THE SCOOP: DIA DE LOS MUERTOS EVENTS IN LA

Dunno bout you, but we’ve got a surplus of face paint burning a hole in our junk drawer.  If you’re still catching up from this past weekend’s Halloween debauchery, why not chill out until Dia de los Muertos this weekend? Us Angelenos have the luxury of embracing the afterlife with a variety of options — from music fests to cemetery kickbacks. Peep our list for the best places to practice your Gucci eye and rock your calavera face.

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Photo credit: Kuzmenkova

HARD DAY OF THE DEAD

WHAT: If you went to HARD Summer this year, you’re probably still experiencing withdrawals, and we’re right there with you. HARD never fail to bring the music full force, and this year’s HARD Day of the Dead is no different. Slide through to the LA Historic Park this weekend to witness filthy line-ups from the likes of Skream, Tokimonsta, Kastle, Lunice and more, as well as a special Red Bull Music Academy “Discotheque Stage.” On Saturday, if you’re still hyped afterwards, hit the official HARD DotD after party at Exchange LA to get an extra dose of Boys Noize, Maya Jane Coles, and Destructo. | more info
WHERE: Los Angeles Historic State Park |
WHEN: Saturday, November 2, 12pm-2am & Sunday, November 3, 12pm-2am

BOOTIE LA – DAY OF THE DEAD PARTY
WHAT: The infamous bi-monthly bootleg mash-up party is giving you one more excuse to throw on your costume and boogie down, presenting its post-Halloween party. In memory of the Jells Mayhem, one half of influential mash-up DJ duo, The Illuminoids, resident DJs A Plus D and dance crew R.A.I.D. will be throwing down a tribute set. Remember, the dancing don’t ever stop at Bootie LA.
WHERE: The Echoplex | 1154 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026 | more info
WHEN: Saturday, November 2, 9pm

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS AT HOLLYWOOD FOREVER
WHAT: True to tradition, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is hosting it’s 14th annual Dia De Los Muertos celebration, complete with musical performances, Aztec ritual dancers, arts and crafts vendors, altar presentations, and of course, food. Dia de Los Muertos attire is highly encouraged, so come dressed to the bone to celebrate family, life and culture in Los Angeles. | more info
WHERE: Hollywood Forever Cemetery | 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90038
WHEN: Saturday, November 2, 12pm-12am

EL VELORIO – DAY OF THE DAY EVENT ART EXHIBIT

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WHAT: Art curator Antonio Pelayo presents El Velorio, a Day of the Dead event that doubles as a community art exhibit and benefit for its host, Plaza de la Raza. With 100 LA-based artists like Freddy Negrete, Nikko Hurtado and Diana Munoz exhibiting their work, attendees also get to witness musical performances from Cuicani and the Youth Mariachi Ensemble and a special performance from La Sonora Dinamita, commemorating the celebration that is Dia de Los Muertos.  | more info
WHERE: Plaza De La Raza | 3540 North Mission Road, Los Angeles, CA 90031
WHEN: Saturday, November 2, 7pm-1am

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS AT CINCO
WHAT: Cinco, one of our favorite watering holes, is celebrating Dia de Los Muertos the only way it knows how: with drinks. With specials that include $7 Mezcal Margaritas and two tacos for $8, Cinco invites guests to grab a bite and a drink, while also placing altars up all week for guests to honor their loved ones with photos and sweets. | more info
WHERE: 7241 West Manchester Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90045
WHEN: Friday, November 1 & Saturday, November 2

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS AT LA SANDIA
WHAT: Santa Monica’s favorite rooftop restaurant, La Sandia, is celebrating Day of the Dead with special menu offerings. We recommend the mole rojo, where slow roasted carnitas doused in a red mole sauce are paired up with a habanero blood orange margarita making for a nice one-two punch of sweet and spicy. Enjoy the view with some good food and  drinks and your Dia de Los Muertos weekend is set.  | more info
WHERE: 395 Santa Monica Place, 305 N, Santa Monica, CA 90401
WHEN: Friday, November 1

ARTBITES: DAY OF THE DEAD

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WHAT: Loteria Grill is pairing up with Artbites to present an art gallery tour and dinner in honor of Dia de los Muertos. There’ll be a gallery discussion and guided tour highlighting objects of life and death in LACMA’s Latin American art collection. After the tour, guests will dine at Loteria Grill on a three-course dinner from chef Jimmy Shaw. Intellectual and epicurean stimulation? We love killing two birds with one stone. | more info
WHERE: LACMA | 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90036 ;  Loteria Grill | 6627 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90036
WHEN: Saturday, November 2, 5:30pm-9:30pm

BRAND NEW: ISLANDS – “WAVE FORMS”

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The olive-eating, Canadian-bred band Islands is back with their new video for “Wave Forms.” Directed by Strike Anywhere, the new vid follows Islands as they join a lone roller skater (played by Cory Zacharia) as he rolls through the streets of, ahem, Lancaster. Zacharia has been a recurring character in Mike Ott’s films, including “Littlerock,” “Pearlblossom Highway” and the upcoming “Lake Los Angeles.”

Cheers to a band that can keep our attention since the pimply, ForeverXXI days of 2006.

Check out the video below:

INTERVIEW: MIDNIGHT MAGIC

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with some of the band members of Midnight Magic, a live disco-funk-electro-anything-that-makes-you-dance act out of NYC. Self-described as the “lovechild of Donna Summer and George Clinton”, Midnight Magic are the kind of band you ditch your lazy Sunday night plans for. As vocalist Tiffany Roth told the crowd “You could be watching Oprah, but you’re here tonight.” We watched and danced on as the band’s undeniably groovy vibes transformed the Fonda into a bonafide discotheque.

Read our interview with band members Tiffany, Morgan and Andrew as we caught up with them during the Los Angeles stop of their tour with Holy Ghost!

LAC = LA CANVAS; T = Tiffany, M = Morgan, A = Andrew

LA CANVAS: You’ve been compared to LCD Soundsystem and Hercules and the Love Affair. How would you describe your sound?

T: There are so many elements of funk, soul, a little bit of disco, a touch of R&B if you will (laughs), a sprinkle of house, nu-wave.
M: And a tug of dubstep. (laughs)
T: Yes, and a tug of dubstep (laughs) not really!

LAC: How did you get into disco and funk? Is the nostalgic sound of your music intentional?

M: The nostalgia? No, I don’t think so. We just do what we do and try to make the best music we can. I know a lot of our influences definitely come through in that. Maybe that’s where the nostalgia comes from. We’re influenced by a lot of older music, so it definitely comes through, but it’s not like an intentional thing where we’re like ‘let’s bring it back.’ (laughs)
A: I think it’s also in the equipment we use and the way we record as well. We have what is considered to be old school sensibility. We use a lot of outboard gear and vintage analog drum machines and synthesizers. Those have that quality and that color that remind people of that era in which these things were made—which is the 70s and the 80s.

LAC: Speaking of instruments, with a nine-person band, it sounds like you guys might have a lot of instruments?

A: Actually, we’re a lot of people but we’re not a lot of stuff. Most of the instrumentation is coming from, like, the keyboards, and all that stuff is coming from Morgan. Really, at the end of the day, his rig, which is 3 or 4 keyboards, and then a drum machine maybe, or sequencer of some kind, and then it’s like two trumpets, trombone, percussionist, drum kit and bass, and Tiffany singing through a delay pedal. We always show up and people always think we’ll have a lot of inputs like we’re fuckin’ Radiohead or something. They’re like ‘Oh, you only have 11 inputs. That’s amazing!’
M: But in the studio we have a ton of instruments. When we record, we use a lot more. Then we interpret it live.

LAC: With nine band members, what’s the creative process like, both in songwriting and how you interpret that for performances?

T: Two things kind of happen. Sometimes we will write a horn line and it’ll come from something Morgan’s doing, like a keyboard line. We’ll translate that and they’d be like, ‘Oh that’d be really good if the horns played that.’ Sometimes those guys will be in the studio and be like ‘I have something,’ and it’ll strike and we’ll write something down.
M: It depends, the process is always different. At first it wasn’t like ‘Oh, we’re gonna have a nine-person band,’ it just happened to be people around and we all played music together anyway, and eventually Midnight Magic kind of ended up having three horns and two percussionists and all that. Later on, that kind of informed the writing as the live band developed and the writing kind of informed how we’re going to do it live. They both kind of play off each other.

LAC: In talking to other dance musicians, they say their biggest motivation is getting the audience to dance.

A: Oh yeah! It’s huge. You know if something’s working by looking at the audience. I’ve seen someone who’s standing still just react to something that Morgan’s just done and they’re transformed.

LAC: Would you say that’s part of your creative process? Thinking about how someone will dance to your music?

A: I dance in the studio, if Morgan’s programming something and I’ll be dancing behind him and be like ‘yeah, this makes me dance.’ Sometimes, though… the piano makes me cry (laughs).

LAC: So what’s the best dance move you’ve seen at one of your shows?

A: Probably Morgan’s. You’ve got some really good moves.
T: Erik Tonneson from Holy Ghost! was dancing like a crazy person during our show in Santa Barbara. Like out of his mind…like he was on bath salts.
A: It was beautiful.
M: It’s like a gazelle in the wild.

LAC: Top three disco records?

A: Lists are tough. You know what’s an awesome disco record I found in my record collection? It’s pretty obscure. It’s called Off the Wall by this artist named Michael Jackson (laughs). No, I’m serious though. I forgot about that album…
T: I didn’t, I heard it all the time.
A: I found it in my stack of CDs driving around this summer in my car. Man, favorite? That’s tough.

LAC: Maybe just name one that has been most influential?

A: As a bass player I think a lot of about Bernard Edwards from Chic. He’s amazing. I’ll go with I Want Your Love by Chic.
T: Sparks’ Number 1 Song in Heaven produced by Giorgio Moroder. Every track is nuts—it’s like eight minutes of amazingness.
Morgan: I’ll pick Jones Girls’ Nights over Egypt. Maybe, although it’s not my favorite, I’ve been listening to it a lot lately: Mind Warp by Patrick Cowley. A lot of inspiration has come from that recently.

LAC: What are some of your non-dance music influences?

A: When we’re asked this question my mind goes to a lot of influences outside of music, cause there’s a lot. There a certain things that unite us, that we’re passion about, beyond music, I mean.
M: As far as artists, we all really like Bohannon, we’re all really into The Fatback Band, The Gat Bands, Grace jones, Isley Brothers–the classics, you know? We all listen to a lot of music from all over the world. Salsa, and a lot of Brazilian music.  It all kind of falls into the realm of dance music, I guess, so it all has that common ground.

LAC: Have you guys had the chance to go to Brazil yet?

M: Yes! Not to perform [as Midnight Magic]. But Tiffany and I were there 10 years ago. We partied… hard.
T: They know how to live!

LAC: I’ve heard they don’t even start partying until midnight.
T: Oh yeah, we performed at 3:30 in the morning! At Razzmatazz in Barcelona. That was so fun.
A: Just wanted to add, going back to influences, the films of Dario Argento and David Lynch, things like that—these are all things we talk about a lot.
M: The band Goblin has been a huge influence too.

LAC: I was listening to one of your tracks and heard one of the guys on the track saying something about ‘drinking yerba mate.’ I thought it was hilarious. What’re the most ridiculous lyrics in your tracks?

A: ‘Let the honey dip trickle on your stick!’
T: I don’t even know what that means.
M: I know what that means (laughs)
A: ‘Sharing your love with Tiffany’
M: ‘Waves of liquid gold flowing through your world.’

Let the honey dip trickle on your stick over with Midnight Magic’s tunes over on Soundcloud