This blue-eyed beauty isn’t just a pretty face. Zella Day packs a serious voice and along with her sincerely written tunes; a mix of folk, synth and deep beats, Zella soothes the soul with her own multigrain brand of “Granola Pop”. Hailing from a small town in Arizona, Zella has been making herself known in Los Angeles with singles such as “Sweet Ophelia” and “1965”. The artist sat with us to dish details about her process, sound and upcoming releases.
LA CANVAS: How would you describe your music and your sound?

ZELLA DAY: Hmmmm…. Well the sound is definitely a concoction of all things that I am inspired by, strive to be, who I was, and who I am presently. I’ve been creating music for long enough to have made music that I didn’t like and wasn’t too sure about to right now where I feel like I’m expressing myself to my full capacity. My square one was an acoustic guitar and a coffee house, so there inlays flares of classic  “singer-songwriter” vibes throughout the tracks. The music really started taking shape when I started implementing synths and programming big beats into the songs. Somebody once called it “Granola Pop”.

LAC: What is your inspiration for creating music?

ZD: I believe writers go through phases of inspiration. When I look back at my body of work I feel nostalgic with every lyric written. My head is in a different space everyday and music helps to document those spaces. I’m currently inspired by the major changes I’ve been going through in the past few months. I moved out to East LA by myself while dealing with one of the worst heart breaks I’ve ever endured.

LAC: What other musicians do you admire?

ZD: There are so many greats. I’ve always looked up to those like John Lennon and Bob Dylan, who I see as true poets that moved the world with their words.

LAC: You have some great singles out, is there going to be an album? If so, what can we look forward to?

ZD: Thank you! There is going to be an album released early of next year, but I’m anticipating the release of my EP thats out on October 21st. Baby steps 😉

LAC: Your performance at the Echo is quickly approaching, how do you prepare for shows?

ZD: I like to take my sweet time. The day before a show I make sure I do some yoga and have some quiet time. I find that it helps me to be meditative in the moments leading up to a show so that I can be fully present on stage and not have have mental chatter.

LAC: What is your favorite thing about being an artist in Los Angeles?

ZD: My favorite thing would have to be being a part of a thriving community with so much passion and grit. I find it enchanting that LA has so many talented people in it. This town is welcoming and competitive all at the same time which calls for GREAT art.

Check out Zella Day’s music video for her single “Sweet Ophelia” and don’t miss her upcoming show at The Echo on September 10th.

Model Behavior with Leila Goldkuhl

You may recognize Leila Goldkuhl. With notable campaigns with Mink Pink, Urban Outfitters, and BCBG under her belt, the former 3rd place contestant of America’s Next Top Model (cycle 19) is now living in LA and signed with NEXT Model Management.


The Massachusetts native grew up playing sports and was initially hesitant to enter the modeling world. But with a little success and a few trips around the globe later—she’s since changed her tune. Our gal, Hillary Comstock sat down with the 5’11 beauty to talk travel, competition, and marine biology.



styling + interview HILLARY COMSTOCK




It should come as no surprise that LAC shares a breath of the same artists as M+B. The gallery has remained a steady fixture on our radar, nurturing some of the most enticing new artists right here in our very own backyard. From our past features like Matthew Brandt, Hannah Whitaker, and Mona Kuhn, we’ve been pillaging (or rather, graciously and inspiringly appropriating) the M+B arsenal for a cool minute now. Can you blame us?

We were first introduced to M+B long ago when a collection of Andrew Bush’s “Vector Portraits” surfaced for what became one of our favorite exhibitions yet. Bush’s voyeuristic, large-scale photographs of man and his automobile were beautiful, humorous, and poignant, and fueled our curiosity about M+B as a whole. So when the opportunity arose to get up close and personal with the team behind the magic, we pounced.

M+B sits between Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, in what appears to be a quaint and picturesque bungalow home. Beyond the front cottage with charming French doors, in a second (and equally inviting) space, lies the nucleus of the gallery, its traditional white walls and track lighting nestled within the ivy-coated driveway.

We sneak a walk-through of the property before Alexandra Wetzel, M+B’s Assistant Director, greets us. “It’s the perfect example of an indoor/outdoor California space,” she smiles. Indeed, the space is relaxing and comfortable, with a grateful lack of somber stuffiness or pretension. Through a mutual love for photography and general aversion for Pilates Plus (can you slow it down just a little?), Alexandra takes us through the gallery’s inception, its artists, and its evolution.

We bring on new artists when we see something amazing—an idea, perspective, or aesthetic that is unique and relevant to our time. Something we haven’t yet seen before.

At the helm of the gallery is Benjamin Trigano, who founded M+B in 2008 out of a deep passion for photography. Together with his team, M+B has spent its formidable years cultivating a roster of artistic mastery, not to mention developing a reputation for signing on undiscovered talent. “We bring on new artists when we see something amazing—an idea, perspective, or aesthetic that is unique and relevant to our time. Something we haven’t yet seen before,” Wetzel tells us. “LA is blessed with three of the country’s best MFA programs: USC, UCLA and CalArts. The number of artists moving to LA is greater than it ever has been.”

Recently, the M+B program, which has maintained a long-standing foundation in photography, has broken its own mold, transitioning into a wider understanding of the medium. The gallery announced its two-program split—with M+B, their newer, contemporary focus, and M+B Photo, their existing program that remains true to their photographic roots. “Almost all of the artists that we’ve shown in the past few years are contemporary artists. They don’t see themselves as photographers or particularly tied to that medium,” Wetzel explains. The need for the two programs became an obvious trajectory, with its former approach transcending its own limits of photo-based practices.

“This result was really about the artists and the work,” Wetzel imparts. “By always riding the edge and constantly pushing boundaries, the program reached a point where there were two different focuses and it was time to make that distinction.”

Now, with both M+B and M+B Photo under their belt, the programming is really taking off, shedding their more established ties to the lens in favor of prompting a new dialogue on the consumption of art in the digital age. So what’s on deck for the gallery? Soft Target, an ambitious group show curated by M+B artists Phil Chang and Matthew Porter and featuring a parade of artistic talent will be taking over the gallery until the end of August. Additionally, a stunning new body of work from Jessica Eaton is set to take shape (“It’s her first time working with
carbon printing,” Wetzel declares), and Mariah Robertson, one of the latest additions to the M+B roster, will have her west coast debut solo show in the spring of 2015.

We want to do something different and create a destination…where you can feel comfortable asking questions.

Evidently, this new chapter is slowly and steadily growing, filling the page with freshly innovative processes of artistic production—one that lies beyond the bounds of a once “traditional” medium. “We want to do something different,” Wetzel affirms, “and create a destination…where you can feel comfortable asking questions.”

photos + text RACHEL MANY



Lissie is the epitome of a rockstar, in the sense that she breaks the rules, and doesn’t seem to give a fuck about playing the fame game. She’s been compared to Stevie Nicks, but fiercer (yeah, we didn’t think it was possible either, but have been proven wrong). Her take on the sounds of the 70s and 80s is done just right–it’s seductive, sultry, and even a little mean. Her latest album, Back to Forever, has yet to disappoint.
We catch up with Lissie as she takes some time out of touring to answer a few (or 21) of our questions.

So, what’s up?
Hanging out in Denver about to play at twist and shout record store before our gig tonight.

Can we get you something to drink?

Favorite thing to look at?
Pretty nature bliss

Do anything last night?
Yes drinks and bowling with old friends!

Meals or snacks?

Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen?

If life could resemble any film…any film score?

Your biggest fan?
My family or this nice guy Ryan who gets me tattooed on him

Listening to anything right now?
Yes but I don’t know what it is

Who would you commission to take/paint/draw your portrait?
William Eggleston to photograph

When was the last time you really froke out at someone?

What was the first thing you said aloud this morning?
My vocal exercises which are like bubbling my lips while singing scales

Last 3 google searches?
Bahn me sandwich restaurant
The Crocodile in Seattle
Pretty Lights


East or west coast? Biggie or Tupac?
West – Tupac

What’s the most embarrassing song that you know all the words to?
Friday by Rebecca black

Favorite book?
The Clan of the Cave Bear

If we gave you $50, what would you buy?
Food and red wine

Cats or dogs? Why?
Dogs, I’m allergic to cats

If you woke up as the opposite sex, what’s the first thing you would do?
Check out my peen

What are you doing later?
Playing at the Gothic Theatre in Denver then driving to Salt Lake City

Can we come?

Get tickets to see Lissie at The Fonda, Monday (12/9) here


Not to be confused with the top-rated university, Jon Hopkins reigns from a decidedly more contrary world — music. The UK electronica artist crafts tracks that manage to achieve a rare combination of emotive expression and technical precision. There’s a perfection in the atmospheric pulse of Hopkins‘ tracks, a meticulousness to every sonic movement. His ability to weave resonant narratives through electronic music has caught the ears of everyone from Imogen Heap, with whom Hopkins jumpstarted his career as a guitarist, to ambient legend, Brian Eno. With collaborations and remixes with respected electronic innovators like Four Tet and Nosaj Thing under his belt, Hopkins more recently found resounding success with his June 2013-released LP, Immunity, garnering his second Mercury Prize nomination.

We caught up with the rising musician ahead of his upcoming show (Saturday, November 30 at the Echoplex) and talk movie scores, technology, and the very human process of music production.


LA CANVAS: You’ve spoken in interviews a lot about the tension between technology and human emotion – why do you gravitate toward electronic music in particular to express emotion?

Jon Hopkins: It’s hard to answer that really, I mean my primary motive is just following my instincts – it was just as soon as I heard it when I was a kid, I connected to it. It was just more exciting to me to hear sounds that I had never heard before. it occurred to me even then that it was like an open platform – it would evolve like people do. It’s impossible to imagine the type of sounds that will be possible to make in time – and I love that idea, much more than trying to find new ways of playing the piano – which is the other side of what I was doing. But as the years went on, what I wanted to do as a kid has come true. So now I can imagine the sound and make it.

LAC: Speaking of making any sound you want – you mentioned listening to raindrops coming down a pipe and really wanting to capture that sound – what’s been the most difficult sound or image that you have tried to capture?

JH: I don’t actually try to capture the [exact] thing, it’s more like inspiration for things. So the raindrop thing was actually water running through pipes in a hotel room – it happened to be resonating in a way that was inexplicable. It was like causing this chord to happen and it was a completely random thing. It seemed like a random passage. It wasn’t like I was trying to replicate the sound but more the feeling of it. I don’t go around with a recorder.

The sounds that are on the record that are real world sounds, are ones that I captured from around the studio where I am. To me they seemed really logical to include. It’s like incorporating the world and my own reality into it. So I don’t go to lengths to capture things around me unless I am actually writing.

LAC: You’ve worked on a couple movie scores…

JH: Yes, I’ve done four actually.

LAC: If you could pick a movie score – not necessarily the ones that you’ve worked on – but just in general, if you could pick one to represent your life, which would it be?

JH: Hm, the reality of my life – it would be Twin Peaks. It has a pretty exceptional score. Theres something incredibly dark and deep and beautiful about that score that really resonates with me more than any other score has. It is just so well arranged. We imagine some art closer to our hearts than others – and that’s definitely the one for me.

LAC: When we listen to your music we get the sense that it is deeply personal. Does the process for your music ever exhaust you emotionally, or do you find that it energizes you?

JH: It’s a total mix of those two things actually. When you said ‘does it ever exhaust you?’ I found myself nodding. It’s like I put nine months of work into that album. It really takes a toll – it really takes over your life. It makes it in some ways difficult – when you’ve had an amazingly intense day, and you’re making a breakthrough on a track, it makes it difficult to come home and relate normally to a girlfriend or anyone I see – you’re in a different world. The best thing to do is take a few days off to become a normal human being again. But then after I take a long time off – after a week or so with no music at all, it feels like I am lacking something, lacking energy. Somewhere in there, there is a balance. I just haven’t found it yet.

LAC: Are there any challenges translating your productions into live shows?

JH: Actually it’s a difficult part of the album cycle. You have in your head that there is this huge fanfare and you go to mastering and you commit to it and then you have to deconstruct it all again for the live album. It is painful- you have to get right back into it and figure out how to do it live. Then it becomes fine when you actually start doing the shows, you think you’ve prepared properly. You take the tracks even further than they go on the record … there’s more you can do in the live arena. You can make them longer, heavier, more extreme in some ways and you can even feed off the crowd. It’s a great opportunity to explore the ideas you didn’t have the first time around. Again, it’s difficult, but amazing.

LAC: We’ve heard you speak about being against trends, and how they lead to a sound that can be identified as old. But, has there ever been a new trend that has caught your ear and had  you a little bit tempted?

JH: Oh yeah, I mean I talk a lot of bullocks in interviews (laughs). It’s not quite as clear cut as that. But there are some elements of my sound that I can pinpoint, ‘Oh that was inspired by this’ everything was a trend at one time. So it is difficult – you really do feel differently about what you do everyday so sometimes you will say things like that…

There is a particular type of compression that’s very common, sidechain compression – I can’t really describe the sound – its like a way of making a bass drum or whatever part you like displaced with the part behind it and it makes everything sound fat and amazing. It is definitely a trend of the moment. I try to do it subtly so that it isn’t like super obvious. There are some examples where it is being used too extremely years ago when it was at its peak.

I just prefer to cherry pick the things I love the most and not worry about what trend they’re from, I guess thats a better way of putting it.

I do like the idea of combining sounds of all different times, whether it is right now or ages ago.

LAC: Do you have any guilty pleasure listening?

JH: I prefer to call it ‘proud pleasure listening.’ I am quite an admirer of ABBA and the production in ABBA – and not everyone is into that. My dad was always playing it. And Fleetwood Mac as well. Im quite proud to announce that I like these things cause there’s a reason why these things are so enduring, it’s cause they are amazing. They have a common level of skill and writing and production.

LAC: Lastly, what’s next for you? Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

JH: I don’t really know at this point. The album has opened up all kinds of new opportunities. You know if you asked me this a few months ago I might’ve said I was going to do another collaboration – but now I want to set up my own studio. I really want to start my own place that is custom built. Eventually I want to do my own solo album – take it to another level with that. So that may well be a two year project. But yeah, you don’t know who is going to call and have something exciting for me. You never know if you are going to get a call from a director and be linked to a 4 month project.

I’m touring ’til August, and everything else is happening after that.


Catch Jon Hopkins playing at the Echoplex this Saturday, November 30 alongside fellow European electronic musicians, Clark and Nathan Fake. Purchase tickets here.

Photo: Oddbjørn Steffensen


UK duo Dusky grabbed some major attention last month by beating out mostly mainstream bangers for the coveted #1 spot on Beatport’s Top 100 chart. Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman, who make up Dusky, have been putting out a widely varied range of music, touching on everything from deep house to techno, all to much acclaim. Their ability to weave in everything from uplifting melodies to low-end density have marked them as a duo unafraid of the depth and originality that electronic music is often accused of lacking. We catch up with them below after their set at HARD’s Day of the Dead at the Red Bull Music Academy Discotheque Stage.

Photo: Jerry Lin


LA CANVAS: Is this your first major US festival?

DUSKY: Not the first one, we played Tomorrowworld. We played somewhere else… uh, we played Decibel Festival in Seattle too. Oh we also played Ultra Festival.


LAC: Have you noticed a difference in playing to US crowds versus European crowds?

D: UK has quite a big repertoire of tracks that they know. They know our scene and people respond quite differently. The UK crowd like to be quite wild. That’s probably partly because of the amount of substances they like to take [laughs] and they like to drink.

LAC: The UK and drinking goes hand in hand.

D: [Laughs] Yeah, definitely.


LAC: Australia’s like that too right?

D: Probably worse over there cause they can’t get drugs over there so they just drink really, really hard. In the UK at least you can get cheap drugs, so, like, by the time it gets past 3, all the drunk people leave and all the people who are really wired are still there.

Photo: Jerry Lin

LAC: Congrats on your #1 Beatport Hit ‘Careless’. What’s it feel like? If you look at the other tracks on the top 10, it’s stuff like Cedric Gervais and Hardwell.

D: It was a nice surprise. Very unexpected, it’s just kind of nice that it’s there. We made it kinda thinking ‘Yeah, we really wanna be Beatport #1. Then it happened and we were like, oh, cool, maybe we should try and get another one.’ [laughs]

LAC: Have you seen a surge of support from people who are like ‘Oh my god, you’re beating out so-and-so’?

D: Yeah, yeah, it was nice! We did a Facebook post, the timing was perfect. It was like the day after Hardwell had gotten announced as DJ Mag’s #1 DJ. So we’re like ‘House Music – 1, EDM – Nil (0). Wooo!’ It got shared like thousands of times and thousands of likes – more so then any of our normal posts. It was good timing. We’ll see, stuff normally takes quite a while to feel the power. If you get a #1 on Beatport it takes like 6 months or almost a year to actually feel the power, for it to translate into your shows. We’ll see how it affects us but hopefully it’s positive.


LAC: You guys started off on the label Anjunadeep. From an artistic standpoint, do you normally come up with tracks and decide where you might want to release them, or do labels come to you and you try to cater to their sound a little bit? The variety of your tracks is quite large.

D: We work with quite a lot of different labels. A lot of that’s out of necessity, because the tracks are so different. Some would work with one label and some wouldn’t. But we try not to try too much to cater to a particular label, we just try to work with different labels. Sometimes we decide we want to do something a bit deeper or techno-y, or garage-y, so we’ll work on relevant ideas. The way we tend to work is we have a huge bank of fragments of ideas. We sit on them and pick them out and take this and put it into a track. After we’re finished we’ll say, ‘Okay, what label will fit with this?’ I think it’s slightly different from a remix. If you’re remixing for a certain label then you’re not gonna put a 12 minute long or a 110 bpm tune. It’ll depend. With originals we just kind of write it and see where they’ll fit.


LAC: With your popularity growing in the US, where do you see yourself in the next 2 or 3 years?

D: Uh [Laughs]. Ask Andrew [their manager]. We never really looked at it like, ‘Oh we wanna get to a certain place,’ we just do it cause we enjoy it. I suppose that comes through in the music and the way we DJ. Hopefully that keeps building. We’re not like, ‘Oh yeah, in 3 years we wanna be Tiesto, or Hardwell.’


LAC: Or Duskwell.

D: [Laughs] Yeah, 13 city tour with Duskwell!


LAC: How would you describe LA in three words?

D: Three words? [Laughs]  Uh, what’s the word for spread out. ‘Vast?’ ‘Hot.’ Uh… I don’t know, I guess I was trying to think of a word to describe the architecture. Cause to me it’s like, I don’t wanna be rude [laughs] but I think the architecture’s quite bleak.


LAC: Alright, ‘bleak’! We’ll take that…[laughs]

D: [Laughs]. ‘Vast. Hot. Bleak.’ [Laughs] ‘See you next time, in 2014. Or never again.’ No, no. Don’t say that ! We’ll say fun. How about that?


Go tag-crazy with our photos from HARD Day of the Dead 2013 on our Facebook



Lifestyle photographer and London-native Alex de Mora has snapped everyone from Shaun White and Kreayshawn to Slash and the Queen and you can peep his work in publications like Vice and i-D mag, as well as LAC’s very own Future issue. We’ve always wanted an imperialist (we kid!) pen pal, here’s to hoping he gives us a call next time he’s on this side of the pond.


So, what’s up?

I’m currently stuck behind my laptop screen editing a bunch of pictures.

Can we get you something to drink?

Sure, I’m a bit under the weather so I’ve been drinking tea with fresh lemon and whisky. One of those, please.

Favorite thing to look at?

My laptop screen, evidently.

Rock, paper, or scissors?

Scissors, as it doubles up for a good old British hand gesture.


Do anything last night?

I went with friends to a football match in London. I’m a big Chelsea fan.

How late did you stay up?

I was still up at 4.30am trying to rescue my cat after she got stuck in the basement. Crazy, crazy night.

Meals or snacks?

If I’m shooting I often forget to eat, so definitely snacks. Savory snacks.

Do you sit down in the shower?

I used to do that when I was a kid but, alas, no more.


Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party? Have to be alive.

Emilia Clarke, José Mourinho, Bjork and Elton John.

Your biggest fan?

Strange question… maybe that bored person who went through and liked every single picture on my Instagram.

If life could resemble any film…

The Big Lebowski. I like dressing gowns and white russians.

Who would you commission to take your portrait?

Juergen Teller.

Your favorite hiding spot in LA?

Griffith Park is  a pretty sweet spot. You mean dead bodies or just to hang out?

Blue or black ink?

Black. My friends actually call me ‘Black Al’ because I wear a lot of black.

A shoot you most regret?

I don’t have many of them to be honest. I love what I do!


Cotton or wool socks?

It’s more about the design of a good sock, than the materials for me.

When was the last time you really froke out at someone?

I had a personal freak out with myself earlier.

What was the first thing you said aloud this morning?

Probably “cough, cough cough.“

Are you listening to music right now?

I’m listening to Jon Hopkins album ‘Immunity’ for about the 100th time this year.

Your dream project?

I like to combine fashion with documentary, so probably a big campaign that documents a real story at the same time.


If we gave you $50, what would you buy?

Probably some rolls of film and a few beers.

Last 3 Google searches?

Fred Herzog, Metal veil, Mel C.

What are you doing later?

Drinking more tea with lemon and whisky.

Can we come?

Sure, just be careful you don’t catch my cold or get stuck in the basement.


All photos by Alex de Mora

Stylist: Kylie Griffiths

Hair and Make Up: Lydia Warhurst

Models: Brian Balchin @ FM Models and Rebecca Arnold @ Nevs




Curtis Stone_0087

Ever sat glued to your television anguished over your inexplicable decision to flip to the Food Network or Top Chef Masters when you were just lamenting the pitiful state of your empty fridge? If so, chances are you’ve spotted culinary, multi hyphenate Curtis Stone on the screen, doing everything from cooking to judging and hosting. We caught up with the prolific cookbook author and host of Top Chef Masters as he dishes on his new restaurant Maude, the LA culinary scene, food-obsessed television, and his recent nuptials.

Everyone is excited about your new restaurant purchase in the Los Angeles area. Can you tell us a little bit about it and what inspired the new venture?
I am really excited about it too. It has been a dream of mine for quite a few years to have a tiny, little restaurant that I could just work with a talented group of guys on, who could focus all of their energy into cooking beautiful food. Not having a huge menu or throwing huge numbers. The concept of the restaurant revolves around produce around Southern California. We are very lucky. We are up there with the best markets in the world. I want to pay homage to some of those ingredients. Each month I am going to choose one ingredient and do a seven- or eight-course tasting menu around that ingredient. I want to be as versatile and creative as possible. It will be a set menu, which allows me to put more detail into each dish, rather than having hundreds of courses.


Curtis Stone_0090

Los Angeles is a melting pot of cultures that often translates into unique fusions of flavors. It is also a city that embraces over-the-top, glamorous plates. As someone who is committed to letting great ingredients shine without too much fanfare, how do you envision your new restaurant fitting into the Los Angeles landscape?
I think LA has gone through such a huge culinary revolution. It was all about the scene, glitz, and glamour not too long ago. But now, look at the restaurants that are popular. They are the ones that really get their hands on great quality ingredients and come from a more humble place—like spending the entire morning in my garden. I have a bit of an experimental garden, so I grow all sorts of different things. You know, that’s the place that I play with different varieties of stuff that you can’t get your hands on commercially. Also, the culture around great growers—that’s something that makes me happy. Honoring the farmer that works his ass off. That’s what my restaurant will be all about.

Any favorite taco spots in LA where we might spot you after a late night?
Oh god, absolutely! I love tacos and the beautiful thing about this city is that they are everywhere. The one that I sort of hit most often is Pinches on Sunset, which I am sure many know. ¡Lotería! is really good as well. We go down to East LA for tacos too. Too many spots to remember the names of. But with tacos, it’s usually the dirtiest hole-in-the-wall with the best offerings.

Okay, one night in LA—where is Chef Curtis Stone going to eat and why?
I just ate at Lukshon in Culver City a couple of nights ago, and, I’ve got to say, it is one of my favorite dining experiences in this city. It is so innovative and Chef Sang Yoon cooks really beautiful food—same guy from Father’s Office. He’s one of my favorite chefs.






photo KATHRYNA HANCOCK @ 7 Artist Management
grooming CHRISTINE NELLI @ Celestine Agency








East of downtown, just crossing over the 4th St. bridge, is a warehouse complex of art studio lofts. In one of the smaller, tucked away and yet-to-be-completed sound studios sits Lost Midas a.k.a Jason Trikakis. He’s working on his craft – music making – which began when he was just 6 years old.

While considered a “beatmaker” by association, the term simplifies a more complex talent – a natural ability to create intricate, atmospheric compositions. He interplays chords, building a sound that’s poetically whimsical – relying heavily on a well-constructed melody laying over one of his freestyled drum patterns. This sophisticated approach comes from his obsession with Jazz and Classical music, which as a multi-instrumentalist he is trained to play. His recent EP Memory Flux leans on bubbly head-bobbing beat arrangements pierced by Lost Midas’ own golden touch of dreamy, melodic, electronic soundscapes.

We sat down with Lost Midas for a small chat about his history, musical approach and what to expect in the near future.


LA CANVAS: Ok, so where are you from?

LOST MIDAS: Boston. I moved to L.A. summer of 2011.

LAC: Why to LA?

LM: That’s a good question. It was kind of impulsive. I was playing in bands on the east coast and my dream was always to be a rock star. As a matter fact, not to say that I got close, but I got a taste of that experience. In a band called The Press Project. We were a live seven-piece R&B Jazz ensemble. Our third or fourth gig ever was opening for The Roots. So things took off quick. At that age I thought this is how it’s always going to be until I realized there were seven people cooking in a small kitchen. We played Bonnaroo in 2008 and it was a steady decline after that.

LAC: If you were in Boston why not just move to New York?

I was going to move to New York but what stopped me was a pretty cool sequel of events. This girl I used to date, her best friend was dating Austin Peralta. Through her and Austin I went to New York to a Brainfeeder event. FlyLo, Teebs, Strangeloop, Thundercat, and a couple others were on the bill. I had to check it out. Producing to me was new and I was being influenced by these guys. I was sick and tired of being in bands with unreliable people. I thought this would be a great opportunity to meet the Brainfeeder crew and I did. Coincidentally, I happened to sign up for a Logic Pro certification course in LA held the next day. I was flying to LA and so was Brainfeeder, and that same night they were playing at Low End. They saw me and they were like “what the f—-“. That night left a huge impression on me and I decided to move to LA.


LAC: Where does the name Lost Midas come from?

LM: I played in a cover band and between songs and as often is the case, patrons will shout out names of artist they wanted to hear. One guy shouted Paul Simon, but our lead singer heard Lost Midas. He says back on the mic, “Who’s Lost Midas?!” It became a bit of an inside joke within the band.

LAC: How did you get connected to your record label Tru Thoughts?

LM: Well, my buddy Roland who does artwork for a lot of musicians, him and I are pretty close friends. He has been successful in the graphic design world and some of the artists he has designed for have been on the Tru Thoughts label. He connected me with Jasmine (Label Manager) via e-mail. She heard my tracks through Soundcloud. Two weeks later we met in Silverlake and she offered me a deal on the spot, just like that.

LAC: What’s your creative process? How do you begin to put together a song?

LM: What does it for me is having… nice chords. Nice harmony. Rhythm comes later which comes contrary to what some might believe because I’ve been a drummer for over 20 years. The drums are the hardest for me. I love harmony and I love melody. I love “harmonic deception.” That’s what I think I’m good at, coming up with interesting chord changes. I don’t consider myself a beatmaker or part of the beat scene. I might be a little bit of an outsider because I might be one of those few cats in that genre that write bridges. Now, the reason why I need chord changes is that when I work as a drummer in a band my part is a reaction to the chords, so when I’m composing I don’t want to start with the drums. First, it has to have that Lost Midas harmonic thing going on.


LAC: Do you think you’ve found that Lost Midas sound?

LM: I know it when I’m there but I don’t know the path to get there.

LAC: What are you listening to right now?

LM: Banks – Warm Water (Snakeships remix). It is absolutely beautiful. It’s so good I well up at the corner of my eye blasting it on my way to work. You can tell [Snakehips are] not just producer kids, they’re musicians. There is a difference. My staple though, Jazz and Classical. That is my heart and my soul.

LAC: When will the album come out?

LM: We’re thinking March-April 2014.

LAC: And the new EP?

November 18th in the UK and 19th in the US, and the single Dance Monkey on the 16th of October.

Listen and purchase Lost Midas’ recently released EP Memory Flux on Tru Thoughts here.



 Jacco Gardner is a Dutch musician whose ornate soundscapes are like something out of the 60s. Lush instrumentation and a distinctly analogue warmth cultivate a softness and eery intimacy our 80s-born souls aren’t quite sure what to do with. Still, we’re left intrigued. Read below as Jacco shares his insight on what began his 60s obsession and his journey into the distinctly baroque and neo-psych sound of his new record, Cabinet of Curiosities.

LAC: You just came out with Cabinet of Curiosities. What’s the story was behind the title?

Jacco: Most of the songs I’ve written over a ten year period. I remade a lot of the songs, and the final versions I did about two years before the album. They are scattered all over, like experiences scattered over my life–it’s bizarre. It turned into bizarre stories, all of them combined to me were like a cabinet of curiosities because its also like things that you pick up while on a journey, and which you think are very strange, collected into a cabinet.

LAC: Your sound has been described as baroque and neo-psychedelic, would you agree with these kinds of genre labels? And where did these influences come from?

J: Well, I could definitely understand those labels, especially the Baroque one because there are not that many artists doing harpsichord stuff and using instruments like you hear in baroque pop, so it is kind of an obvious label, in a way. I got into 60s music when I was about thirteen years old. I heard Syd Barrett, his music, and the early PInk Floyd stuff really caught my attention and I couldn’t let it go. It was like when finding the spirit of the ’60s embodied in one person, in one band, the main thing of the ’60s. When I found out [about the 60s], I really had to hear everything that was the ’60s. I was completely lost in time I guess.

LAC: Did your parents influence this at all, or was this something you discovered through other people?

J: Mostly other people. I had a good friend, who is still one of my best friends, and when we grew up we kind of shared everything that we found musically. He saw a documentary on Syd Barrett and he told me about it because we were always on the same page, music-wise. That’s how it all started. His parents actually had the early Pink Floyd albums and Soft Machine albums and things like that. I think his parents were mostly the biggest influence.

LAC: If you had to name 3 records from the ’60s that most influenced you, what would they be?

J: That’s a very difficult question … That’s a hard one. Well, I’d say New World by the Zombies is a big one. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn from Pink Floyd and Present Tense’s Sagittarius. 

LAC: You have a very distinct sound right now, but how do you see your sound evolving in the future?

J: I think that the reference to the ’60s or baroque pop kind of stuff won’t be as obvious as it is on the first record. I won’t be using as much harpsichord or strings–those things to me sound a little bit too obvious now if I would do it again. So, I would like to use more sounds that you are not really sure if it’s a synth or some sampled instrument or something, it has to be a little bit more obscure, sound-wise.


LAC: Do you have any projects or collaborations coming up? I know that you also do production for other people. is there anyone we should be keeping an eye out for?

J: I just finished working on the record for Earth Mk II (a reference to the second earth in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy), which is actually the same guy I was talking about that–friend of mine who I grew up with. I was also in a band with him, a duo, which was very ’60s influenced as well, like very garagey, [with] organ and drums. And his band that he has now is more like the garage-y part of that–I took the melodic part and made it sort of in my own solo stuff and he took the garage part to another level. I think his record could be something to look out for. I think he really writes greats songs.

LAC: After the success of your sound and your record, have you seen other projects pop up with a similar sound? Do you think there is a kind of a revival of this ’60s sound?

J: Oh yeah, definitely. I don’t know if it has anything to do with me though. But, there is a lot. I do realize there is a powerful wave of a lot of bands who I think may be influenced by the ’60s because of the internet. The generation where this kind of music is easily accessible and because it is so great. And there is so much underground stuff, [it] was not possible to discover that kind of stuff before 10 years ago. So I think to some people it is really new, really fresh and interesting. That’s really why there is such a revival. [So] I definitely think there is one.

LAC: What has it been like to play in the US? Where do you think you have had the best reception and why do you think that is?

J: I had the best reception, I think, in the biggest cities like New York and Austin. Mostly because I think in those cities there is a lot of musical stuff going on. So the response has been really good there. I think that in Austin it has been really great because of the SXSW festival. [There’s] so much in the air and everyone is so excited about all the music going on there. Everybody is so open-minded. That has been really great. We also played in Cleveland which had like five people there who were watching a basketball team while we played. But it has been good in other places, [which are] also in Cleveland, so I’m not too sure what could be the reason.

LAC: We read online that your studio is quite far from the city, and a little bit isolated. Do you think that gives you a particular sound or quality to your production and creative process?

J: Well, I have always been kind of isolated wherever I was, just kind of being myself, I guess. Part of the record, the biggest part of the record, was actually done in the middle of Utrecht, which is a bigger city and a lot is going on around there. But I mainly work on my own. When I start working on a song I just don’t think about anything else. It doesn’t really matter where I am I guess but maybe the environment in the industrial zone where I live now has something to do with creating another world, I don’t know.

LAC: Do you see yourself staying in the Netherlands? We’ve read that you don’t really identify yourself so much as Dutch.

J: Yeah, that is definitely true. I never felt really Dutch and the culture here is not really my thing. I don’t know where I would go though ’cause I would have to move the entire studio–it’s not really realistic to do at this time in my life. But if I could, I would really like to try some places like London, or the US. I’m really curious about the West Coast in the US as well, so I can’t wait to see LA and San Francisco.




Best friends and creative team, Smiley Stevens and Philippa Price, are the two designers behind one of the most bold and exciting menswear lines out there, Guns Germs $teal. Coming straight out of LA, a city that continues to struggle to find its own style identity besides tees and jeans (at least for mens), GG$’s innovative, bravado brand of dope, forward-pushing items are a much needed breath of fresh air. Just don’t call it streetwear. It’s menswear on a higher level. In a matter of two years, the brand has gone from a small accessory line to a complete clothing line that is now beloved by major artists like Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz, and Haim. Currently, the label is getting ready to debut at New York Fashion Week in early September.

Smiley and Philippa, both former models,  share their excitement as they chat with LAC to tell us more about their FW13 collection and the future of the brand.

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LAC: Ok, so you both met at a birthday party in the Lower East Side of NY. What connected you two?

GG$: Our height. We were both like, woah you’re awkwardly taller than everyone else here, cool, me too … let’s be friends. But we realized pretty quickly we shared a creative connection that exists on a different wavelength. We’re Soul Sisters.

LAC:  What eventually brought you to LA?

GG$: We both grew up here, so after college (mostly because we were broke) we moved back to LA. We still miss the grind and the energy of New York, but we know we wouldn’t be able to be doing what we’re doing if we had stayed out there. Besides, nothing beats L.A. weather. Mentally I don’t think we could handle the stress of starting a business on top of handling a New York winter … or a grimey New York summer for that matter.

GG$: Has LA changed the way in which you perceive menswear – would you be designing different items had you stayed in NY?

GG$: Our designs are whole heartedly and organically a product of the unique vision that the two of us share … I think this would be the same no matter where we were. We weave an eclectic range of experience and influence into each of our pieces and don’t consciously design with a certain type of person or trend in mind… in fact we try our hardest to stay away from that. Generally speaking, men’s style here is not exactly the best, but I think in that sense, being in LA has enabled us to really focus on developing our own style that remains true to the root of our vision.

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LAC: Let’s talk about your new collection. It has an impressive amount of elements that work so well together. It was difficult to describe it. I almost came around to calling it “conceptual sportswear.” How far would I have been?

GG$: Exactly as you say, we layer so many different elements and influences together in our designs, that our “style” is almost impossible to define. It’s funny because people have been trying to define our brand since we first started, and I don’t think we’ve even figured that out ourselves yet. Yes, this collection could definitely be described as “conceptual sportswear” but we wouldn’t say that defines GG$ as a whole … just wait till you see what we have coming for Spring / Summer 2014.

LAC: So what then would you say defines GG$ as a whole?

We don’t believe in definition–definition is what has divided people for the entire course of human history. The only thing our collection defines you as is confident.

LAC: What was the concept behind the collection?

GG$: For this collection we focused on the concept of the uniform. We explored everything from military uniforms to astronauts, sports uniforms to royal regalia, even the idea of skin as a uniform. We expanded our interpretation of the term “uniform,” focusing on the idea that even personal style over the past century has become a uniform, used to identify you with a certain division of our culture. We blend elements from all kinds of subcultures, creating our version of a universal uniform.

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LAC: Since showing the collection back in February at Project Las Vegas, what has been the feedback? 

GG$: We’ve received really great feedback from those who have seen the collection … it’s only just available to the public this week so we’re excited to see the reaction. We’re particularly excited about the pieces we created with our amazingly talented friend and photographer Brianna Capozzi. We used a few of her photographs on the neoprene sweaters in the collection which thus far have been everybody’s favorite. Combining her bold images with our neoprene silhouette created a really unique optical illusion when worn as clothing and we’re excited to see how people interpret that.

LAC: How does the collaboration dynamic work between the two of you and do you ever wonder if guys will really dig what two ladies are creating?

GG$: Day to day, Philippa handles most of the design while Smiley manages the company operations. The way we work creatively is very organic. One of us will come up with an idea, and the other will add a new dimension, and we will go back and forth until we reach something next level. We’ve come to trust our combined aesthetic so we don’t really worry about what guys’ reactions will be … when we both agree on something there is no question… we just know it’s TIGHT.

LAC: For what kind of guy do you make your clothes for? 

GG$: A guy with confidence. There couldn’t be anything more attractive than confidence (PLEASE NOTE: confidence is NOT the same as arrogance).

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LAC: Out of a long list of celebrities that already wear your items who would you say best exemplifies your line and who else can you see wearing your clothing?

GG$: That is such a hard question. It’s pretty much impossible to pin it down to one person… our pieces have already been worn by such an ecclectic range, from Kendrick to Rihanna, and of course our girls Haim and Brooke Candy. They are all people who’s individual movements we respect and who we feel are leaders in this verging culture movement of our generation… I think that in itself is what best exemplifies our line.

LAC: You went from making accessories to menswear, any plans on creating more womenswear?

GG$: Oh just you wait… clothing is just the beginning for GG$. Right now, we are really focusing on our mens collection but like we said, we have come to realize that we have a strong following of women who wear our clothes. With that in mind we have definitely been focusing on developing more unisex pieces and fits. You will see this in our Spring 2014 collection which we are getting ready to present at NYFW this September … in two weeks actually. Fuck!

LAC: Finally, when and where can we get our hands on the new collection?

GG$: We are launching the collection this Thursday at 424 Fairfax in L.A., and by the beginning of next week the collection will be available in a few select retailers around the world –

US: 424 Fairfax / American Rag / Extra Butter

UK: Browns London / Machine A

JAPAN: Nubian / GR8

The lookbook was shot by L.A. photographer Adri Law.

Photo of Smiley Stevens and Philippa Price is courtesy of Diane Abapo / SUSPENDMAG.COM





Gavin Turek - Cover

Last month, we had the opportunity to see Gavin Turek perform live at the Hotel Cafe — and while Gavin may have started the evening as a little known Los Angeles musician, she was going to make sure no one forgot her name that night.

Like a technicolor butterfly dressed in hot pink lips and a multi-colored fringe dress, Gavin’s body was already pulsing along to the rhythmic chatter of the gathering crowd even before the set began. Her aura sent waves of energy throughout the room as she proved her professional training in dance was not put to waste. Not only was Gavin able to jive and shimmy all night, but she also impressively maintained the silky smoothness of her vocals without losing her breath. (Dear Gavin’s personal trainer: whatever her cardio routine is, we want in!)

If there’s one thing Gavin was sure to keep in mind throughout the night, it was that her entire presence from beginning to end was a sensational performance. Next Friday, Sept 6, Gavin will be hosting an encore performance at the Bootleg Theater timed with the release of her EP, “The Break Up Tape.” We caught up with Gavin to talk about her musical history, inspirations and what curious listeners can hope to see this week.

LA CANVAS: Did you always want to become a musician? Where and when did this aspiration come to you?

Gavin Turek: I’ve always loved to sing but thought I wanted to be a professional dancer. It wasn’t until college that I realized music is the only career path for me. It was in the beginning of college where I started writing a lot and making my own little amateur beats. I got addicted to the process and since I was also falling in love for the first time, I had plenty to write about. I showed my family some of the songs I wrote and my sister Hana was particularly impressed and ended up putting those songs online.

LAC: I read somewhere that you first met TOKiMONSTA on MySpace. How did you two seek each other out for this collaboration and what about her style influences your own songwriting and collaboration together?

GT: Yes! It’s insane. She just messaged me and I responded immediately. At the time I wasn’t sure her style would fit the music I envisioned for myself, but I was really impressed with her. She had already established a brand, was incredibly talented, and producing great music in a male dominated genre. I thought it would be great to at least meet and see what we came up with. Every time I write a song for her, the music dictates the lyrics and emotion; I’m forced me to be honest, vulnerable, contemplative, lonely, etc.


LAC: I know that aside from working on your upcoming album, you’ve also been collaborating with a lot of producers and artists in the electronic music world. How would you describe your own style of music and what draws you to this electronic music trend? How would you say electronic music complements your own sound?

GT: Good question. Growing up in LA and being exposed to so many different kinds of music, I have always spanned [my musical influences] from folk to reggae to classical to disco . . . I love it all. With that said, figuring out what kind of music I wanted to make was difficult. It started off more influenced by indie rock and now it’s naturally evolving into more of a electronic sound due to the recent collaborations. I feel like music that I need to write to chooses me, in a way, and I hope I continue to experiment and write regardless of the genre.

LAC: What’s the songwriting process like for you? What are subjects you like to write about?

GT: Usually I start off with a melody and gibberish. Then a word or phrase will pop out and I’ll build off that. Sometimes I start with a feeling or a word and let that motivate my lyrics. I love writing about transitions; whether relational, emotional, physical, spiritual, forced or accidental . . . the “in-between” time is a fascinating place to be. Then there’s break-up songs, which I’ve written a handful of. I rarely write about perfect relationships and being in love. Conflict is much more interesting.

LAC: I always feel that not all artists are performers and not all artists are comfortable with being on stage. You are obviously the complete opposite of that. Is there someone you look to for inspiration as a performer?

GT: I loooove being on stage because I see it as my time to release all the energy I’ve pent up throughout the week and truly not care what people think of me. It’s strange in that I often feel much more self-conscious off stage than on. As far as inspiration goes, I really enjoy watching old performance footage of Tina Turner, Diana Ross, and Donna Summer. All of those woman exude an unbelievable amount of confidence, charisma, and beauty in their performances. They have such control of their voices and bodies; every word and movement is intentional . . . it’s amazing. I can only hope to be that captivating!

LAC: Can you tell me a little bit about what goes into preparing for each performance? You have a background in dance as well as singing, but do you ever choreograph your moves before going on stage or is it impromptu?

GT: I prep for every show pretty much the same way. My favorite thing to do is to run in place and/or spastically dance throughout my set in my room. I usually use my deodorant as my mic, I blast the music, and go for it. My neighbors hate me. Right before I go on stage I warm-up, eat the same protein bar I always eat, pray with my mom, and go over the set in my head. Most of my movement is impromptu but there’s a few moments in the set where I break out in full on choreography. Generally, I feel pretty ridiculous when I do that but the audience really seems to like it. No shame!


LAC: As artists, I’ve noticed there is always this drive for continual self-discovery, both personally and musically. How do you see yourself growing in the coming year? Where do you want to head as a performer and musician?

GT: I see myself transforming in many ways. I see myself being more comfortable in my skin and becoming a better communicator. I am learning more and more that pursuing music can not be all about me. It has to be about people. Whether it’s people that work with me daily or people I meet at a show, I want to continue learning how to communicate more effectively and genuinely. Musically, I feel like I have merely scratched the surface of the potential of the songs, the lyrics, and sound. I am so excited to continue to collaborate while honing in on my sound even more. The stage show has to continue to get better, tighter, more captivating, new dance moves! [I want to] see myself playing huge venues so I’ll be putting in the practice hours this next year . . . that’s for sure.

See Gavin Turek perform at the Bootleg Bar on Sept 6. Tickets can be purchased here.



Left to Right: The men of Caveman: Jeff Berall (sitting), Stefan Marolachakis, Matthew Iwanusa, Sam Hopkins(sitting) and Jimmy Carbonetti.

Every artist or band or family needs a place to retreat: a cave-like shelter where they can create, dream, philosophize, and drift away from the burdens of reality.  Virginia Woolf called it a “Room of one’s own.” For Hemingway, it was any bar that had a desk to write on and a bar with flowing alcohol. The Stones loved the South of France and their farms in England. In LA, artists tuck into caverns in Silverlake or look-outs in the canyons.

For the NYC band Caveman, it’s only appropriate to have a cave of their own . . . and it’s Jimmy’s Guitar Shop on Orchard. To get there, you’ve gotta go through the slim doorways of the hip clothing store By Robert James, past the tailors suits, up the winding stairs to the second floor – a long, vertical room filled with sawdust and smoke, where Jimmy Carbonetti – Caveman’s guitarist and handy guitar carver, chisels away at wood, while vinyl spins in the corner and, outside basic indications of “day” vs. “night”, time generally flies free. One of such days, we joined the band, sat around, snapped some shots, and asked the lead singer Matt Iwanusa a couple questions.

LAC: What’s an average day like at Jimmy’s guitar shop for Caveman?

Matthew Iwanusa: Well I guess it’s different for all of us. Jimmy’s usually working on a guitar. Our buddy Mas Hino is as well. We mostly listen to records and chat about life. Some cool people come in to drop off guitars for repair or just to hang and we take it from there.


LAC: How did you decide to record your latest album (self-titled) up in Matt’s grandma’s barn in New Hampshire? Why escape to nature? Did grandma help with the recording process?

MI: We actually didn’t record the record there. We went up to Jimmy’s grandmothers house for just a weekend trip and jammed in a barn. It was really fun.

LAC: Heard you jammed all in the dark. Who first proposed that?

MI: We all like to set a vibe when we record. Getting the lights right has a lot to do with that. You can focus on the music and imagine weird things.


Jimmy carving away and making it look easy


LAC: Who is the girl in “In the city, she came around at the right time?” And how did you come to cast Julia Stiles in your video?

MI: It’s more about who you meet when you are feeling depressed about past relationships. People come into your life for the right reasons and the right time.

LAC: Would you say most of your songs on this most recent album are love songs. Or lost love songs? 

MI: Yes. Definitely.

caveman11Left to Right: Jimmy Carbonetti, Stefan Marolachakis, Jeff Berall, Sam Hopkins, Matthew Iwanusa.


LAC: Your first album, CocoBeware, was said to be an allusion to art – and rhymes with a name of a pro wrestler. Why did you guys choose to have a self-titled album this time around? Is this a statement of you guys reaching a new level of seriousness about your music?

MI: It felt like us right when we finished it. We were being extremely honest and had done so much together for 2 years, so it felt right to name it after us.




LAC: You’re are headed to LA in September. Where do you crash while you are here?

MI: Last time we stayed at the Standard. But we got a lot of friends out there. It’s fun to stay with them and catch up.

LAC: Any go-to fast food joints you hit up?

MI : Well, we obviously go to In-N-Out. But we’re open to anything.

LAC: Do you feel like a stranger when you come here? Too much wide open space and strip malls compared to NYC?

MI: LA has always been good to us. I never feel like a stranger.





LAC: Name your ideal friends-start-a-festival line-up.




War on Drugs

The Walkmen

Har Mar Superstar

Rogue Wave

Pure Bathing Culture

And the French Kicks Reunite.


LAC: What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened onstage with you?

MI: I sang the opening of a song out of tune. Jeff’s bass fell off and made a huge noise before our set at ACL. Stefan fell off the stage during a set in LA.

LAC: What’s Caveman’s current motto?

MI: Are we not men?!
{ PHOTOS & TEXT: Faith-Ann Young }


Last week, on our never-ending quest to stay up on the new new and the new new new, we stumbled upon Austin-based Whiskey Shivers on the LA leg of their summer tour. Among a consistent stream of synthetic pop beats and the over-reaching disney-stars-turned-musically-inclined-sorta-kinda-musician, it’s incredibly refreshing to see these guys actually play, well, instruments. With catchy rhythms, killer energy and impeccable musicianship, Whiskey Shivers turns traditional bluegrass on it’s head and has become our fave new “freewheelin’, trashgrassin’, folk tornado” band (and they’re pretty easy on the eyes, ladies.).

Before they darted up north on the 101, the boys caught up with us for one hell of a Q&A:



So, what’s up?
We’re currently piled into a van en route to Portland, Oregon, finishing out the last leg this three week run up the west coast before returning home, and then eventually east again. Basically just trying to spread and practice friendship all across this great nation of ours.

Can we get you something to drink?
Sure. Know anything that cures hangovers? Maybe a purple vitamin water? Gatorade? Pedialite? Micheladas? Do you have those in LA?

Great name! What’s the story behind it?
Haha thanks! I think a lot of people think it’s the DT’s but it’s actually that feeling you get right after a shot of whiskey. That hot feeling that shivers up your spine as you realize the nights gonna get a whole lot radder.

Dream music festival?
Well, we’re playing Austin City Limits, which has always been a dream being as how we’re out of Austin. Aside from that, I’d say Coachella, Telluride, or anything with Insane Clown Posse.

Rock, paper, or scissors?
Scissors. See attached image for our matching scissor tattoos.

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Do anything last night?
I’m glad you asked. As a matter of fact we did! We played The Silvermoon Brewery in beautiful historic Bend, Oregon and a good time was had by all. Shortly thereafter we had what we call a cartwheel party.

How late did you stay up?
Three maybe? After the cartwheel party, we were lulled to sleep by the sweet voices of Andy Griffith, Opie, and The Darlings (or the Dillard’s, which is our favorite bluegrass band who had reoccurring roles in the show).

Meals or snacks?
I think we’re all pretty indifferent so long as bacon is involved.

Craziest road trip/tour story?
Something involving way too much Bartles and James and a ripped frenulum. That’s probably as much as anyone cares to know.

Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?
Tia or Tamera Mowery, Barney Fife, Genghis Kahn, and Rachel Many.

Your biggest fan?
This dude who calls himself Curtis McTurdis comes to all of our shows within about a 200 mile radius. He once walked from Austin to San Antonio to see us play.


If life could resemble any film…
Goonies, obviously.

Who would you hire to write your theme song?
Chingo Bling or Ke$ha. We can’t come to a consensus.

Blue or black ink?
Black. Like our souls.

Ever sit down in the shower?
Of course! That’s the only way all five of us can fit in.

When was the last time you really froke out on someone?
Thats hard to say. I froke at Andrew our bass player the first time I saw the word froke, which was right now. Does that count?
Oh, I met Paul Ruben once and froke the heck out. Not at him per se, but the same way that a 13 year old girl meeting Jonathan Taylor Thomas in 1993 might have reacted. Screams, cries, and awkwardly long hugs.

What’s the first thing you said out loud this morning?
I woke up to all the dudes singing This is How We Do It by Montel Jordan. I believe my first words were, “…so I reach for my 40 and I turn it up…”

Are you listening to music right now?
Yes! Chingo Bling.

Your dream project?
Literally, anything with The Muppets. Anything.

Where can we catch you next?
Well, I’m not sure when we’ll be back in LA quite yet, but if you’re worldly enough to escape to Texas, we’re playing Utopia Fest in Utopia, Texas on September 20th, and Austin City Limits on October 12th.
If you’re not worldly, Bobby’s going to be making his national television debut on Cops this fall. Oh, and of course, there’s always here: www.whiskeyshivers.com

If we gave you $50 what would you buy?
Cronuts!!!! Just kidding, those are awful. Realistically, probably $50 worth of Ranier Beer.

Last three google searches?
Taylor Swifts feet, “Taylor Swifts feet,” and “Taylor Swift’s feet.”

What are you doing later?
Practicing friendship up and down the coast!

Can we come?
We wish you would!


Visit the band’s website to sneak a peek at their upcoming tour dates.


Eats Everything, a.k.a Dan Pierce, has seen a meteoric rise in the house music scene with a decidedly groovy and low-end-heavy breed of house. After struggling for years and even going on the dole (the UK’s equivalent of collecting unemployment), he cut a deal for his single “Entrance Song” in 2011 and the rest is history. Today he ranks #13 on Resident Advisor’s top DJs list, and is one of the most in-demand DJs in Europe and beyond. We share a conversation with the affable gent on the underground, drugs, and wrestling. Yes, wrestling. Read on for an explanation…

LAC: I read in an old interview that you were into wrestling as a kid… and that it was how you really got into electronic music. Can you share that story with us?

EE: Well I was actually into WWF as it was known then, when I was 10 or 11 years old. I had the ropes painted around the walls in my room and all the logos of Hulk Hogan, etc. painted on my walls. I used to wrestle with the pillow and listen to Radio 1. They played what I now know to be house music basically. And they played Felix’s ‘Don’t You Want Me.’ I thought, ‘wow, I haven’t really heard anything like this before.’ So I recorded the show, and every time I wrestled my pillow, I played that song.

LAC: So, basically a gay anthem became your entrance song…

EE: Yeah, exactly! My entrance song is basically a gay anthem, so just picture me wrestling my pillow, walking into my bedroom and ‘Don’t You Want Me’ is playing.

LAC: Well that’s got to be the most entertaining story of how anyone’s gotten into electronic music…

EE: Yeah, [laughs]

LAC: You’re into a lot of music, and consider yourself open-minded… why do you think electronic music in particular though, is so powerful?

EE: You want the honest truth? Because most people who get into it, take drugs with it, and they like it, the drugs give you a euphoria and I don’t think there’s anything more euphoric than a huge piano riff or, like, a big massive riff. Electronic music is very strict on its boundaries, with how it works, for example, it’s usually got a 4-4 kick drum, very definite broken beat, and so on and so on. You can really associate with it. Whereas, rock music, for example, is 4 different speeds, ranging from like from 100 to 200 BPM, I’m not saying in general, but me personally I could never grab onto anything. I like it, but house music you can grab on to it, you can grab onto the kick drum. There’s an element of that that works… It works for me and other people, it’s got something that really grabs you. EDM, it’s such a big thing in charts now, there’s a big culture around it.

LAC: Speaking of drugs, I’ve seen a rise in the use of psychedelics and there’s this discussion around the audio enhancement you can get on psychedelics. Do you think there are musicians out there who produce specifically keeping that in mind?

I do think there are definitely producers who do. But I mean, me personally, I don’t… well, I guess I do in a way. From the ages of 15 to 27 or 28 I was getting fucked up every weekend. And I mean, obviously when I’m making a record, I have an idea subconsciously how it might sound. And there probably are writers who do specifically produce for people on acid or [psychedelics]. Take psy-trance for example, it’s definitely produced for people on acid and stuff.

LAC: Thanks for answering that so frankly… Moving on, I’m curious about Claude VonStroke. What role has he played in your career and what’s it like to be a part of the Dirtybird family?

EE: He’s a real legend and amazing person. Really helpful. I mean, he’s out for himself, not in a bad way, but in the sense that he wants his label to do as well as it possibly can, he does this by signing the best artists and the best music, there’s no bad in thing in that. He’s given me a lot of advice and he’s really helped me a lot. The Dirtybird guys are my favorite guys in this industry, they’re great. Not just cause they’re my crew, but they’re really just my favorite guys in the industry. But really, there’s not really anyone in the underground-ish house scene who aren’t cool. There’s no arrogance, no cliquey-ness, anything like that. Also, we’re all a bit older, we’re all in like our 30’s, we’ve been around a lot..

LAC: There’re no egos right?

EE: Exactly.

LAC: I’ve always thought when the egos are thrown out of the mix the music is much better.

EE: 100 percent.

LAC: You’ve been in the game a really long time now. I’m sure you’ve seen the sound of the underground change from year to year.

EE: Yeah exactly, look at “Jack”, that was underground…

LAC: …But now it’s huge!

EE: Yeah, now it’s gotten to the top 10 in England! You know, I don’t even call myself underground really. I say [my sound is] underground-ish… I don’t think people and clubs and cliques could say that they’re underground but they’re not cause if you advertise on your Facebook and tell people “come to my party” or “buy my record”, then you’re not really underground. At the end of the day, you’re not underground. I would never call myself underground ’cause I advertise, lots of people know who I am, I have a Facebook, I say listen to this or that on the radio… there’s nothing underground about that. And it’ll continue to be like that forever, because the kids who are into Skrillex and you know (I mean I love Skrillex but it’s just an example), they’re always going to be wanting more or looking for something new. I just think underground will always become mainstream, because the kids will always want something new and their attention spans are already short, but I see them getting shorter and shorter. I don’t think there’s really any such thing as underground anymore.

LAC: You used to be into darker music… You’ve played everything from hardcore to jungle, speed garage to a funkier, groovier breed of house. Can you tell us a bit more about your transition from the heavy to the lighter? Would you say the heavy side still influences your sound?

EE: When I was a kid I was listening to, obviously, Felix. Then, when I was about 13, my friends who had older brothers who were basically you know, they’d go to raves and hardcore raves…

LAC: So you got into raves when you were a kid.

EE: I was from a small village, basically in the middle of nowhere, miles from anywhere. There was nothing to do, and you could either get into crime or go to parties. Luckily for my parents I got into partying and taking drugs a bit [laughs]. Yeah, I was taking drugs and enjoying myself [laughs] We’d listen to hardcore… it was all about breaks, jungle types of breakbeats and piano then all of a sudden they added all this shit… cheesy lyrics into the track, it kind of turned a lot of us off.

LAC: Are you talking about happy hardcore stuff?

EE: Yeah, happy hardcore! So basically the hardcore became happy hardcore so we got into jungle and drum ‘n’ bass, then it got darker and it kind of lost all the soul for me, so then we got into house music and into its emerging and amalgamating form. I’ve always been into the more banging heavier end of the spectrum, but, yeah, I would say I’m one of the more heavier DJs within this “underground”-ish scene.

LAC: I read that you have a collaboration album in the works in Justin Martin

EE: Yeah, I’m in San Francisco at the mall at the moment looking for a new shirt. (I’ve run out of shirts), but yeah I’m actually here to record with him, I’m staying at his house recording music! We’re trying to write an album of what we consider dancefloor-friendly, we just want to make an album of tracks that we can play and we can tour and play it in a certain way. We just want to make a lot groovier records basically.

LAC: I’ve heard a lot of your collaborations but haven’t seen so many of your own solo productions lately. Where do you see your career going, are you still thinking of opening a studio?

EE: My career, well, me and my management, my team, we basically have a plan for what’s going to happen. And the reason now I’m doing a lot of collaborations is, because at the end of the day, I’ve released a lot of singles, I’m doing a collaborations and then I’m gonna do a lot of touring, then after that I’m going to sit down and write an album, cause with this game I’ve learned more and more that things can get stale and you have to do different things for yourself, cause I don’t want to get bored. I know if I was in the studio all the time I’d get bored, so there needs to be a balance.

LAC: Understandable. Do you have artists that you’re thinking of collaborating with or artists who are just under the radar that we should keep an eye out for?

EE: There’s this guy German Brigante who makes fucking brilliant records every time. Every record is a winner. There’s also a guy Truncate who makes techno. He makes really cool, really crazy techno.

LAC: This one’s a bit random, but what are the best and worst foods you’ve had in the United States?

EE: That’s a tough one! I’ve actually never really had bad food here, I’ve liked pretty much everything. Let’s see, I had a really good meal at a place called House of Prime Rib. I like most foods so anywhere I go I’m pretty happy.

LAC: You play Splash House this weekend in Palm Springs and you just played HARD Summer here in LA. How was that experience for you? Do US audiences differ from UK ones?

EE: They do differ in that the US audience is a little less expectant of what they want you to play. US audiences seem a lot more open-minded, they kind of just let you do what you do and get down… whereas in the UK, the audiences are a bit more… difficult, in the sense that they want you to play certain tunes or records.

See Eats Everything get down this Saturday at Splash House in Palm Springs. From August 10-11, Eats Everything and artists like Bag Raiders, Poolside, Classixx, Perseus, Plastic Plates, and more take to the decks for a triple-header pool party at the Saguaro Hotel, the Curve Hotel, and the Caliente Tropics! More details here.





Chris Alfaro, a.k.a. Free The Robots, is a producer and musician based out of Santa Ana, Orange County but has long been associated with the “beat scene” community of Los Angeles. With his fusion of jazz, psych, electronic and hip-hop, Alfaro’s productions are a refreshing change of pace for the underground hip-hop scene. We speak to the humble beat-smith about his roots in Orange County, and the story behind his self-released LP, ‘The Balance.’


LAC: How has living in Orange County (Santa Ana specifically) influenced your work?

FTR: As frustrating as it was growing up around the various ‘burbs of OC, settling in the city of Santa Ana provided a balance for me creatively and productively. Entertaining enough, but generally secluded from distraction, the vibe of this neighborhood keeps me level headed. It’s a very small downtown where everyone knows everyone. Life here is relatively simple. I love it just for what it is, and accept what it’s not. For everything else I go elsewhere.

LAC: You are part owner in a restaurant/bar in Santa Ana called The Crosby. What role has that played in your development and growth as a musician?

FTR: The two different lives I live somehow compliment each other. Aside from being an artist myself, at The Crosby, I step behind the scenes to manage a whole different world of responsibilities, giving others the stage. I stay inspired from the bookings alone, and my growth as a musician has a lot to do with being there night after night. We have some of the greatest talent in the world sharing our stage week after week. That energy at The Crosby makes it impossible for me to stay creatively stagnant.

LAC: Has running a business taught you anything valuable as an artist?

FTR: We’ve been open over 5 years now, and the whole experience taught me the importance of balance, confidence and humility. I find myself constantly in very opposite situations back to back. One night I’ll be somewhere in Europe enjoying my last evening after a mind-blowing world tour, only to come back home to host, and bus tables… clean the toilet, if I have to, and jump behind the bar when needed. It’s a challenge, but I’ve accepted the fact that both endeavors need 100% of my attention, and as a leader, there’s no room for complaint. Staying active while maintaining balance is crucial. It keeps me proud of what I do, and positive when approaching my craft.

LAC: If you weren’t involved in the Crosby, do you think you’d still be living in OC?

FTR: There are tons of places I’ve been around the world that I could see my self living in for awhile; and I probably would. I’ve always been a natural wanderer, and admirer of different culture, but home is home… LA and OC is where my family is. Between the two is where I would be regardless of The Crosby.

LAC: Are there artists in OC that we in LA should be keeping an eye out for?

FTR: Truth be told, no one really just reps OC… unless you’re into the psych, garage, punk world; in which case, Burger Records runs it in OC. When it comes to hip hop, and beats, the LA, OC, IE, SD scene has a very loose border. Family is spread and united no matter where they are these days. Some labels/ collectives worth checking out are Soulection, HW&W, Team Supreme, My Hollow Drum, Tar, Leaving Records, etc. Check the lineups and listen.

LAC: Is there a story behind your LP? What’s the meaning behind the title, ‘The Balance’?

FTR: The Balance’ is the musical diary of all the chaos that made up my life during the recording process. After the release of my debut, ‘Ctrl Alt Delete,’ and the opening of the The Crosby, too many things started happening at the same time. I won’t go into detail, but it was a major struggle. Maintaining my sense of creativity, touring, owning/operating a restaurant, relationships and my overall lifestyle does not lend itself to idle times. With so many moving parts, balance is what I strive for, and this album tells the story. The overall tone of the album pulls back from the chaos because this record was mainly inspired from my times of solitude… on the train, or a plane… walking around foreign cities with my headphones on… at a random bar somewhere with strangers and language barriers… In meditation, or out in the ocean, paddling into the waves.. this is where i shut everything off to create balance in my life.

LAC: How has your sound progressed since your LP ‘Prototype’?

FTR: That was 2004; the beginning of Free the Robots. I felt creatively liberated for the first time in my life, and I wanted to do everything all at once. I was young, much less experienced, with a scatterbrain full of random ideas that never really made sense together. These days, I have a little bit more than a blank canvas. My daily experiences give me with much to work with, and I’m able to channel my energy, creating a more cohesive flow of sounds with every release. Ultimately, I have much more of a story to tell.

LAC: Why did you decide to self-release this LP?

FTR: I wanted to go back to my DIY roots, from when I first started making music. I’ve always respected people like Ian MacKaye, and others, who did their own thing. They inspired the self-release of ‘The Prototype’ and the first ‘FTR EP,’ which was a huge eye opener for me. I put it out there with no expectation or plan, and an audience organically spread worldwide through word of mouth. Something I’m very grateful for; ‘Til now, people are constantly discovering and supporting what I do, and what I did back in the day. The DIY approach just feels right. Being part of every little bit from the creative process, to coming up with creative ways to put it out there is gratifying to me. My music is a very personal thing, and so is connecting with my audience. We live in different times now and I feel like the tools to connect us directly with the people are becoming more and more available; just have to put in work. It’s also gives me the freedom to work with good friends whom I source out to for things i’d need. In the end we help each other. The power of community is strong, the people are always ready, and my music will have a way of reaching my audience, if not now, then later.

LAC: You’re often associated with the “beat scene” but how would you really describe your sound?

FTR: Some of my most important shows were at the Low End Theory, which is pretty much the home where the beat scene exploded in LA. The Low End family has always played a major role in my career as Free the Robots, constantly supporting what I do; that “beat scene” association is inevitable. To me, it’s more of a community than a definitive sound, and I am honored to be a part of it. Some songs I make may be recognizable as ‘beats,’ while others have more of a straightforward approach, using traditional instrumentation and pop progressions (verse, chorus, bridge). Whatever stamp people put on it, is their own version. To me, it’s just my moods expressed and recorded.

LAC: I saw in another interview that one of your biggest influences is DJ Shadow. Did you go to his show a couple weeks back at the Observatory?

FTR: I couldn’t make it to his show at the Observatory, but I was able to play with him at the Low End Theory (San Francisco). It was a huge experience for me to finally meet the man behind the record that inspired my career. He stayed on stage with me for my entire set, and personally gave me props at the end. It was an honor, and a great feeling to see how music goes full circle.

LAC: Why do you think it is that you gravitate toward an analog sound?

I came from an era of digging; aspiring to make hip hop beats. Jazz, psychedelic rock, soul, dub, obscure stuff were always my focus when finding samples. The act of even finding samples got me listening to different music, and that analog sound is what hooked me. New music technology and picking up different keyboards added more electronics to my sound, but I still have to maintain a bit of analog dirt with my music.

LAC: What’s next on the horizon?

FTR: I’m currently working on some new sounds for a tape release on Leaving Records… also some Psych stuff for TAR; a new LA based collective you’ll be hearing of soon… Some vocal/beat collaborations with Nekochan out of France… also more stuff with Jessie Jones. And other things I can’t really talk about right now. Stay tuned though.



In the last year electronic music producer Michael Graham, otherwise known as Falconshas consistently been releasing a steady flow of “genreless” bootlegs and singles, which have rapidly given the young LA producer some major online popularity and support from the likes of Diplo, Ryan Hemsworth, RL Grime and Djemba Djemba. Although he uses some elements of trendy internet genres, to simply categorize him as just another SoundCloud-famous music maker would be unfair. Falcons is a versatile producer with a strong sense of structure. He manages to seamlessly blend various subcategories of bass music within a single song, creating explosive club-ready tracks packed with a widely dynamic range of sounds and styles. The up-and-comer has already performed at notable venues and events such as Boiler Room, Low End Theory and Red Bull Music Academy’s This City Belongs to Me.

We managed to get Falcons to take a break from Ableton and answer a few questions for us.

LAC: How old are you and where did you go grow up?

FALCONS: 26. Grew up in the south—my mom’s in Texas, dad’s in Oklahoma. Also lived in Vancouver, Canada for five years. So pretty much a North American transplant.

LAC: What brought you to LA?

FALCONS: An enormous gust of wind.

LAC: What led you into producing?

FALCONS: I was a dancer (house and b-boying) for 12 years, so music was always something I felt passionately about, but I didn’t really take production seriously until I got injured and needed a musical outlet. I also was super excited by all the cool, new genreless music popping up around the internet, but felt like something was missing. 😉

LAC: Did moving around influence your sound?

FALCONS: That’s a great question. I think it did inevitably from experiences and inspiration, but the root of my sound is still very Southern, very sticky.

LAC: Who are your early influences?

FALCONS: Timbaland, Pete Rock, Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Organized Noize, Mannie Fresh and DJ Screw.

LAC: What are you listening to at the moment?

FALCONS: Basically just THE 2k14 BASS ALL-STAR STARTING LINEUP lol; Sango, Kaytranada, Dom$olo, Cabo Blanco, Arnold, Lil Texas, CZ, Yung Satan, DJ Hoodboi, Djemba Djemba, Colta, TwoFresh, Penthouse Penthouse and Carmack.


LAC: If you could work with anyone, who would it be?

FALCONS: I think the obvious answer would be Missy Elliot and/or TImbaland . . . but really, I want to just sit in with people like Mannie Fresh and see the magic happen.

LAC: On any given day, where can we find you?

FALCONS: On the stoop in front of my place in Echo Park, drinking an iced coffee from the Thai donut shop by the crib (shoutout Angeleno’s Donuts, #turnup). Then back into my music cave.

LAC: So are you staying in LA?

FALCONS: I don’t plan my moves usually, but I can say that for now LA is working great for me, and as more of the homies move here, it’s just seeming better and better every day.

LAC: What can we expect soon from you?

FALCONS: EP of original tracks with HuhWhat&Where records, a steady flow of bootlegs as always, and lots of fun mixes. I’m doing one for SSENSE fashion site in the next few days, then Vice’s music site, Noisey.

LAC: Where are you spinning next?

FALCONS: Toronto, Austin, Vancouver and New York in the next little bit . . . never been to the east coast so I am very exciiiited. In LA, I just got a residency spot every Sunday for a new daytime party called Daylight at ATX 3245 Casitas Ave. It’s somewhere in between the party vibes of the Do-Over and the open mindedness of Low End Theory. It’s sort of a Low End spin-off that Nocando and some of our homies started. Hosted by DumbFounded. Definitely the new spot for Sundays.





Our first lesson of the day is – if you are having a bad day, just google “Baby Alpaca.” We dare you. Ahhh, there. See? Feel better already? Nothing makes you more warm and fuzzy inside than those alien-looking lambs, right?

Second lesson is that there is also a band named Baby Alpaca–and they are worth adding to your internal musical line-up and blasting while you are cruising in your old-school Lincoln, top-down, on PCH.



Baby Alpaca first entered our musical vocabulary at the launch party of Mack Sennett, a rad space in Los Feliz that used to be a silent movie studio but has been recently transformed into a state-of-the-art film and photo studio. In between dancing our pants off and watching Dita Von Teese dance her pants off, we heard some moody, ethereal jams that floated from the stage and stopped us in our tracks.

Lead singer, Chris Kittrell is iconically statuesque and boasts a light, operatic voice at once familiar and yet amorphous…(We heard whispers in the audience, “Shh…who does he sound like? A bit Morrissey?”) Team it with the delicate yet deliberate reverb of guitarist  Zach McMillan and you’re reminded of a happier, poppier version of The XX. Add drummer Ben Lecourt and cellist Ethan Philbrick (yes, cellist) and you drift off into a modern lullaby. (Appropriately, they’ve got a single called “Sea of Dreams.”) We spent the day in Silverlake with the charmers, lying lazily by the pool and playing with our own shadows, as Chris answered some quick questions below:

LA CANVAS: What’s your spirit animal?

CK: A Tiger
LAC: your TOP, I-die-if-I-were-to-see-them-in-live-or-in-a-public-restroom music inspirations from the 70s, 80s and then 90s?

CK: 70s: The Doors; 80s: The Police; 90s: TLC

LAC: Favorite music video that is not your own?

CK: El Guincho – Bombay

El Guincho – Bombay from CANADA on Vimeo.

LAC: Where do you see Baby Alpaca in four years this same time in the summer?

CK: Playing concerts at the beach with a drive-in movie like stage setup. Towels instead of cars.

LAC: When you think of LA, you think of…

CK: Riding in the hills on a Harley swaying like palm trees

Baby Alpaca live:

Wed 7/24: Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theatre (info HERE)

Sat 7/27: Palm Springs, CA @ ACE Hotel “Summerschool”

Wed 7/31: Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios (info HERE)






{ Photo + Text: Faith-Ann Young }