Meet Kawehi: The Internet's Latest Music Crush

Categories: interview

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via kawehi.com
We're certain you've seen Kawehi in action by now; she's no stranger to internet success (all three of her Kickstarter projects well-exceeded their monetary goals), but it took an impromptu cover of Nirvana's 'Heart Shaped Box' to make her work go viral. Even Mrs. Courtney Love Cobain was touting Kawehi's synth-heavy, electronic rendition of the song about Love's vagina.

It's understandable why the internet has a crush on this talented 'one-woman band': in addition to her talent, Kawehi is spunky, ends sentences with 'yo', and despite massive internet success which led to throngs of managers and venues contacting her, remains grounded:

"Even if no one listens, even if no one buys this EP - I'd still be here in this garage, making music. 'Cause that's the kind of shit you do when you love something."

But what's known about this elusive internet superstar whose bio simply states: "what you don't know won't kill you"? We spoke with Kawehi and discussed her humble past, current online success and her promising future.

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Descendents Guitarist Was a Fan of the Band Before He Joined. These Are His Favorite Songs.

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Greg Jacobs
Stephen Egerton
Rather than having some schlub (i.e., me) pontificate about how brilliant pop/punk/hardcore pioneers the Descendents are and why everyone should see them Friday as part of the MusInk Tattoo Convention & Music Festival, I thought I'd go to the source. And by "source," I mean Descendents guitarist Stephen Egerton.

Egerton doesn't play on the group's first three full-length albums (1982's Milo Goes to College, 1985's I Don't Want To Grow Up and 1986's Enjoy! ) and one EP (1981's Fat). He joined the band during 1987's ALL, so I figured the Oklahoma resident would offer a unique viewpoint on the songs as someone who is a fan of the band and a member. The group has had one drummer (Bill Stevenson) and singer Milo Aukerman is on all releases except the first single (1979's Ride the Wild), so their opinions might be biased. And original bass player Tony Lombardo and his replacement Doug Carrion couldn't talk about the songs that followed their departures. Same with original guitarist Frank Navetta (who passed away in 2008) and his successor Ray Cooper. Yes, I could have included third bassist Karl Alvarez -- who joined with Egerton in 1986 -- but I don't have his number. I do, however, have Egerton's. Luckily, I was right as the guitarist spoke at length about the difficulty of honoring the legacy of Navetta and Cooper while maintaining his own musical voice.


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Author Craig Lewis Explains Why Punk Rock is a Haven For the Mentally Unstable

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Max Braverman
Craig Lewis

Many authors speak in front of live audiences in hopes of selling books. Craig Lewis, however, has a different agenda.

The 40-year-old's lecture Saturday night at TKO Records in Huntington Beach will address issues regarding mental health, but in a way many are unfamiliar with. You see, Lewis -- like Sheena -- is a punk rocker.

To the uninformed, punk rock is nothing more than Sid Vicious shooting dope and (allegedly) killing his girlfriend Nancy Spungen, but people actively involved in punk understand the genre is more than a deceased Sex Pistol. The culture's do-it-yourself spirit empowers its followers and allows them to be as expressive and individualistic as they choose. Often, Lewis says, punk's open-door policy welcomes artists, misfits, weirdos and anti-authoritarian types. The scene also becomes a sanctuary for people with mental health issues.

Unfortunately, Lewis -- a certified peer specialist -- says mental health is an issue still not fully addressed in his community, which is why he published Better Days: A Mental Health Recovery Workbook and You're Crazy, a collection of 27 essays by punkers addressing their mental health issues and addiction. It's a sentiment that Lewis understands as he was first placed into a psychiatric home at 14 and later spent a decade getting high. Lewis says he's been drug-and-alcohol -free since 2001 and focuses on having good minutes, good hours and good days, which he attributes to his being "healthy now...for the most part."

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Chicano Batman Love the Challenge of "Latin Psych Soul"

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Jessica Augustine
Chicano Batman
When new, exceptionally talented bands without a previously categorized sound come out, writers all over from Pitchfork to regional publications tend to throw any label at them that will stick, from "coldwave" to "afro-indie." The taxonomy behind music is something journalists and writers spend countless hours hammering away at, but when a band like southern California's Chicano Batman arises, Rialto-raised guitarist Carlos Arevalo has inadvertently discovered the best way to describe his group's relentlessly eclectic sound: a Venn diagram.

"If there was a Venn diagram with Latin and psychedelic soul, that middle ground is where we'd exist," he says.

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Ceasefire Want to Be More Than an FM Rock Band

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Courtesy of Jose Rodriguez
Anthony Hainsworth, Ray Alexander, Kamren Alexander and Tristin Montgomery at the House of Blues Sunset
When Fountain Valley quartet Stereofix's bassist left in 2011, brothers Ray and Kamren Alexander saw an opportunity instead of a hurdle. Along with their drummer Anthony Hainsworth and new bassist Tristan Montgomery, the aspiring rock stars used the circumstances at hand to start all over and bring something new to the table. What developed was four guys in leather jackets and a highly marketable alternative rock band led by Alexander's moody seductive vocals.

Today, they celebrate being on KROQ's Locals Only show 10 weeks in a row (that must be some kind of record), currently charting at number one four times with their hit "Wake Up." They perform at the Yost Theater this Saturday March 15th for the Rock Star Beer Festival alongside locals Breach the Summit featuring an unlimited tasting of local beers from SoCal such as Stone and The Bruery. We caught up with Ray and Kamren to talk about their latest success and put an end to the rumors that they want to be just like the Killers.

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Country Star Moot Davis: Wholesome as Rotten Apple Pie

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Jena Ardell

Don't be fooled by Moot Davis's twangy, charismatic drawl and country love songs. He may appear polished in his custom suit and tie, but the truth is: he's as wholesome as rotten apple pie.

Judging his cock-sure gait and posture, we pegged him for an actor, and we were right; acting is something he pursues when he's not touring with his band. His other favorite things to pursue are married women--or at least they were--we're not sure if he's fully reformed.

Davis, who splits his time between L.A. and Nashville is releasing his fourth studio album, Goin' In Hot, on April 15. The album contains the romance of Chris Issak mixed with the classic, country sounds of Woody Guthrie. Davis's past work can be heard on the soundtracks of over 20 movies and TV shows.

We met up with Davis at one of his favorite haunts, Viva Cantina in Burbank, to chat over beers and dessert.


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311's Nick Hexum Reveals Even More Details About New Album 'Stereolithic'

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Photo by Dave Nagel/Jena Ardell.
311 knows a thing or two on how to stay connected with their close-knit fan base of 'excitable ones'. The band hosts destination cruises, bi-annual 311 Day extravaganzas (complete with a five-hour show setlist of rarities), and offers numerous opportunities to receive exclusive offers from the band.

We sat down with lead vocalist Nick Hexum in his private studio to discuss Stereolithic, 311's eleventh studio album, and the band's first fully independent release since Omaha Sessions. The new album will unironically be released on 3/11 (311 Day). Here's what he had to say about the new album, his musical inspirations, fans, and fatherhood.

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Troy Gua: The Artist Formally Stifled by Prince

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Le Petit Prince meets Le Petit Troy.
Prince is officially dropping a $22 million lawsuit against 22 fans, whom he accused of "massive infringement and bootlegging," since the targeted fans have since removed links to footage of his live performances.

Seattle-based artist Troy Gua is another fan familiar with the demands of Prince's attorneys. In 2012, he received a cease and desist notice from his favorite artist, after he recreated famous Prince moments and album covers using 'Le Petit Prince,' a doll he sculpted in the likeness of the Purple One. Gua has successfully (and optimistically) turned the threat of legal action from Prince into a marketing strategy; and credits the end of his 'Le Petit Prince' series for spawning the birth of his latest self portraiture series.

Here's what Gua had to say about his idol, fair use, and a famous fan--Questlove.

See also: Prince Fan Art, You Really Must Own

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Darkside's Dave Harrington Always Keeps Improvisation Paramount

Nicolas Jaar (left) and Dave Harrington (right) as Darkside
Part humid, steamed electronics, part Krautrock, part jazz and blues, and existing as something that can only come from the minds of Dave Harrington and Nicholas Jaar, their project as Darkside has produced some of the most sonically interesting and distinct music of the past few years.

"It all happened gradually and naturally," Dave Harrington says when speaking of the groups origins.

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Final Conflict Explain Their Break-Up Just in Time For Their Reunion

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Angela Boatwright
This weekend, Alex's Bar celebrates 14 years of coolness with anniversary shows. Friday's lineup includes the recently reunited bands Final Conflict of Orange County/Long Beach, and hardcore band BL'AST! from Santa Cruz. You can also see the Stitches and Smogtown, and Saturday's show features Swingin' Utters, Old Man Markley, the Black Tibetans, Devil Dogs and Transistor LB.

Yeah, those are all great bands to interview, but I knew I had to speak to Final Conflict singer Ron Martinez. Not only was the 48-year-old a staple of Orange County punk (he booked shows everywhere -- including Chain Reaction -- and worked at Greene Records), he's been a friend for a decade and we hadn't spoken in far too long because he moved to Austin, Texas, four years ago, which might have something to do with the healing of my liver.

Friendship aside, Final Conflict was always a powerful live act. And the group's 1987 record Ashes to Ashes slays and if you don't own it, you should because it's like that dream you had when Black Flag and Black Sabbath became the same band.


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