Archive for the 'Music' Category

Forging My Own Path

July 6th, 2013

Hello out there. Things have been a little wacky over here. We had a crazy storm a couple week ago that knocked out the power in South Minneapolis. Lots of downed trees. And downed cars. As you can see. Harley Rae was having a grand old time exploring through the wreckage. We lost power at the shop. But only overnight. So it didn’t affect us too much. Though I was off the internet for a few days. When I came back, I heard a rumor that we were closing. Ha! Pretty funny. I’m happy to report that we aren’t closing. I, personally, went through a pretty rough patch this year. But it’s gotten a lot better. I think a lot of it has to do with the pettles helping me find more balance in my life. And a lot of it had to do with this guy…

My boyfriend was starting to get worried. So he went crazy and got us one of these! A NORWALK JUICER. I’m not kidding when I tell you that this juicer is changing my life. I’ve used a lot of juicers by now. And I’ve owned a lot of juicers too. But this one is different. It’s expensive. It’s true. But as my boyfriend says, it costs the same as about twelve hours in the hospital. So if you have health issues, like me…It becomes more an issue of how do you want to spend your money. On going to the hospital? Or on staying out of the hospital? Which ultimately is way way cheaper. So we went with the juicer path. And it’s helping…a lot! I feel like I’m getting my buffer back. It makes such a huge difference. I can’t even tell you.

I should mention that I’m doing a little workshop on juices and smoothies in a couple weeks. Its one of many workshops during a REJUVENATION DETOX CHALLENGE WEEK event we’re doing in collaboration with HIAWATHA YOGA (across the street). Julie is also teaching a Raw Foods 101 class. You can find event details and register online HERE.

In the meantime, I’m just trying to relax more and enjoy the music. I found out recently that my kitty really likes violin music. She just sits intently and listens. And then she tries to wack at the bow and figure out how it works. It’s pretty cute. This week, I’m taking a much needed vacation too. My boyfriend has gotten us on the guest list of so many shows this week! It’s gonna be good. Between now and this time next week, I will have seen Cheap Trick, Los Lobos, Bob Dylan/Wilco, Robert Plant, and the David Byrne/St. Vincent show. So the next time you hear from me, I’ll be a whole new person.


I Heart Yoko

January 14th, 2012

wayne megaphone
Happy New Year! This post is a little delayed. Forgive me. For I have been BUSY. But I had to take a moment to absorb this because it was so inspiring to me on so many levels. How did I ring in 2012? I spent it watching THE PLASTIC ONO BAND and the FLAMING LIPS in Oklahoma City. (Thus, the visit to my ALMA MATER).

yoko ono band
The show did not disappoint. It was so thrilling. I really struggled to be there (due to my MYSTERIOUS LUPUS-LIKE AILMENT). But I fought for it and one (this was a typo which I decided to leave as is). They really went all out. The lights and the balloons were incredible. No expense was spared. It was absolutely breathtaking. Yoko is an artist of the highest caliber. She is amazing. I can’t say enough nice things about her. She is such a rare gem. Intelligent, fierce, intuitive, compassionate, and actualized. Most people go through life living from the outside in. Only very rarely do you encounter a person who is truly actualized. From the inside out. Like Yoko. She is a woman who was so far ahead of her time that a lot of people still don’t get it.

The show opened with Yoko singing, ‘It happened at a time in our life when I least expected…’ followed by the most gut-wrenching, raw, painful wail you have ever heard. It was abrasive. And it came out of nowhere. And just blew you away. So much pain. Transformed into art. Truly incredible.

yoko sean nels
The band was super tight. But also loose. In the best possible way. One of my favorite moments was watching Nels and Yoko going off on each other. Nels also plays in the band, Wilco. But he’s really versatile. My boyfriend has toured with him a couple times. So I’ve heard a lot of his more experimental stuff. And I’ve seen him play quite a few times. He can be pretty out there. The first time I saw him play, I was bowled over by this bizarre sound. I couldn’t figure out what it was. It was out of this world. So I started looking closer at what was going on. And I noticed that Nels was literally playing his guitar with a springed coil. Instead of a pic. The guy can get wacky! But Nels with Yoko is a very interesting combination. Yoko introduced this crazy noise jam by saying, ‘This is a song that I first played with John. And then Sean. And now Nels…It’s about my childhood or something.’ (Who knew that Yoko has such a dry sense of humor. I am particularly fascinated by this because my mother is Japanese. About the same age as Yoko. And I had always assumed it was because of the language barrier that she didn’t have a sense of humor. It’s not that she doesn’t have one exactly. But something like this would definitely fly under her radar. That is making a connection to another culture that is very unusual for a foreigner). She then proceeded to rock this jam with Nels.

She almost sounds like a guitar. She’s just fully out there. No holds barred. And Nels gets in there and juices it up. It’s unbelievable. She just has no fear. She’s just out there. No safety net. No predictable structure. She’s so fearless that it’s beautifully poetic. Not in a contrived way. But just real. And raw. And present. And truly her own. I feel like this was the reason I needed to be there. I needed to see this. And I needed to draw inspiration from it. This is supposed to be my mantra for 2012. ‘No fear’. It’s like when a person gets sick, they inevitably encounter all kinds of overwhelming situations where they don’t measure up. And I think that in response, a person naturally develops a sense of fear. Of being in situations where they will be overwhelmed. And this is protective and helpful to a point. But in order to rejoin the world of the living, you reach a point where you have to release that fear. I am at that point now. And I think this is why I needed to see Yoko. And why she resonated with me so much.

The show was hard for me. Mostly the crowd. It was a very packed room. And I often felt overwhelmed. Like the air was too thin. And I might pass out. And I kept going to the back of the venue. To get more air. But I wasn’t leaving. No matter what.

The Lips set was also amazing. Wayne came out in his bubble again. My boyfriend shot this FOOTAGE OF HIM (For some reason, this drat computer won’t let me embed this video. So you have to click to it. Definitely worth it). Truly surreal. The amazing light show and the bubble plus the lips. It was like being in an alternate universe. It was so great that we went two nights in a row. I paid for it though. I spent the entire next day with my head in a garbage bag. But hey! That’s the price you pay sometimes.

This is 2012. No more living in the protective bubble of being sick. It’s time to pop the bubble and get out there and rock. Just like Wayne. And Yoko. I am going to live my life on my terms. And that’s all there is to it. If I allow myself to live in fear of my illness, I will be defined by it. I don’t want that. I am the definer here! And guess what? No illness is going to hold this girl back. Watch out world. Because HERE I COME! Thanks for the inspiration Yoko!


Kristen’s Front Porch Grocery and Lounge

October 23rd, 2011

Well, if you haven’t checked the LATEST EPISODE of PRL TV, you should! In this episode, we show you how easy it is to start a local food REVOLUTION ON YOUR PORCH.

Leave it to a single mom to come up with creative solutions for difficult times! I truly hope that those who have carried the burden of our dysfunctional economy will be rewarded in this new incarnation. These are the most resourceful, deserving, and grateful among us.

Here is an action shot of Kristen’s Porch. Did I mention that this episode features the most uplifting song by Minneapolis’ finest brass band, the BRASS MESSENGERS? Not too mention an interview conducted simultaneously in English and Romanian.

behind the scenesYep. THIS EPISODE has it all. Food, music, and friends. What else do you need?


Home Sweet Home

September 26th, 2011

Well, I’m back from the west coast. My boyfriend was doing a tour there. So I joined him for the first part. The NORTHERN PART. He kept going. He sent me this picture. He just happened to pass it on the way somewhere.

Looks like Rawsome is still WORKING THINGS OUT with the authorities.

aniphyoLook what else he came across. They were at KCRW (the local NPR station) making THIS APPEARANCE on ‘Morning Becomes Eclectic’, and he found this autographed polaroid of ANI PHYO on the wall!  How random.  I guess it’s a small world after all. Wish I could have made it that far south. But alas. Not on this trip. Had to get back home to be taking care of business. My ‘groupie slut’ days were numbered.

almond milk
In other news, I just posted a NEW VIDEO for PUNK RAWK LABS TV. Make your own almond milk. Lots of videos on the way too. Including one from Seattle…


Make Your Own Kombucha

July 27th, 2011

Guess what! I just posted a new video for PRL TV on how to make your own KOMBUCHA. I’m very excited because not only is it my first video in a while. It also features my first musical guest.

They are ALPHA CONSUMER, and they are so good. This is a band of musical all stars. You may have seen some of the members of this band on the road with such acts as Andrew Bird, Haley Bonar, Bon Iver, Gayngs, Prairie Home Companion, etc. These guys have been around and they know what they’re doing! Definitely worth checking out.

Also, here’s a sneak peak of an upcoming video that was just filmed last night. I can’t wait for this one. My boyfriend thinks it’s going to be the best one yet. I’ll keep you posted…


St. Paul Art Crawl

April 25th, 2011

art crawlThis weekend, PRL will be participating in the ST PAUL ART CRAWL! This will be the first time they will be featuring UNCOOKING DEMOS.  We will be demoing a recipe for almond milk and vegan mint cacao nib ice cream.  Feel free to stop by, check out some art, and try some yummy samples.  I will also be playing violin with my newly formed group, The Rods and Cones, Sunday at 1PM in the main lobby.  I was going to sing and play guitar on Friday night also, but I had to bow out (due to my THROAT ULCER). Next time! Feel free to join us for some culture and food this weekend…


Kale Chip Season

April 15th, 2011

kale chips
It’s that time again. I had no idea that these little chips had such an impact. Well, OK. I had some idea. But still, I was kinda surprised by how many people asked after them when they went out of season. Well, the time has come. They are BACK! We are still waiting on the locally grown and amazing Minnesota kale (GARDENS OF EAGAN). For the first few weeks, we will be serving up some California kale. Since I was born in California, it’s kind of local (to me, anyway). 🙂

robert plant
On an unrelated note…did I mention that I met Robert Plant the other night? It was an incredible night. Robert Plant is amazing and inspirational. He operates on a level that most people never tap into. I said that to someone today, and they thought I meant arrogant. I mean metaphysical. Truly fascinating human being! (BACK STORY on how this came to be is in my last post).


Tour Goodies

April 11th, 2011

radio city roof
Look how glamorous my boyfriend’s life is. While I was visiting 105 DEGREES, he was jetsetting to NYC. This was his first time doing sound at RADIO CITY! This is a picture he took from the roof.

sound boardHe said the room sounded amazing! They really know what they’re doing there. I bet it sounded great. I know I’m kind of biased, but my boyfriend is so uber-talented. He can make any room sound great. He is the difference between a band sounding good and having a transcendent experience. I am so excited because on Tuesday night, I get to meet ROBERT PLANT! RP covered two songs written by the band that he traveled to Radio City with (LOW). My boyfriend recorded the original versions. So it should be an interesting night!!

live live
The nice thing about my boyfriend being a world traveler is that he brings me raw snacks from his travels. He brought me lots of samples from LIVE LIVE ORGANIC.

kale chips
I gobbled THESE DOWN in no time at all. They were waiting for me when I got home from Oklahoma. I tried to save some, but I wasn’t very successful.

I also got to try BRAD’S for the first time. It’s a really interesting concept. Like a cross between a flax cracker and a kale chip. Haven’t tried that before!

macaroonsI only got one of these, but maybe that’s a good thing. As I’m having a flare-up of this thrush infection that has been stalking me. I guess they’re really common in people with IMMUNE SYSTEM ISSUES. It’s kind of a drag. The only way to really get rid of it is to cut out the sugar completely which was traumatic the first time I had to do it. Though I’ve gotten better at it.

chocI haven’t cracked into this beauty yet. I suppose I should before my boyfriend gets to it. It’s a tough call…fight off the thrush or try gourmet chocolate from NYC? Hmm…Tough one. What would you do? I might have to live with the thrush for an extra day or two. 🙂
Here’s the roof in the daytime. Pretty cool view!

radio city
Here’s the view from the stage. Kinda makes you feel like a rockette. Almost.

The last trip he went on before this was to Austin for SXSW. These were AMAZING. And they are especially good with my SMOKED CASHEW MAC CHEESE. It’s like a match made in heaven. Too bad my boyfriend also brought back a nasty bug from Austin. It seemed like everyone who went down there, came back sick. That’s what you get for having too much fun, I guess.


Holographic Sound Healing

March 5th, 2011

I had a very interesting experience this week that I want to tell you about. It’s called HOLOGRAPHIC SOUND HEALING. This was my first encounter with this healing modality, and my experience was very interesting to say the least. It’s very unlike anything I’ve tried before. To be honest, I’m not sure I really even fathom how it works. It works on many levels. My understanding of it is that it uses sound to recalibrate the vibrations in our body. Kind of like a tuning fork. Everything in our body vibrates at a certain frequency. When things are out of balance, you have dissonance. This therapy helps to restore balance. As a musician, this idea really appeals to me.

slumber party
In fact, the therapist who performed this for me is my friend, JANICE. We have known each other since the sixth grade, and we met through music. We were in orchestra together. I played the violin, and she played the cello. Here is a very old picture of us (She is peeking out from behind me).

Essentially, we sat down and decided what the intention of the session would be based on what my goals were. After some discussion, we came up with this beautiful thought. ‘I AM FREE OF TOXIC INFLUENCES AND PAIN AND I AM RADIATING ABUNDANCE AND STRENGTH ON ALL LEVELS OF MY BEING.’ Pretty catchy, right?

Once the intention was set, I hung up the phone and lied down (Janice lives in Florida so the therapy was performed remotely). I closed my eyes and for the first minute or so just saw blackness. After a minute or so, things started to shift. I started to see waves of light radiating outward. Kind of like radio waves. The other things I noticed were that a muscle in my hip loosened spontaneously, and I could at one point feel my liver jiggling (This was very unusual). After that, I just fell asleep. When I woke up, over an hour had passed. I sat up, looked at the clock, and a few seconds later Janice called me back.

Janice had some very interesting insights about me. She said that my liver and my neck were needing a lot of help. Which is interesting since these are my two biggest problems right now. She also said there was something in my leg that looked like a nerve that was open. I hadn’t mentioned this to her, but I have some nerve damage from the ACCIDENT. There is a nerve that runs down my leg from my hip that goes numb a lot. When this happens, I have to sit down. It’s interesting to me that she could see this. If I were in the room with her, I would have gotten to hear the healing sounds of her recalibrating me. She said that the music that was coming out was very Asian sounding which is interesting too (since I am Asian and Janice is not).  She said that things would still be shifting for up to 36 hours afterwards, but that I had released a LOT of stuff.  I wasn’t sure what to expect afterwards, but here are some things I noticed.

1.  PHYSICAL RELEASE.  The first couple days after the most obvious thing that I noticed was that indeed my liver WAS dumping a lot of stuff.  I was having a lot of the BURPING SYMPTOMS that I associate with my liver trying to let go of things.  I was also…how should I put this…way beyond regular.  I physically let go of a LOT.

2.  IMPROVEMENT IN PAIN SYMPTOMS.  I noticed that I felt less weighed down.  A lot of my pain issues are caused my muscle tightness/spasming.  It’s a very dense feeling in your muscles.  I felt noticeably less restricted this way.  Though I still have a lot of work to do in this department.  It’s a big job.  I’ve been getting massage therapy on it very regularly since the crash.  It is helping too, but there’s a lot of ground to cover.

3.  BRINGING MENTAL BLOCKS INTO MY AWARENESS.  Probably the biggest thing I’ve noticed is a shift in perspective.  One side effect of illness (and many of life’s obstacles) is a feeling of being beaten down.  Your old life doesn’t work anymore and you inevitably run into situations  where limitations and obstacles are blocking your movement.  What I’m starting to bring into my awareness is this need to shake all of that off when you rebuild again.  You have to not be afraid to try again.  And not be afraid of your limitations or you will be defined by them.  I’ve been noticing more and more how this has impacted me.  And how I’ve been in a pattern of self-sabotage in a way.  After all, as my friend Joshua would say (pictured above), ‘This is MY movie!’  And I can make it into whatever I want.

It’s good to remember that.  Anyway, this first session was so successful that I might try it again soon.  I’ll keep you posted…


Merry Christmas

December 24th, 2010

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you are all having the most wonderful of holidays. I am in the middle of making some lovely holiday truffles for tomorrow. If you would like to know how, check out this lovely VIDEO that I made on Christmas Eve last year for PRL TV (which details the entire process)!

prl tv banner

On that note, I will leave you with a Christmas Carol. A perfect piece for Christmas Eve. My boyfriend recorded me playing it. I love how the door squeaks at the end. 🙂 Enjoy! And Happy Holidays…