Beat Swap Meet happened again in Chinatown yesterday. Of course, I picked up some new-old records for myself. You can check out those purchases in the above photo. I’m kind of excited to play “I Want to Touch You” by Catherine Wheel on vinyl sometime in the near future.
I also got to play at Beat Swap Meet yesterday. Here’s the set list.
XTC– Generals and Majors
The Clash– This Is Radio Clash
Austra and Gina X– Mayan Drums
Echo and the Bunnymen– Heads Will Roll
Siouxsie and the Banshees– Monitor
The Jam– Start!
Fun Boy Three- Lunatics…
Fad Gadget– Back to Nature
I have to gigs coming up this week. On Thursday, you can catch me play at Club Berlin at Alpine Village in Torrance. On Friday, I’ll be at Underground at the Grand Star.
Feel like dancing or just hanging out and listening to some good tunes this month? I have four gigs scheduled for September. Mark them down on your calendar now. I’ll post more info on these closer to the dates of the events.
Beat Swap Meet @ Grand Star Jazz Club
Club Berlin @ Alpine Village
Club Underground @ Grand Star Jazz Club
Shadowplay @ Grand Star Jazz Club
People have been talking about Heroes of Cosplay for weeks. Some have a list of reasons for disliking it. Plenty of people in the scene are offended by it. I finally saw the Syfy reality series last night. It was kind of boring. I kept wishing it were more like RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Cosplayers and drag queens have a lot in common. Both frequently rely on pop culture references to push their art forward. Both require a hefty skill set. The best cosplayers, like the best drag queens, are good with costumes, make-up and hair, plus they can perform for an audience on some level. More importantly, though, both are part of scenes that have been wildly misunderstood by the general public.
RuPaul’s Drag Race is good TV. It’s a fun competition with a lot of big personalities in the running. Yet, there are also a lot of heartfelt moments on the show. When you’re watching it, you know that there’s something greater to it than over-the-top costumes and lip-sync performances. It’s a show about identity and community. If that’s what Heroes of Cosplay intended, it missed the mark entirely.
Edgar Wright with artist Joey Spiotto (Photo: Liz Ohanesian for L.A. Weekly)
I write a weekly column for L.A. Weekly’s arts blog, Public Spectacle. The column is called “Cult Stars” and, in it, I try to cover different aspects of the art and entertainment worlds. You could probably call it a “geek” column of sorts, although I don’t.
In the most recent installment of said column, I went to “The Official Edgar Wright Art Show” at Gallery 1988. Nearly 100 artists paid tribute to Wright’s work, from Spaced to The World’s End. The latter comes out on Friday. It was an interesting show, as well as a popular one. People got in line early for a chance to get inside and purchase one of the limited edition prints. Also, Wright attended the event with frequent collaborators Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
Read all about it in the latest installment of “Cult Stars.”
(cross-posted with lizohanesian.com.)
I have three DJ gigs this week. Here are the details.
The stage at CIA.
There’s a venue in North Hollywood called the California Institution of Abnormal Arts (CIA). It’s on one of those big, Valley boulevards that practically beg for you to speed along without a second glance. But this spot, set back only a bit from the street, is marked by a clown on the gate and a clown on the front door. They aren’t as eye-catching as the big, polka-dot guy atop Circus Liquor a few blocks east, but you will notice them. I have plenty of times before Saturday night, but for some odd reason or other, never stopped to peek inside. I’ve actually had friends, a lot of them, play here and yet, it wasn’t until two nights ago that I made the trip here.
Clearly, I have been missing out on something special. CIA is the coolest venue I’ve seen in the Valley. It appears small, even after you walk inside. The actual performance area is roughly comparable in size to an itty-bitty punk club. It’s a little rough around the edges too. Look closely and you’ll find tiny cracks in the patterns on the floor of the stage. The scruffiness goes with the decor, which is a mix of oddball vintage finds. There are old mannequins done up in bizarre fashion, skills, dolls heads and lots of candles. The more you explore, the more bizarre this space is.
Saturday night, I’ll be playing at Club Microwave, which is held at CIA in North Hollywood. This gig is particularly cool for a few reasons.
1. I’m playing all vinyl, all synthpop. The musicians on the bill are playing chip tunes.
2. It’s all ages. (Be aware that those under 18 need to be accompanied by an adult.)
3. It’s in the Valley. I don’t think I’ve had a gig in the Valley before this, which is weird considering that I grew up there.
Anyhow, I hope you’ll attend. If you want a Facebook reminder, check out the invite.
Every fourth Saturday of the month, my friends, Larry and Diana, and I throw a goth party at the Grand Star in Chinatown called Shadowplay. Since tomorrow night is said fourth Saturday of July, it’s your chance to join us for some fun on the dance floor. We’ll be bringing old school and new school spooky jams. All you have to do is show up. This is a 21+ event. The cover is $8. However, there are a few ways you can get in for free.
This was part of the view from our hotel room.
It took five years to get here. When it finally happened, it had more to do with my friend’s luck than my own.
Three of us entered the hotel lottery. We did this last year with mixed results. This time, though, we were methodical. We bumped up the amount we were willing to spend on a room. We made sure that a few of our choices overlapped. On the day of the lottery, each one of us managed to submit our picks in well under a minute. In the end, we all got hotels within a few blocks of the convention center. G scored the fanciest of the lot, the one with the bar that brings in the industry folks, the one that is the shortest walk from the convention center.
G led me to the room, opened the door and instructed me to look out the windows as soon as I set down my luggage. To the right was a harbor dotted with yachts. To the left was the city. I could see inflatable versions of Mordecai and Rigby, the characters from the regular show, perched high above the crowd the was just moving in for the next few days.
Dancing in the fog to “Sex Dwarf”
I took this photo from the DJ booth last night, while I was playing “Sex Dwarf.” The fog machine was pumping. The music was blasting. The floor was crowded. It was a good night.
Friday was our New Order party at Underground. We couldn’t ask for anything better. People started dancing early and stuck around to the very end. We met one lady who came up from Tijuana for our party because she had seen posts about it online. There were a lot of old friends and new friends inside the club bringing some of the best energy I’ve seen in a while. I played Savages and people kept dancing. When something new does well, I’m ecstatic.
Also, this marked the first time Diana and I played a tag team set. It was fun. We should do it again. Here are my set lists from the night.