Knitting Factory News Volume 1 Issue XX

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.

Featured Artists

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Made of Oak is Nicholas Sanborn, the synth half of folk-pop duo Sylvan Esso; he just released his debut solo EP PenumbraTODAY via Partisan Records! Fact Magazine raves, “Removed from his great chemistry with Meath, Made Of Oak finds Sanborn taking on full duty crafting unique melodies while also turning towards a slightly darker atmosphere.” Give the EP a spin and catch him on tour this month as he plays shows in several cities, including Santa Cruz and San Francisco.

Featured Shows

There are a number of exciting live shows happening in California over the next few weeks, including Knitting Factory Management’s Prima Donna headlining legendary punk rock mainstay 924 Gilman in Berkeley. The band just came back from a month in Europe and they released the music video Deathless earlier this Fall.

You also won’t want to miss garage punk duo The Two Tens at The Glass House. Just last week, the band released a track on “Kiss & Makeup,” a collection of Kiss songs performed by female fronted bands. The Two Tens drummer Rikki Styxx takes her first lead vocal on their version of “Strutter.”

Friday, November 6
Made of Oak – The Catalyst Club Atrium – Santa Cruz, CA

Saturday, November 7
Made of Oak – Bottom of the Hill – San Francisco, CA

Sunday, November 8
Prima Donna – 924 Gilman – Berkeley, CA

Wednesday, November 11
Widowspeak – Bootleg Theater– Los Angeles, CA

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The Two Tens at HiFi Rockfest, Credit: Dyingscene.com

Friday, November 13
The Two Tens – The Glass House – Pomona, CA

Tuesday, November 17
Joe Hill Centenary Concert– Troubadour– Los Angeles, CA

by Saeli Eshelman
The holiday season is upon us–Halloween has just passed, then comes Thanksgiving, then Christmas and before you know it 2015 will be over and the new year will be upon us! And I don’t know about you, but it’s around this time when I start to notice the albums that I have been playing again and again all year, or only for the past couple months.

So as we rush towards 2016, I thought I’d reflect back on some of the most repeatable albums of the year that always keep you coming back wanting more. And as I have a wide variety of genres that I think are worth repeating (some for partying, some for chilling, and some getting really introspective) I’ve decided to order the albums in, approximate, order from high energy to low. Let us proceed!

Disclosure

1) DisclosureCaracal

For most young people, this band needs no introduction but if you’re not up on the EDM (electronic dance music) scene then Disclosure is a pretty universal place to start. This is the sophomore album of Disclosure, comprised of two DJs, and a mainstay of the popular EDM scene, into which they have brought every sort of genre imaginable with their array of samples and featured artists that range from pop-ballad crooner Sam Smith to up-and-coming pop-R&B singer LION BABE. This album is no different in its impressive list of guest artists, including a follow-up collab with Smith and an opener with R&B’s currently rising star The Weeknd (see below for his current album). All-in-all, this album is club hit after club hit and makes a great party or pre-party soundtrack. Basically if you want to party with music that doesn’t go old quickly then you’ll want to check this out first and foremost.

The Weeknd

2) The WeekndBeauty Behind the Madness

As I just mentioned, The Weeknd (the stage name of Abel Tesfaye) is currently the cool guy of the hip-hop/pop scene, bringing sexy and R&B back into the hip hop world. His third album finds the sweet spot between being able to succeed as a radio hit while remaining substantive musically, with impressive production (that includes producers like Kanye West) that brings hard-hitting but generally slow tempo hooks that suck listeners back in over and over again. This is indicated by the smashing success he has had with singles like “I Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills.” And while he sometimes receives flack for his lyrics that paint a picture of alienation filled with sex and drugs, he is often noted for the sexiness of his work, in part, due to the vulnerability of these jams. These talents combined make this record one that not only can be played at a party, but also in more intimate and mellow settings for some listening with musically inclined friends or significant others.

Tanlines

3) TanlinesHighlights

This is Tanlines’ sophomore album, a followup to Mixed Emotions a favorite album of mine that turned them into a favorite band. Tanlines is a duo that specializes in a sort of electronic rock that has poppy dance moments mixed with indie rockability and lyrics. And this album is no different, being wholly danceable and simultaneously super hip, their guitarist plays a spin-art designed guitar, and what gets more cool than that? Overall though, this album hits that spot between “summer driving with the windows down music” sort of upbeat and “I could be getting ready for a party and need to get pumped” sort of upbeat. I’ll leave the venue decision up to you but highly recommend that if you need some tunes to bump while also seeming really chill then this album is a match.

FKA twigs

4) FKA twigsM3LL15X

FKA twigs is one of the most interesting artists in music currently; 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 having seen her at both Coachella and FYF Fest this past year she has begun to make it far more accessible (maybe in part due to her growing success and growing crowds). For the full review of this album, which has been previously featured in Knitting Factory News click here.

Mac Demarco

5) Mac DeMarcoAnother One

Mac DeMarco is millennial hipsters’ resident “slacker” rocker, brining together jangly pop-like melodies with indie rock sound and lyrics, a genre he has self-identified as jizz jazz. Combine this with his IDGAF personality and effortlessly cool outfits and humor and he’ll make any hip teen envious, or jump at the chance to meet him–he left his address and the offer to come share a coffee at the end of this mini-LP and got more than a few visitors. While this album is a bit less varied and a bit more down-tempo than much of his previous work, it is that mellow consistency that makes this record so easy to sink into and having playing the background of pretty much everything. It works when you need a little indie rock and it works well when you need something to lull you to sleep. Like all of his other records, it just works; oh, the wondrous universality of soft indie rock!

Sufjan Stevens

6) Sufjan StevensCarrie & Lowell

Don’t know how to pronounce his name? That’s okay, your dilemma is referenced on Stevens’ seventh album–albeit in a more sensitive light. While this album may be at the bottom of this list it is most definitely number one on my list of most replayed (and I’m not alone as this album has received critical acclaim!). Stevens is another favorite artist of mine and is generally known for his lush instrumentation and vocals. But this record is rather hushed and understated for him, with achingly beautiful guitar and layered vocals and orchestration. The entire record is tinged with a sense of melancholy and mundanity, which is apt considering Stevens wrote the album in response to his mother, Carrie’s, death, with Lowell being a reference to his stepfather who helped him co-founded his own record company, Asthmatic Kitty, in the late ’90s. Overall, these mellow and relaxing tunes are perfect if you’re looking for something to spin while you’re trying to fall asleep or need a moment of serenity.

New Album Release: The Nervous Wreckord (Part 1) 

TNW Part 1

We’re excited to present the release of “The Nervous Wreckord (Part 1)” by Knitting Factory Management’s own The Nervous Wreckords. Guests on the record alongside frontman Brian Karscig (Louie the XIV, Atlantic Records) include Jake Najor (TV on the Radio), plus Mark Stoermer and Dave Keuning of the Killers.

Catch the premiere on Buzzbands HERE!

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.

JMcKinley

On November 8th, The New Short Fiction Series, Los Angeles’ longest running spoken word series, will present Jacqueline McKinley’s The Christmas Bitch and other stories at The Federal Bar North Hollywood. Jacqueline McKinley is an up-and-coming African-American television writer/producer, best known for the Emmy-Winning sitcom “The Bernie Mac Show.” McKinley’s position as a woman within this male-dominated genre provides a unique perspective when crafting inspiration for her characters. She captures absurdity and humor, while making audiences laugh and cry all at the same time.

Rx Bandits

Down in Long Beach, The Federal Bar is pleased to present a surprise show by hometown favorites RX Bandits on November 11th. RX Bandits is a four-piece alt-rock band is based in Seal Beach, CA. Over the course of the past twenty years, they’ve managed to stay ahead of the pack with their genre-blurring approach to songwriting, allowing them to seamlessly fit anywhere and everywhere, from the main stage at Bonnaroo and Coachella to Bamboozle and Reading. Their songs have been featured in video games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band, as well as in the backdrop for ESPN’s X Games. Last year, they released their 7th studio album Gemini, Her Majesty to glowing reviews. All Music raved, “They appear to have evolved into something else altogether, and though some veteran fans might miss the old sound, there’s no denying these guys have the chops to pull off this new and inventive approach.” Alternative Press said Gemini recaptured the “fertile brilliance that rightfully gained Rx Bandits exposure in the early 2000s, recapturing the jubilant mix of styles they deployed with so much fresh aggression and poise.” Louder than War’s Brit chronicler Ian Critchley chalked up his own personal appeal following an RX Bandits show in Manchester to “the almost transcendental feeling I’d experienced watching one the greatest bands around today tear apart the entire venue with music both they and their fans adored.”

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Of Montreal at The Regent Downtown Los Angeles

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Credit: Carl Pocket courtesy of The Regent Theater DTLA

Of Montreal was back in LA for a show at the Regent downtown Los Angeles this week—their second in six months—and delivered on all fans have come to expect: wry, punchy, cynical, up-tempo, beats and riffs, catchy tunes with complicated names, and on-stage theatrics ranging from dazzling to baffling. Bounding onto the stage in an assless red bodysuit, front man Kevin Barnes asked the audience, “when were you happiest last? That’s where I want us to go together. To the place I was happiest last, and the place you were happiest last.” I am sure that’s poorly quoted.

Of Montreal 30
Credit: Carl Pocket courtesy of The Regent Theater DTLA

They worked smartly and tightly through fifteen gender and genre-bending tunes in, say, 100 minutes, including my favorites like “Coquet Coquette” and “Bunny Ain’t No Kind of Rider,” and obscura I wouldn’t recognize (and didn’t). I can see the comparisons to bands like the Talking Heads, but they aren’t as serious or earnest, despite their musicianship.

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The lighting and stage show is of Montreal’s Sixth Man, Fourth Estate, Fifth Column, what have you. It can’t be ignored or overlooked as part of the live experience but one can certainly sit in one’s room and spin their records without visual accompaniment, all the better to enjoy acid lyrics that reward careful listening, as in “He’s the sort of guy who would leave you in a k-hole to go play Halo in the other room.”

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The eyes have it!

They have a particularly clever signature effect using dual projections, where the [dancers?] hold up shapes downstage upon which some of the images are projected, which, combined with the main projections on the stage behind the band, give a very trippy, appealing perspective image. At its best it looks like this:

Of Montreal 32

All the poodle ladies! Credit: Carl Pocket courtesy of The Regent Theater DTLA

As the show progressed, we were treated to:

▪ Poodle-headed Uncle Sam characters who stripped at the end of the song revealing, well, huge fake boobs. This was either for “Suffer for Fashion” or “Beware Our Nubile Miscreants,”
▪ Hordes of dancer/performers in brightly colored skin-tight leotard/tracksuits and matching athletic shoes, this for “The Party’s Crashing Us.” It looked a little like a post-punk version of the Saturday Night Live skit “What’s up with That?”

Of Montreal 1

Eat me! Credit: Carl Pocket courtesy of The Regent Theater DTLA

▪ Large, hulking, beaky creatures, one of whom, before the encore, unabashedly declared his love of the audience: “I love you, each of you. I’d like to eat you. No really. You know when you’re eating someone, and after a while, bits of their teeth end up getting stuck in YOUR teeth? I hate that.” Appropriately, their second encore was appropriately titled “The Past is a Grotesque Animal.”
Coffee 16
Credit: Carl Pocket courtesy of The Regent Theater DTLA

Oh, and sorry Brian Coffee of Foxygen opened and he was great, but as Jimmy Kimmel says, sorry we ran out of time. We’ll throw up a picture of him:

That’s a wrap!

Giveaway

You’ve read all the way down to the bottom. You deserve SOMEthing! This week, we’re giving out five copies of the FINDING FELA! official 2-CD soundtrack.

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Finding Fela is Academy Award winner Alex Gibney’s feature documentary on Fela Kuti. It tells the story of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s life, his music, his social and political importance. He created a new musical movement, Afrobeat, using that forum to express his revolutionary political opinions against the dictatorial Nigerian government of the 1970s and 1980s. His influence helped bring a change towards democracy in Nigeria and promoted Pan Africanist politics to the world.

The first five people to email Sabrina@platformgrp.com by next Friday, November 13th will win a copy of the CD!

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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Spring into Fall: Knitting Factory News Vol. 1 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.

Featured Music Video

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Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Prima Donna are infamous on the LA rock scene. Pure Volume explains, “Their blend of new wave-meets-straightforward indie rock has made them one of the more popular bands in the city.”

Prima Donna’s new music video “Deathless” just premiered on Pure Volume and also received a writeup on Blurt. The song is about betrayal and singer Kevin Preston explains, “The video is cold and dark, just like the song. Arthur—the director—totally captured the vibe.” Check it out for yourself HERE.

Featured Shows

There are a number of exciting live shows happening in California over the next few weeks, including the Long Beach Folk Revival, KABOO Festival and Hi-Fi Rockfest!

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

Saturday, October 3
The Two Tens – Maui Sugar Mill Saloon – Tarzana, CA

Sunday, October 4
Radio Moscow – The Boardwalk – Orangevale, CA

Tuesday, October 6
Torres – Humphrey’s Concerts– San Diego, CA

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.

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On Sunday, September 20, The New Short Fiction Series, Los Angeles’ longest running spoken word series, hosts the book launch of My Pulse Is An Earthquake by Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize winner Kristin FitzPatrick, in cooperation with University of West Virginia Press, at The Federal Bar in North Hollywood. The performance stars spoken word artist Sally Shore, with guest cast Jesse Aran Holcomb (Studio City, Its You Not Me), Alison Minami (The Moth) and Allison Walter (Hotel: Secrets and Lies), with musical guest Lucy Peru. For more information, visit www.newshortfictionseries.com.

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In Long Beach, don’t miss alternative folk duo HoneyHoney next Saturday, September 26. Lead singer/banjo player/violinist Suzanne Santo and vocalist/guitarist Ben Jaffe met at a costume party then signed a record deal a year later, twisting their gritty, harmony-driven brand of Southern-flavored rock & roll through tales of lost souls, broken boys and girls with gold in their spit. Just two months ago, the duo released their third full-length release titled ‘3.’ Paste Magazine describes HoneyHoney’s style as “display[ing] the common pop thread between alt.country, spaghetti western soundtracks and swampy blues.”

Bow & Truss 

Knitting Factory’s Latin-inspired restaurant Bow & Truss hosts a number of exciting events, including Dine In Movie Night!

movie night9.17

Drive Time

Feast your eyes on the final episode of Knitting Factory’s weekly web series Drive Time, featuring renowned music producer Sean Beavan.

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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 Liars, Grey’s Anatomy, Underworld: 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.

FREE Movies! VIP Screening Series for Korean Film in Focus includes Sci-Fi cult film SNOWPIERCER 

KOFIC

Next week, The Korean Film Council will present a remarkable free screening series of noteworthy Korean films on Wednesday, September 23 and Friday, September 25.

These screenings of four films over two nights are designed as a celebration of the induction of four Korean film artists into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS). The new AMPAS members are directors BONG Joon-ho and IM Kwon-taek and actors SONG Kang-ho and CHOI Min-sik, while the films are Snowpiercer, directed by BONG Joon-ho and starring SONG Kang-ho; Revivre (Cremation) directed by IM Kwon-taek; Nameless Gangster, starring CHOI Min-sik, and The Face Reader, also starring Song. The screenings will be held at the Laemmle Music Hall(“We’re not afraid of subtitles”) in Beverly Hills and each evening’s program will be hosted by filmmaker, critic and former Edinburgh International Film Festival Artistic Director, Shane Danielsen.

Snowpiercer

The screenings are as follows:

Wednesday September 23; 7:30PM – REVIVRE (Cremation) by IM Kwon‑taek

Wednesday, September 23; 10:00PM – THE FACE READER, by HAN Jae-­rim starring SONG Kang‑ho

Friday,September 25; 5:00PM – NAMELESS GANGSTER: RULES OF THE TIME by YUNG Jong Bin, starring CHOI Min‑sik

Friday, September 25; 10:00PM – SNOWPIERCER by BONG Joon-­ho, starring SONG Kang-­ho

Seating is limited; To reserve your FREE spot at any of the screenings, RSVP HERE.

Giveaway: World Premiere Red Carpet Screening of Martha Davis and The Motels Concert Film September 21 at the Regent DTLA

This week, we’re giving out five pairs of tickets to the world premiere screening of the long-awaited Martha Davis and the Motels’ concert film: THE MOTELS LIVE AT THE WHISKY A GO-GO 50TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL.

DVD cover art

Following a banner year in which Martha Davis and The Motels have played their most shows since 1985, Vesuvio Entertainment is releasing THE MOTELS LIVE AT THE WHISKY A GO-GO-50TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL, a lush and tuneful concert film of this iconic artist’s landmark performance at the historic Whisky A Go-Go’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. While The Bangles, Robbie Krieger and many others had shows marking this Sunset Strip institution’s 50th birthday, only Martha Davis and the Motels captured their show for posterity, marking their first ever hi def, 5.1 audio state of the art concert film. Double Emmy® winning cinematographer Roy H. Wagner (NBC’s Elementary; Wes Craven’s NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3) photographed the concert film, with choreographer/director Denise Faye (BURLESQUE) in her directorial debut. Ms. Faye is currently directing Cher’s global “Dressed to Kill” Tour. Golden Globe® nominee Rosanna Arquette and Grammy® nominee Linda Perry both appear in the film introducing Martha and the band.

On September 21, the film will have a gala red-carpet premiere and screening at the Regent Theater in Downtown Los Angeles. Doors open at 8:00PM and the screening starts at 8:30PM, after red carpet arrivals, and a drinks reception follows the screening. Martha Davis and other special guests will attend.

The first five people to email Sabrina@platformgrp.com by Monday, September 21 at Noon will win a pair of tickets!

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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!

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: 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.

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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.

FYF

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

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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!

WHEN:
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!

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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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Knitting Factory Entertainment Newsletter Volume One Issue XV–Straight Outta Compton, FKA Twigs, Mescal and More

Welcome to Knitting Factory News, an intermittent (let’s say, twice monthly or fortnightly) bulletin of highlights from inside and outside the Knitting Factory universe that we’re publishing here on Killer Hooch.  We think that it’s in the spirit of Killer Hooch as most issues highlight bar, drinks and other spirited news.   The newsletter is 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. Also welcome additional authors Sabrina Zeile and Saeli Eshelman–credit where credit is due!

Featured Music Videos

by Saeli Eshelman

This week, in addition to featuring our stable of Knitting Factory Entertainment bands, we’ve decided to fill you all in on some music news from outside the Knitting Factory world! And we’ve chosen some incredibly timely and relevant music videos from two artists we’ve previously discussed in this publication–FKA twigs and Kendrick Lamar.

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First up, is FKA twigs’ new video for not a song, but an entire EP. On a Beats 1 radio interview a week or so ago, twigs announced the new EP for the first time, playing one of its tracks, “Figure 8”. Then she completely surprised fans by dropping the album M3LL155X (or MELISSA) today, completely unannounced. With it she released a 16-minute video encompassing the entirety of the very good, very experimental EP. But while the music is great, yet dark in classic twigs-fashion, the video is an even deeper (visual) reflection of twigs’ style, proving to be supremely darker and weirder. The whole video is really too much to explain, with scenes ranging from a depiction of a human angler fish (you know the one with the light on its head?), twigs as a living sex doll, and a choreographed dance–and that’s all before the halfway point! So if you’re a fan of twigs, or interested in watching an art film, or just curious give it a peek and see what you think.

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Next, is Kendrick Lamar’s relatively new video for “Alright”, the biggest radio hit off of his previously-Knitting Factory News featured tour-de-force album To Pimp a Butterfly. As mentioned in our last piece on To Pimp a Butterfly, this album “deals with issues of black pride and unity during such a trying time for young black men, as well as the complex issue of being black in America today (contrasting the dual desire to represent your roots and fit into the big picture). It all culminates in a very important discussion of rap and blackness in America between Lamar and none other than Tupac, crafted by Lamar from a rare Tupac interview.” And it is with this theme in mind that Lamar created the video for “Alright” which touches on all the nuances of the topic. As such, this piece becomes one of black pride, but also fear, with almost as much time spent on Lamar’s relationship with and to the black community as there is spent (very frankly) on issues of police brutality inflicted upon black men. As such, this video is handled just as delicately and aptly as the album; it is both beautiful and topical.

Featured Shows

There are a number of exciting live shows for our artists happening in California over the next few weeks, including music festivals Echo Park Rising and FYF!

Saturday August 15th
The Knitts – The Echo at 2PM (Echo Park Rising) – Los Angeles, CA

Sunday August 16th
The New Electric Sound – Little Joy at 4PM (Echo Park Rising) – Los Angeles, CA
The Two Tens – Little Joy at 5PM (Echo Park Rising) – Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, August 19
Dilly Dally – Casbah – San Diego, CA

Echo Park Rising
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Both festivals are highly recommended and have killer lineups, so if you have the opportunity to go, we say take it!

Q&A with Bill Straus, Producer of Straight Outta Compton

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We’ve been talking about music films and films about music a lot lately, and this week brings a signal achievement: the NWA biopic STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (opening everywhere Friday August 14). The entertaining Straight Outta (insert ironic statement here; mine, pictured, is “the shower”) “Rep Your City” app, www.straightouttasomewhere.com, belies a serious movie about a serious subject, coming as it is 50 years after the LA Riots. We talked to producer Bill Straus about the film.

Bill Straus

Why did you decide the make this film?

Someone sent me the script. I knew immediately it was a big idea. I had a history with Hip Hop and films that married the Hip Hop aesthetic with movies. NWA just felt more grandiose than any of them because of their potent place in the cultural landscape.

What were the challenges you faced in getting it before the cameras?

The big challenge for us (my co EP David Engel & Leigh Savidge, one of the original writers) was getting the music rights. We used six degrees of separation to get to Eazy E’s widow Tomica, who controlled them. Many big producers had tried. But we spent two years connecting the dots and pulled it off. We were not the biggest producers in Hollywood at that time so it’s a bit crazy that we got them.

It seems given their illustrious careers, this film might have initially made sense as a doc. How do you think it works as a narrative?

There was a fairly recent doc on NWA called “The World’s Most Dangerous Rap Group”. It does make sense as a doc, as that was a nice film. But this has an epic quality that really befits a narrative for the big screen and it has potent character arcs because of what happened to Eazy an because of the significance of the group across so many pregnant issues from police brutality, to the first amendment, to AIDS.

Many people seeing this film weren’t even alive when Straight Outta Compton came out. What is it about NWA that has seared their music on our consciousness?

They don’t remember NWA, but they know Cube and Dre and they likely know the music, even if they don’t know they know the music. Happy accident is the wrong wording because there is nothing happy about it, but what has been going on from Ferguson, to Staten Island, to Baltimore is also part of what makes it important for younger viewers. The BLM movement is very much of the moment. The movie is also just incredibly fun. Young people will be bobbing their heads and their adrenaline will be going That may be the best part of the movie. It moves because it’s a great ride. (w. some definite poignant moments).

What do you want audiences to take away from the film?

I want them to realize that NWA were antecedents to the wild west of the digital age where people can say whatever they want in a public forum with virtual impunity. They were not afraid of anything or anyone and that made them special. And they combined this impervious quality with some intellect to back it up. The press conference sequence in the film is a great example. The guns and drugs came from overseas and they didn’t have passports, they explain. They were brazen free thinkers and hope this is imparted on audiences. Hope people remember the film in 25 years, like they remember Boyz N The Hood or Menace to Soceity both seminal films in a similar space.

What’s the one most interesting thing about it you think that audiences might not notice?

I think Jerry Heller is kind’ve the heavy, but I like the scene with the police in Torrance (shout out to my friend Inny Clemmons—not an actor by definition-who is incredible as the racist black cop). I think Gary really tried to portray him evenly—which I think adds to the characters dimension and the drama that we are left with as we get to his ultimate fate. It makes him more interesting. Tomica is also interesting because she is Eazy’s eyes and ears. And she had a big effect on him at the end. That may come across, but may not. Also not sure it hits it that hard, but Cube went to high school in the valley at a predominantly white school called Taft as I understand it. Sort off adds to the complexity of him as a person, I think. His son is incredible in how much he embodied his father. That was Cube. All the acting was great. F. Gary Gray is a very, very talented director that is going to finally get his do, not just for Compton, but for his body of work.

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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.

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On Saturday, August 22, The Federal Bar in North Hollywood will host Elixir The Show’s 3rd Anniversary Gala Event “Nuit Blanche.” Imagine a time when Mad Men would meet up with the Rat Pack, at the Playboy Club for a martini or three…and you have ELIXIR The Show. Critically acclaimed as “LA’s Best Variety Show,” ELIXIR’s Nuit Blanche is an ultraviolet blacklight party, and all guests are encouraged to dress in white to enjoy the unique immersive experience and décor of show.

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The Federal Bar in Long Beach will host alternative folk duo HoneyHoney on Saturday, September 26. Lead singer/banjo player/violinist Suzanne Santo and vocalist/guitarist Ben Jaffe met at a costume party then signed a record deal a year later, twisting their gritty, harmony-driven brand of Southern-flavored rock & roll through tales of lost souls, broken boys and girls with gold in their spit. Just two months ago, the duo released their third full-length release titled ‘3.’ Paste Magazine describes HoneyHoney’s style as “display[ing] the common pop thread between alt.country, spaghetti western soundtracks and swampy blues.”

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Also in Long Beach, don’t miss a special acoustic performance from Sean Danielsen of Smile Empty Soulon Saturday, August 22. As the frontman for hard rock band Smile Empty Soul, Sean is known for his powerful, rage-filled vocals, which had an impact on the early 90s alternative music scene. Sean’s two solo albums, Enjoy The Process and Food Chains, have been well-received by critics. Screamer Magazine acclaims, his “lyrics are tight as usual, and his signature voice and angst-influenced lyrics are clearly represented.”

Mezcal and Comedy at Bow & Truss

Mezcal Tasting Flyer

We love mezcal. Tequila’s dirty little cousin, we’ve been fans since we pimped the late, much lamented Trader Joe’s brand and still dutifully tend its web site like an acolyte. The renegade spirit is finally getting the respect it deserves. Straight up: substitute mezcal for tequila in a margarita, slice a couple of jalapenos in there (add japaleno agave nectar for sophisticates), garnish with cayenne pepper and “voila,” the mezcal margarita.

Next Wednesday, August 19th, Latin-inspired restaurant Bow & Truss will host a mezcal tasting, followed by a free comedy show!

For one night only, guests have the opportunity to experience a flight of “single village” premium Del Maguey Mezcal tequila. The tasting starts at 7pm and a brand representative will be at the event to guide guests through the experience.

Later that evening, Bow & Truss will premiere its free comedy night event series ‘PATIO’ hosted by Mark Agee. Each show will feature a variety of notable comedians, with Al Jackson and Matt Kirshen on Wednesday, August 19th.

PATIO will occur on the following dates:
August 19 at 9pm
September 9 at 9pm
September 23 at 9pm
October 14 at 9pm

Patio Flyer

25th Annual Cotati Accordion Fest 2015

accordion

Mary Rogers Owings’ Accordion

So let me tell you a story. I thought I knew my aunt, who passed away last fall, pretty well. A lifelong schoolteacher and occasional CIA operative, she traveled the world but lived with my grandparents until THEY died. So, when my sister settled her estate she discovered this perfectly preserved beast–a 1930’s Scandalli accordion, along with a little leather notebook where my aunt recorded every song she’d learned, handwritten notes and lyrics, and an instruction/songbook…from 1918. I never even knew this instrument, or her (apparently modest) skill, existed.

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Why do we bring this up? I’ve personally harbored a lifelong fondess for the instrument even though I’ll never learn to play it. There’s an adage (and a bumper sticker): “Play an accordion, go to jail. That’s the law!” which our friends in Cotati, a normally sleepy burg north of San Francisco, explodes with squeeze box racket every August and this year they are celebrating their 25th anniversary! So behold the Cotati Accordion Festival. Play an accordion? Go to Cotati. That’s the law!

Giveaway: Hugo Race + True Spirit

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Ozzie Hugo Race did time with The Wreckery and the Bad Seeds before starting a solo recording, performance and producing career, producer and performer with acts such as Dirtmusic and Sepiatone. This week we had the pleasure of DJ’ing the US record release party for Hugo Race + True Spirit’s new album, which is currently only available in Europe and Australia. Variously haunting, melodic, angry, gritty, in the vein of Nick Cave (a mentor of sorts), this artist and band is a worldwide collaboration. The ten musically varied tracks on this disc all share a chewy, deep and occasionally twisted sensibility that rewards repeated listening. European fans will get to see Hugo Race + True Spirit in the fall but US fans must temporarily content themselves with an import disc. And, alone in the US, we have five of them. So, how complicated is this (not very!)? The first five fans to share our newsletter on Facebook and tell us can claim them.

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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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Red, White and, um, Sangria?

It’s summer.  We’re lazy. As my late best friend Ian Hartman once wrote, “I feel the urge to sleep even as I write this.”   And as Alice Cooper said, “We can’t even think of a word that rhymes,” as you saw from the headline. This is a lazy column too, a couple hundred words compared to the usual [long] length. Hey, I want to go home, too.

So it makes sense that in summer, the fancy craft cocktails we carefully concoct with skill and measuring equipment and fancy ingredients give way to something…easier. And the easiest way to avoid repeat trips to the bar is to a) give your guests “a choice of one” and b) batch up some stuff. Bloodies. Sun tea. Or, a pitcher of sangria.

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Our friends over and Bow and Truss in North Hollywood are totally on board the craft cocktail train and at one time had a host of cocktails made with Spanish sherry, many of them served in cute little Marie Antoinette glasses: coupes modeled, legend has it, on the shape of the queen’s breasts—possibly giving rise to the adage, “anything more than a cupful or a handful is wasted.” We lament the loss of the Spanish-themed drinks menu but they still move a lot of this stuff out on their raked sand patio in the long afternoons of air light they’re enjoying now. If circumstances prevent an in-person visit, Bow and Truss’ sangria is a cinch to make at home.

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Red Sangria 

1 750ml bottle malbec

1/2 cup Spanish brandy

1/4 cup pomegranate juice

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup simple syrup

sliced apples, oranges, and lemons (vary with season e.g. stone fruits add nicely in late summer)

Mix all ingredients. While the sliced fruits look best freshly sliced, they TASTE best after they’d infused the mixture for a while.

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White Sangria

1 750ml bottle Chardonnay

1/2 cup dry sherry

1/4 cup orange liqueur

3oz fresh lemon juice

3oz fresh orange juice

1/4 cup simple syrup

Mix all ingredients and add fruits and let stand for an hour.

Fruits change with seasons but this batch was made with lemons, apples and oranges; throw in a few strawberries for color contrast!

Each makes one big pitcher. Serves from 2 to 6 people.

Have at it! Summer Friday!

PS and if you can, and happen to have a lot of money, check out our friend Ian Blackburn’s Laftite Wine Dinner at Josie Santa Monica in July 17.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lafite-around-the-world-dinner-tickets-11727967667

We can’t make it because a) we can’t afford it and b) we will be downtown watching Chop and Quench at Grand Performances…it’s FREE.

http://www.grandperformances.org/events/chop-and-quench-3/

Tequila’s a Top Tipple for Celebs at SXSW

So the tabloids say, “Celebrities; they’re just like us!” as they bag groceries, push strollers, talk to the pool man, etc. We just watched an episode of Celebrity Wife Swap where Jermaine Jackson showed Alex Baldwin’s wife how to call for a servant to pick up a dog poop in his back garden because he couldn’t possibly do it. It might be too germy. Just like us.

 

Paul Wesley Signs Dobel Bottle for Charity

Paul Wesley Signs Dobel Bottle for Charity

And just like us, they enjoy a drink now and then. Of course they can go large, like Diddy with his entourage in the spectacular “Luck be a Lady” Ciroc ad, which features models Eva Marcille, Jessica White, John Legend’s girlfriend (as if this is a professional sobriquet) Chrissy Teigen, Lisa Seiffert, Jerica Lamens, Jing Ma, and actress Dania Ramirez (Entourage); and actors Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy), Michael K. Williams (The Wire; ” Boardwalk Empire), Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill), Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Frank Vincent (The Sopranos) and singer Chris Jones. Sammy Hagar has Cabo Wabo. We think we saw Fergie had a vodka. At one time, The Jersey Shore’s The Situation had a vodka. Now there’s a guy we’d take a cocktail recommendation from, or made under his skilled hand and watchful eye, right?

Emmy Rossum: I hope you didn't think I drank all these myself!

Emmy Rossum: I hope you didn’t think I drank all these myself!

But lots of times, they’re here, the product is there, and once simply put together, it’s Kismet; the talent does the rest. A few years ago Skyy founder Maurice Kanbar lent his Blue Angel vodka to a Playboy TV show hosted by LMFAO. RedFoo poured Blue Angel into the willing mouths of topless poolside Playmates. Then LMFAO came to us to ask about starting their OWN vodka brand (they didn’t).   We once scoured Park City for High West Whiskey, a favorite of Jessica Biel’s (luckily it’s made just down the hill in Salt Lake) for a dinner party. She wasn’t hustling it; she was a huge fan and wanted to drink it and that was as far as it went.

So lots of brands are working to connect with talent. Years ago we took part in a “speed tasting” for Tasting Panel with our Koloa Rum from Kauai’i and “The Kraken” debuted alongside us. We won’t lie: there was a little snicker as we exclaimed, “release the Kraken!” Today, now a part of burgeoning boutique group Proximo Spirits, there’s no snickering. The Kraken has a solid foothold in the market and Maestro Dobel Tequila is first-rate and blowing up, with a new TV ad featuring Perry Farrell and showing up on cocktail menus as diverse as super fancy Claremont bistro Bardot, whose Orange Noir is made with Maestro Dobel, Cointreau Noir, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, mint and cucumber, and mass-market El Torito , where they make a very credible cucumber, jalapeno and cilantro Spicy Pepino Margarita.

We rolled with Dobel to Austin for SXSW where tequila is king. A-List Communications produced a popup of NY-based STK steakhouse deep in BBQ country at a place called Swift’s Attic, who served heaping piles of helpless baby quail to advertising executives before STK took over the menu.

Lucy Owen Signs Dobel bottle for charity

Lucy Owen Signs Dobel bottle for charity

Who was there? A diverse collection of stars for three SXSW movies: THE MEND, starring Josh Lucas, Lucy Owen, Austin Pendleton, Stephen Plunkett and Sting’s daughter Mickey Sumner; BEFORE I DISAPPEAR, starring Emmy Rossum, Paul Wesley, Ron Perlman, Shawn Christensen and Richard Schiff; and Simon Helberg’s (Big Bang Theory) directorial debut WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS, starring Helberg, his pregnant wife Jocelyn Towne and cast mates Maggie Grace and Jason Ritter. Josh Lucas, Emmy Rossum, Simon Helberg. Paul Wesley, Mickey Sumner, Lucy Owen, and Maggie Grace all autographed a Dobel bottle for charity.

Josh Lucas signs Dobel bottle for charity

Josh Lucas signs Dobel bottle for charity

What did they drink? There were the signature drinks including the Sundance-inspired “Black Diamond Margarita” and the “South By Supper Suite,” and fellow sponsor Blue Moon Brewing Company served their signature wheat beer with a garnish of fresh orange. Dobel had celebrities sign a bottle for charity. But the eye-opener for us was how people order tequila in Texas: “Dressed and Chilled” is chilled with rock salt and lime; dressed and neat is, well, not chilled. Assembled local press people schooled us on this process so we wouldn’t look like rubes. But we put the white in white balance so who knows. Want to make these drinks at home? Go right ahead. Send pictures.

The Dobel Black Diamond Margarita 

2 oz. Maestro Dobel Tequila

1 part Fresh Lime Juice

1/2 part Agave Nectar

Combine ingredients, rim with black sea salt and serve in a rocks glass. 

The Dobel Black Diamond Margarita.  Reprinted without permission!

The Dobel Black Diamond Margarita. Reprinted without permission!

The Dobel South by Supper Suite

2 oz. Maestro Dobel Tequila

1 part Fresh Lime Juice

1/2 part Simple Syrup

Basil leaves

Muddle basil leaves, combine ingredients, shake.  Garnish with cucumber slice.

What did they eat?Talent and regular folks alike noshed on magnificent passed hors d ‘oeuvres, including: goat cheese tart with asparagus and oregano; maple, coffee, and bourbon pork belly skewers; crab bruschetta on artichoke and herb focaccia; whipped lardo (like Elvis, “lardo” (lard) is everywhere) toast with smoked dates and pistachio; beef tartare with taro chip and charred green onion; and marinated mussels with a romanesco (the fractal vegetable!) parsley pistou.

What did they say? Josh Lucas raved about the food and also wanted to fill his STK gift bag flask with Dobel and take it with him; security politely prevented the little “roadie.” Emmy Rossum, a first time visitor to Austin, wore an Andrew Gn dress; despite her affection for the outfit, she remarked “I can’t wait to get out of this dress and into some Texas barbeque!” Emmy didn’t get ‘cue but she DID get specially prepared gluten-free (cf Elvis above) versions of some STK items (steak tartare and crab and spinach on rice chips), and pork belly and lardo is already gluten free.   After someone took a photo late in the party with numerous cocktail glasses on the table before her, Rossum joked, “I hope they didn’t think I drank this all myself!”

Josh Lucas signs Dobel bottle for charity

Josh Lucas signs Dobel bottle for charity

As the last party drew to a close, Simon Helberg gave a speech thanking STK for the amazing “meat”, and wondered if the dessert might have meat in it, too.  Jason Ritter is an STK popup veteran, having visited the Supper Suite at Sundance, but had to leave the party early to go do a segment of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live with Brandi Glanville from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Inexplicably, the night before we left, we happened to catch this episode. You know what? Brandi Glanville wasn’t nearly as contemptible as we’d been led to believe.

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Happy New Year and a Cautionary Tale from Dick Cavett

Happy New Year.  Funny enough, I passed it pretty much sober as I was DJ’ing a New Year’s Eve Party at the Andaz Hotel in LA and did NOT want to be anything but fresh and clean for my 3AM drive home.   I know I joke about the rights vs. privileges of drinking (and am known to have had a drink myself), but am serious about looking at the other side of the coin.  I have known people and have had friends who over-imbibe and some with real problems, and some who have beaten them.  But today I’m just going to post a link (I don’t think I am allowed to embed it) of an op-ed by Dick Cavett about this subject, which expressed this concern more gently, gently humorously and pointedly than I can.  So, go read this, and we’ll see you back here after Sundance.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/11/opinion/booze-revisited.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0