Say Anything @ The Troubadour 11.28.17

Article + photos originally published
by Get Some Magazine in November, 2017

On the fourth night of their In Defense anniversary tour, Say Anything played to a sold out crowd at The Troubadour. Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio opened up the show with an acoustic solo set, he even threw in a few Alkaline Trio tracks. Andriano had some fun with the crowd, during “Mercy Me” he sang Matt Skiba’s part and had the crowd sing his usual part with the promise of picking up “any slack”.

Say Anything played both In Defense of the Genre Disc 2 and Is A Real Boy in entirety. 

Max’s wife, Sherri DuPree-Bemis (of Eisley), daughter, dad and brother were in attendance and some of the most poignant moments of the show were when he sang to his family watching from a booth above the crowd. Beamis was beaming, arms outstretched as he wailed out the lyrics to Plea. 

The intimacy of the venue was put to good use. Max got down on his knees to sing to the crowd up close and personal. He embraced a fan, locked his arm around him, as the two sang forehead to forehead. The band as a whole was playful in their interaction with the audience. Max flew from one end of the tiny stage to the the other and bantered with the crowd, talking like old friends. 

For the finale, Max was alone on stage with a guitar for A Walk Through Hell. He prefaced it by thanking the crowd “I don’t deserve this”, then laughed at himself for the way it sounded. The crowd went crazy, and his genuine gratitude was obvious. Max dedicated the song to his wife, dad, and brother as he began to strum. Early into the song, there was a sound malfunction, Max tried to play through it but it was too distracting. “I can’t do it” he laughed, and paused singing while the guitar was being tended to, but the crowd kept going. The guitar was ditched and Max joined them again, the entire song done a cappella by Max and the entire Troubadour in a soul stirring, core shaking rendition of A Walk Through Hell without missing a beat. A perfect ending to a wild and intimate set. 

Catch Dan Andriano on the two remaining SoCal dates @ The Observatory November 30th + December 1st. Say Anything will be touring through January 31st with different special guests for each leg of the tour. 


Phoebe Bridgers @ The Wiltern 4.28.18

This article + photos were originally published
by Get Some Magazine in April, 2018

A spattering of Edison bulbs dot the stage as the band makes their way out to take their places. Dressed in sleek matching black suits, they settle in as Phoebe Bridgers joins them. There is a light that shines from Bridgers, in beautiful juxtaposition to her sweetly sorrowful sound. Her music carries a maturity that seems heavier and much older than her twenty three years. It is melancholy and it is soul baring, and maybe that is why Bridgers has garnered such a fervent following. While her voice is soft and sorrowful, it is also commanding. Each time she opens her mouth, the Troubadour becomes entirely still and nearly silent, aside from the uproarious cheers that follow the end of each song. She captivates and mesmerizes.

Bridgers mentions the time she paid to play The Troubadour- when she was sixteen. Fast forward to 2018, the pay to play days are over and she is playing to a truly sold out venue, there is hardly room to move in the whole place. She introduces “Steamroller” as a “song about someone I barely even know anymore” and her voice carries such a beautiful sorrow, seeped to the core and never lets up. She has a request for an older song, “Waiting Room” and introduces it with “I don’t know, dude..” and explains that she hates the version on the internet, because, “as a millennial your seventeen year old friend gets a hack of pro-tools” and you record it in their garage, you don’t get “cool 4-track demos”. 

Early on in the show, Bridgers invites her friend Conor to join her on stage. Conor as in Conor Oberst. Oberst performs a couple of songs with Bridgers, including their Stranger in the Alps duet, “Would You Rather”. Their voices compliment each other so well, like the vocal equivalent of a dance. Conor was not the only special guest on the bill. Noah Gundersen of The Courage lent his vocals to a couple of songs as well, and it is clear Bridgers can hold her own next to seasoned industry veterans. Their voices melding together – but never getting lost, only weaving together to equally create a more beautiful whole. 

If Phoebe Bridgers isn’t on your radar yet, she should be and she will be. Over the summer, Bridgers is playing various music festivals, and will be supporting The National this Fall for their Los Angeles shows.

Mighty Mighty Bosstones @ The Regent 6.29.18

This article + photos were originally published
by Get Some Magazine in June, 2018

The Mighty Mighty BossTones played the Regent in downtown Los Angeles last Friday night for their self proclaimed Summer of Ska tour. The set list included the Let’s Face It album in entirety, along with fifteen or so other favorites. 

Opening up for the legendary Boston ska band, were Buster Shuffle from the UK and Los Kung Fu Monkeys originally from Tijuana. Buster Shuffle, a four piece ska punk ensemble with heavy piano and a whole lot of energy came in hard with catchy hooks and a perfect soundtrack for a barroom brawl. Los Kung Fu Monkeys played with a shifted lineup – two of their members were out due to emergencies so the drummer played bass, and Kung Fu friends stepped in to take on lead guitar and drums. Got all that? In spite of the last minute shifts, these guys ROCKED THE HOUSE.

Before the BossTones took the stage, a fan remarkably resembling a young Dicky Barrett in a slightly iridescent powder blue suit, started a cheer and the whole venue erupted in a rousing round of “Miii-ghtyyy, Miii-ghty, Boss-Tones!”.  The excitement was palpable as the band filed out and opened up the set with “Noise Brigade”.

Original BossTones guitarist, Nate Albert, joined the band for mega hit “The Impression That I Get”.  Dicky Barrett removed his sunglasses and passed them into the audience “hand these to her” as he motioned into the crowd, “the girl on her Dad’s shoulders”. A curly haired toddler in a BossTones shirt and protective ear wear perched on her Dad’s shoulders put on Dicky’s round shades and it was amazing.

Dancer, Ben Carr was in top form, hopping from one side of the stage to the other, never slowing, never ceasing, with an impossible energy that had to be handed down from the ska gods, because it just seemed an inhumanly possible feat. After running through the entire “Let’s Face It” album, they rounded out the set with hits as far back as their third album and even treated the crowd to a track from last month’s release, “While We’re At It”.

A couple of covers were thrown in for good measure, The Wailers’ “Simmer Down” and Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now”. 

It was sweaty, it was steamy, it was a hell of a good time. This is indeed the summer of ska, and “the fourth wave of ska” as Dickey Barrett affectionately refers to it, is absolutely worth checking out. Preferably in the form of a live show, with all the dancing and the bouncing that comes along with it. The BossTones will be touring the country, (along with a stop in Canada) through the summer. Catch them if you can!

Best Coast: Trading Hangovers for Bangovers

This article + photos were originally published by
Get Some Magazine in February, 2020

Desert nights are inherently magical. Something hangs in the air, palpable but indescribable. You can’t touch it, you can’t see it, but you can absolutely feel it. Add good music to that and you’ve got yourself a magical mystical cocktail of mythical proportions. Best Coast kicked off their Always Tomorrow Tour in a small Palm Springs venue. What’s more intimate than intimate? The Alibi- Palm Springs. Small in all the best ways, not cramped or divey, excellent sound, friendly staff. Maybe almost uncomfortably small when you’re a performer pouring out raw lyrics from your first studio album in five years. The distance between the band and the audience, literal inches. Best Coast filed out onto the stage and opened up with “California Nights”, the title track from their 2015 release before launching into the new material. The crowd was equally receptive of the old and the new, singing along like the album hadn’t been released just one week prior. It took singer/guitarist and lyricist Bethany Cosentino by surprise, “To see you guys singing the lyrics that have only been out for one week is psycho crazy, it melts my heart.”

Cosentino has been very public about the fact that this time around, she’s doing this all sober. Yet another potentially unnerving element of performing in such close quarters with your audience. Always Tomorrow deals heavily with this newly sober lifestyle. As the set went on, Cosentino visibly became increasingly comfortable. Settling right back into her home on the stage as though no time had passed since she last commanded it. 

If reverb is your kink, Best Coast is your jam. It’s the kind of stuff that gets you through breakups and dark spells, anecdotal raw lyrics like a light at the end of the tunnel, which many in the audience attested to while waiting for the band to take the stage. Cosentino is that light for her fans, Queen of the Graceless Kids, and they are that for her. “I was not feeling worthy of praise and ya’all fucking graceless kids made me feel so loved when I did not know how to love myself, so thank you so much for that. Seriously. I don’t know where I would be without you guys and this band and Bobb… I truly don’t know.” The night ended with fan favorite “Boyfriend” as the sold out crowd went totally nuts, bopping and bouncing to the surf-pop infused tune. 

To sum up the night in the words of Best Coast themselves, “California nights make me feel so happy I could die.”

Allah-Las @ Masonic Lodge for Get Some Magazine 9.17.20

This article and photos were originally published by
Get Some Magazine in September 2019

A sold out show at summer’s end amongst famous gravestones and a Halloween celebration going off in the distance. The Allah-Las at the Masonic Lodge was an atmosphere and an event before even entering the building. A group of three or four young fans rushed past the door, the ticket taker yelled after them, only one turned around sheepishly and returned. The rest were long gone. The lone straggler walked off and minutes later, security was talking about him again…. he had tried to jump the wall this time and had been escorted off the premises. The Masonic Lodge is intimate and regal, comprised of rich woods and lush velvets. The stage was decorated in floral arrangements and the fragrance permeated the entire room. Is that something the Lodge always does, lest we forget we are in fact on cemetery grounds, or is it Allah-Las specific decor? I don’t have the answer to that, but it definitely created a vibe, a mood, a tone if you will. The crowd was scattered for the opener, Big Search. A pretty wonderful pairing, the energy was akin to the Allah-Lahs, surfy garage rock, and what a fun primer for the headlining act. 

By the time the Allah-Las took the stage, the place was packed and rapidly becoming steamier with every pluck of a guitar string. Their specific brand of surf rock is somehow mellow and energetic simultaneously. Their crisp reverb is transcendental. It sounds like end of summer beach parties, shaggy hair, bonfires with best friends and the kiss you’ve waited eons for. The crowd swayed and twisted the night away, oftentimes with eyes closed, because like I said… that reverb is positively transcendental. The children of flower children dropping reverb instead of acid. Also cannot get over how polite the crowd was. I guess love was in the air. 

Allah-Las are touring through December in support of their forthcoming album, LAHS (October 11th). A bunch of European dates scheduled followed by another trek around North America. Be sure to catch them on a leg of this tour, and get your tickets in advance so you can avoid rushing the door or attempting to scale walls, because even with love’s light wings… stony limits and security guards can still hold adoring, ticketless fans out. 

Pre-order the new release and check tour dates/buy tickets here.

“Welcome To Dead” – Short Story

An old short story I wrote circa 2013.

Welcome to Dead

I didn’t realize right away what had happened. That I had died, I mean. I was vaguely aware of the accident. It came back in fragments. Pieces of a puzzle I had to guess at. I had been running late for class as usual, and being the klutz that I am… I tripped on the stairs. Now I didn’t trip down the stairs, you see I have this uncanny knack for tripping up the stairs. Always. But this time was different. In some freak of nature twist, I landed just perfectly enough to sever something that is kind of essential to keeping the body well… alive. So now, I’m not.

At first I noticed strange things like the way my neck had taken on this sort of rubbery quality. Gave a whole new meaning to the term “rubbernecking”. I remember looking into the mirror and being reminded by my reflection of a Stretch Armstrong doll I’d had as a kid. It was like my neck was a sock holding things in, but not holding them in their proper places. I know what you’re thinking, “how the hell do you not realize you’re dead”. But it’s a gradual process, it really is. Nobody sends you a “welcome to Dead” greeting card. There is no blinding white light. If that stuff really happens, it hasn’t happened to me yet. And I’m plenty dead. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve been there. I get your skepticism, believe me, I do. But it’s a process. It’s gradual. And it’s vague at first. Incredibly so. For me at least. The neck thing was weird, but the rotting and the bits of rigor mortis were the weirdest by far. Imagine going to sleep and waking up dead. Doesn’t make sense, but that’s what it’s like. I closed my eyes and when I opened them everything seemed just as I had left it before my eyelids drew the curtain. But everything had changed. I just didn’t know it yet.

Time doesn’t work the same on this side. Weeks pass like minutes. I guess that’s a good thing because if I’m stuck in limbo for centuries at least it’ll go by a bit quicker. I have this mentor helping me through the process. Alice. She’s not much older than me, she was a senior in highschool when she bit the big one. One of those popular types. I didn’t know her in life, but from what I know of her on this side, she’s a pretty unconventional popular girl. She can be a little harsh at times, but I know it’s out of love. Limbo can be rough, we’re just all trying to figure our way out of this little holding pen. But Alice is pretty cool and I’m super grateful for her. Mentoring me is part of her penance. I’m not sure what she did to get here, I feel it’s impolite to ask, but maybe someday when she’s getting out, she’ll tell me. As for me, I’m still trying to figure out what landed me in Limbo. I was a sophomore in highschool, I died a virgin, I tried pot once and freaked out, made my friends call an ambulance. Yeah… by most modern accounts I was pretty much a goody goody. I have intake appointments once a week with my counselor, Sam. He’s pretty cool, too. He’s sort of this new age hippie dude. I mean he wears suits and stuff, but he’s got this long stringy hair, he plays the guitar, and he’s all about love, light, and self discovery. It’d be great if he could say “THIS is why you’re here in Limbovania!”, but as he constantly reminds me, “it doesn’t work that way”. He has me journal during the week in an attempt to delve a little deeper and discover why I’ve been brought here. No luck so far. 

Wanna know something funny? Well, funny to me anyway… When I first met Sam I was really freaked out by all of this and desperate to get out of limbo because it has such a bad wrap amongst the living. My first thought was that I had been sent here for being a lesbian. Good ‘ol Catholic schoolgirl guilt. I was so dead certain that’s what it was, but Sam just kind of smirked, shook his head and told me it doesn’t work that way. That was such a relief, but to think back on that moment is pretty embarrassing now. So naïve! Then I totally broke down in this tirade of a confessional a la Chunk in the Goonies, running the gamut of every little deed in the past 16 years that could have been considered not entirely up to snuff. But sam said I was thinking about this all wrong. I wish he would have told me that, you know, before I spilled my guts about every minute detail of my short life. But I’m sure that’s what keeps his job interesting. I’ve never asked Sam how he got here, or why he was stuck counseling us new arrivals, but once I caught a glimpse beneath the cuff of his sleeve and I saw the gaping razor wounds. He’s a good guy, and I’m glad I have him. I wish Sam could tell me why I’m here and what my penance will be, but it’s all very existential and philosophical and “doesn’t work that way”. He says I have to find the answer “within”, which sounds so silly and frustrating, but I get it I guess. I’m working on it. And really, limbo’s not so bad for the time being. 

It Stains the Sands Red – Stains a Little Deeper Than One Might Suspect

Horror Girl Problems


At first glance, It Stains the Sands Red plays like a fun, silly, admirably low budget zombie flick. Fans of independent film will no doubt appreciate the innovative primary setup – one girl, one zombie, one desert. Two actors and an endless location with nobody to bother you about permits and paperwork. Genius way to utilize what you’ve got rather than emphasizing what you don’t. The sort of thing born out of treating certain limitations as a challenge to work within creative constraints.

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Festival Obscura’s Celebration at Sunnyside Cemetery: An Abundance of Beer for a Great Cause


Saturday, June 30th Festival Obscura hosted a fundraising celebration to benefit Long Beach’s historic Sunnyside Cemetery. The event included over 45 craft breweries, along with live music performances, food trucks and horror related artists and vendors. The location was magical, the lines were short and quick moving, organization was impressive and the brews were of course, delicious. The best part? It was all for a wonderful cause…

Continue reading “Festival Obscura’s Celebration at Sunnyside Cemetery: An Abundance of Beer for a Great Cause”

Universal Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights 2017 Review

hhnAt times it really felt like Universal was phoning it in this year. Midway through the night, it was looking a bit bleak. We had done the terror tram and Ash vs Evil Dead and we were thoroughly unimpressed, with a lot left to cover with our few remaining hours.

The Shining Maze wins at Halloween, wins at all mazes this year, and maybe wins all mazes ever.Continue reading “Universal Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights 2017 Review”

Top Non-Horror Halloween Flicks 

Sometimes you’re in the mood for some happy hearted Halloween goodness minus the horror and gore. As much as I love the horror and gore, I get it! So here’s a list of flicks to get you in the Halloween spirit, even if you’re not a horror hound. And if you are a horror hound… these can still be a lot of fun to round out your October watch list.

Continue reading “Top Non-Horror Halloween Flicks “