Tag Archives Los Angeles

LA Rock Band Wavy Trees Release New Music Video, “Hypocrite”

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LA-based garage punk band Wavy Trees are sending their love to the brokenhearted in their latest single Hypocrite.” The song’s anthemic melodies and grunge undertones make for a perfect heartbreak sing-along.

What started as an “accident” during one of the band’s jam sessions, “Hypocrite” is an honest and pure testament to the frustrations of losing a relationship. The outlandish video takes the band through door-to-door “The Wavy Way” enlightenment recruitment in the San Fernando Valley. With doors constantly shut in the band’s faces, the four-piece ultimately decide to take their frustration out in the community with vandalism and more. 

Zack Smith, the lead vocalist of Wavy Trees, shares the inspiration behind the track and video:

“‘Hypocrite’ is an anthem for those who were left behind by a lover. It’s about being sick of wasting your love on someone! When you love someone so much that even when they leave you, you still want them to take you with them when they go. It’s also the acceptance of losing someone. At the end of the day we all have that hypocritical side of us that wants things that aren’t the best for us.

The concept for the ‘Hypocrite’ music video came to us while driving around Los Angeles. Jason (our guitarist) noticed some missionaries going door-to-door and thought it would be hilarious is we dressed like they did. So, we decided to create our own make believe cult called “The Wavy Way” and use that concept to convey a satirical outlook on life in general. In the end, you will see that we were all hypocrites after all.”

If Wayne’s World and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure collided in an alternate reality House party, Los Angeles based Wavy Trees would be the band playing in the backyard.  The cosmic bartender at this gathering would be mixing swaggering hard rock riffs with the attitude and energy of garage-punk, dumping it into a shaker and pouring out a potent cocktail of we-could-give-a-f-ck fun.

Wavy Trees is made up of Zack “Moondog” Smith on lead vox/guitar/piano, Jason Espirito on guitar, Brian Duke on bass/guitar, and Jack Gallner on drums. The band is produced by the legendary Jay Baumgardner (Seether, Bush, Papa Roach, Lacuna Coil, Otherwise). 

Check out Wavy TreesHypocriteon Spotify today. 

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Read more music articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Kaytlin Dargen

Still so Much to do in Downtown Los Angeles

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Did you know that there is still so much to do in downtown Los Angeles?  Truth be told, most people that visit L.A. never even thing about visiting downtown Los Angeles (DTLA). They instead opt to head for the Santa Monica beach or for the glitz and glamour of Beverly Hills. Most do not consider spending time in DTLA but they have no idea what they are missing out on. Today we want to share with you some of the most exciting things to do in DTLA. While the downtown area might not possess the most iconic places to see in Los Angeles, it can surely make for an amazing day with friends and family.  From hotels and museums to fine restaurants and shops, there is something for everyone.

downtown Los Angeles

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LA Live

LA Live is one of downtown Los Angeles’s greatest attractions and is a great place to hang out for a few hours.  It’s basically a huge entertainment complex that even has its own streets. You can watch movies, concerts or visit any number of great restaurants and bars.

Helicopter Tour

What better way to see downtown Los Angeles than by air? Talk about some exciting Instagram worthy photos as you get a birds-eye view of the tallest buildings in downtown Los Angeles.  The tours usually last 30 minutes and fly at an altitude of 1,000 feet.

downtown Los Angeles

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Grand Central Market

As the name suggest, Grand Central Market is a great place to find fresh fruits and vegetables. This landmark has been a staple in LA for over 100 years and is one of the best places to taste some of downtown LA’s best street food.  Find amazing BBQ ribs, burgers, Japanese and Mexican dishes to scrumptious local seafood.

Disney Concert Hall

The Walt Disney Concert Hall is home to the infamous Los Angeles Philharmonic, one of the best in the country. Even if a few concert tickets aren’t in your budget, you will be thrilled just to visit the concert hall. There are free tours available so that you can explore the entire building both inside and outside, which includes an exterior staircase that will take you straight to the rooftop.

Little Tokyo

With a distinct Japanese atmosphere, Little Tokyo is a historic part of downtown LA. It’s a great place to go shopping, sightseeing, and of course exploring great Japanese cuisine. The Japanese Village Mall is the perfect spot for some retail therapy where you’ll find authentic Japanese products and produce.  For cultural enthusiasts, you can visit the Japanese American National Museum, the only museum in the country focused on Americans of Japanese ancestry.

SkySlide

One must see location has to be OUE Skyspace.  OUE Skyspace observatory is located in downtown LA  and occupies the sixty-ninth and seventieth floors of the US Bank Tower. It gives you an amazing 360-degree view from California’s tallest open-air observation deck and the second largest skyscraper in Los Angeles. If you are up for a thrilling experience hop on the Skyslide, a 45-foot, fully transparent slide.  As you fly down the slide you can see the sky above and all of downtown below you.

Millennium Biltmore Hotel

The Millennium Biltmore Hotel is legendary and has been a Los Angeles landmark since 1923.  The historic LA Downtown hotel has been the choice of celebrities, presidents, dignitaries, and the backdrop of countless movies and TV shows.  It’s architecture is a resemblance of the Spanish-Italian Renaissance era which includes amazing hand-painted ceilings.  The hotel has a deep connection with the Oscars which was first held in the Crystal Ballroom in 1927.

Museum of Contemporary Art

LA loves it some art and downtown Los Angeles is home to some of the best contemporary art in the country.  The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) features art created as far back as 1940.  If you’re a fan of contemporary art, the museum’s creations include thousands of creations in all media, and selected items are on view year round. There is also a nice gift shop on the premises.

Read more lifestyle articles at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Creative Commons, Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels & Pixabay

Bands Interviewing Bands: The Go Ahead & Charlie Wolf and the Small Calamities

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We’ve all heard of the power of tribes, the way people with shared interests can connect in new and unique ways. Musicians, of course, are no different. They relate in a way that only other musicians can, with a keen curiosity and unmatched passion. So what happens when you put two musicians together and ask them to interview one another? As it turns out, you get a pretty unique insight into the inner workings of everything that goes into their craft—their personal battles, their triumphs, and the daily struggles that you and I take for granted—like where to live, or how to stay current. Check out Kyna Wise of The Go Ahead and Charlie Wolf of Charlie Wolf & The Small Calamities as they go one on one, discovering the importance of where to live (and why it isn’t necessarily Los Angeles), the struggles of songwriting, and much more.
Kyna Wise (of The Go Ahead):  What’s your project?
Charlie Wolf: I just put out a new album, Angels & Commerce, and have been releasing a series of videos from it. It’s indie rock adjacent, with a twinge of folk mixed in. How about you?
Kyna: Our music is rock… alternative rock.  We haven’t been able to pin down the genre perfectly yet.  We just re-mastered our EP, Cycles, and re-distributed with a music video campaign. How long have you been hustling in the music scene?

Charlie: I’ve been writing songs and playing gigs for about 10 years now, but I’d say that in the past year I’ve become more serious about promoting my music and trying to get it into the hands of more people. How about you? And do you find that not having a defined genre makes it harder for you to attract fans or is the eclectic element part of the appeal?
Kyna: We’ve been playing as a band for five and a half years, and we too just got really serious about promoting ourselves.  We have a manager, so she kicks our butt.  It’s great.  And yes, I do think that not having a defined genre makes it harder for us, especially in San Francisco where the music scene is very electronic.  Even live bands have major electronic elements and peoples’ ears are tuned into that vibe now.  However, the people who appreciate our eclectic sound REALLY appreciate it.  We might not be doing the most popular thing right now, but it moves the people it moves and that’s all we want.
Charlie: I was really surprised about that last time I was in San Francisco! I was mainly familiar with the LA scene and the style is just totally different in the Bay. We’re both originally from LA but live elsewhere, right? Most musicians are moving to LA to try to make it.
Kyna: When did you move to Texas? How do you find LA to be different?
Charlie: I just got sick of LA. I love LA, but it got to the point where there was no reason for me to be there. Now I’m in Denton, Texas, which actually has a really big music scene; there are shows here 7 nights a week. And I didn’t realize until leaving LA how much healthier a scene like this can be for musicians. I was talking to the promoter of a small showcase gig and he asked me, “Is $50 and free drinks okay?” In LA, you’d be lucky to get a dime for a gig like that.
Kyna: That’s a great way to look at things.  For me, LA was a whole different beast.  I was never a musician in LA.  I focused on theater, and it’s what I originally went to school for. I moved up to San Francisco to become a teacher, got my degree, and then joined this band with my homies. The band families we make are invaluable and it’s really pushed me to be the best singer I can… because I want to keep playing shows with these beautiful people. Are you the kind of writer who paints the scene of everywhere you travel?
Charlie: For a while, my songs had a very big “LA” vibe to them, and I’ve been trying to shed that since I don’t live in LA anymore. I think I think I’ve probably said “Lomita” more than “Love” in my lyrics. Are there any themes you find yourself coming back to in your songs?
Kyna: I typically have two themes; one is, of course, love. The other theme, and the more apparent one currently, is self-improvement—acceptance of my faults.
Charlie: I think I approach similar topics in my songs. For me, I’ve noticed it’s very cyclical. I went through a phase where I was online dating a lot (which was consistent in its weirdness) and I think I definitely wrote a lot about love then. And then I spent a while writing more about being out of place and the transition from being fresh-faced out of college to a person who is supposed to know who they are and have their life together. I have to try to consciously try to keep writing things that are fresh and not rehashing the same themes. I don’t want to become as easily parody-able from a thematic perspective as, say, Morrissey, but I probably already am. What are your plans and goals as a band for 2016?
Kyna: Oh man, I love Morrissey and all of his misery. [Laughs] I get on myself, too, sometimes about writing about the same stuff. As for goals: more press, and laying down the groundwork to make a little money off of this whole journey so that we can realistically keep journeying this way. Goals are a funny thing in this industry.  Yes, we want to play festivals. Yes, we want a deal of sorts, but nothing is guaranteed in this game. My personal goal is to keep getting exposed to more people so that we can travel to meet them and play for them.  How about you?
Charlie: I’ve been reading some interesting books about songwriting and the tough thing to realize—and I’m incredibly bad at this—is that the real pros of songwriting write whether they have inspiration or not. They just sit down and write. There’s a fascinating book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield about this. I think my goal is similar to yours—continue to get exposure, play more gigs, make more songs, and make better songs. I’m releasing quite a few music videos each with their own fun perspective that different directors have crafted, so continuing to see songs come to life like that is something I’m really excited for.

Kyna: I’ve read The War of Art, and I totally agree. It’s been so nice chatting. Let’s keep in touch! 
Charlie: Definitely. It’s been great talking to you and good luck in 2016 and beyond!
Follow The Go Ahead:
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Follow: Charlie Wolf & The Small Calamities: 
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Read more Music News on ClicheMag.com

Smith Family Under Investigation By Child Services

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According to RadarOnline, superstar couple Will and Jada Pinkett Smith are under investigation by the Los Angeles Department of Children & Family Services, after a photo of their 13-year old daughter Willow lying in bed with a 20-year old friend went viral earlier this month.
“The investigation was formally opened last week and is being taken very seriously by the department. Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have been extremely cooperative with officials. Of course, they aren’t happy that their parenting skills are under scrutiny, but they understand,” a source told the website, adding that social workers will be speaking to Willow separately, as well as former Disney star Moises Arias, who was pictured with her in the photo.” (Radar Online)
42-year old actress and matriarch of the family, Jada Pinkett Smith avoided any sign of controversy, after the photo of her underage daughter sparked media attention. She told TMZ’s cameramen:
“Here’s the deal: There was nothing sexual about that picture or that situation. You guys are projecting your trash onto it and you’re acting like covert pedophiles, and that’s not cool.” (Huffington Post)
Will Smith has yet to make any comment regarding the photo, and it seems as if he is trying to keep quiet about the matter entirely. Smith family under investigation by child services after photo of daughter goes viral? Did the authorities take it a bit too far? Or should the investigation be justified? I think that the involvement of child services may be a bit drastic, but in reality it is the well being of the child that matters. Maybe this experience will prepare Will and Jada to be a bit more strict on Willow and what she chooses to show the world via social media.
(Featured Image courtesy of Huffington Post)

DJ JES Interview

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New York native JES has not left her throne since she entered the dance music game. From her hit song “As the Rush Comes” to “Imagination,” the blonde bombshell is as lovely and beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside. From her Los Angeles apartment, JES talks to us about her constant craving for the Big Apple, her two-story studio, and her positive yoga lifestyle. Check out the DJ JES interview below!

Cliché: You’re originally from New York City. Which part did you grow up in?
JES: I grew up on 10th Street between University and 5th. Then when I was around 12 years old, my family and I moved uptown to the East Side, but I still have an apartment in the East Village.

Do you visit New York often?
I never really thought I’d be in LA as much as I am, but it’s much easier because I have a studio and I’m always working. I do go back and forth as much as I can. Last year I really tried to move back to New York. I was there the whole year, but nobody wanted to come with me. It was very hard to be the head of my business and control it from New York when everyone is here in LA. I try to go every month or two and I try to stay as long as possible. These days you can write on a computer, and I have a microphone I bring with me, so I can write anywhere. Recording is a little bit different; if I need to work on vocal production, then I really need to be in my studio. When I am in New York, I like to visit as many museums and take in as much of the city as I can.

Tell us about your studio.
I have a beautiful and huge studio in LA. I partnered with a few people, so it’s actually a full, two-story live recording room with a bunch of different writing and media rooms downstairs. I also have a workroom in my apartment where I can sing all the time with a whisper room so I don’t bother my neighbors! In my New York apartment, I just pretty much close the door and hope my neighbors don’t get mad. My neighbors are funny; they’ll come to me and say, “I really like that song you’re working on.”
What kind of music did you listen to when you were growing up? Was there a specific group or artist you gravitated towards?
I was always into songs and voices; I wasn’t necessarily really into groups. I was listening to Madonna and other kinds of pop music. My good friend introduced me to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Van Morrison. It taught me a lot about songwriting and different styles.

What influenced you to take the step to work with music?
Well my dad is a businessman, but my mom is very musical. Growing up in my house, the radio was always on and we had a piano and a guitar. I grew up going to plays and recitals, and I was humming, singing, and making up songs from a really early age. I can remember being as young as 5 years old and making songs. I went to a performing arts school and was part of the choir and always going out for auditions. I never really wanted to do anything else. I feel kind of lucky that way because I was always surrounded by music and knew what I wanted to do. It’s not easy you know, but I kind of went into it sort of naive. I was working at studios, working for anything that can get me around music.

Would you consider yoga as one of your hobbies or is it more of a lifestyle?
I’d definitely consider yoga a lifestyle. It kind of saved my life. I’ve always done yoga, but I started doing a Vinyasa power/hot yoga and also meditating. Anything that can quiet my mind for an hour or two is relaxing. It’s very hard; you have to be so strong, but it’s such a great workout that has calmed me down and helps me maintain my focus. I know it’s not for everybody, but I find that it’s one of the best workouts for me. I ran a marathon and I work out every day at the gym, but I’ve seen more change through yoga than any other workout. 

Which marathon did you run?
I ran the Honolulu Marathon about two years ago and it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. I actually had a show on a Friday and ran the marathon on a Sunday. I ran for an LA-based charity APLA and I met a lot of wonderful people. I remember training on the treadmill and I was so nervous about the marathon. I really didn’t think I was going to be able to do it, but I did and finished under six hours, which is pretty good time. I would suggest anybody to run in a marathon because it’s an incredible life-changing experience. I’d love to run the New York marathon, but there’s something very magical about Hawaii. 

From watching your music videos and performances, you have a very rockstar style. What are some of your favorite pieces in your closet?
I do so many shows and it’s kind of funny because you can’t wear things too many times. I like a lot of vintage pieces and my sister is an amazing photographer in New York who finds some really nice pieces. I also work with a designer here named Maggie Barry who designs a lot of stuff with me. When I’m in New York, I check out downtown shops, and in LA there’s a place called Santee Alley, which is a great place to go for cool jewelry and artsy/trashy boutiques and shoes. I’m kind of eclectic with things that I put together. When I started out, I was the girl with the corn rolls. Now, through the years, I am a little more dressy, but I love the sneaker wedge craze. I know they aren’t the most beautiful things, but you can find some really cool ones and for long shows they are very comfortable. I love to dress up and I get the opportunity to indulge that when I perform.

You collaborated with ATB and are featured in three of his songs on his album Contact. How was the experience working with him?
I did shows over the years with him and we’ve always bumped into each other. We’ve been wanting to work together for about five years now and when I put out my song, “Higher Than the Sun,” he wrote me and said, “JES, I’m doing my album; we gotta sit down.” It was a wonderful experience and he’s such a sweet guy. Unfortunately, we were too busy to actually be in the studio together because he’s in Germany, but we went back and forth for a year with tracks and he really pushed me in certain directions. I was very happy because the first track we did was a mid tempo ballad and I’m very known in the EDM world, but I really come from the rock/pop world, so it was nice to be able to collaborate on different tracks. They had different elements and they really came out great. The track “Together” is one of my favorites. “Hard To Cure” is a big dance anthem that I think will be one of the singles, and “Right Back to You” is a little more pop. I love them all and I’m so happy with the way they came out. We did a few preview shows for the album in Chicago, San Francisco, and Roseland Ballroom in New York City before it closed. My mother came and it was a really special and wonderful show. It’s very exciting and I’m really looking forward to doing more shows.

You have collaborated with many artists over the years. What has been one of your favorite collaborations?
Like I said, I don’t always get to go in the studio with artists, but one of my favorites and one of my most successful collaborations was with BT. I had a song called “Every Other Way” and we performed it with a huge orchestra. It was like a dream; it was amazing. I actually have been able to work with him in the studio so that’s special. I think Tiësto and BT are the only two people I went in the studio with. BT was one of my favorites and we’ve written so many beautiful things together and are very good friends.

Since you’ve DJed all over the world, what is your absolute favorite city to play in?
You can’t beat Ibiza, but I love so many places because they’ve been so wonderful. Mexico City and Kuala Lumpur are amazing. One of my favorite places to play is the beautiful Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado.

JES’s Interview “The Queen of EDM” originally appeared in Cliché Magazine’s April/May 2014 issue.

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March To The Beat

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newbeatfund
New Beat Fund are a lot of things. Band members, Silky Johnson, Snapz Laliberte, Burnie Baker and Burton are mixing punk, funk, hip hop and several other genres together to bring a refreshing and comedic vibe to the Los Angeles music scene and beyond. Below, Snapz Laliberte (the band’s bassist) gives a rundown of all things New Beat Fund. Read on.

Cliché: What’s the music scene like in Los Angeles?

Snapz: Angelic of course. Lots of creative minds in LA, and a lot of creative name droppers too.

How would you describe your music?

We call it “G-PuNk bEACh FuNk” a west coast, hip hop, psych, punk, rock, and a swirl of sounds xeroxed through our skull cucumber salad. Belch!

What was the recent tour with 30H3! like?

It was dope. We made new friends and rewired lots of ear drums to the NbF (New Beat Fund) frequency. We celebrated Burnie’s birthday, found Silky passed out on Bourbon Street, got a haircut and a shot for $10 at two in the morning, and stopped through the parlor for some pirates ink. It was nothing short of a success.

Who came up with the logo for the band?

Burnie does all of our artwork.

Who are some of your influences?

Dr. Dre, Incubus, 2pac, The Pharcyde,  AFI, Blink, RHCP, Beck, At The Drive In, Eminem, Kobe Bryant, Basquiat, Tommy Pickles, and Ed, Edd, ‘N’ Eddy.

The music video for “Scare Me” is pretty funny, what was the concept behind it?

We met a ghost ‘Ghosty’ on Venice Beach and became homies. It’s a detailed account of our growing friendship and a few moments of gnarliness along the way.

How did the band go about recording the EP, ($) CoiNz?

We did everything in our bedrooms and garage. If you really listen closely, you can hear the crickets from out of my window and maybe even a cat meow.

 You’ve got another tour coming up starting at the end of January, your touring with AER how did you wind up getting on the bill together? We’re fans of each other’s music. Plain and simple, playa pimp. We also became good friends with RDGLDGRN on Warped Tour who are on the tour as well. Winter time extravaganza.

When writing, is it a collective effort or does one person do most of the writing? Also, what comes first, the music or lyrics? t’s always a collective effort. We’re a band and our music is the sum of four different perspectives. We also record and produce all of our music on our own, so we all see it through to the end. In terms of lyrics, they are usually half written during the songs conception and finalized when recording. But the best songs tend to be a double whammy, everything happens at once. You poop and vomit your cosmic energies before you’ve even realized they were there.

Any major plans for 2014 that you’d like to share? Pinky and the Brain that shit and release our album.

Read “March To The Beat” on page 122 of the Feb/Mar issue!

All images via Total Assault