Tag Archives: arcade fire

lali lessons in advertising #8: get inspiration everywhere (AKA take a few days off and dance in the desert for Coachella!)

A couple weeks ago, li and I got invited to a Pepsi meeting. And while we can’t give away the secrets of our briefing, the music festival Coachella did come up. And again, while we can’t tell the specifics, we were told to let music inspire us and our planner even mentioned “imagine the feeling of being on a drug trip” when concepting. Which, for those of you who have attended Coachella, it’s a drug trip when you’re stone-cold sober. And there is certainly music to inspire. So guess who went…

Coachella 2011 Poster

Useless to convince anyone I went to Coachella merely to inspire for our Pepsi brief. But that’s not to say it wasn’t a completely inspiring weekend nonetheless. There’s something about three days in the desert that feels like you leave reality for this fantasyland of music and heat and art and people and strangeness for weeks. In fact, Goldenvoice founder Paul Tollett said: “By the end of Sunday you need to have gone through a range of emotions. The experience of the art and the ambience has to play a huge part in that.” In those three short days, you feel frustrated, sad, happy, angry, ecstatic, annoyed, exhausted, excited, famished, parched, moved, thrilled, enlightened, enhanced, loved, lonely, everything. All in a hundred degree heat with music playing everywhere and dust filling every orifice of your body. Maybe it’s really three long days.

Regardless, I came back to work Tuesday missing a couple brain cells and lighter by a few pounds and exhausted by a lot, but certainly inspired. If Pepsi is getting into culture, I certainly got my culture on.

Blog readers, if you were there, you don’t need a recap of everything because well, you were there. And blog readers who weren’t, you’ll just be jealous. I will say that Friday was a dance party, that YACHT and Cut Copy and Robyn got our glittered bodies jamming, that Mumford & Sons brought the first real soul to the stage on Saturday, that Arcade Fire was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen (rivaling only my Big Sur experience with them), that I was a needy girl for Chromeo on Sunday, that the National by sunset was the best time for friends and that Kanye can certainly put on a show. For a professional opinion on the music, check out Spin‘s or Pitchfork‘s take.

The ball drop for Arcade Fire is a moment I’ll remember forever. Let’s hope it helps inspire some Pepsi spots other people will remember forever… Maybe I can write off the cost of the concert to TBWA\Chiat\Day? Ha, doubt that on both those thoughts. What isn’t in doubt is how awesome this video is, and how much more awesome it was in person. In the original definition of the word.

Now I would definitely say the title of this blog post is appropriate. Get inspiration everywhere. If we spent all our time inside the walls of Chiat Day we wouldn’t be very good creatives. And Coachella is all about getting inspired. But I would be lying if I tried to tell you that I thought about work for more than twenty seconds the entire weekend. It was about dancing and music and living and friends and not really about advertising.

Here’s the proof:







And ten blog shout outs to anyone who guesses correctly what music instrument this is supposed to be:

So thanks to Hobart Birmingham, Jacqui de Borja, Anne Hurty, Chris Spencer, Spencer Larson, Travis Pfeifer, Noah Roper, Chris MacNeil, Sean Carroll, Chase Madrid, Kristina Krkljus, and many other desert dancers for both helping me forget about work and inspiring me to do better work last weekend. Justin and Allyson, Coachella love to you and I’m sad you weren’t there this year but there’s always next year!


And now, back to work. We just got briefed on something new, and it looks like I’ll be taking this lali lesson to heart while working over Easter weekend.


PS For those who no-chellaed it, here’s the playlists I made for the weekend. And let that inspire you :)

Friday Coachella Mix
Saturday Coachella Mix
Sunday Coachella Mix
The Coachella Hits Mix



Filed under lali, lali lessons, lali music

Magic & Music & Arcade Fire, Big Sur Style

I really feel a deep connection to this place. Says Win Butler before playing his last song in the drizzling rain in front of two sets of stacked lights and behind rows of Christmas lights and swaying fans, oh oh OH oh oh, oh OHing to the first strands of Wake Up.

(it gets really good at 1:04, please watch, and gets epic at 1:35, so keep watching!)

Now that I’m older, my heart is colder. He sings. Before we all oooh again. Well, none of our hearts were cold that night. And when he said children, don’t grow up – we certainly didn’t. And I certainly don’t think I will ever forget seeing Arcade Fire with 249 other people, in a clearing in the woods in Big Sur, with rain drops and bright stars and big trees.

There was “no rain” chanting, Colin Stetson on the saxophone for the first time live – after a fitting LCD-like anticipatory build-up for “We Used To Wait” – singing Happy Birthday to Will Butler, my arms reaching out and touching Win Butler as he ran through the fans, Regine with streamers bouncing around the stage – a moment of abandoned brightness in Arcade’s dark lyrics – for Sprawl II.

I’ve always been amazed at how a band so darkly introspective in lyrics can become so anthemic and uplifting in spirit. If you’re not part of a surging crowd – be it a couple hundred or 18,000 – you aren’t really experiencing Arcade Fire. And this was the most intimate, backyard wondrousness with which I’ve ever experienced them, or any other band for that matter.

After the show, we lay around in the grass and stared at the stars, look what Big Sur will do to a bunch of semi-LA hipsters, and then wandered over to the side of the Henry Miller library, where Win Butler and Tim Kingsbury just kinda hung out, signed stuff, and talked.

I used this opportunity to say to him: “Hey, I read this New York Times article where you say – ‘It’s not like we’d license Keep the Car Running to a car company’ – and I just wanna let you know I know your secret. You almost did. To us.” (article here) To which he responded something like, “We just couldn’t do it. I mean, we wanted to raise money for Haiti but in the end it just isn’t us.” To which I – mortified at this point, not believing the words came out of my mouth to the lead singer of one of my favorite bands ever whose music I’ve essentially grown up with, can’t believe I’ve brought up something as unimportant to him as our one ad – respond, “It doesn’t matter. You’re the best.” Mumbled something more of the sort and mumbled more about them being the best band I’ve ever seen at Coachella.

BTW, they did play “Keep the Car Running” and it was a strange combination of memories of long nights in VBE listening to that song over and over again and the magnitude of seeing it live, feet from the stage and singing along to him singing. Thought about texting li, but then realized I wasn’t getting any cell service.

And then Allyson said, my friend has something to tell you! And Jacqui said, I have never danced so much in my life! And then I said, And she dances a LOT!

And then I asked him to sign something, but I already have the vinyl so didn’t buy it at the show and used the closest thing handy made of paper – pictured below.

win butler of arcade fire, signed pack of parlaiments

I could have just waxed poetic to W. B. about how magical and wonderful the show was or something like that, kind of how I want to do with this blog entry. But I embarrassed myself instead. Ah well, at least I was being myself.

For blog brevity’s sake, I’m going to post some pictures and the setlist. Instead of rambling on.

big sur sunset
Big Sur sunset, walking down the hill to the show.

arcade fire, big sur, hipstamatic
My photo of Regine. Note how close I am!

polaroid, win butler of arcade fire, big sur
Someone’s polaroid of Win. Cool hair dude, like seriously, I really liked the hair cut.

setlist, arcade fire, big sur
The setlist!!!!!!

And finally, this blog post wouldn’t be complete without a shout out to Lyle Hysen and Sarah Smith at Bank Robber Music, through Merge Records, who got us into the show, minus a minor snafu where my +1 didn’t show up on their clipboard will call list and I had to run up an enormous hill to get service after waiting an hour in line and call Sarah Smith (ironically, not the Sarah Smith my sister) and have her call the Henry Miller library, the tour manager, and text me all this info in order to get Noah in just ten minutes before Arcade Fire got on stage. Whew. Thanks Sarah!

And finally finally, a huge shout out to the crew for being awesome friends, dancers, beer drinkers, campers and troopers.

the crew before arcade fire in big sur
The crew: Ben Stone, Jacqui Deborja, Hobart Birmingham, Noah Roper, Allyson Pfeifer and Justin Fry. <3


PS Drove back six hours from Big Sur after zero sleep on a deflated air mattress in the freezing cold and drizzling rain, didn't go home, went straight to work for a few hours, drank with co-workers for a going away party, and then was up after midnight writing copydecks for a 10a presentation today. That's dedication to work, Chiat Day!


Filed under lali, lali friends, lali music

Work Perks + A Day Off!

So Arcade Fire is playing tonight in a clearing in the woods in Big Sur for a small crowd. I will be in that crowd!

The show was sold out, and even though I tried at 10:00a that day to get tickets, I wasn’t one of the lucky few. This is where work perks comes in. Our business affairs person at the office got me two tickets at will call! (we had had an ill-fated attempt to license their music that fell thru the day before the spot shipped).

So woot woot! Here comes the day off part! Driving up to Big Sur with camping gear, a warm coat, and a great soundtrack.

And, of course, hipstamatic. Wailing along to wake up and sprawl ii and stopping only for sandwiches and one conference call at 1:00p.

la on her day off, still blogging!

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Filed under lali, lali music