7 DEADLY HAUNTS
PENTATONIX L.A. A Cappella Group Harmonizes Its Way to the Top
Lakers & Clippers Season Preview Plan Check’s Ernesto Uchimura Halloween Movies & Songs e Secret Headquarters & ank You Comics Animation on TV KAWS at Honor Fraser
8 THE LIBERATOR: Alberto Arvelo Directs Édgar Ramírez as Símon Bolívar 10 SCARY MOVIES TO WATCH ON OCT. 31 12 ANIMATION ON TV
22 SONGS FOR YOUR HALLOWEEN PARTY PLAYLIST
24 L.A.-AREA HALLOWEEN HAUNTS 26 FASHION: Easy, DIY Costumes 32 THE SECRET HEADQUARTERS & THANK YOU COMICS 34 FOOD: Chef Ernesto Uchimura of Plan Check Kitchen + Bar 38 ART: KAWS’ “Man’s Best Friend” Exhibit at Honor Fraser
14 4 |
ACA-AMAZING YOUTUBE SENSATIONS RELEASE NEW EP & CHRISTMAS ALBUM AND PREPARE FOR BIG SCREEN DEBUT
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36 L.A. CLIPPERS SEASON PREVIEW 37 L.A. LAKERS SEASON PREVIEW
EDITORIAL 6 STAFF PICKS
Cover: Kevin Olusola, Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado, Mitch Grassi and Avi Kaplan of Pentatonix Photographed by Jiro Schneider OCTOBER•2014
What’s your favorite Halloween costume that you’ve worn over the years?
Two years ago my friend and I decided to be the male forms of Daria and Jane. When we got to the party we realized we were dressed the same as we always are. —Taylor W. Female cop – something about being in a uniform commands authority. —Elisa H.
I made an Anton Chigurh costume (No Country for Old Men) a few years back. I wore boots, a denim jacket and a creepy moptop wig. —Francisco R.
A clown when I was 5 – my dad painted my face with my mom’s makeup, it was the best! —Lupita W. A head hunter or Indiana Jones. —David T. When I was a teenager I dressed up as Peggy Bundy from the TV sitcom “Married With Children.” The costume was unique and hilarious, and it helped me win my school's costume competition. —Ariel K.
In first grade I was Scorpion from “Mortal Kombat” for Halloween. I felt invincible. —Gabriel P.
Favorite costume has been a zombie. So easy – dress in anything, throw on zombie makeup and look super scary and awesome! —Brenda C.
It was college and I was scrambling to get a costume. I ended up buying a Guy Fawkes mask, a mechanic’s shirt with the name ‘Tony’ on it and a hat that said “Lubrication Expert” – needless to say, it was a big hit. —Mark M.
In college, my roommates and I were the Harlem Globetrotters, and we looked amazing – rocked those outfits! —Ariel P.
I was missing my front tooth one year so I made a badass pirate costume. Everybody thought I had blacked out my tooth, but nope, it was real! —Patrick M.
I always end up as Misftits-era Danzig every year. I’ve had the same Captain Harlock shirt Danzig used to wear live, and my hair can be easily made into a devilock. Just add black jeans, leather jacket and boots, and I’m all set. —Evan S.
My cleverest Halloween costume was the time I went as a director Quentin Tarantino, fully decked out with fake gap teeth, a Kangol beanie, weirdly oversized sweatpants and a bit of white cooking flour under my nose for decoration... —Dash F.
By far, my favorite costume was when I dressed up as a mermaid! —Erica C.
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OCTOBER 2014 — VOLUME 1 — ISSUE 5 Editor-in-Chief Yuri Shimoda firstname.lastname@example.org
Creative Director/Art Director Oliver Nowlin email@example.com Photo Technician Rafael Orellana
Staff Reporters Ramon Aviles, Dougal Brownlie, Brenda Camberos, Humberto Capiro, Erica Carter, Dillon Cooper, Dash Finley, Chris Gabourel, Anne Hartley, Elisa Hernandez, Sabina Ibarra, Jocelyn James, Nichole Jones, Ariel Kashanchi, Pablo Lopez, Laramie Martinez, Patrick Meissner, Mark Mikhail, Edison Millan, Daizy Neri, Ariel Paredes, Gabriel Preciado, Francisco Reyes, Aiden Simko, Evan Solano, David Tobin, Taylor Wong, Lupita Woo, Paul Zahn Staff Photographers Ramon Aviles, Dougal Brownlie, Andrew Carrillo, Jose Garibay, Jocelyn James, Pablo Lopez, Oliver Nowlin, Rafael Orellana, Gabriel Preciado, Ruben Rojas, David Tobin, Taylor Wong Advertising Inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org
Publisher Marvin Vasquez email@example.com Translator Edison Millan
LIVING OUT LOUD 5252 Cartwright Ave., Suite 3 North Hollywood, CA 91601 lol-la.com © Copyright 2014 Living Out Loud LA. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
FILM Édgar Ramírez as Símon Bolívar
Alberto Arvelo Directs Édgar Ramírez as Símon Bolívar By Ramon Aviles
or the first time in many years, Venezuela has produced an epic film on par with any Hollywood production. The Liberator arrives in theaters Oct. 3 and offers an interesting perspective of the life of Símon Bolívar – brilliantly brought to life by Venezuelan actor Édgar Ramírez. Bolívar is to Venezuelans as George Washington is to Americans; he was their liberator from colonial Spanish rule and was instrumental in the independence of several other South American countries. The film, directed by Alberto Arvelo, achieves a fantastic narrative that is well structured on several levels. Arvelo speaks with Living Out Loud about The Liberator, what motivated him to make it and what it means to finally release it. “I always wanted to make a film about Bolívar’s life. I was 15 years old when I told my father I wanted to be a filmmaker. His immediate response was, ‘Then you
PHOTO: Cohen Media Group
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have to make a movie about Bolívar.’ The passing through the Andes is almost an exact recreation of the stories my father told me when I was a kid,” shares the director. “I hope this film will leave a message of affection for our history and our past. I believe that LatinAmerican cinema still has so many extraordinary stories to tell.” The production itself was no small undertaking. It was filmed mainly in Venezuela and Spain, but its scenic shots were taken from 10 different countries in South America and Europe. The film required over 100 sets and over 10,000 extras, and its budget exceeded $50 million. “The Liberator was a journey that lasted many years. More than eight years, from the moment we decided to make a film until the world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival,” explains Arvelo. “The process of writing the script was long and complicated. [Screenwriter] Tim Sexton and I wandered around many different paths until Tim found the way, staying with the
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PHOTO: Cohen Media Group
character’s POV.” The Liberator focuses on Bolívar’s human side, his Nevertheless, despite the film’s achievements, it also endeavors and love life, but doesn’t focus on his military contains several inconsistencies and ambiguities. Making accomplishments as much, which gives way to the film’s a film about a historical figure always proves to be a chal- historical fiction. Yet, if you’re not looking at specific delenge, and Arvelo discusses the obstacles he faced while tails, you won’t readily notice it. gathering historical facts. “At the beginning of this project, I explored the pos“Bolívar’s life has many under-recorded episodes, and sibility of having Jean-Claude Carrière writing the script. some others that have become exacerbated myths. We Maestro Carrière had other obligations, but from the untried to avoid conventions that deify our character,” he forgettable conversations I had with him, I got a grasp of tells. “Historical films have always been characterized by his vision about heroes in contemporary cinema,” says having history and myths on one side, and the movie on Arvelo. “Our Bolívar is a real man, a man full of weakthe other, oscillating like a pendulum. At the end, the his- nesses, loneliness, love and fear. Certainly Bolívar was a torical accuracy and the social imagery must coexist with man guided by passion, not only in his public life, but the narrative needs. We wanted to make a film, not a his- also in his personal surroundings. The decision to show tory lecture. This aim was particularly difficult, because the human side of Bolívar came from a book that fell in of the complex and diverse elements that surrounded our hands, a compilation of love letters between him and Bolívar’s life and the extent of his military saga.” Manuela Sáenz, his last lover." Sexton’s script is well-written and chronologically “Generally, all great historical characters come along sound despite some historical inaccuracies. This allowed with many pre-conceived notions: Gandhi, Lincoln, Arvelo some freedom in exploring Bolívar’s personal life Napoleon, Washington, Picasso, Mozart. Bolívar it is not – from his romances to his inner struggles. an exception,” adds Arvelo. “Filmmakers have the task Among the cast, special attention is due to Ramírez. of digging through the myths and legends in order to acHis performance was fantastic, and Director Alberto Arvelo (third from left) his presence is very compelling. on the set of The Liberator Arvelo discusses what led him to cast Ramírez in the lead role. “He is an actor that approaches characters from passion. I would say his process is fascinating and very particular. He is an exceptionally cultured person with an immense intuition, and at the same time a high rationality. I always felt that these qualities would let him create a very attractive and fresh Bolívar.” The film’s cinematography, spearheaded by Xavi Giménez, is absolutely superb and by far the most redeeming quality of the film. Its use of natural landscapes is phenomenal, and it incorporates dynamic aerial shots as well. cess the reality hidden behind history books. We decided The costumes are magnificent and are spot-on with the to leave an open ending in which death is not seen, beperiod the story takes place. The score, by Gustavo Du- cause it is a subject that is still under research. We wanted damel, is imposing and comes into its own during the bat- to make a film about his life, not about his death.” tle scenes. This film was made with great care and passion, and Arvelo elaborates a bit on the film’s visual aspects. it's no surprise that the end result is a magnificent, visu“I tried to recreate the fear and the collective endeavor ally-stunning film – the best of its kind Venezuela has through an emotional perspective. Our DP, Xavi ever produced, and it is most definitely worth a look. Giménez, and I had extensive talks about the visual identity of the battles. We had a storyboard of every shot and The Liberator releases in theaters Oct. 3. Edison Millan contributed to this story. even animated some battle scenes before shooting.”
FILM Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Movies to Watch on Halloween Night
s even the must cursory glance at the aisles of your local drugstore will reveal, the Season of the Witch is upon us. Well, not only the witch – it’s the season of stale candy, pandering topical costumes and relentless corporate greed. Ah yes, Halloween. That time of the year where the only thing spookier than the atmosphere is just how many innocent characters can have their images co-opted for a “sexy” outfit. If, like me, you would rather spend the night watching scary movies in the comfort of your own home than cavorting around the chaos-ridden streets, this is precisely the list for you. The original byline here was simply to name a few horror films to watch in honor of Halloween. However, as an avid genre aficionado, there’s no way I could whittle down the entirety of my favorites to one short list. So, instead, I’ll do you one better. Here’s my list of the top five horror films that take place on or around Halloween. 5) Night of the Demons (1988) – This schlockfest revolves around a group of promiscuous teens who, on Halloween night, break into an old house rumored to be haunted by evil spirits. Once there, they come up with the brilliant idea to hold a seance, which promptly allows said spirits to inhabit the hapless teens, turning them into murderous monsters. What follows is supremely cheesy fun that’s sure to satisfy the so-badit's-good crowd looking to get some chuckles along with their scares.
4) House on Haunted Hill (1999) – Far and away the best of the William Castle remakes of the late ’90s, this hyper-edgy retread of the 1959 Vincent Price classic manages to imbue a tired premise with some surprisingly imaginative set pieces. The plot follows a sadistic amusement park tycoon (Geoffrey Rush) who decides to throw a Halloween birthday bash for his stuck-up wife (Famke Janssen) by inviting several strangers to spend one whole night in an abandoned asylum that was the site of a deadly mass murder years earlier. Though the whole thing starts as an elaborate prank, bodies start really dropping when the house's supernatural powers are stirred.
3) Idle Hands (1999) – This post-Scream meta-creeper is best enjoyed under the influence of some, um, goodies (and I’m not talking about candy corn). Starring a virtual who’s who of late-’90s youth culture (Seth Green, Jessica Alba, Devon Sawa), the movie is about a slacker teen (Sawa) whose right hand becomes possessed by the devil, murdering his friends and family with wanton abandon even after he lops it off. If that absurd premise isn’t enough of a Generation X-factor, be aware that Dexter Holland, the lead singer of the Offspring, plays a crucial role in the film’s climax, along with, of course, a massive bong. 2) Halloween (1978) – Well, duh. There’s really not much to be said about John Carpenter’s seminal masterwork that hasn’t already been put to print a thousand times. As shark-like vessel Michael Myers stalks the inhabitants of Haddonfield, Ill. on the anniversary of the night he murdered his family (Halloween, obviously), we witness both the birth and the zenith of the Slasher movie. There’s something about the simple authenticity and evocative sense of dread portrayed in this film that forever puts it in a class above any of its flashier descendants.
1) Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) – Now before you accuse me of laziness, let me explain. Season of the Witch, despite ostensibly being the third installment in the Halloween series, is about as weird a departure from the formula as one could possibly imagine. Gone are Michael Myers, Laurie Strode and any of the characters or settings viewers might expect. In their place is a bizarre sci-fi fantasy that feels more akin to the works of Roald Dahl than to any Carpenter picture. The film revolves around a young woman who begins investigating a shady novelties company after her father is found half-mad clutching one of their signature Jack O’Lantern masks. What follows is a bizarre blend of conspiracy-theory thriller and Grimms’ fairy tale, as the girl uncovers a vast plot to turn children into killing machines on Halloween night using masks controlled via computer chip. Oh, and, by the way, that is quite possibly the least bizarre element of this film. For curiosity’s sake alone, this under-seen gem is well worth checking out on Hollow’s Eve.
TELEVISION Nickelodeon’s “The Legend of Korra” Book Four premieres Oct. 3
The Age of Animation
n the past 15 years or so, animated television has gained a considerable amount of traction with American audiences. Matt Groening’s “The Simpsons” is always the first show people think of when we talk about animated series not primarily geared for children and teens – and for good reason. The show just kicked off its 26th season, setting records not only for longest-running American animated show but many, many others. It’s much more common to flip through channels and land on an animated show intended for mature audiences nowadays than it was when “The Simpsons” first aired. Back then animated shows were scoffed at and seen largely as children’s programming. Subsequently, ‘cartoons’ became synonymous with children. “The Simpsons” was the first widely successful animated show not geared for children. Despite its overwhelming popularity, animated series for adults took a while to catch on. There were successors along the way like “King of the Hill” and “Beavis and Butt-head,” but “The Simpsons”’ success would not be seen again until Seth MacFarlane made his own similar show and called it “Family Guy.” Thanks to MacFarlane and Groening, animated series have since seen a huge uptick in popularity and ubiquity. “Archer,” an extremely witty and popular animated sitcom, represents FX and the networks; “Bob’s Burgers” reps HBO and cable; even Netflix has its own animated series, “BoJack Horseman.” There are several factors that could contribute to this surge, like better and cheaper technology, or TV’s recent foray into its own golden age. Whatever the cause, it’s clear now that animated series are not just for children and are not just a gimmick. On the subject of children’s animated series, it’s also interesting to look at how it has evolved to the current landscape. When
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I was a kid, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network were bastions for cartoons of all sorts, creating and airing the cream of the crop in animation, but the subject matter and creativity involved in today’s children’s programming is markedly more ambitious. Old Nick shows like “Doug,” “Hey Arnold” and “Rugrats” dominated my childhood; those shows are grounded fairly firmly in reality, following the lives of neighborhood kids that the audience relates to. Now, Nickelodeon flagship cartoon is “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” a mature and ambitious American series made in the style of Japanese shonen anime. I actually feel uneasy calling it a cartoon, as it really deserves the more distinguished title of “animated series.” Though the original “Avatar” series ended a few years back, its spinoff show, “The Legend of Korra” continues the portrayal of the “Avatar” universe while following new characters. Though “Korra” was a hit, it never really reached its full narrative potential as Nickelodeon decided to order each new season individually, forcing the creators to make self-contained season arcs rather than a single overarching narrative, which is arguably what made the original “Avatar” so great. Part of the reason for Nick’s noncommittal attitude towards “Korra” was most likely because they didn’t know how to market it. “The Last Airbender” was a show for kids with adolescent themes, while “Korra” is the inverse. It’s murky water for Nick to navigate, but in today’s television world, animations are more than just cartoons. As the line between youth and adolescence continues to blur, so too does the line between ‘cartoon’ and ‘animation.’ It’s come to a point where even children’s programming has earned its distinctions. We are no longer in the age of cartoons. We are in the age of animation.
Pentatonix A Cappella Group Soars from YouTube to Superstardom 14
By Brenda Camberos
PHOTO: Esther Kaplan
We are always going to be the underdogs because we use no instruments. That’s been one of the main driving forces for us: proving that we can create an infectious sound with just our voices. Keeping that mentality helps us keep pushing and never settling.
entatonix unexpectedly came together to audition for a reality television show. Little did they know, that would become the beginning of their journey to superstardom. The instrument-free quintet covers contemporary hits only using vocals, as seen in the film Pitch Perfect. The Los Angeles-based group is comprised of lead vocalists Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado and Mitch Grassi – three childhood friends from Arlington, Texas – along with vocal bass Avi Kaplan and beatboxer Kevin Olusola. Living Out Loud caught up with Olusola upon his return home to Los Angeles in between tour dates, and he revealed details about their upcoming releases, PTX Volume 3 and a super special Christmas album. He also took us through the unexpected whirlwind that turned them into YouTube superstars. The a cappella singers, who originally came together as Pentatonix to compete and eventually win Season 3 of NBC’s “The Sing-Off” in 2011, are far more than reality stars, they are internet savvy musicians who have mastered YouTube. “One thing we decided as a unit was that this is our career, and we have to control our career. So we started putting up a lot of stuff on YouTube because we know it is a great platform for us to get our music across,” says Olusola, who is also known for playing the cello and beatboxing simultaneously. “Especially in the light of all these TV shows. Once you’re on a reality show and you’re done, you can easily fall off the face of the planet. We knew YouTube was a way for us to 16
(clockwise from bottom left) Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi,Avi Kaplan, Kevin Olusola and Kirstie Maldonado of Pentatonix
keep relevant. Three EPs later and over six million hits later, we’re about to finish a world tour.” Not to mention their YouTube channel (PTXofficial) has more subscribers than Beyoncé’s!
Tokyo Mob Scene
PHOTO: Esther Kaplan
The band has garnered so much notoriety that their appearances across the globe cause total frenzies among their fans. Their recent tour of Asia and Australia was an eye-opener for the quintet. “We didn’t even realize we had fans out there. In Tokyo we were giving a performance for about 4,000 people in a mall, and as the performance ended we had a moment where everyone began rushing to come see us. They had to get security guards to push people back. It felt like one of those TMZ moments,” recalls the beatboxer. “You never expect it’s going to happen to you – TMZ and paparazzi! It happened to us, and we were just so overwhelmed. It was one of those cool things you never expect.” Pentatonix’s voyage to stardom is unique in that it has been a very grassroots effort. By utilizing social media, the quintet has penetrated the ears and ears of people across the world and created a loyal global fanbase. “It’s been cool because people have been finding out about us organically. So when people find our band I think they feel like it is truly ‘their’ band. It’s not something that somebody was trying to push on them or telling them to listen to because we’re on the radio all the time.”
CONTINUED ON PAGE 18 >>>
Now that they have the world’s attention, the group is ready to take their music to the next level. “We’re trying to take the next step in our evolution, and we’re really excited. I think we’re very very good at doing covers now, and we understand our sound better. So now it is easier to write our songs because we know who we are and what we want sonically,” says the former medical student. Collectively the group is a delicious cocktail of pop harmonies that cross the musical gamut. Their covers range from alternative jams by Imagine Dragons to pop sweets like Ariana Grande’s “Problem.” As an individual, Olusola get things done in a very effective way that is also explains that his strength in the group – apart from done with quality.” being the human beatbox and playing the cello – is his ability to run a tight ship, so to speak. “As a person what I try to bring is, I won’t say Underdogs order, but maybe it’s because of my background “What we want to be is a band like everybody from school. I feel like I’m very good at time man- else, like a One Direction or a Maroon 5. We just agement, and that’s important because right now want to be one of those type of bands, it just happens we’re in a place where there are literally too many to be that we don’t use any instruments. Our voices things to doPhillips and truly not enough time to do them. I are our instruments. So we’re always looking to the Esai Morales and Lou Diamond Michael Peña in End of Watch in La Bamba really try to schedule things in advance, so we can CONTINUED ON PAGE 20 >>>
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PHOTO: Tim Cruz
People have been finding out about us organically … so they feel like it is truly 'their' band. It's not something that somebody was trying to push on them or telling them to listen to because we're on the radio all the time.
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plains Olusola of their original track. Pentatonix also just released their third EP, PTX Vol. 3, on Sept. 23 via RCA Records. This third installment of the group’s wildly successful EP series continues to mix global pop and indie hits with original tracks, showcasing the quintet’s eclectic taste and otherworldly talent. The album also includes a surprise featured guest, as well as a song performed entirely in French. PTX Vol. 3 is currently available, and That's Christmas to Me will be available Oct. 21. For more information, visit ptxofficial.com.
PHOTO: Ryan Parma
future and trying to figure out what we have to do next because we always want to keep progressing in our music. I mean we’d love to win a Grammy, we’d love to win a little Moonman – that would be great,” says the former Yale student with a chuckle. “We are always going to be the underdogs because we use no instruments. That’s been one of the main driving forces for us: proving that we can create an infectious sound with just our voices. Keeping that mentality helps us keep pushing and never settling.” The band is running full speed ahead juggling multiple projects and preparing for major launches – among them a Christmas album, an album with original songs and a movie. What movie? Pentatonix has joined the cast of the upcoming Pitch Perfect 2. The group recently revealed that they’ll play a rival group to the Barden Bellas, the collegiate a cappella singers at the center of the sequel to the 2012 blockbuster, due to release in theaters everywhere in May of 2015. Their upcoming Christmas album, That’s Christmas to Me, includes original music by the YouTube sensations. “It’s a modern song with a classic feel to it. It has the five-part vocal harmony, which may be considered classic, but the melody is very today. It’s a very interesting juxtaposition of classic and modern,” ex-
Howling at the Moon: Halloween Party Playlist
he witching season is upon us, and it’s time to truly let your inner demon loose. The only problem is deciding how you’ll set it free. Will it be with old sing-along songs, goth industrial ballads or poppy ’80s tunes? What does your evil side like to boogie down with? To make life (or the afterlife) easier, here’s a list of a few songs that you should be blasting from now ’til All Hallows Eve. playlists. song. You should “The Boogie Mon- play. I know I’ve have both, but when ster” by Gnarls kind of said that “Dead Man’s going for a wild Barkley – If you about a few others, Party” by Oingo night, I think the lat- wanna get a bit but that’s just the way Boingo – It has ter is a better choice. funky, add this track. it is. It’s like Christ“dead” and “party” in Also, you can pretty It’s sinister and has a mas: There is a group the title. If it’s not much add any Man- nice groove. A good of songs that need to playing on Hal- son song to your choice to play after “I be heard over and “Thriller” by loween, you’re at the playlist, and it will fit Put a Spell on You” over again. It’s fun, Michael Jackson – wrong spot. Also, this nicely. (the original version). goofy, great to sing I’m only including is yet another creThe soul feel is per- along to and it will this one because I ation of Danny Elf- “Black No. 1 (Little fect, and it’s not too put a smile on everyhave to. It should be man's. He was in Miss Scare-All)” by abrasive with good one’s face no matter on everyone’s list, no Oingo Boingo before Type O Negative – undertones of minor how cool they think matter your music heading out to do his This is the ultimate chords and a flow they are. taste. It has all the ba- amazing solo work Halloween band, and that gets you singing sics, plus an epic composing music for this song is ideal for along to the chorus. video and dance that Tim Burton films. everyone. It’s from has been used by This song is fun, easy the ’90s and only got “The Ghost Inside” every country on the to dance to and has a a bit of airplay. Hunt by Broken Bells – If planet in some capac- sinister, fun tone. It’s it down or pull it up you’re a hipster, this ity when Halloween completely OK to on Spotify, and be is already on your comes into view on play this song more blown away. list. If you’re not, you the calendar. It’s sexy, it’s fun should check it out. than once at your and the late Peter It’s got a nice beat “Ghostbusters” by event. “This is Halloween” Steele sounds like and fits good with a Ray Parker, Jr. – If (from The Night- “I Put a Spell on Dracula, so that’s a few of the other “Thriller” is the most mare Before Christ- You” by Marilyn bonus. The song also songs on this list. It important Halloween mas) by Panic! at Manson – Yes, this samples a riff from also has “ghost” in song of the ’80s, this the Disco – The orig- was originally done “The Munsters.” the title and the cho- is the second or at inal is excellent and by Screamin’ Jay How can you go rus. Not my favorite least a close second. has the signature ele- Hawkins. Yes, the wrong with that?! by any means, but It reminds us of one ments of Danny Elf- original is excellent. Check out some figured some of you of the best movies to man’ sound, but if However, I’m adding of their other stuff, might dig it. mix humor and the you want to go a bit this one because the and throw on “Chrisafterlife, it goes well more modern, check Manson one is sexier tian Woman” or their “Monster Mash” by with most tracks on out this version. and more evil sound- cover of “Summer Bobby “Boris” here and, well, if you Panic! pulls it off ing – and that’s my Breeze” if you have Pickett – This is just don’t know it, we quite well, and it fits kind of Halloween space. a song you have to can’t be friends. nicely into most here is a ton of awesome tracks out there, but this should get you started. Here are a few more to keep you busy: “Time Warp” (from The Rocky Horror Picture Show); “Hell” by Squirrel Nut Zippers; “A Nightmare on My Street” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince; “Dragula” by Rob Zombie; “Spiderbaby” by White Zombie; “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell; “Monster Mash” by Don Hinson and the Rigamorticians; “Ghost Town” by the Specials; “The Horror” by RJD2; “Spooky” by Dusty Springfield; “Hole in the Sky” by Black Sabbath; “Witches’ Rave” by Jeff Buckley; “I Was A Teenage Werewolf” by the Cramps; “Welcome to My Nightmare” by Alice Cooper; “I’m Your Witchdoctor” by Them; “Her Black Wings” by Danzig; “Season of the Witch” by Lou Rawls; “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult; “Dead Souls” by Nine Inch Nails. —David Tobin
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PHOTO: Universal Studios
s e m o C y a W s i h T d e ick
y l d a e D . n e A . Sev aunts of L H
W g n i h Somet 24
By Sabina Ibarra
onsters are taking over the city, and here is your guide for the best places to catch some chills this fall. Let’s run down all the mazes and interactive spectaculars for those brave enough to face their fears.
PHOTO: Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights – Movie studio masters of horror let their creatures out for their annual mazes. This year they’ve got mazes based off films such as An American Werewolf in London, Alien Vs. Predator and Dracula Untold. Four mazes are based off TV shows: “From Dusk till Dawn” (from Robert Rodriguez’s the El Rey network), SyFy’s “Face Off” and the AMC mega-hit “The Walking Dead” returns to take over the backlot. Two of their Scare Zones sound fun, Mask-a-Raid and Dark Christmas. To avoid lines and hit more than one maze, the Front of the Line pass is recommended. Runs Oct. 3-5, 10-12, 16-19, 23-26, 30-31 and Nov. 1-2. For more information, visit halloweenhorrornights.com
Knott’s Scary Farm – Haunt pioneer Knott’s Scary Farm returns with new mazes and new offerings joining their classic Halloween fare. Last year’s best mazes are back! If you missed them before be sure to check out the Poe-inspired Forevermore and Houdini’s Black Magic mazes. New mazes include Voodoo where you can tread over the murky swamps of a spooky New Orleans, Tooth Fairy in which you descend into the dentist trip of nightmares and the exciting zombiehunting experience Special-Ops: Infected. Yes, zombie hunting! You are led around infected parts of Knott’s to help take care of their pesky zombie problem – but be careful lest you get infected, too. Also returning is Elvira with a new show spectacular and the boundary pushing Trapped: Lock and Key where you allow yourself to come to grips with just how far your bravery can go. Trapped is an additional ticket, and don’t worry the safe word is ‘boysenberry.’ Runs Oct. 2-5, 9-12, 16-19, 22-26, 29-31 and Nov. 1. For more information, visit knotts.com/knotts-scary.
The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor – For a place that’s pretty much haunted year round it’s always fun to do mazes where you have to discern if you’re coming across monsters or reallife ghosts. This year attendees get the chance to explore new parts of the ship. In Soulmate, you are enticed by the ship’s ghost Graceful Gale as she lures you inside the ship to reveal her real nature. B340 explores the mystery of a passenger who lost his mind after being locked up and discovered later to be ripped apart. Voodoo Village hosts an array of traveling gypsies and a voodoo priestess as they practice some dangerous ceremonies. As a part of their new offerings there is a topsecret small group horror experience. There are also quite a few fan favorite mazes returning, such as last year’s smash Circus (with a fabled secret slide), Deadrise and Submerged. Runs Oct. 2-4, 9-12, 16-19, 23-26, 29-31 and Nov. 1-2. For more information, visit queenmary.com/events/dark-harbor.
Haunted: Delusion – The powerhouse of horrors is back for another run of their immersive plays where you and your
group are a part of the unfolding terrors. This year they bring us "Delusion: Lies Within," which follows you on the journey of discovering of what happened to the beloved novelist Elena Fitzgerald after her mysterious disappearance. When you enter her home you may just find the lines of fiction and reality blurred as you’re led through her worlds by the cast of this year’s tale. Together with your group you face challenges, retrieve items and solve mysteries. Don't forget to mind your way because like in past years, you may just find yourself on your own. Be quick to buy tickets as this experience tends to sell out. Runs Oct. 2-5, 9-12, 16-19, 22-26, 2931 and Nov. 1-2. For more information, visit enterdelusion.com.
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride – Being city folk, we don’t usually have much traditional country-esque Halloween fare. The Los Haunted Hayride invokes the feel of it with their hay carriers that take you on a journey through the woods of Griffith Park to face the creatures that inhabit the wilderness. This year’s theme is Echoes from the Rift where set pieces aim to put you through worlds of apocalyptic proportions and invade your senses. Joining the haunt are a few new attractions: the new maze House of the Horsemen and the Seven Sins sideshow. Runs Oct. 3-5, 9-12, 16-19, 23-26, 29-31. For more information, visit losangeleshauntedhayride.com.
BLACKOUT – The infamous Blackout haunted house has announced its 2014 activities. This maze and theater show has you go at it totally alone and at the mercy of all involved. You’re there to follow orders until whatever you go through ends or you say the safe word. It’s allegedly brutal and beautiful. Stories from all over the internet agree that it’s the most hardcore horror experience out there. You should totally do it, if you dare! For more information, visit theblackoutexperience.com.
Haunted Hollywood Sports – The original zombie killing house is back! The Bellflower attraction invites guests to join them on some rootin’ tooting’ zombie hunts in their zones. They offer two Killhouses and on Shoothouse for 2014. The returning “Zombie Killhouse,” their cajun-themed “Voodoo Killhouse” and the all-new “Last Stand Shoothouse.” Runs Oct. 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-26, 31 and Nov. 1. For more information, visit hauntedhollywoodsports.com.
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diy costumes Quick and easy Halloween outfits you can put together using items that you probably already have in your closet.
FLANNEL SHIRT, TANK TOP, JEAN SHORTS, BLACK HEELS
MAKEUP: HEAVY BLACK EYELINER, BRIGHT RED LIP, BLUSH HAIR: UPDO WITH LIBERTY CURL BANG, ACCESSORIZED WITH A RETRO SCARF OR BANDANA
FIT AND FLARE OR LACY DRESS, MARY JANE SHOES MAKEUP: APPLY BRIGHT CIRCLES OF PINK BLUSH AND FRECKLES DRAWN ON WITH LIQUID LINER TO CHEEKS, MUTE LIPS WITH CONCEALER AND DRAW A HEART SHAPE OVER CENTER OF MOUTH WITH PURPLE LINER, FILL IN WITH BRIGHT PINK HAIR: PIGTAILS IN RIBBONS
WHITE POLO SHIRT, SHORT PLEATED SKIRT, KNEE-HIGH SOCKS, MARY JANES
MAKEUP: WHITE EYELINER UNDER EYE TO CREATE ‘BIG’ EYES, FALSE LASHES, METALLIC BLUSH AND GLITTER LIP HAIR: BRIGHTLY COLORED WIG
By Sabina Ibarra
MODEL DITA DIMONE PHOTOGRAPHER TAYLOR WONG MAKEUP/HAIR MARINA MESTAZ CREATIVE DIRECTOR/STYLIST LUPITA WOO
Origin Story - Dave Pifer of The Secret Headquarters and Thank You Comics
hen you walk into either of the two east side comic shops – the Secret Headquarters and Thank You Comics – owned by Dave Pifer and David Ritchie, it’s hard not to be captivated by the personality of each store. One is a swanky, cozy space, complete with taxidermied animals and leather armchairs; the other, a bright vibrant spot that invokes an old-school, pop-art decor. The design, location and choice of merchandise in these stores easily make them two of the most unique comic book shops in Los Angeles. Living Out Loud recently spoke with co-owner Pifer to ask him about their origins. It’s hard to imagine now, but when Pifer and Ritchie first moved to Los Angeles, they had dreams of opening up a skate shop. Both were fans of skating and other extreme sports, so the idea seemed like a natural fit. The only problem was that the two friends also wanted to make money, and they knew that another L.A. skate shop in an already flooded market was not the answer. Instead, they decided to devote their shop to another one of their shared passions: comics. And east side comic book fans have been rejoicing ever since. The small Silver Lake location that would eventually become the Secret Headquarters was ideal for the pair. As Pifer puts it, “We wanted a shop in the area because we both lived there and felt the area was underserved.” While the location was an easy choice for the duo, the interior of the store presented more of a challenge. They knew they wanted something different from the traditional tight-spaced shop, where comics were crammed wherever there was space. They started “looking at old libraries” and eventually turned to successful fashion boutiques such as Prada and Ralph Lauren for inspiration. “We wanted something that their designers would have done,” admits Pifer. “[A place where]anyone who stuck their head in would want to come in.” The result is the Secret Headquarters we see today, a comics lounge boasting comfort and class. The interior,
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however, wasn’t the only thing that was different about this comic shop in Silver Lake. The owners make a point of keeping indie comics on the shelves, rubbing shoulders with the big publishers, DC and Marvel. When asked about the recent amount of attention given to comics in various mediums, such as TV and film, Pifer remarks, “There is a lot more attention being put on the characters that were made in comics, but not as much being placed upon comics in general.” It’s difficult to argue with him as the general consensus still seems to be that comics are still just about Marvel and DC heroes in capes and tights. It’s refreshing to see that in both the Secret Headquarters and Thank You Comics, the indies are still alive and well. While no one has any doubts about the originality of the Secret Headquarters, its sister shop Thank You Comics, which opened two years ago after the continued success of its predecessor, wins the prize when it comes to most original name. And when you throw in an origin story with Joe Field, creator of Free Comic Book Day and owner of Flying Comics in Concord, what you get is comic lore gold. Pifer remembers it happening like this: “Me and David were talking to Joe … and he said next time he opened a store he would name it ‘Thank You Comics’ so he wouldn’t have to buy custom bags. We liked that … but ended up buying custom bags anyway.” It makes sense, who doesn’t like a personalized thank you? Check out these upcoming events at the Secret Headquarters – Oct. 4: Simon Hanselmann, Michael DeForge, Patrick Kyle; Oct. 5: Paul Pope (The Rise of Aurora West).
The Secret Headquarters is located at 3817 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, and Thank You Comics is located at 5011 York Blvd., Highland Park. For more information, visit thesecretheadquarters.com and thankyoucomics.com.
Burger Talk W
With Chef Ernesto Uchimura of Plan Check Kitchen + Bar hether served traditional style or with out-of-the box toppings, you would be hard pressed to find a carnivore who doesn’t like a good juicy hamburger. It is the quintessential comfort food of America, and one that is a hot trend in the L.A. area. One of the pioneers of making delicious, feel good delicacies is L.A. native Chef Ernesto Uchimura. Growing up in a multicultural family in the city had a direct impact on Uchimura’s approach to food. His mother is Jewish-Argentinean and his father is Japanese-Argentinean, so his diverse background served as a backdrop to his culinary career today. After studying at Paul Smith’s College in New York, he worked at a variety of restaurants that include Napa Valley Grille, Meson G, Opus and Punch Grill. You may have originally heard of Uchimura when he served as the opening chef for Umami Burger, arguably one of the first establishments to bring a new concept of the burger to the City of Angeles, causing a revolution to explode over five years ago. Chef Uchimura opened his own burger-centric spot, Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, on Little Osaka's Sawtelle Boulevard in 2012, followed by a Fairfax outpost late last year. Now slated to open a third location this spring in Downtown, Plan Check has been getting a lot of attention – awarded “best new dish” by Angeleno magazine and a spot on Jonathan Gold’s list of 101 best restaurants – all to Uchimura’s credit. His passion for comfort food with a unique, progressive twist is what keeps the restaurant relevant. Take, for instance, his spin on fried chicken. It is “traditional” in the sense that chicken is battered and fried, but this is boneless, Jidori chicken that is cold smoked then marinated in a buttermilk brine before being dredged in rice flour and fried in beef tallow. The chicken is served with yam preserves, a thick smokey gravy and spicy pickled okra. Okra is not my favorite vegetable, but these pieces were – not too slimy and a nice texture. The big draw for Plan Check is, of course, Uchimura’s cre-
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ative burgers. While perusing the menu, you’ll notice that there is something unique on each burger. An example is Ketchup Leather. “The idea stemmed from a way to avoid eating a soggy burger. When you eat a burger the proper way (medium to medium-rare), there tends to be a lot of juice,” the chef explains. “So I worked on creating a barrier, dehydrated ketchup, to prevent the bottom bun from becoming too mushy.” When I tried the signature Plan Check Burger, the ketchup leather – which I can really only liken to a tomato fruit roll-up – exceeded my expectations. It really did act as a shield for the crunchy bun as I bit into my perfectly medium-cooked patty served with “Americanized dashi cheese,” pickles and onions. Dashi, a fishy broth that is popular in Japanese cuisine, is somehow infused with good-ole American cheese and pairs very well with the meat. There are three different burgers on the menu, but make sure to take note of the daily specials. There lies a plethora of fun items – like the Tommy Lasorda burger that was featured the day of my visit. It had exactly what a burger that invokes the spirit of a Dodger game should, you guessed it: hot dogs! What better way to finish off your meat extravaganza than with made-to-order cruller donuts. Chef Uchimura was pretty insistent that I try them, and I’m happy that I listened to him. The donuts are light, not greasy and literally melt in your mouth. The cream that accompanies them is actually a refreshing palate cleanser. The cream also clings to the bottom of the pan the donuts are served in, meaning these are donuts meant to be eaten with a fork. Make sure to have some napkins nearby, though, because the sprinkled sugar will definitely stay on your lips – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing!
Plan Check Kitchen + Bar is located at 1800 Sawtelle Blvd. and 351 N. Fairfax Ave. For more information, call (310) 444-1411, (323) 591-0094 or visit plancheck.com.
No Excuses Clippers Season Preview
he Los Angeles Clippers begin the 2014-2015 season at the end of this month, and just as the #ItsANewDay hashtag that surfaced during new owner Steve Ballmer’s long-awaited takeover that almost didn't happen states, it really is a new day for the Clippers. Gone are the days when the Clippers had a go-to crutch to blame for their underperformance in the playoffs (bad coach, horrific owner, lack of playoff experience). On paper, these Clippers have done everything they can to get them to the Western Conference Finals and beyond. They have a core of key players in their prime who have played together for years now. They have two of the seven best players in the NBA. They have one of the best coaches in the league in Doc Rivers, along with an owner who will bankroll Rivers’ high ambitions. And they have upgraded at positions where they’ve lacked in the past. The time is now for the Clippers, and here are some new faces you should get familiar with before the season begins. Spencer Hawes – With all the buzz surrounding the summer's free-agent market, it’s understandable how a player like Hawes would be overlooked. But the Clippers signed him to a four-year, $23 million contract this offseason for a reason. Hawes’ 7-foot 1-inch frame and 42 percent shooting from three-point range give the Clippers versatility on their roster, while his 13.8 points-per-game and 78 percent freethrow shooting makes him a huge upgrade at backup center when DeAndre Jordan struggles from the charity stripe in crunch time.
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Jordan Farmar – The Clippers are fortunate to have snagged Farmar from their cross-hall rivals this summer. It was no secret since the beginning of the offseason that Farmar would have loved a return to the Lakers (He had taken a pay cut last season to be with them and publicly stated his desire to return there this offseason.). Even after signing a two-year deal to come to the Clippers, Farmar said he only left the Lakers due to them not actively pursuing him, as the Lakers tried to snag one of the top free agents of the season. In any case, the Clippers ended up the winners after all that, and provided Farmar can stay healthy, not signing with the Lakers could be the best thing to happen to him at this stage in his career. He averaged 10 points and 5 assists last season, while shooting 44 percent from behind the arch, but played only 41 games due to injuries. He’ll have much less of the workload on a far more talented team this season. Besides shooting and ball handling, he brings grit and a championship pedigree that could be useful in the playoffs. Joe Ingles – Ingles’ play in this summer’s FIBA World Cup earned him a spot on an NBA roster for the first time since being undrafted in 2009. Just how much impact he’ll have on the rotation initially is unclear, but considering injuries and the fact that the Clippers no longer have the same depth of players who can handle the ball as they have had in previous years, the chances of the 6-foot 8-inch lefthanded point forward getting valuable playing time at some point during the season are pretty good. The Clippers will play their first game of the 2014-2015 season against the team that ended their 2013-2014 season, the Oklahoma City Thunder. That day will kick off the season that could decide whether building their franchise around Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Jordan was the right thing to do. In short, anything shy of the conference finals will be an utter disappointment for the Clippers. Sure, the West is stacked with teams who have yet to be knocked from their perch. Sure, there are several teams that made bold moves in the offseason to warrant excitement and expectations from their respective fans. But the Clippers are all out of excuses this year (This isn’t to imply the Clippers players and coaches themselves have ever made excuses. In fact, the accountability Rivers has brought to the team has made it quite the contrary.). If these new additions can mesh well with the core as well as with other key players, on paper, the Clippers are the second best team in the Western Conference. Prediction: The Clippers overcome the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals and go on to win it all against the Cleveland Cavaliers, four games to two. —Francisco Reyes
The L.A. Clippers’ regular season begins Oct. 30 as they face the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center. For more information, visit nba.com/clippers.
PHOTO: Verse Photography
Lakers Season Preview: New Coach, New Players, New Beginning
he countdown has begun as fans await the beginning of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2014-15 season. It’s been a wild ride for the purple and gold, but one that has led them to a new beginning with head coach Byron Scott. All eyes are on the Lakers’ new coaching staff, returning future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant and a roster without Pau Gasol. Scott has been adamant about shaking things up and putting a high focus on team defense, which was clearly lacking last season. “That’s where it starts. If you want to be a championship type team, you have to defend every single night,” Scott said during an interview with TWC Deportes. “Offense comes and goes, but your effort on the defensive end has to be a constant, and that’s something that we will establish on day one.” Scott even talked about his tough training camp, and the fact that he will have trash cans on each end of the court just in case players need it. “They’re tough. A lot of running. A lot of running and a lot of defensive drills,” Scott said during an interview with Southern California Public Radio. “I always believe that if teams are going to beat us, they’re going to beat us because they’re better that night and not because they’re in better shape, not because they’re tougher.” Scott knows toughness having played with the Lakers during the “Showtime” days. But what does all of this mean for the Lakers' season, playoff chances and, dare I say it, championship run? In all honesty it’s too soon to tell, and there are too many uncertainties. With the preseason beginning next week, it’s unclear how the Lakers will gel with new players such as Ed Davis, Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer. The one player Laker fans should have their eye on aside from Bryant is the Lakers’ No. 7 overall draft pick, Julius Randle. Randle showed his athleticism and the type of impact he could have during the NBA Summer League. In his first three games, the former Kentucky Wildcat averaged 12 points, four rebounds and two assists in 23 minutes of play. Randle also shot 44.8 percent from the field.
“I learned a lot, got better in each game and learned different things about the NBA game,” Randle said during a Summer League scrum with the media. The rookie also showed he can turn on his scoring late in the game. After starting 0 for 7 from the field in the first three quarters, he hit 5 of 7 shots in the fourth. His 14 points helped carry L.A. to a 83-77 win over Denver, which improved the Lakers Summer League record to 2-3. Randle isn’t a one-trick pony, either. During his freshman year, he set the UK single-season records in rebounding (417), doubledoubles (24) and made free throws (204). Luckily for Randle he will be able to learn from Bryant who is expected to be back to full health by the start of the season. Bryant only played six games last year before being sidelined with a knee injury. According to Scott, Bryant’s minutes will be limited, but being an analyst for the Lakers last season, he knows how different the team is when Bryant is on the floor. Good things are happening for the Lakers despite not having signed big stars during the free agency frenzy. Still, Laker fans shouldn’t call off work for the championship parade just yet. The Lakers have a long road ahead of them. I see the Lakers’ record improving dramatically from last season, meaning no more ‘franchise worst’; Scott won’t stand for weak energy and lackluster defense. However, the Lakers’ first test will come at the start of preseason. The Lakers may be better, but a successful run to the playoffs might be too bold to predict. The Lakers chances of a championship run are slim, and with the Western Conference getting tougher, securing a low playoff spot won't be easy. It’s not impossible, but despite having a rookie that can produce and crucial returning pieces, most of the weight will land as always on Bryant. The L.A. Lakers’ regular season begins Oct. 28 as they face the Houston Rockets at Staples Center. For more information, visit nba.com/lakers.
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KAWS RETURNS TO
WITH MAN’S BEST FRIEND THROUGH OCT. 31
PHOTOS BY JOSE GARIBAY 39
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