Los Angeles, we kinda dig you.
This past Wednesday, with the help of our gracious friends at Palihouse, we hosted our Hydration Issue Release Party, and, damn, did we have a blast. Tunes spun by beauties BOOM, Val Fleury and KITTENS, hosted cocktails generously poured and provided by Fireball Whiskey, custom LAC totes gifted with sweet goods provided by Stance, Element Eden, RESQWATER, BCBGeneraton, and See You Monday, and some all-around debauchery made the festive bash a night to remember.
Our bestest friends, cohorts, contributors, and drinking buddies all stopped by to celebrate with us, and we couldn’t have been more pleased to dance the night away at such a beautiful hideaway like Palihouse. We’re not gonna lie. The LAC crew left the party in a bit more of a “daze” than we had anticipated. All in good fun, we sincerely hope those who attended will be back for more for our next crazy shenanigans. Follow us @lacanvas and subscribe to our Weekly to keep up to date on what mischief we’re up to next and find out how you can score some swag (Yah, we’re giving away cool shit all summer long. Creative Rec shoes anyone?).
Viva Vena!, little sister to line Vena Cava, has just received a breath of fresh air in the form of a satirical sartorial commercial. Director Matthew Frost and actress Lizzy Caplan tap into the psyche of an ethereal 20-something as she explores her wanderlust through a faux-fashion film. Hit a little too close to home?
Newly opened and nestled in the heart of Hollywood, Aventine brings the charm of old world Rome married with a modern San Francisco-inspired design aesthetic. Hailing their namesakes from one of the seven hills ancient Rome was built on, Aventine Hollywood is the second iteration of brothers Gian-Paolo and Chef Adolfo Veronese’s successful Taverna Aventine of San Francisco.
The Veronese’s are people of careful thought, and this is made apparent as soon as you walk through their door. Gian-Paolo set out to create a place that, “speaks for itself,” and certainly hit the mark. As an avid event host (especially favoring the arts and non-profits), and a preserver of tradition, Gian-Paolo sought out a building with history and room for expansion. He tore through walls to expose beautiful 1920s brickwork and thought to use one wall as a “garage door” opening up to a beautifully kept patio and alley. Not only does Aventine serve as a warm, intimate dining space, but the flexibility in its design allows it to open up to accommodate large parties, or even festivals. Though its potential as a venue is exciting, the little details are what makes Aventine so charming– the dining tables are made from reclaimed bocce ball courts.
Care and attention to detail certainly don’t stop with the decor. Chef Adoldfo’s menu takes the traditional and makes it unexpected and exciting. The Aventino (mozzarella stuffed meatball on a bed of golden raisins, soft polenta, and topped with basil pesto) was a delight of textures and flavors, and the first time I ever enjoyed polenta. Chef Adolfo generously kept us surprised all night by sending out a taste of nearly everything on the menu—and I could go on praising all of it. The Gamberoni (sautéed prosciutto wrapped jumbo shrimp, sage, balsamic glaze) were unbelievable, the Gnocchi pillowy soft, the Agnolotti (stuffed with short ribs, rice, swiss chard, demi cream sauce) a savory delight, and the Verdure a Foglia (sautéed winter greens, spicy red pepper) were hearty, yet simply done with a nice heat. Despite being loaded up on all that beautiful food, when Chef Adolfo sent out the Ossobuco, we knew we had to make room. The meat was incredibly tender and fell right off the bone. The friend polenta made the perfect sponge for soaking up all the flavors of the Ossobuco; crispy on the outside and creamy inside, its delicate flavor yielding to the richness of the meat.
Our final surprise from Chef Adolfo was dessert. It would be a mistake to walk away from Aventine without trying some of their sweets. We tried the Zoccolini (fried pizza dough stuffed with nutella, mascarpone dipping sauce, sqirl jam), which was wonderfully indulgent, and the Butterscotch Panna Cotta with a maldon salt crust. This is certainly not to be missed. The salt added a great depth to the sweet, buttery panna cotta that made for a dessert worth fighting Hollywood traffic and parking for.
The Veronese brothers don’t do all this alone; Food Network celebrity mixologist Nikki Martin has joined ranks as beverage director. Seasonally driven and food minded, Martin mixes playfulness with tradition (Martin loves working with candy). Take for example, Martin’s punchbowl-style Limoncello served with a black licorice straw, or Negroni with rock candy and ginger. Her Tuscan Sunrise (Hendrick’s Gin with muddled strawberry and basil) was refreshing and flirty, with the herbal nod towards Italy, and comes highly recommended. We also got to sample her Stropino: champagne, vodka, and two scoops of mandarin sorbet topped with microgreens (in our case, cilantro). Also delicious was the Rosemary Clooney. Named after George Clooney’s aunt, the singer of the hit Mambo Italiano, a close second to our favorite cocktail.
And if all you’re looking for is a little snack with your drinks, Aventine offers Popcorn Al Tartufo (truffle popcorn with parmesan and Italian parsley)—the perfect bar snack with an elegantly traditional twist.
Like any good Italian kitchen, Aventine is here to feed the whole neighborhood, with the comforts of tradition and the spoils of Hollywood’s glamour.
1607 N Cahuenga Blvd
Hollywood, CA, 90028.
Mon-Thurs: 5:30pm – 11pm
Fri-Sat 5:30pm – 11:30pm
Want to capitalize on the boho-whimsy look this Spring without appearing like a seratonin-deficent after-party enthusiast? Flawless fabrics, chic pallets and perfect fits allow you to mix and match safely to achieve a carefree-cali aesthetic without looking like a Free People catalog gone rogue. Girl crush director Lauren Graham and PJK Creative Director Chelsey Santry teamed up to give us the label’s Spring video lookbook.
This past weekend we had the chance to get an exclusive ride-along with the crew behind the MINI Normal Crashing Tour. For their most recent stunt, MINI recruited Detroit indie-rock duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr to perform out of a cup-up MINI Cooper convertible.
During a typical concert you may walk into a venue, order yourself a the finest frosty glass of PBR, and direct your attention towards the stage. In the case of MINI however, they like to do things a little…abnormally.
With the help of music blog RCRD LBL, MINI has produced a series of shows which take place in “Not Normal” locations throughout the U.S; Kicking off the tour in Chicago, IL with a performance by Twin Shadow inside a run down furniture store in the heart of Wicker Park (the Silverlake of CHicago).
For the final leg of the tour MINI decided to go all out and do something that at least I have never seen done before: have a band play in a moving vehicle. Of course our first thought here at LA CANVAS was, how? especially in a MINI cooper?
I’ve seen bands play out of buses, which usually have a enough space to set up a drum kit and amps, but a MINI? I own a MINI Cooper myself and I can’t imagine having any more than 1-3 other people in the car, and that alone takes up all of the room, but leave it to the auto designers to come up with a wild concept for the Dale Earnhard Jr. Jr. guys.
MINI took their coveted 2013 Cooper S convertible model, got rid of almost all but the driver’s seat, and built a custom set-up just for the band. Of course you had your typical add on’s, you know, the must-haves: bluetooth accessibility leather interior, chrome accents, spots package, the works. Yet, this particular model was rigged with a specially designed keyboard station, complete with synthesizers, a microphone, and a shnazzy leather stool allowing access to a guitar amp that had been built into the car. As well, the car was outfitted with a full set of speakers, creating a sound blast radius that could definitely be heard in any angle around the vehicle (take that bass-bumping low-riders!).
After the show, we had a chance to have a quick chat with Dale Earnhard Jr. Jr.’s own Josh Epstein about the experience:
LAC: How did MINI approach you with the opportunity to play the Normal Crashers Tour? Did they let you know what you were getting yourselves into?
JE: They told us about the idea, and who could refuse riding around in Mini cut up like an El Camino, playing songs on loud speakers?
LAC:Were you able to have any say in how your performance space on the car was to be designed?
JE: We weren’t consulted. Perhaps they had been warned of our overly ambitious design history? We probably would have come up with 100 ideas that would have been rejected anyhow.
LAC: Was there a particular reason behind the choice of your song “Vocal Chords” to be the featured track while playing in the moving car?
JE: That was the song that Mini picked. We would have enjoyed playing any of them, but that one ended up being really fun. Good choice, Mini.
LAC: I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band playing out of a moving car, how did that feel, and did you have any difficulties while cruising at…let’s say 30 MPH on the US 101?
JE: It felt like being on a ride at Disney World. But there was no line to wait in before hand so it was better.
LAC: With the release of It’s A Corporate World in 2011, what does the band have on the horizon for 2013?
JE: A new EP, a new LP and much touring
LAC: While you guys were in LA, what would you say is your favorite spot that is a “must-visit” before you leave town?
JE: We typically find ourselves at the 101 cafe for apple pie a la mode after we finish a show. I guess that has become a “thing.”
Stay tuned for our exclusive video capturing the performance on LAC TV. Keep an eye out on whats happening in the world of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. right here and keep up with MINI and everything “Not Normal” here.
Just when hiding from the recent freeze had our vitamin D levels at an all-time-low, resulting in much sulking and unnecessary introspection, California decided her spoiled wimpy children had suffered long enough and conceded to letting Spring come early.
Yay! Thanks mom!
And because this week should allow you time for at least one outdoor adventure (maybe a quick hula-hoop session?), here’s a little something for your multi-purpose fresh-air playlist.
Desert Noises are a band from Provo, Utah who’ve been described as “Neil Young meets the Beach Boys.”
“Oak Tree” is definitely the bounciest track off their debut album Mountain Sea (bouncy being the optimal quality for hula-hoop soundtracking, of course). Suckers for lush, beautiful boy harmonies should take note: Desert Noises will be popping into the Hotel Cafe on February 4th.
By now, you’re probably well versed in the art of trouble-making. You know how to shot-gun beers in under ten seconds, covertly slap subversive stickers onto innocent street signs, and give the finger when it matters most (like when you’re getting your head-shot taken, obviously).
But whatever level of hooliganary you’re operating at, it probably cannot compare to the antics of LA punk band FIDLAR (an acronym for Fuck It Dog, Life’s A Risk).
What we have here is a rowdy group of guys who have been chronicling their hard-partying behavior via song for a couple of years now, and by the looks of it, they have no intention of leaving the fast lane and taking up crochet any time soon.
Most recently, you may remember FIDLAR opening up this past summer’s FYF Fest, or you may have heard about their personal rendition of “Oh What a Night” at the Cha Cha Lounge in Silver Lake.
And now, on January 22nd, with the help of Mom + Pop/Wichita Recordings, FIDLAR are finally releasing their first self-titled full length LP, featuring some oldies but goodies and some new tracks to tickle your fancy. The album best laptops for college students under 500probably contains your party anthem for 2013, with uplifting tracks like “Stoked and Broke,” and the procedural classic to rival Gym/Tan/Laundry, “Wake Bake Skate.” Here at the LA CANVAS studio, we’ve been favoring the band’s latest single “Cheap Beer.” Being natty-light drinkers ourselves, we can appreciate the message.
Snag a free download of our favorite tune here:
Dubstep is the music of the dystopian future. Accordingly, in this dub-inflected electro-hop track, frequent Grimes collaborator Blood Diamonds paints a sparkly-pink-and-blue metropolis with a dark, seedy underbelly, made even darker by Harlem rapper Dominic Lord’s pronouncement that he’s coming for you with an AK-47.
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I wouldn’t by any stretch of the imagination call this song “feel good.” It’s tense and anxious with comically bright sonic textures, a formula whose solution can be alternately creepy or totally rad. In this case it’s both.
Check out the Fader’s behind the scenes video to see how this epic collab went down.
It’s Thursday. A weekday which, thanks to the skyrocketing popularity of fun, freedom and good times, has become almost entirely absorbed into the beloved chronological establishment known as the weekend. In preparation for the ensuing revelry–which starts, let’s say, around 5pm–one of our favorite up-and-coming DJ duos, Immigré, has thrown up their top tracks of the moment onto a neat sixty-minute Spotify playlist. Power hour, anyone?
In order to beef up this blog post, the lovely Sanni Val Fleury & JSMN agreed to answer some of our questions. Find out whether or not the ladies like to sit in the shower below.
So, what’s up?
So excited for the New Year, and to be back in LA! Been doing some traveling, discovering lots of cool artists and styles from across Europe and Africa. It’s important for us because we play all genres, with more focus on female-driven and international tracks – which exemplifies who we are as Immigré. We really can’t wait to share with the masses! We can just tell this will be a great year of music, growth, and lots of dancing for us.
Can we get you something to drink?
Gin & Ginger for Sanni Val Fleury and Whiskey & Ginger for JSMN. Honestly, anything with ginger.
What are you wearing?
Usually, something shiny, in black and gold. And lose the pants, we’re not a fan of wearing pants.
Are you interested in anyone right now?
Definitely interested in anyone creating or sharing great music!
Do anything last night?
Always checking out music & fun events around LA! Catch us at spots like School Night at Bardot, Dim Mak Sundays at Drai’s, Artwalk, Sayers Sessions, Do-Over events or at after-hours spots in DTLA.
How late did you stay up?
Later than late. DJing definitely keeps you a night owl.
Meals or snacks?
Snacks on snacks on snacks.
If life could resemble any film…
The fashion moment you most regret…
Winter. We hate succumbing to the cold and wearing pants!
Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?
All of our new favorite artists, which include: AlunaGeorge, Katy B, Niki & The Dove, Rudimentary, Young Magic, Purity Ring, Charli XCX, Icona Pop, Iamamiwhoami, Jessie Ware, Jantsen, Kentö, Mikky Ekko, Bro Safari and Disclosure. Guest of Honor: 2Chainz.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Dirty Chai Tea Lattes with Almond milk, and spending money on music (concerts, tracks, equipment, etc).
Who’s your biggest fan?
Shout out to Brittney Scott, Hana Pestle, and Sad Girls Club.
You kissed a girl and liked it?
Into dudes. Beautiful, beautiful ones.
Who would you hire to write your theme song?
Sia, produced by Jesse Rogg.
Blue or black ink?
Black, obviously – with gold accents.
Ever sit down in the shower?
No, that’s where the water starts to feel cold. Gotta stay up in the heat!
When was the last time you really froke out on someone?
Posi-Mob for life, no time for negativity out here.
What was the first thing you said aloud this morning?
Are you listening to music right now?
Constantly. Actually, just put together a fresh Spotify playlist of songs we’re obsessed with this month. We’ll be putting one out each month, so keep your eyes peeled. Mixes to come as well.
Will you text the person you like today?
Heck yeah, how else would he know?!
If we gave you $50, what would you buy?
Vintage shopping spree – always on the hunt for yet another sequined jacket.
Last three Google searches…
Hair dye, DTLA Sandwich, Lacrimosa.
What are you doing later?
Working on upcoming mixes that we hope to debut on February 1st, each one will have a sweet female name – gotta rep for the ladies! Also, researching up-and-coming artists and independent tracks for a short film we’re music supervising.
Can we come?
You’re always welcome to come dance with us! We’re currently booking upcoming shows around the LA area (contact [email protected] for inquiries) and planning a Euro tour for the end of the year, with stops in France and the UK.
In what feels like a slew of restaurant openings every other month, 2012 has been a very good year for LA diners, particularly if you’re spending more time Downtown. As the renaissance of the city center continues so does its food scene, coming leaps and bounds in the past few years ever enriched by a growing network of some of LA’s finest dining establishments.
Enter Bestia, preceded by its reputation thanks to a series of Test Kitchens, a lot of hype and restauranteur Bill Chait, it is undeniably one of the most anticipated openings this year. The $1.2-million, 140-seat trattoria comes to DTLA headed up by Ori Menashe (Angelini Osteria) delivering finely curated modern Italian fare. Chances are you’ve already dined at one of Bill Chait’s establishments, in the last four years he’s opened some of L.A.’s best restaurants (Short Order, Sotto, Rivera, Picca) and if his current portfolio is anything to go by, Bestia has all the makings to live up to the excitement the restaurant has so far seen.
Nestled deep within the Arts District, neighbored by the 7th St Bridge and some very interesting company, a strip club no less, Bestia is hidden in an unassuming alleyway. Staying true to its environment and mixing the industrial with soul, the veins of the once factory are left exposed with metal pipes drawing a grid across the roof of the restaurant while leather booths, floor to ceiling windows and hanging lamps give light and warmth.
Bestia feels personal, like a tiny community in huge contrast to its immediate surroundings. This is felt even more so as you sit at a communal table and watch the open kitchen with awe as chefs slice fresh meats and swiftly arrange them with precision on charcuterie boards. The menu reads like an Italian dream with seafood lead antipasti such as steamed mussels, griddled sardines and white fish crudo; while rich handmade pastas and pizza delivered from the Acunto pizza oven (direct from Naples itself) combine traditional and modern elements presenting an interesting take on the classics. Each dish is sophisticated in its own right yet accessible enough to be simply enjoyed, a highlight is the Cassoela Milanese, a classic winter dish of braised pork & veal ribs, pork sausage, winter greens and cabbages appealing straight to the heart of the greatest carnivore and the perfect dish to welcome Bestia to the world. And for those who like to dabble in the latest food trends, the menu offers you a journey through of the moment roasted fare like bone marrow, beef heart tartare and pan-roasted chicken gizzards.
If it is a drink you prefer then you will find solace in the fact that Bestia is just as much a drinking establishment as it is a restaurant. Find yourself sitting at the magnificent open bar, a spectacle connected to the exposed kitchen where chefs and bar staff work fervently alike. Indulge in an ever changing schedule of artisan cocktails or a perfectly executed classic, thoroughly entertained by some of the most well-dressed mixologists L.A. has seen.
Bestia sees the L.A restaurant scene end 2012 on a highlight. Only time will tell if it can live up to the hype, but for now it is an exciting venture into one of the most interesting parts of our town and anything that breathes life into the hidden treasures of this city is alright by us.
by Emma Gogonovski
Fresh off the release of their third studio album Unpatterns, English electro duo Simian Mobile Disco stopped over in LA this past weekend to headline FYF fest for the second year in a row. LA CANVAS sat down with member Jas Shaw to talk about the band’s evolution, the new album, and how to perform electronic music live.
MAX: Your new album Unpatterns is very different from Attack Decay Sustain Release. How would describe your transition from DJ/Club music to the roots of ambient, electronic house music?
JAS: I think that’s a pretty good description. I think it reflects our journey into electronic music. You can hear in Attack Decay that we were just coming out of being a band, and that whole scene of bands playing in clubs, and all of that kind of stuff which we take completely for granted now. But at the time even djing in venues afterwards there were no decks”
When we were touring as Simian, we would be like “oh lets have an after party somewhere” and they actually wouldn’t have 12/10s (turntables) there. Now every club in the world knows to have them. I guess you can hear that, in that record and we kind of felt we went too far with vocalists on “Temporary Pleasure.” With this record, we were super selfish with it, and think it reflects a lot of the stuff we listen to at the moment, and also a lot of stuff that got us into electronic music. A real gateway into “proper electronic music.”
MAX: So this is the second time you’re playing FYF, right?
JAS: Yes, hah we love it! We played it for the first time last year, and we were really excited that they asked us. Sometimes, because of the band that we are, we kind of don’t obviously fit here, as a lot of the bands are actually punk bands. We are really into that kind of stuff, so we were really pleased to be booked for it. We had a really nice time, and when they asked us to come back it was a no brainer, we said we would definitely do it.”
MAX: Also you guys have a very interesting light show, somewhat reminiscent of your music videos. Will there be one for tonight’s show? Any surprises you have in store?
JAS: Actually we have a new light show for tonight’s performance that we haven’t even seen. I mean we have seen it in production, because we are only coming out for one show. We said, okay, maybe we can find someone local to do it, because we couldn’t bring our lights over because they are so heavy, flying out would’ve been insane. So we have been talking to the local company, going back and forth with ideas. We were hoping to see it last night, but we came in late to check all of our gear, and it wasn’t ready, so everybody has been asking.
There’s something I kind of like about that, it’s going to be interesting. It won’t be smooth, and there will be some screw ups, but I honestly think that a lot of electronic shows I’ve seen that are flawless become decreasingly interesting. Honestly if there are some fuck ups, we will just be like “sorry, we will get back on it now.”
MAX : So the screw ups make it more unique then?
JAS: They make it HUMAN, which is one of the things I think is essential and often missing in electronic music. It doesn’t necessarily need to be human in terms of there needing to be a voice, but there needs to be room for error, room for good things to happen. The worst possible situation is you press GO, and it runs smoothly, and it’s the same EVERY night. No one wants that.
MAX : So you guys will be at the forefront of doing that?
JAS: I don’t know if anyone else will do it if we make a mess of it, but if you see the system that we have, it’s all happening live. There’s a lot of room to play well or badly, and there’s a lot of room for us to jam and take things based on how we feel the crowd is reacting, and how we feel actually.
With all of those things, I feel like a good live show should be a collision of how we are feeling, how the gear works, who else is playing during the night, and how the crowd reacts. Even to a certain extent, paying attention to the kind of PA you are playing on. If you are playing on a PA that is very “subby,” like particularly if you are playing a warehouse party, you can get away with playing really minimally. But at a venue like this, we will probably play more vocals, because it’s kind of a rock show. It doesn’t have the same pressure here that it would in a room, like the physicality of it.
All of those things, without really considering them, inform how the set goes, which I think is the nature of a live show. There are things that we have not worked out yet, but at the end of it, you are kind of nervous. You should feel a bit nervous before you go on.
MAX: How many times have you been to LA?
JAS: Quite a lot actually.
MAX: So what’s a typical day in LA for you when you’re not working?
JAS: You know, I feel like I haven’t spent very much time in LA. Every time I’ve come to LA it’s always been to play. And usually you arrive feeling pretty ropey, for one reason or another, in the afternoon, and then you leave at night. For example, I leave tomorrow at noon, I’m sure I will be going back to the hotel. But, one of the things I really want to do more is go out to the places where people actually live.
We always end up staying Downtown, or in Hollywood. We went over to visit a friend who lives in Silver Lake, and all of a sudden I was like, okay, this seems like the kind of place where people actually live.