L.A. the Blog: Local Band ‘Gangi’ Exploring the Frontier Of Electronica

Not too long ago during a free show at the Bootleg Theater, L.A. the Blog came across local musicians Matt Gangi and Eric Chramosta, who play together as the band Gangi packing the stage area and filling the dark space with solid sounds in a live show that deserves respect.  Taking electronic music’s signature downbeats and electro-acid fills combined with some impressive live drumming by Eric, and psychedelic guitar, vocals and keyboards by Matt, the duo impressively drew all the technical elements together into a performance well worth experiencing.

Most reminiscent of the pysch-pop sounds of bands like Phantogram and more experimental psychedelic bands such as Animal Collective, Gangi finds a nice middle where they incorporate less of a pop sound, keeping the heavy and fast drums and/or guitar of rock’ n’ roll, while not falling into experimental limbo with enough hard electronic rhythms tempered by the psychedelic lyrics and keyboard to create songs that kept the crowd gasping for more.

Besides the great music at the show, L.A. the Blog was even more impressed watching them put the songs together.  Whether it was Eric pounding out the electronic bass lines on drum pads to loop during his own drum solos, or Matt switching from keyboard to guitar while providing the electro-acid background noise through any numerous distortion and frequency devices, their energy held the show together.

We shot some video with our trusty mobile device, and are happy to share.  So you don’t judge them by our crappy video, below also find a music video that the band posted to their own site gangimusic.com.  You can also find them on facebook and myspace!

If you get a chance head down to the Sunset Junction 2012 Jubilee on Sunday, May 27th, and catch them at El Cid for a show at 5 p.m.  You can also check their band page for other upcoming shows.  Well worth your time.

Gangi live Bootleg Theater – L.A. the Blog

L.A. the Blog: Two New Eateries On Hollywood Blvd.

As the machine development wheels forward unconquerable, implacable along the famous stretch of Hollywood Boulevard known as the Walk of Fame, where in golden stars immortalized forever rest the names of iconic people who bestowed years of entertainment upon us – L.A. the Blog is happy to announce two new eateries marking the mythic landscape.  They totally make the “cheap eats” list of places to grab a quick bite and both are well worth the visit.

The first place anyone from New York will recognize, and everyone else who watched Spider Man 2 the movie should remember fondly.  The silver screen made-famous Joe’s Pizza where Toby McGuire playing Peter Parker worked delivering pizza in the film’s opening scenes – yes!  Joe’s Pizza is now gracing Hollywood right at Wilcox and Hollywood Blvd., and yes!  Right around the corner of another New York staple Papaya King.  We are experiencing a wholesale invasion from the east coast.  Next will see Dunkin’ Donuts or something.

Joe's Pizza

Joe’s famous NYC Pizza

As L.A. the Blog is personally very familiar with Joe’s pizza in New York our readers can trust us to safely critique the flavor of this new Joe’s in comparison to the one in NY.  Surprisingly the pizza is very similar in taste, almost exactly the same in taste, so we give the place an A+ for its pizza.  We will point out the slight differences.  Whether it is the high-volume of pies that Joe’s in NYC throws out compared to this one, or that the cooks on the east coast have a process they are used too, the pizza at the Los Angeles location definitely was in better condition and looked as if they LA guys took time and tender loving care putting the pizza together.  The crust was a little thicker, and in LA-fashion crispy too.

Where Joe’s NYC is famous for fresh out of the oven pies, and a really thin crust that no one in their right mind would call crispy; the LA spot hasn’t reached the years of perfection in knocking down millimeters off the thickness and doesn’t do the volume to demand out-of-the-oven pizzas every five minutes.  That we believe give the NY pies their distinct difference.  Or as others believe it could be that the water in Los Angeles is different from the water in NYC.  Yeah we use less chlorine maybe?

As taste goes if you miss a slice of NYC, then head to Joe’s because it is damn close!!!  The prices for a slice were around $2.50 so this place also makes our “cheap eats” list.

The other spot that just opened is right next to Joe’s at Hollywood and Wilcox, and is a taco stand, err … truck, or restaurant, or a really awesome and creative eatery that serves up some good Mexican food.

The Calle Taco truck, once a real food truck that graced the streets of Los Angeles now sits under an old Hollywood theater marquee near the intersection of Hollywood and Wilcox, slightly back from the sidewalk with tables and chairs in front, giving costumers a place to eat what the truck dishes up.

Calle Tacos should get an award for best-designed restaurant on the boulevard.  Not only did the place take a food truck, cut it in half, and place it on the inside of their restaurant so costumers have to order from the taco truck window, they also went all out in gracing the inside of the restaurant with beautiful graffiti murals of Los Angeles, and literally made the entrance to the bathrooms the front door to the food truck too.

Why you ask?  All in honor of the many taco / burrito dishing food trucks that everyday feed us on our merry ways through the city.  Memorializing in true Hollywood fashion a staple of Los Angeles life and culture.  L.A the Blog loves LA, so we love you Calle Tacos.

The food was good, we didn’t try everything on the menu but the carne asade burrito tasted great.  While not as cheep as a food truck with tacos at $1.95 and burritos at $5.95, you can definitely get some grub for under the $5, so it also makes the Blogs “cheap eats” list.  Check out below for some picks of the place and when in Hollywood be sure to stop in!  FYI – the graffiti is by LA-based artist Hex, aka Hector Rios.

UPDATE:  We just visited Calle Tacos again and noticed that Tuesday is $0.99 taco day, every Tuesday, and right now if you visit they have a free can of soda if you check in to their facebook page, or tweet about your visit.  We scored a great lunch for $3.24!

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L.A. the Blog: Salutes Poet Kirsten Broughton

In the pursuit of making this blog more than fire jumpers and television stars we pay tribute to Kirsten Broughton, poet and literary savant who befriended L.A. the Blog recently, debating literary genres, writers and periods for hours at a time.  Just published in Inscape 2012 literary magazine at Pasadena City College for her poem “Holy Bird,” we say congratulations Kirsten!  May your poetry find its way into many more hearts as it has our own.  Without further ado we are publishing in entirety her poem:

“Holy Birds”
by Kirsten Broughton


Forgive me Mother, for I was a baby.
Turned in your grip when we lowered
Down, my white dress bunched up. Priest
Poured holy water on my forehead.
Forgive me Mother; I am not sure it seeped in.

Forgive me Brother, for I was frightened.
We anticipated with open palms, our childish
Hunger still quenchable. Filled to the brim you always
Trusted. My cup half empty left me wanting.
Forgive me Brother, for taking more than my share.

Forgive me Sister, for I was not confident.
My burning eyes seek perfect sister skin. A teenage
Girl does not know: it is not killer looks singeing
Holes. It’s me, sizzled down to my jealous bones.
Forgive me Sister, I confess but I won’t let go.

Forgive me Grandmother, for I was foolish.
Kicking and screaming I knew more. Maternal
Pressure pushed me through, a tightly locked
Invisible door. A broken window is just a small price,
Forgive me Grandmother, for I am still not wise.

Forgive me Lover, for I have been hurt.
Because of you, I have come to know warmth. Yet,
Internal furnace could not burn; doubtful whispers
Floating up; “my lifetime bound in matrimony?”
Forgive me Lover, for I am claustrophobic

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. And
I still have the same question, “Does He hear my
Every thought?” Your answer has always been the
Same, “Words will scream but a silent smile saves.”
Forgive me Father, for I am desperate to be heard.

Forgive me Earth, for I am resisting death.
No Holy Oils could stretch my time. No
Anointing could relieve, the eternal wood
Box confine, that endless soil’s about to bring
So, when this borrowed body must return,
Forgive me Earth, I want to come back as a bird.


UPDATE:  If you are interested in more of Kirsten’s work and her art please visit here where you can find her musings, thoughts, reflections and favorite poets.

L.A. the Blog: Crazy Art Cars, 2nd Installment

Adding to the previous and earlier blog about crazy art cars in Los Angeles, we have a few more to add.  You can  check out the original post here.

Back view of graffiti busFront graffiti bus

Side View of Graffiti Bus

We needed to throw in a graffiti bus found down in Venice, for what is an art car posting without the a cool-ass bus in it?

A Peace car, not a pa-lease car.

What do you to with that old police interceptor? You turn it into the Peace car, at least that’s what these guys did. Hey, it’s the peace car, not the pa-lease car.

Pirates in the rape van

Heck we know who these guys are, but in all fun we want to leave it up to the viewer to guess what this picture is all about. An anarchy van, a strip club, masks and a pirate flag? All we can say is they are up to no good …


How did this end up here? Oh, well happy marriage you two – Gabe and Bridget get married!!!

UPDATE (5/12/12):

Turbo Lover Van

We needed to add one more crazy art car pick, this van is seen lurking around Hollywood, and we love it for its tribute to those things dead and satanic. Go Turbo Lover we love you!

Turbo Lover Van

L.A. the Blog: Collection of Los Angeles Art Cars

Though not unique to Los Angeles, this beautiful city has a collection of cars that people have taken and personalized in such a way that we are sure they are one of a kind.  So without out further ado the blog brings you the first few photos in a series of car photos that speak so loudly they couldn’t be ignored:


The it must float cork car ...

Well, obviously a heavy drinker’s car. Not only does the car float with so much cork on it, when the owner drives drunk he is protected from small fender benders. Wine anyone?

The Nor-Cal hella, hella, hella jeep.

Yes, not only does this car scream Nor-Cal with the “Hella” lights, it also hella is an advertisement for cigs, Camel cigs. L.A. the Blog hopes the owner won the car from collecting Camel cash.

The everything red car ...

This car is made of so many miscellaneous red items that we can’t really classify the car, but choose to call it “Classy Red.”

Cool car

We thought this car just looked rather cool and fast …

Stay tuned for more car fun!

L.A. the Blog: Little House On The Sidewalk Prairie

Just off Melrose exists a quiet little home in the middle of a grass partition, we like to call it little house on the sidewalk prairie.  Once again we would like to pay our respects to the creative use of public space …

L.A. the Blog: Persecution Takes A Holiday in L.A.

Call it art!  Call it vandalism!  Call it the protest that its name implies, but whatever it is (maybe I should just ask??) these pics circulating online show once again that making a statement requires little else than a few drops of paint and an idea.  L.A. the Blog applauds “Persecution Takes a Holiday In L.A.”:

PS – If you have more pics send them my way!!!

UPDATE:  Added in June 2012 is some more pics from the project.