Every Friday, we pick one of our favorite past write-ups to re-feature. This week, it was our August 2010 column on L.A. mainstay Michelle Marini (focusing on her history, turning her first bar The Lava Lounge into The Woods in PART I and the opening of her now established downtown nightlife hotspot, The Woods in this Part II)
(photo by Jessy Plume for TRAFFIK)
“If you’re going Downtown, I may as well be on your way“
– “Downtown” by Tegan and Sara
In Part One of our feature on nightlife proprietor Michelle Marini, we discussed a little bit of her personal history with “tinseltown” and the City of Angels (if you missed it you can click here to read it). In Part Two, we will be learning a little more about her influences, current project, and what she hopes to accomplish with this new venture.
In January of 2009 we asked Michelle Marini, what she would like to tackle next. She responded with, “I’m angling to open a small bar in Gallery Row Downtown. It’s a super artsy, fashion-minded community that’s in the making.”
Intrigued, our conversation continued.
Why Downtown? What made the idea of opening something up Downtown first pop into your head?
Marini enthusiastically replied, “During Artwalk. Fall ‘08 I believe. I felt like I was in Manhattan, and loved it!”
Ultimately, this decision and idea eventually (more…)
Now that Summer is officially over and done with (and to clarify we mean the season, not Eric) and Fall is upon us we have decided to take a look back at our summer (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and have asked some friends to do the same. We will see September off with some End of Summer interviews over the course of the next couple of weeks.
Kicking that series of interviews off is our Q&A with local band Robotanists. We first came across Robotanists in early 2008 and quickly became fans of their music and asked them to participate in our Childhood Observed: Toys for Tots Benefit (alongside Automatique, Automatic Music Explosion, Beatmo, Maggie Malyn, Voices Voices, The White and the Writing, and You Me and Iowa) that has yet to reach fruition but you can watch a teaser video of here. They spent a day with TRAffIK photographer Jessy Plume and video producer Byron Turk at the LA Zoo getting kicked off of Merry-go-Rounds and being embraced by the Pinwheel Palace. Check out their feature here.
Speaking of Jessy and Byron…
Our “Photographist” Jessy Plume managed to remain cooler than most of us will ever be, while managing to juggle a multitude of projects. We’ll soon be collaborating to bring you some more fun photos. Who knows what our Creative Pow-Wows will bring you. In the meantime please enjoy her photography of bands that participated in our Childhood Observed themed photo shoots that we’ll be bringing you in next couple of weeks. Also her photo of L.A. band Voices Voices for this same project is currently included in the latest issue of Filter Magazine.
Byron is currently in the swamp lands of Louisiana bonding with the ‘gators and all of the other inhabitants of these murky waters working on a top secret film project. The new season of his show Storm Chasers will air on Discovery Channel Oct.18. In the meantime you can read about their storm chasing adventures here.
I’ll bring you some of my Summer Adventures w/ Lady Di very soon. Maybe we can even convince Brandy (“BB” – pictured left with TRAffIK Stopper Heather Ellis) to share some of her own. We’ve got a lot of great fashion and style content as well as features lined up for you in coming weeks including one on Super-girl Espree Devora.
Last of all in the coming months you will see a few changes hit the TRAffIK site. We’ll be adding some fantastic new writers, new columns, and we have also been working on making the site a little easier to navigate. Stay tuned.
We hope you all had a great adventurous season of fun in the sun.
Siria and the TRAffIK Team
All photos by Jessy Plume (unless noted otherwise)
photo by Isaac Madera
Palm Springs native-turned Los Angeles area based Candace Garcia has lent her talents of making people over to various fashion related, commercial, and live performance projects over her course as a make-up artist. Over the month of September she’ll be sharing some insight on the world of make-up and bringing us some of her own beauty tips!
TRAFFIK: How did you get involved with doing make-up and why?
CG: Growing up I always had loved make-up. When I joined my high school dance team I always did my make-up fun and creative. Then a lot of other dance team members and other girls at school liked it. So I often times practiced and did make-up for performances and proms etc. It makes me feel great when I can apply make-up to make someone feel great about they’re look or appearance. I’m proud of the art I do and it’s always seemed to help me express myself.
TRAFFIK:What are some of the various projects/shoots you have done make-up for?
CG: I have done make-up for a range of every day things to more stylized professional projects including: fashion shows, brides, Halloween, commercials, print work, snap shots, prom, as well as personal lessons.
TRAFFIK:What type of scenarios/situations (TV, commercial, fashion show/runway, photo shoots, etc.) do you most like doing make-up for?
CG: I love all make-up in general, but I especially love photo shoots. I admire photography and love being involved in the shoot. It’s great to work with different models & photographers because everyone has their own ideas, styles, amd way of working things. (more…)
PLEASE JOIN US…
Brand Equity Showroom and TRAffIK invite you to a Happy Hour happening tomorrow Thursday August 6th at the Vault (located downtown at: 453 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013).
This is to kick off LA Market Week and also an opportunity for us at TRAffIK to hang out with friends as we’ve all had hectic schedules. We look forward to a fun night of catching up. Check out the official invite below for full details and info on our giveaways (from Report Signature Shoes and Jimmy Kimmel Live) and don’t forget to bring your business card to get a free cocktail from 6-7pm.
For those of you who haven’t been to The Vault yet, it’s an amazing space, check out their official site here.
(model Heather Ellis – photo by Jessy Plume)
photo by Jessy Plume
Just in time for Summer!
Model: Jean Louise O’Sullivan
Products used to create this look:
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Honey (24K Gold)
Next week Laurene will share some of her favorite products with us
To learn more about Laurene Alvarado please visit her site
Every now and then we are going to point out some bands/music artists that are doing some stuff right. In March you heard from the Randies, from who a lot could be learned from regarding the world of DIY Touring (read their Q&A here). To clarify because a band is doing some stuff right, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are signed to a label, are playing to stadiums full of people, have scored hefty distribution, or even publishing deals. The music industry is still a long ways from transitioning into the new day and age and it seems bands are finally starting to realize how much power they hold in their own hands.
The band being used as an example today is LA based Automatique. Please note that when a certain band is focused on, it doesn’t mean other bands/artists aren’t doing the same thing or that every band should do everything these bands/artists do. Once a band/artist has fully developed their identity and achieved a mastery of their sound or at least created an identifiable sound/image then they can decide what works best for them. Any bands/artists used as an example is purely that, an example of how they are doing things that seem to work for them and fit their style. For myself the best way to learn is through observation, example, and trial and error. I will trust that for much of the general population this works as well, being as life doesn’t come with an instruction manual.
I first came across Automatique through friend Jon Hershfield (of www.isgoodmusic.com – check it out). He was friends with this band and had suggested them to me as a potential band to book. I went and checked out the band with Jon and his then fiancee (now wife) Shannon at The Scene in Glendale. I can honestly say I wasn’t blown away (but it turned out they had just recently started playing together as a band at that time) although I didn’t hate their sound either– but I did notice a positive energy, friendly attitude, and good rapor with the crowd they were playing to that evening. We ended up booking them on a bill and then a few more down the line as they showed up consistently to many of our shows as a band even when they were not playing to show their support and also made an effort to get to know our built in crowd of regulars that showed up to the weekly shows.
They seemed to grasp the concept of strength in numbers and the give and take support system that was the underlying theme of that scene. Although that mentality in this town can be a rarity and is commendable that is not what I will focus on. Throughout the years that I’ve known them I have seen them do a few things that show that this is one band that understands what tools they have at their disposal and readily utilize them.
The following is a list of some of the things I’ve seen them do that work for them which I feel other bands/artists should take note of:
The Band Photo – Many bands shoot a band photo once and then leave that up on their sites/myspace/etc. for a long period of time and never change it up. People like to see new pictures of the bands they are following, maybe not every day but at least every few months. Automatique does a really good job of changing their photos out fairly often. They mix it up with live shots, candids, and more professional photographs. These photographs do a great job of showing their audience a glimpse into each of their personalities.
Band Video Footage – Automatique TV – With how easy it is to create videos many bands do this nowadays, the posting of pseudo video diaries/random videos. Automatique however, was one of the first bands that I saw really embrace this via their Meet The Band Video that allowed you a further glimpse into what each of the band members were like and what their style of music was like, etc. They now have a few dozen videos available for viewing of live performances, hanging out and being silly, as well as more serious insight into the stories behind their songs (which you can view here), etc.
Automatique – Meet the Band
Music Videos – Besides their random videos for Automatique TV, they also have managed to make a great music video (directed by TRAffIK’s own Byron Turk) on a limited budget that actually fits their song “High Wire.” (You can watch it here as well as read a making of Q&A with Byron)
Maintaining Professionalism – Having booked many various types of bands at different levels in their careers you come across many types of personalities. Although, I haven’t really had many bad experiences I always am glad to encounter bands that maintain a certain level of professionalism. Maintaining professionalism is a great way to put your band in the running for future bookings. Automatique excels at this and not only (speaking from my experience) do they do their best to promote their shows, but also show up on time, follow load-in schedules, don’t run into other bands set times by playing longer than their time slots, and they are always pretty good about thanking the bands who put the shows together as well as sticking around for other bands on their bills.
Crowd Consistency – In this town it is very difficult to keep a consistent crowd coming out to your shows as you are not only competing with the ten trillion other bands that play on the same night you do, but also every other event (from art shows, fashion shows, to photo exhibits, movie screenings, etc.) and not to mention people’s lives in general (work,etc.). The first thing this band does is not OVERPLAY which is great for their fans as they don’t feel they have to make it out every week to see them and allows them to keep a strong fanbase. The second thing is they INTERACT with their crowd via their live shows, hanging out with people drinking/chatting, and also via the the fore-mentioned videos, myspace page, etc. They treat them all like friends. Last of all they SUPPORT bands they play with or bands they’d like to play with when those bands are playing shows that they are not. Aside from supporting the bands they also support their fans at their events, etc.
There are many other things that could be said about this band that are positive and could be learned from, but those are the main areas that I have observed them achieving consistency throughout my dealings with them as a band. Even if I didn’t like their music (which is not the case, as I am a fan), I would still have to give them credit for what they do right.
To learn more about Automatique or see upcoming shows visit www.myspace.com/automatiqueband