This past Saturday night, Project Ethos helped Los Angeles kick off “Fashion Week,” tinsel-town style (or as our photographer exclaimed, “seemed like a Gossip Girl kindof evening”) with about 2,100 of their closest friends (when we left at about midnight, people were still trying to get into the event). It was a “Carpe Diem” themed evening filled with firsts as Frederick’s of Hollywood gave a glimpse of it’s first attempt at a Swimwear line (yes, we were surprised as well that they had never ventured into this area before) as well as designer and event headliner (and Project Runway Winner) Seth Aaron Henderson brought to the excited crowd (comprised mostly of fashionistas, stylists, buyers, and press–as our photographer also noted, “There was some hugging in the media section. Seems like fashion is a rather tight circle.”) his first ever Ready to Wear collection.
An exclusive group of attendees were treated to a special hosted vodka bar in the Avalon’s Honey Lounge prior to the start of the festivities which aside from the fashions included musical entertainment which included TRAffIK favorites Robotanists (pictured above) and Australian DJ Duo Yolanda be Cool as well as artwork on display upstairs at Bardot. Artwork that included a selection of limited prints showcasing the colorful masterpieces from world -renowned street artist D*Face as well as local artists Brenna & Baron Davis, Alexander DCD Smith, Christopher Hernandez, Free Hand Profit (Gary Lockwood), Justine Serebrin, and Lucia Loiso.
It’s safe to say that there was something for everyone, although Fashion remained the main focus. Glowing bottles of vitaminwater zero™ lined the runway, bringing a futuristic element to the stage, as they served as the events official sponsor. On this evening the “Flavor Fashionista Challenge” (where designers designed garments that were inspired by vitaminwater zero) reached culmination where designer Reneta Jhunjhnuwala (Reneta J) was announced as the winner.
vitaminwater zero™ “Flavor Fashionista Challenge”
FREDERICK’S OF HOLLYWOOD – SWIMSUIT LINE
CARDIWRAP BY KYMARO
KRISTI MOON (AGE OF AQUARIUS)
SETH AARON HENDERSON
Can I Get Some Runway Please?!
See you in the front row!
The Fold, Filter Magazine, Overhead Records & Wild Tonic.com presents…
Our friends of ROBOTANISTS (http://robotanists.com or http://facebook.com/robotanists) will be performing EVERY MONDAY IN FEBRUARY in celebration of the release of their forthcoming NEW ALBUM, PLANS IN PROGRESS (official release date Feb. 15th), and now you have no excuse for not checking them out! If you need further motivation, we’ll be there for at least a couple of the shows checking them out and Del (Deltron3030 and Syffal.com) will be their guest dj tonight!
All shows are free (ages 21 and up) and take place at:
2906 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
If you aren’t familiar with them yet and need a preview, here’s a video preview of their song “On/Off the Ledge” from their forthcoming Plans in Progress and also here’s their video for “Exiled State of Mind” from their last release Shapes and Variations that our other friends Byron Turk (www.byronfever.com) and Jessy Plume (www.jessyplume.com) made for them (shot at Area11) earlier in the year.
Here are their line-ups for the month:
DEATH KIT * http://www.facebook.com/deathkit
TWILIGHT SLEEP * http://www.facebook.com/pages/Twilight-Sleep/14117470125
LANTERNS (San Diego) * http://www.facebook.com/pages/LANTERNS/75570203413
+ Special Guest DJ SHUT YOUR FUCKING FACE AND LISTEN (a.k.a Del LeFevre – check out his new site at http://syffal.com)
+ A live light installation by DAN GRAYSON * http://Yes-Means-Yes.com/
OH DARLING * http://www.facebook.com/pages/Oh-Darling/7935272980
KISSING COUSINS * http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kissing-Cousins/51337431990
+ special guests
LIGHT FM * http://www.facebook.com/lightfm
HANDS * http://www.facebook.com/handssounds
THE SECRET LANGUAGE * http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Secret-Language/142370822482838
It’s a well known fact that I’m a cover song whore. I might be the only person in LA that has all of the Johnny Cash American Recordings, all of the Me First and The Gimme CDs, and this week insisted on purchasing Scratch My Back, the new Peter Gabriel CD. Yes it is true that I haven’t listened to a Peter Gabriel CD since Lloyd Dobler lifted a moderately sized boombox with cartoonish supersonic range to win back the love of Diane Court, but if he’s putting out an album’s worth of covers then I’m putty in his hands. Digging into the tracks I have to say it is a bit lacking. That’s not to say that the choices are uninspired because that couldn’t be further from the case. Gabriel chose some amazing songs from such favorites as Bon Iver (“Flume”), The Arcade Fire (“My Body is a Cage”), and The Magnetic Fields (“The Book of Love”). It’s the approach that was taken that bothers me. In stripping away the drums and the guitars, Gabriel turned these songs into self serving flat whisperfests with nothing behind them. There’s no heart. No soul. What Gabriel must not have understood is that the science of a good cover is to take the opportunity to honor the source material while completely re-inventing it, making it your own in a way that people will recognize its source but, if done properly, they’ll appreciate it more than the original. It is a tough feat, but a goal that one should aspire to. This approach has worked in the past as a launching pad for people like Gary Jules (“Mad World”), Jeff Buckley (“Hallelujah”), and Cat Power (“I Found a Reason”). By leaving the heart of these tracks in place and giving them a makeover these artists forever took ownership of the songs. Trent Reznor himself will tell you that “Hurt” now belongs to Johnny Cash forever. I doubt Thom Yorke will be saying that about Peter Gabriel’s spin on “Street Spirit”.
Clearly I’m bitter for wasting the money.
Worry not my loyal readers. My sad feelings quickly subsided when I was sent an advance copy of LA’s own Robotanists’ forthcoming EP Shapes and Variations. Where Peter Gabriel failed, the Robotanists succeed. Like I said earlier it is very rare when a cover song surpasses the original. Amazingly enough on their upcoming EP the Robotanists manage to pull off this trick seven times. Seven times they reinvent a popular song. Seven times they take ownership of the covered material. I hate to give someone overflowing credit, but not only do they take ownership but they do it with songs that are part of the popular zeitgeist. It’s as if they shouted out “Hey Gabriel, it’s one thing to cover Bon Iver’s “Flume” but try covering Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind.” It takes balls to do that..and balls are what the Roboantists have. Balls and beautiful lead vocals. Judging from the songs selected (“Empire State,” “Are You Really Going Out With Him,” “Dance Dance Dance,” “Heaven”) one would think that the band was challenged to make the most overplayed songs listen-able again. They rose to the challenge and then some. (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 Andrea Carroll courtesy of Robotanists
Unlit was a somewhat exclusive traveling night time house party started by British singer/songwriter Jont that I was lucky enough to attend a couple of times back in 2005 when I’d first moved to LA, before it’s lengthy hiatus set in. Since the parties featured live acoustic musical performances, I would imagine that it was thought best to keep the guest list to a minimum and therefore only invite core supporters of the movement to ensure that they wouldn’t be shut down. These parties have taken place not only here in the states, but also regularly occur in London, England where Jont spends much of his time.
Last Saturday Lady Di and I went to a daytime installment of Unlit.
When I got the invite, I was glad to see it coming back and even though I had been under the weather I knew I had to make it. Most of you know I am a strong supporter of creators in any of the arts collaborating with their peers and building their own communities that offer support to each other. Communities of this sort serve as incubators to great talent and sadly there are never enough of them.
The return took place poolside at the home of Tony Berg in Brentwood, who graciously lent his home to the event. People sat around the pool drinking, mingling, playing catch up, and enjoying the special acoustic performances as well as dj-ing by friend Jon Hershfield (www.isgoodmusic.com. Jon credits the original Unlit parties as being “where he learned to dj from the closet of Jont’s apartment.”
(click on images to enlarge)
Jont and Jon Hershfield alternated mcing/hosting duties saying a few kind words about each artist (which included Jont, Robotanists, Marvelous Toy, and Jay Matsueda, among many other guest appearances) prior to their performances.
The great thing about shows like Unlit, where the artists are forced to perform completely stripped down versions of their songs, is that true talent is easily identified. It is always great to see bands like our old friends in the Robotanists translate over well acoustically (which is not always the case with bands that have such a full live musical sound when plugged in). However, Lead singer Sarah Ellquist had no problem projecting her voice to the audience.
This was Lady Di’s first Unlit, and I think she came away with the same appreciation for it as I had after the first time I’d attended one almost 4 years ago.
Cheers to many more Unlits!