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: slaythephoenix.com

All images and media property of Slay the Phoenix.

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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.

Biography:

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: http://www.beverlymorrison.com/ 

Click on a thumbnail to launch the gallery.

 

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November Second Saturday Art Walk & Unveiling of Faceless Sister

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There could not be a more perfect weather setting for an Art Walk on this fine second saturday of November. Per usual, the Pomona Arts Colony will be beaming with art, music, and the cultural eclecticism only Downtown Pomona can bring.

Here’s a very tiny tidbit of the happenings going on tonight:

SPACE Gallery will be featuring the instillations “Home” by Jon Measures and “Love” by Norman Gray. SPACE features some of the most prominent artists in the country, and their carefully curated installations are not to be missed!space

The SCA Project Gallery will be presenting their annual members-only exhibit: “The Show!” The Show will be brimming to the rim with exciting creations by their member artists that include: Sarah Arnold, Karen Karlsson, Denise Kraemer, R.T. Pece, Erns Valdez. Read More

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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

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Throwback Thursday: Crystal Castles at The Fox Theater Pomona

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I believe I heard a collective heart shattering in the fans of electronic music yesterday. Alice Glass announced her departure from Crystal Castles via her twitter account on October 8, 2014. If you are even a moderate electronic music fan, you would know that Crystal Castles is seemingly one of the most innovative and pioneering figures in the genre. Fortunately, Alice Glass and Ethan Kath left us all with an amazing catalog of music we can love even in their absence from the music scene. Given the news, what better way to celebrate a Throwback Thursday than to feature Crystal Castles at the Fox Theater Pomona? Crystal Castles blew the minds of many in 2013 at the Fox. Alice and Ethan are no strangers to Pomona, however. The duo also made their way to Pomona in 2011 as well. Below is the set list and a great video of their performance of “Intimate”,  courtesy of the shamalp YouTube Channel. Also below is a mix of some of my personal favorite Crystal Castle songs. Cheers!

 

*Video retrieved from the  the shamalp YouTube Channel.

*Featured image property of Crystal Castles and retrieved from http://wearecrystalcastles.tumblr.com/

*Music links retrieved from https://soundcloud.com/crystal-castles and https://soundcloud.com/melodia-1

 

 

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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

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Introspection and hard lessons

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Everyday we are faced with a mountain of valuable lessons. In those teaching moments,  we are forced to see what we never thought possible or imaginable. However, as adults, we have a tendency to ignore the lessons and the introspective capacities of our own allegedly developed pre-frontal cortex. Even the youngest of souls possess a large amount of introspection. Sometimes, they carry far more reflective abilities than so-called grown-ups. They are able to indulge and immerse themselves in the unique nuances of each minute of every hour of every day. This is the gift the young possess, and the gift adults should be envying and striving to attain. So here it comes, my moment of public introspection: What happens when we step away from the things we love and cherish? What happens when we neglect the things we love so dearly? Where does the impassioned ascent lie, other than in a perpetual state of limbo upon the recognition of its neglect? These questions beg for answers when we are spinning in the ebbs and flows of the life. While wading in the waves of my own existence, I put 30 Miles East on the back burner. Sometimes, life arrives, screeching in and pulling into your drive way, and Frank Booth shows up at your door and throws you in the car for a fucked up and unexpected ride (pardon the David Lynch/Blue Velvet reference). While in that fast moving car, you can see all of what you took for granted speed by you through the car window with no means of reaching out and grasping it. Your feeble attempts to re-grasp everything is like grabbing vapor. Among those things, 30 Miles East was slipping by me at an unprecedented speed. 30 Miles East brought me joy, passion, alternative perspectives and the opportunity to engage some of the most brilliant masters of craft in an area we are lucky to be residing in. Many of you know of what I preach: WE ARE Los Angeles, and we are filled to the brim with an insuperable populace of artists, musicians, photographers, writers, filmmakers, thinkers, and friends-especially 30 Miles East. This is something I vow to never put on the back burner again. Sometimes, we unknowingly allow the external abnormalities to wedge themselves in to what we hold so dearly when we lose sight of our priorities. I am guilty of this. Fortunately, if we are able to escape from that fast-moving car, stand on our feet and recapture what we hold dearly, we can activate the introspection, immerse ourselves in the nuances of our day-to-day and appreciate the beauty that we do hold in our grasp. Introspection and hard lessons. I have learned much recently. Given this new perspective, I have discovered different ways in which I will bring the culture of our region to light via the avenue of my beloved website, and thus hoping that I can bring some beauty to your day. Thank you to those who still believe in 30 Miles East, especially my resident artists and friends. I could not do what I do without you. I’m willingly boarding a fast-moving car. Only this ride will be welcomed. Stay tuned friends.

Peace and Love,

-E

Featured image: “Her Power is Within” by Tony Koehl (Undeniably fitting for this post. Oh, and visit Tony’s artist page!)

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Throwback Thursday: Mr. Bungle at the Glass House

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Hello, friends. Its been about a couple of weeks since my last feature. I’m so sorry! Do you ever get so overwhelmed you wonder where your time went? Yup, I’m there right now. Anyway, I saved this Throwback Thursday for something really special. A show that I wish I had been able to attend. If there were any band to reunite (other than the Beatles and Led Zeppelin-which we all know is impossible), I would pray to the music gods to bring back Mr. Bungle. Now, I realize that Mr. Bungle is an incredibly eclectic genre of music, and this Throwback Thursday may not appeal to many. However, for my die hard Faith No More/Mr. Bungle/Fantomas/Tomohawk/Lovage/Peeping Tom/Mike Patton fans, this is right up your alley. Comprised of the music god/genius Mike Patton, Trey Spruance, Trevor Dunn and Danny Heifetz, Mr. Bungle took the 90’s underground rock scene by storm. Although Mike Patton’s major project Faith No More was breaking mainstream ground, Mr. Bungle created a cult following all on its own. The ingenious musical composition produced by Mr. Bungle was in an elite category. Right up there with my friends from Failure. So, when I discovered that Mr. Bungle had been to the Glass House in Pomona on August 24th 1999, naturally, I was excited to use this for a Throwback Thursday post. As with many Throwback Thursday posts, I cannot find any video of them at the Glass House (insert crying emoticon here). I do, however, have footage of them in LA that year. Below is a set list from their show at the Glass House and one of my favorite Bungle songs “Pink Cigarette” live at the House of Blues at the end of their “California” tour. ENJOY! I know I am!

Glasshouse Setlist:

The Stroke
The Air-Conditioned Nightmare
Ars Moriendi
Pink Cigarette
Carry Stress In The Jaw
Sweet Charity
Travolta
Ei Raat Tomar Amar
My Ass Is On Fire
The Thrill Is Gone
Vanity Fair
Desert Search For Techno Allah
None Of Them Knew They Were Robots
Merry Go Bye Bye

 

 

 

Setlist retrieved from: http://anaussiemusicfan.com/mrbungle/g1113.html

Video retrieved from the “Donna’s Jukebox” YouTube Channel.

Featured image property of bunglefever.com

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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: http://unzuetaphotography.weebly.com/

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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

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