Ladies and gentleman, I’d like to introduce you to HAIM

Last summer, while at the Firefly Music Festival in Delaware, I had my first dose of  HAIM, a rock band comprising three sisters from Los Angeles.

Festivals offer a wide variety of music. At any given time, multiple bands will be playing on various stages. So you have to pick and choose what you see.

A friend of mine insisted that we stop by the stage where HAIM was playing. He said he heard some of their music and they sounded HAIMgood, and that they were a rock and roll band of three sisters in their early- to mid-20s.

He had me at rock and roll sisters.

So we went, and from that day forward, I am among HAIM’s biggest cheerleaders.

The group is just flat-out awesome. It’s hard to find any new age rockers anymore, let alone one that comprises three girls on the right side of 30. Who are sisters.

What I enjoyed most about them was their camaraderie on stage. When you attend many concerts, you take notice of a band’ presentation. It’s not always about the music (although that matters a lot), but about how the band members interact with not only themselves, but with the audience.

This was at a large music festival, so interaction with the audience was not going to happen, but the way they acted around one another was free, loose, natural. It’s obviously a direct result of being siblings, but still. They laughed both at and with each other, and basically just treated it like they were playing a set in their garage, and not in front of approximately 1,000 people. It was pure rock and roll.

The Haim sisters are Este, 28, Danielle, 25, and Alana, 22. All of them are also great on Twitter. Especially Alana. They joke. They curse. They just act their age, without being obnoxious. Indeed, Este’s Twitter handle is “ESTE FUCKING HAIM.”

If I sound like a giant fan boy, it’s because I am one.

So you can only imagine my excitement that I will be seeing HAIM again, this time as a headliner, in New York City’s Terminal 5 on Saturday night. The show sold out in less than an hour, and the atmosphere is going to be electric.

You may also be familiar with HAIM without realizing it. They performed on Saturday Night Live on November 23, their song “Forever” is featured in a Target commercial, and their single, “The Wire,” has received significant airplay on indie rock and XM radio. I embedded the video below for your viewing pleasure.

And the band is not even paying me. I’m not looking for money. Nor am I looking for recognition of any kind, or even sexual favors, despite the fact that it is THREE FREAKING SISTERS. I’m  just promoting them out of love.

Because in an era of AutoTune, lip syncing, and untalented teen pop stars … It’s nice to know that there’s some girls out there who can really rock it.



How Tinder has changed the dating scene

It’s been almost one year since I joined Tinder. And obviously, since I’m so open and critical about it, it means it hasn’t worked yet. I have yet to meet my “one and only.” My one and only what, exactly, who knows.

During the Tinder boom of 2013, people joined with the excuse that they were “experimenting.” They said they weren’t taking it seriously but wanted to see what it’s all about.

Guys, it’s been a year. You’re not experimenting anymore.

At first, Tinder was just an additional means of playing the field. A fun, noncommittal way to seek out single people in your area. Or at the very least, a way to work on your text game.

One year later, I think more and more people are accepting Tinder as a legitimate way to find a significant other.

Tinder2What you don’t want it to become, however — and I’m worried this is the case for me — is for Tinder to be your primary means of courting.

At times, I’ve found myself inside of a bar, and instead of actually gazing around the room in search of girls to potentially speak to, I whip out my phone and go on Tinder.

That’s not good.

Yes, it is fun to drunk Tinder. There’s no doubt about that. But as somebody who has always been reluctant to boldly walk up to a girl and introduce myself, I’ve found that the existence of Tinder only serves as a further excuse to avoid doing it.

And that’s something on a personal level that worries me a bit — that Tinder’s inception will no longer make me feel the need to pursue girls in the flesh. And I mean that metaphorically. But eventually physically. That’s the whole goal.

So girls who were always skeptical about meeting the man of their dreams inside of a bar, now you have more reason to be.

What I won’t say — at least not yet — is that Tinder has become the lowest format for flirting. For years, I’ve voiced my discontent with how text messaging replaced phone calls when asking a girl out, but I can’t say that Tinder has replaced text messaging, because it’s a totally different context.

If you’re texting a girl, it means you’ve at least met in person and obtained her phone number. With Tinder, however, the girls (or guys) you match with did not exist in your life until moments before. And that obviously affects how you converse, and therein lies the difference.

On a more positive note, I do think that more and more people will form relationships via Tinder, once you learn to weed through all of the weirdos. It also caters to older single people whose increased commitment towards work prevents them from getting out as much as they’d like.

So for better or worse, Tinder has definitely left an indelible mark on the dating scene.

It’s made already petrified guys even more terrified, but, by golly, our ability to wittily text is only becoming more and more immaculate.

Girls, eat you heart out.

My journey to the house that Donald Sterling can’t enter

Let me tell you, it doesn’t get much better than stepping onto an airplane in 45-degree, rainy weather, and arriving somewhere 40 degrees warmer with the sun and a clear sky beaming down on you. And that’s what happened when I traveled from New York to Los Angeles last week.

It was my first time in California, or SoCal, as they like to call it, and it did not take very long to become acclimated.

On the east coast, we’re lucky if we have 40 days per year of 80+ degree weather. We call it summer. In California, it’s called “today.” It doesn’t matter what month it is.

So once you get past the blistering sunburn in the first 48 hours, California feels like a place you’ve lived in all your life.

Rather than trying to pack in California’s major cities in a weeklong trip, we instead stuck to exploring Los Angeles, visiting different Staples Centerneighborhoods along the coast, including Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Hermosa Beach, Anaheim, Huntington Beach and Venice Beach.

Among the many tourist attractions I visited — besides Anaheim Angels Stadium, where I tried my very best to stand up and flap my arms in attempt to summon Christopher Lloyd a la Angels in the Outfield — was the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, also known as the house where Donald Sterling is no longer welcome.

Sterling’s racially insensitive comments rocked the world like a tidal wave last week, and it was pretty coincidental that I happened to head in L.A. merely a few days later, whilst the Sterling-owned Los Angeles Clippers were entangled in a thrilling best-of-seven playoff series against interstate brethren Golden State Warriors. So when the Warriors won Game 6, necessitating a Game 7 in Los Angeles on Saturday night, my friends and I knew we couldn’t miss the opportunity. We went.

As a white male living on the complete opposite coast of Los Angeles who shares no bond with the Clippers organization, I’m not really going to pretend like I harbor vicious contempt for Sterling, even if I do fully appreciate the stupidity of his remarks and agreed with his lifetime ban.

That being said, there was definitely a nice feeling of satisfaction sitting in the arena with the knowledge that their bigoted owner is forbidden from doing exactly that. He may be a billionaire, but I found the one place in Los Angeles he wasn’t allowed to go.  Me, 1, Sterling 0.

(The score ends there.)

Playoff games tend to have pretty electric atmospheres without any added incentive, but with a decisive game of an exciting 7-game series amid all the hubbub surrounding it, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it was probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience. While I didn’t particularly care who won the game, the Clippers ultimately did, which is probably for the best since you never know when you’re going to end up in a fan induced riot.

Being a New Yorker, I know I’m supposed to be tough, but I will scurry away from a riot faster than a mouse from a sticky trap.

For those wondering if there was any collateral damage from Sterling’s comments on Clippers fans, the answer is no. With the NBA’s quick response, the situation is over and done with. I saw no signs or protests. Just excited fans at a basketball game, which is how it should be.

And generally speaking, Californians get a somewhat negative reputation for being lazy or laid back, but I understand it now. Being three hours behind the East Coast, and on totally different schedules, you almost stop thinking of that part of the country entirely while you’re there. It’s like a different world.

But there’s one thing New Yorkers and Californians have in common — it’s that we can all set foot into the Staples Center whenever we please, unlike their prejudiced owner.