Category Archives: Features

Music Feature: Lo-Fi Janitor

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Wow, friends. It has been a long minute since I have posted. Life has a constant habit of getting in the way of things, does it not? At any rate, I am glad to be launching my 2016 posts with a music feature that is very near and dear to my heart. A close friend of mine, whom we will continue to call “The Lo-Fi Janitor” has released a highly anticipated album in the underground and local music scene. Based out of San Dimas, CA, the Lo-Fi janitor wrote, recorded, mixed, and produced the entire album out of  RedHead Studios in Covina, CA. The self-titled album is an eclectic mix of everything from ambient and down-tempo beats, to threads of hip-hop and rock infused melodies. The Lo-Fi janitor’s incredible talent in catchy melodic electronic compositions keep you wanting to hear more as each track passes. This album, without a doubt, is a broad-reaching musical experience that can be a mainstay in even the most picky music aficionados album collections. Among my favorite tracks (even though I pretty much love all of them) is a track remixing samples of a George Carlin stand-up session. “Student of the Month” is smart and clever (you will understand that reference upon listening to the track).

Student of the Month:

Two of my other favorite tracks are “Alone” and “Time”. Both songs belong in a time portal. I suppose it is because when I hear it, I drift into a place of tranquil, mental solitude.



I cannot say enough great things about this album and the amazing man behind it all. I am urging you to head over to The Lo-Fi Janitor BandCamp site, download the album, turn it on, shake your ass, and most of all, support local musicians.

Peace and love.

p.s. (I also heard a rumor that the album maybe available in vinyl. Stay tuned for updates)

Cover art by Mikey Sabatella @ILMDesigns. Additional layout help from Justin Nichols.

Check out the The Lo-Fi Janitor on Facebook:

Artist Feature: Teodor M. Dumitrescu

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“Usurping Nature”. 7″ x 10.25″. Watercolor on paper. 2013

Teodor M. Dumitrescu is a Romanian born artist and illustrator. He received a Bachelors in Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002 where his thesis work focused on fantastical images of old and new world nostalgia. His studies included extensive scientific illustration and natural history illustration work. He has exhibited internationally and his work is evolving to include more elements relative to the preservation of both memory and the natural world. Today he lives and works in Riverside,California.

Teodor’s striking work has been recognized by many leading art councils in the region. Recently, Teodor partnered with the Inlandarts Riverside Arts Council and will also be featured at The Gabba Gallery in Los Angeles.

Below is a small sample of Teodor’s work. For more information, please visit his website: 

Music Feature: We are Kings & Queens

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We are Kings & Queens, comprised of Jonathan Mahan (Vocals, Guitar, Piano), Benjamin Hancock (Lead Guitar), Vincenzo Marranca (Bass Guitar), and Andrew ‘Smitty’ Smith (Drums), is an alternative rock band based in Los Angeles, CA. Their sound has distinct European influences (Catherine Wheel, Spiritualized, Radiohead) but has developed its own vast, cinematic rock sound – often characterized by songs that begin with raw, heartfelt vocals and ambient sonicscapes that build slowly to resonant melodies and arena rock finales.
We are Kings & Queens grabbed my attention via their Instagram account. Upon checking out their music, their single “Decide” immediately sank in with beautiful melodic progressions and ambient vocals. Please be sure to check out more on We are Kings & Queens on their website,

Below is the official video for “Decide”.

Music Feature: Slay the Phoenix

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Slay the Phoenix is a dark and obscure rock group founded by vocalist Nix Vantgarde and guitarist Bryan Diaz. The band originated as a side project between the two lovers a few years ago, but they were driven by a need for some heavier, layered textures in their music. In autumn of 2012 they set out on a quest to find their creative companions and the gentle hands of fate brought Matthew Potter (drums) and Alex Schetter (keys) into the group.

Matthew had collaborated with Nix and Bryan once before in a previous band, but the combination of the new music and the maturity that the three of them had reached over the last several years made them ripe and ready for this amalgamation.

Nix and Alex met while working for a major recording studio in West Hollywood earlier in the year. They instantly became friends and having similar tastes, talked about music often. Nix put word out that her band was searching for an experience keyboard/piano player and Alex, who had just arrived back from a sound installation in Italy, responded to that beckon.

Throughout the fall and winter of 2012 the newly formed coterie acclimated rather swiftly. Slay the Phoenix was unveiled and started playing live shows the first week of 2013. Deciding that the music had developed to their liking, they started production of their first album. They anticipate the release of Bonsai by Winter 2013- and will sequentially advance to win the hearts and minds of the music industry.

Below is a small sample of Slay the Phoenix discography:

We are Slaves


Burn the Rest

For more on Slay the Phoenix, please visit their website:

All images and media property of Slay the Phoenix.

Artist Feature: Beverly Morrison, Ceramic Sculptor

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When you run a website like 30 Miles East, you are constantly scouring the internet for the most intriguing and talented masters of craft. When I stumbled upon Beverly Morrison’s work on Instagram, it was a no-brainer. I had to feature her brilliant work. Beverly is based out of Los Angeles and her bio gives us an in-depth look at her love for the art of sculpting.


Beverly fell in love with the process of creating at a very young age.  In fact, to her, it feels as though she’s never been without it.

She grew up with an artistic mother and a supportive, analytical father.  Strong emotion met problem solving.  Between them, there was no object in their house that was not created or rehabilitated by a member of the family. Everything could be de- and re-constructed. The world was made of puzzle pieces, interchangeable at one’s whim. All one had to do was observe.

And what they observed primarily…was nature.

Nature was a near religion for her family, and Beverly’s mother was the priestess.  Whether they were gardening, camping, relaxing at the beach, her mom made sure they stopped to appreciate their surroundings.  Mother Nature contained endless wisdom, to be held in reverence.  Powerful laws and unstoppable forces; the cycle of birth, flourishing and death; the expression of a life and its singular message…all the answers could be found there.

Beverly listened, and remembered.

After achieving her A.A and B.A in Studio Arts, she left for a year abroad in Florence, Italy to study at the Accademia di Belli Arti, founded by Michelangelo. She found a wealth of inspiration in the works of masters like Henry Moore, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and Auguste Rodin.  She worked with many different media, trying things on, looking for a fit.  She found certain places of creative bedrock: she loved working with her hands, being physical with her art, pouring her body into bringing forth another body that would express for her what words could not.  She also discovered that process was key, was the most important part of helping a piece of art find its true expression. She found herself concentrating more and more in sculpture and ceramics and working exclusively in clay since it is, to her, the “flesh of the earth.”

The rest came together with her study of the human figure: the curves and power of the female form spoke to her, and for her.   Over the confidence and serene beauty of the female form, she layers chaotic textures pulled from nature.  She revels in the tension, wants to bring the conflict to the light.  It is not enough for her to express her own state – her goal is to draw the viewer into the push/pull dialogue between figure and surface, arousing them on an emotional level.  Hers is not an art of cool, sterile ideas—it is a constantly moving tableau of emotion.

Artist Statement:

‘Intentions’ are very important to me and I begin every sculpture with a very a concrete motive. I empty myself, infusing my ‘will’ into each piece, and the clay absorbs it. Working with the female form, particularly, has proven to be a natural vehicle for expressing and displaying this type of ‘saturation’.

 The figure is a subject matter that embodies so many enticing and seductive qualities and being able to combine such differing characteristics is intoxicating: supple in body, graceful in line, elegant in form; and yet exuding a presence of strength and emotional intensity all at once. It’s this fusion of characteristics that radiates an unending supply of motivation for me as an artist.

 As with the female form, I am constantly in awe of the natural world. I use different techniques of texturing and coloring, inspired by nature, to assist with my exploration of certain ‘conflicted states’ in my work. Figures may exude a sense of balance and harmony, naive innocence or a sort of sensual tranquility; while, superficially, textural surfaces influence them with their own type of emotional content. Ultimately, my hope is that the viewer will be drawn into this developing push/pull dialogue between figure and surface; arousing them on an emotional level and drawing them into the work on a physical one as well.

For more on Beverly’s outstanding work, please visit her website: 

Click on a thumbnail to launch the gallery.


Double Music Feature & Show Announcement: Chastity Belt & Tulips at acerogami

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We are traveling North, my friends. Very far North for some great music. When Chastity Belt contacted me about their upcoming show in Pomona, I was more than pleased to run a feature on them as well as their accompanying band Tulips, from our own backyard in LA. Both all female indie-rock bands will be performing live the acerogami on October 19th.

Chastity Belt, hailing from Seattle, WA is comprised of Julia Shapiro (guitar, vocals), Lydia Lund (guitar), Annie Truscott (bass), and Gretchen Grimm (drums). 

In the spring of 2010, Chastity Belt wasn’t so much a band as it was two words tagged all over its members’ mutual meeting place, Walla Walla, WA. At the time singer, guitarist, and songwriter Julia Shapiro was best known for hijacking performances by college students, whose bands were virtually guaranteed to die upon graduation, in order to play one joke song, Nickelback’s “Photograph.” It’s not that she had any love for the Alberta post-grunge behemoth, but a decade of Read More

Music feature: bWreck

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bWreck is a space rock band from Long Beach, consisting of Maria Morris (drums) & Kit Morris (guitar), formed in early 2007. Maria started playing drums in 2004 and decided she had finally found her place. She studied tirelessly under the guidance of Robert “Jake” Jacobs (drums) and Aloke Dutta (tabla) to learn the art of touch and make up for lost time. Maria decided to attend Fullerton College Applied Music Program in 2010 and graduated with an Associate Degree in Arts with High Honors in 2014. Kit has been a part of the Southern California music scene since 1994. They were always jamming together, and in late 2006, in the studio of Water Records trip-hop artist tspigot, they wrote “Creeper” and finally found their sound; it was obvious that they could start a band. So they did. bWreck books all of their own shows, works with underground touring bands, all while trying to bring good acts together in venues that appreciate live music and want to hear something new. bWreck tours California and Arizona, playing 20-30 shows each year. Their second album, ‘Basic Rocket Science’ was officially released in September 2014. Read More

Artist Feature: Pablo Unzueta, Photographer

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Born on July 22, 1994 ( in Van Nuys, California) Pablo Unzueta comes from a family background of photographers based in Santiago, Chile. Unzueta has a passion for human connection and storytelling. He then, began documentary photography at the age of 17 when he bought himself his first digital camera (Sony Alpha 57). Since then, he has been documenting poverty, protests, wild fires, and landscape– along with portraiture. Pablo Unzueta is aesthetically involved with mainly black and white filters. Throughout his teenage years, the 20 year old photographer has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Fullerton Observer News and the Mountie Newspaper.  Moreover, he has won several JACC (Journalism Association of Community Colleges) awards for Mt. San Antonio Community College. In the competition he received third place in the state for the bring-in photo competition, along with first place in the bring-in audio slideshow on body shaming. After he is finished with his courses, Unzueta is aspiring to become a published freelance photographer, covering social conflicts around the globe. I am pleased to present to you his outstanding photography work. For more information on Pablo, please visit his website:

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Artist Feature: Sharlynn Vee, Photographer

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Sharlynn Vee, Vintage Sign photographer is taking the Vintage Sign world by storm. Her background, like most, started with a single means of inspiration that drives the work she does today. When Sharlynn was a young child, she often went on road trips to Las Vegas with her father. Her father passed away when she was 12, and since then, she associates vintage signs from that era with fond memories of him. Sharlynn spent a decade overseas, and upon returning to the Read More