music

A Taste of Coachella

IMG_9248 Next week I'll be heading down to sunny California to see some of my favorite bands, and hopefully discover some new favorite artists at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. In preparation for the three-day festival, I've been doing a lot of musical research and refreshing myself on some long forgotten hits as well. I thought it would be fun to give my fellow Curators, and all of you, a taste of what I'll get to hear while I'm down there, so I made a Spotify playlist for all to enjoy: Coachella 2014!

Take a listen and let me know who you'd most want to see or what song you'd love to hear if you were going @C_Allodi.

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Sold on Seattle

photo[1] When I first moved down to L.A., I swore I would never again be a Washington resident. Six years later I broke that promise and moved back to Seattle. Returning in time for summer was a perfect transition, and I was convinced it was a great decision to come back. It also helped that I began working at Curator, and unlike most of my L.A. friends, was able to say that I loved my job.

Fall was equally as beautiful as the summer months, but then we set the clocks back and the dark coldness that is Pacific Northwest winter set in. I can handle the rain, and even the cold given the right down jacket of course, but the light is what I missed most. Those were some tough months, but thanks to the crazy holiday retail season, I kept too busy to really agonize over my lack of vitamin D.

What also helped was using the bad weather as an excuse to explore new parts of the city, checking out various restaurants, concert venues and even revisiting some of the tourist spots that I hadn’t been to since I was a kid. I realized that even though I’m “from here” I really had to relearn the city, and once I started doing that it felt like I was actually in a whole new place rather than moving “back home.” I’m now one of Seattle’s biggest fans and am slowly turning every visitor I host into one, too. It will be two years back this June, and I still feel like there’s so much I haven’t done and seen, but here are some of the things I’ve come to love about being a Seattleite:

St. Lucia at Sasquatch! Launch Party

 

The Music. An avid concertgoer, being in a music hub has been incredible. It’s been such an amazing surprise to find so many people here that share this passion and are always up for a random midweek show at some hole-in-the-wall venue. Because there are always so many shows happening around the city, I’ve found myself not just waiting to see my favorite artists, but rather exploring local bands and music genres I might have never thought to check out before.

The Food. I never knew Seattle was such a foodie city until I started eating my way through town. I thought LA had good sushi, but I’ve got to say Seattle might have them beat. I could eat at Umi in Belltown and Moshi Moshi in Ballard everyday. And holy pretzels! I don’t think I will ever get tired of enjoying a cold beer accompanied by a fresh pretzel and of course the amazing array of dipping sauces (the best part) at Brave Horse Tavern or Von Trapps. Hungry just thinking about it.

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The Drinks. I’ve always been a big brunch fan, but these days it feels like I’m more of a happy hour person. Megan wrote a couple weeks ago about the great new app, Sosh, and let me vouch for it again; this is a killer resource for finding the best happy hour spots (and more) around town. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention one of the best perks of being a Washingtonian: the wine. I frequent Woodinville to go wine tasting more than I should admit, but how can you not take advantage of all the incredible wineries that are right at our fingertips! And did I mention most of them are dog friendly?

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The Seahawks. It wouldn’t be right to make this list without including our Super Bowl champs! I forgot how much I love professional football. Living in L.A., I settled for college football (Go Trojans!) and really only paid attention to playoff games and of course the Super Bowl. But being able to go to the games and even just be in the city during the season is such a fun experience. While I miss basketball and hockey, I have to say that football season in Seattle takes the cake.

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The Art. I’ve always loved street art. That was one of my favorite things about living so close to Venice Beach. There was something so cool about discovering new aerosol art around the city. But the more I look around Seattle, the more I see that here, too. I was just at Pike Place Market over the weekend and realized that every time I’m there I find something new.

The People. It really is true that people here have a friendliness about them that’s I think, pretty rare. At first I had some moments of road rage when someone would signal and take their sweet time to get over in traffic, and maybe still do sometimes, but I’d take that any day over the always hurried pace of other cities (traffic-related and in general). I think Seattle is unique in that as a whole the people are hardworking, but they also know how to enjoy. They enjoy their work and play, and I think that’s what makes the character of the city so kind. It’s refreshing to be around, and everyone that has visited me has commented on this so I know it’s not just me who’s noticed.

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The Landscape. I’m not going to lie; I do really miss the beach. And I know technically Washington has beaches too, but nothing beats driving up the PCH from Manhattan Beach to Malibu. You just can’t. That said, I love that Seattle is surrounded by water. Growing up on the lake and then living by the beach has definitely cemented my need to always live near a body of water. There’s something so beautiful about it no matter the season. On top of that, being able to drive 20 minutes and find yourself on a hiking path up a mountain is amazing. Few cities provide the option to live in urban bliss, but offer that rural escape within minutes.

Got any Seattle must-do, must-see, must-try recommendations? Please send them my way at @c_allodi.

Curated Festivals

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 1.53.41 PM My favorite season is upon us – festival season! If you don’t know me, I should tell you that I am somewhat of a concert junkie. I love pretty much any kind of music, especially if it’s live. The way some people justify spending hundreds of dollars on shoes and clothes is exactly how I feel about shelling out big bucks for a weekend of nonstop music and art. However, for those of us who can’t afford to make them all, the tough decisions come when it’s time to choose which festivals to attend.

I’m not going to all of these (I wish), but here are my top picks for U.S. festivals in 2014:

South By Southwest Music Festival -- @SXSW

Austin, TX // March 11-16 (music portion)

You’ve probably heard about SXSW because it’s not your average festival. It's really a week of innovation, networking, shows, speakers, panels, film and so much more. In addition to the music portion, there's a simultaneous SXSW Film Festival and SXSW Interactive component. An ever-growing event, SXSW Music is known for showcasing new talent and young bands, which is awesome! This one is coming up, so if you’re not lucky enough to attend, don't worry, you can actually stream the shows and after performances through iTunes. You can learn more about this, here, and stay tuned because our own Brooke will be going down with our client Whole Foods Market, and she’s been instructed to share the inside scoop on our blog!

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Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival -- @Coachella

Indio, CA // Weekend 1: April 11-13 // Weekend: 2 April 18-20

Coachella is one of the largest and most popular festivals in the U.S. as it features so many music genres, including rock, indie, hip hop, and electronic music, as well as a number of art installations and sculptures. What’s kind of nice is that as of 2012 they expanded the festival to two 3-day weekends with the exact same lineup due to the high demand. I’m a big Coachella fan and have vowed to go every year until I physically can’t, or if it’s just too embarrassing to be there at whatever age I may be. This year will be my fourth year and I cannot wait! #Weekend1

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 Sasquatch! Music Festival -- @Sasquatch

George, WA // Weekend 1: May 23-25 // Weekend 2: July 4-6

Sasquatch is an annual music festival held at the Gorge Amphitheater set again the beautiful backdrop of the Columbia River. For the scenery alone, this festival is worth checking out at least once! Much like its festival predecessors, Sasquatch offers a variety of music genres, with an emphasis on indie/rock bands. It’s also a really great place to see smaller and up-and-coming local artists who usually play during the day on the smaller stages. This year the festival will be two separate weekends with totally different lineups. When I attended the launch party a few weeks ago I asked someone from the Live Nation team about this change and he explained that because the sponsorship is all the same and it’s the same design, they decided to use split the weekends and keep the name for both. At the party, they debuted a trailer for the festival, ending with the two lineups, which was pretty cool. You can check it out here.

The Governor’s Ball Music Festival -- @GovBallNYC

New York, NY // June 6-8

If you read anything about last year’s festival, you probably saw a ton of photos making this look like the U.S. version of Glastonbury. Seriously, Hunter Boots should have made an ad! For those unfamiliar, Gov Ball is 3-day festival that takes place on Randall’s Island. Last year they encountered some stormy weather and flood warnings. Nevertheless, the show went on and the concertgoers danced on in the mud and rain. In its fourth year now, the festival is proving to be a new favorite and again features a variety of artists in genres like indie, rock, hip-hop, techno, folk and Americana. Hopefully the weather cooperates this year, but hey, us Seattleites can probably handle a little rain just fine, right?

Lollapalooza -- @Lollapalooza

Chicago, IL // August 1-3

Lollapalooza is another unique festival offering a range of musical acts as well as craft booths. Because of its location at Grant Park, it’s a great one for out-of-towners, too, with so much to do in Chicago! Lollapalooza is also recognized for being one of the better-organized festivals. When inclement weather rolled through in 2012, they were actually able to reschedule a number of sets and carry-on with the weekend – impressive! The lineup for this year hasn’t been released yet, so if you’re interested, keep an eye out!

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Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival 

San Francisco, CA // August 8-10

Held every August in Golden Gate Park, Outside Lands offers a range of musical acts, art installations, and has a budding food and wine culture, too. Another unique characteristic about this particular festival is its dedication to being eco-friendly and educating the public about eco-friendly movements. There festival features solar power stages, a refillable water program, a waste diversion program, a recycling program, bike valet parking program, farmer’s market vendors and urban gardening workshops. This is another festival that’s a little ways out, so the lineup and ticket sales have not yet been released. I’m hoping to make it this year!

There are so many festivals to choose from, not to mention the dozens that happen around the world, it can be kind of overwhelming to weigh them against one another. One plus I’ve found about most major festivals being back to back, is that a lot of the acts overlap, or the artists are simultaneously on tour, so if there’s someone you’re dead set on seeing, you’ll probably have some options.

If you’re a fellow festival fan, or have seen any great artists lately I’d love to hear about it – let’s chat!

- @c_allodi