Art Night: October 2013 – Pirates?

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The theme of this night was ‘L gets out.’ My girlfriend has not walked our neighborhood after dark, so this art night was a chance to show her that only a few of the people outside are pirates.

Began the night at the Highland Park boutique Mi Vida. E.T. tote bag was a reminder that no one on earth ever really grows up. Artist Melissa Nebrida’s work ‘The Chola Series’ was on display. She was standing next to her work and signed one of the postcard’s that I bought and I felt like I should say something insightful, so I yelled over the DJ’s music, “Alright, cholas!”

Nebrida

 

Continue reading Art Night: October 2013 – Pirates?

We continued down York Boulevard, past Wombleton’s, and into vintage shop Patty’s. Right when I walked into the vintage shop my phone began to ring this really positive sounding ringtone, which contrasts with my general tone, so everyone was a little thrown off. Look at that, Disney characters held up by their necks. Just like grandma used to have ’em and no one was allowed to touch.

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At Patty's
At Patty’s

Still no sign of pirates at this point in the evening. Sure there were plenty of people in bandanas and headbands, a man in beard with a burrito under the light of a neon sign. No, I didn’t take a picture. It’s pretty much the norm at this point.

At the corner of Avenue 50 and York was an impromptu rummage sale. The two men standing watch pointed to the street sign on their Monopoly board to let us know that we were still in Los Angeles. My girlfriend nervously laughed. These men decked out in mismatched outfits, eating fajita wraps, asking if we wanted our names etched into some wood.ave50yorkPop Hop Books had some live music, so did K-York Studio along with a faceless deer that reminds of Silent Hill. Pretty standard. My girlfriend began to feel woozy.

The Beatles at Pop Hop!
The Beatles at Pop Hop!
Faceless deer with band
Faceless deer with band
Congo poet outside K-York
Conga poet outside K-York

Then there was a narrow alleyway beside 50/50 Art Gallery. Us being responsible adults we decided to not investigate, but then we saw other people go into said alleyway and we followed them. Peer pressure is the worst and I should have listened to the D.A.R.E officers when they came to my school, but I didn’t and now I’m walking down this alleyway with my girlfriend and we see etchings on the walls and people are laughing hysterically. Pumpkin patch. Honest, a pumpkin patch with hay and art, and kids running around. It was very disorienting. Pastey Whyte, artist and curator of said pumpkin habitat, was on hand to explain that he’s always wanted to put together something like this for his kids.

Pumpkin Patch!
Pumpkin Patch!
Decapitated pirate
Decapitated pirate at 50/50

Looped back to Mi Vida where the bicycle riders had congregated, bumping mad beats and enjoying their motor-less evening. That is until this hot rod pulled up at the light and began revving his engine. Symbolic I’m sure, as he waited to go left. Maybe I’m reading too much from the experience. The night was alive! Bicycle people are like pirates, but with a different style of respect for land.

You have no power here.
You have no power here.

Then it was off to Antigua Culture Coffee House off of Fig and Avenue 34, where a whole lot of ‘woah’ was going on. A tent pitched in the street, images projected onto the sides of buildings, smoke, television sets with torsos and doll heads looped into infinite plastic smiles. Very woah. The tunnel was dark, there was smoke, bodies motioned in the confined space that once acted as a pedestrian passage for elementary school children.

At Avenue 50 Studio the gallery space is celebrating an early Dia De Los Muertos with altars and art celebrating passed loved ones. Neighbors donated photos of family members to the gallery and they were on display outside, with pieces of pan dulce to complete the altar, while more elaborate sugar skull displays towered over patrons. Then the night ended with us watching a dog eat watermelon off a fork. No really. IMG_0742 IMG_0749 IMG_0764 IMG_0771

Dog eating watermelon
Dog eating watermelon

That’s Heriberto Luna’s dog Fifty. His bark is worse than his bite. Probably the friendliest 200-lb dog you’ll ever meet. At the end of the night my girlfriend and I made our way back home, hyper aware of our surrounding neighborhood. She bought something at THANK YOU Comics, I supported an artist, we felt alive! Mexican-Americans stimulating our  economy.

And then there were sirens and helicopters over head. The good kind of sirens and helicopter sounds.

Total pirate count: 4(?)

Eagle Rock Music Festival 2013

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I arrived way too early at this year’s Eagle Rock Music Festival. Which gave me ample time to wander Colorado Boulevard and happen upon Permanent Record’s own private fest. Saturday afternoon, around 2:45 p.m. a lot of bleary eyed vinyl enthusiasts crowded the aisles at the record shop, a full day’s lineup of garage rock bands crunching away.

By 4:00 p.m. the crowds had gathered, and a man in tails and a top hat was showing folks his theremin – don’t worry, it’s a wand-like instrument.

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Mobile theremin on Colorado Boulevard

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Dozens of community outreach groups were in attendance, handing out pamphlets, brochures, along with restaurants, banks, name brand beverages, and a few boutiques. There was a bevy of sponsors listed on the official map for the 2013 Eagle Rock Music Festival, but what was comforting was that no one was really trying to shove any one product into my hands. Attend any other summer music festival and you’ll be inundated with products, logos, women in skimpy outfits handing out sports drinks or sunglasses.

At the Women’s 20th Century Club I caught the tail end of Dilettante, a folk outfit that officially launched the day. Tiana Jimenez leads the band, spry on her feet, guitar close to her heart, she sang along with her players, a well-oiled machine firing off on all pistons. From outside I could have swore these were grizzled folk singers, but inside Jimenez and company showed what musicians in their late teens?, maybe early 20s? (I’m usually bad when it comes to ages) can do when they focus their talent.

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Dilettante at Women’s 20th Century Club
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Dilettante at Women’s 20th Century Club

Sunset hour – Boardwalk took to the Center Stage on Colorado Boulevard. The band bolstered its lineup, a recording duo in the studio, their final count stood at five players on stage (I interviewed Mike Edge and Amber Quintero on what went into their self-titled debut album and how puppies figured into that process.) Their set was marred by some audio issues, but after that it was all golden.

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Boardwalk

The LA Filipino-American United Church of Christ hosted the festival’s Experimental stage and it might have been the first time the church had a congregation under the influence of something else besides faith. A string instrument was built into the church and crossed over our heads, while the Arohi Ensemble played classical Indian/ raga jazz music.

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Evening swooped in, heat still rising from the ground, and the rush of families and people who found parking filled out Colorado Boulevard. I made my way back toward Permanent Records, the sounds of the festival over my shoulder, families walking in the dark along the sidewalk, a general wholesomeness wafting in the air. It was a flash, a one-day event, the schedule a bit off, but all of it going off without too much friction.

Round up:
* Lots of dogs and bicycles.
* Schedule was off.
* Everyone looked happy to be there.
* VIP section people are anti-social
* Rantz hosted their own taco truck, along with the Latin beats.
* Colombo’s was the official beer garden.
* The metal/punk/indie stage was claustrophobic to say the least
* Local restaurants offered specials, while others didn’t seem to notice that there was a festival.
* People taking hits from their pipes. We see you.
* Bike valet
* Pasadena Weekly and LA Weekly sponsored?!

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