Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers

Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers are just amazing. Point blank. They released this cover of an Hall and Oats song today and it is absolutely beautiful. The fact that they make the majority of their music videos in someone's car is always a bonus factor. It's like we're so badass that we can multitask on a super level! Playing instruments, keeping time, and singing all at the same time. I also learned that they're going to be performing at SXSW this year, so if you're in the area be sure to look for their set! Man, this video literally made my day. Hope it brought a smile to your face as well!

Location: Houston, TX

Think I'm In Love: Teavana

I recently discovered Teavana this weekend and it was revolutionary! I already love to drink tea but I'm always looking for new ones to try. But I mean I can't just be trying new tea all willy-nilly now, because it is soooooo expensive. Not to mention I don't want to purchase something based on the pretty packaging on to have it taste bad. My roommate and I went to check out Teavana this weekend and they let us try all these different types of teas. I swear I thought I had died and gone to tea haven. The best part was that we discovered one blend that was the most delicious cup of brewed tea.

Their Youthberry blend is a cross between white and herbal teas. Its so refreshing though. They mixed in a dried blend of citrus, acai, mango and other superfruits to add a sweet element to the tea. It is chalk full of antioxidants and quite frankly I can't stop drinking it! I must have had at least three cups today haha. The thing is, I don't put sugar in my tea and so I feel as though it is benefiting me more in its purest and unaltered form.

Location: New York, NY

Meet Mihal Freinquel

Mihal Freinquel, 29
Freelance Writer
New York City, New York

What inspired you to start writing, and how did you make it to where you are today?
I never really had a moment of inspiration. My best friend and I started a party blog in 2007 but he did most of the writing. Then one day I just tried it out - my first piece was about tie dye - and I was surprised how much I fancied it. I hated writing all throughout college. Then I just kept doing it. Eventually I got fired from a job that I hated and began blogging more about fashion, then an editor from Huffington Post liked my blog (that's back in the day when their style section was still cool) and let me blog for them. After that it was all about meeting people and continuing to write - it still is. Just write write write - even if nobody's reading.

What is your favorite magazine, or newspaper publication? Why?
I read the NYTimes style section daily, even though their trend pieces make me want to gag - but I live for Cathy Horyn. I love Jezebel, and have been lucky enough to write for them a couple of times. As far as fashion magazines, I think Bazaar is by far the best and most unique. I read TheCut, NY Mag's fashion blog. I like anything with a sense of attitude, irreverence, and irony - people who take themselves too seriously, especially in fashion, bore the shit out of me.

What do you like most about your job? What do you like least?
I love the freedom. The self-expression. Every day is different and I'm exposed to a lot of new information and people. But a freelance writer can never get too comfortable - you always have to be searching for what's next and make sure you're making ends meet.

What do you love most about your city? Top three places to visit?
Haha, I'm actually about to leave my city!! NYC is great but I'm entering a different phase of life I think - one that involves a slower pace, more organic food and yoga, and just an overall change of scenery. I've been on the east coast for 11 years so now I'm headed back to Oregon where I'm from. But if you're in NYC you have to eat the Brussels sprouts at Ilili - this outstanding Lebanese place. If you're in Portland, Oregon - where I'm headed - you MUST visit House of Vintage - the biggest, most incredibly stocked vintage store I've ever been to.

How would you describe your personal style, and what makes your style different from everybody else?
I don't think I'm that different than everybody else. I dress in mostly dark colors - I love layering. I live for fall and winter, can't stand dressing in warm months. I'm pretty grungy and androgynous, I'm totally lost when it comes to dressing ladylike.

If you could raid anyone's closet, whose would it be?
Kate Lanphear hands down.

What's on your iPod at this moment?
I've never really stopped listening to 90's alternative rock/grunge - Nirvana, Sublime, The Cranberries, No Doubt, Bush, get the idea. I also love Motown, I was raised listening to the greats - Aretha, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson. But I'm also into 60's and 70's rock n roll and folk stuff - Dylan, Patti Smith, Joni Mitchell. And hip hop - Fugees, boyfriend makes me listen to a lot of Texas screw.

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
Hm, professionally it was probably writing for the NYTimes' fashion week issue - that was an incredible feeling. At the time, my boyfriend and I were still just dating - he framed it for me and now it's on the wall in our kitchen :) Hopefully there will be far greater things to come though!

Best advice you've been given?

There are no right or wrong decisions. You just make one, and deal with the consequences.
image via Layonbone


images via The Ragged Priest

Words of Wisdom #89


SXSW 2013

Let's just take a second to talk about how amazing life is right now. I cannot believe the beautiful things that have happened in the last 24 hours. I had so much fun at SXSW this year. It was my first time going and it was kind of sensory overload with all the music, people, and food! Goodness, the streets smelled so good. I forgot how wonderful the street food is in Austin. The best part is that a big chunk of it is vegetarian so I was in hog heaven! We saw the show, hopped around to different venues and then danced our asses off. It was literally the best time ever. I met up with my friend Pulkit and he let us crash at his place for the night (who needs hotels when you have amazing friends). His place was super nice, just being in Austin really made me want to consider moving there. It's the perfect hippie city. I fit right in with all the "weirdoes" and "flower children." I'm definitely coming back for SXSW next year. I think I may be hooked!


I Won Tickets to See Krewella!

I think I'm going to scream! I just wont a two tickets to see Krewella at SXSW! I can't even breathe! I entered the contest and received an email to be at The Ghost Room by 8:30 p.m. to be guaranteed entry for the show. Eek! I'm calling Yeni now and we're about to goooooooo! I'm so excited!


Meet the Artist: Phaeleh

image via Facebook/Phaeleh
Phaeleh, 30
DJ and Producer
Bristol, United Kingdom

Phaleh has been carving a niche for himself for quite sometime. He's a well versed artist that produces everything from dubstep-realted beats, to deep and soulful trance-like sounds. Not only does he create his own sounds, but he also co-runs the label Urban Scrumping. Which is no easy feat, on top of that he also is in the process of finishing up his next album. Read on as Phaeleh brings us into his world of music. 
How did you first get introduced to music? What made you gravitate to dubstep?
I just grew up with a lot of music around me and played a few instruments as a kid before getting more serious about music later on. I played in loads of bands as a teenager but also made my own stuff on an ancient copy of Cubase my teacher at school gave me. That's what got me into production. I've always made loads of styles, but it was actually the more breakstep sound which interested me rather than the halfstep stuff, I just loved the creative freedom people had back then with their tunes and sets. I think the scene is a lot more prescriptive these days.

You collaborated with Soundmouse for quite a few tracks a couple of years ago. What was it like working with her, and how is it different from working solo? Are there any plans for collaborations with other artists in the future?
Well I tend to separate features and collaborations, all the tracks Soundmouse has sung on were finished before she heard them so the creative process was pretty normal, where as production work with VVV or Clubroot for example was a shared creative experience. Lu (Soundmouse) did a great job all those tracks though and think it was more about her coming up with stuff which complemented what was already there. I've worked with 6 singers recently, though not sure what's going to end up on the album yet so I'll sit tight on that info for now.

Where do you get your inspiration from when you start to write/produce music? Describe your creative process.
100% from my mood and general feeling. I have to be feeling something to write or else you're essentially painting by numbers and going through the motions. Basic tracks like "Afterglow" or "The Cold In You" were written in one sitting, and then just tidied up a bit, whereas stuff like "In The Twilight" or "Should Be True" will have the basics down in the original all night session, but then I'll spend a while adding textures and subtle noises to help bring all the elements together and hopefully create a coherent sound.

What has been your favorite performance/tour so far? Why?
That's always a tricky one to remember as the gigs all tend to merge into one in my head, but Outlook in 2011 was probably my favourite show I've ever done, just because I wasn't expecting a great turn out and there ended up being a load of people who were genuinely connecting with the music, and it was a very emotional experience.

What's on your iPod at the moment?
The tunes on my phone are probably the same I was listening to 10 years ago to be fair. Lots of Brian Eno and Philip Glass alongside Prodigy Experience, old LTJ Bukem mixes. I'm not particularly familiar with much music released since I was a teenager.

How would you describe the music scene in Bristol in comparison to other major cities or music capitals?
It's a very diverse place musically, but seems to be something which brings people together. You often see a lot of promoters working together and it generally seems to be good vibes. It's hard for me to say, as haven't properly been out in Bristol since about 2008.

Top 3 places to visit in Bristol?
The view from Cabot Tower is definitely worth seeing so that would be one, maybe the suspension bridge is worth a look too. East Street in Bedminster is always an entertaining experience too.

A phrase you use too often:
I use the words "lush" and "mincey" too much I'm told, but I can't think of any specific phrases off the top of my head.

What’s the best advice you've been given?
Probably to never to rely on anyone but yourself.

What’s something people don’t know about you?
The first instrument I attempted to play as a child was the Euphonium. I couldn't read music at that point, so it was a bit of a fail in all honesty.

If tomorrow was your last day on this earth what are the top five things you would do?
I'd probably try and finish off my album first, as I'd be annoyed if no one got to hear the tunes, then I'd catch up with some people I care about. Probably get an epic curry, then have a nice cup of tea and chill. Maybe one final game of Mario Kart on the N64.

You can check out Phaeleh on Soundcloud,  Facebook and Twitter


Desert Dreams

 images via tumblr

Cheers to the Freakin' Weekend


Alrighty boys and girls we did it! We survived this rather hellacious week and managed to make it to Spring Break! Cheers! I'll drink to that! Hahaha. Seriously though. I'm so glad to be getting this break right now. I'm planning on working on a bunch of DIY's over the break. I've made a bunch of things I just haven't put them up yet...

Anyways! Here's a little mix I made to start off your Friday. Cheers!

Create Your Own Before I Die Wall

If you remember my post about the Before I Die wall? In case you don't it's an extremely passionate project that is bringing together communities and inspiring individuals all over the world. The coolest part is that the creators of the project have come up with a toolkit so people can make a wall of their own. The kit includes a title stencil, guide, metal chalk holders, gloves and chalk. The best part is, you can also download these files anytime if you want to create a stencil of your own. Be sure to visit the project website for more info. 

Man, I Want a Penny Board!

Man, I want a penny board so badly! It's not that I don't love my board, its just that sometimes it sucks lugging around my board because it's close to six feet long. Not that I'm complaining though! I love my board when I'm cruising, I go so fast and feel soooooo free. But as soon as I stop and go into a restaurant with some friends or something that's when it gets to be a little cumbersome. Which is why I've been looking for a mini! The only thing is, I don't want a dinky little plastic board. It seems like such a contradiction. All of my boards have either been wood or bamboo. Natural materials you know? I just think that a plastic board wouldn't cruise as well as a wood one. Not that I'm in any shape to purchase one right now anyways haha! I'm just going to keep doing research and see what I can find!


Meet the Artist: Boris Bally

After sifting through the interwebs for a couple hours today I stumbled across designer Boris Bally and the amazing furniture that he creates from old street signs, weapon parts and other found objects. His work is so witty and innovative, and I find it to be reminiscent of work Dan Phillips does! But that's besides the point. Bally hails from the small state of Rhode Island and he has gone through hoops and hurdles to create his piece "The Broadway Armchair". He makes sure that each traffic sign that he finds, works together perfectly with his next piece of art. And nothing goes to waste! Ever. Any leftover material or scraps are saved so that they can be used in another one of his works of art.

In one year alone Bally can produce hundreds of these arm chairs, keeping tons of discarded traffic signs out of landfills. Bally is great because he hopes to inspire others to look beyond the "intended" purpose of the objects around them. Which isn't hard to do when you think outside of the box a little bit. I like to make pieces out of found objects as well. Something about upcycling just speaks to me! What about you? Are you feeling inspired?  
images via desginboom