Australian sensation Tash Sultana plays dynamic Sold Out LA show at The Echo

Story and photos by guest writer Gerren Kelsaw

Australian born Natasha Sultana, known on stage as Tash Sultana, is representative of a new cadre of artists in the internet age. The self taught guitarist and singer-songwriter garnered millions of hits with busking videos before embarking on her professional career. The warm reception even led her to ask the audience at The Echo “How did you hear about me?”

Sultana came on stage in her trademark style. A loose Harley Davidson T-shirt and baseball cap covering her long curly locks. Her looping guitar style mesmerizes as she uses beatboxing and rhythmic licks to build the base of sonically fulfilling tracks. What is most compelling about her performance are the dynamics she uses to work the crowd. Unafraid to reach for the upper notes whilst still availing herself of the raw and rugged parts of her voice. Varying her playing style between fast guitar in rock style and quiet almost bluesy tones throughout the set. Tash is reminiscent of early Ani DiFranco crossed with the timbre and sweetness of Adele. Perhaps her most recognized song “Jungle” brought the sold out concert venue to raucous appreciation. Continue Reading →

Newport Beach Film Festival Film Showcases & Galas April 25-May 2

Having grown up in Orange County, I’m proud to say one of the most dynamic and well-run film festivals in Southern California and OC’s largest one is the Newport Beach Film Festival and this year’s 14th annual festival runs Thursday, April 25 – May 2. They screen an enormous amount of films in a week in many categories: Features, Documentaries, Action Sports, Shorts, Art, Architecture and Design (AA+D), Environmental, Music, Family, Youth and Collegiate. This year, they’re also partnering with the OC Music Awards to feature music videos. My favorite of the festival are the Showcases spotlighting films from different regions of the world, followed by a gala parties in the beautiful outdoor courtyard of Fashion Island in Newport Beach. These after-parties offer hordoevers  from select area restaurants, drinks by Absolut and Stella Artois, and live entertainment and are well worth the additional ticket (Discount tickets for some of them available below!). The OC Weekly has a good run-down on this year’s festival and here are the showcases: Continue Reading →