Thursday, May 27, 2010

Not to beat a dead horse... but Doheny Blues was awesome.

Not to beat a dead horse, but the Doheny Blues Festival’s 13th run through Dana Point’s Doheny State Beach last weekend was awesome. It came in like a pack of gypsies. Like a well-oiled machine of gypsies raised on a strict diet of blues, Blue Moon on tap and funnel cake. An overnight town appeared at Doheny State, with vendor tents selling everything from tie-dyed swag to vintage blues records tracing the border of the festival grounds, stages and food and beer caravans.
Sara, Amy and I took one for the team and covered the festival for the magazine. I’ll only mention the Saturday evening exploits here as I don’t want to talk you into a stupor. Here’s the blast-fast, full-color Guy Ritchie version of the day:

OPENING SCENE: The voice of Johnny Depp’s rockabilly crooner in Cry Baby, the voice of June Carter’s first husband in Walk The Line, voice coach to Nicholas Cage (who I like to refer to as Memphis Raines), and under-the-radar horror film favorite. Yes, I’m talking about the talented and oh-so-immaculately tailored James Intveld. This guy rocked the Backstage Porch at the festival and incited random outbreaks of line dancing throughout the crowd to boot-stompin’, head-noddin’ crowd. You can check out my blog on the LA native for more backstory. We went to talk to Intveld after his set and he was so kind as to give us his personal copy of a Dutch magazine he was featured in, signing the cover as the final touch.
[Photos by Sara Wilkins. Check out that dapper suit.]


ACT TWO: Jackie Greene on the Doheny green. Jackie Greene sings a song I became obsessed with after hearing it play over the speakers as I tried on wonky mis-stiched designerwear at Loehmann’s (gotta love that place). Jackie sings a lot of songs I’m obsessed with. It only takes listening to one of his songs. You’ll soon be dragged into the slew of other songs that make up his Americana, melodic blues portfolio. It started with “Prayer For Spanish Harlem” (hear it and more tracks here) and ended with us gals standing in a mob of sing-a-long fans bouncing like the dot on the lyric line to songs like “Shaken” and “Animal”. Rich Sherman, the event founder and official “big wig” at Omega Events, was the perfect host, showing Sara around the backstage for the perfect shots of Greene doin his thing.
[Before and behind, Jackie Greene in action. Photos by Sara Wilkins.]

SUBPLOT: In between Green’s set and the headlining act, I stopped at the best vendor tent at the gig (in my personal opinion). Gail Deculus-Johnson left her LA turf to bring her collection of African-American memorabilia, antiques and collectibles to the fest. I walked away with a vintage, original print promoting Cassius Clay’s “I AM THE GREATEST!” recording. It was hard to choose from all the worn and weathered posters and handbills of Sammy Davis, Louis Armstrong, and the rest. Her company is called Sable Images and you can peruse some of her merch here.
[The rad poster I picked up from Sable Images]

FINALE: To tell you the truth, the intended finale was kind of sidestepped by the bright light of the aforementioned acts. Intveld and Greene were bad opening acts. Bad in that they were good. Too good. By the time we made our way into the mob of people waiting to hear from the wail & howl, retro rock & blues sound of The Black Crowes, I was already sufficiently satisfied. Which means that the notes that emerged from the Valhalla/voice-box of Chris Robinson a few moments later sent me reeling into a new level of contentment.
[This guys pipes are from another world. A better world.]

[It was a fun day. Can you tell?]

Moral? Go next year. Don’t wonder whether it’s worth it. It is. Just ask Cory Joseph.
On my iPod: Jackie Greene's "Shaken" a beautiful ode to California.

FREE Anti-Aging & Wellness Seminar

One of our clients recently advertised about the free anti-aging and wellness seminar they're hosting on Thursday, June 3rd, and they told us they've already gotten a staggering number of calls to RSVP for the event. Being the generous folk we are, we wanted to let those of you who missed the May issue (or missed the ad) in on the scoop:

If you struggle with insomnia, weight gain, hormonal imbalance, menopause, andropause, a low sex drive,depression, memory loss, anxiety, hot flashes, mood swings, PMS, migraine headaches, osteoporosis, fatigue, or loss of energy, you'll want to make sure you attend Costa Mesa Compounding Pharmacy's FREE seminar that will focus on anti-aging and wellness tips.The seminar will be taught by two credentialed health experts whose passion is to help others of all ages achieve and maintain good health, wellness, and vitality.

You'll learn about increased strength, improved sex drive, optimal wellness, anti-aging, increased stamina, and weight control, among other life-bettering topics.

The event will take place next Thursday, June 3rd, from 6:30 to 8:30pm at the Radisson Hotel in Newport Beach (4545 MacArthur Boulevard). My grandma says that "nothing's really free," but this event must be the exception to Nana's rule; the event is absolutely free with free self-parking and free light refreshments! It really can't get any better than that, folks.

The only thing is: seating is limited! So call to RSVP asap!  
(714) 797-8356

You can find out more info about the seminar and about Costa Mesa Compounding Pharmacy at


on my iTunes: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' "40 Day Dream"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Garden Grove Strawberry Festival

Nothing says “Americana” like a summer festival: Kitschy community-loved events like chili cook-offs and carnivals are iconic, classic, and fun. This weekend in OC, locals can get a sweet taste of small-town summer at the 52nd annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival.
The event, which celebrates the tiny and beloved red fruit, has raised more than $4.5 million for non-profit causes. It also has a storied and uniquely Californian history: In the '60s, a young Steve Martin won the festival's talent competition, and Robert F. Kennedy spoke at the festival just two days before his tragic 1968 assassination. The Strawberry Festival has seen its share of celebrities over the decades, from Nancy Sinatra to Hilary Duff.

Over the years, the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival has featured carnival games, pie-eating contests, fishing ponds, karaoke and pony rides. The centerpiece of each opening ceremony is (wait for it...) the World's Largest Strawberry Shortcake. The Cake, which I firmly believe deserves capitalization, has traditionally been cut by the mayor of Garden Grove, who hands the first piece over to Miss Garden Grove. Then up to 4,000 yummy slices are handed out to festival attendees (for free!).

This year's berry fest will kick off Friday and will feature more than 30 carnival rides, music, and food booths staffed by local nonprofits and vendors. For those who appreciate the wonder of cheesy, deep-fried Americana, grab some food on a stick and stroll around to check out the “Strawberry Jammin' Talent Contest” on Friday night, the kickoff parade Saturday morning or the “Berry Berry Beautiful Baby Pageant” on Sunday. I suggest you shed any illusions of cool you have, slap some sunscreen on and dive into a whipped cream-topped wonderland of silly summer fun!


on my iTunes: At the Hop- Danny & The Juniors (the #1 song of 1958, the year the Strawberry Festival was founded)

Leslie Christen's Guide to Proper Wedding Attire

Let’s face it; June to September is wedding season! So, as a Personal Shopper, it's no surprise that I get asked about proper wedding attire etiquette every year around this time. As we all start receiving our Invitations and Save the Dates in the mail, we instantly think of two things. First, 'Who's going to be there?', and second, 'What am I going to wear?' But don't fret; this year will be a cinch by following a few simple rules.

From left to right:
Outfit 1) Leola Maxi Dress:, Kenneth Jay Lane Octopus Cuff Bracelet:, and Katya Dark Silver Sandal: 
2) Lanvin Dress:, Sunray Earings:, Elie Tahari Kimberly Clutch in Gold:, Bionda Castana Studded Cassie Gladiator Sandal: 
3) Alexander Mcqueen Preying Mantis Print Bustier Dress:, Susan Caplan Gold Vintage Necklace:, Yves Saint Laurent Arty Aventurine Ring:, High Heel Peep toe Boot:
4) RM by Roland Mouret Copia Long Dress:, Slender Curve fine crystal-embellished Clutch:, Margi Diams 120 Sandals:   
[Daytime, Evening, Black-Tie Optional and Formal]
Daytime Wedding - It could be on the beach, in a backyard garden or city hall. The main thing you want to remember about this kind of wedding is that the sun will be out (hopefully, for the Bride's sake) and it could be hot. This is not the time to wear black, instead wear something flowy and colorful, long or short. And since most daytime weddings have grass or sand in the equation; I suggest you wear flats or wedges.

Evening Wedding - This is the time to break out your best cocktail dress and statement shoes. There will probably be a lot of dancing so be prepared for your feet to hurt the next day. The idea here is to stay short and flirty but not too sexy. Remember this is not your day, so you shouldn't stand out too much. 

Black Tie Optional Wedding - This is a fun wedding to dress up for, but most confusing when you get the invite. Black Tie Optional means semi-formal. For men a tuxedo or dinner jacket may be worn, but it is not required. Proper dressy attire, like a suit, is necessary. As for the ladies, a short or long dress is appropriate, which leaves your options wide open, just don't go casual!

Formal Wedding - Think red carpet, (what would Sandra Bullock or Cameron Diaz wear?) kind of glamour when dressing for a formal wedding. The dress must be long and fabulous and your accessories should look like they broke the bank. The Bride and Groom didn't skimp on any details for their big day, and neither should you.
So, when you're deciding on what to wear, remember wearing the proper attire is not only crucial but it shows good etiquette. If you still need help on getting the right dress, visit my website or call (310) 866-1026.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Backyard Skills Workshops at The Ecology Center

Just a quick note to let you know of some awesome upcoming workshops at The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano- there's absolutely no reason to be bored on a summer Saturday! 

 May 29th: WIND – Kite-making & Flying 
Students get a lesson in the ways of the wind and learn how to harness its natural power with this kite-making and flying session. Cost: $25 + $10 materials 

June 5th: The Art of Bee-keeping
Take a lesson from the local experts - none other than the ladies of Backyard Bees - in caring for these amazing insects. Cost: $25

 June 12th: WATER – Rain Barrel Construction 
After a lesson in the “why” and “how-to” of rain water harvesting, students roll up their sleeves and construct their own 55-gallon rain barrel to take home and put to use. Cost: $25 + $40 materials

 July 24th: FIRE – Solar Oven Construction 
Using only cardboard, newspaper, plastic wrap and sunshine, students will construct fully functional solar ovens and enjoy a sample of some tasty solar oven-baked goodies. Cost: $25 + $10 materials

August 28th: EARTH – Composting with Worms 
Trash becomes treasure when worms transform kitchen scraps into nutrient-dense compost for healthy soil and happy plants. Students will head home with their own fully prepped worm bin. Cost: $25 + $20 materials
A big thank you to the City of San Juan Capistrano, another sponsor of this worm bin class!

This schedule is subject to change. Visit or call 949.443.4223 for updates.

The Ecology Center is founded on the principle that people can make a difference. We seek to inspire and involve people in the stewardship of Southern California's environment, providing education in sustainable agriculture, ecological design and the heritage of San Juan Capistrano. With the support of local volunteers, the nonprofit organization is currently underway in developing a unique and poignant eco-conscious learning facility. Together we can create a diverse, safe, and healthy world with clean air, water, and power that is economically, ecologically, and equitably enjoyed by all.


on my blip: Nada Surf's "Inside of Love"

Monday, May 24, 2010

Doheny Blues Festival 2010

[Amy & Jen with James Intveld]

[Jen & Amy with treasured James Intveld autograph]

[Me & Amy]

[Jackie Greene -  the New York Times calls him "The Prince of Americana"]

[Crowd looking on as Jackie Greene performs]

[Me and Jen]

[Day 1 Headliner, The Black Crowes]

[The Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson]

- Sara
Listening to Whiskeytown's "Crazy About You"

Friday, May 21, 2010

Lukas Nelson and The Promise of Real coming to the Coach House

Growing up in the 90s has its side effects. Growing up in the 90s as Willie Nelson’s kid could have more effects. I mean think of the potentialities. Unlike us norms, Lukas Nelson, the son of the braided, bandana-ed Willie, was potentially learning basic motor and language skills on a tour bus while his dad was playing with The Highwaymen (think an outlaw country version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, featuring the complimentary heroics of Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Johnny Cash, a combo that could save any day). When Lukas was 9, his dad was playing a Historian smoker in the cult classic hash film Half Baked. Like I said, not the usual son-of-a-mechanic kind of life. And thank the fates for it. Lukas Nelson is the better for it.  
 Lukas, only 21, has followed somewhat in the musical footsteps of his dad. Although don’t expect it to be a twang and chew tobacco kind of affair. Lukas heeded his dad’s covered warning: “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys”, and gravitated to the other genre mothers worry most about: that blasted rock ‘n’ roll music.
  [Lukas Nelson]
The result? Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real, a blues rock group that features Nelson along with drummer Anthony LoGerfo (a spritely pot and pan hitter whose musical backgrounds range from jazz to hard rock), bassist Corey McCormick (who also plays bass for Chris Cornell *drool*) and percussionist Tato Melgar (who adds unique punctuation to the band through his capacities in Afro-Cuban and South American sounds). They’ve opened for B.B. King, Dave Matthews Band, Blues Traveler and were one of the standout performers at the Waterfront Blues Festival. He's also jammed with Bob Dylan, who considered Nelson for a guitarist gig before recruiting Charlie Sexton. And now they’re coming to San Juan’s Coach House to lay on the picks and riffs. Said Coach House PR gal Lila Sadeghi of the group, “Raised on a strict diet of country, blues, and rock 'n' roll, California-based Lukas Nelson and his band, The Promise of the Real, are starting to make waves with their infectious, no-nonsense brand of the classic American sound.” Prepare to be stricken with the disease.
[This is what you can expect from The Promise Of Real. Get excited. Photos by Johnny D of]
John Wareham reported on a recent Promise of Real show with a spellbound revelry for Lukas: “He sings like Willie did 40 years ago, but that's where the similarities end. Lukas is all blues rock, with great hooky melodies grouped together with long, intense and extended Robert Cray/Stevie Ray Vaughn guitar solos that venture into jam territory. But its ok because they are usually crazy busy solos and watching him play them is just as fun as hearing them. During one song, he even put the guitar strings to his mouth and played with his teeth.” Yep, Lukas has got some Jimi in him. In fact, Lukas says it was hearing Hendrix that inspired him to get into music, not so much his dad (isn’t that like most kids, finding the best heart-to-hearts in albums rather than parents).
 Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real will perform at The Coach House on May 29th. Doors open at 6pm. Tickets are already on sale and can be purchased for $10.00 through the ticket office at The Coach House by calling 949-496-7935 or online by visiting
For more info on Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real, visit them online at

Until then, feast on this for a taste of things to come...

“How Long”

“Start To Go”


Rock the Runway

{left to right: Me, Francisco Barragan, Melissa Steepe, and Jennifer Hood (Art Director of The OC Gazette).}

Thanks to our friends over at Revolution Radio on 105.1fm, I won four tickets to attend Rock The Runway this year. Being in the magazine world you make a lot of wonderful and interesting friends. One such friend is the one-woman-PR-show also known as Ashley Eckenweiler. She’s the go-to girl for anything music related going on in OC. She does PR for the OC Music Awards, the Yost Theater, OsCene, (to name a few) and our topic of discussion - Rock the Runway.

Well Ashley, Bravo. What could have been a small, kitsch-y, college runway show was a production that looked like it belonged in LA’s fashion week as opposed to the Art Institute’s parking lot. The minute you got out of your car you were unsure if you were in the right place. Greeted by a black carpet, guests were ushered to the media wall for photos and then on into the school to pick up their passes and wristbands. Wristbands in hand, the guests made their way through the school to the “parking lot” where the adventure began. Professional quality lights, sound and cameras hung about the giant stage/catwalk, all being manned with the speed and ease of well seasoned pros by the army of event hands. Camped around the perimeter of the stage were booths and demonstrations galore: Paul Mitchell’s Model Search 2010, a Skateboarding demo, tons of food and two VIP tents.

{In the Silver VIP tent}

Being press, we had the silver VIP tent, and even if they offered me to go to the gold I would have stayed happily in the silver. Our tent was going off. The DJ was spinning all the tunes we wanted to hear, and those who weren’t happily eating, drinking and socializing were packed on the dancefloor. Free drinks and food (including a chocolate fondue fountain) kept everyone full and well watered and models from the runway show could be seen mingling amongst students, guests, and the occasional local celebrity (I saw Real Housewive of Orange County, Vicki Gunlavson and her entourage in our tent).

{Daniel Magana, the 1st place winner of the student fashion design competition hugging his model.}

The main event was the fashion show. On hand to judge the show and elect a winner was a guest panel made up of  Luis Brajas (Flaunt Magazine Editor-In-Chief), Mila Hermanovski (One of the final 3 designers on Project Runway Season 7), and Dina Cerchione (one of TV’s top wardrobe stylists and designers). Again, the students showed up looking less like 20-somethings and more like seasoned veterans. Each designer's line was carefully constructed with precision and detail. In many runway shows, the clothing seems more geared to further fashion as an art form that needs to be pushed to the outer limits of originality regardless of functionality or accessibility; at Rock the Runway, no originality or creativity was spared, but all the lines were clothing you looked at and said, “I want to wear that.” Each designer concocted their own perfect blend of inspiration and functionality for a runway show that thrilled the hundreds of attendees and even wowed the guest judges.

{Stryker with celebrity judge Luis Brajas}

The show was effortlessly MCed by KROQ’s Stryker, who looked unusually dapper in a penguin suit. The only time I remembered that I wasn’t in LA and was in fact in the Art Institute parking lot was when a brief power outage interrupted the fashion show. No one skipped a beat, however. The models kept strutting their stuff, oblivious to the technical difficulties, thriving off of the growing roar of cheers and clapping from the crowd.


{The Raveonettes}

The night was closed out with the fulfillment of the “Rock” in “Rock the Runway” - a live show from Danish indie rock band The Raveonettes. The crowd was already primed and ready for the Nords, having just taken in the hip shaking beats of OC band BLOK. BLOK’s high energy show was only rivaled by The Ravonettes’. A dynamic duo of just lead singer/guitarist Sharin Foo and guitarist/bassist Sune Rose Wagner, you barely realize there isn’t a full backing band from the thick rock sound of songs like “Love In A Trashcan.”  My friends and I left the event like a bunch of chatty middle school girls, our excited conversation flying back and forth between exaltations of the fun that had just transpired and the loose planning of our future in the fashion world (starting with fashion school and wandering as far as the plotting of our Fall 2012 lines). 

- Amy
On my Nancy Sinatra's "Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"

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