impossible project

Superbloom | Places to Go by Julia Walck

This weekend I day-tripped out to the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to see the "superbloom" of wildflowers. 

They probably have about a week or so left in them. So if you've been waiting to go, now's the time!

The sweet spots to check out were on the outskirts of the park around Di Giorgio Road and Henderson Canyon Road. Di Giorgio had more purple flowers, and Henderson Canyon had yellow flowers for daaaaaaaaays.

Before the trip, I bought some gel filters off of Amazon to play around with shapes and colors when shooting in the flower fields. 

I was able to cast cool shadows, play with foreground/background composition, create overlays and even light leaks by using the filters. The trick was to not let them fly away in the crazy wind!

Using the pink and yellow filters created a warm and fuzzy feel, where the purples and blues gave off a psych-grunge textured look.

I also busted out my Polaroid one600 and SX-70 that I recently snagged from an estate sale.

If you drove out further south on Borrego Springs towards Tubb Canyon Road, you'd find the Ocotillo trees. 

Next flower stop on my list is the Lancaster Poppy Fields. I haven't been in 3 years! They're also experiencing a beautiful bloom right now thanks to all this rain! 

FYF '16 by Julia Walck

Fuck Yeah Fest (FYF) was really good this year! I remember it being an unorganized clusterfuck when I went back in 2014; they've totally cleaned up their act since then! (A bit of bottlenecking aside). 

I went both days and didn't get sunburnt! Patting myself on the back, and it doesn't even hurt. 

Here's what the weekend consisted of:

SATURDAY

  • Classixx
  • Todd Terje & the Olsens
  • Gerd Janson
  • Junior Boys
  • Tame Impala
  • Hot Chip (Live)
  • Explosions in the Sky
  • Moby (DJ)

Bonnie, me, and Em

Bonnie, me, Jaz and Em

We watched Classixx from the beer garden; it was good, dancy, (drinky?) music for the background. While we were there, I creeped on this guy's "Dedicated to the Craft" shirt and I whipped out the sign I made for Hot Chip. 

I was 100% dedicated to the craft of this sign

Todd Terje and the Olsens

Junior Boys

Junior Boys

The stage for Junior Boys was sort of tucked away in the back, and at first we ended up grooving a bit in "The Woods" before heading to "The Club" (stage names). In doing so, we stumbled on this guy named Gerd Janson who I ended up really liking.

We made our way to "The Club" and caught my favorite Junior Boys song, In the Morning, just in time! Dancing our way under the disco balls, we headed to Tame Impala. I've seen them twice before so I didn't mind ducking out early for my main obsession, Hot Chip.

Hot Chip was labeled one of the best performances of FYF by LA Weekly. You can see me posted up front and center with my lil' Hot Chip sign in the article. I also found another photo of me on laist here

Because I was front and center, guess who got the set list!?!?! Hoping I can get another one from next week's show in Wales! 

Sidenote: On day 2 of the fest, I actually saw Alexis Taylor walking through the park with his wife and daughter. I choked and didn't say anything to him and I'm still slapping myself for it! 

Explosions in the sky filled the stage with vivid colors while exploding peoples' minds with their sound. Instrumental music always feels like a dreamscape to me and is really, really wonderful. It's refreshing to strip away all lyrics and dig deep into the sound.

Moby

Moby

We danced to Moby and then stumbled home around 1:30. Getting a Lyft out of there was an absolute nightmare! 

Disco ball

Me with my Hot Chip sign

SUNDAY

  • Preoccupations
  • Wild Nothing
  • Blood Orange
  • Father John Misty
  • Anohni: Presents Hopelessness
  • Mac Demarco
  • Beach House
  • LCD Soundsystem 
Preoccupations

Preoccupations

Saturday, I went solo to the festival and Emily met up with me later in the day. I caught the middle to end of Preoccupations' set. They're previously known as Viet Cong, but changed their name for obvious reasons. Starting my day off with a bit of grungy punk felt good. 

Wild Nothing

Wild Nothing

Emily found me mid-Wild Nothing set. Having purple hair really does come in handy. 

Blood Orange was next. They brought out Carly Rae Jepsen and Nelly Furtado for a song each... which is quite possibly the most random combo of guests ever for Blood Orange. I mean, good, but odd. 

Father John Misty always puts on a hell of a show. Talk about drama. He kept flailing himself all over the stage, falling to his knees and completely on his back. 

We couldn't figure out if his graphics were malfunctioning or purposefully ironic. First, the screen quickly flashed to a desktop background of a baby with a mess of folders. Next was the software update failed message. Then a Windows start-up screen, and the set ended with a "Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival 2014" banner. It was then that we knew (or are pretty sure?) it was all on purpose. 

After grabbing some Fruity Pebble churro ice cream from Ridges, we met up with my coworker Zack and his girlfriend at Anohni. Her graphics were really powerful. I turned to Zack and said, "This feels like something that would be in a back room at MOCA or LACMA for an art installation". He's a copy-writer at work and does lots of artist bios, so knows lots of fun facts about the music scene. 

He explained to me that it probably was art-installation-esque because in the past, Anohni has worked with the likes of Lou Reed and Bjork on installations and projects. Plus, the show was called Anohni: Presents Hopelessness which in itself seems like an art piece with an underlying message. 

We went from Anohni to Mac Demarco and met up with a few more friends. Fighting our way through the crowd, we ended up to the side of the sound booth which was a pretty good spot.

Afterwards, we caught a few Beach House tunes and moseyed our way over to LCD Soundsystem. 

Hey, remember that time I waited for 8 hours to be very front row for LCD at Coachella? Me too. 

Anyways, LCD was AMAZING. I danced so hard, as soon as I got out of bed and stood up the next morning I felt my legs scream, "What have you done to us?!" Worth it though. Totally worth it. 

I metro-ed home, showered at like 1:30 or 2am, and tried to get some sleep for work the next morning. 

Speaking of mornings, I leave tomorrow morning (6am flight) for Festival Number 6 in Wales! I'm beyond excited but man is it going to be a long trek. 

Cross your fingers for us! 

HARD Summer '16 by Julia Walck

You guys, I survived my first electronic music festival. 

HARD Summer was last weekend at the Auto Club Speedway of Southern California in Fontana. Where's that, you ask? Basically the middle of nowhere. 

I won tickets through work and thought, "yeah this is close enough to home, let's just drive each day"... that was my first mistake.

SATURDAY

A drive that should have only be an hour and a half somehow took us 3 hours. The line to get in had four layers of line: Flashing your tickets/IDs to workers, having your ID physically scanned, security check, and scanning the barcode on your ticket.

For starters, um wristbands would've been helpful here. Also, how about investing in more shade structure for the 98 degree weathered lines instead of having a massive TV with a stupid video of Diplo playing on a loop?

Anyways, we finally got in, and made it for Anderson .Paak's final song. Then we waited until Ice Cube and Pretty Lights as there wasn't anyone we wanted to see in between.

Let's just say Saturday involved A LOT of drinking. 

There was this really sad moment when we were walking around, probably an hour-ish into the day where I took a step and my foot stuck on the hot asphalt. I felt a pull. Stopping, I looked down to see the tiny heel of my glittery disco shoes melted on the ground. 

Not like "Wizard of Oz"-witch-melty, but I mean it was so hot that it melted the adhesive apart; the thing that held my shoes together. I picked it up, put it in my bag and kept on trekking. Dancing off balance throws you off a bit. 

Pretty Lights put on an awesome show, with you guessed it, a massive amount of pretty lights. We were probably 3 rows back from the front for most of the show, then the pit got to be a bit too much to handle so Denise and I back-tracked. Pretty cool to see his set from close up and afar. Look at that gif though... 

Since Pretty Lights closed out the festival on Saturday night, that meant we left when everyone else did.

HARD really made it hard on us getting out of there. For the entire speedway there was only one exit which was very poorly manned with staff. The entire process of walking to our car / sitting in our car in a line waiting to get out took an hour and a forty-five minutes. Luckily, we made it to In-N-Out before it closed.

SUNDAY

On Sunday we left around 11:30am to avoid a repeat of Saturday. There was even enough time to grab a cold brew and some grub at The Combine Kitchen before heading to the festival. 

We parked in a nearby neighborhood and walked over this time, thinking we were being super smart. 

The line to get into the festival was even longer than Saturday's and so much more unorganized. After an hour of waiting in line to get into HARD, we filled up our waters at a water station and headed over to Bixel Boys.

I remember seeing them on my 21st birthday play with Digitalism and thought hey, why not check 'em out here? After listening to a loop of "eat sleep rave repeat" we knew it was time to move on to something else. 

Bob Moses was up next. He had one of the smallest crowds of anyone we saw (maybe because he had actual instruments there), but was one of the best performances of the weekend. I highly suggest you go listen to "Tearing Me Up" right now. 

Denise wanted to check out Fat Joe so we made our way over to the HARD stage. He would play a bit of a song and people would start to get into it... and suddenly cut to something else after thirty seconds or a minute. I guess only having a thirty minute set you try to pack as much into it as possible, but come on. 

I did our makeup on Saturday with some heart gems and rainbow glitter, but Sunday got WAY more intense. Lucky for us, confetti and glitter are easy to come by in my apartment. Surprisingly, this stayed all day in the hot, hot heat. My friend turned me on to this special FX adhesive which is perfect for festival glitz, called Ben Nye Spirit Gum. Just make sure to get the remover, too! 

We hung back at AlunaGeorge and afterwards got some veggie noodles and pizza. 

Then came the best part of the festival: Kaytranada. 

DJ Mustard was playing at the Purple Stage right before him, so we inched our way up while people were filing out to go see Major Lazer. Our tactic, go to the side and get as far front as you can, then work your way to the middle, worked and we were front and center. There was so much bass and we were so close to the speaker that the water bottles on the ground were being thrown around by the pulse. 

I've been obsessed with Kaytranada's most recent album, 99.9% ever since it came out in early May; dancing to it live was amazing! 

I was watching some videos of his performance back on YouTube and found Denise and myself dancing in this video at 0:28, 1:49 and 2:45. 

Leaving the festival meant once again joining in on the herd of people filing out. We walked for literally an entire hour before we got to our car. A total of 13 miles for the day. Wow.

Parking in a nearby neighborhood helped with the fact we didn't have to wait bumper to bumper leaving the lot. However, we were unaware of the massive amounts of road closures in our path. We had to backtrack about 3 miles so we could go onto another freeway entrance. 

Around 2am we got home; I showered because I felt disgusting, and then knocked out in bed. Work the day after a festival is always fun!

Overall, I'm glad I got to experience HARD. It was worth it for the bands I got to see, but I would never willingly pay for an EDM festival ticket. 

I think I'll stick to my indie tunes. 

Hiking Angeles National Forest by Julia Walck

On Sunday, we drove up to Angeles National Forest to go hiking. There are so many trails to choose from, so how do you pick where to go?! 

I found a site called The Modern Hiker where there was a post on Sturtevant Falls. It was super helpful on how to get to your hike, and they even give you a brief synopsis of what the trail is like. We only did the Sturtevant Falls portion of the trek; there and back (to where the parking lot is) amounted to about 6 miles. 

The mountains were engulfed in a fog, making for an even dreamier surrounding. We went so early (around 8:30) that the warmness of the day didn't even bother us - plus the trail has a lot of coverage from trees. 

The only other time I'd been in this forest was for a photoshoot over a year ago where we only stuck to the campground area. Diving deeper into the forest and exploring felt really good.

I'll definitely be going back again to hike some more trails in Angeles National Forest. It's SO pretty up there! 

PS: you can buy your adventure pass at the top of the mountain in the general store: $5 for the day, $30 for the year.