ARTWALK Culver City
Saturday, May 30
12noon to 8pm
ARTWALK Culver City is a free, self-guided tour of local art galleries and exhibition spaces presented by the City of Culver City and sponsored by Sony Pictures Entertainment with participation from The MOCA Contemporaries of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). ARTWALK Culver City is intended to introduce a wider audience to the area’s growing art scene which includes spaces in Culver City as well as along its Los Angeles border. This event especially celebrates the Culver City Art District, a cluster of galleries exhibiting emerging and established artists, which has formed where Washington and La Cienega Boulevards intersect.
ARTWALK Culver City is a late spring event and the event hours are Noon to 8pm. All galleries and exhibition spaces are open from Noon to 6pm and selected galleries remain open until 8pm that evening. There are special promotions from neighboring restaurants, cafes and bars in the Culver City Art District and Downtown Culver City as well as live music in the Culver City Art District.
More information on ARTWALK Culver City is available by calling the Cultural Affairs Hotline at 310.253.5716.
Click Here for The 2009 Gallery Guide.
Note: I promise not to overrun TRAffIK with Country 24/7 as I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but humor me on this one
The George Strait Special honoring him as the Academy of Country Music Artist of the Decade (an honor that only four other artists have earned to date) aired tonight (or last night technically) on CBS. As anyone who knows me well (or anyone who has read my Guide to my playlists–warning not a short read) can confirm, George Strait is one of my all-time favorite musical artists. The man has released 87 singles to date with 44 of those going to number one. I’m willing to bet I can sing along to about 80 percent of his songs.
I chose to stay in, which was a good thing considering how many late nights and early mornings I’ve had lately, to watch tonight’s tribute as opposed to just recording it to watch later. This show reminded me of how much I love this man and his quiet unassuming no b.s. yet completely confident demeanor, he’s a guy’s guy made up of some of the same stuff that made people love Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. He carries himself with pride and dignity, which not too many bonafide stars do today, the respect he doesn’t blatantly ask for but somehow commands from his peers is admirable. It also reminded me of how much I like hearing him sing and perform his own songs. I tuned in about 20 minutes late and I believe I missed performances from Brooks and Dunn, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, Sugarland, and possibly Faith Hill, and maybe a few others– I was able to catch most of the others.
I hadn’t pre-viewed any of the performances prior to watching them tonight and wasn’t sure what to expect. I was a little wary, only because these are the songs I grew up on. Seriously it could go either way, the artists could stick to covering his songs in the same no frills style he sings and performs them in or they might try to make them their own and completely lose the essence of the song.
Radiohead - “House of Cards” (In Rainbows)
The sound. The voice. Over and over and over. I can’t get enough of it – ever. Radiohead. Strange how this sound is intoxicating. And everytime I listen, I can hear something different – hear something new in his voice – feel something amazing – it can take me to my place. I like to think I’m the only one who feels this way but I think this “little band” makes millions feel the same way. Although “Fake Plastic Trees” is something I can listen to over and over, this past month I have listened to In Rainbows every single day and loved it more each time. Am I crazy? Yes, I think I am…. but be crazy with me and listen….
Hollywood Kill - “Leave Your Troubles Behind”
Hollywood Kill played at Phlight Restaraunt a few weeks ago and I unfortunately missed it. BUT, thanks to good friend and owner of Phlight, she turned me on to them. “Leave Your Troubles Behind” makes ya want to leave your troubles behind indeed! Their sound is what I want now. Their retro, pimp, hollywood look is right on!
Check them out here
The Pierces – “Boring”
A Friday night at Echo Curio.
I headed over to Echo Curio recently to check out three bands. This was only my second time going over to Echo Curio. The first time was to see Spider Problem and Underground Railroad to Candyland. That was an interesting night that involved some art destruction. You see, Echo Curio is an art gallery on Sunset Blvd in Echo Park. The location is just east of The Echo and Barragan’s, walking distance.
Regarding parking. The first time I went to Echo Curio, I tried to find parking on the neighborhood streets that surround the area. I found parking, but it took me awhile. This time around I just parked in the parking lot that people use for The Echo.
I arrived at Echo Curio in the middle of Go West Young Man’s set. The band includes a trumpeter, which gives their set a big band jazz, rock feel. Does that make any sense? It doesn’t matter if you agree with me, because I’m sticking to that description! It was a fun set. The band’s name just keeps on reminding me of that newspaper editor Horace Greeley – for obvious reasons.
That’s right, this is a topic that requires not one but two columns of material. When last we left Get Set Go and New MaximumDonkey, they were leaving Seattle, city of rain and hamburgers, and driving inexorably east into the gathering storm…
Missoula, Montana: Hoagieville
In high school, I had friends who worked at Hoagieville, so it was a frequent lunch destination for a doe-eyed, scrawny, slightly less cynical Eric Summer who had a complexion like undercooked lasagna. I never had much money for lunch, so I had to restrict myself to cheese fries most of the time. But the world-weary, adult (strictly in the physical sense), gainfully employed version of me, revisiting the old hometown, was delighted to see that not only was Hoagieville still standing right where I left it, but that I could now afford to eat a Steak Like Nick Likes and some cheese fries! And maybe a milkshake! How is it that I don’t gain forty pounds while we’re on tour?
Arvada, Colorado: The D-Note
This is where we played most often in the Denver area. It’s a restaurant-bar that hosts live music, perfect for our needs. The Brick House Pizza is excellent. It has, like, BBQ sauce and bacon on it, which are two of my favorite food groups. The beer selection is totally decent, and there are richly deserved drink tickets for the band.
In discussing our Colorado shows, I’d be remiss not to mention The Mumbles, with whom we nearly always play when we’re in the area. They’re a great XTC-and-Elliott-Smith-influenced power pop band. Really nice guys. Our shows with them are always among the best-of-tour.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: J’s Steaks & Subs
As everybody knows, Philly Cheesesteaks are the perfect food. Though we’ve never played in Philadelphia, to my recollection, there was a tour in which we played at Musikfest in Bethlehem. Jeremy from New MaximumDonkey is from Bethlehem (he also has a beard—write your own Jesus joke here: ________________________________________) (also, his dad runs Musikfest), so he’s pretty dialed-in as to where the good cheesesteaks are. Both times we went to Bethlehem, I had some sort of pizza cheesesteak from J’s Steaks and Subs. I tend to pick one thing I like and stick with it. The pizza steak thingy is goooooooood.
I’d also like to note that I don’t give a tinker’s damn about the “authenticity” of a cheesesteak. Food regionalism has always seemed like bullshit to me. Just cook some steak, put it in a bun, and put some cheese and onions on it. What’s the big deal? I don’t care if it was notarized by the mayor of Philadelphia or not. It tastes good.
New York: That Deli Right Around the Corner from the Knitting Factory
Yeah, I don’t know the name of this place. Can’t be bothered to look it up, either. But this is where we usually eat when we play at the Knitting Factory in New York. You can’t miss it. You know where the Knitting Factory is in New York City? Just go down the street, turn one direction or the other, and it’s right there. It’s a beautiful combination of proximity, sandwiches, and $38 packs of cigarettes. Well, that last bit is slightly exaggerated. They probably aren’t more than about $25 per pack. But the sandwiches are really good. They have different kinds of mustard and everything. I think one of ‘em has sun-dried tomatoes or something. Just trust me; the sandwiches “rock,” in the parlance of our times. OK, this entry was quarter-assed at best, but this place deserves at least a fractionally buttocked mention just because we’ve been there so many times.
The South: Barbecue
You know how sometimes if something goes badly, people say “and that’s when it all went south”?
Yeah, there’s a reason they chose “south” for that expression and not, for instance, “northwest.” It just happens that every time we go to the southern states on tour, that’s when the shows start not being very good anymore. This is a generalization; there have been some southern shows that have been a lot of fun, but generally, once we hit Florida, the shows trend suckward. I don’t want to insult or offend the people of this run-down religious-themed amusement park of a region (because I’m too tired)—good honest hardworking people, salt of the earth, blah blah blah. Whatever. The people are fine, and some of them are even really cool; they just don’t go see live music. I’ve lived in Kentucky and Florida long enough to know that there’s one thing that saves this draconian backwater hickhole: the restaurants here specialize in the barbecuing of various meats and the slathering of them with sundry tangy sauces. I can’t really narrow it down to one restaurant; they’re all over the place, and they all help get us through this Tennessee Williams-Deliverance portion of the tour. Again, I have no idea what the hell Dylan eats for this 2000-mile stretch.
The South: Waffle House
OK, two things save the south. The first is the barbecue, and the second is Waffle House. It’s not necessarily that the food is great (although some of it is; I really loved the chocolate chip waffle with chocolate syrup and whipped cream on it); it’s that it’s everywhere. Whenever you need food in the south, even if it’s at 3 a.m., and the van’s broken or stuck in the mud, or someone in one of the bands has just killed a prostitute or a hobo, there’s practically always a Waffle House around. And there’s something about chocolate waffles and bacon sandwiches and hash browns with all sorts of onions and mushrooms and jalapenos and junk all over ‘em that makes it seem like everything’s gonna be just fine. Even when it clearly isn’t.
Jeremy doesn’t like Waffle House. This is forgivable because he provides us with cheesesteaks (see above).
Honorable Mention: Convenience Stores
Of course, it wouldn’t really be a tour without stopping for gas. This provides me a time to smoke while everybody else runs off to take care of their various bodily functions. Also, convenience stores usually contain a healthy array of beef jerky (the underappreciated workhorse of the touring diet), jalapeno Pringles, and Chex Mix to give you that much-needed protein-and-saturated-fat boost necessary for good freeway driving. Actually, I’d postulate that maybe 50% of the eating on tour is done out of shiny cellophane bags and cardboard tubes.
For further information on GSG/NMD tour shenanigans, including why Dave killed the prostitute, Star Wars fixations, and Benny’s extraneous body parts, see the Tour Documentary DVD included with the fourth Get Set Go album ( Sunshine, Joy & Happiness: A Tragic Tale of Death, Despair and Other Silly Nonsense)! Or, to experience this enviable, glamorous rock and roll lifestyle firsthand, just stuff yourself into a van with seven or eight other people and drive around the country for a month!
The Formula to your Nightlife’s Soundtrack: Two Parts Music Know-how, Two Parts Humility – DJ’s Magic Wong and Rock 1
“Good DJ Mixes do not consist of random song choices. There is an artistic process at work. Just as a photographer picks scenes that already exist and packages them in a way that makes them appealing to an audience. A DJ picks music that already exists and packages it in a way that makes it appealing to an audience. A mixset is a piece of art.”
We couldn’t agree more.
West LA native DJ Everett Wong (aka DJ Magic Wong) and DJ Gerardo Machado (aka DJ Rock 1) of Whittier, CA are two guys who according to their bios prefer to put the “music before the spotlight.“ The pair met while working at International Creative Management (ICM). Despite being residents of Los Angeles, a city that depending on which circles you move in can have a serious deficiency in the area of humility and self-absorbed personas are superfluous, these two modest DJ’s remain completely unassuming in their talent for making crowds move.
The two dj’s describe their process as “bringing their two different styles to the table, complimenting each other and creating a monumental synergy.” They state “enjoying being able to switch off at multiple points during the night which allows them to keep the energy high.”
Machado and Wong have rocked this energy at hot spots such as H’Wood, Winston’s, Delux as well as residencies at Green Door, Republic, The Hideout, and currently The Dime (a local watering hole where notable DJ’s such as DJ Pesce spin on the regular). Despite quickly developing a strong following with the Hollywood crowd the glitz and glamour is not so much what they’re after, as that can easily be found on any given night in the city of Angels
It could be a case of been there, done that. More than likely though, it is the desire to bring their craft to as many people as possible all at one time, as world domination is not entirely out of the question. Wong, who grew up listening to DJ’s on Power 106 states, “We’d love to have a residency in Vegas, but our main goal is to share our interpretation of music with as many people as possible. We would rather play for 4,000 people sitting in Central Park than 400 people at the hottest Hollywood club.”
Wong further explains “We play events all the time where there doesn’t necessarily need to be a DJ. We like those events because we hit those crowds so hard with creative blends that they were totally not expecting to hear at say…a cocktail party…or an awards show. We want people to walk away from our events thinking that a DJ is not someone who just plays songs, but gets creative with it.”
Some of these recent events have included the following:
- 2009 CAA Golden Globes Party
- Cast Party for TWILIGHT
- Tom Ford’s Christmas Party
- Relativity Media Christmas Party
- The CW Up-Fronts Party
- The Official Ohio State University Tailgate
- NBC Fall Scheduling Party
- Li-Ning’s Official Launch of Baron Davis’ shoe
- Aids Project LA Event
- Max Mara Private Event
So what made each of these guys start djing? Wong, the self described hip-hop head of the duo, credits it was listening to the DJs on Power 106 every day on the way from school. Guys like E-man, Eric V, Vice truly captivated him from the start and sparked his interest in the art form. Machado, who tends to incorporate an eclectic mix to their sets (adding 80’s/Rock/Funk), was also influenced by the DJ’s of Power 106 as well as the DJ’s of the Electronic Rave scene in the early 90’s. He recalls, “I would watch and listen to DJ’s move crowds of 1,000+. It was definitely amazing and inspiring.”
When asked what they had seen change if anything in the DJ scene they credited the “influx of computer DJ programs such as Serato (Scratch Live)” for creating a “surge of digital DJs” who currently “saturate the market.”
Wong states, “We would be completely okay with this if half of them actually had skills, but a lot of DJ’s we hear nowadays are just not fundamentally sound. Nowadays we find ourselves competing with celebrities who picked up these DJ computer programs from Guitar Center and loaded up all their mp3s. We’ve lost plenty of gigs to guys like Ryan Gosling and Danny Masterson, guys who may or may not have been DJ’s if it weren’t for computer programs like Serato. Losing gigs is always a bummer but we knew we were really on the right track when we started losing gigs to guys like DJ AM and Jazzy Jeff.”< (more…)