It’s not often the LAC crew is jumping at the opportunity to go clubbing in West Hollywood. Trust us, we’ve had our fair share of overpriced cocktails, bandage dresses, cigarette stains, and interminable bathroom lines. We’ve crisscrossed down the alley of youthful, boisterous, all-night merriment and landed exhausted, slightly grumpy, and a bit more introverted. Let’s just have a kiki and call it a night.
Suffice it to say, we’re itching for a bit more from our nights out these days. And thankfully our pals at DBA have finally delivered. These guys have figured out a nightlife hack: go curatorial and you’ll never get old. And with stimulating program to boot (theatrical events, spoken word, live music & DJs, top-notch literary speakers—you name it) nearly every night of the week, DBA offers far more than the typical, LA, after-dark expectation. Breathe a sigh of relief dear Angelenos—your weekdays just got way more compelling.
Peep below to get the scoop on what’s on the horizon for August from our favorite, new, nighttime symposium:
AUGUST 5TH – GOLDBLUM AND THE MILDRED SNITZER ORCHESTRA
Perhaps the only thing better than watching Jeff Goldblum play piano and banter with the crowd is watching Bill Nye perform science experiments (hint, hint DBA). Watch Goldblum, accompanied by the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra covort, clown, and tickle your ear holes. Early arrival is encouraged, as he’s known to joke around with the audience before the show is even scheduled to begin.
AUGUST 6TH – THE WRITER’S ROOM with KELLY MARCEL & SCOTT NEUSTADTER
Love books but hate the puffed-up pretension of literary events? Enter The Writer’s Room, a refreshing and long overdue take on the typically staid literary event. Hosted by Reza Aslan, writer, religious historian, and associate professor the University of California, Riverside (AKA the guy that schooled Fox News on what informed, critical thinking means), this month’s Writer’s Room presents Kelly Marcel and Scott Neustadter. From mega-book to mega-movie, Aslan talks to the screenwriters behind two of the most anticipated book-to-movie projects today: The Fault In Our Stars (Scott Neustadter) and Fifty Shades of Grey (Kelly Marcel).
THROUGH AUGUST 15TH – LA CANVAS + DBA PRESENT: THE LOOKING GLASS ART COMPETITION
Calling all artists! LA CANVAS and DBA bring you a unique opportunity to whip out your best ideas and bring them to life. Make your mark this August by creating a one-of-a-kind mural inside DBA’s highly visible front display window on Santa Monica Blvd. Win a celebration dinner for four at Fifty Seven in DTLA, your name on the DBA marquee during for the unveiling of your art creation, a VIP table for 10 with $1k bottle service + more. Deadline for submissions is August 15th, 2014. Get to it, art folk.
EXTENDED THROUGH AUGUST 30TH – FOR THE RECORD PRESENTS TARANTINO
This homage / mash-up of Tarantino directed films brings to life your favorite characters and sounds from Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Kill Bill Vol. 2, Death Proof, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. It’s a pretty raucous night—arrive early for DBA’s signature cocktails and snacks. Be sure to use code “CANVAS” to save 20% off tickets and thank us later.
This Fairfax storefront is a favorite neighborhood meeting spot for locals who laze on the patio and coffee nerds who drop in for single-origin pour-overs and cold brews from a rotating roster of roasters such as Sightglass Coffee, Coava Coffee and Victrola Coffee Roasters. Writers also drop in (and stay) with their laptops at one of the few tables—be prepared to stake out seating—inside the industrial, minimalist space. Refuel with homemade chai tea and house-baked treats from salted caramel rice crispy bars and granola.
Wifi: Free Coffee cover: $4 for a pour over Parking: Free underground lot inside the 801 N Fairfax complex. Enter on Waring Ave. Loitering meter: 3 out of 5. The number of tables inside (re: outlets) are limited, so be prepared to work outside until you run out of juice or come early to snag prime work space.
One part retail store, one part dance studio and one part cafe, this Pico Boulevard storefront is a mainstay for local families, diners and home office workers alike. Order at the counter—coffee from Intelligentsia, Ecco Caffe and Coava; pastries by Cake Monkey and Sweets for the Soul; sandwiches, salads and other plates are seasonal—and sit at one of the many tables inside or out. (The upstairs mezzanine is the place to work.) The wifi can be spotty, but outlets and other coffee shop workaholics are aplenty. Writers should avoid putting in hours on the weekend—wifi and laptops aren’t allowed—but Thursdays have the added bonus of farmers market shopping 4pm to 8pm from Produce Project pop-up.
Wifi: Free. No wifi on weekends Coffee cover: $3.27-$4.75 Parking: Ample 2 hour metered parking Loitering meter: 5 out of 5. You’ll be working side-by-side with other home-office workers round the clock.
Coffee nerds and the Portlandia set rejoice as Seattle’s Espresso Vivace lands in LA, namely in Westwood Village. Expect to see fewer UCLA students and more young professionals and a hip, coffee-loving crowd geeking out on perfectly pulled espresso shots. Wifi is free but there are no outlets, so come fully charged (on your laptop, that is) and expect to get recharged on java that’s expertly made from a helpful staff. The idyllic, ivy-filled patio is inspiring and the small list of pastries and breakfast items—we love the almond butter and jam on brioche—satisfying. Try the Café Nico and make sure you get your name in their computer to rack up free shots.
Wifi: Free Coffee cover: $3 Parking: Limited metered parking Loitering meter: 4 out of 5. Quiet, quality coffee and never-too-crowded—good for 2 to 3 hour work sessions.
With long hours (Mon-Thu 7:30am-10pm, Fri 7:30am-8pm, Sat 8am-10pm, Sun 8am-8pm), free wifi and plenty of comfy seating, this neighborhood coffee shop is the dream home office away from, well, home. Bi-level inside seating is a hodgepodge of leather chairs, tufted armchairs and communal benches, while the lush, lofty front patio is perfect for an alfresco work sesh (outlets included). Prices are cheap and other laptop workers aplenty (so you don’t feel like a 9-to-5 pariah). The go-to pick-me-up is the namesake housemade scones—we love the nuts and jam or blueberry heated up.
Wifi: Free Coffee cover: $2.30, small; $2.75, large Parking: 2 hour street parking on side residential streets Loitering meter: 5 out of 5. Cheap coffee and plenty of comfy seats make for an ideal at-home work day.
This Santa Monica coffee shop takes coffee so seriously that they’ve got it done to an art, or, by the look of rows of glass siphons and spotless counters, a science. Teas are brewed á la minute—don’t miss the masala chai or potent ginger tea—and coffee is painstakingly prepared (yes, in the siphons). Single-origin teas and coffees fill an extensive menu, and the selections of baked goods includes vegan, gluten-free breads and cookies. Set up your work station in front of the soothing water fountain on a comfy leather couch or on one of the many tables. But we prefer the front counter—lest you’re easily distracted by coffee slight of hand—overlooking the machine-like crew in the kitchen helmed by JC who’s eager to share with his customers.
Wifi: Free with a purchase of a drink Coffee cover: $4.25 Parking: Plenty of 2-hour metered parking Loitering meter: 4 out of 5. Wifi users and coffee nerds are all welcome to stay awhile.
Down the block from Silver Lake’s neighborhood meeting point, this quaint cafe offers Morocco-does-south-of-the-border charm, however off-beat. The bougainvillea-covered sidewalk patio has a few small tables to soak in the sun on Sunset Junction, but inside lone laptop workers tap away on tiny tables in a bazaar of home furnishings and Mexican clothing and accessories. Take a cue from the cafe’s theme and order a fresh mint tea supplemented with baked empanadas and a huge, rustic bowl of chicken soup—fill up on chunks of chicken, carrots, potatoes and corn on the cob. Seating and outlets can be limited, so prepare for Plan B. (We love the nearby Broome Street General. There are no outlets, but there’s free wifi, plenty of parking and a charming outdoor patio.)
Wifi: Free Coffee cover: $2.50, small; $3, large Parking: Metered parking and 2-hour residential parking Loitering meter: 2 out of 5. Good luck trying to find a seat by the single outlet.
If you prefer typing away with a side bar of people-watching, you’ll find home office nirvana at Melrose Place’s Alfred Coffee that oozes cool (handlebar mustaches and Rag & Bone uniforms) and serves up Stumptown coffee. Snag a seat downstairs at the communal table or on the ground level on the patio or along the wall. The space is a tight squeeze and the hard-surfaced (and often backless) seating uncomfortable, so you’ll find an able-bodied set here. Farmshop pastries and juices by Pressed Juicery provide sustenance for this fashionable coffee joint.
Wifi: Free Coffee cover: $3 Parking: Limited metered parking Loitering meter: 2 out of 5. Uncomfortable seats and a small space limit long work days.
Sure, the coffee is overpriced, the staff is snooty and the rules are ridiculous (no water bottles allowed, one glass of complimentary water and $1 thereafter), but the lofty space offers comfy, spacious seating in a stark white, gallery-like space that breeds creativity (and your next script). Wifi is complimentary with a purchase of a drink and limited to an hour and a half, but the well-sized parking lot relieves meter maid anxiety. The baristas sport bulging biceps in ultra tight T’s and the playlist rotates between nostalgic to offensive, but a well-stocked menu—Bouchon and Cake Monkey pastries, Fonuts, Lamill teas, Intelligentsia coffee—and an only-in-LA experience makes this cafe one of our favorites to visit.
Wifi: With purchase and limited to 1.5 hours Coffee cover: $3.95 Parking: Free, on-site lot Loitering meter: 3 out of 5. Though we can’t stand the attitude, high prices and limited wifi, we still come back for the beautiful space.
Seattle’s cult-fave coffee lands in Silver Lake at this industrial-looking, bi-level storefront. Eastside freelancers stay caffeinated around the clock with single-origin and blended coffee and well made espresso drinks. Groups and singles can snag a spot by the floor-to-ceiling windows or perch on the compact mezzanine level. Bonus: The water is triple-filtered and serve-yourself free.
Wifi: Free Coffee cover: $2.50-$3 French press, $5 pour-over Parking: Limited street parking Loitering meter: 4 out ot 5. Your Intelligentsia alternative.
Bang out your next script and bro out at this retail spot dedicated to bikes, surfing and Venice cool. Handmade Deus Ex Machina motorcycles and surfboards shaped in-house are on display, along with other “dude-like” paraphernalia. With Handsome Coffee to caffeinate and sandwiches and pastries to satiate, loiterers can spread out on the alfresco patio or at the communal table and leather couches inside.
Wifi: Free Coffee cover: $2.50 Parking: Free, on-site lot Loitering meter: 3 out of 5. The types who come in are more interested in chrome hardware than Apple hardware.
M+B EMBRACES A NEW CHAPTER IN THEIR CONTEMPORARY ART PROGRAM
It should come as no surprise that LAC shares a breath of the same artists as M+B. The gallery has remained a steady fixture on our radar, nurturing some of the most enticing new artists right here in our very own backyard. From our past features like Matthew Brandt, Hannah Whitaker, and Mona Kuhn, we’ve been pillaging (or rather, graciously and inspiringly appropriating) the M+B arsenal for a cool minute now. Can you blame us?
We were first introduced to M+B long ago when a collection of Andrew Bush’s “Vector Portraits” surfaced for what became one of our favorite exhibitions yet. Bush’s voyeuristic, large-scale photographs of man and his automobile were beautiful, humorous, and poignant, and fueled our curiosity about M+B as a whole. So when the opportunity arose to get up close and personal with the team behind the magic, we pounced.
M+B sits between Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, in what appears to be a quaint and picturesque bungalow home. Beyond the front cottage with charming French doors, in a second (and equally inviting) space, lies the nucleus of the gallery, its traditional white walls and track lighting nestled within the ivy-coated driveway.
We sneak a walk-through of the property before Alexandra Wetzel, M+B’s Assistant Director, greets us. “It’s the perfect example of an indoor/outdoor California space,” she smiles. Indeed, the space is relaxing and comfortable, with a grateful lack of somber stuffiness or pretension. Through a mutual love for photography and general aversion for Pilates Plus (can you slow it down just a little?), Alexandra takes us through the gallery’s inception, its artists, and its evolution.
We bring on new artists when we see something amazing—an idea, perspective, or aesthetic that is unique and relevant to our time. Something we haven’t yet seen before.
At the helm of the gallery is Benjamin Trigano, who founded M+B in 2008 out of a deep passion for photography. Together with his team, M+B has spent its formidable years cultivating a roster of artistic mastery, not to mention developing a reputation for signing on undiscovered talent. “We bring on new artists when we see something amazing—an idea, perspective, or aesthetic that is unique and relevant to our time. Something we haven’t yet seen before,” Wetzel tells us. “LA is blessed with three of the country’s best MFA programs: USC, UCLA and CalArts. The number of artists moving to LA is greater than it ever has been.”
Recently, the M+B program, which has maintained a long-standing foundation in photography, has broken its own mold, transitioning into a wider understanding of the medium. The gallery announced its two-program split—with M+B, their newer, contemporary focus, and M+B Photo, their existing program that remains true to their photographic roots. “Almost all of the artists that we’ve shown in the past few years are contemporary artists. They don’t see themselves as photographers or particularly tied to that medium,” Wetzel explains. The need for the two programs became an obvious trajectory, with its former approach transcending its own limits of photo-based practices.
“This result was really about the artists and the work,” Wetzel imparts. “By always riding the edge and constantly pushing boundaries, the program reached a point where there were two different focuses and it was time to make that distinction.”
Now, with both M+B and M+B Photo under their belt, the programming is really taking off, shedding their more established ties to the lens in favor of prompting a new dialogue on the consumption of art in the digital age. So what’s on deck for the gallery? Soft Target, an ambitious group show curated by M+B artists Phil Chang and Matthew Porter and featuring a parade of artistic talent will be taking over the gallery until the end of August. Additionally, a stunning new body of work from Jessica Eaton is set to take shape (“It’s her first time working with carbon printing,” Wetzel declares), and Mariah Robertson, one of the latest additions to the M+B roster, will have her west coast debut solo show in the spring of 2015.
We want to do something different and create a destination…where you can feel comfortable asking questions.
Evidently, this new chapter is slowly and steadily growing, filling the page with freshly innovative processes of artistic production—one that lies beyond the bounds of a once “traditional” medium. “We want to do something different,” Wetzel affirms, “and create a destination…where you can feel comfortable asking questions.”
LAC Clubhouse pal, comedian, VFILES regular, and newly inaugurated cult leader Casey Jane Ellison continues to awkwardly woo us with her maroon lipstick ways. Peep the launch of CASEY IS YOUR CULT, a mock-cult dedicated to teaching the Ellison “way of life.”
My work is about life, equality, ruin, genderlessness, prettiness, societal ills, being chill, group sex.These things are life and they are my work.
A demented mix of Anna Wintour and The Source Family overlord, watch the video above and see Casey demonstrate to her four lovers/cultees that they don’t actually really, really want to leave. Stop trying to get away.
Casey Jane Ellison has shown work at at the New Museum, MoMA PS1 and the Museum of Art and Design in New York. She also curates Aboveground Animation, which presented a showcase at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles last year.
What’s that? The Clippers couldn’t hang against OKC? The Dodgers are charging ahead in their all-too-familiar mediocrity? Well, suit up, nerds: IT’S SOCCER SEASON. With nod adieu to LA’s regular and often lackluster sports season (save for those Kings!), we are excitedly switching gears for a some play time on the world stage. This glorious, gripping, international tournament filled to the brim with sanctimonious pledges of national pride, bandwagon fans, and an insane cavalcade of talent has finally reared its head again. The World Cup has got us in a tizzy, and we are counting down the days before the epic tourney completely sidelines our social calendar for the next month (not to mention the secret, bootleg, live streaming sessions we’ve got on lock on that minimized internet browser on our work computer. Sorry, boss.).
This year, Brazil’s main TV network has already racked up over $600 million in sponsorship plugs, creating some of the best advertising hype we’ve since since last year’s Super Bowl. While we anxiously anticipate USA’s first game against Ghana on June 16th (insert iconic Macaulay Culkin face here), peep our picks of some of the best commercials to gear you up for the World Cup 2014.
Nike, which is not, in fact, a World Cup partner, is shattering Adidas’ soccer supremacy with these new batch of ads for Brazil’s 2014 World Cup. Created by Wieden + Kennedy and directed by Jonathan Glazer, the 60-second spot below portrays Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Brazil’s Neymar and England’s Wayne Rooney preparing for the World Cup under intense psychic stresses of soccer superstardom and an ominous, compelling, stopwatch score. Welcome to the pressure-cooker, boys. We’re watching.
ESPN, “The World Cup Comes Home”
[via Sean Bulvo | The 93rd minute] The commercial conveniently forgot about the barrios, kidnappings, and massive gang-violence but who cares, because, after watching this, I want to buy a ticket to Brazil immediately. Those girls are beautiful. . . and I think I saw soccer in their somewhere. I was a little distracted.
First off, this is the nicest favela I’ve ever seen. Secondly, Who is this Stony kid?? I officially hate him. Nonchalantly ripping a newspaper out of Lionel Messi’s hand? No biggie. Putting your grimy drumsticks all over David Luiz’s soda? This guy. Stony, DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU ARE RIGHT NOW? Messi, I will personally stitch your paper back together and read it to you personally if I can get in the next ad.
Aside from this oblivious, ungrateful youth, the commercial also stands out because of its interactive features: Viewers can click to “dive deeper into Stony’s world” by unlocking additional features. Other featured players include Robin van Persie, Jack Wilshere, Sergio Aguero, Sergio Ramos, and, oh, Janelle Monae as struggling, side-hustling, street performer (take a peak at the behind-the-scenes footage here).
Nike gets it’s sense of humor back with a star-studded, four-minute TV spot, featuring Ronaldo, Neymar, Rooney, Ibrahimović, Higuaín, Piqué, Iniesta, David Luiz, Tim Howard, and many others. Plenty of great comic relief and explosive action shots. Be sure to tune in at 2:24 when Kobe Bryant drops yet another Jumping-On-The-FIFA-Bandwagon-Because-I-Secretly-Always-Wanted-To-Be-A-Professional-Soccer-Player cameo.
Sorry Adidas—as good as this clip is, Nike kinda trumped you in it’s World Cup brand awareness. Nevertheless, the ad is a great addition to the pool. Set the The Kinks, “All Day And All Of The Night” the ad introduces Brazuca, the match ball of the 2014 World Cup, and life from Brazuca’s point of view. More than one million Brazilian fans voted to name the ball brazuca, which “is used by Brazilians to describe national pride in the Brazilian way of life. Mirroring their approach to football, it symbolizes emotion, pride and goodwill to all.”
Daaammnn, Gatorade went and got that Disney money. The ad cleverly pairs Lionel Messi, David Luiz, Sergio Ramos, and Landon Donovan with the soundtrack from Cinderella (masterfully remixed by David Banner), showcasing the magic and hard work that go into creating amazing soccer moments.
ESPN, “I Believe”
Don’t get me wrong, I will be rocking my USA jersey hard throughout this tourney, but there’s a difference between “believing” and actually winning. This ad could use a lot more actual scoring highlights and a little less of the cheesy “I Believe” fan chant. R. Kelly believed he could fly, and look where that landed him (unless soaring directly to prison counts?). Nevertheless, we can’t help but love any and all USA plugs, so it makes our list for the pure hopefulness of it all.
This one is sure to tug at your heart strings. Powerade, the official beverage partner for the FIFA World Cup, shares the amazing story and strength of Nico Calabria, an athlete born with one leg. The short documentary campaign portrays the raw and inspiring willpower of a young man who refuses to let any challenge stand in his way.
The new Emirates commercial is kind of genius. The spot features soccer icons, Brazilian Pele and Portuguese Ronaldo on their swanky, first-class flight, where both of them have their own set of fans. Take a gander, we wont ruin it for you.
Directed by Fernando Meirelles (City of God) and launched during the UEFA Champions League final, the clip depicts Lionel Messi experiencing an edgy World Cup dream—all set to a killer new Kanye track, “God Level.” Other featured players include Dani Alves, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luis Suárez, Xavi, Jordi Alba, Mesut Özil, Robin van Persie, and David Villa.
ESPN, “Time Zones”
ESPN is really hitting the nail on the head with these charming, entirely relatable clips of what soccer fandom truly encapsulates. I’m already breathing a sigh of relief that I won’t have to wake up at 4 AM this time around just to watch Ghana dash our World Cup dreams (I’m lookin at you, Asamoah Gyan…)
Part of Budweiser’s “Rise As One” campaign, the new commercial features lush black and white scenes of fans around the world getting hyped for the game, interspersed with dazzling gold bottle shots of the brew. All set to an anthemic, orchestral score that will surely make you forget how shitty this beer actually is.
The campaign also includes an online documentary series co-produced with Vice, as well as a six-part documentary to be broadcast on Fox.
McDonald’s does viral, trick-shot videos now. In the new TV spot, soccer enthusiast of all ages come together to perform their best trick shots. Along with the commercial, McDonald’s is planning on outfitting its french fry packaging with a fresh augmented reality, World Cup-themed design and a new app that somehow seamlessly connects fries with soccer. Organic branding, y’all. Organic.
We get it Kobe, you’re amazing at everything. But real talk, you are a grown ass man—with body hair, a high-profile career, and the ability to vote. And you wanna tell me you sit around swapping World Cup stickers with Andrew Luck? Get it together, man.
It’s been eight years since French soccer star Zinedine Zidane dropped a head-butt on his Itailan rival to turn a boring tie-game World Cup Final into a hilariously memorable and meme-worthy World Cup Final. In the clip, Marco Materazzi (headbutt-ee) is replaced with Italian World Cup Champion Fabio Cannavaro (who was on the field playing for Italy at the time of said head-butt) for a light-hearted reunion of rivals.
Yah, we know, this ad is likely five years old by now. But it might be the best of Nike’s bunch, and totally worth another nod. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the ad depicts the roller-coaster ride of a young soccer player from his beginnings competing at the highest level for his country from a first-hand perspective. All before GoPros were actually a thing.
Know of any other great adverts? Comment below with you picks.
At just 29 years old, Maggie Kayne has been staking claim to LA’s illustriously enigmatic art world. Between her freshly minted 15,000 square foot gallery space with partners James Corcoran and Bill Griffin, her celebrated inaugural show with long-time pal and all-around man about town James Turrell, and her recent exhibition with demi-god David Lynch, it’s safe to say that Maggie is staying ahead of the curve. And all while barely pushing the greater part of her adult years.
Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Maggie’s exceptionally designed space on south La Brea is a soothing retreat, complete with Turrellian (patent pending) light elements, a retractable Skyspace, and various outdoor elements also designed by Turrell. A veiled treasure among the encroaching auto shops and fast food eyesores on the same stretch, the gallery might be easy to miss to the untrained eye.
I enjoy being slightly off the beaten path. I like to be a little bit removed . . . but still conveniently located.
“I enjoy being slightly off the beaten path,” Maggie says. “I like to be a little bit removed . . . but still conveniently located.”
She approaches art with the same iconoclastic, trailblazing streak, steering clear of the relatively established cobblestoned road of traditional art dealing in favor of a freshly paved one.
READ THE FULL FEATURE ON KAYNE GRIFFIN CORCORAN AT HER E-ISSUE HERE.
Ah, a new year. Here’s to new adventures, ambitious resolutions, and, of course, new music. We’ve compiled a preview of some great new—and not-so-new—musical acts / tracks you should have on your radar for 2014.
FRIENDS: “Van Fan Gor Du”
Friends has been incubating in the indie buzzosphere since 2011 and are slowly garnering some well-deserved attention. Headed by Samantha Urbani, Friends is self-described “weird pop,” swapping genres for an infectious, funky album that’s filled to the brim with cutesy female appeal. The band is sure to kill it during festival season, the proto-funk beats providing the ultimate soundtrack when you and your besties are glazed and that dude keeps dancing on you, no, next to you, no, on you.
JAMES BLAKE FEAT. CHANCE THE RAPPER: “Life Round Here”
One of the best things to happen to hip-hop and R&B these past few years has been their head-on collision with electronic music, producing some incredibly catchy beats and reshaping their respective forms in a substantial way. James Blake and Chance The Rapper join forces for a hypnotic, tingly, remix of Blake’s own Overgrown track “Life Round Here.” It’s been one of our favorite remixes to come out of 2013, only made better by celebrated director Nabil’s music video.
(via Lindsay Zoladz | Pitchfork) “Probably won’t make no money off this, oh well,” Beyoncé shrugs on her new album’s moody, amorphous second track, “Haunted.” And I say this with the requisite curtsy to the Queen, but: bullshit. True, in both content and form, Beyoncé is a risk—an emotionally candid, unconventionally structured experimental pop record that was released digital-only with absolutely no promotion—but we know now that she is going to make a little bit of money off this. Still, how could you not know all along that you’ve got a blockbuster on your hands, when there is a song on your record like “XO”?
“XO” is one of those big, boundary-obliterating pop songs that demands to be projected onto the sky, like the aural equivalent of a firework. There will be a supercut of people all over the world lip-syncing and doing cute hand motions to “XO” by the end of this week. It’s the Beyoncé cut that Ed McMahon would ride for. One of the guys from Skeleton Crew is going to propose to his girlfriend while “XO” is playing and she will say yes. “XO” is the reason why anyone you know who has said, “Yeah, but where are the hooks on Beyoncé?” did not listen to the entire album. Chris Martin is listening to “XO” right now, crying. And, because perfection is overrated, all of the flawlessness here is brilliantly undercut by that gravelly croak in her lower register when she growls, “Baby love me, lights out.” You kill us, Bey.
IMMIGRÉ: “Madeline Remix”
We have a confession. We like to believe it was the LAC crew that “discovered” DJ duo Immigré so we can cling to the backbone of their success when they blow up. Liberian/Iranian/American/European/Creatures-of-the-World, Jasmine & Val Fleury prove the amazing output of collaboration when cultures and music styling’s blend (If only the rest of the world would take their lead). The gals have been curating some fresh mix tapes since 2012, and will be making their rounds on the festival circuit this coming spring. Do yourself a favor and watch them spin live and with love.
WILD CUB: “Thunder Clatter”
This song isn’t particularly new, but it’s finally making its rounds this year, and we have a sneaking suspicion this is destined to be some kind of summer sleeper hit. The Nashville quintet just signed to Mom+Pop Music, and “Thunder Clatter” is a youthful, jubilant, celebratory tune that lends itself to an afternoon of drinking with friends.
KELELA: “Guns & Synths”
(via Esquire) If you had to guess whose style Beyoncé might bite for her latest studio album, your guess would probably not have been a no-name LA R&B singer who hangs around with underground electronic producers. And yet that would not have been such a bad answer. Kelela’s blend of hard drum and bass and warm ’90s-style diva vocals made her mix tape Cut 4 Me one of the most talked-about of 2013. She’ll be performing here and there through 2014, including an appearance at SXSW. If you get a chance to see her, do yourself a favor and take it.
BLOOD ORANGE: “”You’re Not Good Enough” [ft. Samantha Urbani]”
Whether writing/producing wispy pop cuts for Solange and Sky Ferreira or releasing misty, meditative R&B (“Chamakay”), Dev Hynes is crushing it…in glossy black dancing shoes. Hynes, aka Blood Orange, sounds like Prince if Prince had been raised entirely at nighttime under Miami’s neon lights. “You’re Not Good Enough” is solid enough to be a massive hit but dude has stayed (largely) under the radar until the release of this album.
EARL SWEATSHIRT: “Chum”
A member of LA’s Odd Future hip-hop collective, the 19-year-old released the sleeper album of the year with Doris—an album light years beyond his peers. “Chum” is 4 minutes of intensely personal yet insanely catchy headphone rap.
TINY HEARTS: “Stay”
Comprised of singer DeDe Reynolds, jazz trained composer Tim K and producer Waajeed of Platinum Pied Pipers fame, Tiny Hearts came together on a fateful night in a bar in Brooklyn in 2011. Since then, the trio has relocated to LA, and wowed us with their debut Stay EP. Waajeed and Tim K create a gritty cocktail of melodic and lyrical potency, while Dede Reynold’s ephemeral vocals bring the whole thing home with an affect that combines a bit of enigmatic gypsy mysticism with a healthy serving of old Hollywood charm.
Just for this Vine:
While we’re a little biased (peep our Jan/Feb cover), Malaysian-born beauty Yuna has been keeping us above water and smiling while we wade through our most gloomy breakup moments, our career pitfalls, or simply, our Wednesday hump day. Yuna is audible euphoria, and just the ray of sunshine we need to kick ass and take names in 2014.
Move over Jonathan Goldsmith, cause David Lynch might be claiming your throne. Between the renaissance man’s celebrated film and TV work, his new dabble in music, or his specialty roast of coffee (seriously??), It’s hard to believe Lynch is also an accomplished visual artist. “Naming,” Lynch’s solo exhibition at Kayne Griffin Corcoran features shadowy photos of decaying stores and diners, drawings of flies, and Surrealist, dream-like canvases––everything your Blue-Velvet-meets-Eraserhead-fantasies could dream up.
If Lynch’s hypnagogic installation doesn’t fit your fancy, go for the gallery space itself. Kayne Griffin Corcoran’s new 15,000 square-foot build-out on La Brea Avenue, the vision of L.A. firm Standard and James Turrell, is quite the beauty, complete with a private courtyard patio (There’s even a permanent Skyspace designed by Turell himself).
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.
The LAC crew recently got up close and personal with the new online boutique The Dreslyn. Aside from the graceful, impactful, and highly intuitive site designed by clubhouse faves Hugo and Marie, The Dreslyn is seriously capturing our sartorial desires. From brands like APC, Helmut Lang, Rag & Bone, Champagnes de Provence, and Carven, founder Brooke Taylor Corcia has carved out a niche for The Dreslyn in the luxury marketplace, and we’re proud to claim the innovative retail environment is indigenous to our fair city.
Seeing the lack of a lateral exchange as an opportunity for innovation, Brooke began conceptualizing a retail platform for the sartorially savvy woman to correct contemporary fashion’s considerable blind spot. Through a cocktail of expert brand-cultivation, art direction, and interactive technology, she crafts an elegant voice and populist exchange between the brand and customer.
“It’s only ‘cause of companies like Net-A-Porter and Gilt Groupe that we’ve been able to advance—we’ve really been able to stand on their shoulders and try something new. Our delivery is much more informal. We come at it from a bit of a democratic point of view—a bit more conversational. The ‘West Coast point of view’ is something that is very important to our identity. I do find that it has been missing the market. I literally relocated my life to California ‘cause there is a lot happening here. The California angle is really exciting and we’re really proud to adopt it.”
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH THE DRESLYN IN OUR ISSUE HERE.
Since its introduction in 1925, Leica’s reputation has preceded itself, its commitment to excellence never faltering among the millennial generation’s lust for instant gratification. So when Leica decided to open a new gallery space in the heart of Los Angeles, they, predictably, took their time and did it right. Upon entering the 8,000 square foot space, I am greeted with a flood of natural light, a well-clad staff on deck, and a gargantuan, metallic Leica sculpture built by Chinese artist Liao Yibai. It is one hell of an introduction, as “after all,” says Roland Wolff, VP of Marketing and Corporate Retail, “everyone knows that you only have one chance to make a first impression.” Tiffany’s window-shopping be damned, this is a gadget-hoppers dream, a camera-lover’s heaven, a photojournalist’s paradise. You are entering an elite club, and you’d be a fool not to take note.
But geeking out among the pristine cases of vintage and contemporary lenses will have to wait. Upstairs, the gallery beckons. I am given a tour of the space by curator, Annie Seaton, who describes in detail the incredible history of the brand and what’s in store for the gallery’s upcoming exhibitions. Breathtaking prints by iconic photographer, Mary Ellen Mark line the walls of a space that has been retrofitted to host Leica Akademie workshops, with projections built into the ceiling and hidden walls appearing as if out of thin air. There is a small library curated by celebrated Magnum photographer, Martin Parr, where guests are invited to peruse his selections of some of the best photo books the publishing world has seen. Double glass doors lead to a gorgeous outdoor (why yes, there’s an outside!) patio. I grab one of the books from the gallery and find my way to a shadowed corner on the patio and read away, mesmerized by images and totally relaxed in this hidden oasis just off Beverly Boulevard.
Below the gallery, lies the equally well-curated store, home to the entire range of new Leica products, along with a number of their rare and vintage pieces. From a gold-plated, special edition Leica created for the Sultan of Brunei, to their entire line of the brand new and highly coveted Summilux motion picture lenses, the store is an optical sanctuary, housing some of the most cherished and influential cameras in photographic history. I am enthralled with the staff’s knowledge, and they are quick to school me on all things photography. Many of their cameras are made by hand in batches of 15, taking up to four to six weeks to produce. Apprenticeship in their factory can take up to a full year before handling the precious cargo is even allowed. And with their technologically advanced rangefinder system, it’s no wonder that photojournalists across the world are keen to call this camera their own.
Between pigging out on expertly prepared bites at the LA Food and Wine Fest last weekend, gearing up for LA Times’ insane culinary talent for their upcoming The Taste festival, and overindulging at Septemberfest, this summer is quickly becoming a foodie’s paradise.
This Labor Day weekend, we are especially thrilled to be clinking our plastic stemware with the LA Times for The Taste festival at Paramount Pictures Studios. The three-day food festival is jam packed with some of the food industry’s biggest names. From our local faves like Ari Taymor of Alma (peep his feature in our newest issue), Craig Thornton of Wolvesmouth, and Josef Centeno of Bäco Mercat, to mixologists extraordinaire like Julian Cox, Brandyn Tepper, and Serena Herrick, this food fête is hitting all our deepest hunger pangs.
The weekend feast kicks off Friday evening where hosts, co-hosts, guests, and fancy food-lovers (oh-and us) will be mingling, rubbing shoulders, and tasting some of the finest food offerings in the city. On Saturday, August 31, food editor Russ Parsons and Michael Cimarusti (Providence,Connie & Ted’s) will highlight local and seasonal fare with Field to Fork from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. That night, Jonathan Gold and Sang Yoon (Father’s Office, Lukshon) will bring a foods representative of L.A.’s cultural diversity with Flavors of L.A. at 7:30 to 11:30 PM.
Test Kitchen editor Noelle Carter and Nancy Silverton (Osteria Mozza; Pizzeria Mozza) will host a barbecue-focused Labor Day Block Party welcome to Angelenos of all ages on Sunday, September 1, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festival wraps up with Cocktail Confidential later on in the evening from 7:30 to 11:30 PM, hosted by deputy food editor Betty Hallock, food and nightlife writer Jessica Gelt and cocktail guru Matthew Biancaniello.
Tickets for the weekend-long grub fest may be a bit steep for some, but fear not young epicureans! LA CANVAS has got your back. We’re giving away a fabulous pair of tickets for The Taste’s Cocktail Confidential on Sunday, September 1st from 7:30-11:30 PM. Head to our Instagram and Facebook to find out how you can win.
So raise a glass and toast to a divine culinary experience. And let’s just hope Kat Odell and those damn Bravo cameras keep their paws off of our amuse-bouche.
Last week, on our never-ending quest to stay up on the new new and the new new new, we stumbled upon Austin-based Whiskey Shivers on the LA leg of their summer tour. Among a consistent stream of synthetic pop beats and the over-reaching disney-stars-turned-musically-inclined-sorta-kinda-musician, it’s incredibly refreshing to see these guys actually play, well, instruments. With catchy rhythms, killer energy and impeccable musicianship, Whiskey Shivers turns traditional bluegrass on it’s head and has become our fave new “freewheelin’, trashgrassin’, folk tornado” band (and they’re pretty easy on the eyes, ladies.).
Before they darted up north on the 101, the boys caught up with us for one hell of a Q&A:
So, what’s up? We’re currently piled into a van en route to Portland, Oregon, finishing out the last leg this three week run up the west coast before returning home, and then eventually east again. Basically just trying to spread and practice friendship all across this great nation of ours.
Can we get you something to drink? Sure. Know anything that cures hangovers? Maybe a purple vitamin water? Gatorade? Pedialite? Micheladas? Do you have those in LA?
Great name! What’s the story behind it? Haha thanks! I think a lot of people think it’s the DT’s but it’s actually that feeling you get right after a shot of whiskey. That hot feeling that shivers up your spine as you realize the nights gonna get a whole lot radder.
Dream music festival? Well, we’re playing Austin City Limits, which has always been a dream being as how we’re out of Austin. Aside from that, I’d say Coachella, Telluride, or anything with Insane Clown Posse.
Rock, paper, or scissors? Scissors. See attached image for our matching scissor tattoos.
Do anything last night? I’m glad you asked. As a matter of fact we did! We played The Silvermoon Brewery in beautiful historic Bend, Oregon and a good time was had by all. Shortly thereafter we had what we call a cartwheel party.
How late did you stay up? Three maybe? After the cartwheel party, we were lulled to sleep by the sweet voices of Andy Griffith, Opie, and The Darlings (or the Dillard’s, which is our favorite bluegrass band who had reoccurring roles in the show).
Meals or snacks? I think we’re all pretty indifferent so long as bacon is involved.
Craziest road trip/tour story? Something involving way too much Bartles and James and a ripped frenulum. That’s probably as much as anyone cares to know.
Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party? Tia or Tamera Mowery, Barney Fife, Genghis Kahn, and Rachel Many.
Your biggest fan? This dude who calls himself Curtis McTurdis comes to all of our shows within about a 200 mile radius. He once walked from Austin to San Antonio to see us play.
If life could resemble any film… Goonies, obviously.
Who would you hire to write your theme song? Chingo Bling or Ke$ha. We can’t come to a consensus.
Blue or black ink? Black. Like our souls.
Ever sit down in the shower? Of course! That’s the only way all five of us can fit in.
When was the last time you really froke out on someone? Thats hard to say. I froke at Andrew our bass player the first time I saw the word froke, which was right now. Does that count? Oh, I met Paul Ruben once and froke the heck out. Not at him per se, but the same way that a 13 year old girl meeting Jonathan Taylor Thomas in 1993 might have reacted. Screams, cries, and awkwardly long hugs.
What’s the first thing you said out loud this morning? I woke up to all the dudes singing This is How We Do It by Montel Jordan. I believe my first words were, “…so I reach for my 40 and I turn it up…”
Are you listening to music right now? Yes! Chingo Bling.
Your dream project? Literally, anything with The Muppets. Anything.
Where can we catch you next? Well, I’m not sure when we’ll be back in LA quite yet, but if you’re worldly enough to escape to Texas, we’re playing Utopia Fest in Utopia, Texas on September 20th, and Austin City Limits on October 12th. If you’re not worldly, Bobby’s going to be making his national television debut on Cops this fall. Oh, and of course, there’s always here: www.whiskeyshivers.com
If we gave you $50 what would you buy? Cronuts!!!! Just kidding, those are awful. Realistically, probably $50 worth of Ranier Beer.
Last three google searches? Taylor Swifts feet, “Taylor Swifts feet,” and “Taylor Swift’s feet.”
What are you doing later? Practicing friendship up and down the coast!
Can we come? We wish you would!
Visit the band’s website to sneak a peek at their upcoming tour dates.
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