Knitting Factory News

September 1, 2016
 

Fall Music Festival Guide

Summer might be "over" but festival season is still in full swing. This week, in lieu of our featured artist section, we're featuring our picks for must-see festivals across the country this fall!

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Bumbershoot - Seattle, WA - September 2nd-4th 
What better way to celebrate Labor Day weekend than at the acclaimed Bumbershoot? This three-day festival features headliners such as Halsey, KYGO, Death Cab for Cutie, and the ubiquitous Tame Impala. Its urban setting, unique combination of venues, varied lineup including comedy and theatre takes it to a different place than most festivals. With additional activities like a silent disco, yoga, pottery, and even a designated kids zone called Youngershoot, this festival is sure to be enjoyed by the whole family. And you can stroll right out into upper Queen Anne or the Space Needle or the [Dale] Chihuly Glass and Gardens afterwards.

Hopscotch - Raleigh, NC -September 8th-10th 
With 120 bands over 3 days, Hopscotch takes over the city of Raleigh by hosting artists in both the large outdoor main stage and intimate clubs. This festival features music in almost every genre imaginable—rock, hip-hop, metal, folk, electronic, experimental, and more. With standouts from this year's lineup including Beach House, Young Thug, Sylvan Esso, Television, and Wye Oak, Hopscotch continues to bring in audiences just as eclectic as the artists themselves.

KAABOO- Del Mar, CA - September 16th-18th 
Nicknamed as the ultimate “mixperience,” this three-day festival boasts a range of activities distinguishing it from other music festivals of its kind. Music-lovers can enjoy a variety of acts, including well-known indie jams from Cold War Kids and Grouplove, EDM from The Chainsmokers and Steve Aoki, rock from Lenny Kravitz and Aerosmith, and hip-hop from Flo Rida and Ludacris. The festival also includes art installations, beach cabanas, and a comedy zone with an all-star line-up that includes Dana Carvey, Sarah Silverman, and Cheech & Chong as headliners.

Riverside Arts & Music Festival - Riverside, CA - September 17th 
This year, the Riverside Arts Council has partnered with the Riverside Downtown Partnership to transform the former Mayor’s Ball and Summer Street Jam into the Riverside Arts and Music Festival. This free festival begins with local favorites, followed by headliner Allison Iraheta + Halo Circus. The event will also feature demonstrations by local artists and organizations, including a chalk art exhibition!

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Animal Collective Camping Weekend - Big Sur, CA - September 23rd-24th
Presented by (((folkYEAH!))), this intimate camping weekend includes nightly performances by experimental pop band Animal Collective as well as other guests such as Winter, The Range of Light Wilderness, M. Geddes Gengras and Jessica Pratt.

Austin City Limits - Austin, TX - September 30th-October 2nd; October 7th-9th 
It's easy to see why Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World after exploring the diverse lineup of acts each year at Austin City Limits which boasts 8 stages, more than 130 bands – and now, two weekends! The lineup includes indie favorites Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, M83, Two Door Cinema Club, Mumford & Sons, and Local Natives.

Dirtybird Campout - Silverado, CA - October 7th-9th 
Created by record producer Claude VonStroke and named for his record company Dirtybird Records, VonStroke wanted to combine the community aspects of his nostalgic sleepaway camp with today’s music festivals. “Head counselors” Reggie Watts and Green Velvet will headline sets, in addition to leading campers in activities such as kickball, tug of war, and boat races in the scenic wilderness of Oak Park Canyon.

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Desert Daze - Joshua Tree, CA - October 14th-16th 
Located in the breathtaking Joshua Tree desert, Desert Daze campers will be housed at the Institute of Mentalphysics designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and his son Lloyd Wright. The relaxed and peaceful nature of the festival is prevalent with their sound baths, massages, yoga, and meditation. The lineup includes Primus, Television, Washed Out, Deerhunter, Thee Oh Sees, Connan Mockasin, in addition to Knitting Factory Management artists Radio Moscow and The Knitts! New since the last post on this is Foxygen, and a tribute to Alan Vega, half of Suicide, who passed away suddenly in July. The festival also includes groundbreaking multimedia dance troupe WIFE and desert artist Cris Cichocki, showcasing his latest work, Circular Dimensions. The first of several film screenings will be Desert Age followed by a Q+A with the filmmakers Trevar Cushing and Jason Pine along with Brant Bjork of Kyuss and Mario Lalli of Fatso Jetson.

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Beach Goth - Orange County, CA - October 22nd-23rd 
Orange County rockers The Growlers present their fifth installment of Beach Goth. This year, the festival expands far beyond the punk, garage and psych-rock of its early days. This may be their least "Beach Goth" lineup yet, but still celebrates the "weird" and spectacular with acts including Future Islands, Gucci Mane, Bon Iver, James Blake, Nicolas Jaar, Melanie Martinez, and RuPaul's Drag Race.

Voodoo Experience - New Orleans, LA - October 30th-November 1st 
Experience the Voodoo this Halloween at New Orleans’ historic City Park, amid lush lagoons, bayous and one of the largest collections of mature oak trees in the world, in the city about which Bob Dylan once famously stated “There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better.” With performances by artists including Arcade Fire, The Weeknd and Die Antwoord, this is sure to be a weekend of all sorts of magic.

Outpost Fest - Santa Ana, CA - November 12th 
KROQ 106.7 presents their music and arts festival in the streets of Downtown Santa Ana. The event features acclaimed rockers Matt & Kim, Borns, Real Estate and more!

by Saeli Eshelman

FYF has gone through many changes in recent years, changing venues, increasing in size, and this year updating its layout. Most of these transitions have occurred smoothly enough, with the shift from the Los Angeles Historic Park to Exposition Park happening seamlessly, and the size increase coinciding well with the new venue.

However, the recent change in layout, and generally poor organization of the festival this year meant long lines, and extreme traffic jams on the way to shows. Unfortunately, as a result of this, I was unable to catch the entire performance for some acts; I arrived at the venue with plenty of the time, but had to sit in line, stuck outside the venue while I heard some of my favorite artists play. Two such performances, Vince Staples and Blood Orange, would likely have been in my top five this year--they were both incredible in the couple of songs (and in Staples' case, visuals) that I was able to catch from the crowd and not the adjacent parking lot. But I have decided not to include them on my list since the last two to three songs of a set are not indicative of the entire show. If you would like to read reviews of Vince Staplesand Blood Orange, check out the respective links, and if you would like to hear my review of my top five shows, keep reading below!

Anohni

​1. ANOHNI

​Going into this year's FYF, ANOHNI (fka as Antony) was far and away the artist I was most excited to see, though when the lineup was first released I had not yet listened to her album​, and had my sights set on the Kendrick show as the most anticipated. Once her record was in my possession my mind quickly changed; ​Hopelessness​, her solo debut after fronting Antony and the Johnsons is probably my top album of this year, tackling a number of diverse and controversial political topics ranging from American imperialism to the effects of climate change. Most reviewers have dubbed ​Hopelessness​ the ultimate "protest record," as it is overtly political and social conscious in a way most contemporary music often just isn't these days. And in addition to the significance of her music's content, is the beautiful, soaring, and heartbreaking soundscapes produced by Oneohtrix Point Never​'s Daniel Lopatin and Hudson Mohawke, and elevated by Anohni's own vocal capabilities.

All of these facets were brought to life in the most appropriate form I could conceive in Anohni's performance this Sunday. She took the stage, cloaked in black, bouncing to the tunes, yet absent from the screens flanking the stage, with two musicians beside her (one of which was the aforementioned Lopatin). Behind her, videos played of a diverse array of women singing along with the lyrics to each song, perfectly synced to the slightly altered live versions, and sometimes as tearful as the audience. The mood was heavy, but viewers were able to enjoy the musicality while also absorbing the lyrics' dire message: we must begin to do things differently. This was especially clear at the very end of the set. As the music ended, a voice began to speak, at first indistinctly and then clearly, as the woman talking appeared on the screen. She begged for a change to be made, for humankind to do better for one another, for ourselves, and for our planet. I was amazed, as I found myself in a large crowd, typical of a festival, but exceptionally, standing completely still and in utter silence in order to heed this message. Tears welled up and flowed from many of the eyes around me, and when we were sure we were not cutting off any of this speaker's delivery, we erupted in a nearly minute-long applause, actually awestruck.

Kendrick Lamar

2. Kendrick Lamar

​In many ways, my review of Anohni applies almost identically to that of Kendrick. ​To Pimp A Butterfly​ was my favorite albums of 2015, as Kendrick's storytelling ability brought to life a vivid rendition of his experience in America as a black man​, effortlessly moving between the political and personal, sometimes one in the same, sometimes localized, and sometimes globalized. As the album's critically acclaimed status indicates, the record was a triumph, at times appealing to radio listeners, rap aficionados​, and more general music fans alike. The jazz- and funk-centric musical approach coupled with incredibly successful sampling, moving spoken word pieces and poems, in my opinion, heightened its message by melding more traditional rap styles with an array of other influences to create a complex sound to match its difficult subject matter.

Thus, like Anohni, I could not have been more excited to see this politically charged masterpiece on a live stage--I had attempted to get tickets to his tour stop for TPAB in Oakland, but they sold out in 30 seconds. Kendrick's set at FYF showcased his storytelling abilities, displaying a number of tracks from TPAB and his entire career thus far, including his debut album Section.80 and follow-up record ​good kid, m.A.A.d city. ​This career-spanning setlist was a direct result of this show being Kendrick's first in Los Angeles, his hometown, since the release of ​good kid, m.A.A.d city ​in 2012, something he referenced regularly throughout the performance. (His audience interaction was another highlight of a set viewed by tens of thousands of festival-goers, adding a sense of intimacy in a large crowd.) While he sometimes melded songs in a way that upset some diehard fans hoping to sing along with a whole tune, I was happy to just watch his incredible lyricism and flow, basking in his greatness even in the less great moments. But his newly unique musical sound, too, was present in a number of musical breakdowns that were occasionally jazz-influenced and sometimes more rock 'n roll. His visual backdrop coincided well with his less overtly political message when playing live and included a number of important black figures historically and in film, beginning with Oprah and Prince, as well as some more disgraceful white individuals, such as a raging Bill O'Reilly in his younger days. In all, Kendrick was welcomed home with thousands of open arms, most of who stuck around for the full set and then became sardines attempting to escape the venue, an unfortunate end to an inspirational performance.

Grace Jones

3. Grace Jones

As all the music reviewers have been reporting post-FYF, and as LCD Soundsystem noted in their ensuing set, "if you missed ​Grace Jones, you screwed up." Jason Bentley called her the "fierce punk diva." Jones literally could have been transported from the past to give this performance, donning body paint similar to the work done by Keith Haring on her in the '80s:

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And changing costumes--including many headpieces--at the end/beginning of every song, managing to sing through the off-stage changes while the band continued playing. This was coupled with her incredible and energetic dancing, in nothing but a corset and underwear, utilizing a number of props, including a hula hoop (as seen above, kept aloft of the absolute whole of her last song) and the entirety of the stage. Like her performance itself, her visuals ranged from fashion-oriented, to additional dance showcases, to her Caribbean and pan-African roots with a number of "traditional" African masks.

It wasn't always like this. In her heyday, Jones was fierce, yes, but erratic. She was a unique and rare commodity--making headlines and history in fashion, photography, music and art all in one go. But there were also missed or truncated performances, drug problems and an outspokenness bordering on the outrageous. Must have been that Williams blood and not the more placid Jones blood, she might say.

Grace Jones is 69 years old. Take that in for a second and then look at the photos above. They could have been taken a week apart. This is a woman that had a cage [How many humans does that thing hold? Usually, one] in her loft when she was with Dolph Lundgren. She's worked out the kinks. She looks breathtaking. She deserves to be paid in full before each show. She wrote some of the first chapters in the book on gender and genre bending and is still scribbling away (having published "I'll Never Write My Memoirs" last year), she could kick most asses and this isn't a farewell tour.

Her set ran the gamut of both contemporary and classic material, about half covers and originals. She opened with "Nightclubbing"--a fairly downtempo song on the eponymous album but urgent and energetic yet stately in live performance. A lot of the compressed 80's production that made songs like "Pull Up to the Bumper" feel dated felt fresh and relevant. The covers--"Private Lives," "Warm Leatherette," and most famously, Roxy Music's "Love is the Drug"--all very strongly reinterpret rather than pay homage to the originals. Heck, she threw in an a cappella rendition of Amazing grace during what I can only imagine was a longer than anticipated costume change. I guess all I could ask for and didn't receive was "La Vie En Rose."

There really isn't much else to say other than it was the most Grace Jones-style performance in all its elements, quite fitting of her always-unique persona, style, music, and general self-expression. As a young fan, I feel unable to do her performance justice, so for a more comprehensive and enlightened review I suggest turning to Noisey's review, which also featured a number of stunning photos of Jones in her glory.

Father John Misty

4. Father John Misty

​Father John Misty has been a favorite artist of mine for a while now, mostly for his live performances, which are brimming with intense energy (see above image of him jumping from the drum kit) and sexuality (talk about making love to the audience as he gyrates and backbends on the floor). This set was my third time seeing him live​ and I was amazed by his ability to command the attention of the audience at the Main stage, garnering a crowd that was nearly as big and as deep as some of the headliners, reaching past the 21+ section at the back of the parking lot in which the stage was situated. His cynical and irreverent take on the cultural issues of our time, namely love and technology--or is it love in the age of technology?--make his pleading performances all the more interesting, gaining him the title of "music's premier troll." This was only enhanced by the kitschy and glitchy images he projected behind him, including an iPad error message and the Windows maze screensaver. He made his way into the crowd, as he is wont to do, filming himself on a fan's phone, as he is also wont to do. He stammered, "Um, post to Snapchat Story? This is an awkward low point in the set" before clambering back up on stage and saying, "Let's see if we can't carry on, now, can we?"

Near the end he even claimed that Grace Jones would be joining him, a joke I fell for! The passion he injects in his music, as seen in his outward performances is what ties all of the jokes together; in fact, some love his persona as much as they love his music, which is what makes his live shows so captivating. Also, the sexual energy, again, which my mom references as a big draw for her.

The Black Madonna

5. The Black Madonna

​The Black Madonna is a female DJ (one of the best from New York--take that East Coasters, your DJs want to play on the West Coast, too) who I only knew about due to [Santa Monica radio station] KCRW having spun some of her tracks in the past. The anomaly of a female DJ playing a major festival at a sunset time slot is impressive in and of itself, but the reason I'm including her on this list is a straightforward one. While my friends and I had specifically trekked out of our way to ​go check out her set and have a little break from packed crowds to dance more freely, most of the people who joined us in the audience were literally drawn in by the beats. I saw group after group of attendees walking near the stage, unaware of who was playing, but beginning to get their groove on and making a last second decision to run into the crowd and just have a good time. When I think of the job of a DJ, it is to get people out on the dance floor to let loose and enjoy themselves, and The Black Madonna did this deftly, attracting a crowd of fans and passers-by. Then Robyn came out and all hell broke lose (in a good way). I don't think I've had that much fun dancing to live music since DJ Harvey's set last year, which I praised for its similar ability to ignite a fire in the crowd.

​And an aside for any of you wondering why I did not include Tame Impala, my reasoning is simple, I have seen them at, I believe, five festivals now. They are consistently amazing performers with dope visuals, so much so that I do not feel the need to include them again. If you're curious about this year's set read another reviewer's opinion here.​

I hope to see you all again next year at this beautiful music and arts fest in the Coliseum's parking lots!

Think About Someone You Love

Saeli Eshelman and Natalya Mahaindra

Featured Shows

Aside from festivals, there are a number of exciting live shows happening in California over the next few weeks, including Knitting Factory Management's Beastmaker opening for Brant Bjork at The Satellite, The Two Tens opening for People's Blues of Richmond at The Echoplex and Prima Donna opening for Blondie at The Observatory in San Diego!

For those of you who are local to San Diego, you can also catch Prima Donna appearing on KSWB-TV Fox 5 on Friday, September 9 at 9AM.

Saturday, September 10th 
Prima Donna (opening for Blondie) - The Observatory North Park - San Diego, CA

Friday, September 16th 
Porches - Echoplex- Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday, September 20th 
The Two Tens (opening for People's Blues of Richmond) - Echoplex - Los Angeles, CA

Friday, September 23rd 
Twin Shadow (performing the entire Purple Rain album) - Hollywood Forever Cemetery - Los Angeles, CA

Saturday, September 24th 
Julianna BarwickThe Broad Summer Happenings - Los Angeles, CA

Friday, September 30th 
Beastmaker (opening for Brant Bjork) -The Satellite- Los Angeles, CA

The New Electric Sound Performs Tribute to Led Zeppelin

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On September 9th, Knitting Factory Management's The New Electric Sound will be playing Led Zeppelin Encounter in Utah.

If you love the music of Led Zeppelin, you’ll love this night featuring their greatest hits performed by The New Electric Sound, VanLadyLove, Barsie, Mimi Knowles, Kenz Hal, Stefania Barr, Kimball Barker, Charlie Colin, Route 89, Viveina Wolfgramm, Landon Gwynn, Chad Truman, Rob Landes, 14 Strings and more. Don’t miss a tribute to one of rock ‘n roll’s all-time favorites!

Federal Bars

The Knitting Factory’s two Southern California gastropubs—the Federal Bars in North Hollywood and Long Beach—feature a range of resident and one-off shows.

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With the end of summer just around the corner, The Federal Bar in North Hollywood is thrilled to host Vegan Street Fair: Nightsthis Friday, September 2nd and Saturday, September 3rd. This event will feature delicious eats from seventeen vegan-friendly vendors, a beer garden, live music provided by 80’s cover band Flashpants, board games, beer pong, and giant jenga. Don't miss these fun-filled evenings of dancing and eating under the stars!

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On Sunday, September 4th, The Orange County Music League will present Long Beach Groove Night at The Federal Underground. The evening will feature performances by funk and pop artists Zach Alwin & Duck Funk, The Vespertines, Soular System, With Strangers, Tri-State Union, and Mostly Kosher!

Horton's Hayride

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The 3rd Annual Horton's Hayride is returning to The Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, CA on Saturday, September 17th! Join Knitting Factory Presents and Reverend Horton Heat for an action packed day of live music, a classic car & hot rod contest, the Southland’s best food trucks, a world-class burlesque show, full bars, carnival games and shop at some of the South Bay’s best retail vendors! This all-ages rockabilly themed festival is expected to see 5,000 to 6,000 attendees. With performances by legendary artists Reverend Horton Heat, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, The Henchmen, Big Sandy, this event is sure to be one to remember.

Giveaway: Call to Action: SXSW Panel Picker

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http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/65291

So, each year the SXSW Music Festival gives anyone the chance to propose a panel, on any topic. So, Knitting Factory and Spaceland Presents have collaborated on one and the topic is David vs. Goliath: The Future of Live Indie Venues

Do you want to see a panel like this? Of course you do! So go to http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/65291, sign up and vote. It would be inappropriate to materially incentivize a vote, but feel free to tell us you voted, accompanied by a screen shot (see below for what that looks like when you voted--a little green "thumbs up" appears next to the listing), and we will give you some sort of shout out! Do it because you like us!

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August 17, 2016

 

DESERT DAZE ANNOUNCED PHASE 3 OF THEIR LINEUP! (Click the flyer to buy tickets!)

 

 

 

August 16, 2016

Let your voice be heard & vote for this panel to take place at SXSW 2017!

Our CEO, Morgan Margolis, will be in discussion with partners Spaceland Presents & MOON BLOCK

 
In the age of Live Nation, AXS and AEG, smaller companies and independent venues are being gobbled up or forced out of business. Without the deep pockets of their corporate competitors, many smaller clubs are having to find new ways to…
PANELPICKER.SXSW.COM
 
 

 

 

 

August 5, 2016

Welcome to Knitting Factory News, our intermittent (let's say, twice monthly or fortnightly) bulletin of highlights from inside and outside the Knitting Factory universe. It’s an opinionated guide to featured artists at our California venues, KFE-managed artists on tour, giveaways, ephemera, and…well, things we like, no matter where they came from.

Today, as the Olympics open in Rio under a cloud of pollution, doping and mismanagement, we know we're going to be watching anyway. But we're going to need a dope soundtrack to this experience and a respite from all that sports with a little music, right? We know, we know, that was clickbait.

Featured Artist

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Ages and Ages is an indie-folk band known for their raw "choral pop" sound, as every member of the band contributes vocals accompanied by handclaps, shakers and noise-makers. Since founding in Portland in 2009, the band has established themselves as critical darlings. Their songs address themes of isolation and rejection of the well-paved path while still infusing their songs with an infectious hope and earnestness that brings even the most cynical listener into the fold. It could be why President Obama felt compelled to add their song to his personal reelection campaign playlist and NPR claims their music “could actually change your life.” The band's upcoming album Something To Ruin will be out on August 19th on Partisan Records. Check out the video for the first single "They Want More" below!

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New Music Alert!

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While Xiu Xiu Plays the Music of Twin Peaks may not be a brand new album (it was released in April of this year), the all-things 80's nostalgia stoked by the Netflix original show Stranger Things prompted me to return to this record with a brand new cultural context. The original Twin Peaks aired from 1990-1991, but the overlap between Twin Peaks and Strangers Things (which is set in the 80's, though created in the contemporary) in regards to their sci-fi/horror genres and commitment to affirming the weird in us all is clear. And Xiu Xiu is a band that easily fits these descriptors itself; known for their experimental noise pop sound, their music often sets an eerie mood with its creation of lush atmospheric soundscapes and electronic noise. They own their eccentricities, and can sound a bit off-kilter, making them the perfect choice to do exactly as the album title says: play the most famous songs from Twin Peaks. What results is a set of tracks that sound both new and old, like they could be played by Ryan Gosling's indie folk rock band Dead Man's Bones, but also definitely belong on the soundtrack for a horror film. So if you're looking to slow down your summer playlist, and get a little mysterious and introspective this album will be a great addition to your collection. Xiu Xiu Plays the Music of Twin Peaks is both a piece of art and an album, making it the ideal survey of how music and visual art function together and alone, harkening to a singular visual genre with a particular musical style, while updating it for our apparently throwback-crazed current audience.

Leyla McCalla Performs at the National Parks 100th Anniversary Concert

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Knitting Factory Management's Leyla McCalla will be performing at the National Parks 100th Anniversary Concert. On Thursday, August 25th, Yellowstone National Park and its partners will host a very special Centennial event to kick off the second century of the National Park Service, highlight the importance of public/private partnerships, and recognize the completion of the Gardiner Gateway Project (Phase One). Tickets are already sold out so if you can’t be here in person, you can still join this historic event by catching a live broadcast online via LiveStream.

Featured Shows

There are a number of exciting live shows happening in California over the next few weeks, including Nico Yaryan's Monday night residency at the Bootleg in Los Angeles!

Monday, August 8th 
Nico Yaryan - Bootleg Theater - Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday, August 9th 
Deer TickLagunitas Brewing Company - Petaluma, CA 
Beastmaker - The Viper Room - West Hollywood, CA

Thursday, August 11th 
The Two Tens - Starlite Lounge - Sacramento, CA

Monday, August 15th 
Nico Yaryan - Bootleg Theater - Los Angeles, CA

Monday, August 22nd 
Nico Yaryan - Bootleg Theater- Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, August 24th 
Ages and Ages - Brick & Mortar - San Francisco, CA

Friday, August 26th 
Ages and Ages - Bootleg Theater- Los Angeles, CA

Saturday, August 27th 
Ages and Ages - Soda Bar - San Diego, CA

We're Currently Accepting Applications for Retail Vendors & the Car Contest for Horton's Hayride!

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The 3rd Annual Horton's Hayride is returning to The Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, CA on Saturday, September 17th!

Join Knitting Factory Presents and Reverend Horton Heat for an action packed day of live music, a classic car & hot rod contest, the Southland’s best food trucks, a world-class burlesque show, full bars, carnival games and shop at some of the South Bay’s best retail vendors! This all-ages rockabilly themed festival is expected to see 5,000 to 6,000 attendees from 1pm-10pm.

Interested in being one of the retail vendors? You have an option of purchasing a 10 x 10 booth space for $350 OR a 15 x 15 booth space for $500. For more details, please contact Alex at ahalliday@knittingfactory.com 

Interested in entering the classic car contest? One Grand Prize Winner will receive $1,000 cash and a First Place Trophy! Full details & application HEREPlease submit your application to sara@knittingfactory.com by Friday, September 2nd at 5pm PST.

Federal Bars

The Knitting Factory’s two Southern California gastropubs—the Federal Bars in North Hollywood and Long Beach—feature a range of resident and one-off shows.

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Every Monday at The Federal Bar North Hollywood is Royal Karaoke! While accompanied by a live band, guests have the chance to belt out hits from rock ‘n' roll legends including The Rolling Stones, Joan Jett, Aerosmith, and Guns N’ Roses. The evening also features $5 drink specials and The Federal Bar's special poutine menu. No cover.

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On Thursday, August 11th, the acclaimed Johnny Cash tribute band Cash'd Out will return to The Federal Underground in Long Beach. Cash’d Out channels Johnny Cash in about as close a manner to the real thing as it gets, as they've won four San Diego Music Awards for Best Tribute Band. The group's genuine love of Cash’s music and its universal appeal makes each Cash’d Out show a must-see event.

New Tex-Mex Restaurant El Tejano Opens its Doors in NoHo!

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Credit: David Morrison

Knitting Factory Entertainment and the founders of Big Wangs and Tipsy Cow have teamed up to open the eagerly anticipated Tex-Mex restaurant and bar as big and bold as the great state of Texas. Located in the heart of NoHo’s Arts District, El Tejano opened on July 26th and has been receiving rave reviews ever since. The restaurant is currently featured in TimeOut's "Most Exciting Restaurant and Bar Openings of July 2016" and Thrillist's "Best New Restaurants and Bars from July".

El Tejano offers an extensive Tex-Mex menu honoring the traditions of that beloved culinary style with an emphasis on specialty tacos and full-flavored salsas, along with favorites like Frito Pie, queso and nachos. Two things stand out for us: their Michelada, Mexico's low-alcohol, high spice riff on the Bloody Mary (or Caesar for you Canadians) comes with a side of beef jerky. And you can't argue with free self-service chips with tomatillo or salsa roja, instantly catapulting El Tejano to the king of bar snacks bars. Check out some of our favorite menu items below, courtesy of Girls on Food!

El Tejano is located at 11122 Magnolia Bl. in North Hollywood, CA 91601. 
Open 3PM-2AM seven days a week.

Frito Pie

Frito Pie. Credit: Julianne Gabert, Girls on Food

Nachos

Nachos. Credit: Julianne Gabert, Girls on Food

Michelada

Michelada. Credit: Julianne Gabert, Girls on Food

Giveaway: Sons of Ben DVDs

Son of Ben

Just to make sure you're still listening... This week's giveaway has nothing to do with music. It's about sports!

This week, we're giving away 3 DVDs of SONS OF BEN, director Jeff Bell’s story of a small band of soccer fans who helped bring an Major League Soccer (MLS) team to Philadelphia by forming a supporters club—the Sons of Ben—for a team before it even existed!

With Copa America and the Euros just finished and the Olympics just starting, football, er, soccer is thick in the air around the world and now more than ever across North America. Little know fact: MLS draws more fans per game on average than both the NBA and NHL, so now is the perfect time to watch this fantastic soccer documentary.

For your chance at the prize, email Sabrina@platformgrp.com with Subject: "Sports Fan Newsletter Giveaway." For the rest of you, iTunes US: http://apple.co/28M73HB; iTunes Canada: http://apple.co/28LG0cN

 

 

August 2, 2016

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The Economist remembers the legendary Fela Kuti on the anniversary of his passing.

 

 

 

 

July 15, 2016

Welcome to Knitting Factory News, our intermittent (let's say, twice monthly or fortnightly) bulletin of highlights from inside and outside the Knitting Factory universe. It’s an opinionated guide to featured artists at our California venues, KFE-managed artists on tour, giveaways, ephemera, and…well, things we like, no matter where they came from.

Featured Artist

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Flock of Dimes is the new solo project of Wye Oak frontwoman Jenn Wasner. Signed to Partisan Records, Wasner sets herself apart as a solo act by straying from a folk-influenced sound to an experimental, bedroom pop genre. Flock of Dimes' full-length debut album If You See Me, Say Yes is set to release later this year in conjunction with her US tour. Check out her first single “Semaphore” HERE.

New Music News

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The Knitts' song "Erotic Aquatic" off their EP Simple Folk has received over 83K organic listens on Spotify! The band's “Hold Steady Pretty Lady” video also recently debuted via Beating Lights. Check it out HERE.

Jose Gonzalez embarks on tour next week, with stops including Calgary Folk Music Festival, Wanderlust Festival and A Summer's Tale Festival.

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Juan Maclean will be playing the LCD Soundsystem curated Beach Vibes Festival in Mexico. This four-night concert vacation includes an all-inclusive tropical resort stay, three nights of live music on the beach, daytime local adventures, and pool parties. For more details, check out the story on Pitchfork.

Leyla McCalla kicks off her European tour in France at the Nice Jazz Festival this weekend.

Radio Moscow just released their Double LP Live! In California through Alive Natural Sound Records. Get it on iTunes or stream it on Spotify. The album features 76 minutes of the trio's unique brand of high-energy psychedelic rock'n'roll, recorded absolutely live (no overdubs) over two nights at The Satellite club in Los Angeles in December 2015 . The material is pulled from all their studio albums and the songs feature new arrangements.

Review of Blood Orange's New Album "Freetown Sound"

by Saeli Eshelman

Freetown Sound

The political is rightly personal on Blood Orange's third album: "So in short, I conceptually love this album. It is significantly important in our current political and cultural climate, especially after the shooting deaths of two black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and five Dallas police officers this past week. The Civil Rights Movement never truly ended and racial equality has never been realized. We are in a defining moment in this country, our black brothers and sisters have been brutalized in our inability to see them as fully formed three-dimensional human beings, but as an Other too unlike ourselves. All of this has been rooted in stereotype, and we must work to meet and understand our fellow citizens in their whole human capacity, their entirety. As the too-oft used adage (one that was plastered around my Catholic high school) goes, you can't hate the one whose story you know. Learn these stories and their complexity, humanize those who have never deserved less. Blood Orange takes this stance firmly, and it is such an important message to hear in contemporary media sources. It's worth a listen even if to just hear this story told in a unique way. But it isn't perfect, from a musical standpoint I wish the sound had matched message if only to make it more impactful."

Read the whole review HERE.

Featured Shows

There are a number of exciting live shows happening in California over the next few weeks, including a unique bus performance by Partisan Records' Nico Yaryan at Record Store Crawl!

Friday, July 15th 
Wye Oak - Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA

Saturday, July 16th 
Wye Oak - Teragram Ballroom - Los Angeles, CA

Sunday, July 17th 
The Coup - Northern Nights Festival- Humboldt County, CA 
Wye Oak - Irenic - San Diego, CA

Saturday, July 23rd 
Nico Yaryan - Record Store Crawl - Los Angeles, CA

Federal Bars

The Knitting Factory’s two Southern California gastropubs—the Federal Bars in North Hollywood and Long Beach—feature a range of resident and one-off shows.

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On Sunday, July 24th, Gary Calamar’s Mimosa Music Series will return to The Federal Bar in North Hollywood. This week’s free and all ages show will feature Spain and Blake Hazard. Come on down for Sunday brunch, mimosas and some great music!

Next Monday, July 18th is the start of dineL.A. Restaurant Week and The Federal Bar in NoHo is thrilled to participate in the event for the very first time! During the last two weeks of July, the iconic NoHo gastropub will offer special weekday prix fixe lunch and daily dinner menus while highlighting its signature dishes. Dinner menu items include specialty dishes Red Sangria Poached White Fish and MCO (Moo-Cluck-Oink) Burger—featuring beef, egg and bacon.

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Down in Long Beach, The Federal Underground is thrilled to present psych pop band James Supercave on Wednesday, August 3rd. Supercave assumes the pop idiom, filling its dimensions (drums, synth, guitar, bass, vocals) while continually charting its fringes. The result: modern eccentricities thrown Pollock-like against psych pop--a sound that is cerebral in lyric and muscular in command of beat and groove. After sharing stages with Future Islands, Warpaint, Chet Faker, and Jungle, James Supercave partnered with Fairfax Recordings for their debut LP, Better Strange, which was released in February 2016 to rave reviews. KCRW praises the band as “masters of the odd angles and off-kilter pop melodies that are littered throughout their record, turning unlikely musical directions into indie gold.”

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Photo Credit: Stephanie Rivera

On July 12th, The Federal Bar launched its brand new lunch menu by serving those who would appreciate it most. The popular downtown Long Beach restaurant paid a visit to Beacon for Him Ministries, a non-profit homeless outreach program, and served multi-course meals to 100 homeless men, women, and children. The goal of this luncheon, as stated by Jeff Osborn, general manager of the Federal Bar, was to "include everyone in the Federal Bar’s new lunch menu launch while bringing attention to the city’s growing homelessness concern.” The afternoon was filled with good food, good vibes, and an overall feeling of togetherness for the Long Beach community. Check out the full article over at Long Beach Post.

Much Ado About Fooding recently reviewed The Federal Bar Long Beach's lunch menu. Check it out HERE.

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Giveaway: Free Drinks at Venice Art Crawl

One of Venice’s newest bars The Lincoln is thrilled to present an upcoming Venice Art Crawl event, featuring a collection of paintings and drawings by John Thomas Cantu. This event will include a live Skype interview with Cantu, offering insight into his works showcased.

The artist reception will be on Thursday, July 21st from 7pm-11pm and for one lucky reader, we're giving away 2 free drinks! For your chance to win, email Sabrina@platformgrp.com with "Did I Win? Venice Art Crawl Drink Giveaway"

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July 15, 2016

 
 
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We have some great news, NoHo! EL TEJANO opens JULY 20 in the heart of the NoHo Arts District . 


After making the initial announcement this spring, national entertainment and hospitality group Knitting Factory Entertainment and the founders of Big Wangs and Tipsy Cow have set an opening date for their eagerly anticipated El Tejano, a new Tex‐Mex restaurant and bar as big and bold as the great state of Texas. Located in the heart of the NoHo Arts District, El Tejano opens to the public Wednesday, July 20.

El Tejano will offer an extensive Tex‐Mex menu honoring the traditions of that beloved culinary style with an emphasis on specialty tacos and full‐flavored salsas, along with favorites like Frito Pie, queso and chilis. Like the partners’ other restaurants, the team has dedicated their time to create a great craft imported and domestic beer list, and particularly with El Tejano, an extensive selection of tequilas, mescals and specialty margaritas. 

El Tejano NoHo Arts District www.nohoartsdistrict.com

Brill and Barker own four Big Wangs sports bars, a chain they founded in 2005: one in Valencia; DTLA; one in Hollywood and one around the corner from El Tejano on Lankershim in North Hollywood. The team also has two Tipsy Cow restaurants: one in Sherman Oaks, and another that opened in mid‐April in Woodland Hills. The Tipsy Cows are eclectic urban gastropubs specializing in freshly ground burgers, delectable craft cocktails, and thirty‐two draft beers personally selected to create a selection that is at once innovative in its make-up and inclusive in its appeal. Knitting Factory Entertainment operates three Federal Bars—one each in North Hollywood, Long Beach and Brooklyn, NY, as well as four Knitting factory concert houses around the country. 

Partner Joe Barker says, “We thank the community for their patience and El Tejano will be worth the wait. When we got into business with Knitting Factory, we knew the combination of our experience and abilities was going to be formidable, and we’re looking forward to bringing a new concept to the neighborhood that people may not have even known they wanted, but after one visit, they’ll wonder how they ever did without it.” Partner PJ Brill adds, simply, “We are excited to get some tacos into some mouths.” 

Knitting Factory CEO Morgan Margolis concludes, “El Tejano marks a further evolution of the diversity of food and beverage options in North Hollywood, and promises to become a valued and beloved fixture in the area for locals, regulars, visitors and new customers.”

El Tejano 
11122 Magnolia Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Hours 3PM-‐2AM seven days a week 
@ElTejanoTexMex

 El Tejano NoHo Arts District www.nohoartsdistrict.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beach Slang Cover ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’ With Craig Finn, Announce New Song Coming Today

"Punks in a Disco Bar" will premiere this afternoon on Apple Music 

The Replacements’ “Can’t Hardly Wait” is a regular set-ender for noted ‘Matsacolytes Beach Slang, but last night’s performance of the alt-rock standard at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn was different for two reasons. One is that it came at the end of a full-album performance of Westerberg & Co.’s classic 1987 album Pleased to Meet Me, with sax even in tow for the occasion. And two is that it was sung this time by Craig Finn, Minneapolis rock disciple and lead singer of the Hold Steady, who is making something of a habit of doing surprise Replacements covers at younger bands’ special-occasion concerts.

Aside from the full-LP tribute, last night was a special occasion for Beach Slang because it was also the night that they announced the first single off their upcoming second LP: “Punks in a Disco Bar,” which should be premiering today on Apple Music, via Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show. Listen between 12pm and 2pm EST to hear that, and check out Finn fronting the Slang on fan video below.

 

 

 

 

 

July 12, 2016

 
The Federal Bar Launches New Lunch Menu by Serving Those Who Would Appreciate it Most (LB Post)

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Photos by Stephanie Rivera.

The Federal Bar kicked off its new lunch menu today, but not in a way you’d expect. The popular downtown restaurant paid a visit to Beacon for Him Ministries to serve their new menu items to 100 homeless men, women and children, prepared by The Federal Bar’s culinary team, Chef “T” Visoth Ouk and Chef Martin Zamora.

“We realize that there are many among us who don’t get the chance to dine at our restaurant,” stated Jeff Osborn, general manager of The Federal Bar. “Holding this luncheon is our way of including everyone in The Federal Bar’s new lunch menu launch while bringing attention to the city’s growing homelessness concern.”

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Clients at Beacon for Him enjoyed The Federal Bar’s specialty Mac & Cheese, signature sandwiches, homemade kettle chips, baked beans and homemade cookies and brownies for dessert, all accompanied by live music.

Norma Anaya, 48, swayed in her seat to the music as she enjoyed her plate. Originally from Mexico, Anaya has been living on the streets for about 10 years.

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“It’s a special day because it’s special everything,” said Anaya. “The food, table covers, music, songs, everything. And people coming and sitting together and the restaurant making the food. It’s wonderful.”

“We were excited and thankful when The Federal Bar approached us about serving lunch to our clients,” said Shannon James, president at Beacon for Him Ministries, in a statement. “Our clientele does not get the opportunity to enjoy our local restaurants so this will be very much appreciated.”

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June 29, 2016

El Tejano Brings Queso and Beer to North Hollywood Next Month
El Tejano
El Tejano, North Hollywood
 

The former Bow & Truss space is nearly ready

Though North Hollywood’s Bow & Truss is gone, there is still reason to be hopeful. Inbound concept El Tejano is coming along nicely, with plans to bring Tex Mex flavors and lots of drink to the neighborhood — and they’re almost ready to serve.

The above shot of the patio shows off the colorful picnic tables and Lone Star flag you can expect from El Tejano when it opens sometime next month. It’s the same big, inviting patio as ever, but will offer cheap drinks and lots of queso. It’s a mix of ideas — easygoing Mexican fare, outdoor dining, a rethought look at keeping things casual — that has been taking over Los Angeles of late.

Inside, you’ll find some colorful wall decor and lots of bar seating, with those same high ceilings as existed during the former Bow & Truss days. It seems that mostly the KFE team behind El Tejano (as well as folks from Tipsy Cow and Big Wang’s) wants to make this a lively spot for the increasingly younger types moving into the Valley to while away a weekend afternoon, and that sounds like a very good thing.

 

Originally scheduled to open last month, expect El Tejano to arrive sometime in mid-July at the earliest.

El Tejano
11122 Magnolia Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA

 

 

June 29, 2016

Featured Artist

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Femi Kuti, son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, began playing the keyboard and saxophone in his father’s band at age 16. In 1986, Femi formed his own band, The Positive Force, where he began establishing himself as an artist independent of his father’s massive legacy. He released his first record in 1989 and has since has found mainstream appeal, collaborating with artists such as Common, Mos Def, and Jaguar Wright. His music often revolves around themes of political activism, calling for the people of Africa to fight for change in areas of poor government. His artistry and activism have earned him a large amount of critical acclaim, including two Grammy nominations and induction into the Headies Hall of Fame, which is the most prestigious music awards in Nigeria. This summer, Femi Kuti and the Positive Force are bringing their high energy Afrobeat back to North America for an extensive tour. For dates and tickets, visit HERE.

New Music News

RM Night Ride

Wye Oak frontwoman Jenn Wasner has a new electronically oriented project called Flock of Dimes. The band just signed to Partisan Records and has an album coming later this year. Jenn also announced a signature model Reverend Guitar. Read the full story on AV Club.

A new Radio Moscow date has been added to The Ride Festival in Telluride, CO from July 9th-10th. The band is also now playing on Friday for the Night Ride part of the festival. Then the next day, they play their originally planned Saturday date.

The Two Tens kick off their "Hashtag Volume Tour" on July 15th and just premiered the video for “Can’t Pull Through”! Check it out below.

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Summer Playlist

by Saeli Eshelman

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Summer Playlist

If there is one thing I love about summer in California it's driving around, windows down, bumping some great tunes. But summer requires whatever tracklist you have going to have a certain feel--something upbeat and light--to match the feeling of freedom that comes from cruising around your city. And a cohesive set of disparate tracks requires some curation, like a playlist, which is why I've taken the liberty to make one for you! I've mashed together a number of artists, both old and contemporary, to create that perfect collection of songs to drive to, putting a little pep in your step wherever you may choose to go. So go forth with the happiness that can only be afforded by listening to good music in warm weather. Happy summer to all!

Click "play" above to listen, or click HERE.

Featured Shows

There are a number of exciting live shows happening in California over the next few weeks, including our featured artist Femi Kuti at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival!

Wednesday, June 29th 
Femi KutiThe Fillmore - San Francisco, CA

Friday, July 1st 
The Two Tens - Grand Star Jazz Club - Los Angeles, CA

Sunday, July 3rd 
Femi Kuti - Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival- Quincy, CA

Friday, July 8th 
Beastmaker - The Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, CA 
The Knitts - Silverlake Lounge- Los Angeles, CA

Federal Bars

The Knitting Factory’s two Southern California gastropubs—the Federal Bars in North Hollywood and Long Beach—feature a range of resident and one-off shows.

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On June 30th, the Federal Bar in North Hollywood invites you to get your Throwback Thursday on with Snapback Live. Comprised of 6 DJs, Snapback Live takes you back to the times of good old fashioned house parties and old school hip hop and R&B!

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Down in Long Beach, The Federal Bar will present Summertime in the LBC with The Dove Shack on July 3rd. By combining the styles of gangsta hip hop and 70's funk, The Dove Shack is bound to get everybody on their feet to dance the night away. The show will also include the eclectic sounds of groups like Salvajes, The Beach Boyz, and Ewenkeen.

KFE's Guide to Fourth of July in LA

Celebrating Fourth of July in LA? In addition to fireworks, there are plenty of music events! Check out our picks below.

Sunday, July 3rd 
Big Thief Pre-July 4th BBQ with Luke Temple of Here We Go Magic, Fell Runner - Every once in a while, a band comes along that leaves expectations, cynicism, and emotional distance ruined in a heap on the floor. Brooklyn's Big Thiefis that band. To hear songwriter Adrianne Lenker's lilting narratives and twisted, fuzzy guitars is to love them. Lenker's lyrical storytelling is equally grounded and autobiographical as it is surreal and cabalistic. Join Big Thief at The Bootleg Theater for their pre-July 4th BBQ! The Lobos Truck will be parked out front serving BBQ chicken, burgers, and ribs. Tickets available HERE.

Sunday, July 3rd 
Bears In Space with DJ Harvey: 7 Year Anniversary! - In celebration of Bears In Space's seven year anniversary, they're bringing in the man, the myth, the legend: DJ HARVEY. Hailing from London, DJ Harvey has been heavily influenced by both British rock and the 1970's hip-hop scene of New York City. He is best known for his diverse, yet cohesive sets playing anything from disco to house music. At the 2014 DJ Awards in Ibiza, DJ Harvey was awarded The Outstanding Contribution Award in honor of his body of work and influence within the EDM industry. On July 3rd, Harvey will be playing a special six-hour set that you will not want to miss. The afternoon lot party begins at 2pm, with performances starting at 6pm and going through the night. More info HERE.

Monday, July 4th 
Burnt - Experience a new party series inspired by backyard BBQs and the Balearic music movement. Highlights include a limited hosted bar by Tequila Tromba and Peroni Beer; BBQ provided by Taste of Pace (includes veggie options); photo booth by PHHHOTO; DJ sets by Lloydski (Tiki Disco), Brian Tarney (Beat Electric) and Clifton (Funky Sole). In addition, Tromba will be featuring specialty drinks served in a pineapple! The event is 21+ and free with RSVP HERE.

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Desert Daze Announces Phase Two Lineup Additions for 5th Annual Festival in Joshua Tree

Desert Daze just announced pretty stupendous additional lineup confirmations for its 5th edition taking place in Joshua Tree this October. Primus, Television, Washed Out, The Coathangers, Morgan Delt and Mild High Club will join already announced Suicide, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Sonics, Deerhunter, The Black Angels, Thee Oh Sees, Connan Mockasin and more. The festival is also happy to share the addition of groundbreaking multimedia dance troop WIFE and desert artist Cris Cichocki, showcasing his latest work, Circular Dimensions. The first of several film screenings will be Desert Age followed by a Q+A with the filmmakers Trevar Cushing and Jason Pine along with Brant Bjork of Kyuss and Mario Lalli of Fatso Jetson. More lineup additions, including daily lineups will be announced later in July with Phase Three.

For more information about tickets, camping, nearby accommodations and the new venue in Joshua Tree, visit HERE.

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Giveaway: Hand-crafted Halo Circus Advance CD

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Click to see Halo Circus perform live on KTLA!

We're crafty. That's why when Allison Iraheta + Halo Circus said, what should we do to make the advance CD's of their new album Bunnyspecial, we said "no problem!" So we got some fake fur the color of Allison's hair, a pot of Modge Podge and carefully affixed it to 50 limited edition CD's. Want one? The first 5 people to email us and claim it, win it. And so you can perms-plaque your furry advance, we'll give you a final one too. Bunny dropped June 24. More info here

 

 

June 22, 2016

Phase 2 of DESERT DAZE 2016 welcomes Primus, Television, Washed Out & The Coathangers!

 

 

 

June 22, 2016

Chicago! Come rock out at #RRFeedback this Saturday! Click the image to enter for a chance to win FREE tickets for you and a friend!

 

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June 15, 2016

CRAFT CENTERED RESTAURANTS - THE FEDERAL BAR 

Federal Bar

Many bars and restaurants in Brooklyn are proud of their ability to source fresh, delicious ingredients and libations from within the borough. The Federal Bar, a new restaurant and bar owned by the iconic music venue the Knitting Factory next door, is no exception. 

Featuring fourteen hand-selected rotating taps of local craft beers including ten from NYC (Gun Hill, Other Half, Three’s, Warflag, Bridge and Tunnel and Flagship) they certainly chose the best each of those breweries has to offer. They also have a small list of bottles, cans and large format bottles for sharing, a tightly formed cocktail list featuring nine signature cocktails and six different wines by the glass.

Photo Credit - Black SteilPhoto Credit - Black SteilWe walked into The Federal Bar looking forward to trying “Brooklyn comfort food.” The space is fairly small but the high ceilings and well-positioned wooden tables helped to open up the room.

The bar area was illuminated by a seven foot blue globe hanging from the ceiling.The floors appear to be repurposed wood (perhaps from the carriage house that used to occupy the space), the wallpaper was a mix of different musical instrument patents and the majority of the dim lighting was provided by candled mason jars and old stage lights that hung overhead.

Elijah, our waiter, walked us through the entire food and drink menu with ease and was incredibly knowledgeable about everything we asked. The service was definitely one of the highlights of the evening.

I started with a local collaboration Tres Equis brewed by Three’s and Other Half (both from Brooklyn). The Mexican Style Pale Lager poured a light bodied bright yellow, had a nice hop flavor, and a clean finish that made it extremely drinkable. My girlfriend opted for The Autumn cocktail, which came out an interesting bright green and with a very refreshing combination of vodka, Saint Germain, pineapple, lime and cucumber.

The cheeseslate was served on a rock plate seasonally decorated with three different types of aged cheddar and a side of apples in a cinnamon crumble. It paired very well with the non-offensive Tres Equis.

Photo Credit - Lee BilskyPhoto Credit - Lee BilskyWe split the mac & cheese with taleggio cheese, broccoli and fried panko served in a warm cast iron pan. This was definitely one of the better “fancy” mac & cheese dishes I’ve had in a long time and the al dente orecchiette pasta was the perfect shape to fully taste the cheese that filled it.

The lamb corndogs were a nice twist on an American classic and featured an olive tzatziki that offered a nice cooling influence as the romesco complimented the corndogs with a hint of acidity.

Being a purist, the chicken and waffles were the only disappointment of the night. The wings were slightly too large for the small, circular waffles and a bit too sweet, although the homemade red jalapeno and habanero hot sauce helped to offset that.

To end the night we ordered the coffee cake and I moved on to Other Half’s American Stout, Short Dark & Handsome. This dark, full-bodied stout boasted a tan head with mild roast and earthy hop aroma. Deep flavors of chocolate, coffee and toffee complimented the dessert perfectly. The coffee cake was rich and warm, which made it a perfect pairing with the cold fall weather just outside the door. A scoop of vanilla ice cream on top would have been the perfect pairing. Unfortunately, we were unable try the bread pudding that we heard “incorporates donuts from neighboring Greenpoint’s beloved Peter Pan Donut Shop” (Travel and Leisure). I consoled myself with the fact that we could come back.

I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone in the NYC area or looking to catch a show at the Knitting Factory next door. The tap list was small and impressive (the way it should be) and the mouth-watering menu would suit anyone looking to grab a filling bite.

 

The Federal Bars Pork Rillette - Photo Credit - Lee BilskyThe Federal Bars Pork Rillette - Photo Credit - Lee BilskyThe Federal Bar

367 Metropolitan Ave, 

Brooklyn, NY 

Phone: 347-529-6696 

 

Hours of Operation:

Open 5:00pm nightly for dinner

Brunch: Noon Friday-Sunday

Happy Hour: Open - 7:00pm Monday – Friday

 

 

 

 

 

June 10, 2016

Welcome to Knitting Factory News, our intermittent (let's say, twice monthly or fortnightly) bulletin of highlights from inside and outside the Knitting Factory universe. It’s an opinionated guide to featured artists at our California venues, KFE-managed artists on tour, giveaways, ephemera, and…well, things we like, no matter where they came from.

Featured Artists

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Admired by millions as a finalist on American Idol, Allison Iraheta continues to earn critical acclaim as Allison Iraheta + Halo Circus. This bilingual alternative rock band crafts “anthems for introverts,” as Iraheta digs deep into dark places and transforms this anguish into lush, unforgettable melodies. Iraheta draws from her Salvadoran background as inspiration for Halo Circus’ most popular songs: “Yo Me Voy,” “All I Have,” and “Desire (Lo Que Vale La Pena).” Next up is the release of Halo Circus’ highly anticipated debut album, Bunny, produced by Matthew Hager and mixed by multiple Grammy Award-winner Craig Bauer (Kanye West, Smashing Pumpkins). Stay tuned as the album drops June 24th and check out her video for "Desire (Lo Que Vale La Pena)" below! #FollowTheRabbit

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Transgender singer, musician, and artist Anohni got her start in music prior to her transition as Antony Hegarty, the lead singer of the art pop band Antony and the Johnsons. In 2016, Anohni came out with her first solo album which is highly political but in a simultaneously literal and emotional manner. The sounds and vocals are haunting as she discusses pressing American and global issues, such as drone warfare, climate change, and national surveillance. If you are looking for an album that is chilling, beautiful and incites a ideological fire inside you, this record is perfect. Anohni is becoming another, in a recent string of artists, attempting to bring back political music into the contemporary. Check out the well-received music video for "Drone Bomb Me" below, featuring Naomi Campbell.

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New Music News

Leyla McCalla's new album A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey premiered at #4 on Billboard's World Music charts!

You can pre-order the track “250 Miles/Brain Cycles” off of Radio Moscow’s album Live in California from iTunes HERE. The record comes out on all formats on July 8th. Vinyl will be a gatefold with a poster you can hang up in your psychedelic bedroom above your bong. They also play the Telluride Festival on Saturday, July 9th.

Wye Oak just announced their new album Tween via Pitchfork. It's out digitally now with a physical release on August 5. The announcement is accompanied by a video for their new song "Watching the Waiting." Check it out below and don't miss the band live as they kick off their tour later this month! Tour dates HERE.

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Featured Shows

There are a number of exciting live shows happening in California over the next few weeks. Check out our picks below!

Saturday, June 11th 
Deer Tick - Greek Theatre - Berkeley, CA

Thursday, June 16th 
The Two Tens - The Viper Room - West Hollywood, CA

Friday, June 17th 
Nico Yaryan - The Echo - Los Angeles, CA

Saturday, June 18th 
Nico Yaryan - Casbah - San Diego, CA

Desert Daze

There's a trip to the desert of a very different kind coming this October for alternative music fans: the 5th Annual Desert Daze in Joshua Tree, CA taking place October 14th-16th. Tickets and Camping Passes for the festival are now available HERE! Highlights include The Brian Jonestown Massacre; The Black Angels performing Passover in its entirety in honor of its tenth anniversary; Seattle punk pioneers The Sonics; Deerhunter; Suicide, who'll be giving their first West Coast performance in 16 years; and many more. Check out the lineup video below.

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Federal Bars

The Knitting Factory’s two Southern California gastropubs—the Federal Bars in North Hollywood and Long Beach—feature a range of resident and one-off shows.

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This Sunday, June 12th, the Federal Bar in North Hollywood will present The New Short Fiction Series: "Still Life With Toupee" and other short stories by Daniel M. Jaffe. A finalist of both the Rainbow Award and Pushcart Prize, Jaffe writes candid pieces about intersectionality among the LGBTQ and Jewish communities. Other featured spoken word artists will include Sally Shore, Jim Hanks (Two Minutes to Midnight), Ryan Klamen (Alley Way), and many more! The event will begin at 7pm, so come out to "eat, drink and be literate!"

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Get ready for an evening of laughter on Saturday, June 18th when the Rebels of Comedy presents The Men's Club Comedy Show at The Federal Bar in North Hollywood. The show features T.K., Chris Edgerly, and Dean Wolfe, each of whom has more than 10 years of experience on the national comedy circuit.

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Down in Long Beach, The Federal Bar is proud to present reggae pop artist Hirie on Thursday, July 17th. Born in the Philippines, raised in Italy and living the biggest and most influential portion of her life in Hawaii, Hirie considers herself an island girl at heart. She explains, "The island-way of living is contagious; healing the mind, body and spirit. The same goes for its music. "When people hear my songs, I want them to feel disconnected from their troubles." Check out Hirie's island-inspired performance as she transports audiences to a higher space.

Giveaway: Halo Circus Album Release Party

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This week, we're giving away the chance to attend our featured artist Allison Iraheta + Halo Circus' album release party! Join us for an evening of spirits, performance and celebration for the release of their long-awaited debut album Bunny. The event will be in North Hollywood the evening of Friday, June 24th. Two lucky winners will each receive a pair of tickets to the party! For your chance at the prize, email Sabrina@platformgrp.com with "Subject: Did I win? Halo Circus Album Release Party."

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 3, 2016

 

Tickets On Sale Now for Desert Daze 2016! 

 

Go Here for Tickets: http://bit.ly/DesertDaze2016 

 

 

 

 

 

Knitting Factory Partners With Spaceland & Moon Block on Desert Daze Fest
                   
GETTY IMAGES

Psych-rock fest in Joshua Tree, California, moves the multi-faceted Knitting Factory Entertainment into the festival space for the first time.

The new partnership Knitting Factory has forged with Spaceland Presents and Moon Block to present the fifth annual Desert Daze psychedelic rock festival in Joshua Tree, California, marks a new phase for the company, as the multi-faceted indie firm ventures into the festival game for the first time in its 29-year history.

Among the acts announced so far for this year's Desert Daze, set for Oct. 14-16 at the Institute of Mentalphysics, are Suicide, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Sonics and Deerhunter. The expansive 420-acre site is unique among festival settings.

The Desert Daze partnership is the latest in a series of notable moves in the past few years for Knitting Factory Entertainment, which has seen the company expand beyond venues and live entertainment into record labels, management, bars and restaurants, and media and marketing. "We've always been known for being a very curated, creative, down-to-earth promoter, honest and reliable, and the next step or phase for us is to get into the festival game," says KFE CEO Morgan Margolis. "It's one place we haven't really played with."

Knitting Factory Rebrands Management Division as KFM

The combined resources, relationships and buying power of the three Desert Daze partners enables a significant expansion of this niche indie-music festival, which grows from one day to three, across multiple stages at the Institute of Mentalphysics and Joshua Tree Retreat Center. Last year's festival took place just north of the Salton Sea in Mecca, California, and featured headliners WarpaintFailureMinus the Bear and RJD2, along with 40 other acts.

Now Knitting Factory can add festivals to its growing portfolio. "For the longest time, I have been trying -- like everybody else, I'm sure -- to put my finger on launching the right festival," Margolis tells Billboard. "We do a bucketload of outdoor shows, 20 to 25 this summer from Idaho to Chicago, but we've never done a Knitting Factory partnership on a festival."

Desert Daze is the brainchild of Moon Block's Phil Pirrone, whose team includes his wife, Julie Edwards Pirrone, half of the rock duo Deap Vally. Margolis says Mitchell Frank, president of Spaceland Presents, Knitting Factory's partner in the downtown L.A. concert venue the Regent, brought him the idea of partnering on Desert Daze. "It seemed kind of in our wheelhouse and the right moment to expand this from a one-day into a three-day event," he says, adding that Knitting Factory's role in the partnership is primarily supporting "Phil's creative dream."

"Obviously, the purse strings are there, so we can help grow the festival and back him on that front," Margolis says, "but also provide support in every area where he might need help, whether it be talent buying, production, operations, ticketing or on-the-ground personnel."

Margolis describes Desert Daze as a "curated, very focused festival," and, despite the expanded grounds, capacity will be kept "manageable" at about 7,000 to 10,000 projected attendance this year. "We're not trying to commercialize it and turn it into something giant," he says. "Right now I can say that; who knows what will happen in five years? But I think that Phil has done a tremendous job in keeping it under control and a really 'DIY' fest. I don't want to step on that. We're not a big corporate giant, that's not what the company is. We just want it to kind of be organic."

The site itself should be a draw. Established in 1941 by British writer, mystic and teacher Edwin Dingle -- known as Ding Lee Mei to his followers -- the Center for Mentalphysics occupies 420 acres of pristine desert land in Joshua Tree. The center's numerous teaching facilities, cottages, pools and ponds are used today not only by students of Mentalphysics, but by retreat groups seeking a desert getaway.

"It's a pretty trippy place," says Margolis. "I would love to go back in time and see what that crowd was like back in the '40s and '50s, hanging out at the Mentalphysics institution in Joshua Tree. It's a gem."

The challenge now, Margolis says, is finding the balance between compelling talent and strong production values and financial discipline.

"When you go to the agents and say the word 'festival,' the numbers start to jump, so what we pay for a one-day event compared to a festival and three days becomes a much higher number for us," Margolis explains. "It's all about trying to keep it manageable, keep our costs down and keep our production budget healthy. We're very much about keeping the sound systems, the production value and how the bands are treated at a top level."

One eyebrow-raising aspect for Desert Daze is the festival's timing and location; Desert Trip, the Goldenvoice-produced mega-event featuring the Rolling StonesPaul McCartneyRoger WatersThe Who and others, is also taking place in the Southern California desert the same weekend (and the previous one), a fact Margolis is "quite aware" of, he says. "We're a different vibe, a really different show. I don't think we're in any way popping that old-school heritage rock 'n' roll. It's a different world."

Desert Trip Mega-Concert Featuring McCartney & The Stones Sold Out in 3 Hours: Sources

The move into the Desert Daze partnership raises KFE's profile at a time when independent promoters are an increasingly rare breed. KFE now operates three Knitting Factory concert houses and books talent for a multitude of non-operated venues and events across the country. The firm has designed, built, staffed and continues to run three Federal bar and restaurant entertainment complexes over the past five years. Other KFE ventures include Knitting Factory Records and Partisan Records; artist management in Knitting Factory Management and a strategic partnership with the Van Johnson Company; and multiple alignments and ownership stakes in other marketing and media enterprises, including Step Marketing and Media, the Connect Group, Liberal Arts House PR and the Talkhouse.

Music remains at the heart of the KFE brand. "I want to be known as one of the prominent promoters out there. I want us to be a go-to promoter," Margolis says, adding that Desert Daze "fits into the mold of what we're doing."

Bu so does a brewery, given that KFE has been in the food and beverage business for many years now with its Federal bars. Margolis says a brewery is indeed "on our docket." That said, the CEO is cautious of over-extending by having too many irons in the fire "We expanded very rapidly in some areas, and we felt some pain points on that and had to pull back a bit," he says. "We're looking for the right partners. I love that [Desert Daze] is very much Spaceland, Moon Block and Knitting Factory. It's not as daunting as it would be if we were taking the whole thing on ourselves. And I think there will be more partnerships as we grow."

As for what's next at KFE, Margolis says it depends on what opportunities present themselves. "We have a very specific strategic plan," he says, "but sometimes we'll shift if something exciting comes at us. I wasn't looking for Desert Daze, it came at me, and I was like, 'Wow, that looks really interesting and cool, and something I'd want to check out myself.'"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the knitting factory NYCs Best Clubs, Nightlife Spots For The Under 21 Crowd

Photo Credit: The Knitting Factory

June 2, 2016

NYC’s Best Clubs, Nightlife Spots For The Under-21 Crowd - CBS New York

The Knitting Factory
361 Metropolitan Ave (at Havenmeyer St)
Brooklyn NY 11211
(347) 529-6696
bk.knittingfactory.com

After relocating to Williamsburg from Manhattan a few years back, the flagship of this national mini-empire of music/performance venues and concert tours has redefined itself for the 21st century. Cutting edge techno, jazz, indie, experimental DJs, hip hop and more take the stage each night, guaranteeing a late-night dance party. You’ll also find poets, authors, burlesque, and the out-of-the-box, like skee-ball competitions. All shows are 18+. Under 18 may attend if accompanied by an adult.

 

 

 

 

 

May 25, 2016

Welcome to Knitting Factory News, our intermittent (let's say, twice monthly or fortnightly) bulletin of highlights from inside and outside the Knitting Factory universe. It’s an opinionated guide to featured artists at our California venues, KFE-managed artists on tour, giveaways, ephemera, and…well, things we like, no matter where they came from.

Featured Artists

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Leyla McCalla is a cellist and singer based in New Orleans. She draws inspiration from a variety of places, including her Haitian heritage and dancing at Cajun Mardi Gras. McCalla's music reflects her eclectic life experiences, projecting a respect for eloquent simplicity that is rarely achieved. After studying cello performance and chamber music at NYU, McCalla moved to New Orleans to play cello on the streets of the French Quarter. Her debut album, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes, was met with critical acclaim. The Guardian praised, "McCalla's light, unfussy vocals complete a charming, resonant spell." This Friday, McCalla will release her new album, A Day For The Hunter, A Day For The Prey. Pre-orders available HERE.

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Beastmaker is a heavy rock band hailing from a parched no man's land known as Fresno, California. The group is inspired by metal and old bands from the Zombies to Slayer, from Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons to Black Sabbath. Though singer and guitarist Trevor William Church had the concept for Beastmaker as far back as 2006, it wasn’t until he and drummer Andres Alejandro Saldate, a.k.a. Juan Bonham, hooked up with bassist John Tucker in 2014 that the band was fully realized. Church proclaims, “In a world of pop music we are freaks. We do everything completely opposite of what the current formula of doing things is. We recorded and produced everything ourselves with no outside influences. We play a style of music that is underground. We are all freaks of nature.” Hence the title of Beastmaker’s debut: Lusus Naturae, or Freak Of Nature. Beastmaker is embarking on their first US tour this week. See below for the full schedule!

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by Saeli Eshelman

Coloring Book

I have been a huge fan of Chance the Rapper since his first rather-underground mixtape 10 Day, and my love for his work was only solidified by his second mixtape Acid Rap, which made him a bonafide star in the more mainstream hip-hop world. (And got him a small guest spot with Questlove on Comedy Central's The Eric Andre Show, in which he sat in a giant cup of coffee, which I highly suggest you watch if you like smiling out of confusion.)

While his follow-up foray into gospel and jazz with Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment on the album, Surf was not my favorite of his musical endeavors. It showcased his attempts to grow as an artist and tap into deeper musical histories and themes. Even his televised performances for these tracks on shows, such as The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Saturday Night Live, displayed the newfound depth of the topics he was concerning himself with. This all increased much of the hype surrounding this album, especially regarding what sort of musical sound he would assume for this new collection of songs.

Also, if you haven't had the chance, I highly recommend watching Mr. Happy, the short film he starred in, in 2015. This short grapples with dark and complex themes surrounding the realities of life, again, revealing his new, more nuanced approach to the content he is creating.

What made me most excited for this record, though, was his feature on the first song, "Ultralight Beam," off of Kanye West's most recent album, The Life of Pablo. This track is by far my favorite off of TLOP, in no small part due to Chance's unbelievable verses that show off his incredible flow, lyrical deftness and charisma, which he utilizes to tease his upcoming album and its impending success. My boyfriend actually mocks how often I play this song simply to rap Chance's part, but I can't say no to a good Kanye collab with a relatively up-and-coming star.

All of this prolog is to say that I was very excited for this album, and in many, many ways it did not disappoint, bringing in new, more mature stylistic sounds, but there are also a number of significant missteps in his forming of this new persona. As such, I have broken the tracks into two categories below: Favorite and Least Favorite Tracks, with a short description of why each song fell into each grouping. So, continue reading for my opinions on each track!

Favorite Tracks 
"All We Got" (feat. Kanye West and Chicago Children's Choir) 
The mixing on this song isn't great, bringing autotuned Kanye and a lot of trumpet too far to the forefront, drowning out the great high-energy and synthy beats. But the song is good overall, as both Kanye and the trumpet-playing would work if better-mixed; we get glimmers of the more balanced sound the track could have had when the choir comes in to temper what sounds like many Kanye's. I also appreciate the nod to Chance's previous album's first track with "and we back and we back."

"No Problem" (feat. Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz) 
Here, again the choir shines on this song and works surprisingly well alongside the very mainstream rappers Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz. They both have some great verses and work within the larger upbeat soundscape melded with gospel to create a party-worthy track.

"D.R.A.M. Sings Special" 
This is a beautiful and simple interlude with a sweet message that serves well to unify personal narrative tracks with more religious ones.

"Same Drugs" 
This song is highly relatable and gives me a great deal of nostalgia for Chance, as he recounts past relationships and the way people grow apart from one another as they move forward in life. He expresses this in an interesting and subtle way, through changes in peoples' drug use and the way this can be indicative of larger changes in one's goals, aspirations, and future directionality. In fact, TheNeedleDrop's Anthony Fantano, an online music reviewer, noted parallels between this track and "Acid Rap's" "Cocoa Butter Kisses," which discusses some of the personal alienation resulting from cigarette smoking. Overall, this track is beautiful, with the gospel component more deftly employed here than the rest of the album, as the song builds to its full and powerful sound, as opposed to starting off full-throttle.

"Angels" (feat. Saba) 
This track feels like the perfect blend of all of Chance's sounds from the past couple years. There is musical similarity with "Acid Rap's" dynamic "Good Ass Intro," with some trap vocal samplings similar to some of the lesser tracks on the album, and gospel vocal backings supplemented by impactful narrative verses by Chance.

"All Night" (feat. Knox Fortune) 
I'll be honest, the lyrics on this track aren't fabulous, but I could literally dance to this "all night." It's a super fun song that focuses less on content than form, but I am OK with that; every album needs a song or two of this sort, especially an artist who's claim to fame originated from the playability of his music. Chance's more laid-back vocal delivery is an interesting choice on such an upbeat song that works surprisingly well.

"Finish Line / Drown" (feat. T-Pain, Kirk Franklin, Eryn Allen Kane and Noname) 
This song reminds of "Angels" in its all-encompassing sound with gospel backings that are more hopeful than overtly religious, happy-sounding beats and highly intimate verses from Chance. Also, T-Pain unexpectedly fills the preacher role quite well. And the big choir this two-for track builds into for "Drown" is beautiful and an unexpected continuation that adds in some awesomely jazzy instrumentation.

"Blessings (Reprise)" (feat. Ty Dolla $ign) 
This track has some great semi-down-tempo verses by Chance, with interesting synthy accents in the background, and brings the "Blessings" refrain back in a far more nuanced way. I prefer Chance, Ty Dolla $ign, BJ the Chicago Kid and Anderson Paak singing the gospel parts more, as it is less whiny sounding, reinterpreting the refrain in a more bluesy way. Thus, the repetition feels less annoying and more naturalistic, and the continued religious theme wraps the whole album up quite well.

Least Favorite Tracks 
"Summer Friends" (feat. Jeremih and Francis and the Lights) 
This song could have been so good, and I am so disappointed that poor mixing and song construction made a great track not very listenable. After Bon Iver and James Blake's standout track "I Need A Forest Fire" on James Blake's newest album, "The Colour in Anything," this sounds like a synthy version of their vocals. But the mixing starts to make them sound chipmunky, and far too high-pitched, and then they run up against Chance's verses, which are actually quite good but become hard to focus on. I like the general chill vibe and personal lyrics, but not the overall sound.

"Blessings" 
I first saw this song performed on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" and really disliked it; I was confused and felt like I was missing something, though, because every Chance fan I knew seemed to love it. While I do like the track more on the cut on the album, I find Jamila Wood's voice to be very whiny-sounding and the religious language and imagery to be a little too opaque on the choir verses. Chance has some great lines on here, so I probably would've preferred it with less emphasis on Woods.

"Mixtape" (feat. Young Thug and Lil Yachty) 
Don't get me wrong, this is a good trap-style song I could easily hear at a party, and don't dislike on its own, but just doesn't fit as well as it could within the larger album themes and styles.

"Juke Jam" (feat. Justin Bieber and Towkio) 
This song has some interesting personal lyrics, but the feature by J-Biebs is rather uninspired, playing less on the new sound that has reignited his fame and more on his older, musically-underwhelming and sugary pop crap.

"How Great" (feat. Jay Electronica and My cousin Nicole) 
This song hits you over the head with religious symbolism and references, so even though the gospel vocals are very pretty, I find the lyrics to be a little lacking in nuance or unique interpretation. In fact, this track sounds like a song they used to play during mass at my Catholic middle and high school to make church and church music seem "cool," and I just couldn't shake how much that made me wish this song didn't exist.

"Smoke Break" (feat. Future) 
This falters in a similar way to "Mixtape" in terms of what it tries to be. Overall, the music is better on this track, but the lyrics are lacking, feeling like a logical regression from "Same Drugs." Future's sound is too distinctly trap-like to mix well with the sound of the track.

Featured Shows

There are a number of exciting live shows happening in California over the next few weeks, including ...

Tuesday, May 24th 
Swerve - Resident - Los Angeles, CA

Thursday, May 26th 
Radio Moscow - The Federal Underground - Long Beach, CA

Tuesday, May 31st 
Swerve - Resident- Los Angeles, CA

Thursday, June 16th 
The Two Tens - The Viper Room - West Hollywood, CA

Federal Bars

The Knitting Factory’s two Southern California gastropubs—the Federal Bars in North Hollywood and Long Beach—feature a range of resident and one-off shows.

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Celebrate Memorial Day weekend with brunch, mimosas and some great Americana rock music! On Sunday, May 29th, DJ and Grammy-nominated music supervisor Gary Calamar’s Mimosa Music Series will return to The Federal Bar in North Hollywood. This month's free and all ages show will feature Americana rock group Ruby Friedman Orchestra and The Glorious.

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Down in Long Beach, The Federal Bar will present Radio Moscow on Thursday, May 26th. Radio Moscow is a hard rocking psych power trio. Trends come and go, but the idea of a bunch of guys getting together in a garage and playing the kind of music that makes the neighbors call the cops — that’s forever. Rolling Stone praises, "the band actively evokes all that was great about hard-rock trios of the ‘60s, the Blue Cheers, the Creams, etc., but does it with such gleeful abandon you’ve got to admire both their spirit and whatever time capsule they rode in on.” Most recently, Radio Moscow premiered their latest song "250 Miles / Brain Cycles" on AllMusic. Check it out HERE!

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On Wednesday, June 8th, The Long Beach Funk Festival will present Orgone & Jungle Fire at The Federal Bar in Long Beach. The evening will feature 1960s & 70s era funk and soul sounds of Orgone, in addition to the afro psychedelic beats of Jungle Fire!

5th Annual Desert Daze Lineup and On-Sale May 27th

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Festival fever shows no sign of breaking in Southern California. There's a trip to the desert of a very different kind coming this October for alternative music fans: the 5th Annual Desert Daze in Joshua Tree, CA taking place October 14th-16th.

Desert Daze has grown, metamorphosed and emerged from its chrysalis reborn, harkening back to what music festivals once were, while illuminating the future of what music festivals can be. At this intentionally limited capacity 3-day event, attendees will have deluxe on-site cottages designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and son Lloyd Wright, sleeping 2 to 7+ available to rent for the weekend, in addition to RV, car, and tent camping across the Joshua tree-studded landscape.

Highlights include The Brian Jonestown Massacre; The Black Angels performing Passover in its entirety in honor of its tenth anniversary; Seattle punk pioneers The Sonics; Deerhunter; Suicide, who'll be giving their first West Coast performance in 16 years, and many more.

Check out the first phase of the lineup below (more bands will be announced in June)! Tickets go on sale THIS Friday, May 27th. Check here for further instructions!

SUICIDE

THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE

THE SONICS

DEERHUNTER

THE BLACK ANGELS performing PASSOVER in its entirety

Keynote Address by ANDREW W.K.

Closing Ceremonies featuring poet/performer SAUL WILLIAMS

THEE OH SEES

CONNAN MOCKASIN

DEAFHEAVEN

BEACH FOSSILS

TEMPLES

POND

SUUNS

DEAD MEADOW

CHERRY GLAZERR

LA LUZ

HERE WE GO MAGIC

THAO & THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN

BOMBINO

WHITE FENCE

NIGHT BEATS

FAT WHITE FAMILY • MEATBODIES • DEAP VALLY • DEAKIN (of Animal Collective)

LUMERIANS • GARY WILSON • LIFE COACH (Jon Theodore + Phil Manley)

RYLEY WALKER • WAND • AUDACITY • DIOS • TEEBS w/ LIVE BAND

VINYL WILLIAMS • PART TIME • YONATAN GAT • DEATH VALLEY GIRLS

FART BARF • KIEV • THE MATTSON 2 • L.A. WITCH • FEELS • GLITTER WIZARD

THEE COMMONS • DRAB MAJESTY • DEATH HYMN NUMBER 9 • JJUUJJUU

THE BIRTH DEFECTS • CELLARS • SUGAR CANDY MOUNTAIN • MIND MELD

THE DREAM RIDE • SLOPPY JANE • NUMB•ER • BODEGAS • SOLAR SONS

MAD ALCHEMY LIQUID LIGHT SHOW

THE BLINDSPOT PROJECT

Giveaway

This week, we're giving away a pair of tickets to the Vegas premiere after-party for Kevin Kerslake’s critically acclaimed documentary As I AM: The Life and Time$ of DJ AM. The official screening after-party will take place at Ghostbar where DJs will spin tribute sets in honor of DJ AM.

Kerslake’s film is a comprehensive and compassionate look at one of the world’s first truly superstar DJs. DJ AM experienced meteoric success through both raw talent and sheer determination, overcoming what for others might have been staggering adversity before tragically succumbing to the demons that dogged his life and career. The film’s pacing and style captures the frenetic speed and dynamism of DJ AM’s life as well as introspective moments of candor and insight.

For your chance to win, email Henry at heshelman@platformgrp.com with "Subject: AS I AM - Knitting Factory News." Please note the party is 21+. Transportation and accommodation will not be included.

 

 

 

May 24, 2016

Venue Spotlight: Knitting Factory In Brooklyn, NY

 

 

From secret passageways to haunted green rooms, we’re giving fans an insider look into some of the coolest venues around. Welcome to the Bandsintown Venue Spotlight!

Sitting on the corner of Metropolitan Avenue and Havemeyer Street is an unassuming building with a metal shutter and a wall of glass windows peering into a bar. Once inside, the room opens up and transforms into one of the most popular stages for touring bands and comedians alike in Brooklyn. Welcome to Knitting Factory.

 

Opened in 1987, the hot spot originally existed as a gallery-slash-performance space for experimental music in a worn down building on Bowery and Houston. However, things have a way of taking a life of their own and Knitting Factory morphed into a hub for comedians and emerging rock and jazz artists that couldn’t clearly be categorized into either genres. Throughout the years the venue moved around from its NoHo location, finally settling on 361 Metropolitan Ave., its current home as a 400-capacity space.

As if that wasn't enough awesomeness for you, they also own their neighboring establishment, Federal Bar, giving fans and bands more than one option for a pre or post-party spot.

Click the images to read more on Knitting Factory Brooklyn!

 

 

 

 

May 13, 2016

Welcome to Knitting Factory News, our intermittent (let's say, twice monthly or fortnightly) bulletin of highlights from inside and outside the Knitting Factory universe. It’s an opinionated guide to featured artists at our California venues, KFE-managed artists on tour, giveaways, ephemera, and…well, things we like, no matter where they came from.

Featured Artist

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Xiu Xiu is an experimental band that has been dappling in sounds of noise pop since their inception in 2002. They're often known for their dark and emotional lyrics, representing a tandem of romance and violence, all of which is heightened by the raw sound choices they make as accompaniment. Despite only having one consistent band member, Jamie Stewart, until 2009 when he partnered with Angela Seo, Xiu Xiu has been turning out this brand of grungey, yet poppy soul-bearing music on over a dozen records! This April, they released their newest endeavor, an album entitled Xiu Xiu Plays the Music of Twin Peaks in which they do just that: play the music from Twin Peaks, the cult TV show that is soon-to-be revived. The haunting nature of much of the music is perfect for their emotional sensibilities, and shows off their musical prowess in their ability to update older material. In all, they've turned out another great record worth a listen for its conceptual output as well as its auditory. Get it HERE!

Featured Shows

There are a number of exciting live shows happening in California over the next few weeks, including Knitting Factory Management's Radio Moscow on their West Coast Tour and our previous featured artist Swerve's Mixtape Residency!

Thursday, May 12th 
Radio Moscow - The Viper Room - Los Angeles, CA

Friday, May 13th 
Radio Moscow - Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, CA 
John Grant - North Park Theatre - San Diego, CA

Saturday, May 14th 
Radio Moscow - Starlite Lounge - Sacramento, CA 
John Grant - ACE Theatre - Los Angeles, CA

Sunday, May 16th 
John GrantACE Theatre - Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday, May 17th 
Swerve - Resident - Los Angeles, CA

Saturday May 21st 
Radio Moscow - Slidebar -Fullerton, CA

Tuesday, May 24th 
Swerve - Resident - Los Angeles, CA

Thursday, May 26th 
Radio Moscow - The Federal Underground - Long Beach, CA

Tuesday, May 31st 
Swerve - Resident- Los Angeles, CA

The Two Tens Featured in Performer Magazine's May Issue

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Knitting Factory Management's dynamic garage punk duo The Two Tens are on the May cover of Performer Magazine! Check out the feature HERE.

Federal Bars

The Knitting Factory’s two Southern California gastropubs—the Federal Bars in North Hollywood and Long Beach—feature a range of resident and one-off shows.

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On Sunday, May 22th, The Federal Bar in North Hollywood will present "Loesser Known: The Stories and Songs of Frank Loesser" hosted by Southern California Musical Theatre star Heather Lundstedt O'Neill. Frank Loesser is the winner of an Oscar, a Tony, a Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy Award, yet many don't know his name. He has written some of the most beautiful and well known tunes in the Great American Songbook. With hits such as "Slow Boat to China", "Luck Be a Lady" (from Guys and Dolls) and "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve," O'Neill is determined to introduce the genius of Mr. Loesser's work to new audiences. The romantic qualities of Frank Loesser's melodies combined with the wit of his lyrics ensures that this evening will leave you feeling "Warm All Over" long after going home.

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Down in Long Beach, The Federal Underground will present reggae singer-songwriter Josh Heinrichs with SkillinJahon Thursday, May 19th. Josh Heinrichs is a veteran to the reggae scene. He started his own band in 2001 titled Jah Roots, which went on to record five albums and complete multiple tours. After the band split in 2009, Heinrichs launched a solo career. As a solo artist, he has shared the stage with other top reggae artists such as Bob Marley’s children, SOJA, and Slightly Stoopid. Earlier this year, Heinrichs released his latest full-length album titled Good Vibes, which went on to debut #1 on Billboard, iTunes, and Amazon Reggae.

The KFE Guide to Summer Music Documentaries

There are several music documentaries currently on our radar, from tributes to music legends to Andy Samberg's mockumentary of the pop music industry. Check out our must-see picks below!

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As I AM: The Life and Time$ of DJ AM is director Kevin Kerslake’s critically acclaimed documentary about the remarkable life and untimely passing of legendary DJ and mash-up pioneer DJ AM aka Adam Goldstein. Authorized by the estate of DJ AM, Kerslake’s film is a comprehensive and compassionate look at one of the world’s first truly superstar DJs. DJ AM experienced meteoric success through both raw talent and sheer determination, overcoming what for others might have been staggering adversity before tragically succumbing to the demons that dogged his life and career. Goldstein touched many people’s lives inside and outside the entertainment industry, from peers and intimates to colleagues and legions of fans and admirers. The film features interviews with Mark Ronson, Diplo, Jon Favreau, DJ Jazzy Jeff, A-Trak, Mix Master Mike, Vice, Z-Trip, Steve Aoki, Paul Oakenfold, LMFAO’s Redfoo and Dr. Drew Pinsky, among others. Check it out in 30+ cities starting May 27th! Performances in Vegas, NY and LA will features after parties by local DJ's.

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They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile is a feature-length documentary which premiered at 2015’s SXSW Film Festival. Directed by Johanna Schwartz and featuring an original score by Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), the film was hailed by Indiewire as a “gripping, powerful documentary” and “essential viewing” by Dazed & Confused. The powerful documentary follows musicians in Mali in the wake of a jihadist takeover and subsequent banning of music. In 2012, music suddenly disappeared when Islamic extremists groups rose up to capture an area the size of the UK and France combined. But rather than lay down their instruments, these courageous artists fought back, standing up for their freedoms and using music as a weapon against the ongoing violence that has ravaged their homeland. The film is currently in select theatres and you can check out showtimes HERE.

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The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble is Oscar winner Morgan Neville’s documentary due for release this June. In the film, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and other international artists of The Silk Road Project discuss their philosophies on music and culture. In an effort to forge connections across cultures, disciplines, and generations, cellist Yo-Yo Ma founded The Silk Road Ensemble in 2000 as a way of bringing together innovative performers and composers representing traditions from around the world. Through performances and the creation of new music, cultural partnerships, education programs and cross-disciplinary collaborations, Silk Road seeks to create meaningful change in the world.

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Janis: Little Girl Blue is a documentary film by Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg about the iconic singer-songwriter Janis Joplin. One of the most revered rock & roll singers of all time, Joplin was a tragic and misunderstood figure who thrilled millions of listeners and blazed new creative trails before her death in 1971 at age 27. In the film, Berg presents an intimate portrait of a complicated and driven artist. It's currently available to watch on PBS' American Masters HERE.

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Strike a Pose is a Dutch documentary that checks in on Madonna's Blond Ambition dancers long after the performance high is over. In 1990, seven young male dancers - 6 gay, 1 straight - joined Madonna on her most controversial tour. On stage and in the iconic film Truth or Dare, they showed the world how to express yourself. Now, 25 years later, they reveal the truth about life during and after the tour. The film premiered in the Panorama program of the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year. Although there's no word of US distribution as of yet, we're anxiously looking forward to this film's release. Until then, check out the trailer HERE.

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Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is an upcoming American mockumentary starring Andy Samberg, which appears strikingly similar to Justin Bieber's documentary. The comedy goes behind the scenes as singer/rapper Conner4Real faces a crisis of popularity after his sophomore album flops, leaving his fans, sychophants and rivals all wondering what to do when he's no longer the dopest star of all. Although the premise is absolutely absurd, we're expecting this film to be one of our favorite guilty pleasures of the summer. This latest comedy from blockbuster producer Judd Apatow (TrainwreckSuperbadKnocked Up) will hit theaters nationwide on June 3.

VR: Even Better Than The Real Thing?

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Credit: Andres Barillas

Virtual Reality (VR) is everywhere these days and we've watched it evolve from "teleporters" used by Marriott to give virtual tours of hotels to Merrell shoes sending customers to the top of the Italian Alps (where we watched users literally clinging for dear life to the real fake wall in the VR studio). Now, you can get a VR viewer with your Sunday New York Times, or, for a few hundred dollars more, with your Coachella wristbands.

So this one caught our eye: Boston rock n’ roll band Aloud has announced tour dates in support of Falling Out of Love: The Virtual Reality Experience. The band just played Boston and will headline events in Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The program is what it says: a virtual reality musical experience and installation for their new song “Falling Out of Love.” The song's VR video concept introduces a sci-fi element, placing the viewer in the middle of the action and forcing us to consider the impact of technology on the modern relationship.

The project and its director Skye Von won the 2016 Indiegogo/NY Media Center Fellowship and marks one of the first Indiegogo campaigns in support of a virtual reality music video (it sure won't be the last!). Von: “No other medium will force you to be more present in the moment than VR. Gone is the fourth wall. With VR, we can drop directly into the action, so you will hitch a ride with one of our characters, letting their journey become your own.”

"I have always looked at a virtual reality music video as the follow up to headphones," Jen de la Osa, the song's co-writer and vocalist said. "VR is a way, in a world full of multi-tasking, to take a break and do just one thing — in this case, appreciate music. You can put on a headset, close your eyes, and get lost in song."

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, we'd say!

San Francisco @ Hotel Utah 
5/17 at 8 PM 
500 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Los Angeles @ Hotel Cafe 
5/19 at 8 PM 
1623 1/2 N Cahuenga Blvd, , Los Angeles, CA 90028

Malibu, CA 
5/21 at 7:00 
Location to be announced upon RSVP

Boston four-piece Aloud, formed in 2002 and fronted by songwriting team Henry Beguiristain and Jen de la Osa, has an eclectic yet undeniably 60's inspired vibe. Gigging regularly across the Northeast as well as at gatherings like CMJ and SXSW, their music's the theme song for NPR’s Innovation Hub--a sure qualification for a VR-integrated live performance. This west coast jaunt's a good time to see what they are about.

Shameless Plug: Stop Poaching Now! Gala May 25

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What's a $380 a seat benefit (Ok, there's a $100 after party ticket) doing on an indie music site with an audience used to millennial budgets? Well, we give a hoot and don't shoot (animals, that is). Movie producer Heidi Jo Merkel put NGO Stop Poaching Now! together to raise hope and money for victims of poaching in 2014; in the last year they've hosted everything from spinning classes to tennis court sample sales to provide drones, dogs and dollars to the people on the front lines of the poaching epidemic.

So: Grammy-nominee Rocky Dawani, Dave Wakeling from the English Beat and DJ Michelle Pesce are the featured entertainment for a celebrity-studded vegan feast and drinks party at Ago Los Angeles on May 25. Dinners at The Federal Bars in LA and Long Beach are among the auction items. More details here, so shake a little loose change from the jam jar and join us.

Giveaway: Free Drinks at The Lincoln: Venice Art Crawl

The four-times yearly Venice Art Crawl is the Westside's answer to the DTLA Art Walk and features gallery tours, popups and happenings accessible by foot as well as, from time to time, a double-decker bus making the rounds of Abbot Kinney, Lincoln Blvd, Windward and Pacific. Next Thursday, May 19th, one of Venice’s newest bars The Lincoln will host a special Venice Art Crawl event: "Unknown Artist, Unknown Subjects.” This event will feature a collection of found vintage sketches circa 1930's- 1950's--they're not really even sure--curated by Matt Winter of The Lincoln and M. Winter Design. Winter found them while looking for cool things to decorate the industrial/automotive themed watering hole. Ages 21+.

Attention boozehounds: admission is free to the public but for our loyal readers, we're giving away 2 free drinks for two people at the event! For your chance at the prize, email Sabrina@platformgrp.com with "Subject: Did I Win? Venice Art Crawl."

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May 12, 2016

Knitting Factory to book concerts at SLO Brew

The entertainment group will handle talent booking for new downtown San Luis Obispo location

Knitting Factory Presents plans to bring a variety of acts to appeal to SLO Brew audiences

The gastropub and music venue, which will hold 300 people, is set to open in June


Read more here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/business/article77242487.html#storylink=cpy

The new SLO Brew location under construction on Higuera Street will include a restaurant, bar and concert stage, outdoor patios and a mezzanine level. Upstairs will be four luxury hotel flats.

 

Knitting Factory Presents, an entertainment company based in New York City, will decide which bands play at nitting SLO Brewery's new location in downtown San Luis Obispo.

It will handle talent booking for SLO Brew, which is set to open in June at 736 Higuera St.

Located around the corner from SLO Brewing Co.’s longtime Garden Street location, which closed in December, the gastropub and music venue will hold about 300 people and offer a mezzanine viewing level plus indoor and outdoor dining options.

Knitting Factory, which began in 1987 with a single New York City venue, now has offices and venues in Los Angeles; Brooklyn; Boise, Idaho; and Spokane, Wash. It also has a record label, Knitting Factory Records.

Megan Jacobs Araujo, who books shows for Knitting Factory’s The Federal Bar in Long Beach, will take over similar duties at SLO Brew. A news release said she “expects to book a variety of acts to appeal to the interests of locals, students and visitors alike.”

It’s not clear at this point whether Araujo will also handle booking for another SLO Brewing Co. venue, The Rock, which is under construction at 855 Aerovista Place, near Broad Street (Highway 227) and the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport in southeastern San Luis Obispo.


Read more here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/business/article77242487.html#storylink=cpy

 

 

 

 

Horton's Hayride Returns!


Hey Guys & Gals…..

 

The 3rd Annual Horton’s Hayride returns to Berth 46 at The Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, CA on Saturday, September 17.

Join your host, Reverend Horton Heat, for an action packed day of live music, a classic car & hot rod contest, the Southland’s best food trucks, a world-class burlesque show, full bars, carnival games and shop at some of the South Bay’s best retail vendors.

Horton’s Hayride gates open at 1:00pm and is an all ages event. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 13 @ 10:00AM Pacific Standard Time through TicketWeb.com or by calling 1-866-468-3399.

GET TICKETS

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Quest and Brownstein reunited for another edition of The Talkhouse Music Podcast

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Two of the Talkhouse Music Podcast’s most beloved guests — the Roots’ Questlove and Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia — reunited onstage recently to celebrate Questlove’s new book, Something To Food About: Exploring Creativity with Innovative Chefs. Joined by celebrated Chef Dominique Crenn at Urban Outfitters’ Space Ninety 8 in Brooklyn, they discussed Madonna, soul food and how eating on tour gets a lot better once you get some real success… unless you’re Eminem. Many thanks to Urban Outfitters and Space Ninety 8 for allowing The Talkhouse to record and release this conversation.
— Elia Einhorn, Talkhouse Podcast producer and engineer

 

 

 

 

 

May 6, 2016

 

Fela Kuti – 10 of the best
‘A militant message couched in uplifting form’ … Fela Kuti.
 ‘A militant message couched in uplifting form’ … Fela Kuti. Photograph: Leni Sinclair/Getty Images

 

A look back over a seminal career that encompassed political dissidence, UFO contact, chicken sacrifice – and some of the greatest dance music ever recorded - The Guardian looks back on 10 highlights of Fela Kuti's career (Click the image for the article)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lit pick of the week: Free Comic Book Day

May 5, 2016

Saturday marks the 15th annual Free Comic Book Day, and free comics will be given out at comic book shops all over Southern California, including Alternate Universe, Blastoff, Comic City, Comic Cult, Comics vs. Toys, Cool Cats, Dream World, Emerald Knights, Geoffrey's, Golden Apple, House of Secrets, Mega City One, Meltdown, Nostalgic Books and Comics, Pulp Fiction, Secret Headquarters, Comic Bug, Comic Cellar, Perky Nerd and Things from Another World.

To celebrate, Blastoff is holding its second Blastoff ComicsFest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Federal Bar in North Hollywood, featuring more than 30 artists from Marvel, DC, IDW, Dark Horse, Boom and other publishers. Highlights include an appearance by comics co-writers PJ Haarsma and actor Alan Tudyk, who fans will recognize from his role in the canceled-too-soon "Firefly" and Web series "Con Men." The pair are launching a new comic book series, "Spectrum," based on "Con Men." The new "Spectrum" comic No. 0 will be distributed nationwide for Free Comic Book Day -- it's got a 100,000-copy run. (P.S. Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance, Umbrella Academy will be there!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pure Bathing Culture's Atmospheric 'She Shakes' Video: Exclusive Billboard Premiere

5/2/2016 by 

Pure Bathing Culture 
SHERVIN LAINEZ

 

Sarah Versprille and Daniel Hindman, the pair behind Portland, Ore.-based Pure Bathing Culture, have been on a decades-long journey filled with transformations and discoveries.

Pure Bathing Culture's history spans nearly two decades, beginning in 1999 with Versprille and Hindman befriending one another on the first day of freshman orientation at William Patterson University. A decade later, they became bandmates when they both joined folk band Vetiver for their albums Tight Knit and The Errant Charm. Pure Bathing Culture revealed itself and became its own entity as time progressed. "That’s really the path we’ve been on as a band, always putting one foot in front of the other as opportunities presented themselves,” Versprille said. “The music just revealed itself to us as we kept going."

 

Today, Pure Bathing Culture are releasing the gauzy music video for "She Shakes," the latest single off their 2015 album Pray for Rain, exclusively on Billboard. "We haven’t been in one of our videos since the very first video we made for our song Ivory Coast about four years ago, and we were excited about the idea of being in another video," the band says. Filmed at Greer Ranch in Calabasas, Calif., the music video focuses on the key elements of Pure Bathing Culture: Versprille, Hindman, and their instruments. "We wanted it to take place somewhere beautiful and we wanted the expression to honor one of the most important aspects of our music, which is our connection to each other.”

Pure Bathing Culture is touring throughout the country this spring with CHVRCHES and Death Cab for Cutie

 

 

 

 

April 28, 2016

Welcome to Knitting Factory News, our intermittent (let's say, twice monthly or fortnightly) bulletin of highlights from inside and outside the Knitting Factory universe. It’s an opinionated guide to featured artists at our California venues, KFE-managed artists on tour, giveaways, ephemera, and…well, things we like, no matter where they came from.

Featured Artist

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Omara “Bombino” Moctar is an internationally acclaimed Tuareg musician. Born in 1980 at a nomadic camp at the desert town of Agadez, Niger, the young guitarist and songwriter was raised during an era of armed struggles for Tuareg independence and violent suppression by government forces. Bombino’s electrifying jams, sung in the Tuareg language of Tamasheq, capture the spirit of resistance and rebellion. While developing guitar riffs reminiscent of fellow Africans Tinariwen and Ali Farka Touré, as well as rock and blues icons such as Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page, he has earned praise as "the sound of the Sahara's next generation." Earlier this month, Bombino released his latest album Azel on Partisan Records, so make sure to take a listen to his unique blend of styles!

Featured Shows

There are a number of exciting live shows happening in California over the next few weeks, including this week's featured artist Bombino at Center For The Arts.

Monday, April 25th 
Nico Yaryan - The Echo - Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, April 27th 
Bombino - Center for the Arts- Grass Valley, CA

Friday, April 29th 
Radio Moscow - Til-Two Club- San Diego, CA

Thursday, May 12th 
Radio Moscow - The Viper Room - Los Angeles, CA

Friday, May 13th 
Radio Moscow - Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, CA

Saturday, May 14th 
Radio Moscow - Starlite Lounge - Sacramento, CA

Coachella Recap

by Saeli Eshelman

Despite the fact that in my review of last year's Coachella I asserted that I had my best festival experience to date, I am now revising that statement to read "Coachella 2016 was my best festival ever."

Now because of my constant promising that Coachella is an experience about the music for me, I must admit that this year was the best not because the lineup was especially phenomenal but because I think I made it to more shows that I intended to catch than I ever have before. In other words, I knew that this year's lineup left much to be desired amongst the bigger names on the schedule, but had many smaller shows that I was happy to catch (despite the fact that they were a less edgy accumulation of new music from the year, and more a bunch of nostalgia trips) and overall, I totally did!

Also, being 21 for this year's festival sure didn't hurt, as I had a delicious twist on a Moscow Mule flowing throughout the hot and windy the weekend, with a couple of craft beers and a Bloody Mary or two to boot.

So without further ado let me present to you my top 10 shows at this year's Coachella, with some honorable (and dishonorable) mentions.

LCD Soundsystem

LCD Soundsystem 
Let's start with my absolute top show of the weekend: LCD Soundsystem. LCD Soundsystem are alternative dance-rockers (if that is even a genre category) who started out in the early 2000s and disbanded in 2011. However, in December 2015 they released a new Christmas song together, which kicked off a reunion tour that includes stops at a number of festivals, such as FYF Fest, Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, Glastonbury, and Coachella--which they were the Friday headliner for.

Essentially this set was a collection of all of their greatest hits from a number of their albums and they fuckin' killed it. The set list went as such: "Get Innocuous," "I Can Change," "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House," "Us Vs. Them," "You Wanted a Hit," "Tribulations," "Movement," "Yeah," "Someone Great," "Losing My Edge," "Home," "New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down," "Dance Yrself Clean," and "All My Friends." I was there from beginning to end and danced the entire time--despite a completely full Red Bull getting thrown at my back mid-show, covering me in a nice sticky sheen. They also made a tip of the hat to two of our recently fallen musical icons: David Bowie and Prince. I was there Weekend 1 and got to hear a beautiful rendeition of Bowie's "Heroes" that had many of the older fans in the crowd with misty eyes, and for Weekend 2 they took on Prince's "Controversy."

Beyond the fact that they sounded great, their banter with the crowd was self-deprecatingly funny, noting that if they could stop talking, we'd get to hear more songs! And the way they were disjointedly filmed for the big screens made the show worth watching as a sort of concert film, even if you couldn't get that close, making it a kick-ass experience for anyone who could get involved.

The one unfortunate thing about this show, though, was the rather underwhelming size of the crowd. Usually headliners on the main stage pack in bodies going to essentially the back of the field space, spilling into the beer garden and towards the other big stage. But with Skrillex and Diplo's new DJ outfit Jack Ü playing on the adjacent Outdoor Stage at the same time it seemed like all of the youths (which I should technically be a part of) decided to spend their time with a very different kind of dance music, snubbing the more intellectual and self-aware concepts put forth by LCD Soundsystem.

Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens 
Another Friday night standout was freak folk (and sometimes just normal indie folk) multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens. I've been a fan of Stevens since early in high school, but until Coachella had only seen him once before at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles for his classical project Planetarium. While this show was impressive in its own right, it wasn't exactly Stevens standing there and performing his music, instead he had a string quartet play a small selection of his songs instrumentally, reimagining them in a classical context. He followed this with a series of songs he had written for each of the planets as a sphere hovered above the performers, with the surface of each planet projected accordingly.

In short, I was excited to get to hear him perform his music in a more straightforward way, but that is not what I got at his set on the Outdoor Stage. Instead he opened with a technicolor outfit that sprouted wings as he played the religious-imagery laden "Seven Swans," calling our congregation a church of sorts, and breaking his banjo. He was flocked by equally neon-clad dancers (and a horn section!), who changed outfits with Stevens nearly every song. Some of these outfits were completely metallic, some covered in balloons.

Nearly all of his songs were reinterpreted to a slightly more electronic or dance-y feel, including "All of Me Wants All of You" from his understated 2015 album Carrie & Lowell. At times he even used autotune! And there were moments set aside for dance, drum, horn, etc. solos. With all of this motion between Stevens and his dancers to his newly energized music, he fell twice.

Behind this cacophony of sound and sensory overload the screen was filled with a number of visuals depending on the subject matter being addressed in the music: at times there were candid shots of the performers and dancers and at times stop-motion animation. The visual correspondence helped make the show conceptually transparent in spite of its clear complexity.

Overall, this set was very intense on really any sensory level, but it was also beautiful, conceptually cohesive and inspired. There were even "AirDancers," alternatively referred to (as Wikipedia informed me) as "Wacky-Wavy-Inflatable-Arm-Flailing-Tube-Men," and really what more could you ask for when someone plays even freakier interpretations of freak folk music?

Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels 
Run the Jewels is a rap duo comprised of rapper/producer El-P and rapper Killer Mike. I’ve been listening to their politically conscious beats for a while now, and they were a stand out act for me at both Coachella and FYF last year. In previous reviews of their work, I’ve said, “to give you an idea of their rapping prowess, one need look no further than Kendrick Lamar's Killer Mike shoutout on the song ‘Hood Politics’ off his most recent album: ‘Critics want to mention that they miss when hip hop was rappin’/ Motherfucker, if you did, then Killer Mike'd be platinum.’” However, most of you may know Killer Mike better as an outspoken supporter of Bernie Sander’s candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president, having vocally supported him on a number of talk shows, as well as fielding post-speech questions by reporters. But at Coachella, Sanders decided to return the favor. I was delighted as I heard Sanders’ voice projected through the crowd, as a pre-taped video he recorded introduced the band. So delighted that I couldn't help but make a Facebook status about it:

 

In it, Sanders discussed his friendship with Killer Mike, the importance of the music he was making to the politics he supports, and joked that he and El-P need to get to know each other better.

As expected by Killer Mike’s political involvement, their rapping was aggressive, confrontational, and lyrically deft, addressing real issues, such as police brutality and mass incarceration, making Sanders the perfect way to start their set. But they really won over the crowd with their performance skills, which combine their special brand of humor and energetic stage presence—something that is hard to with only two people on the main stage, although taking El-P out from behind a DJ set up to rap alongside Killer Mike sure helped—keeping an open dialogue with fans, talking to us in between song breaks, and getting us involved in songs where they could. Not to mention, since this is their second Coachella booking in a row, they delighted with a number of new songs off their upcoming album Run the Jewels 3. And they brought out a couple of great special guests, including rapper Nas and guitarist Gary Clark Jr., who had played on the same stage for the previous set. Even their famed logo, two mummified hands in the shape of a fist and gun (seen acted out in their photo above), got a performance upgrade, being turned into giant inflated balloons of some sort that were suspended above the stage throughout their performance.

In the end, though, beyond their impressive energy and song-crafting skills, I was most impressed by the dedication of my fellow RTJ fans. The crowd was a sea of red, with people holding branded flags, bandanas, posters, etc. I, too, bought a shirt soon after this set so I wouldn’t miss out on an opportunity to express both my musical and political tastes in one article of clothing. In one recap of their performance that I read, someone pointed out that it looked more like a political rally than a concert, and that couldn’t make me prouder to have been in attendance.

Kamasi Washington

Kamasi Washington 
Kamasi Washington is a jazz saxophonist, band leader, and producer who most recently came to prominence with his critically acclaimed album The Epic, as well as his work on Kendrick Lamar’s most recent album (To Pimp a Butterfly). With this in mind, I was very excited for this show, as some people have been questioning whether this is the first true jazz performance that Coachella has slotted, and also a little nervous that fellow fans of Lamar’s would show up expecting hip-hop and be disappointed by Washington’s funky, chewy, and often-times experimental jazz. Luckily, I was correct in my assumption of his work’s complexity, but wrongly assumed the crowd, which congregated on the hottest day of the weekend to have an amazing time together, with people dancing in the sun’s direct rays, including the lively band—although I did notice many of the members ducking into the shadows of the stage when they could, something I only wished I could do considering my incredibly pale complexion.

Washington was able to prove himself as a band leader almost by the amount of people he accumulated alone: there were keytars, horns, flute (played by Washington’s own father, no less), standup bass, trombone, drums, singers, and, of course, some sexy sax. The fact that the track that stood out to me the most was “Abraham” by upright bassist Miles Mosley, featuring Patrice Quinn as the vocalist, is testament to the community spirit created between these musicians and friends under the leadership of Washington. At one point, he even noted that his band is simply made up of all the people he knows who have something to musically contribute. He took this one step further when introducing a “dialogue” between his two drummers on the song “Magnificent Seven,” saying, “I have as many drummers as I have friends who play the drums,” before the two battled it out in polyrhythm.

And between the intuitive dancing of Quinn, the “Make America Decent Again” hat worn by keytarist Professor Boogie, and the numerous berets I sighted on both horn players and festival-goers in the crowd Washington and his clan proved themselves as not only incredibly talented musicians, but also performers, and friends. Sure, I had a blast grooving to their talented musical chops, but the vibe they let off, both individually and as a group was palpable and seemed to give a peek at what drives passion and truth in music: other musical and expressive people.

Matt   Kim

Matt and Kim 
Now, I know that I keep saying that I’ve been a fan of all of these bands for years, and while I’ve truly meant it each time before, I really mean it when talking about Matt and Kim. Matt and Kim are an indie dance pop duo that I have found massive success with their upbeat, driving-in-your car-with-the-windows-down brand of dance music, and I have seen them live probably more than any other band—even those whose music I prefer!—because they are unbelievable performers. The first time I saw them was at my, and their, first Coachella experience in 2010; for clarification, they performed and I was only there as an attendee. At this particular show, they had a streaker, a fact they were quick to reminisce fondly about in their set this year, just one of the many jokes they made with their audience in their running comedy shtick. And they were also killer performers with seemingly unbounded energy.

Seven years later, things haven’t changed much, except that they are now playing on the main stage. As I mentioned with Run the Jewels, this can be a hard venue for a two-person act. The Black Keys played the main stage for their first Coachella and struggled to bring to the stage the physicality necessary to engage a huge crowd on a huge stage. But they quickly learned their lesson and came back for their second Coachella spin as seasoned pros, completely changing the musical experience as an audience member. Matt and Kim have never seemed to have this problem. They are literally the most energetic and happy performers I’ve ever seen, standing on their respective instruments: a keyboard (stool) and drums. But that’s just where the energy starts, they could also be found running across the stage shooting confetti canons into the crowd and for a moment Kim stood on fans' hands to twerk. Some of the energy came directly from their interactions with the crowd, too; they encouraged the creation of multiple mosh pits, played a number of memes as their background “art” (including some of Aziz Ansari from Parks and Rec, which easily made me giggle), and ended the set by telling people to get “weird” and take their shirts off, as they did when I saw them at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles in 2011.

Luckily, their music more than lends itself to this sort of chaos, with a number of hit singles that people love to shout the words to and dance along with—both of which I did throughout this set. But they also love to make other well-known songs their own. For Weekend 1 this included a cover of Rihanna and Jay Z’s 2007 hit “Umbrella” and running entries and exits to some rap. Throughout it all, they wore smiles on their face, clearly joyful from the entertainment they were bringing to others, and ended things off embracing. Did I mention they’ve also been a couple for forever? Because they have, and their love for each other and the work they do on a daily basis is infectious. I actually only follow them on social media to voyeuristically keep myself up-to-date on their happiness. Their fun becomes everyone else’s fun, and this show was a perfect reminder of that.

St. Germain

St. Germain 
Wow. Where to even begin? St. Germain (or Ludovic Navarre) a French electronica musician who Wikipedia describes as combining house and nu jazz music--which is a level of musical sophistication I would not have expected from Wikipedia. The reason I had to look this up is because when I walked into the tent for which "he" was scheduled, I happened upon a full African (Mali, specifically) band who put on a crazy world house music experience unlike really any live show I've ever seen before. All of the vocals were looped, but the music was performed live, with the help of some synth work by Navarre in the background.

And when I say "perform," I really mean it. Not only were smiles ever-present but the musical interactions between the band were palpable and the groove they had going as a collective unit was amazing to witness. They had group dances that they would even bust out every now and again with some line shuffle/trot choreography as well as clapping routines.

Everyone in the audience seemed to be having such a good time, and those who were passing this tent to get to the EDM one down the line would hear vague sounds of house and pop their heads in occasionally, joining in on the fun.

Foals

Foals 
Foals are an English indie rock band that I have been jamming out to since their debut album Antidotes, released in 2007. I have fond memories of driving to and from high school, years later, with this grungy (almost haunting) set of tracks blasting. While their most recent album What Went Down has gotten a lot of radio play, especially the single “Mountain At My Gates,” and turned away from a more alternative sound, I can’t say that I dislike where they are headed: to becoming the indie rock gods they have always deserved to become. And their performance on the main stage proved why, with them playing a number of songs off of Antidotes, as well as a slew of newer material to a huge crowd for a show that took place with a significant amount of sun and heat still in the day.

They were crunchy and raw, passionately showing off their musical skills and the emotionality driving it. Unfortunately, they got cut off in a moment of crowd surfing bliss—damn Coachella and their strict set times! Overall though, of all of the indie rock and indie folk rock bands I saw (and there were many) Foals impressed me the most, putting on a true rock show that I was as engaged in as other, more alternatively captivating artists. I got to dance and sing, so everyone was happy and everything was good. Plus they’re English and kind of sexy, so I don’t think that hurt their crowd appeal.

Disclosure

Disclosure 
Disclosure are an English electronic duo who are one of the biggest names in dance music right now, producing a number of radio-ready tracks featuring big-name stars like Sam Smith, The Weeknd, and Lorde. I really got into Disclosure when I first came to college because you literally could not avoid their music at parties, so I started looking into some of their EPs and earlier work and found myself a real fan. That year they graced the Coachella stage, as well, but their show that year was rather disappointing, mostly because the sound simply wasn't loud enough, making it hard to enjoy music that you're supposed to feel resonate within your body, leaving it through dance. But of course, that was just more Weekend 1 luck, as every review I read from the second weekend praised the duo's success at the festival, naming them one of the top acts of the year.

So this year, after playing their most recent album Caracal slightly too often when I'm studying, I was determined to see them. And even though I only caught part of it, in order to make it to Unknown Mortal Orchestra and The Damned, I was very impressed with what I saw. With such a guest-heavy discography, their show was bound to be the same, and in the time I was there they brought out AlunaGeorge ("White Noise"), Lorde ("Magnets"), LION BABE ("Hourglass"), and Sam Smith ("Latch" and "Omen"). In essence they played hit after hit, with some of their biggest guest singers and I just danced my ass off. They paired all of this with great visuals and the crowd was hooked. An eternal job well done.

Death Grips

Death Grips 
Death Grips is an experimental hip-hop/rap group that blends this sound with punk and electronica, as well, making for very complex and very loud music. They were set to play FYF two years but announced the band's disbanding only a month-or-so before the festival, and were replaced. Luckily, since then, they have released more music and announced a world tour that included their slating at FYF again last year, leaving them on my list of top performances of the festival. Here's a snippet from that review: "my group (which included a die-hard fan) and I felt it necessary to see them while we still could, and they did not disappoint. Their energy and physicality was off the walls, as was the crowd's, and my friend got to mosh her way all the way to the front (while I remained a little further back after the previous night's ordeal). She came back grinning over her positive experience, both as a spectator and with the other fans." I forgot to mention in that review that she had also almost lost a shoe and was covered with dirt, but I don't think that dulled her post-mosh buzz. Essentially their shows are crazy and crazy intense, a huge adrenaline rush and surprisingly easy to move your body to, and this performance was no different. With Flume on at a competing time, though, the turn-out was sadly underwhelming. But the people who were there seemed to be highly into it and I was entranced as always by their effortless yet unique sound, leaving me to encourage non-fans to stay with me for a little longer so I could dance.

Their performance level is off the charts and the physicality of it matches the sound, visually expressing their music, which makes them incredible to watch live. Also they had a great visual of a tongue wiggling furiously just playing the whole time on the screens that flanked the stage, almost syncing to the music more often than not. I Snapchatted it, so clearly that was my highlight in the moment.

Sia

Sia 
For anyone who does not know Sia she is an Australian (kind of pop) singer, and songwriter for a number of very famous chart-topping stars like Rihanna and Beyonce—although her early career was far more alternative. And for anyone who knows my taste in music, Sia is probably the last artist you’d expect to me to put in a top 10 list for really any musical accomplishment. Her voice is incredible, but her style and sound (besides her one indie rock single “Breathe Me” and work with the band Zero 7) do not generally appeal to me, as pop is simply not my thing. But I hugely respect her as a conceptual artist, though, as her lyrics are powerful and vulnerable, and the visual artistic (and choreographic) style she ties to her songs makes them infinitely more impactful.

As such, I was astounded, like nearly every other Coachella reviewer by Sia’s dedication to maintaining this cohesive artistic vision—of which music is only a part—for her performance on the main stage. She brought many of her more famous music videos and previous live or televised performances into the desert, with familiar choreography and many familiar faces, including actors Paul Dano and Kristen Wiig, comedian Tig Notaro, alongside everyone’s new favorite young modern (pre-taped) dancer: Maddie Ziegler.

I also happened to be on a raised art installation during part of her show, and getting to look out over the staggering crowd standing in awe of this amazing spectacle unfolding on stage made me pretty happy about the state of pop music, showing it to often times be more complex and challenging than people give it credit for. Also, did I mention her voice is incredible? Because it’s really something else, it’s sheer magnitude seemed capable of moving mountains and her willingness to expose her flaws and demons in a triumphant way in her stories is truly inspiring. For all of this, she deserves all of the attention reviewers have been giving her, now me included.

In conclusion, I must note that this list is obviously subject to my biases of musical preference but are objectively the best of the skewed swath of artists I saw. Although, as I mentioned in the introduction, I think I did a pretty damn good job catching a wide array of artists this year.

Regardless, I hope you will take this opportunity to check out all of these deserving artists above and maybe take a chance on putting your own Coachella-biases aside to check out the great artists that will (hopefully) be heading to the desert again in 2017.

Federal Bars

The Knitting Factory’s two Southern California gastropubs—the Federal Bars in North Hollywood and Long Beach—feature a range of resident and one-off shows.

COMICSFEST basic logo 2016

Once again, The Federal Bar in North Hollywood will host an afternoon to remember at 2nd Annual Blastoff Comicsfest on Saturday, May 7th aka Free Comic Book Day. Come visit with comic creators from Marvel, Dark Horse, IDW Publishing, DC and more, as they sign comics, give away free sketches and meet one-on-one with fans young and old. Admission to the festival is free. There will also be a beer garden, food stations, live DJ, costumed hero photo ops, and of course, plenty of free comics! In addition, the festival will feature a special ticketed event: Hollywood Writer’s Roundtable.

UNWRITTENLAW-FENIXTX-ADMAT-400-1

Down in Long Beach, The Federal Bar presents pop-punk legend Unwritten Law on Thursday, May 12th. Formed in San Diego in the early ‘90s, Unwritten Law was a major player in the pop-punk movement that swept the decade. Fronted by Scott Russo, the band has seven studio albums under its belt, with several hit songs including “Seein’ Red” and “Save Me”. Throughout the years, the band has cultivated a fresh, rock sound while maintaining their punk energy. Most recently, Unwritten Law released their new album Acoustic, which features acoustic renditions of their top 13 songs. Unwritten Law embarks on their current tour to pay homage to their roots while incorporating their new material – all while giving audiences an experience to remember.

Knitting Factory Artist Management Consolidates and Rebrands as KFM

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Radio Moscow

In a rebranding and restructuring move, national 360° entertainment and hospitality powerhouse Knitting Factory Entertainment is consolidating its previously individual management divisions Figure Eight Management and Yes Know Management under one shingle, Knitting Factory Management, or KFM.

The primary goals of the new division will be to streamline the company on behalf of its 20 current artists and to facilitate the acquisition of new managers and talent.

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Managers and rosters of all companies will now be under one umbrella, and Figure Eight and Yes Know, including managers Ian Wheeler and Jeff Bell, along with artists Jose Gonzalez, !!!, Wye Oak, The Juan Maclean, Middle Brother, Flock of Dimes, High Highs, and JUNIP will become part of Knitting Factory Management, joining KFM’s existing staff and artists, including The Coup, Chop and Quench (aka The Fela! Band), Leyla McCalla, and Radio Moscow.

KFM artists currently on tour or with new music include:

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• !!! (generally pronounced "chk chk chk") - About to embark on a short tour of Florida and North Carolina.

• Leyla McCalla - Leyla’s debut album, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes, was named 2013’s Album of the Year by the London Sunday Times and Songlines magazine, and received raves from The New York Times, Boston Globe and Offbeat, among others, for its haunting mixture of music and message. Her new album, A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey drops on May 27th, 2016, and an US/Europe tour begins April 11th, 2016.

• Radio Moscow – Spring California tour in April and May; July Colorado dates, including the Ride Festival here.

• Wye Oak – National summer tour begins June 16th, 2016.

Giveaway

This May, the alt rock band Swerve will perform a Tuesday night residency called “Mixtape” at Resident in Downtown LA. Each show will focus on Swerve’s different influences: Britpop, Black Sabbath, The Beatles, David Bowie. The residency's finale "Best of Mixtape" will feature the Baby Blue Video Release Party! All shows are 21+.

This week, we're giving away a pair of tickets to Week 2: Black Sabbath Night ($7 door) on Tuesday, May 10th. The show will feature BALLERINA BLACK and The Electric West, along with tarot readings by Tamar LaLenya!

For your chance at the prize, email Sabrina@platformgrp.com with Subject: "Did I Win? Swerve Black Sabbath Night"

Can't make it on May 10th? The rest of the Tuesday shows are FREE! More info HERE.

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April 27, 2016

 

Brooklyn’s Best Music Venues (Brooklyn Magazine)

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Knitting Factory
361 Metropolitan Avenue
The Brooklyn-based outpost of this national chain reliably delivers shows you want to see at a convenient location. Of course, this is now the third location the Knitting Factory has occupied in New York, but who is counting? The gritty decor and darkened back room ensure that you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of a grunge scene, even if this section of Metropolitan has become a thriving hum of hipsters and international tourists. The emphasis tends to be more on touring bands than local ones, so come here when you’re trying to catch a mid-level out-of-town act right before they start getting booked into huge venues–or fall off completely.
Best For: Spilling beer on the floor while you mosh.

 

 

April 26, 2016

Knitting Factory Rebrands Management Division as KFM (Billboard Article)

 
Jose Gonzalez performs on stage at Sala La Riviera on Feb. 18, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.
JUAN AGUADO/REDFERNS VIA GETTY IMAGES

In what's described as a "rebranding and restructuring move," Knitting Factory Entertainment is consolidating its previously individual management divisions Figure Eight Management and Yes Know Management under the KFM banner, an acronym for Knitting Factory Management.

In a statement announcing the move, Knitting Factory states the consolidation is geared not only toward streamlining operations in handling its 20 current artists, but to "facilitate the acquisition of new managers and talent." Managers and rosters of all companies will now be under one umbrella and Figure Eight and Yes Know, including managers Ian Wheeler and Jeff Bell and artists including Jose Gonzalez (pictured), !!!, Wye Oak, The Juan Maclean, High Highs, will become part of Knitting Factory Management, joining KFM's existing staff and artists, including The Coup, Chop and Quench (aka The Fela! Band), Leyla McCalla, Radio Moscow, Prima Donna, The Knitts, The Two Tens and Beastmaker.

All will report to KFM senior vp Brian Long in KFM's Brooklyn, N.Y., offices.

"Coming as it does during a time of prolonged expansion at Knitting Factory Entertainment, it makes perfect sense to simplify our structure," says Long in the statement. "Consolidating everything under one name helps focus attention on the artists, where it belongs."

 

KFM artists currently on tour include: !!!, Leyla McCalla, Radio Moscow, and Wye Oak.

Though primarily known for its venues -- both clubs and concert houses -- Knitting Factory Entertainment also promotes national tours, produces the Broadway musical Fela!, and is a partner with record labels Partisan and Knitting Factory Records. KFE owns four Knitting Factory live music venues, partnered with the Regent Theatre Los Angeles, and Arrive Hotel Palm Springs; and three Federal Bar restaurants. With its label partners, Knitting Factory Records manages the catalogs of current and legacy artists (including Deer Tick, Gypsy Kings, Sylvan Esso, Phox, Fela Kuti, and Heartless Bastards). 

 

 

April 14, 2016

Celebrate national “Free Comic Book Day” at The Federal Bar with the second annual BLASTOFF COMICSFEST! Saturday, May 7, 2016.


Blastof Comicsfest Free Comicbook Day www.nohoartsdistrict.com

Did you know that May 7 is Free Comic Book Day? So Knitting Factory Entertainment and Blastoff Comics have teamed up to bring comic book fans an afternoon to remember at Blastoff Comicsfest on Saturday, May 7 from 10AM-4PM at The Federal Bar NoHo.  Come visit with comic creators from Marvel; Dark Horse; IDW Publishing; DC and more, as they sign comics, give away free sketches and meet one-on-one with fans young and old. Admission to the festival is free. There will also be a beer garden, food stations, live DJ, costumed hero photo ops, and of course, plenty of free comics! 

In addition, the festival will feature a special ticketed event: Hollywood Writer’s Roundtable. With comic books and genre literature increasingly becoming the most popular source for television and movies, it makes you wonder: How do you go about properly adapting work from one medium to the other? Is there such a thing as being “too faithful”? What’s more important, the words on the page or the spirit of the work? Appearing at this ticketed event to talk it out are screenwriter Carl Gottlieb (JAWS, THE JERK); director Nicholas Meyer (STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, STAR TREK VI: THE VOYAGE HOME); Executive Producer Quinton Peeples (Netflix’s IRON FIST); writer Brigitte Hales (Hulu's 11/22/63, ONCE UPON A TIME); and writer Jim Kreuger (THE HIGH COST OF HAPPILY EVER AFTER, JUSTICE). This event will be moderated by Michael Stradford, Director of Enhanced Content for Warner Home Entertainment. 

Comic creators scheduled to appear at the festival include Cecil Castellucci (Star Wars: Moving Target, Plain Janes); Christos Gage (Rom: Spaceknight, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10); Joelle Jones (Lady Killer, Superman: American Alien); Nicholas Meyer (The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan); Steve Niles (The October Faction, Monster and Madman); Jamie S. Rich (Lady Killer, Ares & Aphrodite); Chris Ryall (Rom: Spaceknight, String Divers, Onyx); Tad Stones (Darkwing Duck, Hellboy: Sword of Storms); Craig Thompson (Blankets, Habibi, Space Dumplins); and Chris Yost (X-Men, Avengers).

ADMISSION: FREE!

TICKETS to Hollywood Writer's Roundtable. 

WHEN: Saturday, May 7 from 10AM-4PM
Hollywood Writer’s Roundtable 3PM

WHERE: The Federal Bar
5303 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601 
(818) 980-2555

 

 

 

 

April 14, 2016

 

Welcome to Knitting Factory News, our intermittent (let's say, twice monthly or fortnightly) bulletin of highlights from inside and outside the Knitting Factory universe. It’s an opinionated guide to featured artists at our California venues, KFE-managed artists on tour, giveaways, ephemera, and…well, things we like, no matter where they came from.

Featured Artists: Coachella Edition

by Saeli Eshelman

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Deerhunter

As we've discussed in a previous article on Coachella, I am excited to see a number of bands at this year's Coachella. But of the top ten cutting edge/up-and-coming bands worth a listen that I listed--unfortunately, this rules out LCD Soundsystem and Sufjan Stevens--I am most excited to see two: Deerhunter and De Lux. And you want to know why? When you see them live, they're modern-day jam bands.

The concept of a jam band is not something usually applied to today's music scene, despite the proliferation of bands using live performance to pay the bills (with streaming companies like Spotify and Pandora, and the ubiquity of music torrenting reducing the income that can be made off of digital music content purchases). Usually the phrase is used in references to rock bands from the '60s, '70s, and '80s. Do a quick Google search for "jam band" and the pages for the Grateful Dead, Phish, and The Allman Brothers are recommended.

But both Deerhunter and De Lux are bringing fresh new aesthetics and styles to the stony rock n' roll jam band genre, showing the versatility of musical improvisation and the extra dose of fun it injects in any live performance. Deerhunter is a psychedelic rock band fronted by Bradford Cox, musician-songwriter-singer extraordinaire, who also makes music solo as the equally successful and trippy Atlas Sound. Having seen both Atlas Sound and Deerhunter live before, their psychedelic tendencies really come out in their performances. Not in the guitar-heavy Grateful Dead way, but through synths, loops, vocal sounds, etc. Deerhunter played at FYF four years ago and during their 50-minute set, they played only four distinct songs with much experimentation in between. It was a fabulous show and I was able to sit (and sometimes lay) on the grass at dusk, swaying and taking in the highly complex aural landscape. And with new music to play with from their album ​Fading Frontier, I cannot wait to hear them craft new nuance into their recent material.

2014-01-13-De Lux Press Photo

De Lux

De Lux is a relatively new and highly irreverent indie dance rock band who specializes in sarcastic and apathetic musings about millennial life to music that is slightly more up-beat and synthy than the lyrics would suggest. This style primes them perfectly to expand with their sound live, leaving plenty of room to play with their looping and beats in-between verses about traffic in Los Angeles and going on Facebook on your phone and laptop at the same time (check out their new album ​Generation ​for more of these witty lyrics). All the best bands with a dance slant are able to change things up for live performances in order to get the crowd moving, and De Lux has proven their chops and will hopefully only continue to do so, making them a can't-miss group.

This is not to say that I don't appreciate bands who sound exactly like their records live. In fact, that's one of the most impressive feats in music; the ability to sound as impeccable live as in the studio is no easy task. But the ability to change the specifics of a song while maintaining its general structure, melody, sound, etc. is nothing to turn your nose at either.

Deerhunter and De Lux soar above this standard, with music unique in its original iterations, as well as their ability to play it to the mood, the crowd, the experience. And for that I will be waiting patiently to see their live musical acrobatics and hear a band I love play something completely new to my ears (and my thousands of fellow attendees). Hey, maybe it'll be worthy of its own album one day, a la Animal Collective's Live at 9:30. But for now, you better catch them live at Coachella, this weekend or next, cause you'll never get to hear that exact song in that exact way ever again. Keep your ears open.

Coachella Party Guide

For those of you attending Coachella this weekend, there's a number of festivities happening outside of the polo grounds and campgrounds. Check out a few of our picks below!

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Featured Shows

Aside from Coachella, there are a number of exciting live shows happening in California over the next few weeks, including...

Saturday, April 16th 
Prima Donna - Soka Performing Arts Center - Orange County, CA

Sunday, April 17th 
Dilly Dally - The Echo - Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday, April 19th 
Dilly Dally - Social Hall - San Francisco, CA

Monday, April 25th 
Nico Yaryan - The Echo - Los Angeles, CA

Friday, April 29th 
Radio Moscow - Til-Two Club- San Diego, CA

Federal Bars

The Knitting Factory’s two Southern California gastropubs—the Federal Bars in North Hollywood and Long Beach—feature a range of resident and one-off shows.

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On Sunday, April 24th, the Mimosa Music Series will return to The Federal Bar in North Hollywood. This week's free show will feature singer/songwriter Eli "Paperboy" Reed and Copenhagen Soul band D/Troit. Come on down for a bagel, mimosa and some great music!

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Down in Long Beach, The Federal Underground is thrilled to present soul pop band The Shadowboxers on Wednesday, April 27th. This young band's unified sound has an R&B-soaked, smart perspective replete with an abundance of vocal talent and songwriting skill, which has earned critical acclaim. Music News Nashville describes the group as “a harmony-driven, funk-footed quintet, which combines elements of modern pop, '70s-style AM radio folk, meat-and- potatoes rock 'n' roll and classic R&B.” Meanwhile, The New York Times praises their sound as “a one-two punch of gorgeous harmonies and instrumentals."

Giveaway: Next on The Decks

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This week, we're giving away guest list and complimentary drinks for 2 at our writer/editor Henry Eshelman's party Next on the Decks.

Next on the Decks is a series of featured “non DJ” DJ nights where notable people in different fields—fashion designers, artists, publicists, celebrities and others try their hand at guided DJ’ing with a professional DJ as a wingman. It's FREE to the public with RSVP (21 and over) RSVP@platformgrp.com.

The next event will take place on Wednesday, April 27th at The Continental Club in Downtown Los Angeles. The evening will feature guest DJ Merle Ginsberg: author, fashion icon, television personality, entertainment tastemaker, and journalist extraordinaire. She is best known for her stories in/on ET, THR, W Magazine, Rolling Stone and Harper's Bazaar--as well as being a judge on RuPaul's Drag Race and a contestant on the short-lived but fascinating reality show Launch My Line.

For your chance at the prize, email Sabrina@platformgrp.com with Subject: "Did I Win Next on the Decks?"

April 14, 2016

The Culture Trip features The Federal Bar on their list of the Ten Best Bars in NOHO!

The Federal Bar is housed in a former bank building with a restaurant/bar on the first floor and a nightclub on the second floor. It offers scrumptious American fare and several signature cocktails. Whether you’re going there for a dinner date, a comedy show, trivia night, or to dance the night away, make sure to try the apricot Old Fashioned; it’s to die for.  

The Federal Bar, 5303 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA, USA +1 818 980 2555

Courtesy of Federal

Courtesy of Federal

 
 
 
 

 

                                                                                  Boots Riley Still Loves Oakland

 

April 13, 2016

 

Photo of Boots Riley by Amelia Kennedy

Everyone in Oakland seems to know Boots Riley, the frontman of the Coup. He's lived all over the city—Funktown, Lower Bottom, San Antonio—and has been a central figure in the music and arts scenes there since 1991. Riley's love for Oakland is palpable, but it's also clear that he has a creeping fear about the way it's changing.

Here, the rapper/author/activist tells us about his favorite Oakland spots, the local acts he's most excited about, the best food in town, and his memories of a mid-90s warehouse show with OutKast and Eazy-E.

Read more of Vice's chat with Knitting Factory Management artist Boots Riley on Vice.com!

 

April 7, 2016

PAGE 

Fela-Kuti-Album-Covers-Lemi

Nigerian artist, illustrator and graphic designer Lemi Ghariokwu is the creative force behind 26 of Fela Kuti‘s album covers. His highly-political artwork paired illustration and collage with acute social realism, becoming a crucial visual accompaniment to Fela’s anti-establishment records.

Lemi’s covers are instilled with social commentary and, like the afrobeat legend’s songs, they directly call out government corruption, political oppression, police brutality, skin bleaching and much more. We called up Lemi at his home in Lagos to get the story behind seven of his iconic Fela album covers.

In following pages, Lemi describes the vision, work, and occasional fights behind the covers for Fela’s Alagbon CloseEverything ScatterFear Not For ManSorrow Tears And BloodYellow FeverJJD and Beasts Of No Nation in his own words.

Read Lemi’s incredible Fela stories ahead.

Enter code ‘YEAHYEAH’ and get 20 percent off of the FELA collection at the Okayafrica Shop until April 15.

 

April 6, 2016

Photo illustration by Aaron Leaf
Photo illustration by Aaron Leaf

Ms. Lauryn Hill brought straight Fela Kuti vibes to her explosive performance of “Lost Ones” at Black Girls Rock! 2016. The 10th annual awards show, which took place last Friday at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, aired Tuesday night on BET.

Ms. Hill had the entire crowd on their feet as she sang the Miseducation classic over a “Zombie” beat from her live band. She was joined by Fela dancers. The end result was nothing short of spectacular. Watch the full performance here.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Ms. Hill has paid respects to Fela. On a trip to Lagos last year the singer stopped by the New Afrika Shrine, where she was accompanied by Seun Kuti, Kunle Kuti, her daughter Sarah Marley and Fela! cast member Shakira Marshall. Okayafrica TV was there to capture the moment.

 

April 4, 2016

The newly opened hotel Arrive offers live music events in partnership with the Knitting Factory.

Chris Pardo is not a performer, but nearly every one of the designer's projects is touched by the Palm Springs music scene. Witness the new 32-room boutique hotel Arrive, centered on a courtyard outfitted for DJs. Pardo also has completed designs for Virgin Hotel, set to open in 2018; he likens the 144-room Richard Branson-owned property to the ultimate box seat for viewing live music. "The cool thing about it is why Virgin chose this site: It overlooks the new open land that is planned to be a cool events center with stages and live music," he says, referencing a 50,000-square-foot park in Palm Springs that will include a stage with a capacity of 3,000.

 

 

March 30, 2016

Featured Artist

Press Photo 2 By Jonas Bang-1

Baby In Vain is a female indie band from Scandinavia, consisting of Lola Hammerich (vocals/guitar), Andrea Thuesen (vocals/guitar) and Benedicte Pierleoni (drums). Within the last five years, their sound has evolved from stoner-rock with influences of industrial menace to post-punk alongside fuzzy expeditions into the fringes of doom and garage punk. Baby In Vain was formed in 2010 instantaneously upon meeting at a friend's gig in Copenhagan. The trio released multiple singles and toured throughout 2013, when they decided to take a step back from the pressures of the music industry. They reflect on this wild and stressful time in their new EP For The Kids, which features a wide variety of new tracks touching on topics of cheating on your lover in "The Urge", selling your house and kids for drugs in "Muscles", and the murder of Jesus as a metaphor for losing control while partying in "Jesusfreaks." Check out their new EP For The Kids to be released on April 29 via Partisan Records.

Featured Music Video

Just yesterday, The Two Tens' latest video premiered on the Big Takeover, declaring "EAT! ROCK! ROLL! SHIT! SLEEP! REPEAT! This song RULES. That is all."

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Featured Shows

There are a number of exciting live shows happening in California over the next few weeks, including...

Thursday, March 31st
White Denim - Teragram Ballroom - Los Angeles, CA

Friday, April 8th
Gothic Tropic - The High Hat - Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, April 13th
Purity Ring - The Observatory - Santa Ana, CA

Thursday, April 14th
Courtney Barnett - The Glass House - Pomona, CA

Saturday, April 16th
Prima Donna - Soka Performing Arts Center - Orange County, CA

FYF Fest 2016 Lineup Review

by Saeli Eshelman

DJ Harvey

For the past couple of years FYF Fest (which stands for Fuck Yeah Fest, so Fuck Yeah Fest Fest) has been making more and more of a name for itself in the festival circuit.

Each year it gets bigger and bigger acts while remaining a show that gathers together an array of bonafide indie stars and starlets. Put it this way: when the already quite famous rapper and singer Frank Ocean cancelled his headlining slot this past year at the last minute, FYF was able to snag Kanye West to fill in. If that isn't a sign of the festival's success, then I don't know what is.

As I've said in a previous article on the festival: "As with Coachella, I am approaching FYF veteran status, as I have attended the past four years (and its only been going for ten!). And also like Coachella, FYF has changed a lot over the time I have been attending--FYF has ballooned in size, and subsequently changed its venue to the USC Coliseum and surrounding Exposition Park last year. But overall, FYF hasn't 'sold out' in quite the way Coachella has been accused of doing. In fact, FYF has been lauded both for its growing popularity and for sticking to its roots, making it a significant festival for its authenticity. This is why, regardless of your opinions on the burgeoning festival scene and its many iterations, FYF's acts are worth discussing."

Well, yesterday, FYF released this year's lineup and I can definitively say that it does not disappoint at all. In fact, this lineup makes we want to say "Fuck yeah!" Just the top two headliners for each day are enough to make the tickets worth their value with high-profile showstoppers from a number of genres: rap god (and arguably the most important rapper of our time) Kendrick Lamar; Australian indie psych-rock darlings Tame Impala; alternative rockers/dance mainstay LCD Soundsystem (who are also playing at Coachella as part of their reunion tour); and all-around icon Grace Jones.

With headliners that good, usually I'd expect the rest of the lineup to be rather subpar, but the hits just keep on coming. On Saturday alone one can see: the French electronic duo AIR; the experimental psychpop superstar Grimes; Hot Chip, one of my favorite electronic bands; a DJ set by Moby (and his DJ work is incredibly different than what you'd expect as a Moby fan but also incredibly awesome); rapper Vince Staples on the heels of his critically acclaimed debut album; indie rockers Wolf Parade for the first time since their 2011 hiatus; garage rock god Ty Segall with his new backing band, The Muggers; another Australian psych band in the form of Jagwar Ma; indie legends Peter Bjorn and John; and indie rockers DIIV.

As for Sunday, the list continues, with acts like: the dreamy rockers Beach House; the irreverent yet vulnerable folk rocker Father John Misty; the commercially successful rap duo Rae Sremmurd; the amazing R&B-electronica mashup created by Dev Hynes as Blood Orange; the Pitchfork-approved trap rapper Young Thug; funk icon Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires; garage rockers Black Lips; indie shoegaze from Wild Nothing; producer Gold Panda; Canadian post-punkers Viet Cong; and up-and-coming cloud rapper Denzel Curry.

This phenomenal lineup, combined with the amazing experience I had at FYF last year--despite the changes it's undergone--leaves me with a warm feeling about the festival. Unlike the general meh-ness from some of the annual mega-festivals, FYF seems like it's the new indie-commerical hybrid festival here to stay for quite a while. And tickets go on sale this Friday, so there is still a chance to nab a ticket into this musically varied showcase. I hope to see you there. And check out the rest of the lineup below!

Lineup

Federal Bars

The Knitting Factory’s two Southern California gastropubs—the Federal Bars in North Hollywood and Long Beach—feature a range of resident and one-off shows.

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On Sunday, April 10th, The Federal Bar in North Hollywood will host The New Short Fiction Series' paperback launch of New York Times bestseller Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed edited by Meghan Daum. This spoken word performance stars Sally Shore, Deborah Geffner, Jim Hanks, and Judy Marcelline along with an introduction by editor Meghan Daum and special musical guest The Sorted.

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Down in Long Beach, The Federal is hosting Matthew Logan Vasquez (of Delta Spirit) this Sunday, April 3rd. After a decade since founding his critically acclaimed band, Delta Spirit, Matthew Logan Vasquez finally took a chance to experiment alone with his solo debut, the EP Austin (released November 2015) and full length LP, Solicitor Returns (released February 2016) that shortly followed. Matt went solo for a simple reason–to return to the style of rock he loves. And when he went solo he really went solo; he plays every instrument on the record, except for two drum tracks and one guitar track. Paste Magazine acclaims, “Vasquez’s voice—ragged, raw, resilient—conveys remarkable emotion, though, and fans of that distinctive sound should not skip this almost entirely solo effort.”

Zappa - Roxy: The Tour

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Frank Zappa & the Mothers played three legendary shows at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood in December 1973. That audio formed his beloved 1974 album Roxy & Elsewhere, but like many of Frank’s performances these were also shot, on 16mm film, and locked away in the Vault — a giant trove of floor to ceiling stacks of unreleased recordings, films, and more by Frank that have been waiting like a time capsule under the Zappa family home since he died.

A couple years ago the Zappa Family Trust came across the Roxy footage, restored it, and released it as Roxy: The Movie in late 2015. Since, it’s become a huge fan favorite, but its first ever series of theatrical screenings will take place this month only, as fundraising events for filmmaker Alex Winter’s Who The F*@% is Frank Zappa — a campaign to preserve the unreleased footage and music in Zappa’s Vault, and use some of that content to craft the first all-access, no-stone-left-unturned documentary about Frank’s life.

This Sunday April 3 at Arena Cinema Hollywood features a matinee screening with Q&A from Alex Winter and reception following:

Sunday, April 3, 2016
12:30pm - 3:30pm
Arena Cinema
1625 North Las Palmas Ave.

Los Angeles, CA, 90028
$25, all proceeds benefit the Kickstarter campaign
http://www.zappamovie.com/roxyscreenings/losangeles-arena

Not in LA? The film's screening from Toronto to London. For tickets and more information, click HERE.

Giveaway: They Will Have To Kill Us First

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This week, we're giving away a pair of tickets for They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile, a feature-length documentary which premiered at 2015’s SXSW Film Festival. Directed by Johanna Schwartz and featuring an original score by Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), the film was hailed by Indiewire as a “gripping, powerful documentary” and “social journalism of the highest order” by The Austin Chronicle, among many other strong reviews.

Music is the beating heart of Malian culture, but when Islamic jihadists took control of northern Mali in 2012, they enforced one of the harshest interpretations yet of Sharia law by banning all forms of music. Radio stations were destroyed, instruments burned, and Mali’s musicians faced torture, even death. Overnight, the country’s revered musicians were forced into hiding or exile, where most remain--even now. But rather than laying down their instruments, these courageous artists fought back, standing up for their freedoms and using music as a weapon against the ongoing violence that has ravaged their homeland.

For those of you in Southern California, you can catch the film in theaters this Friday. Screening times are as follows:

April 1st at Laemmle Santa Monica:
12:00pm, 2:25pm, 4:55pm, 7:30pm, 10:15pm

April 1st at Edwards University Town Center 6 in Irvine:
12:00pm, 2:30pm, 4:55pm, 7:20pm, 9:50pm

The film is touring a number of other North American Markets; for a full schedule of screenings through June, see here.

We're giving away a pair of tickets for the Santa Monica and Irvine screenings! To enter into the giveaway, please email Sabrina@platformgrp.com "Subject: Giveaway for They Will Have To Kill Us First" with your theater preference. First come, first serve!

 

 

March 21, 2016

 

Knitting Factory Entertainment and Partners Big Wangs and Tipsy Cow Founders Open New Tex-Mex Concept ‘El Tejano’


We have some great news, NoHo! The folks at Knitting Factory Entertainment (KFE), the entertainment and hosptiality company and owners of The Federal Bar, are partnering with the founders of Big Wangs and Tipsy Cow, to renovate enovating KFE’s former Latin-inspired restaurant and bar Bow & Truss. So what's it going to be? Something fun and fabulous, of course. This former North Hollywood restaurant will reopen as El Tejano, a new Tex-Mex restaurant as big and bold as the great state of Texas. The team expects to open El Tejano in May.

“They say ‘everything is bigger in Texas,” remarked partner Peter “PJ” Brill. “El Tejano is going to offer a huge Tex-Mex menu honoring the traditions of that culinary tradition with an emphasis on specialty tacos and full-flavored salsas. Don’t worry; we’ll have your queso, Frito pie and chili con carne too—as well as numerous other innovative Tex-Mex dishes. Joe and I have learned the good people of Los Angeles just want a good honest product in front of them without the façade of Tinseltown.” 

Partner Joe Barker promises, “El Tejano will also feature Los Angeles’ most awesome Texas-sized patio featuring outdoor pastimes and our soon to be world famous ‘Frozen Beerita!’ Our laid-back bar will focus on a great Mexican, craft and domestic draft and bottle beer list alongside a cavernous list of margaritas and tequilas.”

Brill and Barker own four Big Wangs sports bars, a chain they founded in 2005: one in Valencia; DTLA; one in Hollywood and one around the corner from El Tejano on Lankershim in North Hollywood. Owners concentrate on “filling all of your eating, drinking, and entertainment needs. Our mind-blowing homemade food and value-priced drinks keep you coming back for more and more. Oh, we also have more HD TVs than anyone else in LA.” 

In 2014, the team opened The Tipsy Cow in Sherman Oaks, an eclectic urban gastropub specializing in freshly ground burgers, delectable craft cocktails, and thirty-two draft beers personally selected to create a selection that is at once innovative in its make-up and inclusive in its appeal. 

Opened in 2012 and located in the heart of NoHo’s Arts District, Bow & Truss was a popular and watering hole and eatery, with Latin-influenced cuisine and a vibrant bar scene El Tejano is sure to build upon. Along with its sister venue The Federal, Bow & Truss helped revitalize North Hollywood as a landmark entertainment destination in Los Angeles and received raves for its cuisine and its popular themed events ranging from movie screenings to a Game of Thrones inspired “whole animal” evening. 

Knitting Factory CEO Morgan Margolis says, “Knitting Factory Entertainment is excited to build upon all our partners’ successes, and would like to thank Bow’s loyal customers and staff for four years of exceptional patronage and service. We are certain all the North Hollywood’s locals, regulars, visitors and new customers will enjoy embrace El Tejano as much as they loved Bow & Truss.” Brill concludes, “Grab your boots and Shiner Bock t-shirt and meet us at El Tejano. We’ll be handing out smiles at the door and you can take them home with you!”

 

 

 

March 18, 2016

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“I Go Shout Plenty” b/w “Frustration” cover artwork.

Record Store Day is quickly coming up and, to mark the occasion, Knitting Factory Records is readying a limited edition release of two of Fela Kuti and Afrika ’70’s rarest cuts on 10” vinyl.

“I Go Shout Plenty” and “Frustration” were both recorded in 1976, but their release was delayed after the infamous army raid on Fela’s Kalakuta Republic in 1977. The police confiscated most of the band’s material and the two songs weren’t officially released until 1983 and 1986, respectively.

“Frustration” was originally recorded in 1969 as a highlife and R&B blend written for Fela’s American girlfriend Sandra Izsadore. The 1976 version features a more evolved afrobeat sound with Fela on the organ and Tunde Williams on trumpet.

“I Go Shout Plenty” is a quintessential Fela track replete with resounding horns and call-and-response lyrics sung in opposition to the Nigerian government.

Listen to the song below and grab a copy of “I Go Shout Plenty” backed with “Frustration” on vinyl when it drops April 16 for Record Store Day. Only 1,000 copies will be pressed.

 

March 14, 2016

Featured Artist

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Swerve is a four-piece indie rock band based in Los Angeles, CA. Crafting melodic, guitar-driven tunes, singer-songwriter Gregory Mahdesian leads the band with a vision of staying true to the foundations of alt-rock. Together with local musicians Casey Baird on drums, Ryan Berti on guitar and Brandon Duncan on bass, Swerve creates songs reminiscent of Britpop and grunge with a modern sensibility and healthy dose of their Californian personalities. Swerve made their official debut last fall with a self-titled EP release, which lent to rave reviews; “the band has quickly created a memorable sound,” describes PureVolume. They are currently performing locally while recording a second EP, expected for release by the end of this year. They are also currently nominated for The Deli Magazine LA's artist of the month! If you dig their tunes, here's your chance to lend some support by casting your vote HERE.

Featured Shows

There are a number of exciting live shows happening in California over the next few weeks, including our featured artist Swerve at Harvard & Stone and Knitting Factory Management's The Knitts on St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 14 
Beastmaker - Los Globos - Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, March 16 
The Hellflowers Debut EP Release with Swerve - Harvard & Stone- Los Angeles, CA

Thursday, March 17 
The Knitts - The Study - Hollywood, CA

Saturday, March 19 
Chairlift - El Rey- Los Angeles, CA

Saturday, March 26 
Allah-Las - Troubadour- Los Angeles, CA

Sunday, March 27 
Savoir Adore - The Masonic- San Francisco, CA

Featured SXSW Events

It's that time of year again, where anyone who's anyone--and anyone who's nobody--decamps to SXSW, which has over the years evolved from a little indie music showcase to a juggernaut that brings an alleged $250 million each year into the Austin economy and this year, featured opening remarks by POTUS (after he stopped at Torchy's Tacos--which we tasted in, and we swear, a branded venue devoted to Instagramming food porn. Whilst the interactive and film portions are well underway--Chromeo played last night for social site Spreadfast--where we also got a free haircut from Bird's Barbershop and a mani for absolutely no reason at all, Music is seriously cranking up tomorrow. For those of you heading to SXSW, there's plenty of exciting music events to come this week. Check out our picks below!

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Peppina @ SXSW

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Peppina and Kris Gruen Video: "Young Hearts"

We've been grinding Peppina's axe pretty hard around here but we can't resist her sprightly, thoughtful lyrics and spare and direct musicianship. We chased her around Sundance and now are chasing her to SXSW and DC for three dates in Austin and one in DC. She's also just sprung a new video of her song YOUNG HEARTS featuring Kris Gruen. Peep Peppina here:

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PARTY WITH PARTISAN AT SXSW

Knitting Factory's partner label Partisan Records has a number of label artists heading to SXSW; Among them Pure Bathing Culture, Dilly Dally and more. Remember: invitation policies vary widely; many are SXSW-credentialed, some are invitation only and some are handled in some arcane way. Good luck with that. They've made it easy to check it all out here

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Federal Bars

The Knitting Factory’s two Southern California gastropubs—the Federal Bars in North Hollywood and Long Beach—feature a range of resident and one-off shows.

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On Thursday, March 24th, The Federal Bar in North Hollywood will present local Americana band Damngivers. Hailing from Long Beach, Damngivers is a quilt of American music, blending country rock, alt-country, roots rock and folk with a nod to early Wilcothe BandThe Black CrowesFaces, and The Blasters. Country Music Television acclaims the group as “Fun and effortless. This Americana outfit from Long Beach and their folk-rock leanings radiate a sunny spirit.” Don't miss this opportunity to check out their live show!

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Down in Long Beach, get ready for even more country with the Johnny Cash tribute band Cash'd Out on Thursday, March 24. The San Diego-based band channels Johnny Cash in about as close a manner to the real thing as it gets, as they've won four San Diego Music Awards for Best Tribute Band. The group's genuine love of Cash’s music and its universal appeal makes each Cash’d Out show a must-see event!

Wanna Buy a House? It's got its own Muffin Research Kitchen. Frank Zappa's Vault Opens for Definitive Documentary by SXSW Veteran Filmmaker Alex Winter

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Zappa Kickstarter

Bill from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (aka filmmaker Alex Winter) wants to sell you Frank Zappa's house for $9 Million!

Alex Winter, director of Deep Web and Downloaded, just released a unique Kickstarter campaign for his newest documentary: Who the F*@% Is Frank Zappa?

The campaign seeks to preserve the legendary musician, artist and thinker's private vault of unreleased material and create the first fully-authorized all-access doc about Zappa's life. Check it out HERE!

That's it for this week. We're writing you because you've expressed interest in Knitting factory shows, artists or productions. Like us? Want us to consider covering your artists or shows? Please tell us, your humble writer/editors: Henry Eshelman heshelman@platformgrp.com, Sabrina Zeile sabrina@platformgrp.com and Saeli Eshelman saeli@platformgrp.com; we can take it from there.

Hate us? As someone once said, "please confine your comments to compliments only." But we’ll (regretfully) accept your unsubscribe requests humbly and without question. Thanks for listening!

 

 

 

March 7, 2016

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Debo Band. Photo courtesy of the group. (Knitting Factory Management)

Boston’s 11-man, Ethio-groove collective Debo Band breathes new life and funk into Ethiopia’s musical depository with their latest album Ere Gobez, the follow-up to their self-titled debut album which dropped in 2012.

Dipping into Ethiopia’s colorful musical past, the band creates what they refer to as “imaginary mixups and mashups,” consisting of artful reimaginings of late 1970s and early 80s Ethiopian sounds. Using this illustrious musical era as a nucleus, the band produce a sound completely their own.

“Imagine what Duke Ellington, while on his famed African tour, might have played with the Addis Ababa Police Orchestra. [We] invent the jams of the Ethiopians who served in the Korean War and brought back influences from East Asia,” the band mentions to Okayafrica. The outcome is an energizing amalgam of Amharic lyrics and rhythms with elements of folk, soul, rock ‘n’ roll, and a hint of early 70s, Miles Davis-esque jazz fusion.

Luckily for us, the band will have endless material to draw inspiration from with the overabundance of Ethiopia’s undiscovered decades-old records. “Ethiopian musical cultures are so diverse that [we] could only scratch the surface even after ten years of dedicated study,” the band says. “In Ethiopia in the early 70s, you had a lot of different styles and artists and arrangers. You had such wealth. You can never stop digging; there will always be new material to introduce people to. That’s something significant. We’re digging much, much deeper. We’re still unearthing new sounds after a decade.”

Today we’re premiering Ere Gobez’s “Ele,” which band member Danny Mekonnen describes as a track “inspired by the rocking gurage music from Southwestern Ethiopia.”

“‘Ele’ is a song about the celebration of cultural diversity. It features a beautiful gurage girl who crashes a dance party and mesmerizes the crowd with her traditional dancing. The resounding cries of ‘Abet Abet’ (which can be translated as “Yes! I am here!”) encourage each and everyone of us to embrace our cultural identity as a way of enriching one another,” Mekonnen adds.

Stream Debo Band’s “Ele” above. Ere Gobez is out May 20 on FPE Records

 

 

March 4, 2016

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The African band Songhoy Blues in “They Will Have to Kill Us First,” a documentary by Johanna Schwartz.CreditBBC Worldwide 
 

Filmed partly in refugee camps and on the war-ravaged streets of Timbuktu and Gao, Johanna Schwartz’s miraculously hopeful documentary, “They Will Have to Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile,”delivers a vibrant testimony of resilience under oppression.

When, in 2012, Islamic jihadists imposed an extreme version of Shariah law on northern Mali, banning all music and destroying radio stations, many of that country’s most prominent musicians were forced to hide or flee. In a nation where music is a vital tool for education, enlightenment and connection — in the words of one artist, songs are “like the press” — the ban felt especially devastating. Defying it, however, meant risking torture or worse.

Following a handful of exiled, homesick musicians as they try to play the pain away, Ms. Schwartz blends their often joyful performances with candid interviews that show the damage wrought by extended conflict. (The ban officially ended in 2014, but musicians still fear reprisals from extremists.) Blues and ballads, rap and soul fill the soundtrack (as well as an original score by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), while Karelle Walker’s camera searches faces for every emotional clue.

Two of those faces are particularly memorable. The so-called Nightingale of the North, Khaira Arby, allays her sadness by planning a return concert in her beloved Timbuktu. Meanwhile, her fellow songstress, Fadimata Walett Oumar, deals with displacement by helping women in refugee camps and pondering her country’s political complexities. To the uninitiated, these are not always clear; but the movie’s insistence on the healing power of cadence and beat needs no explanation.

 

March 1, 2016

Featured Artists

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High Highs is an experimental indie rock band hailing from Sydney, Australia. In January 2013, High Highs released their debut album Open Season. They went on to play the Laneway Festival Australia, then toured throughout the US with pop sensations Vampire Weekend and Sky Ferreira. Later that year, High Highs joined Empire of the Sun for two nights at the Sydney Opera House as part of VIVID Festival. Just last month, High Highs released their second album Cascades. According to Stereogum, "They drew inspiration from ’80s Australian bands and the sweet, warm feeling of summer, as heard in songs like 'Sun.' This distant feeling can also be heard throughout the album’s conceptual lyrics, which feel like pieces of memories — fragmented, lost, somewhere other than here." Currently signed to Figure 8 Management, the band is about to embark on their North American tour with first stops in California. Catch them live next week in Los Angeles and San Francisco!

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Beastmaker is a doom rock, stoner psych metal band signed to Knitting Factory Management. Influenced by Sabbath and Danzig, the band features Trevor William Church (guitar, vocals), 
Andres Alejandro Saldate (drums) and John Tucker (bass). The band is currently touring California, so be sure to catch one of their upcoming shows!

Featured Shows

There are a number of exciting live shows happening in California over the next few weeks, including The Knitts music video release show TONIGHT at The Federal Bar!

Tuesday, March 1 
The Knitts Music Video Release Show - The Federal Bar - North Hollywood, CA

Friday, March 4 
Beastmaker - Scotland Yard Pub - Canoga Park, CA

Tuesday, March 8 
High Highs - Bootleg Theater- Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, March 9 
Jose Gonzalez - Van Duzer Theatre - Arcata, CA 
High Highs - Rickshaw Stop - San Francisco, CA

Thursday, March 10 
Jose Gonzalez - Campbell Hall at UC Santa Barbara - Isla Vista, CA

Friday, March 11 
The Two Tens - DNA Lounge- San Francisco, CA 
Beastmaker - The Golden Bull - Oakland, CA 
Jose Gonzalez - Walt Disney Concert Hall- Los Angeles, CA

Saturday, March 12 
Jose Gonzalez - Walt Disney Concert Hall- Los Angeles, CA 
Pure Bathing Culture - Starline Social Club - Oakland, CA

Sunday, March 13 
Pure Bathing Culture - The Echo - Los Angeles, CA 
Beastmaker - Audie's Olympic Tavern - Fresno, CA 
Jose Gonzalez - Fox Theater - Oakland, CA

Monday, March 14 
Beastmaker - Los Globos - Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, March 16 
The Hellflowers Debut EP Release with Swerve - Harvard & Stone- Los Angeles, CA

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by Saeli Eshelman

A couple weeks ago, I discussed the state of music videos in 2016, and featured a video for the song "FloriDada," by the band Animal Collective off of their new album Painting With. Since then, the group has released the complete album, which is quite a detour from their various previous sonic adventures, so I felt it necessary to review this new addition to their comprehensive body of work.

A quick recap of Animal Collective and their legacy: this foursome--and now threesome--has been making music for going on 20 years, and in this time has released nearly 20 records, if you include their EPs, live albums, and feature-length film/video album ODDSAC. Such a level of music production is astounding, and since it has been spread out over a series of decades, they have had plenty of time to experiment with a variety of sounds and styles. In an attempt to pin down their genre in my last article I described them as "easiest to label as simply 'experimental' (despite the fact that depending on what era of their work you're listening to it could be classified as pop, freak folk, alternative rock)." Together, they founded their own record label on which they've been releasing their own music since day one, as well as giving a voice to other artists--such as another favorite of mine, Ariel Pink.

After their most recent studio album, 2012's Centipede Hz, an album filled lush psychedelic ambience that at once plays up its instrumental capabilities alongside frequent sampling and use of white noise, and plenty of brash vocals from Avey Tare(aka David Portner), a vast change in sound was expected. Centipede Hz seemed to take Animal Collective's era of psych-sound-rock to its limits; it was messy, meandering--in a good way!--and complex, written for and from the stage, which led to its sense of improv and big sounds. And let me tell you, having seen songs from this album performed live, it was incredibly well-suited for such a venue: bombastic, grooving, and just genuinely entertaining and impressive to see crafted in front of your eyes, with both synths and instruments. It's even more apt that the only album released in between Centipede Hz and Painting With was, in fact, a live album (Live at 9:30, which I was lucky enough to get a special edition vinyl copy of, along with a poster for the show), taking their previous methodology to its complete end. And as my review of Painting With's "FloriDada" indicated, this new album looked like it would be far more bright, choppy, and hyper, as indicated by the reference to painting and the experimental Dada art movement in the album and song titles.

This earlier prediction turned out to be quite accurate as the songs are short and upbeat across the entire album. This is likely a result of the lack of stage time any of these pieces got prior to recording, a parameter which Animal Collective purposefully placed upon themselves in its creation. While this process varies greatly from their previous works that does not mean that the sounds of some of their earlier music does come through at times. The aforementioned "FloriDada," for example, has sounds reminiscent of their 2009 mega-experimental-pop-success Merriweather Post Pavillion, with the perfect blend of lush instrumentation alongside great synth beats and samples. The end of the track "Hocus Pocus" harkens back even earlier to the 2007 record Strawberry Jam, giving some fun synth usage that musically meanders a bit, just for the hell of it.

By the third track, the lack of guitar on the album (another parameter assigned to this work) becomes far more noticeable, as the songs become continually more beat-driven and bouncy. This is only enhanced by the sing-songy vocals that keep the whole thing generally feeling light and cheeky, and lyrics like "My feet won't cross the parking lot/The parking lot is too hot" on "Vertical" take this even a step further. Most of the album sounds like this though, with a kids' video-game-like brightness mostly projected forward by strong beats and a vocal layering that sounds like each word is switched from one vocalist to another. From track five, "The Burglars," through the final track, "Recycling," this sound is highly consistent.

The only stylistic exceptions I felt worth noting were in "Lying in the Grass" and "Golden Gal." The former was notable in that it gave me some FKA twigs vibes beat-wise, sounding slightly more sinister and unnerving than the rest of the tracklist. The latter, on the other hand, as the longest song on the album, has a sound that, to me, finds the sweet spot between earlier Animal Collective and the new sound they are diving into. There is a great use of sampling and the same synth-driven sound, but it feels more melodic and less sparse than some of the other tracks on the album.

All-in-all, this album is light and fun, and definitely not bad. But it is also not great, as it lacks some of the complexity that most Animal Collective fans have come to expect from their avant-garde mainstays. Many of the songs blend together for me aurally and lack the oomph I want them to have. That said, I think the standouts on the album are "Florida," "Hocus Pocus," "Vertical," and "Golden Gal." They seem to be the most musically coherent on the album, not falling into one extreme or the other, and providing glimmers of what the whole album could have been: a stray away from some of what Animal Collective was and has been, but not what (at its core) it is.

Federal Bars

The Knitting Factory’s two Southern California gastropubs—the Federal Bars in North Hollywood and Long Beach—feature a range of resident and one-off shows.

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On Saturday, March 26 Tonya Kay’s Pinup Pole Show will return to The Federal Bar in North Hollywood. Tonya Kay’s Pinup Pole Show offers a night of seamless entertainment with vintage pinup style and sleek classic cars. It’s a lively, time-warping extravaganza! Set to a rockin' throwback soundtrack, Tonya Kay’s Pinup Pole Show will leave guests celebrating the good old days no matter what their age. For a sneak peek, check out this recent segment with Penthouse TV. The show also launches at The Federal Underground in Long Beach on Saturday, March 19!

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Down in Long Beach, catch indie rock sensation Kitten on Thursday, March 3. Led by Chloe Chaidez with songwriter/producer Chad Anderson, Kitten is known for their alluring style that blends '70s post punk with British new wave. The band's debut self-titled album, released in 2014, was featured in Rolling Stone Magazine’s List of “20 Best Pop Albums." Kitten's eclectic and energetic sound is equally matched by their live performances. AllMusic raves, “With her dynamic stage persona, that features plenty of extroverted dancing, Chaidez also brings to mind such icons as Madonna and Blondie's Debbie Harry.” Kitten’s next EP will be released on March 4th.

Giveaway

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This week, we're giving away guest list and complimentary drinks for 2 at our writer/editor Henry Eshelman's party Next on the Decks.

Next on the Decks is a series of featured “non DJ” DJ nights where notable people in different fields—fashion designers, artists, publicists, celebrities and others try their hand at guided DJ’ing with a professional DJ as a wingman. It's FREE to the public with RSVP (21 and over) RSVP@platformgrp.com.

The next event will take place on Wednesday, March 9th at The Continental Club in Downtown Los Angeles. The evening will celebrate 10 Years of Wallman PR, featuring Lee Wallman (DJ Lee Dub) with Henry Eshelman (DJ hoe) as wingman.

For your chance at the prize, email Sabrina@platformgrp.com with Subject: "Did I Win Next on the Decks?"

***

That's it for this week. We're writing you because you've expressed interest in Knitting factory shows, artists or productions. Like us? Want us to consider covering your artists or shows? Please tell us, your humble writer/editors: Henry Eshelman heshelman@platformgrp.com, Sabrina Zeile sabrina@platformgrp.com and Saeli Eshelman saeli@platformgrp.com; we can take it from there.

Hate us? As someone once said, "please confine your comments to compliments only." But we’ll (regretfully) accept your unsubscribe requests humbly and without question. Thanks for listening!

 

March 1, 2016

 

PruFrock pizzeria: TRIANGULAR VESSELS OF LOVE 

It starts off slow — a rolling purr that resonates beneath layers of clothing and flesh. Give it a moment; pressure builds, gas shifts, and a pang bursts into a thunderous episode of tremor littered with terror. This is not an exorcism, it’s a cry for salvation – this is your body telling you to eat and this is a job for Prufrock Pizzeria.

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When it comes to ravaged hunger or blood alcohol levels teetering on paralysis, there are few things that can suppress and satisfy; wood fired Neapolitan style pizza is one of them. At Prufrock, they gather elements of perfection: house-made dough, pure tomato sauce, and gourmet toppings such as pancetta or Gruyere to be popped into a 900-degree oven for 3-4 minutes. Super hot, super fast; it’s hot enough to char and quick enough to leave the pie soft and tender in the middle. Depending on appetite, each pizza is personal sized, and with ingredients so fresh, it’s easy to gobble down 4 slices without any regret. For brief occasional moments of masticational panic, beer and wine are readily available to wash down any bite too big to handle. Prufrock is known to induce enthusiastic eating. Thanks to Mitchell Frank, founder of The Echo empire and The Regent, Tobi Martin-Frank, and Chef Justin Limburg, all of this glory can be ordered in over 17 different ways with pizzas Bianca and Piccolo leading the way.

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“We keep it simple; just fresh dough, tomatoes, and salt. All the flavor comes from the toppings,” says Chef Justin, “I was taught, if you take your fork and eat everything off the plate with it, then you can turn it into a pizza.” With that uninhibited mentality, Prufrock’s menu boasts toppings like flat iron steak, meatball, poached egg, or butternut squash. “Pizza is anything you want it to be, sometimes I dream about pizza.”

Congrats to our partner The Regent Theater on their restaurant concept, Prufrock Pizzeria!

Click the images to see more! 

 

 

February 26, 2016

 

SWIMM AT the federal underground in long beach
 

shevakafai-swimm-15Photos by Sheva Kafai. Recap by Larissa Blintz. 

Tall Walls, a 6-person band including a saxophonist and trumpet player, kicked off the night at The Federal Underground in Long Beach with no shortage of energy on stage. Each member was integral to delivering the magic they created. They played “Government Boy” – a tongue-in-cheek tune hinted to revolve around Donald Trump, and another poppy ballad-style tune about joining a coalition for safer foods. On stage, all members were beaming love, each smiling from ear-to-ear.

The Peach Kings followed, a change of pace with darker, sharp tones. Lead singer Paige Woods hypnotized the crowd with her tremendous range – one couldn’t help but keep your eyes on her. Woods and guitarist, Steven Dies, filled out their set by connecting with the crowd through their chilling and all too relatable confessional lyrics.

SWIMM brought a beautifully unfamiliar intergalactic warmness to the stage. Their set was filled with upbeat, perfectly-meshed tunes with a sense of refreshing fluidity and weightlessness. All 5 members’ charisma enticed the enthusiastic crowd, as we all felt a sort-of fog of love stemming from the vibrations on stage. Singer Chris Hess delivered nothing short of excellence with his unique vocals and high-energy moves.

Fellow Bohemian wrapped up the evening of music with their uplifting, addictive and unique sound. The band’s indie rock sound combined with singer Alex Bostelman’s sweet and melodic vocals, wove together a refreshingly modern take on surf soul. - LA Record

 

 

 

 

 

February 24, 2016

They Will Have To Kill Us First || NYC Opening March 4

They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile opens March 4 at Village East Cinema in NYC, followed by showings in LA and other markets on April 1! For tickets and details on other showings, visit the film’s site here. We’re also very excited to digitally release the film’s soundtrack on March 4. Composed by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the compilation features contributions by Songhoy Blues, Ali Farka Touré and his son Vieux Farka Touré, Toumani Diabaté, Bombino and more.

Enjoy a deleted scene from the documentary here. In the scene, Songhoy Blues collaborate with Nick Zinner on their debut album, Music In Exile. The scene chronicles two different musical forces coming together to create something incredibly dynamic and unprecedented in rock music. The scene was shot by Director Johanna Schwartz in Bamako, Mali in 2014 at the studio of Reggae artist Manjul.

 

 

 

February 22, 2016

      

Derek Phillips: The Underground Sound (Long Beach Post)

 

DerekPhillipsSmDerek Phillips and Bella. Photo by Sander Roscoe Wolff.

The Federal Bar opened in 2013, breathing new life into the massive bank building located on the northeast corner of Pine Avenue and First Street. The parent company, Knitting Factory Entertainment, is known for creating sophisticated dining and entertainment environments. In the basement, they transformed what was the bank vault into a world class music venue. 

On most nights, if you're enjoying live music in The Federal Underground, it will be in no small part due to Derek Phillips, the chief sound engineer and audio & visual technician for the venue. He learned about the opportunity from his friend, the late Markus Manley, when they were working together at the rebooted Blue Cafe.

Click the picture to read Long Beach Post's interview with Derek!

 

 

February 19, 2016

City Welcomes North Palm Springs Boutique Hotel, Knitting Factory to Curate Poolside Music Events

 
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The City of Palm Springs and business owners are thrilled to welcome Arrive. The 32 room boutique hotel is the first hotel to be built from the ground up in North Palm Springs in two decades. (Click the image to see Arrive)

Owners behind Arrive say they decided to launch their brand in Palm Springs but it will be the first of many boutique hotels they build that focus on being a part of the community and reflect the culture.

Arrive will also include an artisan ice cream shop, juice bar, coffee shop, restaurant next door and sushi / whisky bar across the street. The developers felt this was the perfect location because it was a blank canvas where they could create their vision and set the tone for the area. 

The hotel is a mix of Palm Springs modernism with a relaxed, elegant edge. There is no front desk, you can check in from wherever you are and fill any request through text message, not new technology, just convenience at your fingertips. 

The owners hope this will be a place locals think of first to bring their out of town guests, hang out with friends and where people who visit Palm Springs feel the eclectic vibe of the city of eternal sunshine. 

Arrive will start taking reservations next week. 

 

 

 

 

February 18, 2016

 

SNAPBACK BRINGS A HOUSE PARTY VIBE TO THE FEDERAL BAR IN LONG BEACH (Click the image to see more!)

DJ Icy Ice at SnapBack
DJ Icy Ice at SnapBack
Courtesy of Dj Icy Ice

Snapback LBC is the kind of club night where everybody knows your jam. From Snoop Dogg’s “Ain’t No Fun” to Roxanne Shante’s “Go On Girl” to Jay Z’s “Big Pimpin”, you can be sure that the attendees at Snapback LBC can recite every line word for word. Every Friday night below the Federal Bar in downtown Long Beach, a crowd with more hip-hop knowledge than your average club goers comes out to take in the music of '80s and '90s hip-hop, the way it was always intended to be heard, in an inviting house party like atmosphere. At Snapback’s Long Beach location there is a bar, but it’s in the far back of the club, and there is no bottle service. There is a dress code is casual. There are security guards, but bodily harm is more likely to come from a new friend slapping you on the back, then some drunk dude wanting to start a fight with you. Snapback brings you the fun of clubbing, listening and dancing to music made to dance to listen and dance to in a group setting, without the drama and pretense that sometimes accompanies club nights. 

 

“If you go to Las Vegas or some clubs in Orange County, it’s different, totally different” says DJ Icy Ice, one of the main DJs and organizers for Snapback, which also includes a parallel Snapback night on Fridays at The Federal Bar in North Hollywood. “It’s almost like we want to transport you back to an old school 90’s house party. That’s the vibe, that’s the ambiance. Of course it’s in a club, but we want you to feel like you’re in a house party that’s just jammin, and people are singing and rapping along to the songs." From the beginning, the whole premise of Snapback was to bring nostalgic old school music back, decades before EDM or trap music bangers. They've been champions of old school, feel-good music.

  SnapBack LBC happens every Friday night below The Federal Bar in downtown Long Beach, 102 Pine Avenue, Long Beach, CA. - OC WEEKLY

 

 

February 15, 2016
 

StefaniLady Gaga

Lady Gaga, real name Stefani Germanotta, will perform the David Bowie tribute at the Grammy Awards Ceremony tonight (UPDATE: it happened, and you can watch it HERE), and as Gaga fan @GagasGrkMonster points out, the performance is exactly ten years to the day after one of her early shows at Knitting Factory NYC (back when it was still on Leonard Street in Tribeca). That was when she was going as Stefani and was still enrolled in NYU. A video clip from that show has been online since 2006, which you can revisit below. To quote Wikipedia,

Gaga withdrew from CAP21 at 19, in the second semester of her sophomore year, deciding to focus on her musical career. Her father agreed to pay her rent for a year, on the condition that she re-enroll at Tisch if unsuccessful. "I left my entire family, got the cheapest apartment I could find, and ate shit until somebody would listen," she remembers. Settled in a small apartment on Rivington Street towards the summer of 2005, Gaga recorded a couple of songs with hip-hop singer Grandmaster Melle Mel, for an audio book accompanying the children's book The Portal in the Park, by Cricket Casey. She also began a band called the Stefani Germanotta Band (SGBand) with some friends from NYU - guitarist Calvin Pia, bassist Eli Silverman, drummer Alex Beckmann and booking manager Frank Fredericks - in September of that year. The band played a mixture of songs: some self-penned alongside classic rock numbers like Led Zeppelin's "D'yer Mak'er". Playing in bars like the Greenwich Village's The Bitter End and the Lower East Side's the Mercury Lounge, the band developed a small fan base and caught the eye of music producer Joe Vulpis
Also below are other Stefani videos from the era, including a Led Zeppelin cover at The Bitter End, a show at Cutting Room, and more.

 

Also in honor of tonight's tribute, she just got a David Bowie tattoo. Eight days ago, she also sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.

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February 10, 2016

 

Featured Artists: Nico Yaryan

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Singer-songwriter Nico Yaryan grew up poring over records, but his first real plunge into music came when his old friend Hanni El Khatib needed a drummer for his tour. Nico toured the world for two years with Hanni, learning guitar as he went. Eventually, he ended up in L.A., working as a weed clipper to fund travel to Amsterdam where he would spend time with his long-distance girlfriend.

During this turbulent time, his own music came to life. Nico's first single “Just Tell Me” has been featured on Spotify’s Viral Charts and currently has over 1.3 million streams. The track captures the strain he felt in his long distance relationship when it had been too long between visits and stands as a plea to her. What A Teasewill be released June 3rd on Partisan Records.

Featured Artists: Substance Over Hype

A while back, we met this artist collective called Substance Over Hype (SOH). They do just about anything. Want to make/edit/soundtrack a movie? Check. Need stunt guys? Check. Want to record a song? NO PROBLEM.

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Two Bellmen

So last year around this time they made a film for Marriott--who's getting into the movie and entertainment business with TV shows produced in partnership with Goldenvoice, YouTubers ranging from Brittany Furlan to Shira Lazar and even Snapchat shows. So....SOH made TWO BELLMEN, an acrobatic, lighthearted action art heist caper through their JW Marriott LA Live. It got 5 MILLION YouTube views.

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Two Bellmen Two on YouTube

As they say in the business, Marriott quickly greenlit a sequel: Two Bellmen Two, starring Frieda Pinto, set at the JW Marriott in Dubai. It hasn't been up a week and it's already past 2 million views. In this film, they basically chase a critical USB drive through the desert while fighting off "bio-bots" which bear more than a passing resemblance to Daft Punk.

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Business Unusual

Both films have awesome soundtracks but Two Bellmen Two closes with a song called Kings and Queens, which has its own music video. It's an homage to, well, Fast and Furious 7- with shopping carts. And in between, cranked out another movie for Renaissance in Chicago called Business Unusual that also shows off their amazing moves.

Keep an eye on these guys. We are!

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Kings and Queens-Substance Over Hype

Featured Shows

There are a number of exciting live shows happening in California over the next few weeks, including our previous featured artist Peppina at Resident and The Knitts EP release show.

Wednesday, February 10 
Peppina - Resident - Los Angeles, CA She's got a new music video too, here 
Nico Yaryan - The Roxy - Los Angeles, CA

Monday, February 15 
The Knitts - The Lost Room - Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, February 17 
Prima DonnaThe Viper Room - Los Angeles, CA

Saturday, February 20 
The Two Tens - Howl - Long Beach, CA

The State of the Indie Music Video in 2016

by Saeli Eshelman

I have been questioned on more than one occasion for my devout music video viewing. When discussing music with friends, if a song pops up that I love in the conversation, I usually follow with "Have you seen the music video? It's [incredible, life-changing, a work of true art, etc.]!" And they respond with a no, and "Who still watches music videos?"

For me, though, music videos enhance the art of a song ten-fold. The intense meanings of lyrics can come through, or be complicated based on the visual imagery that accompanies it. It gives me a better understanding of what the artist intends their work to be, and how they interpret it themselves, an insight that I treasure in its impact on my knowledge of their body of work as a whole.

It seems, however, that most people simply don't watch music videos as often because they are unaware of their production; unless an artist is publicizing the video or it catches on in a viral way, it can pass by unnoticed. The one exception to this rule seems to be videos by mega-pop/hip-hop stars. I actually thought about discussing Beyonce's video for her new song "Formation" but in the week-or-so since it has been released there have already been innumerable think-pieces written about its visual content (and to be quite honest, pissing of Beyonce fans scares the crap out of me). More than anything, though, I was deterred from meditating on her work because literally everyone has seen it.

But the world of music videos in the underground (and simply less mainstream) of really any genre is fascinating at the moment. There is so much amazing content being crafted all the time, so I thought I would showcase two videos that show the disparate directions that such creativity allows for highly different musical styles: "River" by Leon Bridges and "FloriDada" by Animal Collective.

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First, there is Leon Bridges, an up-and-coming artist who sounds as if he was plucked directly from the 1950s-60s, bringing into the contemporary conscious old-school blues and soul in a highly nostalgic way. When he first performed the above song (one of his debut album, ​Coming Home​, standouts) on Saturday Night Live a few months ago, the live version was deeply emotional--I actually prefer the audio from this performance better than the original recording now. The song wrestles a man's desire to experience a baptism of sorts in order to cleanse him of his sins and bestow him with new knowledge. It is powerful in the most base sense of the word. So when I saw that a music video was released earlier this month, I was excited to see what sort of story of repentance he would chronicle. What he depicts is a raw series of life experiences interwoven with contemporary footage of Bridges singing. The potential flashbacks (as I will call them since some of the images seem to be insinuated as moments in his own past) are representative not only of an individual's experience, but also seems to be speaking to some of the struggles that black individuals experience in their life, alongside moments of pure humanity. It's poetic, contemplative, and reflective, questioning life and its meaning and pathways, and bringing an already impactful song into new territory of intense human emotion.

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Animal Collective could not be more different than Bridges, this four-some--and now three-some--has been making music for going on 20 years. And this genre of music is incredibly difficult to pin down, although it's easiest to label it as simply "experimental" (despite the fact that depending on what era of their work you're listening to it could be classified as pop, freak folk, alternative rock). Full disclosure, they are my favorite band and I could not be more excited for their new album to drop because I have been a fan for almost half of my life, and am well-versed in their full discography and various sonic transitions. So when they dropped their first single, "FloriDada" from their upcoming album ​Painting With​ I was stoked. And when a music video was released last month I couldn't wait to see the way the imagery reflected their new sound and differed from visual portrayals from their past (including their feature-length film/album ​ODDSAC​). What they have concocted is hyper-stylized acid trip of sorts, full of bright colors--that compose tropical backdrops, our galaxy orbiting, and the state of Florida dancing--and semi-human forms who (possibly) conceive a child in the process and subsequently also dance about, ebbing and flowing to the tune. The visuals are so overwhelming that a seizure warning is even placed at the beginning. However, working within the themes of painting, as suggested by their album title, and experimental art practices such as the Dada movement they reference, this disjointed visual overload is quite apt. Additionally, the band identifies that have a reference to Florida in the title of the song was an attempt to glorify the weirdness of Florida that is often criticized nationally, figuring it as part of the state's unique charm.

So there you have it, two awesome but very different music videos that shows just a peek of the vast array of musically-driven art being created in the world now. Hopefully it will inspire you music video non-enthusiasts out there to give these complex art forms another shot and check out some visual works from your own favorite artists. It may just make you like them even more than you thought was already possible.

Federal Bars

The Knitting Factory’s two Southern California gastropubs—the Federal Bars in North Hollywood and Long Beach—feature a range of resident and one-off shows.

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On Sunday, February 28th, Mimosa Music Series will return to The Federal Bar in North Hollywood. Experience a free, all ages show while enjoying Sunday brunch. This week's show will feature indie pop group The Mynabirds and singer-songwriter Hillary Bratton. The Mynabirds are known for their “openhearted” indie rock and their single “Body of Work” has over 2 million streams on Spotify. LA native Hillary Bratton’s recently released album Tears On My Pillow But The Rest Of The Bed’s OK is a collection of songs written by Barry Reynolds, whose work is a major inspiration to Bratton. The musical brunch event will take place from 11am to 2pm.

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Down in Long Beach, The Federal will host metal/punk/stoner rock supergroup Sun and Sail Club on Thursday, February 11th. Consisting of guitarist and vocalist Bob Balch (formerly of Fu Manchu), drummer Scott Reeder (Fu Manchu), guitarist Tony Adolescent and bassist Scott Thomas Reeder (Kyuss, Fireball Ministry), this band consistently delivers an arsenal of energetic and hard-hitting songs. Sun and Sail Club combines the elements of aggressive rock genres to produce an entirely organic and unadulterated sound. Metal Sucks describes the band as “a whirlwind of progressive stoner rock that turned everything you thought you knew about both prog rock and stoner rock completely upside down.”

Blog Life

The Van Johnson Company and Knitting Factory Entertainment are pleased to present BLOG LIFE, a new weekly web series presented by Emmy Award-winning Rocsi Diaz and hosted by up-and-comer Moriah Brown.

Rocsi currently serves as an anchor and correspondent for HLN's The Daily Share, a show that offers up the daily best in social media news and lifestyle content. Prior to that, she was at Entertainment Tonight as a weekend co-host/daily correspondent and in 2014, she received a Daytime Emmy award as part of the cast for "Outstanding Entertainment News Program." Rocsi also holds an impressive following on social media with over 240,000 followers on Facebook, 1 Million on Twitter and 580,000 on Instagram.

Rocsi’s new series BLOG LIFE highlights the world of fashion bloggers. Each 5-minute webisode focuses on a different fashion blogger who will discuss their influences, families and other interests, as well as how they got started and what makes for a successful blog.

This week’s episode features fashion blogger Rachel Nguyen of the blog That’s Chic. Over the past three years, Rachel has been avidly documenting her dreamy So-Cal life with sun-drenched photographs, breezy Bohemian ensembles, and an infectious enthusiasm for L.A. on her blog. Check out this episode below!

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Next on the Decks

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This Thursday, February 11th, The Continental Club in Downtown LA will launch "Next on the Decks," a series of featured “non DJ” DJ nights where notable people in different fields—fashion designers, artists, publicists, celebrities and others try their hand at guided DJ’ing with a professional DJ as a wingman.

This week, you can catch featured DJ celebrity and entertainment publicist Jane Owen with Henry Eshelman (DJ Hoe) as her wingman! Eshelman actually STARTED his [rather casual] DJ career this way. Hear him blather on about that here.

Looking ahead, plans are for ArtShare LA's Executive Director Cheyanne Sauter to get dope on the decks on February 24.

Free with RSVP: rsvp@platformgrp.com.

Giveaway: Prima Donna "Fan Love" Show

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On Wednesday, February 17th, Prima Donna will showcase a full set at The Viper Room in Los Angeles. The show is 21+ and GA tickets are $10.

As a gift for all Prima Donna (and Knitting Factory News) fans, you can RSVP here for FREE entry!

***

That's it for this week. We're writing you because you've expressed interest in Knitting factory shows, artists or productions. Like us? Want us to consider covering your artists or shows? Please tell us, your humble writer/editors: Henry Eshelman heshelman@platformgrp.com, Sabrina Zeile sabrina@platformgrp.com and Saeli Eshelman saeli@platformgrp.com; we can take it from there.

Hate us? As someone once said, "please confine your comments to compliments only." But we’ll (regretfully) accept your unsubscribe requests humbly and without question. Thanks for listening!

 

 

 

 

February 8, 2016

 

Memorial Stadium is ready to play ball.

After announcing a Barenaked Ladies show recently, promoter Knitting Factory Presents revealed two more acts slated to perform at the home of the Boise Hawks in a new music series called Summerfield Concerts.

▪  Indie-folk group Lord Huron will headline Wednesday, Aug. 17. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 12 at TicketWeb for $38.50 general-admission lawn. VIP tables also are available for $350. Trampled By Turtles will open.

▪  Soul-singing newcomer Leon Bridges will headline Monday, May 30. Bridges previously was scheduled to gig at the Egyptian Theatre that evening, but the show sold out in advance, giving organizers incentive to move it to a larger space. (Hopefully, this will not irk fans anticipating an intimate indoor show at the Egyptian, a historic venue in Downtown Boise.)

Tickets to the Bridges show at the Egyptian will be honored at Memorial Stadium. Otherwise, tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 12 for $29.50 general-admission seats or lawn. - Idaho Statesman


Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/entertainment/ent-columns-blogs/words-deeds/article59139728.html#storylink=cpy

 

 

 

February 3, 2016

 

 
They Will Have to Kill Us
COURTESY OF BBC WORLDWIDE NORTH AMERICA/TOGETHER FILMS

                                                                                                                                                       

BBC Worldwide North America will release the documentary “They Will Have to Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile” in March and April in the U.S., Variety has learned exclusively.

The release coincides with Music Freedom Day on March 3. The feature-length documentary premiered at last year’s SXSW Film Festival.

“They Will Have to Kill Us First” is directed by Johanna Schwartz and features an original score by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It will open at New York City’s Village East Cinema on March 4 along with the release of the soundtrack, followed by a launch in Los Angeles and other markets on April 1.

“They Will Have to Kill Us First” is produced by Sarah Mosses of Together Films & executive produced by Andre Singer (“The Act of Killing”), alongside Stephen Hendel, Victoria Steventon, OKAY Africa & Knitting Factory Entertainment.

 

 

February 2, 2016

LAist features our NOHO spot on their 20 Favorite Events This Week! 


POUTINERIE (Food): Every Monday and Tuesday evening starting at 6pm, the North Hollywood gastro pub The Federal Bar transforms into a “Poutinerie,” offering its own take on the classic French-Canadian dish, Poutine. Traditionally made with french fries and cheese curds topped with gravy, the Federal Bar offers a variety of poutines or the opportunity for guests to create their own (starting with French fries, sweet potato fries or tator tots).

 

January 26, 2016

The Federal Bar Is Also a Part-Time Poutinerie

The French-Canadian classic and karaoke become one at this NoHo watering hole. (Click the image to read more from LA Mag!)

The Breakfast Poutine is topped with an egg

Poutine, the decadent French Canadian classic, has been making inroads into L.A.’s food scene for a while now (we even got our own location of the Toronto-based Smoke’s Poutinerie last year). And why shouldn’t it? It has fries, cheese, and gravy—the holy triumvirate of drunk munchies—making it the perfect change-up from your normal post-last-call taco routine.

In North Hollywood, though, you don’t have to wait for the bar to shut down before you indulge; on Mondays and Tuesdays, The Federal Bar becomes a poutinerie. “Poutine is the perfect bar food. It’s comfort food, but can easily be elevated and is a great pairing with many different styles of beer,” says general manager Steve Simon.