L.A. Womxn Artists of Color reflect on Womxn’s History Month: Part 1

by Tom Nguyen

For Womxn’s History Month, I wanted to check in with womxn artists of color in Los Angeles who are doing important work in our communities of color and immigrant diaspora, advocating for social justice and using their artistry and voices to uplift, educate and empower.

Alice Bag, Dj Sizzle Fantastic, Faith Santilla, Gingee, Klassy, Jumakae, Maya Jupiter, Sri Panchalam of Doctors & Engineers, Xochi Flores of Los Cambalache — These radical womxn of color are outspoken and fearless in their arts & advocacy, and through their artistic expression and activism, have been tireless in their fight to smash systems of oppression and the patriarchy. I asked each of these powerful, radical womxn of color to reflect on these 3 questions:

– As you reflect on Women’s History Month, #MeToo movement and the current political climate, what do you feel are the most important issues facing you, both individually and collectively as a community?

– As a radical womxn of color and artist, how do you express and/or address these issues in your art & activism?

– What advice do you have for young womxn or advice you wish someone had given you?

I am so grateful for their time and willingness to share their insight, their work, and their inspiring advice for young womxn. There are many more amazing artists I hope to hear from too, so this is the 1st of what will be a continuing series.

If you know of an inspiring Los Angeles artist of color, who is speaking truth to power, through their artistry and activism, please send them my way in the comments below.

Alice Bag:

“I feel the need to combat the extreme misogyny and xenophobia coming from the White House. When you have a president that considers talk of grabbing women by the genitals acceptable, he’s setting the tone for the nation. There have also been numerous reports of sexual harassment and sexual assault, against him. I will call these allegations for legal reasons, not because I have any doubt of their veracity, especially since he has at times, boasted publicly of his actions. When you have that flagrant disrespect for women coming from the very top, it’s bound to affect what others, especially those who support Trump, view as acceptable behavior.”

“I think we need to resist, organize and provide a vision for a future where women are seen, heard and respected as equal members of society.”

“Aside from doing all the things that many of us do to push back, in terms of protesting, letter writing, making calls to representatives, etc. I volunteer with Girls Rock Camp. Helping young girls harness their power in their formative years is extremely satisfying. It makes me and everyone involved in these programs very happy. When I feel anger and dissatisfaction, I channel some of it into my music. In the past few months, I’ve released several songs that have helped me express my feelings post-election. The first one was Reign of Fear”, which is a call for resistance in which my band-mates and I get to shout “We reject your reign of fear!”. Midway through Trump’s first year in office, I needed a song that reminded me to take time to focus on the positive things in my life because I was feeling overwhelmed by the daily barrage of negativity coming from Washington. I also wrote a song called “Blueprint” about taking ownership of the structures we create. Whether we’re working on ourselves, our communities or our world, we are architects who have the power to create what we imagine.”

“Love yourself, treat yourself with kindness and compassion, give yourself positive affirmations. Nurture in yourself what you want to be able to share with the world.”

Photo by Greg Velasquez

Alice Bag is a singer/songwriter, musician, author, artist, educator and feminist. Alice was the lead singer and co-founder of the Bags, one of the first bands to form during the initial wave of punk rock in Los Angeles. The Alice Bag Band was featured in the seminal documentary on punk rock, The Decline of Western Civilization. Alice went on to perform in other groundbreaking bands, including Castration Squad, Cholita, and Las Tres. She has published two books, including the critically acclaimed memoir Violence Girl in 2011 (Feral House) and the 2015 self-published Pipe Bomb For the Soul, based on her teaching experiences in post-revolutionary Nicaragua. Alice’s work is included in the Smithsonian exhibition, American Sabor. Alice’s self-titled 2016 debut album received critical acclaim and was named one of the best albums of the year by AllMusic. Her second album, Blueprint, was just released in March 2018 on Don Giovanni Records. Upcoming event: Saturday, April 7, 2018, Alice Bag Record Release Party at The Echo.

Dj Sizzle Fantastic:

“As an undocumented queer womxn, the most pressing issues that continue to affect the lives of my community and by extent, mine, are rooted in xenophobia, racism, misogyny, displacement, borders, and family separation. Sadly, the current administration encompasses and uplifts said issues in its daily operations. Giving that much more power to rogue agencies such as ICE/Border Patrol/Police a.k.a Polimigra, and the government as a whole, the power to continue to further oppress and criminalize the bodies of womxn of color, immigrants, queer folks, and black and brown youth.” Continue Reading →

Our Picks for NYE 2017 in Los Angeles!


by Tom Nguyen

When I’m considering where to spend New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles, I look for 3 things:

  • Great live bands and dance music we typically cover on this site.
  • It won’t break the bank (Some free, most under $30).
  • Whether big or small events, I’m looking for good vibes, not pretentiousness.

If you’re looking for the same, here are my recommendations (in order of cost): Continue Reading →

Exclusive Mix from CuLosAngeles, new Tropical Bass party in LA bridging Pan African sounds and Queer identity

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by Tom Nguyen

We’re proud to premiere the latest mix by DJ Broso, who together with DJs Bianca Oblivion and Francesca Harding, are the musical geniuses behind a new tropical bass party in downtown Los Angeles called CuLosAngeles (ya you heard that right!) whose goal is to melt your booty on the dance floor. I’ll let Broso explain…

testHOW’D YOU MEET…

CuLosAngeles was the brainchild of me and Bianca Oblivion. I had just moved here from Guatemala last August and Bianca arrived shortly afterwards from Boston where she was completing her graduate degree. Our mutual DJ friend, Dudley, who used to throw amazing Tropical Bass parties in Boston connected us so we met up and immediately started geeking out together. We ate at Roscoe’s and then came back to my place and just played music for each other for hours and talked about everything we loved and wanted to see.

13041282_1173742045969421_2725761309457081082_oWhen it came to rounding out the roster, we both knew Francesca Harding (formerly known as DJ Panamami) was a perfect fit to join us since she is a monstrous DJ who has a more Organic and Latino approach to party music as opposed to my heavily Hood and Caribbean focus and Bianca’s more Electronic and Club oriented sound. The final piece of the puzzle was bringing my close friend Christopher Eclipse on board as our host. His charisma, sense of humor, lavish outfits and ability to lead the whole party in dance are like the perfect frosting on the CuLosAngeles cupcake. Continue Reading →

Our Picks for the 15th Annual Eagle Rock Music Festival


The Eagle Rock Music Festival returns on Saturday, October 5, from 4-10pm! It’s an annual all-ages event hosted by the nonprofit Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock (CFAER), and coincides with their anniversary. To support their work in providing innovative music and arts for the Northeast LA community, all they ask is a $10 donation at the festival, featuring multiple stages with different tastes for everyone. These are some of the acts we’re keen to see…

Main Stage     Americana Stage      RANTZ Automotive Stage      Punk/Metal/Hard Rock Stage     Experimental Stage

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Subsuelo’s DJ Gozar premieres Poly Ritmo 2 Mix & Upcoming Global Bass Parties in LA


Photo by Farah Sosa(Update 8/8/13: Subsuelo at RG Club on Thur 8/8 is canceled but you can still catch them earlier at Grand Park!)
How do I get through hump day Wednesday? I dance. And the music I love dancing to is Global Bass, the border and genre crossing dance music, heavy with tropical rhythms and electronic beats, flavored with sounds from a global musical palette. Here in LA, no one does global bass better than the Subsuelo collective, known for throwing some of the best underground dance parties and LA-native, DJ Gozar, aka Josh Weiss, is one of its maestro taste-makers. Enjoy his latest mix Poly Ritmo 2, which takes you on a musical world journey exploring Afro-Latin rhythms from Brazil, Colombia and Peru, to Angola and Kenya in the motherland of Africa. DJ Gozar has selected fabulous remixes by Daniel Haaksman, Uproot Andy, Captain Planet, Geko Jones and Atropolis and if nearly an hour of non-stop booty-shaking isn’t enough for you, come shake it some more at these upcoming Subsuelo and global bass events in LA:

Thursday, August 1: Olmeca’s Brown is Beautiful Release Party with Subsuelo, KG Superstar & more @ Los Globos

Saturday, August 3: BassXX Crew with DJ Potira, Bianca Oblivion, Sweet Beats @ Seventy7 Lounge (weekly Saturdays)

Thursday, August 8: Out of Office free outdoor concert series featuring Subsuelo @ Grand Park

Thursday, August 8: Thursday Night Sessions featuring Subsuelo @ RG Club (CANCELED)

Thursday, August 8: Afro Funke featuring Atropolis @ Zanzibar (weekly Thursdays)

Friday, August 9: Muvuca featuring DJ Gozar, DJ Potira, Jose Marquez & more @ Bootleg

Sunday, August 11: Sunset Club with Canyon Cody (Subsuelo), Paul Devro (Mad Decent) & more @ The House of Gods

Sunday, August 11: Brasilia baile funk with DJ Potira @ Agaves Bar (weekly Sundays)

Wednesday, August 21: Subsuelo @ East Side Luv (every 3rd Wednesday)

Thursday, August 22: Cloud City with Canyon Cody (Subsuelo), Derek Beres @ Bar Copa (every 4th Thursday)

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Subsuelo 2 Year Anniversary Wed May 15

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Yo don’t miss tomorrow’s 2 Year Anniversary of Subsuelo, LA’s best underground party. The Subsuelo crew are on the cutting edge of combining so many genres of music and collaborating with so many DJs and artists, far and wide, with their global bass nights. For a musicphile and dance-a-holic like myself, it is the stuff of pure bliss and the secret’s been out for a while now with rave reviews on the LA Times, LA Weekly, and ABC/Univision.

Tomorrow’s birthday bash features a crammed list of returning guest DJs who have contributed to Subsuelo’s hot sweaty nights the past 2 years, alongside the Subsuelo hosts, resident DJs and performers: DJ Gozar, DJ Ethos, Farah Stop, DJ Gazoo, La Tigresa, Juxli, Canyon Cody, Gerardo and Gabriel.  Subsuelo will also be releasing a 7″ record of original music produced by Gnotes and Canyon Cody, featuring a custom-made scratch pack by DJ Ethos. In keeping with the 7″ theme, all DJs will be spinning those little 7″ discs…No computers, no LPs, no 12″s. All 45s!

It’s $5, 21+ and back to basics where it all started: the intimate, small Eastside Luv Bar in Boyle Heights. Just judging by the roster of 20 DJs, I shouldn’t have to warn you to be there EARLY — or else be prepared to celebrate vicariously in the line outside!
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Continue Reading →

Zuzuka Poderosa LA Show to Benefit Movie about Recycled Orchestra

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In her only LA show, Zuzuka Poderosa will be blowing up La Cita Bar in downtown LA with her loud, infectious Baile Funk beats on Thursday, April 18! Born to a Brazilian mother and Indonesian father, raised in Rio de Janeiro, and moved to New York after high school to pursue music, Zuzuka Poderosa is the self-described “new queen warrior of her own special brand of Carioca Bass. Influenced by Funk carioca, originating in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, borrows heavily from Miami bass but with an added sense of urgency and brutal lyrics over Brooklyn Bass.” I’ve seen her twice before in LA and this global bass diva is unstoppable! Check out her new single Seda, an outspoken song about marijuana decriminalization. It’s part of a collaboration with Bay area producer Kush Arora called Carioca Bass EP released on January 29th on Little Owl Recordings. Continue Reading →

3 Subsuelo Parties in April

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What was once a monthly Subsuelo underground global bass party is now for the 1st time happening 3 times this month! The Subsuelo musicphiles have an eclectic palette for world music and a prodigious knack for breaking boundaries — blending all the flavors of cumbia, funk, moombahton, hip-hop, salsa and live flamenco all together into what the LA Times and LA Weekly have called LA’s best underground club! Continue Reading →

From NYC to Barcelona to LA: Nickodemus release party at Subsuelo March 8!

subsuelo nickOne week from tonight, on Friday, March 8, the latest edition of Subsuelo, LA’s best underground club, is featuring the one and only Nickodemus! Traveling around the world to DJ since he was 18, Nickodemus put global bass on the dance scene map with his long-running Turntables on the Hudson parties in NYC. Now Nickodemus has chosen LA to release his new album, Turntables on the Ramblas, inspired by his exploration of the music and dance culture in Barcelona, Spain. Continue Reading →

RBMA Panamerika Escenario Rescheduled for March 7

ESCENARIO_PANAMERIKA_BANNERWEB500x500px(Update 03/02/13: Bomba Estereo will be debuting music from their new album Elegancia Tropical at the show…read the interview with their vocalist Liliana Saumet. One of the organizers told me Bomba Estereo rearranged their tour schedule just to make this event, flying in from Costa Rica and then flying out the next day to play in Peru. It takes quite a bit of planning & logistics to get all these performers on the same bill, so big kudos to the Red Bull Music Academy (RMBA) Panamerika and everyone involved in making this event happen! Spread the word y bailamos!)

The Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) Panamerika event Escenario, which features some of the best Latin alternative artists, was canceled back in November because Natalia Lafourcade and Hello Seahorse! had visa issues. Now, it’s been rescheduled for Thursday, March 7, at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood. Due to unforeseen circumstances, they still aren’t able to play but as a consolation, I’m happy Carla Morrison has been added as a special guest to an already stellar lineup with Bomba Estereo from Colombia, Astro from Chile, LA’s Grammy-nominated La Santa Cecilia and Brooklyn’s ‘tropical bass’ DJs Que Bajo?!  I’ve seen all these performers except for Carla Morrison and I can vouch that once the music starts, you’re not going to be resting your feet until the final encores are over! Buy tickets to this all-ages event here. Continue Reading →