Tag: Oakland

PHOTOS – Songs That Remind Me of Places

I love how hearing songs can help one rediscover places frequented long ago. The way smells seem to bring back forgotten memories (Juicy Fruit gum for me, for some reason), it’s like you’re transported back to when that sensation of being was first mentally recorded. Usually emotive, intense nostalgia can be both fun and scary.

Is there a song that reminds you of a place? How does it make you feel? Let me know in the comments. And please click the images to get a deeper story on where each photo came from…

I’m in Vancouver for my cousin’s wedding. I had been listening to Carla Bruni’s “Tout le monde,” finding the music video where she emerged through a dark tunnel as particularly relevant to international travel (even to Canada). While I didn’t have to pass any dark tunnels, Vancouver was definitely a light at the other end of the path. Pristine, brisk and full of natural beauty, it was a great escape from the normalcy of everyday life.

Coldplay always reminds me of my time at The Conversation Group, most likely because it was there that I first listened to Viva La Vida. While it was bittersweet, as all their songs are, it leaned more to the sweet side.

I’m home in Hawaii for Christmas and I find an unopened copy of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Show Your Bones in my parents’ collection. No one is really sure how it got there, so I immediately enjoy the album and claim it for myself. While I didn’t care for YYYs after hearing “Maps” in college, the songs on Show Your Bones really resonated with me. I’ve since gone back and acquired their previous releases, but this album is still my favorite.

I spend about 13 hours wandering around Manhattan while listening to Rilo Kiley the entire time. I have tickets to their upcoming show at the The Warfield and I need a crash course on their discography before heading back home. While this isn’t my favorite song from their first few albums, it’s the one that reminds me most of wandering around for hours. Another good candidate would be “All the Good That Won’t Come Out,” a song I recall hearing a lot despite the random rotation.

Another one in New York City: I’m at the Brooklyn Bridge, and hearing this song reminds me of the other, more familiar ocean. When I hear this song, I imagine drifting away on waves into the vastness of the ocean, a characteristic of the sea I’ve always marveled at.

“The ocean rolls us away… away… away…”

Keane, Ingrid Michaelson, and Fran Healy @ Fox Theater (07.20.10)


Keane | Ingrid Michaelson | Fran Healy

Yes, that’s still my favorite Keane song. And if you’re thinking I’m not a very good Keane fan for liking their old pop single, you’re right. I’m not. While I own their debut record, “Hopes & Fears,” I’ve never really been a fan of the band, despite the fact that we share the same name and that their popularity hides some of my web content when you search for me on Google (a blessing, really). I’ve always thought of them as talented, but just not my particular cup of tea. So when a friend messaged me with an opportunity to see Keane for free, I chuckled a little (again, we share the same name – the jokes went on WELL into the night) but happily agreed to check them out.

THE EXPECTATION

Going in, I knew little about Fran Healy, the lead singer of Travis, aside from a few quality songs I heard from his band. I fully expected to enjoy Ingrid Michaelson’s set the most, as I find her minimalist style of songwriting endearing. Keane, I suspected I would enjoy, though I was not really sure how much.

THE RESULT

Fran Healy completely won the audience with his solo act. His was an intimate set, filled with stories about playing on tour, “nicking chords” from Noel Gallagher of Oasis (he since slipped in the phrase “What’s a Wonderwall, anyway?” into the alleged Travis song, “Writing to Reach You”), and having his heart broken by girl after girl. He messed up noticeably several times on stage (“Ahhh, fuck!”), only adding to the warmth of his performance.

Surprisingly, I didn’t care for Ingrid’s set at all. I felt she spent a good percentage of her performance playing cover songs (“Creep” is overdone – everyone, stop it now) and being an overall goofball. While I think this works most of the time, going on a seemingly five-minute long rant about her boobs was a bit much. And perhaps if I hadn’t heard Or, the Whale‘s amazing rendition of Britney’s “Toxic,” I may have enjoyed her closing version of it more. Don’t get me wrong. I think she’s an amazing artist. I would have just liked to see more of her art.

I enjoyed Keane very much. While I’m not a fan of listening to their music at home, it translated incredibly well into a live show. The same endless vocals and keys that bore me at home provided a steady stream of energy into the crowd. And the crowd seemed to enjoy it thoroughly, as the band spent more time smiling in thanks between songs while the crowd cheered their mouths and my eardrums off.

There was a point when everyone started chanting, “KEANE, KEANE, KEANE, KEANE.” I may or may not have pretended in my head that they were chanting for me. Just a little bit.

Bat for Lashes – "Daniel (Mt Eden Dubstep Remix)" / One Year


Bat for Lashes | MySpace
Mt Eden Dubstep on YouTube

I promised myself I would do whatever it takes this year to achieve all my goals. Most notable is the desire to push Festizio, my band, as far as it can go: more shows, another studio release and networking with as many people as I can. Music was always what I felt most passionately about so I think it’s important to do this while I can. I’m not so naïve as to think we’ll be around forever. People get married, have kids, move away or go to space. It’s expected and should be encouraged for everyone (going into space more so for some people than others). One year… to move as efficiently and expeditiously as I can in the right direction.

Festizio at The New Parish

I think we’re off to a good start. We already played a big Yelp Elite Event in Oakland at The New Parish, a new venue opened by the owners of The Independent. We also have two radio appearances and two more gigs coming up in the next few months, including a cool performance at the Chabot Space & Science Center (in the Planetarium, no less).

So, I’m more than happy so far. Unemployed but busy as hell. Time waits for no one. Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’. Sweep the leg.

By the way, if you want to help me on this lofty mission, please tell your friends, family and pets about Festizio. And please do follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You don’t have to buy anything or perform any sexual favors (unless you want to), but rather share us with the people in your life… especially if they’re record producers.

Festizio Performing at Yelp Goes Gaga! at The New Parish in Oakland

Are you an Elite member of Yelp? If so, be sure to RSVP for the first East Bay Elite Event of 2010 because we’ll be performing that night! Not only will it be our first performance in Oakland, but it’ll be the first in a series of belated CD release shows. Because, while our album has been out for awhile, we haven’t properly celebrated its launch.

(Get the album here: CD Baby | iTunes | Amazon)

Better late than never…


Jan 21 – Yelp Goes Gaga!

8 – 11pm

The New Parish
Categories: Music Venues
579 18th Street at San Pablo
Oakland, CA 94612
http://www.thenewparish.com







Those hip to the scene have no doubt heard about Uptown Oakland’s newest hotspot, The New Parish. Created by one of the fellas behind The Independent in SF, uniquely designed and rigged up with a killer sound system, hopes are high for this venue. We’ve just heard that they’ll be granted their liquor license mid-month, and you know what that means right? Elite party on January 21st from 8-11pm!

Oh yes, they’re so eager to get yelpers in the house, the ten day countdown is on for a blow out! To ease into the night, guests are invited to enjoy spirit tastings courtesy of Drink Me Mag and Caribbean nibbles from neighboring restaurant, Hibiscus for the first hour. Then the party will really get kicking when Stunna starts flowing, and yelpers Ryan S and Keane L‘s band Festizio rock the stage! Combining ambient sounds and driving rhythms in a landscape of intertwined harmonies, this will be an outstanding performance. To keep that groove going, we’ll have a special guest DJ come in with an arsenal of banging beats!

So bust out your hottest Lady Gaga-esque outfit and stunna shades, the first East Bay bash of 2010 is going to be blinding!

Moving Past the End of a Decade / Through the looking glass…

I’ve been asking people how they felt about 2009. Almost all of the responses expressed sentiment ranging from apathy to discontent. Personally, I’ve never wanted a year to end more. While I wouldn’t say it was particularly bad, it was definitely overwhelming in terms of emotional and career changes.

I used to wonder why people placed such an emphasis on a changing calendar year. It’s the end of a pretty big decade, when I think about it. College. Working professionally. Finding a new city as a home.

But does life really change more from December 31 to January 1 than with the transition between any other two days in a year? Yes, it does. If you want it to. Just as a graduation ceremony signifies a transition or the Eucharist cracker brings a Catholic ritualistically closer to God, the changing calendar digits offer us a symbolic chance for change. It’s a spiritual renewal… I mean, if you want it to be.

My Key Moments of 2009

12.18.09: Visiting home for Christmas.

12.16.09: Watching a noisy action movie while wrapping Christmas gifts with friends. A really nice send-off before leaving San Francisco for the holidays.

11.26.09: Spending Thanksgiving with a friend‘s family.

10.31.09: An exceptionally adventurous Halloween. Lots of house parties across multiple nights. I was an “80s action hero.”

10.02.09: Got laid off. What a downer. Luckily there’s a Yelp Elite Event the same night. It’s a nice escape to be on a boat with an open bar amongst the stars and city lights. And I’m not sure how it happened but I’m apparently nominated as prom king (the event has a prom theme).

09.18.09: Going to Vancouver for the first time with my family for my cousin’s wedding. It was our first family reunion in over a decade.

08.26.09: Riding the duck boats and pretending to be tourists.

05.30.09: Performing at Slim’s with Festizio. One of the first shows I had ever seen in the city was at Slim’s, so performing here was particularly meaningful.

05.23.09: Memorial Day weekend trip to Fort Bragg and Fort Ross with Tinna. We both needed an adventure and found it in the most unlikely of places.

04.20.09: Our studio album is finally released. We celebrate at Hemlock Tavern, our favorite local bar.

02.14.09: Valentine’s Day Pillow Fight, but none of us actually jump into the fray. Went to a bar instead.

01.23.09: Starting the year with heartbreak, the kind that feels like it’ll consume you forever. It was honestly the worst I’ve ever felt. I used to wonder if I could ever feel like I would want to marry someone, truly. Now I know.

12.31.08: New Year’s Eve 2008, my first time ringing in the New Year in the city. We spend the night at a friend’s place, counting down to 2009 in the middle of the street. Now, I can’t recall how I felt about the coming year…

But I have a good feeling about 2010. For me, it’s about utilizing the change and troubles from 2009 and working on moving forward. The sense of security I had last year has gone and I’m pretty much unsure how things will play out this time around…

Honestly, I prefer it that way.