Friday, May 15, 2015

After The Rain

Last night we had about 10 minutes of a steady, thick, downpour of rain.  We even had some flashes of lightening and loud cracks of rolling thunder.  Southern California is in such a dire drought right now, it's pretty unnerving.  So last night's shower was a little blessing for us.  Whenever it rains here, it's as if we get a new slate.  The sky is cleansed, and the air smells sweet and fresh.  The hills change from dry brown to lush green.  The plants and animals are happy.  I walked outside today and smelled wet earth for the first time in a while.  Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, I always loved this smell, but of course took it for granted at the time.  Smelling dampened soil today took me back to playing in the woods in PA, to camping trips in the Summer, to sitting under the stars around a campfire with my family.  I think I prefer the smell of the earth and woods more than any flower, more than any ocean.  LA gets a bad rap for 'not having seasons', but today we have Spring.

What smells do you love?  Bring back memories?  Remind you of home?


Sunday, April 12, 2015


I've had lots of people ask me what kind of loop machine I use to loop my voice when I perform live.  Over the years, I've tried a couple different ones, but this one is my favorite, by far!
Electro Harmonix 45000

It's super easy to use, versatile, clear sounding, and you can even record up to 99 loops if you don't want to forget a genius idea you came up with.  That happens to me never.  But it's nice to know it's there.

I made a demo for Electro Harmonix, showcasing how I use the pedal live.  I thought it'd be fun to perform a new song that I wrote with the amazing Dan Wilson, called "Waiting".  This isn't a music video!  It's just a home video of me showing what buttons I click and how I loop melodic lines.

And if I'm not convincing enough about how great this pedal is... check out this video by Reggie Watts that he made for EHX.

He's kind of a genius!

Anyway, for anyone interested, I hope this post is helpful for you in your musical endeavors!


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Exploring the Timeless Worlds of Hayao Miyazaki

I recently wrote an article for the very cool Hit City U.S.A. about why I love Hayao Miyazaki's films so much.  You can read the whole piece here.  For all Miyazaki super fans out there, I hope I did an ok job relaying the beauty of, and of course my personal fascination for his work.  And for all Miyazaki Virgins out there, I hope I was successful in perking your curiosity a little bit.

Last Sunday, I performed a mini live event set up by Hit City at the uber-hipster Ace Hotel in Downtown L.A.  Thank you to everyone who showed up and supported.  It was a beautiful evening!

Other than that, I've been very bad at keeping you up to date with all that's happening with me these days.  A lot of transitions slowly setting in motion, and projects I will probably announce very soon I hope!  Until then... I have the Spring Wave music festival to prepare for in Taiwan at the end of the week, so I better get some shuteye.  G'nite...

p. a.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Mission Blue

[photo by Octavio Aburto]

It's official.  I am no longer eating seafood anymore.  It's something I've been gradually leaning towards more and more over the past year, and after watching the beautiful documentary "Mission Blue", it was the final push I needed to send me over the edge.

Seafood is one of my favorite foods in the world!  I would try anything from the sea!  I pretty much loved everything new I tried!  I'm not joking in the slightest when I say that when I go snorkeling in the ocean and see all the colorful fish swimming around me, my mouth waters... under water.  Perhaps I was a seal in a past life!  After being vegan for a year (many years ago*) the first non-vegan food I bit into was a piece of fish... and it was divine.  It was always the food I craved the most.

But something was starting to feel not right in my soul about eating so much fish all the time.  Trust me, I was a big consumer and really eating too much of it!  I started to lose my joy in eating it, taking it for granted, bite after bite.  And the truth is, our oceans are so over fished... at this rate, wild-caught blue fin tuna will soon be wiped from the Earth!  Our magical coral reefs are literally dying and disappearing due to all the pollution we've been dumping into our water.  What runs into a river, will eventually meet the sea.  In many parts of the world, where the rivers meet the sea, "dead zones" have been created.  Meaning, absolutely nothing (fish nor plant) can live there, because the water is uninhabitable.  Those numbers are rising.  Also, after that most devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, the number of off-shore drilling in that area has now increased.  The aggressive and rapid way we as humans are consuming our natural resources (fish, animals, plants, trees, oil, clean water) is completely out of balance to the way Mother Nature intended for us to live.  I hate to say it, because it's a very dark truth, but we have become something of a "virus", attacking our "host" (Earth).  I just hope that we won't eventually devour it completely.  This is such an extraordinary planet, full of wonder, and full of millions of compassionate human beings who I know care about this planet we all live on and share together.  I know it all can seem so daunting at times.  Sometimes I think, 'What difference will it make?'  If we all just do our part a little, and remember to stop every now and then and think of what we can do to make where we live a better place for our next generations, we may just be able to slowly turn things around.... little by little.  It simply starts with you and I.

I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do, or how to eat.  I'm just announcing that what this documentary makes us aware of, is a step in the right direction.  Sylvia Earl's mission is to create "Hope Spots"; protected areas of our ocean that can have the time and space to heal itself and one day, flourish again.

Here's to HOPE.

p. a.

P.S.  Here are some ways we can help!  


*I was vegan for one year when I was 20 years old.  I mostly lived off of candy and rice milk.  Needless to say, I was a terrible vegan!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Juice Cleanse

Photo from

At the end of the year, Mike turned to me and said, "Let's do a juice cleanse".  My eyes widened in surprise, half out of shock that he wanted to do it, and half out of fear!  I warily said Ok.  One of my favorite juice shops in L.A. is Moon Juice.  Their stuff is Medical Grade (!!!), Cold Pressed, Certified Organic, and always really delicious.  Every time I drink one of their juices my body thanks me and I feel alive inside.  So there's definitely something to it.  I didn't trust our own knowledge or dedication to making our own juices every day enough, so we opted for one of the Moon Juice cleanses.   I signed up for a 3 day, and Mike a 5 day.  We chose the Indigo Cleanse, which fell in between the hardcore Green Cleanse, and the less intense Rainbow Cleanse, which contains more fruits.

The first day was tough!  We had to pound 8 juices in one day.  11pm would roll around and we still had one more juice to drink!  I'm bad and I don't drink enough liquids throughout the day as it is, so this was a real challenge for me.  I was sluggish all day.  My eyes felt cloudy.  I was hangry.  The last juice of the day was a nut milk made from Pumpkin Seeds, alkaline, mineralized and oxygenated water, wildflower honey, and pink salt.  Somehow it felt like I was eating food while drinking this.  It was so satisfying and nurturing at the end of a long day.  Afterwards, I swiftly fell into a deep, amazing sleep.  When I woke up, the first thing I noticed was that it was earlier than usual for my waking time, and I felt amazing.  Not drowsy or sleep deprived at all.  The second thing I noticed was that I wasn't that hungry, after not having "food" all day.

The 2nd and 3rd day of the cleanse were the complete opposite of my 1st day.  I felt so light!  In high spirits.  Like I could take on anything.  But not with a manic energy that I sometimes have when I'm trying to tackle a project.  Instead, I felt very calm.  I went about cleaning our house in a very peaceful, concentrated way.  I really paid attention to my body.  When it needed to rest, I sat down and took a breather.  On the 3rd day, the world around me just started to glow and shimmer!  I'm serious!  I felt so present and in touch with myself and my surroundings, in a way I haven't felt since I was a child.... or when I first moved to L.A. and everything was new and exciting.  My skin even looked brighter and glowing in a way I'd never seen it before.  I felt so great, that I added on two more days to the cleanse.  Of course there were moments when I longed to bite into something.  But I never felt 'starved', because all day long I was pumping my body full of amazing nutrients from the juices.

The first day off the cleanse, we started the day off with some aloe water, and then a delicious vitamin and enzyme packed smoothie (a slightly more solid kind of juice, really), and it was divine!!!  We could now taste every ingredient in this smoothie that we used to slurp up and take for granted on a daily basis.  When we bit into our first Kale & White Bean Soup.... tears came to my eyes.  I was able to appreciate my food and where it came from on a whole other level.  We ate slowly (instead of gobbling it down like we usually do).  We took breaks between spoonfuls (instead of chatting on the phone while eating, or scrolling through Instagram feeds).  We ate mindfully together.  After the soup, we took a nap.  Our bodies were actually digesting solid food for the first time in 5 days.  All day we felt buoyant.  As I'm writing this, today is Day 2 of coming off the cleanse.  We're definitely feeling closer to earth today.  Part of me misses the "high" that we had on the cleanse, and the lightness I felt coming off the cleanse... and yet, I'm happy knowing that I carry the experience and the knowledge I learned from it with me always.  While cleansing, we've even incorporated tongue scraping to help us along the detox -- something I never thought I'd do!  Here is a great blog post on natural, oral hygiene that I found inspiring.  And should we ever need to reset, doing another juice cleanse for 5 days, 3 days, or even 1 day, is always there.  And the best part is that now I know I can do it!

Here's to eating more mindfully in 2015!


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 Resolutions

- eat less fish 
- drink less alcohol 
- micro-manage less
- study more Korean and Japanese
- meditate every day for at least 10 minutes
- learn how to cook more things
- give 

This year I've decided to do less drinking and partying, and instead do more reflecting and cleansing to prepare for the New Year.  This has been one of the most exciting years of my life, personally, and in my career.  I have a lot to be thankful for.  I hope I can give back to everyone as much as they've given to me.  I'm taking "off" the first 3 days of 2015 to really reflect and envision what I would like to accomplish in the New Year.  This also includes cleaning out my home.  Usually people get this done before the end of the year so they can start the new year with a clean slate.  But I was in my hometown eating my Mom's Korean food and playing with kittens until this I'll have to start tomorrow!  

The exciting and also, at times, nerve wracking part of being a full-time singer-songwriter, is never knowing what's around the bend.  Where will my next job come from? WHEN will it come? Will it be successful?  All things I've learned not to worry too much about in the end.  And I know I've said before, but I'll say it again; I'm always surprised when people tell me to never stop doing what I'm doing.  And this year, thanks to many of you, enough people have told me to keep going.  So go on I shall!  The best I can!!  I'm excited what will come in 2015!  What experiences and songs will be created!   So here's to a beautiful, clean, and unknown  

I'm wishing you all a beautiful, refreshing, and healthy New Year full of possibilities, wherever you are in the world and in your life.  

Peace + Joy + Love


Saturday, December 27, 2014

PJ's All Day

This has been me ever since December 17th, when I arrived to my parents' house.  Maybe substitute the HOT COCOA for KOREAN FOOD.

Isn't this Desktop wallpaper so cute??  It's from Design Love Fest.  The wallpaper designs on her blog have been my laptop wallpapers for a while now.

Also, have any of you heard of Oyster?  The new "Netflix" of digital books?  I was wondering what you think of this idea?  At first I really liked it, but then I immediately worried for bookshops....again.  I know Barnes & Noble is the corporatest of the corporate as far as buying books goes... but at least they're still selling actual, 3-dimensional books.  Even at the airport, I'll wander around a Hudson Books, knowing they're all the same.  But still, there's something friendly and familiar about them.  Then again, my backpack load has lightened A LOT ever since I put some good reads onto my iPad.  But reading an iBook, or an eBook, still somehow feels like I'm just reading the internet....again.  And lying in bed, when I fall asleep, a cold, heavy, metallic iPad slams into my face.  I still favor books over eReads, making lists on scraps of paper and pen over using Notes on my phone, actual cards over eCards (even though I totally sent eCards this year because I didn't have enough time!).  So there you have it.  I'm caught somewhere in between nostalgia + tangibility and convenience.

And how about the good old fashioned Public Library?  I've started venturing that way more lately.  For all those books I'm curious to read, but don't want to commit to buying, or adding to my ever-growing stack of books-collecting-dust pile.  The Library is free, remember?  I recall walking to the Public Library as a kid, sitting in the corner with a pile of books I'd devour right then and there, and the countless others I took home with me.  Joke books, Amelia Bedelia, Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein...  I brought home "The Hunger Games" from the library a little while ago.  The germaphobe in me -- which has grown exponentially since becoming an adult and traveling on planes, trains, and rented automobiles -- didn't feel too comfortable bringing this borrowed book, which has been who knows where, into bed with me.  So I got 'old school' on it, and made a book cover out of a Whole Foods brown paper bag (recycling!) and slapped one of those on there.  Voilà!  And now that I'm a new HUGE fan of Frankie Magazine, each edition comes with an adorable calendar with a super cute design that is perfect to use as a book cover!

Anyway, there's my rant on books, eBooks, Public Libraries, germs, and recycling.

I hope you all are finding some rest and love with loved ones, or within yourself.

p. a.