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 →

Hollywood Hills Realtor invites Hipsters to discover Boyle Heights

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by Tom Nguyen

I happened to see the following post on my Twitter feed yesterday from Boyle Heights resident, Ofelia Carillo, asking others to respond to a post which upset her:

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Reading it alarmed me too. It’s brazen and it’s obvious in its message and its audience: touting Boyle Heights to “hipster” home buyers as some kind of newly discovered oasis amid the increasingly unaffordable Los Angeles real estate market. The twitter account lists a real estate blog Just Off Mulholland run by Jimmy Bayan of John Aaroe Group. The properties listed run up to the multi-million dollar range in areas of Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silverlake, Echo Park…it’s a westward march that has apparently now led him to discover Boyle Heights.

His post strikes me as insensitive as last year’s flyer by another realtor wanting to lead a bicycle tour for prospective buyers. If you recall, that realtor was also touting “charming, historic” Boyle Heights with the headline “Why rent in Downtown when you can own in Boyle Heights.” The community backlash then was quick, vociferous and clear — anything hinting of gentrification would be challenged.

What is maddening to many residents and activists like Carrillo is this Christopher Columbus-mentality of “discovering” places to live for a more affluent set of people, who have the means to come in and buy property in minority and working class neighborhoods, where ownership is beyond the means of most people already living there. As wealthier inhabitants move in, prices and rents go up and working class families who’ve been eking out an existence for generations get displaced.

Boyle Heights especially has great historical significance in regards to housing in Los Angeles, but its the “historic” part of that charm that often is lost on new discoverers like Bayan. I personally tweeted to Bayan to educate him on some of this history and the challenges the community has overcome. Continue Reading →

Afro DZ ak LA Show Sat June 29 and Latest Video against LGBTQ Bullying & Suicide

Afro DZ ak is a a multi-instrumentalist MC and trumpet maestro from Boston who uses music, hip-hop and spoken-word poetry to promote positive social change. He’ll be playing a special free show in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 29, at the weekly Planet Rock hosted by Subsuelo DJ Canyon Cody and Captain Planet at The Virgil in Silverlake. Planet Rock is one of my favorite Saturday night events for great music and dancing with no cover and this special edition is not to be missed…it’s the only place in LA he is appearing! Check out his music below including his latest video and song Memories Live On, a poignant story of a gay teen driven to suicide. It’s a very appropriate topic today as I head to West Hollywood to celebrate today’s historic Supreme Court decisions in favor of LGBTQ rights to marriage equality. More love, less hate – let’s come together this Saturday and groove to the man’s positive messages and musical vibes.

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Cali Hustle: Come to One of LA’s Best Live Music Monthlies!

cali hustle
(UPDATE 11/16/13: The 1 Year Anniversary on 11/12 was a blast! Cali Hustle will be celebrating in December with a New Year’s Eve party at The Virgil!)
Cali Hustle is a monthly free live music night, every 2nd Tuesday at The Virgil in Silverlake, featuring Quetzal Guerrero and his band and DJ Miss Sunny Z spinning the decks. Each month, they invite other wonderful emerging, independent bands and DJs to join them. It’s an eclectic night of music and dancing that I think is one of the best undiscovered secrets in LA!

They call it Cali Hustle for the eclectic blend of music being played, “California Soul, Samba, Reggae, Rock & More”, but I think the night is aptly named for another reason: we’re lucky so many talented musicians come here from all over the country and the world for the Cali dream and they hustle and work tirelessly at their craft and passion to bring us great music. I can’t think of an artist as talented and hard-working, yet as undiscovered as Quetzal Guerrero. Originally from Arizona and of American, Mexican and Brazilian heritage, Quetzal is a violin virtuoso, having studied since age 4, and combining that with his singing, songwriting and mastery of guitar and percussion, his music is a rich, unique blend of soul, funk, bossa nova, reggae and rock.

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Weekly Music Discovery: Yellow Alex & The Feelings


I apologize for the lack of posts this past week — WordPress.com 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.

Continue Reading →