Playlists: My So-Cal[led] Fall

fall playlist

Guest post by Caitlyn Connors (find her on tumblr)

So yeah, it’s fall. The season that connotes trees showing off and turning colors or something and then dumping their leaves onto lawns so people have to rake them up, I think.  People captioning their selfies with SWEATER WEATHER 😉 even though it’s probably 80-degrees out. Here, we know it’s fall because of the pumpkin spice lattes that spam our instagrams and oh look, football is back on tv and people are pretending to care about the Dodgers. ANYWAYS, a friend of mine that hails from the east-coast made a playlist that had some serious chill-weather jams on it, but I just couldn’t relate seeing as the Santa Ana winds whipped up a 100-degree scorcher just last week. I’m pretty sure Lisa is still going to the beach (I wouldn’t dare, my skin would probably sizzle or sparkle or whatever vampire’s skins are doing these days), so I’ve come to the conclusion that here, summer stretches until like, late October and there isn’t any use in fighting it.  Needless to say, I still require some tunes to try and offset the 405-traffic induced anxiety or to accompany me on the more pleasurable PCH cruises. So I concocted this mix of songs that aren’t like, YAY SUMMER but still have a warm, cozy vibe to them.  So this is it, My So-Cal[led] Fall playlist. Mazzy Star will cool you right down with her aptly titled ‘California’ fresh off her first album in 17 years, Seasons of Your Day. PAWS are a delightful poppy-punk trio from Glasgow that will get your juices a-flowing and your heart a-pumping.  ‘A Heavy Abascus’ is one of my all-time favorites from The Joy Formidable, adorned with MBV-scuzzy guitars and soothing vocals.  I couldn’t resist throwing in ‘Halloween All Year Long’ by The Orwells, plucky Chicago punks fresh out of high-school (who, by the way, put on a very entertaining live show, A+ would recommend).  Mac Demarco will charm your pants off with his lackadaisical guitar strummin’ and his gap-toothed grin. I also added a fancy little version of ‘Sovay’ by the beauteous Andrew Bird that hearkens back to his Fingerlings days (and we are still trying to figure out how to score tickets to his winter-time “Gezelligheid” performance, hmu if you’ve got the scoop).  Yeah so anywho, there’s those and a lot more on this playlist! Let me know what you think (or if you think I left anything out). If you bug me enough I’ll probably whip up another seasonal playlist real soon.

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The Best of the VMAs | Shailene Woodley in Emilio Pucci

The 2013 VMAs will forever be remembered as the Miley Cyrus spectacle. When will that girl grow up? I am rooting for her! She is still very young you know…

miley

MTV is a dirty place, I am a little perplexed why everyone is so offended… I know it’s an awards show… but look at MTV! All of their shows are the antithesis of classy, not sure why people thought the VMAs would be any different.

The VMAs were also a brief reminder of why movie stars are movie stars and singers are singers. Because they are good at what they do.  The only talented award-presenters during the VMAs were our stars JGL and Jimmy Fallon, because that is what they do! Act! Speak to a viewers! The singers on the other hand found themselves tongue-tied and painful to watch. Because they are not paid to be eloquent, their talent comes from making the music and lyrics. At least that’s my reasoning, but what do I know, I can’t act or sing…

Other than raving on about how cute Justin Timberlake is and how much I love Katy Perry and am so proud of that California girl for taking over the world. I want to mention Shailene Woodley, that gorgeous young actress wearing the Emilio Pucci Crop Top and Fringed Skirt combo (Emilio Pucci Resort 2014). You might recognize Shailene from the Secret Life of an American Teenager, but now she stars in a Hunger-Games-esque movie, Divergent, coming out March 2014.  

shailene-woodley

I love that hemline, the inverted V. I have now scoured the internet searching for a name of that hemline, but the best I could find was “mini skirt.” So keep in mind that while it is a miniskirt… I am going to give it my own name, “The Inverted Triangle” …or “The Classy Loin Cloth,” if you will.

She looked so hot and has inspired me to sew my own version. In black of course. Let the sewing projects begin!

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photosource: vogue.com

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The National at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

I seriously just had, what will go down in history as, one of the best nights of my life.

The NationalThe National – Live at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery! The National is one IS my favorite band. They are on tour with their latest album: Trouble Will Find Me (listen now – buy it today!) I admit to being a tad bit of a fangirl… stalking them on instagram and twitter, liking and commenting on their every post, but I really am a huge fan of the music!

The lyrics Matt comes up with are flawless, the way he forms words together some of the strangest word choices, words you’ve never heard strung together. But when sung out of his baritone and whiskery lips they make you melt. You don’t know whether to fist pump or cry, so instead we all resort to the notorious hunched-over-mic-fist-bang, (Matt’s go to move).

Then there’s the music. The Dessners and Devendorfs are instrumental geniuses, a band of brothers, to say the least. I’m no music nerd, I wish I could tell you about the beat count and the rhythm and how they chord progression is reminiscent of Beethoven’s 5th. But soft, my music knowledge truly ends at: “it has a good beat and you can dance to it.” So instead I will describe how it sounds, in my own words:

The Concert As Heard by Lisa: “And start. really good chords, really good chords, you should know me better than that, strumming of guitar, trumpet in background, and wait for it, i should leave it alone but your naaaaaa, and drums, and more great sounds, and more, and wait for it, and I SHOULD LIVE IN SALT, Naaaaa, adding drums, adding strums, bringing it back, the words just string together, his voice is so simple, like he’s just speaking, but with a low purr, forming words that melt into you. You breathe them in with your lungs and they linger. Like smoke. …I’m smoking in his songs. Now the drums are beating, and guitar, strum, strum, it’s Don’t Swallow The Cap! and drum, and drum, and drum, everything I love is on the table, everything I love is out to sea, and now a violin, where did that come from, and more, and harmony.”

The songs continued, view the set list here, each new song flooding us with excitement as we recognized the first chords, wine bottles in hand, dancing, shouting, singing along. The crowd was very cool with our enthusiasm. It’s not like we haven’t seen The National before, this was my 3rd time, Caitlyn’s 5th, Michelle’s 2nd… And there we were, this time together in the middle of a crowd, three very different best friends with the same obsession, rocking out, grabbing each other to make sure it was real, and loving (belting at times) every moment of every song. Of course Mr. November happened during the encore and we rushed deeper into the crowd as Matt did his rounds of crowd surfing, right on cue, always on cue.

Another perfect show, on a great day in LA. It took me a day to remember a day. Cliche – I know) but I was on the best kind of Bloodbuzz. 

“All the wine is all for us”

Scratch that, “all the wine is all for Caitlyn!” (unlike me, she’s a music guru, follow her on tumblr)

And the show:The National The National The National

Mr. November alter ego forming – hopping into crowd seconds later

The NationalThe National

Were you there? Have you seen them before? Are you also a crazed fan? Share your thoughts in the comments below!  Also follow me on instagram twitter and tumblr for future updates on music, fashion, and my life in Los Angeles – where the sun kicks out.

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The US Open At Large – Modest Mouse and Lots of People

US Open

The US Open of Surf came to a close this Sunday, in Surf City USA (aka my home town of Huntington Beach). If you want to read about the riots, read the news, I’m too embarrassed that inland-visitors would ruin it for everyone and vandalize our usually peaceful city. I was at the beach on Friday to watch Modest Mouse. I know, I know, I should have also watched the surf and explored the booths more. But I wasn’t really in the mood. Maybe next year, if there is a next year. For Friday, To be quite honest, the people watching was enough.

A few quick comments on Modest Mouse’s performance: they rock, because they’re a rocking band. But the concert came to an abrupt close, no encore, no thank you. Isaac Brock was over it – but this isn’t new news for any true MM fans. If I didn’t know any better I’d say Matt Costa (the opener and a local) was more entertaining with his poppy beach songs. Especially when he played the popular Mr. Pitiful. While I’m still stoked I finally saw Modest Mouse in concert, most of the crowd was bummed because they failed to play their one big radio hit, Float On. To true fans, they still rocked a set of young and old songs. To say the least, however, the obnoxious early pubescent crowd seemed more into riding everything, than Gravity Rides Everything.

Below are some photos I took of the pier, the crowd, the stage, all highlighted against the setting sun.

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Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear your own thoughts on the show, the weekend, or the rioters below.

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current summer crushes

Caitlyn here, I’m crushing pretty hard on some bands right now. Here’s a brief rundown:

Band: Pity Sex. Three dudes and a lady from Ann Arbor, Michigan

Sounds like: lo-fi shoegaze-y pop (think Dinosaur Jr with My Bloody Valentine ambience)

Perfect for: sun-soaked beach tunes

Listen to:

Band: Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. Basically Stephen’s best stuff post Pavement. Sometimes, period.

Sounds like: a guy who can make an eye roll audible

Perfect for: getting stuck on the 405 and hating on The Man

Listen to:

Band: Joyce Manor. Some good ol’ punx out of Torrance, California who aren’t afraid to get real emotional.

Sounds like: Guided by Voices meets pop-punk

Perfect for: screaming along to in your car at embarrassing volumes

Listen to:

Band: Camera Obscura. Scottish sunshine, shimmery indie-pop

Sounds like: summer heartbreak

Perfect for: thinking about your summer crush

Listen to:

Keep coming back for more music updates. In the meantime, follow me on tumblr.

Flashbacks of the US OPEN

The US OPEN, Surf City’s favorite time of year.  (That’s a lie, we prefer July 4th). This holiday is still pretty rad because it brings in hundreds of competitive surfers and also hundreds of thousands of crowds – who all wear close to nothing. These crowds can be respectable, they can say nice things and throw their trash away, they can drink in moderation and look both ways before crossing the street, but all these things would require too much effort. Instead the youthful crowds practice all of the skills not learned in school and growing up. They throw off all of their clothes, paint their bodies with suggestive words, and run their own competition to see who can be the most obscene; which translates to who can have the most mother lovin’ fun.

Being a local at an age slightly higher than the average US OPEN attendee, perhaps I am being rude and underapprectiative of the next flock of young adults. But really, perhaps they are being rude and need to realize this is a public beach – not Spring Break Gone Wild!!! For the past few years the US OPEN was brought on by Hurley – a part of Nike. This year the US OPEN is hosted by VANS, we are excited about this because VANS is used to the crowds of WARPED TOUR, and they are native to Orange County – holding our reputation closer to heart. Their goal is to keep the crowds more under control, and more family friendly.

With that being said, excuse me while I drink my prune juice, let out my curlers, and yell at the crazy hooligans down the street. 

Below are some blasts from the past, these photos are snapshots of the past 4 years of the US OPEN. A glimpse of the epic crowds and surf. Come back for more this weekend when I share current photos after attending.

And remember, I can complain all I want but I am still going to enjoy the experience of free concerts and free crowd watching entertainment! The best advice I can give here is enter with low expectations, come out satisfied. 

USOPEN2009 2009USOPEN20102010USOPEN20112011 USOPEN20122012

Related Content:  VANS US Open Announces Largest Free Concert Of The Summer 

 

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Who What Wear – With The National | Los Angeles

Now I only think about Los Angeles when the sun kicks out (Pink Rabbits | The National)

Lucky for us the sun did kick out, just on time as we were in the city celebrating our favorite band’s movie preview! Here is a quick fix of what Caitlyn and I wore to the Mistaken For Strangers screening in Los Angeles.

City City Happy Hour

style style

Here I am in my “Loose Lips Sink Ships” t-shirt, inspired by The National‘s song Cherry Tree. This shirt is fitting because Mistaken For Strangers is a movie about The National, and Cherry Tree is such a great song, and Loose Lips Sink Ships is such a great saying. In this shirt I can do no wrong.  I’m also wearing a black blazer, denim shorts (cause it’s summer!) and suede booties.

style Style

Caitlyn is wearing her favorite polka dot skirt, also with booties and a tank top. A cute get up for any long summers day of sight seeing and obsessing over our favorite band.

Tshirt DIYDSCN0374

To make this shirt more comfortable I cut the sleeves off.  The art of cutting sleeves, as seen in my previous post “Rock Your Style” is in exposing the right amount of skin.  If you just clipped your shirt down the sides, you would expose too much skin in the front, and not enough in the back. That is why I first cut off the sleeves along the stitch line, then I turn the shirt around and trim out the back, dipping lower and towards the center and work my way up. Once you have the shirt on you can stretch out the opening with your thumbs to give it a natural looking finish.  And remember, this is your shirt – Rock it however you want!

Tshirt DIY

TSHIRT DIY

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Or Click the images to repin them yourself!

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