sitting on a line-up next to Emancipator and LowRIDERz. There’s nothing quite like getting myself musically ready for the event, so I’m pleased to announce this year’s lineup along with some required listening for the night’s festivities – enjoy, because I know I will!

Thievery Corporation

Hailing from DC, Thievery Corporation have been expertly meshing the musical elements of reggae, dub and acid jazz with Indian, Middle Eastern and Brazilian sounds to produce some of the best downtempo electronic music around since ’95.  I don’t know how it took me so long to appreciate their stylistic differences, but they’re refreshing to listen to – especially with all of the redundant EDM on the scene these days.

Little Dragon

Though they were formed in ’96, it wasn’t until the past year that Little Dragon migrated from an indie-electro, trip-hop Swedish trifecta into a hat-trick of musical geniuses appreciated the world over.

Photo: MK Graphy

Shpongle

A-Trak

When he’s not spinning next to Armand van Helden in Duck Sauce or getting into some family values with his brother, who just happens to be half of the indie-electro band Chromeo, A-Trak is handing out hit after hit on his Fools Gold Record Label. His style sits delightfully between bouncy Eletro-house beats and bass heavy Hip-Hop and after becoming the first DJ to win three major DJ competition titles (DMC, ITF and Vestax) as well as the first DJ to win five World Championships, he’s definitely one to be reckoned with.

Dillon Francis

Hailed as the creator of Moombhaton (The BPM of Dubstep, but cut in half) – Dillon Francis has etched a permanent position as the class clown of EDM.  But don’t let his affinity of cats, Taco Bell or his alter-ego DJ Hanzel fool you, Dillon Francis knows how to throw a party and in the past two years of seeing him perform, he has yet to disappoint.  To boot, he stands as one of the few DJs and Producers that I’m simply itching to be best friends and have kitty play-dates with.

Emancipator

Hands down, there’s nothing quite like the atmosphere that Emancipator creates with his music.  Originally from Portland, Oregon – Emancipator submerses the listener in a musical experience rich with live instruments and pulsing harmonies.

LowRIDERz (Laura Low & An-Ten-Nae)

Rob Garza (of Thievery Corp.)

Minnesota

Photo: MKGraph

We have three members of Claude VonStroke’s DirtyBird crew coming through –

J.Phlip

Worthy

Christian Martin

Thriftworks

And rounding out the lineup are SambaDrop, Nolan Gray, Jocelyn, Dax Lee.  With only five days left in 2013, do you know where you’ll be when the ball drops??

Photo: MKGraph

[Doing it Right] SF + Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

This past weekend, my boyfriend and I gallivanted up to our home away from home – San Francisco – to attend the 13th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in Golden Gate Park.  The festival was started by Warren Hellmen, a philanthropic investment mogul with an affinity for the city of SF, bluegrass music and the community surrounding both.   Though he passed away in 2011, his legacy – and festival – live on through a legacy fund he set-up.  The event is entirely free and full of the most ridiculous intersection of people ever; but hey, who doesn’t like free, right?! I’d say that easily half a million people showed up, but it could’ve been nearly 750,000.  Old hippies, young hippies (which, by the way – it actually costs of money to look that poor), families, stragglers, groups of friends, groups of couples, etc, etc.  We only went for Saturday but that was plenty for me!  I caught part of Elvin Bishop and then it was off to see Dave Alvin with Greg Leisz.  We saw all of Boz Scaggs, who gained notoriety as the head guitarist and sometimes lead vocalist of the Steve Miller Band; he ROCKED!  Then we sauntered over to see Los Lobos Disconnected – a unique, acoustic set by one of my childhood favorite bands; and finally, to wrap up the day we headed back to see Natalie Maines, a third of my childhood favorite country group the Dixie Chicks. Other than the festival, we spent the weekend eating amazing food with great company.  I have to admit, it’s the first time I’ve been home with my man and resigned myself to just doing family stuff – and it was wonderful! If this is growing up, I can definitely get used to this. Now, onto the pics – enjoy!

Good morning, San Francisco!

Last time we were in the city, my man wrote a thank you note to my family; it was beautiful seeing it up on their wall!

Starting the day off right with some Old Vine Zin and fabulous cheeses!

HSB!

Golden Gate Park

 

[Doing it Right] San Francisco, the City of Dreams

This past weekend I took the love of my life up to my favorite city for a weekend full of eats, drinks, adventures and my favorite people.  We spent a few days in the city with my family soaking in the beautiful and breezy weather, exploring the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building, graffiti in the Mission, epic views from both Bernal Heights Hills and Twin Peaks and last – but definitely not least – and enjoying the Exploratirum and Pier 14 with a few of our close friends.  On Monday, we took to the city just the two of us to see what trouble we could get into.  Below are some of my absolute favorite moments of the weekend but even the pictures can’t do it justice; it was absolutely perfect and I’m more in love than I ever thought possible!

My step-mom just got back from Cuba; and gifted me with these!!