[ AUG. 26 - SEPT. 1 ’09 ]
Campus Circle | 3
art contributors TESSAR LO Aug. 26 - Sept. 1, 2009 • Vol. 19 Issue 32
Tessar Lo was born in Indonesia. In 1989, his parents brought him to Canada, and he eventually made his way to Los Angeles. Lo likes to paint and draw, and do or make general creative things that are inspired by the world around him.
Editor-in-Chief Jessica Koslow email@example.com
Managing Editor Yuri Shimoda
Film Editor Jessica Koslow firstname.lastname@example.org
Art Director Alance Ward
Contributing Writers Geoffrey Altrocchi, Lauren Barbato, Jonathan Bautts, China Bialos, Erica
FILM 7 JONATHAN GROFF
A Breakout Performance inTaking Woodstock
Carter, Lauren Broadsky, Richard Castaneda, Kehinde “Doxx” Cunningham, Nick Day, Natasha Desianto, Melissa Evalle, James Famera, Zach Hines, Joe Horton, Jonathan Knell, Lucia, Ebony March, Angela Matano, Samantha Minton, Stephanie Nolasco, Samantha Ofole, Brien Overly, Sasha Perl-Raver, Samantha
7 TV TIME 7 TEMPORARY DISTRACTIONS 8 SCREEN SHOTS 8 REVIEWS 10 DVD DISH 10 PROJECTIONS
Plotkin, Parimal M. Rohit, Dov Rudnick, Mike Sebastian, Doug Simpson, David Tobin, Emmanuelle Troy, Mike Venezia, Anna Webber, Kevin Wierzbicki, Candice Winters
Editorial Interns Athalia Nakula, Melissa Russell, C. Molly Smith, Sable Stevens, Marvin G. Vasquez
14 ARTISTS TO WATCH Tessar Lo and SA Richard
16 L.A. ART WALKS Contributing Artists & Photographers China Bialos, Mila Reynaud, David Tobin, Emmanuelle Troy
Breaks New Ground with Light and Where’s Matis At ADVERTISING Sean Bello email@example.com
Joy Calisoff firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Bookatz Music Sales Manager email@example.com
19 JIMMY ROBBINS
19-year-old singer-songwriter is a hottie superbob.
20 PETE YORN
Back and Fourth and Breaking Up
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CD REVIEWS FREQUENCY MUSIC REPORT LIVE SHOW REVIEWS THE BASS LINE
SPORTS Calendar Editor Frederick Mintchell
Campus Circle newspaper is published 49 times a year and is available free at 40 schools and over 800 retail locations throughout Los Angeles. Circulation: 30,000. Readership: 90,000.
PUBLISHED BY CAMPUS CIRCLE, INC. 5042 Wilshire Blvd., PMB 600 Los Angeles, CA 90036 (323) 939-8477 (323) 939-8656 Fax firstname.lastname@example.org www.campuscircle.com © 2009 Campus Circle, Inc. All rights reserved.
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L.A HOOPLA GALAXY KICK THE SPORTS WANDERER THE DIAMOND DISPATCH
4 CAMPUS NEWS 4 WOODEN NICKELS 5 THE ART OF LOVE 6 GAMES & GADGETS 6 COLLEGE CENTRAL 6 CURTAIN CALL 21 THE 10 SPOT 20 THE ART OF LOVE 20 L.A. FACES 21 THE 10 SPOT 21 FASHION101 21 JET SETTER
On the Cover: Matisyahu, photo by Beau Grealy Inset Photos: (left) Jonathan Groff in Taking Woodstock, photo by Ken Regan; (right) Humanist 01 by SA Richard
S.A. RICHARD S.A. Richard is a Los Angeles artist currently working in Oakland. His project I Can Only Give You Everything is an exploration of California and its relationship with fashion, fiction and rock ’n’ roll. I Can Only Give You Everything will be released in its entirety as a book in early 2010.
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[ AUG. 26 - SEPT. 1 ’09 ]
campus news | BY SABLE STEVENS UCLA’s “Medea” has star power.
Sept. 18 kicks off the start of “Medea” playing at the Freud Playhouse through Oct. 18. UCLA Live has quite a show on its hands, with Medea being played by none other than the Oscar nominated actress Annette Bening. This is a new interpretation of Euripides’ tale about the torrid and intense affair between the mortal Greek hero Jason and the exotic Medea. The director, Lenka Udovicki, has directed theater and opera performances around the world. Student tickets are $20.
At USC, accounting majors are in.
Annette Bening is set to star in UCLA Live’s “Medea.”
Students at USC have made accounting one of the most sought-after majors at the school. Accounting majors rose 50 percent this year at USC’s Leventhal School of Accounting. Even more interesting, 75 percent of students graduating from USC Leventhal in the spring of 2009 had one or more job offers by graduation compared to only 20 percent of all graduating students nationally.
Survey reveals what makes a university great. A nationwide survey conducted by IP Advocate, a non-profit organization committed to academic researchers’ rights, found that one-third of Americans chose renowned faculty as the most important criteria. Another one-third of voters said second on the list was a top ranked research center. In third place, 19 percent of voters chose a diverse student body as another important criteria toward the university’s prominence.
USC screens Milk, followed by Q&A. Catch the two-time Academy Award-winning film about American gay rights activist Harvey Milk and his struggle to become California’s first openly gay elected official. Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion with Joseph Hawkins, lecturer from Anthropology in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the director of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archive. University Park Campus, Leavey Library Auditorium, 7 p.m. FREE.
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BACK 2 SKOOL
It’s Sweet, Except When It Sucks YOU CAN’T SMELL IT BECAUSE of the smog, and you can’t feel it because the weather will get hotter before it gets cooler; but there’s a papery crispness in the air at the end of August that smacks of the backto-school season for most of Los Angeles’ universities and colleges, large and small. Joe Horton Back. To. School. Try to keep it together for at least a week before everything dissolves into the madness you’ve known – or, for freshmen, what you will come to know very, very well. For Trojans (Aug. 24), it’s a sad fact that near nobody starts school so early. In my life, I’ve never met any other college student who had more class days per semester than those at USC, and I’ve known people from schools all across the country, plus prison inmates who take thrice-weekly art symposiums and people who claim to take classes “all the time” just “down the way” at “the ‘tech.’” Back to school for Trojans is much less about finding new classes or discovering the best new parties – geographically, the campus is small and the social scene smaller – and more about that odd realization that when the August horde returns, the first few weeks of the fall semester are always a prickly feeling-out process with the local neighbors, a vast majority of whom have enjoyed a tranquil summer, a small minority of whom have profited greatly from the peace and quiet of the reduced campus security force all summer. I don’t mind saying that I’ve known a few students whose living quarters were near unrecognizable without their valuables, surreptitiously removed during their absence and replaced with the outlines of the items in the dusty carpet. For Loyola Marymount (Aug. 31), its proximity to the beach and LAX requires that returning students must endure the last of the summer tourists. The beaches are maxed-out with the bronzed bodies of SoCal-ers who seemingly don’t have a job other than to rollerblade, lift, run, scream odd obscenities, swim, surf or lie in the sand and the sickly pallors of the East Coasters and Midwesterners whose blood-red “tan” lines offer the perfect unblemished silhouette of their camera straps and money belts. Late summer tourists mean more flights in and out of LAX, and though my LMU friends have convinced me the campus isn’t actually on
a runway, the university does continue to offer great travel deals for its taller students who can jump off the residence halls and hitch (or clasp) to a variety of domestic and international locations, depending on weight and arm strength. For Pepperdine (somewhere near Aug. 31) … er … classes are back in? When were they out? Dude … get this … it’s AUGUST! Shi … man, August. For the Claremont Colleges – Pomona, Pitzer, Scripps, Harvey Mudd, Claremont McKenna – the start of the term (Sept. 1) means that AT LAST the libraries are open for some real studying and FINALLY the Quidditch teams will be chosen, along with the squads for all the other made-up and semimade up (read: played only internationally, by people in dresses or traditionally with the loser’s head) nerd sports. Sept. 2 starts the year for Occidental College. One more year to put all the school’s resources towards convincing everyone that all Barack Obama needed to know he learned in two years at Occidental. UCLA is the straggler, of course (Sept. 24), being on the quarter system. Bruins wait until much of the blasting late-summer L.A. heat has passed before making their return to the fair confines of Westwood. But football and other sports have been in season for a month, so the first encounters of many returning Bruins are odd ones. Fans and local students have been around forever, wellsettled in and well-fed at In-N-Out, while outof-towners and the athletically disinclined are just pulling up the station wagon and U-Haul for that most terrible of rites: the Move In When Everybody Else Is Moved In Already. Nothing like meeting your future roommates/apartmentmates/neighborhood girlfriends or boyfriends while desperately sweaty and cursing at your parents/siblings/friends/pack mule pets for dropping the box with your smoky, tubular glass “vases.” Fortunately, with the way UCLA football has been playing, latecomers probably won’t have missed much in the early season. So welcome, one and all, to the start of another school year. Take it from me, even with all the hassle and stress of starting up again, it’s worth it. You’ll miss it when it’s over, when late August means counting the days to Labor Day and fall is a financial quarter.
Party on a Budget
This site’s newly launched Designer Room Review program allows you to sign up for a free professional assessment of any room. Select a designer whose profile and style appeals to you and submit an image of the room you would like feedback on and … voilà. —Athalia Nakula
Consider having a potluck dinner, where everyone contributes by bringing a food or drink item. The host should coordinate with the guests by asking them to bring specific dishes, so all the bases are covered. —Athalia Nakula
[ AUG. 26 - SEPT. 1 ’09 ]
the art of love |
Q&A Hi Lucia, I am a chemist, fairly attractive and graduated at the top of my class at an Ivy League school. I want to have children but can’t seem to find a guy! Lucia The only guys who seem to be interested in me are other chemists or scientists, but I have no interest in them. They actually look as you would imagine them to look, which is not very attractive! My ideal guy would be very good looking and also from an Ivy League school, yet they only seem to be interested in trophy women. I find that very shallow. My I.Q. is 142, yet I cannot figure out why it’s so hard for me to find a guy. Am I too smart? —V.G. Hi V.G., Sometimes, we are too smart for our own good. I often find that people who are intellectually intelligent are socially dumb. They lead with their resume, much as you did in your e-mail. As I’m sure you already know, guys are attracted to looks first, and then they are interested in what is behind that. While many women think this is unfair, you have to look at it from the point of view of Mother Nature. If a guy is not attracted to a woman, he will not be able to “get it up.” If he can’t get excited, he will not be able to have intercourse, which means the woman will not be able to get pregnant. If women can’t get pregnant and have children, eventually the human race will disappear. This is why it’s actually a good thing that men choose women with their penis! You said you are fairly attractive yet want someone who is very good looking. While there are a lot of interracial couples, there aren’t a lot of “inter-facial” couples. This is because people tend to feel more comfortable with people who are close to them in terms of attractiveness. If there is a big disparity in looks – the man is a nine and the woman is a six or vice versa, it is generally because one of them has power, wealth or status. A very good
looking guy from an Ivy League school can easily get a 10, so why would he settle for less? He’s more interested in his equal in terms of attractiveness as opposed to his equal in terms of intellect, for the reason I gave above. What should you do? I believe you have three choices. You can get a makeover and transform yourself from fairly attractive to very attractive. Most women are not maximizing their looks either because they don’t care, don’t know how or don’t think they have to. I’m amazed to find that people who are, in my opinion, a six or seven on the looks scale, actually think they are an eight or a nine and vice versa! You need to either be brutally honest with yourself or find someone who is willing to be so and figure out what you need to change. You will then have a better chance of attracting the type of guy you say you want. You will still be the same person on the inside, you’re just making the “packaging” more appealing. Your second choice is to “go to where you’re wanted.” This means, look around and see who is interested in you, whom you’ve been ignoring. Are you not also being shallow by rejecting the chemists and scientists based on their looks? Instead of automatically dismissing them, why not at least go on one date and see what happens? You may be pleasantly surprised. Finally, if your primary goal is having a child more than marriage, the only other thing to do would be to go to a sperm bank and ask for someone who is very attractive and from an Ivy League school. While I don’t agree with raising children without a father, this is an option if you’re open to it.
Write to Lucia at theartoflove.net. Read an excerpt from Lucia’s Lessons of Love at lessonsoflove.net. Listen to Lucia live every Sunday at 3 p.m. PST on latalkradio.com. Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.
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[ AUG. 26 - SEPT. 1 ’09 ]
games & gadgets
BACK FROM THE PAST Childhood Favorites Make a Comeback B Y J O N AT H A N K N E L L COLLEGE LIFE MAY BE THE GATEWAY TO A FAMILY, A CAREER, kids and all the other staples of adulthood that we all either strive for or dread, but that is no excuse for forgetting how great it was to be a kid. We like to claim that we have graduated to bigger toys like cars, but the fact is that even the most serious college student has a favorite toy that still occupies a soft spot in his or her heart. Unfortunately, nostalgia sometimes comes at a cost. With each new remake, we run the risk that someone will skewer our beloved childhood memories. After all, for each Iron Man that we see in movie theaters, we have to put up with three Star Wars prequels. Fortunately, some game developers know this and are careful to capture the items and experiences that we grew up loving while still making a more modern game that everyone can enjoy. For a real blast from the past, those who grew up in the ’80s will probably remember the gross-out classic Madballs. These nasty little foam balls featured faces that only a Garbage Pail Kid could love, but many of us clamored for these soft projectiles shaped like demon faces or giant, gooey eyeballs. Somehow, this seemingly timeless boys’ toy disappeared, but the memories never could. With the introduction of “Madballs in … BABO: Invasion” for the Xbox Live Arcade, players can rediscover these grinning, gross orbs in a genuinely enjoyable top-down shooter. While the game has a very strong storyline, it is only natural that this collectable-inspired game is all about unlocking and collecting new Madballs and power-ups. Even the intense multiplayer mode rewards successful combat with collectables, rewarding dedicated players. All in all, it is just a fun shooting game with a cartoonish – if still disgusting – alternative to bloodshed. For fans of classic adventure gaming, August has been the month of Monkey Island. This LucasArts silly swashbuckling saga is swinging back onto consoles in both an amazing remake and a new, episodic adventure and both are guaranteed to thrill old and new pirates alike. “The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition” brings Guybrush, LeChuck and the rest of the wacky, pirate-themed cast from the original game back with a gorgeous graphical makeover for the Xbox 360, PC and iPhone. Between the updated controls, the newly-renovated graphics and the addition of voice acting from some of the series regulars, this title is true to the original while overcoming much of the original design limitations. For the purists, you can also toggle at any time between the new and original interfaces. Once you have experienced Guybrush Threepwood’s beginning in “The Secret of Monkey Island,” you can catch up with his new adventures in “Tales of Monkey Island” for the PC and Wii. “Tales” picks up the tale from years after the 2001 “Escape from Monkey Island,” with a far more successful pirate captain Threepwood in yet another struggle with his arch-nemesis, LeChuck. Things predictably go awry during the rescue attempt, launching Guybrush and his newly possessed hand into a new series of comical misadventures. “Tales of Monkey Island” does an amazing job of updating the graphics and storyline while keeping the charm and wit of the original games. The point-and-click gameplay may have fallen out of favor, but you cannot argue with the giggles you will have trouble fighting back by the cast of silly sea folk and their quirky interactions. Ultimately, Telltale Games has succeeded in turning another LucasArts cult classic into a vibrant, purely enjoyable episodic adventure.
JUSTIN ZUCKER AND MICHAEL S. HAUKE
Box-O-Box mania sweeps college campuses. Want to receive the coolest care package ever? I mean what you consider cool, not your parents. Tell them about Box-O-Box, the brainchild of 28-year-olds Justin Zucker and Michael S. Hauke. Raking in over $500,000 last year in sales, Box-O-Box is jammed not only with memorable munchies and cute goodies but also with humor, TLC and a bit-o-attitude. What is Box-O-Box? Box-O-Box is hands down the coolest, most fun, creative, inventive and all-around awesome care package that a parent can send their college student to help them connect on a level far beyond the typical gift/email/letter. What have been some of the best responses from customers to your boxes? There is no better response than when a parent forwards us an email they received from their kid, containing a funny picture of the student with the box, some of its contents strewed amongst the dorm room and a heartfelt e-mail thanking their parent for this care package. This connection between parents and students is really what fuels our growth and drives our success. Is it hard being so young in the business world?
Yes and no. Working with colleges and universities can sometimes be a bit tricky and problematic. You would think that a company with owners/workers close to the age of college students would offer strategic advantages as a partner, but often institutions view our age as a weakness that equals lack of experience. That said, we always bring a refreshing energy to a lot of the tables we do business at. A lot of great stuff can come from the right mix of minds in a brainstorming session.
Box-O-Box’s Michael S. Hauke and Justin Zucker
preneurs feel that if they approach potential partners or companies that may be interested in helping them foster or incubate their idea, that it will be stolen and they have missed their “shot.” Ninety nine percent of the time this is not the case.
What are some tips you have for young entrepreneurs looking to start their own business in this economy? Live at home for as long as you can! No, but seriously, the main issue usually comes down to money, and right now, people are coveting and hoarding it like squirrels with acorns. It is easy to tell someone with capital to throw it into the market and see what happens, but typically young entrepreneurs don’t have that money, banks are not lending it and unless you have some rich parents, friends or family, it’s a tough rope to tow. You need to get creative and really utilize as many resources as possible. Leverage debt carefully. Leverage equity carefully. I would say suck up any pride you may have about “doing things on your own” financially or otherwise, as many young entre-
Where do you see Box-O-Box in the next three years? We see Box-O-Box filling the college niche equivalent of what 1800-FLOWERS has filled for the professional and adult market for “gift giving.” We feel that they speak directly to their customers and market. Right now the opportunity is prime in the college market, and it’s not fair that students have not had a better alternative. For more information, visit boxobox.com.
curtain call | live on stage ‘THE MISER’ Now- Sept. 27 @ Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum BY E.S. TURRILL In Molière’s “The Miser” at the Theatricum Botanicum, the laughs are mostly forced by the sheer ridiculous sputtering of Alan Blumenfeld in the lead role of the scrooge Harpagon. The actors aren’t quite sure in what century or country their accents should originate, but the codpieces and playbill suggest the French Renaissance. Chad Scheppner, as the disguised prince Valere, and Mark Lewis, as La Fleche, take different approaches to the comedy, and both succeed. Director Ellen Geer writes original songs for a musical that isn’t a 17th century French farce, but she inserts them into this one. Even though some of the more sincere moments come from her lyrics, the songs are distractions from her task
and help run the clock past 140 minutes. After smooth beginnings, the intermission derails the show, and you will know the last half hour by its clarion of hysteria. Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum is located at 1419 N. Topanga Cyn Blvd., Topanga. For more information, visit theatricum.com.
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‘YESTERMORROWS’ Now-Sept. 5 @ Fremont Centre Theatre BY E.S. TURRILL Ray Bradbury’s technique works better across the few pages of a short story than across 90 minutes of performance. Always meant to subvert our expectations of hard science fiction, his plot twists can be seen coming from a mile away, but the lag between predicting the conclusion and the conclusion arriving is painfully increased by the stage.
Alan Blumenfeld is “The Miser”
Bradbuy’s own Pandemonium Theatre Company has produced a suite of his scenes at the Fremont Centre Theatre, but don’t expect to be thrilled by their dramatic weight. The experience is much like listening to a few of Bradbury’s stories on tape. Fremont Centre Theatre is located at 1000 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena. For more information, visit Plays411.com/raybradbury.
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FILM IN LOS ANGELES Jonathan Groff awakens to Hollywood’s A-list. BY SASHA PERL-RAVER TAKING WOODSTOCK, ANG LEE’S latest film about the accidents, desperation and missteps that led to the 1969 generation-defining concert, shares certain key elements with Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous. They both chronicle the power of music to band and unite, or tear asunder, each illuminates a generation through rock ’n’ roll and are responsible for introducing a rapturously captivating star. Woodstock’s Kate Hudson, the actor audiences streamed out of the theater asking, “Who was THAT?,” is Broadway darling Jonathan Groff as Woodstock organizer, Michael Lang. While some know Groff from his
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Tony-nominated turn in “Spring Awakening,” a role that earned him a cultish following, after Woodstock he might well have to leave Broadway behind for Hollywood’s A-list. The week Groff, whose only other major screen credit was a recurring role on “One Life to Live,” left the cast of “Spring Awakening” (a moment that’s been deified on YouTube), he got a call to audition for Woodstock. “I put myself on tape, which actors do all the time,” Groff explains with a gentle, soothing benevolence. “There’s this little digital camera and you put yourself on tape, and it goes away to the universe and you never hear anything again,” he offers,
temporary distractions | B Y J A M E S FA M E R A
YOUTH KNOWS NO PAIN
BALL ON FIRE
Doc’s Daughter Questions America’s Urge to Stay Forever Young
SINCE AUGUST IS ALMOST OVER, I’d like to share with you this summertime anecdote. It happened at a barbecue. I forget the occasion but recall that my Grandpa helmed the grill while the adults mingled and sipped grape-flavored soda.
George Breisacher/Charlotte Observer/MCT
Courtesy of Home Box Office
desperately goes under the knife to find the cure for aging and the untapped fountain of THEY ARE OUR FICKLE FRIENDS. THEY “eternal” youth. are the ones who take us to the bar, The anti-aging, pill-popping, exerciseintoxicated with the prospect of good obsessed, pro-lotion industry takes in about company and a splendid night, and who, at $60 billion a year. This the end of the night, leave us movement has hit all aspects drunk, sick and lonely. of American culture, They maintain a surface especially the characters in friendship with the this documentary who superficial and remain only refuse to accept the toll acquaintances with the true aging plays on their bodies. of heart. They are beauty, McCabe is very much society and time, and they the Alice-like figure who fell, are wicked to those who befuddled and confused, trust them. down one hell of a rabbit Mitch McCabe grew up Mitch McCabe in Youth Knows No Pain hole. She turns the camera as the daughter of a well-toon herself as a way to grab do plastic surgeon. As a the audience, ask the hard-hitting questions child, she first discovered the magical world and encourage us, the image-conscious of age-reversal by way of relatively simple, viewer, to do the same. Because the people though expensive, operations. She met her McCabe brings to us aren’t all rich and father’s patients, learned their stories and famous and all that beautiful, really. even captured video of his appointments. We all don’t want our temporary human Now, as an adult, McCabe is more shell to give out so quickly. So we fight off confused than ever as she spends decades time as much as we can. documenting her battle with lines, wrinkles and flab. In her film, Youth Knows No Pain, Youth Knows No Pain airs Aug. 31 at 9 p.m. she spends two years traveling across on HBO. America to discover why our nation so
photos, three books, 15 movies and about five mix CDs from the time period. Then came what Groff describes as “the work sessions,” where he, Lee and Demetri Martin, the film’s star, also in his first major role, would read and rehearse their dialogue. “Ang would sit a couple of feet away from me and just stare at me,” Groff recalls. “I’m trained in the theater so we express a little more to reach the Michael Lang (Jonathan Groff) and Elliot Tiber last row of the balcony. (Demetri Martin) in Taking Woodstock Ang would say, ‘OK, doesn’t raise his voice and everyone you don’t have to show me so much. If instinctively just wants to please,” he you’re feeling it, I can see it in your says, his voice filled with reverent eyes.’ Just incredible lessons that you’re admiration. “You’re doing a movie learning from this master.” with Ang Lee, so you feel comfortable It’s hard to tell if the love-in vibe and confident to just throw your hands Groff exudes is because of his own in the air and do whatever he asks you unshakable good nature or the film’s to do because you know you’re time period, but his fondness for the working with this incredible artist.” film’s set is palpable when describing his director. Taking Woodstock releases in select “Ang’s actually a lot like Michael theaters Aug. 26. Lang; he’s the leader that’s very quiet, Ken Regan
laughing. “I got a call, literally, two hours after the audition from my agent. He said, ‘[They] loved your tape and fast-tracked it to Ang. He needs a couple of days to think about it, but he thinks that you’re the guy.’” A few days later, without so much as a face-to-face meeting with Lee, a gobsmacked Groff was officially cast to play the intoxicatingly beatific Lang, an aura he shares with the character, though he might not realize it. “I was so nervous,” he sighs. “I had never done any sort of movie before. Ever.” But any anxiety Groff had was alleviated by his director. The pair’s first meeting lasted over three hours, and by the end, Groff says his fear had “literally melted away. Ang’s such a nice guy. He’s so unassuming, humble and ego-less. He puts you at ease the minute you shake his hand. The first thing he said to me was, ‘I know this is your first film. I’ve done a lot of people’s first films, and you have nothing to worry about. I’m going to hold your hand through this process.’” But handholding doesn’t equate to coddling on an Ang Lee set. Before Groff left the meeting, Lee handed him a four-inch, three-ring binder of research that included articles, history,
The grandchildren, and there were plenty of us, were left to our own devices – which usually involved a large steel crate filled with miscellaneous athletic equipment. The crate rarely emerged from its home in the garage, but when it did, all the grandchildren pounced. I waited until most of the items were taken, settling on a mildly deflated plastic ball. My brother and I were tossing the ball
back and forth in the backyard; he was having a grand ole time while I merely “participated” (I James Famera simply wasn’t much of a ball-thrower.). We were in close quarters with the rest of the party, and on several occasions the ball came awfully close to landing on the grill. My dad was the first to take notice at the looming disaster. “Watch out for Grandpa!” he cried. Of course, I ignored him and hurled the ball with all my might. Looking back, I’m reminded of the few seconds preceding impact in a car crash. I knew what was going to happen but could do nothing to prevent it. I watched helplessly as the ball soared across the humid summer sky and into the fire pit. Now I had heard the stories of the younger Grandpa, the strict disciplinarian who maintained order with a wooden paddle and a leather belt. But much to my surprise, Grandpa was strangely indifferent. He simply dumped some water on the flame and threw out the spoiled food. Perhaps he was too old to care about a measly barbecue. Or perhaps he found solace in the fact that my dad, his son, was there to discipline me for him.
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[ AUG. 26 - SEPT. 1 ’09 ]
TESSAR LO Age first discovered love of art: I’ve been drawing for as far back as I can remember. I guess my first memory would be in kindergarten, drawing a horse and carriage or daggers and cutting them out for play-fights. Influence of physical environment: My work has always been about trying to combine what my actual physical surrounding is with memories of a place past and the world I live in, in my mind. I believe the opportunities to have lived in all these great places [Indonesia, Toronto, Los Angeles] have contributed a lot to my memory and subconscious. The experiences I have had in these different places become a resource of not only aesthetic, but expressive elements in all I do. Training: Like any child of this generation, I grew up trying to copy all the cool comic book characters and cartoons you see in the media. For a short period of time, I was enrolled in a Chinese brush painting course at the age of 7 or 8. It wasn’t until high school, (I went to an art academy) where I was exposed to Western art history extensively and taught how to “properly” paint. I had the fortune of
continuing my art training into college and having amazing teachers all along the way. Medium you have yet to work with: I have been dying to get into something kinetic. I can’t figure out if I want to do that through sculpture, installation of some sort, film or animation; but the idea of something alive is very seductive.
Dark Discovery, 24” x30” mixed media on canvas
Lapin, 48” x 60” mixed media on canvas
Proudest accomplishments: The thing that makes me happiest is when people let me know that my work has affected them one way or another. It can be minute or very grand, but I believe that what I do is only justified insofar as the amount it affects another being. Concept behind Junk in the Trunk (Now-Sept. 16 at Giant Robot2, 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles): The concept had something to do with everyday disposables and transient material. It felt very appropriate for me to be doing work for this show because I am really trying to come to terms with my own impermanence and my works’ general growth and passing. It’s an interesting concept, our tendency to just tire of things and move along.
Walking Forests, 18” x 24”, acrylic and gesso on solid support/wood panel
View Lo’s work at Junk in the Trunk through Sept. 16. For more information, visit tessarlo.com.
If I Could Fly, I’d Finally See the Stars, 24” x 24” mixed media on paper
S.A. RICHARD Influence of physical environment: My paintings come from the internalization of the images I saw growing up or the feelings I had about Los Angeles and California. I really like it here, the sunny weather and the history has lent itself generously to my work. Additionally, the influence of pop culture, the sex and look of it mixed with my storylines are what create the paintings. Formal training? Not in painting. But art was a big part of my childhood. I remember every Thursday going to a different museum or gallery. Finding inspiration in other art forms: They’re a big part. We always have music going in the studio, a lot of rock ’n’ roll. Songs are stories that retain so much of a feeling because of the way it’s presented. The writing is a longer explanation of it, but it’s the same to me, and they both are refocused through my lens, but you know, combined with a few other factors. Testify, 36” x 60” acrylic and resin on wood
Work in or outside of a studio: I drew a lot of the drawings the paintings came from around a friend’s pool. I get a lot of thinking done staring off into space during traffic, also. The car is probably the biggest factor, which I am not doing much of anymore. But the car is big, because of all the time you spend sitting in it, you can really feel the sun. And there are billboards everywhere, so that plays a little bit into the ad design look. Favorite medium: I paint with house paint on wood panels, then coat them in resin. Future plans: I want to buy a sailboat, and work on some stories I was writing. Maybe I’ll do that on the sailboat. I still have a few more pieces to finish for this project. I’m printing eight color prints of 10 of the paintings, and I plan to keep traveling. For more information, visit sarichard.com.
Skinny Dip, 48” x 72” acrylic and resin on wood
Heels in Hall, 36” x 48” acrylic and resin on wood
CA Grizzly Growler, 24” x 48” acrylic and resin on wood
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special feature | B Y
ART WALKING IN LOS ANGELES
How does your ’hood measure up? ART HAS ALWAYS BEEN A GREAT polarizing agent in the world. For some folks, portraiture is a sure mark of talent. For others, it’s abstracts or sculptures that are the ultimate showcase. I’m not really sure which school of thought I subscribe to. But I will say this: It sure is cool to check out the people and their work in one fell swoop. The best place to do that is at the various Art Walks throughout Los Angeles. Each year, more and more neighborhoods let their culture flags unfurl and show native and transplanted Angelenos that major quality is just steps outside their door. Since there are so many outstanding events to peruse, you’ll need a guide to navigate each of them. After all, they individually have so much to offer. One of the liveliest collections of art in the city is at the Downtown Art Walk (downtownartwalk.com). With its skyscrapers and overwhelming amounts of traffic, Downtown is a pain in the ass to some. To
others, it’s the latest mecca of cool and culture [finally] putting Los Angeles in the same league as other big cities with a great local scene such as San Francisco, Austin and Manhattan. The event is held on the second Thursday of each month (the next one is scheduled for Sept. 10); admission is free. More than 40 area galleries participate. Patrons consisting of the tragically hip and families seeking new ways to broaden their offspring’s horizons can be found trolling these urban streets. Artists (including musicians and poets) even come out and lend support. But the best thing about it is the revolving door of talent you’ll discover. Remember, even Picasso was once an unknown. San Pedro is a place that I know very little about. As a matter of fact, before last year, I’d only seen its name as I careened past those big green freeway signs on my way to a club. But San Pedro’s Art Walk (1stthursday.com) has been on an uphill climb in popularity since its inception back in the 1990s due to its awesome offerings and
The next Downtown Art Walk is Sept. 10.
batch of artists who live and work in a vibrant proximity to USC. That’s right! Students have colony that is reportedly the largest in the world. the power to take in anything from dull to Over a hundred artists participate in this bidynamic. annual (next one is scheduled for Oct. 24-25) All the galleries of San Pedro get muchexploration of esthetic splendor. needed attention the first Thursday of each Like many of the other events of its kind, month (next one is scheduled for Sept. 3) when this one is also east side of town-accessible. So if this diverse, harbor-adjacent community says, you’re located in Mt. Washington, Silver Lake, “Come on down!” Over 150 artists and gallery Glendale, Atwater Village, Los Feliz or owners participate. Even artists like Pat Fierro Downtown, it’s so totally your birthday, man! are an annual mainstay. The Brewery Art Walk offers patrons both What I like about this one is that you can free parking and free admission. It’s also boasts attend a chic opening or pop into a space to view what I like to call “family hours” (fun starts at 11 imaginative and quirky pop art. But it doesn’t a.m. and lasts until 6 p.m.). just end there. Good eats and great people are at Culver City is renowned for its contribution every corner. to the local art landscape. As a matter of fact – One of my all-time favorite sections of Los and this is nothing against the other events in Angeles is hands-down Chinatown. My friend the area, but – the annual ARTWALK Culver Ed used to bring me here for weekend shopping City (culvercity.org ) is the first one that springs trips, and I just can’t let my love of the place go. to mind whenever the topic comes up. Forever the pioneers of … well … For anybody who’s kicked it in downtown everything, the Chinese citizens of this great town have “come correct” with a righteous display of beauty and aptitude throughout its streets. Chinatown Art Night (chinatownla.com) is truly a melding of modern chic and old-world charm. This event, which starts at 6 p.m. and lasts until 9 p.m., is also free and held quarterly (that’s every four months; next one is scheduled for Sept. 12). If you’ve never been to this section of town, prepare to have your mind blown. From the wonderful and authentic restaurants to the incredible shopping, Over a hundred artists participate in the Brewery ArtWalk (Oct. 24-25). you will experience sensory overload. I can’t think Culver, you know this to be one of the liveliest of a lovelier group of people to party with, areas for culture – particularly on the Westside. either. Now take all that fun and add gorgeous This neighborhood was constructed in the work contributed by galleries like Meisler + Hug shadow of the studio system, and those and North Hill Exhibitions, and thank the good executives definitely like to play as hard as they lord that you live in a town as wonderful as this work. one. Culver also houses a lot of the trendiest art When I was a kid living in Germany, my spaces in town such as the Corey Helford Gallery parents ran in a pretty cool circle of friends (8522 Washington Blvd.; one of my faves). Many consisting of former members of the Berlin of these locations haul out their best new finds ballet and a ton of musicians. That experience and encourage the public to get a gander at always colored my notion of artists; that they them, one footstep at a time. were young people who lived in close-quarters Past sponsors of this free event have been the with each other and spent their days and nights groovy social networking site, Yelp and the feeding off each other’s collective brilliance. monolithic, Sony Pictures. With bucks like that This brings us to the Brewery ArtWalk backing it, you know it’s GOT to be good. (breweryartwalk.com). Here, you’ll find a nice
cd reviews M A K I N G TH E G R A D E : A B C D F
EXC E PTI O N A L WO RTH W H I L E MEDIOCRE SAVE YOUR MONEY WILL BE ON HELL’S JUKEBOX
Broadway Calls Good Views, Bad News (SideOneDummy) Broadway Calls are big fans of Green Day, who have greatly influenced their sound. While the trio isn’t a Green Day knock-off, they display some of the same talents as their heroes, especially on the sparkling power pop of “Election Night.” The song has a powerful vocal hook that rains down on the listener like the good-times-a’comin’ emotion of an election night landslide, made all the more joyful by a barrage of carefree ringing guitar. Just about everything here is fast and positive, but Broadway Calls prove they’re equally adept with slower numbers with the hopeful closer “At the End.” Grade: B —Kevin Wierzbicki Good Views, Bad News is currently available.
music 101 | artist feature
MATISYAHU Welcomes Light In BY ANNA WEBBER A LITTLE GROGGY ON HIS FOURTH cup of coffee, clinking dishes in a New York kitchen, Matisyahu describes the incredible time difference between there, and where he just arrived from – Australia. He was out touring in support of his newest album, Light. Matisyahu is a sprightly emcee who has blended Hasidic Judaism with dancehall reggae since his emergence in 2004. He reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart after the release of Live at Stubb’s in 2005, with Youth reaching No 4 on Billboard’s Top 200 at its debut the following year. Youth hit No. 1 on the reggae albums chart, gaining some serious critical acclaim by blending Orthodox Judaism and reggae, introducing holy purpose to music – like Bob Marley – at a time when spirituality was necessary in a hardened mainstream. Youth was nominated for a Grammy in 2007 for Best Reggae Album. With tons of hype already in store from 2008’s Shattered EP, his extensive international summer tour, Light’s
frequency | essential concerts | B Y
The Casualties We Are All We Have (SideOneDummy) When I first came across the Casualties some time in the late ’90s, I thought that this was a British punk band I had missed during the first goround in the early 1980s. On closer inspection, I realized they were actually contemporaries of Rancid and other second-wave hardcore bands who came on the scene circa 1989-91. On We Are All We Have, the Casualties certainly derive a lot from the British “true punk” sounds of Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Subhumans and G.B.H., complete with Oi-style chanting and real-life leather, bristles, studs and acne. But as products of the late ’80s, there’s a generous helping of speedmetal guitar riffs and growled vocals.
high-profile collaborations and the Where’s Matis At Initiative (wheresmatis.at; his interactive social media space), his recent release should be well-received. Light is the most personal record Matisyahu has done, having a darkness to it he describes as “internal struggle and strife that comes from Jewish source, but can almost feel like it has a lot of eastern themes to it. A lot of ideals, emptiness within, allowing oneself to be with oneself.” Light, produced by David Kahne (Paul McCartney, Regina Spektor, Sublime), has a new blend of sounds and talent, including world-class contributors like Fishbone, Sly and Robbie, Dub Trio, Good Charlotte, Ooah from the Glitch Mob and Eric Krasno of Soulive. “I collaborated with Good Charlotte on the song ‘Darkness Into Light.’ It was a random thing, really … someone told me that they were fans and wanted to meet me, and I popped in the studio,” recalls Matisyahu. The album has a story unto its own, opening up in new directions with the addition of each new fluid whim.
Deerhunter Aug. 26 @ Eagle Rock Center for the Arts (Bicycle Film Festival) Aug. 27 @ Detroit Bar There were about five different bands with similar sounding names, all in loosely overlapping genres, who for a good time I was pretty sure were all the same band. Then one day
The brief song “War is Business” highlights certain strengths of these songs: They’re short, fast and indignant. But if, like me, you prefer your punk rock with a dosage of art (think Double Nickels on the Dime), then this isn’t the album for you. Grade: B—Damon Huss
I sat myself down and listened to all of them, and realized that Deerhunter and the Dear Hunter don’t actually sound anything alike. Like, at all. And I realized there’s a good chance I at some point sounded like a toolbag by unknowingly using both interchangeably. As part of my penance, I’m encouraging y’all to see the old-time-y, ghostly and monotonous indie-rock stylings of Atlanta-bred Deerhunter this week.
Franz Ferdinand Aug. 27 @ The Palladium I’ve always liked Franz Ferdinand, but I’ll also be the first to admit that hearing some of their early singles endlessly on mainstream radio and TV had me burned
We Are All We Have is currently available.
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis Self-titled (Downtown) Kitty, Daisy & Lewis sounds like it’s fresh out of the time machine, like it was recorded on
“We would decide on a live rhythm section, so let’s have Fishbone do this session because they’re the best at that style. Then we decided we wanted to go to Jamaica,” he notes, “so we looked up Sly and Robbie.” “We got Robbie to play bass on ‘I Will Be Light,’’” he says. “It was really cool because in general I got to collaborate with people whose music I respect and who come from different visions, different styles. There was so much variation, which I think speaks to who I am as an artist and the kind of music that I like – I like to listen to a lot of different things and hear myself doing a lot of different things.” On tour now, the Matisyahu RV will be reaching 35 cities. They’ll be “inviting fans on board all along the way” and Twittering their locations, along with a GPS tracker and interactive map at wheresmatis.at. Matisyahu says, “The idea is to be able to reach people and to communicate with people. For me, Twitter has been a way for me to tap into how people feel about my music. When you’re out there playing shows every night, doing press or traveling on planes or on the bus, sometimes you just forget that there are people that are being affected by your music. Then I’ll go and read my Twitter messages, and I’ll see that people are really touched by my music. It really affects me. It changes the way I behave because there exists a new responsibility to the people.” With his level of self-cultivated spirituality and mental fervor, Matisyahu is heading down what was
B R I E N O V E R LY out on said songs a bit quickly. Maybe my self-imposed ban on all things Clear Channel has helped with this, but I’m still not tired of the Scottish foursome’s latest work. Dark and brooding, slightly drug-binge-y, but still as infectiously catchy as ever – just how I like my indie rock.
[ AUG. 26 - SEPT. 1 ’09 ]
Follow Matisyahu at wheresmatis.at
before, very uncharted territory. He’s essentially become an incredible spokesperson for his fans, representing them in society, propagating Jewish culture while making it mainstream. His religiosity is an outstanding demonstration of faith and a unique testament to his mental and spiritual strength, since Matisyahu was not born into an Orthodox Jewish family. Religion was a blessing for him he later found, at age 22. “Religion helps me stay focused – I don’t really know if I could have a music career if it wasn’t for that. It helps me go out onstage and have fun, and be with my band who is not Jewish, or religious,” he shares. Matisyahu encourages you to keep talking, reaching out and to say “hello” when he’s coming through your town on the Matis bus. Light is currently available. For more information, visit matisyahuworld.com.
very non-creepy way. Her work gets better with every album she puts out, and her latest, Two Suns, is easily one of the best records to come out this year. Sparkling and polished girl pop in a cred-retaining indie package, what more could I ask for in life?
Sept. 1, 2 @ The Greek Theatre I have to put one show in here this week that’s not completely a Bat for Lashes serious-business-kindAug. 31 @ The Music of-a-downer one. Though Box, Henry Fonda some of his best songs are Theater admittedly his emo jams I could easily listen to that delve into that territory, Bat for Lashes frontwoman the ever-soulful John Legend Natasha Khan’s atmospheric, John Legend is also an unparalleled expert ethereal crooning endlessly. at writing the soundtrack to Something about her voice just sexytime. brings me to my happy place ... in a
equipment from the ’50s, and if it weren’t for the grittier lyrics and female vocalists, I would swear up and down that I was actually listening to the lost recordings of Elvis Presley when he was still trying to figure out CONTINUED ON PAGE 19
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[ AUG. 26 - SEPT. 1 ’09 ]
music report | B Y A Health Plan You’ll Like Los Angeles-based noise rock group Health is about to release a new album called Get Color, and some purchasers of the CD will win prizes. Playing off the name of the album, the group has handcrafted 66 color-coded prize-winning “tickets” that’ll be inserted at random in the first flight of CDs. The person who finds the gold colored ticket will be the big winner and will receive a three-day Los Angeles adventure wherein they’ll
KEVIN WIERZBICKI some absurd things like a childhood toy, band member fingerprints and a scarf knitted by a band member’s mother. Get Color drops Sept. 8, and Health brings their experimental sound to the Troubadour Sept. 9.
Who Are Heavy Young Heathens? According to the band, here are a few things that they are not: They’re not blond, vegan or foreign (They’re from Los Angeles.). They have not
Health drop Get Color Sept. 8 and perform at the Troubadour Sept. 9.
hang out with the band as they visit places like Magic Mountain. Airfare will be provided if the winner lives outside the immediate area. The other 65 prizes include some cool things such as concert tickets, meet-and-greet opportunities, autographed vinyl and T-shirts as well as
dated Winona Ryder, and they don’t know Madonna or A-Rod. They don’t “buzz,” and they don’t have iPhones. They do rock hard enough to have their single “Sha La La La” at the No. 1 spot on FMQB’s Alternative Specialty chart though – no surprise if you know that Heavy Young Heathens are
JIMMY ROBBINS The Boy Who Fears Popsicle Sticks B Y C . M O L LY S M I T H FEAR NOT, THERE’S MORE TO this North Carolina born, 19-year-old, indie-pop up-and-comer than his quirky and unexpected fear. He’s a really nice, gracious, surprisingly shy and grounded, talented, self-taught musician, with a sweetly sarcastic sense of humor. Growing up, Jimmy Robbins always knew he was meant to be a musician. He told his dad from the very beginning that he was going to work in music; his dad just laughed it
still getting the basic feel of the music, and their head-bopping rhythms would make their predecessors proud … but it all sounds so far away! Grade: B—Melissa Russell Kitty, Daisy & Lewis is currently available.
Free Sampler from SideOneDummy
6400 SUNSET BLVD. (323) 245-6400 1) Soundtrack — (500) Days of Summer 2) The Dead Weather — Horehound 3) Amanda Blank — I Love You 4) Modest Mouse — No One’s First, and You’re Next 5) Slaughterhouse — Self-titled 6) Grizzly Bear — Veckatimest 7) Phoenix — Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix 8) Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros — Up from Below 9) Mos Def — The Ecstatic 10) Behemoth — Evangelion 11) Yim Yames — Tribute to George Harrison 12) MGMT — Oracular Spectacular 13) Maxwell — BLACKsummers’night 14) Cobra Starship — Hot Mess 15) Kings of Leon — Only By the Night 16) Spinnerette — Spinnerette 17) Patrick Wolf — Bachelor 18) Silversun Pickups — Swoon 19) Regina Spektor — Far 20) Reigning Sound — Love & Curses
You can download a sampler of SideOneDummy recording artists absolutely free at the label’s Web site. Included in the package are songs by Anti-Flag, Broadway Calls, Chuck Ragan, the Casualties, Fake Problems, Big D and the Kids Table, Nathen Maxwell of Flogging Molly and many others. What’s more, SideOneDummy has cleaned out their closet and found a bunch of test-pressings and T-shirts that they want to get rid of, so everyone who downloads the sampler will be automatically entered to win the highly-collectible goodies and random seven-inch singles. Info on all the freebies is at sideonedummy.com.
how I want to live,” the singer says. “They were all born out of moments where I was going along in my dayto-day life and something shook me out of the autopilot rhythm and reminded me that I better open up and dig in right this second.” Ayer probably won’t need that autopilot to find the Mint either; he plays there Sept. 2.
Chris Ayer: Don’t Go Back to Sleep
Crystal Method Remix Contest
The title of Chris Ayer’s new album sounds like it could belong to a slasher film. To the contrary, the 2006 John Lennon Songwriting Contest award winner works in a field that’s not too scary, unless you consider pop-rock horrifying. Ayer explains that Don’t Go Back to Sleep is simply a reminder to avoid slacking off. “This group of songs has really become a collective note-to-self on
The Crystal Method has teamed with Indaba Music to launch a remix contest for the duo’s latest single, “Come Back Clean.” Prizes include a mini Korg synthesizer, Skull Candy skate decks, headphone sets and autographed copies of the Divided By Night album. Remixes need to be submitted by Sept. 8, and entrants can find the song stems and contest details at indabamusic.com.
myself out there, and I’m just hoping that will help people see that the music is a really big part of it,” he shares. He finds his inspiration from life experience: “Whenever somebody breaks my little heart or makes it happy, I usually write a song about it.” In addition, he looks up to classics like Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, as well as modern day artists Third Eye Blind. Ultimately, Robbins knows he wouldn’t be here without the fans, claiming “we’re just dudes playing music; it takes the fans to actually make you something else.” Robbins is a genuinely amiable, skilled musician with a Jesse McCartney meets surfer vibe. He may be classified as the next “hot boy,” but look past that. Nick Jonas is the supreme teenage hottie superbob, but incredibly gifted
Ramona Falls Intuit (Barsuk) Menomena’s Brent Knopf bursts from the Portland scene with his phenomenal solo project Ramona Falls. Intuit is a bewildering, bedazzling little package of indie folk, sprinkled with electronic
too. And so is Jimmy Robbins, so check him out. Jimmy Robbins will perform Aug. 30 at House of Blues Sunset Strip. For more information, visit myspace.com/jimmyrobbins.
embellishments. There’s something for everyone with just the right mixture of innocent world-wonder and jaded melancholia sprinkled throughout. Intuit opens with the wistfully sweet “Melectric” then swiftly kicks into “I CONTINUED
his sound. With songs like “Mean Son of a Gun” and “Polly Put the Kettle On,” can you blame me? Their music is straight up classic rockabilly. The production quality is the downfall of this album. I feel like I’m listening to the band from one thin-walled room over. I’m
off, but now Robbins throws his head back in “maniacal laughter” in an Itold-you-so sort of way. Just kidding, that’s that sense of humor I was telling you about. Although Robbins is “totally trying to be the next Paris Hilton,” he’s not too concerned about fame, fortune or women, unlike a good portion of his colleagues. “The way I write songs, it’s a very personal thing. I try to make it easy for people to connect to the music. I put
in fact the brotherly duo of Aron and Robert Mardo, formerly of noteworthy band Mardo. So really that thing about not “buzzing” is a bit of a fib. Make the drive to Solana Beach’s Belly Up Tavern Aug. 31 and find out for yourself.
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music Say Fever” with its longing lyrics about languished love and chorus packed with jarring distortion. “Russia” is soft and dreamy, lost on a wave of sultry strings. On “Going Once, Going Twice,” Knopf’s masterful vocals pack a flood of emotion into subtle nooks and crannies, an art often lost among his contemporaries. The album winds down with the honeyed and haunting “Diamond Shovel.” Grade: A+ —Natasha Desianto Intuit is currently available.
Ze 30 (Ze Records 1979-2009) (Strut) Berlin-based Strut’s specialty is issuing compilations, and this nod to Ze Records on the occasion of the label’s 30th anniversary is a good one. The bulk of the tunes here come from the early ’80s when Ze was the darling of the New York club scene; Was (Not Was), Don Armando’s Second Avenue Rhumba Band and Kid Creole and the Coconuts are a few of the artists that scorched the dance floor then that still sound good today, as does the comp’s longest cut, “Bustin’ Out (Seize the Beat Version)” from Material with soul-shouter Nona Hendryx at the mic. Ze’s “No Wave” artists are represented, too. Groundbreaking synth/noise duo Suicide contributes “Dream Baby Dream,” while Suicide member Alan Vega also offers the hiccupping rockabilly of “Jukebox Babe.” Notably missing from the compilation are the Waitresses and Lydia Lunch, but quirky classics like the sax-laden “Contort Yourself” from James White and the Blacks keep the fun moving. Ze is attempting a rebirth, and if the included psychrocker “What Can I Do for You” by Michael Dracula is any barometer, the label is poised to reclaim its hipster status. Grade: A —Kevin Wierzbicki Ze 30 is currently available.
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live show reviews
The Rescues Aug. 12 @ The Troubadour The indie supergroup’s set included “Let Loose the Horses,” “Can’t Stand the Rain”and “Break Me Out.” The quartet – Kyler England, Gabriel Mann, Adrianne Gonzales and Rob Giles – easily switched instruments from song to song with high energy. The touching lyrics, tone and traditional folk vocals left in the air a perfume reminiscent of a cup of roast coffee – something different and robust! —Mila Reynaud
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Matt Korvette of Pissed Jeans is very aware of his body.
Down Aug. 15 @ The Wiltern With the death of legendary guitarist Dimebag Darrell still resting heavy on his shoulders, Down frontman Phil Anselmo gave one hell of a performance. For years, Anselmo was the victim of a bad back that led him down the path of hard drugs to subdue the pain, and with it, his grace as a singer. But with his newfound sobriety, Anselmo took control of the stage and sounded as good as he did back in the Cowboys from Hell days with Pantera. Backing Anselmo’s charged performance were two staples of the metal world on guitar, Corrosion of Conformity’s Pepper Keenan and Crowbar’s Kirk Windstein. Each musician brought a different element to the sound that has made Down the toughest Southern metal band to take over the scene since the collapse of
Clipse/the Cool Kids Pantera. Down is in fact an honest and sometimes brutal attack on the soul. Not many bands can follow the ways of the South, pour their souls into songs and wrap them in the world of hard rock. When you have legends like this on stage, it’s hard to go wrong. —David Tobin
Pissed Jeans Aug. 15 @ The Troubadour Trekking through the nostalgic sludge of a Pissed Jeans record – any of them – makes it easy to miss the humorous lyrics barked out beside a thick, heavy grind of bass and grungy guitar. Read those to “I’m Sick” (off 2005’s Shallow) and then try to make out the audible component. Matt Korvette’s sounding a bit sloshy, yes?
PETE YORN Restless Troubadour BY PRISCILLA ANDRADE PETE YORN IS A BUSY MAN. WITH backto-back tours that coincide with the release of his latest studio album (Back and Fourth) and the upcoming release of his collaboration with Scarlett Johansson (Break Up), Yorn has been on the road since May and is currently on his own headlining tour. For Back and Fourth, Pete handpicked his backing band, including vocalist Orenda Fink (Azure Ray) and guitarist/engineer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley). “This is a consciously more acoustic record. I think it was created to counterbalance some of the other projects that I was working on at the time,” says Yorn. As to whether or not Yorn has any recording preferences, he’s not too picky. “It’s not so much the car, it’s the driver. I’ve been able to get interesting sounds out of five dollar microphones, and I’ve seen people get boring sounds out of expensive gear.” Break Up was the product of Yorn in a cabin fever frenzy.
But the Pissed Jeans live experience more than compensates, essentially transforming the band into the unabashed Matt Korvette Show, showing whoever’s playing audience what it is to front a band and what it is to bring humor rather than a self-aware need to make a statement. Walking the line between revolting shamelessness and ironic sex appeal, Korvette hovers somewhere between Iggy Pop and Tim Harrington, a routine of shakes, swaggers, gut rolls and angst. Fuck if he can’t charge his way through a fighter of an introduction like “False Jesii Part 2” (off the brand-new King of Jeans), though the new “R-Rated Movie” makes for an awkward soundtrack to some awkwardly ... ah ... PG-13-rated dancing. It’s a pity the Troubadour didn’t fill up to see him thank us for “being respectful,” all the while moving with an appalling awareness of his body and its functions. —China Bialos
Aug. 17 @ House of Blues Sunset Strip The Cool Kids are known to use old school sounds from the ’80s and ’90s to create an edgy new sound with complex arrangements. No breath was wasted as Chuck Inglish and Mikey Rocks traded bars as if they were on the floor at the stock exchange and captivated the crowd with their Windy City charm. Making their claim of being one of the best hip-hop duos of all time, Clipse took the stage with a thundering bass line and hard drum kicks and exploded into 32 bars of swag mixed with the pain and distain of the drug trade with a touch of the glamorous life. When the classic “Grindin’” came on, the House of Blues erupted. Boasting at least four chart-topping singles, the audience recited each line word for word as Malice and Pusha T showed why they are considered trendsetters. —Kehinde “Doxx” Cunningham
AMOEBA TOP 10 Independent Local Artist Releases 6400 SUNSET BLVD. (323) 245-6400 1) Mayer Hawthorne — Just Ain’t Gonna Work 2) Sick Jacken — Stray Bullets 3) Neu! — Neu ’75 4) Healamonster & Tarsier — Cupcake Cave 5) Viernes 13 — Just Move! 6) Warpaint — Exquisite Corpse 7) Tallest Man on Earth — Shallow Grave 8) Jessie Evans — Is It Fire? 9) Chico Sonido — Self-titled 10) The Binges — Self-titled
a break in touring, and I was really restless at home. I was like, ‘What do I do with myself?’” recalls Yorn. “I started to freak out a little bit and thought, ‘I’ve got to do a duets record.’ Like Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg. When I thought of Brigitte, I thought of Scarlett, and I texted her.” Yorn continues, “She was making a movie at that time, so I only had two afternoons to get everything I needed from her. It turned out good. It’s called Break-Up, but it’s kind of a happy record.”
“I’ve known [Johansson] since she was 17, and an idea came over me one day. I had
Back and Fourth is currently available. Break Up will be available Sept. 15. Pete Yorn will perform Aug. 27 & 28 at Henry Fonda Theater. For more information, visit peteyorn.com.
[ AUG. 26 - SEPT. 1 ’09 ]
the 10 spot | B Y
Campus Circle | 21
the bass line | l.a. hip-hop culture
BY KEHINDE “DOXX” CUNNINGHAM
FRIDAY, AUG. 28
FRIDAY, AUG. 28 BLACK MILK
Mountain High Season Pass Party Mountain High
Vans Skate Park, The Block in Orange, 20 City Blvd W., Bldg. A – Suite 2; mthigh.com
Air Conditioned Supper Club, 625 Lincoln Blvd., Venice; airconditionedbar.com 21+/9 p.m./$10
Get set to reach new heights this season at the Mountain High Season Pass Party.
Buy your 2009-10 season pass early and get two free eight-hour tickets, plus meet Marc Frank Montoya, Louie Vito, Cory Cronk, the Technine Team and Miss Mountain High. There will be music from DJ Episode, a vendor village and free food from Wahoo’s for the first 300 people. 4 p.m.-10 p.m. FREE.
THURSDAY, AUG. 27 Fight Night Club Club Nokia. 800 West Olympic Blvd., Downtown; clubnokia.com Oscar De La Hoya presents this monthly boxing series that features the best up-andcoming boxing prospects along with great music in a club atmosphere. Abner Mares and David Rodela fight in separate bouts this evening. 6:30 p.m. Tix start @ $28.
FRIDAY, AUG. 28 Fright Night Greystone Mansion, 905 Loma Vista Drive, Beverly Hills; beverlyhills.org/attractions In 1928, Ned Doheny and Hugh Plunkett were killed in a murder-suicide, and the mansion has been haunted ever since. Take a tour of the mansion and make s’mores on the campfire as you hear the legendary ghost stories of Greystone. 7:30 p.m. $15.
Gleek Tour Hot Topic Hollywood, Hollywood & Highland; fox.com/glee The cast of the new fall comedy “Glee” will sign autographs, hold Q&A sessions and give fans a sneak peek at the new season of “Glee.” 3 p.m.-6 p.m. FREE.
L.A. Kings Hockey Fest ’09 Nokia Plaza at LA Live! 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Downtown; lakings.com/hockeyfest All 2009-10 Kings players, alumni, coaches, front office staff and more will host autograph sessions, panel discussions and Q&As. There will also be memorabilia displays, a Kings garage sale, live music and an EA game lounge and more. Through Sunday.
Shaquille O’Neal All-Star Comedy Jam Club Nokia, 800 West Olympic Blvd., Downtown; clubnokia.com Though this comedy series only started earlier this year, it’s taking the country by storm. Rickey Smiley, Kevin Hart, Aries Spears and
DeRay Davis are scheduled to appear. 9 p.m. Tix start @ $30.
SATURDAY, AUG. 29 Derby Dolls Season Opener Doll Factory, 1910 W. Temple St., Downtown; derbydolls.com/la The Fight Crew and the rookie team, the Varsity Brawlers, start off the new season. With live music from the Shakers, Vendor Village featuring art, jewelry and clothes, food from Garage Pizza and Hot Dog on a Stick and beer from Tecate and Alex’s Bar. Doors open at 6 p.m. $17 online, $20 door.
Long Beach Funk Festival Broadway & Pine; longbeachfunkfest.com There hasn’t been a funk festival in SoCal since the 1970s, so here’s your opportunity to see some of the best funk musicians around, including members of Parliament Funkadelic and Sly & the Family Stone. In addition, there will be a George Clinton art exhibit and probably many tributes to Michael Jackson since today is his birthday. Noon-midnight. FREE.
SUNDAY, AUG. 30 Michael Jackson Tribute Night Room 5 Lounge, 143 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles; room5lounge.com Los Angeles’ best up-and-coming artists will be contributing their versions of Michael Jackson songs all night long. 21+. 8 p.m. Tix start @ $6.
Writers’ Faire UCLA (various locations); calendar.ucla.edu Aspiring writers offer 24 free mini-classes and panel discussions in creative writing and screenwriting. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. FREE.
For more events, visit campuscircle.com/calendar. To submit an event for consideration, e-mail email@example.com.
N Brown Clothing and the Air Conditioned Supper Club bring Detroit hip-hop vet Black Milk to Friday Night Live. Black Milk has worked alongside one of hip-hop’s greats, J Dilla, and his recent sound is more defined as he has continued to improve since his 2005 release, Sound of the Black Milk appears at Friday Night Live. City Vol. 1. No stranger to the West Coast because of his work with Bishop Lamont on the classic mixtape CALTROiT, this show will be the appetizer to a weekend full of music events in the greater L.A. area. With his piercing drum patterns intertwined with precise paragraphs B. Milk delivers high quality hip-hop and is one of the new leaders of underground sound. It is written in the scrolls for this 313 emcee/producer to be one of music’s most recognized names, so take this opportunity to see history.
SATURDAY, AUG. 29 Fat Joe Keyclub, 9039 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; keyclub.com 15+/8:30 p.m./$25 adv., $30 door (two drink minimum for under 21) Ironically, the Keyclub is the name of one of the nightclubs in the Bronx where Fat Joe got his reputation for authentic hip-hop. Joe has over a decade of classic hip-hop tracks and Top 40 singles on his resume. This is the man who brought us Big Pun when they
remade the classic gangster anthem, “187.” Armed with a new album dropping in October, J.O.S.E. 2, and the whispers from the naysayers (50 Cent), Mr. Joey Crack went on record saying this album is the best set of songs he has ever made. Hopefully, he performs “Hey Joe,” a song sampled from the classic Jimi Hendrix that sounds like a nice walk down a Bronx block. If he performs new hits or decides to dig in the crates, the Keyclub will be on full tilt. Send events for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org.
[ AUG. 26 - SEPT. 1 ’09 ]
fashion 101 |
Campus Circle | 23
PHOTOS BY EMMANUELLE TROY
HEADING TO SEPTEMBER
All sunglasses by ajomorganeyewear.com. For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
Eva wears TYM headband and jewelry, Funky People halter.
Lacey wears Funky People top, TYM headband and jewelry.
Eva wears Ultra Vintage clothing with TYM headband and jewelry.
jet setter | travel
Going Straight (not Sideways) to the Vine WITH SEPTEMBER LOOMING on the horizon once again, these next few weeks may be your last for awhile to take some time to yourself and get out of Los Angeles. With all of those (cheap) beer-drenched parties of the school year coming soon, why not splurge a little on some good alcohol in Sonoma and Napa Valley? With over 300 wineries in Napa alone, Wine Country might feel a little overwhelming. There are a dozen maps of varying size available in hotels and vineyards, and since each vineyard’s noticeability is determined by whether or not it sponsors the magazine, none of them will really tell you which ones are the cool, funky, out-of-the-way places, and which ones are just tourist traps. So where are the best places to go for great wine in that big expanse of vineyards?
SONOMA Sonoma is slightly less well
known that Napa (might I stress the slightly?). It’s definitely worth it to spend some time just exploring Sonoma, though. These wineries tend to be less overwhelming, especially if you can manage to find those little vineyards that no one knows about. Nestled in the back roads of Sonoma just off the 101, Limerick Lane (1023 Limerick Lane, Healdsburg; limericklanewines.com) is hard to find, but is so worth it. The place has a tiny parking lot that belies the size of the tasting bar inside, and even though it probably looks closed from the front, this winery is open seven days a week until 5 p.m. Although the bottles can be a little pricey, the tasting fee will be waived with any purchase. Just across the 101, there’s Foppiano (12707 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg; foppiano.com). While the tasting is free and the pourers are friendly, the wine is really
not great. Just goes to show that in Wine Country, you can survive on having a funny name without anything to back it up.
BY MELISSA RUSSELL
NAPA Napa is an especially tricky area. Many vineyards require an appointment for a tasting, and even these can feel like a cattle call of people. Wineries with the big names are always full and so are the ones with some sort of hook to try to draw you in. The general rule is if you can find it at BevMo!, skip it in Napa and look for the artisan wines instead. If you’re new to the world of wines (or trying to get someone else into wine), a good place to start is V. Sattui (1111 White Lane, St. Helena; vsattui.com). Seasoned wine drinkers will loathe this place, but for beginners, their wines are a great place to start. It’s also the place to go for cheese and smoked meat. I
V. Sattui is a great place for beginners to learn the wine ropes.
wouldn’t recommend buying any wine if it’s your first stop of the day, but with a $5 tasting fee for six wines, it’s a pretty good deal just to try. For real wines, though, head north to the Calistoga region. There, you’ll find August Briggs (333 Silverado Trail, Calistoga; augustbriggswines.com), where the free pours bring visitors in the door of the tiny tasting room, but the amazingly knowledgeable and friendly pourers and barrel tastings will keep you coming back. Across the street is Silver Rose (400 Silverado Trail; silverrose.com), a vineyard, spa and self-proclaimed
football helmet museum. The tasting room also boasts a Great Dane and a very large koi pond. With a $10 tasting fee and $1 for koi food, the place is poised to become a tourist trap, which is sad, since the wine is really pretty good. Another good winery is 9month-old Lava Vine (965 Silverado Trail; lavavine.com), a tiny place set for expansion. And with good reason, this was the hippest, most laid-back tasting room I visited. The fee is $10 for a tasting, but on top of serving their own wines, they also serve an amazing port with artisan chocolates.