Tuesday, 25 February 2014


I briefly spoke to Aaron Cometbus after the LA Vivian Girls show, and for some reason something about him stuck with me. I immediately went home and pulled all of Eloy's Cometbus books and zines off our bookshelves and asked Eloy where to start. He suggested I start with Double Duce, and with that I went under.

I have a habit of obsessing over bands, actors, albums, movies, musicians, etc. exclusively for days or months until I come up for air. I spend weeks engrossed in one thing at a time until the obsession passes, and then I integrate them into my daily interests and get on with my life. I've done this for as long as I can remember, and I'm not about to dissect the reasoning. I just know it keeps life interesting, anticipating that next crushing obsession.

I can't put my finger on what makes Cometbus so exciting. Since reading his work I feel like my passion for music and community has been restored. I'm excited about DIY and creating and sharing and having real, lengthy conversations about more than just surface bullshit. I'm excited about friendship and scenes and strangers. I feel inspired. Inspired to write songs, book shows, and find new bands to fall in love with. 
I'm even excited to drive 1400 fucking miles to Austin, TX next week.

I think Aaron's words are steeped in that excitement and it rubs off on his readers. He reminds me of all the reasons I got into this music mess in the first place. I didn't sit in my bedroom learning how to play Against Me! songs so I can get a good "score" or make it onto year-end lists. I started doing this because I needed to. Because if I didn't release the valve in some way I would've imploded. Music is about affecting people and connecting and sharing and feeling a little less alone. Scores are for jocks. 

It's refreshing to see someone who can sustain the lifestyle that means so much more to me than any typical adult milestone ever will. When I was fired from Best Coast, I was almost relieved and thought I wanted to go back to school. I thought I was content to make a regular, adult life. I was going to get a degree and a career and buy a house. I quickly learned music isn't simply my hobby. I need music and community and to keep creating and growing or I'll be dead.

Since this infatuation began on Valentine's Day, a few excerpts have really hit me hard, and I wanted to share.

"We must write the story of our own life and play the soundtrack to it too! Our culture will die, nay, it is already on its deathbed, because we do not invest our own life in it! We do not include ourselves in the history! We do not take responsibility to make it into something we can truly call our own! Stand up and make your heroes proud! I need a rallying cry! A flag to unite us in our desparate struggle to stay true and stay together! Give me a slogan!"

I am so fortunate to have so many proactive, engaged friends. They do way more than I care to do in order to curate safe environments and spaces for cool shit to happen. It's refreshing to feel like a part of something, even if sometimes my only contribution is letting touring bands crash at my house.

"For my part, I made life-sized posters for the kitchen. Individuals whose writing, art, or music had been inspirational. More than that, they were people who knew how to look both brilliant and dangerous when posing for a photo. I put them up as reminders. What point was there in living if you didn't at least try to be as cool as your heroes?"

I love this. I feel like so many of my peers are hesitant to admit to idolizing others. People want to seem as authentically cool as possible. This excerpt feels, to me, like a glimpse behind the wizard's curtain. Yes, we all have idols. Yes, we try to be cool. I still aspire to be as cool as everyone I ever admired. Thank God someone said it. And that someone was Aaron Cometbus, and I definitely aspire to be half as cool as he is.

And on that note...

"He had tracked me down, asking everyone if they had seen the shy American fanzine editor. Finally one couple said they had. Evidently I passed by the licorice shop where they worked - not once, but over and over, everyday in my endless trudge through old town. My ears rang, I was so happy. To be seen by strangers, noticed by people without even knowing it, looked for and remembered. Suddenly, I felt much less alone. It's good to remember that now. How just passing by, we touch lives that we don't even know, and become part of stories told by people we don't even know exist."

This. God damnit this is perfect.
When I was in high school, Saves the Day were characters in my everyday life as much as my parents and best friends, and they don't even know me. I hope some day to have that effect on someone else. That they connect so completely to something I make, that I become part of their narrative without ever meeting them. And then maybe one day they will start a band for the same reasons I did, and one day I'll go see one of their shows as a fan, and the cycle will just perpetuate.

You guys, fandom is so cool.

- Ali

Friday, 21 February 2014

upset's east coast weekend

Long time no blog! Been a bit busy over here with music stuff which is AWESOME. 
Last time I checked in with you guys I shared my insane packing methods (remember the outfit doodles?)
Well, I wrangled up some live shots of Upset from the Don Giovanni showcase, and the shows with Potty Mouth at Bard College and Kung Fu Necktie in Philadelphia. Perhaps you'll recognize some of the outfits..


Thursday, 20 February 2014

farewell vivian girls: los angeles

As many of you who might be reading this, my old band Vivian Girls decided to officially call it a day. February 14th, 2014 was our first of three farewell shows. We had an INCREDIBLE night, which lead me to think that I should always be playing shows on Valentine's Day. So much love in the air and so much potential for cute outfits! I wore..

// Bodysuit: Lazy Oaf // Skirt and Belt: River Island //
// Sweater: Forever 21 // Shoes: ASOS //

More photos like these at tweensensation.org
Can't wait to see you guys at the shows in NY!

More photos after the jump.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

packing process

Lately I've taken to making detailed lists of all of the clothing I have packed when I'm headed on a trip. Then I brainstorm outfits and draw pictures of my ideas. Tonight I'm flying with my band, Upset, to NYC. We're playing the Don Giovanni Records showcase, and two shows with Potty Mouth (one at Bard College and one at Kung Fu necktie in Philadelphia.) It's a little embarassing, but here are my sketches and lists..

First, I tried to find the colors that match my clothes.

Next, I made an itemized list of every last thing in my suitcase except toiletries (that's an entire other list that I've mostly memorized by now.)

Last, I draw up some outfit ideas! (This is the fun part.)

I like comfort when I fly, but I refuse to look sloppy in public. No pajama pants for this girl.

Oh, I also decide what color lipstick to wear. God, I'm the worst.

Ah, right. I still don't have an idea for this sweater.

Any of you guys coming to these shows? I'd really love it if you did!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

video killed the radio star: paramore - ain't it fun

Paramore's new music video for Ain't It Fun premiered this week. I LOVE Paramore. Their music is so energetic and positive and their aesthetic is super fun. Even though she's younger than me, Hayley makes me feel the way 
Gwen Stefani did when I was 10; empowered, inspired, and maybe just a little bit googly-eyed 
(wink wink, it'll make sense once you watch the video). As expected, Hayley brings it on the fashion front. 
I put together some looks inspired by her various looks in the video.

Look 1

paramore look 1

Um, can we also talk about how fucking fit Hayley looks now? She could prob kick my ass.

Look 2
paramore look 2

Look 3
paramore look 3