Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The 38th Annual Rogue Valley Street Rod and Custom Car Show

This Sunday Dave and I attended the 38th Annual Rogue Valley Street Rod and Custom Car Show.  This was our first time attending a car show in southern Oregon since moving to Medford this last September.  The cars were beautiful and obviously loved by their owners.  Most were modern customs with a few classics thrown into the mix.  It took place inside a building located at the Jackson County Fairgrounds.

This custom 1936 Auburn Boattail Speedster was by far Dave's favorite from the show.  Many actors from the 1930's owned this car including Marlene Dietrich, Mary Astor, Clark Gable and Errol Flynn just to name a few.

I loved the lighting affect on this one.

I dressed down as it is still cold here in Southern Oregon.....well at least to the sunny California weather we are used to.  I wore my new to me 1940's Mexican tourist jacket (which I recently purchased on eBay for a steal of a price) paired up with a vintage tooled leather purse I recently thrifted for a whole $3.

This Packard was Dave's other favorite. It's definitely a dream of his to own and restore one of his own someday.

Dave gets sentimental when ever he sees a car like one he has owned in the past, like this Chevy. It's pretty darn cute.

As always, I love to capture the beautiful details as I spot them.

This 1962 VW bus was beautifully displayed with a matching ride for the kiddies as well as a remote control version of the same bus all matching in color and detail.

Cute right?

The owner was nice enough to let my niece jump in the kiddie ride.  I think she would have had more fun it if was actually moving.

Here I am in front of a 1964 Mustang that is very similar to one that I used to ride along in with my friend Michelle, when we were in high school, who was lucky enough to own one.  Sadly she sold it a few years after we graduated.

Here is a better photo of it with no bystanders.

We came across a Thunderbird parked outside of the display building.  This is the same year, make and model of a Thunderbird miniature car which was found at my grandfather's house and was gifted to Dave from my Mom a few years back.

We also stumbled across this car and trailer set before leaving.  It's definitely a dream of mine to own a set similar to this one day.  Sorry for the poor lighting.

All in all we had a great time and we are looking forward to attending several more car shows this coming Spring and Summer in Southern Oregon. We have at least six to look forward to and are discussing attending the some car shows in Reno and Sacramento as well. 

Till' Next Time,


Friday, February 13, 2015

Living Surf Guitar Guru: Jason Lee

I have always had a love of surf rock music; as long as I can remember at least.  The person responsible for giving me my very first introduction to this music genre would have to be my Uncle Mark.  I have a few memories of visiting him and my aunt when they were living in Huntington Beach, California in the early 1980's.  My memories are a bit hazy, as I was very young, and the memories are melded into two scenarios of how I came to know and love this style of instrumental guitar styling.  The first is hearing this music being played in the background (most likely on a cassette tape player), and the second is memory is of my Uncle showing my Dad a video of various surfers ridding waves with this music as a soundtrack backing.

Then there is my Disneyland experience.  Believe it or not Dick Dale, the king of the surf guitar, actually provided a track to be played in perfect symmetry with the dips, swoops and turns that make up the Space Mountain attraction at Disneyland. This sci-fi/surf rock version of "Le Carnival Des Animaux: Aquarium", written by Camille Saint-Saenes ran in the ride from 1996 to 2003.  I bring along my MP3 player and headphones and play the original track when I ride Space Mountain to this day.  I'm definitely not a fan of the "Incredibles" theme which now currently plays on the ride.

This leads me into my interview with someone I consider to be one of the greatest modern day surf guitarists alive.  Jason Lee!!  

(Photo by Tom Stratton)

I'm so lucky to have had several opportunities to see him preform live with his band Jason Lee and the R.I.P  as well as his other band The Black Tides while I was living in San Diego.  His musical talents are also paired up with an always very pleasant, friendly, and very easy going demeanor.  He has in the past offered classes on how to play surf rock which were an offered symposium at Tiki Oasis as well as created various tutorials online for fellow guitar enthusiasts (check one of his videos here). He also currently provides backing music to various television shows that air on A&E, Spike and the Discovery Channel. It's no wonder he has become such a staple and local celebrity to the Tiki subculture.  

Suz - When did you first start playing the guitar?

Jason - I must've been around seven years or so, and then really started taking it seriously when one uncle in specific was teaching me bi-weekly lessons and I never stopped after that.

Suz - Could you share your first encounter or first time ever hearing surf guitar music? 

Jason - That would be hints of solo's from The Beach Boys records being played....My mind lit up as a child when I heard a heavy reverb guitar lead.  I thought....."Man that is something different" 

Suz - When did you decide that you wanted to play this genre? 

Jason - Contrary to what fans might think..... I didn't play Surf music when I was young....I wrote it, but didn't perform it.  I played in numerous bands that were amazing to play with.  But, when I got home I was always writing Surf music and that kind of took over.  It wasn't until I recorded my first all surf EP that I completely switched over.

Suz - Who were your idols or icons that you looked to for inspiration when you first started playing and or still do currently?

Jason - Early on, flat out - Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits.  I had a VHS I taped of them off of KPBS when they played Brothers in Arms and at eleven years old I understood everything he was about.  I would go to school the next day and obviously no kid knew who I was talking about.  You can hear his style come out of me sometimes.....he's the reason I hold back on how many notes I play in a measure on songs.  Most surf guitarists can't wait to fit as many notes as possible, like an antsy thirteen year old on his first date. 

Suz - Do you have any favorite live shows or events you have played in the past and any future shows you are looking forward to?

Jason - We owe a lot to Tiki Oasis so there are many fond memories over the years, but opening for Davie Allen, special guesting with so many other acts and teaching my Symposium each year has been such a ride already.  I think all of it is just great.  We have a lot on our plate right now so we shall see where life takes us.

Suz - Do you have a favorite song that you perform and what makes it your favorite?

Jason - I love the song "Snake Eyes" that we play live.  It has such a fast energy and I get to solo in the live version.  The ending hits you like a ton of bricks if you see us live.

Suz - Let's talk about your trademark look.  How did your amazing trademark hairstyle come about? I must state too that you have an impressive collection of vintage western men's shirts! When did you being your collection?

Jason - My hair is thick and dry.  And it grows UP.  Its always been that way.  So in my late teens I just started adding product.  I have a fascination with second generation western show wear.  Colors that are way to bright and too many patterns to count are interesting to me.  I have a huge collection so they tend to make their way into all of my YouTube videos.  As the videos blew up in the early days of YouTube the shirts just kind of became synonymous with me.  A happy curse maybe?...

Suz - If you could come up with a beginners list for equipment needed to start jamming some surf tunes what would you suggest they acquire to do so? 

Jason - Any basic clean tube amp with a separate reverb unit will do the trick.  A Jazzmaster, Jaguar or Strat will do just fine for guitar.  Work on your right hand speed and don't over think what you are doing.  Start slow.

Suz - Having Dinoysus Records distribute and release your music this last April on LP and digital I know was a huge milestone; not to mention having a ceramic mug made in your honor to your likeness!  What are some other goals or hope you have for your music and the band?

Jason - I can honestly say the band is a well oiled machine right now.  Dionysus records has been great to us.  Lee pushes very hard for his artists.  We can't believe how many records sold last year worldwide and we can't thank the fans enough.  As far as the future, we basically wanna keep pushing the surf music genre to be bigger.  I feel that I am one of the ones that push the hardest to get bands respect in our sub-culture.  I want bands and players to work hard and make this a viable market.  We have a new album in the works on Dionysus with an added direction, and our side group,  The Black Ties, will always have an influence on the upcoming records.  We look forward to what the future brings us and remember, it's our fans that dictate our musical direction.  We listen every time someone speaks.  So speak up if you like something.  It will more than likely make the record.

If you would like to know more about Jason Lee and his band Jason Lee and the R.I.P. Tides please be sure to check out his website here.  If you live in San Diego, or nearby, don't miss out on their next show on February 20th at 9pm at the Cat Eye Club located in the Gaslamp District of downtown San Diego, California.

Till' Next Time,


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Cherry Dollface: Vintage Vlogger Extraordinaire

I had a late start in learning how to do my make up and hair and am still working on perfecting my art.  Starting in junior high, I would ask friends and family for help in showing me how to do vintage and classic styles and to no avail I wouldn't get the look I had hoped for.  My mom was no help to me in this department as she, and many others like her in her generation, was raised on a beauty regimen of little to no make up and straight or "natural" looking hairstyles. This of course was not my mother's fault but rather the social climate of her time.

Luckily for me, something huge was developed in my lifetime.  The Internet! Along came many social sites set up for easy access to communication all at your fingertips. Granted the road to the Internet started as a slow process.  Remember how long it could take to be connected via an analog or telephone connection.  I can still remember how excited we would get when the computer finally connected and made that ever recognizable connected noise.  And don't even get me started on how long websites used to take to load pictures!

YouTube has become one of my favorite mediums to have come out of the development of the Internet.  There has been a surge of "vloggers" in the last eight years that have used YouTube to their advantage even making some people household names or national celebrities.  My favorite videos to watch however are online are tutorials.  There are so many available now on YouTube that it's almost impossible not to find something you are looking for to help.  This is where Cherry Dollface, as she is known to her YouTube viewers, comes into play for me.

I was ready to finally put my hot curler set to use (which I think was given to me in junior high, used once, and disregarded as I didn't know how to use them correctly).  This is when I came across Cherry's video tutorials on YouTube which offered an easy take on how to achieve the vintage and classic look I had yearned for all those years previously.  She also offers other videos on not just beauty advice, but recipes, DIY projects, self-esteem awareness, and mini videos on her traveling adventures and a glimpse into her family life. She also wears many other hats as a model, designer and spokesperson for Bomber Betty Custom Cosmetics, (check out her lipstick/lip gloss line here) and hosts many classes worldwide to help other gals learn her trademark beauty secrets to achieve the vintage/classic look. I had the honor of having Cherry style mine and my bridesmaid's hair and it certainly added to the magic that was my wedding day.  With all that said, I thought that it would be interesting to learn more about her so here is my interview with Cherry.

Suz - When did your love for vintage all begin?

Cherry - I learned how to swing dance when I was 14 and I went from being a card carrying punk rocker, to being a swing dancer. It wasn't really practical to wear bondage belts and doc martins when I was dancing, so I started researching vintage styles. It was all over from there!

Suz - Can you recall what may have been your early inspiration to achieve the vintage/classic look?

Cherry - I always loved Marilyn Monroe growing up (what little girl didn't?) and I always kind of wanted to be that sexpot-- but I am just a super goofy gal. So I tried to find my own style using the sexpot looks but the goofy personality.

Suz - Do you remember what your first hairstyle or "go to" look was when you started experimenting with the vintage style?

Cherry - A pompadour! I used to just wear a pomp with my hair down and curly. Or a bandanna.

Suz - When did you begin your modeling career and do you have any advice for beginners?

Cherry - It began on accident when I was at the Viva Las Vegas car show in 2005 and a photographer snapped a photo of me sitting in my truck. Had no idea he was even taking it! And then a few months later Ol' Skool Rodz emailed me and wanted to put it on their cover. It just kind of happened organically from there. My best advice is not to sacrifice your integrity. Especially if you are looking to be a pinup model-- there is no real long term career in such an underground style. There is no need to be cut throat or to sacrifice your morals for a fun hobby!

Suz - When did you decide to begin a YouTube channel?

Cherry - In 2012 a friend suggested I start a channel and I had no idea what I would even put up! But I always had girls asking me how I had styled my hair and makeup when I was modeling, so I just thought tutorials might be the most useful.

Suz - When did you decide to take the show on the road, so to speak, and begin live classes?

Cherry - In 2013 I did a local class in the summer with my friend Nikki and it was a super big success. At the end of that year I was asked to go to Australia with a company called Catfight Collections that sponsored my trip and classes. After that I just started putting the feelers out to see which cities would have me and it took off from there!

Suz - What has been your favorite places to travel to on your class tours so far?  Any places or destinations you are looking forward to going to in the future?

Cherry - Australia so far was my favorite just because it was so different and beautiful. And Australians are SO nice!! I also loved Portland (my home town), Chicago (which is where Bomber Betty is), and the New England Shakeup in Mass. was super fun! I am going back to that again this fall. I am actually doing the UK in June and I am insanely excited for that. The history nerd in me freaks out daily.

Suz - What has been the most beneficial thing to have come out of having your YouTube channel? If you had to put it into one sentence what would your overall message to your viewers be?

Cherry - Being able to reach girls and women all over the world. My main goal with all of this is to help girls be more positive, more accepting of themselves, and also kinder to each other. I want girls to know that it is isn't cool to be an asshole-- there are so many girls that do what I do that have a sort of elitist attitude and I am trying to reel that back. It is amazing that my channel has allowed me to travel and hug girls all over the world. It still blows my mind. In a sentence it would be "Don't be an asshole". Haha. And I mean that both to others and also to yourselves!

Suz - What are your goals for your channel and or career and what do you hope to see happen with it all in the next couple of years?

Cherry - I just hope that I keep getting to travel and meet all of the beautiful babes that follow me and hear their stories. If I can keep doing that, I will be a happy little clam.

If you would like to know more about Cherry please visit her website here. Watch and subscribe to her YouTube channel here.

All of the photos provided are property of Cherry Dollface and were used with permission.

Till' Next Time,