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PHOTOS: Grizfolk • Max Frost @ Gramercy Theatre (NYC) 2/11/16

Last week Grizfolk played the Gramercy Theatre in New York City along with Max Frost, and LA-based photographer Mallory Turner was there to shoot it for us!

Find more of Mallory Turner's work on her website. 

PHOTOS: Armors/ The Bulls / Kid Cadaver/ Conway @ The Satellite 3/9/15

photos and words by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Last night was CONWAY's second residency night at The Satellite. On the bill were ARMORS, The Bulls and Kid Cadaver.

It was a packed venue and I was grooving the entire night, not to mention the lighting was on point so I  was able to capture some cool moments:

PREVIEW: ECLIPSE- pr0files / MUNA / Natural Curves / 10PRINT @ House of Gods

 

What: ECLIPSE- pr0files / MUNA / Natural Curves / 10PRINT @ House of Gods

Where: House of Gods, Los Angeles, CA

When: 11/21/14- 9pm

When were you last immersed in an ocean of expression? Shh my child, it's alright - come submerge your senses on 11/21 as an incredible roster of artists transforms LA's House of Gods into your very own oasis of stimulation. From explosive musical acts to hypnotic visual projections to interactive art installations, we will supply enough creative adrenaline to run your right brain around the sun.

The night kicks off with MUNA, whose ego-eclipsing ‘more perfect’ EP (2014) sent critics to the ER with its heart-blowing lyricism; then Pr0files, the duo who’ve already tickled the internet's love muscles with their bold ‘Luxury’ EP and a steady string of singles - live music is rarely so alive.

It turns out speakers are people magnets, and San Francisco's own Natural Curves has enough force to suck you and all your friends into a DJ-induced dance-trance for an entire evening; that's exactly what will happen, btw. 

Meanwhile, VJ sensation 10PRINT has the right imagery in his arsenal to turn your brain inside out. Remember: it's not the drugs - you will be okay.

Come immerse yourself and remember this night like no other!

Featuring:
Pr0files
MUNA
Natural Curves
10PRINT

TICKETS: smarturl.it/dv821+ // Doors open at 9 PM

 

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NO TICKETS AT DOOR
*Reward yourself with an amazing evening via: smarturl.it/dv8 (guest list only, 21+, pay with Paypal or credit card)
PROFESSIONAL BAR & AFFORDABLE DRINKS / SNACKS
*Will keep your jeans skinny and your wallet fat
INTERACTIVE INSTALLATIONS
*Share 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 art - all attendees will have the opportunity leave pieces of themselves at House of Gods in a soulful orgy of creativity


*ECLIPSE is a DV8 Production*


 

HEARTBEATS #1: PROM Night

words and photos by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Introducing a new series... Heartbeats: Portraits of the Passionate Heart.  

There are a lot of cool things going on around us, and this series will shine a [beating] light (see what I did there?!) on the faces behind the various passion projects we'll be featuring. 

We're so excited to get the show started!

Who: AJ Frydman and Harris Mayersohn

What: Prom Night,  a bi-weekly stand up show featuring some of the best comics around held at Nature's Brew in Downtown Los Angeles.

If you've ever been to a stand-up comedy show before, you know it takes a lot of resilience to get on that stage. Crowds can range from super energetic and responsive to just downright apathetic, and it takes a certain amount of dedication, and rather, passion, to keep getting back up there. 

AJ Frydman and Harris Mayersohn, respectively current student and alumni of USC's School of Cinematic Arts, have been hosting a  bi-weekly stand-up show at a local coffee shop since this past February. Every show, they curate a line-up of talented, local comedians, while bringing their own bits to the table every now and then. It's not easy with a crowd of students whose opinions and tolerance levels you can't predict, whose sense of humor you can't quite gauge, and night classes that prevent some friends from making it out.

I met up with them before their last show on October 23rd to chat for a bit. As I got there about an hour before showtime, they were only just talking about what their intro would look like. Procrastination seems to be a part of their process, and personally I think it's working! Improvisation is what makes stand-up performers stand out (not to be redundant), and as the two put it, there's no way to practice than by throwing yourself into it. 

It's a no-pressure space, and the hosts often try  new bits between acts, or occasionally taking their own set-times. Depending on the crowd, any bit is a hit or miss...And if it's a miss, AJ loves the failure, Harris hates it. But like I said, no pressure! They just hand it back over to the next comedian if everything really hits the ground. 

Every show is different than the last because every crowd is different, and every line-up is different. I've been a few times at this point and I've only ever had a good time. Who doesn't like to laugh, right?! The comedians are hilarious, and it's always fun seeing what AJ and Harris come up with something new.  Sure, sometimes I don't get the jokes, sometimes I can feel the crowd cringing at the raunchier bits, but that should be expected: we don't all have the same sense of humor.

As Harris put it perfectly, "you just gotta suck" sometimes to see what does and doesn't work. And the way I see it, not getting a laugh or two is part of the whole process. Like writing a blog post and getting no reads, or releasing a video and getting a measly 15 views... 

Not trying at all would be true failure.

PROM Nights happen every other Thursday night in Downtown LA,  so make sure you like their Facebook page to stay updated!

PREVIEW: New Music Empire Presents- First Fridays at Old Towne Pub

New Music Empire returns to Old Towne Pub to host their second night of killer rock n roll. The night will feature three bands all current students and alumni of USC's Popular Music Program, and all bringing an incredibly high energy with their rock music:

 

The Hammers

The Hammers are an 80's inspired rock band, bringing those raspy vocals and intense guitar shreds that you remember from those days when the Sunset Strip was still cool. They deliver an energy-filled, hot and sweaty performance using actual hammers as mic stands. It's all kinds of entertainment in one place. They recently released an EP Hammer City and will be releasing a music video for "Hammer City" off the EP on September 24th.

 

Dolly Spectra

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Dolly Spectra is the project of Dani Ashjian. It's surrealist punk with a girl power edge. Their quirky live shows are brought to you by neon colors, men in dresses and a gut-wrenching tantrum pop that'll make you forget it's only 2014 and we haven't actually invented time travel yet. This show will be Dolly Spectra's single release show for her newest track, “Moving in Circles”.

 

Livia Slingerland

Livia's angsty rock has been described as "gritty and full of longing". Her songwriting is honest and vulnerable, and her live performance is nothing short of raw and energetic. Livia is currently working on a full-length album as she prepares to graduate from USC.

 

This is bound to be a mind-boggling, head-banging, sweaty show!

 

PHOTOS: DWNTWN and Hunter Hunted @ Tarfest 2014

Free live music? Count us in any day. 

Tarfest  is a free arts and culture festival at the La Brea Tar Pits at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that took place yesterday 9/20/14. We were able to snap some pics of DWNTWN and Hunter Hunted as we enjoyed some mellow weekend vibes, free range turkey burgers and breezy sunshine. 

DWNTWN

LIVE REVIEW: Blake Mills @ The El Rey 9/18

by Ethan Sherman

The biggest takeaway from Blake Mills’ show Thursday night at the El Rey Theater for this listener was that he’s managed to make old new again. 

The second show of Mills’ first headlining tour as a solo artist– so far, he’s made his mark mostly as a sideman guitarist and record producer for artists such as Fiona Apple, Lucinda Williams, Sara Watkins and Julian Casablancas– was in support of his new album, Heigh Ho, and left a sold-out crowd in awe for just under two hours. Mills sat center stage, a phalanx of guitars (which he switched to and from between nearly every song) and amplifiers behind and to his left, surrounded on all sides by an amazing band including violinist Rob Moose, keyboardist Tyler Chester, bassist Sebastian Steinberg (the only one standing), drummer Stuart Johnson, and percussionist Griffin Goldsmith. They all seemed genuinely grateful to be there.

Mills mostly played songs from the just-released Heigh Ho, as well as a couple covers and radical rearrangements of songs from his first album, 2010’s Break Mirrors. When I say “make old new again”, I’m not just referring to these creative presentations, but to Mills’ overall aesthetic as a singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader. Even though much of his approach to making music comes out of various traditions, he synthesizes elements of these traditions together in a truly compelling way.
Take the guitar playing, for example: while Mills is clearly indebted to players such as Lindsey Buckingham (he barely used a guitar pick all night) and Ry Cooder (indeed, one of his guitars seemed to be a near-replica of Ry’s famously modified Fender Stratocaster, down to the gold foil and steel guitar pickups– guitar nerds, take note!), his playing also exhibits the expressive qualities of sonic innovators like Jeff Beck– literally sounding like a human voice, or perhaps another musical instrument altogether. The most amazing thing about all of this is that it appeared to be second nature, as if the guitar was Mills’ second mouth, helping him speak.

One of the highlights of the night– both personally and judging by the whoops and cheers from the audience– was the surprise guest appearance by Mills’ sometime employer and collaborator, Fiona Apple. Apple sings on two songs from Heigh Ho, both of which were performed at the El Rey, as well as a cover of indeterminate origin (if anybody who was there knows the name of that song, please comment below!). Her presence seemed to invigorate Mills and his band with an energy that lasted after she left the stage through to the end of the set; their duet on “Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me” was a personal favorite.

All in all, if you like songs, sounds, or guitars, this tour is not to be missed. Blake Mills is truly on to something great, and I recommend that you see it for yourself. If you can’t, at least buy his new record. Heigh Ho was recorded at LA’s famed Ocean Way studios in a room once used by Frank Sinatra and Brian Wilson, and Mills hired some of his musical heroes– musicians such as Jim Keltner, Don Was, Jon Brion and Benmont Tench– to back him up on it. The result is, in this writer’s opinion, nothing short of phenomenal, not unlike Thursday night’s show. Thank you, Blake.


CONNECT WITH BLAKE MILLS

Website / Facebook / Twitter

PREVIEW: USC Springfest 2014

The most anticipated on-campus event of the year is here!

Every spring USC’s Concerts Committee within Program Board puts on a day-long music festival on campus, free to all USC students. Past acts have included Capital Cities, A-Trak, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Big Sean and more. 

This year, the line-up features musicians within various genres, so there’s definitely something for everyone!

Opening Line-up:

DJ Set by GNASH 

Night Riots

Breach the Summit

dale

Leo

Headlining Line-up:

X Ambassadors

Sir Sly

New Politics

Tyga

Diplo

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Music ranging from indie to alt/rock to hip to electronic, Springfest is bound to jam-packed with excited college students. 

Stay tuned for a recap of the event!

PHOTOS: Imagine Dragons at The Forum.

2/14/14. Los Angeles, CA.

What an incredible show. The Forum is huge, and although I wished I’d seen them in smaller, more intimate venue where I could’ve felt their music more, Imagine Dragons killed the stage. From the drum solo, to the guitar solos, to the memorizing lighting designs, the crowd was loving (the screaming girls were proof).

You're invited!

Dear LA!

You are cordially invited to our first showcase event ever! On Thursday January 23, 8:30pm, at a local coffee shop in the University Park area, called Nature’s Brew. We will be showcasing 5 very talented musicians, all current students at USC 

It’s a free show, all ages, and food and drink will be served!

Hope to see you there :)

Joint he Facebook Event

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Review: Three of Clubs Tour at The Roxy.

12/12/13.Misterwives, American Authors and The Royal Concept have been on tour for the past 6 weeks, and I was lucky enough to be able to see them at The Roxy in West Hollywood last night, 12/12.

Misterwives: I was oh so pleasantly surprised by this NY-based band that I’d never heard of until that night. Funky tunes + sweet vocals + a sax= never fails. Their energy on stage was infectious, and can’t wait to see where these guys go .

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American Authors: Seeing them again after 6 months, and seeing how much even better they’ve gotten, how much they’ve honed in on their style, made me so happy! The crowd loved, and by the end of their set, the entire room was dancing and singing (screaming) along. Stay tuned for the first album coming out next March 2014!

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The Royal Concept: All the way from Sweden, these guys are definitely on their way. Mixing electronic and indie rock to create something along the lines of Phoenix, The Royal Concept’s performance was truly unique.They ended their set with their hit track “On Our Way”, which easily got the crowd yelling their hearts out to the lyrics.

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