Two years ago, OC Weekly concert photographer Andrew Youssef was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. Two months ago, his oncologists informed him that his diagnosis was terminal. They gave him weeks — maybe months, if he was lucky — to live. Throughout his cancer battle, Youseff kept shooting concerts and writing about his experience in a column called “Last Shot.” He also continued to find comfort in music, especially his favorite band, Nine Inch Nails. Somewhere along the line, NIN’s frontman, Trent Reznor, caught wind of Youssef’s story and invited him to a rehearsal for their Tension 2013 world tour.
Reznor and Youssef had lunch together, talked about everything from “Breaking Bad” to how much cancer fucking sucks, and quickly became friends. Keep reading »
When I arrived at the basement of the Calvin Theater in Northampton, Massachusetts, I found folk musician Ani DiFranco in the midst of trying to get her six-month-old son Dante down for a nap. Minutes later I spotted the young baby — still very much awake — strapped into a carrier about to head out on a walk. This meshing of work and life happens daily for DiFranco, who is back on the road after having taken some time off to have her second child. Like his sister before him, Dante has joined DiFranco on tour, and the singer has been relearning how to split her time between motherhood and music.
While her son (hopefully) walked his way into a nap, DiFranco and I discussed everything from hitting the road as a mother of two, the notion of “having it all,” her ever-growing relationship with her fans and so much more. Keep reading »
“Call me Gabe Day, and not Gabe Day-Lewis/’cause if you’re trying to call me out, I’m about to Gabe Day-Lose it,” raps Gabe Day, son of, um, Daniel Day-Lewis in the “official” music video for his song “Green Auras.” See for yourself, as I am rendered completely unable to parse ANYTHING going on here at this time. The brain. It sputters, stops. [Huffington Post]
This morning on my way into work, John Mayer’s “Assassin” came on my iTunes, and I said “Ugh, this song is so underrated.” Then I realized I said it out loud on the train and the lady next to me shot me one of those “whatever you say” glares, having no idea what I was listening to. But the song speaks to me. It’s haunting in a beautiful way, but it was never pimped out like the majority of John’s other songs—which is probably why I love it.
I listened on to one of my favorite jams and realized there are SO many great tunes, by well-known and lesser known artists alike, that are completely underrated. Some songs just never made it big and others are simply underplayed and under appreciated for how freakin’ awesome they are. Because why listen to fantastic, fresh songs when every radio station can play Lady Gaga’s “Applause” one hundred times between breakfast and lunch, amiright? Keep reading »
Activities are wonderful, but sometimes, it’s fine to want to shut the world out for a couple of days, and make some serious time for you. Don’t be afraid of FOMO, either. There will always be another party, another pub crawl, another picnic. The time you’ll spend indulging in the things you want to do, alone, are well worth it. Here’s a handy list of awesome things to do this weekend!
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