Music Box

October 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Whether it was listening to albums in my dad’s truck, or dancing to all kinds of stuff in the studio growing up, music has always been a giant part of my life. My parents made a point of having it on in the house way more often than the TV (one of the reasons why I’m still catching up on television/movie references from the last 20 years…) and it always served as an escape from whatever else was happening around me. As a 12-year-old, I remember asking my dad if I could borrow his Elvis Costello CD and listening to ‘Pump it Up’ over and over and over and over. Sorry mom and dad! That probably got annoying…

In high school and college I’d spend hours hidden away in my room picking out music to choreograph pieces to for my dance companies. I distinctly remember the day I first heard ‘Rock Your Soul’ by Elisa and discovered that music was something that could intoxicate both your mind and body.

As a high school senior, I fulfilled every cliché about music-loving gals and fell for a skinny-jean wearing drummer. My friends protested saying, “But Kristen! His pants are tighter than yours!,” but I loved that V-neck rocking man and with him, I went on to experience groups that I’d overlooked before. We spent our first two years of college, driving around hiding from roommates, listening to Animal Collective, Christian Scott, Jose Gonzalez, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens and a whole host of artists that I can’t live without today. The relationship didn’t last, but my lingering love of drummers certainly did. Who needs a front man when the drummer always has way less of an ego?!

When my dancing days slowed a bit and I started focusing more on running, music became the only thing that could keep me going on long runs up and down those darn Austin hills. Most of my workout playlists are at least half Beyonce/Rihanna, but higher-quality artists make the cut every now and then.

As the youngin’ of my group, I accompanied my other non-21-year-old friend Charlie to tons of shows our junior year. Kid Sister was probably the best and most eye-opening performance we saw all year, but those experiences definitely instilled an appreciation for live-music and solidified my addiction to this city.

And then, AND THEN, I went to Sasquatch with my best friend from Friendswood, Joe. We camped for a week, got really smelly, and listened to some of the most talented performers I have ever heard. When we got back, I wrote a little piece about it here and then something life changing happened. I met the guy behind a small music website and he asked me to start writing for them. This was all fun and games, an album review once a week or so, until he asked me if I wanted to go to ACL for the team with a cameraman, interview bands and cover the festival. I replied with a resounding yes, realizing that this year’s festival was going to be a completely different experience.

I spent most of last week after work researching the bands and prepping my questions, but I also spent a ridiculous amount of brain power worrying about what I would wear. For those of you who know me (all of you), you are well aware of the fact that clothes are just not my thing. Once it was no longer acceptable to wear pink every day, I kind of fell into my current state of wearing exactly what Ann Taylor Loft tells me to.

Unfortunately, in no way shape or form does Loft make “hipster” or “music writer” clothes so I panicked until Friday when I realized that, “hey, I’m a music writer myself…and I can wear whatever the heck I want.” So, happiest in sandals (preferably bare feet, but that’s not socially acceptable or ideal for walking three miles), blue jean shorts and a tank top, I showed up for my first interview feeling like myself. Which was the only thing I should have cared about to begin with.

One of my other big fears for the weekend was actually communicating with the bands and not coming across as a total newb. Once it dawned on me that the musicians were just nice dudes with humble beginnings, I was able to humanize them and my nerves went away. If anything, they were just super exhausted from touring and probably hadn’t taken a real shower in days. This will also probably come as a huge surprise to you (not), but I’m no expert in being cool and I never have been. I’m a little awkward, I drop too many y’alls on accident and I am far too peppy all of the time. But that’s me. They seemed to like my over-politeness and one of them  even talked to me for a long time after his interview and ran his palm across my cheek before he had to leave. Yeah, yeah, that sounds a little weird, but trust me, he had a beard and was wearing plaid. It was magical.

All in all, the weekend was a huge learning opportunity and brought music into my heart in a way that surpassed anything I thought possible. The experience went beyond learning how to interview bands and honing my music writing skills. It was a lesson in understanding that who I am is the only version of myself that I should embrace.

The Perks of “Participating”

September 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last night my lady friends and I went to go see ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ at the Drafthouse for another fantastic pre-screening (hence the onslaught of movie reviewesque posts as of late). When I asked my roommate to join us, she started squealing about how much she loves the book and how it was exactly like her high school life. My roommate doesn’t squeal. Ever. That’s my job. So this was clearly something that left an impact on her teen heart.

The thing about this book/movie is that everyone relates to it in some way and has that, “THIS IS MY LIFE, GET OUT OF MY HEAD,” moment.

Personally, my high school life was really sugar-coated and tame in comparison, all full of high kicks, hot pink and straight As. I’ve spent the last five years catching up on things outside the world of dance and AP classes and it wasn’t until college that I experienced some of the deeper, darker moments of the plot line. Instead of explaining what happens in the story, I just want you to go watch the movie or read the book. And then everything I say below will make sense. Probably.

I cried throughout the entire end of the movie. Pathetic girl style. I spent years rolling my eyes at my mother when she’d tear up during commercials, movies, sad magazine articles, etc., but there I was last night, drying my eyes with a leftover napkin from my chips & queso. It hit a little too close to home in a lot of ways and left me feeling cathartically raw.

A few parallels:

My high school English teacher changed my life and left a lasting impression, just like in the story. She looks nothing like Paul Rudd, but she did give me books she thought I’d like, assign me extra writing projects and push me in the public relations direction. I have a little plastic turtle sitting on my dresser that comes along with me anytime I move to a new place. She gave us this turtle when we were reading The Grapes of Wrath and it has stared down at me through impossible college tests, dance auditions, job interviews, break-ups, you name it, always reminding me to keep my head up.

‘Asleep’ by The Smiths comes up a few times, which validated the fact that this song is significant and really incredible. You know my obsession with this British band and the Brits in general, but I’m sad to say I didn’t discover them until college. When I finally did stumble upon them, I desperately wished I was born earlier in music history and could have seen them live.

Because music is such a giant part of the plot, mix tapes are taken very seriously by the main characters and they put genuine thought and love into choosing each track. Much to the chagrin of my romantic heart, I was too young for mix tapes, but made my fair share of mix CDs, decorating them with permanent marker and hoarding them in my car. I still have one from my childhood best friend, Ryan, and several from old boyfriends. In the end of the story, Hermione (Emma Watson) finds a track they’ve been looking for all year-long. The unabashed joy they experience while finally playing the song again is a feeling that I relish.

On a darker note, Charlie’s character is trapped by horrible mental torture brought on by childhood experiences and only escapes when he’s with his friends. As you are all aware, depression and mental illness are real, painful issues and aren’t always or really ever, solved by ‘happy pills.’ I once fell for someone a lot like Charlie’s character and went on to experience second-hand what happens when someone can’t control what’s happening in their mind. I’m thankful that the movie doesn’t shy away from it, but instead ultimately shows that life does indeed go on.

Even if you weren’t a nerdy English student who listened to The Smiths, this movie will touch you. We’ve watched the boy we like kiss our best friend, we’ve danced like no one was watching “living room routine” style, we’ve fallen for boys (or girls) who make us feel small and who don’t deserve us, we’ve kissed our best guy friend and we’ve felt complete because of a group of friends.

This story inspires me to keep on “participating” and to never settle for someone who doesn’t love the real me – all parts of me.

Trailer: 

‘For A Good Time Call’ Your Best Friend

August 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Thanks to the always incredibly awesome Alamo Drafthouse, (seriously, how does that place just keep getting better. I hope they take over the city – like a Drafthouse Disney World), my bestie Leanne and I got to watch ‘For A Good Time Call’ before it comes out on Friday.

Let me just start out by saying that while the prim and propers of the world might want to avoid this flick, they should drag their blushing selves to the movie theater, order a glass of wine and prepare to giggle.

It’s all about Lauren, a stodgy, good girl coming out of her well manicured shell and really experiencing life for the first time. Her roommate, Katie, is the complete opposite and helps pull out the “creative” juices that Lauren didn’t know she had.

The phone sex scenes are pure gold and an awesome background to the movie, but it’s mostly about friendship, overcoming pre-determined roles and standing up for what you want out of life.

Oh and did I mention that Justin Long possibly graced us with his best performance yet? I can’t give you details, but he’s perfect in every sense of the word and he pulls off cropped pants. You go, Justin.

While I will never operate a phone sex business out of my house, some of the scenes aligned pretty closely with the relationships I have with my girlfriends. At one point, Lauren awkwardly shimmies around Katie for five minutes, showing that she is finally comfortable in her own silly skin. I’m constantly dancing about for Leanne while she says, “Stop. Ew. What are you doing. You’re a weirdo, etc.” But SOMETIMES she silly dances for me too and I love it.

Halfway through the movie the girls are swapping clothes and calling each other “sisters.” My roommate and I live in each other’s closets and she’s the closest thing I’ve ever had to a sissy poo of my own.

Moral of the story: Whether you run a phone sex business or not, best girl friends are just about the only way to get through life.

Trailer: 

Before it comes out on Friday, treat your ears to the soundtrack (My Spotify Playlist: For A Good Time Call). ‘Back and Forth’ is my new favorite tune and if Generationals and Los Campesinos! are not already regs on your playlist, add them right now.

Speaking of movie soundtracks – does anyone remember the days pre-iTunes or Spotify when you’d watch a movie and then spend hours trying to find a song you heard? And then you’d go and spend $12 on the full CD, only to tire of it after 500 straight listens. I created this entire Spotify playlist in 5 minutes. I almost miss the hunt and satisfaction of finally finding the song I was lusting after. Nostalgia.

Tracks:

1. Back and Forth – Operator Please
2. I Promise – Generationals
3. Come Alive – Hanni El Khatib
4. Stick Together – Mack Winston & The Reflections
5. Side Saddle – People Get Ready
6. Blackwater – The Dig
7. By Your Hand – Los Campesinos!
8. He Knew – Chalk & Numbers
9. Operator – Mary Wells
10. Flowers Bloom – High Highs
11. Come Come – Hot as Sun
12. Black Water – Timber Timbre

Elevator Encounters

August 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

My company just moved into an office building that hosts all of our sister brands and it’s much bigger than our old spot on Congress. We’re on the 16th floor and spend a lot of time going up and down the various elevators. Watching the floors tick by is one of the most tedious parts of the day, but if you make a game out of it, then whammo bammo your morning just got a whole lot more exciting.

One of my elevator games is to think about what might happen if I fell in love with someone on one of my rides up to our suite. It’s hard to meet professional men these days and the elevator at work seems like a very logical place to run into someone with similar life goals as myself.

Just last week a boy walked in from the garage elevator and said, “Hey, were you listening to Beirut back there?” My first thought was to apologize for my loud music. I try to keep it under wraps, but the Golfie has some serious speakers. So I said, “Yes, I’m so sorry if it was loud! Santa Fe comes on and I can’t help myself.” And his response was, “It wasn’t too loud, I just noticed because NPR was talking about Beirut the city earlier and I thought it was a funny coincidence.” Me: “You’re kidding! I was listening to Beirut BECAUSE they were talking about it on NPR…” Are we meant to be? Maybe. Maybe if I see him again, we can have another cute-meet and discover that we also both like The Walkmen or something equally as pretentious. Or maybe he isn’t into ladies. You never know in Austin, especially since we work in a building filled with creative/digital agencies. He was wearing skinny khakis, but in the creative world, straight boys have to look stylish too.

Unfortunately, this occasion was probably a once in a lifetime elevator encounter. Usually the rides up are dull and awkward – I spend the minutes catching up with Politico and the New York Times (ahem, it’s possible that I’m actually only reading Hello Giggles) and checking my email. I run into one handsome boy pretty regularly, but I’m always doing something incredibly weird when he steps in. Once, I was eating a hunk of Gouda covered in wax. Another time, I was furiously powdering my face before a meeting. And then there was the time that I had my leg up on the wall trying to pop my hip. I didn’t have time to explain to him that I dance and run and I have to pop my joints on a regular basis or else they lock up…

I think meeting my soul mate in an elevator would be much more adorable than meeting him in a bar or somewhere less glamorous. Someday when little Kristen Elizabeth Jr. looks up at me with her big ol’ green eyes and asks me how her dad and I met, I don’t want to say, “Well…mom was sipping on a 7 and 7 and daddy was on his third beer…” “But don’t drink kids!” It’s just not a cute story. I’d have to lie and that’s not one of my strong suites.

INSTEAD, re-hashing the tale of how Mr. Right rode the elevator up an extra 10 floors just to talk to me would be really perfect. And just to remind myself that I’m living in a fantasy world made up of chick-flicks and ridiculousness, I think we should all watch a few cheesy elevator scenes. Enjoy. Oh and if you’re a handsome man reading this and you want to stage a real-life elevator encounter, I wouldn’t mind one bit.

When Harry Met Sally: Scroll to 2:30.

Adorable old couples are, well, adorable.

The Ugly Truth:

I love everything about Gerard Butler. He’s handsome, he has an accent and he’s your stereotypical bad boy with a tude. I would kill to make out with a Gerard Butleresque man in an elevator. I’d also kill for Katherine Heigl’s dress in this scene.

500 Days of Summer:

Because The Smiths are awesome. And also because Joseph Gordon-Levitt looks like every hipster-professional in Austin and my chances of meeting someone like him are high.*

*Probably not really, but a girl can dream.

Sayonara North Austin

July 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

When I left north campus last year to move in by myself in Northwest Hills, I was ecstatic. Woo living by myself! Hooray for no more grungy college student apartments where roaches literally fall on your head!* Dog friendly community! All of these positives that made it feel like I was starting fresh as an adult.

[*One morning when my roommate and I were getting ready for class, she was blow drying her hair (a rare feat for us in college) when a roach, a giant flying roach, flew down from the ceiling and attacked her. Did we call our boyfriends at the time and have a panic attack? NO. We (she) killed it herself].

Fast forward two months and I was longing for my quirky college apartment, not the roaches but everything else, and dreaming about my runs through Hyde Park past the homeless people and the cute little families with hipster kids dressed in tiny skinny jeans.

“But Northwest Hills is so quaint with the deer and the nice houses and the old people!,” friends would say. Quaint is lovely for families, but my 23-year-old soul (yes, that’s right, I’m a whole 23-years-old now) craved personality and a quick commute.

Despite the sheer torture of moving, I picked up my belongings and my puppy and headed down south to live with one of my best friends and her dog. Stella and her pup are as in love as two dogs can be and they are flipping out now that they have a backyard to frolic in.

Our sweet doggies:

To pay homage to my year living on the other side of the great divide – Mopac – I would like to share a little story about the weirdest neighbor I’ve ever had the pleasure pain of meeting.

You know what kills a date worse than a misbehaving puppy (Stella, I’m talking about you) or an ex-boyfriend showing up? An old man who bangs, BANGS, on the ceiling non-stop. I never figured out what it was, but the old man below me would constantly make my floor shake with his banging madness. It sounded like someone was taking a giant metal pole and shoving it up and down.

Because he would bang long into the evening, I spent several nights lying awake at 1 a.m. imagining theories about what he was doing. I should preface this by telling you that he only had one leg, which was creepy and weird, but also sad. This caused me to believe that maybe he was exercising and using some sort of machine for physical therapy. Maybe? Or, perhaps he was a murderer and he was chopping up bodies. Despite my cheery personality, the man would never reciprocate my, “Hello!! How are you today?” My only consolation was that I could certainly out run the old dude if necessary.

Two of my girlfriends from Nebraska stayed with me during SXSW and the first night, they ran screaming from my bedroom because the pounding was so intense and weird. Trying to pretend like he didn’t freak me out every single night I said, “Oh don’t worry, that’s just my one-legged mass murderer neighbor.” “He’s harmless.”

The apartment complex itself was just fine. It was an upgrade from my college place and I never came across a single bug. And even though I spent most nights schlepping it down south to meet up with friends, I fell absolutely in love with a couple of restaurants and bars up north.

Aside from its twinkly lights and great beer selection, Pour House Pub on Burnet is special to me because it’s one of the first places where I bonded with some of my best friends. We’re kind of obsessed with each other now (in fact, most of us just moved within a 5-mile radius of each other), but a year ago my core group of friends barely knew each other. We simultaneously went through the “Oh crap, all of my friends just moved to other cities” phase and that plus common interests led to what we are today. There’s also cheap beer and a bunch of options on tap.

My other favorite hideaway joint is a tiny dive bar called Lala’s on Justin Lane. They bottled up magic Christmas juice and created a happy little hole decked out in lights, tacky decorations and trees. It reeks of cigarette smoke and you’ll leave in need of a long shower, but the Christmas tunes and cheap Shiner make the stench worth it.

Finally, Austin Terrier is a local sandwich/pizza shop on Greystone with the nicest owner you will ever meet. The food is good and made from really fresh, sometimes local ingredients, but the owner gets to know you and makes you feel like you’re a friend. They have reasonably priced wine and beer and it’s decorated all over with terrier décor. Oh and heyyy they now have half price wine bottle nights on Mondays. Drink up ladies and gents.

Am I going to miss north Austin? Probably not a bit. But I will miss these few hidden gems.

Stella and I are loving the south side of town with our new roommates.

Here’s the roomie and myself at Icenhauer’s after we decided to sign the lease on our new house. Order the Caroline! It’s the best drink on the menu for celebrations.

Happy moving weekend for all of my friends moving in to new places over the next few days. It’s all worth it!

Bridesmaid Love

July 6, 2012 § 2 Comments

Glorious, glorious summer is here and in addition to long days on the lake, bare feet and bikinis – weddings are upon us.

My pretty friends are hanging on my fridge, smiling along with their save-the-dates and I’m pumped to finally be old enough to know people getting hitched. (I’ve heard this changes when you’re 28 and single, but for now it’s loads of fun).

Most of my friends with weddings this year happen to be of the male variety, but my sweet girlfriend and co-worker is marrying the boy she’s been dating since high school in September. Their love story is about as Austiny as it gets, all full of beards and homebrew, and gives me hope every time I hear it. A week or so after her fiancé proposed, she sheepishly walked into my office and giggled while asking me if I’d be one of her bridesmaids. I think her exact words were, “I feel like I’m asking you on a date, this is weird.”

Just a few months before, we were on the east side for a beard event and at some point in the long, silly evening, pulled each other aside and had a “you’re one of my favorite people and SOMEDAY you’re going to be in my wedding” moment. I can’t say for certain when my friend decided that she liked me enough for this, but for me it happened when we embarked on our first big work trip.

We were in San Diego and I had just broken up with my boyfriend at the time (hours before we got there) and was incredibly thankful to have an all-consuming, challenging week ahead of me. After working a 14-hour day, we got back to the hotel room, forced ourselves to shower and crawled into bed for an intense night of Shark Week (woo hotel cable!). Despite her really weird, but kind of adorable obsession with sharks, my friend threw off her comfy duvet and said something like, “Put on your heels and one of the million dresses you brought. I know you want to go out.”

She was right and minutes later, I was sitting at the rooftop bar eating from my napkinful of maraschino cherries (yes, sometimes I’m that girl) and flirting heavily with boys I would never actually want to date. No one is proud of succumbing to this flirtation, but when your heart is broken it helps to have a boy lavish you in cheesy compliments. When he proposed that we, “try a kissing game he just made up,” I handed him my sticky napkin and went to retrieve my friend who was animatedly spouting off shark facts to the guy he came with.

Despite her serious boyfriend, hatred of pretentious bars and love of Shark Week, she gave up her evening to cheer me up. There are so many other reasons why I love her, but this one moment was true friendship and I knew that she was special.

While I don’t think you always have a definitive moment when you know one of your girlfriends is just about as great as can be, I think it’s similar to when you realize you’re in love with a boy. Sometimes alcohol is involved, sometimes it’s not, but there comes a time when you are overcome with how much that person means to you.

Do I have a husband in mind? Absolutely not. And just for the record, I also do not have a wedding Pinterest board. They gross me out. But I DO have a group of girls that I can’t wait to share the experience with.

With other friends, the “bridesmaid” moment  occurred when we were both feeling exceptionally close. My college roommate and I professed our bridesmaid plans during a Grey’s Anatomy hibernation marathon. Another friend and I were dancing about on the sidelines at our kickball game when we spilled our thoughts on bridesmaid love.

As hard as I always try, I obviously can’t predict the future and don’t know if these particular women will still be my bridesmaids whenever I do meet the right guy. However, I do know that at this moment in time they are incredible friends who make my Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, etc. nights way more fun.

P.S. Special thank you to my engaged friend for letting us pick out our own bridesmaid dresses. The icing on the cake as to why she’s the best bride ever.

Sasquatch, or my week at “hippie fest”

May 31, 2012 § 2 Comments

One of my childhood best friends and I share similar tastes in music, so when the Sasquatch line-up came out I semi-jokingly posted it on his wall saying something like, “WE HAVE TO GO TO THIS.”

I didn’t think we actually would, especially since it was in the faraway unknown land of Washington state. I’ve heard references to Seattle in Portlandia, but that was the extent of my knowledge of the pacific northwest. By the way – if you tell someone from Portland that you, “just love Portlandia!,” they’ll roll their eyes at you and walk away.

Somehow, mostly through the expert planning and organization of my friend (thanks, Joe!), we ended up at the gorge in George, Washington. My dad, my friends, my aunt, my co-workers, EVERYONE that I mentioned the trip to, bid me farewell with the phrase, “have fun at your hippie fest.” I think they imagined I was flying off to Burning Man.

Here’s a little taste of what the gorge looked like:

As the wuss of a Texan that I am, I spent most of the time wearing three layers tucked up in my blanket, but there were a few glorious moments when the sun came out and warmed my southern heart.

Look how happy I am. Right after this picture I fell asleep hard for a good hour or so. Hooray for sunshine and naps in the grass!

The lineup is what drew us to Sasquatch and it certainly did not disappoint. While I obsessively listened to most of the bands going prior to our trip, there’s something mind-blowing about hearing a group live and experiencing the personality (and the quirks) behind the music.

Without further ado, I’ll share a little about some of my favorite groups.

St. Vincent – This quirky songstress was my favorite performer of the entire festival. I started listening to her a while ago, but found her mellow tracks best for the office and for putting me to sleep. I told Joe that her show would probably be super chill and we could just sit back and listen. She wasn’t mellow at all on stage. She was mesmerizing. At one point she crowd surfed while still hitting every note. And then she played a moog synthesizer. This girl was incredible. Fun fact courtesy of my friend who hangs out with musicians on the reg: St. Vincent was part of The Polyphonic Spree for a while, which is why she unconsciously falls into some of their strange quirks every now and then.

Little Dragon – Ridiculously fun, this group is another that practically exploded live. The Swedish-Japanese singer Yukimi Nagano is adorable and had the audience dancing like three-year-olds.

The Civil Wars – My awesome friend Emily took me with her to see the Civil Wars at the ACL taping a few months ago. I still owe her my first born for this. They were fantastic both in the Moody Theater and at the gorge. While I loved staring intently at them the first time around in an intimate setting, I equally enjoyed lying on my back in the grass with my eyes closed on the hill. She’s very pregnant and they won’t be playing any shows for a while, but when they’re back in business I highly, highly recommend that you check them out. Sadly, they aren’t married to each other and they won’t be popping out the most perfect baby ever. [Crushing dreams everywhere, I know]

Because not everything is perfect, there are a few bands that I need to pick on for just a minute. Please don’t tar and feather me if you love these groups, as we all have different tastes and we can all still be friends.

Metric – Yessh, y’all love Metric. Everyone does. I don’t find Metric all that fascinating, but because music festivals are about compromise and experiencing bands with your friends, I jumped right along with the audience of drunk 19-year-olds. My main peeve with Metric was that they came out all arrogant and haughty, acting like they were too good to be playing in such a fantastic venue. Almost all of the other performers were incredibly humble and seemed taken aback by how fortunate they were to play at the gorge. Not Metric. They screwed up their set, not once, but TWICE. Karma police, baby.

Jack White – Me: Who’s Jack White? Joe: You’re joking. Me: No, really, who is Jack White? Joe: Have you heard of the White Stripes? Seven Nation Army? Me: [Annoyed Look]

Anyways, I obviously didn’t know who Jack White was and once I heard him live, I could have done without his headache-inducing voice. I’m trying to be a hipster, y’all, and there isn’t any room for actual rock stars. (Kidding, totally kidding about that hipster thing. Kind of. Mostly).

Feed Me – WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET OVER THIS ELECTRONIC DANCE CRAP?

Now back to bands that I just loved.

The Staves – We all have an obsession with the Brits. If a British guy proposed to me tomorrow, I’d say yes. I’d hop on a boat (do they still take boats to England?) and suffer through the cold and the rain. Anyone know a handsomish British man they could set me up with? Teeth are normally my “thing,” but maybe we could work past that. So, yes – the Staves. Three adorable British sisters with sarcastic little jokes and the sweetest songs you’ll ever enjoy. They’re opening for Bon Iver right now and if you don’t trust my judgment, you should trust his.

Childish Gambino – As I quickly approach my 23rd birthday, I’m moving more toward card games and movie nights, but I can still appreciate a sweaty, crowded dance party for all that it has to offer. While we were standing in the giant pit of people, I made friends with some Canadian girls who then thought our new friendship meant they could stroke my hair and get their armpits all over me while we were dancing. I’m not going to make a generalization about Canadians based on this one experience, I’m sure deodorant is sold and used on a regular basis up there. Throw your own dance party in your room to Childish Gambino. While you won’t exactly feel super sexy, you’ll feel tough and sometimes that’s better.

A few others who deserve a shout out: Explosions in the Sky, Beirut, Grouplove, Gary Clark Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (I was at the Do512 party where he played during SXSW, but never made it to see him play. My friends M&M got me into a VIP room with free sushi and other delights and I just didn’t want to leave the fried rice), Bon Iver, Tycho, Pickwick, etc.

If you ever get the chance to go to Sasquatch, I think you’ll love it. Unless you’re over the age of 25. Then you’ll just feel old, but the music will still be good and the view will still be gorgeous (pun intended, I heard this joke 80,000,000 times over the weekend).

Who’s going to Free Press Summer Fest this weekend? Come find me!

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