Hannah Hooper of Grouplove Partners With Volcom For a Fashion Line

Categories: art

Though she's primarily known as one of the two singers in indie pop outfit Grouplove, there's more to Hannah Hooper than showcasing her pipes. Before she fell into music, she was deeply immersed in the art and design worlds of San Francisco and New York City. That's why when the opportunity presented itself for the singer to collaborate with Costa Mesa's Volcom, she couldn't resist.

The aptly titled Lady Grouplove--which is also her Twitter handle--includes denim jackets, crop tops, and leggings - offers an eclectic variety of easy-to-wear, casual attire that emulates her own unique style. It's out now and available at Volcom stores, Volcom.com, Tilly's locations, Tillys.com and retailers where Volcom is sold.

"I have a friend, Daniel, who works for Volcom and he's been outfitting our crew since the band started," she explains. "He said the women's department at Volcom was feeling my style, so we went in for a meeting and one thing led to another and all of a sudden we had a line."

Hooper designed the patterns and the six-piece line and the inspiration came from her art background. She was inspired by a Keith Haring exhibit she went to in San Francisco and channeled the black and whites and other color elements in his work into her line.

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Atreyu's Alex Varkatzas is OC's Rockstar Tattoo Apprentice

Josh Chesler
Rich Pineda (left) switched from music to tattooing years ago. Varkatzas (right), isn't hanging up the mic just yet, but he's beginning his inking career.
According to Detective Rust Cohle (portrayed by Matthew McConaughey) of HBO's True Detective, "life is barely long enough to get good at one thing."

Ektor Alex Varkatzas, best known as the lead vocalist of Atreyu, is doing his best to prove that idiom incorrect.

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Darkness Creeps into Disneyland on Bats Day Weekend

Photo of Bats Day in the Fun Park courtesy of ThemeParkAdventure.com
It was only a matter of time, but dark imagery and creepy subcultures have irrefutably infiltrated pop culture. From fans of music genres like death metal and industrial to adherents of retro and retro-futuristic art movements such as Edwardianism and steampunk, folks who wear predominant amounts of eerie clothing are everywhere, but short of gathering in their respective niches for concerts and conventions, there are few events that bring the black masses together for a grand hootenanny.

Bats Day not only does this--for what has grown into a three-day event--but the event cuts right into the heart of the most genteel of pop culture icons; for, the culmination of Bats Day is a swarming of creatures of the night into Disneyland for "Bats Day in the Fun Park." The two days which precede the dark wave are filled with varieties of events, which have included concerts, contests, a marketplace, and a masquerade. Noah Korda, who goes by "Noah K," is the heart of Bats Day, and he was happy to shed some light on this celebration of darkness.

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Former Operator of a DIY Punk Venue Finds His Place in the Art World

Categories: art

Courtesy of Tyler Spangler
Tyler Spangler
Relocating to a 250 sq. ft. trailer on the beach in the Pacific Palisades, 29 year-old Tyler Spangler grew up on the coast of Orange County where he spent his days surfing the numbered streets in Newport and working at Jack's Surfshop. It wasn't until he'd graduated from Cal State Long Beach that he became the chamberlain of an illegal punk rock concert venue that foreshadowed a blossoming career as a graphic artist.

The clean-cut, Kurt Cobain look-alike from Huntington Beach began making moves when he befriended the young members of former punk band Joe's Garage. "[They] had trouble finding shows because they were under 21 and a lot of times [venues] make bands pay to play," Spangler says.

"They told me they liked playing a lot," he says. "It was kind of selfish of me because I just wanted to see them play more, so I told them I'd get them more shows."

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GCS Returns to Downtown Santa Ana

GCS Santa Ana
Art on view at the new GCS Santa Ana
The face of the Downtown Santa Ana area has been changing tremendously lately, with more restaurants and nightlife spots bringing many a bustling crowd passing through its streets on any given night. In the artist scene, DIY spots like Top Acid still bring in a steady flow of youths clamoring to be a part of its underground music scene.

But one thing about the artist community here is that when a part of it is missing, the void is felt deeply. Thus when GCS Santa Ana, a hip hop-based streetwear and urban art gallery, announced in April 2013 that after five years of operations it would be closing its doors, the tidal wave of grief set in. Many feared that Jack Jakosky, the new owner of the Santora Building where GCS Santa Ana claimed residence, had evicted GCS owner Hector Ruiz after having run longtime Santora residents out, but Ruiz states simply that nothing could be further from the truth. "We fulfilled our first five-year lease," Ruiz explains. "We would have loved to have continued in that space but the economics didn't make sense for us. Quite frankly, we just weren't making any money."

See also: Is Hip-Hop Culture Gentrifying Santa Ana?

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Queen George Breaks The Rules in Santa Ana

Photo Courtesy of Ate9 dANCE cOMPANY
Imagine for a moment that the traditional restrictions of a seated audience and stage bound performers are erased, and that spectators are given the freedom to wander about a space and take in the performance as closely as they wish. This idea of liberating an audience to engage with the artists will be tested on Saturday night at the Santora building, with the dance installment "Queen George." The event comes courtesy of the traveling art forum Santa Ana Sites (SAS), which will once again offer an artistic venture in an unlikely setting.

Allen Moon, the creative mastermind behind Santa Ana Sites, previously tapped a rock star cellist to perform in a sprawling artist compound for the last SAS event. For Queen George, his forum gives the audience a chance to explore a series of dance installments created by acclaimed choreographer, Danielle Agami. Duets will be staged throughout two levels of the Santora building, along with solo performances in separate rooms for one audience member at time. The performances will be carried out by members of Agami's Ate9 dANCE cOMPANY, and will incorporate custom furniture made by carpenter Amir Raveh. The furniture designs are a curious blend of new materials and misfit leftovers and will be flown in to Santa Ana from Raveh's studio in Israel for the performance.

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Thurston Moore Lights Up the Constellation Room

Thurston Moore Band (photo by Phil Sharp)
Thurston Moore
The Constellation Room

Sonic Youth has always had a cult following. Thus, it was appropriate that folks wanting to see Thurston Moore (the founder of the dormant group) perform at The Observatory had to endure $20 parking, walk a half mile, and shove through thousands of black-clad, sweaty, and drunk Latinos -- attending The Observatory's La Tocada Super Estrella Fest -- in order to cram into the venue's intimate Constellation Room, where they waited an hour and a half past the showtime for the music to begin.

Though one may think that this is not an ideal set of circumstances to experience one of the 100 greatest guitarists (according to both Rolling Stone and Spin), Moore's fans understand that when they attend one of his shows, they will have a transcendental experience which will eclipse any annoyances that may threaten to ruin their days. Moreover, the most profound moments of his art tend to occur when he and his bandmates abandon the realm of mundane existence, forgoing conventional ideas about tonality and diving into profound oceans of distortion and feedback. These excursions are difficult to qualify as anything but noise; however, emotional and spiritual communication often occur beyond the limits of human language, and it is in this domain that Moore has thrived for nearly 35 years.

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"Mars Attacks!" Exhibit Pops Out in a Sea of Boring Laguna Beach Art

Categories: art

Robert Mars
Finally First Class
Walk past the numerous art galleries dotting Laguna Beach's stretch of Pacific Coast Highway, and you'll notice a theme. Ocean landscapes, be they composed of washes of watercolors or textured skeins of oil paint, feature in the windows of nearly every gallery. Blurry figures of surfers ride the watercolor waves, with beach umbrellas thrown into the paintings to remind you that this image is indeed depicting a beach. It's a bizarre redundancy when actually surrounded by the picturesque beauty of the ocean, complete with real dudes riding waves and real multi-colored beach umbrellas.

After you think you've seen the last artificial ocean that you can stomach, a 4 ft. panel hanging in the window of the JoAnne Artman Gallery stops you in your tracks. The shape of a perfume bottle dominates the mixed media piece, the iconic phrasing "No. 5, Chanel, Paris, Parfum" emblazoned across it. The bottle fills a black background with cut-off portions of ads peeking out. Inside the perfume bottle, circles filled with newspaper clippings and vintage paper ephemera run in a parallel pattern.

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Ian Anderson - Segerstrom Hall - September 18, 2014

Ian Anderson, Southampton UK, 2014. Photo by Martin Webb
Ian Anderson
Segerstrom Hall

Segerstrom Hall is not a typical venue for a rock concert. It frequently hosts musicals, classical acts, and dance extravaganzas, and the audiences it usually hosts are quintessentially the "white-hairs" of Orange County. However, Ian Anderson's show is not your everyday rock; the legendary musician's show is quite theatrical, and Segerstrom was an ideal venue for him to perform his new album, Homo Erraticus, as well as a set of Jethro Tull's greatest hits.

The show was reminiscent of Neil Young's Greendale tour in that it consisted of a multi-media presentation of a concept-album followed by a satisfying throwback to old times -- a sure way to appeal to classicists. The Homo Erraticus album consists of folksy Irish motifs, powerhouse progressive rock jams, and challenging lyrical content. [see the Weekly's interview with Ian Anderson on the creation of the album] Prior to the Homo Erraticus set, a short introductory film showed Anderson and his bandmates as a patient and his doctors, respectively, at a remote sanitarium. The doctors pull the sheet over the dormant Anderson, declaring him dead, and file out of the room. Anderson then pulls the sheet back, mutters a bit [it was hard to tell what he said due to the crowd's woots], climbs out of bed, extracts his flute from a nearby cabinet, and leaves the sanitarium.

See also: Ian Anderson's Idea of Rock-n-Roll is More Complex Than You Know

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Katy Perry - Honda Center - September 16, 2014

Photo by Scott Feinblatt
Katy Perry
Honda Center

Did you ever have the feeling that you were the only 40-year-old heterosexual man at a rave-themed pep rally for seventh grade girls? On the occasion of Katy Perry's "The Prismatic World Tour," the Honda Center was filled with 14,000 of the like (by Perry's count). The only bad vibes came from a tattooed man wearing a Suicidal Tendencies t-shirt -- arguably the only other older straight guy (not counting the daddy chaperons) -- who was ejected prior to the concert for throwing punches at a couple of effeminate men. But whereas violence was not tolerated inside the stadium, the stadium itself was surrounded by a dozen or so religious protesters bearing fancy signs of intolerance towards homosexuality.

This was likely in response to the first single of Perry's [herself, the daughter of two Pentecostal pastors], "I Kissed a Girl," which was released in 2008 and reached number one on Billboard's Hot 100. Now, multiple hits, successful tours, acting roles, product endorsements, and millions of dollars later, Perry demonstrated that she knows how to put on a great show.

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