Photos from Denali and Alaska to Oregon Road Trip, Summer/Fall 1997

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Immediately after graduating from the University of Iowa I hopped a ride out to Seattle with friends who wanted a quick getaway before they began another semester of classes. I took a job for a few weeks with Aramark at one of the hotels in Denali National Park. It was an incredibly cool job — I was essentially the bellman, but all I did was sit in a little room reading Outside magazine all day, writing, and holding and distributing bags for hotel guests. Twice a day I’d walk over to the train station where the train from Anchorage came in and would collect or drop off bags marked for my hotel.

The greatest perk of working in the summer in Alaska is that — even after a 9-hour workday, there are countless hours of sunlight left to play outside, hike, explore, and photograph the natural beauty that surrounds. Which is what I did a good deal of with the Canon Rebel G SLR camera that I got for graduation. Once I took off on a solo hike to Horseshoe Lake after a shift at work — not a long hike, but i knew I had to find camp before it got too dark, which was around 11-midnight by late August. I had my tent, a flashlight, a journal, and some other essentials, including my Martin Backpacker guitar. I wrote a song inspired by what I had seen and experienced in Alaska right then and there – you can hear a version of it below.

Continue reading “Photos from Denali and Alaska to Oregon Road Trip, Summer/Fall 1997”

The Goings On

arcade fire backstage at the grammys - the suburbs won album of the year

Just a brief update for friends and family trying to keep up with my personal and professional pursuits and adventures. First I’ll address why my personal blogging has been lagging of late: I’ve begun blogging more regularly at LAist under a new title — Associate Editor. This is my first paid position at LAist and it really is thrilling to be compensated to work harder for a blog that I’ve been more than happy to write for as a volunteer for more than 3 years now. Last night I live-blogged the Grammy Awards from the tv/radio media room backstage. Read that post here. You can access an index of my posts at LAist here or by clicking the tab in the top nav bar of this blog. I’ve often reposted articles written for LAist on this blog but as my posting becomes more frequent at LAist I will continue this only on a very limited basis. Please follow LAist on twitter and join our Facebook page.

I continue working as an independent consultant and as an advisor to boutique marketing and communication agencies with a focus on social media for social good, events, and online marketing and social media in the music space. I am currently working on projects with Zoetica Media and the Force Agency. I still manage and maintain Live Earth’s online presence and am taking the lead on BarCamp LA’s web stuff for the upcoming BarCamp Los Angeles 8, set for April 30 – May 1. I have a couple other ventures and interests that I’ve signed onto in principle but have yet to be fully fleshed out. For the most part I am trying to keep my professional profile up-to-date on my about page and at my LinkedIn profile. The latest version of my resume is always available at andysternberg.com/cv.pdf.

I hope to travel quite a bit this year both for personal and professional growth. I look forward to visiting with friends and potential clients / collaborators later this month in New York City.

Please reach out to me at any time, text / phone / IM / email and as always, keep in touch!

From the Archives: Chicago Jazz Scene, Turn of the Century

poster from 2nd Jazz and Improvised fest at Empty Bottle Chicago 1998It’s often dawned on me that my early scribblings on the web may someday disappear without a trace yet I continuously forget to archive said posts — for posterity if nothing else. Well today I listened to this blistering set from last week’s Newport Jazz Festival and was transported to ten years ago, Empty Bottle, Tuesday night Vandermark Five sessions and the frenetic rhythm from the band set up living room style disrupting the magic in the air. Love how that sound pumps through my veins and so does the rest of the world.

Ken Vandermark continues blazing trails across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East while basing himself in Chicago with many of the same cats. I keep up with Ken via his daily Twitter and Facebook updates which highlight the daily undertakings of a creative troubadour in brief, diary-like entries. I still subscribe to the chi-improv Yahoo! group for sentiment. Little has changed in Chicago I imagine — although my visits are too rare. (Save for the tragic death of Malachi Ritscher and the recent passing of Fred Anderson). Still a few active venues and occasional improv backrooms shifted throughout the town and Peter Br√∂tzmann, Ab Baars and the finest European improvisers still come over almost every year and the Chicago contingent of the Tentet visits Europe at least once a year.

Thanks to NPR for recording this set by Vandermark’s Powerhouse Sound combo and making it available for download, you can listen to it right here.

Powerhouse Sound features Vandermark on reeds with longtime collaborator Nate McBride on electric bass; Jeff Parker, guitar and John Herndon, drums – both of whom are known for their work with Tortoise.

Below, three articles I wrote in 1998 for Centerstage.net relating to the Chicago Jazz scene. Still buried in some closet — minidiscs of interviews that I conducted with several of the players for a piece I never completed. There’s a nice long interview with Fred Anderson there and hopefully i’ll find it and when I do I’ll post it for all to share.

Poster above by Dan Grzeca via this webpage Continue reading “From the Archives: Chicago Jazz Scene, Turn of the Century”

What am I Doing Now?

san francisco summer
Photo by vgm8383 licensed under Creative Commons
“Living is being happy: seeing, hearing, touching, drinking, eating, urinating, defecating, diving into the water and gazing at the sky, laughing and crying.” – Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

It’s been two weeks since I last walked out of the Live Earth offices and the “so what’re ya gonna do nows?” just aren’t getting old yet.

The idea of perfection or an ideal future/job/family is loaded with false hope and bound to disappoint, not unlike San Francisco in the summertime.

Is that a depressing thing to say? (Remember, I got my Master’s in skepticism at USC). Au contrair. I’ll never know exactly what I want for the foreseeable future. Or at least I’d never admit to it. I like to allow for a little free flow, leave room for spontaneity, live day-to-day to the max and give a bit up to chance. (Was also an English major). It only gets better.

Call me a pretentious music snob (and you’d be right) but I’m too existentialist to even list Top 5’s because, well, at any given time or place that list would be different.

OK, here’s the latest:

  • Gulf Coast Benefit – on August 25th near you. I’m helping to organize west coast and promote.
  • Social Media Week LA – September 20-24th across LA (and 5 other cities in the world). On the advisory board to make sure this is amazing.social media week la
  • Two other opportunities that I will refrain from mentioning until I take the first steps toward beautifying their respective web presences, etc. (sorry no jinxies).

Am I getting paid? Not enough. Still looking? Yes. Happy? Hell yes. Staying in LA? I’ll go anywhere in the world for the right gig.

Hoping to set aside time to pimp out the resume and LinkedIn profile in the next day or two.

While the possibilities are endless as ever, a hunger for new challenges is met with a thirst for adventure. All good things.

I do appreciate everybody’s positivity, support, forwarding of job openings, and connecting of me to funded friends with promising start-ups.

Hit me up for lunch or to talk biz!