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More Female Films, Fall Vibes with Cronenberg, Fundraiser for Frank Romero, 90s Dance Party & More ~ GTFO LA!

Ain't no party like a 90s party 'cause a 90s party don't stop!  So get out of the f***ing house!

Thursday, September 27

Frank Romero Fundraiser in Highland Park

[dropcap size=big]W[/dropcap]hile sitting in traffic going north on the 101 you might’ve stared out of your window and seen a huge painting of colorful cars. This row of vibrant vehicles side by side with your own, almost like a parallel universe freeway extension. Bright bold colors and L.A. iconography, like cars and palm trees, are characteristic of renowned Chicano muralist Frank Romero’s work. In 1984 he was commissioned to paint, Going to the Olympics, in commemoration of the games in L.A.. Thirty-four years later he will once again be creating an Olympic themed mural, this time in Highland Park.

To raise money for the installation Pacific Union and Council District 1 are hosting a silent auction and raffle with a goal of raising $10-15K. Romero himself will be at the event auctioning off one of his original art pieces. All proceeds will go to the Photo Friends L.A.-Frank Romero Mural Fund. The mural is set to be unveiled in mid-October. More info here.

Friday, September 28

Virtual Forest Art Festival in the Valley

[dropcap size=big]S[/dropcap]how the San Fernando Valley some love at the 2nd Annual Van Nuys Arts Festival. I know, it seems every weekend some neighborhood in L.A. is having their own festival … but isn’t that kind of amazing? Not all major cities have neighborhoods that rep so hard to highlight their local talent and encourage engagement in the arts. With a city so expansive and diverse this is the perfect excuse to explore a new pocket of culture and for freeeee!!

VNAF is definitely more on the festival tip and less like your run-of-the-mill community event. Expect a lot of tech arts. Like a 3-D dance party hosted by artist Christine Marie, live project mapping by 818Arts and a 3D Instagram photo booth from L.A.CMA. Not to mention the entire event is within the context of a virtual forest. The soundtrack to your experience in this world of simulated foliage will be nothing short of eclectic. A diverse range of DJs and musicians include everything from the stringed rhythms of Son Jarocho as performed by Cambalache, to the political flows of hip-hop artist Maya Jupiter. But if you really wanna give some local support, go check out the musical performances of the hardworking young folks from CHAMPS Charter School and Van Nuys High School on the side stage. More info here.

Saturday, September 20

90s Dance Party in DTLA

[dropcap size=big]H[/dropcap]ead to Bodega’s DTLA location for a night in collaboration with visual artist/archivist Guadalupe Rosales and OG streetwear company Freshjive. The event is part book launch, clothing drop, photography exhibit, archival display and dance party.

Map Pointz: A Collective Memory is the first book ever that documents the 90’s party crew scene, a history that has been missing in Chicanx literature until now. The book is physical manifestation of Rosales’ archival work that really started with her own personal collection of photos from that era. In 2016 she started a digital archive on Instagram to serve as a living platform for people to connect over this culture and share their stories through photo submissions. Some supporters have not only given Rosales hard copies of their photos, but also scene specific flyers and clothing, some of which will be on display Saturday.

Because Rosales really just does it all she’s also dropping merch in collaboration with Bodega and Rick Klotz, founder of Freshjive. Klotz’ brand was one of the first street style companies to pop-up in L.A. back in 1989. Because he’s a jack-of-all-trades in his own right, in the 90s he did all his marketing photography. The exhibit on display, Los Angeles Homies, is a collection of Klotz’ published and unpublished professional work for Freshjive. The title referring to the fact that Klotz’s models were actually his friends aka skateboarders and musicians of the time. He would drive all over L.A. shooting with them, from Hollywood, to South L.A. to Venice. Expect his photography to be reflection of more than just 90’s fashion sensibilities, but also L.A. street culture lifestyle. RSVP for the event here.

Dublab Anniversary Party in Frogtown

[dropcap size=big]E[/dropcap]ver wonder why they seem to play the same songs over and over again on the radio? Well, in 1996 a Telecommunications Act was passed that severely limited diversity on the radio by allowing major companies such as Clear Channel to essentially monopolize the radio waves. This change led to sweeping shutdowns of pirate radio stations such as USC-based KSCR. Seeing that their end was near general manager at KSCR Mark McNeil took it upon himself to learn how to broadcast online. Mind you that was in 1998, so without the help of all these user-friendly live streaming applications we have today. With his knowledge and a group of 110 like-minded DJs they formed Dublab radio.

Since 1999, Dublab has become a community institution for L.A. music and culture. McNeil described Dublab as an “umbrella space that brings together disparate scenes that reflect the diversity of voices that is L.A..” A place where emerging artists such as Gemma Castro, lives alongside veteran vinyl collectors, The Southern Soul Spinners. In this sense their slogan, “future roots radio,” shines bright. McNeil thinks of Dublab as an “invisible map of the way music is created and related. The more time you spend listening the more connections you’re going to make.”

This Saturday Dublab celebrates their 19th year anniversary at Zebulon. The music and performances planned reflect the eclectic and progressive spirit of the station with artists such as, Bardo Martinez (Chicano Batman), Chico Sonido and just announced secret guests Ariel Pink, Jack Name and Mitchell Brown who will be doing a trio improvisation. For more info and to see a list of the full line-up go here.

Jazz Festival at the Watts Towers

[dropcap size=big]G[/dropcap]et your groove on at this two-part festival located at the iconic Watts Towers. Day one is a performative and rhythmic trip around the world known as the Day of the Drum Festival. A variety of drumming styles will be represented from Japanese, Belizean, West African, Caribbean and Aztec traditions. Day two, is the Simon Rodia Watts Towers Jazz Festival, which will include American music traditions of jazz, gospel and rhythm and blues. Artist-in-residence Charles Dickson will also be unveiling his sculpture of Simon Rodia.

So who is Simon Rodia and what’s up with this sculpture and festival for him? He is in fact the artist behind the Watts Towers. In 1921, Rodia, who was an Italian immigrant, bought a triangular-shaped plot, which would become the site for his thirty-four year obsession. Appearing crazy to some and inspiring to others, year after year Rodia salvaged materials like wire mesh, steel, pottery and tile to construct what we now know as the Watts Towers. In 1955, he packed up and left to Northern California, no one really knowing exactly why. However, his legacy and masterpiece has continued to serve as a source of pride for the community and a shining example of the beauty one person can bring with little means. More info on the festival here. 

Sunday, September 21

David Cronenberg at the Egyptian

[dropcap size=big]S[/dropcap]ummer is officially over and the subtle shift of degrees has us spoiled Southern California folks wanting to bundle up and laylow. Embrace the fall times vibes this weekend at Beyond Fest, a genre fest of cult classics and premieres. This year the festival highlights the work of horror auteur David Cronenberg with a 13-film retrospective. On Saturday catch a marathon of his earlier work. This includes Scanners, a film about a group of people with telepathic and telekinetic powers who plan to create a race that will takeover the world, and who bleed from their nose when they use their powers … sound like Strangers Things much? On Sunday catch a double-feature of his insect themed body horror films Naked Lunch and The Fly. And if you missed those, Monday is another double feature of his sci-fi horror work eXistenZ and his classic film featuring Deborah Harry, Videodrome. The fest continues until October 9th. More info here. 

More Female Films Everywhere, Please

[dropcap size=big]G[/dropcap]et your tickets now for Female Filmmakers Fest, which runs from October 12th to 14th in DTLA. This fest is aimed at inspiring more women to pick up a camera, by celebrating female directors and in essence normalizing their role behind the scenes. According to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, last year women accounted for just 27 percent of all creators, directors, writers, producers and cinematographers so you can see why festivals like this are not only relevant, but critical. More info here.

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