In October 2006, I headed off to the Eagle Rock Music Festival. At the end of the night, Monsters are Waiting took the stage. I came away with mixed feelings. I loved their sound, but Annalee Fery’s double jointed body movements made me feel like I was witnessing finger nails scratching a chalk board. Well, their sound was so enticing I continued to head off to their sets and either Annalee Fery’s body flexibility diminished or I just got more attuned to her style. In the summer of 2008, I caught their last set (I believe it was their last set) at the Getty Museum – it was amazing. At the time, Annalee Fery was pregnant. I figured the band would take a break and come back later. There was just silence. I’d check out their website every so often. I did internet searches on the band name, her name. Just silence.
Fast forward a couple years and a friend mentioned this band called Lonely Trees. He said he knew the guy in the band. So I looked the band up. Wait, Annalee Fery?!? Yes!!! She was back, which meant my love affair was back.
I’ve seen a handful of their sets and recently caught another at Casey’s Irish Pub.
#1 Comment of the night: “I love Casey’s Irish Pub. It reminds me of Chicago.“
#2 Comment of the night: “Our band has recently gotten addicted to Starbursts.”
This second comment came up when Annalee started to look around behind her. She pointed to a bag of Starbursts. She was handed a Starburst. I was thinking, “How is she supposed to sing with a Starburst in her mouth?” Ahh, she took a small bite and then put the remaining down on her synth to finish later.
The Annalee quirk: the quick curtsey followed by a “Thank You.”
My thoughts on a photographer’s other job: I believe that 5% (I’m not going to over-state this) of a music photographer’s job is to help out the band when something goes wrong on stage. I say this, because (at least in Los Angeles) a lot of the times you’re not only the nearest person to the stage, you’re also one of the few individuals within three feet of the stage. I’ve done this “other” job a handful of times (sometimes doing a decent job, other times not so well). One recent example is my helping out during Milo Greene’s residency at The Satellite. A drum stick went flying off. I picked it up. I got a look. A perfect toss and catch was made. Sometimes a band might want help, but I freeze because I’m not sure what all the hand signals mean. There is pointing in a direction and I look in that direction and can’t determine what they want. I figure though that a photographer is one of the better individuals to interpret these signals as they’re around bands all the time and have a general idea when something doesn’t look right on stage.
And so I was called upon to do this little side job at Casey’s. On their last song, Annalee gave me a look and started to point down. I looked down at the sound monitor. Ah, she wanted the sound monitor turned towards her. I did so and was given the thumbs up.
My favorite Lonely Trees’ song: “Fool.”
Side note on my recent history with Lonely Trees: A month ago they had a set at The Satellite and I wanted to go; however, I was covering Project Ethos Fashion Show for Intraffik. The conflicts that pop up in life, but all ends well, because I got to catch them at Casey’s.
This list will probably include some of my all-time favorite songs but the truth is this week I was lazy and didn’t feel up to or really had the time to write a proper post so instead I compiled a brief off-the-top-of-my-head list of songs whose lyrics stay in my head long after the song has stopped playing. I also probably should mention who the songwriters are, but maybe at some point I’ll come by and add that info. There are many more songs like this spanning most genres but I gave myself 15 minutes to write down whatever came to my head and here you have it:
The Box Tops – “Whiter Shade of Pale”
I know Procul Harem popularized this song, but I much prefer the Box Tops version (I’ll almost always prefer Alex Chilton’s version of anything). Their version makes it one of the most perfect songs ever written/composed in my book.
“We skipped the light fandango
Turned cartwheels ‘cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
But the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away”
The Rainman Suite – “59 Days”
This song belongs to a time that I have fond memories of. Times when the songs were all about either each other or people we knew. It’s the perfect example of how relationships can suffer when constant touring is involved. Josh Robinson is one of my favorite people and favorite songwriters. If you never listened to this local band when they were playing out you should check out some of their other songs like “Cahuenga Blvd” and really listen to the lyrics.
“Tell me one more time how I’ve gone astray, by this time tomorrow I’ll be two states away”
“My poster’s hanging lonely on your wall. You’d take it down, but you’d rather see it fall.”
The Replacements – “We Know the Night”
Paul Westerberg is one of the most perfect un-perfect individuals in my book. I’d definitely consider him one of the genius songwriters of our time. So many lyrics he’s penned get stuck in my head upon hearing his songs.
“With scissors and a comb I cut my lawn
And there’s no one in the world I’m counting on
There’s a war ragin’ outside – I hope my grass stays green”
“Best things always come when your mind’s at rest
In the afternoon, my mind ain’t sleepy, it’s preoccupied
Till the day is late and we let out a sigh
‘Cause we know the night could fall at any time”
Garth Brooks – “Much Too Young (To Feel this Damn Old)”
I don’t get a lot of sleep. I used to say that I was too busy to sleep but the truth is I’m just a night owl who somehow manages to function semi-efficiently during the day. Even being as young as I was when this song hit the airwaves I could still relate.
Also, I grew up on the late Chris LeDoux (when I was little I really gravitated towards the more upbeat Western/Texas Swing styles of LeDoux and George Strait’s music) so I have a soft spot for any song that mentions his name as he was a “Cowboy” who not only sang the songs of that lifestyle but also lived it with his Rodeo Cowboy background.
“Sleep would be best, but I just can’t afford the rest”
“The worn out tape of Chris LeDoux, lonely women, and bad booze
Seem to be the only friends I’ve left at all”
Chris LeDoux and Garth Brooks collaborated in the early 90’s on a track called “Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy”
However, here’s Chris LeDoux with “Country Star”
Trisha Yearwood – “Sleep While I Drive”
I like this version better than Melissa Etheridge’s original. I find this song to be so sad. For some reason this part of the song is what always lingers in my head.
“I’ll buy you boots down in Texas, a hat from New Orleans
And in the morning you can tell me your dreams”
The Randies – “Wrecking Ball (The Shovel Song)”
Again, a band from another time, when the songs were about us. Also great songwriters especially with their early stuff like “Hyperion” and “Boys in Stereo”
“I tried to build a strong foundation based on moral fabric, but then I met someone whose image fit the shape of my bad habit. And like construction in reverse I’m taking down the timbers one by one they come undone…the thrill of demolition.”
Camera Obscura – “The Sweetest Thing”
This is L.A. Half of the people we know or have dated have been in a magazine or on T.V.
“My love, you’re in a magazine
My love, you’re doing fine, you’re on TV”
“On the bus radio, “Fifty ways to leave your lover alone”
I laughed at the irony
But life is stupid, the irony’s all lost on me”
Talking Heads “Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town”
This line always makes me laugh.
“I’ve been to college, I’ve been to school
I’ve met the people that you read about in books”
Devendra Banhart – “Queen Bee”
I just really like this song and for some reason this is what sticks.
“I saw everything I’ve seen
And I meant everything I mean”
Of Montreal – “A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger“
“I spent the winter with my nose buried in a book (more…)
Audra Yocom is a certified personal trainer based out of Los Angeles, who will be answering your fitness questions on a weekly basis (every Monday) and will also bring you monthly fitness tips via her regular column (resuming in April) to help us to disspell those myths we’ve all been subjected to regarding fitness at one point or another in our battle with the bulge. You can also hear Audra with her fitness tips during the early morning (5am – 7am) A.M. Blast block of upbeat tunes geared towards your morning workout and via her new “Fitness and Health” Show the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:30 pm on intraffikradio.com (http://tinyurl.com/intraffikradio) or under Intraffikradio under the eclectic section under iTunes Radio. To learn more about Audra or to inquire about training sessions visit her site http://audrayocom.com.
QUESTION: My backside could use some toning, what are some things I can do to make sure it looks great?
ANSWER: Everyone wants to look good from behind – especially during bikini season! So if you’re dying to hit the beach looking good from the backside here are are some great exercises for your back and glutes:
Seated Overhead Lat Pull-down:
-Sitting at a seated lat pull-down bar style machine using a pronated grip (palms facing away from you) grip bar about 6 inches wider than shoulder width
-Grasp bar with arms slightly bent and elbows pointed away from the body
-Make sure your knees are planted directly under the support pads and feet are flat on the ground
-Lean back slightly so bar will travel correctly down in the correct path (lean back about 15 degrees)
-Keeping your back in a natural arch in the starting position, pull your shoulder blades down and together. Begin contracting your latissimus dorsi muscles by bending the elbows down to the floor
-Contract your latissimus dorsi and keep your hands and arms relaxed as you bring the bar to your chest.
-Slowly return the bar back to the starting position and repeat
Seated Machine Row
-Seated at a seated row machine, your seat should be adjusted so that the handles in front of you are slightly lower than shoulder height and the chest pad is resting at a point where it will allow your body to stay erect
-A starting position elbows should be slightly bent and pointed down
-Retract the scapula by pulling the shoulders down and then squeezing together as you contract the latissimus dorsi by pulling the arms back until your elbows are beneath the shoulders
-Slowly return back to the starting position
Back Hyperextension Exercise
-Lying face down on your stomach with your hands resting (more…)
Victoria Walton, M.S. is TRAffIK’s resident Life Coach and will be helping us tackle the issues that hold us back from becoming the “TRAffIK Stoppers” we all can be. Look for her column Victorious Living the third Tuesday of every month. Victoria Walton may be contacted at email@example.com. To read previous installments of Victorious Living click here.
Nothing lights up my world more than seeing people get out of life what they want. That’s why I became a life coach.
I take on clients who have realized that what they want in life requires them to come outside of their comfort zone. They have accepted risk. What worthy thing does not require it? Whether it is asking someone for a date, pursuing one’s dream as an actor, buying a home or starting a business, there is never a guarantee you will acquire that for which you set your sights. One thing is for sure, though — if you don’t stretch yourself, life will be mediocre. I don’t know about you, but mediocrity is wholly unappealing to me.
In this economy, though, I can see why one might resist going after certain dreams, particularly when pursuing them could produce strains of various types, e.g., financial. Yet, hard times do not have to be an obstacle. These challenging days simply dare us to create a better strategy. There is never going to be a better time. Moreover, because unrequited passions don’t really die, hesitation could result in prolonged dissatisfaction, leading to detachment from your desires and the ensuing inertia. So what are you waiting for? Let’s take a look at a few key elements to include as you create a sound plan that will result in the lighting up of your world.
1. Weigh the pros and cons of both making changes and staying where you are. There is always a cost/pay off relationship for our actions (or inaction). Writing down a realistic list of pros and cons will help you get present to what is at stake and keep you motivated toward your goals.
2. Set your priorities. When you are generating major change in your life, other areas in your life can shift as well. As you plot your strategy, consider how to keep your priorities, especially the people you love, in their proper place.
3. Consider the pitfalls. Setbacks are going to happen. So forget the fantasy that you won’t have any. Consider the potential impediments, how to minimize their occurrence as well as be prepared to creatively handle surprises.
4. Mind your energy. In the book, “The Power of Full Engagement”, executive coaches, Loehr and Schwartz, reason that it is energy, not time, of which there is a dearth. What energizes you? What do you need to feel renewed? Think about what you need to maintain energy levels and incorporate these activities as you map your way to your goals.
5. Stay accountable. Pick supportive friends and/or family members who will call you to task, be a sounding board for your ideas, and encourage you when all you want to do is throw in the towel. Outside accountability is an aspect of social structure that is critical for success. After all, it is much harder to tell yourself no, when you have a cheering section!
Disclaimer: Life Coaching is for “healthy” people; it isnot intended for use as a substitute for medical advice, professionalpsychotherapy, or any other therapeutic intervention.
Three bands that I love playing on the same night. What are the chances of that happening? (Okay, maybe it isn’t that rare of an event, but it does provide a reason to write a post on Intraffik!) That’s what happened on a recent Monday night at The Echo when Black Flamingo and Raw Geronimo shared the stage with the March residency band NO.
I ran across both Black Flamingo and Raw Geronimo last year. I caught Black Flamingo at Silver Lake Jubilee. Raw Geronimo was a chance encounter. I was at The Standard in Downtown Los Angeles to support a friend’s poetry reading. Afterwards, a group of us headed up to the rooftop where Raw Geronimo was getting ready to play a set. I also ran into our Intraffik editor who was there specifically to see Raw Geronimo. As for NO, I first heard about them last year when I read somewhere that they did a house show during the Sunset Junction cancelled weekend and that they drew a massive crowd. I didn’t get to catch one of their sets until this year, however.
Of the trio, Black Flamingo (pictured below)hit the stage first. Their music is layered with a gothic chanting sound that tempts you into believing you’re in an ancient London church, but in reality you’re being enchanted out in a dark forest.
Noticed after their set: I believe Black Flamingo must hold the record for quickest clean-up after finishing a set at The Echo.
Comment of the night: “Make sure you stick around for Raw Geronimo. I’m a connoisseur of girl fronted bands.”
NO played the 11 p.m. slot. This band hasn’t been around for that long (two years, I believe), but I swear the front man and the whole band in general plays with unbelievable confidence and poise. When lead singer Bradley stepped out onto those speakers that line the front of the stage, you couldn’t help but feel drawn to him. As for their sound, it demands your attention.
NO (pictured above) had a number of special guests for the night. A violinist. The Echo Park Community Choir. There was also a toy accordion that briefly held the spotlight. The place was packed with folks having to stand on top of the benches that line the back walls.
Raw Geronimo closed out the night. Yes, way past my normal bedtime during a school night, but they did represent the last of the trio and there was no way I was going to miss their set. Their music is raw, just like their name implies. And for a photographer like me, they’re a dream. Laena, the lead singer, is the ultimate contortionist. Who knows what she’ll do next. It is a fun challenge trying to guess how to best capture her. It doesn’t really matter if I am only able to capture one or two good photos of her. What matters is the challenge of trying to capture her in the camera frame.
*thanks to The Echo for having these three bands.
Audra Yocom is a certified personal trainer based out of Los Angeles, who will be answering your fitness questions on a weekly basis (every Monday) and will also bring you monthly fitness tips via her regular column (resuming in April) to help us to disspell those myths we’ve all been subjected to regarding fitness at one point or another in our battle with the bulge. You can also hear Audra with her fitness tips during the early morning (5am – 7am) A.M. Blast block of upbeat tunes geared towards your morning workout and via her new “Fitness and Health” Show the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:30 pm on intraffikradio.com (http://tinyurl.com/intraffikradio) or under Intraffikradio under the eclectic section under iTunes Radio. To learn more about Audra or to inquire about training sessions visit her site http://audrayocom.com. This Wednesday Audra will have Youth Arts Outreach Founder Pamela Koller on her show talking about maintaining a fitness routine while healing a broken hip and undergoing chemotherapy.
ANSWER: The best thing to do in this case is to bring fitness training bands with you. They are lightweight and don’t take up a lot of space. You can pretty much do all exercises you want to do using these bands. Most of the bands come with an instruction manual that will show you how to do each exercise as well. You can use the bands to do squats, lunges, overhead presses, chest presses, lat pull downs , lateral raises, tricep kick backs, etc. You can pretty much work out every muscle group.
QUESTION: When is the best time to exercise?
ANSWER: The best time to exercise is at a time that works best for you and really depends on your schedule. Everyone is different. I personally try to get my workouts out of the way first thing in the morning because I’m too tired by the end of my day to hit the gym so I’m less likely to follow through. I also have a hard time sleeping if I do my workouts at night because my body is too energized after a good workout. Whenever you choose to do your workout I would just say the most important thing is to be consistent. Make it a part of your routine.
QUESTION: I know most people want to lose weight, and that’s first thing people think of with exercise. However, what if we want to put on weight (or appear bigger). What are some good ways to “bulk up”?
ANSWER: In order to force a muscle to hypertrophy, the muscle must perform more than what it is currently used to performing. Generally speaking you want to lower your reps and increase the weight. You’ll want to stay in a range of about 1-5 reps and 4-8 sets. You also want to be taking in more calories. Make sure they are still healthy calories though. Your performance is dependent upon what you are fueling your body with and the better you perform, the more effective the work out. Also, keep in mind that genetics play a role in how much you might be able to bulk up.
Audra will be answering your fitness questions every Monday. If you have questions you’d like answered you may email her at Audra@intraffik.com or send to firstname.lastname@example.org. To see if your questions have been addressed check out past “Ask Audra” Column Entries here