Miles Tackett’s The Fool Who Wonders

If you have gone to Funky Sole, LA’s finest weekly raw funky soul party, you have seen Music Man Miles providing killer funk sounds every Saturday at The Echo.  Miles Tackett is also distinguished as a  member of  the funk band Breakestra with his characteristic vocals and guitar skills. For over a decade in the Los Angeles underground funk scene it is no surprise that Miles would come up with a solo production influenced by the many paths of his life.

Last week, the Bootleg Theatre hosted a night for all to witness Tackett’s new material “The Fool Who Wonders” a soulful funk soul production with dashes of psychedelia, just like this night.  Between Miles voice, guitar and visuals accompanied by high caliber musicians, the audience was astound and thoroughly attentive to the performance taking place.  Highlight of the night:  Miles young family member cheering him “you can do this!” (way cute) which was enhanced by the presence of the afrobeat band Mexico68 providing additional dancing vibes. The hours of rehearsal and meticulous production was certainly noticed one song after the other with fresh sounds that will undoubtedly reach different corners of Los Angeles and beyond.

Below, check Miles recently released video of his song “Just What I Need” to get a little taste of The Fool Who Wonders and for even more photos of the night please visit FARAHSTOP, the music photography archive.


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ArtsBrookfield LIVE presents: Ethio-Cali 07’09’14

ArtsBrookfield is an initiative by Brookfield Properties to showcase free cultural experiences in public spaces throughout their properties.  In Los Angeles this effort has taken place in Wells Fargo Plaza with the downtown urban jungle as a background. It was a Wednesday at noon and Ethio Cali, an ethiopian jazz band with California soul, got to woo ArtsBrookfield the audience and people passing by with their authentic tunes.  I commuted to go, I live nearby but not close enough to walk and EthioCali was worth the lunch time session. Their original creations plus covers from Mulato Astake and other Ethiopian jazz masters make this band one of my top choices amongst those building greatness in Los Angeles.  ArtsBrookfield series happens in different locations, very worth checking out, free to attend and you can find their calendar HERE.

For even more photos please visit FARAHSTOP, the music photography archive.


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Cali-Hustle! 07’08’14

Cali Hustle has been happening for a while, yet I made a stop until recently… tsk tsk tsk.

Hosted by the resident DJ Miss Sunny Z dropping the grown and sexy cuts and resident band QVLN performing live with full band, Cali Hustle can turn The Virgil into a hot California night any time of the year.   I am uncertain if it is due to the flattering looks of Quetzal Guerrero holding it down behind his blue violin, or is it because of Miss Sunny Z’s have body shaker tunes, OR is it thanks to the love that one to another shout out through out the night (damn lovely!) but the majority of the audience is formed by beautiful women dancing the night away… men, you are sleeping.


This party travels to the North and deep down in the South of the continent with sounds of Afrobeat, Samba, Soul, Cumbia, Salsa, Reggaeton, Rock, Hip Hop, Reggae, Funk. QVLN masterfully switches from folk and rock to heavy hip hop bangers with smooth transitions keeping you moving nonstop. This is an experience that needs to be felt live and the opportunity is every 2nd Tuesday of the month.

For even more photos visit FARAHSTOP the music photography archive.

See QVLN’s new video “Burning Fire” … it is sizzling.

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Devo at The Wiltern – 06’29’14

At the end of June I went to check out Devo at The Wiltern. I wasn’t sure what to expect since the last time I saw them 4 of their original band members were still alive.  Now, only 3 remain after the sudden death of founding member Bob Casale back in February.  Members of the press were invited to be present only for the first 3 songs.  After that we were politely escorted out. During those 3 songs Devo sat on stools which was certainly odd in comparison to the electrifying vibe that the audience is used to getting from them. They wore HARDCORE tees created after this tour, they were nice and all but they were not the industrial, futuristic suits we have been spoiled to see.  Although the band sounded great, the vibe was unusual. Objectively, I can’t say much about their performance as in the time press was in, there was not much action happening. However the fans are loyal and the Devo energy dome hats were  certainly present.  For a few more photos please visit FARAHSTOP, the music photography archive.


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Playing for Change in Los Angeles

The Levitt Pavilions are bringing once again a numerous amount of free concerts with stellar performers all over the country. As a special treat, they had the band Playing for Change on tour on all of their locations over a three week period. Southern California got to have them in their Pasadena and McArthur Park locations.   Playing for Change has become an organization building music and art schools for children around the world.

From the Playing for Change website this is how it all started:

In 2005, Mark Johnson was walking in Santa Monica, California, when he heard the voice of Roger Ridley (now deceased) singing “Stand By Me.”  Roger had so much soul and conviction in his voice, and Mark approached him about performing “Stand By Me” as a Song Around The World. Roger agreed, and when Mark returned with recording equipment and cameras he asked Roger, “With a voice like yours, why are you singing on the streets?” Roger replied, “Man I’m in the Joy business, I come out to be with the people.” Ever since that day, the Playing For Change crew has traveled the world recording and filming musicians, creating Songs Around The World, and building a global family.

The evenings began warming up with drum circles for an all ages crowd.  With master drummer guiding the beginning of each evening, adults and children got to drum to the Levitt beat and those who participated even received their own hand drum courtesy of Remo (I got one too and love it!). Band members of Playing for change also joined the drum circles and all engaged in the same beat.  When the time of the performance came, the audience was still vibing with the beat of the drums.

Playing for Change at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena

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More photos of Levitt Pavilion Pasadena show at FARAHSTOP, the music photography archive.

The difference between both shows, to me, was mainly the setlist.  Levitt LA got to extend themselves a little bit more providing additional music treats with original adaptations AND also got to invite LA’s favorite Ghanaian Mr. Rocky Dawuni to perform with them on stage sweet reggae music.  Songs like Makumba  and Don’t Worry Be Happy had everyone  dancing, while their cover of Etta James I’d Rather Go Blind had the audience inevitably emotional.  Highlight of the night:  their performance of Stand by Me, in English and Spanish (Quedate conmigo).

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More photos of Levitt Pavilion McArthur Park show at FARAHSTOP, the music photography archive.

The Playing for Change Levitt tour is over.  It was a great gift to those who got to witness it and I am beyond happy to have documented it. But their labor does not end her. To learn even more about their music and organization you can visit their website and social media outlets and if moved by their cause to build bridges and educate through music, you can even participate to fulfill their mission.


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Magnetica Days – Quantic in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is finally feeling like summertime. There are concerts everywhere and the blend of music with the warm weather gives us a universe of choices including sitting at home in front of the fan, or getting out there and be part of the heat. The city of Angels got lucky with multiple Quantic shows in different venues. Will Holland  aka Quantic is a British born musician, producer and dj making music saturated in the tropical soundwaves of the Carribean. Over the years, his productions come with a wave of freshness at the beat of soul, electronic and a myriad of latin flavors.   Quantic has had a number of significant side projects including The Quantic Soul Orchestra, Quantic and his Combo Bárbaro, Flowering Inferno, Quantic & Alice Russell, and Ondatrópica.

Now, Quantic brings us his first studio album Magnetica. Brewed in Colombia and with a stellar group of talented artist collaborating in its creation, the album displays a union seasoned with his electronic roots and tropical influences. Los Angeles got  a taste of it with his “Quantic Live Band” accompanied by Colombian singer Nidia Gongora, Brazilian singer Thalma de Freitas, LA’s own Todd Simon and more.

I missed day one at Amoeba, a very expected Quantic DJ set accompanied by vocals and Los Angeles music lovers of said record store / destination.  However I made it to Sonos Studio for his second show in Los Angeles for a pleasant Q&A orchestrated by KCRW’s Jason Bentley where the Quantic Live Band gave a preview of his new album to a live audience.  This teaser of Magnetica at Sonos was just enough to get the crowd hyped for was about to be a packed show the next day at The Roxy.


The legendary concert venue The Roxy hosted a night packed by tropical music lovers eager to dance the night away.  Los Angeles global bass crew Subsuelo opened the night to a welcoming crowd digging their bumpy and sweaty vibes with touches of scratch and tropical beats provided by DJs Gozar, Ethos, Gazoo and Canyonazo.  In addition Subsuelo put together a band that mixing cumbia, flamenco and soul plus sexy dancing by Tigresa, getting the audience mesmerized. When the Quantic Live Band came to the stage the Roxy was at capacity and had turned into a dance fest.  Both Nidia and Thalma’s voices were followed masterfully by percussion, winds and Quantic’s accordion that made  everybody dance to the sounds of Magnetica.   Secret highlight of the night:  Quantic brought only a few of his limited amount 5″ vinyl of Magnetica and only a number of lucky buyers were able to get it.  Only 100 of these have been pressed.



Los Angeles has one more chance to witness this Magnetica round at Grand Performances this upcoming Friday 7/11.  For even more photos please visit FARAHSTOP, the music photography archive:  Quantic at Sonos & Quantic with Subsuelo.

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King King – DEEP Presents “Dance Ritual” feat Louie Vega, 06’21’14

DEEP-LA, where house music lives, brought another memorable night with a set filled of perfection by having Louie Vega for the first time at the King King in Hollywood. Deep’s Big Cee warmed up the night seasoning it with what was about to become an incredible main dish straight from the East coast.


Grammy award winner Louie Vega is the DJ of DJ’s.  He has influenced many DJs and producers for over 20 years bringing all forms of house / dance music from salsa to jazz, afrobeat and more.   The son of accomplished jazz and Latin saxophonist Luis Vega Sr. and the nephew of renowned salsa singer Hector Lavoe of Fania All Stars had to bring some of that latin influence to the house floor creating a collective frenzy while masterfully blending music styles. Hour after hour, Vega dropped heavy hitters with an authentic vibe including “Good Things (Cosa Buena)” his most recent production with Roberto Roena  (a personal favorite with his forever memorable Que Se Sepa!) also from Fania All Stars, enticing the dance ritual to continue. The night reached a peak when Louie Vega played DJ David Morales’ tribute to the late Frankie Knuckles, a mix of Michael Jackson’s posthumous single “Love Never Felt so Good” that had  the dance floor dripping in sweat and major love to the present moment. This photojournalist is eager to experiment a future filled with more DEEP and Vega Records shows.

For even more photos of the night please visit FARAHSTOP, the music photography archive.

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Yann Tiersen at The Fonda, 06’20’14

Reminiscing on the last Yann Tiersen show in Los Angeles is like walking into a sweet dream filled with music boxes.  His minimalist compositions became some of my favorites since I first heard them on his award winning score for Jean-Pierre Juenet’s movie“Amelié” (2001). The multi-instrumentalist composer had an outstanding performance at The Fonda Theatre for the last stop on his U.S. tour promoting his latest album, Infinity.  The main track of this album “A Midsummer Evening” was released a few months back and it was one of the highlights of the night.  He is currently being accompanied by a team of equally skillful multi-instrumentalists and vocalists that make the live performance even more outstanding than the recording.

Throughout the night, Tiersen teased the audience by doodling on the piano tunes of the known track “La Dispute” gaining awes from the crowd until finally surrendering to please us all with it… and it was beautiful.  The night continued with him shifting from bells to toy piano and xylophone while allowing his musicians to shine in their own skills.

For even more photos of the night please visit FARAHSTOP, the music photography archive.

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SUBSUELO celebrates FANIA Records 50yrs with Boogaloo Assassins and Captain Planet, 06’18’14

Fania Records was founded 50 years ago in New York by Dominican bandleader Johnny Pacheco with the business savvy of Lawyer Jerry Masucci with a focus on latin music bringing salsa to different stages.  Legends such as Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe, Ruben Blades, Ray Barreto, the Fania All Stars and many more have built Fania’s history ruling the latin music scene in New York during the 70’s. Their music legacy has spread world wide becoming an icon for many of today’s producers.

Subsuelo, the global bass ambassadors in Los Angeles, joining forces with Fania Records, celebrated this half of a century with a special performance of the Boogaloo Assasins, the West Coast’s modern answer to New York City’s Latin music explosion of the late 1960s. The Assassins took over the entire stage of Eastside Luv (if you’ve been there, you know space is tight) handling the show from on top of the bar like pros.  Their own style of Latin Boogaloo, Latin Soul, Salsa, Latin Funk, Guajira, Cha-Cha, Pachanga, Son Montuno y mucho más took over the night turning it into a hot and steamy dance floor (just how I like it).  As very special treat, DJ Captain Planet warmed up the night sharing his and Subsuelo resident Canyon Cody’s new remix for FaniaPun Pun Catalu by Celia Cruz & Willie Colon.

If you were not there, make sure to eventually land at Subsuelo, is hot, friendly, fun, and it happens every third Wednesday of the month at Eastside Luv in Boyle Heights.

For even more photos please visit FARAHSTOP, the music photography archive.


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Western Standard Time – West Coast Ska celebration, 06’12’14

Ska is not necessarily my #1 music to play while I drive.  I know only so much about it but I feel it though.  However, after seeing the masterful performance of the 20+ piece orchestra Western Starndar Time (WST) more than a week ago at the Echoplex, being that I am still in awe, seems like my it might become my go to music this summer.

WST is a Jamaican jazz big band as well as an all star ska orchestra paying tribute to early 1960’s Jamaican Ska originators, The Skatalites. For more than 20 years, they have been fusing the original sounds of ska in the 1960’s with instrumentation of the big bands in the 1940’s providing an intense blend of roaring sounds beautifully in synch.

For this West Coast Ska celebration, commemorating 50 years of SKA music and 25 years of west coast SKA! WST was backed up by Hepcat singers Gregory W Lee and Alex Désert, Jesse Wagner of The Aggrolites, ska legend Chris Murray, Ocean 11’s Queen P and Malik Moore of the Lions, and Colin Giles of The Big Sound with MC Junor Francis orchestrating the night.   A lot of magical moments happened with duos and solo performances however the magic reached its peak with a last minute surprise appearance of Angelo Moore from Fishbone.

WST did one of my favorite things, music history. The energy, the performances, the night in general was one for the books and I trust it will be topped only by even greater nights from today’s ska elite keeping it fresh and alive.  Shout outs to Nancy Arte Productions and the efforts put together for nights like this.

For even more photos please visit FARAHSTOP the music photography archive.



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