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“N” is for Napoletana

NI was absolutely nervous before my 17-hour flight to Italy from LAX. Watching my parents and my sister wave goodbye to me (for what very could have been the last time) nearly forced the tears welling up in my tear ducts to fall out onto my face. I couldn’t stand flying. Flying meant making deals with the Universe and praying the rosary a million times all why attempting to get drunk enough to knock out in case the plane I was on crashed.

I managed to pass out for almost the full 17 hours, thanks to the lifeblood that is red wine, and woke up in an entirely new country. I grabbed my bags off of the carousel in the luggage claim and made my way toward the exit. I didn’t really know any of the other students that I was traveling with, but realizing the fact that, for one, I hadn’t died on the plane, and two, that I was about to embark on an adventure in an entirely new place, calmed my nerves. It was later, right in front of the Florence airport exit doors, that we were divided into the several groups containing our fellow roommates. The fact that the four other girls in my group seemed nice erased any remaining nerves that I had about studying abroad.

After everyone was split up into their groups, what seemed like a never-ending line of taxis, came and picked us up to take us to our apartments located around various parts of the city. Two or three students along with their luggage were piled in taxis driven by men and women who barely spoke any English. One of my roommates and I had grabbed a taxis driven by a really sweat old man with a lead foot.

We spent the next several minutes swishing through the city of Florence passing cars, dodging very lucky pedestrians, and speeding by the famous architectural feats of the city. I grabbed a hold of the car door’s inner handle, peered out of the window at the slightly blurry sights, and thought to myself, oh shit I’m in Italy. Read the rest of this page »

“M” is for Milan

MLoud noises consisting of people yelling in all different languages filled the Italian train station as I took cover from the excruciating heat. I had nothing but my ratty purse, well spent from traveling, and a backpack for my weekend trip to Barcelona, Spain. Written down on a piece of binder paper were walking directions from my Florence apartment to the train station, and from the train station in Bologna to the airport where I would meet up with a group of other traveling American students.

I was standing by myself with my backpack and purse held tight. I leaned up against the wall so that the zippers couldn’t be accessed without knocking me over. I was nervous and very concerned for my safety. Never in my life have I wandered off in a foreign country by myself, and I’m very sure it showed all over my face.

Then, from behind my overgrown side bangs, and out from the corner of my eye, I saw a young man approach me. He stood directly in my blind spot, and I started to quietly panic. Read the rest of this page »

Break The Fall by Laura Welsh

Laura Welsh is a singer from the UK who has enticed chills while performing her soulful-sounding singles, “Cold Front” and “Break the Fall.” Last Monday, October 13, the singer played a free show in Bardot Hollywood alongside the bands, The Kite String Tangle and Swimm. She’s an incredible musician and performer, even with the Hollywood show being one of her first performances in the US. It’s also great to know that she writes a lot of her own stuff.

I write from personal experience in an emotional reactive way. Certain situations and people who are close to me have inspired some of the songs on the album. Songwriting is still a mystery to me, I can’t really explain where it all comes from. I’m not very good at pouring out how I’m feeling in conversations with people so writing is something that allows me to get those emotions out. I’m fascinated by human relationships, the one we have with ourselves and other people. -All Access Music Interview

Be sure to check out the song, Break the Fall, off of her self-titled EP below.

L is for the Locals

LA visitor drives in from over the Grapevine and into the thin layer of smog covering the lid of the Central Valley that has been collected from cites all over. The non-local knows only of what he has been told. For the strange new face, Bakersfield is this mystic town filled with locals riding horses on city streets in barren desert. However, he eventually changes his tune after his personal tour guide and former local resident takes him on a journey.

The stranger is taken onto the fertile land, where the majority of the nation’s produce is grown. The visitor realizes how close everything is to the city at the base of the valley. The mountains of Tehachapi, Lake Isabella, Los Angeles, the beaches along the coast, and the family owned farms and dairies, surround the growing city creating new and exciting events and ideas for vacations.  Read the rest of this page »

“K” is for Kayaking

KThe bright yellow mass is carried to the edge of the shore. Together, we drop the two-person kayak into the water and push it further into the bay. My sister and I guide the vessel past the small tides letting our bare feet leave the hot sand and follow it into the cold water. We manage to hop in our seats—me in the front, and my sister in the back. The long double-sided paddles that lay in the watercraft on each of its sides are picked up and held in our hands to steer us beyond the beach.

The sun continues to beam its bright and very hot waves down directly over our heads, but after several minutes of paddling hard against the oncoming current, we manage to meet up with the other kayak that held our friends. Read the rest of this page »

Great Escape by Korbee

The Los Angeles alternative/pop/rock band, Korbee, has blessed us with some of the most epic-sounding melodies on their new EP, Great Escape. The songs, reminiscent of an interesting mixture of Coldplay and Lady Antebellum, have already received some airplay on Madison’s Rock Station 105.5 Triple M and the Darren Yates should on CBS Radio St. Louis.

The band themselves are also playing and selling out shows. One of which happened this past Saturday at the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard.

The husband and wife duo, Tom Korbee and Jenn Korbee, came together as a band in 2012 after previously being the trio Korbee Jones, with Daniel Jones of Savage Garden.

The duo mentions that the self-produced EP, Great Escape, is “an amalgam of everywhere they’ve come from and everywhere they are going.” And I’m sure that where they are going with their music will be amazing.

“J” is for Junk

JA loud crash of boxes startles me and my heart skips a beat. I notice that the alarming sound has come from the closet that I used while I was in high school. No really one goes into my old room unless I’m visiting my friends and family in Bakersfield, so I’m curious to see what has disturbed my untouched room.

I walk over to the door and slowly slide the rolling door of my closet open and peek inside. As suspected two boxes has crashed onto the floor. However, they are not just any boxes. These worn shoes boxes that have been decorated with brightly colored paper and wrapping were my memory boxes filled to the brim with small knick-knacks and trinkets that represented moments that have passed long ago. Read the rest of this page »

“I” is for Irony

IA towering inferno grows out from underneath the cubicles of the modern-style office. The blaze melts the computers on the desks and burns the stacks of pages lying around like a box of gasoline soaked matches.

There I stood in the middle of the chaotic scene with my tote bag in tow. I peered out from behind the flames and calmly announced the phrase, “I quit,” and nonchalantly walked out of the front door. Read the rest of this page »

Endlessly Repeating by Torches


What an aptly titled song. I definitely kept this track going on, endlessly repeating after I first heard it. The Indie Rock duo, Azad Cheikosman and Eric Fabbro, of Torches bring their dark pop and tribal grooves to the LA scene with the release of “If The People Stare EP” in May of 2013 and their EP, “Endlessly Repeating” this year.

Their latest EP was engineered by David Newton (who has worked with The Soft Pack, The Mighty Lemon Drops, and Henry Clay People) and Jeff Lipton (who has worked with Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, and Wilco).

So far the group has already headlined a SOLD OUT residency at The Echo. They grabbed the attention of KROQ, Alt 98.7 FM, KCRW, LA Weekly, FILTER Magazine, shared the stage with bands such as Wild Nothing, Atlas Genius, The Drums, PEACE, Maps & Atlases and and have made airtime on MTV’s Catfish and Underemployed.

“H” is for Hypnotist

HThere I was, sitting in the back of a room full of people with their eyes closed. The conference room was filled with people who had gathered from all over to hear the author of their favorite self-help book speak. I had my eyes open because I have this thing about closing my eyes in public. You know, people can totally come up and rob you or stab you in the neck with a knife.

Anywho, I stood in the back of the room and watched the group of people sit in a trance-like state as my boss at the time spoke softly and gave positive reaffirming commands for people to follow when they exited their trance. Deep breathes and soft music played in the background, and I continued to stand there awkwardly in a room full of hypnotized people. Read the rest of this page »

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