Hard Labor: Knitting Factory News Volume One, Issue XVI

Knitting Factory News

Welcome to Knitting Factory News, our intermittent (let’s say, twice monthly or fortnightly) bulletin of highlights from inside and outside the Knitting Factory universe. It’s an opinionated guide to featured artists at our California venues, KFE-managed artists on tour, giveaways, ephemera, and…well, things we like, no matter where they came from.

Love Song To The Earth

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The worldwide environmental movement has never had a soundtrack or rallying cry—until now. Internationally renowned artists have come together to record a song to support the UN Secretary-General’s leadership on climate change and the United Nations’ call for a meaningful, universal, global climate change agreement to be signed by governments in December.

“Love Song to the Earth” features performances by Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, Fergie, Colbie Caillat, Natasha Bedingfield, Leona Lewis, Sean Paul, Johnny Rzeznik, Krewella, Angelique Kidjo (a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador), Kelsea Ballerini, Nicole Scherzinger, Christina Grimmie, Victoria Justice and Q’Orianka Kilcher.

Written by Toby Gad, Natasha Bedingfield, John Shanks and Sean Paul, and produced by Toby Gad and John Shanks, the song is available now exclusively on iTunes and Apple Music via Connect. The artists, producers and directors of the Love Song project – as well as Apple – are donating their respective proceeds to Friends of the Earth U.S. and the United Nations Foundation.

Featured Shows

rEPRising At The Echo 2015 NES

There are a number of exciting live shows happening in California over the next few weeks, including festivals Hiero Day, Long Beach Folk Festival, KABOO Festival Del Mar, and Hi-Fi Rockfest. And don’t miss The New Electric Sound at rEPRising At The Echo; this show is compromised of standout bands from Echo Park Rising.

Friday, September 4
!!! – SLO Brew– San Luis Obispo, CA

Monday, September 7
The Coup – Hiero Day – Oakland, CA

Saturday, September 12
Prima Donna –Maui Sugar Mill Saloon – Tarzana, CA

Hi Fi Fest 2015 TTT

Monday, September 14
The New Electric Sound – rEPRising At The Echo – Los Angeles, CA

Friday, September 18
Deer Tick– City Winery– Napa, CA

Saturday, September 19
Deer Tick – Long Beach Folk Revival– Long Beach, CA
The Nervous Wreckords – KABOO Festival Del Mar – San Diego, CA

Saturday, September 26
The Two Tens– Hi-Fi Rockfest – Long Beach, CA

Sunday, September 27
The Two Tens – The Casbah – San Diego, CA

FYF 2015 Recap

by Saeli Eshelman

This week, in lieu of a music city artist pick, we will be doing a quick retelling of my experience at this year’s FYF Fest, as we did for Coachella.

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Photo courtesy of Sheyda Zebarjadian: The crowd at DJ Harvey’s set

As with Coachella, I am approaching FYF veteran status, as I have attended the past four years (and its only been going for ten!). And also like Coachella, FYF has changed a lot over the time I have been attending–FYF has ballooned in size and subsequently changed its venue to the USC Coliseum and surrounding Exposition Park last year. But overall, FYF hasn’t “sold out” in quite the way Coachella has been accused of doing, with the exception of Kanye last minute headlining this year. In fact, FYF has been lauded for its growing popularity and simultaneous sticking to its roots, making it a significant festival for its authenticity. This is why, regardless of your opinions on the burgeoning festival scene and its many iterations, FYF’s acts are worth discussing.

And now, I present you with my list of the top six FYF 2015 performances (and a couple honorable mentions at the end):

The Drums

All photos courtesy of the FYF website unless otherwise noted

The Drums: The Drums have been a favorite band of mine since the release of their first EP, Summertime!, in 2009. Since then I have seen them live after each of their studio LPs have dropped and each time have fallen more and more in love with them. Lead vocalist Johnny Pierce is an amazing performer, enrapturing the audience with his awkward yet slick dance moves and unfaltering voice that hits pretty high up in the vocal register sometimes. This show was great not only for his still-amazing stage presence, but also their song selection which ranged throughout their discography, not ever spending too much time in one era or another, and executing each unique sound flawlessly. I enjoyed dancing the entire time and singing along to every word, and I saw more than a couple surrounding fans who seemed to be doing the same. And I got a bonus thrill when I ran into Johnny and his husband not once, but twice later in the weekend!

Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels:
Run the Jewels is a rap duo comprised of rapper/producer El-P and rapper Killer Mike. And to give you an idea of their rapping prowess, one need look no further than Kendrick Lamar’s Killer Mike shoutout on the song “Hood Politics” off his most recent album: “Critics want to mention that they miss when hip hop was rappin’/ Motherfucker, if you did, then Killer Mike’d be platinum.” As expected, their rapping is aggressive and confrontational, addressing real issues, such as police brutality. But they really won over the crowd with their humor and stage presence, keeping an open dialogue with fans, talking to us in between song breaks, and getting us involved in songs where they could. Not to mention, their graphics were pretty dope.

Kanye West

Photo courtesy of Goldenvoice

Kanye West: Kanye West requires no real introduction, he is a self-proclaimed rap god (or real god?) and generally pompous ass. Many people are turned off by his personality, but I am a huge fan of his simply for his artistry–almost every album he has ever made has been new and different in some way, most often in his production, but also often in his content. While his music is not perfect, I think he deserves major respect for his vast body of work and continued success. However, he was not originally on the FYF setlist, but instead replaced Frank Ocean very last minute, like two days before his set last minute. This proved to be a problem, solely in the festival’s under-preparedness for an artist of this caliber as far as security positioned throughout the crowd, which was very large and spanned a crazy amount of the parking lot the main stage is situated in. I was very close to the stage after working my way up for Chet Faker’s performance and stood in the most packed crowd I have ever experienced at a festival (and I’ve attended upwards of ten) for almost a full hour while Kanye fans bum-rushed the stage and pushed us closer and tighter than was possible. It was pretty miserable, but then Kanye went on and I could see him from where I stood and for about five minutes the entire crowd jumped and shouted along to the lyrics to “Stronger.” But when the music slowed and the jumping stopped, there was no longer room for everyone’s feet on the ground and a large section of the front began to ebb and flow and eventually sections tumbled like dominoes. I saw people pass out and without security stationed anywhere but the front people were unable to get out easily and safely. I left after that and while this was not Kanye’s fault and it didn’t affect his incredible show, it was a bummer that mismanagement of the crowd sort of ruined this show for myself and many others (depending solely on where you were standing).

Death Grips

Death Grips: Death Grips is an experimental hip-hop/rap group that blends this sound with punk and electronica, as well, making for very complex and very loud music. They were set to play FYF last year but announced the band’s disbanding only a month-or-so before the festival, and were replaced. Luckily, since then, they have released more music and announced a world tour that included their slating at FYF, again. As such, my group (which included a die-hard fan) and I felt it necessary to see them while we still could, and they did not disappoint. Their energy and physicality was off the walls, as was the crowd’s, and my friend got to mosh her way all the way to the front (while I remained a little further back after the previous night’s ordeal). She came back grinning over her positive experience, both as a spectator and with the other fans.


Morrissey: Morrissey’s voice was expectedly impeccable and his demeanor expectedly irreverent. As far as his performance, he really did get to show off his musical chops, but the show was far more for fans of Morrissey’s solo work than it was for fans of The Smiths, much to the chagrin of large portions of the audience. But he did get a couple of The Smiths’ tracks in, and considering how well he sang I saw no reason to complain. Fans were ironically not disappointed, however, with his usual morose mood. He began the set with a doctored image of the Queen pulling a double bird, pleaded the audience to not vote for Trump, criticized the festival for its over zealous disbursement of security guards, and showed his unwavering support for veganism with a graphic compilation of escalating violent slaughter (next to a VIP section that only served vegan for the day at his request). Everything you could expect and more.

FKA Twigs

Photo courtesy of Goldenvoice

FKA twigs: I know that Knitting Factory News readers have heard a lot about FKA twigs since I first mentioned her earlier this year in my Coachella recap, but as her star continues to rise I feel it necessary to cover its impressive journey. As mentioned before, “she got her start as a backup dancer and now makes a very ‘her’ style of music that combines all sorts of genres, most notably R&B vocals with a slightly house, slightly more mellow form of electronic synth backing.” Her music is very chewy, but she made it far more accessible at FYF than she did at Coachella (maybe in part due to her growing success and growing crowds). What I really found myself amazed by this time though, was the choreographed dance that lasted the entirety of her set. She was able to enhance the storytelling of her lyrics with the storytelling of her movements, along with movements of her other dancers–who are all featured in her music video for “Glass & Patron,” which houses a choreographed dance sequence that was reenacted in its entirety on stage. At one point I heard a first-time viewer exclaim, “You get music and a show!” and while I don’t think he meant to make such a poignant statement, he hit the nail on the head as far as what is so intriguing about twigs. As we explained in our article about her new EP/video release, her art is enhanced by other artistic interpretations, such as film and dance, making her a killer multi-medium threat.


Photo courtesy of Sheyda Zebarjadian: BADBADNOTGOOD’s light-show in The Arena

Honorable mention (each of these artists deserve their own feature if we had the space!)

!!!: (pronounced chk chk chk) is a Knitting Factory Management band who was dancey–like really dancey–funky, and playful in all the right (and weird) ways.

Chet Faker: an incredibly swaggy (yes, I said it) Australian electronica musician who croons as well as he plays synth and piano, and gave the audience major feels and sways in the process. It was worth it seeing him to just to hear his mega-hit “Talk is Cheap,” which you should check out if you haven’t already.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra: a little bit psych rock, a little bit indie rock, a little bit electronic, and a lot experimental, UMO gets mad props for not only sounding great, but sounding great in the direct (very hot) sun, especially while frontman Ruban Nielson wore a jersey over a long-sleeve shirt!

Toro Y Moi: another favorite band of mine, but while the show was a little too quiet to really send them into greatness territory I had fun dancing and enjoying their radiating coolness and ease in rocking like they’ve been rocking forever.

DJ Harvey: a DJ I discovered at FYF four years ago looking for some respite from the sun (instead I ended up dancing to the entirety of his disco as dance music set). He was the resident DJ at the Woods stage for over three hours on Sunday (honorable mention is deserved simply for the length of this set) and my group and I made sporadic stops there throughout the day to get our groove on.

Flume: an electronic musician-extraordinaire, though most of his popularity comes from his genre-spanning samplings’ for remixes, and this played to his advantage, bringing out artists like Lorde to accompany his turntables. More than anything though, it was a dance break for fans of all sorts of music and again, super dope graphics.

D’Angelo and the Vanguard: D’Angelo first experienced success in the ’90s with his neo-soul album Black Sugar and ’00s with Voodoo, the latter of which earned him a Grammy, and both of which cemented him as a bonafide sex symbol with washboard abs. But he struggled off and on with writer’s block and other personal problems relating to his stardom, and fell off the musical map. Thus, his most recent album, Black Messiah (released 14 years after his second) was highly anticipated and put him back in the spotlight, most notably due to the album’s genre-fluidity and social relevance. This comeback story made his show a can’t-miss event and it really was, there was so much funk and so much soul visible and audible at all times, and while I made the decision to leave early in order to see Morrissey I wish I had gotten the chance to stay for more.


Until next year!

Federal Bars

The Knitting Factory’s two Southern California gastropubs—the Federal Bars in North Hollywood and Long Beach—feature a range of resident and one-off shows.

Randy Emata

This month, North Hollywood again hosts the unique act of Randy Emata, a multi-talented producer, pianist, composer, etc., etc., who is a regular performer at The Federal. Come on out on September 8th to see him show off his many skills in person. (And it’s free to boot!)

Radio Moskow 2

The Federal Bar in Long Beach will be hosting Knitting Factory’s own Radio Moscow, who we’ve featured in this publication before, along with The Sheepdogson October 11th. Radio Moscow is best known for “playing the kind of music that makes the neighbors call the cops,” in other words, playing rock that really rocks. And The Sheepdogs are no different, as a band that is categorized as “boogie rock” but could easily fall into the garage- or psych-rock genres, as well. With a new album set to be released by The Sheepdogs prior to this show, and Radio Moscow’s most recent album being released just one year ago there will be plenty of new material and good time to be had by all.

Bow & Truss

Bow amp Truss on InstagramRepost zps3eac4isd

Credit: We Like LA

Craving a trip to wine country? Look no further. Celebrate Labor Day with wine and cheese at Bow & Truss!

On the first Monday of each month through November, latin-inspired restaurant Bow & Truss will be serving up wine and cheese pairings with flavors from around the world. Starting next Monday, Andrew Steiner of Andrew’s Cheese Shop in Santa Monica will provide the cheeses and provide notes on the wines as well. Check out the event featured in NohoArtsDistrict.com!

The first Monday of each month from August to November.
September 7 – 7:00pm
October 5 – 7:00pm
November 2 – 7:00pm

WHERE: Bow & Truss
11122 Magnolia Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
(818) 985-8787
Make your reservation: erin@bowandtruss.com

Drive Time

Feast your eyes on the latest episode from Knitting Factory’s weekly web series Drive Time, with soul/pop group Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas.

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Drive Time is hosted by Juliette Beavan, the front woman of the critically acclaimed trip-hop rock band 8mm, whose music has been licensed on films and shows such as Pretty Little LiarsGrey’s AnatomyUnderworld: Awakening, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Each six to eight-minute episode follows Juliette driving bands around Austin during SXSW, which inevitably brings out their devil-may-care, on-the-road personalities. Stay tuned for more episodes featuring up-and-coming artists.

Lit Cine

Lit Cine

Lit Crawl L.A. proudly presents vintage files with conversations and readings of cinema’s impact on the Los Angeles literary community and life in the Southland. Lit Crawl L.A.’s first film screening series celebrates the intersection of film and L.A. literature.

The upcoming films are as follows:

The Vanishing American
Wednesday, September 16th at 7:30pm
Laemmle Pasadena Playhouse
673 East Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91101. 310-478-3836

Fahrenheit 45
Wednesday, September 30th at 7:30pm
Laemmle Noho 7
5240 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91601. 310-478-3836

A portion of ticket purchases will support Lit Crawl L.A., a free to the public, grassroots literary festival, returning to the NoHo Arts District on Wednesday October 21, 2015, as a free-to-the-public evening of 40 presenters including readings series, lit journals, performance groups, local presses and more at 35+ locations in the NoHo Arts District. For more information, go here.

Giveaway: deVour Magazine’s Into The Dark

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deVour is a quarterly magazine founded by a collaborative brainchild of artists that breathe music, fashion, art and beauty.

This Saturday, experience a live avant-garde production, a “style-and-shoot,” of deVour Magazine’s next issue: where high art, fashion and lifestyle meet. As part of a sprawling Gypsy Bazaar, deVour will host a night to remember filled with vendors, artists and performers. Spectacles include a runway show, live musical acts, body painting, fire dancing, and a fortune teller. Featuring VIP artists such as Tea Cake, Callowlily, Carissa Louise Martin, Shayne of the Dead Bohner, Vincent Gabriel, Valentine Anger, and plus a special appearance by famous plus-size model Tess Holliday!

Saturday, September 5th from 7p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
ArtShare LA
801 E 4th Place
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Admission is $10 presale and $15 at the door. Ticket price includes a digital copy of deVour’s latest issue and entry into a raffle with prizes including home décor, jewelry, cosmetics, and art prints.
Get tickets here.
Check out the Facebook event here.

The first 5 readers to email Sabrina@platformgrp.com about the event before Noon on Saturday will win a pair of tickets!


That’s it for this week. We’re writing you because you’ve expressed interest in Knitting factory shows, artists or productions. Like us? Want us to consider covering your artists or shows? Please tell us, your humble writer/editors: Henry Eshelman heshelman@platformgrp.com, Sabrina Zeile sabrina@platformgrp.com and Saeli Eshelman saeli@platformgrp.com; we can take it from there.

Hate us? As someone once said, “please confine your comments to compliments only.” But we’ll (regretfully) accept your unsubscribe requests humbly and without question. Thanks for listening!


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