Posts Tagged 'music'

A Sasquatch Noise Experiment

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There is a very delicate intersection of well-developed musical taste and youthful indulgence. I figure I’m hitting that window, so I decided to make a go of the Sasquatch Music Festival for my vacation this year. Held at the Columbia River Gorge in Washington, the festival spans four long days and nights of the best acts anyone’s ever heard of, plus a few bogus ones. I think I saw over 35 shows, which is good, because I don’t want to blink and miss my youth, yeah?

I just figured there are only so many years one can attend a music festival before it becomes inappropriate and inconvenient. I mean, you just don’t see many adults with fabulous music taste walking around in 90s-era crop tops, taking off a whole week from work to wreck themselves sleeping on the ground, surviving on beef jerky and peanut butter cups and scrubbing last night’s mascara out of their armpits in a janky car door reflection.

I did see some kids there, and a few old people. I don’t know man, I don’t know. Anyway, enjoy these shots of Sasquatch. It was quite a ride. Mostly the only quality pics are from our campsite, as I wasn’t about to take my DSLR into the venue, lest it be burned, stolen or otherwise wrecked, which is why there are less music shots/more vanity shots.

So basically, I discovered gradient layers in CS4, and now I can’t stop. It’s actually embarrassing how many pictures I had to cut from this post because I edited so many with an added noise filter. There are just endless options.

Incidentally, this type of editing is just perfect for my trip out to Washington, as  it was full of sun, cows and people who may or may not have been sober.

Ever your,

L

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sardines

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Pipe Dream #196: To Wordsmith Unromantically – Coconut Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I couldn’t help it. I threw everything in my heart and cupboard into these cookies, and then I underbaked these by a mile. And I would do so again in an instant without regret. Because they were so happily fattily satisfying. Happily fattily, happily fattily. New favorite phrase. Just try it. You’ll like it. It reminds me of this song. Caroling, caroling.

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If I did these again, I would have included more coconut and oats, which got lost, texturally-speaking. You could try doubling the amounts below on them. I also used Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips. Normally, I don’t fuss about using high quality chocolate, but oh my, these chips are fat and taste so much better than cheap chips. Cheap chips, cheap chips.

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Since I’m clearly into word-smithing today, I spent a few minutes rooting around for a baking-inspired poem to share with you, but, as with many poems I have read, I was too gagged-out by all the waxing on about failed relationships, so I couldn’t find anything really profound or great. Who knew that the search term “poems about baking” would yield such sappy drivel? A total misuse of all baking words ever.

Instead, I give you this short piece about cookies. Pay particular attention to the end of the first stanza. “Homemade is boss.” A great thinker of our time?

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Happily fattily,

L

Coconut Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Inspired by averie cooks

Makes about 18 cookies

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup coconut oil, softened in the microwave for 8 seconds

1 egg

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup quick oats

1/2 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Cream together the sugar, oil and egg in a stand mixer for about three minutes. Scrape down the bowl, then beat in the vanilla. Add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt, and mix until just combined, then stir in the oats, coconut and chocolate chips.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and stick in the freezer while the oven preheats. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop out 18 cookies, baking about 9 at a time on a parchment lined sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes (I left mine on the softer side at 7.). Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Best served in rhyme.

Favorite Shots: Scroll

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I love it when we stop scrolling and start scrolling.

L

The Inexpressible Vocabulary of Sorrow

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The Inauguration featured a poem that I don’t remember the name of by a dude I don’t really care about. In fact,  I didn’t even listen to most of his work, but one line stuck out to me.

“The inexpressible vocabulary of sorrow.”

You are right, man. Some things aren’t covered by words. I think music puts a vocabulary to sorrow, and also joy.

From a family that has seen both,

L

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Pipe Dream #131: To Be Saturated In Bipolar

Well, this was clearly one of the best evenings of my life. Never mind that I was with two of my best friends listening to an outdoor orchestra–this lake was legit, mayn. Look at how rich the colors are!

There were even duckies in attendance. Cute ones, rather tame from the multitude of fries that have been flicked at them from the lakeside concession stand. Incidentally, the concession food is all locally sourced and zero-waste (wait, what?), which is probably why all the duckies look so healthy.

This beautiful old tram line was just 50 yards from the lake. It felt like something out of a mid-century film, and I couldn’t resist editing it as such. Pipe dream fulfilled. I was totally bipolar in the way I edited these shots. Same evening, same lighting, totally different feelings evoked. And we know that a shot without any evocation (is that a word?) is void, yeah? Yeah.

It apparently produced a shift in the way things should be colored, however. Both sets have depth to them, with or without color, I think. Cool.

Bye now,

L

I Got It Right: Ingredients For A Perfect Picnic – London

London was the biggest treat a girl could ask for. Notable events: Playing The Tourist Game. Hyde Park picnic. Camden Market. The most fabulous Sauvignon Blanc. The Kilcawley Family (who, incidentally, are super talented and personable musicians. You can check them out here.)

x <– !,

L

Pipe Dream #127: To Survive Recital – Vanilla Mango Cake

I think probably over 50 percent of American kids take music lessons. Completely made up statistic, but when you live with a piano teacher, you get skewed perceptions of the musical world. Anyway, I’ve found that a common experience among kids my age is “The Recital,” a dreaded cacophony of sweaty children who may or may not have been practicing the minimum amount so that they would scrape by with their gold star. That is, I they practiced enough to earn a candy bar every month, but not quite enough to approach The Recital with complete confidence that they wouldn’t freeze halfway through their piece.

As the scheduled start time approaches, the chosen sanctuary/gymnasium/Dunn Bros (yes, I once witnessed a guitar teacher’s 15 kids give a group recital in a crowded coffee shop–not pretty) fills with anxious eyes and Easter Sunday outfits. The crowd is hushed, tense with anticipation. The only sound to be heard is the careful flip, flip, flip of sweat-stained sheet music (unless you’re at my mom’s recital, in which case, you can hear me and my friends giggling and scraping away at some Haydn quartet from the front).

Once the music begins, however, the tension eases somewhat. Cameras start clicking; toddlers start fidgeting; the coffee beans start grinding. Besides the dreadful silence as the kid who completely biffs it all walks off the stage, there is a general feeling of resigned-ness. Like, “Well, at least I wasn’t as bad as that guy,” or “I survived. Until next year then.”

This was the basic idea of this cake. The after-party is always the best part of any recital. People are overly happy because their worst nightmares have been nullified in about 60 minutes. My mum usually gets a cake from a local store, but I thought I could make a cheaper/better one. I used a fabulous vanilla cake recipe topped with a no fail swiss buttercream. What you haven’t seen before is the mango curd I used to fill the cake. I had some random frozen mango puree to use up, so I put it to task. I found the curd itself to be a little runny. Heaven knows why, though. Probably curd is supposed to be that consistency and/or I just messed it up somehow. :] Ah well. It tasted like nectar.

Relishing the discord,

L

Mango Curd
Adapted from smitten kitchen

Makes 1 to 1.5 cups

1 15-ounce ripe mango, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (I used key lime juice, expired)
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Puree mango, sugar, lime juice and salt in processor, scraping down sides of work bowl occasionally. Add yolks; puree 15 seconds longer. Strain through sieve set over large metal bowl, pressing on solids with back of spatula to release as much puree as possible. Discard solids in sieve.

Set metal bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water); whisk puree until thickened and thermometer registers 170°F., about 10 minutes. Remove from over water. Whisk in butter 1 piece at a time. Cover and refrigerate overnight.


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