The Los Angeles 70’s Revival

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The 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love is coming up in a couple of months, but Los Angeles is already in the grittier, grimier 70’s.  With the resurgence of the Laurel Canyon scene in the past few years, there has been an explosion of tough chicks and sensitive dudes making names for themselves in the hills and the Valley- strong woman fronted occult-psych rock bands with Manson Family looking members, feminist schlock films ala Russ Meyer and androgynous young rock stars that exude glitter trash glam like the lovechild of Marc Bolan and Iggy Pop.

As expected, renowned LA DJ and Mayor of Sunset Strip Rodney Bingenheimer is all up in the mix of it helping bring the Sunset Strip back (what WOULD L.A. do without this magic  culture creator?) Here are some of my favorite people to emerge out of the scene, appreciated for both their strength and style:

Kansas Bowling

Troma’s best director is a 20-year old film maven who uses strong female roles to up the ante on her low-budget horror/comedy films. An unabashed Monkees fan, Kansas is not only influential in film but also in style; I can’t get enough of her vintage dresses, mustard yellow and center part hair.

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Death Valley Girls

Making pentagrams on your forehead look more glam than Charles Manson EVER did, Death Valley Girls are all glow in the dark occult garage psych with tight hooks and far out vocals. Started by Patty Schemel of Hole and her Larry, the band has a music video that was shot by Kansas Bowling and stars Rodney Bingenheimer. Watch the video here

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Starcrawler

Frontwoman and L.A. baby Arrow de Wilde is half Ozzy, half David Bowie and all fierce androgynous warrior. Ryan Adams produced their album, and they are a critics darling- if anyone can bring glam rock back hard at the Sunset Strip, it’s Starcrawler. Watch Starcrawler here

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 Drugdealer

Drugdealer Los Angeles band

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More Laurel Canyon than Sunset Strip, his single “Suddenly” with Weyes Blood has that gorgeous early 70’s AM sound with a warm glow that is all Los Angeles. Listen to “Suddenly” here

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So I started this blog called “Yes, I’m Positive”

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In a desire to help people who were struggling with quitting drinking, or coping with mental health issues, or just dealing with life’s curve balls, I started writing on a new blog called Yes, I’m Positive that shares positive inspiration without being cheesy. I see a lot of internet memes with the same quotes on the same stock photos, so I figured I could use my own stuff and maybe create something a little fresher. 

I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in over five years after an illustrious side-hustle as a major party girl, so I hope something that changed my life could help someone in my old position. Little poems that haven’t fleshed out into full songs also pop up, and if you follow the Instagram profile @yesimpositive you get book recommendations as well. 

Positive inspiration for a complex world: Yes, I’m Positive

Star Wars Costume Exhibit at Denver Art Museum


Denver Art Museum is currently showing the new Star Wars costume exhibit, and anyone into the franchise or vintage fabrics needs to grab their tickets. I loved seeing the progression of Princess Leia’s polyester white robe to Queen Amidala’s hall of decadent embroidered dresses. Personally, I’d rather be a handmaiden than the queen, those amazing velvet pieces looked comfy and warm.


The exhibit consists of multiple rooms focusing on various characters. Especially popular was the Sith Lords exhibit complete with Darth Maul fight scene, and this lighting setup that reminded me of Nosferatu.


The smallest costume besides Yoda’s robes was certainly R2 D2. Expect a bottleneck here, as he’s very popular with the kids. I’ve never cared about what phone I had, but I took a picture of a family with the dad’s iPhone 7 and wow. Can I just buy the camera? 

Meow Wolf

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Welcome to Meow Wolf – photo by leslieloudspeaker

Right now in Santa Fe, New Mexico, there is a portal back to the 80’s owned by master world builder Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin. The purchase of an old bowling alley (complete with original carpet!) crossed with psychedelic local art collective Meow Wolf brings America a new destination that must be seen and crawled all over to be believed.

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laundry room from your collective conscious nightmares – photo by leslieloudspeaker

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Starting out as a lonely house full of ennui and character building, you soon find yourself transported to space, a twisted treehouse, rooms devoid of color, underwater where the neon grows; every door, secret passage and public tunnel take you to a new world, each one more psychedelic and haunting than the last.

I happened to visit Meow Wolf right after the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival, and a lot of other balloners had the same idea. While downstairs was a bit of a madhouse, upstairs was just lovely due to skinny corkscrew staircases and vertical ladders making access more difficult. Despite the crowd, there were so many little rooms to explore that you could always find a serene little art nook to have for yourself.

This place would make an amazing AirBnb.

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Mt Evans and the Mountain Goats


One of the best parts of living in Denver is that when it’s a scorcher, just drive twenty minutes away and the temperature drops 15 degrees. Mt. Evans was just hopping with mountain goats, even a couple babies; tourists were flipping out, of course.


The River Arkansas at Red Rocks

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This past Memorial Day weekend was very heartfelt for me; not only did I get to shoot a show at Red Rocks for the first time, but it was for my old buddy from high school in Texas Macon Terry and his band The River Arkansas. With beautiful vocal harmonies, pure soul searching lyrics, and thumping stand up bass lines, The River Arkansas had the crowd on their feet cheering and hugging and other general merriments. Since they were opening for the movie The Big Lebowski, it was funny to see so many people in bathrobes getting down. Spa Night at Red Rocks.

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lighthearted musings on being alcohol-free for four years

As my fourth year booze-free comes to a close, I can’t help but ponder over how much my life has changed both externally and internally. The double chin that I thought was genetic went away pretty quickly, so never underestimate the power of beer bloat. In fact, I physically look better than I did in my 20’s; even though Lone Star beer tastes like water, it apparently has nice, juicy calories. 

Unfortunately, not many really get to see that since I hermit myself away most of the time out of fear of criticism and never being understood. Without that social lubricant alcohol, I have a hard time making conversation unless it’s about the mysteries of the universe; I learned pretty quickly that most people DON’T want to talk about death and the meaning of life after a hard week’s work. They want to bitch about their coworkers.

Sometimes I wonder if my personality was just alcohol, there were always so many funny/terrible stories about what I did last night in the past, now there are no stories. I’ve turned into the boring person I used to shun. However, this boring person is much nicer, respects other people and their belongings, isn’t obsessed with celebrities because their own life is so devoid of real spirit, and gets great pleasure in being selfless (although is that self-indulgent in and of itself?)

Where I lack in social interaction, I now more than make up for in mental clarity and self-awareness. Brutal self awareness. The kind that makes you crawl into a ball in the closet in sheer embarrassment over past actions and things said. I’ve learned lessons from every shameful move I made in the past, and am now struggling through that whole “loving yourself and forgiving yourself” bit. I’m getting there. On good days, I think I’m a rock star. When I drank, it calmed my anxiety and allowed me to small talk with strangers like a Southern debutante pro. However, I could not stop at debutante level; bawdy drunk cousin making a big scene at your wedding and sharing everyone’s secrets was the role I fell into comfortably. Now my small talk is minimal, but my offensiveness is as well.

Even though I am told how great I’m doing all the time, I don’t really feel it. I’m too riddled with the anxiety and depression I was unknowingly self-medicating away. Lots of good changes have come my way, though. I never have to check my phone in the morning, dreading to read what awful weird texts I sent to people at 4 a.m. Going out to a fancy dinner is dirt cheap- I’ve actually been congratulated on being the fastest eater of a seven course meal by our waiter since there is no dilly-dallying over bottles of wine anymore. My legs have been bruise-free for years (I once thought I had a blood problem, and also worried that they were lesions. AIDS.) Nope, just bruises from bumping into things while blacked out. I take secrets to the grave now and good thing, as people tend to naturally tell me every dark and dirty thing they’ve ever done when talking to me. I think it’s because being sober makes me listen intently. I mean, I’m not talking anymore so I may as well listen.

The biggest change of all though is seeing my creative dreams become reality. It’s hard to get difficult creative endeavors going when you have a bottle in your hand non-stop. Now I dream it and DONE. Want to be a concert photographer? I wrote out a plan and did it. Want to be published in the Village Voice? Worked hard at the Westword and the Village Voice noticed and started publishing me. Wanted to be the owner of my own little version of the Shannon’s that I loved working at so much in high school? I’m sitting in the store right now.

Fighting is practically non-existent in my marriage, as we talk to each other and communicate about issues instead of blowing up and screaming things I don’t mean. At 4 am. Man did I love making a scene at 4 a.m. in my drinking days. There is so little yelling going on now that my husband laughs and laughs at me on those rare times that traffic gets me so heated I come in the door berating every driver I just saw and every move that they just stupidly, thoughtlessly made. That’s the extent of my anger, a little bit boring but much better on my psyche and everyone else’s.

Do I ever plan on drinking again? Nope. I yearn for a margarita on a sunny day, but I know that I will never be the type to have that one margarita. Even typing about this hypothetical ‘Rita is causing me to plan out where the next five will come from! (I’d go with another pitcher, and then move to a Mexican beer or two because after three ritas my cheeks get red as a Nutcracker doll’s). Instead I’ll just continue to make goals for myself, treat other people as well as I possibly can, wake up in the mornings feeling fairly awesome and excited about the day instead of thinking only of what greasy breakfast item can I devour the quickest, and occasionally feel wistful that I’m not invited to any parties that I don’t want to go to.