How Big Is Your Brave

How Sara Bareilles helped me become fierce and fearless 

Written October 2013

Last month my friend and I saw Sara Bareilles at the Greek. I have been a huge fan since I saw Sara play at a college music festival in 2009. We all know her #1 hit “Love Song,” but this woman is so much more than that catchy albeit empowering pop song. She is at home on stage in more ways than one. Firstly, her voice is completely powerful, and live it’s a religious experience… until she drops her first F-bomb then a dozen subsequent ones. That leads me to my second point: she connects to her audience. Someone yells out “I love you, Sara,” and she’ll call it out right back. The stage is her couch, and the venue is her living room; everyone feels at home as she tells you about the experiences that informed the song she is about to play.

Before she played “Manhattan” on that September night, she discussed her decision to leave Los Angeles—her home of fourteen years—to make the cross-country move to New York City: a need for change, a bittersweet good-bye, and the knowledge that this chapter of her life was coming to an end. She hints at a break-up, perhaps because she was back at the scene of the crime. The lyrics were chillingly beautiful. Written from the perspective of her ex, the one who’s left behind, you get a sense of the pain felt from both parties.

At the show at the Greek, she dropped the veil of detachment that she sometimes puts up while discussing her journey in making the new album. Perhaps it had to do with coming back to L.A. after moving. Perhaps it had to do with playing the iconic stage. Regardless, she showed raw emotion that struck a chord with me.

It was during this song that my eyes started to well up with tears. It was during this song when I had a moment of clarity accepting that all the tension I had felt in the months prior was for naught. After a stressful day, I’ll drive home from work to my quiet apartment trying to breathe deeply and think about anything else. It finally occurred to me that what was missing from my day was the ease of surrounding family and a feeling of home.
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Everybody Say [Happy Birthday] Ms. Carter

On Beyoncé’s Birthday, 10 lessons from her live performances

beyonce

PHOTO: Time.com.

Today Beyoncé turns 34. We know from many stars before (i.e. Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston, Gwen Stefani) that if you work your pound cake hard enough, you’ll only get better with age. A year ago, I attended the On the Run tour when it made its final stop in San Francisco. I made a concerted effort to avoid any spoilers (as if the show was one of my favorite murder mystery shows… i.e. one with a villain named A), but I knew I was in for a treat.

Mr. and Mrs. Carter set up shop at the home of the Giants, AT&T Park. The energy was palpable walking in; we have watched countless Giants games, but no one had attended a concert there before. No one knew what to expect. The crowd was grabbing pre-show beers, scarfing down some kind of sustenance to soak in the alcohol, hurrying to their seats, chatting uncontrollably.

Then the lights dimmed. Everyone stopped talking. Everyone got on their feet. There were maybe two occasions when the crowd sat down, and it definitely wasn’t during “Forever Young” (Justin Timberlake who? Just kidding. I love JT, but Bey brought new swag to the song) when the entire stadium lit up with 50,000 cell phone lights.

Nothing else mattered while we were gathered together for Jay and Bey. Their technically perfect performance left us wanting nothing more than to savor those two and a half hours. We left changed. But what does that mean really? Let me tell you. In honor of the Queen Bey’s birthday, here are 10 lessons I realized from her live performances, both at On The Run and at that insane spectacular at the MTV Video Music Awards.

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Guide to Coachella Prep

List of essentials and top tips for Coachella newbies (and experts who want to brush-up)

PHOTO: Courtney Mitchell.

PHOTO: Courtney Mitchell.

In just a couple weeks I will head to Indio with thousands of the wristband-clad from all walks of life for my second Coachella experience. I’m lucky I had uber veteran Colleen by my side to show me the ropes last year, but if this is your first time as well don’t fret… Something Catchy has your back. I chatted with my girlfriends who’ve frolicked Coachella Valley more than a few times and gathered top tips (including ways to save money) and an essentials packing list to help you plan your weekend more efficiently. If you’re camping, we have a special must-read section just for you. With our Coachella prep guide, there won’t be nobody dope as you… You’ll be just as fresh as the veterans dancing without a care in the Sahara Tent.

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