Every once in a while, someone brings to music a voice, a sound, a note or a chord that is different. Enter Lady Blackbird, who back in 2020, brought to the ears of the world, the song, Blackbird. A composition written and sung by Nina Simone, Lady Blackbird delivered a vocal that on first impression, felt like Nina Simone was alive and well.
The LA-based artist, who formally was known as Marley Munroe has re-invented herself, and we like it. That song and now an album, Black Acid Soul, and to our delight she joins Vintage Trouble for a night at the Ford Theater on Thursday, September 16th. For tickets head here.
If you are fan of jazz, of crazy orchestrations that sound like the soundtrack of a dark, smoky night in a Southside joint, with vocals that may instill a permanent awe of the human voice, join the lady who Gilles Peterson has labelled the “the Grace Jones of Jazz” for a night of music.
From a published biography:
Lady Blackbird didn’t mean to soundtrack a revolution. But last spring, that’s exactly what she did. On 27th May 2020 the Los Angeles-based singer Marley Munroe released her debut single.
“It’s a brave soul indeed who not only tackles one of Nina Simone’s starkest tunes, ‘Blackbird’, but also calls herself Lady Blackbird into the bargain,” noted Blues and Soul at the time. “The original is a stripped-down chant with claps and hand drums, a field hollering protest song that will darken the skies of anyone’s heart. Lady Blackbird has the same urgent grace as Simone and she really takes what is an essentially acapella song and adds her own powerful magic and spirit to
proceedings… There’s an unmatched regality throughout, proving Lady Blackbird is an incisive and adroit singer. She channels the agony and thick despair on the lyrics, too.”
Simone released ‘Blackbird’ in 1963, at the height of the Civil Rights struggle. Almost six decades later, the killing of George Floyd, two days before the release of Lady Blackbird’s version, gave this new rendition a coincidental but no less stark, awful yet uplifting power.
“There was so much emotion there,” Lady Blackbird reflects now of a recording she and her Grammy-nominated producer Chris Seefried had laid down in the legendary Studio B (aka Prince’s room) in LA’s Sunset Sound. Jazz, she agrees, has protest in its DNA.
“Ultimately, I’m in this to entertain, not to be any sort of leader. That’s a huge responsibility that’s so deep within itself. I want to entertain and push people’s buttons. But having that platform, having people willing to listen to you and your music, that’s a responsibility – and one of using that opportunity to share your views.”
As it happens, in actual fact they’d recorded ‘Blackbird’ a few months previously.
“And unfortunately, and disgustingly, it did ring so fucking true last spring,” she continues with a hint of the soulful fierceness that, on stage, makes Lady Blackbird a wonder to behold. “It’s always been one of my favourite songs of hers. I’d listen to ‘Blackbird’ on repeat on my headphones for hours at a time, just feeling it, getting into the bones of it. “I could picture myself singing it onstage – I often do that, close my eyes and imagine me interpreting certain songs on stage. And I thought: this song has to be done.”
Lady Blackbird isn’t the Nina Simone of the Black Lives Matter era (she certainly wouldn’t call herself that). But she is the talent, and the force-of-nature, and the talk-walking personality, that Gilles Peterson has dubbed “the Grace Jones of jazz” – an accolade reinforced by the remixes of recent single ‘Collage’ by jazz and house heavyweights Bruise, Greg Foat and KDA.
And she’s the woman who can flex in other areas, too, as seen in the jaw-dropping version of Tom Petty’s ‘Angel Dream’ that she performed at the virtual Birthday Bash held last October in tribute to what would have been the late musician’s 70th birthday.
We can also just call her the best new voice of 2021, a transcendent performer of songs old and new, an artist whose approach, outlook and vibe is summed up in the title of her stunning forthcoming debut album.
Black Acid Soul.
Minimal yet rich, classic yet timely, the album connects backwards to Miles Davis (his pianist, Deron Johnson, plays Steinway Baby Grand, Mellotron and Casio Synth throughout) and forwards to Pete Tong (he made the Bruise mix of ‘Collage’ his Number Two Essential Selection tune of 2020) and, yes, Victoria Beckham – Matthew Herbert’s remix of second single ‘Beware The Stranger’ soundtracked the designer’s Spring/Summer 2020 Fashion show.
Its 11 tracks have a sound, feeling and attitude that speak of Lady Blackbird’s deep experiences in music, stretching all the way back to infancy.
“I don’t ever remember not singing,” she says, recalling performances in church and at fairs from the age of five. “It’s what I knew how to do, and I don’t want to do anything else.”
By her early teens, Lady Blackbird was travelling to and from Nashville. She was signed to a Christian label but the only music that resulted was some work with rock/rap group DC Talk. After they split, she worked with former member TobyMac, appearing on his first four solo albums and touring together.
“But I realized that that whole Christian world, which my parents tried to place me in, was so goddam far from who I was. I did not want to do Christian music, I didn’t believe anything of what they did, and I quit the tour.”
A wise young soul already at the age of 16, she then found herself “in limbo, because I was in this contract till I was 18”.
Once legally an adult and free, she based herself out of New York while flying to and from sessions in LA. She was working with Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Sam Watters, Louis Biancaniello, Tricky Stewart and The Heavyweights. A production deal led to a record deal with LA Reid’s Epic. But creative differences led to her parting ways with the label.
So, the deal ended “and it was back to the drawing board and working with different people”. One of those was artistturned-writer-and-producer Seefried, who’d been Grammy-nominated for his work on the debut album by Andra Day (soon to be seen as Billie Holiday in biopic The United States Vs. Billie Holiday).
On meeting Lady Blackbird, he recalls thinking: “Wow, I’m working with the best new vocalists there are – Andra and Lady Blackbird are two of the greatest singers on the planet.”
From Lady Blackbird’s point-of-view, “I fucking loved his shit!” she hoots, relieved to have finally found a musical partner who got her. “Chris listened to me, asking, was I feeling this vibe, or that vibe? He was able to dig inside what I was feeling. Next thing you know, he had some amazing sounds worked out. We really just connected.”
They took their time, working in Seefried’s LA studio, feeling out the bespoke musical path that would work with the fiercely individual performer. Finally, in hitting on the idea of stripping everything back, “we cracked the code”.
“I’d written a song, ‘Nobody’s Sweetheart’, a jazz ballad kind of thing, and asked her to do a vocal,” explains Seefried. “I laid the tune on her – and it’s quite a complicated piece of music – then I played it again. And she goes: ‘OK, I got it.’ And in two takes she nailed it, live. It’s a real natural genius kind of thing to have that kind of musicality intuitively.
That song, when he began playing it to people, stopped them in their tracks. “In fact, when I played it to my therapist, he started crying.”
“When you break a therapist, that’s when you know you’re winning!” Lady Blackbird laughs.
A sad, elegantly simple tune, ‘Nobody’s Sweetheart’ was, too, a pathfinder song, and also the first one they recorded (with, ultimately, on the finished album, a beautiful trumpet solo from the great New Orleans virtuoso, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews). After working on big pop bangers, this was the motherlode. After going all out, they were going all in, deeply in, getting out of the way and letting shine the voice of Lady Blackbird.
For the singer, a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, that approach, however, didn’t – couldn’t – diminish her onstage persona. “I loved my over-the-top costumes and all this elaborate shit on stage. Chris convinced me we could be jazz and still keep that attitude.”
Suffice it to say that, when Seefried played ‘Nobody’s Sweetheart’ to Ross Allen – the British label exec, DJ and crate-digger who’s signed Lady Blackbird to his new imprint Foundation Music – he was astounded.
“I also showed him this picture of her, this radical woman on stage, and it was from the back, wearing this incredible dress and Pattie LaBelle headgear. Ross was like: ‘She sings like that and looks like that? Fucking hell!’”
“Yeah, it was my ass!” she shouts, delighted. “Ass out, always!”
You can hear that personality in ‘Collage’. An instant earworm which she inhabits in multiple colours, it’s Lady Blackbird’s take on the “fucking quirky” James Gang original, a soulful psych-rock deep cut from 1969.
There’s more inspired reinvention on the aching ‘It’ll Never Happen Again’, written by Tim Hardin and which first appeared on the folk singer’s seminal 1966 debut. Forthright as ever, Lady admits, “that was one of the ones I didn’t like at first. It wasn’t boring, I just didn’t know how to give it some power or personality at first. But then I tried it, it was a beautiful session, and it’s ended up one of my favourites on the album. It just sounds magical.”
That spirit of adventure and invention is there, too, on ‘Beware The Stranger’. It’s a rerub of ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’, a rare groove classic recorded by funk/gospel collective Voices of East Harlem in 1973 and co-produced by Curtis Mayfield.
“It’s a version of a version!” she laughs. “We changed the title, the gender, everything! But again, when I first heard it, I just could not hear it. Then Chris cottoned on to the choir piece at the end and suggested we build from there. It was this gothic-type sound, and we rebuilt that choir just using my voice. When we took it to a dark and dangerous place, that’s when I liked it, and when everything else just happened. Taking them down a jazz route was just about interpreting them in a way that could make them fit on a Kind of Blue, Love Supreme kind of space”.
Rounding out the album are two killer cuts written by Lady Blackbird and Seefried, ‘Fix It’ and ‘Five Feet Tall’. The former is an elegant piano ballad that sounds like a Great American Songbook standard sung by a woman on the side of the angels. Her ability to nail the song in the studio in minimal takes was clearly something to behold.
“Deron had never met her before the session,” recounts Seefried, “and she was recording ‘Fix It’ in Lady Blackbird mode. And he was like: ‘Damn, she’s like artificial intelligence! She’s like an Avatar! This is unreal!’”
As for ‘Black Acid Soul’, closing the album, it speaks of both the “Jackson Pollock jams” Seefried describes in the studio and the mantric soul evocative of Hot Buttered Soul-era Isaac Hayes. Explaining how the song became the title and then, again, the vibe, Lady Blackbird says: “We used to hashtag #blackacidsoul, as our sub-genre of music. It just encompassed everything we were doing. It cemented all those ideas and genres in this made-up shit!
“And because ‘Blackbird’ is a great start to the album, because it gets dark and violent and goes somewhere spiritual, we wanted to tail the album with another expression of acid soul. So that became the title track at the end.” This is Black Acid Soul, and this is the first crucial album of 2021. Are you ready to fly with Lady Blackbird?
More than 40 million U.S. adults have an anxiety disorder. Yet, less than 37% of them ever receive professional medical treatment. That isn’t to say they don’t receive any treatment at all, though. In fact, many people rely on natural solutions to manage their anxiety and alleviate related symptoms.
If you don’t feel especially inclined to go to therapy or take prescriptions either, these remedies might work for you, too.
1. Breathe Deep
Many people experience chest tightening, shortness of breath and an increased heart rate when battling anxiety. If they aren’t able to manage these symptoms, they could cause a full-blown panic attack. Luckily, deep breathing exercises can help calm you down when you’re facing stressful situations.
When you feel tensions start to rise, take a few deep breaths and focus on lengthening each exhale. Doing so will relax the parasympathetic nervous system and prevent you from hyperventilating. Breathing from your diaphragm or practicing pranayama may also help reduce anxiety and related symptoms.
2. Try Aromatherapy
While you’re focused on your breath, why not inhale some mood-boosting scents? Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils to help you relax, reduce anxiety and improve your overall sense of wellbeing. Apply a few drops of oil to your wrists, a lava bead bracelet or your pillow before heading to bed. A diffuser can also aid in dispersing scents throughout your home. Choose lavender, ylang ylang, grapefruit, clary sage or bergamot oil for best results.
Meditation involves the practice of mindfulness and can effectively alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Find a quiet, comfortable spot to sit, stand or lie down. Then, close your eyes and observe your breath. Notice each thought that pops into your head and allow them to pass without reacting. Eventually, this practice will help you find a sense of calm so your emotions don’t spiral out of control when troubles arise.
4. Plan for the Future
If your worries stem from situations within your control, you could minimize related anxiety by taking initiative and planning ahead. For instance, those who work in hazardous industries like construction might worry about what will happen to their families if something were to happen to them. In this case, purchasing a life insurance policy would give them at least some peace of mind because their family would receive a death benefit in the event of their passing.
Because money — or a lack thereof — is a major stressor for many Americans, you might also make and stick to a tight budget. Doing so will keep your spending habits in check so you can build an emergency fund and a bigger savings account. Experts recommend saving enough to cover three to six months’ worth of basic living expenses to best prepare and minimize finance-related anxieties.
5. Ditch Caffeine
If you suffer from chronic anxiety, most doctors will advise you to stay away from caffeinated beverages like coffee and energy drinks. That’s because caffeine stimulates you flight or fight response and can cause nervousness and jitters. Ultimately, these effects can exacerbate mental health issues like anxiety and even cause panic attacks in people with panic disorder.
Luckily, there are other ways to boost your energy levels. For instance, going for a brisk walk, connecting with nature, taking a power nap and staying hydrated can all help you stay awake and alert. Plus, you won’t experience a sugar or caffeine crash later.
6. Try CBD
Cannabidiol oil — or CBD — has become increasingly popular in recent years, largely thanks to its ability to treat a wide variety of ailments, including anxiety. This hemp-derived oil contains little to no tetrahydrocannabinol, so you won’t experience a high. Instead, you’ll likely notice a sense of calm and clarity that enables you to focus. You can find CBD products in many stores, and it’s often available in tinctures, gummies, chocolate and lotions.
7. Use Herbs
Prescription drugs like beta-blockers and benzodiazepines often come with unwanted side effects, which is why many people turn to herbal remedies to treat anxiety. Chamomile, valerian, lavender, passionflower, kava kava and ashwagandha are just a few of the most effective herbs. If consumed on a regular basis, they can help regulate your stress response and reduce the severity of generalized anxiety disorder relapses. Brew these herbs into teas or use tinctures, creams and tablets to experience their healing powers.
8. Name Your Emotions
Sometimes, the best way to manage your anxiety is to put your feelings into words. Whether you’d rather write everything down in a journal or talk to a friend about your fears, giving voice to your anxieties will make them a little less powerful and overwhelming. Naming your emotions will also help expose irrational fears so you can work through them without letting them overpower you and dictate your reactions.
Knowing When to Ask for Help
Of course, there are only so many natural remedies for anxiety, and they don’t work for everyone. So, if you try a few and don’t see any results, your best bet is to connect with a doctor or therapist. They’ll be able to assess your symptoms, offer a diagnosis and prescribe treatment. Remember, there’s no shame in asking for help and doing so might be more effective than any natural remedy.
Cover Photo by KoolShooters from Pexels
We’ve highlighted a few great Labor Day Weekend sales and deals already this week (which you will also find included below), but we also caught wind of some nifty things to do around SoCal this coming weekend. End of Summer? For some it’s just beginning!
Brief and to the point only works best on a few occasions, and this is one of them. The clock is ticking, and the summer sun is setting! So, stop wasting time here, and get to the good below!
Sales, Deals, and Things to Buy
From this point on, it’s good VYBES only. VYBES offers a wide range of seriously delicious 25mg CBD beverages, plus non-CBD beverages.
Labor Day Weekend is just around the corner, and this functional wellness brand, wants to celebrate with you! From August 30 to September 10, get stocked up using code TRYVYBES and receive 20% off your entire order!
Big names, big things. Cann is creating quite the buzz, with celebs and influencers raving about the CBD cocktails.
BOGO Sale: use the code VIPBOGO for 50% off orders over $99. You can also use this BOGO deal to stock up on Cann’s UNSPIKED beverages — offering Cann’s same classic flavor profiles — minus the cannabis.
SunDaze reimagines the classic social drink, breaking citrus-based cocktails out of the brunch category once and for all. Each cocktail contains 100% of your daily dose of Vitamin C, antioxidants and probiotics and is also gluten-free, vegan and has no added sugars.
SunDaze is available for purchase at all PinkDot & Total Wine locations across LA county and via DTC online, and retails at just $3.99/can!
Here’s a new delicious, easy and enjoyable way to take the everyday vitamins and nutrition you need! NuStrips are engineered to dissolve quickly on your tongue and drive faster absorption, enhanced bioavailability, peak performance and pack the same active nutrients as 2-3 pills or gummies.
The innovative product currently boasts 5 Skus: Sleep, Immunity, Energy, Beauty, and MultiVitamin. Each package has 30 strips and is priced at $36.50. Each product is non-GMO, allergen-free and gluten-free and adheres to the strictest manufacturing standards(USFDA, Health Canada & WHO-GMP).
Sale: 20% off orders over $50
Our brains have a lot on their plate, and quite frankly, in this day and age, we should give them a bit of a break.
Skylight is here to do just that, with a sleek, modern, and functional frame that shows not only your family’s calendar of events synced straight from your dedicated calendar accounts – but also holds all your photos, household schedules, lists, to-do’s and beyond. Equipped with on-screen and in-app editing, color coding and updating events is always at your fingertips. Are their plans on the calendar for this Labor Day weekend? You bet. Through September 6, customers can use code SKYLIGHTCAL to get $20 off!
This as-seen-on-Shark-Tank item boasts incredible benefits for spines
All33 created the perfect office chair for back pain, preventing the user from slouching, effectively moving all 33 vertebrae within the spine.
Deal: From September 2-7th, All33 is giving $150 off their Backstrong C1 chair, with code LOVE150.
Eyebrows, cosmetics, and nails are basically everything these days. It’s easier than ever to look your best, whether you hire a team for it or do it yourself. HIDE
, and NailBoo
are three innovative companies banding together for a Labor Day sale where you can get 20% off each brand for the weekend!
Dr. Squatch, the men’s personal care brand that offers all-natural cold-process bar soaps, deodorants, hair care, beard care, and more, will be taking part in the Labor Day sale fun this year!
We can vouch for their amazing scents, and especially the longevity of their deodorants, which provide B.O. protection for 2 to 3 days!
Sale: 25% off site-wide using code “LABOR25”. The deal lasts all LDW, September 3rd-September 6th.
Elite furniture for the contemporary home, anyone? Modloft believes in a modern world supported by beautiful and intentional design. Without any compromise on quality, their goal is to make luxurious furniture more attainable and accessible.
Plus, with the housing market still sizzling from a scorching Spring and Summer, there are probably a ton of homeowners out there who are looking for some new furniture.
Modloft’s Labor Day Living Room Event is live until September 6, and customers can get up to 25% off Modloft’s most coveted designs in living room; no code necessary with free shipping on all orders.
Kori Krill Oil is the must-have vitamin for anyone looking for multiple health + wellness benefits in one easy supplement. Krill oil is the ocean’s superior Omega source compared to fish oil, delivering Omega-3s in their most natural form for superior absorption and offering maximum heart, brain, joint, eye, skin, and immunity benefits. Additionally, Krill is a good source of choline, which supports brain and nervous system health. The best part? No fishy aftertaste! Kori has zero additives and is 100 percent pure Krill oil.
Kori Krill Oil is critically acclaimed for its innovative sustainability efforts. The supplements are made in the U.S. with wild caught Antarctic krill that is processed immediately on boats to preserve freshness. In fact, each bottle can be traced to where it was originally caught and the operations behind Kori Krill Oil have earned the highest sustainability certifications 6 years running.
Sale: Through September 6, get 15 percent off Kori Krill Oil on Amazon (Sale price ranges from $17.21-$25.49)
While Summer 2021 already spawned a new travel trend, revenge travel, as vacationers plan their Labor Day trips to end the season, they’re not necessarily booking a ticket for two. According to Orbitz, single roundtrip tickets are up 200% or more, for the holiday weekend compared to 2020. U.S. cities including NYC, Chicago, Boston and Seattle are topping the list for solo travelers, as many look for responsible leisure travel options to end the summer.
“There are a lot of reasons why solo travel might be more popular right now, the main one being that it’s easier to manage and plan travel for one versus a group while navigating Covid protocols,” says Mel Dohmen, Senior Brand Manager at Orbitz. Demand to go to Canada – which recently reopened to vaccinated US travelers – BBQ-famous cities, and beaches are also trending up over the long weekend. Below, are some solo trends and top destinations for the end of summer and fall from Orbitz.
Solo travel trends include:
August through October is usually the biggest time for solo travelers
Beaches and international beaches are predicted to be the most popular destinations for the back half of 2021
Top vacation destinations in the South are also trending such as Savannah, Charleston, and Nashville, along with another notable beach destination: Hawaii
Top Solo Destinations:
San Jose, California
San Francisco, California
Los Angeles, California
Orange County, California
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Kansas City, Missouri
New York, New York
Charleston, South Carolina
Join The Habit Burger Grill and Tarantula Hill Brewing to Celebrate Their New Burger-Inspired Beer
Nothing pairs better than burgers and brews, which is why The Habit Burger Grill and Tarantula Hill Brewing have teamed up to create a beer inspired by The Habit’s signature Charburgers. To celebrate the launch of the Habit Burger Grill Hazy IPA, the two iconic local California brands are hosting a party at Tarantula Hill Brewing on Saturday, September 4 from 3-6pm.
The Habit’s catering trucks will be on site offering free Charburgers and fries (for the first 250 guests), and Tarantula will be debuting the new Habit Hazy IPA. The beer retails for $8 per can, and has notes of oats, citrus, and stone fruit, making it the perfect warm-weather sip to complement a freshly chargrilled burger from The Habit!
When: September 4, from 3-6 p.m.
Where: 244 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Last Chance for Poolside Cocktails at The Spare Room…Somewhere Else Pop Up
The ephemeral, al fresco cocktail experience from the award-winning gaming parlour and cocktail lounge – The Spare Room – at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel will be toasting its last cocktail and bocce game of the season as Hospitality duo Med Abrous and Marc Rose of Call Mom gear up to reopen The Spare Room later this fall.
Nestled behind the hotel’s iconic David Hockney-painted pool, the intimate outdoor oasis boasts a bocce court and custom single-use games (think Battleship, Mad Libs, M.A.S.H.) to play while you’re enjoying over-the-top delicious cocktails like the frozen Cabana Club with Appleton Rum, Amontillado sherry, coconut cream & coconut water, cinnamon and absinthe and the 40 Day Dream with Bulldog Gin, white wine, tarragon pineapple cordial, lime, Thai basil and coconut ice cubes alongside seasonal Italian-inspired small plates like freshly shucked Hog Island Oysters, burrata with apricot agrodolce and heirloom tomato panzanella.
The Spare Room has remained a top-tier destination in Hollywood for over a decade as an intimate meeting place for socializing over innovative cocktails and nostalgic games complete with vintage bowling lanes; the bar was recently named the “Best American Hotel Bar” by the Spirited Awards (Tales of the Cocktail).
Wed, Thurs, Sun 6pm-Midnight
Friday and Saturday 6pm-2am
Secure Tickets For LA’s Haunted Hayride
Ghouls, ghosts and monsters… Halloween is almost here! Opening on September 24th, Haunted Hayride will feature a series of sinister attractions, mazes and more with trick-or-treating available for the whole family!
Stepping into 1985, guests can expect the unexpected in Midnight Falls with various attractions celebrating the 13th Annual Halloween Festival including:
A Hayride stroll through the town’s foothills, no doubt encountering the creepy creatures and witches lingering through the night.
A Trick or Treat Maze with monsters and ghouls lurking in the shadows waiting to give a fright.
The Midnight Mortuary Maze offering tours for anyone brave enough to walk the property, hopefully escaping the sinister funeral home before their expected demise.
Presale tickets are available now through September 8th with a discounted rate of $24.99. General ticket sales begin 9/8 at noon local time at regular price ($34.99).
Have Beer, Wine, and Cocktails at Pasadena’s NY-Style U Street Pizza
Restaurateur Marie Petulla and Executive Chef Chris Keyser of Union in Pasadena opened sister restaurant U Street Pizza this past spring and their NYC by way of California pies have entered the top tier of the pizza echelons in LA. They are now offering pizza-friendly cocktails and wine and West Coast beers to complement the menu of crispy, chewy pies, salads, seasonal sides and dessert.
The U Street Pizza team collaborated with beverage consultant and Future Gin co-founder Mary Bartlett on a cocktail list highlighting California-based, woman-owned and/or BIPOC producers resulting in easygoing yet complex drinks that pair perfectly with a clam pie and a caesar salad as they do risotto rice pudding.
Start out with the sunny and sessionable Free Parking with fresh pressed watermelon juice, orange wine and pisco and move on to the Oaxacan Summer featuring mezcal, pamplemousse, Amaro Angeleno and lemon, and end with the Caffee 1749 with Appleton Estate Rum, maple syrup, Luxardo Maraschino, Fernet Branca, chocolate bitters and cold brew coffee. In a true ode to pizza and Los Angeles, Mary and the team created the not-to-be-missed Pizzalada: a take on the Michelada using U Street’s pizza sauce and Madewest Brewing Co.’s Ventura Light Domestic Lager along with housemade fresno hot sauce, fresh pineapple juice and coconut aminos.
(Photo Credit: Sydney Yorkshire)
The approachable wine list curated by U Street’s Dave Castagnetti skews small, natural Italian producers with cameos from California makers featuring light crisp white, low-tannin and chilled reds and easy-drinking bubbles, rose + orange selections offering a low stakes sense of discovery.
U Street’s Logan Bates selected a well-rounded list of rotating beers celebrating California breweries like Madewest Brewing Co. (Ventura, CA), Smog City Brewing Co. (Torrance), Pizza Port Brewery (Carlsbad), Beachwood Brewing Co. (Garden Grove), Modern Times (San Diego) and Crown & Hops (Santa Rosa) and Seattle’s Fremont Brewing Company.
Coming soon: cocktails, beer and wine available for pick-up and delivery.
U Street Pizza is open Tuesday through Sunday from 4pm-9pm . Reservations via Resy and pick-up via Toast. Delivery available through Postmates and Uber Eats
From the forthcoming book with Vogue entitled THE UNITED STATES OF FASHION: A NEW ATLAS OF AMERICAN STYLE which will be publishied on September 7th.
An expanded look at Vogue’s February 2021 issue which launched their project, this book celebrates creators, artisans, and visionaries across the country, paying tribute to the democratization of American fashion. Organized by region and providing additional context for the designers and craftspeople featured, the book offers a wealth of new material and is presented in an entirely different way from the printed magazine. Including an introductory essay by Anna Wintour, the book also features never-before-seen photographs and anecdotes, not published in the pages of Vogue, from fashion designers Laura and Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte; Jeremy Scott, and Libertine; photographers Alex Webb and June Canedo; and craftspeople Ariana Boussard-Reifel and Ataumbi Metals, to name a few. The book also contains texts by esteemed writers, from Louise Erdrich’s words on Native American fashion and music editor Suzy Exposito’s account of being goth in Miami, to new ways of creating sustainable, recycled fashion.
The editors of Vogue, the ultimate authority on fashion, document the post-COVID changes happening across the fashion landscape in America. Celebrating creators, artisans, and visionaries across the country, the book pays tribute to the democratization of American fashion and the creativity and artisanship that is no longer confined to the runways of New York and Los Angeles.
FASHION HAS LONG mythologized the American West, forging certain staples—gauzy dresses, cowboy boots—from its history and lore. Today, however, a growing number of designers are reworking those old codes and points of reference, finding inspiration in sources as wonderfully varied as Montana and New Mexico’s Indigenous cultures, Hollywood, Las Vegas, and the surf in Southern California. If they have anything in common, it’s a shared spirit of free-dom and adventure, one articulated by The Elder Statesman’s Greg Chait. “We are about being free-spirited—that’s what we have in Los Angeles,” he says. “Fashion isn’t L.A.’s first language, but creativity is.”
Labor Day Sales are in full effect, and with Labor Day Weekend just around the corner, it’s prime time to save cash on some of your favorite brands! Functional wellness brand, VYBES, wants to celebrate with you from August 30 to September 10, so get stocked up using code TRYVYBES and receive 20% off your entire order!
Whether you’re looking for something uplifting or a little more chill, VYBES offers a wide range of seriously delicious 25mg CBD beverages and beverages without CBD. Made from a water-soluble proprietary CBD emulsion, these beverages act fast and help you reach that state of mind where you don’t have a worry in the world. It’s plant derived peace of mind in a bottle.
Aside from their CBD beverage offering, VYBES’ line of sparkling Adaptogenic Elixirs is delicious and refreshing. It comes in three different flavors – Apricot Lemon, Pineapple Ginger and Watermelon Lime, formulated to improve mood, mental clarity and the body’s immunity & vitality. (We’re definitely going to need the immunity boost after the “last weekend of summer” hoorah!) Not only are these flavors seriously delicious, but they’re also super refreshing to sip on in the August and September heat. Think of them as the most refreshing, crisp, health-centered sodas ever. Talk about good VYBES. See the selection of sparkling Adaptogenic Elixir flavors below:
While we didn’t get the chance to travel to car shows for most of 2020, things are starting to go back to normal. If your quarantine project was restoring a classic car — or you’ve got one in your collection that you’ve been itching to show off — events are starting to show up on the calendar again. If you’re in the SoCal area, here are a few places where you can showcase your classic cars without traveling too far afield.
1. Rendezvous Back to Route 66 – Oct 2, 2021
For decades, a four-day event called the Route 66 Rendezvous brought half a million people into the San Bernardino area. After the event lost the support of the city, the local Chamber of Commerce put together a two-day car show that allows classic car owners to showcase their rides by driving through the streets of San Bernardino. For $40, you can register your car and join the fun. This show accepts custom cars and motorcycles from every year, so register soon before the deadline passes.
2. National Grand Roadster Show – Jan 28-30, 2022
This show used to be called the Oakland Roadster Show and while it may have dropped Oakland from its name, it’s still one of the oldest running indoor car shows in the world. Show vehicles can compete for awards and even if you’re not in the running for the title of America’s Most Beautiful Roadster, you may want to consider registering for the weekend event that goes along with the National Grand Roadster Show, the Annual Grand Daddy Drive-In. The event’s been cancelled for 2021 due to it’s January date but it’s currently on the calendar for the beginning of 2022 so you’ve got plenty of time to prepare.
3. The Classic at Pismo Beach – Sept 10-12, 2021
Is there anything better than spending a weekend on a California beach? Why not add 24 square blocks packed to the eaves with classic cars? This three-day car show has happened every year since 1986 and over the last three decades has raised money for countless charities. Registration will set you back $115 but spaces are limited so if you want to showcase your classic car at this iconic event, make sure you register soon.
4. The Valley Nationals – October 13-14, 2021
October is a popular month for SoCal car shows. Every year, the Valley Nationals happens, hosted by the Hot Rod Coalition, showcasing more than 500 classic cars and bringing together car enthusiasts, owners and vendors in one of the biggest events of the year. The Valley Nationals aren’t limited to classic cars, welcoming all sorts of cars from classics and customs to hot rods and dragsters and everything in between. Pre-event registration is $35 for each vehicle, with the price going up to $40 if you choose to register at the event.
5. Main Street Classic Car Show – Fridays, Continual
If the rest of the shows on this don’t fit your schedule, why not opt for a show that happens every single week, rain or shine? There are roughly 50 parking spaces on Historic Main Street in Garden Grove, so finding a place to park is often challenging. It also means that you’ll be part of a rotating cast of characters that will change every week as people drop out and new car enthusiasts take their place. Both admission and vehicle registration is free for this weekly event, but you might want to check in with the event organizers to ensure that you’ve got a place to park.
6. Gassers 7 – August 28th, 2021
Head over to the Automobile Driving Museum at the end of August for the Gassers 7 Rev Fest, the 7th annual show that focuses on a love of classic cars, from originals to dragsters and anything that screams both speed and style. Parking is first-come-first-served and vehicle registration starts at $20 before the event and climbs to $25 when it’s time to find a parking space.
+ 1 — Join a Car Club
There are so many car shows going on in SoCal every week that we could write a book on it — and then have to keep updating it. If none of these cars shows tick the boxes for you, consider joining a local car club. In addition to getting you in touch with car enthusiasts in your area, these clubs often host their own shows or have a network of shows that they attend. It may not extend beyond your local area but it can be a great way to network and make the most of your weekends instead of scrambling to find a show. Use the resources you have available.
Get Out There and Show Off Your Favorite Classic Car
Whether you’re planning a trip to one of the biggest shows in the state or just sticking to local drive-throughs, the world is returning to normal and it’s time to get out there and start showing off your favorite classic cars.
Cover shot from: Nordic Overdrive
I‘m sure we can all agree that 2020 & 2021 have been difficult. What made it a little easier for me was stumbling upon Ana Lilia’s online breathwork class. During lockdown, Ana’s Saturday morning class became the highlight of my week. Sometimes, Ana starts her class 10 minutes early, with an uplifting, freestyle dance session, and the moment I see her lovely, smiling face appear on my screen, I feel better. And the music! Ana’s thoughtful playlist is somehow always spot on. In fact, I get so much out of her class, that I asked if I could interview her for SoCal Magazine so that our readers can benefit from Ana‘s healing, too. Here is Ana Lilia‘s insight into breathwork and I highly recommend you give her class a try—you won’t regret it.
1. Why did you start doing breathwork and how long have you been doing it?
I came across a breathwork class 6 years ago during a time in my life where I was depressed, my anxiety was at an all time high and I was feeling lost. I attended a breathwork class, not knowing what it was. During the class, we focused on active breathing for 30 minutes. My body responded in ways I didn’t expect. Not only did my hands cramp up — I started crying. It was so strange to me because I’d never had that kind of reaction before. But it was just the kind of release that I needed. In what felt like an instant of clarity, everything looked and felt different to me. The world felt brighter and lighter. I felt more alive than I’d felt in a long time. Most importantly, I was filled with a sense of empowerment that hasn’t left me since. From that moment on, I knew that breathwork was going to save my life. Shortly after, I decided that I wanted to learn how to facilitate a breathwork session and introduce it to as many people as possible who live with anxiety and depression. I want the world to know about how powerful, transformative and healing breathwork is.
2. What is breathwork?
Breathwork is an active form of meditation where you manipulate your breath to change the way you feel. There are many different types of breathing techniques. And yes, our body knows how to breathe naturally, but a lot of times we aren’t breathing properly. This can create an imbalance in the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange. That imbalance can contribute to anxiety, panic attacks, and fatigue. Have you noticed that when you’re anxious, you tend to take shallow, rapid breaths from your chest, and you may even start to hyperventilate? This increases your heart rate and creates muscle tension. Your sympathetic nervous system becomes activated, and there is a surge of adrenaline and cortisol alerting your body that it needs to protect itself.
The breathing technique I use is a two stage pranayama breathing pattern. You take a first inhale from your diaphragm, a second from your chest and then you exhale. It’s a circular breathing technique, where as soon as you exhale, you inhale right away. This breathing practice can help you release tension from your body, clear your mind, and you can also have a deep healing session. Breathwork helps you feel more in control of your emotions and grounded as we navigate these stressful times.
One of my specialities is working with people who suffer from anxiety. Many of my clients would share with me that they have panic attacks often or they have been suffering from anxiety for a long time. I created a program with guided breathing meditations to help them manage their anxiety. The biggest thing I help them with is getting to the core of why they are stressed out. This awareness gives them the power to respond instead of reactivating whey they are getting triggered. They feel like they are in control of their life again. And have practical tools they can use when they are feeling stressed out.
3. Can anyone join your breathwork classes?
Yes! Everyone is welcomed in my breathwork classes. I created Community Gathering
right at the start of the pandemic as a way to support my community through the fear and anxiety we were all experiencing due to Covid-19. The isolation was very triggering to many people, and having a safe place where we could meet virtually became something they could look forward to and be reminded that they are not alone in how they feel. Several people have told me that Community Gathering literally saved their life during the pandemic. It’s a diverse community where people from all over the world join to breathe. We have teenagers who breathe with their parents, our oldest community member is in her 90s and we have everything else in between.
4. How much is it?
As a way to make it accessible to most people, Community Gathering is a sliding scale ticket starting at $10 – $35.
5. How does music play into your class?
Music is a HUGE part of my breathwork classes. My playlists are intended to take my clients on a journey. Every song that I pick tells a story with the lyrics that will resonate with my clients. The song may have them remember an experience or it might encourage an emotion to express more easily. I let my intuition create the playlist. I tap into the energy of my client or the group, and know instinctively if the song is right or wrong for the group or the person. And sometimes, we move so much energy before we go into the active breathing that I’m playing DJ on the spot to better support them while they are breathing. You can find hundreds of my breathwork playlists on my Spotify and Apple Music profiles.
6. What experiences have your clients shared with you that touched you the most?
My clients have had deep transformational healings. After a short amount of time working with me they unpack trauma, disappointments, anxiety and other stressors. They are left feeling refreshed, renewed and empowered. And by doing this deep healing work, it also helps them manifest and get aligned with their goals. My clients have manifested their dream homes, new jobs, launched business, attracted a partner…and this is because they are more confident, they know their worth and are open to receive.
7. What is the most common reaction people have when doing your class?
They can’t believe how different they feel after breathing. The tension their body was holding onto is gone. They gain clarity on why they were stressed. It helps them gain awareness about their thoughts and how it affects their anxiety and overwhelm. That awareness helps them feel back in control. and they know they can change the way they feel by connecting with their breath.
8. What do you have coming up next?
I’m hosting a Fall Retreat the first weekend of November in Los Angeles. I also started hosting monthly in-person events at the beach. To learn more about my offerings you can visit my website www.analilia.net. If you are interested in meditations to help you manage anxiety you can find my 7-day program at www.feelcalmtoday.com And I’m also on Instagram @_ana_lilia
Move over, mimosas! With RTD (ready-to-drink) cocktails taking over the beverage world, it’s hard to know which ones are worth the buzz, and which ones aren’t. Well, it’s pretty buzzy around here, and we wouldn’t steer you wrong. If you’re looking for something new, look no further than SunDaze – the refreshing, 100% orange juice canned cocktails for any hour of any day! This isn’t your old average, sugary basic brunch mimosa!
SunDaze reimagines the classic social drink, breaking citrus-based cocktails out of the brunch category once and for all. A better-for-you beverage, SunDaze’s delicious 100% Valencia orange juice blend is made using an exclusive fermentation process that transforms fruit juice into a flavorful alcoholic refreshment – and by converting the naturally-occurring fruit sugars into alcohol – SunDaze also reduces calories along the way. Each cocktail contains 100% of your daily dose of Vitamin C, antioxidants and probiotics and is also gluten-free, vegan and has no added sugars. SunDaze will be available in three flavors:
Classic: reimagines Valencia orange juice at its boozy best with a simple formula and a sophisticated flavor that challenges the best mimosa.
Botanical Citrus: a blend of Valencia orange juice, rosemary and ginger root for an aromatic, zingy taste.
Spicy Citrus: a blend of Valencia orange juice with jalapeño and Thai chiles for a kick that will have you thinking you’re sipping straight from the spicy rim of a cocktail glass.
SunDaze is now available for purchase at all PinkDot & Total Wine locations across LA county, and via DTC online as of August 16th. SunDaze retails at $3.99/can.
Summer may be coming to an end, but Cann says otherwise — and what they say goes! After a whirlwind of beach days and barbecue, this year’s long hot summer doesn’t have to come to an end. Cann — the better-for-you, social tonic that packs the perfect punch and leaves you feeling refreshed in the heat.
Enjoy your endless summer with the beloved, seasonal Cann flavor – Pineapple Jalapeño! Pineapple Jalapeño delivers a sweet, tart flavor with the tiny kick you need to spice up any occasion. Blend or pour over ice to create a refreshing and unique margarita for any late summer plans you have in mind! But beware, just because summer is still going strong, doesn’t mean that this seasonal flavor will be around forever — so grab it before it’s gone for the season!
Not sold yet? With just a low dose of cannabis (2 mg of THC and 4 mg of CBD), Cann keeps the party going without ever letting the party take over you. Yes, alcohol-free goodness means no hangovers. If you needed more reason to try them out, Cann recently held a flash BOGO sale, that ended on Friday 8/27 at midnight – however, that sale has been extended! Consumers can use the code VIPBOGO for 50% off orders over $99. You can also use this BOGO deal to stock up on Cann’s UNSPIKED beverages — offering Cann’s same classic flavor profiles — minus the cannabis. Check them out for when you don’t want to drink, but still want a great drink.
Coffee is an all-season drink that can be enjoyed year round with each season presents fitting recipes to indulge in. So while the summer season smolders on, maybe you want your cup of coffee to both pick you up and cool you down. If that‘s the case, here’s what to know about cold brews versus iced coffees.
While both are served cold, chilled over ice, their difference lies in the brewing method. For coffee connoisseurs, this makes all the difference.
The Cold Brew Truth
The name really says it all. Cold brew coffee begins its brewing process with steeping coffee grounds in cold water for twenty four hours. This process and time retains the solubles in the coffee, rather than dissolving them in heat or boiling water while also releasing qualities that attribute to the taste of the coffee with a more sweet and smooth finish and notably less bitter. It tends to be served with ice to balance the stronger flavor of the coffee.
Iced, Iced Coffee
There is far less mystery in an iced coffee. For this drink the coffee is brewed traditionally and served over ice. It is recommended to allow the coffee to cool down before it is mixed with ice to avoid watering it down or diluting the flavor. For iced coffee lovers who enjoy this drink at home, consider freezing your favorite coffee in ice cubes to use in your iced coffee in lieu of regular ice cubes.
Keep Cool with Your Cup
However you prefer to cool off with coffee, you can’t go wrong with either of these choices. Don Francisco’s Coffee, and its varieties of flavors and brews, are made only with 100% Arabica Coffee from some of the world’s best coffee-growing regions to ensure you are getting the best quality coffee in your cup. If you’re trying cold brew for the first time, try out this refreshing recipe below.
Cold Brew at Home
WHAT YOU NEED
- 1 Don Francisco’s Coffee Organic Cold Brew foil pouch (2 pitcher packs inside)
- 1 glass pitcher with lid
- 4 cups of cold filtered water (for steeping)
- 3 cups of cold filtered water (for diluting)
STEP 1: MIX
Open the foil pouch and gently place 2 pitcher packs into a glass pitcher. We recommend a large, wide, airtight pitcher with a lid.
STEP 2: ADD WATER AND STEEP
Pour 4 (8 fl oz) cups of cold filtered water into the pitcher and close tightly with the lid. (It’s normal for pitcher packs to float). Place your pitcher into the fridge for 24 hours.
STEP 3: REMOVE PITCHER PACKS
Grab the cold brew from the fridge and carefully remove the pitcher packs to avoid tearing. Add 3 (8 fl oz) cups of cold filtered water to the pitcher.
STEP 4: SERVE
Pour into a tall glass with ice, or skip the ice for a bolder taste. Enjoy!
Don Francisco’s Coffee Tip: Cold Brew stays fresh for up to seven days in the refrigerator. For a stronger brew, add less water in the final dilution step.
GIVEAWAY! — Let’s celebrate Summer & Coffee together.
Enter to win a special prize pack of Don Francisco’s Coffee.
1. Follow @donfranciscos
2. Share why you love and need coffee.
3. Tag a friend who shares your love for coffee.
*Only comments on this post that include a tag will be considered.
Giveaway closes on Sep 30th at 11:59 PM PST. We will randomly select a winner on Oct 1st 2021.
Valid only in the US.
And visit our Facebook Page to say hi too 🙂
There is nothing quite like the beauty of southern California living. However, when you buy a house, there are multiple factors to consider. Here are some things to keep in mind as you settle into your new home.
1. Use Alternative Ways to Cool Your Home
For those hotter summer months, you may find yourself cranking up the heat. Keep in mind this can increase your energy bills. To reduce costs, consider installing a whole-house fan. They blow out hotter air from the attic and pull in cooler outside air from the windows.
They also can help your air conditioner run more effectively. Whole house fans are also more energy-efficient while providing constant air circulation.
Along with these fans, here are some other ways to help cool down your home:
- Close your blinds
- Set your ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise
- Insulate your attic and walls
- Do your baking and washing at night
- Shut doors to unused rooms
2. Fix Your Leaky Water Heater
Your drain valves may leak occasionally, but these can easily be replaced. Although, when your tanks begin to leak, this could cause more significant issues. Common causes of leaks include older age, loose drain valves, or too much pressure in the tank.
Water tanks are typically made of glass-lined steel. When the glass becomes cracked, the steel can start to rust, creating puddles on your floor. If left untreated, the cracks can continue to grow.
Once you identify a leak, call a specialist immediately. This will prevent future damage and save you money on expensive repairs down the road. Plus, you can use some of the cash saved to take your family on a trip to Disneyland.
3. Lock Your Windows and Doors During the Day
When rushing off to work in the morning, you may sometimes forget to lock your door. You might even want to keep the windows open to let in some fresh air while you’re away. To protect your personal belongings, lock your doors whenever you leave your house.
This is especially important if you live in a desirable neighborhood, such as Santa Monica.
Here are some other tips to help further secure your home:
- Secure the door
- Lock the Windows
- Light up Your Landscape
- Set up a security system
- Lockdown your wifi network
4. Remember to Replace Your Furnace Filters
If you live a more fast-paced lifestyle it can be hard to remember to replace your furnaces. However, leaving them untouched can lead to poorer indoor air quality and higher energy bills.
To help you keep up with maintenance, consider pre-buying a year’s supply of filters. You want to change them at least every three months, depending on your strainer type.
5. Shut Off Your Main Water Valve When You Go On Vacation
It is essential to know the location of your main water valve to avoid flooding. Being able to access and turn it off quickly saves you valuable time if any issues arise. It’s also good to know the location of the valves when you’re going on a family trip. Turning it off protects your personal belongings in case a pipe bursts while you’re gone.
6. Know Where Your Property Lines Are
When owning a property, you want to be aware of where it begins and ends. This information comes in handy if you want to build a fence or plant trees on your residence. Keep in mind; you may be required to have a fence if you install a pool in your backyard. To find out where your property lines are, you can request a plot plan from city hall.
7. Go For a Timeless Design
Remodeling can be a costly and time-consuming project. To help minimize renovations, design with styles remaining popular over the years. While you may want your home to feature updated designs, remember trends change over time.
Here are some timeless design tips to consider incorporating into your home:
- Design with symmetry in mind
- Incorporate classic patterns, like botanicals, stripes and plaids
- Decorate with furniture that has clean lines
- Remember less is more
- Paint walls with natural colors
However, you should add your personal touches to your space. Just keep in mind you’re style preferences may change with time.
8. Always Measure When Buying New Appliances or Fixtures
This is a critical step to ensure your appliances fit within the designated space. It also saves you the hassle of returning the item to the store and purchasing a new one. Before going to the store, measure your current appliance and the space the new one will go.
9. Consider Installing Solar Panels
Solar panels are a more eco-friendly way to power your home. Plus, you might as well take advantage of all that sunshine. Along with the environmental impact, you can also save money. Since the panels use renewable energy, your electricity bill may decrease. You can even earn some extra cash. There is a 26% tax credit for solar systems installed on residential properties.
Before you purchase your solar panels, consider these different factors:
- Solar panel efficiency
- Ratings and reviews
- Overall quality
10. Use a Programmable Thermostat
To keep your indoor temperature comfortable, consider installing a smart thermostat. This device allows you to set your ideal temperature schedule. Also, the thermostat helps to save energy reducing your heating and cooling expenses. Some models can even be controlled by your smartphone, providing more convenience.
What to Consider When Owning a Home in SoCal
Living in California has many perks, such as warm weather and a more luxurious lifestyle. Although, when it comes to purchasing a home their multiple things to keep in. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind as a homeowner.
It’s been a sippy summer with all varieties of spirits and alcohol-alternative cocktails hitting the market. While summer is coming to an end, it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing a slow down in options any time soon! If you’re looking to party away the last days of summer, you can sip and celebrate the last weekend to wear white with Bev, a 100 calorie canned wine with 0g of sugar and only 3g of carbs! From August 25th – September 6th, use code LABORYAY to receive up to 25% off! Stock up while you’re ahead for sweet, crisp, and refreshing Bev canned wines.
The health and diet-conscious spirit trend continues, and it only gets better from here.
Cult favorite Bev is #MadeByChicks and offers three delicious white wines:
Sauv Blanc: offering aromatics of crisp green apple, white nectarine and a light, fresh, citrus finish
Pinot Grigio: featuring light and refreshing notes of elderflower, pear, and a zesty grapefruit finish
Sparkling White: a sparkling white wine, extra dry and fizzy with notes of elderflower and pear
What’s more, Bev delivers directly to your doorstep nationwide via FREE two day shipping! And If you’re shopping in store, you can pick up a pack at your local Target, Bevmo, Total Wine, AVP, and more nationwide. Check out https://drinkbev.com/pages/store-locator to find a store nearby for when you’re en route to the BBQ and are in need of a good Bev!
Bev is a female-forward beverage brand that was founded to change not only the way a product is consumed but the way an industry and culture have operated for generations. In an industry that is almost exclusively masculine, Bev is breaking norms and creating something from the female perspective that is approachable, fun, and consumer-centric. Unlike other canned wines, which tend to use bottom-of-the-barrel grapes, added sugars, and artificial flavors to taste, Bev is a canned wine made from high-quality, central CA grapes.