Arrhythmic Ramblings.

Off tempo. Off beat.

Next time you’re at First Friday, look out for The Color 8

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It was around 7:30 p.m. when we made our way down Roosevelt, crossed 2nd St. and stumbled upon a group of eight guys jammin’ right next to the monOrchid bird mural we’ve all come to know and love.

What caught my eye? The sax player because a) how often do you see bands with sax players? (excluding ska or reggae bands, of course); and b) having a sax background, I’m biased.

But back to the band: They had this improvisational, off-the-cuff way of playing that I felt like we weren’t in Downtown Phoenix at all; it felt more like we were in these guys’ living room hanging out with them, watching them jam. Between the rapping and hip-hop with some sax spicing it up here and there, I thought I had these guys figured out.

And then the electric guitar came out. After a verse or two of rapping and chanting, the…

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A few weeks ago, Baths finally came to Phoenix, and I knew I couldn’t miss it. It was so memorable, I had to document my thoughts, write a review. Here it is (enjoy!):

Baths @ Crescent Ballroom, Photo: Cory BergquistAbout two weeks ago, the last few sporadic days of rainfall came to a halt — the day Phoenix would welcome a refreshing change of pace. Not in terms of weather, but music. Baths paid Downtown Phoenix’s Crescent Ballroom a visit — surprisingly not headlining, but opening up for Why?

It was just a year ago when my Baths listening days began and picked up day after day on my light rail commute to and from work. Baths‘ album “Cerulean,” released June 2010, was the moving, therapeutic soundtrack to my winter of 2011. It had become a habit to instinctively press repeat, indulging in Will Wiesenfeld’s (Baths) falsetto vocals, layered over his carefully assembled beats, complete with just a hint of noise lingering beneath, adding depth for a more rich, full-bodied sound. And I was more than ready to experience the album live.

Little did I know that I…

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musical instrument museum

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Musical Instrument Museum: The Impact Of Music On Various Cultures

Not too long ago, I ventured over to the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Scottsdale to help film a creative video for Experience AZ’s website, and I was NOT expecting to learn as much as I did.

musical instrument museumFor those who haven’t visited MIM, it goes a little something like this: Walk in to the massive two-story building, head to the front desk, pay admission, grab your headset, and you’re off. Now it’s time to choose your worldwide journey. MIM showcases an expansive collection of instruments from every country, with its Geographical Galleries split into five major global regions: Africa and the Middle East, the United States and Canada, Europe, Asia and Oceania, and Latin American and the Caribbean.musical instrument museum

At each gallery, you’ll find the room divided into individual displays presenting the instruments found at each country located in its respective region. (Fun fact: MIM’s instruments and artifacts have been acquired from more than 200 countries and territories around the world.) At each country, monitors play videos on a loop of the instruments in action; musical instrument museumyour headset will automatically begin playing the soundtrack to the video. It’s incredible, and it was fascinating learning the history behind each instrument and the purpose(s) it/they served.

I cannot stress enough the immensity of this museum. Taking notes here and there, I spent three or four hours at MIM and feel as though I barely made a dent. I can’t wait to go back, but until then, I want to share with you the many reasons I found (at the museum) for the instruments and the music — how and why they were used, their purpose, how it affected society and what it meant to the indigenous people at the time.

Music affected the lives of many, varying from culture to culture, and was used for nearly every stage and aspect of one’s life. Some were obvious, some made sense and many surprised me.

From providing entertainment to representing one’s social status, the many purposes of and the impact and significance of music:

  • Religion
  • Social movement
  • Government
  • Rebellion
  • Suppression
  • Rites of passage
  • Ceremony
  • Social commentary
  • Spiritual, Enlightenment
  • Celebration
  • Burial
  • Social status and cultural sophistication
  • Theatre (shadow puppets)
  • Social gatherings
  • Connection to nature
  • Creating identity, personal expression
  • Storytelling
  • Seasonal shifts, nature
  • Military
  • Acquiring weapons
  • Signaling devices across pastures
  • Tracking livestock
  • Agriculture and field work
  • Warding off predators
  • Attracting birds
  • Performing magic
  • Tasks of work
  • Considered functional tools
  • Calming sheep
  • …and many more.

I’ll add to this list as soon I head back to MIM for more. If you haven’t already, check it out!

Musical Instrument Museum

Where: 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix
Cost: General, $18; teens (ages 13-19), $14; children (ages 4-12), $10; children (ages 3 and under), free
Contact: (480) 478-6000
Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Posh Restaurant, Photos: Cory Bergquist

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Getting Risky: Posh Restaurant Boasts Improvisational Cuisine, Interactive Environment

Check, cross, and relax. Dinner is that easy at Posh Restaurant — but only for the bold and daring.

I had heard of Posh, the contemporary American restaurant located within the Optima Camelview condos near Scottsdale Fashion Square, from a few people; and each have had nearly the same reaction about the improvisational restaurant — “go into with an open mind,” and “get ready to try things you would normally never try.”

So into it with an open mind I did, expecting quite a culinary adventure. Instead of a “choose your own journey,” it was more of a “tell us which paths are off limits, and we’ll surprise you with the rest.” (Control freaks, beware.)

Instead reading a three-page menu front and back a few times, hesitantly choosing an appetizer and entree at the last minute, at Posh all I had was one half-sheet of paper with a few options.

First, you decide how many courses you want, ranging from four to eight; we chose five. Then, you cross off the main ingredients you dislike, which, for me, included frog legs and oysters; I was game to try the alligator and quail. This list of ingredients changes based on “what is fresh and seasonal,” according to Posh’s ever-changing menu. Next, mark the temperature you’d like your meat and fish cooked; and, lastly, specify any other ingredients to which you are allergic and/or ingredients you generally dislike that you want Joshua Hebert, chef and owner of Posh, to avoid completely.

And that was it. Now it was time to wait for the first course, which would be either a salad or soup.

We sat with our wine and chatted in the warm, candlelit environment. The day we visited was the day of a surprise thunderstorm in April, so it was quite the intimate setting with just myself, my dinner companion and one other table on the far side of the restaurant.

Just before I began to wonder when we’d receive our first course, my salad arrived. Beautifully presented, the glacier lettuce atop beets and topped with thinly sliced apples literally bursted with flavor. The waitress had mentioned the ingredients were locally sourced, and the salad proved it with its clean, fresh flavors.

We received everything from wild boar bacon; shrimp atop cabbage, lettuce, red onions and red wine sauce droplets; and soft shell crab served with white and green asparagus and a drizzle of Chinese BBQ sauce; to a harmonious chocolate symphony of chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, white chocolate shavings, shortbread, blackberries, raspberries and banana syrup to drizzle atop. Of course, there were a few other dishes in-between, including foie gras and a cheese platter wiped clean within the first five minutes of it landing on our table.

Each dish we received throughout the night was an appropriately-sized portion — small dishes that gave you just enough food to savor the flavors and hold you over the 20 minutes or so until the next entree arrived. Not once did I feel like a glutton, and only once, at the end of our two-hour-plus culinary ride, did I ask my companion, “Where did the time go?”

What’s unique about Posh is no two similar dishes would be served, ever. However, one must take note that Posh is more than just the presentation and taste of its courses — though, don’t get me wrong, every dish was nothing short of innovative and appetizing. It’s also about taking advantage of the interactive environment and the way Hebert builds anticipation and that element of surprise; you don’t know what you’re going to eat or when you’re going to eat it.

That night, Chef Hebert proved to me that, sometimes, allowing others to make the decisions for me can be a great thing. We all have to take risks sometimes; make your next bold move at Posh.

Photos // Posh Restaurant

Photos by Cory Bergquist

Posh Restaurant

Where: 7167 E. Rancho Vista Dr., #111, Scottsdale
Contact: (480) 663-7674

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Meeting, filming and interviewing talented musicians has always seemed like an awesome way to spend my time outside of work. So why not start now? Check out this video of local, Tempe-based musicians Robby Roberson and Michael Mulryan, both supporting Amnesty International Tempe’s Localpalooza:

Hundreds gathered at Kiwanis Park in Tempe on Saturday, November 3rd for Amnesty International’s Tempe 2nd Annual Localpalooza — and all for one cause: human rights.

Amnesty International, according to its website, “is a global movement of more than three million supporters, members and activists in more than 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights.” And its Tempe chapter’s second annual Localpalooza not only doubled its attendance from last year’s Localpalooza, but, according to Scott Henderson, the Amnesty International Tempe (AIT) group coordinator, the event accomplished its ultimate goal of raising awareness.

“Whenever we get one, two, three, or maybe even 400 people coming to our event, the word is getting out!” Henderson says. “That’s great for our group, and great for Amnesty International, and great for the fight for human rights. We got many signatures on petitions and action letters. Every one of…

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And Everything Is Going To The Beat: Passion Pit At The Marquee

Passion Pit at the Marquee, Photo: Melissa CannonMaybe it was due to an ale or two, but this show’s atmosphere was surreal, unlike any other.

I’d been to my fair share of shows at Marquee Theatre in Tempe — from indie and reggae to dubstep and ADHD-approved, mainstream mash-ups — but there was something about Passion Pit’s set, and the eclectic crowd, that made this particular show unforgettable.

Although their newest album “Gossamer” was released just a little more than a month ago (in July), it seemed as though the fans had been listening to it for years. Never a dull moment, never a fumble of words (maybe on my end a time or two) — these were more than fans; these were devote followers, fanatics of the Cambridge-hailed, electropop five-some.

And as expected, when “Sleepyhead” hit, the crowd went nuts, elated — hands flailing in the air, bodies moving (thinking back, they never really stopped), lips perfectly in sync with front-man Michael Angelakos. As for me, let this be our little secret: Although I did become obsessed with “Gossamer,” listening to it on repeat in my car for about three weeks straight, I purchased the ticket to see this long-awaited show for two reasons — “Sleepyhead” and “Little Secrets”. Let’s just say ending their set with the latter completely made my night.

However, what’s a show without a slow jam? There always seems to be one that impedes reaching the climax of the set, decelerating from an auditory high. But “Constant Conversations” — a sensual, delicately smooth tune — felt strategically placed, inducing a bit of bumping and grinding, with a bit of harmonizing weaved in here and there. Not to mention Angelakos’ unique falsetto, reaching octaves I never thought could make a man appear even the slightest bit sexy, was likely seducing every girl in the room.

Attending a Passion Pit show was long-overdue. This band and their pop-infused tracks will always recall the days speed walking to class from one end of campus to the other, for a class that was due to begin in just a few minutes; I’ll always remember the drives back and forth from Flagstaff and Phoenix, setting “Cuddle Fuddle”, and eventually the entire “Chunk of Change” album on repeat.

You didn’t let me, and the hundred others, down, Passion Pit. Now this nine-to-five old lady doesn’t regret staying out late on a work night.

Passion Pit’s “Constant Conversations”:

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How To Make A Film-Strip Lamp

How to Make a Film Strip Lamp

Last summer, I spent a lot of my time with my Diana F+ lomo camera. (I absolutely love lomography!) Countless rolls of films left me with not only photographs that captured all of my hikes, road trips, vacations, you name it, in the most trendy way possible — before Instagram became the go-to photography phone app it is now, but I was also left with negatives. Rolls and rolls of them.

So instead of let them pile up on my dresser, I knew I had to do something creative with them. Besides, how awesome is it to say that you created something new from the leftovers of another creative project? Recycling at its finest. Plus, you’re viewing your photos in a new light.

One used Ikea table lamp, countless strips of film negatives and leftover black lace (from another project) later, a “film-strip lamp” was born. (I can’t even begin to describe my love for black lace. It’s unnatural and a bit unhealthy and has been used in every — and I mean every — project of mine.)

Here we go! This is such an easy, rainy-Sunday-afternoon kind of a project.

Making a Film-Strip Lamp:

Film-Strip Lamp

What you’ll need:

  • Black lace fabric
  • Film negatives
  • Clear tape
  • Table lamp (I used the IKEA GRONO table lamp; find something similar if you can.)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun + glue sticks

    Film-Strip Lamp

How to do it:

1. If your film is rolled up, cut it into strips, ensuring they are long enough to cover the lamp, from top to bottom.

2. Tape the strips of film onto the lamp. Continue to do this until the entire surface of the lamp is covered.

3. Take your fabric, and cut the lace into strips about an inch-and-a-half thick — the length dependent on the lamp. You’ll need four strips that match the height of the lamp, longways; and you’ll need four for the top and four for the bottom of the lamp.

4. Apply hot glue to the center of each strip, and press onto the lamp.

5. Let the lamp dry. (It shouldn’t take long.)

6. Turn on the lamp, and there you have it! Enjoy. 🙂

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Make It Seem Like It’s Been Ages

Resurrecting a blog is a lot like reconnecting with an old friend who haven’t spoken to in months, maybe even years. “Where do you I even begin? So much has happened!” I can hear myself predictably dropping phrases like that.

It’s like flipping through a crate of records; you pause at each cover, recalling what the tracks, the memorable highs and lows, eventually deciding that that’s a long story for another day. And you move on to the next, afraid that if you don’t cover it all, at least the surface details, you’d forget something, possibly something important. You skim over everything, feeling a tad rushed, while the other patiently listens, nods, smiles, waits.

But let me give this a try anyway.

Since my last post, I’ve been through my fair share of ups and downs:

  • Three deaths,
  • Three promotions (from Assistant Web Editor to Assistant Editor to Associate Editor, in less than two years),
  • One relationship change (which has turned into something I can honestly say I’ve never had before… a trusting relationship, with someone I greatly respect),
  • Countless co-workers (due to such a surprising turnover at work),
  • One new car,
  • Plenty of memorable shows/festivals/concerts,
  • and too many bills.

OK, catch-up is over. Let’s really get started again and rekindle this.

Current obsessions: Passion Pit’s recent album “Gossamer”; reading as many fashion magazines as I can get my hands on; short, empire-waist dresses; and biking.

Until the next post, listen to Passion Pit! They’re playing next week at the Marquee, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Gardens & Villa

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Current Craze: Gardens & Villa

I have moments in my life — and by moments, I mean hour-long sessions spacing out on my new and entirely too comfortable queen-size bed — when I set aside the stressors in my life — and by set aside, I mean temporarily repress. For just an hour or so, I scour and delicately virtually thumb through pages of music, in hopes to stumble upon an artist, an album, or even merely one great song, that I will instinctively repeat for days at a time.

When I was 17 and moving away from home to attend college, I was told (more like warned) by my father that I may have an addictive personality. I’m sure he was most likely referring to alcohol and drugs, but really, I’ve seen myself become more addictive to music than anything else — as cliche as this might sound; it’s true.

My current obsession? Gardens & Villa

The day I found this gem of an LP, I haven’t stopped listening to it. Well, this self-titled LP and Beirut’s new album “The Rip Tide,” which I’ll cover in a different post.


Lomography: Los Angeles 2011

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A month or so ago, I took a trip to Los Angeles for the first time with a few others. We packed a car with five girls, split everything five ways, and managed to see an incredible show — The Avett Brothers — on a budget.

While there, I asked myself whether I would be able to live there, work there and make a living in the City of Angels. Despite the overwhelming pollution and the overcrowded population, I honestly wouldn’t mind it, especially in Silverlake.

To document the journey, I carried my Diana Mini along with me, snapping photos here and there. The developed photos have become my favorite batch thus far.

Take a look:

The City of Angels

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