"When is it going to be that we start to define our own art & start to describe what we do in terms that we know & that we can follow & continue with?"
-Gil Scott-Heron



i was there : ryan adams

Show: Ryan Adams

Location: Cadillac Palace Theater

Date: 12.11.11

Favorite Song: Ryan played a 3hour set (!!!), so I got to hear a good collection of my favorites & from all across his career. To name a few - "If I Am a Stranger," "Firecracker," "Crossed Out Name," "Come Pick Me Up," & cliché, but probably my favorite, "Dear Chicago."

Memorable Moment: Talk about one perfect birthday surprise from one perfect guy! This show sold out immediately, so I was really bummed to learn I wasn't going. I totally said this in passing months ago, but sure enough, my awesome boyfriend was able to snag a pair of tickets. It was the best gift I could ask for.

Also... "This song is about death. Everyone in this song is dead. Apparently I was really well adjusted when I wrote it."Oh Ryan, I love how weird you are.

Biggest Letdown: There's still a few songs that I'm waiting to hear live, like "La Cienga Just Smiled" & "Dear John," but I get it, I can't hear them all. Otherwise, this show was amazing.

This Show: Was so comforting. Some people get very surprised when I tell them how much I love Ryan Adams. He tends to be a little country, which I typically hate, but his music just means so much to me & calms me down. My taste in music totally fluctuates, but he has been a constant for a while. All of his albums get my nod of approval & his live sets get the double nod. 

i was there : bon iver

Show: Bon Iver

Location: UIC Pavillion

Date: 12.9.11

Favorite Song: So many good ones, but "The Wolves (Act 1 & 2)" won out for sure. If you remember, this song would be featured in the soundtrack to my life & I've been feeling pretty close to having said breakdown, so it was perfect. On top of that, this was the one sing along of the night as Justin asked everyone to sing the "what might have been lost" portion that occurs just before my favorite musical explosion of all time. It was moving.

Memorable Moment: Honestly, I had never really realize how many people compromised Bon Iver & was surprised to see so many on stage. After some thought, I realized this was silly of me - they create so much sound that all of the guitars, drums, saxophones, violins, trumpets, etc. made complete sense. The set was really great, but I also really enjoyed some of the solos they featured; in particular, the violin solo.

Biggest Letdown: I was hoping that they might have used some of the visuals from their Bon Iver video accompaniment, but no such luck. 

This Show: Was a big check off of my list & was absolutely as beautiful as I had anticipated. Their music produced those vibrations in my chest & I think that might be one of my favorite feelings ever.


a look back at 2011

This is when I rub it in your face how awesome my life is. Enjoy!

Most Kick-Ass Concerts:
Favorite Acquisitions:
My indian princess print. A few big furniture purchases to make my apartment more "me." Every ticket stub to go in my scrapbook that I will one day make. Giorgio Armani sunglasses (compliments of Google). iPhone 4S.

Biggest Accomplishments:
Completing the Spartan Race. Feeling like I've learned a lot professionally in the past year. Holding my own in my first year of Fantasy Football (never under estimate Team Powderpuff). Reading books. Lots of them. And in short time frames. Hosting my first Thanksgiving. Some how turning into the Martha Stewart of costume making.

Best Views:
I made my first trip to Miami, which I really enjoyed. I would love to go back under different circumstances. A nice family vacation in Saugatauk, Michigan. Nothing can beat my upcoming week in Costa Rica though.

Yummiest Food:
Living a block away from La Pasadita is dangerous.

Most Frightening Moment:
THUNDERSNOW! Every moment of the World Series. And maybe waking up the day after the Spartan Race. Ouch.

Greatest Moment of 2011:
I joked about this last year, but not it finally came true -- Cardinals won the World Series!


another girl

"Another Girl" - Jacques Greene

Big thanks to Chicago Jam Scene for reminding me of this phenomenal track from the SBTRKT's Essential Mix.

i was there : matt + kim

Show: Hood Internet & Matt + Kim

Location: Congress Theater

Date: 12.1.11

Favorite Song: Hood Internet pulled out the stops with the good mash-ups. From "Rude Baptism" to "In Search of Getting U Home," I heard all of my favorites. With Matt + Kim I didn't stay super-long, but it was long enough to hear "Grinders," or more importantly, see the balloon show that goes along with that song

Memorable Moment: Thanks to the kindness of a near stranger, I was able to sneak into Budweiser's 22nd birthday party. Music is always a big plus, but I also had lots of fun with the photo booths & light sticks. Free Budweiser wasn't all that bad either.
Biggest Letdown: Party for 21 + 22 year olds meant that I felt old. A rare occurrence.

This Show: Was unexpected, free + fun. What a perfect way to ease into December!


on another midnight run

"Midnight Run" - Example (Funkagenda remix)

don't you worry, just rest your head

"Night" - Zola Jesus

I never really took notice of Zola Jesus until I heard "Intro" on M83's Hurry Up, We're Dreaming album. I really regret not taking a listen sooner, but I might have a chance for redemption -- Zola Jesus is going back on tour & tickets for her February 21st show at Lincoln Hall go on sale next Friday, December 16th & this seems like something I don't want to miss. Anyone else a Zola Jesus fan? I might need a partner in crime for the night.


siren song

"When The Sirens Sounds" - Heads We Dance (Russ Chimes remix)

If  you could be any mythical creature, what would you be? I think I'd have to go with a siren, the mermaid-like creature that lured sailors with her songs. That water/music combo is really what puts me over the edge.

the thing about birthdays...

I think it's the combo of being so close to Christmas & not liking to be the center of attention that has caused me to kind of dislike my birthday which will be rearing its ugly little head in the next couple of weeks. Typically, all I want to do to celebrate is go out to dinner with a few people that are closest to me, but this year I might re-think things.

Dubstep phenomenon Caspa will be putting on a show at the Metro on Saturday, December 17th & I'm thinking that I might need to be in attendance. We all know how great his remix of Deadmau5 & Kascade's "I Remember" is & while I've kind of moved away from the whole dubstep scene, I'm pretty confident that this will be a great show. And if it isn't? You can always count on a good dance party at Smart Bar below.


gifted || the art aficionado

As an art lover myself, I'd say the best gift you can give an art aficionado is picture frames. I'm talking frames of every shape & size, but probably of the same color. 

See, the thing with art is that it's very subjective. Generally speaking, I would be way too afraid to pick out art for anyone in fears that it might not be their style. Plus, that's the fun of it anyway; gifting frames is like the gift that keeps on giving. You've got one crucial step of the art buying process completed, but the fun stuff (ie. picking out the actual art) is left all up to the recipient.

I suggest hitting up your local flea market, Ikea, or craft store for a nice selection.

Want to take it a step further? Why not frame a gift certificate to a site like 20x200.com, which houses thousands of affordable pieces of art for one's purchasing pleasure.


gifted || the literary lover

Chances are that your friend, the book worm, didn't pick this up as a later-in-life hobby. Most people that love to read have been doing so since since they were young. Why don't you consider filling up their bookshelves with childhood favorites this holiday season?

My top pick (& on my wishlist as well) is any book from the Shel Silverstein collection:
Black, white & humorous is always a win.

The Clothbound Penguin Classics for Children are another great option & a bit more colorful:
Other options: check out Anthropologie's book selection. They have books on a variety of topics & they're all top notch & very aesthetically appealing. Or, if your recipient is all about novels, check out Oprah's book club for ideas -- she knows what's up.