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Took a trip down south just a couple of miles, from my humble abode in Portland to the hometown of Oregon’s state animal, The Beaver. It was Corvallis, OR and a good time to visit; Halloween is OSU’s un/official holiday, there was to be a challenging home football game, I was visiting some of my oldest friends, we all had our bikes, and we were set with good music.

The first night was a tour of Portland, actually, with a couple of Big Red’s crazy-ay-yay-yay CoVo friends. It was raining a bit, as it always does, but we’d brave the elements on bike-back, the crazy kids would roam the streets, stirring up dust devils of mischief, and I would meet some very kind souls with some interesting stories to be told.

The next day was a day of slow momentum, starting off heavy and tired, but speeding up and getting more and more exciting and loud as we drove down to Corvallis, kind of like a giant, old steel train. When we got to Beavertown, there were more cars then ever, more people then ever, and more cops then ever. The recipe for a great night! We got to dress up and volunteer at this haunted house, where I was in a dizzying strobe-light room all night, dressed up as a dead tourist (9/11 tourist, since my shirt said “I ❤ NY”, but I figure, it might be too soon for that…). That night was crazy enough, but the next day, even nicer things were planned.

We got up at the crack of noon, and donned our hiking attire, put on some Animal Collective to set the mood and drove off to a waterfall that I had been told was one of the most scenic. With good people and good places, our day was off to a great start. We climbed around the river side, saw some gorgeous sites ingrain themselves in my memory receptors and shared some laughs and growls. Oh! and there were many rare Wood Formations, of the likes I had never seen before. The messecah walked again that day. It was one of his dark days.

From there, we returned back to town to find that the Beavers had won their game against some wack California team, though the town didn’t seem as “RAAAAGGGGGEEEEE” as I would have thought them to be behaving. We filled up on quality Hot-N-Ready pizza, got our second batch of costumes and face paints on, hopped on our bikes, met Detective Moustache and Laura, Devourer of Galaxies, and were on our way. Along the night, Captain Awesome danced in a sea of ladies on a stripper pole, and the Detective and I deduced that the Hulk’s buttocks was stuffed. Fred Flinstone did some push-ups for us, Bohemian Rhapsody was sung by us and the other street urchins loud-N-proud, A dirty pirate tried to rob of us of our dignity, and, somehow, Scrubs always just appeared, and played it real cool. Dammmmmn, scrubs.
Eventually, we found The Nest, but I do not know how. I think The Nest found us. It was full of wob-wob-wobwob-wob-wob music, and people who were very wavey and smiley, and potential dognappers, though the dog was one of those sad alcoholic doggies who licked up ground beer constantly. It was an interesting mix of people at The Nest: some were melted into the couch, others were becoming the Dubstep, some were just looking around in wonder, some were reveling in nostalgias of times past. Eventually, as always happens, the Dubstep takes over the room, but that was one of those beautiful, beautiful moments. ‘Everybody’s laughing… everybody’s happy…” Ah… we were all sun kings, that night.

So, that was just a little summary of what the weekend was like. I’m really excited by all that I saw, and I’m glad I opened myself up to what Redwood’s life is like. I dig it, like a spigot. I can’t wait to see what comes, cause this Fall is Being Kind. Here’s a lil playlist of what I’d say Corvallis in The Fall Time sounds like.

Enjoy! and check back in real soon for some exciting news to come.

Animal Collective- The Purple Bottle (870kbps) This song was how my heart felt for most of the weekend: a sort of fluttering, excited, head-bobbing, toe-tapping, silly-dancing feels. Most people do have this fantastic track, and if you don’t, GET IT, but I think you guys should get this one anyways, cause it’s the super-high-quality one, the Vinyl-quality recording. Tasty.

Hot Sugar- The Seagull Now, here’s a band I’m gonna begin following like the ice cream man. This song just oozes chilled ‘tude, and I’d listen to this again and again if I didn’t want to ruin the song for myself. It’s like if Ratatat and Royksopp had baby that was much prettier then them. Get it, if you wanna be cool. But it’s totally okay if you don’t want to be cool…

Talking Heads- This Must Be The Place (Young Edits Sophisticated Melody Version) Just walking around, in crazy tie-dye costume, next to a caped crusader, Edward Sharp and Detective Moustache, this song is basically what it was like. It’s a wonderful re-working of the song that keeps all the lovely Talking Heads-esque ness to it, while adding a crisper beat and some violins and flute that sound like underwater harpoons. Listen, and you’ll understand!

Riton- Banana Song Ah, this song is so calming, yet so fun. I’m pretty sure it’s just Pon De Floor by MAJAH LAZAH mixed with the “daylight come and me wanna go home” song, but it’s great. Reminds me of biking around at 3:30 AM under maples burning with fall’s color.

A-Track- Trizzy Turnt Up This song is a combination of all the shitty music we had to listen to as we went to various places, except I’m posting this song, cause it’s the one awesome remix of all those songs. Dude, they mention the purple bottle and soulja boy in one song. I mean, when we were at houses, I really WISH this was playing, but the autotune

The Knife- Like A Pen WHY WERE WE UP AT 7:00 IN THE MORNING? WHY ON GOD’S EARTH DID I APPROACH THAT NASTY SPIDER WHO WAS PROBABLY JUST TRYING TO CHILLAX, AND WHY WOULD I PUT IT SO CLOSE TO MY HANDS? WELL, OBVIOUSLY, YOU ARE DUMB, YOU ARE SO DUMB, HOMEBOY. AND I KNOW WHERE IT’S COMIN FROM! CAUSE I BACK TRACED IT!

Two Door Cinema Club- Something Good Can Work (Ted & Francis Remix) This song makes me feel real good, when there’s those little moments you don’t feel so Boss. Like, for me, I was a bit sad to have to leave Corvallis so soon, but, like this song says “Something good can work!”  Ya-ha!

Animal Collective- Loch Raven (Slowed Down) So, I had the idea to slow down some of my favorite tracks, like you could when albums came on vinyl, and this track came to mind. Low and behold, when I tried it, the results were fantastic. This version of this song really put me in different place, and it’s quite a good, comfy one.

arcatacorvalisportlandanchoragesanfrancisconewyorksandiegobellinghamcougar

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So, this is a power-post(BAM!) about a topic I want to bring up here on the world wide internets. Screw hipsters. Sure, they are on the bleeding-edge of what’s cool and hip, but they also stunt their’s and society’s growth in general by letting their actions be dictated by what it means to be a Hipster nowadays.

Being a Hipster nowadays means wearing skinny jeans, ray bahn sunglasses, taking Polaroid pictures, eating at places on the cool streets of town, acting snobby yet socially awkward, listening to obscure bands that you like as long as no one else does, drinking PBR tall boys, riding a fixie, sporting hip ear gauges, and wearing American Eagle solid-color hoodies, among many other classifying things. Now, to me at least, all these things sound slightly cool to do on their own, but then I just think about all of things together, done by one person, then those actions copied by tons and tons and tons of others, and I think about how the world would be, or more over, a town like Portland would be, and it doesn’t sound too appealing. When hipster-ism was first pioneered (whenever some kid decided he liked the idea of counterculture yet realized how being a hippy was far too much work and not very cool today, so decided to model himself after everyone’s soft spot: nostalgia), it was an acceptable thing, albeit awkward and very contrived and pretentious seeming to the outside 90s world, because only a few people were participating in it, weren’t labeled as “cool’ or “hip” or “douchebags” just yet, and just seen as doing their thing.

However, for some reason that’s probably related to our culture becoming an iculture of individualism and ego tripping fools, people decided that this awkward, thick-lensed, coffee swigging man-girl with a bike terrible for hills and enough PBR to fuel a canadian moose hunt, was the new definition of cool. What a joke! They accepted their title as the coolest mothers around and the scene spread like a cold to the minds of developing, impressionable teenagers and 20somethings around the nation. Now, there was a secret army among the people; one of pretentious people who didn’t necessarily do any harm to the world, but were just as much as a drag as just a regular old layman. Everyone following these made-up social rules that were judgmental and shallow, making their own selves be pushed into this shell of chrome retro coolness. So, the end result of all this Hipster-ism was a culture of young people, so determined to “bring the change” or something similar goal, all being something that doesn’t fit quite right, while the handful of people who actually live such a hipster lifestyle are actually mad that there’s so many people making hipster-ism into some yippie-type buzzkill that makes their own life look like that.

So, beyond all the scene-kids who have drifted into hipster-ism and formed their impenetrable sphere of independence, in the center of this swirling madness, lies the people who actually live the “ideal hipster life”, one that I would say is authentic. Real “hipsters”, if you want to call them that, are a much more gentle kind of soul. Not known for the products they subscribe to, or the places they eat or stuff they like, they are known and seen as quite brave type people. They more closely resemble the freedom-fighters of the underground 50s and 60s, trying to live within their own means and on their own terms, in a world that seems to scream at them what to do. Now, here they are, being emulated by the masses, their uniqueness now a standard for coolness, which is quite ironic, but irony is the way of the Hipster.

But what can they do? The thing they do best: keeping being themselves; being honest to who they want to be, not fussing over who wants to be like them or what they could do to be “cooler.” It’s absolutely not about that. Being seen is cool is really quite a tired and used social stigma, and doesn’t have the desired effect of acceptance or betterment that it held before. Now, the cool thing to do is to simply, be.  Don’t be held in by tight skinny jeans or the limitations of where a fixie can go. By trying to appear bleeding edge, one’s illusion of being rad is shattered, cause one finds themselves still just another person in the game, nothing changed but their perspective of others and their now-afflicted view of self.

The cool thing to do nowadays is be yourself. Be a folky, be a scene kid, be a biker, whatever. Be proud, but completely headstrong,  of everything you are; your opinions, your decisions, the truth of what has happened to you in life to make you who you are, or what you choose to look like. No one’s words or actions have control over what you should be. So, stop trying so hard to be cool, just know that you’re the best person you know (cause you’re the only person you really know), and go forth and shine. Get rid of the knots in your mind and your gut, do those things that before have made you feel uncomfortable (those are just opportunites for you to allow yourself to grow into a more open person) and go and have fun, worry free in the sunshine, before it’s all gone.

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halloweenarcata

Hey all out there on this crazy united World web system. I hope you are enjoying your monday-anti-funday, and I hope the series of tubes has been keeping you entertained.
The past two weeks have been a mad crazy blur of excitement, meeting pretty people, dancing, singing and respectively, losing my voice. The weekend before this one, three of my closest friends from Portland, OR came down from their various colleges to come check out what all the jazz is about down here in Arcata. Man, as soon as they stepped out of their car, tired and a bit cranky from their epic drive of over 8 hours, we snapped back to our old ways and habits and inside jokes. We tore the town up, bringing smiles, merriment and mischief to where ever we went. The first night, we followed our instincts and came to a GIANT house party full of costumed people, a bonfire, beer pong, and rambunctiousness. The cops came a couple times, just because they were jealous I think, but it all was good. The next day was a journey from the top of the back of the Redwood forest to the edge of the great bay that Arcata sits on. We got there just in time to watch the sunset bleed a warm ruby on the clouds then sink away to nothing. Ah, good times, good friends, and good events set into motion.
Then, a week passed by and various school work was done and not done, and it was time for the arrival of more classic friends. This time coming from farther south, Greg Lanton (know that name, you will see it making headlines later on) brought his lovely friend-o Agnieszka (who I so often butchered the name of) from the U.C of Davis. They brought quite different energies when compared to the week before, but they were good ones, and they were especially good ones being as how they were drenched in Halloween spirits. Drum circles, Didgeridoo, Shots, Midget King of The Hill, stories exchanged of days gone by. And that was just the tame day one. The next day, WAS Halloween. Me, being the excellent planner that I am, put off getting a costume till the day of. I suggested being a toilet paper mummy, wearing a speedo, being a fixed gear fool, or something else easy and hastily put together. However, Greg and Agnie took one look at me and knew: cross-dresser. Man, you don’t want to see what happened, but let me tell you-it was DAMN SEXY. Like, ooh lala, girls were mad jealous of my lady lumps (and man lumps, I guess). Greg was my German Pimp-overlord and I was fifty dollars, no more, no less. Ah, good times.

There was a house party we kind of just found and invaded, then there was the Plaza. The square plaza, the centerpiece of Arcata, was already completely overcrowded by people when we got there around eleven. Completely. Some kind members of our school band played some drums, and the crowd was ignited in a tribal rocking and rolling, limbs flailing like a bunch of drunken hippies at a drum circle (oh wait, that’s what we were). People climbed the statue of McKinley and just sat on the top with their MD 5050’s, cheering into the wild, pulsating crowd underneath their feet. The square was totally taken over and illegalities were everywhere. You didn’t even have to take anything yourself, there was enough smoke going around and booze being spilled to give anyone a contact buzz. There were great costumes, creative costumes, and some just really funny ass people (Yes, the ass-people made another live appearance, damn them!). Greg, Agnieszka, Fran and I found a favorite alley that we frequented, because sometimes we were just too super fly  for the square. We met super-sperm there and founded our very bathroom (haha). Around three, the cops started to kick fools out after someone fell off the statue, and we all stumble-retired to warm waiting beds to try our hand at sleeping… or non-sleeping.
The nights went too quickly and the days seem like a blur. That’s the mark of a great success, I think.All in all, everything turned out very well in these confusing weeks, and everything that needed to happen, did. People were released from their mental prisons, I served as the sexiest tour guide available, and so many good people were able to come together. Ah, Halloween, the festival of freaks.I hope to see more of these people and I hope they took a little Arcata and Zack Cada with them. Well, time to go try and put everything else together again. Phew. Jedi Braid Ahoy!

Here’s today’s killer playlist. Listen to it and just enjoy, or go ride your bike. Whatever- it’s your show
TO GET SONGS (MP3), OPEN THE FILES IN A NEW TAB AND FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS TO DOWNLOAD

Devendra Banhart- Pensando Enti
Panda Bear- Take Pills
Neon Indian- Deadbeat Summer
Cool Kids + Hey Champ(We are) Champions
Florence & The Machine- You Got The Love (The XX Remix)
Dr. Dog- The Old Days
The Cool Kids- What Up Man
DiscoveryI Want To Be Your Boyfriend
Bonobo- Days To Come
Deadmau5- You Need A Ladder

 

 

 

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