Tag Archive | "Los Angeles"

A Taste of L.A. Soul Delivered with Munchery’s New Celebrity Chef Roy Choi

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RoyChoi-EventFlyer_blog-01On Aug 21st, 2015, Munchery and Roy Choi announced the pleasure of hosting a free foodie event extravaganza at the Line Hotel in Koreatown, Los Angeles, California. The two new Munchery and Roy Choi dishes are Kimchi Pork Belly Fried Vice and Cheezy Short Rib Instant Ramen. These are two unique dishes that are quite personal to Roy inspired by his Korean roots.

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to try the Kogi food truck. My friend raved about it, followed Kogi on Twitter, and I had the delightful Short Rib Tacos. Not only were they mouth watering full of two worlds I had never combined before. Korean BBQ and Mexican food. Roy is an innovative chef who also was the inspiration for the film “Chef,” by Jon Favreau. He also is the executive chef and owner of Chego and POT which is a fine restaurant in the Line Hotel. The Line Hotel is really cool as well and reminds me of the Standard, but more down to earth and not as hipster bombarded.

Back to this evening, I chose the Kimchi Pork Belly Fried Vice and it was amazing! A perfect balance of spices, kimchi, eggs, and pork. I love the name since I am a big Miami Vice fan. I really wanted to dress like Don Johnson, but it was too hot to wear a sport jacket. My friend and I both agreed the food was superb, the event was loads of fun with a great DJ, penny Tiger beers, penny Heineken beers, and a delicious $3 cocktail. I think all the money goes to charity, as well.

I look forward to more Roy Choi dishes and I am a huge Munchery fan especially since they branched out throughout Los Angeles. You can order Munchery all over Los Angeles now and Santa Monica. The packaging is beautiful and completely environmentally friendly and biodegradeable. Munchery is the solution to busy parents who want the children to eat healthy with fine food ingredients prepared by great chefs.

RoyChoi EventFlyer blog 01 Munchery x Roy Choi

We’re thrilled to welcome Roy Choi as a Munchery contributing chef! His soulful creations are premiering on our L.A. menu next week, and will roll out in San Francisco, New York, and Seattle this fall. Get excited to have two of Papi’s most personal dishes delivered right to your doorstep!

Kimchi Pork Belly Fried Vice

“Memories of Korean dishes are mashed together with long mornings as a teenager watching PBS cooking shows in this fried rice of my dreams.”

Cheezy Short Rib Instant Ramen

“Ooey gooey. Slurpy. Trippy. A messy cultural nuclear reaction that represents how I grew up.”

If you’re in LA on Monday, August 24th, help us celebrate this exciting collaboration to bring amazing food right to people’s doors, and taste Roy’s cozy, soulful, intensely flavorful creations at POT Lobby Bar at the Line Hotel

3515 Wilshire Blvd
LA, CA 90010
Party with us 8/24, 7:30pm – 9:30pm

White Hills – Los Angeles at the Echo

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Super spaced out and heavy, psychedelic rock band White Hills are performing at my favorite Los Angeles venue called the Echo in Echo Park, Los Angeles, California tonight June 18th, 2015. New York City’s White Hills are going to transform you into another dimension with their amazing live show in support of their new album “Walks for Motorists.”

Come one, come all to witness modern psychedelia’s best with heavy, distorted riffs, lasers, and a trip to another galaxy. White Hills will rock your world tonight at the Echo! The opening bands will be great too including HOTT MT, Gregg Foreman’s Sitar Project, and Mr. Pharmacist. The admission is only $8 and worth every penny. Buy their awesome, new album “Walks for Motorists” to continue the trip on your record player.

Here are some photographs I composed at Austin Psych Fest 2014 of White Hills below:









The Echo
1822 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Thu, June 18, 2015

The show was amazing and started out very transcendental with Gregg Forman’s Sitar Project. The music was like modern day Ravi Shankar times two, but even more psychedelic.

Then, Mr. Pharmacist jumped on the turntables for a cool set in between bands. I’d love to see his vinyl collection because he played a bunch of great songs. You can see Gregg aka Mr. Pharmacist DJ at the Big Foot Lodge in Los Feliz.

The next band was HOTT MT who are very dreamy and the singer has a beautiful voice. They were great and played tracks from “I Made this LP” and the newer EPs called “E is for Enya EP,” “E is for Enya II,” and “Pop Levi.” The singer was really sweet and I told her I got a lot of cool photographs of them and she gave me the CD “I Made this LP.” I’ve been listening to it in my car ever since. You can also name your own price on their Bandcamp page and this is also an example of their love of music and generosity.

White Hills headlined the show and I was excited to see them again. The last time I saw them was at Austin Psych Fest 2014 and I really enjoyed them. Therefore, I had to see them at the Echo. They started out slow and trippy with an instrumental jam. Then, they played a number of great tracks from their new album “Walks for Motorists” such as “No Will,” “LSD or USB,”and “Wanderlust.” They also played some tracks from “So You Are… So You’ll Be” like “In Your Room” and from “Frying on this Rock” like “You Dream You See” which are some of my favorite songs by White Hills. The lighting was awesome with a colorful rainbow illuminating their faces and the sound was great hearing them rip away jams in a small club like the Echo. It was very cool to witness this personal experience compared to seeing them at a festival like Austin Psych Fest with thousands of people. White Hills also have an amazing assortment of clothing and Dave and Ego Sensation looked dressed to kill with tight, shiny pants and super psychedelic outfits.

Overall, it was an awesome show and I urge you to see White Hills in your city. They are currently touring Mexico, Iceland, and France. Go see them live, listen to their music, and buy all their albums because you will not be disappointed. White Hills will transform you into another dimension whether it is at their show or on your record player.

Gregg Foreman’s Sitar Project



Mr. Pharmacist

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White Hills

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show starts at 8:30 pm
tickets are $8-10 and the event is 18+



The Tragical History Tour -Hollywood, CA


Dearly Departed is the labor of Scott Michaels’ love of Hollywood’s glorious history and seedy undercurrent. The result is a tremendous tour of dark comedy, fascinating trivia and some downright gruesome happenings. Some quirky sightings that stuck out in my mind were Bela Lugosi’s cigar shop. For some reason I imagine him shopping in grainy, slow motion and scaring the other shoppers. Another funny point of interest was the salon where Marilyn Monroe first went blonde, the Happy Days house, the liquor store Halle Berry crashed into, the house from Halloween and the house from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, this man knows his business. As we went on we saw some less light-hearted locations, like the place James Dean had his last meal, the alleged location of the Black Dahlia murder and most grisly, the restaurant where Britney Spears met Kevin Federline.

One of the things I was most impressed by was our host’s speedy recall of an encyclopedic pop culture memory. Any time we drove by a hospital he named dozens of celebs that had passed away there. At one point a fellow tour member from Australia asked if Scott knew where the house Germs singer Darby Crash overdosed in was located. Not only did he know, he casually drove us by it between regular stops on the tour. I was tempted to just throw the most random of trivia out there to see if we could tie them into actual sightings. For the sake of my fellow tour takers, I opted to wait until the end to drop my obscure requests one on one. Like a bloodhound always knows where the bird is, I got dirt on all my inquiries. This guy is good!
If you have even mild to major appreciation for the macabre or a desire to see Hollywood range tacky to tragic, give Dearly Departed a call. If you’re not completely amused send me the bill and I’ll send you a star map and a compass. Fair enough?

Visit: http://www.dearlydepartedtours.com/

Kraftwerk – Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles


Kraftwerk – 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 TOKYO AKASAKA BLITZI witnessed one of the most amazing live performances ever. Kraftwerk performed live in 3-D for the first time in Los Angeles in a very long time. All of their shows here sold out within minutes and all shows were at the amazing Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

I was ecstatic to find out that I would cover the Friday performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall for the Kraftwerk 3-D Concert : “7 The Mix” show. Kraftwerk had played over a week’s worth of back to back shows at this awe-dropping architectural masterpiece by Frank Gehry. The exterior and interior of Disney Hall is absolutely beautiful and futuristic, which was the perfect spot for Kraftwerk to perform.

This performance was way better then any 3-D movie or any concert I have ever seen. I can compare it to Pink Floyd’s The Wall, however I was too young to see Pink Floyd in concert during that time. Kraftwerk decided to perform every album at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The 3-D effects and visuals were wonderful and the four members of Kraftwerk appeared like they were in the movie “Tron.”

They played some amazing songs such as my favorites ” Computer World,” “Autobahn,” and “Tour de France.” The visuals were amazing as the four musicians in Kraftwerk played along with their mysterious 3d boxed synthesizers. I wonder what are in those boxes??


Kraftwerk – 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 TOKYO AKASAKA BLITZ

 A little history on Kraftwerk takes us back to the late 70s and 80s. I truly believe that Kraftwerk inspired most DJs/Producers/Electronic groups today. Without them the electronic dance culture we have today would not exist. They were innovators of their time using synthesizers like no one has done before. I am amazed how even their songs from the 80s are still very modern sounding.

Kraftwerk has inspired Boys Noize, Daft Punk, Silver Apples, Skream, Marcel Dettman, and so many more musicians today. They are amazing performers and innovators in music who inspired electronic music, hip-hop, and many more genres. Their sound from the 70s/80s can still be considered quite modern. By combining analog and digital, this show was a musical masterpiece.

Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012
article by Carey Steinberg

The Chamberlain Hotel – West Hollywood


Pool view 3 25jun08The Chamberlain Hotel is an all-suite boutique hotel with a fashionable West Hollywood address. Tucked away on a quaint street and stylishly decorated in a mix of antique-inspired and modern furnishings, this hotel has a private home feel with a location close to Hollywood attractions such as the Walk of Fame and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The Hollywood Sign and Griffith Observatory are nearby in the beautiful Hollywood Hills.

Chamberlain is two blocks from the inspiring Sunset Strip and one mile from Beverly Hills. Shopping and dining nearby includes an array of choices, including Rodeo Drive, Kitson and The Grove. p>

Four suite sizes are available at Chamberlain starting at 350 square feet. Rooms have spacious living areas and private bedrooms along with fireplaces, balconies, high-speed Internet and oversized work desks.

Bistro at Chamberlain serves California cuisine made with local, seasonal ingredients. Dine indoors or al fresco beside a fountain and under banana palms. Guests may also dine on the rooftop overlooking all of Los Angeles.

The rooftop pool at Chamberlain Hotel West Hollywood is a relaxing environment with the Hollywood Hills as a backdrop, and it is elegantly styled in black and white with private cabanas. After enjoying a day at Venice Beach or a show at the Kodak Theatre, guests can retreat to the intimately lit rooftop for stunning views of the city.

via: www.hotelclub.com

1000 Westmount Drive
West Hollywood CA 90069

Chaya – Venice Beach


Interior-977x484The Chaya establishment I visited is set in the heart of the pulsating borough of Venice in Los Angeles. It’s a minute walk away from most of your plans, which makes it an ideal choice if your looking for soft sophistication midday or evening. With a crowd that’s so mixed and heartful you would have no trouble bringing your boss, family or friends to dine here.

The décor is simple, yet rather dazzling and the franchise of Chaya restaurants have been around for 28 years with many locations still popping up around the world. The menu has been devised by Executive Chef Shigefumi Tachibe, who is celebrated for his modern Euro-Asian notion, enthused by infusing exotic ingredients and honoring culinary traditions from his native Japanese roots. Chaya restaurant exploits local and maintainable ingredients fresh from the farmer’s market each week and they seasonally refresh their menus based on local availability. I was first introduced by the enthusiastic waitress to try some seafood so I happily obliged and was brought out an assortment of salmon elegantly displaying five medium sized fillets. To tell you the truth I was quite worried because I’m not the world biggest raw fish fan and I had noticed that the fillets where raw….eeek. However to my surprise I was completely blown away with the it. The chef had put lemon and slices of tomato with some fresh salad on each fillet with the world most complimentary spiced and oily condiment which turn the salmon into an 11/10, honestly I couldn’t believe it myself, it was simply divine.

When I was treated to the main course I was presented with the option of some sliced filleted steak of which I just could not refuse. The meat was so juicy and tender, as I asked for medium rare the juices in the meat were incredibly tasty, more so than I had expected. The peppercorn mash potato was a winner, complimenting each fork full of meat with green beans I was simply in heaven, and comically I think other guests dining near me could tell.

Overall the restaurant is amazing from all aspects, with an attractive and lavish decor, attentive service, beautiful people and casual yet luxurious ambiance. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone and I can’t wait to dine at the San Francisco location, and hopefully it meets the high expectations the Venice location set.

-James Mistry

Chaya Venice
110 Navy Street
Venice, CA 90291

Bar Marmont – Los Angeles


Bar Marmont exhibits the essence of an aesthetic well beyond any baroque fixtures and themed décor anyone could want.  After all, French Indochine circa 1890 is about as far from West Hollywood in style as it is in miles. Visually the red bar in contrast to  the ceiling festooned with dead butterflies has a bizarre feel.  Upon being seated in the restaurant I was quick to notice the room has a really unique-to-Los Angeles kind of comfort, subdued with a buzz. The staff contributed greatly to my sense of being of some kind of sedate vacation.

The more dinners I go out on the more I come back with the same conclusion; the main course is usually a bit of a let down. Now this is not an indictment of the entrée per se. I’ve just found that a few appetizers and a salad leave me wanting more and maybe there have been a few disappointments from the closer. With this starters no entrees mission in mind, I opened the flood gates on the menu at Bar Marmont.

The first of a few cocktails I tried was the Pimm’s Cup. This drink combines Orange Liqueur with fresh-squeezed lime juice, cucumber slices and a splash of ginger ale. The tang from the lime in contrast to the mellow cucumber taste was simultaneously invigorating and , perfect for the first drink after spending an afternoon in traffic.

First to arrive were the fried calamari and the heirloom tomato and avocado salad. I love calamari almost all forms. I must say the tempura batter on the calamari we received was a little over-bearing based on how thickly the batter was applied. The calamari itself was fine, I just wish the doughy breading was not so prevalent. The heirloom tomato and avocado stood in stark contrast. The pairing of a red tomato with an Amana orange along with avocado and charred corn made this dish as vibrant to see as to taste.

Just as I had sampled both of the first two appetizers, an order of smoked trout was delivered. The trout was set atop a wedge of roasted potato with capers and crème fraiche. Talk about a perfect combination of flavors; smoky, savory, tangy and sweet. The potato added a nice texture too.

Another pair of small plates were brought to our table; deviled eggs with a spinach salad with almonds and crab and avocado with more spinach and a lime vinaigrette. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had deviled eggs. Turns out, Bar Marmont’s take was like catching up with an old friend. The filling was busy with a lot of flavor, while I could taste a bit of mustard, there were too many tasty things involved to nail down the other ingredients.

The Framboise Sauvage had my eye on the drink list. This cocktail mixes gin, raspberry puree, lemon juice, simple syrup and champagne. I know you’re thinking this sounds amazing, but until you try it, you are really missing out.

Now I did start out this dinner intent on just trying a variety of appetizers. However, when our waitress started to tell me how her favorite dish, the Marmont burger, must be tried, I had little resistance. The beef in this burger was every bit as tender and juicy as I had been promised. Served traditional with a side of fries, the burger was very satisfying.

All in all, Bar Marmont did a fine job at meeting some pretty high expectations, made some wonderful drinks and put it all together for a price that was a lot lower than what I anticipated.


Bar Marmont
8171 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Petrossian Cafe – West Hollywood


Petrossian exterior 01I’ve always known Petrossian to be more retail experience that served a limited menu. When I heard they had expanded to a full restaurant, I was intrigued to see what greater offerings were to be had. We arrived and sat out on the patio, it was such a nice sunny day I decided to forgo the offer of champagne and enjoy a Duvel, one of my favorite beers.

I had to get to the caviar right off the bat. We shared a plate that sampled trout roe, Transmontanus, and salmon roe on blinis and crème fraiche. The real stand out was the Transmontanus. Born of White Sturgeon, Transmontanus audaciously brings an earthy flavor with a sense of purity and distinction. Thankfully the spirit of shared plates continued when the shrimp papillottes arrived. The crispy wonton wrapped shrimp was an ideal combination of sweet and spicy with ginger and red pepper to bring the heat and passion fruit to cool it down.

An order of steak tartare is hard to pass up. Petrossian’s approach to the dish was to layer Transmontanus caviar in the middle proving that you can make a good thing even better. A rich assortment of herbs was a nice accent to the hand sliced steak and tied it together so well with the caviar.

How could I possibly resist a foie gras salad? You don’t have an answer for me and that’s fine because this particular foie gras salad is set upon a brilliantly molded bed of haricot verts, with toasted walnuts and black truffle vinaigrette. The soft, rich foie gras combined with the firm, crisp haricot verts made me feel like a very lucky man. The bites when the toasted walnuts snuck in made it clear that my good fortune was no accident.

I wanted to see how the house that caviar built could deliver on comfort food, there could be no litmus test better than mac n’ cheese. When I ordered it the waitress’s eyes widened as she told me I was going to love it. She clearly spoke from experience, as the smell alone won me over when the plate was set before me. Generous on parmesan with finely chopped bacon, this mac n’ cheese is the kind that could make a rainy day a happy one. I thought the orrecheiette was a nice departure from the noodle norm.

I hope people realize there is a lot more going on here at Petrossian than caviar. The chef here is worthy of people’s attention and one visit made me feel inclined to plan on another.

321 North Robertson Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90048-2415
(310) 271-6300


Holiday Taxis – Airport Transfers and Beyond

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holiday_taxisIn a world filled with uncertainties, one thing that needs to be reliable and efficient is getting from Point A to Point B, as well as any stops in between. When it comes to transportation, Holiday Taxis has all of your travel needs and desires covered! With a fleet of luxury vehicles ranging in size and class, from Economy, Luxury, VIP, to SUVs, Limos and Vans, no passenger request is too big or too small.

Holiday Taxis also takes the guesswork out of travel. As a private car service, it has many advantages over traditional taxi travel. First and foremost, with Holiday Taxis you will have full knowledge of your charges in advance of order placement. Tip and tax are already included in the price presented to you, so you can rest assured that there are no hidden costs. Easy payment options include by phone or online.

With the ‘Tailor Made’ option, not only will the driver be summoned to your location for pickup, you will also be able to track your driver in real time via the 24 hour customer service line… it doesn’t get any cooler than that! Simply select your “pickup” and “drop off” destinations, date and time, as well as your car-class preference, and you are ready to go!

The ‘Ride Later’ service allows you to schedule pickup within an hour anywhere around the globe. With service available in over 5000 cities and 110 countries, peace of mind is never more than a few miles away.

Holiday Taxis is the world’s best online private car service…Travel has never been so easy, and right at your fingertips!


Public Kitchen & Bar – Hollywood


publicfacingdoor8In certain speculation, life is balanced in relation to the elements of yin and yang. The Hollywood Roosevelt, to me, can best be described as a balance between two contradicting factors: new and old, light and dark, and, at the new restaurant called Public Kitchen, sweet and salty.

I spot the typical young, hip crowd loitering around the entrance of Teddy’s amidst the vintage inspired décor as I make my way to find Haya waiting in a large round booth under a massive chandelier. The lighting in the Roosevelt is hard to figure out, it’s not the most flattering and it’s almost even too dark, yet at the same time, it gives the illusion that one has gone back in time, giving its compliments to the furniture and fixtures more so than the patrons in the hotel. None the less, the plush banquettes and sweeping ceilings in the Americana atmosphere that is Public Kitchen is inviting. The old school décor was the brain child of acclaimed L.A. design team Studio Collective, and rumor has it they even have an ivy-and-fauna-swaddled, sun-dappled private garden room!

While we speak to our kind waiter and the most hospitable bar manager I have ever encountered in my entire LA dining career, we sampled the specialty cocktail menu, which has received its fair share of press and thumbs ups due to the fact that the cocktails are only 9 bucks. First up: The Alexander. Sweet and refreshing, it was a nice balance to the warm environment, and boy was it warm in there! After the air was turned on, and we made our way through a taster menu created by chef Tim Goodell.

A sweet and creamy roasted beat salad, salty mushrooms on toast, super salty monkfish wrapped in pancetta with overly tart lemon butter sauce, slightly over-cooked but still delicious pork schnitzel, and more sweet cocktails. Quite the balance of flavors indeed!

The dessert was by far the best part, a chocolate soufflé and a layered berry crème cake presented in a mason jar were, again, a perfect equilibrium of savory chocolate and sweet tart.

To sum it up, the staff is exceptional and the food is worth the price. I personally enjoyed the ambiance very much, and would recommend a casual evening experience at the Public Kitchen. If not to dine, then to at least sample the cocktails, because they are the best offering. Cheers!

Public Kitchen & Bar: Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 769-8888

Joe’s Restaurant – Venice


Some of the best dining on Abbot Kinney can be found at Joe Miller’s mainstay Joe’s Restaurant. The restaurant offers fine dining with a neighborhood atmosphere that attracts locals and celebrities alike. The California-French cuisine combines fresh ingredients sourced from local farmers markets and the chef’s creativity for some truly memorable dishes.

The dinner menu includes an extensive selection of hot and cold plates, such as the tuna tartare and smoked salmon with sliced cucumbers, and the bouchot mussels with shaved fennel, red chili, and espilette aioli. The poached white asparagus with Santa Barbara uni and shiitake mushrooms is a light treat, while the butter-poached Tasmanian Ocean trout with sunchoke and crisp quinoa offers something much richer.

For those looking for a heartier meal, Joe’s offers prime pork tenderloin crepinette, and a delicious coffee-chili rub prime beef ribeye as part of the “Joe’s Classics” menu. A generous prix fixe menu as well as a sampling menu, which changes daily, are also available. The restaurant’s wood ceiling and floors and large windows make it an excellent choice for a romantic evening or a boisterous brunch with friends.

Joe Miller, the restaurant’s namesake and owner, has brought his skills to a number of Los Angeles restaurants including Café Katsu, La Toque and L’Orangerie. His ambition for Joe’s Restaurant was to mix Asian and Californian ingredients and esthetics with the formal techniques of French cuisine. Executive chef Kris Tominaga brings his own background in Japanese cooking and French cuisine experience from having worked at Boston celebrated L’espalier.

The wine menu includes a diverse selection of whites and reds, as well as Joe Miller’s own signature Santa Barbara pinot noir (bottles are also available for purchase for those who want to take Joe home). Complete the meal with one of the restaurant’s delicious desserts, including chocolate crunch cake, espresso soufflé and peanut butter mousse.

Joe’s Restaurant
1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 399-5811

Com Truise and XXYYXX at the Echoplex, Los Angeles


The Check Yo Pony Tail 2 show at the Echoplex in Echo Park, Los Angeles was the place to be Tuesday. This sold out show was packed full of fans of both Com Truise and XXYYXX. Swell City Guide had an exciting ticket giveaway which had two lucky winners to this show.

The contest was to tell Swell City Guide what the names Com Truise and XXYYXX means to you?



Our first winner Will said:

“XXYYXX means Hugs and Kisses and Com Truise is the way Tom Cruise spells his name when his life coach isn’t around.” We thought this was both funny and quite clever.

Our second winner Stephen said:

“good good ∆ stuff”

Now this answer is also quite witty and very, keen on the witch house scene. A lot of great witch house producers such as XXYYXX, LAKE R∆DIO, ∆NGST, and others use symbols in their names and song titles. I’m not exactly sure how this started but I also spoke with 17 year old Orlando, Florida producer XXYYXX and asked him a few questions in a short interview:

Carey of Swell City Guide: First of all how do you say XXYYXX?

Marcel aka XXYYXX: you just say each letter like X,X, Y, Y, X, X.

Carey of Swell City Guide: Okay that’s cool because some people try to pronounce it and some just say each letter.
How did you come up with this name?

XXYYXX: I was searching for a unique name that no one else had, but it really doesn’t mean anything.

Carey of Swell City Guide: Really, interesting. You did great tonight and hope to hear some new stuff soon.

XXYYXX: Thank you.

XXYYXX did play a very good set and mixed some hip-hop songs too, which helped make the crowd shake it on the dance floor. This crowd was awesome for a Tuesday night. The Check Your Pony Tail scene attracts a lot of young cats and older hip folks like myself. XXYYXX played some of my favorite songs like “Good Enough” and “Set it Off” both of his self titled album “XXYYXX.” Go get this album right now and I think I can describe it of having elements of witch house, dirty south rap, and r&b. I was really hoping he would play “Closer” and “DMT.” These are my favorites from the album.

The headliner was none other then Com Truise. Mr. Com Truise is from the east coast and also has a live drummer, which was a pleasant surprise. Com Truise is more chillwave, electronic music which reminds me of the song from Nintendo’s Out Run game. He played various songs from “In Decay” , “Cyanide Sisters,” and “Galactic Melt.” I’m so glad he did play one of my new favorite songs titled “VHS Sex.” Com Truise music also reminds me of the Cronenberg’s movie Videodrome for some reason. I’m sure you can collect what Com Truise reminds you of from various children of the 80s and they will say some other cool things like Tron, newwave, and more.

Check Your Ponytail 2, the Echoplex, and Iheartcomix all organized an excellent show. The openers Giraffe and Penthouse Penthouse were great and the very dark and eerie visuals by Demonbabies were epic , too. You better buy tickets quick to the next show or stay tuned for more Swell City Guide ticket giveaways!

written by Carey Steinberg and photography by Carey Steinberg

Tomahawk and Retox live at the Mayan Theater, Los Angeles

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I was in for a very special treat last week on Tuesday, February 19th to see rock supergroup Tomahawk reunite for the first time in 10 years. They played live at the Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles to celebrate a new era free from the apocalypse.

The show’s opening band was Southern California’s own Retox who went on tour with Tomahawk throughout the west coast. Both Retox and Tomahawk are on the same label called Ipecac Recordings, which is managed by former label manager of Alternative Tentacles Greg Werckman and Mike Patton the singer of Tomahawk, Fantomas, and formerly of Faith No More. Retox’s singer is none other then Justin Pearson a man of many great bands such as the Locust, Swing Kids, Crimson Curse, and All Leather, to name a few.  Pearson screams witty lyrics of song titles such as “A Bastard on Fathers’ Day” and “The World is Ending and Its About Time.” I think Retox combines punk, post-punk, and hardcore to make a truly unique sound of their own. The guitars are spacey and heavy with former Festival of Dead Deer guitarist Michael Crain while the drums are fast and heart-pounding. Most of their songs rocket in at shorter lengths within one to two minutes of pure, fist pumping hardcore music. You can listen to most of their songs at: https://retox.bandpage.com/ or buy the album “Ugly Animals” on iTunes.

According to Tomahawks website they never broke up and this tour is not a reunion. Ipecac states “they took a break to discover the many truths of the universe.” Tomahawk in my opinion is a true rock n’ roll supergroup composed of the singer and keyboardist Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, etc), Duane Dennison on guitar (the Jesus Lizard, Unsemble, etc), John Stanier on drums (Helmet, Battles, etc) and Trevor Dunn (Fantomas, Mr. Bungle, etc) on bass.

The crowd first witnessed the band’s sarcastic humor with about 30 minutes of the tribal, tomahawk war cries in between bands. By the time they came out to play everybody was ready for some Tomahawk action. Tomahawk rocked through all of their albums such as one of my favorites’ Mit Gas, Anonymous, Eponymous to Anonymous, and the newest album released in January called Odd Fellows. As soon as Mike Patton begins to scream, Duane and Trevor shred on guitars, and John pounds the drums this put the crowd and myself in some serious head banging. When I heard my favorite song “Captain Midnight” for the first time live this evening, I honestly felt goose bumps. Tomahawk ended with an encore even consisting of some Bad Brains anthems.Tomahawk can be described in many genres such as metal, alternative, rock, tribal, and experimental. Some of my favorite songs are “Birdsong,” “Captain Midnight,” “Sun Dance,” and a new one “Stone Letter.” Check out and go buy their new album called “Odd Fellows.” You should buy the vinyl version with album art from cartoonist Ivan Brunetti or for digital enthusiasts you can buy it on iTunes.













Review and Photography by Carey Steinberg

Hotel Bel Air – Los Angeles


001231-23-_presidential_poolTucked away in the City of Angels is a place you’ve been dying to try for years. Friends, families, acquaintances, colleagues, you name it – basically anyone who has been here before will attest to Hotel Bel-Air’s irresistible charm. So you were itching to step inside as soon as it reopened its doors in 2011.

Spanish colonial architecture done up in French Deco design still predominates the overall aura of Hotel Bel-Air. Its brand of Bel-Air style has been upgraded a notch, however, with interiors that portray effortless elegance and youthful languidness.

Lush gardens surround 58 guestrooms and 45 suites. Look for pleasant surprises in one of the seven one-of-a-kind specialty suites, such as retractable walls that retreat to allow the entire space to open up to an outdoor patio.

Interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud is responsible for the re-design of Hotel Bel-Air. The Hollywood of the 30′s, 40′s, and 50′s served as her inspiration, a time when quintessential American style was much sought after and gave visitors from all over the world a taste of gorgeous glamor, easy living, and scintillating style.

Hotel Bel-Air
701 Stone Canyon Road,
Los Angeles, CA 90077
+1 310-472-1211

Drain Expressions opens at PRISM gallery


PRISM is delighted to announce the forthcoming exhibition by Jim Drain, ‘Drain Expressions.’ This is the artist’s first solo presentation at the gallery.

‘Drain Expressions’ proposes a level of visual fecundity that has long been present in the artist’s work – elaborate woven compositions, deconstructed paintings, immersive wall patterns, wall-mounted sculptures and gently satirical promotional posters are drawn together in the artist’s first major exhibition in Los Angeles in 8 years.

Drain’s work participates in a dynamic interplay between rigorous geometries and hyperactive, chaotic forms; and this pluralism becomes the primary impulse behind this body of work. Paintings are simplified and then expanded, where the stretcher constitutes both the armature and the surface of the piece. Wall-mounted sculptures are enmeshed within gridded wall patterns, a grid that the artist considers as a means to visualise empty space. A series of posters promoting the exhibition are embedded into the content of the show – these are works that publicize the exhibition as well as constituting it, in a humorous gesture towards contemporary art’s constant self-reflexivity.

It was Drain’s involvement in the highly-influential Fort Thunder community in Rhode Island that first attracted the recognition of audiences, critics and institutions. A surfeit of materials once produced by the industries of Rhode Island, particularly yarn, offered an immediate material abundance for Drain to work with. This interest in textiles maintains an enduring presence in his sculptures, paintings and furniture; yet while these elements are retained, Drain’s work is also characterised by constant flurries of new formal and conceptual activity.

Drain (1975) was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and is currently based in Miami. Drain has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Europe; he was awarded the Baloise Prize for his Statements exhibition at Art Basel in 2005, he completed a DAAD residency in Berlin in 2008 and will soon complete a site-specific commission for a new US Embassy compound in Rabat, Morocco. His work is held in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

An opening reception for ‘Drain Expressions’ will be held from 6 -8 pm on 10 November at the gallery. Coinciding with this exhibition, Jim Drain will deliver a lecture at the Hammer Museum on 15 November at 7.30pm.

source: http://www.prismla.com

contributor: ~Jae Joseph

8746 W. Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
T 310 289 1301
F 310 289 1302

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New York, NY 10011