A FARMERS MARKET, MOCHI AND SOUND CITY FILLED SATURDAY

veggie shoppingThat was a mouthful! That’s only because this morning has been FULL of delicious, fun and musical treats. I started the day off by my usual trip to the farmers market and then to our organic health food store where they gave me that cute box with all my goodies. I got so many great things today it was hard to choose which to photograph for you. Aren’t these beauties lovely?veggies

Then I stopped at a new bakery in town which sells the most amazing whole grain croissants and took everything home to make breakfast. They only had two croissants left so I made my favorite mochi recipe and served it with the strawberries I had just bought and a delicious coffee with rice and vanilla milk. Can you say Saturday morning YUM?!

vgetarian

After I painfully tried to make all those veggies fit in the refrigerator, my hubby, our doggie and I cuddled up in the couch to watch a documentary we had been waiting to see for months. I’m talking about Dave Grohl’s documentary “Sound City”. My oh my!

sound city movie

What can I tell you about this documentary other than please go see it! You know I talk about Dave a lot and about how I think he’s our modern day-number 1 storyteller bar none, and this movie is simply another example of this. It’s an iconic piece of history. I’m not talking musical history here, I mean history, period! So much of this movie took me to what the 70s, 80s and 90s where about, what life in rock and roll California was like, and mainly, how roads seem to unravel when you are deep into your creative process. The movie tells the story of one of L.A.’s most iconic recording studios, where Fleetwood Mac, Nine Inch Nails, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana, and countless other legends recorded some of their greatest albums. The part about Nirvana’s recording of their album Nevermind hit me hard and right through the heart. This was my first true rock and roll love affair with a record after my uncle left it at my house one day. It wasn’t my first record (this was probably a Jackson 5 album or Michael Jackson album for sure!), but it was one of those times I remember from my childhood where I got to know the eerie character,magic and pain behind the lyrics and music of a band. Listening to, and watching all about this album turned my heart upside down and I was suddenly transported to this incredible place where it all happened. It took Dave Grohl (of course!) to tell its wonderful story and to bring this place back to life after it sadly and unfortunately closed down.

I had to start thinking about my young students when I saw Trent Reznor talking about how someone in his family made him play the piano really early on, and how that made him fall in love with music. I have never taught a student who has been encouraged to study music or play an instrument as an extracurricular activity. It’s all about the sports nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, sports rule, but telling kids that music and the arts are there for them seems to always fall through the cracks. Of course this is fortunately not the case for every child, but how I wish it would be more encouraged!

I loved how this documentary showed what I’ve seen happen time and time again. Magical moments and brief encounters when you’re deep into creative process that end up changing the course of history. There’s nothing more I can say other than please join Dave, “the Neve”, Tom Petty, Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, Neil Young, Rick Springfield, Pat Smear, Krist Novoselic, and countless others on this amazing ride. Thanks once again Dave!

That’s it for my Saturday so far, I leave you with the trailer for Sound City, I hope you enjoy it and that you get to see this little gem!

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BEYOND THE LINE OF TREES

Beautiful natureI’ve lived in my neighborhood  for three years now, a lovely town outside the city where you can still hear the birds sing and have actual forests nearby (I’m talking bunnies here!). We recently discovered this beautiful park only 5 minutes away from our house and had only caught a glimpse of it. It’s on a hill and has a beautiful quiet feel to it.When you’re at the bottom all you can see is the rising hill and a line of trees.

SceneryToday I finished my lesson planning early and Nala and I went back to the park and ventured up the hill. I wasn’t prepared for what lied behind the line of trees, and unfortunately my photos didn’t capture what we were looking at. Suddenly we were in front of this giant meadow and this vast expanse. Hills and valleys intertwined in front of us and suddenly in the middle of these two highways I’m always driving on, there was this giant piece of untouched nature, we both stood still for a moment taking it in. The photos simply don’t do it justice! Do you see that area in the background that seems to have a grayish hue? Well, between that and the foreground there was a giant valley and beautiful rolling hills. I need to take my actual camera there this weekend!

Spanish landscape

Nature and its wondersI realized I’ve always been a fan of forests that seem to cover you and hide little trails and creeks. But vast and wide open spaces like this one seem to make you breathe a bit deeper and make you quiet down. Similar to the feeling of grandness you get when you visit the grand canyon and you just feel completely surrounded by its natural beauty. This was no grand canyon (I’m painfully aware of that don’t worry..), but I’ll take what I can get! The feeling was just as wonderful.

Dog loversWe sat in the meadow in the middle of these yellow flowers and just looked at these flowing fields and listened to the sound of the highway far away. The only thing that was missing, although it was playing in my head, was Joe Purdy’s amazing song “Wash Away”.  I leave you with some photos and some of the lyrics to the song. I hope you find your little meadow behind the line of trees, whether it’s a coffee shop, your favorite beach or your backyard. Or maybe the Grand Canyon! If you’re lucky to live close by.

NatureIn the words of Mr. Purdy …

“I got troubles oh, but not today

Cause they’re gonna wash away

They’re gonna wash away”

Listen to this beautiful song here or on Spotify if you’re a member. If you like it please purchase it through itunes and help support the artist! This song ALWAYS makes me smile. Tomorrow I’ll take it to my “vast expanse” and listen to it as I’m staring out into the fields.What do you think of this place?! Do you have your version of this? Do you feel like sharing it in the comments? We’d love to hear from you!

SUMMER AND FESTIVALS

Coldplay bandSummer is almost gone here in Spain and the warm weather left early this year. For me this summer was all about hanging out in the terrace, having some delicious outdoor barbecues, spending time with family and friends, working A LOT, and of course that magical time of year of music and festivals. I got to see some of the most amazing bands this summer and have tons of photos to share with you now that it’s coming to an end. Thank God for indoor theaters and stages or I would have to wait another year for one of my favorite ways to spend my free time.

Here’s the incredible Coldplay, ok, I’m cheating a bit here because it wasn’t summer quite yet, but I just had to share some photos of the crazy amazing stage and their beautiful ‘twinkle lights in the audience’ display.Coldplay MadridColdplay Madrid

The Smashing Pumpkins gave us an incredible show at a very small venue (don’t you just love when that little bit of magic happens?). The Smashing Pumpkins concert in Madrid 2012

Then we had a bit of Rock in Rio with Incubus and the amazing Red Hot Chilli Peppers. My favorite photo from that day was not of the bands on stage but of this little ‘cutie pie rocker in training’. Her dad was explaining and telling her stories about Incubus, and she listened carefully and then suddenly stood up and started dancing in pure rocker fashion. Incubus and Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Then came the absolute highlight of the summer, the BBK Live Festival in Bilbao, Spain which we have loved more and more each year, and that gave us the gift of being able to finally see Radiohead live. Probably one of the best concerts I’ll ever get to see, and one I hope I can see again some day. Pure genius is what that band is. As usual, almost all of their classic tunes were nowhere to be found and still I couldn’t have had a better time! On top of that one of my favorite bands Mumford & Sons opened up for them and it was incredible. Talk about a crazy creative and jaw dropping day for me! The Mexican band Zoe also rocked the stage that day.Mumford & Sons

Radiohead at the BBK in Spain The photos aren’t that great, I know. I’ve gotten into the habit of leaving my camera at home because if I don’t, I’m tempted to take every single shot possible and I end up missing the actual reason why I’m there in the first place! I had to iphone a couple just to share them with you.

Words to the wise, never fall asleep at the BBK or this might happen to you. BBK music festival in Spainat the Radiohead and Mumford & Sons concert at the BBK live festivalOn the plus side, a crazy girl came running up to him during his nap and kissed him right on the lips and ran off. I couldn’t get my camera out in time and he of course did not remember a thing. Ah! the mystery kisser at BBK Live.

Almost as soon as we came back from Bilbao we got a taste of some mean drumming with Travis Barker and Blink 182. I was not at all prepared for such a powerhouse of a show. Incredible!

Blink 182 show in Madrid 2012

Last but not least, you know what’s coming, the incredible genius that is Jack White and his superb band. How a concert can go from nutty elbow piano playing to totally synched crazy rock genius in less than a second is just beyond me. Jack White is one of my creative idols after seeing him talk about his creative process in the documentary “It Might Get Loud”, which I highly recommend if you’re a fan of his music.Jack White

That’s it for my very short summary of my jam in this summer’s music festivals and shows. Most of them were simply indescribable so you must buy tickets next time they’re in your hometown and experience what live music can do to you. As you know and have read many times before, music is another family member in my household, that’s simply the only way to put it. Next in the agenda…and I can’t believe it (the little miss sunshine-butterfly cutie pie you saw above is a clue), Blind Melon! Sure, we’re sadly one person short, but to hear those amazing tunes that crushed my heart as a teen.. boy oh boy! I’ll keep you posted!

A FAN IN THE MAKING

The BeatlesMy mother was 100%  a 1960s hippie. Beautiful extra long straight hair, amazing floral dresses and peasant blouses, beautiful natural material long necklaces, and an enormous collection of 60s and 70s rock and folk albums. This is the music I grew up listening to, and since there was a music all around, music all the time strict policy in my house, I listened to A LOT of rock and roll. We even had a music room and family gatherings were usually a bit of a jam session, my mom played the piano, my uncle played the guitar, my grandpa would rock the maracas, I was of course the tambourine girl/ choreographer since I was the only dancer in the family. We would play, listen to music and then when things got a bit wild, it was ¨making up crazy lyrics time¨ and things got really out of hand. None of these sessions (and I’m talking years and years of Sujo family jam) ever took place without the presence of four little Englishmen: John, Paul, George and Ringo.Illustrated Lyrics The Beatles

The obsession started early since the lullabies my mother sang with her beautiful voice always came from them, Mr. Bob Dylan and of course Mr. Johnny Cash, and yes, Mother Goose also made occasional appearances. This is why when I read the article I’m about to share with you, my eyes were filling up with tears and my face had a huge smile on it, thinking of how music is timeless and how new generations are still getting a taste of those incredible rock and roll tunes from the 60s, the ones I grew up with and that still crush my heart every time. So without further ado, I give you the cutest, sweetest tale of how The Beatles and their music are passed down to a little boy in this New York Times’ article by Paul Greenberg. You don’t want to miss this one, trust me!

Whether you’re singing The Beatles as lullabies like my mom did, or having a deep and beautiful conversation like Paul Greenberg had with his son, any child will love to spend time listening to how important music and its story is to their parents. Most kids will be wide eyed and fascinated to hear the excitement in their parents’ voice. I can still remember sitting on the edge of my mom’s bed, listening to John Lennon’s ‘Jealous Guy’ (one of my favorite songs of all time to this day!), while she showed me the newspaper clippings of the day he died. Looking at their old records, listening to the stories my mom told me, and flipping through the pages of the book you see in the photos above while trying to learn as many lyrics as I could, are still some of my favorite memories. The day I learned ‘Penny Lane’ from start to finish was a BIG day for me. I know I got a big chunk of my identity and my passion for music in those late night conversations with my mom, so for any parents out there, even if your child develops an entirely different taste in music, you’ll be teaching them the importance of music and how positive it is to feel awe and admiration, curiosity and even passion. All good things in my book!

Enjoy the article and your Saturday everybody! In case you don’t believe how much of a hippie my gorgeous mamma was, this crazy photo says it all!

MUSIC MAKES MY WORLD GO ROUND

Today’s post was going to be all about the strange relationship I have with my iPhone’s shuffle feature, and how it seems to know what to play at any given moment, but something happened to me this morning that tied it all together. As with anything having to do with the creative process, ‘if you listen you will hear’.

I have a little used red car we  call ‘the little cherry’, where I jump in to go and teach, run errands, take my dog to the park, and of course, my favorite thing, sit there in silence listening to music while I drive through the streets of Madrid. About two weeks ago I had to run a very important and nerve-wracking errand that will possibly become the starting point of huge opportunities for me. I was sitting there by myself, a little scared of what I was about to do, and at that precise moment, the shuffle feature in my iPhone decides to pull one on me by playing Joni Mitchell’s ‘A Case of You’ and I teared up instantly. I am not a die-hard Mitchell fan as I know so many of you are, but this song reminds me of my mother and our time together and I always have it on my phone:

‘I remember that time you told me, you said, “Love is touching souls” Surely you touched mine ‘Cause part of you pours out of me In these lines from time to time’

That little piece of the lyrics takes me on a roller coaster of a ride every time and it was so strange to hear it at that precise moment. Mr.Shuffle didn’t stop there, as I was wiping off the tears, Led Zeppelin appears with ‘Tangerine”, off I was now with half a tear still in my right eye, but a huge smile on my face, almost halfway to my scary destination, and with my official ‘fill yourself up with hope tune’ blasting through the stereo. Nick Drake and his ‘Black Eyed Dog’ showed up next as I was pulling into the parking lot, so now I was officially with two strong feet on the ground and as focused as I could be. Three hours later I stepped out of a small building on the outskirts of Madrid, with a smile of relief, a glimmer of hope, and I got into my car, turned on my stereo and there it was, the song of victory… Mumford & Sons and their “Little Lion Man”. There’s nothing like a blasting banjo and music that builds with every passing second, to make you feel like your car is going to lift of the pavement for a few seconds. Crazy! Did I buy an iPhone with a weird cosmic connection-style shuffle feature?

This morning I was looking at old photos of my jewelry to pick a few for our new Jewels in the Attic page in the blog, and it was so strange to sit there and look at all those pictures of work I started doing when I was 12 years old, all the way up to 30 (good thing my mom always told me: ‘take photos of EVERYTHING’). I’ll talk about what I found on a different post, but since this is a post about the music that colors my life, here’s what happened. The songs that I listened to while I was making those jewelry designs so many moons ago immediately started sounding in my head. I realized music has been like another member of my family since I was a baby. It was always playing in the background, whenever we had breakfast, lunch, dinner, or had any sort of fun, and every stage of my life has had a soundtrack to it.

This is what I can remember:

– The first time I made a necklace: A mixture of The Beatles and the Mammas and the Pappas (all songs, played over and over again in my mom’s record player).

– Living in New York City as a child: Nanci Griffith ‘Three Flights Up”.

– My first jewelry collection ‘Pinkerton’: Anything by The Shins, The Elected’s “Sun, sun, sun”, anything by The Decemberists.

– Chasing Weezer across Florida with my hubby when I was 18: Weezer’s “El Scorcho” of course!

– My two life changing road trips up and down the California coastline: anything by Green Day, Death Cab for Cutie, or Snow Patrol.

– A life changing bus ride from Woodstock to New York City: Rilo Kiley’s “The Good that Won’t Come Out”.

– My mom passing away: The Beatles with “Across the Universe” and Israel Kamakawiwo’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

– Walking my dogs up and down the hills of our Alto Prado home: Regina Spektor’s “Samson” and Barry Louis Polisar with what I call his special tune for skipping “All I Want is You”.

– Packing up the house and moving to Spain: Sondre Lerche and his song “To Be Surprised”.

– The day my hubby and I tied the knot: the Foo Fighters and their song “Next Year” which I played as a surprise for him while we were doing ‘the ring thing’.

There’s lots more, LOTS MORE! But this is all I have for now…

Do you have any tunes that have marked some milestones in your life? I’d love to hear about them so leave them in the comments!

(To leave a comment simply click on the little box to the right of the post or click on the title of this post and scroll down! Easy as pie… unless you’ve never made pie that is!).