Letter to Patti

Dear Patti,

I just wanted to reach out to you about your memoir Just Kids, and let you know how much I loved it. We were assigned to read your book in my Music Writing class at Fort Lewis College through out the semester, and I’m so happy we did! To be honest, I was not extremely familiar with your band Sonic Youth, and didn’t even really know about you and Robert’s relationship before being assigned this book. I’m happy it was that way, because I was able to dive deep into your writing and see what was the story behind the music.

I found the words you used to describe Robert, and interactions with him to be so heartfelt, and genuine. It was like I could hear you telling me the story in person, and I haven’t even heard your voice before. One moment that stuck out to me the most towards the ending of your memoir, was the scene you describe of the last family photograph taken before Robert’s Death. “I held Jesse in my arms, and she reached out to him, smiling. ‘Patti,’ he said, pressing the shutter.’She’s perfect.’ That was our last photograph.” I’m a huge cheese ball for family, and that moment you spent with Robert and Fred seems like a memory you will never forget, and cherish for the rest of your life. I couldn’t imagine raising a child after your love has passed away, and I think your writing displays how mature and dedicated you are.

Seeing the hard times you have faced through out your life and seeing where you now is truly inspiring. From barely having money for food, a place to stay, and bouncing from job to job to being a bad ass punk band member, I think you prove a lot of stereotypes wrong. Just because people may struggle through out their lives, doesn’t mean that they don’t have potential, and it definitely doesn’t mean they can’t make it. I wish every 20 something person going through a hard time would read this. (Except for when you guys find the embryo in the glass jar in the abandoned small pox museum, that kind of grossed me out.) It would help a lot of the youth in todays culture to see another perspective to learn from, and look up too.

It is evident that pursuing art was something that kept you and Robert alive at times, and it is so beautiful to see where that art takes you. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with the world, Patti, you truly are one of a kind.


Michelle Olson

Musical MD

Dear Doctor,

I have ran into a lull in my life. After the day is done I feel exhausted and stressed from the many obligations of work and routine. I don’t get the same emotional balance as I do with my music. Each song I hear doesn’t fill me with spiritual sustenance. I feel hollowed out by the time the sun dips down. At this point I feel desperate for any type of advice. That is why I am writing to you. Can you please help me?


Mr. Feeling Down


Dear Mr. Feeling Down,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me, I am more than happy to help you! I myself have had times in my life where I’ve felt the daily routine just wasn’t doing it for me. So I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest you go to a music festival this summer. School is just about out and it would be a great way to get on vacation and celebrate making it through another semester with work and school. Music festivals are a different type of therapy, but you are talking to a music doctor :-). They bring people from all over together to enjoy the thing we love the most- music, camping, art, community, friendships and memories that will last forever. Music Festivals are out of this world, and make you truly learn to let loose and enjoy life at it’s finest. Below, there is a list of a bunch of festivals going on this summer, links to they’re website, and my doctors recommendation for you.

Wakarusa at Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, AR

June 4-7, 2015


I recommend Wakarusa especially if you haven’t been to a music festival before. It’s huge, and people from across the country come out for it. This was my first music festival personally, and I can tell you I left feeling so blessed to be surrounded by a music community so accepting in paradise for the weekend. Oh, but make sure to bring rain boots. Those are a must!


42nd Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Telluride, CO

June 18-21, 2015


Telluride Bluegrass Festival has been happening for 42 years now, and tickets sell out almost instantly as soon as they go on sale every year.You can still find tickets, obviously, but it’s side affects may include money spending, beer drinking, smiling, dancing in circles, and increased heart rate because of the beautiful mountains of Telluride surrounding you. Plus, it’s only a couple hours away from Durango, how convenient! I personally have never been, but I’m excited to spend my birthday there this summer. See you there?


Sonic Bloom Festival at Hummingbird Ranch in Rye, CO

June 18-21, 2015


If you aren’t at Telluride Bluegrass, Sonic Bloom is where it’s at. If you are looking for that spiritual wholeness, this is the festival for you. With multiple workshops with artists and speakers of all different backgrounds, awesome music, art, and cool clothes you will want to stay there forever. I’ve been the past couple years and it’s always so amazing. If you go this summer, I will order you a prescription for Heady Tacos, they are so dank- seriously. Sonic Bloom is also in Colorado so you can legally have pot at the festival.


Arise Music Festival at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, CO

August 7-9, 2015


I recommend Arise Music Festival for you because this one changed my life. Seriously- the best , experiences I have ever had. This one is full of music, workshops, yoga, rock stacking, art, arial acrobatics, costume contests, camping, jam seshs, and flow arts of all kinds galore! It’s like an adult Disney Land, there is always something to do there. This year artists like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, The Polish Ambassador, Trevor Hall, Emancipator, and so much more are taking the stage- it’s going to be a great time!

If you have any other questions, or are seeking more advice, feel free to contact me.

I believe in you Mr. Feeling Down!


Musical MD


Music in Film- Shrek vs. Smash Mouth

Here’s a throwback for you- Smash Mouth and Shrek. Who doesn’t remember the opening scene for one of the best movies released by DreamWorks in the early 2000’s?


It’s a classic scene that is engraved in most 90’s kids brains, Shrek bathing in dirt, farting, burping, you know, doing all the gross stuff Ogres do. Perfect for kids, who can giggle at anything remotely disgusting. I think putting Smash Mouth at the beginning of the movie was such a good idea, because the late 90’s/early 2000’s were Smash Mouths prime. All the cool kids listened to hits like “All Star”, “I’m A Believer” and “Walking On the Sun,” and putting “All Star” right at the beginning of such an epic and familiar movie was a smart move, both for the film and the band.


Shoot- I just posted the song on my Facebook timeline, and within 15 minutes someone commented on it saying “SHREK.” This just only proves the point that even now in 2015, people still have that memory of the film triggered by the song. Who even knows the last time any of us college-aged people watched Shrek in full last! We love reminiscing on that shit! Shrek and Smash Mouth forever!!

Music Interview With Rachel Giersch

When doing a music interview it is important to dig deeper into the subject. To ask questions that really make them think, not just the cliche questions that skim the surface. This interview with Rachel Giersch dives deep into her musical soul, letting audiences know how she truly feels when it comes to certain topics involving music.

  • If you could go back to see one musician/ band that aren’t alive/touring anymore, whom would you see? Why? Louis Armstrong… his voice, his trumpet playing, the influence of the swing era – he was revolutionary and it would be a blessing to go back in time to see him perform.
  • Aside from any instruments you may already play, what instrument would you like to learn? Why? I would love to learn the harmonica because it is easily transportable, great for outdoor excursions and fairly easy to practice and get decent at. On a week-long camping trip I had a cheap kids harmonica, and was obsessed with playing it to the sure annoyance of my friends.
  • What was your first concert? Did you enjoy it? Why or why not? Of course growing up in Colorado my first concert was Michael Franti and Spearhead. It was outside on a wonderful summer afternoon, and it was a dancing good time.
  • How do you feel about Phish? I am not someone who owns their full discography but I can definitely respect them as musicians and pioneers of blending music genres into a not so average rock album. I do have their album Rift and I like all songs, especially Horn, Rift, and My Friend, My Friend, and the song “Sparkle.” The latter is a song without many lyrics but a heavy repetition of the chorus “Laugh and laughing, fall apart” which speaks to either having a wild time with friends to the point of destruction or the lyrics suggest you put on a new identity with each friend to the point of confusion and falling apart.
  • Favorite song to fuck too? Um… That is personal.
  • What’s your favorite band and why? I don’t really have a favorite band. I do enjoy specific artists for different reasons and moods, such as a feeling of carpe diem and therefore needing to blast some Rudimental.
  • What band that is still touring today would you want to see? (That you haven’t seen before). I would kill to see Metric or Phantogram live.
  • What’s your favorite dance move? Liquid dancing
  • EDM… yes/ no/ thoughts? YES, but the good shit – no Calvin Harris or Avicii. Electronic dance music covers many bases and influences; I play drum & bass heavily.
  • What song do you find yourself singing in the shower the most? More recently “Will Do” by T.V. On the Radio; otherwise I like to imagine parakeets and cockatiels joining me in an anthem of “Could You Be Loved.”
  • What songs remind you of your childhood? Anything 90s alternative rock and occasionally Michelle Branch (mother loved her), lots and lots of Rush and U2, Spice Girls, Britney Spears, and anything from NOW (Now That’s What I Call Music!) volumes 1-15, or so…
  • What is one band you absolutely hate and why? Probably Lil Jon
  • What music is your guilty pleasure? I sincerely love Marshall Mathers.
  • What city do you think could be considered “the music capital of America?” Well, since every touring artist has to make a stop in Seattle or Austin, one of those two…?
  • What kind of music is the best to listen to getting ready for a first date? Something groovy like DJ Vadim
  • Favorite song to play as loud as you can in your car with the windows rolled down in the summer? Crystalised by the xx. Fricken genius and has definitely been on repeat during summer months, especially when I delivered pizzas to stoned customers who’d rather tip in weed.
  • Best song to cry to? Why? Anything Laura Marling, particularly “Breathe” or “Love Be Brave” on her album Once I Was An Eagle – she construes entire albums around a minor chord sound, which becomes the basis for all themes, lyrics, and meaning. And most times, the songs provoke and conjure up painful, hidden feelings, allowing you to feel them vulnerably… which can then lead to crying. Oddly though, the underlying theme of most of her songs is self-love and empowerment by facing the pain head on and working through it.
  • Do you like the Grateful Dead? Why or why not? What about Queens of the Stoneage? I am sick of everyone being so stoked on the Dead…sorry not sorry.
  • If you could go to one festival in the world what would it be and why? Hands down. It would be like entering a portal into a perfectly bizarre fairytale.
  • Biggie Smalls or Tupac? The Notorious BIG/Big Poppa


Self Love- 6 Songs for the Single Ladies on V-Day

With Valentines day just around the corner, lovers are gearing up to celebrate their cheesy love with over priced chocolates and candle lit dinners. But what about the lonely, make-up smeared single girl sitting alone with ice cream and Netflix on the computer? First Valentines Day alone in awhile huh? That’s never fun for anyone- so if you are single for this February 14th, shut that computer, curl your hair, put on the reddest lipstick in your makeup drawer, and go out with your other single friends! When you’re getting ready with all your hottie single friends, play these six songs to help you get pumped and ready for a night of loving yourself and feeling sexy in your own skin:

1. Right Said Fred- I’m Too Sexy

It’s always a good idea to start off your night with this song- Because you are too sexy for the traditional dinner and movie!

2. Beyonce- Single Ladies

Let your inner diver out with Beyonce, and stick it to the man!!

3. Florence + The Machine- Shake it Out

Still upset about a recent break up? Shake it out shake it out!!!

4. The Beatles- With  A Little Help From My Friends

Life would be so hard without friends, this Valentines day don’t just show love to yourself, but to all your friends!

5. Cyndi Lauper- Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Self explanatory- have fun with your girls on this night!

6. TLC- No Scrubs

No scrubs for you! You are worth much more than half the guys are out there are willing to give you.

So pour yourself a tequila sunrise and embrace your lady friends, love yourself this Valentines Day!

Looking Back

destinys child

Destiny’s Child man… as a 90’s baby I have to say still to this day is my guilty pleasure. I’ve listened to them since I was a little girl, and still do to this day. I remember when I was 6, I got this Destiny’s Child shirt that was so sparkly and fabulous and my parents had to force me to change out of it after me wearing it for a week straight at school.  I was so upset, and honestly I’m pretty upset now because I don’t have a cool Destiny’s Child shirt now to wear to class. First off let’s just talk about Beyonce- the ultimate diva superstar bad bitch with the voice of all the sassy woman angels in the sky combined. She just kills it, I’ve never heard anyone else with a voice so pure and solid! And she is drop dead gorgeous and knows it, but is still a very important role model for so many young woman out there.  I think one of the main reasons why I did, and still do resonate with their music so much, is their common idea and message of girl/ woman power.

“The shoes on my feet
I’ve bought it
The clothes I’m wearin
I’ve bought it
The rock I’m rockin
I’ve bought it
‘Cause I depend on me
If I wanted
The watch you’re wearin
I’ll buy it
The house I live in
I’ve bought it
The car I’m drivin
I’ve bought it
I depend on me
(I depend on me)

All the women who are independent
Throw your hands up at me
All the honeys who makin money
Throw your hands up at me
All the mommas who profit dollas
Throw your hands up at me
All the ladies who truly feel me
Throw your hands up at me”

This is just a little chunk of lyrics from the song Independent Woman Pt.1, my favorite Destiny’s Child song. Especially as a little girl listening to this made me always want to grow up to be a strong woman that don’t need no man to make me happy! Now when i listen to it, I’m like ohhhhhhh yeah I totally am! Thanks Destiny’s Child, you guys rule.

5 Song Music Interview


I had the pleasure of interviewing Lucy Schaefer, and man this girl has some good taste in music! She can thank her brother for introducing her to most of her favorites. She has a wide range in her taste of music, including her favorite band Widespread Panic. It’s really interesting to see how music shapes her life, and the experiences she has had that music triggers the memory.  Here are her top 5 songs and the story behind them:

Sound of Music- My Favorite things

L: Sunday was “Places day”. My two older brothers and my dad would all go out and have fun that day, and leave my mom at least one day out of the six to herself, for her sanity. The park, Discovery Zone, all sorts of places. And every Sunday night we listened to the same soundtrack and ate dinner. I didn’t realize my mom was a good cook until now that I’ve grown up. Haha. This memory is important because it was something consistent, growing up, that I really appreciated, even though we would bitch and moan and want to be having sleep overs elsewhere I’m glad my mom brought us together.

M: Why did you pick this song specifically out of the whole soundtrack?

L: I don’t know really. I guess because I really loved the line “When the bee stings, when the dog bites, when I’m feeling blue.” I would get out of my seat and go over to my mom and she would give me a little pinch on the arm and then a little bite. I just thought it was the greatest for some reason. And, I also had this weird obsession with bees, I still do.



Lovin’ in my Baby’s Eyes- Taj Mahal

M: So why this tune?

L: I was actually working at my friend’s pecan farm in Farmington, New Mexico when I discovered this song.

M: New Mexico? What were you doing there?

L: In high school I went to a boarding school but I was a day student. I had a good friend, Randy, who worked on Stahmann’s Pecan Farms. I literally counted aphids on trees for 8 hours a day for the whole summer. It was the weirdest job, but one of the best for a young person.

M: Why did this song stick out to you though?

L: I mean, theres nothing particularly about the lyrics…like I wasn’t falling in love, or staring into my “baby’s eyes or anything. It was just the song that kind of switched me from my bad music taste of really horrible electronic and generic reggae new-age stoner music into musicians with…I don’t want to say actual talent, but I’m going to say actual talent.



All time Low-Widespread panic

L: I’ve been jamming this song ever since summer. It was my second WSP show and I was with my best friend Ethan, who is now my boyfriend. I’ve been listening to WSP ever since I started hanging out with Ethan three years ago. I’ve heard almost all their songs but I was never into them enough to link song-names to the actual song.

M: So did this song solidify your fan-dom?

L: I think so! I was having so much fun, but then I heard All time Low come on and I had that connection of song and beats and it was just a beautiful fan epiphany that I really loved WSP.

M: Is this your and Ethan’s song?

L: I wouldn’t say that, but we definitely had a moment where we looked at each other and kind of knew we were going to be together after that.



Don’t Push-Sublime

L: Sublime was my fucking band when I was growing up. It was hard to pick just one Sublime song. Sublime was the band all my of my friends listened to in high school. We would find underground Sublime songs, we were just obsessed.

M: What memory do you link this song to?

L: Everything to do with being an angsty teenager. Smoking pot, driving around Cheyenne Canyon, sneaking out. You know, it was almost like a core part of me growing up. For awhile I knew every lyric to every song, and so did all my friends. I guess the most prominent memory is hanging out in Sarah and Danny Barber’s basement having sing alongs. Danny would play guitar and I found out that my singing voice ain’t that bad. I will never have the confidence to sing in front of people like I was able to in their basement years ago. I hold onto that, I suppose.



Mercedez- Eleven Dollar bills

L: I still goo over this song. I love it so much, its a small band from Chicago that my friend Maria showed me. A small part of my love for this song is my inner hipster coming out because no one really knows about Eleven Dollar Bills. The lyrics really speak to me, all of them.

M: Any line in particular that stands out more than the rest?

L: “I keep a loaded hammer by my bedside drawer, hang pictures in the dark behind my heavy eyes…” It just reminds me that we all have our defense mechanisms, but it is important to realize what those are and if they are healthy for us. I tend to shut down when I observe one little negative social queue… kind of like the loaded hammer in my bedside drawer.


I had a great time interviewing Lucy, she really opened up which always makes the interview much better! Music can impact so many things in each persons life, and I can say with out a doubt that the music miss Lucy listens to, she listens too for a reason!