In The Groove: Free People Flares Through The 70s In New Summer Lookbook

Vintage flare bell bottoms, short playful rompers, long striped pant suites and chunky statement shoes. Free People is transporting you back to a time when the Farrah Faucet mane was celebrated and the wider the pant leg the better, with their newly released “In The Groove” look book collection.

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Free People, known for their bohemian lifestyle and cutting-edge threads, takes you on a trip back in time to summer in the 1970s in Venice, Calif., “where the days are longer and the times are more simple.” Mixing clean ‘70s silhouettes with corduroy, knits, suede, and crochet textures, all highlighting a true red, white and denim Americana palette, this collection will have you wanting to swap your modern marble floors and granite counter tops for shag carpet and oak wood-paneled walls and cabinets.

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Denim also plays a large role in this collection, appearing in various shapes, including long and short rompers, tops, and the “Free People cult favorite,” the Extreme Vintage Flare. Although accessories are slightly more subdued for this particular collection, Americana-inspired scarves, sun-shielding wide brimmed hats, and bold statement shoes will help every girl channel her inner ‘70s babe.

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The “In The Groove” look book collection is available now online at FreePeople.com.

Shop collection

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LOOKBOOK CREDITS
Model: Alena Blohm @AlenaBlohm
Photographer: Jason Lee Parry @JasonLeeParry
Hair: Tony Vin @TonyVin
Makeup: Samuel Paul @SamuelPaulMakeup

THIS WEEK IN MUSIC: TSWIZZLE, NICKI, GERARD, AND HAIM

What a week it was in the world of pop music. Quite a few new singles dropped; records were announced, and people besides Taylor Swift did things too. There were at least a dozen notable artists who each gave us another three-minute reason to stay on YouTube, so we’ve chosen a few to review as objectively as we can. Let’s get started.

[via The Wannabes]  
 

TAYLOR SWIFT, “SHAKE IT OFF”

The Story: Tay doesn’t fit into any stereotype. She’s a dork! She just likes to have fun and remind everybody that it doesn’t matter how much you hate her, she’s laughing all the way to the bank.
Execution: Perfect. The audience gets the point and sides with her in the first few seconds.
Cons: It’s insanely obnoxious, and she’s shown how much she doesn’t fit in before. And yes, many people (myself included) have expressed their disdain for her music, but it doesn’t change the fact that the most popular girl at the party is complaining that she’s so out of place.
Pros: She has never looked better than she does in that black outfit. Mad props to her stylist. Girl looks FLY. Also, this is an official, long-overdue break with Country music. She’s finally admitted herself to the world of Pop.
Overall Score: 6/10
 
 

NICKI MINAJ, “ANACONDA”

The Story: Nicki Minaj wants you to see her butt. For it is large. And she is quite capable of moving it rapidly.
Execution: Very well done. I have done what she’s told me to and stared at her ass for three minutes.
Cons: I don’t really understand the necessity of kitchen scene. It’s a simple message; there’s no need for excess props. Just shake it.
Pros: THAT DRAKE SCENE. If you can watch that scene without laughing, you possess no sense of humor. She’s all up on him, which is funny enough, but after throwing her legs around him and grinding, she gets annoyed when he tries to touch.
Overall Score: 7/10
 
 

GERARD WAY, “NO SHOWS”

The Story: Gerard Way is a singer who’s making his intergalactic debut on a space late-night talk show. This is not explained further.
Execution: Fine I guess? It’s so difficult, because he was the frontman for My Chemical Romance, one of the most dramatic bands of the generation, but this is just dull. I don’t know if he’s trying to go as far from MCR as he possible, but man. It’s just so mediocre. It looks like a pre-“Thriller” music video.
Cons: Mostly everything. The song isn’t even that great. And it would be so much better if he’d just upped the vocals a bit. Also, the fashion looks like a mix of Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century and a bad ’70s lookbook. I wanted to love this so much.
Pros: He’s making music! And this is announcing an album, so hopefully the whole thing won’t be as beige.
Overall Score: 2/10
 
 

HAIM FT. A$AP FERG, “MY SONG 5″

The Story: It’s an episode of the fictional “Dallas Murphy Show,” an imitation Jerry Springer-type show hosted by Vanessa Bayer.
Execution: Spot on. The sisters were able to pull in a few famous friends, and the added A$AP Ferg verse fits better than I could’ve dreamed.
Cons: I am not a Haim sister. That is a major con.
Pros: It’s hilarious. It’s not the best HAIM video, but it’s almost impossible to beat “Forever” and “The Wire,” so you can’t hold those against them.
Overall Score: 9/10

Hit List: Beauty + Grooming Must-Haves

 Anyone who’s attempted an at-home Brazilian wax/teeth whitening/haircut is familiar with the DIY margin of error and its considerable pit falls. While saving a couple bucks by attempting our personal maintenance at home can work out, there’s something so luxuriously satisfying about seeing a pro. A trip to the spa will always leave us shinier and delightfully smug. But where do you go in a city with such a vast array of primping options?

 Here’s the secret  to professional grooming in Los Angeles: find the guy/gal who you vibe with and become a regular.

 So with our Opulence Issue right around the corner, LAC rounded up our favorite spas and professionals so you can treat yourself. We promise it’ll be worth it.

 

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[infobox maintitle=” HAIR COLOR” subtitle=”AYA SALON  | SANTA MONICA ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://http://ayajimmy.com/”]

Every time we enter the Aya Salon, Jimmy greets us with a squeeze, a great magazine selection, and particularly good coffee. He has been know to achieve the perfect cool blonde without damage, and he has kept our brown hair multifaceted, glossy, and red-free (virtually impossible with box dye) for a year now.

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[infobox maintitle=”FACIAL ” subtitle=”SPA INTERCONTINENTAL | CENTURY CITY ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://interconspala.com/”]

The Spa InterContinental, located on the 2nd floor of the Intercontinental Hotel has surprisingly easy-to-find valet parking (comped for spa guests) . For just $105, we are lead into a spacious and remarkably still, outdoor/indoor private room. Within an hour, the wizard of a technician employs traditional eastern techniques, painless extractions, and ultra-restorative serums to transform us into our better version—the hydrated version who looks as though she’s eaten all her vegetables.

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[infobox maintitle=”SPA” subtitle=”WI SPA | KOREATOWN ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.wispausa.com/”]

If you’re at all familiar with Korean spas, you know not to expect a traditional, western spa experience. The Korean concept is based on the idea of a community bathhouse. We checked our modesty at the door and stepped into Wi Spa, enjoying its gender separated hot and cold baths, showers, and massage treatment spaces. Both sexes are welcomed at the full workout gym, sleeping areas, acupressure rooms, salon, internet café, and the rooftop terrace. We could spend 24-7 here. Which is great, because that’s what the Wi Spa’s hours of operation actually are.

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[infobox maintitle=”LASHES” subtitle=”ANGELA RAE BEAUTY | BRENTWOOD ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.angelaraebeauty.com/”]

A friend of a friend recommended Angela Rae Beauty to us. Longtime makeup artist and esthetician, Angela understands eye shape and brows and educates her clients to select a tailored lash application. The extensions take about an hour to complete and will last up to six weeks. She was lovely to chat with until we eventually dozed off, and re-emerged as a person who doesn’t have to wear mascara.

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[infobox maintitle=” HAIR CUT” subtitle=”KIM VO SALON | BEVERLY HILLS ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://kimvo.com/”]

Sounds silly, but a good haircut can leave you feeling like you can conquer the world. All to often, the cycle of the transformative hair experience is always the same: We enter the salon, pay an arm and a leg for a haircut with the expectation it will put mere mortals to their knees in awe, and we leave crestfallen and destitute, with a slightly shinier version of our old haircut in tow. Enter Mika Fowler at Kim Vo Salon inside the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. The Japanese beauty has been mastering the dry cut for over a decade, not to mention styling some of LA’s most famous faces throughout her career.  True, it may be a pricey excursion, but with offerings of champagne, coffee, and Mika’s delightful little red petticoat in tow, we left feeling a just a bit more inspired and entirely victorious. Take that, life.

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[infobox maintitle=”TEETH” subtitle=”MARK JAMISON, DDS | BEVERLY HILLS ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.jamisondds.com/”]

If nothing else, Dr. Jamison’s bedside manner is worth the visit. No more scolding you for not flossing every night or brushing incorrectly. (Can you just give me my free toothbrush so I can leave already?) Instead, Dr. Jamison’s approach is lighthearted, informative, and alleviating. Specializing in everything from general to cosmetic dentistry, this place is a welcome destination to get our oral hygiene game on point.  Not only that, but the whole office is digitized, allowing us to see our own X-rays and dental records from a computer monitor without ever leaving that rotating dental chair. The doctor will see you now.

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[infobox maintitle=”WAX” subtitle=”WAX CANDY | DOWNTOWN ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”no http://waxcandy.com/”]

To wax or not to wax? Um, if shaving is the other option, we’re gonna go with wax. The folks over at Wax Candy offer everything from brows to bikini and are quick, clean, and reasonably priced. And if a Brazilian is on the menu, fear not—the informative staff walked us through the procedure, which happens to be surprisingly pain-free. But unfortunately, unless you’ve been the victim of the alternative, you might not appreciate just how spectacular that really is.

featured photo by  Asami Photography with model Tova @VISION ,makeup by Barbara Yniguez, and hair by Angel V.Prado

 

THE SCOOP: THESE AFTER-DARK EVENTS FROM DBA ARE SURE TO SPRUCE UP YOUR WEEKDAYS

It’s not often the LAC crew is jumping at the opportunity to go clubbing in West Hollywood. Trust us, we’ve had our fair share of overpriced cocktails, bandage dresses, cigarette stains, and interminable bathroom lines. We’ve crisscrossed down the alley of youthful, boisterous, all-night merriment and landed exhausted, slightly grumpy, and a bit more introverted. Let’s just have a kiki and call it a night.

Suffice it to say, we’re itching for a bit more from our nights out these days. And thankfully our pals at DBA have finally delivered. These guys have figured out a nightlife hack: go curatorial and you’ll never get old. And with stimulating program to boot (theatrical events, spoken word, live music & DJs, top-notch literary speakers—you name it) nearly every night of the week, DBA offers far more than the typical, LA, after-dark expectation. Breathe a sigh of relief dear Angelenos—your weekdays just got way more compelling.

Peep below to get the scoop on what’s on the horizon for August from our favorite, new, nighttime symposium:

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AUGUST 5TH – GOLDBLUM AND THE MILDRED SNITZER ORCHESTRA

Perhaps the only thing better than watching Jeff Goldblum play piano and banter with the crowd is watching Bill Nye perform science experiments (hint, hint DBA). Watch Goldblum, accompanied by the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra covort, clown, and tickle your ear holes. Early arrival is encouraged, as he’s known to joke around with the audience before the show is even scheduled to begin.

PURCHASE TICKETS

 

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AUGUST 6TH – THE WRITER’S ROOM with KELLY MARCEL & SCOTT NEUSTADTER

Love books but hate the puffed-up pretension of literary events? Enter The Writer’s Room, a refreshing and long overdue take on the typically staid literary event. Hosted by Reza Aslan, writer, religious historian, and associate professor the University of California, Riverside (AKA the guy that schooled Fox News on what informed, critical thinking means), this month’s Writer’s Room presents Kelly Marcel and Scott Neustadter. From mega-book to mega-movie, Aslan talks to the screenwriters behind two of the most anticipated book-to-movie projects today: The Fault In Our Stars (Scott Neustadter) and Fifty Shades of Grey (Kelly Marcel).

PURCHASE TICKETS

 

LA CANVAS DBA ART COMPETITION

THROUGH AUGUST 15TH – LA CANVAS + DBA PRESENT: THE LOOKING GLASS ART COMPETITION

Calling all artists! LA CANVAS and DBA bring you a unique opportunity to whip out your best ideas and bring them to life. Make your mark this August by creating a one-of-a-kind mural inside DBA’s highly visible front display window on Santa Monica Blvd. Win a celebration dinner for four at Fifty Seven in DTLA, your name on the DBA marquee during for the unveiling of your art creation, a VIP table for 10 with $1k bottle service + more. Deadline for submissions is August 15th, 2014. Get to it, art folk.

ENTER COMPETITION

 

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EXTENDED THROUGH AUGUST 30TH – FOR THE RECORD PRESENTS TARANTINO

This homage / mash-up of Tarantino directed films brings to life your favorite characters and sounds from Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Kill Bill Vol. 2, Death Proof, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. It’s a pretty raucous night—arrive early for DBA’s signature cocktails and snacks. Be sure to use code “CANVAS” to save 20% off tickets and thank us later.

PURCHASE TICKETS (GET 20% OFF WITH CODE: CANVAS)

BEST CAFES IN LA TO SIP COFFEE WHILE YOU WORK

Work from home, much? LA’s best coffee shops can also function as your office space—where the coffee is top-notch and laptop loiterers are welcome.

[ via TIME OUT LOS ANGELES]

 

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COFFEE COMMISSARY

MID CITY WEST

This Fairfax storefront is a favorite neighborhood meeting spot for locals who laze on the patio and coffee nerds who drop in for single-origin pour-overs and cold brews from a rotating roster of roasters such as Sightglass Coffee, Coava Coffee and Victrola Coffee Roasters. Writers also drop in (and stay) with their laptops at one of the few tables—be prepared to stake out seating—inside the industrial, minimalist space. Refuel with homemade chai tea and house-baked treats from salted caramel rice crispy bars and granola.

Wifi: Free
Coffee cover: $4 for a pour over
Parking: Free underground lot inside the 801 N Fairfax complex. Enter on Waring Ave.
Loitering meter: 3 out of 5. The number of tables inside (re: outlets) are limited, so be prepared to work outside until you run out of juice or come early to snag prime work space.


 

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PAPER OR PLASTIK CAFE

MID CITY

One part retail store, one part dance studio and one part cafe, this Pico Boulevard storefront is a mainstay for local families, diners and home office workers alike. Order at the counter—coffee from Intelligentsia, Ecco Caffe and Coava; pastries by Cake Monkey and Sweets for the Soul; sandwiches, salads and other plates are seasonal—and sit at one of the many tables inside or out. (The upstairs mezzanine is the place to work.) The wifi can be spotty, but outlets and other coffee shop workaholics are aplenty. Writers should avoid putting in hours on the weekend—wifi and laptops aren’t allowed—but Thursdays have the added bonus of farmers market shopping 4pm to 8pm from Produce Project pop-up.

Wifi: Free. No wifi on weekends
Coffee cover: $3.27-$4.75
Parking: Ample 2 hour metered parking
Loitering meter: 5 out of 5. You’ll be working side-by-side with other home-office workers round the clock.


 

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ESPRESSO PROFETA

WESTWOOD

Coffee nerds and the Portlandia set rejoice as Seattle’s Espresso Vivace lands in LA, namely in Westwood Village. Expect to see fewer UCLA students and more young professionals and a hip, coffee-loving crowd geeking out on perfectly pulled espresso shots. Wifi is free but there are no outlets, so come fully charged (on your laptop, that is) and expect to get recharged on java that’s expertly made from a helpful staff. The idyllic, ivy-filled patio is inspiring and the small list of pastries and breakfast items—we love the almond butter and jam on brioche—satisfying. Try the Café Nico and make sure you get your name in their computer to rack up free shots.

Wifi: Free
Coffee cover: $3
Parking: Limited metered parking
Loitering meter: 4 out of 5. Quiet, quality coffee and never-too-crowded—good for 2 to 3 hour work sessions.


 

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BRICKS & SCONES

MID CITY

With long hours (Mon-Thu 7:30am-10pm, Fri 7:30am-8pm, Sat 8am-10pm, Sun 8am-8pm), free wifi and plenty of comfy seating, this neighborhood coffee shop is the dream home office away from, well, home. Bi-level inside seating is a hodgepodge of leather chairs, tufted armchairs and communal benches, while the lush, lofty front patio is perfect for an alfresco work sesh (outlets included). Prices are cheap and other laptop workers aplenty (so you don’t feel like a 9-to-5 pariah). The go-to pick-me-up is the namesake housemade scones—we love the nuts and jam or blueberry heated up.

Wifi: Free
Coffee cover: $2.30, small; $2.75, large
Parking: 2 hour street parking on side residential streets
Loitering meter: 5 out of 5. Cheap coffee and plenty of comfy seats make for an ideal at-home work day.


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FUNNEL MILL

SANTA MONICA

This Santa Monica coffee shop takes coffee so seriously that they’ve got it done to an art, or, by the look of rows of glass siphons and spotless counters, a science. Teas are brewed á la minute—don’t miss the masala chai or potent ginger tea—and coffee is painstakingly prepared (yes, in the siphons). Single-origin teas and coffees fill an extensive menu, and the selections of baked goods includes vegan, gluten-free breads and cookies. Set up your work station in front of the soothing water fountain on a comfy leather couch or on one of the many tables. But we prefer the front counter—lest you’re easily distracted by coffee slight of hand—overlooking the machine-like crew in the kitchen helmed by JC who’s eager to share with his customers.

Wifi: Free with a purchase of a drink
Coffee cover: $4.25
Parking: Plenty of 2-hour metered parking
Loitering meter: 4 out of 5. Wifi users and coffee nerds are all welcome to stay awhile.


 

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CASBAH CAFE

SILVER LAKE

Down the block from Silver Lake’s neighborhood meeting point, this quaint cafe offers Morocco-does-south-of-the-border charm, however off-beat. The bougainvillea-covered sidewalk patio has a few small tables to soak in the sun on Sunset Junction, but inside lone laptop workers tap away on tiny tables in a bazaar of home furnishings and Mexican clothing and accessories. Take a cue from the cafe’s theme and order a fresh mint tea supplemented with baked empanadas and a huge, rustic bowl of chicken soup—fill up on chunks of chicken, carrots, potatoes and corn on the cob. Seating and outlets can be limited, so prepare for Plan B. (We love the nearby Broome Street General. There are no outlets, but there’s free wifi, plenty of parking and a charming outdoor patio.)

Wifi: Free
Coffee cover: $2.50, small; $3, large
Parking: Metered parking and 2-hour residential parking
Loitering meter: 2 out of 5. Good luck trying to find a seat by the single outlet.


 

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ALFRED COFFEE & KITCHEN

WEST HOLLYWOOD

If you prefer typing away with a side bar of people-watching, you’ll find home office nirvana at Melrose Place’s Alfred Coffee that oozes cool (handlebar mustaches and Rag & Bone uniforms) and serves up Stumptown coffee. Snag a seat downstairs at the communal table or on the ground level on the patio or along the wall. The space is a tight squeeze and the hard-surfaced (and often backless) seating uncomfortable, so you’ll find an able-bodied set here. Farmshop pastries and juices by Pressed Juicery provide sustenance for this fashionable coffee joint.

Wifi: Free
Coffee cover: $3
Parking: Limited metered parking
Loitering meter: 2 out of 5. Uncomfortable seats and a small space limit long work days.


 

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GRAFFITI CAFE

MID CITY WEST

Sure, the coffee is overpriced, the staff is snooty and the rules are ridiculous (no water bottles allowed, one glass of complimentary water and $1 thereafter), but the lofty space offers comfy, spacious seating in a stark white, gallery-like space that breeds creativity (and your next script). Wifi is complimentary with a purchase of a drink and limited to an hour and a half, but the well-sized parking lot relieves meter maid anxiety. The baristas sport bulging biceps in ultra tight T’s and the playlist rotates between nostalgic to offensive, but a well-stocked menu—Bouchon and Cake Monkey pastries, FonutsLamill teas, Intelligentsia coffee—and an only-in-LA experience makes this cafe one of our favorites to visit.

Wifi: With purchase and limited to 1.5 hours
Coffee cover: $3.95
Parking: Free, on-site lot
Loitering meter: 3 out of 5. Though we can’t stand the attitude, high prices and limited wifi, we still come back for the beautiful space.


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CAFFE VITA

SILVER LAKE

Seattle’s cult-fave coffee lands in Silver Lake at this industrial-looking, bi-level storefront. Eastside freelancers stay caffeinated around the clock with single-origin and blended coffee and well made espresso drinks. Groups and singles can snag a spot by the floor-to-ceiling windows or perch on the compact mezzanine level. Bonus: The water is triple-filtered and serve-yourself free.

Wifi: Free
Coffee cover: $2.50-$3 French press, $5 pour-over
Parking: Limited street parking
Loitering meter: 4 out ot 5. Your Intelligentsia alternative.


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DEUS EX MACHINA

VENICE

Bang out your next script and bro out at this retail spot dedicated to bikes, surfing and Venice cool. Handmade Deus Ex Machina motorcycles and surfboards shaped in-house are on display, along with other “dude-like” paraphernalia. With Handsome Coffee to caffeinate and sandwiches and pastries to satiate, loiterers can spread out on the alfresco patio or at the communal table and leather couches inside.

Wifi: Free
Coffee cover: $2.50
Parking: Free, on-site lot
Loitering meter: 3 out of 5. The types who come in are more interested in chrome hardware than Apple hardware.

TEAM TACO: BEST HIDDEN GEMS IN LA

So, it’s the Teamwork Issue, and we could have bored you with pairings. But then we thought, “Hey—it’s summer, summer in LA!” and realized it would be sacrilegious to deliver anything other than a taco roundup. A matter of civic pride and a de facto dietary staple, tacos are a cross-genre crowd-pleaser, gutturally satisfying to every Angeleno. It wasn’t easy, but we powered down our user-friendly, fascist laptops a little early and did a little research. Someone had to.

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EAST LA | TACOS BAJA ENSENADA


You either frequent this spot on Whittier Blvd. or have been planning to. Tacos Baja Ensenada has a well-deserved rep for having the town’s best fish and beer-battered shrimp tacos. There’s a consistent line out the door, but worth the wait.

WHAT TO GET: Fresh and festive, cop the Fish Taco and top it with “chiles gueros,” seasoned roasted yellow peppers from the bar. Be advised—everything here is seafood, and they’re not stingy with the salsa. And when the festivities of Taco Tuesdays come to a close, don’t be discouraged—Baja Ensenada offers $1 fish tacos on Wednesdays too.

 

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MID-CITY | LEO’S TACO TRUCK


Leo’s Taco Truck is marvelously stationed on Venice Blvd. and La Brea Ave., adjacent to a 76 gas station—fill up your tank and your stomach in just one stop. The business is in operation seven days a week, from T-shirt time until 3 AM during the week and 4 AM on weekends.

WHAT TO GET: Like any self-respecting taco truck, Leo’s is cash only, folks. Priced at just $1, the Al Pastor is their most popular item, kept moist with sliced pineapple and a subtle hint of spice. Leo’s also boasts a full condiment bar, but chances are you probably wont even need it.

 

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DOWNTOWN | MARISCOS JALISCO


Meandering around the Fashion District getting you hangry? The big white truck with blue and red letters spelling “Mariscos Jalisco” can be spotted even without your Oliver Peoples Warby Parkers. Just bordering Boyle Heights, Mariscos Jaliscos proudly serves up some of the city’s most savory, hearty, seafood tacos.

WHAT TO GET: The taco de camaron is a seafood enthusiast’s dream come true, filled with fried shrimp and spicy sauce, fried again, and topped with avocado and even more red sauce. Oysters and octopus are also on the menu, in a cocktail or on a tostada. Make it a threesome—you can have whatever you liiiiiiike. 

 

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EAST LA | LOS CINCO PUNTOS

Carnitas for the count! This eastside gem is a neighborhood grocer, a local lunch haunt, and a cheap dinner pick-up all rolled into one. You might want to wear stretchy pants; portions here are as big as the taste. Extra points for the hand-made tortillas (we watched). Get there early, these guys close at 6pm.

WHAT TO GET: Los Cinco Puntos gives you your choice of cut by the pound. You might also want to grab a burrito, quesadilla, or taco instead to fill their homemade tortillas, and garnish it with pickled nopales and an awesome red salsa. Or, you can live a little. One word: chicharones. 

 

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BOYLE HEIGHTS | GUISADOS


At Guisados, it’s all about the meat. Well, it’s also about their grilled vegetables and freshly patted, corn tortillas too. You might discover a thin slice of avocado, a few pickled spicy onions, but that’s pretty much it. These guys let the quality of their ingredients speak for themselves. Parking struggles keeping you away? Fear not—a second location in Echo Park should quell those hunger pangs, and there’s a 3rd under construction in DTLA.

WHAT TO GET: Our vote goes to the sampler plate. Made with six mini-tacos, each one is filled with a savory meat or vegetable, surrounded by one of their famous handmade tortillas.

 

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ECHO PARK | BELLEVUE STEAKHOUSE


La Movidita, affectionately dubbed The Bellevue Steakhouse by locals, almost didn’t make our list. You see, this place is such a gem that we were reluctant to give it away. But alas, your gain is our crux—the woes of journalism be damned. Initially a taco stand on Bellevue Ave., this taco purveyor has since moved to a dimly lit garage farther up the street (ask a local). Get your asada fix Thursday through Sunday evenings, rain or shine.

WHAT TO GET: The real claim to fame is the suadero taco. At just $1.25, this taco is meaty, rich, and absolutely delicious. Top it off with one of four (or go big and try ‘em all) of their salsa offerings, or some pickled onions and chopped habaneros.

A SCARLET SUMMER: GRACIAS MADRE

GRACIAS MADRE—
MORE THAN JUST AN INSTAGRAM OPPORTUNITY

We’ve got to admit, when we’re choosing our next watering hole, “vegan Mexican” isn’t exactly the first descriptor that comes to mind. But Gracias Madre, with its succulent-minded aesthetic, is a delicious destination. We’ve hypothesized that the majik that goes into making something as peculiar as cashew cheese taste good might also serve the same purpose in cocktails.

It’s easy to dismiss the WeHo hotspot’s ethos as being hyper neo-hippie. As is trendy nowadays, the restaurant and bar boasts locally sourced, organic produce, and its own website is littered with fodder for cynics and skeptics (“Welcome to a seat at love’s table.”—really?) Before we roll our eyes though, how about letting the booze do the talking?

Beverage Director Jason Eisner tells us, “We make everything by hand, and we work around the clock, so obviously we love what we do, and we love working with one another.” And it shows. As Eisner is readying our drink, we see his staff join together in its preparation, squeezing lime and placing a finishing garnish atop the drink. It’s not unlike the composition of a well-done cocktail. A masterful mixologist is one who treats his ingredients like teammates, working in tandem to coax the best out of each other. A scent here, a flavor there, and the Estrella del Mar arrives at our table flushed scarlet and tasting of summer.

And what says sunshine and balmy days more than the taste of juicy watermelon? Combined with the kick of muddled jalapeno and mezcal’s potent smokiness, the Estrella is tempered with a little lime and agave nectar. A pinch of salt adds a savory finishing touch, and there you have it—summer in a coupe glass.

ESTRELLA DEL MAR

2 oz. ORGANIC MEZCAL
3/4 oz. FRESH PRESSED LIME JUICE
1/2 oz. AGAVE NECTAR
1 TEASPOON ELDERFLOWER LIQUEUR
2 CUBES OF SEEDLESS WATERMELON
2 SLICES OF FRESH JALAPEÑO
2 DASHES OF LIME BITTERS
1 PINCH OF SEA SALT

In a cocktail shaker, muddle watermelon cubes and Jalapeño slices. Add ice and build the rest of the ingredients in the shaker. Shake well. Double strain (fine strain) into a coupe glass. Garnish with homemade pickled watermelon rind.

photography RACHEL MANY

 

READ MORE IN OUR E-ISSUE

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.

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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.

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photography LOTUS JOSEPHINE
hair + makeup BRITTANY SULLIVAN
styling + interview HILLARY COMSTOCK

CATCH THE INTERVIEW IN OUR E-ISSUE HERE

M+B: DIVIDE & CONQUER

M+B EMBRACES A NEW CHAPTER IN
THEIR CONTEMPORARY ART PROGRAM

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

THE ULTIMATE SUMMER SONGS FROM LA DJs

Backyard barbecues, afternoons by the pool, and car rides with the windows rolled down would not be complete without nostalgic summer tunes. But, not just any old songs will do. The perfect soundtrack can take these situations and turn them into truly memorable moments.

In search of that ideal playlist, we tapped eight of LA’s raddest DJs to share their favorite, iconic summertime tracks for the hot months ahead. (And, given our perennial sunshine, you know they know their hot-weather melodies better than most.) Prepare to revamp that pool-party track list and update your road-trip mixtape with these mix-master-approved jams. Click through to tune in.

[Via Refinery 29]


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 GOLDROOM

Josh Legg — a.k.a. Goldroom — first caught our attention with his always-on-repeat track “Embrace.” Now, he’s putting the final touches on his first full-length album (a venture three years in the making), and is set to hit up many of the electronic summer festivals around the U.S.

Favorite Summer Jams:
“‘[Sittin’ On] The Dock Of The Bay’ by Otis Redding and ‘Runnin’ by Pharcyde.”

What do these songs bring to mind when you hear them?
“There’s just something hot and sticky about both of these songs. I love the emotive quality of both of them. ‘Runnin’ is like foreplay on a hot summer evening, and Otis Redding is like the afterglow of a perfect summer night, when everything is still and thick and full of life.”

How would you describe your sound?
“Tropical, euphoric, or nostalgic. Music has always been escapist for me, so I think that’s my goal in creating songs as well.”


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IMMIGRÉ 

Jasmine and Val Fleury make up the on-the-rise female DJ duo Immigré, who mix live like no other. (We’ve also been known to stalk their perfectly curated Spotify playlists.) This year, the two have collaborated with the likes of Kiven and Cobra Starship and will be putting it down at hot-ticket pool parties for the next few months.

Favorite Summer Jams:
Val: “’Big Fun’ by Inner City.”
Jasmine: “’0-100′ by Drake.”

What do these songs bring to mind when you hear them?
Val: “This song is just an all-around feel-good house classic that makes everyone hit the dance floor. It’s also undeniable that Paris Grey is a goddess. We do our best to pay homage as well as to help inspire other strong, positive, and creative females. The lyrics also speak for themselves. You don’t really need a crowd to have a party. Be your own party!”
Jasmine: “If Drake is an option, nothing else exists.”

What is your favorite thing about playing sets in the summer?
“We’re both most comfortable in hot weather, and we love that summer puts everyone in good spirits. Most importantly, this season brings us a constant stream of festivals, tours, and pool parties. We love them all, but pool parties are probably our favorite type of event to DJ. Can’t get enough of the carefree vibes!”


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TOKIMONSTA

Tokimonsta started her musical exploration as an unfocused pupil of classical piano. The Southern California native allowed her background to form her appreciation for live instruments and textural landscapes, shown in her self-produced heavy-beat tracks. With a new song featuring Anderson Paak set to be released this month, she continues to stay on point while advancing the genre of digitally created jams.

Favorite Summer Jams:
“Dove Shack’s ‘Summertime In The LBC.’ Growing up in L.A., this was a summer anthem for all of Southern California. Also, Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘1979.’ The song has that mellow, summertime feeling.”

How would you describe your sound?
“My music is hip-hop and soul, but yet very much electronic. I believe it is a culmination and interpretation of all the music I grew up listening to.”

What is your favorite thing about summer tours and shows?
“Summer tours are nice because the weather tends to be better. When the weather is better, the people are happier, and the shows just seem a little brighter overall.”


image-2KASTLE

Putting the words soulful and smooth into the realm of electronic reworks and original content, Kastle creates songs that will have you in a groove. Besides topping iTunes charts and mastering remixes, the man will be on the road for all the major festival stops this season.

Favorite Summer Jams:
“‘Inside My Head ft. Meleka’ by Riton and ‘Good Love’ by Klymaxx.”

What do these songs bring to mind when you hear them?
“I’ve been really inspired by ‘80s freestyle lately, and it appears I’m not the only one. Riton’s new track sounds like it is straight out of the freestyle era, and it’s been going off in my sets. The Klymaxx classic has similar vibes, but with a slower trip-hop beat.”

What got you into creating music and DJing?
“I have the Internet to thank for that. I grew up in a very small town with absolutely no music culture, so at a very young age I somehow stumbled upon early ‘90s electronic music like Moby, Acen, Aphex Twin, and have devoted my life to it ever since.”


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LE YOUTH

Just when we thought Cassie’s “Me & U” couldn’t be more ingrained in our minds, Le Youth revives the track by exaggerating the hook and creating a whole new appreciation for the jam. But, it all makes sense, as revamping throwbacks seems to be his thing.

Favorite Summer Jams:
“‘Into You’ by Fabolous featuring Ashanti has major summer vibes. This song is a legend. Read the lyrics. Also, ‘What’s Luv?’ by Fat Joe featuring Ashanti and Ja Rule.”

How would you describe your sound/genre?
“I make dance music that I would want to listen to. Typically, it’s house music with a heavy ‘90s influence. It’s sort of like nostalgic dance music, I guess.”

What are you currently working on?
“Right now, I’m making a mixtape of all my favorite ‘90s songs. I think I’ll put it out this summer. I’m playing a rooftop pool party in San Diego, then off to Europe for some festivals. My new single, ‘Feel Your Love’ featuring Javeon, comes out in August.”


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 IO ECHO

This indie-rock band — made up by Leopold Ross and Ioanna Gika — is more than just a mix between the Velvet Underground and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Their DJ sets played around the city are equal parts nostalgic and dance-worthy. Find them in L.A. once they get back from recording their latest album in the U.K.

Favorite Summer Jams:
Ionna: “‘Sail Away (Orinoco Flow)’ by Enya because I love New Age music. When I listen to it, I feel like I’m in a digital ocean with a clear, vinyl sunset.”
Leopold: “‘Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe’ by Kendrick Lamar. The hook is spacey and strong and holds a great summer message. Keep all buzzkills at a safe distance.”

What is your favorite thing about summer tours and shows?
Leopold: “I love summer because it means that it’s only a couple more months until the romance and decay of the fall and winter. But, while it’s summer, I love looking out of the window while traveling on tour and seeing a welcoming, green, and vast landscape.”

What are you currently working on?
Leopold: “Ioanna and I are writing and recording our second album. I also just finished co-composing two films with my brother, Atticus. One is a biopic about Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys entitled Love and Mercy, and the other is the new film from Michael Mann, which is currently untitled.”

YOUNGBLOOD HAWKE: TURNING THE PAGE

YBH Rewrites An Old Story
[dropcap letter=”T”]he catchy melodies and uplifting tones of Youngblood Hawke’s tunes would suggest that some sort of idyllic confluence brought them together. That isn’t the case. Members Simon Katz and Sam Martin found themselves increasingly alienated from their frat- party, electro-pop band, Iglu and Hartly towards the end of the last decade and were struggling for direction. Martin tells the story best: “There were three of us—Simon, another guy, and myself. We started out kind of all on the same page. As the band got successful, the other member turned into a really dark dude. It got really ugly and became everything we were against. We walked away, and it was a really scary thing to do because it was going well in Europe and the UK. But we knew we had to do it because we were fucking miserable. The music was not the music that I wanted to be making.”

Sam and I locked ourselves in his bedroom. It was tiny and had no air conditioning. We just wrote songs all summer. That was our way of putting all the other shit we had to put up with for the past couple of years behind us.

They walked right into their next project. “Sam and I locked ourselves in his bedroom,” Martin continues. “It was tiny and had no air conditioning. We just wrote songs all summer. That was our way of putting all the other shit we had to put up with for the past couple of years behind us.” From there, their musical ascent continued on the same humble trajectory that a myriad of other Eastside LA bands have before them. “Our first show was at The Silverlake Lounge,” Martin recounts. “But we didn’t tell anybody. There were literally two people there—including the bar staff. We were completely nervous. It was our first time playing a show with the rest of the band. Alice had done acting before but had never played a show. I walked up to her after, and she was like, ‘I wanna do that again and again and again.”

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They found a sense of home pretty quickly. “Playing The Satellite was cool because, when we first moved here, It was one of the first places we went to see live music. We felt comfortable there. They asked us to do a residency, and it was an obvious yes. That was kind of what started it for us. We didn’t really play that much as a band before. The residency was our third or fourth show. We would walk in the door and be like, ‘Are there gonna be 20 people there? 15?’ And then it was sold out. It was such a great response. People really reacted to the music in such a genuine way. It just felt natural. You can tell when the crowd’s into it.”

And that was it. “We Come Running” was released months later, and Youngblood Hawke became an international buzz band. Just like that. With their second LP approaching, the band isn’t resting on their laurels. There are rumblings of new directions, but fans looking for the YBH signature sound shouldn’t worry. Martin explains, “I don’t know if there’s any way to describe it other than evolving. The worst thing you can do as an artist is continue to make the same thing over and over again. We wrote the first album three years ago. We’re different people now. I don’t think we’re going to put out a folk record or a dubstep record, though. We want it to be fun for us on stage and fun for the people who come see us. Our first record comes from a pop background and sound, even though the stories and the lyrics are dark. I think we’ll probably take that a little further and just experiment, get a little weirder.”

In a lot of ways, the band’s story is an allegory to the novel from which their name was derived, Herman Wouk’s Youngblood Hawke. It’s an important book to Martin. “It was just one of those books that just blew my mind,” he says. “It was my late uncle’s favorite book. It’s about a young Kentucky boy who moved to New York. My whole family’s from Kentucky and I really connected with the story of someone leaving everything behind and chasing their dream of becoming an artist. There’s a lot of imagery and stuff inside the book that really touched me.”

That’s how we feel about music. It’s the one thing we want to do with our lives. It’s become our lives. We’ve put everything into it.

When pressed about the book’s tragic ending, Martin responds, “It definitely has a dark twist, but you decide what you want to do with your life, and you just do it. That’s how we feel about music. It’s the one thing we want to do with our lives. It’s become our lives. We’ve put everything into it.” Maybe the fact that YBH were born out of somebody else’s unhappy ending means that, this time, they’ll get to write their own.

text JEMAYEL KHAWAJA

photo RICKETT & SONES

BROWSE THROUGH OUR E-ISSUE RIGHT HERE

SUMMER GALLERY OPENINGS: FOR THE BETTER VERSION OF YOURSELF

Summer’s not just about day drinking and rooftop access. This month, why not branch out and explore your refined right brain a little? From film and illustration to insects and Mexican highways—we’ve got your guide to air-conditioned sophistication, cause no one really cares about your pool selfies.

[infobox maintitle=”ALLAN SEKULA | SHIP OF FOOLS” subtitle=”Christopher Grimes Gallery

Opening Reception: July 3rd-September 6th ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.cgrimes.com”]

ALAN

Allan Sekula’s work spans the mediums of photography, film, and writing, producing incisive documents about labor, nationality, and the history and uses of photography. Deeply skeptical of the mythologies promoted by a society shaped by capitalism, Sekula’s work addresses the concerns of an engaged citizen investigating the networks of political and economic power and their intersection with individual lives and landscapes.

 

[infobox maintitle=”DAVID HOCKNEY | ARRIVAL OF SPRING” subtitle=”L.A LOUVER

Opening Reception: Thursday, July 10th, 6 pm ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.lalouver.com”]

HOCKNEY

 

Considered one of the most innovative artists of the postwar era, British-born Hockney adopts various new media in order to investigate the idea of perception throughout his career in los Angeles and England. Embracing cutting-edge technology including Photoshop, Polaroids, iPad, and iPhone drawings, Hockney explores new ways to depict the seasons.

[infobox maintitle=”GENEVIEVE CHUA | CICADAS CICADAS” subtitle=”GUSFORD | LOS ANGELES

Opening Reception: Thursday, July 10th, 6- 9 pm ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.gusfordgallery.com”]

 cicadas-4

In Chua’s first north American solo exhibition, she continues to develop her interest in the relationship between controlled situations and the element of chance and the unknown. Through mixed-media installations depicting insects and their environment, Cicadas Cicadas charts the fearsome terrain of psychological horror from a Southeast Asian point of view.

 

[infobox maintitle=”PIA CAMIL” subtitle=”BLUM & POE

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 12th, 7 pm ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”https://www.blumandpoe.com”]

PIA

Camil’s work engages with the Mexican urban landscape in which she grew up in. Through mixed-media installations that include photographs of halted projects along Mexico’s highways and abandoned, decaying billboards, she explores the idea of urban ruin and the traces of art history that exist within it.

[infobox maintitle=”DEEP END | YALE MFA PHOTO 2014″ subtitle=”DIANE ROSENSTEIN FINE ART

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 19th, 6-8 pm ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.dianerosenstein.com”]

MFA

Diane Rosenstein fine Art plays host to Yale’s MFA thesis exhibition featuring works from new budding artists Erin Desmond, Awol Erizku, Genevieve Gaignard, Hannah Hummel, Fumi Ishino, Casey Mcgonagle, Tyler Moore, Hannah price, Billie Stultz and Evan Whale.

[infobox maintitle=”AUDREY KAWASAKI, TARA MCPHERSON, DEEDEE CHERIEL” subtitle=”MERRY KARNOWSKY GALLERY

Opening Reception: Saturday, August 2nd 19th, 7 pm ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.mkgallery.com”]

MK

Merry Karnowsky presents the unique styles and mediums of three female artists and their exploration of parallel themes. Through work in paint, illustration, and photography, Kawasaki, Mcpherson, and Cheriel invoke meditative and breathtaking narratives that explore the female form.

[infobox maintitle=”LUCY + JORGE ORTA | FOOD-WATER-LIFE” subtitle=”BEN MALTZ GALLERY, OTIS

August 16th – December 6th” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.otis.edu/ben-maltz-gallery”]

travelingOrtaFWL

Food – Water – Life marks the inaugural premiere of the Orta’s work in the US. The French duo appropriate sculptures, drawings, installations, and video in order to shed light on major concerns such as environmental conditions and climate change that define the 21st century. Their humorous, jerrybuilt contraptions gain power as works of art created to move us to awareness and action.

 

 

[infobox maintitle=”VARIATIONS: ABSTRACT PAINTING TODAY” subtitle=”LACMA

August 24th – September 22nd” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.lacma.org”]

lacmaa

In an attention-compromised age when images are instant and prevalent, abstract painting serves as a contradiction, acting as a conduit for the mark of the original, individual artist. Variations: Abstract Painting Today presents 29 artists whose work reflects the language and style of abstraction. The exhibition looks closely at the claim of an abstraction that is timely and comments on a studio practice, paying homage to art history’s past while creating a vision for the present.

THE SCOOP: 20 F̶O̶O̶T̶B̶A̶L̶L̶ SOCCER COMMERCIALS TO GET YOU PUMPED FOR THE WORLD CUP OPENING CEREMONY

What’s that? The Clippers couldn’t hang against OKC? The Dodgers are charging ahead in their all-too-familiar mediocrity?
Well, suit up, nerds: IT’S SOCCER SEASON. With nod adieu to LA’s regular and often lackluster sports season (save for those Kings!), we are excitedly switching gears for a some play time on the world stage. This glorious, gripping, international tournament filled to the brim with sanctimonious pledges of national pride, bandwagon fans, and an insane cavalcade of talent has finally reared its head again. The World Cup has got us in a tizzy, and we are counting down the days before the epic tourney completely sidelines our social calendar for the next month (not to mention the secret, bootleg, live streaming sessions we’ve got on lock on that minimized internet browser on our work computer. Sorry, boss.).

This year, Brazil’s main TV network has already racked up over $600 million in sponsorship plugs, creating some of the best advertising hype we’ve since since last year’s Super Bowl. While we anxiously anticipate USA’s first game against Ghana on June 16th (insert iconic Macaulay Culkin face here), peep our picks of some of the best commercials to gear you up for the World Cup 2014.

Nike, “Risk Everything”

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

Nike, which is not, in fact, a World Cup partner, is shattering Adidas’ soccer supremacy with these new batch of ads for Brazil’s 2014 World Cup. Created by Wieden + Kennedy and directed by Jonathan Glazer, the 60-second spot below portrays Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Brazil’s Neymar and England’s Wayne Rooney preparing for the World Cup under intense psychic stresses of soccer superstardom and an ominous, compelling, stopwatch score. Welcome to the pressure-cooker, boys. We’re watching.
 
 
 

ESPN, “The World Cup Comes Home”

[via Sean Bulvo | The 93rd minute] The commercial conveniently forgot about the barrios, kidnappings, and massive gang-violence but who cares, because, after watching this, I want to buy a ticket to Brazil immediately. Those girls are beautiful. . . and I think I saw soccer in their somewhere. I was a little distracted.
 
 
 

Pepsi, “Now Is What You Make It”

Agency: 180 Los Angeles

First off, this is the nicest favela I’ve ever seen.
Secondly, Who is this Stony kid?? I officially hate him. Nonchalantly ripping a newspaper out of Lionel Messi’s hand? No biggie. Putting your grimy drumsticks all over David Luiz’s soda? This guy. Stony, DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU ARE RIGHT NOW? Messi, I will personally stitch your paper back together and read it to you personally if I can get in the next ad.

Aside from this oblivious, ungrateful youth, the commercial also stands out because of its interactive features: Viewers can click to “dive deeper into Stony’s world” by unlocking additional features. Other featured players include Robin van Persie, Jack Wilshere, Sergio Aguero, Sergio Ramos, and, oh, Janelle Monae as struggling, side-hustling, street performer (take a peak at the behind-the-scenes footage here).
 
 
 

Nike, “Winner Stays”

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

Nike gets it’s sense of humor back with a star-studded, four-minute TV spot, featuring Ronaldo, Neymar, Rooney, Ibrahimović, Higuaín, Piqué, Iniesta, David Luiz, Tim Howard, and many others. Plenty of great comic relief and explosive action shots. Be sure to tune in at 2:24 when Kobe Bryant drops yet another Jumping-On-The-FIFA-Bandwagon-Because-I-Secretly-Always-Wanted-To-Be-A-Professional-Soccer-Player cameo.
 
 
 

Adidas, “Brazuca”

Agency: TBWACHIATDAY

Sorry Adidas—as good as this clip is, Nike kinda trumped you in it’s World Cup brand awareness. Nevertheless, the ad is a great addition to the pool. Set the The Kinks, “All Day And All Of The Night” the ad introduces Brazuca, the match ball of the 2014 World Cup, and life from Brazuca’s point of view. More than one million Brazilian fans voted to name the ball brazuca, which “is used by Brazilians to describe national pride in the Brazilian way of life. Mirroring their approach to football, it symbolizes emotion, pride and goodwill to all.”
 
 
 

Visa, “Everyone Is Welcome”

Agency: BBDO

A FIFA World Cup in Brazil is just like Visa. Everyone is welcome. We’ll see about that.
 
 
 

Gatorade, “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo”

Agency: Lew’LaraTBWA, Brazil

Daaammnn, Gatorade went and got that Disney money. The ad cleverly pairs Lionel Messi, David Luiz, Sergio Ramos, and Landon Donovan with the soundtrack from Cinderella (masterfully remixed by David Banner), showcasing the magic and hard work that go into creating amazing soccer moments.
 
 
 

ESPN, “I Believe”

Don’t get me wrong, I will be rocking my USA jersey hard throughout this tourney, but there’s a difference between “believing” and actually winning. This ad could use a lot more actual scoring highlights and a little less of the cheesy “I Believe” fan chant. R. Kelly believed he could fly, and look where that landed him (unless soaring directly to prison counts?). Nevertheless, we can’t help but love any and all USA plugs, so it makes our list for the pure hopefulness of it all.
 
 
 

Powerade, “Nico’s Story”

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

This one is sure to tug at your heart strings. Powerade, the official beverage partner for the FIFA World Cup, shares the amazing story and strength of Nico Calabria, an athlete born with one leg. The short documentary campaign portrays the raw and inspiring willpower of a young man who refuses to let any challenge stand in his way.
 
 
 

Adidas, “Samba Collection”

Agency: United States of Fans / TBWA

Woah. Induce epileptic seizure now. But great music by Buraka Som Sistema.
 
 
 

ESPN, “Global Issues”

In their latest installment of commercials, ESPN produced this little devil—a short, sweet, and hilarious ad with an ending we can all commiserate with.
 
 
 

Emirates, “All-Time Greats”

Agency: IMPACT BBDO

The new Emirates commercial is kind of genius. The spot features soccer icons, Brazilian Pele and Portuguese Ronaldo on their swanky, first-class flight, where both of them have their own set of fans. Take a gander, we wont ruin it for you.
 
 
 

Adidas, “The Dream”

Agency: TBWACHIATDAY

Directed by Fernando Meirelles (City of God) and launched during the UEFA Champions League final, the clip depicts Lionel Messi experiencing an edgy World Cup dream—all set to a killer new Kanye track, “God Level.” Other featured players include Dani Alves, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luis Suárez, Xavi, Jordi Alba, Mesut Özil, Robin van Persie, and David Villa.
 
 
 

ESPN, “Time Zones”

ESPN is really hitting the nail on the head with these charming, entirely relatable clips of what soccer fandom truly encapsulates. I’m already breathing a sigh of relief that I won’t have to wake up at 4 AM this time around just to watch Ghana dash our World Cup dreams (I’m lookin at you, Asamoah Gyan…)
 
 
 

TAM, “Catimba”

Agency: Y&R Brasil

The clip stars Brazilian national team players David Luiz, Thiago Silva, and Marcelo dribbling, driving, crossing, and battling the odds to make their flights home. Go, you Brazilian kings, go!
 
 
 

Budweiser, “Believe As One”

Agency: Anomaly

Part of Budweiser’s “Rise As One” campaign, the new commercial features lush black and white scenes of fans around the world getting hyped for the game, interspersed with dazzling gold bottle shots of the brew. All set to an anthemic, orchestral score that will surely make you forget how shitty this beer actually is.

The campaign also includes an online documentary series co-produced with Vice, as well as a six-part documentary to be broadcast on Fox.
 
 
 

McDonalds, “GOL!”

Agency: DDB

McDonald’s does viral, trick-shot videos now. In the new TV spot, soccer enthusiast of all ages come together to perform their best trick shots. Along with the commercial, McDonald’s is planning on outfitting its french fry packaging with a fresh augmented reality, World Cup-themed design and a new app that somehow seamlessly connects fries with soccer. Organic branding, y’all. Organic.
 
 
 

Panini, “Who Do You Collect?”

Agency: Conscious-Minds

We get it Kobe, you’re amazing at everything. But real talk, you are a grown ass man—with body hair, a high-profile career, and the ability to vote. And you wanna tell me you sit around swapping World Cup stickers with Andrew Luck? Get it together, man.
 
 
 

Visa, “Everywhere You Want To Be”

Agency: ALMAP BBDO

It’s been eight years since French soccer star Zinedine Zidane dropped a head-butt on his Itailan rival to turn a boring tie-game World Cup Final into a hilariously memorable and meme-worthy World Cup Final. In the clip, Marco Materazzi (headbutt-ee) is replaced with Italian World Cup Champion Fabio Cannavaro (who was on the field playing for Italy at the time of said head-butt) for a light-hearted reunion of rivals.
 
 
 

Nike, “Take It To The Next Level”

Agency: 72andSunny

Yah, we know, this ad is likely five years old by now. But it might be the best of Nike’s bunch, and totally worth another nod. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the ad depicts the roller-coaster ride of a young soccer player from his beginnings competing at the highest level for his country from a first-hand perspective. All before GoPros were actually a thing.
 
 
Know of any other great adverts? Comment below with you picks.

THE DOUBLE-EDGED COCKTAIL: GOLDIE’S BATTERY PARK REIMAGINES A BAR STAPLE

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Some like bitter, others like sweet. Even in this day and age of trend complexity in cocktails, that dichotomy has guided bar managers and mixologists in the crafting of their menus to appeal to the palates of both the newb alcoholic consumptionist and the experienced drinker whose tastebuds no longer tolerate the juice-like composition of many a college cocktail. Even the most elitist of bars have a menu that varies in range from “this is how I imagine bug juice and gasoline tastes, and I like it” to “ah, saccharine nectar of the gods—I hope this still has some alcohol in it.

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So how to craft a cocktail that could please both the supposed male and female palates, whatever they may be?  Tradition dictates that the male favors the cocktail that lets the flavor of the liquor come through, while the female leans toward the cocktails whose sodas, juices, and syrups mask what can be perceived as an unsavory taste of alcohol. Though this gender-based dichotomy is arguably outdated, the fact still stands that crafting a cocktail that appeals to a broad spectrum of palates is no easy task.

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READ THE FULL FEATURE ON BATTERY PARK ON OUR E-ISSUE HERE

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