I made a mix. It’s been awhile.
Well.. we’re well into 2012 already, and this post is a bit late, but 2012 has already been an insanely busy year. In a good way. But, since the chinese new year JUST passed like a few days ago, I feel like I’m still within the statute of limitations for this post. And, it’s MY year (of the dragon) anyway, so yah..
Anyway — this is a tradition that I’ve been doing for quite some time now (2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005), so I am continuing it again for 2011. I feel like my dopplr account should be able to generate this post for me automagically; I tried to be diligent with keeping that one updated, but I’ll have to dig through my calendar to make sure that I didn’t miss anything…
Working for Infochimps, 2011 was marked with a ton of travel to Austin, where they are based — I basically went almost every month for a week, so that was pretty awesome. Austin is a wonderful place to have to go and visit, and I highly recommend it. I definitely think that I got to spend some quality time there, enough such that I felt like I was starting to get to know it as a local even. I think that since Austin Dennis has now lived there for over 3 months, I can kind of say that I’ve “lived” in Austin before now, no? Thanks to Alex & Carlo, whose place I stayed in whenever I was there — it was definitely a great home away from home.
Anyway.. enough chatter, here’s the list of places that I spent a night in (or more) for 2011 (places with multiple stays are marked with an asterisk).
In roughly, chronological order:
- San Francisco, CA*
- Rubicon Bay, CA*
- Hillsborough, CA*
- Austin, TX*
- Sonoma, CA
- Felton, CA
- Honolulu, HI
- Steep Ravine, CA
- Washington DC
- San Diego, CA
- Vienna, MD
- Easton, MD
- Santa Rosa, CA
- Nashville, TN
- Avon, CO
- Vail, CO
Wow.. not nearly as many locations as years past — but, with Austin taking up 10 trips this year, I suppose I still racked up a good amount of miles. Perhaps the craziest trip I took this year would be my Austin-DC-San Diego trip — I did those three cities in a little under 3 days. I was exhausted, but being out in DC lobbying congress was an experience that I didn’t even realize was on my bucket list. Lobbying members of congress? Check.
Anyway — 2012 started off well, ringing in the new year in Colorado. I already have trips planned for Austin for SXSW, and then Basel for Art Basel, so that’ll be good… I do need to get to NYC — I seemed to have missed that one last year. Oops.
Anyway.. happy new year all! Happy traveling!
Winter is upon us. Here’s some music. Enjoy!
So.. my sister-in-law just launched a new jewelry line: spark and pepper. You should check it out. And buy some stuff, cuz it’s pretty and nice.
Wow.. I really haven’t posted in ages.
Anyway.. as Brian noted today, while I did post my annual holiday mix on Twitter, Facebook and my IM status, I did not post it on my blog. And apparently, that made him mad.
So, here it is, in all its glory.. this year’s holiday mix. Enjoy!
As 2010 draws to a close, it’s fun to reflect on all of the awesome music that I discovered this year.. 2010 was a banner year for me, musically — my work life and music life merged for a bit with two awesome music conferences, kicking off with MIDEM in Cannes and then SXSW in Austin. My XM Radio went on the fritz about halfway through the year, so while XMU 43 was a great source of new music finds in the beginning of the year, I challenged myself to discover music in other ways for the latter part of 2010.
What I found was that while there’s definitely a lot of great online music discovery tools out there (Hype Machine, 8tracks, and thesixtyone are my favorites), there’s nothing that I found that I could just trust passive music discovery to, like I did with XMU. Pandora has potential, but so far, I find the suggestions that it makes to be kind of meh… It’s ok, when you’re in the mood to hear a particular style of stuff, but as far as pushing the envelope of what you’ve heard before, it, by design, is bad at that.
Ok, enough rambling… on to the music.
According to last.fm, my top 10 artists for 2010 are:
- Das Racist
- Aziz Ansari
- Lily Allen
- She & Him
- Sleigh Bells
- The Melodians
Hmm.. Interesting. Fanfarlo was a clear favorite, with their show at SXSW being one of my top 3 there. Clearly, I listened to Aziz Ansari’s new album a lot. And that’s kind of neat to see The Melodians sneak in there at #10 — a sign that I still listen to ska once in awhile.
Ok.. on to my favorite tracks for 2010… To be clear, this is music that *I’ve* added to my library in 2010 — so, there may be a few tunes in here that weren’t technically released in 2010, but I don’t care, since, they were new to me. 2010 was a great music year. Out of the 1,042 tracks I added to my library this year, these are my favorite 22.
For this year’s list, I’m trying out something a little different… as usual, I’m posting it on 8tracks:
But also, I’ve made a list on YouTube as well, from what I can find:
There are three key differences between the 8tracks and YouTube versions.. First off, I replaced Sleigh Bells’ “Crown On The Ground” with “Infinity Guitars” because CotG doesn’t yet have a video, and with that in mind, having the actual video means that IG wins out slightly. For track #17, my favorite track is Doctor Rosen Rosen’s remix of Natalia Kills’ Mirrors, but that track isn’t on YouTube yet, so I just used the Natalia Kills original track, which has a nice video. And.. the third main difference is that for many of the “official” videos, you’ll be blessed with some ads. Wonderful.
Hope you had a great 2010 too! Here’s to a great 2011!
2010 was an awesome travel year, with conferences like MIDEM and SXSW sending me off to Cannes and Austin, respectively. Paul & Korby did our camping tour in the summer. Hometown vacation with Angie in Minnesota. The Seattle-to-Portland bike ride. Burning man. Korby’s bachelor party in Nashville and wedding in NYC. And, of course, I took a little travel break in the fall to visit my parents in Basel and then tour around Europe for a bit.
So, here we go.. here’s the list of cities that I spent a night (multiple trips indicated by a *) in, for 2010:
San Francisco, CA*
Somewhere over the Atlantic, on a plane*
Rubicon Bay, CA*
Steep Ravine, CA*
Las Vegas, NV
Bryce Canyon, UT
Glen Canyon, UT
Henry Coe SP, CA
Mercer Island, WA
Black Rock City, NV
Angel Island, CA
New York, NY
Phew.. 2010 was a great year, travel-wise. According to Dopplr, my trips this year account for 15,231kg of C02 (as compared to 5,136kg last year). Oops. I suppose I should go plant some trees now or something.
Anyway… I’m not sure if 2011 can top 2010, travel-wise, there’s going to be a lot of Austin-SF travel, and hopefully Basel in June for Art Basel, but it’ll be hard to beat 2010.
Happy travels everyone!
Hello from Basel! My parents have moved to Basel for a few years, so now they live in the heart of Basel… So, seizing this opportunity, I decided to jet out here for a month.
I got to Europe on Wednesday, on the redeye from SFO-Frankfurt. My flight was at 1pm, but as soon as you board, they serve you dinner and then you’re supposed to try and go right to bed — most of Europe is nine hours ahead of California. Luckily, I’m so sleep deprived that I can pretty much sleep at almost any time. Sleeping makes the 14 hour flight a bit more bearable. As do nice movies. And ice cream sundaes.
In any case, I made it from the Frankfurt airport to Basel without incident. My dad made a very nice video that detailed exactly how to walk to the train station in the airport.
Basel is a very easily digestible city. It’s pretty small, so within a few days, I felt pretty comfortable navigating myself around the ancient city streets. Yes, it’s not quite a grid, but everything is so close that eventually you end up where you’re trying to go anyway.
I started off my first day in Basel just wandering the city with Mom. Their place is in old town, which is pretty much a pedestrian area. One thing I quickly learned is that pedestrians pretty much have right of way over anyone… except trams. They won’t stop. But, cars and bicycles seem to go out of their way to stop for you, especially if you’re in a crosswalk. I witnessed two cyclists almost fall off of their bikes while coming to a screeching halt for a pedestrian today.
The town seems to be very proud of its secular roots, and throughout history there seems to have been a constant power struggle between the church and the craftsman guilds. So, it’s pretty cool to see how that whole thing kind of balanced out, in that the town is not centered around the church, but rather around city hall. Cool.
For a small city, Basel has some kickass museums. We visited Kunstmuseum Basel (like a 1/2 block from my parents’ place) and the Beyeler Foundation (which is just outside of Basel in Riehen). Kunstmuseum Basel is pretty good with several notable pieces from artists like Paul Klee (who I don’t really like), Monet and others. And, they seem to be cool with you taking pictures, which I *really* like. I really hate it when you can’t take pictures in a museum. I mean, yes, I get the “no flash” rule cuz it’s annoying and bad for the works, but really, if your exhibit is so lame such that you think that people won’t want to come see it if there’s photos online, then, uh, yah.. maybe you’re doing it wrong.
There’s a hanging lint piece that you should really see in person, cuz it’s gross and pretty at the same time.
Whereas at Foundation Beyeler, there’s a Basquiat exhibit, which I found to be just ok, I’m not a huge huge fan of Basquiat; I like a few of his things that he did with Warhol but that’s about it. But, I can’t show you photos, so maybe the mystery is preserved or something.
Basel sits at the corner of Switzerland, France and Germany. So, for the weekend, we decided to go international. Saturday, we went to Colmar, a lovely little French town with canals, colorful stucco’d buildings and lots and lots of Alsacian wine. It’s exceedingly cute.
Upon driving out of town, Dad spied a castle atop a hill in the distance, so we decided to try and find it. Aided by Google maps, we navigated our way to Bergheim, an ancient walled French town blooming with wildflowers, and bought four bottles of wine for like 16 euro. Damn, that’s cheap. We kept driving up tiny mountain roads until we came upon Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg, a huge castle that was restored in the early 20th century by Emperor Wilhelm II (when Alsace was part of the German empire).
Pretty sweet castle. We should build more castles in the states. And they even had a gift shop where they sold “Dennis” mugs, except in France they apparently spell it “Denis” — a spelling I do not approve of because of the simple fact that the only thing separating Denis from another, less appropriate word, is a small slip of your pen. But, I digress.
Sunday, we went to the Germany. When I was backpacking around in ’97, that was during the peak of my “Dennis wants to be a furniture designer” era, so I really, really wanted to make it to the Vitra museum. But, it was way out of the way from our trip, so sadly, I never got to go. 1997 Dennis got his wish on Sunday, and we went. Woohoo.
Ok, so the museum itself was a bit of a disappointment, actually. I’d seen all of the stuff before at the MoMa’s design floor, but what was super cool were the architectural buildings and then Vitra Haus, which was where they actually sold Vitra stuff. So, I got to run around the store and sit in everything, which is a lot better than walking around a museum being all quiet and NOT sitting in everything.
I finally got to sit in a Frank Gehry “Wiggle” side chair… for years, I’ve always seen it in museums and wondered what it would be like to sit in. Not bad.
The other cool thing about Vitra Haus was that they had the Eames Lounge chair & ottoman for like 10,000 EURO. Holy crap. But, why is that good? I’ll tell you why. Cuz for years, I’ve been contemplating buying an Eames lounger, so now, buying it for $4k from Room & Board seems like a great farking deal. Win. Maybe that can be my big 2010 present to myself. Now I just have to decide if I want it in white or black… Hmmm.
Monday night, I decided to play “if Dennis were a Basler” and joined up with an english-speaking running group called the Basel Dragons. At 6:30pm every Monday and Thursday, the Dragons meet at the Wettsteinebrücke (the bridge just south of the Middle bridge), on the Grossbasel side near the Kunstmuseum. Their clubhouse is INSIDE the base of the bridge, so that’s fecking awesome. They have showers and lockers and on Thursdays, for 10CHF they have a chef that will cook you food. There were about 30 of us on this fine, balmy evening, and they split us into three groups, based on speed. I was put in the slow group, which is probably fine since it was my first time running on my new knee anyway. And, it was cool cuz the people that I started chatting with just so happened to be fellow “blue groupers.”
We did about a 6 mile loop around the Rhein river at pretty much my normal pace, but near the end, I was starting to get a little sore in the knees. Man, I’m getting old or something. I should stick with biking. But, it was super fun, and I met a bunch of other English-speaking Basel-folk that I hope to run into again.
Tuesday was the supposed day of the Rheinschwimmeren, which is a huge annual event. But, because of the rains last week, the river is running a bit high and fast, so the “official” swim is postponed until next week. Lame. Since I’m not gonna be here next Tuesday, dad and I decided to have our own Rheinschwimmeren. Granted, it was about 1,000 less people than it would had been, and you don’t get a medal (made of real metal!) when you finish, but it was pretty fun nonetheless.
We entered on the Kleinbasel side after taking one of the cool river ferries across. The river ferries are pretty cool — there’s a big cable suspended across the river, and then the boat just moves side to side, propelled by the flowing river. It’s about as green as you can get.
Dad and I hopped in the fast moving water and immediately we were swept away in the current. After awhile, dad decided to get out because the water was a bit cold and he was cramping up, but I kept on going. I guess swimming in the Bay has conditioned me for cold water… or yah.. that must be it. Swimming in the Rhein is pretty easy, it’s not really “swimming” per se, but more like navigating — you still have to swim pretty hard at times to avoid things like buoys and anchored boats, but for the most part, especially with the bright orange Schwimmensack that I had bought from Migros, it was kinda like a big, fast raging river ride. Weeeee!
Tuesday night, we went to the Orange Cinema outdoor cinema in Munsterplatz. The nights here are ridiculously awesome. Warm, balmy and usually a light breeze. The only thing missing are lightning bugs, and it’d be just like a hot summer night in Ohio. So yah, in Munsterplatz they’ve set up a huge outdoor cinema that’s pretty cool. You go early and claim a seat with these placard things, and then have drinks at the bar. And then the give you FREE ICE CREAM. We saw Men Who Stare At Goats, which is an American movie that was not dubbed in German, so that was dope.
Wednesday, the movers finally arrived with the second shipment of stuff for the house. They spent all morning moving it up and unpacking it, and now my parents’ place looks a lot more settled. It’s a little weird to see some of the same furniture here in Switzerland though.
Even better, was that my bike arrived as part of the shipment. I put it together and went on a quick little ride around Basel and its environs. I rode to the French border — I didn’t have my passport, and even though they don’t really stop you, I decided not to chance it and just stuck a toe in France and turned back.
Here’s the Strava map of my ride.
Biking in Switzerland is pretty awesome. There’s tons of bike lanes and TONS of cyclists everywhere you look. Drivers seem to be quite aware of cyclists and everyone signals when they turn, which is pretty sweet. That said, the tram tracks are everywhere and (like for pedestrians) trams always have the right of way.
Anyway.. that concludes my week in Basel. Tomorrow we’re off on our roadtrip to Lake Como, Croatia, and Tuscany. More updates to come!
Photographer Julie Michelle is running an awesome project called “i live here: SF” where she meets up with a San Francisco resident and takes some pictures of them in some of their favorite spots. I was her featured SF’er of the day:
Anyway, if you’re interested in participating in the project, read this.