Club Cosplay Sounds the Alarm at HOB Anaheim

Club Cosplay photo by Scott Feinblatt
There's a world that exists somewhere between childhood and maturity where grown ups dress up as cartoonish characters. These characters might be from video games, from science fiction movies, or from comic books, and the costumes may be store-bought or homemade and elaborately customized. This is the world of cosplay (an amalgam of the words "costume" and "play"). An interesting subculture of nerdom, cosplayers can often be seen en masse at comic book conventions, modern costume balls, LARP (live-action role-playing) events, or at club events like those held by Club Cosplay. On Friday, Club Cosplay held its second annual nightclub event, an event at which cosplayers celebrate their nerdiness by dancing, drinking, and gazing upon some pretty impressive garbs.

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The Hi-Fi Rockfest Dials up the Punk Oldies at the Queen Mary

Naked Raygun performs at Hi-Fi Rockfest in Long Beach. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
Hi-Fi Rockfest
Queen Mary

Coming straight out of the gates of Hell, the Hi-Fi Rockfest brought several old school rock and punk bands -- or, more accurately, various members from old school punk bands -- to the shores of Long Beach to perform for a day in the shadow of the Queen Mary cruise ship. Over the course of 12 hours, 11 bands entertained a fairly modest sized crowd with their high energy performances. The name in the headline position of the festival's banner was Dead Kennedys, but there were many influential bands and musicians in attendance which collectively forged a terrific day of music.

Some of the bands built from various members of vintage acts included: Luicidal, which was formed by Louiche Mayorga and R.J. Herrera (respectively, the bassist and drummer from Suicidal Tendencies); Year of the Dragon, featuring "Dirty" Walter A. Kibby II (vocalist / trumpet player from Fishbone); and Dirty Filthy Mugs, which is fronted by vocalist Matt Wedgley (former vocalist for Viva Hate and The Force). These bands, as well as The Two Tens, Downtown Brown, and True Rivals, performed 30 minute sets during the first half of the day. Following that, the allotted set times increased commensurate with the star power of the performers and the band names.

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The Devil's Carnival Pulls Into Santa Ana

Categories: Culture, Film, music

Costumed fans show their colors at The Frida. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
It was 40 years ago on this very date, September 25, that a campy, cult, musical, horror film called The Rocky Horror Show had its theatrical premiere. Rocky Horror still screens (along with the audience participatory shenanigans that have become inseparable from its theatrical experience) at arthouse theaters like The Frida, in Santa Ana. Last night, The Frida hosted the Santa Ana premiere screening of Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival -- the latest film from the Rocky Horror-esque Devil's Carnival film series.

Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival is the second Devil's Carnival film and the third cult, musical, horror film by the creative team of director Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II-IV, Mother's Day) and writer / actor Terrance Zdunich. Back in 2008, the duo and their ensemble cast and crew first teamed up to make Repo! The Genetic Opera, which also still enjoys a midnight screening life at art theaters (including The Frida). Additionally, Repo screenings -- like Rocky Horror screenings -- are usually accompanied by shadow cast performances, where costumed audience members perform physical accompaniments to the onscreen action.

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Long Beach Psyclone Festival Was a Slice of Rockabilly Heaven

Photo of Inazuma by Scott Feinblatt
Long Beach Psyclone Weekender
Sea Port Marina Hotel

There is easily enough of a contingent of psychobilly fans throughout SoCal to keep festivals like Long Beach Psyclone rockin' and a rollin' all night long. As it was, the psychobilly and rockabilly music festival only lasted until 2 a.m.; however, since the fest lasted for four days, one could say that it evened out in the end.

Each day of the 4th annual Long Beach Psyclone weekender began at sundown. There were brunches, barbecues, and pool parties with the bands (featuring several performances) and a Big Red Bus tour as well, which this reviewer unfortunately missed out on. However, gauging from Friday night at the Seaport Marina Hotel, where the festival was held, organizer Brando Von Badsville and his co-promoter, Jose Noriega, have established a solid event, which featured an impressive cross-section of bands from around the world.

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Matisyahu Talks Religion, Music, and Adversity

Courtesy of DN Photos
In 2004 Matisyahu sported an untrimmed beard and a broad-brimmed hat with a yarmulke underneath. He injected Hebrew and Yiddish prayers with rhythm and impressive tongue rolling. His lyrics, though mostly about facing life's struggles, still managed to sound uplifting.

"I've been praying for/For the people to say/ That we don't wanna fight no more/ They'll be no more wars/And our children will play/One day/It's not about/Win or lose/We all lose" He goes on to say "Keep on moving through the waters" in his song "One Day" off his 2009 album Light.

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Mike Miller's Photography Captures '90s Hip-Hop and Lowrider Culture to the Fullest

Categories: Culture, Hip-Hop

Mike Miller/Courtesy of Dax Gallery
He's captured notable LA rap figures like Tupac Shakur, Coolio, Snoop Dogg, and Eazy E; album covers, lowriders, and fashion models, all with a breathtaking flair and energy that espouses west coast/Los Angeles culture. Known as a true originator, Mike Miller developed his own particular brand of photography in the late '80s and '90s while his subjects would emerge as legendary artists with their own mythos further sealed by Miller's sharp black and white shots.

You'd be hard pressed to remember another photographer whose work was more rampant on notable rap album covers than Miller's, and for the discerning fan hoping to see his photos brought together, head down to Costa Mesa's Dax Gallery where a major sampling of Miller's work will be on display starting this weekend.

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SoCal Masqueraders Find Themselves in The Goblin King's Labyrinth

Photo of Labyrinth Masquerade by Scott Feinblatt
Some people take entertainment and diversion a bit further than others. Putting on a concert t-shirt and disappearing into a mob of folks with similar musical tastes is more or less the norm. Beyond that, there are: comic cons, which feature cosplayers; horror conventions, where one can witness monstrous make-up designs and designer gothic wardrobes; and then we get to the more serious stuff. Remaining just this side of sexual fetish events, there is The Edwardian Ball, which fosters an environment of overwhelming artistry and decadence, and Labyrinth Masquerade, which goes a wee bit further in terms of imagination and role-play.

The event is based on David Bowie's character, Jareth the Goblin King, from Jim Henson's movie Labyrinth. Essentially, the masquerade is supposedly being thrown by the goblin king, himself, and the tens of thousands of Southern Californians heed the call and transform themselves into goblins, fairies, elves, human princes and fair maidens in order to participate in and complete the illusion. The posh fantasy event could not have been staged in a better location this year. While it was odd to see woodsprites walking down Grand Avenue, in downtown Los Angeles, once they entered the masquerade's new digs, the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel, they might just as well have entered a fairy castle. The event was staged throughout the lobby, various bars and nooks, a performance room (labeled "The Goblin Cabaret"), and two large ballrooms (dubbed "The Temple" and "The Clockwork Ballroom").

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Spirits Haunt the Pasadena Convention Center during ScareLA

Photo of ScareLA 2015 by Scott Feinblatt
Attendees of this year's ScareLA will now have to wait another two months until they can once again immerse themselves in the trappings of Halloween. This past weekend, the third annual ScareLA Halloween convention showed that there are no signs that interest in the spookiest of American holidays is dwindling. The decision of the convention's creators and programmers to move ScareLA from the LA Mart to the more sizeable and accessible Pasadena Conference Center, so they could add more events and activities to the cauldron, has paid off as Halloween aficionados responded by showing up in even greater numbers.

Naturally, as ScareLA expands and becomes more colorful, a few hitches are to be expected, but the eerie atmosphere that filled the convention center was generally one of joyful eeriness. As the doors opened at 11, on Saturday, some of the motley dressed folks in the slow-moving line of ticket holders, which stretched around the block, grumbled as they could not get in fast enough. Meanwhile, some of the performers and classroom presenters in the convention center's second building shuffled their feet wondering why their 11:30 programs had few to no attendees.

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ScareLA Opens the Gates to Halloween

Sasha Wheatcroft with Trick or Treat Studios. ScareLA 2014 photo by Scott Feinblatt
Many people believe that it is tragic that every day is not Halloween. Sure, one can always pop in [or click on] a horror movie, and throughout the year there are periodic horror film festivals or the occasional Monsterpalooza for fans of make-up, monsters, and masks, but Halloween is really about much more than that. It's about candy; it's about haunted mazes; it's about carving jack-o'-lanterns; it's about dressing up; it's about celebrating dark imagery; the list goes on. This weekend, Halloween enthusiasts from near and far will congregate at the Pasadena Convention Center for the third annual ScareLA, which will once again provide them with a healthy dose of their favorite holiday months prior to All Hallows' Eve.

Like most dreams that become realities, ScareLA started small. After the Halloween season of 2012, horror industry professionals Lora Ivanova (DELUSION, HAuNTcon) and David Markland (CreepyLA) were depressed that Halloween was over and that they'd have to wait 12 months until the next one, so they started throwing ideas around, reaching out to their network of industry connections, especially Rick West and Johanna Atilano of Theme Park Adventure, who shared their vision of an off-season celebration of Halloween. Ivanova told the Weekly: "It was really the inspiration of 'Halloween doesn't come early enough for anybody that actually loves that holiday,' and we were confident that if the four of us thought that way, then so do a lot of other people in the Los Angeles area."

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San Clemente Store The Yurt Throws a Party for the New Moon

Thumbnail image for NEWMOON.jpg
Courtesy of LADY BIM
LADY BIM x the Yurt, hand-painted, bamboo/hemp knit.
Every 29 1/2 days the moon rises and sets alongside the sun. This lunation, or inception of a lunar cycle, is only visible to the human eye during a solar eclipse. Yet the spiritual significance of this remarkable motion is symbolic every new moon. It's something we can all use more of-- new beginnings. Some celebrate by committing to a new perspective on an old subject, while other's move through a Vinyasa flow รก la candle light. The Yurt, a San Clemente, community-centric space, has decided to pay homage to the moon by throwing a quarterly party curated with emerging artists and esoteric thinkers.

Friday, July 17th, at 7p.m., celebrate the first New Moon party and launch of their storefront space with tequila-moonrise cocktails by Abreojos, sound healing with Dina Kleiman (a one-on-one experience inside a bamboo structure covered in white linen), DJ set by RVINYDZE (featuring whoosh-like moon sounds), and accessible art curated by Ashes In Orange Peels. Artists will include Yevgeniya Mikhailik, Diana Barbancho, Chantal deFelice, Ray Vargas, Yumi Christina Sukugawa, Rob Brown, Sarah Walsh, Nancy Chiu, Diana Markessinis, and Lindsay Buchman.

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