Pearl of the Promenade Guitar Goddess
ALICIA G & AMC Everything is blues.
ALSO FEATURING BADLAND BANDITS & SOCIETY SOCIETY!
She’s got an eye for romance
The X-Acto master Jack of a trades, master of none
Two halves of a whole One of the best love stories in LA
The storyteller A story in every photograph
CONTENTS ELLIOT FRANTZ
4 ADAM AGUILAR
ALICIA G & AMC
22 SAMANTHA PEARL
Elliot Frantz is the only artist featured in this issue not only because he is an amazing artist but he was crazy enough to sit down with us.
Frantz is a unique artist from Rancho Cucamonga, a small suburb in the San Bernardino County.
We entered the Coffee Klatch waiting for the sandy haired man to enter at any moment. Elliot Frantz entered the coffee shop 20 minutes late due to some trouble at work. Still, he sat down cheerfully and waited for us to bombard him with questions.
Growing up in a household of missionaries, the traveling and curiosity has never left him. â€œI traveled a lot and ended up traveling on my own after my parents settled in the U.S.,â€? Frantz said.
“Jack of all trades, master of none, would be the best way to describe me,” he said.
We asked Elliot what other projects he’s working on.
Elliot has gone to caves in California, taken pantless train rides, and possesses knowledge of almost anything and everything a person would never think of knowing.
“I made these vampire killing kits. That was fun,” he said. The kits had letters from other vampire killers and other tools necessary to vanquish the undead. The letters were written by him as well as the tools in the kit.
While he may be eccentric, what is more eccentric is the tool he uses for his art. While most artists use a brush or a pencil, Elliot Frantz uses an X-acto knife. “Something I have really gotten to do well is deconstructing images into two tones,” Elliot said. “During a college exercise, I accidentally peeled back some cardboard and went ‘Oh that looks kind of neat’.” Since then Frantz’s concentration has been on two toned artwork with cardboard. Due to constant movement as a child, Frantz was encouraged at an early age to explore his artistic side.
“I’ve been able to develop a good eye for it,” Frantz said. “I’ve kind of fallen into the cardboard thing because it is a sort of meditation and calming for me.”
“My mom introduced me to art. She home schooled me,” Frantz said. “We would do field trips to museums all the time and that sparked my interest.”
Using only an X-acto knife he carves out the image and slowly peels back the cardboard to create the image. According to Frantz each cardboard portrait takes up to 6-8 hours.
He was encouraged in the arts and displayed talent. Elliot began dabbling in everything once he reached college.
“The cardboard images start on the computer. I do graphic design before carving the image into the cardboard.” he said.
Elliot’s creativity knows no bounds and is truly one of a kind. “I would love to sell art for a living,” he said. “But we’ll find out.”
For more of Elliot’s artwork visit his website at www.professorelliot.com.
ADAM AGUILAR 6
The Storyteller When looking at Adam Aguilar’s portfolio, a person is astounded that the colorful and detailed images looking back at them are photographs. Aguilar’s work is sheer beauty and could be mistaken for an oil painting. He specializes in photographing women and capturing the pure femininity in every subject he has. “I don’t look at a woman and see what is in front of me, I look at what she could become,” Aguilar said. The women in his photos are beautifully posed capturing them perfectly in natural light. A shadow is placed perfectly, shaping the woman’s body. “In the 90’s, everything looked so sharp and I am trying to go back to old photography, using shadows and natural lighting,” Aguilar said.
In this photograph, a woman is half submerged in water with what appear to be flower buds surrounding her. It was one of the most beautiful portraits in his vast portfolio. “I love women’s energy more than I like guy’s energy but I think it goes back to when I was in preschool I was the only boy in class and I was taught to be a gentleman and appreciate women,” Aguilar said. After high school, Aguilar attended college in San Francisco. He moved back to the Los Angeles area for employment. He is currently working as an assistant to several photographers and developing a film. “It’s going to be big kids having fun. I am using cardboard to portray the idea of kids and boxes,” he said. “Picture a bunch of guys in medieval armor made out of cardboard.” He elaborated more on the upcoming project saying instead of swords the actors would be using fireworks. We asked how it was he was going to pull it off and the photographer gave a small laugh saying he would either go to the desert or use camera effects to make his enormous backyard look even more spacious.
Aguilar began exploring photography in middle school with just a Kodak camera. He credits his mother for encouraging his interest in photography. “My mom is named Connie and people called her Connie Kodak,” he said. “As much as people like taking photos digitally, she has just chests full of prints.” Since then, he has been photographing. However, it was not until high school that Aguilar considered photography as a possible career choice. “Until I saw a print of my uncle’s horse, I grew up around horses,” he said. “It just struck a cord and I dove right into it after that.” Aguilar dedicated his life to art. He has several projects he is working on. He shared his hand-crafted books with us. He loves music and films. During our interview he had Bon Iver playing in the background and while he is an “all around artsy man,” it is his photography that really stands out.
While the film does not have a name or a release date, we still have Aguilar’s photos to keep our attention until then. We asked Adam what he would like people to take away from his photography. He responded, “The story telling. The story is very important to me. I want to make strong iconic images rather than really flashy images.”
For more on his photography, visit his website at
TANIALEWIS AN EYE FOR ROMANCE
Looking through Tania Lewis portfolio feels as though one is looking at something intimate. There is a slight feeling of voyeurism because Lewis captures romance and sensuality so well.
In discovering her creativity, she realized her niche was expressing emotions and love through photographs. “It wasn’t until my friend just asked to take a photo of her, using a simple camera, that I realized I want to create art,” she said.
Originally from Russia, Lewis never intended to make a career from photography. She actually studied and became Her sister Olga mentioned to us about her family’s excitement about Tania’s older photographs. an economist. She remembered receiving a phone call from her family urging her to look through her sister’s photos. “Taking photographs was just a hobby for many, many years,” Lewis said. “I wasn’t enjoying my job so much and I “My other sister said, ‘look through Tania’s photos, they’re great,” Olga said. “Tania was not aware of how good she just discovered my creativity.” was back then.”
Realizing she wanted to pursue photography as a career, she left her job and began to travel. “I went to Australia and Europe to work,” Lewis said. “I came to the United States because my sister is here and I think it’s a great place to do photography.” Lewis elaborated that she does not take photographs in a studio. She prefers the outdoors. “I love to do things no one thinks of doing,” Lewis said. “Like taking models to the Grand Canyon. Living in California is great because I can go to the beach for a shoot and an hour later be in the mountains.”
Looking through her portfolio, her models look so comfortable. In some photos the models appears to forget there is a camera present. “Sometimes I don’t tell the models what to do, I put music on to express romance or whatever I am looking to photograph,” Lewis said. “It really helps a lot.” Olga, who accompanies her sister to photo shoots at times, says Lewis gets into a calm state of mind while she photographs. “She can coordinate a couple in such a calm way, she does not stress out about anything,” she said. As mentioned before, looking through her portfolio feels as though true love is attainable. The photos portray such passionate moments between two people.
“I love to do things no one thinks of doing.”
“Romance is two people who love each other and touch and hug and kiss each other, Lewis said. “I dislike posed pictures. I usually photograph them when they are just in love and being natural.” Tania Lewis captures romance and love so well. She is exploring her creativity through her photos and they are really something great. “I want people to look and see quality, and think how did she do that?” Lewis said. We left the interview wondering that very question.
For more photography and information, visit her Facebook page at
Residing in downtown Los Angeles is one of the best love stories we have ever heard. Alen Barbosa and Greggory Wood met in Brazil, fell in love, and now man and wife create beautiful photography together. Alen is an amazing photographer from Brazil. She currently resides with Greggory in a loft in downtown Los Angeles in the Arts District. Alen has photographed Brazilian celebrities, athletes, portraits and beautiful nudes. Greggory, on the other hand played in a band in the 80’s. He spent some time in Hollywood and now writes for Brazilian magazines from Los Angeles. Upon arriving at their loft, where discovered that not only day they shoot with natural light but most of their work is photographed at their home and the rooftop of the building.
STUDIOS TWO HALVES OF A WHOLE
VO: How did you meet? Greggory: I was in Brazil, playing music and we had done a show. Alen was marketing an event promotion for a restaurant/club. After the show, I went along with a friend to this place and that’s where we met. Since that night we have been inseparable. Alen: It’s been 6 and half years since then. VO: What year did you get married? Greggory: We got married in 2007 and then we came to the U.S. and got married in December 2011. We got married at the same place Jon Bon Jovi got married. Alen: Elvis married us, it was so much fun. We got married at the Little Graceland Chapel in Vegas. VO: When did you start working together; shooting photography? Alen: I studied and worked in photography in Brazil and it just happened. I would sit down and begin the editing process and there would be so much to edit.
VO: What is it like during photo shoots? Greggory: Alen will be shooting and then Iâ€™ll be directing the models. Sometimes I will pantomime what we want them to do. Then she will hand the photo to me and I will look at it as either marketable or the right head shot. We are never stepping on each otherâ€™s toes. VO: How did you come across your loft? Alen: We had always been looking for a loft with natural light and we saw this one online. Greggory: One day I was looking on craigslist and I saw the building. We made an appointment and as soon as we walked in the door we knew immediately and wrote a deposit check. VO: Alen, where did you get your start? Alen: I had always been taking pictures but professionally, when I started studying photography I realized right away I had to shoot people. Through school we had contacts with fashion agencies and they allowed the students to use their models and the agencies started loving the work I produced. Soon after, I started submitting to get published and then Greggory said we could tell a story with that. Greggory would do the writing and we started submitting to magazines and they began to ask for more. Greggory: She was also studying Journalism, clicking the camera with a journalistic eye. Greggory began helping me in the process. I was only shooting and there was a lot of materials coming in for editing. Greggory: From the beginning, it was kind of natural. I come from that artistic side just never behind the camera. I had never been interesting in clicking the shutter but the editing process and marketing side is really what I love. So from the beginning we just fit together. From the beginning, we werenâ€™t doing the same thing. We were complimenting each other.
VO: How would you describe your photography? Not the magazine photos but your collection of photos? Alen: I think it has a lot of elements from my childhood. I feel like photography is a self-portrait at the end of everything and sometimes my subjects will have an expression I would make as a child. My photography is sincere and genuine.
Greggory: What’s great, is the natural effect of the image. We use very little Photoshop. Her images are very natural and very authentic and that comes through in her images.
Greggory: We are never at each other’s throats we never argue. We never say we need time apart. We never say ‘I’m going to go do my own thing while you do your thing.’ We are just two halves of a whole. We are just always VO: What advice would you give to photographers who are doing everything together. We are just together 24/7. We just starting their careers? understand each other and we just have fun. Greggory: You have to shoot content. Just keep shooting. It’s practice, just like practicing guitar. You keep practicing. For more of their work and information You have to shoot a lot and as photographers you realize on Bobo Studios, visit their website at how emotionally connected you are and don’t want to lose www.alenbarbosa.com or their Facebook the emotion. Alen: Be open to people. You have to have a connection page at www.facebook.com/bobostudios.la. with your subject so they can be open with you. VO: Ok last question. You spend a lot of time together, how do you make it work? (Everyone laughs) Alen: That’s funny. We go outside and have fun. We go out hiking and we travel. Whenever I feel I am in bad humor, we go outside, which is always refreshing. We do some yoga together.
“We are just two halves of a whole.”
ALICIA G & AMC
“Everything is Blues.” 16
Alicia G and AMC is a group of talented musicians that come from all over the place. Alicia Gutierrez is the lead vocalist with the lungs of life, Donald Lee is the saxophonist and realist of Hollywood, Hiroki Yamada, the japanese guitarist, Richard “Red” Alder, a bassist of Kansas, and Luca Di’Angelo, the Italian drummer. They played an amazing set at the Whisky A Go Go on January 21, 2014. This funk/blues band has only been together for a year but what a year it has been. All five members of the band have dedicated their lives to their music and it shows in their performances. Nearly a month after their performance at the Whisky A Go Go, we were able to sit and converse with them over pizza and wine. Alicia G and AMC came together over the span of a year with Alicia asking Hiroki and Donald to play with her. Later, Hiroki introduced Luca and Richard to complete the group.
“I have waited a long time to meet the people I have met and now make music with,” Alicia said. With the current line-up, Alicia G and AMC have had a plethora of creative development. This was evident during our time with the band. According to Alicia, they used this first year to explore each other’s talents and creativity. “I think now that we have been playing together for a year, we can begin to pinpoint what our sound is,” Alder said. “That’s what I am excited about.”
During their set at the Whisky A Go Go, they played a mix of their original music and covers. Their sound was pure and their set was full of energy. Alicia was constantly moving around the stage. Her vivacity captivated the crowd. “The talent of this group is so off the charts,” Luca said. “We can play everything and we can make it sound great. We can make it sound better than the original.” While each band member had different musical influences, they all loved and appreciated blues.
While they have a common love of blues, all five members agreed they will deviate from Funk at some point to make original music. Currently, Alicia and Hiroki are collaborating on a rock song. Hiroki wrote the music and now they are working on the lyrics. “What’s great about our shows is that it’s not just for one type of crowd, it’s for everybody,” Donald said. “People come up to me saying they love our shows and I love talking to the people in the crowd.”
“Everything is blues,” Alicia said. “My mentor told me, all music comes down to blues, a song on the radio to classical music. It is all blues.”
“We can play everything and we can make it sound great.”
“The talent of this group is so off the charts.”
Before concluding the night, we asked them what their goals are for the band. “We see ourselves with a strong following at some of the venues we are just starting at,” Alicia said. “We just had our first show at the Whisky and hopefully in six months playing the Whisky will be no problem.” There is no doubt that Alicia G and AMC will be headlining the Whisky A Go Go someday. It was a pleasure spending the evening with them and getting to know the group personally.
For more information on upcoming performances from Alicia G and AMC, visit their facebook page at
SAMANTHA PEARL PEARL OF THE PROMENADE
Over wonton soup and noodles at Sunset Thai, we met with an amazing performer. Samantha Pearl, a guitarist and singer, who joined us for dinner before her performance at King Studios. Pearl has nurtured her artistic side since she was young. She has been playing guitar for fifteen years and is working toward her dance degree at Santa Monica College. “As a child when I was about ten years old, I was introduced to the piano and from the piano I started to around string instruments,” Pearl said, “I had a teacher who really encouraged me to play and I never stopped.” Pearl is dedicated to her craft. She is a singer, dancer, guitarist, model and artist. During our interview, she alluded to several projects she was working on.
“I have a music video out already but for my next video I am going to start composing in the middle of February and choreography for my next music video,” Pearl said.
“I am really trying to enjoy life at the present. Mainly, I’m just trying to get my first album out so I could concentrate on my second,” Pearl said.
While she is working on her second album, she is also a street performer mainly in Venice, Santa Monica and the Third Street Promenade.
After dinner we made our way to King Studios, for her show. Samantha Pearl was performing for Fixion Music, a label dedicated to displaying talent in Los Angeles. After two sets, it was her turn. With just a guitar, she made her way up to the stage.
Pearl’s music is very eclectic. Her sound is influenced by several different styles of music. Asking the songstress, she described her music as indie, punk, soul and blues. Her first album was mainly about her journey in love. “I ran into a past lover and it kind of woke me up to change the path my life was going down and it made me focus.”
Pearl’s set stood out among the performers. She was the only girl performing at King Studios and her performance was exciting to say the least.
Her second album concentrates more on the personal growth Samantha has gone through and embracing herself.
She was a guitar goddess. She was all over the stage. Swinging her hair to the sound of the guitar, she immediately captivated the crowd. Pearl was having a blast on stage. We enjoyed the banter as much as the performance itself. Pearl played songs from her first and second album but she wasn’t afraid to improvise. The end of her set came way too soon. After her set, we followed the street performer outside. Many others followed, praising Pearl and her performance. We overheard one man say he had fallen in love.
“I think we who work hard, have to succeed,” Pearl said, “I want to create beauty whether it be in modeling or performing.” What’s next on this performer’s artistic venture? We’ll just have to wait and see.
For more on Samantha Pearl and her upcoming performances, visit her Facebook:
www.facebook.com/MsSamanthaPearl. Her music is available for purchase on iTunes.
Pearl is an inspiration to not only street performers, but to everyone who is working hard to own their craft.
Mingling with SOCIETY SOCIETY The public’s perception of a nationwide tour is a band traveling around the country in a luxurious tour bus with a bed for every band member. This is not the case with Tulsa natives SOCIETY SOCIETY. Band members include Jordan, the drummer, Joe Myself, the guitarist, Devo McFarlene, the vocalist, Chris Riddles, the bassist, and William Vickers, the guitarist. The rock and hip-hop group is currently traveling the country in an RV purchased by Devo. Seven men in one small RV makes for some incredible stories. We arranged an interview with the band at the Los Angeles Zoo in Glendale, California, a day after their show at the Whisky A Go Go on January 22nd.
Society Society was formed by Joe, William, and Devo who originally played in a punk band. “We got to know Chris and Jordan from their bands and then eventually decided to start playing together,” Joe said. While labeled as hip-hop and punk, Society Society played a few reggae songs during their set at the Whisky A Go Go. “This is an eclectic mix, if someone has an idea we just go with it,” Chris said.
SOCIETY SOCIETY 25
The same idea applies to writing music. Devo chose society itself as the main target for his lyrics. They say their music applies to everyone.
In fact Society Society’s income is completely based on tickets and merchandise sales. Every poster, record, and ticket sold goes immediately into the gas tank of the RV.
“Everyone comes from a place,” Devo said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re poor, rich or middle class. I mean, everybody has life experiences. Nobody is less important than anyone else.”
“It’s the best way to be uncomfortable,” William said. “ We walked around Sunset Blvd all day. We hadn’t been in the RV all day and it felt like I could relax. Like I was home.”
Through the growing music scene of Tulsa, Society Society has gained a steady following. The band can easily fill a venue in Tulsa. However, this band has bigger goals to achieve. “We have been touring together since June of 2013,” Joe said. “We live on the road. We’ve been constantly on tour every month.”
For tour dates and more information, visit their Facebook page at
Society Society headed back to Oklahoma after a stop in Las Vegas. They have plans to tour the eastern side of the country after some much needed rest. The band has released an EP called “The World Is What You Make It,” which is available online for download. “We make an experience that everyone can be a part of,” Devo said. “You could feel like you’re a part of our music.”
BADLAND BANDITS “After a month or so of being together we jokingly said let’s play the Whisky A Go Go,” Adam said, “This is sort of a dream come true.” The Whisky a Go Go is a monumental venue for music in Hollywood. It is a musician’s goal to play on the same stage where big names like The Doors and Motley Crue began their careers. On Tuesday, January 21st, we met Badland Bandits, a rock band from Plymouth, England. Members include, Rob, the bassist, Adam, the vocalist, Dave, the guitarist, and Skins, the drummer. They were playing a set at the famed music venue.
The Bandits were in California on a two week tour that included stops in Riverside and San Francisco. “When we were offered a chance to tour California, it was very easy to say yes,” Rob said.
“Our previous drummer was more of a guitarist and we then met Skins. He was looking for a band and we were looking for a drummer,” Rob said.
The Bandits came together when they were about 18 year’s old. It wasn’t until Rob and David ran into childhood friend Adam, that the band began to form.
Having been together for more than two years, Badland Bandits evolved. They had originally played funk blues due to David’s love for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“I knew Adam from childhood but it wasn’t until I saw him at a bar back home that we started talking about music,” Rob said. “Adam was like, ‘I always wanted to be a singer,’ so we gave it a shot.” As for the drummer, Skins, he was added to the group after a previous drummer did not work out for the Bandits.
“People used to call us glam,” Adam said. “But we don’t wear make-up. We are just good British rock.” While great bands have come from England, the Bandits have struggled to book shows.“It’s really hard to get a home crowd in England”, Adam said.
“We are just good British rock.”
“We’ve been performing for some time and we just reached 150 people in attendance.” While England may be a difficult place for a rock band, Badland Bandits gained some following in California. We followed them the following evening to their second to last show at Morgan’ s Tavern in Riverside. The bar was packed with people anticipating their set. The energy in the room was astounding. Adam drew in the crowd. “We want people to get a hangover from watching our set,” David said. “Yeah,” added Skins. “We want people to leave the shows not remembering any other act but ours.”
For tours dates or more information, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/badlandbanditsuk.
Writer Sevanny Campos Editor Sevanny Campos Tammie Valer Photography Tammie Valer Art Director Tammie Valer Designer Tammie Valer Special Thanks Alicia G & AMC, Adam Aguilar, Badland Bandits, Bobo Studios, Elliot Frantz, Morganâ€™s Tavern, Olga Lewis, Samantha Pearl, Sam Mandel, Society Society, Tania Lewis, Whiskey A Go Go, Kingâ€™s Studio.
Magazine featuring local artists, photographers, and musicians.