Stories: 10/17-10/23

Photo Oct 23, 11 50 00 AMTwo years ago, I started checking out the new wave of virtual reality projects and wrote about them here and there for L.A. Weekly, Paste and The Robot’s Voice. Two months ago, I started work on a big story for L.A. Weekly on the development of Los Angeles’ community of virtual reality pros and how this intersects with Hollywood. The story came out on Thursday and I’m very happy to add that it’s the cover feature for this week’s print issue.

“From Hollywood to Silicon Beach, L.A. Creatives are Plotting Virtual Reality’s Boom”

Art Center has a data art show going on right now. What I thought was really interesting about this group exhibition was that two of the pieces are inspired in part by Joy Division. I wrote about those works for L.A. Weekly.

“How Joy Division Ended Up in a Data Art Show — Twice”

Also, L.A. Weekly ran a list of cool videos shot in our fine city. I wrote about clips from the Beastie Boys and Massive Attack.

“The 20 Best Music Videos Ever Shot in Los Angeles”

In club news, I’ll be playing Italo disco, freestyle and more at the Lash on Thursday night for Native Love. This is going to be totally different from my usual sets at the Lash for ’90s Goth Klub (which, by the way, is Sunday, October 30– wear a costume) and should be a ton of fun. Hope to see you there.

 

DJ Gigs for October 2016

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This week, I’ve been in a deep writing hole trying to finish stuff that you will, hopefully, have the chance to read soon. In the meantime, check out L.A. Weekly‘s Best of L.A. issue. I wrote a few of the entries in here, like “Best Band Name” and “Best Spot for Househeads.”

I have a smattering of DJ gigs coming up in the next few weeks. On Friday, October 14, Das Bunker kicks off its three-day 20th anniversary celebration. I’ll be playing on that first night with my old DJ buddies Frankie and Gerber in the Satellite room. Satellite was a synthpop club that Frankie used to throw. I was of the DJs there around 1999/2000 and it was a the party where I started to develop my own DJ style. It will be so much fun to play this event.  More info on Facebook.

Wardance is back on Friday, October 21 at the Grand Star in Chinatown. This month, we’re teaming up with Prism for a dance party that promises to be a lot of fun mix of spooky stuff, synth-y stuff and whatever else we feel like playing. RSVP on Facebook and join us.

Start off Halloween on October 30 with 90s Goth Klub at The Lash. I will hopefully have time to put together an appropriately ’90s goth costume for this. No, it will not be The Crow. Details on Facebook.

Stories: September 25- October 1

Warpaint pic

On Thursday, the new issue of L.A. Weekly hit the streets with Warpaint on the cover. I wrote the story. Almost five years had passed since my last cover story for the Weekly, so this was an exciting moment.

“How Warpaint Got Stronger Together by Spending Some Time Apart”

But, that’s not all.

Thanks to a gig I have for the KCET Cinema Series, I was able to see Snowden earlier in September. I really enjoyed the movie (go see it when you have the chance). I loved the use of music in the movie, even if it did leave me feeling super paranoid when I left the theater. That said, when I heard that Boys Noize, who was involved with several components of the soundtrack, was available for interviews, I knew I had to get one. Fortunately, Playboy said yes to this. We talked about Snowden, government surveillance, the drama surrounding London nightclub Fabric and gentrification in Berlin.

“Boys Noize Talks Surveillance, Berlin and Contributing to the ‘Snowden’ Soundtrack”

Last weekend, I headed to a posh hotel near the Beverly Center for Los Angeles Podcast Festival. What’s great about this event is that it’s not just about the big names in the podcast world. Sure, you had the chance to see Welcome to Night Vale and lots of other shows live, but there are also how-to panels and a Podcast Lab, where you can set up your gear and record. Lots of the guests stop by this room, so it’s a great chance for smaller podcasters to land interviews. It’s also filled with lots of fun people, some of whom I had the chance to interview for this story. This was a quick turnaround story, as I did the interviews on Saturday and had to file by Sunday mid-afternoon. Since I basically spent my Saturday night and Sunday morning working on this (thank goodness for coffee), I urge you to read it.

“Step Inside the Podcast Lab, Where the Littler Guys Grab the Mic”

Last week, I was asked to write a response to one of those weird, stereotypical articles about people from a another city moving to LA.

“Debunking Yet Another Tone Deaf Article On Los Angeles”

Time to get back to writing. For updates throughout the week, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram. For tips and other inquiries, email me at lizohanesian@yahoo.com.

New Stories: September 11-17, 2016

Patrick Martinez in his studio. (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)

Patrick Martinez in his studio. (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this thing. Right now, the goal is to update on Sundays with a recap of my stories that ran over the past week.

“10 Tracks That Prove the ’90s Were the Golden Age of Nerdy Dance Jams” (L.A. Weekly, 9/13/16)

I’m not much of a list-maker, but there has been one list that I’ve long wanted to write. That’s this one. Quite a few of these were songs that I loved dearly in the era they were released. I still love them. In fact, I’ve been playing “O Fortuna” and “Temple of Dreams” a lot at 90s Goth Klub, the monthly party in L.A. where I’m a resident DJ. I might have to play a few more of these songs soon.

“Retro ‘Pee-Chee’ Folders are Re-envisioned to Memorialize Victims of Police Violence” (Artbound, 9/14/16)

Patrick Martinez is an L.A.-based artist who has been documenting instances of police violence in his series of Pee-Chee folder-styled paintings. I recently visited him at his studio where he spoke at length about these powerful works.

“Is the Future of Raves in Virtual Reality?” (L.A. Weekly, 9/15/16)

I write a twice-monthly column for L.A. Weekly about dance music, DJ culture and club life. In this installment, I attended the VR Rave, a dance party in a virtual reality world. It was so weird and so much fun.

That’s it for this week. For tips and other inquiries, contact me at lizohanesian@yahoo.com. Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Get Your Copies of Cosplay in America Vol. 2 and Hi-Fructose Vol. 37

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I had five DJ gigs in the past month. It’s probably been a decade since I played that much in a four-week span. Every gig was a blast, but the Halloween weekend ones were something special. On the night before the big, spooky holiday, I played my first ever gig in San Bernardino. I still can’t fully comprehend the strangeness of the night. There were bonfires and one of the bands on the bill, Rebel Rebel, had appeared on The Hot Seat with Wally George years ago. That last bit of information likely means nothing to folks who didn’t grow up in Southern California in the late ’80s and early ’90s. If, however, you do recall the KDOC show where shock rock met conservative punditry, you will totally understand why that was so weird. The following night, I played LADEAD’s Hex Halloween event. It was my first time playing for this promotion team, so I didn’t know what to expect. It was an absolute blast. As soon as the doors opened for the room where I played, the floor filled up with dancers.

Next month, I have two gigs schedule. The first is 90’s Goth Klub, a monthly party at The Lash where I regularly play. That’s on November 15. On November 20, I’ll be at the Grand Star for a new party presented by my pal Grimm Beatz and myself. It’s called Starhaus and it’s a “disco-goth glitter extravaganza.” In other words, I get to play Siouxsie and the Banshees, Sylvester and David Bowie in the same set. That pleases me. Hopefully, it will please you too. Our special guests are two of my favorite local artists, Ghost Noise and ParallaxScroll.

As for writing, I have a few things out now that you won’t be able to read online. My friend Ejen Chuang recently released the follow-up to his successful photo book Cosplay in America. For the second volume, he goes deeper into the costuming world, documenting the prep work and giving a behind-the-scenes look at conventions. Plus, there’s an essay penned by yours truly. Ejen has been bringing the book to various conventions, so you might be able to pick up a copy in an artist alley somewhere, like at DesignerCon in Pasadena on November 21 and 22. You can also order Cosplay in America Vol. 2 online.

I also have two stories in the current issue of Hi-Fructose. I had the chance to interview Ryan Salge, an up-and-coming artist who is doing gorgeous work. I also interview legendary L.A. muralist Kent Twitchell. His work– like the L.A. Chamber Orchestra mural that overlooks a stretch of freeway downtown– is truly a part of the city and something that makes me pretty darn proud to be an Angeleno. Having the chance to talk to him extensively about his career was an honor and I hope you’ll read the story. You can order Hi-Fructose through the magazine’s website.

I do have one new story that’s online. The current, monthly issue of Paste Magazine is focused on the future and I wrote specifically about how virtual reality may change the way we experience television. I’ve been reporting on VR here and there for the past year or so and it’s a subject that truly fascinates me, so I was very happy to be able to write this.

“How Virtual Reality Might Change TV Shows” (Paste Magazine)

I’ll be back next week with new stories to share. Thanks for reading!

Liz

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.

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”
Continue reading

Lots of Art and One TV Show

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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.)