New Stories: Robot Parties, Electro Music and Much More

Empire of the Sun plays an Absolut party in Los Angeles. (Photo: Liz O.)

Empire of the Sun plays an Absolut party in Los Angeles. (Photo: Liz O.)

There are days when I really love my job. Take last Friday, for example. An editor at Paper Magazine contacted me to see if I could make it to an Absolut even that night. It was downtown, maybe a five minute drive from my place, and I wasn’t set to work that night, so I said yes. It ended up being one of the coolest events I had ever witnessed, a futuristic house party where you could get a drink mixed by a drone and watch a band comprised of robots. I stayed much longer than I had planned, partially because there was too much to see and, mostly, because Empire of the Sun performed near the end of the bash and I hadn’t seen them play live.

“Absolut’s Elektric House Party Was Insane” (Paper Magazine)

One of my favorite ’80s electro jams is a song called “Egypt Egypt” by Egyptian Lover. If you remember my gigs back at the Parlour and other parties early in the ’00s, you probably remember that I played that track a lot. For that reason, and many more, I was incredibly excited to finally have the opportunity to interview Egyptian Lover.

“Egyptian Lover Helped Invent ’80s Electro– Now He’s Bringing It Back” (L.A. Weekly)

Earlier this month, I had the chance to hang out with the promotion team Incognito, whose parties have featured guests like Francois K., Paul Woolford, Ian Pooley and loads of other recognizable names in the house and techno worlds. The story ran on L.A. Weekly‘s music site this week.

“Corporate Guys by Day, Party Promoters at Night: Meet the Team Behind Incognito” (L.A. Weekly)

And then there’s Loco Dice, who was one of the highlights of my trip to Electric Daisy Carnival this year. I interviewed him for Village Voice in advance of his Halloween gig in New York.

“DJ/Producer Loco Dice Goes from Dusseldorf to a Secret Brooklyn Warehouse Dance Party” (Village Voice)

It hasn’t been all music and parties this week. Jim McHugh is an L.A.-based photographer who has shot many people and places you will recognize. We talked about his days as a celebrity photographer for magazines like People, his series of portraits of artists and his more recent work capturing the images of L.A. landmarks.

“Jim McHugh’s Portraits of Famous People and Familiar Places” (Artbound)

Here are two stories that came out earlier this month and are worth a read.

Dabs Myla are a husband-wife team that make art as a single unit. They recently turned a building on Modernica’s factory grounds into a show-house for an exhibition that will last through mid-October. I got to visit with them while they were working on the project.

“In the Industrial Wasteland of Vernon, A Kooky Pop Art Home That You Can Visit” (L.A. Weekly)

I still can’t believe that I got the chance to see Ladybaby play inside an anime shop. If you want to know why that’s a big deal, you’ll have to read my story for Noisey.

“Meet Ladybaby, Japan’s Kawaiicore (and Pro-Wrestling) Answer to Andrew W.K.” (Noisey)

I’ll be finishing up October with two DJ gigs. Tonight, I’m playing at an Elks Lodge in San Bernardino for a big goth event. I’m on early, so if you’re in the Inland Empire, come by and check it out. Tomorrow, I’ll be on the decks at Hex Halloween at the Monte Christo in Koreatown.

Happy Halloween!

New Stories July 20-24, 2015: Lots of DJs and Xena

My profile of Mija is in this week's print edition of L.A. Weekly.

My profile of Mija is in this week’s print edition of L.A. Weekly.

This week was nearly all about the DJs. My profile of Mija, whose DJ career took off after an impromptu set with Skrillex last year, finally ran in the print edition of L.A. Weekly. This story was in the works for a while, so it’s nice to see it hit the streets. For those who would rather read online, you can do that too.

“A Chance DJ Set with Skrillex Helped Make Mija a Rising Star of EDM” (L.A. Weekly)

Mija wasn’t the only DJ I profiled recently. I also had the chance to hang out with Adam Auburn. You might recognize the L.A.-based DJ from his gigs at Exchange or King King, or his party Afternoon Delight at the Standard. You might also recognize him as a DJ at California Adventure’s Mad T Party.

“Adam Auburn’s Versatile DJ Skills Take Him Exchange L.A. to California Adventure’s Mad T Party” (L.A. Weekly)

When I started hitting up the clubs in the mid-1990s, Amanda Jones seemed to be playing everywhere. She actually got her start a few years earlier, when she was in high school. Today, she has two weekly residencies, amongst other gigs. It was a great pleasure to finally have the chance to interview her.

“DJ Amanda Jones Rules the Decks in L.A.’s Goth/Industrial Party Scene” (L.A. Weekly)

And then I got to DJ too. Hoseh of the Dublab show “Version Sounds” invited me to play a guest set earlier this week. This was a very special opportunity. Nearly 20 years ago, Hoseh hired me as a DJ at KXLU 88.9 FM, Loyola Marymount’s radio station. He likes to mention that no one wanted me to be a DJ because I was a weirdo goth, but he knew that I could do the job. I’m glad he did this because KXLU changed my life and I probably wouldn’t have the career that I do now if it weren’t for that. Hoseh, if you’re reading this, thanks for taking a chance on the goth chick.

“Version Sounds” 7/21/15 (Dublab)

It wasn’t all DJs this week. I did write about Xena: Warrior Princess or, what I would want to see in a Xena reboot, for Topless Robot.

“7 Things We Want to See in a Xena: Warrior Princess Reboot” (Topless Robot)

That’s it for now. I’ll be back with another update next week.

Thanks for reading and listening.

Martin Gore, Beautiful People and More


It’s been a busy week. On the occasion of our anniversary, my husband and I decided to hit up at least one music event every day/night for a week. We checked out a party in Hollywood that wasn’t cheesy, caught a music festival at our alma mater, felt a lot of bass at Low End Theory and much more. It wasn’t as exhausting of a week as I thought it would be. Writing about it might be more taxing. I don’t know yet.

Meanwhile, some exciting new stories hit the web and the streets this week.

Martin Gore just released his new solo album, MG, and I’m proud to say that I had the chance to speak with him about it for L.A. Weekly. I’ve been a huge Depeche Mode fan since I was in grade school, so this was a very special assignment.

“Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore Talks About His Sci-Fi Solo Album, MG”

The fact that I’m a big ol’ Depeche Mode fan is probably a sign that I’m older than the average club-goer. For L.A. Weekly, I wrote about how the nightlife changes as you hit your late 30s. The response for this story was amazing. I’m kind of proud of it.

“What Happens When Rabid Concertgoers Get Old”

This year, I contributed to Paper Magazine‘s annual Beautiful People issue. Check out my interviews with Shamir, Ellar Coltrane, Ruba Wilson, Desiree Akhavan and Mike Eckhaus of Eckhaus Latta.

Paper’s Beautiful People

Apparently, some people go all out for children’s birthday parties, bringing in companies who specialize in all sorts of whimsical characters, from clowns to princesses to mermaids. I talked to a few people who own party production companies for Backstage.

“Kids’ Parties Offer Acting Challenges and Good Pay”

This week, I somehow managed to get two stories in the print issue of L.A. Weekly. The first is an arts piece that gives a little peek inside the L.A. burlesque scene. The second is a music feature profiling the band Talk in Tongues, who I think you’ll love if you’re interested in late-’80s/early-/’90s U.K. indie music, like 4AD and Creation Records stuff.

“Super Mario Came to Town and Sparked an All-Out Burlesque War”

“Talk in Tongues Were Born in the ’90s, but Their Sound Is Pure ’80s Shoegaze”




New Stories on Dance Music and Animation

In the studio where Datsik and team prepared The Vortex for tour. (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)

In the studio where Datsik and team prepared The Vortex for tour. (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)

Last weekend, I attended Anime Los Angeles as a guest of honor. It was an amazing experience. Throughout the weekend, I gave talks on writing and answered a bunch of questions about everything from college to “shipping.” I think I answered all the shipping questions wrong, though, since I didn’t know what the word meant until after the fact. To clarify, I think characters should be in relationships with the characters who will treat them with respect, as one would expect in real life.

Anyhow, I want to thank everyone at Anime Los Angeles for making this experience so memorable.

There was no break after the convention ended. I spent most of this week traveling across town, actually, L.A. County, to interview people for a few different stories. I’m pretty excited about the work I’ve been doing lately and can’t wait until I can share it with you. Before that can happen, though, I have to finish writing.

One of my goals for 2015 was to do more music writing and that’s working out pretty well. This week, L.A. Weekly published my list of 10 female DJs who were big before the big EDM “brofest” began. This is essentially a response to a trend piece about the emergence of lady DJs. Unless you’re a n00b, you should know that there have been women in the DJ booth for a long time. Apparently, a lot of people who aren’t n00bs got a hold of the story because most of the responses I saw were of the “You forgot [insert DJ name here]!” variety. I sincerely love seeing that. Because there are so many women in the dance music world who have made an impact, and this was just a 10-person list, I’ll be posting tracks and mixes from many more on my Facebook page.

Read: “10 Female DJs Who Ruled Before the EDM Brofest”

For my “Cult Stars” column that runs online in L.A. Weekly’s arts section, I talked to Amy Lee Ketchum. She’s an animation artist who makes beautiful short films that you need to see. A recent one, “Dreaming Los Angeles,” is actually an exquisite corpse collaborative project that screened recently at the Egyptian.

Read: “A Chain of Animators Created and Exquisite Corpse Movie About L.A.”

On Tuesday, I ventured to North Hollywood where DJ/producer Datsik unveiled the latest incarnation of The Vortex. That’s the massive DJ booth/image mapping prop that he brings on tour. Datsik is about to embark on a lengthy tour and it may be the last trip for The Vortex.

Read: “Datsik Prepares the Vortex for What Might Be Its Final Tour”

The Best of L.A. is Out Now

Photo: Liz Ohanesian for L.A. Weekly

Photo: Liz Ohanesian for L.A. Weekly

L.A. Weekly’s annual Best of L.A. issue is out now. It’s thick and filled with lots of great local spots. For the issue, I headed back to the homeland– the San Fernando Valley– and wrote up Captain Ed’s Shoppe. It’s a Valley institution. My other picks include Daiso (for providing cheap office supplies) and party game makers Wise Guys Events.

In other news, there’s a new issue of Hi-Fructose on the horizon (maybe in your mailbox now). I wrote about Laurence Vallières, who makes massive cardboard sculptures of animals. You can order this issue online. The story is only available in print.

And then there’s my story on D*Face for L.A. Weekly, which I may have mentioned in a previous post. D*Face is a British artist who started out on the streets, but does all sorts of work now, from murals to paintings to installations. My favorite pieces in his current show are portraits engraved on old school desks that are covered in graffiti.

Old Books, New Art and Virtual Reality

Chapter 3 of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Chapter 3 of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

When I was 12 or 13, I fell hard for The Smiths and Morrissey. In typical Morrissey fanatic fashion, I started reading the writers that the singer mentioned in songs and interviews. The biggie was Oscar Wilde. I went from The Picture of Dorian Gray, through the plays, fairy tales, basically anything I could find. I loved it all.

Years later, I stumbled across The Clark Library’s website and found out that they had this massive collection of works from Oscar Wilde and his co-horts. How the heck did this end up in L.A.? Maybe it didn’t matter. I had to see the Oscar Wilde collection. A few emails later, I had a story assignment and a tour scheduled.

“Inside the Clark Library’s Immense Oscar Wilde Collection”

Also, for KCET Artbound, I interviewed Stephanie Inagaki. She’s an L.A.-based artist whose portraits are both unexpected and beautiful.

“Stephanie Inagaki’s Intimate Portraits”

In other Artbound news, my recent story on L.A. punk legend Alice Bag one a recent vote, meaning that it will be the basis for an upcoming segment on the Artbound television series.

“Alice Bag’s Portraits of the Los Angeles Punk Scene”
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A Horror Convention, a Japanese Film Festival and More



Last weekend was Son of Monsterpalooza, which is a horror convention that is filled with special effects artists and other people who make monsters and other creepy things. I was there on Saturday to cover for L.A. Weekly. Not too long after arriving, I noticed that Tom Savini was sitting at a booth near the front of the convention center. Immediately, I knew I had to get a quote from him. If my brother– who spent pretty much all of his teenage years talking about horror movies– found out that I was here, that I saw Tom Savini and didn’t try to meet him, he would never let me live it down. So I went up to the booth and got quotes and a photo.

I spent four hours and change hitting up people for interviews and photos. One of the highlights was stopping by the Chiodo Bros. booth. They made Killer Klowns from Outer Space. I love that movie. In the end, I got two stories out of the experience.

“Son of Monsterpalooza, a Gathering of Monster-Makers in Burbank” (L.A. Weekly)

“10 Creepy Awesome Things We Saw at ‘Son of Monsterpalooza'” (Topless Robot)
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Lots of Art and One TV Show



Last weekend, “Monsterfink!” opened at a nifty Burbank collectibles shop called Creature Features. The group art show, which featured more than 100 contributors, brought together monsters, hot rods and, of course, Rat Fink. It was about as Southern California as an art show can get and I wrote about the event for my L.A. Weekly column, Cult Stars.

Read: “In Burbank, an Art Show About Monsters and Hot Rods — and Rat Fink”

Speaking of monsters, I recently visited Chet Zar, kind of the monster painters, at his studio in the San Gabriel Valley. He’s currently working on a show to open next month at Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, but you can see a little of what he’s doing in the story I wrote for MySpace.

Read: “This is ‘All Hallow’s Eve’: Artist Chet Zar Traverses From Tool to Fine Art”

Early in August, I had the chance to hang out with Alice Bag. She fronted The Bags, one of the original late-1970s L.A. punk bands. Since then, she’s played with a lot of groups. Plus, she wrote a memoir, Violence Girl. Now, she’s showing her paintings in galleries. A lot of her work focuses on documenting the history of women involved in the Los Angeles punk scene and it’s fascinating. I wrote about Alice Bag for KCET Artbound.

Read: “Alice Bag’s Portraits of the Los Angeles Punk Scene”

A few weeks ago, Black Jesus, the new show from Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder, premiered on Adult Swim and it’s become quite popular. I talked to one of the show’s starts, Kali Hawk, about her character and the controversy that hit the show before it launched for Paste.

Read: “Catching up With Black Jesus Actor Kali Hawk”  

Sunday night, Captured Aural Phantasy, who I previously profiled for L.A. Weekly, returns to El Cid with a new season of stage shows based on comic books and radio shows. I wrote a preview of this weekend’s event for L.A. Weekly.

Read: “5 Far-Out Things to do in L.A. This Week for $10 or Less” (It’s the third entry.)

New Stories: Transformers


In first or second grade, I was totally into Michael Jackson. Thriller had just come out and it’s not an exaggeration to say that it was the biggest album of the day. That Christmas, I got my own Michael Jackson doll. I treasured him, but not enough to keep track of the single sequined-like glove. I still have the doll, but he is incomplete. That’s why I find Transformers collectingso interesting. Those toys had a lot of small parts and there’s little chance that their former six-year-old owners kept them intact. That makes collecting those toys of the ’80s tough for adults.

Last weekend, I went to BotCon. That’s an annual Transformers convention that moves from location to location across the country. While I was there, I asked a lot of vendors about those collectibles. I wanted to know what people were trying to find and what was considered rare. You can read about that in my story for Topless Robot.

Meanwhile, I met some creative Transformers fans at the convention. One customizes toys for fans who can’t find the look they want. Two others started their own toy company that makes accessories/tiny friends that fit with a number of retro toys. I wrote about them in my latest column for L.A. Weekly.


A few months ago, I hopped into a towncar with Afrojack and interviewed him while en route from Point A to Point B. Fortunately, it was a Saturday evening in Hollywood. Lousy traffic makes for better interviews! The story is now ready to read as part of Paper‘s special issue on high-profile DJ/producers.


On the DJ front, tomorrow will be my last night at Shadowplay, the goth club that my pals and I launched last year. I won’t be playing, or even going to, clubs often for at least the next few months as I have to focus on some big writing projects. If you would like to join us,  go to the Grand Star (next to the Bruce Lee statue in Chinatown) Saturday night at 10 p.m. This is a 21+ event and the cover is $5 all night.



New Stories: One Weird Cartoon and Industrial Music



Early last fall, I stopped by Titmouse Animation Studios and met JJ Villard. King Star King, the show he created for Adult Swim, was in the midst of production. Over the course of the next few months, we spoke a few more times. Last week, the show premiered online. On Thursday, my story about JJ came out in the print edition of L.A. Weekly. Pick up your copy at newsstands across Los Angeles, or read it online.

3 Teeth are a new industrial band with a style that harks back the genre’s golden age. They’ll make their debut at Complex tomorrow night and I had the chance to interview them for L.A. Weekly.

That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend and thanks for reading.