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flula

flula

Flula is a German techno+hiphop musician with the singular goal of becoming the most famous artist in the entire world, in every genre of art. He is currently working on "Biscuit," a dubstep-techno song featuring journalist Larry King.

Head Wound City

Head Wound City

Head Wound City is undoubtedly a supergroup, and one that is not to be overlooked. But nevertheless, it is also an example of what one might call “the narwhal phenomenon”: something that, when described, sounds so magical and rare that the world often questions if it truly exists at all. If most people were to be asked what they thought of a band that was two parts The Locust, equal parts The Blood Brothers, and one part Yeah Yeah Yeahs, they would answer only with an intrigued but incredulous look.

And, to be fair, there is depressingly little evidence of the band to show, other than a bit of precious YouTube footage and an approximately 10 minute recording’s worth of unadulterated genius. In a way, though, this almost adds to the allure, leaving anyone who has heard the self-titled album wishing that there were so much more, that the crazy ride weren’t over so soon. The idea for the band was said to have come as a result of a period when the Blood Brothers were touring with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, leading YYY’s guitarist Nick Zinner to drunkenly discuss the idea of collaborating with vocalist Jordan Blilie and guitarist Cody Votolato of the Blood Brothers. From there, the three plotted to usurp the skills of locusts; specifically, bassist Justin Pearson and drummer Gabe Serbian. Despite the fact that schedules often conflicted and locations of the five at any given time were quite varied, the idea came to fruition in one short, shining moment of frenzied glory.

Not surprisingly (if you are familiar with any of the members’ other bands), the music is a whirlwind of intensity, which is fitting given that it was written, recorded, and produced in the span of only a week before being released by Three One G Records in 2005. All seven tracks showcase Blilie’s one of a kind, relentlessly vicious vocals. Listen more closely, and you will quickly recognize Serbian’s rapid-fire, precision drumming mixed with Pearson’s hard-hitting bass lines, which mesh perfectly alongside Votolato’s cacophonous guitar style in conjunction with Zinner’s playing (which takes on a harsher tone than we typically get to hear from his playing in the Yeah Yeah Yeahs). Clever and humorous song titles such as “I’m a Taxidermist- I’ll Stuff Anything” and “Street College” give way to lyrics that are full of curious imagery and bellicose attitude, emanating influence from each of the band’s members.

All band members have gone on to work with numerous other projects—Serbian having played with Retox for a stint as well as Rat’s Eyes, Justin currently focused mainly on vocals for Retox, and both still living as insects. Blilie has since played in Past Lives and Votolato with Jaguar Love. Zinner continues an increasingly successful career with The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

As for the rest of the world, we are left to wait with baited breath for the moment when all of these radical friends can find another free week or two to set aside and blow our minds (and ear drums) once again. The band has been left open-ended over the years, and members are optimistic about creating new material in the future.

-Becky DiGiglio

Arthur Trace

Arthur Trace

Arthur Trace combines magic and theatre in an innovative and artful way.

Highly acclaimed by his peers as "one of the most unique acts in the world of magic today," Arthur Trace is the eighth magician in the history of magic to be awarded The International Brotherhood of Magicians Gold Medal. In 2006 he became a FISM award winner at the World Championship of Magic in Stockholm. In 2007 millions of television viewers watched as Arthur was awarded the "Best Cabaret Magic" award at The World Magic Awards on My Network TV. And in 2009 and 2014, Arthur was a featured performer on the hit TV series Masters of Illusion. Last year he headlined the legendary Wintergarten Variete in Berlin, Germany

Watch Arthur perform and find out why the Chicago Tribune called him "one of magic's bona fide superstars!"

Deap Vally

Deap Vally

“I think people could look at us and make one assumption, and then when they see us play, that assumption will be shattered,” says Julie Edwards, Deap Vally’s drummer. “And that’s the beauty of it.”

Indeed there are plenty of assumptions to make about a female duo which on the surface of things are all wild hair, short shorts and lip-curling attitude. But this would not prepare for the sheer hurtling power of their music; the kind of inextinguishable ferocity that cannot be faked; it can only be hauled up from the guts.

Edwards met her bandmate and co-conspirator Lindsey Troy in the unlikely environs of a crochet class in Los Angeles’s Atwater Village. Edwards was teaching; Troy her new student. “Lindsey learned crochet really fast,” Edwards recalls, “she had good eye-hand co-ordination which was a good sign. But while we crocheted, we bonded, and talked about our struggles as artists – how frustrated we were.”

At the time, Edwards was in another duo, the Pity Party, while Troy was performing solo, each somehow orbiting one another as they played different circuits in LA. Both felt unsatisfied. Troy was quietly plotting her solo world domination, while Edwards, feeling burnt-out, was contemplating a return to college to study psychology. But following that first fateful meeting their plans began to shift.

“We kind of stalked each other online after that a little bit,” is how Edwards explains it. “I was really impressed by her,” adds Troy. “I thought she was really cool. You know, like Cool with a capital C.”

The idea of jamming together seemed a natural one, and at that first session Edwards brought in a bassist friend to make up a three-piece all-female band they jokingly named God’s Cuntry. But with the bassist away on tour thereafter it was just Edwards and Troy — a guitar and a drum kit and two wild voices.

“I knew before we even went in to that first jam it would be special,” says Troy. “I could feel it. And I was happy being a two-piece. A big part of Deap Vally is that there are limitations, and we enjoy those limitations, but at the same time within those confines having no limitations. We like to push boundaries.”

It is when they play that they say they feel freest — ignited by the roar and the pure physicality of it. “I have always wanted to make heavy music,” says Edwards. They speak of their soul and gospel and punk influences, of R’n’B vocal melodies and Blues riffs meeting “powerful dark dissonant Sabbath-esque chord progressions and the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll.” They talk of the “heavy” sensation of fingers stumbling on a new riff, arms beating drum-skins. “It’s just a great release,” says Edwards. “It’s very freeing.”

They first played live in the spring of 2011, first at the Silverlake Lounge and then at the Hotel Café, where Marilyn Manson pushed his way to the front row and heckled them as they took to the stage. After the show the first thing he said to them was, “Can I be your groupie?”

That so many eyes and so much attention lingers on their bodies and their attire does not ruffle them. “Sex is a big part of the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll,” says Troy. Look at all the great rockers, the power they had over the crowd. Sexuality is power, and we don’t want to be a neutered band; we like embracing our sexuality. It’s a part of our music, and being women is a big part of it, our lyrics are very much from our experience. We’re very much women.”

Certainly many of the songs on this record are from a powerfully female perspective — from dealing with sleazy men in Creep Life to the glorious two-fingered defiance of Gonna Make My Own Money. “That song is kind of literal,” admits Troy. “My Dad was always saying ‘You’re gonna have to marry a rich man!’” Edwards nods. “And my Dad would be like ’When are you going to meet a nice dentist?’” It is a song, Troy explains, that is about “people underestimating your ability to do things as women and feeling like ‘fuck you I’m going to do this and prove you all wrong!’ It’s that spirit of independence and achievement.”

But there are gentler songs here too, songs about relationship dynamics and heartbreak, as well as a number called Procreate, which was, Edwards elaborates, “an idea Lindsey had, about wanting a guy so much that you want to have their baby. That weird lust that exists, and which I totally relate to, but a lot of people don’t write about, because maybe writing about babies is kind of weird. A man wouldn’t write that song, and if they did it would be a little bit different. It would be more like ‘I wanna knock you up so you stay home and you’re mine forever.’”

They were drawn to each other, they say, by a mutual unapologeticness, by the fact that they are both, by their own definition, socially aggressive women. “I was always very drawn to female performers who were very loud and outspoken and flamboyant,” says Troy. “And I feel like with Deap Vally we are unstoppable – we are so driven, full throttle, it’s undeniable. We really believe in what we represent as a band. And what we represent I feel is like post-post-post feminism.”

By their nature, they say, what they do is political — “In that we’re women,” Troy says, “and we play this type of heavy rock music, not afraid to let it all hang out,” she says proudly.  Edwards adds, “So many women masculinize themselves and play their femininity down, and something Lindsey and I felt is that we have never wanted to do that. I’ve been playing drums in tiny shorts for as long as I’ve been playing drums.”

Certainly, short shorts and their breed of visceral, heart-churning rock ‘n’ roll is quite an arresting combination. “I don’t know what image of femininity we’re trying to fulfill,” Edwards says, “and maybe we’re creating a new one: we’re badass but we’re not mean-spirited and angry. We just really, really love heavy music.”

“We believe,” says Troy, “in bringing truly live music back.” Edwards nods. “And we believe in the rock ‘n’ roll revolution, bringing guitar-based rock ‘n’ roll back to the mainstream. We love Led Zeppelin —they’re our heroes. Because that’s a band that played stadiums, didn’t have a safety net of a pre-recorded back-up tape, they didn’t record to a click, and they were really, really sexy and really commanding. And why can’t that happen again? “

Eric Buss

Eric Buss

Eric Buss was born in Tucson, Arizona. When he was born, the doctors all laughed at him. That laughter gave Eric a rush, and at the age of seven seconds he knew he wanted to make people laugh when he grew up… Later at the ripe age of 8, he learned how to tinker in his dad’s workshop. Then, at age 16, he started learning magic tricks. When he successfully merged his passion for building with his magical skills he knew right then and there (according to this Bio) that he wanted to be a professional comedy magician who would build his own original props. He has never looked back.

Although most would agree that his gadgets are totally awesome, it’s Eric’s personality that wins audiences over. His high-energy, and hilarious act has been called, “Pure Art, Pure Madness!” It combines crazy inventions and Eric’s high-octane sugar rush of comedy into a non-stop ride of mischief and magical gadgetry that most people could never imagine. Eric not only imagined it, he turned it into an award-winning act that he has performed around the world and on “The Late Show” with David Letterman. In fact, Letterman called his performance “Tremendous, sensational, and beautiful.” And, as 10 million people watched, he managed to win over one of the most difficult audiences in television- the audience of “America’s Got Talent.”

A Second City Comedy School graduate, he has performed on five continents and on TV in seven countries, including a one-hour Korean television special solely dedicated to his performance. Other career highlights include appearances on the “Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon” and the “Just for Laughs” Comedy Festival in Montreal, and entertaining U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Now, at the age of “adult,” Eric spends most of his time pursuing his childhood passions either in his own workshop in Los Angeles or on stages around the world performing his clever brand of comedy, glued to his unique style of magic, bolted to his original props, duck-taped to his energetic personality. Audiences love the results!

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Handsome Jack

Handsome Jack

A talent scout serendipitously spotted a teen-aged Jack Handsome skipping school at Schwab’s Drug Store, and asked his name. “Jack Handsome,” came the reply. The talent scout said, “Jack Handsome? Handsome Jack is more like it!” and a modeling career was born. In mid-career Jack took up magic when a photographer informed him that “magicians get all the groupies.” It wasn’t until years later that Jack learned he had said musicians, not magicians. But by then it was too late to pick up a guitar.

Handsome Jack holds a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from the University of Washington in Seattle, and currently lives in Los Angeles. He is a regular performer at the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, where he has been nominated each of the last eleven years as Parlour Magician of the Year (which, of course, means he’s lost… eleven years in a row).

As a popular entertainer at social events and corporate functions, he has wowed such celebrities as Michael Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Bill Pullman, Lucy Liu, Holly Hunter, Nicolas Cage, and Angelina Jolie. Live the lifestyle of the rich and famous by having Handsome Jack liven up your next party or event. Handsome is as handsome does.

FoLAR

FoLAR

(FoLAR) Friends of the Los Angeles River is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization founded in 1986, whose mission is to protect and restore the natural and historic heritage of the Los Angeles River and its riparian habitat through inclusive planning, education and wise stewardship. Once home to steelhead and grizzlies, the Los Angeles River meandered through wetlands, marshes, willow, alder and sycamore, providing desperately needed water for the region. Now running over 50 miles long – from the suburbs of the San Fernando Valley to the ocean in Long Beach – the Los Angeles River flows through 14 cities and countless neighborhoods. When the Army Corps of Engineers initiated a flood control project in the late 1930′s, they began the process of paving 80% of the River, creating the world’s largest storm drain. Over the ensuing decades, the River that had been the sole water supply for the City of Los Angeles before the Los Angeles Aqueduct was completed in 1913 almost disappeared from public consciousness. With the cement came a perceptual shift: the River no longer existed. Instead, it was a “flood control channel,” a no-man’s land, surrounded by fences and signs.

Ace Hotel

Ace Hotel

Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles opened early 2014 in the historic United Artists building in Downtown LA. An ornate, storied and vibrant Los Angeles gem, Downtown is undergoing a renaissance. Built in 1927 for the maverick film studio, the UA theater and tower stand as monuments to a group of seminal American artists pushing out on their own.

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