I’m ecstatic that not only do I now own my own streetwear store, but I also have a new “studio” to work in! The lighting in here is great, and I’m excited to test out my editorial skills on future style blogs. Here’s to hoping models are as easy to work with as musicians.
When I moved to Denver in 2010, the plan was for me to open a vintage store, similar to the ones I love on S. Congress in Austin. However, when I realized just how vibrant the music scene was here, I put the store dream on pause to spread the good word of new music. I’ve reached the part of my life where being grounded in one place sounds like a dream once again, and am so excited to be opening STNDRD this Sunday, May 31st in the Highlands.
Vintage clothing emporium it is NOT. In fact, it’s the exact opposite – the latest streetwear fashions and newest trends by brands I am crazy about that don’t fall apart. Check out the STNDRD blog HERE for styling tips and new releases!
We got in at 4:30, just enough time to get settled and catch a great sunset down at Hendry’s. The pink sky turning the ocean pink showed why the place is so expensive.
Dogs have nice little day cares around here.
Seeing Phish at Santa Barbara Bowl was a treat. The top corner with the ocean view was full of CO people itching to stare at water. Second night our neighbors were two men who had been married 42 years and had it all figured out. “I have nothing to do! I walk my dog!”. Told us to invest in commercial/residential property.
PCH to Venice Beach. Slow down, Santa Barbara!
Five songs I’m loving this week
1. Awolnation “Knights of Shame” – This song is three years old, but I only recently realized Awolnation was far better than the “radio band” I had dismissed them as, so I’m sharing this in case anyone else did the same. As a big Grateful Dead and Phish fan, I crave seamless transitions, and this song manages to do so a dozen or more times; they effortlessly bounce into different themes and musical genres while maintaining a solid mid tempo beat that lets the other segments fit like perfect pieces of a puzzle, one after the other. On top of all the Gorillaz style ambiance, the lyrics are simple and soulful, touching and distant. “Waiting on a heartbeat, can any body hear me?” gives me a beautiful but empty feeling the way David Bowie does in “Space Oddity”:
2. BABYMETAL “Doki Doki Morning” – When this J-Pop wondertrio opened for Lady Gaga in Denver, I was really excited expecting saccharine sweet melodies and choreography. They brought all that, however, the drum kit with double bass drums showed that there was something more to the mix and once the music started it filled the entire stadium with a furious tribal pounding. This music is probably not for everyone, but for me it’s the perfect mix of soft/hard that I crave in pop music:
3. Wand “Flying Golem” – Signed to Ty Segall’s God? Records, Wand brings an extra hooky, jubilant side to the roster. When they explode it’s powerful, as evident on their single “Flying Golem” that has been on steady repeat all summer:
4. Yung Gleesh “Since When” – The first time I heard Yung Gleesh I thought it was some of the worst music I had ever heard. Yet I kept searching for more songs and next thing you know I think the guy is a comic genius. Something about his leaned out marble-mouthed voice does it for me, and I can’t help but crack up watching his videos. “Since When” is his latest song, using his upper and lower registers almost as if they are two different characters:
5. Wampire “Wizard Staff” – Anyone who was a fan of their first album will instantly recognize that these guys and their sound have completely grown. Adding three members obviously makes their sound much larger, and they sound like they are having a lot more fun:
A few months ago I took a chance and met up with Tsunami Publicity to see if they would teach me the ropes of Music Public Relations. It’s been a whirlwind of learning and hard work, culminating into the very successful ARISE Music Festival in Loveland, CO a couple of weekends ago. On my list of goals is “have a radio at the show”, so it was exciting to cross that one off the list. Can’t wait to start representing bands and helping them reach their full potential, I’ve still got a lot to learn, though.
Mother Cabrini Statue just outside of Denver, Colorado is one of my favorite places to think, although the Sunday I went up there was smack dab in the middle of the Spanish Mass and a charity BBQ. Not quite the serene afternoon I thought, but just as comforting and hey! Hot dogs! Growing up Catholic, I never knew you could drink the Holy Water, assumed it was a sin. Here though, you can buy a jug and fill ‘er up from the spouts that come out of the famous spot where Mother Cabrini said there would be water. It’s the most delicious water you could imagine, especially after climbing all those steps. In the chapel, I lit two candles for my grandmother and her sister, Sister Geraldine, the most devout Catholics I’ve ever known. Later when I got into my car, what looked like a bright cotton ball lazily floated toward me from the floor of the passenger side, then went over my shoulder as a second ball followed. I pulled over and looked in my backseat, but there was nothing back there, and the windows had been up. As much as I love ghost stories, I don’t actually believe in ghosts, but I called out their names and felt deeply comforted. Mother Cabrini’s is a special place.
When I saw that Juliana Hatfield covered Elliott Smith’s “Needle in the Hay” for the new Wes Anderson tribute off American Laundromat, I flipped with excitement at the thought of her breathy vocals doing the song justice. She performs a beautiful version that doesn’t stray far from the feel of the original, but when the drum machine comes in it’s pure Juliana. I love when she layers her vocals, and here they sound beautiful and odd, lending a discordant turn to the end of the song.
I’ve been in the processing of moving and had over 800 viruses cleaned off my computer (thanks, Spotify), so haven’t had a chance to listen to any new music in a few weeks. Things are now settled and I spent all morning dancing around to bouncy sunny off kilter beats, and here are ten of my favorite new songs to listen to this weekend:
French Style Furs “Solitary Life”- Cold War Kids side project with lead singer Nathan Willett singing poems written by 20th century monk Thomas Merton. Using found materials and putting them to a Latin groove, “Solitary Life” takes elements from David Byrne’s playbook as Willett’s distinct vocals sound more pleading than ever courtesy of Merton’s philosophical thoughts.
Old Smokey “All the Way Slow”- Composed of veterans from the Athens, GA scene, Old Smokey make catchy songs with a perplexing AM sound that has elements of Bollywood and spaghetti western throughout the onslaught of beautiful strings. “All the Way Slow” has a great psychedelic extended bridge with a fitting public access looking video.
La Femme “Welcome America”- French electro-surf powerhouse brings the frenetic energy with uptempo synthesized clapping and a ridiculously bouncy bass line.
Sylvan Esso “Hey Mami”- Overlapping the crystal clear vocals of Mountain Man’s Amelia Meath, producer Nick Sanborn creates a perfect sweet pop song that gets harder and more complex with every measure.
Tyson Meade “Nihilists Need Love Too”- legendary 90’s alt-rock former Chainsaw Kittens member loved by the Flaming Lips shows that weird never dies in his new single.
BOSSK “Albatross”- This Fleetwood Mac cover maintains the beautiful dreamy mood of the original and is best heard over and over.
Yonatan Gat “Escorpiao”- mesmerizing guitarist from Tel Aviv now residing in NY spends time in Portugal and tweaks his fuzzy psychedelic unhinged sound.
Teleman “23 Floors Up”- incredible songwriting and melody from a UK group who sound like they listen to a lot of Bowie.
Cretin Stompers “Eye of the Storm”- super fuzzy light as a beignet deliciousness. So fuzzy I thought a speaker had blown out. Yum.
Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea “Problem”- I’m sure Ariana Grande is a nice girl, but I go straight to Iggy’s part in this song. Reminding me of Lady Gaga’s “Teeth”, saxophone and marching drums never sounded so good with Iggy as the perfect Drum Major.
The French Quarter is so thick with history and juxtaposition, you don’t even need Bourbon Street alcohol to become intoxicated. I attended a wedding there a couple weekends ago, and it was my first time back since I quit drinking (today is 990 days, almost to 1,000!). Before the trip I was worried that I would have a frustrating time, but the second the plane landed and I heard the first Louisiana accent, all was at ease. My family goes back generations in Louisiana, and it felt like a warm hug just walking the streets that zillions of cousins had also pranced upon. I got up early to get some photos with minimal people in them; just dozens of skaters and German tour groups.
William Faulkner house. A literary tour came into the lovely quiet bookstore inside and the tour guide said “No one knows where the Creole people came from.” What? Almost wanted to take over the tour. Instead I went to the serene historical Catholic church next door and thought about loved ones, as these are my mornings now that they lack hangovers.
LaLaurie House- famous house where a famed socialite tortured slaves, owned by Nicholas Cage for awhile and used as a location on American Horror Story, read more here:
Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop- a bar you can still have a great time in even if you aren’t drinking. Just sit in the dark, cool back of the bar and soak in the history. This place is so mythical to me, that I once lived in an old Victorian carriage home that looked like it:
Always have to pay respect and sit and judge people with Ignatius from The Confederacy of Dunces.
Of course, you can’t forget the music. Preservation Jazz Hall was invigorating and fresh as always, but the street buskers stole my heart. I came across 13 Strings and a 2 Dollar Bill and immediately thought “that’s the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen” about The Notorious Nora Jean. The next day I came across them again, and she was tap-dancing on a wooden pallet while playing the mandolin and singing wearing the cutest Gunne Sax dress. Not to dwell on her looks and style, but I admit that I’ve been wearing railroad stripes, hats, black and dusty boots ever since. They are everything you’d want in a traveling busker duo:
I’m a sucker for an outfit shot in an alley, and the wedding at the House of Blues more than provided. Dress by MSGM
I was absolutely that girl in high school that thought Courtney Love was the perfect grunge goddess, and while I was excited about the recent news of the Hole reunion, a tiny bit of worry sunk in that it would be a in cohesive money grab. Worried for nothing, Courtney Love released her newest single “You Know My Name” yesterday and it’s catchy, raw, melodic; everything you’d want in a Hole song. With an anthemic punk sound that is still all Courtney, she turns her voice on a dime from whispery cooing to unabashed perfect screaming. Full of edge yet carefully produced, it’s got me ayi-yi-yi-yi-yi-ying all over the place. Listen to “You Know My Name” here: