life is beautiful // and oh, how it was

back in october, i volunteered for the first annual Life is Beautiful festival in downtown las vegas. i actually quit the spiritless retail job i had at the time, because they told me that i was absolutely not allowed to attend... some experiences in life are just too significant to miss out on, ya know? especially when whatever was holding you back was just an unhappy obligation in the first place. thank you Life is Beautiful, for being a VERY welcome (and badass) excuse to get outta there ;)

i won't bore you with geeky descriptions or shaky pixelated videos, but i WILL tell you that i had the best job a volunteer could have, and that i got to watch every artist i wanted to see (kings of leon, the killers, vampire weekend, portugal. the man, passion pit, etc.), and that my spot at the ADA access ramp had a better view than VIP... i seriously don't know how i got so lucky?! it felt borderline UNfair (so i picked up trash in between sets, to try and feel like i was actually earning it---plus it was fun! random drunk people joined in! haha). 

the best thing about the festival is what it did to improve the downtown area's economy and overall beauty. a bunch of really talented artists came and painted/sprayed/smudged some stunning murals around the festival area. and hallelujah, they are here to stay! 

downtown vegas was considered "the place to avoid" for as long as i can remember, so it's really gratifying to witness its transformation into this inspiring, art-splattered new hangout. 

travel jams

guess what! i'm interrupting the blog's regularly scheduled broadcasting to tell youuu that noelle and i are hitchhiking from amsterdam to berlin today! so as you're reading this, we're probably standing on the side of a road in holland, holding cardboard signs and jamming out to these songs. WISH US LUCK! :)

ear candy

songs that have been on repeat lately.


using music as a substitute

i've had a lot of people ask me recently where i am and where i'm going next and how i feel about leaving the island. i'm overwhelmed with how much i'd like to express about... all of it. there's a lot of thought and reflection involved in big transitions like this.

and truth be told, i feel like i've just ended a six month long, wild love affair with that small dreamlike place that made up my whole universe. the things i experienced there are unlike anything i can relate to anywhere else. in fact, it's a bit of a culture shock being back in the states.

i know i'm off to bigger, more foreign things, but it's all still very vague. it's been tough to focus or make room for excitement.

so while words are currently failing me, i'll turn to music. here are a few songs that, for whatever reason, feel to me the way i feel about leaving. so here you have some seemingly sappy tunes. i swear i'm not meaning to be emo--these songs really reassure my happiness. it's just a medley of bittersweet melodies, i think. happy goodbyes with a side of uncertainty, perhaps.


guess where i'm going!

dear reader,

happy weekend! i'm at the airport right now waiting to get on a plane to spend my weekend in a place i've never been :) i'll give you a hint...

haha, i'm not very good at this game. chicago, here i come!

the unlocking and the lift away

as i sit indian-style on this cold wood floor with a bottle of blue moon pumpkin ale in hand and light rain tapping at a window in a state i currently can't stand, nothing makes any damn sense to me but this song--a song that once made no sense to me at all.

isn't it charming, how that works?

if nothing else comes of what i'm feeling in this moment, at least i'll have felt this music's meaning.

In many times, i must admit you kind of bore me

i know i'm way behind on the ray lamontagne bandwagon--because i've heard the name a lot and neglected looking into it--but yesterday when i was jogging, this song came on pandora radio and stopped me in my tracks. his voice + these lyrics... my heart turned to mush. so, so beautiful to run to this song, uphill toward a pink sunset.

i've been in ohio for a little less than two weeks now. there's been lots of sunset jogging, tree climbing, and cooking. i've been slowly teaching myself how to use photoshop and my new gopro. but mostly, i've been working on getting ready for my move --> ordering glasses & contacts, going to doctor appointments, registering to vote, and setting up my gruesome student loan payments. annnd selling some belongings on ebay because financially, i'm a bit empty.



Sunday, the excitement building inside me all weekend culminated in a surge of euphoria-powered energy. after already having been at Bonnaroo for four nights, i was exhausted, dehydrated, burnt, bruised, blistered, and dirty. but all was ignored on Sunday. 

Sunday was the day that five of my favorite bands would all be in such close proximity to me that i would hear the live vibration of their voices, watch them curl around their whining guitars, and feel the thump of their drums deep in my core. songs that i've spent years laughing, crying, loving, and falling asleep to would be performed in my presence by the very people that created them. 

all day, i was a bouncing, singing, frolicking, little wildflower. i was incandescently happy. and i wanted more than anything to be able to play the whole day on repeat, like i do with that very same music at home. 

favorite musical moments of the day:

i've fallen in love with this band fairly recently, but i can't get enough. i adore their dynamic, fun music, and positive energy. i enjoyed their whole set so much--especially because they made a point to illuminate each member's talents. you can really feel the grouplove.

*and i can actually see myself in this Grouplove video! it was easily one of the best moments of my bonnaroo. the energy was absolutely electric. there were about 7 people crowd surfing by the end of the set. if only i weren't in a dress (crowd surfing is next on my bucket list)!

i've had such a strong emotional connection to Dallas Green's music for a few years, so seeing it performed in person was extremely special to me. when this particular song was performed, the crowd came alive and everyone sang along. there was a drunken group of 5 very burly, masculine looking guys behind me, and when this song started, they all linked arms and started jumping up and down like little girls, singing every word. it.was.priceless.

over four years ago, my cousin steven sent me a playlist with a couple Bon Iver songs on it. i've been listening ever since--perhaps my longest consistent musical affair ever, because no matter how many thousands of times i've heard the albums, i never get bored. a friend and i saw Bon Iver in Atlanta last summer and it was phenomenal, so i was excited to see them in a different venue.

The Shins is probably the only band i've ever come across whose entire collection of music i love equally. in other words, there isn't a single song of theirs that i consider decent or okay, because i LOVE every single one. you know with most albums, there are a few songs that bore you or make you wonder, "what the hell?" not here! James Mercer can do no wrong. and he's just as perfect live.

i'm really grateful that Young the Giant was my last concert of bonnaroo because it just hit the spot. Sameer's voice is incredible live. the crowd was nice and rowdy. and this performance was the cherry on top of an unforgettable weekend.