Tag Archives: Review

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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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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Barbara Morrison at Levitt Pavilion Pasadena 06’15’14

Summertime has officially started, and with it FREE summer concerts in Los Angeles.   Levitt Pavilion Pasadena, in addition to being one of the most beautiful spots to enjoy such treats, it also hosts some of the most amazing shows.

The first Levitt Pavilion Pasadena event brought all kinds of crowd who took over the lawn hours before the show even started, eager to see jazz and blues legend and also a favorite in this neighborhood, Barbara Morrison.  Accompanied by a big band, Ms Morrison conducted the evening with grace and wit making the audience dance and sway away with heavy swing and making everybody melt with classic songs like “At Last”.  The Levitts, both Pasadena and McArthur Park have a huge line up with 50 free concerts that have already started calling big crowds.  Check their respective calendars for more free shows ahead and please visit FARAHSTOP the music photography archive for more photos of this gorgeous night.



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TheLift presents: Electric Wire Hustle 6’03’14

New Zealand’s Electric Wire Hustle has been hitting Los Angeles stages this week.  I went to see them at the Bootleg Theatre thanks to a lovely night hosted by one of my favorite underground party theLift.  The band’s fresh psychedelic soul and cutting edge sounds are worth sharing with the world, no doubt why their hosts decided to come to the light and spread their music.

EWH soulfully layers percussion, bass, string guitar and vocals with a very unique form to transport you to feel good spot with mellow yet powerful tunes.  R&B, soul, electronica are only  a few of the tags given to their dynamic sound.  Their song “Hype Machine”, has had wonderful reviews and their music has caught the attention of BBC’s Gilles Peterson and Benji B.  Not only did EWH put a hypnotic show but they also invited fellow New Zealand singer songwriter Kimbra to jam with them on stage.  Kimbra’s modern soul pop matched EWH’s style giving Los Angeles an honest treat by having them all together in an intimate (packed) night and we’ll be looking forward to their future productions.

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

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M.I.A. + Angel Haze at the Shrine, 05’29’14

This might have been my 2nd or 3rd time documenting an M.I.A. show. My friend Jose induced her music to me many years ago while we would cruise with the sunroof open with the music blasting from his speakers.  The gay club we would frequent would go wild when the her songs came up.  I’ve been fond of Paper Planes and Galang since then.

A few months ago I went to photograph her show at the Belasco Theatre, which was part of her album release Matangi.  Now, I went to the Shrine auditorium not sure of my expectations since it was a bigger spot and an 18+ show.  When arriving the spot was packed with fresh blood eager to see MIA. Young rapper Angel Haze opened the show filled with energy yet with an awkward stage presence between jumping on speakers and staying on side of the stage.  The sound was not the best and with no further back up, understanding her lyrics was a bit confusing but nonetheless she did her best to deliver.

Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam better known as MIA took over the stage, the same stage set up as her previous show at the Belasco and with less quality of light. However MIA doesn’t need all this flare, her dancers, a dj and her confidence holding the mic are a show of their own.   There was no Versace outfits this time and I greatly missed seeing live drummer Kiran Gandhi as part of her entourage, but these details were easy to overlook when she started singing no other than, Paper Planes.  The producer, singer, activist and more went through old and new tracks hitting the dancing nerves of the crowd.  As it is typical of her, she brought a crowd to dance on stage and from what I heard, Katy Perry was also up there.  Her performance was great as always.  That is the one thing I had certainty of.

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

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Gesaffelstein at Fonda Theatre – 05’22’14

Mike Lévy better known as Gesaffelstein, is a French techno artist and DJ. He wears a suit and smokes a cigarette during his performances.  He is slick, has an appealing haircut with some sort of stoic look. Grimy Goods knows that one of my favorite subjects are DJs therefore assigned me to go check out this night that as a preamble had a very lengthy and exasperating wait.   The crowd started to yell “bullshit” and when asking someone from the Fonda Theater reason for the delay, I was told “remember that movie when the assistant is trying to get the artist to the show???”  I didn’t know the movie, but yeah, I got the message.

About 40 minutes late, he finally shows up driving the crowd wild. Gesaffelstein started with some sort of gothic, dark yet solemn kind of tune that matched his DJ throne where you could not see the gear. His beats elevated to heavily industrial sounds with very precise cuts that perfectly matched the light show.  Mike Lévy worked on Kanye West’s “Yeezus“ and when dropping these tunes and making the floor literally vibrate the crowd was hypnotized, drooling and all.  The man is talented and handsome. Major highlight of the night:  The Light Show, perfectly in sync with his electronic sounds. I still need to hear a bit more from this gentleman to form a more solid opinion but in the mean time I’ll keep checking out the photos at FARAHSTOP 😉


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