Top Picks for NYE 2016 in Los Angeles!

15 Film Picks (5)
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 or dance music we typically cover on this site.
  • It won’t break the bank (Some free, most under $40).
  • 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) all across LA: Downtown, Silver Lake, Hollywood, Mid City, Santa Monica and Long Beach: Continue Reading →

1st Ever Supersonico Lineup Announced & Why LA deserves more World Music Festivals like this!

by Tom Nguyen

(Update 7/10/14: Did some research and found out this festival have been long in the making by Latin Alternative Music Conference and Nacional Records founder Tomas Cookman and Coachella promoter Goldenvoice. They get why LA needs this so bad and we thank you!)

We couldn’t believe our eyes at first when we saw the lineup. You know those fake Coachella lineups that appear every year as people fantasize their dream lineup? This 1st ever Supersonico pretty much sums up our wet dream of a Latin Alternative festival!

Cafe Tacvba, Calle 13, Ana Tijoux, La Vida Boheme, Bomba Estereo, Nortec Collective presents Bostich & Fussible…like Anthony Valadez of KCRW said, “the promoters could have stopped with the 3 of the names and this would have been huge but instead they went deep.” Yeah no kidding! Great to see them also feature some of our favorite local acts like La Santa Cecilia, Ceci Bastida, Jungle Fire, Subsuelo, Kita Klane, LA tastemakers DJs Valadez and Raul Campos and incredibly, more artists are to be announced!

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Hollywood Bowl Summer Season Picks!

JanelleMonae Who doesn’t love the iconic Hollywood Bowl, the premiere outdoor summer venue in LA? There’s something for everyone from an eclectic lineup of global talent from different genres, to great jazz and classical music. On top of that, it sits up near the picturesque Hollywood Hills and is one of the only venues where you bring your own food and wine and enjoy a picnic with your favorite music under the stars! I’m especially a big fan of the KCRW-sponsored World Festival concert series there each season! The Hollywood Bowl Summer season starts Sat., June 14 and runs through Sun., Sep. 28 and here are my picks: Continue Reading →

Our Hot LA Picks for Valentine’s Week!

Valentine’s Day is a week away: You haven’t made plans yet? Or you’ve got no one to spend it with? Or maybe you’re just not buying into the whole Hallmark Holiday hype? Well, there’s something for everyone leading up to Valentine’s in LA…at least for those of us looking for more than just a once-a-year-gesture. If you’re looking for something with more cultural substance, worldly stimulation, and plenty of gyrating & sweating on the dance floors in our romantic city, look no further. Here are our recommendations, LA lovers….so relax, don’t put this much pressure on yourself….(take a date or find one at Irene Diaz‘s show and more!)

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Celebration of Fela Kuti with Afrobeat Pioneer Tony Allen and Najite & Olokun Prophecy July 21

ArtDontSleep is bringing yet another musically spellbinding event to Los Angeles on Sunday, July 21: A Celebration of Fela Kuti at The Mayan Theatre in downtown LA! This can’t miss event will feature legendary Tony Allen, the Nigerian master drummer who founded Afrobeat with the late Fela Kuti, who once said, “without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat.” Described by many as the greatest drummer on the planet, Allen is renowned for being able to drum in different signatures in each of his 4 limbs. Fela recognized Allen’s talent and unique ability immediately and as the drummer and musical director of Fela’s band, Africa 70 from 1968-1979, Allen helped invent the richly woven percussion and rhythm of Afrobeat.

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Video: Quadron live at Amoeba Records

If you’re one of those like me who couldn’t get a ticket to Quadron‘s sold-out show at Hollywood Forever tonight, don’t despair. I was at Amoeba Records yesterday for their free mini-set where Coco O belted out these 5 songs from their newly released 2nd album Avalanche, including the song Neverland dedicated to Michael Jackson. Enjoy the videos! You can also replay their live in-studio set yesterday at KCRW!

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New Music Discovery: Dom La Nena. LA Shows June 1-2

(UPDATE: 5/31/13: Just saw my blog featured on Dom La Nena’s Facebook page where she says these shows are her very FIRST shows in the US, so you definitely don’t want to miss them!)
Thanks to KCRW, I just discovered Dom La Nena who was born in Brazil, lives in France and studied cello in Argentina. Her music is as intricate as her upbringing, spanning 3 countries, 3 languages and an early calling to the cello. Born Dominique Pinto in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Allegre, Dom started playing piano around age 5 but very soon fell in love with the cello and wanted to devote her life to it. She moved with her family to Paris, France when she was eight so her father could pursue his doctorate while she continued studying cello. Upon returning to Brazil 5 years later, Dom could not find a cello teacher and started writing letters to acclaimed American cellist Christine Walevska, known as “the goddess of the cello”. With Walevska’s encouragement and her parents’ support, Dom moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina at the age of 13 to study with Walevska until she returned to France at age 18. Her song “No Meu Pais” exquisitely captures her uprooted life without any one place to call home.

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Weekly Music Discovery: Yellow Alex & The Feelings

I apologize for the lack of posts this past week — found questionable content and prevented me from doing anything until they investigated — which turned out to be nothing and an error on their part. So I was censored for no reason and it was driving me crazy not being able to post anything! Anyway, back to sharing new music with y’all. My pick this week is a local LA band, Yellow Alex & The Feelings, that I hardly know anything about — but I’ve been noticing their name on a few venue calendars and came upon their song “Lisa Lisa Lisa” which is catchy as all hell! They released their EP Hollywood Ghost Dance in January and they’ve been getting airplay on KCRW.

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Alice Russell with Shafiq Husayn Saturday May 4

(Update 4/25/13: Here are other opportunities to see or hear Alice Russell:
Wed May 1: US TV Debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Thu May 2: Free in-store performance at Amoeba Records in Hollywood
Fri May 3: Live on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic on 89.9FM or stream online. You can also preview her new 5th album To Dust now here. She’s starting her US and Europe tour for the new album and here are her other show dates.)
LA, you don’t want to miss Alice Russell‘s show in LA on Saturday, May 4! I saw her the first time at ArtDontSleep‘s That 70s Soul show and they are partnering with Spaceland for this show to be held at the First Unitarian Church, which is a very fitting venue for this spectacular UK soul singer who grew up singing in gospel choirs. There will be an opening performance by Shafiq Husayn featuring The Dove Society and Dj sets by Seano. Get your tickets now! You can also catch Shafiq Husayn this Saturday, April 28, at the monthly THIS event at NOLA’s in downtown.

facebookevent2 Continue Reading →

Reggae Pops 70th Birthday Party March 22!

reggae pops1
Hey cool kids! Everyone’s idol and beloved grandfather figure, Reggae Pops, is celebrating his 70th birthday next Friday, March 22 at Arena! If you’re a creature of LA’s reggae, house and latin music and dance scene, chances are you’ve seen Pops out on the dance floor, giving you no excuse not to be shaking your booty too! To many of us, Pops is the real Most Interesting Man in the World and you know you’re at a cool event when Pops esta en la casa! Thanks to my obsession with filming everywhere I went in LA, I actually have video of when I first met Pops back in 2008. It immediately occurred to me we both had 2 things in common: we both love to dance and we both have eyes for the ladies…HA! The Man is my Inspiration! And I’m not alone! Continue Reading →