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Meeting up with Raul was easy - we're super fortunate to have him as a neighbor and friend & we trucked across the hall one morning with a pot of black coffee and a superfluous list of questions we felt you should know. He has had a great influence on us musically (as co-founder of both Bandwidth & the Wilderness Bureau) - his portfolio of work is thoughtful, creative, moody & RIGHT-ON. He's got that renaissance thing going on - likes the woods, tacos and dive-bars. Yeah, Raul.

Coffee at the Wilderness Bureau
RAUL: tell us your favorite place to visit / favorite place to hang / favorite meal / favorite road trip / what are you listening to at the moment / talk to us about MUSIC, Raul / what are you looking forward to this Fall / tell us about your cats

I was born in Los Angeles, but I was raised in this area, so I'm pretty much a local. I've had some short breaks away, and have certainly threatened to pack up for good, feeling limited or that I needed some other metropolis to fully achieve my goals. But as this city has been coming into its own over the last few years, it has increasingly felt like the right place to keep my flag flying. It's been really exciting to be a part of the evolving creative identity of the District. The city has a long way to go, but the potential is evident.

Admittedly I've been sort of a shut-in lately, and I'm more drawn to hang in low key home gatherings these days when I do go out. But you'll still see me out at openings and music/arts events, supporting the arts as much as I can. Though...being that its only a few blocks from the studio, I think you can often find me at my local watering hole, Showtime.

Coffee at the Wilderness Bureau

I'm always up for tacos, and I don't think that I'm breaking any new ground with that statement. I think my favorites in town are Chilango and Mama Chuy. I'm not a meat eater, and I feel like both of these spots offer some amazing options that really satisfy. However, this short list is certainly not exhaustive...

I've been kind of stuck here in town this summer with lots going on, but I'm still hoping to break away for at least a couple of day trips or a weekend perhaps. I've always been more partial to the woods and hills than the beach, so I feel like my 'Summer' getaway will likely end up being a road trip to explore the areas around the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Coffee at the Wilderness Bureau
We've been super lucky to have this situation work out so well with the studio and being able to set up these Bandwidth performances right here in this space. It gives us time to get creative with the space, but also, it's amazing to be able to have my favorite artists come through and hangout with us. They've all been absolutely great, and too many to list here, but some of my recent favorites have been Rodrigo Amarante, Marissa Nadler, and Gem Club. The latter two's latest records have been getting some heavy rotation on my hi-fi lately.

(SOUND ADVICE from Bandwidth is a great gauge for what to listen to NOW ... the likes of Sylvan Esso, Phox, Frankie Cosmos, and Amen Dunes are just a hand full of the bands that Raul has featured as a WILDERNESS BUREAU + BANDWIDTH feature.)

Coffee at the Wilderness Bureau
Coffee at the Wilderness Bureau
My two cat pals + Wilderness Bureau studio mascots are both super awesome, however quite different. Everyone loves Layla and she pretty much does whatever she wants. I love that she looks a challenge head on and just goes for it. Gizmo, aka "the handsomest cat in America," he's a cat person's cat.


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