Interview with Djemba Djemba

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Djemba Djemba is one of the most interesting underground producers in Los Angeles right now, and has his hands in many projects and crews including Team Supreme, Mad Decent, and his own label Rabbit Records.  His bass-heavy style is punctuated by moments of pure beauty and utter strangeness, making his music unpredictable but resonant. Despite staying underground, he’s also managed to produce music for some of the world’s biggest pop stars while keeping his signature futuristic style intact. His live show gets people completely nuts– see for yourself on Sunday of Hard Day of the Dead coming up in 2 weeks…

L.A. TACO: What’s your favorite taco?

DJEMBA DJEMBA: Guisados and Tacos Arizas.

LAT: How does the City of LA inspire you? What are your favorite and least favorite things in LA?

DD: I’m originally from Iowa, so pretty much everything about LA inspires me. Even the traffic. Most of my music is made to play in traffic to get out your aggression, or to play while cruising the strip with your window’s down to get weird looks. The worst thing about LA is the air quality. My favorite thing about LA is my access to excellent Mexican, El Salvadorian, Brazilian, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, and Taiwanese foods; the meals that “foodie” restaurants other cities pretend to reinvent and charge 5x the price I can get it at home.

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My Favorite Taco ~ Roy Choi

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Roy Choi did a fun AMA on Reddit earlier today, and one of the questions the redditors asked him was about his favorite tacos. The reply was:

some are: mariscos jalisco, leo’s, ariza, taco zone.

Roy was also asked “What do you order to judge a taco truck?”, and responded thusly:

al pastor and carne asada plus i taste the salsas and look at the taquero’s face.

 

Video Interview with RAKAA from DILATED PEOPLES

RYO1 (Ghetto Dojo Crew) sat down with the legendary RAKAA from Dilated Peoples for a discussion of his music, graffiti, jiu-jitsu, and what the future holds for him and his crew. Oh and yeah of course we asked him about his favorite taco spot…

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My Favorite Taco ~ Luke Chueh

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We’ve been fans of Luke Chueh’s since we first discovered his art years ago at Gallery 1988. At first glance it might seem easy to categorize Luke as one of a number of artists working within the chasm between popular culture and surrealism, but his work has always been both funnier and darker than his peers’. The veneer of cute simplicity draws people to his paintings, but the depth of both his colors and his hilarious depravity turns them into obsessed admirers and collectors.

Chueh’s new show, “Self-ish” (preview images below) adds new textures, colors, and juxtapositions while reprising some favorite motifs. “My work is an illustrative exploration of visual and narrative contrasts,” explains Chueh. “Drawing inspiration from comics and cartoons, my “cute/innocent” characters are juxtaposed into a world filled with addiction, illness, misery, and loss.” The opening reception for Self-ish will be Saturday, October 11, 2014, from 7-10pm at CHG Circa in Culver City. The reception is open to the public, and the exhibition is on view through November 1.

With the art stuff out of the way, it’s time to get down on what really matters here– where Luke likes to get a taco. So, Luke Chueh, what’s your favorite taco?

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Concrete Porn ~ Q&A with Ted VanCleave

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Ted VanCleave is fascinated by concrete. The internationally renowned visual artist uses photography to explore the size, shape, texture, and overall grandiosity of concrete in his new photo series titled Concrete Porn ~ Buildings & Bridges. As most of it was shot in Los Angeles, we were very interested to ask VanCleave about the pornography of concrete, and where he gets his tacos. A gallery of his images is presented at the end, along with a reader contest…

What are the essential elements of a beautiful concrete structure?  
For me, it’s all about texture. Whatever materials are used to make the concrete forms, the molds, they are permanently impressed into the dry concrete. And concrete is one of the few exterior building materials that don’t require painting, so you see the actual building materials exposed. I’m all about texture.

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DEANSKII INTERVIEW

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DEANSKII is L.A. born and raised, and uses his film photography and ‘zines to give the world an insight into his life in the city. We got a chance to discuss photography and tacos with a man who loves his family, his crew, and documenting the art, triumphs, and tragedies of underground Los Angeles…

What’s your favorite taco?
I have to save my dad makes the best beef and potato tacos. I add some sweet chili sauce to it and it’s fire. But place-wise, I like the carnitas tacos at Diana’s in Carson, plus they’re open 24/7 can’t go wrong with that.
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My Favorite Taco with Fei-Fei, Host of Feided ~ TONIGHT at the Lash in Downtown Los Angeles

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What can people expect at your monthly night at the Lash in DTLA?
Lots of tequila and lots of fun. And a ton of dope music. I have a pretty diverse style myself so I’m looking forward to bringing a different flavor to DTLA. A mix of all my favorite artists, friends and of course the Feided crew. It’s all about the vibe for me, whether it’s bass-house-future-indie-trap-hop-electronica. I just want people to have fun.

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Interview With Shanks Rajendran, Filmmaker Behind the “Los Scandalous” Skid Row Documentary

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Shanks Rajendran is an Australian filmmaker who has made waves in the United States for his searing look at forgotten and ignored areas within big cities. His first documentary here, Liberty City: Miami explored South Florida’s toughest neighborhood from the inside, and was hailed as raw and searing by online reviewers. Now he’s come to Los Angeles to bring the same outsider-yet-insider point of view to our most deprived part of town- Skid Row.

What brought you to skid row?

When I first came to Los Angeles for a holiday two years ago I was sight seeing. I went to Rodeo Drive, the Hollywood Hills, Staples Center and then my friend said: “Look I know you love doing documentaries so I want you to see something.”

Two blocks down he drove and there it was.  Something I’ve never heard of or seen.  SKID ROW. It was night time so there were just tents and tents and more tents. I saw people hanging around…saw a fight, saw a fire truck pulling someone out of a public bathroom, all that stuff. It was all happening right before my eyes within the period of a good 15-20 minutes.

Coming fresh from a place like Melbourne, Australia – I’ve never seen anything like this. It was one of the most confusing moments in my life… I remember asking myself  “What is this?”

As a documentarian, I live and breathe issues concerning poverty, deprivation and failures. At that point, I knew Skid Row was something I wanted to look into.

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Interview with Sam Sweet, Author of the Forthcoming “All Night Menu,” A Secret History of Los Angeles

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Sam Sweet lives in Highland Park and has written about surfing, music, and Los Angeles culture for the New Yorker and the Paris Review. His latest project is All Night Menu, a 64-page book that is the first in a five-volume series about the lost heroes and miniature histories of Los Angeles. The writing takes to you places you didn’t know were real but are right in your backyard and introduces you to people who shaped this city in unseen ways. Created wholly in Los Angeles, the booklet is only available locally, in stores like South Willard, Mollusk Surf Shop, and Anzen Hardware. More info at the end of this interview.

How long have you lived in Los Angeles, and what neighborhoods do you like best?

I moved here in 2007. I like the usual stuff. How can you not? No amount of overexposure can diminish the greatness of driving on Mulholland, or loitering on the rim of the Venice Skate Park, or being on the top floor of the Arclight parking garage. Even so, I think you get the best of Los Angeles in places undefined by any particular attractions. I’m happiest when I’m doing nothing much in Lincoln Heights, Chatsworth, El Segundo. I love Sun Valley because it’s so fiercely unattractive but within that labyrinth of auto recyclers is a living culture that is unique to LA. In a more conventional sense, I think San Pedro is one of the prettiest towns in America.

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Mexico City’s DJ SMURPHY Lands in Los Angeles

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THIS WEEK MEXICO CITY’S DJ SMURPHY STOMPS OVER THE BORDER AND OUT OF TIJUANA’S ALL MY FRIENDS FEST TO PLAY AN ONSLAUGHT OF SHOWS IN LA. DJ SMURPHY PART OF SPIRTUAL REGGAETONERO LABEL N.A.F.F.I. PLAYS #TRIPMENTAL MUSIC- THINK CUMBIATON RAVE MUSIC PLAYED OUT OF A LOWRIDER ICE CREAM TRUCK ON A SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON.

The electronic music scene in Mexico that exploded in the last few years is beginning to mature.. How has that sound developed? What’s the party/music scene in DF like these days?

I think music scene in Mexico has grown just by the need of young people to party. Is relatively easy to make it, and so fun to spread it around and get people response. Mexican people love to party, its our nature!!! and we do it well!!! DF is such a wild place, we have like certain different music movements around, formed by very different people -socially and economically – with very different backgrounds. You can be in a neighborhood in DF and move a few miles and find a total new place, also in the last years must people from other parts from the country moved here, and the vibe of the city however have changed a lot. It could seems that scene in DF is just at cool neighborhoods like Roma or Condesa – our “soho” (lol) – but thats not true. The city has a huge variety of ghetto places, with their own music movements – cumbias, huarachas, salsa, reggaeton, hardstyle, punk, tribal, house, electro, even hippies!!! – there are a lot of young people starved to party, but unfortunately, we have just a few clubs, and not much money! As well, to party in DF is quite expensive, most for young people. We all just wanna have some fun, tho.

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My Favorite Taco: Britt Ehringer ~ “Tacos at Midnight” Opens in Ojai on June 14th

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Britt Ehringer may be best known for his pop culture works such as Scarface on top of the pile of kittens (see below), but he’s also obsessed with Southern California. A Manhattan Beach native, his latest show deals with the essentials of SoCal life– tacos, skaters, beaches, and a certain grit and grime that doesn’t make it into Hollywood treatments. The show opens on June 14th in Ojai, CA. So, Britt Ehringer, what’s your favorite taco?

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