FROM ICONIC TO INNOVATIVE: REDISCOVERING 4 OF LA’S BEST MUSIC VENUES

The City of Angels plays host to many an up-coming act, bonafide twerk stars, punk kings and band geeks, bedroom beatsmiths, smooth crooners and their groupies; right next to New York City and Nashville, Los Angeles is one of the foremost central hubs for music. But what would great music be without a supporting cast? Our city’s venues play an equally important role in propagating the growth of this scene, booking and essentially curating our city’s selection of live music. We highlight some of our favorite venues and their roles in making our musically-indebted city a world class destination.

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LOS GLOBOS | 3040 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026

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Los Globos has long been on the forefront of innovation by allowing itself to be deeply immersed in evolving cultures — at one point serving as home for one of LA’s first openly gay bars and the first legal rave in the states. The two-story nightclub is open seven nights a week and has played host to a wide array of local and national electronic DJs and live bands over the years. It’s also home to LA’s favorite pan-sexual disco romp, A Club Called Rhonda. With a 2014 mission to further expand its talent repertoire to fuse local and international acts, Los Globos is a lock-in for one of our go-to venues to discover some of the best and brightest to come through Los Angeles.

Upcoming shows: Mario Basanov (1/24), Sammy Bananas (1/24), J.Phlip (1/25), John Talabot (2/14)

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THE MINT LA | 6010 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90035

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Though often over-looked as one of the best venues to nestle itself in LA, the Mint will say that’s precisely what it wants. Claiming themselves as one of the most unpretentious clubs in LA, the Mint has been offering the most eclectic mix of performs since its establishment in 1937, hosting everything from jazz and funk to rock and folk. Equipped with a full kitchen and rotating draft beer selection, the Mint carries a burlesque air with velvet curtains and balconies overlooking the stage that caters to the very people that built it: music lovers and enthusiasts alike.

Upcoming shows: Ray Stinnett [Light in the Attic Records] (1/18), Hot 8 Brass Band (1/24), The Annual Namm Jam with The Meters Experience (1/25)

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THE ROXY THEATRE | 9009 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90069

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With its founder’s reputation preceding its own, the Neil Young-established legendary Roxy Theatre became the very locale for classic performances from a number of classic rock stars: Bruce Springsteen, Guns N’ Roses, Miles Davis, Jane’s Addiction, Pearl Jam and so many others graced the stage of this venue, making it the nightlife and music entertainment staple it is today. While also playing host to comedy shows and performance art, the Roxy now has a “On The Rox” after-hours spot that gives guests a view overlooking the very hub of Sunset Boulevard that it sits on.

Upcoming shows: New calendar to be released soon.

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THE VIPER ROOM | 8852 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90069

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The Viper Room has gone through a series of transformations over the years since its inception: in the 1940s, it was a jazz bar and a gangster’s gambling den. Then it become Filthy McNasty in the 1960s, which eventually turned into a disco the following decade. But when Johnny Depp bought the club in 1993, the Viper Room made its final transformation into the music hub that it is today. Playing host to legendary performances from the likes of Tom Petty and Iggy Pop, nowadays, though the club is no longer owned by Depp, the Viper Room still plays host to local artists and DJs, often as the first in many steps to becoming a main-stage name.

 

INTERVIEW: KAYTRANADA

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Lucky us. Kevin Celestin, aka Montreal beatsmith, Kaytranada, is in LA for two shows this week for his No Peer Pressure tour featuring Groundislava and Jerome LOL (though his LA shows will open with Morri$ and Colta), and we managed to sneak in some couch-time conversations. We spoke a bit about his up-coming tour in the US, genre-labeing, Drizzy Drake and bodybuilding babes. 

LA CANVAS: I actually didn’t know English wasn’t your first language. That’s what Will (Kaytra’s manager) told me just now.

Well yeah, I’m from Montreal so I speak French. But we throw some English words in there, kind of like slang I guess.

LAC: So you just came off of an Australia tour with Ryan Hemsworth, and this is your first American solo tour. Is there a difference between the Australian crowd and the US crowd?

Yeah, the Australians go hard, they’re a lot rowdier, but I think that’s because most of them seem younger. I haven’t been to all of America yet but when I was in New York, I could tell that they weren’t really feeling it; I mean, they were dancing and all, but they weren’t going hard. I know LA goes hard though, LA gets down.

LAC: How was the tour kick-off in San Jose?

San Jose was cool, there was this girl dancing all over the stage, she was twerking and all that. It was crazy, I wasn’t expecting all that (laughs)

LAC: So you released the “Hilarity Duff” track, the second song off of the EP, and Earmilk and Hypetrak are all over it – they’re already anticipating the EP to be huge. How does that feel?

I mean, to hear or read something like that, it’s crazy, if not reassuring. The track was even featured on HotNewHipHop and they put the word “hot” in front it; and I was just surprised the track was even featured on a hip-hop blog. Something like that though, it definitely tells you that you’ve made it though, hearing that type of shit.

LAC: The “At All” video, though – that was nuts with the buff ass girls. Who came up with that idea?

The one who came up with video idea was my friend, Martin Pariseau. He called me about the idea of the bodybuilding women and me hanging with them and doing weird shit. I wasn’t really down with it at first, but I don’t know, when we were at the shoot, I knew it was going to be a big thing so I did it.

LAC: Was being carried weird?

Not really. I mean, we’ve all been carried when we were kids so, it ain’t that weird. But I couldn’t stop laughing.

LAC: Yeah, I bet. Just the imagery of it all was like, “What the hell?” I was diggin’ your jersey.

Yeah, that was the point of it all; and yeah, I was diggin’ it too, I wished the jersey was mine.

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LAC: When you listen to your tracks, you can hear the hip-hop, R&B, soul and disco influences in your background. Given that, is it weird to be labeled as an electronic artist/producer?

I mean it is weird because I don’t like to label myself as an electronic DJ because I’m always pulling from other genres, cause that’s what I listen to. I listen to hip-hop, R&B, a lot of old disco and that transfers to my music. Even the… I don’t want to call it trap, but I use a lot of that downbeat hip-hop bass, and I just don’t think the electronic label fits it. Nowadays it’s like, how can you tell my music is hip-hop? By the BPM? It’s so hard to slap any one genre onto music because we’re pulling influences from all these other different places, you can’t just place it into one bubble.

LAC: What have been the major differences since signing with Huh, What & Where (HW&W) Recordings? Has being a part of that helped you creatively?

It’s been cool. I mean, since I signed with them, I still stayed in my own lane, just doing my own thing. The label used to be just about instrumental beats, and even then I still want creative control over my music. But they’re the homies and they’ve helped get my name and music out, and then I get to do cool shit with them, like Boiler Room. So overall, it’s been cool, it’s been great.

LAC: I was browsing through your SoundCloud and saw some tracks under “The Celestics.” Is that like, a side project, or something you started prior to being a solo producer?

Yeah, it’s a hip-hop group I was working with, it was actually the first project I was doing, and it just never popped off cause we weren’t really working at it. Instead of recording or working on tracks, we’d just fuck around or be lazy or whatever. It was me and my brother, Louie P, he was the rapper and I was the producer – I was still Kaytradamus then and just making hip-hop beats. I didn’t want to associate Kaytranada (the solo producer) with the group, I just wanted to be the producer and have the music solely stand as The Celestics. But yeah, it was something that we were trying to do, and I want to keep working at it; we already have a few tracks out, “Charles Barkley,” and “Kill,” that are getting some recognition, so it’s something that I want to keep pursuing.

LAC: Was it hard to keep working on The Celestics while you yourself were getting recognition for your solo tracks?

I mean, yeah that was definitely part of it. Like when I started releasing tracks on my SoundCloud and people were feeling it, and I was getting a shit-ton of likes on it, and recognition from blogs, it was like I said before, it’s like you see you’ve made it or that you were doing something right. When “If” popped off, that was when things really started to escalate and it was like, I’m being more successful at this than with The Celestics so…

LAC: I mean, at that point,  it seems like you had no choice but to run with it.

Yeah, exactly.

LAC: I was actually going to ask you about the name change. Did changing the name from “Kaytradamus” to “Kaytranada” happen because of your success as a producer and a drift from The Celestics?

It was kind of part of it, but at the time, it was when I was still doing more “trap” beats and that also was when Flosstradmus was coming out too, and I didn’t want it to look like I was biting off them or anything like that. I was already hearing shit from my friends on Twitter like, “Who the fuck you think you are?” or “Why you biting off Floss?” and I just didn’t want to deal with that shit. I actually prefer to just be called “Kaytra,” but it’s too late to change it now at this point (laughs). But yeah, Kaytranada is more of a random name.

LAC: Going off your Twitter point, I saw a while back when (Drake’s) “Nothing Was the Same” first came out that you Tweeted that he could’ve done better musically. What would you have done with the album? Does that mean we’re going to get some Drake edits in the near future?

I mean.. I don’t know. I’m not disrespecting Drake in any way, but I just think that musically he really could have done better. Like, his team did  hit me up for some beats but they wound up not using them (for NWTS). If they did though, I can guarantee that that would’ve been a classic ass album. I mean, he could hit up any underground artist – whether that be me, Sango, Star Slinger, whoever – and that would be classic.

LAC: Who would you want to collabo with in the future? Near-future or even big dream-status? I’m sure you have a long list.

Oh man… yeah, I have a fat list. I mean, I’ve done a bunch of Erykah Badu edits, a ton of Janet edits, so I’d love to work with them or other people that have remixed their tracks too. The tracks I want to do, I don’t really want or need any big time names on them, I’d just want to work with people that have that sound that I like.. like, I absolutely have to have a neo-soul singer on my tracks, maybe a rapper… but definitely a neo-soul singer.

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LAC: Who are you listening to right now?

I listen to so much shit, man… really though I listen to a lot of old school disco and funk, mostly underground stuff. In a general sense I listen to a lot of underground music, especially hip-hop, disco, funk. A lot of 90’s R&B too, obviously. I love Janet.

LAC: So what should we expect for 2014?

Oh, I don’t know… I mean, I will say this: I’m definitely working towards releasing an album. It might be released in 2014, it might be released 2015, I don’t know, depends on if I’m feeling it or if I get into the right creative groove within the next year. But, we got some big things planned out, some collabos and projects that I don’t think people are ready for; I really don’t think y’all are ready for it.

 

Catch Kaytranada at Los Globos this Thursday, cop your tickets while you still can right here.

RECAP: LAS CAFETERAS AT LOS GLOBOS

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Silver Lake got a taste of East LA last Wednesday night at Los Globos with an incredible performance by alt-Latin rockers Las Cafteras. Influenced by the traditional Son Jarocho sound, the seven-piece band kicked off their “Road to SXSW” Tour by delivering inspiring lyrics of justice in the City of Angels. The crowd could not stop moving to the infectious beat of the drums and string instruments. Things got especially raucous when strong politically-guided lyrics sent a surge of energy through the room, and people showed their support with hand-raised shouts.

 

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For more info on Las Cafeteras visit: http://lascafeteras.com/