Introducing AAA Travel with Pride!

A new AAA Group Travel program

Portrait by me

You can also view the article & more travel bits at AAA

AAA Travel Sales Manager Christopher Goerss, who launched the new program, is excited to announce its first trip: the international, adventure destination, Costa Rica! We asked Christopher about his first group travel tour.

The travel dates for this exciting excursion, titled Pure Vida, are slated for January 13 – 22, 2022. Travelers will spend ten glorious days in Costa Rica, visiting several cities before their grand finale in the coastal province of Guanacaste. Christopher, and a local tour guide, will accompany the travelers for a tailored tourist experience.

By creating Travel with Pride, Christopher is fulfilling two of his travel dreams. He can share his joy of travel and start an inclusive travel group where acceptance and a supportive community can grow. Christopher shared his desires, excitement, and hopes for this new AAA group travel experience.

“It’s an adventure package, it’s very active, there’s are a lot of exploring, and Costa Rica is an accepting space for the LGBTQ+ community. There’s a lot of interactive activities to help build and foster the group,” Christopher explained.

As a group travel package, Pure Vida offers travelers experiences and amenities that would take the individual traveler longer to research and plan, but in this case, all the work is done for them! This excursion includes nine destinations and stays at five hotels as the group traverses across Costa Rica. 

“I think this is an awesome package! It includes your roundtrip airfare and the ten-day tour: multiple meals, experiences, and excursions. Transportation to and from the airport and the hotels as well; actually, transportation throughout the vacation,” Christopher said. 

The all-encompassing package does not include just two items Christopher highly recommends to future travelers eyeing this terrific experience:

  • Travel insurance
  • Spending money 

“Traveling internationally, you will need travel insurance to cover any health or medical concerns. This trip is an active one; we will be touring the rainforest, and there’s an opportunity to go water rafting. You don’t want to be stuck without the additional insurance in case of an emergency, he explained.

And as for that spending money, Christopher reminds travelers that they will have free time during the trip to explore local sights! He suggests a small budget to cover any souvenirs or extra meals that may entice you.

Get to Know Your AAA Travel Mate & Expert

Christopher joined AAA three years ago, and Travel with Pride was in his sights from the beginning, “I love supporting the LGBTQ+ community, and I feel we are at a point in time when it’s ok to be you, and it’s ok to be seen. So, to be able to bring people together is what it’s all about for me!” 

Also passionate about the arts and culture, Christopher caught the “travel bug” young as he moved a lot in his youth. He loved the opportunity to meet different people and cultures. His favorite destination is the Southwest (New Mexico to be precise), and the Albuquerque Balloon Festival is his favorite travel memory! “Being able to experience other cultures opened my eyes to the beauty of exploring and traveling. To be able to offer similar experiences to others is so fulfilling.”

Four Bands Rockin’ NYC

rocker

It’s been a while since I’ve written for Artrocker so I’d thought that it was time to return to my British roots! They were the first mag to print an article of mine…additionally, I always love writing about bands that I think are deserving of a plug or two, hence New York’s A Go-Go! A write up of my four fave bands emerging from NYC with a new album this Spring…trust me, I have more than four NYC bands that I love but you have to reign it in a bit don’t ya?

So, who are the four you ask? In no particular order:
Matt and Kim
Tigercity
Say Hi
Harlem Shakes

What? Say Hi is not in NYC any longer you say? I know, but the NY native released a great album and I had to write a small piece on him…check out his album Oohs and Aahs…you will not be disappointed!

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The Ettes: Recommended Band Profile


Article and Image Published w/ Artrocker

How can you not love a band who lists their influences as being “60’s beat, early American punk rock, the country greats, fuzz pedals…Mick, Iggy, New York City and rock-and-roll?” Garage rock band The Ettes shell out danceable, punk-rock goodness that incorporates all of their influences and more; their melodic hooks instantly mesmerized me.

Lead singer Lindsay “Coco” Hames, drummer Maria “Poni” Silver and bassist Jeremy “Jem” Cohen create a wall of sound that is immediately catchy; their debut album ‘Shake the Dust’ caught the ears of several mag writers who praised the album, gaining the trio a cult following – and rightfully so.

The Ettes recently completed recording their second LP in London with UK producer Liam Watson who, as Coco described it, enjoyed adding “crazy sounds and ninja-ing arrangements.” Due to release in early ’08, the unnamed LP will be highly anticipated. While in Europe, The Ettes toured places like France and Germany where they met sold out shows and an even greater buzz.

The Ettes’ loud, danceable, garage rock / punk sounds are great when pumped loudly out of speakers, but the place to truly feel the impact of the tunes is in a live performance where each member surpasses expectations and each song sounds better than ever!

Check them out on the world wide web and myspace

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Band Of The Week: Love is All

Article Published w/ Paste Magazine

Hometown: Gothenburg, Sweden

Fun Fact: A pre-performance ritual of the band involves the playing of Roger Glover’s “Love is All.”

Why It’s Worth Watching: Love is All specializes in infectiously lo-fi punk rock laced with saxophone and melodic vocals.

For Fans Of: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Noisettes, Be Your Own Pet

Just like its bombastic tunes, Love is All has exploded forth onto the music scene with impressive debut, Nine Times That Same Song. Vocalist/keyboardist Josephine Olausson lends the rather sudden acclaim to fate. “Everything has sort of just happened,” she says. “It’s just been an endless period of good news. I’m not sure why this is. I sometimes think that we’ve been plain lucky.” Not long after the release of single, “Make Out Fall Out Make Up,” heaping praise (including an NME “single of the week” honor) culminated in a John Peel recording session before the release of the band’s proper full-length.

When said album did eventually find release, it came in the form of a half-hour jaunt of danceable goodies know as Nine Times That Same Song. Although the fusion of music influencing Love is All may seem unique to some, in name alone, these Swedes find common ground with at least one artistic moment from the past. “I was watching The Man from Uncle one night, and the episode was about some hippie sect,” Olausson says, “At the entry of the camp were these gates with the words ‘Love is All’ over them. For some reason I just thought it sounded so nice that I wanted to name the band Love is All. It took a while for the others to agree, though.”

Highly catchy, Love is All’s music has an organic feel thanks to a lo-fi approach to recording. “It’s all lo-fi because the songs were recorded in our practice space on pretty shitty equipment,” Olausson says. “It’s only recently that we bought some proper microphones and stuff.”

Nonetheless, this rudimentary approach is what makes Love is All even more enjoyable. Likewise, “Busy Doing Nothing,” perfectly encapsulates why the band is such a joy to listen to: Full of Olausson’s half-talking, half-singing vocal style, pulsating sax and wailing guitars, the tracks convey’s Love is All’s frenetic energy. For now, the band is unsure how that hyperactivity will translate to the sophomore effort. “We’re currently working on some new songs, but I have no idea if what is being produced has anything to do with what the final result will be like,” Olausson says. “We’re having trouble with our neighbors, so if we make any more noise we’ll be kicked out. Obviously, that is trouble for us since we like to make a lot of noise.”

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Das Llamas: Recommended Band

Published w/ Artrocker

“From the gray city of Seattle rises the torch that is Das Llamas.” I couldn’t have thought of a better introduction to the Seattle quartet myself! ‘Who is Das Llamas?’ you ask; Kerry Zettel (Vocals, Bass, Keyboard), Shawn Kock (Vocals, Guitar, Keyboard), Thomas Burke (Drums), and Aaron Everett (Guitar). Four talented musicians creating crushing, dark, dance music. One read through Das Llamas’ bio will draw in any curious reader to take a listen to their tunes and see what the hype is about, and I assure you, the Llamas’ sound will not disappoint.

My intro to the band was upon hearing “Wood on Bone” pouring through the radio; I was instantly hooked by the rollercoaster ride I was experiencing. A song about beating several guys to a pulp with a bat including such lyrics as, “we took their money just for fun, we broke their legs so they won’t run,” (hence “Wood on Bone”). The music is appropriately dark; yet, simultaneously the dance, electro beats forces you to bop about in celebration. Zettel’s deep, melodic voice coupled with heavy bass, buzz out guitars and Burke’s spastic, rhythmic, out of this world drumming easily makes this track highly infectious.

Das Llamas released their first LP, World Wars, earlier this year. Though only eight tracks long, Wars is a great collection of electric songs that will make listeners rock out til the end. Until Das Llamas tours out of their native Seattle, we have to fill the void; turn your stereo dials up to 11 and rock out!

Check them out on Myspace

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