Coachella 2015 Lineup Listening Party: Volume Two


Not going to lie: I was pretty amped after I posted Volume One of this Lineup Listening Party. I'd forgotten how much I like writing about music, connecting over music, discovering music. It's been so long since I've really spent time soaking up this little passion of mine that I didn't realize how much it was lacking in my life.

That being said, it's becoming ever more clear that this project is involved. It's taken me about 3 weeks to get through the first 32 bands. Listening to as many of their albums as I can stand/find. Researching them on the internet, reading interview after interview. Picking the most palatable songs to make sure every single act is represented on the playlist. Coming up with something to say about them...

I'm diving deep into the rabbit hole.

Sayulita Mermaid Yogis Retreat: Part I


This past November, I did something crazy.

That's how it felt at the time: crazy. Crazy to go on a yoga retreat when I wasn't that great at yoga. Crazy to spend a week in the jungle with girls I'd never met before. Crazy to spend so much money on a vacation to a place I'd already visited nine months earlier. Crazy to spend that much time away from Ryan and the dogs, crazy to sign up for so many water activities when I had only just learned to swim. Crazy.

But it wasn't crazy. Not even a little bit. In fact, it was one of the smartest, refreshing, and inspiring things I've ever done. And if I could go back to that drunken night in August at the bar with my friend Anjali, and have her encourage me to sign up all over again, I wouldn't change a thing.

I first learned about the trip on a blog written by a girl named Mandy. I'd followed Mandy's blog for years and never met her or taken her yoga classes even though she lived and taught in San Diego. Last summer, I read her post about an upcoming retreat in Sayulita and it sounded amazing: one week of yoga, SUP and surf in Mexico. I thought about it and thought about it and when I finally took the plunge and reserved my spot, I couldn't believe it.

And then, all of a sudden, it was November 8th, and I was about to get on a plane for Mexico.

Yes Please


The first audiobook I ever listened to was Tina Fey's "Bossypants" and I decided right then and there that no memoir or book written by a comedian should be read if you have the option to listen to them read it to you instead. I mean, it's like listening to 7 hours of standup from your favorite comedians. It's wonderful.

So obviously, when I heard Amy Poehler was coming out with "Yes Please," I actually rejoined Audible because of it. "Yes Please" is an eclectic collection of personal essays, humor essays, lists, haikus and advice. And contrary to what I expected, even though most of it is hilarious, there's some deep moments there too.

Coachella 2015 Lineup Listening Party: Volume One


Whenever I announce that I'm going to do something and it's met with a confused look and a "Why?!", I know it's a good idea.

Such was the case when I started telling people I was going to listen to every single band set to play Coachella in 2015. So, ok... why am I doing it?

I'll start with the obvious: Coachella is my favorite thing in the entire world. The first year I went for the music, but in the years since, it's been more about the experience as a whole. And while it will continue to be about that, I wanted to get back to the reason Coachella exists.

Second, when the lineup was released earlier this week, I realized just how few acts I was familiar with. Back in New York, I used to do a lot of freelance music writing and be much more involved in the scene overall. I interviewed bands for SXSW. I interviewed bands like Best Coast and Neon Trees before they were on the radio. I reviewed albums and shows and generally prided myself on being fairly familiar with most bands on the festival circuit. This year's lineup was a wake-up call as to how far removed I've become and I didn't like that feeling.

Last but not least, it's both fun and a challenge. I've never listened to every band that's played a Coachella before. I'm excited to make my way through all 160 bands and to share that journey on this blog. I plan to do it over the course of 10 installments, tackling 15-23 bands per post. It'll take about 5-7 hours of music to write each installment. But while this is no small undertaking, I can't wait to get started...

Starting with the first 16 bands scheduled for Friday.

Adobe Falls


A couple of weeks ago, when I saw a picture on Instagram of a crazy, graffitied waterfall I assumed it had to be somewhere else, anywhere other than San Diego. After all, no one had ever mentioned an awesome waterfall in the middle of the city to me before, and you'd think that'd be something people talked about. So I googled Adobe Falls, which is what the picture was hashtagged, and whole-heartedly expected it to be located elsewhere. 

As it turned out, "elsewhere" was a 15 minute drive from my house. 

Restaurant Review: Lumberyard Tavern, Encinitas


I hate to be the one to break the facade, but every so often... once in a blue moon, really.... San Diego has a bit of precipitation fall from the sky. Other, less fortunate parts of the country will know this phenomenon as "rain."

Also, on occasion... extremely infrequent occasions, the temperature dips below 50°. If I remember correctly from my east coast childhood, this is something known as "cold."

When, in the rarest of rarities, these two catastrophes combine during the months of December or January, it can often resemble something called "winter." And everyone knows that on winter nights, there is no better place to be than inside a cozy tavern with warm food and good wine.

Which is precisely how we ended up at Lumberyard Tavern in Encinitas this past Tuesday, on a dark and stormy night.

Adios 2014!


2014.... In looking back on this past year, some of the things that happened in the earlier months seem like they belong to an entirely different time and place. It's been a weird and wild and wonderful year, that for me has been more about the ocean and water than anything else: spending time in Sayulita, learning how to swim, moving to Ocean Beach. 

Thinking about it as I write this, I think that closing the year by getting a new tattoo of some waves that Ryan drew for me was probably the perfect way to honor it. Waves was definitely the theme, from scenery to aspirations to the way that life seemed to work this year, with the good and the bad coming in sets.

Still.... sitting down to recap the highlights, I realized there was not a single month that went by without love, growth, or adventure. And for that I am grateful.