Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


R.I.P. Drew Bernstein, Freak Fashion Pioneer

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Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 2:23 PM
  • Courtesy of Lip Service
  • Drew Bernstein
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 on the local skateboarder scene, hanging with people like Tony Alva and another recently departed local icon, Jay Adams.

Bernstein was also in several punk bands. Though his music career was short, he was constantly on the scene, and appeared in Penelope Spheeris' punk film, Suburbia.

But it was the fashion he created, for “freaks” and “weirdos,” in his words, that left the greatest mark. 

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  • Timothy Norris
  • John Legend
John Legend
Greek Theatre
August 18, 2014

John Legend looked me straight in the eyes and told me he loved me last night, you guys.

Well, maybe he didn't mean me, personally, but it sure felt that way. On stage at the Greek Theatre, the R&B crooner seduced an entire audience of date nights and ladies' nights. From the very start of the show — string quintet, sudden spotlight on Legend in a silver suit, "Made to Love" — it was hard to avoid the communal fantasy in the air: each of us, alone with Legend, gazing, caressing, brushing a cheek with the back of a hand, living out that fast-forwarded love story at the beginning of the movie Up.

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  • Photo courtesy of Manimal Records
  • Marina Paiz, aka Trends
What happens when you give a high schooler a Le Butcherettes album, a guitar, music production software Logic Express, a cheap snowball mic, and a $20 Peavey amp? 

In the case of 18-year-old Duarte artist Marina Paiz, you get Queer Punk Trash. Duh.

At least, that's how Paiz describes Trends, her DIY bedroom recording project. More specifically, she refers to her self-created genre as "experimental shitcore/ space punk."

We had to know more. 

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The Chainsmokers Are Blowing the Eff Up

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Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 3:48 AM
Alex Pall (left) and Drew Taggart (right) - COURTESY OF 4AM
  • Courtesy of 4am
  • Alex Pall (left) and Drew Taggart (right)
Two years ago DJ Alex Pall and producer Drew Taggart were pretty much unknown.

Yet when we talked to them earlier this month, the duo had just lunched with Tïesto in Las Vegas. 

Pall and Taggart are better known as NYC-based EDM up-and-comers The Chainsmokers. They were one of our favorite acts at Hard Summer this year, and they're also the guys behind the hit song “#selfie," which hit #1 on Billboard's Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and has over 10 million Soundcloud plays. (You can hear it below.) 

"#Selfie" is a joking ode to vapid club girls, comprised of a catchy beat over a Valley girl's drunk monologue. The song blew up because, well, everyone knows this type.

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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 help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her — confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.

Hello Fan!
My band just embarked on our first three month tour, after being together only seven months. I know it sounds silly, but we must have angels because we've had a fair amount of success so far, and a lot of great press. Call it post-tour blues, but we just don't know what to do next. We have a lot of genuine fans who give us the "you will make it" speech, but I know how slim the chances are.

Our manager also happens to be our producer so we can record at any time. My questions: Do we record an album and distribute to stores? I'm the guitar player and composer, so do I get with the singer and write more? Do we need to work on our marketing or even try to get in touch with record labels? What about festivals? We just need some guidance because, as you can tell, I don't even know if I'm asking the right questions!

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014


Berserktown Fest Killed It

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Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 9:06 AM
  • Photo by Samuel Dorian Perez
  • Dirty Work

Berserktown Fest
Los Globos

The first day of Berserktown on Friday was Babylon for underground music freaks. The fledgling festival's venue Los Globos felt like a place where no security guards or gentrifiers could extinguish the fire created by hardcore and noise artists from all over the country.

L.A. may have shut down the East 7th and the Church on York spaces earlier this year, but Berserktown was a giant middle finger to the establishment — but one that was completely legal. There's already talk of part two. But for now, we're still recovering from the first day. Here are some notes on our favorite sets:

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  • Michael Wojtas
  • Woods
Woodsist Festival
Woods, Cass McCombs, Fresh & Onlys, Foxygen, Peaking Lights and others
Pioneertown, CA
August 16, 2014

For the second straight year, New York psych-folk label Woodsist decamped to the deserts of Southern California for a festival featuring their current roster, plus alumni and friends.

The lineup itself was sequenced almost like a lost Laurel Canyon record from the ‘70s—the first half hushed and smoky, the second plugged-in, freakier, more jam-oriented.

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Rolling a blunt is a complicated art. Compared to regular rolling papers for joints, cigar wraps (which are made from tobacco leaves) aren’t as wide, and they’re harder to bend. Rolling a blunt thus requires dexterity and serious hand-eye coordination. Opportunities to mess up abound.

Toke has been taught how to roll a blunt many, many times, but the skill never quite took. Still, we prefer blunts, which have several advantages over joints: They hit smoother and slower, and almost always taste better, even compared to the recent wave of “all-natural” rolling papers. So why does pretty much every dispensary in Los Angeles sell pre-rolled joints, but not a one sells pre-rolled blunts?

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  • Photo courtesy of Partisan Records
  • See Thursday: Sylvan Esso
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar!

Monday, August 18

Smoke Season
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 and Americana in her songs. Even so, Smoke Season aren’t strictly traditional rustic revivalists, juxtaposing eerie roots rambles such as “Badlands” with more ethereal, electronic-pop interludes such as “Opaque.” On the duo’s new EP, Hot Coals Cold Souls, Rosen crafts a shiny soundscape of dance-pop grooves and shifting electronics on such tracks as “Simmer Down,” where Wortman coos yearningly like a guileless and sincere version of Madonna. Since her 2006 solo debut, The Secret Life of Gabby, Wortman has taken parts of her myriad influences and reconfigured them each time into a newly pleasing, potentially commercial variation. —Falling James

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Friday, August 15, 2014

  • Courtesy of Michelle Kath Sinclair
  • Terry Kath
In Canoga Park in January 1978, a young guitar player and singer named Terry Kath died of an accidentally self-inflicted gunshot wound. Joking around with a friend, Kath held what he thought was an unloaded handgun to his temple and pulled the trigger, Russian roulette style. But there was a single bullet in the chamber, and Kath died instantly. He was 31 years old.

Kath left behind one of the most successful rock bands in history, Chicago – a group that, at the time of his death, had released 11 consecutive platinum-selling albums, and would go on to release seven more. He also left behind a wife, Camelia, a two-year-old daughter, Michelle, and a complicated legacy that Michelle, now 38, is exploring in a forthcoming documentary, Searching for Terry.

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