Media Jeweler's Sound Shines With Many Different Facets

Categories: Locals Only

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Courtesy of Media Jeweler
With a sense of chaos and exciting showmanship, Media Jeweler have become the darlings of Orange County and Los Angeles indie music circles over the past two years. The Santa Ana/Anaheim-based group have stayed on the grind this year, spreading their frenetic post-rock music throughout the U.S. and finalizing their debut album, $99 R/T Hawaii (due out Sept. 18).

JT Schweitzer, Sam Farzin, Colin Knight and James Aranda met while attending shows organized by Farzin's onetime DIY music collective Acrobatics Everyday. Schweitzer, Farzin and Aranda went on to form Moon Pearl, but after that group's dissolution, they formed Media Jeweler with Knight. Moon Pearl's sound and energy led to Media Jeweler's style, with loud clashes of brass, drums, discordant vocals and a lo-fi recording style.


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Johnny Love Band Plays Reggae From the Barrio

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Courtesy of Johnny Love
Born into a family of musicians who play jazz, tejano, oldies and funk, it was only a matter of time before Johnny Love got the itch to pick up an instrument. Despite growing up in Santa Ana, steeped in his Mexican heritage, his musical tastes were ultimately influenced by the island of Jamaica.

"I was 13 when I first picked up a guitar, but ever since I was a kid, I was always the one singing, dancing and putting on a show," says Love. "As a rebel in my early teens, I was into hardcore ska and metal, but I got rooted in reggae some years after."

Love began touring as a solo act in 2009. "I chose reggae music to help spread the message of love and the importance of family, respect and unity. I wanted to create a positive vibe that's unique and special to give back to the people in need," he says. Widely known for his powerful energy and passion while performing onstage, his band's musical style is something he refers to as barrio roots reggae. "It's a fusion of Latin, rocksteady roots, reggae, ska and cumbia. We bring high-energy, conscious vibes and a taste of street-culture music."

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Meet Terminally Ill's Sweet New Ride: The Doggie Bus

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courtesy of the band
Terminally Ill in the Doggie Bus
Years from now, the members of irreverent punk rap troupe Terminally Ill will have to separate their career into two major phases: pre-Doggie Bus and post-Doggie Bus. On the outside, the vehicle once dedicated to the transportation of man's best friend still has all markings of its former life. There's the wrap-around graphic of a sunny Califoria beach, a cute puppy staring at you with his big brown eyes, and a defunct web address for www.doggiebus.com with the slogan "A Ride For You and Your Dog From Tustin to Dog Beach." But thanks to the Terminally Ill crew, the inside of their new tour bus is a completely different story.

On a recent weekday parked outside the Doll Hut in Anaheim, the band sits in their smoke-filled, palatial crash pad on wheels. Rapper Ryan Risetter cranks up the volume on some newly-installed subwoofers as empty beer cans rattle underneath the seats. TI's other comical, blond-haired rapper Steffan Buratti is busy horsing around with the band's manager/handyman Rooster and their videographer Kyle Cox. The large kennel cage on the left side of the bus is now a storage area for the band's gear. They installed a 37-inch flat screen and DVD player at the front of the bus and at the back they've fashioned the beginnings of a "VIP area" with hookahs, lamps made from little red Solo cups and a beer cooler. On any given day, they can ride around partying in plain sight.

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Dinner In Five Parts Pairs Quality Food With Amazing Music

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Courtesy of Jim Colombo
In the last 50 years, the way that we consume food has drastically changed. Take Buffalo Wild Wing's for example, you're offered an iPad to play games as you walk in the door. Sports stream throughout plasma's just about everywhere you look and contests for eating dangerously hot wings commence here and there, as well. Maybe you're more fond of staying in and whipping up a delicious, gluten-free, meal as you binge on Orange Is The New Black, but either way it's evident that the world is in need of a culinary renaissance. People are not only craving a richer dining experience, they're expecting it.

Wednesday, July 29th at 7p.m. Five Crowns will delight and entice attendees as they present Dinner In Five Parts. It's time to be present, taste that subtle hint of mache as it flirts with ricotta salata in your mouth and bare witness to how the dining landscape can shape your sensory experience.

Five courses, five pairings, five musicians, five sets, and five senses amiss the charming Corona Del Mar, English garden. Creative genius Allen Moon, of Santa Ana Sites, has brought together Chris Roundtree, of wild Up, to curate a live set list composed by Missy Mazzoli, Morton Feldman, Andrew Tholl, J.S. Back, and Jodie Landau.

The conventional setting of musicians gathering before attendees will be stripped as performers intersperse throughout the space. Moon explains, "When you're able to break down the barriers it can become a very powerful experience. [Roundtree] breaks down formality and address' accessibility, allowing the audience to experience it in a personal way, that only can happen in this sort of environment."

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Nina Diaz Beats Her Addictions to Release New Album

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Daniela Riojas
Drugs and booze could've landed Nina Diaz into the "27 Club" of Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Amy Winehouse. But when the numbness of addiction exhausted itself more than two years ago, the tattooed Tejana reflected on her past. "There was this eruption of songs that came out of me, and they all just happened to flow together," Diaz says. "I didn't want to force the girls to play this stuff."

Due out later this year, Diaz originally conceived The Beat Is Dead as a humble EP. "At first, I was just going to do five songs," she says. The onetime Girl In a Coma front woman tinkered with demos on Garage Band until it came time to head into the studio with Austin-based singer/poet David Garza. Those initial tracks blossomed into a 13-song album.


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Rudy De Anda's Solo Quest to Find His Sound

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If there's anyone who can attest to finding creative success by forging their own musical path, it's Rudy De Anda. De Anda is one of Long Beach's most active musicians, most notably because of his involvement with LBC-based label Porch Party Records as well as the psychedelic cross-genre band Wild Pack of Canaries. The Watts-born Long Beach dweller has been forming his own bands since high school and finally emerges as a solo artist, indulging in his passion for writing music and exploring different musical territories for the benefit of listeners.

Many remember WPOC for their on-stage energy and eclectic genre variety, but their abrupt halt surprised many fans. De Anda explains that every member eventually became driven to a different direction; he remembers initially being the chief songwriter, but eventually the other members came around to bringing in their ideas to the point where De Anda's own ideas weren't heard any more. As time rolled on, the members' respective growing side projects drove the group into a definite hiatus in 2013.

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Long Beach's Porch Party Records Take Us On A Tour Of Their New House

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Jessie Schiewe
Zach Mabry, Joel Jasper, J.P. Bendzinski and Casey Terrazas
In case the name hasn't tipped you off, Porch Party Records was named after a house with a porch. From 2008 to the summer of 2014, the guys behind Long Beach's infamous indie label lived in a huge house on 4th and Junipero where they threw shows, had dance parties, recorded music, and overall, just made a whole lotta noise. But then bad luck in the form of bed bugs forced the guys to find a new home/club house/work space last year. It took a few months of searching, but eventually they found their current spot on Coronado Avenue. 

It's been five months since the Porch Party crew--which includes Casey Terrazas, the guy who started and runs the label; Joel Jasper, an artist on the label; and J.P. Bendzinkski, the label's recording engineer-- and two of their friends moved into the late '80s edifice replete with brick, stucco, terra cotta tiles, and iron work.

Unlike the old house, this house lacks a porch, but that hasn't stopped the guys from turning their front yard into a makeshift porch of sorts. The house itself is bigger (5 bedrooms) than the previous locale and Terrazas' has high hopes that the new place will become a legendary "creative arts space" just like the last house. The neighbors haven't complained about the noise (yet) and there've already been a few impromptu dance parties, one music video recorded, and a handful of bands that have crashed in the space. To commemorate their new headquarters, Terrazas gave us a tour of the two-story abode. And you never know: you might find yourself dancing your beer calories off here one night in the future. You never know.

See also: House Show Venue The Porch Turned Into Its Own Label

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Spare Parts For Broken Hearts Find Their Identity Through the Darkness

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Courtesy of the band
Inspired by grunge, rock gods, and powerful post-punk, Long Beach band Spare Parts for Broken Hearts have thrived on a dark, melodic sound since forming in a Downtown LA rehearsal space in 2010. Fusing heavy rock with a side of power-pop, the trio's fan base continues growing steadily as they play everywhere from dive bars to the House of Blues. The name also seems to have a significance to front woman Sarah Green, who says the formation of her band has been the key to helping her piece together who she is both on and off stage.

"People always ask me why I write dark music," the vocalist/guitarist says. "Music is the way I feel relief from darkness, it makes me feel understood when I hear it, like somebody can hear me. I've spent so much time alone listening to music and I want to be that artist for someone else."

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Wes Period Finally Bubbling Up as the Champagne Champion

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Eric Mooney
As with many kids, Wes Period had his eyes set on playing pro sports--basketball, in particular. Even as he played for his middle school team, his interest in music gradually began to surpass his hoop dreams. Period started dabbling with beats and bought a microphone, causing an internal schism that eventually reached its boiling point when he was a sophomore in high school.

"My first show with my high school band was on the same day as the first preseason basketball game of the year," the La Habra native recalls. "I left the game at halftime to go to my show. I never went back to basketball after that."

The 24-year-old is the product of a mixed-race marriage. During his formative musical years, he was introduced to a variety of music from his parents, including traditional rock bands such as Elton John and Led Zeppelin and such soul favorites as Luther Vandross and Curtis Mayfield. His older half-brothers chipped in by playing him music from rap's golden age such as Notorious B.I.G., Ma$e and 2Pac.

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CAL1FA Return to the Reggae Scene With a New Name and the Same Mission

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Sean McCraken
CAL1FA's frontman Ruben Salazar is relentless when it comes to getting his music to the masses and putting Santa Ana on the map. Originally the frontman for local group Badfish, the band ran into their first major hardship in the early 2000s when they had to change their moniker due to a Sublime cover band out of Rhode Island using the same name. As Badfish - A Tribute to Sublime's success grew, Salazar had trouble keeping his band separate from the other. Although the Santa Ana native had solidified his style of "Barrio Roots-Reggae" in the late '90s, constant confusion arose from the tribute band using the same name that he had worked so hard for.

Not one to be easily discouraged, Salazar and his band continued moving forward and their debut album, Soundbwoy Killas, was released in the US in 2002. Eventually it received worldwide acclaim as far as Japan before they decided to call it quits. After a seven-year hiatus, Salazar came back with a new band, a new name and the same mission.

"It's been a long journey back," Salazar says. "I had to start from scratch, including finding new musicians to jam with. At first, a lot of them were not a perfect fit for the band so it was very hard to remain confident and positive throughout the entire process. But hard work and perseverance will always pay off."

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