Snapshot: Amalfi Coast, Italy

Lusting after these gorgeous photos of the Amalfi Coast by Lark & Linen.

Amalfi 1

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June 26, 2013 · 8:35 am

For the Dreamers

“Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”

–  Oscar Wilde,  The Critic As Artist

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Bagan, Burma/Myanmar

Bagan, Burma/Myanmar

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June 20, 2013 · 4:58 pm

Track 45: High Society by Betty Who

I am completely obsessed with Aussie Betty Who’s independently released debut EP.  It’s sublimely catchy with flawlessly structured hooks,  drawing on nuwave and 80’s sythpop ala Whitney Houston, Madonna and Cyndi Lauper.  Born Jessica Anne Newman and raised in Sydney, she came to the US in her teens to study music at Interlochan Center for the Arts, one of the country’s most prestigious arts academies located in Michigan.  She later went on to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston where she met her producer Peter Thomas, a fellow student.

She released her first single “Somebody Loves You” on youtube last fall with a Flashdance inspired video and has progressively accumulated buzz in the blogosphere ever since.  I stumbled upon “High Society” a few weeks ago and have been addicted ever since.  Moreover, just today I came across this awesome remix by Seattle based production duo The Soundmen, whose heavy basslines and hip hop beats perfectly complement the original.  Although she and Thomas have been approached by major labels, they’ve decided to try and stay unsigned as long as possible to allow them more creative freedom.  Needless to say, whatever they do in the future will continue to rock, with or without a label, though I have a feeling she is bound to be an epic success eventually.

Her EP The Movement is currently available here for free download.


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Filed under Audible, Track of the Day

Libations: Wine Folley

As an aspiring wine enthusiast, I’ve loved working through Wine Folly‘s visually engaging and easy to understand wine guides.  From, hilarious wine selection flow charts to genuinely helpful and straightforward pairing charts and breakdowns of grape varietals, Wine Folly has been an exceptional resource for both learning  about the basics and challenging yourself to learn more about new wines.

In this video, wine geek (and qualified sommelier) Madeline Puckette breaks down the process of wine tasting and how to begin getting more out of the experience.

Of course in her trademark comically ambivalent tone.  That is ultimately the best thing about Wine Folly… it takes the pretention out of wine and makes it accessible to all.  I mean, seriously, for all.

Be sure to check out the resto of her material and I’ll periodically feature standout Wine Folly articles in the future.

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Filed under Edible

Lay Lady Lay by Bob Dylan

I recently came across this cover of Bob Dylan’s classic “Lay Lady Lay” and it inspired me to go back to the original.  I’ve had a hard time with Dylan since I saw him play about 8 years ago and was incredibly disappointed.  He was clearly drunk or high on something, performed terribly (was barely audible) and didn’t even get through half a set.  That said, he was undeniably an extraordinary talent and one of the most influential artists ever of his generation and genre.  This cover by Magnet (the pseudanym of Norwegian Even Johansen) in collaboration with Gemma Hayes of Ireland really highlights the commutability of Dylan’s work.

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Filed under Audible, Track of the Day

Cambodia Reflections: When it Rains, It Pours

Far from a simple adage when speaking of monsoon season in Cambodia.  We had a few scattered showers over May, but this past week the rain has increased 10 fold, culminating in the last 3 days which we’ve had multiple torrential downpours every day.  And by “torrential” I mean enough to drench your entire body in 30 seconds and to flood the streets in 5 minutes.  Attempting to get anything done is a feat of will on these days when you have no idea if the moment you step out of your house the skies will open up and swallow you whole.

Unfortunately, Phnom Penh suffers from poor urban planning and consequently the advent of rainy season here inevitably entails coming to terms with the deluge of street floods.  I quite enjoy a downpour here and there, especially when you still get sunny mornings as we usually do.  However, having to wade through dirty (probably slightly toxic) flood water for 5 blocks in the rain just to find a tuk tuk last night was less than ideal.  Though I suppose this all adds to the bizarre, inexplicable charm of this darling city of mine.  Learning to cope with the extreme weather fluctuations becomes a game of timing…. testing how long you have to make it to the nearest cafe or bar as the storm clouds roll in so that you can weather the storm with a glass of wine in hand.  So…

“Hello Monsoon Season!  Lets make this the best one yet!  

Happy Hour at 5?”

Storm Clouds PP

Storm Clouds Rolling in over Phnom Penh, source here.

By Michael Freeman

By Michael Freeman

Motos in Rain

By Daniel Patterson

By Shawna Huang

By Shawna Huang

I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.

I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can’t do a handstand–
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said–
I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.

– Shel Silverstein (1930-1999)

By Ralph Combs

By Ralph Combs

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Filed under Cambodia Expat Life, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Track 44: Crazy in Love by Emeli Sande & The Bryan Ferry Orchestra

Yep, I’m jumping on the Great Gatsby hype like everyone else.  I haven’t seen the movie yet (who the hell knows when it will make it out to Cambodia), but considering its the product of Baz Luhrmann’s trademark technicolor surrealism, I have a feeling it will either be brilliant or a catastrophic shit show.  This hilarious hypothetical book report by a teenager who only saw the movie may ironically prove to be quite realistic.

“The main thing you need to understand about life in the “roaring 1920s” is that it mainly consisted of a bunch of people standing in a fountain while a drunk guy played the pipe organ and servants dumped garbage all over the place and everyone is just screaming and screaming. The 1920s people loved it.”

On the other hand, I’ve already gotten my hands on the soundtrack, produced by Jay-Z… and frankly, I think its fantastic.  He managed to put together an eclectic mix of artists and the full album is simultaneously very contemporary, yet manages to weave in a perfect balace of flapper era big band and jazz in every track.  This cover of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”, by British ingenue Emeli Sande, is a perfect example.

Happy Friday!

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Filed under Audible, Track of the Day

Dreaming of: Yelapa, Mexico

Yelapa, Mexico

Yelapa, Mexico

Loving these gorgeous photos of Yelapa, Mexico by talented, Mexico-based photographer, Jillian Mitchell.  These are from a wedding she photographed last fall and I’ve been obsessed since stumbling upon them.  Yelapa is a tiny, remote fishing village just 20 miles south of Puerto Vallarta.  Located in a small, mountainous inlet, the village has no roads, no cars and is most easily accessed by a 45 minute boat ride.  Though it may not have the best beaches in Mexico, the mountains cascading down to the water front make for a beautiful view and much of the charm comes from its remoteness.  This is likely what initially drew the likes of Bob Dylan and Dennis Hopper to its rocky shores and secluded villas.  The wedding took place at Verana, a gorgeous boutique hotel perched up in the hills overlooking the sea.

If you enjoy the photography, be sure to check out Jillian’s tumblr as well.

Yelapa 1

Yelapa 3

Yelapa 5

Yelapa 6

Yelapa 2

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Filed under Dream Travels

Track 43: ’93 to Infinity by Souls of Mischief

I’m back!!!  Of course this blog will likely grow and evolve over time, I’ve got some new plans and a slightly new direction I want to take life : sanguine.  These tracks may not be every single day now, but I still plan to feature music heavily on here, including 8track and itunes playlists, so stay tuned.  Onward and upward!

It may come as a surprise, but this was seriously my jam in high school.  Not that I was in high school back in ’93, not even close.  But I was/am really into classic, old skool (yes, I just spelled that with a ‘k’… don’t even front) hip hop and this has to be one of my favorite tracks of all time.  The rhymes are just so damn smooth and the beat is practically hypnotic.  It reminds me of driving out to the [Teton] Village for a day of skiing; summer camping parties and getting stoned in my “boyfriend”‘s minivan.  Life was good for a high schooler in J-Hole.

Souls of Mischief, of Oakland’s infamous Hieroglyphics Crew, first came together in 1991 with ’93 to Infinity being their first collaborative product.  This is obviously the tittle track of this debut album which remains their most successful to date.   Although each member pursued other group and solo projects, they still came together periodically throughout the 90’s to produce albums.  After a 9 year hiatus, they came back in 2009 with Montezuma’s Revenge which was equal parts contemporary underground hip hop and an ode to their old school West coast hip hop heritage.  Plus, they will forever be endeared to my heart after namedropping my hometown in their last single, “Tour Stories”.  See if you can catch it below!

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June 12, 2013 · 2:10 pm

Update 5/30/13

Hello everyone,

Apologies for the unexpected hiatus.  A combination of travel, stomach flu and technological incompetence has kept me briefly away.

But I will return, with a new design and layout as you can see.   I am currently working out conceptually where I want to take this blog and how I will organize and plan for my posts.  Bear with me, I’ll be back soon, at least with some new tracks.

Peace and light,

life : sanguine

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May 30, 2013 · 10:37 am