Monday, September 19, 2011

music monday #12

one complaint i have about living in vancouver is that independent artists often skip playing here to avoid crossing the border. i've been to many shows in seattle, driven home at 1am and gone to work the next morning. the glamourous life of a music fan... it's not just vancouver; all west coasters could complain about the many bands who won't cross the great midwest divide. one place they will stop, however, is a small city in america's heartland: rock island, ill. this town on the illinois/iowa border is home to the country's largest weapons arsenal - and daytrotter.

daytrotter sessions are stripped-down recordings by artists who fall somewhere between established and up-and-coming. the sessions aren't over produced; they make you feel like you're listening in on an intimate house show. and the best part is that you can download the sessions for free.

here are 15 of my favourite daytrotter sessions, by date:
grace potter & the nocturnals / sept 13th 2011
the civil wars / aug 9th 2011
jill andrews / aug 10th 2011
andrew belle / jul 9th 2011
madi diaz / jun 23rd 2011
the head & the heart / jun 17 2011 
dawes / jun 7th 2011
raphael saadiq / may 3rd 2011
cults / oct 20th 2010
local natives / jul 26th 2010
the temper trap / may 17th 2010
william fitzsimmons / apr 8th 2010
mat kearney / oct 24th 2009
diane birch / may 21st 2009
bon iver / jul 21st 2008
*note: to get these free sessions, you must login and get the daytrotter download manager. it's easy and only takes a few minutes to set up. or you could just listen to them online. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

palm springs living - side trips

part three :: side trips
san jacinto mountains / cabazon dinosaurs

allow me to recount a conversation i eavesdropped on while sitting at a restaurant's bar this weekend:
man #1 {customer/friend}: hey man, how's your lady?
man #2 {french bartender}: she's completely burned out. that's what happens when you work for the money and not for the love.
deep words from the french bartender. sounds like his lady needs a vacation. a vacation where she can relax and recharge. but let's say the french bartender wants to get away too. i bet he'd get bored just sitting around relaxing all day. so what are the french bartender and his lady to do - take separate vacations? 

that's crazy talk! here's what they should do: meet in the middle, so to speak, and take mini trips within their trip. kind of like inception with the dreams within the dream ;-) my favourite way to vacation is to relax and recharge and have adventures. 

the perfect place to do this is palm springs, where you can spend your morning lying by the pool and your afternoon hiking in joshua tree or the indian canyons, or road tripping to the salton sea or the san jacinto mountains, or braving the dinosaurs and the outlet mall crowds in cabazon. the world - or at the very least the coachella valley - is your oyster!

- future palm springs retiree {and part-time adventurer}

allow me to recount another conversation:
heather: let's drive up here, it looks fun.
jenn: road, where are you taking us?
heather: higher and higher.
jenn: oh my god, we're going to heaven. it's our time, heather. we're going to reach the gates.
we never made it to the gates; we turned around. but the gorgeous, winding drive into the san jacinto mountains, where this thrilling conversation took place, is conveniently located mere blocks from j.crew, anthropologie and kate spade {perfect afternoon. i mean... right?}. from palm desert, drive south on the aptly named pines to palms highway towards idyllwild - aka. hometown to american idol's casey abrams. since we drove this highway on a whim, we never made it to idyllwild - or heaven - but no matter how far you get, you'll have some gorgeous valley views.

when i'm driving, i often spot cool things on the side of the road and keep driving. but half the fun of a road trip is stopping. be spontaneous! don't be in a hurry! on this trip, jenn and i committed to pulling over for anything fun. if we hadn't done this, we never would've gone to a hare krishna festival, been offered a dodgy thai massage or visited the cabazon dinosaurs. the world's biggest dinosaurs on the side of the interstate - why wouldn't you stop?

history lesson
the dinosaurs have appeared in such "classic" films as pee wee's big adventure and the wizard (holla jenny lewis) and music videos for tears for fears and brad paisley. they were created by knott's berry farm sculptor claude k. bell, who built them to draw people to his truck stop diner, the wheel inn. after bell's death, the new owners of the dinosaur park expanded it to include a gift shop and museum, and use the dinosaurs as a means to promote creationism {we just went for the photo ops}.

{previous palm springs living posts here and here}