At a party at the True offices on Wilshire, three dudes have just finished pitching an app. They look like design students, with black vests and matching haircuts. One of them boasts that the founder had a chance to be the sixth employee at Instagram. But when the founder starts...
Perfect for those looking to stock up for Burning Man, there's the famous Venice Love Shack. With its cool, eclectic, weird, artist-community-meets-thrift-store-meets-yoga-studio vibe that epitomizes Venice Beach, the Love Shack is just one of those places you have to see to believe. Luckily, we took pictures. All photos by Star Foreman.
Even as the latest Step Up movie returns street dance to the screen, this year's installment of the annual J.U.i.C.E. Hip-Hop Festival returns street dance to the stage. The inventive dance organization with the unwieldy name of Justice by Uniting in Creative Energy has the good sense to go by its acronym, and the good sense to keep putting together this summer gathering of local and international street dancers. Now in its sixth year, the festival lineup promises a full evening of street-dance styles, with performers Jacob "Kujo" Lyons, Harry Weston, Breeze Lee, Emiko Sugiyama, Marie Poppins & Pandora, Toogie & Boogie Frantick, The Physical Poets, Lady Cultura, Millennium Dance Complex Tokyo, Open House, Versa-Style Next Generation, and Hok from Quest Crew. The preshow features one-on-one b-boy and b-girl battles at 7 p.m., with the final battle onstage just before curtain (to participate, go to fordtheatres.org/en/about/probreakingtour), as well as DJ Kenzo, host L. Scatterbrain, graffiti and spoken-word artists. Plus, Mari Koda, better known as Jenny Kido from the Step Up movies, will be there for a meet-and-greet. John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hlywd.; Fri., Aug. 22, 8:30 p.m.; $30-$50, $15 students, $12 children. (323) 461-3673, fordtheatres.org.More
Just as organizations such as A/V Geeks and the Prelinger Archives have been busy digitizing Super-8 and 16mm home movies, instructional films, and other forms of celluloid ephemera, Everything Is Terrible (EIT) is dedicated to finding the most god-awful casualties of VHS and virtually every kind of media thereafter. Everything Is Festival is a series of public screenings showcasing some of the most mind-glowingly bad shit out there. This year's fun, five-day film fest, Everything Is Festival: The 5th Dimension, kicks off with EIT's very own Memory Hole, a visual assemblage of rejects from America's Funniest Home Videos, which offers a window into America during the last quarter-century. Ticketed presentations include the 1991 amusing atrocity Samurai Cop (with star Matt Hannon in person!) and the sophomore edition of The Most Outrageous Video Games. Other highlights: Barry Hansen aka Dr. Demento's favorite finds, as well as the Found Footage Battle Royale, a community invitational for anyone hankering to share their own funny and/or disturbing under-recognized gems. Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax District; Thu., Aug. 28 to Mon., Sept. 1 (various showtimes); opening night free. All other screenings $12/$15, members free. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org.More
Hosted by Hart Pulse Dance Company, this annual fest, billed as L.A.'s largest dance festival, presents more than 60 dances in hip hop, ballet, tap, modern, tribal, contemporary, jazz, belly, and pole dancing. Each of the four shows has a different line-up, but some groups repeat. The opening show includes A.D.E., Katie Jane Hagen, Stella Melina, Hideen Entropy Movement Project, Hazel Clarke, Maha and Company, Kaleidoscape Dance, Samantha Loui & Cindy Sheng, Embark Dance Theatre, Jessica Harper, Elena Sophia Kozak, Compass Dance Company, OdDancity, Fuse Dance Company, and the host company. For the full festival line up and tickets: www.hartpulsedance.com.More
Ahoy, mateys! Get thee to ye olde Port of Los Angeles for Tall Ships Festival L.A., a five-day boating festival that pays tribute to a time when ports such as ours welcomed not just shipping containers and the occasional cruise ship but also majestic vessels called "tall ships" — classic boats with traditional, complicated rigs. From battleships to schooners to the World's Largest Rubber Duck (yes, really), this year's lineup promises something for everyone. The kid-friendly event includes a Friday-night screening of The Little Mermaid, projected on the sails of the Freda B. Live bands and cannon demonstrations will provide daily entertainment, while those willing to shell out some extra cash can actually ride on one of the museum-quality ships. And because every good captain knows a fed crew is a happy crew, plenty of food trucks, including the Lobsta Truck and Luckdish, will be in attendance. Los Angeles Waterfront, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro; Wed., Aug. 20, noon-8 p.m.; Thu.-Fri., Aug. 21-22, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 23-Sun., Aug. 24, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; $7-$85, free viewing for kids under 4. (877) 4FLYTIX, tallshipsfestivalla.com.More
fri 7/25 Dierks Bentley GREEK THEATRE For the better part of the past decade, Dierks Bentley has helped usher in a new era of country music. His catalog has spawned seven No. 1 hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs charts and cemented his status as one of mainstream country's superstars...
Visual allure often isn't a virtue we value when chasing obscure flavors in L.A.'s international neighborhoods. In fact, adventurous diners tend to appreciate the opposite: The grungier the location, the more accomplished we feel for having sought it out. Looks be damned — let the fireworks happen on the flavor...
Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles became a ramen paradise over the weekend as part of the Japanese cultural festival Nisei Week. Everything was hot -- from the food, to the weather, to the scene. All photos by Danny Liao.
We've got so many restaurants, you could eat at a different joint every day of the year -- and probably the rest of your life -- and never go to the same place twice. It would be impossible (both physically and financially) to try them all, but luckily, you have us. Check out The Year in L.A. Food (So Far).
The little girl who appears to live at 2300 Silver Lake Blvd. has been playing cowboys and Indians. She's set up an all-out, hand-to-hand battle on the living room floor. Little figurines face each other. Some stereotypically shirtless Native Americans crawl along the carpet. A cowboy stands watching from the...
Emmy season is the perfect time to focus our attention on the beautiful costumes that make our favorite shows come to life. After all, what would Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones or Mad Men be without the costume designers who make those far-off worlds believable? Once a year, the FIDM Museum & Galleries' "Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design" exhibition gives these costumes the spotlight. Curated by Mary Rose, president of the Costume Designers Guild (as well as a governor of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which presents the Emmys), the exhibit allows up-close and personal access to 75 designs otherwise only visible on the silver screen. Pick your favorites before the Emmys air on Aug. 25, or come back after watching the show to marvel at the winning designs. FIDM Museum, 919 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; thru Sept. 20; free. (213) 623-5821, fidmmuseum.org.More
Opening reception Aug. 22, 7-10 p.m.
"Neckface: Drinking on the Job" is a show a year in the making — and it sounds like one hell of a year. Inspired by the tenaciously seedy bar culture of his new hometown of L.A., this tagger/painter/phenom immersed himself in alcoholism (and related unsavory behaviors) for an extended bender, during which he somehow managed to work furiously on his art. The result: the dark, witty and hilarious pieces created for this much-anticipated installation. Using a method akin to the surrealists' automatic drawings, Neckface basically worked nightly in a fugue state, awoke to discover the surprises he left for himself in the studio the evening before, and then refined and elaborated on them before starting the process all over again. Well, maybe refined is not the word. Neckface is, after all, known for his exceptionally vulgar, sassy and sophomoric yet insightful observations on human nature — and his new barfly compatriots did not skimp on the material. New Image Art Gallery, 7920 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Fri., Aug. 22, 7-10 p.m.; continues Tue.-Sat., 1-6 p.m., through Sept. 13; free. (323) 654-2192, newimageartgallery.com.More
Pin-up girls, beatnik boys and tiki lovers from L.A. and beyond made a splash at San Diego's Crowne Plaza Hotel, which hosted the annual Tiki Oasis event, this year themed "Beat Tiki" with a groovy "60s beat" thrust. The wild weekender took over the grounds with colorful cocktails, non-stop pool and room parties, fashion shows, seminars, shopping and live entertainment including burlesque, bands and more.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania the Flying Morgans had a Beatle prom this last Friday to celebrate Molly, Bonnie and Gary's Birthday with 400 of their closest friends. All photos by Star Foreman.
Jennifer M. Kroot’s To Be Takei is an affectionate portrait of the hardest-working member of the original cast of Star Trek, George Takei. That’s pronounced tuh-KAY, not tuh-KAI, as so many have misspoken it over the years, including but not limited to William Shatner, whose strained non-relationship with Takei —...
Should grown-ups be spending their time reading young-adult novels, at the risk of missing the supposed riches of fiction written for actual grown-ups? A recent essay in Slate groused about the legions of adults who long ago graduated from the 12th grade but still devour YA fiction at the expense...
Picture a high school civics teacher with a great love for Ken Burns and access to people like Prince Charles and the Dalai Lama -- but no ability to ask them interesting questions -- making his first documentary on a laptop's built-in software.
Martial arts period drama 14 Blades'cartoonish action scenes are so energetic that it's hard to believe they weren't directed by master choreographer Woo-ping Yuen (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Drunken Master).
Vital and vigorous even when its characters feel scraped of vigor/vitality, Philippe Garrel's latest finds boho Parisians facing the ends of marriages, affairs, and the feasibility of bohemian existence itself.
Xiao long bao, or XLB, has long been a cultish food dish, the kind of thing people line up for, faces pressed against any available windows into the kitchen, watching the Chinese soup dumplings being made as they wait — patiently, hungrily — for their number to be called by...
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Bar Sinister knows how to celebrate! Gothly delights and great goodie bags will be on hand for the dark and decadent bash’s 16th anniversary this Saturday, including free tees designed via fan contest (Suede Souls of Carved Souls won), plus sultry swag from Medusa’s Makeup, the Stock Room, Shrine, Vampire Freaks, Pan Gallery and more.
Fanatics! This is our annual deep dive into Punk Rock, affectionately known as our Case of the Punks broadcast. It is a thing of greatness. We tried to pack it as full as we could. Hopefully, we got all these songs in, if not, maybe next time.
As you can see from the brevity of the notes, I am extremely short on time and running at things as fast as I can. I have shoot days and press this week, no days off, so I have keep it together and not be late.
Usually when a singer stage dives into the crowd and surfs on their back while playing their instrument, it's a show highlight. For Le Butcherettes, who opened for Mars Volta spin-off band Antemasque last night, it was just the beginning.
Since forming in 2007, Le Butcherettes have become notorious for their borderline-insane on-stage antics. Raw meat, fake blood, and 1950s housewife attire have been staples of the Mexican garage punk band's performances, led by frontwoman Teri Suarez, who's even been known to violently cut her own hair while playing.
She recently began to distance herself from her gory Teri Gender Bender persona, so, on the heels of the act's new album Cry Is For the Flies, it wasn't clear what the show last night would entail.
I am in my second week in Las Vegas. It is a hell of a thing to be getting familiar with intersections and places. It is a big city in a small town. Besides a 72-hour timeout for an injection of culture in Los Angeles several days ago — when I interviewed the great Syrian musician Omar Souleyman at the Grammy Museum — I have been here.
To feel the full effect of Las Vegas, I think you have to get off the street and spend as much time as you can in an air-conditioned, windowless, dimly lit hotel casino, until you lose track of hours and minutes altogether. This gives one the potential to enter into the sanity-challenging reality bend that Hunter S. Thompson experienced in his Fear and Loathing period.
You've likely never heard of A.W., but he's a Zelig-like figure who was there every step of the way during the West Coast hip-hop glory years of the '80s and '90s.
The man born Anthony Williams knew Ice-T "when he was stealing cars," palled around with Dr. Dre in his pre-NWA days when he was performing at Willowbook club Eve After Dark, and fended off Suge Knight's blood-thirsty German shepherd at Death Row Records.
He also helped birth the genre itself on our coast.
Along with an impresario named Duffy Hooks III, he launched Rappers Rapp Disco, which spawned the hip-hop song regarded as the first from the West Coast to get airplay, Disco Daddy and Captain Rapp's "The Gigolo Rapp," which you can hear below.
The 1981 track is so old that folks hadn't even decided how to spell "rap" yet.
He and Duffy also helped establish a viable national distribution network for local hip-hop music, which doesn't sound sexy, but was critical in helping L.A. artists establish themselves.
On Sunday at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Williams hosts the seventh annual West Coast Hip-Hop Awards, honoring Tupac, Nate Dogg, and Eazy-E. Scheduled live performances include Too $hort, Spice 1 and Kokane.
Ahead of the show, we talked to A.W. about early West Coast rap.
The Sonics THE ROXY
If the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were really about rock & roll, The Sonics would have been one of the very first bands inducted. The ’60s garage rockers from Tacoma managed to inspire not one but two separate musical genres — punk rock and grunge — and such disparate folks as The Cramps, Bruce Springsteen, The Pandoras, The White Stripes, The Fall, L7, Nirvana and The Flaming Lips have either covered their songs or cited them as primary inspirations. Practically every original tune (“The Witch,” “Strychnine,” “Shot Down,” “Psycho”) on their landmark first two albums now is considered a classic, although it took the mainstream rock establishment nearly two decades to appreciate them. On the group’s new split 7-inch single with their acolytes Mudhoney, Gerry Roslie howls “Bad Betty” with a Little Richards swagger, prodded along by Rob Lind’s leering sax and Larry Parypa’s savage guitar. —Falling James
Freeway Rick Ross was one of the most successful and famous drug dealers in American history. In the '80s he sold an estimated near-billion dollars of cocaine.
The South Central former kingpin inspired not one but two rappers to name themselves after him, Philadelphia heavyweight Freeway, and Miami hitmaker Rick Ross, who is literally a heavyweight, and whom the real Ross sued over his name.
Things don't look good for that case, but after being released from prison in 2009 following 13 years inside, things are looking better for Ross himself. Having exited the drug game, he now does speaking gigs at fancy schools around the country, and though until he went to prison he was illiterate he recently self-published a memoir,Freeway Rick Ross: The Untold Autobiography, with Cathy Scott. It seems destined for Hollywood. Nick Cannon's apparently interested in optioning it.
The book is a good read, and taught me something new about the man: He was a high school tennis star. Hipped to the game by a generous local psychiatrist who bought him equipment named Doc — Ross won't divulge his real name — he eventually used his aunt's address to enroll at Dorsey High School, where he became one of the best singles players on a team stacked with talent.
Recruited by Long Beach State, Ross's career was derailed when the coach found out he couldn't read. He eventually started selling drugs, buying wholesale from a Nicaraguan who funneled money to that country's rebel Contras. The CIA looked the other way, the Nicaraguan ratted on him (which is how Ross ended up behind bars), and a groundbreaking journalist killed himself.
Boring! What I wanted to know, as a former high school regional champion myself, was: Could Ross still play tennis?
It’s a Tuesday afternoon in late June, and rapper/reality TV star Chanel West Coast is walking briskly through the Grove, tossing her straightened blond, sorority-girl hair, when a teenager sitting at La Piazza Ristorante Italiano shouts out, “Chanel!”
When she sees it’s a young fan, someone who probably has seen her on MTV’s Ridiculousness or Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory rather than streaming her rap songs, she continues walking.
“These people that watch our MTV shows, they’re not music fans,” she mutters in her raspy baby voice. “They’re people that are lazy on their couch and want to watch funny videos or whatever.”
[Editor's note: Weekly scribe Jeff Weiss's column, "Bizarre Ride," appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday. Follow him on twitter and also check out his archives.]
The HARD Summer electronic dance music festival was only slightly different from the South Central high school pep rallies, West L.A. Sweet 16s and ’hood house parties DJ Mustard once rocked. The contrast between them and HARD, which took place earlier this month, was primarily shades of color, considering the latter’s preponderance of white sorority girls in neon bikinis and fishnet stockings hoisted onto the shoulders of fist-pumping bros.
But all good parties are created equal. Since he was an 11-year-old apprentice for his uncle, DJ Tee, the 24-year-old born Dijon McFarlane has mastered the art of crowd movement. The radio-monopolizing producer understands what you want to hear, before you have the chance to request it.
“Apart from working on music, I’d rather play big festivals than almost anything else,” Mustard says, speaking from the wood-paneled studio where he’s recording near the Beverly Center, a few days before setting off a riotous dance party at HARD.
Drew Bernstein, the creator of popular rock and roll clothing lines Lip Service and Kill City, was found dead yesterday of an apparent suicide by gunshot. His body was discovered on a hiking trail in the Hollywood Hills off of Mulholland Drive. He was 51. The L.A. native came up...
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to...
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar! Monday, August 18 Smoke Season ECHOPLEX Gabrielle Wortman is best known as the voice of the electronic combo TEMP3ST, but when she’s paired with Honor Society keyboardist Jason Rosen in side project Smoke Season, she reveals newfound elements of folk...
Reignwolf performed to a sold out crowd at The Troubadour on Wednesday night at one point relocating an amp to the balcony during the encore. The Futures League opened the night. All photos by Timothy Norris.