Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Surf Photo Awards

Just got this press release about the Elite Surf Photography Awards Ceremony put on by the Follow The Light Foundation. Wanted to repost it here because it's always amazing and this year it'll be going on down at the US Open of Surfing in HB for all to enjoy! Check it out:


Dana Point, CA (June 24, 2010) – Follow the Light Foundation (“FTFL”), the organization that hosts the action sports industry’s most prestigious surf photography awards, today announced a new format, ceremony, and location. This year’s program will take place at the Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach, Tuesday August 3, 2010 from 7pm-9:00pm in conjunction with the week-long US Open of Surfing calendar of events. 

“Relocating the Follow the Light Awards to Huntington Beach during the US Open of Surfing will allow both the world’s best surfers and the global surfing media to participate. This is an incredibly exciting move,” commented Bob Hurley. “Larry Moore had a vision that included inspiring and elevating young talent. The US Open draws more than 500,000 people and is a perfect platform to showcase artist’s work and put a renewed focus on FTFL.” 

["Blacks Beach, CA" by Aaron Chang]

This year marks a significantly unique change to FTFL’s call for entries submissions guidelines. FTFL added a digital audio and video element to the submissions to allow even broader expression from the artists. The idea for evolving the format of the awards ceremony came from world renown action sports and lifestyle photographer Aaron Chang. “Advances in digital equipment and the sophistication of artists have given surf photography and imaging new ground to break,” Chang said. “FTFL sees this as an outstanding opportunity to use a new medium to showcase another dimension of the artist’s talent, while also exposing our finalists not only to industry decision-makers but to the general public as well.”

This year, FTFL is increasing the grand prize winner’s stipend to $5,000, while also awarding 2nd thru 5th place finalists with $1,000 each. There will also be an onsite “People’s Choice” voting format and award during the evening’s festivities. The 2010 event’s presenting sponsor is SWELL, with supporting sponsors Hurley, Oakley, SURFING Magazine and Surfline. 

[Photo by Matthew Clark.]

Stacy Clark, CEO of SWELL added, “ For the last three years, it has been SWELL’s honor to sponsor the prestigious FTFL awards. We are excited to be involved in the process of discovering new talent and proud to support the next generation of surf photographers!”

“Over the past several years, the foundation has recognized some of the best up-and-coming talent in the industry such as Chris Burkhard, Matthew Clark, Todd Glaser, and Ray Collins.” commented Candace Moore, Founder, FTFL. “We felt it was time to expand the recognition of these artists by inviting surf photography fans and consumers to join in the celebration!” 

[Photo by Todd Glaser.]

The reception begins at 7:00PM, at The Shorebreak Hotel, 500 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach, CA 92648. A limited amount of VIP tickets can be pre-purchased for $20 each at

The first 200 general admission registrants are free of charge. Please register on a first-come basis on Facebook on Follow the Light’s page.


On October 10, 2005, the surfing community lost one of its most influential figures, Larry “Flame” Moore. After a three-year battle with brain cancer, “Flame,” the Photo Editor of SURFING Magazine for 30 years, passed. He left behind a legacy of brilliant photography and an army of photographers trained by him. Through his work at SURFING, Larry literally shaped the “look” of three decades of surfing. Today, honoring Larry’s request, we have established Follow the Light Foundation (FTFL), an organization that will help finance the dreams of surf photographers, pushing the sport and its lensmen forward. For more information on FTFL, go to

- Amy
On my The Black Keys' "Too Afraid To Love You"

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Coming Soon: Our Interview with Max Weinberg

I have an exciting bit of news for you guys - this past weekend, OC Gazette staffer Amy Hood and I attended the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach's Summer Jazz Series kick-off event (I blogged about it a couple weeks ago, remember?), and were given the rare pleasure of meeting and interviewing legendary drummer Max Weinberg (of Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band and Conan's Tonight Show band- the Max Weinberg 7)! You'll get to read all about our talk with him in the August issue of The OC Gazette - so stay tuned!

In the meantime, here are a couple photos to tie you over:

[Amy, in all her professional interviewing glory, schmoozing it up with Maxie]

[Max, introducing his bandmates]

Stay tuned, folks! You won't want to miss our exclusive interview!

The Hyatt Regency Newport Beach's Summer Jazz Series continues this Sunday with a grand fourth of July celebration - the night will include performances by the Sax Pack, special guest Nick Colionne, and a firework show! Click here for details and tickets!

on my iTunes: Michael Buble's "Feeling Good"

Monday, June 28, 2010

The July Magazines Are Here!

This month we feature an exclusive interview with cowboy outlaw Merle Haggard, a look inside the Grammy Museum Sound Stage, a day in the life of Two Guys Grilling barbecuer David Biber, an artist spotlight on painter Regina Jacobson, the history of Camino San Clemente, a spotlight on the Shea Riding Center, your local events calendar, and much more!

Pick up your copy today! And the best part: It's free! Free! Free!

Keep it real OC,
- Sara
Listening to "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel

Friday, June 25, 2010

This weekend: Surf and Song

It's a weekend full of surf and song. Here are a few of our favorite events:

1. Ditties and Dogs with Almond Surfboards featuring The Smart Brother and J. Thoven
Kick off summer with Dave Allee and the fine fellows at Almond Surfboards. They've enlisted their friends to help, who happen to be the talented members of SD band The Smart Brothers. Also on hand to share some savory tunes will be OC's J. Thoven (which is basically just Jake Pappas - formerly of Janu & The Whalesharks). Speaking of savory, there will also be tasty burgers and dogs and delicious new threads and boards in the store for summer. I'll be interviewing Max Weinberg tonight, but if it's at all in my power I will be following Dave's ingenious idea of whisking Max down to Newport to do the interview on the Almond Surfshop couch. Then we'll get a straight answer out of the drummer extraordinaire and former band leader for Conan O'Brien as to whether he will or won't be joining Conan at TBS.

When: Friday June 25th, 2010 6:00pm - 9:30pm
Where: Almond Surfboards
367 Old Newport
Newport Beach, CA
(949) 515-2102

2. T. Patterson Surf Shop's Grand Opening
This Saturday head down to sunny San Clemente, where the women are beautiful, the men are brave, everyone surfs all day, and a tear has ne'er been shed. If not for those four facts alone, then for the Grand Opening of the new T. Patterson Surf Shop on El Camino Real. The party gets started at 11:00am with a Hawaiian blessing and is followed with live performances from Ukelele shredders Kendyl Beschen and Wes Miller, Hula performances from the Keiki's at Halua Hula Lani Ola, Grub and Giveaways. Plus enjoy a free $10 GC (that's tween for gift card) for every $100 you spend, courtesy of your friend Timmy Patterson. 

When: Saturday June 26th, 11:00am - 2:00pm
907 S. El Camino Real
San Clemente Ca 92672
(949) 492-1117

[Camp Out]

3.  FREE All Ages Show at Beach Pit BBQ in Tustin featuring Canvas and Camp Out
San Fran band Camp Out (who describe their sound as "Indie/French pop/Turntablism" on their myspace) are stopping through OC on their West Coast Tour. The Bay Area, indie-rocking, chick duo are like a mixture of Tegan and Sara and The Like. Sounds good right? Not only that, watching them live is an experience all it's own. The two hipsters multitask like only women can: Jackie Law mans the drum machine, drums, and keys while Maddy Hanks is on vocals, guitar, and loop station. If The Black Keys had multi-tasking skills like Camp Out, they wouldn't have had to add those two extra members to their live lineup. And I mean that in the most loving way, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney. Opening for Camp Out are members of Orange County folk-pop band Canvas (formerly known as Streetlight Affair - speaking of name changes check out this hilarious blog explaining ours!). There will be $5 beers and drinks and food will be served until 10pm.

When: Friday June 25th, 8:00pm - 10:00pm
560 El Camino Real 
Tustin, CA
(714) 929-RIBS

[The Growlers]

4. Voxhaul Broadcast, We Barbarians and The Growlers at Detroit Bar
OC bands Voxhaul Broadcast and We Barbarians (one of the Cold War Kids' favorite local bands) will be performing at Detroit Bar this Saturday in honor of Red Bull's Manny Mania. It's $10 at the door or $5 for Manny Mania Event Attendees. Also don't miss surf-rock geniuses, The Growlers at the same place and time on Sunday night. They're one of my favorite local bands and their hitting it big. Did I mention Bill Murray is a fan? Yeah. Also on hand will be The Entrance Band. 21 and up. Sorry youngsters.

When: Saturday and Sunday June 26th - 27th, 9:00pm
Where: Detroit Bar
843 W. 19th St.
Costa Mesa, CA
(949) 642-000

Have a wonderful weekend, friends.
- Amy
On my Pandora: Waylon Jenning's "Don't Think Twice"

Thursday, June 24, 2010

We changed our name!

Name Changes. They’re the simplest form of rebranding. Just ask anyone in Hollywood (namely Demi Moore, who was born Demetria Guynes – not exactly Ghost end credit material).  Following are more examples to justify our recent name revision:

Before Sandra Dee was Sandra Dee, she was Alexandra Zuck.

Kirk Douglas used to be Isidore Demsky… or Issur Danielovich, depending on whom you ask. In both cases, whomever you ask will not know how to say either. 

Cary Grant might still have been a stilt walker in the Bob Pender Stage Troupe if he hadn’t changed his name from Archibald Alexander Leach.

 The eternal standard of class, Audrey Hepburn, was born Edda Van Heemstra Hepburn-Rusten. It would take more than a couple of weeks with voice coach Professor Henry Higgins to get the phonetics of that one down. 

 Joaquin Phoenix was Joaquin Raphael Bottom before he signed the legal papers that banished his euphemism-for-a-rear original surname.
Leonard Franklin Slye changed his name to Roy Rogers at the suggestion of his studio.

Die Hard Bruce Willis was once a milder Walter Willis.

Oprah used to be Orpah. Isn’t that a vegetable?

And John Wayne would be a big, burly cowboy of a man named Marion (sounds like the premise of “A Boy Named Sue”), if not for a wise name change.

No one really knows why Arnold George Dorsey thought the switch to Engelbert Humperdink was a step up and a battle won.            

Stevie Wonder was possibly named after an Appalachian backwoods themepark: Steveland Judkins. OK, maybe not, but bless the agent who told him a name reinvention was in order.
[Hey, is that Jay-Z? Nope, it's Stevie Wonder]

Pepsi made a right turn when they changed their name from the original dubbing of Brad’s Drink (besides being a non-eventful name, does anyone else get visions of some basement-jockey making nondescript beverages in bathtubs?). The company soon went on to make a wrong turn, though, when they spent beaucoup bucks on a Chinese ad campaign in which a poor translation turned their slogan “Pepsi gives you life” into “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.” Needless to say, it scared the natives. At least now they know the foolproof system for ad campaigns: a Bob Dylan song and plenty of celebrity endorsement.

Gerald Ford was once Leslie Lynch King Jr. Perhaps he foresaw that the name might be too monarchic for a representative democracy?

Would Mother Teresa be as endearing if she were still riddled with the top-point-Scrabble-letters as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu?

YAHOO used to be called Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web. Which would mean your email address could’ve been Every secretary managing an email database manually is thanking her lucky stars right now.  YAHOO was an improvement. Especially since they chose the acronym version instead of the full name: Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle. Not even sure what that means.

Name changes can be game changers. I mean would “Google” be the word of the decade if the corporation was still inexplicably named BackRub?  Would Nintendo be the cornerstone of so many youths’ childhoods if they had had to ask mom for a Marafuku set instead?

We’re following in this long list of timely and mostly necessary name changes. All the cool kids are doing it! And unlike Datsun, who expended $30 mill, 3 years and the Datsun Fairlady in their switch to Nissan, we’re making a smooth transition.
[Datsun Fairlady]
What you formerly knew and loved as The Gazette (a little too macro), has now been specialized into The OC Gazette. Like all good gangs, we wanna give props to our hood, Orange County. We've re-branded the blog to match the name change as you might have noted. Plus, check out our new logo embracing our new name:

What’s in a name? A lot, it turns out. Which is exactly why Mr. Ed is no longer known as Bamboo Harvester.

On my iPod: "Let It Bleed" by The Rolling Stones

P.S. Meet our new mascott and mischief man, Mr. G. What up G?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Stacy Clark

[Photo Credit: Douglas Sonders]

There's nothing better than seeing a local OC musician hitting it big. A frequenter of the Gypsy Lounge and all of the other great little venues Orange County has to offer, I am the biggest sideline cheerleader of local musicians around. (Well maybe besides Ashley Eliot- but really how can you compete with that one woman local band-promoting machine?) There are so many fabulous musicians in this great county of ours just waiting to be discovered. One local musician starting up that stairway to music biz heaven is Stacy Clark.

Let me preface this blog with this: I have a strong aversion for female rock singers. Be it pop rock, indie rock, good ole fashioned rock n' roll or whatever - I find female singers' voices are usually whiney, squeeky or forced; their lyrics are either too syrupy sweet and cheesy or trying too hard to be edgy; and overall I feel they are usually just lacking in that overall true grit that I love about good rock n' roll. There are of course exceptions to my "No Girls Allowed" rule. Rachel Yamagata, Rilo Kiley, Paramore, Regina Spektor, The Duke Spirit, The Sounds, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and local OC songbird Stacy Clark.

[Photo Credit: Douglas Sonders]

What makes Stacy's sound is it's use of sweet and sour. (This is probably due to her ecclectic music influences that range from Rage Against the Machine to David Bowie to Sarah McLachlin.) Her sweet, angelic, almost juvenile voice is perfectly balanced by the brutally honest lyrics of a world-wise woman. When I say I like a female singer with true rock n' roll grit, that doesn't mean she has to have an amazingly gravelly, B.A. voice like Brody Dalle of The Distillers or Janis Joplin. I recently interviewed Merle Haggard and he said that Johnny Cash taught him that the thing that makes music great is honesty. Listeners can tell when they're being sold a package. We can in fact tell the difference between the real deals (the Johnny Cashes and the Kurt Cobains) and the fakers, posers and wannabes (I'm lookin' at you Nickelback.) Well that being said, Stacy Clark is the real, honest deal. One listen to her new album Connect The Dots and you'll find a vulnerable, yet spirited young woman who can be brutal one minute, warning, "I will only break your heart... if you only knew what was good for you, you'd stay away from me," in her song "All Time Low" to completely open and vulnerable the next as she softly sings, "the trouble that life brings, don't you fall for it," in "Misery" and "I feel so alone and everyone's around," in one of my favorites "Hide." And isn't that life? A rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, good and bad? You will find the full spectrum of emotions on Connect The Dots. "There is nothing more satisfying that writing a song and having someone listen and feel like they can relate," says Stacy. "My songs will outlive me and I hope they can make a difference in someone's life in the same way music has done for me."

Helping Stacy on Connect The Dots was producer Matt Appleton (Panic! At The Disco and The Veronicas) who also offered his musical talents on accordian, trumpet, ukelele, and mandolin and his composing skills for background string arrangements. Using such a varied spectrum of musical instruments really gives the album what Stacy calls "the sparkly bits." The result is a magical mixture of strings, horns and vocals over a bouncing Regina Spektor-esque piano.

[Stacy Clark's latest release Connect The Dots.]

Stacy Clark has been a regular on the OC music scene since she moved here from Buffalo, NY, and to much local acclaim. She won Best Female Performer at the 2006 Southern California Music Awards, Best Female Performer at the OC Music Awards in 2007 and Best Pop Artist this year. It's been a long journey for Stacy, but all of her hard work - booking her own shows and tours and funding her own albums - has finally paid off. Not only does she have a plethora of life experience and lessons to share with the world, but she also has a freshly signed record deal with independent label Vanguard Records (home to Greg Laswell, Joan Baez, The Watson Twins and more) to make sure her voice and stories will be heard. She's ready to spread her songbird wings, fly away from her OC nest, and venture out into the great blue yonder. Catch her at one of her upcoming local shows in August to wish her well on her way.

August 5, 2010     2:30pm     OC Fair               Costa Mesa, Ca

August 19, 2010   8:00pm     Gypsy Lounge     Lake Forest, Ca

Find her online at her myspace or on her facebook.
Vanguard Records is also offering a free download of "Don't Take What's Mine!"

- Amy 
On my iTunes: Stacy Clark's "Touch and Go"

Check out the official music video for "Touch and Go" while you're at it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Leslie Christen Can Help You Suit Your Shape!

Yes ladies, bathing suit season is upon us! So, as we venture out onto those beautiful Orange County beaches, it's important to know your shape, but it's more important to know what swimwear is best suited for it. By following these simple style tips, you'll gain the confidence needed to look your best while strutting along the shore or working on your tan.

Hourglass Shape: If you have an hourglass shape, your waist is typically much smaller than your bust or hips. Pick a suit that will accentuate your waist and flatter your other assets. If you are a taller hourglass, a high-cut bottom or boy shorts will bring definition to your legs. As for the top, choose one with an under wire or a bandeau top.

       [Rosa Cha]                  [Zimmermann] 

Perfectly Petite: For smaller, petite figures, opt for a string bikini that ties on the hips. This will bring attention to your curves, especially if you're a petite boy-shape. Halter tops are best for those with a smaller breast size, as they will push up and support your chest. To give you the illusion of added curves, buy a bottom with a floral print or one with ruffles. 

[Phillip Lim]                    [Annie Greenabelle]

The Luscious Pear: Since most pear shapes have a slightly larger bottom than top, buy your bikini bottom one size larger than you would your top. The beauty of separates is that you can mix and match, changing up your options. I recommend you pick a suit with some lift, to give you a little more oomph and curve to your shape. Your best bet on top is a push-up bra to give your breasts maximum support. 

          [Juicy Couture]                  [Tomas Maier Claudie]

Rectangle-Shape: If you find you have larger breasts than the average beach bunny, splurge and buy a supportive top with full coverage. This will give you control over your top and a healthy shape. For total control, I recommend a suit with a girdle-like boning in the sides and stomach to help you look slim and firm. They're actually supposed to make you look 10 pounds lighter - yes, please!


Boy-Shape: Choose a high waisted bikini bottom, one with lift for your rear. This style accentuates your waist and makes your long, lean body look curvier. The beauty of this shape is that you can pull off a one-piece suit as well as a two-piece suit. One-pieces will make your body look even leaner, while a two-piece will bring out your curves. 


 [Lulu Frill]

Happy swimming!


(check out Leslie Christen's lovely lifestyle blog or contact her at

Boeing Rocket Lab, Kids Restaurant Week, A Taste of Greece, Great Park Balloon

Praise the popsicle and water balloon gods: Summer is officially here. And one of my favorite shows, Wipeout, has finally returned. So, whether you've just wrapped up a long, hard school year, are anticipating how you will entertain your kids for the next 90 days, or are just looking for some different daycation ideas - we've got you covered. Check out these upcoming, family-friendly, local events going on in your neck of the woods.

[Blast Zone rendering] 

1. Boeing Rocket Lab - Opening July 2nd

Blast off with Discovery Science Center as they open their first permanent exhibit inside the 8,000 sq. foot iconic Orange County cube (you can't miss it off the 5). The new permanent exhibit includes the Blast Off Zone (an actual RS-68 rocket engine is suspended inside the cube), Air and Water Rockets (you may get wet), and Rocket Fuel and Nozzle Chamber exhibits (learn what happens when liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen combine).

[Boeing Rocket Lab construction, photo by Jere Greene]

“Boeing Rocket Lab is the first phase in the Space Exploration Gallery, a six-million dollar expansion project that will further Discovery Science Center’s mission of engaging guests science, technology, engineering and math principles through interactive, hands-on exhibits,” says Joe Adams, President, Discovery Science Center. “The cube is an icon of Discovery Science Center, and this amazing exhibit was the perfect choice to answer our most asked question, ‘what’s inside the cube?’"

2. Kids Restaurant Week - June 27th through July 3rd

The kids are out of school and it's time to kick off summer! Feed a family of four for $20-$40 (lunch) and $30-$60 (dinner) at some of OC's greatest restaurants. Be sure to check out the restaurant list; Kids eat free at many participating restaurants! "The Orange County Restaurant Association, Inc. has released the final list of restaurants and menus for Orange County's first-ever Kids Restaurant Week, focused on celebrating dining out as a family. Scheduled for Sunday, June 27 - Saturday, July 3, families throughout the county will have the opportunity to enjoy delicious and fun family dining at OC's best restaurants. During the weeklong inaugural event, participating restaurants will feature special dining deals, such as family-style prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner, while others will offer Kids Eat Free. A portion of the proceeds from the week's food sales will benefit Share our Strength ( to support in ending childhood hunger."

Also, check out the FREE Kids Week launch event on Saturday, June 26th from 12-4pm at The District in Tustin. Includes delicious food, give-a-ways, live music, raffles, bounce houses, and more!

3. "A Taste of Greece" - June 25th through June 27th
Check out this three-day, traditional Greek festival, complete with food, wine, and music: "Orange County’s 32nd annual “A Taste of Greece” festival will be held at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church in Irvine. "A family-friendly affair, the festival will be lined with boutique shops, a variety of games and a full-scale carnival.  Event attendees can also enter an opportunity drawing for the chance to win a 1st prize of seven days in Athens, Greece (hotel and airfare included for two); 2nd place prize of a 47-inch hi-definition television; 3rd place prize of a Dell laptop computer; or 4th place prize of $500.  Funds raised will support various organizations, including an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico and a soup kitchen in Albania."

Festival admission: $3 per guest; seniors 65+ free on Sat, June 26, noon – 5 p.m.; children under 10 always FREE.

[Photo by Gracy Wilkins]

4. Great Park Balloon - Thursday through Sunday
FREE, year round helium balloon rides at the Orange County Great Park! Soar over 400 feet in the air (depending on weather conditions). "The Great Park Balloon is one of the largest tethered helium balloons (not hot air) and the first of its kind in the United States. It is environmentally safe, non-polluting, and virtually silent. The Balloon is always tethered to the ground with a steel cable and is never in a state of free flight, making it both a safe and fun experience for everyone." Fun for the whole family. Try it day or night!

10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.

 [Photo by Gracy Wilkins]

Catch ya later OC and don't forget your sunscreen,
- Sara
Listening to "Everlasting Light" by The Black Keys

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