Tag Archives: Nightlife

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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Late Night Laggers presents: SUNSET CLUB LA ft Nola Darling, Kittens and Michele Maturo 06’08’14

Summer time is my favorite music season in Los Angeles. There are great music options for all kinds of flavors with music people making the effort to make outstanding days and nights.  The party crew Late Night Laggers are one of the worth checking out.  Although when summer has not officially started, LNL have initiated the season with their series of parties Sunset Club LA, a daytime rooftop affair connecting L.A.’s most talented, outgoing, and forward-thinking creatives and independent producers.

As an even greater treat, party #1 had an all female guest line up including DJ, producer, Cat Queen & Hip Hop aficionada, Kittens; Haiti & St. Lucia by way of New York and Los Angeles, their sound is a mix of new school fresh and old world cool Nola Darling (a must know about!)  and DJ and model, Michele Maturo.  Late Night Laggers brings a welcoming vibe to the underground independent music scene in the heart of Los Angeles and Sunset Club LA is an must experience affair this summer.

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

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Love is the Law Magazine at PriMo Arts ft Marques Toliver & Shingai Shoniwa 02’05’14 – Review

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I recently discovered Love is the Law, an aesthetics Magazine celebrating the sensuous in art, literature and life.  The ultimate Los Angeles host, Wamuhu Waweru from PriMo Arts welcomed the crew of Love is the Law to present their issue number 4 “Dystopia” featuring a night of music with magazine’s Editor in chief and classical violinist Marques Toliver along with  Shingai Shoniwa of the The Noisettes who not only did a very energetic performance (rowdy, crowd dancing and all!) but is also included on this latest issue.   Marques graciously shared with the audience his story that started in Florida and moving around different countries doing what he loves, which has given him many opportunities to develop as a musician and share his talent along with major names in the industry.  You can find Love is the Law in print and online.   Enjoy a snippet of Marques Toliver’s music in the link bellow and find even more photos of this evening at FARAHSTOP the music photography archive. 

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RUBBISH ft Chantal Claret 01’23’14 – Review

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After shooting Mayer Howthorn’s interview at SONOS and loving his all 45’s set I was determined to try something fresh.  The night was still young and I didn’t feel like hitting my usual spots.  My friend DJ Clifton / Soft Touch was going to be at Skinny’s in North Hollywood spinning at Rubbish along with DJ Cassandra Nea.  Rubbish is a night with 60’s throwback with britpop, soul and indie influences.   The spot was not super crowded and looked and smelled like a lounge from a few decades ago (or so I felt).  On point DJ sets catered to the environment and on the stage suddenly started Chantal Claret.  Her Big 60’s beat, short black dresses, chorus girls, drummer guy and background sounds guided from the dj booth were extremely 2014-60s-fresh! her energy, vocals, attitude and the talented back up singers  overtook the crowd that at this point had swarmed the place and Chantal’s mini dress continuously pulling up gave it an extra pinch of sexy.  I want more…

Highlight:  Star gazing.  Juliette Lewis was in the house.

Do check out the entire set of photos at FARAHSTOP the music photography archive, you won’t regret it.

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FUNKY SOLE ft DJ Beyondadoubt, Hosted by Binky Griptite (Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings) 01’18’14 – Review

Funky Sole is some sort of funk ritual on Saturdays.  If you want a good time, with good music and have a rare taste, this is your spot.  You may not come back in a minute for whatever reasons life gives you, but you will come back and get your dose of funk.  This time, it had a little extra grooviness (are we still using this word? groovy? I’m going to … ) with the gracious hosting of Binky Griptite from Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings who had the crowd eager for a spot on the stage and show their dancing skills in exchange of music merch in his bag of gifts.  I like bouncing form inside to the patio, the dancers lit by a few burnt light bulbs in the patio go nuts thanks to Funky Sole’s outdoor selectors. When I go back in, I get to catch Miles, Clifton and the inside crowd drenched in sweat (and perhaps spilled drinks).  As I get high on dancers and watchers I find a fantastic female DJs behind the turntables and discover DJ Beyondadoubt. Nancy (Funky Sole Crew and a million things more) tells me she saw her in New Orleans and insisted to Music Man Miles on having her at Funky Sole.

It was fun!!!!!

Stay tuned for the next Funky Sole adventure, in the meantime check ALL the pics at FARAHSTOP the photo archive.

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ECLÉCTICA 2014 OPENER ft The Sweeney Brothers Band & DJ Fresko – Review

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This is officially the first event I go out and shoot in 2014. I started (without a resolution) seeing friends more often, life set it up like that, and Ecléctica gave me the chance to have the best of my worlds, friends, music, photo and pretty much family.

Ecléctica happens every 1st Wednesday of the month at Eastside Luv; as a one time only the gorgeous gallery and art space Tropico de Nopal welcomed the 2014 party opener.   Doors opened at 8PM, I got there at 9ish and the party was already happening.   I missed the forró dance class happening at the beginning of the night with Fabio and Andrea from FORRÓ IN L.A (sorry!), class that I recommend a lot, happening every Wednesday 7-8PM at Tropico de Nopal. However, every one else must have got there on time because there were serious moves happening on the dance floor.  I even brought a friend and your awesome host Daniel French helped me out with a mini class lesson. Many Capricorns were celebrating including  your resident DJ Reyes who along fellow Glenn Red were making magic behind the turntables traveling with sounds around (very hot parts of…) the world.

Once the audience was nice and cozy and sweaty and unstoppable, The Sweeney Brothers Band took over to room.  This special treat had Kahlil Balandugu Kan(percussion), Tutu Sweeney(keys, trumpet) Daniel Richardson(sax) (WILBERTA), Fabio Santana De Souza(trombone) Dustin Gwarren(vocal), Te’Amir Yohannes Sweeney (percussion) and special surprise guest Quincy McCrary (keys)(mayer hawthorne).   For moments I felt as in the middle of a fantastic jam session and not.   Fire.  And afterwards, special guest DJ Fresko got to keep all the dancers moving; ain’t that great?

Sweet highlight of the night: Raymond’s Caipirinhas and Ms Sasha Ali’s smile (Capricorn girl).

For more photos please visit the photoarchiveblogetc ->FARAHSTOP.

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GLOW at Zanzibar – First post of 2014!!!

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Happy New Year world!  This is not only the first post of 2014, but also the first one of FARAHSTOP – The Review.

I LOVE doing music and nightlife photography, not only it provides me a myriad of music influences but it allows me to share what I lived through the night. I ended 2013 and started 2014 shooting at one of my favorite venues in greater Los Angeles, Zanzibar.

This night was titled GLOW it it was certainly that, black light, neon accessories and all kinds of freebies to their guests to be glowing along this spot.  It isn’t difficult at all to visually document a crowded night, at venues filled enough to let you feel the heat in a comfortable space, but also to be surrounded by a stellar staff that know how to do their job.  In big cities you may come across with security bullies but that is not the case at all at Zanzibar, not only these guys look spiffy but they make you feel welcomed and take care of you (dancer, drinker, staff) all night.  Don’t give em reasons to get on your case tho, they do their security thing.

A favorite of the night was the awesome host, KGSuperstar dancing along with the glowing dancers and singing along with the crowd.  DJ Cali and DJ Looney brought heavy hitters that the audience would grind along with and oh yeah, we popped (abundant) champagne! Major MAJOR respect to the woman behind the glowing light, Destiney Rose.  Building such a fantastic atmosphere from behind the scenes and from the view point of  the audience is made possible thanks to the creativity and dedication of caring leaders such as Destiney.  There were tons of options to ring 2014 in Los Angeles, I am glad to have shared such a special transition with this crowd.

The slideshow above is just a preview of the night… for even more photos, visit FARAHSTOP

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