Monday, April 26, 2010

coachella wrap up

here it is, one week later, and i still feel like i'm catching up with my life a little bit - still trying to find my groove again. it's coming; it's just trippy how much time it takes for me (and for f, we're learning) to get "back on track" or whatevs after we've gone out of town for a bit. after all the lead-up to the coachella weekend, and then the non-stopness of all three days, and then f being so happy we were home (as were we, of course) but then mad at us for leaving - it's been a nutty week. and i've been meaning all week to jot down some of my coachella weekend highlights, to present them all neat and juicy like a bacon-wrapped anything. but now that a full week has gone by, i fear i may have forgotten some of those awesome details that make coachella weekend such a cool experience. let's see.

my first interview of the weekend was with vampire weekend, and they showed up right at 10am, right as i first cracked the mic. our engineers had set up the broadcast in the upstairs living room and we hadn't even had a chance to test out the connection when the band arrived. i was nervous! i always get nervous before interviews - i wish i didn't! but i do. fortunately, the guys, chris & ezra, were chipper (!), friendly, and talkative. about halfway through our interview i began to relax and realize that everything was going to be ok. and you know what? it was. all weekend. every band - every one! - was cool and friendly. every band seemed happy to be there. some artists even hung out for a while at our house and made themselves comfortable, like andrew and ben of MGMT who ate lunch with us, or chris and ezra from vampire weekend who let my j cook them some breakfast sandwiches while they all listened to the new broken bells record. overall, it was the best, most joyful, most peaceful coachella weekend i've ever had. good good good.

after vampire weekend finished their egg sandwiches and left, mark and gerry from devo showed up. gerry especially was quite chatty and it was the one time during the weekend when i felt like i was truly in the presence of legends, you know? it was awesome. the british band one eskimo came next and were soundchecking their equipment right up until the moment i cracked the mic to start their interview. they were in a good mood and their performance (we have mics set up in case bands want to play some acoustic songs for us) was stunningly, surprisingly great. they harmonized like there was no tomorrow and i got the feeling everyone in that living room was converted. that afternoon, MGMT, tokyo police club, and britt from spoon all stopped by the house too. and that night (after an insanely silly walk through campgrounds and mud to get to the festival), them crooked vultures , jay-z, and lcd soundsystem blew us away.

day two brought sune and sharin from denmark's raveonettes to the house - they were serious but talkative, and they told us they were a little stressed because they were going to have to perform as just a duo that night at the festival; their bandmembers were stranded in europe, thanks to the icelandic volcano disrupting air travel. worth noting: the raveonettes arrived with a full documentary film crew who set up and filmed the interview (and subsequently interviewed sharin and sune downstairs in the family room) and who were being funded by none other than little steven van zandt. trippy! fortunately, the film crew was chock full of interesting new yorkers who ended up hanging out at the house for the rest of the afternoon with us, drinking beers in the pool and instigating some shenanigans.

the cribs were supposed to come by the house too, but none of them made it out of europe and they had to cancel their coachella performance entirely. bummer. band of skulls came by and performed - they sounded great. ed from grizzly bear came by next and he was so relaxed, chatty, and regular-guy seeming, it was awesome! he impressed me so much. just very genuine and friendly, not snooty indie rock god guy in the slightest. he was pretty funny and entertained us all with the story of how he became friends with jay-z and beyonce.

came by and had a ton of good energy, and they played along with our plan to turn the tables on them and film it all,which made me like them even more. they walked in and we stopped them and asked if instead of them performing for us, could we perform for them? and maybe they could give us (our staff band, which was really just woods from the morning show, amanda from big sonic chill and i) some pointers. they sat on the couch looking a little confused, but the gig was up as soon as we started playing a very, VERY bad version of poison's "every rose has its thorn". their bass player jeremy even joined us on the acoustic bass! it was pretty awesome. they played along and sang along and were generally just champs about letting us have a little fun. i think at that point we were all a little stir-crazy from having been in the house all day.

and then, after dinner and garett's coachella-tradition of mint juleps around the pool, we headed to the festival for night two. faith no more killed it, MGMT were great, muse were flamboyant and loud and good, and we ended with the surreal scene backstage before the dead weather's set - it was me, j, garett and travis, hanging out drinking beer with jack white, alison mosshart, tony kanal from no doubt, giovanni ribisi, and beck and his wife and two kids running around. it was a pinch-me moment and also, one of those moments that just makes me thank my lucky stars. crazy.

sunday was relatively mellow; thomas and christian from phoenix came by (and charmed amanda and i with their kindness, senses of humor, and accents) and then just as i was getting ready to be done with my shift, white rabbits showed up and decided to play live on the air. that was the icing on the cake. they were super cool (i'd just nterviewed them a couple months back for our holiday show) and they were friendly and relaxed and when they played live? holy CATS. may have been the best performance of the weekend in that house. unbelievable. spot on vocally, great harmonies, really interesting acoustic interpretations of their stuff - it was so rad.

and that was it! as soon as 3pm rolled around and white rabbits wrapped up, j and i packed our stuff and headed out. all we both wanted at that point was to get home to see f. we both kept talking about how much we missed her and we were on a mission. i was so glad j had come with me for the weekend. he hung out and shot a bunch of pictures throughout the weekend, and he chilled with everyone in the house while i was working. going to the festival with him at night was a little slice of heaven too. so we drove home up over the mountains and down to temecula, which was a beautiful way to go. we listened to the avett brothers and wilco. it was a great ending to a great weekend. now i kinda can't wait for coachella 2011.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

mark made this

when devo stopped by the fm 94/9 coachella house for an interview, i'd just tweeted that i was sad to miss DJ lance rock of yo gabba gabba's set because he was spinning at 2pm and i was going to be on the air until 3pm that day. my friend nina suggested i ask mark mothersbaugh (of devo, who does a drawing segment on YGG) to draw f a picture to make me not feel so sad about missing lance's set, so i did, and i was pleasantly surprised when he perked right up and went for it! unbelievable! we now have a personalized mark mothersbaugh original to frame and hang in her room. as someone who grew up loving devo, i am totally geeking out on this.

i was dorking out. devo! can't wait to play f their new record.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


now that we're parents, preparing to leave town (especially when we're going somewhere without f) has turned into what feels like a decathlon of ridiculousness and stress. the fact that i was going to be working all weekend at coachella meant my to-do list last week just got silly. i ended up writing it out on a piece of paper from a yellow legal pad - i set up a grid and planned out each day in order to maximize my time before we left. i am a nerd that way, but dude! i can't sleep if i can't write everything down because i feel like i will forget something. and i did, but oh well.

my pre-coachella to-do list:

stock the kitchen
write out explicit instructions for f's nighttime routine
google map and print directions to her school, the park, vons, & target
leave info and phone numbers with f's teachers
listen again to the new records by the raveonettes, hockey, & one eskimo
get keys to the right people
make sure we have enough toilet paper & pull-ups
do the devo song study
write out instructions for tivo, the heater, and the DVD player
figure out what to wear
charge camera batteries
buy good beer
research white rabbits, tokyo police club, & the cribs (& listen to their records)
dye my roots (sheesh! but it's true)
take f to the capezio store in UTC to get ballet gear for her class that starts the monday we get back
call my mom like 10 times, auntie too (they were both watching f for the weekend)
listen to the phoenix, spoon, & vampire weekend records again
pack her lunch for thursday (sack lunch, field trip to the park) and friday
write a check for f's picture day and deliver it to school
record 5 concert calendars
gas up my car

the most seamless melding of my two worlds were the moments last week when i was, say, listening to vampire weekend's first record as f and i drove to get her some ballet shoes. or writing out her nighttime routine while the white rabbits played on the ipod. and then it all came together when devo was at the coachella house with us and after our interview, i told mark that our daughter loved him on yo gabba gabba and he drew her a picture! and signed it! it's a framer: a picture of a devo energy dome with "to F - yo gabba gabba! q: are we not men? a: we are devo" and his signature at the bottom. i was ecstatic! we showed it to her when we got home and told her it was by mark from yo gabba gabba and she gasped (!) and said "i love it!" and then today i saw this video that was taken at coachella, and i felt like it epitomizes my life; kid + music (+ joy!). yo gabba gabba + king khan & the shrines. that about sums it up.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

a list. or two

the bad:

1. j's back is still f'd. like, i've never seen anyone in so much constant pain. and holy health care system, are you kidding me? his primary care doc ordered x-rays, then referred him to a neurologist who ordered an MRI, who now claims he still hasn't gotten the "final" results of the MRI even though the MRI people said they sent the neurologist the results last wednesday, so the neurologist says he's referring j to a neurosurgeon (!!) who, four days later, says he hasn't received the referral yet... and don't even get me started on the physical therapy. or the chiropractor. or the neurologist's receptionist and faulty phone system. wheee!

2. aftershocks. lots of them. we really felt the 7.2 quake in northern mexico last sunday, and there was just another big 5.5 aftershock this morning. a little freaky.

the good:

1. j finally decided to try acupuncture and had a good experience - not only that, he came home feeling hopeful, which is huge in my book. even better: the next day, his acupuncturist called and spent 20 minutes on the phone with him going over his MRI (she had gotten it, no problem). when they hung up he said it was the first time he felt like any of his health care providers had offered him any sort of actual information, let alone hope and some instructions. so, he's cutting down on sugar and going back to acupuncture. which, naturally, his insurance doesn't cover. oh well. if it works, we'll find a way to swing it.

2. our front yard landscape project is in full effect! i mean, no offense to the two tons of lava rock that was put there in 1972, but DUDE. it's going to be awesome and there will be nary a blade of grass in sight: low water all the way. it doesn't hurt that j's sister is a landscape architect! thanks to her, we've been up late googling plants with names like "sagina" just for the giggles.

3. coachella is next weekend and j thinks he's going to rally and go with me! i really, really hope he does and that he's not in pain the whole time.

4. this morning, f woke me up by climbing into our bed and sticking her tongue in my mouth. nothing like a wake-up call that is both funny and slimy to start the day.

and so it goes.