Austin Psych Fest 2013

Yesterday Jason and I went to one of our city's many music festivals, Austin Psych Fest.  This is the sixth (and the best) year the Reverberation Appreciation Society has put together this niche music festival for lovers of all things psychedelic.  Psych Fest started out relatively small and has taken place at a variety of venues including the old Austin Power Plant and the new, larger Emo's location on East Riverside.  This year the people in charge anticipated even greater crowds than years before so this year the festival is taking place out in a rural area, near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, known as Carson Creek Ranch.  I said "taking" place because it's actually a three-day-long festival; we chose to just attend on Friday due to the high cost of tickets.  

Luckily, most of the bands we were interested in seeing were scheduled to play their sets on Friday!  We got to see my favorite garage rockers from Mississippi - Bass Drum of Death as well as Warpaint, The Soft Moon and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, among a few others we managed to catch in between.  

Aside from the awful humidity, it was a really fun experience.  It never felt too crowded, which is always a good thing because live shows, especially festivals, can be a little overwhelming at times for a worrier such as myself.  There was a lovely breeze the whole day/night, there were areas to relax and catch our breath and there was a delicious variety of food trucks.  I ordered and demolished a Mac N' Cheese BLT with sweet potato fries from the Whole Foods truck, and Jason and I shared a Flying Pig donut (a masterpiece topped with maple icing & bacon pieces) from Gourdough's later on in the evening.  

Assuming the lineup is as good as it was this year in the coming years, I'm sure we'll give Austin Psych Fest another go!  I absolutely love living in a city that is so welcoming and supportive of music genres of all kinds and believes in celebrating live music year-round.  Keep it coming, Austin!

The Elevation Stage

Bass Drum of Death


The Soft Moon


"Music and Moonlight"

Walt Disney & Shirley Temple on the day Disney won an Oscar for Snow White
Photo Credit 

We are the music makers,

And we are the dreamers of dreams,

Wandering by lone sea-breakers

And sitting by desolate streams;—

World-losers and world-forsakers,

On whom the pale moon gleams:

Yet we are the movers and shakers

Of the world for ever, it seems.

Arthur O'Shaughnessy, 1874



Five songs I'll listen to for the rest of my life:
1.  "The Sea & the Rhythm" by Iron & Wine
2.  "Well...All Right" by Buddy Holly
3.  "Head Over Heels" by Tears For Fears
4.  "Shift" by Grizzly Bear
5.  "Teenage Lust" by The Jesus and Mary Chain

Five movies I'll watch for the rest of my life:
1.  Blue Valentine
2.  The Wrestler
3.  Gigantic
4.  Vertigo
5.  The Shining

Five things on my bucket list:
1.  Get married
2.  Have kids
3.  Travel to the Greek Isles and drink with the Ios locals
4.  Stay in a bungalow on a beach in Thailand
5.  Find my one true occupational passion!

Five celebrities I'd love to hang out with for a day:
1.  Emma Stone
2.  Evan Rachel Wood
3.  Adam Scott (actor, not golfer)
4.  Andy Samberg
5.  Ian Somerhalder

Five things I always carry in my purse:
1.  Wallet
2.  Glasses
3.  Cell phone
4.  Chapstick
5.  Car keys

Five books on my reading list:
1.  On the Road by Jack Kerouac
2.  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
3.  The Red House by Mark Haddow
4.  Out of the Cocoon by Brenda Lee
5.  Haunted by Joyce Carol Oates

Thanks to Carissa for inspiring this post!


On Being Terrified & Loving Every Minute Of It

Well, it has been nearly a week since Jason and I went to see the EVIL DEAD remake, and I have been meaning to share a few of my thoughts on it with you, I just couldn't decide how to organize them.

I have always been a huge fan of horror movies of all kinds.  Suspense, thrillers, slashers, paranormal and basically all others.  The only kind of horror I don't always enjoy is torture.  Although as I typed that I thought of a couple of torture films I did actually like - one of those being The Loved Ones, an Australian film written and directed by Sean Byrne, about a young man who rejects a female classmate's invitation to go to the prom with her which causes her psycho side to blossom.

As a lover of Sam Raimi's original Evil Dead trilogy, I knew going into the remake that it would not be as brilliant, but I was expecting to get a kick out of it based off of the reviews I had read.  While it definitely wasn't as good as the original, I can happily say it exceeded my expectations.  I love that there was pretty much zero sexuality in it.  Not that I don't enjoy mushy-gushy, hot n' heavy stuff from time to time, but I really feel there is a time and place for that in the movies, and too many horror movies these days feel like they have to flip-flop between exaggerated sex scenes and kill scenes.  It was honestly refreshing to see a horror movie that was just straight up gore, whether shocking, terrifying or even comical.

I also really loved that they kept it true to the original in ways.  The cinematography was even replicated in angle of the shots, the close-ups and the zooming in and out.  Although there was no Ash, his character was pretty much evenly divided between the two male characters.

I winced, I laughed, I jumped, I oohed and I ahhed.  It was an absolutely thrilling, fun ride the entire 90 minutes!  Go see it!


Five Fresh Finds

I hope each of you are having a beautiful Sunday!  As for me, the highs of this weekend were fantastic, but the lows were the absolute worst.  I felt like I was trying to catch up on work literally all day Friday.  No matter how many tasks I juggled at once, or how quickly I attempted to get things done, I just couldn't seem to keep up with everything.  Alas, that's just the business I suppose...especially this time of the year.

So I've come across, in one way or another, some really great films, music, and TV shows, and each of these things (for lack of a better word) have been on my mind non-stop for the past week or so.  Because I've enjoyed them all so much, I thought I'd take some time to share them with you so you can experience them for yourself if you haven't already.

1.  Harmony Korine's outrageously fun and dreamy Spring Breakers.

Now, I know this film has gotten a TON of buzz all over the media, but, in my opinion, it is well deserved.  My favorite parts were all of James Franco's scenes, of course, because his lines and his image absolutely ruled the film, but I also surprisingly enjoyed the girls' performances.  I was a little hesitant about the movie's credibility when I first heard that the main characters of the story were to be played by some ex-Disney starlets, but I was pleasantly surprised.  It's definitely not for everyone and is super weird at times, but I really enjoyed the bizarreness of it all.  I would dive further into my views on the film, but this Hello Giggles article by Lesley Arfin truly expresses my exact thoughts on the film.  I honestly cannot say it better myself.

2.  Afraid of Heights, the new full-length album from So-Cal pop-punk band WAVVES.

This has to be my favorite album right now!  I just can't stop listening to it.  I mean, King of the Beach was a masterpiece, but Afraid of Heights takes it to the next level.  The band has remained true to their raw, catchy sound, but taken their lyrics to a deeper, darker place, and I am absolutely swooning.  My current favorite tracks are "Sail To The Sun", "Demon To Lean On" and "I Can't Dream."

3.  Deerhunter on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon the other night.

Did anyone else happen to catch this crazy weird performance?  Having been a fan of Deerhunter for years now, I half expected them to do something odd because that's just the nature of frontman Bradford Cox, but I was pretty stunned.  Bradford was wearing a leopard print blouse and black wig and had two of his fingers bloody and bandaged as they gripped the microphone he was singing into.  Then, toward the end of the set, he threw the microphone down and walked off down the hallway backstage all the way to the elevator, pushed the signal button and leaned against the wall as the band played out the rest of the song.  Well played, Mr.Cox. 

4.  Hannibal.  

Jason and I decided to give this new NBC show a try since we're both fans of cannibalism (kidding), and the cast looked pretty legit.  So far there has only been one episode, and it was actually really really good.  It held my attention the entire time and even challenged my mind a little (which isn't terribly difficult to do, haha).  I think we'll keep watching it if it stays on par with what we've seen so far.

5.  Bates Motel on A&E.

Bates Motel is another new TV show we've adopted to our every-growing list of shows to keep up with, but I'm totally not sorry.  If you know me well, you know I've been an avid Hitchcock fan my whole life, and, while Psycho has never been my favorite, I love that Hollywood is re-imagining the story this way.  Jason doesn't really like that it's set in contemporary times instead of the original time period, but I don't really mind it.  It's definitely a fresh take on the classic story of a twisted mother-son relationship and Norman's downward spiral into insanity.  I'm anxious to see where the story will lead and eventually end.


Nice To See You Again, Old Sport

photo credit:  www.vol1brooklyn.com

"Then wear the gold hat, if that will move her.  
If you can bounce high, bounce high for her too 'til she cries
 'Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover, I must have you!"

Thomas Parke D'Invilliers


Bunnies, Eggs & Homesickness

Easter 1992
I promise I am going to get back into this whole blogging thing eventually.  Lately, I've just been feeling like if I'm not working, I'm too drained to do anything even the least bit productive (i.e. - blogging, exercising, running errands, etc).  All I want to do is watch TV, relax and sleep.  It's really annoying me because I've never considered myself to be a lazy person.  I like to keep busy most of the time.  I swear this job has just taken its heavy, troll-like toll on me and changed me in ways I never wanted to be changed.  I digress.  I'm still on the hunt for something better, and, as of now, I'm still hopeful.

Moving on to a better subject - my weekend was wonderful!  I got to go to Houston to spend time with my family which is, of course, one of my favorite ways to spend my time.  I cannot get over how close my mom and I have gotten since I graduated from high school.  Our relationship has always felt like just as much of a close friendship as a mother-daughter one, and I love that about us.  We have always had a really special connection that I haven't been able to match with anyone else.  It just gets harder and harder to leave her with each trip I make down there.  I was so so upset driving back on Sunday, and when I got home that night, to an empty apartment (Jason was at work), I was overcome with this dark sadness that I just couldn't shake.  Even when I woke up the next morning for work, I felt miserable and had to hold back the tears while getting ready.  It wasn't until a few hours into my work day that I finally started to feel better and get my emotions under control.  I can be such a sensitive sap sometimes.  It's quite silly.  (How'd you like that "S" alliteration?? NERD ALERT.)

Back to my weekend - I got into Mont Belvieu close to 2 p.m. on Friday and just lounged around my mom's apartment with her, Micah and Kaleb before she made pork chops, sweet potatoes and my favorite little peas for dinner.  After dinner me, my mom and Micah dyed and decorated Easter eggs which has to be one of my favorite family traditions!  It's always quite an experience with many laughs during the process.  The next day we decided to go to the Houston Zoo since I hadn't been in years, and that was so much fun!  We got to feed the giraffes, snapped some amazing pictures and got to see some of the newest additions to the zoo like the little baby sifaka (lemur) that was only a few weeks old.  Saturday night, I drove over to the west side of the city for my step-mom Rebecca's birthday dinner.  Easter Sunday was spent with more family over at Nana's house where we ate a delicious lunch of honey-baked ham, ranch potatoes, Aunt Jane's green beans, Uncle Steve's baked beans, rolls and banana pudding for dessert!  Sadly, Easter Sunday wasn't all fun and feasting.  We began the de-personalization of Nana's house so it can be readied for the housing market.  That beautiful barn-like house has been the beating heart of the Kitchen family for nearly 45 years.  It's hard to imagine it won't be a part of our lives anymore in the near future.  Someone else will invade it and create new memories inside of it.  So, so devastating for me to even think about.

Micah and her egg

At the Zoo after we fed the giraffes!

The baby Sifaka!

Happy Birthday, Rebecca!