A (short) Day in China town

It’s funny to think that even though I live in LA, I never really “go” to LA. Nobody from the valley really ever takes time out of their schedules to go Downtown or really anything much past Santa Monica unless they truly must. But ever since I started taking my California Literature and Landscape english class this semester, I’ve realized that I really haven’t been taking advantage of the awesome place I live, so my friend Hannah and I went to China town today to make up for it.IMG_8613

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Chella 15 shook ME all 3 nights long

I gave you my advice, so now would you like to know about my personal experience this year? Well of course you do!
You may be asking, what did I eat at Coachella this year?
Well I always eat a lot wherever I go, but Coachella is special. Imagine a bunch of food trucks (but instead they are food stands) all meshed together in two different areas on the Coachella grounds, with hands offering you meals that represent practically the entire continent. If you imagine this you are possibly somewhat accurately imagining the food they have at Coachella. I ate everything from pad thai to dumplings to tamales to roasted corn to meatball subs to vanilla chai popsicles and jasmine tea icecream to pineapple juice to Greek gyros to Asian bbq. Don’t spend all your time eating because you will gain 5 pounds and another chin like me, but if you do, bring a bunch of money bc dis place ain’t cheap.

You may be asking, what bands and artists did I see at Coachella? Or more importantly, what shows did I ACTUALLY see the entire duration of and enjoy/recommend for future concerts? I am only mentioning the ones worthwhile
A lot!
Alabama Shakes: absolutely incredible: the musicians are very talented and the main singer has a wonderful, unique, raspy, soulful voice that is hard to identify with a particular gender and I like this about it. Imagine country blues/soul alternative rock and this is it. MUST SEE
SONG SUGGESTIONS: “Hang Loose”, “Hold On”, “Always Alright”, “Gimme All Your Love”

Skipped by Tame Impala for one of their big hits, but they are great and worth seeing.
SONG SUGGESTIONS: “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”, “Apocalypse Dreams”, “Mind Mischief”
AC/DC: probably one of my favorite if not my favorite show of the weekend. The music is so incredibly catchy and fun to rock out to. While these men are pretty dang old, they rocked out with the energy of 13IMG_8632year old boys in their classic schoolboy look. The guitarist rocked out harder than any musician I’ve ever seen and his guitar solo lasted for about ten minutes, maybe more. They ended every song like a finale. I’d pay to see them in concert again.

SONG SUGGESTIONS: if you don’t know AC/DC classics who even are you? “Dirty Deeds”, “You Shook Me All Night Long” “Thunderstruck” “Back in Black” “Highway to Hell”


We came a bit later on this day and I unfortunately didn’t see Alison Wonderland who I would’ve liked to as well as Clean Bandit. Serena saw St. Paul and the Broken Bones and after watching some of their live stream show I can say I would’ve definitely wanted to see them- they are a bit Alabama Shakes-esque just more rock and they are amazing. IMG_8609alt-J: Awesome show and an awesome voice and I was front row on the left right behind the VIP/IMG_8959 guest section. But personally, I got a little impatient with this show because the music is very gentle and I like catchy, upbeat things that I can dance to.
SONG SUGGESTIONS: “Left-Hand Free” “Breezeblocks” “Fitzpleasure” “Every Other Freckle”, “Tessellate”

Jack White: we stayed in our nice front spot and waited for this performance, which was WELL worth it. This was one of my favorites as well. Jack White is an incredible performer, singer, musician and artist in general. Watching his shows is like watching a huge improvisational act with him and a bunch of other genius musicians as they feed off each other’s energy and the crowd’s energy to designate which songs and transformations they would like to do. He manipulated his voice incredibly and put on a wonderful show and told his audience that, “Music is sacred”, which might be the truest thing I’ve heard.
SONG SUGGESTIONS: anything, honestly.

DISCLAIMER: if you like the Weeknd then you should not read this next paragraph:
I saw the Weeknd (and yes he annoyingly spells it with a missing e, ugh) and I have never been a big fan because I personally think his lyrics are a little too sexual and rape-y and his voice sounds whiney, but we stayed because Serena’s friend wanted to. My feet throbbed during the performance as the man standing in front of us profusely flossed his teeth with one of those kid, dinosaur floss things and I somehow managed to survive. He also decided to hide his band behind a giant red screen for the beginning of his performance, which Serena and I took much offense to. The stage aesthetic was unique, because he had a cool screen behind him that changed color, but his palm-tree looking hair is very distracting and unattractive. Why would somebody decide to put their hair into a giant lump on the top of their head that looks like it should be the shape of an ice sculpture? And I don’t understand why so many girls in my grade find his objectification of women to be so attractive, but hey, everybody loves to objectify women in their music, don’t they?

-Mac DeMarco: he has this acoustic, hazy almost psychedelic feel to his music and voice. It was very nice to just sway from side to side and close my eyes to his music during the hot day. He is very popular among pothead frat boys, or it seemed like it from the crowd at his show
SONG SUGGESTIONS: “Salad Days”, “Treat Her Better”, “Goodbye Weekend” and “Cooking Up Something Good”


-Jenny Lewis: I have seen one of her shows before Coachella and she is INCREDIBLE live. I was front row and she brought out Haim, one of my favorite bands and I almost started to cry. They have an adorable new song out together called, “Girl on Girl”. Check it out!! They are all valley girls like me <3 and the HAIM sisters went to the same middle school as me! I found that out last year at Coachella when a guy in the crowd of their show told me about them!


SONG SUGGESTIONS: “The Next Messiah”, “Acid Tongue” “Godspeed” “She’s Not Me” “Head Underwater” and “Love U Forever”. I suggest “Silver Lining” by Rilo Kiley, the band she was previously in, as well. All of her songs are great. Two of her biggest albums, “Acid Tongue” and “The Voyager” have COMPLETELY different

, but both are great.
Kaskade: good show but I left early to see Stromae, which was WORTH IT

Stromae: incredible French artist whose music is an electronic pop rap sort of mixture that incorporates European sounds and tunes into his songs. Incredible performer, singer, dancer, and artist and his show was one of my favorites.
SONG SUGGESTIONS: “Alors on Danse”, “Tous les memes”, “Avf”, “Papaoutai” “Batard”, “Carmen” and all other songs

Florence and the Machine: Serena, Cairo and I skipped over to the halfway mark of Florence’s show and I was very glad I did. We danced and ran around the grass field to “Dog Days Are Over” and “Shake it Off” and I felt so happy during that moment it’s unexplainable. Florence also asked us to jump and take an article of clothing off for her finale, and you can imagine that Serena and I did. Nothing explicit, though ☺

ODESZA: to be honest I don’t remember electronic performances too well usually, but this one was awesome. I don’t know what songs to suggest, probably the most popular tunes.

Drake: never was a big fan of this dude, but his show was pretty good except for the fact that I MISSED MADONNA. I was extremely disappointed. But u kno I luved getting’ down to “Started from the bottom”.

Honorable mentions:
-Sitting on the shoulders of nice tall man during, “Alors on Danse” during Stromae

-Eating purple icecream that a man on drugs was fixated with. He then stated, “Your boobs like awesome… sorry is that something I’m not supposed to say. Wow, your boobs are just talking to me right now”

-hopping the fence to sneak into the artist guest’s/vip section with Serena to watch the Weeknd, who I don’t even like LOL

-HAIM coming out with Jenny Lewis and me being front row! And Jenny looking into my eyes and smiling at me

-The man in front of us at Jack White who was profusely flossing his teeth with one of those dinosaur shaped kid-flossing tools. He then began to stretch his legs???

-at least ten minute long guitar solo during ac-dc that rocked my world
-running around like crazy women during Florence and the Machine

liv luv coachella. enough said

~xoxo Ali~

Coachella advice from from your friendly valley girl

Coachella Valley Music Festival is three days of artists making your ears buzz, converse giving your feet blisters, and chicken strips, watermelon and ice cream helping you gain 5 pounds. But it is also the best 72 hours of my every year. As of just returning from my third year of music and fun in the Indio sun (I like to rhyme) I have acquired some “chella wisdom” that I would like to share with you all.
Coachella 2013
Coachella 2014
Coachella 2015
-BRING A PORTABLE CHARGER: your phone WILL die: you do NOT want this to happen. My iphone has terrible battery but never died this weekend because of my portable charger ☺
-Bring band-aids: converse and boots will probably give you blisters. I wore my birkenstocks on the last day because I had such terrible blisters on my heels and it was a great decision, plus I could take them off and let my feet breath when I sat down. DON’T wear flip flops. If you wear sandals, only do so if they are your most comfy shoe such as a birks, and definitely not if you are going to a lot of DJ’s or will be in the Sahara tent or in smushed crowds. If you don’t care about your fashion, you should honestly just wear free-runs.
-don’t get to the festival grounds too early unless you have artists you NEED to see. It is very hot in the early morning/afternoon, the bands aren’t as widely known and you will drain out much of the energy you need later on. Plus, your feet WILL hurt. I suggest getting there around 2:30ish, which is still kind of early. Do NOT come at 11, I repeat DO NOT come at 11.

-take your pictures at around 5ish-6ish when the sun is setting, it looks gorgeous.

-bring tons of snacks for your hotel room: you’ll be rocking out hardest at night and taking the least amount of food breaks, and shuttle rides and the crowd walking out of festival grounds each night is a long hassle. You’ll be STARVED by the time you get back: pack food!

-Save the first plastic water bottle you buy: save money by refilling water instead of buying a new bottle each time. Picking up ten used bottles on the ground and bringing them to a certain tent can be used as a trade-in for a free bottle of water also!

-Wear sunscreen: it gets HOT

-Bring hand sanitizer: watermelon juice is sticky, wind carries desert dust, and people r icky

-Bring more money than you think each day: food is pricey, you’ll waste a ton on water and keep in mind you might want to buy a shirt/jacket. Atleast $50 a day, I’d say

-Coachella security check is not even close to as thorough as airport checks, just saying ☺
-Buy your merchandise the first day: sizes sell out quickly

-Download the Coachella app: you can setup your personal lineup and look at when other artists will be playing and in what tents if you have free time to check somebody out. And you can see the food options!!

-keep your money, hotel cards, credit card and shuttle passe in a plastic bag: it’s easier to keep track of and it keeps your hotel room card safe from being deactivated by your phone

-use a small crossbody or fanny pack: backpacks get annoying, especially for that person standing right behind you in the tight crowd who keeps getting hit in the face with it every time you jump.

-do not video/record your favorite songs: you will have the most fun being in the moment for these. If you really feel the need to record an artist, record some of their songs you don’t know as well or like as much, because nobody ever goes back and looks at their videos anyways, let’s be honest.

-don’t expect to see every band/artist you wanted: it takes time to walk to other stages, get out of crowds, and sometimes waiting around is worse than just seeing somebody in the tent/stage next door. You also will need to devote time to eating, taking water breaks and sitting and resting for a bit. And when you are there, suddenly seeing everybody you want will not seem like such a dire necessity, you are already at Coachella having fun, it’s not the end of the world if you miss a couple of people, just make sure you get there EARLY for your must-sees if you want a good spot

-DO expect to run into people you haven’t seen in years: I see my old middle school/elementary school friends EVERY year without even looking for them. Coachella is a great place to reunite!

-have a physical meeting spot with your friends. Your phone MIGHT die, and service isn’t the same for everybody. And you WILL probably split up if you want to see different people. Make the spot one of the big art pieces or a particular food stand.

-don’t be afraid to push through crowds to get up to the front: you’ll never see those people you just squeezed past again in your life, most likely, so their frustration with you will only last .5 seconds. Or you could pretend you are going up to meet some friends. If they don’t budge when you’re trying to move forward, then you PROBABLY shouldn’t keep trying. There’s been the occasional fight over that

-expect surprise guests, especially from headliners, but these vary from weekend, so don’t underestimate one weekend over the other, nobody knows what’s coming

-don’t be afraid to ask to go on somebody’s shoulders (clearly this comment is more guided towards girls)People are very nice and generous!!

-if you don’t like a headliner, still strongly consider going to their show: they will most likely bring out a special guest and it will be a great atmosphere/crowd.

-dance and sing like nobody is watching: if you don’t feel as if you could genuinely burst of happiness and you are not laughing ,smiling and jumping out of pure joy, you are not doing it right. Or maybe that’s just me ☺

-HAVE FUN!!!!!!

~xoxo Ali~