Dillon Beach & Hazel English

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More on Hazel English

Today was a beautiful day. For Fall, the sun was absolutely glowing on the whole beach. My friend Kameryn and I decided to take a day away for ourselves and visit a beach we used to go to back in High School — Dillon Beach. It was remarkable today and wasn’t too cold for November. We walked around the shore, collected some sea shells and even saw a seal in the distance. I haven’t hung out with Kameryn in quite sometime so it was really beautiful see her and hang out with her again.

On the drive there, we listened to Hazel English. She is an up and coming musician who sounds mystic and quite, kind of like Polica. So of course, I love her. She will be performing at Noise Pop Festival in February and I am defintely going because her tickets are only $10! That’s beauty of discovering new artists is tickets are not very expensive and venues aren’t too big. My favorite song on her album is It’s Not Real. So foggy sounding and feathery across the notes she sings.

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Seattle, Washington & Death Cab for Cutie

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Death Cab for Cutie’s Plans Album Review

Wow. Seattle. Wow. I am in love! My boyfriend surprised me with plane tickets for my birthday to Seattle, Washington to visit my sister, Lisa. This caught me by surprised and it was an amazing weekend.

Seattle is the perfect city that loves nature in all its elements. When we arrived, it was a bit windy but still beautiful. It also helps that I really like the rain.

The city is stunning. Mt. Rainier in the background of each peak we drove up to along with the Space Needle was breathtaking. I love cities that exemplify nature, instead of exploiting the resources that are in the area.

Throughout the weekend, Brandon and I listened to Death Cab for Cutie because they are from Seattle. We thought it was pretty appropriate.

Death Cab will always have a special place in my heart because they were the first band I ever saw live with a dear old friend of mine, Hannah Lewis. I thank Hannah for being apart of my life because she introduced me to some beautiful music, mostly all the mellower music that I listen to.

With my Live 105 job, I actually got to meet them and they were pretty friendly. Living in the Bay Area, I found myself being very thankful and very blessed for the life that I have.

I will defintely be back to Seattle as soon as I possibly can. I love everything about it. The food, the people, the music, the nightlife, the weather–everything. Especially the seafood; salmon, oysters, mussels, king crab. Amazing.

There were literally so many pictures to chose from, sorry!

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Sailing & Discovery

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Discovery’s LP Album Review

My mom’s boyfriend owns a sail boat and occasionally we take it out. This fall season has been incredibly rare because usually by Fleet Week, we can’t sail the boat anymore. Why? Because the wind is simply too much. He is a very experienced sailor but it still can be challenging and harmful.

Sailing is crazy, to say the least. It takes a lot of skill to maintain and read the wind like a pro. He has taught me a lot but it is still intimidating.

Today, we were able to take sail one last time before sailing season is over. For November, this is pretty impressive.

I have been on the boat with him about 4 other times and every time is a different journey and experience. Today, we were lucky enough to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge which is very hard to do during this time of the year because it gets incredibly windy and dangerous because the current is very strong.

Rick likes to bring his JamBox with him when we are on the boat. He let me pick the music and I put on Discovery.

I love Discovery. Their sounds are very unique and imaginary. Discovery is a side project with the keyboardist of Vampire Weekend and the vocalist of Ra Ra Riot, two of my absolute favorite bands. Both members have a very, very different sound that they have molded in themselves with their other bands and I could tell that this collaboration is truly to experiment with different sounds and beats that would keep them feeling inspired to make new music of their own.

Overall, this was a beautiful day filled with great company and great music as well. I think Discovery was a perfect sound for the day and it made the atmosphere a whole different vibe of casually dancing to the rhythms that Discovery offers to those who choose to listen.

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Backpacking Ansel Adam Wilderness

As I write in my blog, I can’t help but look back on one of the most beautiful and hardest trips of my life, my first backpacking trip. I truly could not continue my blog without sharing this experience.

Going into my Junior year of college, I went on my first backpacking trip. I learned so much on this trip that has made me a different and better person today. I have learned the differences between “need” and “want,” the simplicities of nature, and how much your body can really surprise you when you’re in the most pain of your life.

This was a five days and four night trip. We were originally planned to hike Tuolumne Meadows, but we got caught with our dog from a park ranger on her day off. 😦

Alas, we planned a completely different trip outside Yosemite’s strict rules.We decided to go to Inyo National Forest and loop around Ansel Adams Wilderness. One of the most beautiful experiences of my life. I hope I can do it again one day.

The peak of our destination was seeing Thousand Island Lake which was was halfway through our 30 mile hike. This was seriously beautiful and I can’t even begin to describe the inspiration of everything around me.

I seriously recommend everyone to go on a backpacking trip at least once in their life. Even though I was in agonizing pain by hiking in Nike’s, didn’t pack enough clothes, packed the wrong sleeping bag for the brisk early summer nights, and got my backpacking backpack the day before my trip, all the lessons I learned changed me into a person that I am ultimately proud of. I was never afraid of dirt as a child and I guess you could say that I was not your typical girl. This trip solidified all that in just a matter of days. I was not meant to be like other girls who dream of make up or boys, but of a life of creativity and forever wonder and addiction to inspiration.

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Treasure Island Music Festival 2016

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Well, it happened. Treasure Island Music Festival’s last festival on the island! I grew up with this festival, with each year being a stepping stone into my young adult life. I’d reflect back on myself every year around this time and think how am I doing? Am I where I want to be in my life? Normally I am.

This year was a bit different, to say the least. There was an outrageous storm that passed through the city this weekend and it wasn’t pretty. We danced in the pouring rain, stomped in hundreds of puddles and I definitely got sick by the end of the weekend. But, it was beautiful.

A lot of people complained, like a lot. But that didn’t stop me. Noise Pop is my favorite music company and I know how hard it is to put on a music festival in the pouring rain. A lot of artists got cancelled which wasn’t pretty but alas, Tycho stole the whole weekend for me and it was exactly what I needed to get my hopes up for this last couple of hours of the festival when everything was being cancelled.

Tycho played a beautiful set and because my group and I were waiting for Jame Blake to come on next, it was just beautiful. I’d look around me at all the happy people and the clouds that gave us a short break from the rain just for this set. There was even a moment when in his last song, the sun came out and started to rain as well. Tycho was glowing. I will never forget this moment and all the moments that are converged into my memory of all things Treasure Island Music Festival. Next year it will be a different venue set up and I will most defintely be there no matter what! Love you Noise Pop!

Treasure Island Music Festival 2016 Lineup

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Armstrong Redwood State Natural Reserve & Alt-J

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Visiting Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

Alt-J: An Awesome Wave Pitchfork Review

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve is located in Santa Rosa, Ca. I was visiting my mom for the weekend where she took me on a hike around the reserve. It has been quite sometime since I stood beneath these giants. I was shocked by their height. To promise my mom, I wouldn’t play any music on the hike. So instead of on the actual hike, on our drive there we listened to Alt-J’s An Awesome Wave.

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This album has always confused me. It is so tight, so well-rehearsed, and leaves absolutely no beat unnoticed in each song. It confused me because how can this band be so incredible? Every note, instrument used and any vocals plays a story.

Tessellate, Breezeblocks, Dissolve Me, Fitzpleasure, and Ms are just some of favorites on their album. This band is particularly different than the rest of the albums I have been sharing on my blog because it is much more eclectic and more upbeat than the rest. I also felt as if folk, bluegrass and light rock always meshed the best with nature but honestly, it’s up to you and what you like.

On the drive, my mom loved this album. She has always been interested in my music taste since she was a huge fan of Classic Rock growing up. I owe a lot of my music taste to my mom as well. Growing up we always listened to Paul McCartney, Grateful Dead, Tracy Chapman and so many more on cassette.

On our walk, we talked all about music. The great thing about today was because of this blog and my journey of listening to music in nature, I learned more about my mom. Music has always been strongly rooted in our family but we never actually talked about it. I told her about how recently I’ve been trying to find new music and it’s been difficult. She responded by saying it means that I am growing up, that when new music doesn’t hit you the same way that your collection of music that you love does, it means the new music coming in is pass my time. She told me it’s important to always find new music but to never try and keep up because music is always changing. Which is true. Lately, there has been so much electronic music being made that it has steered me away from that hype and into the music that I truly love.

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Coldplay & Pfeiffer Beach

pfeiffer-beachVisiting Pfeiffer Beach

Coldplay: Viva la Vida Pitchfork Review

There’s a wild wind blowing,
Down the corner of my street
Every night there the headlights are glowing.
-Life in Technicolor ii

The Morning is for Sleeping…
-Cemeteries of London

The next day we set out to visit Pfeiffer Beach, both of our first time’s visiting. Pfeiffer Beach is known for its mysterious purple sand, which we later discovered is from the erosion of the rocks. People believed that it was from the wonders of the ocean, but it’s actually from these rocks in the far away landscape of the shore. This purple sand then washes away in the ocean, leaving trails of sediment behind for people to gaze and awe over. As we set out for this adventure, we turn on Viva La Vida by Coldplay.

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Viva La Vida is one of my top 5 favorite albums of all time. It is the perfect background music for adventure and discovery. In this album in particular than Coldplay’s others has a lot more drums–which they wanted to show. In many of their music videos that came out of this album, it shows the use of many different kinds of drums and rhythms.

This album also has an iconic theme to it- The French Revolution. Throughout the entire duration of the album and their tour, they dressed in costumes that resemble French military uniforms.

This album has a sense of adventure that tells a story. Similar to The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, this album goes in a perfect sequence and transition from one song to the next. Because of this, you can listen to this album from front to back with ease. This album takes you to the bottom of your thought-process with quite, peaceful rythms, to big, loud drums that makes you want GET UP and DANCE in a middle of any field.

Perfect example of an upbeat, imaginative song is Lost! The third track of the album. Lost! is the opposite to Lost? which is on the extension of Viva la Vida. 

This album is the peak to Coldplay’s career as one of the most iconic bands on earth. This album spoke so much to the beauty of music and romance. Personally, I have yet to find an album as beautiful as Viva La Vida. As I’m the hunt of the perfect song, I constantly turn to this album for inspiration.

This trip to Pfeiffer Beach went perfectly with Viva La Vida, both albums because just like the waves at this beach, it comes and goes with upbeat ballads to soft, peaceful rhythms.
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Big Sur & Fleet Foxes

come-down-from-the-mountain-you-have-been-gone-too-long-1Visiting Big Sur

Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes Pitchfork Review

Big Sur has its foggy mysteries. It’s beautiful green mountains and cascading landscape makes for this spot to be one of the most incredible attractions in California. Tourists wait hours for the perfect photo of Bixby Bridge, wait hours to eat at some of the most quintessential restaurants in the area, and book a year in advance to stay at Big Sur Campgrounds. Luckily for my boyfriend and I, we booked through Air BnB to get a campsite at Big Sur during the week since we didn’t have class. We are beyond grateful to be living in San Jose, about 3 hours away from this natural majesty.

We popped open this classic band, Fleet Foxes, their self titled album. This album brought back so many memories from when I was younger. But today, I wanted to look at this album in a new perspective. In a way that I focus on what this album is truly saying to me while stepping out into nature.

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This album starts with some classic harmonious folk to welcome you into the rest of the album. Then it begins with an upbeat, introspective guitar tune. At this point, I feel a sense of adventure coming on as if a sunrise is about to unveil a new day. Once the acoustic guitar sets off onto a tangent of sound, an electric opens up to a new tune.

Before the first 10 minutes of the album, you can tell you could have some great adventures with this album on a hike! White Winter Hymnal, the third track of the album, gives you a sense of imagination of a winter wonderland. It tells a story of romance in snow capped hills where one’s face turns red as strawberries when together.

Ragged Wood, the title of my blog post, is my favorite song on the album. It’s harmonies and upbeat drum technique makes you think you’re on the top of a mountain without any sense of communication with others. The vocals on this entire album also depicts a ghostly sound, as if they were recording the vocals from a far away distance.

Tiger Mountain Peasant Song,  was the first song I listened to on our first hike in Big Sur. Big Sur was exceptionally foggy this week when we visited which went perfectly with this song. It was romantic, beautiful, sound, and peaceful as we trek through some of the mountains on this rainy week we experienced.

Big Sur was quite, with barely any visitors on this Wednesday. Visiting in the middle of the week gives you a different sense of the mountains. With barely any people around, you get what the mountains are saying to you. Come to me, come to me. It’s quite beautiful.

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Mission Peak & Bon Iver

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Visiting Mission Peak

Bon Iver: Bon Iver Pitchfork Review

I will admit, all four years I have been at San Jose State University, I have yet to hike Mission Peak – until this semester. But I got to admit, it wasn’t necessarily the best day to go. It was a great day for a lack of crowds which I hear Mission Peak is notoriously for, but the weather wasn’t on our side. Some may think of this as a bad thing, but I took it as an opportunity to hike this popular trail by myself with hardly any people around. This gave me an opportunity to really look at the scenery around me and it was breathtaking.

Something I want to the reiterate in this blog is yes, sometimes it’s important to take in nature with no music. However, the Bay Area is such a busy place. Constantly hearing cars, traffic, highways zipping along and alarms going off all the time. This is something I have tolerated. But with Mission Peak being just off the freeway, I really wanted to exit from the outside world and really listen to some music on a beautiful hike. For this, I chose Bon Iver’s self-titled album, a great idea.

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Bon Iver is as popular as white bread this day in age. Bon Iver, more important to recognize Justin Vernon (the leader behind the madness), has blown up in the last 5 years. Why? He is the quintessential indie artist. He was able to put in the listener’s ears the sound that makes up the idea of soft indie music. This man is a genius and someone who I will always admire as one of the greatest in the indie music industry.

This album is just an extension to his madness. He somehow makes a stressful semester into a walk in the park while hiking Mission Peak. Mission Peak, from what I learned, is not so easy. It takes a full commitment to working with your body to get to the top. I love nature, I love hikes, but not very good at them. I have backpacked in the Yosemite back country, but with that being 2/3 years ago, I have lost a lot of my stamina. This hike proved it. But with Bon Iver’s peaceful tone or crescendos and day-crescendos from Perth to Holocene, this album captivates your attention. This album puts everything into perspective and although most people would think to clime Mission Peak you’d need some Top 40, pop music and a Nike ad to tell you to “Just Do It,” it starts with peace within yourself. And I, for one, can’t find peace within myself without a little help from this album. So thank you, Bon Iver, for a wonderful sense of meditation for any workout.

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Muir Beach & Lord Huron

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Visiting Muir Beach

Lord Huron: Lonesome Dreams Pitchfork Review

As I set out for my trip, I browsed around some of my go-to albums for windy roads and breezy endeavors. What rang immediately was Lord Huron’s Lonesome Dreams.

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I discovered this band at a Music Festival on Treasure Island in San Francisco. This was my first time at this festival and as Lord Huron was the first band performing, I fell in love almost instantly. People danced to the acoustic sounds of their guitars and their raw voices that shined for their love for the woods.

In my blog, I would like to address my very own opinion and review on the albums I combine with some of my small nature adventures. But, if you would like to read a full review by Pitchfork, click here.

As I set off to Marin County in the early morning on a Saturday, it was peaceful. Never get stuck in traffic before these trips out was my no. 1 rule for myself. I believe this would affect my emotions in a more negative and stressful way. I wanted the music to take me to a place where once I reached my destination, I could continue my desire for inspiration, existentialism and stepping out of reality as physically and mentally as possible.

I was able to listen to half of the album on my drive. It provoked a sense of adventure, an inner flame inside me waiting for the rocky sand and grey seas that Northern California is incredible known for.

Personally, I love cloudy beaches. I’ve had some of my most fond memories on cold beached. With family, friends, and loved ones. You bundle up, take in the scenery, and go out for min adventures looking for starfish, crabs and various small tide pools. Northern California beaches aren’t for the bronze-loving, body flaunting heart. Nonetheless, there is not shame in that, I have no judgement for Southern California or tropical beaches, but Northern California beaches are for the sake of adventures where land meets sea and I believe Lord Huron understood that.

“Lonesome Dreams’ instant knock of familiarity will prove comforting for some, but it gives these tracks something of a plug-and-play feel. Many songs are dramatically assembled, and all of them move, but when they move in pretty much the same ways as another, spryer band, it’s that much harder to get caught up in their attendant drama.”

-Pitchfork, October 9, 2012

I couldn’t agree more with this quote. This album all together gives you a sense of familiarity to the realm of nature and adventure. As I sat on the shore sleeping bag zipped flat open underneath, I felt a sense of stillness as the chords of this album were still moving me mentally.

Coincidentally being the first song on the album, Ends of the Earth is my favorite track. Second, She Lit a Fire. I sat on the shore and relistened to both and closed my eyes. Instantly in a meditative state. In those moments, I felt alone. There were families, dogs, loved ones on the shore as well, but I was able to take the time to feel alone and really feel the music.

Music should ultimately do that to you. My biggest advice I could ever give about music it that it should move you. If it doesn’t, you are not letting music play it’s magic.