Monthly Archives: May 2014

Rock Festivals: Do I Even Have to Leave My Couch?

With concert feeds available on demand right from your phone, tablet or TV, what’s keeping you from just watching a festival from home?  [Guest contributor: Michael Majlak]

Boston Calling Festival Red Stage

Boston Calling festival stage

This weekend I left the comfort of my fluffy couch and trekked with a group of friends to the Boston Calling Festival in the heart of Beantown. The festival has bloomed into a massive event in the three years since it started, mainly because of its unique location in City Hall Plaza and its ability to pull massive artists and infamous food options. This year’s festival would be headlined by Jack Johnson, Death Cab for Cutie, and Modest Mouse, and would be catered by some of Boston’s legendary food vendors.

It had been years since I had been to a real festival. But upon walking up the concrete steps and entering upon the red-brick of City Hall Plaza, I immediately noticed some of the staples I had been so used to seeing. You had the company reps handing out free granola samples and various swag. There were the free-spirited hippies spinning hula hoops around their waist and of course the four or five people who sported their trusty tie-dye tee and corduroy pants. Then there were the lines. There were lines for merch, lines for food, lines for beer, and lines to use the most-dreaded of all things- the festival porta-potty.

Boston Calling Festival Blue Stage

Boston Calling festival grounds

Even with all the usual suspects, sights, and sounds of the modern music festival, one thing immediately caught my attention. There was one thing added to the equation. This “intruder” I speak of most likely sits within arm’s reach of you right now. You use it countless times a day, in fact some people rarely ever put it down. You may actually be staring at it right now, holding it tightly in your closed palm as you read this post. That’s right, I’m talking about the new staple of the modern rock concert- the smartphone.

Festival-goers on their smartphones

Festival-goers on their smartphones

Everywhere I looked, there it was. Kids on the way into the show were presenting their tickets via online ticket app. They were checking their account balances on the Bank of America app, watching for rain on the iPhone weather widget and scouring the concert lineup on the Boston Calling website. The effect of social media was even greater. A girl climbed up on her boyfriend’s shoulders not get a better view over the endless sea of people, but to take a selfie to immediately post on Instagram. The #BostonCalling hashtag lit up Twitter with every minute festival detail being live-blogged through 140 characters. People checked in on Facebook and sent Snapchats to their friends of Roxy’s Grilled Cheeses and videos of The Neighbourhood performing “Afraid”. The impact of the smartphone and social media was impossible to ignore.

#BostonCalling

#BostonCalling Instagram page

With all of this technology- the live online video feed, the Instagram video, the endless pictures on Twitter and Facebook, I started to wonder if I really even had to leave my couch. Could I have just kicked back with feet up on my ottoman, grabbed a cold drink and watched a live feed of Modest Mouse on my MacBook? Since the advent of modern technology, so many have begun choosing to witness events from the comfort of their living room. Could I have saved the money spent on travel and the time waiting in lines? Could I have avoided the aggravation of being stuck in a torrential downpour amidst thousands of pesky concert-goers and just cheered on from my warm, dry sofa?

Just as I started to truly ponder this, I was grabbed by a friend and herded in with a sea of other fans in front of a large and dimly-lit stage. A few minutes later, Brand New (a band I have worshipped since my high-school angst days but never got a chance to see) appeared on stage and proceeded to strum through one of the loudest, most passionate concert sets I have ever witnessed in my entire life. Every note seared directly into the heart of myself and everyone around me. Right at that moment, surrounded by 22,000 other ecstatic fans, I understood why I needed to be exactly where I was.

Modest Mouse performs at Boston Calling

Modest Mouse performing at Boston Calling

Simply put- yes, you can experience a festival from the comfort of your couch. You can read about the acts, you can see pictures of the food on Instagram, and you can even watch the performance feeds on sponsored websites. But there’s one thing you cannot do. You cannot feel.

No one can describe to you the feeling of the bass drum pulsating through your body during your favorite band’s explosive encore. You can watch a live feed, but you cannot feel the camaraderie of 20,000 Death Cab for Cutie fans swaying back-and-forth upon hearing the first few strings of “I Will Follow You into the Dark.” You cannot feel the cold sweat rolling off your favorite beverage as it battles tirelessly against the midday sun. You cannot taste the food, you cannot feel the breeze upon your face- you cannot be there, unless you are there.

Mike Majlak at Boston Calling

Me taking in the vibes

As someone who watches quite a bit of online media, I’m not putting down catching some cool stuff on your laptop or TV. But I also understand that this life is fleeting. The reward offered from getting off the couch and witnessing life first-hand is worth the extra effort or a little discomfort. You may forget things you have read, or things you have seen, but you’ll never forget the way things made you feel.

Boston Common Flag Memorial

Boston Common Flag Memorial

With that being said, everyone needs a place to fall back to, a safehaven for the mind, a landing pad after a rigorous trip. It was an unforgettable adventure, but now I have a date with my couch

— Michael Majlak, Author: The Essential Foodie blog 

 

A note from Life on a Couch founder, Shawny Nelson: Thanks Mike for your post. I agree completely. “Life on a couch” does not advocate more time on the couch–we advocate better time on the couch! There is certainly much more life to be had off the couch and out of the house. It is precisely the exhaustion from a good music festival, the soreness from a week at the lake, or the fatigue from a day out in the sun that makes flopping on the couch at the end of the day so appealing–so incomparable. We believe that the quality of our life on a couch is directly proportional to the quality of our life off the couch…so go, get out, attend, experience…run, jump, dance, laugh and live it up! That’s life on a couch.

10 Best Couch Designs from ICFF 2014

The nation’s best design in furniture and home decor is found each year in New York City during the month of May. Last week we got to attend Brooklyn Designs, Wanted Design, (both, amazing shows) and the grand daddy of them all: ICFF, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. ICFF brings out all of the big names in furniture design. There are celebrity designers, press, parties…it is a big show, held at the Javits center, and it doesn’t disappoint. Tables, chairs, clocks, home decor, fabrics, and all of the latest new materials can be found there. It is simply the venue to experience the most timeless designs alongside the most cutting-edge styles in furniture and accessories. With too much great stuff to show, and in the spirit of our unique passion for what we do, here are our favorite couches spotted this week at ICFF, 2014.

NUMBER 10 best design at ICFF

Ito Kish

This is a couch that makes a statement – amazing in an entry way! by Ito Kish

NUMBER 9 best design at ICFF

Alex, by Jephson Robb

You know a piece of furniture is special when it has its own legitimate name. Meet Alex, by Jephson Robb

NUMBER 8 best design at ICFF

Off the wall

I’m not sure this actually qualifies as a couch…but it should…Only at ICFF

NUMBER 7 best design at ICFF

Miles & May

A tasteful use of mixed mediums. Leather and wood, in a construction we’ve never seen before

NUMBER 6 best design at ICFF

Crazy Couch

Only at ICFF will you see something like this, from A lot of Brazil

NUMBER 5 best design at ICFF

Cabana Couch

Not sure what to say about this–but its pretty amazing that someone built it

NUMBER 4 best design at ICFF

by Extremista

Not exactly a couch, but wow! Made efficiently from one sheet of material, cut, bent, folded, beautiful…and sustainable

NUMBER 3 best couch design at ICFF

Sectional by Danao Living

A killer combination of fabric and real wood. This unique sectional by Danao Living is almost too pretty to sit on

NUMBER 2 best couch design at ICFF

By Vitra

Love these well-executed fabric sofas with zippered corners by Vitra–an institution in modern furniture; Swiss

NUMBER 1 Best couch design seen at ICFF, 2014

Purple, by Naula

Mmmmmmm. Above all, a couch should be comfy. Just looking at this one makes me want to cuddle up

As always, ICFF was inspiring. Go yourself! I am always humbled by the level of talent apparent at shows like this one. Our company, Lovesac, has never shown at ICFF, or any other furniture trade show for that matter, but we certainly gain inspiration from the best there. The only place you can find Lovesac couches are in our very own Lovesac stores, or website. We kind of like it that way.

Walking design shows all over the world is both humbling and reassuring…there is still nothing like Sactionals, by Lovesac. In my humble opinion, Sactionals may be the most revolutionary design in couches within the last century. Mostly because of all of the crazy things you can do with Sactionals (not to mention, they are “Lovesac” comfortable)….But then, I am kind of biased.

M Lounger by Lovesac

Could it be possible that the real number 1 best sofa design is not to be found at ICFF?

Let me know which one  of the above you liked best, and why!  (Don’t worry, you won’t hurt my feelings.)

— Shawny

@Shawny_Nelson

The Selfie Can Be a Beautiful Thing

The selfie is a prolific and heavily criticized element of our new social-media driven, 24-7 marketing-ridden, self-absorbed society. Through a contest we put out on social media this past weekend I can say firsthand that the selfie can truly be a positive force in this world as well.  We wanted to spread a little love to our friends and to mothers everywhere, so we ran a selfie-with-your-mom contest on Instagram. The winner would get a Lovesac.

#momsdeservelove

#momsdeservelove Contest Entries

The response to the contest was instantaneous and inspiring. Dozens of photos began popping up under the #momsdeservelove hashtag. So many beautiful photos of smiling people, with their mothers–many of them on a couch (naturally)…because that is so often where life happens.  In the end, a photo (below) submitted by @ej_santana of himself, his loving mother and his dog sharing a moment of their life on a couch was chosen as the winner. But there were also so many other great entries that I’ve decided to share some here on the blog.

@ej_santana Contest Entry

@ej_santana, mom & dog on Sactionals

Some of the photos, like the one shown below from @northshorepoor, featured you and you mothers celebrating this special day. I love seeing all of this happiness. So now I have a new challenge for you, below.

@northshorepoor #momsdeservelove Contest Entry

@northshorepoor, her mom and brother

Others, like the one below from @darleenmeier, were posted by moms themselves to celebrate one of the most important positions that exists on this planet- that of the caretaker, and the teacher, the mentor, and the nourishing provider which every good mother is.

@darleenmeier Contest Entry

@darleenmeier and her family

We LOVED the photos you posted because they embody what we’re doing here at LifeOnACouch.org. One hashtag like this created a tiny ripple that would produce scenes of bonding and happiness between children and their mothers–then when viewed as a whole, became a movement towards the love and togetherness we are all striving to restore in our society.

@rogerchandesign #momsdeservelove Contest Entry

@rogerchandesign and his mom and Lexi the husky

I couldn’t have asked for any more than the amazing response we all witnessed, and it has pushed me to go the extra mile to spark more of this kind of response. Hopefully in the end, we will be able to inspire the change that brings us all a little closer together–a society of people sharing their life on a couch. The selfie doesn’t have to be selfish.

Shawn, Dave & Shirley

Selfie with Shirley (mom)

So here is my challenge to you:

1. Put your arm around your mom

2. Take a selfie

3. See if she is smiling

A momentary spark of true joy and apparent love will be captured and pour out of that blurry, grainy, off-centered photo. THAT is a #LifeOnaCouch Selfie.

It doesn’t matter if your mom thinks Twitter is a children’s television program. Go out of your way to take a selfie with someone you love. I promise–if it is your mom–she’ll be smiling.

— Shawny

@Shawny_Nelson

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT TAKING SELFIES? HONESTLY–I WANT TO KNOW. REPLY BELOW…

What Does a Mother Look Like?

The Nelson Family

This is the picture of a mother

Lucky & Tiffany

She is capable of love in ways I can’t understand

Lucky, Pepper & Duke

I see it when she wakes up sick, yet duty-bound

Lucky & Pepper

I see it when she laughs without abandon at these funny little people

Tiffany & Duke

I see it when my instinct is to scold and hers is to hug

Lovesac Footsac Blanket

I see it when she sleeps so lightly, always on alarm

Pepper Sleeping

I see it when she sleeps so deeply, only to wake and do it again.

Lucky, Tiffany, Pepper

Being a mom—being a really good mom—is harder than anything I’ll ever do.

Duke & Tiffany picking apples

“Happy Mother’s Day” just doesn’t say it…but what else can I say?

Lucky with baby 4

So, Happy Mother’s Day…and now our fourth is on the way!

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, everywhere. You are the reason for life.

— Shawny