Old School Wednesday: Geto Boys – Mind Playing Tricks on Me

Old School Wednesday: Geto Boys – Mind Playing Tricks on Me

“This year Halloween fell on a weekend

Me and Geto Boys are trick-or-treatin’

Robbin’ little kids for bags

‘Til a law man got behind our ass

So we speeded up the pace

Took a look back and he was right before our face…”

 

That slowed down Isaac Hayes sample and guitar riff is instantly gratifying. Every. Time.

This is always one of our favorite Old School Wednesday traditions – “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” for Halloween!

“Mind Playing Tricks on Me” is easily one of the most defining tracks of 1990’s rap. At the time, most Gangsta Rap was about the glorification of that life, then Geto Boys are like – Hold my Gold Medal Flour – release ”Mind is Playing Tricks on Me” and the game changed. Scarface, Willie D, and Bushwick Bill are rhyming about the trauma of gangsta life in 1991 and although it has a hard edge to it, the topics they touch on are relevant to 2020 pandemic times: PTSD, paranoia, loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and suicidal ideation (The struggle is real y’all, so don’t be afraid to talk to someone).

 

I think its amazing that Scarface got the inspiration for the song’s title from his mawmaw.

 

Happy Halloween Y’all!

Samples:

Isaac Hayes ~ “Hung Up on My Baby

Such an amazing track.

Graham Central Station ~ “The Jam

The drum sample is about 5:13 into the song.

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Old School Wednesday: Geto Boys – Mind Playing Tricks on Me

Geto Boys ~ “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” (L)"This year Halloween fell on a weekend Me and Geto Boys are trick-or-treatin' Robbin' little kids for bags 'Til a law man got behind our ass So we speeded up the pace Took a look back and he was right before our face..."...

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Old School Wednesday: Beastie Boys – Sabotage

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John Carpenter | “Skeleton” and Anthology

John Carpenter | “Skeleton” and Anthology

At the end of August, just in time for spooky season, legendary composer, writer, director and somewhat newly minted touring musician, John Carpenter released a new single, Skeleton, on Sacred Bones Records. This was Carpenters first new music since returning to the Halloween franchise to score 2018’s Halloween and his first new non-film release since the stellar 2015/16 full lengths Lost Themes I and Lost Themes II. Skeleton was released with the B-side Unclean Spirit

Skeleton is classic John Carpenter, but departs a bit from his soundtrack work. The first layer introduced is a driving 4/4 sequence with just enough wobble to give the track a bit of industrial drive. The progression is pretty simple, but the layered countermelodies bring out all sorts of interesting nuance. Skeleton also incorporates some big guitar parts that blend nicely and nod to the crunchy tones from In The Mouth of Madness or Christine.

For its part, Unclean Spirit seems like it would fit very well into a Halloween film, or as a resolution track following of the eerie, octave jumping call and response of The Fog.

It’s definitely a must-listen, and given that this is our favorite time of year, I would suggest diving into some of John Carpenter’s classic themes and non-film recordings as well.

John Carpenter is probably best known as a horror director…not just a horror director, but maybe the best known and most influential genre director in American cinema. And the thing about genre directors that makes them almost more impressive than more mainstream directors is an uncanny DIY ethic: an ability to make something out of nothing, to pull magic from the air with whatever tools are offered…sort of the John Lennon “give me a tuba, I’ll bring you something out of it” mentality.

And John Carpenter has always brought that ethos to his music. No budget? No problem. No time? Don’t need it. We’ll get a deceptivelybig sound. 

I read that Carpenter composed and recorded his entire Assault on Precinct 13 theme in a few days on an EMS VCS3, which I believe retailed for about $500 in 1969. And the Halloween theme was made in a similar manner. The film was made for $320,000. The Shape (Michael Myers) was a spray painted William Shatner mask and a pair of coveralls. The film didn’t have a sountrack (or soundtrack budget), so Carpenter wrote the entire score in 3 days and recorded it on borrowed synths in under 2 weeks. 

Today, 42 years later, Halloween is a classic film and that creepy 5/4 theme is one of the most recognizable and eponymous pieces in film history. And it lives outside of film as well. There is not a synthwave or darkwave, or whatever artist on the planet who doesn’t cite John Carpenter as a key influence both sonically and practically. I’ve made entire albums based just on things I learned from studying John Carpenter. We all owe him royalties.

As singularly creepy as the themes for Halloween, The Fog and The Thing are, there is also some very interesting diversity in the John Carpenter catalog. I would point to: the jug-jug action theme from Big Trouble in Little China, the somewhat soaring C Maj theme from Starman, and of course, the electronic showtune blues from They Live.

Skeleton is available on vinyl in several color options from Sacred Bones Records. And while you’re shoppng, consider picking up Lost Themes, Lost Themes II, John Carpenter’s Anthology and the 2018 Halloween OST.

And if yu’re considering a Halloween franchise movie maraton this week, it’s good to now that there is no canon beyond Halloween I and II. I read (somewhere, sometime in a nerd forum) that the original plan for the franchise was to make a two-part slasher and then work with a different story every year. But after Halloween III, America was knee deep in the 80’s and only wanted slasher franchises, so we never got to see the anthology strategy play out. Anyway, here’s my suggested viewing order:

Halloween III (standalone)

Halloween I, Halloween II, Halloween IV, Halloween V, Halloween VI (aka Halloween Paul Rudd). This will get you through the entire cult plot.

Halloween 2018. Tying a through-line back to the OG films.

Halloween H20 (aka Halloween LL Cool J). A divergent timeline 20 years after the original.

Halloween Resurrection (aka Halloween Busta Rhymes). Totally standalone, but there is a Jamie Lee Curtis intro!

Halloween Rob Zombie and Halloween Rob Zombie II. I think they’re underrated.

Happy Haunting!

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Old School Wednesday: Geto Boys – Mind Playing Tricks on Me

Geto Boys ~ “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” (L)"This year Halloween fell on a weekend Me and Geto Boys are trick-or-treatin' Robbin' little kids for bags 'Til a law man got behind our ass So we speeded up the pace Took a look back and he was right before our face..."...

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Eva Gardner | All I Ever Wanted to do is Tour

Eva Gardner | All I Ever Wanted to do is Tour

Photo Credit Lynda Buchanan

Interview with Eva Gardner by Jarett Cole of RocknRollParty. Video editing by Jarett and motion graphics by Ida-Eri Gencheva.

Eva Gardner is a self-described over-achiever. For the past 13 years she’s toured the world as Pink’s bass player and has somehow also found the time to work with the likes of Cher and Gwen Stefani among a long and incredibly diverse list of others. Aside from having her own signature Fender P-Bass, Eva has sponsorship deals with a host of top-notch gear companies including Ampeg, Dunlop, and Rotosound. If that weren’t enough she’s a solo artist as well and recently released a new single called Love & Drugs.

I met Eva when we were both in high school in Los Angeles. I went to a school in North Hollywood and she went to the much-cooler LACHSA (LA County High School For The Arts) where she studied music. I always knew Eva as a bass player, knew that her family owned and operated a Hollywood rock ‘n roll landmark and institution called the Cat and Fiddle Pub (that survived on Sunset Blvd. for 30 years and in 2017 moved to a new location on Highland Ave.) and  knew that her dad Kim had played bass in legendary 60s freakbeat band The Creation.

Aside from being friends on social media for years, Eva and I hadn’t had the chance to properly catch up since the high school days until this Zoom interview. With so much to talk about, from pandemic adjustments to her road to success, we couldn’t cover everything, but we got to a lot in this wide-ranging QooA exclusive!

Photo Credit Denise Nicolay

1. PANDEMIC CREATIVITY

Hello! Good to see you!

Good to see you too! It’s been a very long time!

What have you been up to since the quarantine? 

Photo Credit Lynda Buchanan

You’re a painter and a photographer as well?

Yeah. I also started out the pandemic doing a lot of painting. I was supposed to send some stuff over to Hong Kong for a show over there and that halted because of this whole thing. But yeah I was doing a lot of painting for a while. I was kind of like, “Ok maybe in the first part of the day I can just work on all the music stuff and the next part of the day I can just work on the art stuff.” It’s like your brain becomes silly putty and it’s being stretched in all these directions. I also have a habit of reading like seven books at a time (laughs). My new thing is, “Ok just read one book.” I just finished Tim Ferriss’ book the Four Hour Work Week and he suggests reading one book like his, an information book where you’re taking in stuff, and one book of fiction – just something you can get lost in for an hour that you read before bed. So that’s my new approach as of this week and so far it’s going pretty good.

Could you actually finish seven books at a time? Or you’d finish them but not know what happened in any of them?

Exactly. I would read them and be like, “Cool! I finished that book!” but then I wouldn’t have absorbed it very much because my attention was jumping so much. I’m trying to be more focused and intentional with things that I do – with my output and my input. When I had nothing to do and no gigs I was like,  “Well fuck I have to do everything! I gotta be so productive and of course I’m doing stuff! I have so much time to do everything!” I got really over-zealous. 

3. EVA’S MORNING ROUTINE 

What do you do to stay centered in all of this?

Of course you’ve also been working on some solo music – would you care to talk about Love & Drugs?

When I stepped the whole recording thing into a higher gear that’s one of the songs that I decided to do! I recorded everything on my own and after lots of studying and trial and error and making all these other songs I was like, “Cool this works, this doesn’t work, maybe I’ll try this,” and Love and Drugs was my guinea pig song. Basically it was just like saying OK I’m just going to do this on my own because you can do it on your own now. I had originally programmed the drums but I was talking to my friend Mark Schulman that I play in the Pink band with – we also play in the Cher band together – and he’s got a studio with drums setup so he just recorded drums out at his place and with the magic of technology we have a song! And I did a video on top of it!

Photo Credit Denise Nicolay

I saw the video! I saw the restaurant in the video!

Yes! I was very limited on locations and it was all social-distanced. Originally I was going to just do a video by myself on my Iphone, but I was talking to a friend of mine and she was down for the cause to help me out. We did what we could with what we had and it was a lot of fun to get back to collaborating with people. It was really nice.

It looks like you’ve been fairly busy doing virtual things

Yeah, I’m just staying engaged and doing some Master classes and some teaching.

Your degree is in Enthnomusicology?

That’s right.

What exactly is Ethnomusicology?

It’s a cross between musicology and anthropology. It basically examines music and how it relates to culture and how it influences and is influenced by culture. It’s basically a non-Western perspective. What I was doing in high school was more of a conservatorial, Western-style approach to music traditions and Ethnomusicology examined everything else – from Eskimo singing to Mongolian throat singing to Balinese Gamelan, and just really examined how all these different cultures relate to music. It was so eye-opening and just really broadened my world.

How’s that served you as a professional musician?

3. PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE

Photo Credit Denise Nicolay

I was actually getting tour offers while I was in college and for some reason I felt like I just I wanted to finish school. I knew I needed to finish, I knew I needed to incubate just a little bit longer, and I’m glad I did. I’m glad I have a degree in a useless subject. (laughs)

I don’t know how useless it is if you’re playing music all around the world. It probably makes a fair amount of sense

Yeah but I’ve never had to show my degree, so…

How did your first major offers come about?

There was a show that was on called Rockstar INXS and they were looking for a new singer for INXS. It was one of those shows back in 2005. So I auditioned to be in the house band and I got a few call backs but in the end I didn’t end up getting the gig.

4. THE BIG BREAK

Photo Credit Denise Nicolay

5. FULL CIRCLE MOMENT

Do you have a most moving experience playing giant shows

What band did your Dad play in at the Isle Of Wight?

You know I’m not really sure that he even did the Isle of Wight But I’m thinking that he would have been there because all of his friends were there. Maybe the promoter told me because our UK promoter remembers my dad. He remembers the band, they worked together. So being around that energy – especially with people who knew him and used to see his bands just made it even more special.

I also Met Paul McCartney at that show too because we were opening up for Paul McCartney that night.

Kim Gardner playing a ‘62 Fiesta Red Precision bass, playing live with the Creation in 1967

Photo Credit Lynda Buchanan

6. MEETING PAUL MCCARTNEY

That’s incredible. Of course I know your dad was in The Creation – did he play on Making Time?

Yeah I think that was him. There were a couple of incarnations of the Creation. The earlier stuff wasn’t him – it wasn’t Painter Man, he wasn’t on that – but when dad was tracking down his royalties many years ago the guys basically said, “You know we don’t remember who played on what because it was so long ago,” so they just split all the royalties up between all of them – So I don’t know exactly what he played on but I think he was on Making Time.

That song was everywhere. Was your dad super psyched about it?

Oh when Rushmore came out. When was that? The 90’s?”

7. TEENAGE RE-CREATION

How did you start playing with Tim Burgess? Do you still play with him at all?

Tim lives in London now but he used to come into the Cat and Fiddle all the time. He was a massive Creation fan so he used to come and hang out with my pop. When Tim decided to do his solo thing, because he normally was in the Charlatans (UK), he was living in L.A and asked if I wanted to be his bass player and go on tour with him in the UK and play some shows opening for The Rolling Stones.

8. ALL I EVER WANTED TO DO IS TOUR

Do you have more solo stuff on the horizon?

Yeah, I have lots of songs. I decided to do a single so I could just focus on one thing and get that out. Also I feel like that the way people consume music these days too, right? The single’s back, that’s where we’re at! Or EP’s! EP’s are where it’s at too – so I might do an EP next. We’ll see what happens.

9. FUTURE PREDICTION

Did you just take up Tarot cards as well or is that something that you’ve done?

I started studying the Tarot – gosh, it must have been like 2006 now and I had a tarot teacher and I was taking classes and I got super into it. I’ve always loved the Tarot. I’ve always loved getting readings and doing readings.

So what’s future going to bring?

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Old School Wednesday: Geto Boys – Mind Playing Tricks on Me

Geto Boys ~ “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” (L)"This year Halloween fell on a weekend Me and Geto Boys are trick-or-treatin' Robbin' little kids for bags 'Til a law man got behind our ass So we speeded up the pace Took a look back and he was right before our face..."...

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Old School Wednesday: Beastie Boys – Sabotage

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Old School Wednesday: Beastie Boys – Sabotage

Old School Wednesday: Beastie Boys – Sabotage

“I can’t stand it, I know you planned it

I’m-a set it straight, this Watergate

But I can’t stand rockin’ when I’m in this place

Because I feel disgrace because you’re all in my face

But make no mistakes and switch up my channel

I’m Buddy Rich when I fly off the handle

What could it be — it’s a mirage

You’re scheming on a thing, that’s sabotage”

 

This song is one of the best things to come out of 1994! “Sabotage” was in heavy rotation on radio, Mtv, and on almost every mixtape (yes they actually existed) I had at the time. So much to love starting with MCA’s distorted bass riff intro, to Ad-Rock’s lyrics and delivery, to the badass 70’s crime drama inspired video directed by Spike Jonze that was robbed of an MTV VMA

I always speculated what the song was about, but it wasn’t until the Beastie Boys Autobiography (great read) was released in 2018 that they actually explained what the lyrics to “Sabotage” are about. The track was going to be an instrumental because they couldn’t come up with the right lyrics. Then Ad-Rock basically wrote the lyrics as a diss track aimed at Mario Caldatto Jr., their long time audio engineer, because he kept pushing them to finish a track. Thank you Mario C. 

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Colleen Rothschild | Matcha Tea Treatment Toner

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Old School Wednesday: Geto Boys – Mind Playing Tricks on Me

Geto Boys ~ “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” (L)"This year Halloween fell on a weekend Me and Geto Boys are trick-or-treatin' Robbin' little kids for bags 'Til a law man got behind our ass So we speeded up the pace Took a look back and he was right before our face..."...

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Old School Wednesday: Beastie Boys – Sabotage

Beastie Boys ~ “Sabotage” (L)"I can't stand it, I know you planned it I'm-a set it straight, this Watergate But I can't stand rockin' when I'm in this place Because I feel disgrace because you're all in my face But make no mistakes and switch up my channel I'm Buddy...

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Creative Career Club | Natalie Alcala

Creative Career Club | Natalie Alcala

If there was ever a time to start a community in a post apocalyptic Utopia as LA, it is now. As with many of us, QooA included, the ideas of consumerism and embrace of sybarite takes on work and community have been ever shattered by the pandemic. Though every article has to serve a certain sense of reverence to the current political, social, and economic conditions of the world, a deep sense of modesty over what our self-grandeur had epitomized is now at the focal point of assessment. Leave it to an editorial maven like Natalie Alcala to take it upon herself to utilize this empathic sensibility to respond to her community with her latest project Creative Career Club.

A former fashion editor at Black Book Magazine during the heyday of the blog era, she shifted gears moving on to the fashion bible Racked, taking on the LA branch. It was with her down time with pregnancy that the constantly enterprising Alcala set out to form her Fashion Mamas brand. A work and play driven community which linked women and their children with others in the fashion communities. With this sentiment and having championed working with a diverse array of creatives Alcala reworked her playbook to better represent the creative community she had cultivated hence the launch of Creative Career Club. We caught up with Alcala on the eve of her launch to see why this community is important and where are we going next.

How do you see the idea of community in the modern age as far as IRL and digitally?

It’s all about merging common interest with the human condition. It’s creating a safe space, whether physical or digital or a remix, that fosters honest conversations and non-judgemental support. This can only happen if the community leader and their team emulate this energy when interacting with the community. Encourage questions, sharing of resources, and creative freedom — the magic is in the release of restraint. Most people organically want to hype one another up, and common interest is the catalyst or icebreaker for that energy. I always tell people that if you identify a group with common interests, and you’re a natural connector, and there are no spaces for this group to connect and create together, build it!

 

Why do you feel it is important to express this all inclusive experience for the creatives? 

We are all much more alike than we think. Society and its bad apples attempt to screw with synergy and pit humans against one another for empty causes. During my time as a writer, I interviewed hundreds of individuals from all backgrounds and identities; what they all had in common is that they had a unique vision. Once you reach their soul and learn more about their individual perspective and/or the cool shit they’re creating, it’s so inspiring that you can’t help but gravitate towards it. As a society, my hope is that we can respect, accept, and highlight all the unique backgrounds and identities of this world, but also look beyond that to simply and purely connect on another level. With CCC, we are building an accepting environment to prove that this is possible. The wider net will also foster more opportunities and resources for members, and hopefully diversify their circle in a variety of ways.

Have you ever felt stifled or dealt with people holding back your career due to your gender race or expression?

Absolutely. Especially in the fashion industry, Latinas were few and far between — and it’s still that way. I never felt polished enough or that I looked like everyone else, but my love for writing kept me in that semi-toxic industry. I decided to make the most of it by being unapologetically me — I wore what I wanted, followed my instincts, ignored and sometimes spoke up against the naysayers, and skipped off in a new direction. I’ve never met my father, so my therapist tells me that I feel as if I was born rejected, so that’s why I tend to reject rules. Forging my own path is how I survive in this world, and in a strange turn of events it’s actually made others accept me more.

 

Having started with a fashion career then moving into being the premiere mommy influencer why did you feel now was the right time to launch this project?

I love the targeted community I’ve created for mothers, Fashion Mamas, which is now six years old. I will never stop serving that community, however for my heart and history I wanted to also serve and support all of the creative humans I’ve met in my lifetime or will meet in the future. To know that they now have an inclusive space to connect in, and a media platform where we can share their stories, well it’s filling my heart hardcore — and it’s only the beginning.

Can you tell us more of the what CCC is all about… How do we join in?

Creative Career Club is a creative community for all. I’ve worked six years building a strong and impactful community for mothers, so this new club for creatives of all backgrounds and identities has the foundation of experience. CCC Members are able to meet digitally via our members-only portal and communication channels, as well as IRL at our 1,000-square-foot Creative Clubhouse in Silver Lake. Once the world opens up a bit more, we will host monthly events at the space, including gifting events, open forum conversations, movie nights, cannabis & collaging, and member-matching – a platonic take on “speed dating” but for friends. Our digital resources will be just as experiential cuz I’m a tech nerd at heart, so members from all over the world will be able to connect. We are also launching a media platform, CCC Journal, where I’ll be able to dust off my background as a writer, and CCC even has a merch shop. Creatives of all types can join by applying at creativecareerclub.com/apply.

Miss Tosh | A Dance For All

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Colleen Rothschild | Matcha Tea Treatment Toner

Is it ever enough to just cleanse? Anti-inflammatory and detoxifying you skin is beyond a must!

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At the end of August, just in time for spooky season, legendary composer, writer, director and somewhat newly minted touring musician, John Carpenter released a new single, Skeleton, on Sacred Bones Records. This was Carpenters first new music since returning to the...

Eva Gardner | All I Ever Wanted to do is Tour

Photo Credit Lynda BuchananInterview with Eva Gardner by Jarett Cole of RocknRollParty. Video editing by Jarett and motion graphics by Ida-Eri Gencheva. Eva Gardner is a self-described over-achiever. For the past 13 years she’s toured the world as Pink’s bass player...

Old School Wednesday: Beastie Boys – Sabotage

Beastie Boys ~ “Sabotage” (L)"I can't stand it, I know you planned it I'm-a set it straight, this Watergate But I can't stand rockin' when I'm in this place Because I feel disgrace because you're all in my face But make no mistakes and switch up my channel I'm Buddy...

Shanghai Upcycle Underground

8 looks, 3 local upcycle designers, 1 model, 1 location, 1 goal: to promote the upcycle culture

Womxn In Windows | 2020

In the midst of the LA heatwave, this October the use of public spaces is an ever apreciated part of Cali lockdown. Enculturating yourself this weekend through mid November is  Womxn in Windows presenting its second annual exhibition of video works by womxn filmmakers...

Manda | A Tradition of Fermentation

Get to know the sake distillers who became the authority on Japanese fermented super foods

Old School Wednesday: SWV ~ Right Here

Old School Wednesday: SWV ~ Right Here

It was a tough decision which version of “Right Here” to go with, but ended up with the Remix.

SWV’s original version from 1992 has a little more bounce, and Taj rapping the bridge is textbook early 1990’s hip-hop, but the Michael Jackson “Human Nature” sample in the remix is sooo good. Plus, the remix was also a bigger hit, and it has Pharrell rapping “S the double the U the V”. Also, how often is a song soundtracked in a kids movie (Free Willy) and sampled in a Chris Brown Track?

Michael Jackson track produced by Quincy Jones, and performed by Toto. So random and amazing.

Miss Tosh | A Dance For All

Catching up with the Burlesque dancer Miss Tosh as she takes her inclusive community of performers digitally into an immersive experience and beyond

Colleen Rothschild | Matcha Tea Treatment Toner

Is it ever enough to just cleanse? Anti-inflammatory and detoxifying you skin is beyond a must!

Old School Wednesday: Geto Boys – Mind Playing Tricks on Me

Geto Boys ~ “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” (L)"This year Halloween fell on a weekend Me and Geto Boys are trick-or-treatin' Robbin' little kids for bags 'Til a law man got behind our ass So we speeded up the pace Took a look back and he was right before our face..."...

Bunny Holiday | Horror Babe

The multihyphenate Bunny Holiday gets festive for Halloween with a short film celebrating her clothing collection and gives us her Top 5 Vampire film inspo

John Carpenter | “Skeleton” and Anthology

At the end of August, just in time for spooky season, legendary composer, writer, director and somewhat newly minted touring musician, John Carpenter released a new single, Skeleton, on Sacred Bones Records. This was Carpenters first new music since returning to the...

Eva Gardner | All I Ever Wanted to do is Tour

Photo Credit Lynda BuchananInterview with Eva Gardner by Jarett Cole of RocknRollParty. Video editing by Jarett and motion graphics by Ida-Eri Gencheva. Eva Gardner is a self-described over-achiever. For the past 13 years she’s toured the world as Pink’s bass player...

Old School Wednesday: Beastie Boys – Sabotage

Beastie Boys ~ “Sabotage” (L)"I can't stand it, I know you planned it I'm-a set it straight, this Watergate But I can't stand rockin' when I'm in this place Because I feel disgrace because you're all in my face But make no mistakes and switch up my channel I'm Buddy...

Shanghai Upcycle Underground

8 looks, 3 local upcycle designers, 1 model, 1 location, 1 goal: to promote the upcycle culture

Womxn In Windows | 2020

In the midst of the LA heatwave, this October the use of public spaces is an ever apreciated part of Cali lockdown. Enculturating yourself this weekend through mid November is  Womxn in Windows presenting its second annual exhibition of video works by womxn filmmakers...

Manda | A Tradition of Fermentation

Get to know the sake distillers who became the authority on Japanese fermented super foods