UCLA Jam/Reggae Weekend!

June 4, 2009

Reported by Jason Sugars of CDR/w for Fusicology.com

Photos by Jay Three Photography

Originally, I was going to ‘Live-Blog’ the event as each day went by. Overwhelmed by the people, the place, the sun and the sounds, I decided to instead write out an end-of-day report and put that up… Didn’t manage that either… But I couldn’t just let it go!

I’ll start with this, ‘I had a great time’! I always enjoy the event(s) – Fusicology.com is a sponsor and media partner each year and this year, we did it again! I ran into a great number of friends new and old, ate ‘til I felt fat and really, REALLY enjoyed a lot of the performances!

Without getting all philosophical and sounding semi-crazy, suffice to say that both days were full of smiles and good energy! Saturday was brought on with a couple of stand-out performances earlier by soulful sound-smiths, LOUDER THAN WORDS and The NIKHIL KORULA BAND, whom I’d heard of locally but hadn’t seen before.

This year, the Festival’s Student-Organizers did away with the pretense of a ‘Jazz’ Day (when are we ever going to get that back?) and we heard plenty of Jam, Soul and Hip Hop leading up to another strong showing from Hip-Hop Legends DE LA SOUL and a bright and blowing (while sadly abbreviated) performance from Ms. ERYKAH BADU!!!

Apparently the people of neighboring Bel-Air needed to get to bed rather early on Saturday night and – as a result – the headliner of the show was unable to present her full set… Still, what we got was nice-ness and as the day became a chilly evening, I’m guessing that many of us were OK with things the way they turned out! Although I could have done with a little more of her vibe, both new and old.

Sunday was ablaze as well, not too crowded though the people started pouring in the second half of the day… I’m sure that a lot of us were still recuperating from ‘Jam’ day… except I did M recuperation with the help of some Goat, Patties, Honest Tea and some of the best Peach Cobbler (ala mode) I’ve EVER had since Gram’ma passed!

THE JAMAICAN GOLD soundbwoys had me grooving from the very start (Big’ups, to that whole crew!) and I really enjoyed some of the opening acts… NOLA DARLING were pretty cool, I’d never heard of them before being introduced the day before and I wonder how many others really got the Spike Lee reference (or De La Soul for that matter), still I liked them… I have to track them down and check them out again.

The rest of the acts were perfect for the day (how come I never get to hear “I’ll Do Anything For You whenever I see Morgan Heritage or any of their Family…? I LOVE THAT SONG!) and MOVADO gave us exactly what we needed as we wound the day out… I could have done with a few less expletives coming from the stage, and I hope that little boy got back to his folks before he set into a panic…!

OVERALL: There was a grand time to be had by all… Congrats and thanks to UCLA and especially to the students that put it together, put it on and put it down!


Omar back in LA April 7th!

March 23, 2009
Tuesday, April 7th 2009


Los Angeles (March 20, 2009) – On Tuesday, April 7th, UK Soul Sensation, Omar will perform live at The Conga Room. The show starts at 9pm and will showcase KCRW’s Garth Trinidad as host and DJ before and after Omar’s set.

After a five-year recording hiatus – during which time he’s built his own studio, set up his own label and been touring like a madman – the one and only Omar is back.

Sing [If You Want It], released on Ether Records, the British soul supremo’s sixth and perhaps funkiest album so far features guest appearances from Stevie Wonder, Angie Stone, Common, Estelle, Rodney P, JC Bentley, Canitbe and Ashman, and with additional production from Omar’s brother, Scratch Professor. It’s a brilliant collection of music that manages to break new ground for the artist, yet at the same time re-establishes that unmistakable, unique Omar signature sound with his army of fans.

“On the last album, Best By Far, I was very influenced by soundtracks and Latin jazz,” explains Omar. “This time I wanted something a bit more funky, something to put my music back in the clubs. I still use the live instruments and the strings when I feel them, ‘cause that’s me, but the kick and the snare are much louder this time. That’s why my brother’s more involved, ’cause he’s great with those hip-hop beats.”

Tickets are priced at $30 for VIP and $18 for GA. There is a special LIMITED $12 ticket for Fusicology readers – just type in code FUSEOMAR when checking out via this Ticketmaster Link. Tickets can also be purchased through The Conga Room Box Office. For more information please call 866.95.CONGA.


Omar on Myspace


Twiistup 5 & Gravity Summit

February 18, 2009

Twiistup 5 in Santa Monica was once again a sold-out success! Some of the tech companies that caught our eye: Causecast, dubbed “a one stop philanthropy shop”, FixYa, empowering individuals to repair and improve upon their already-purchased possessions

Especially though we were very impressed with GoGreenSolar, a global group of professionals dedicated to improve the distribution of renewable energy products, services and financing.

Twiistup Photos (c/o Twiistup’s Mike Macadaan)

Gravity Summit is pleased to announce the speakers for the Social Media Marketing for Business seminar to be held on February 25, 2009, at The UCLA Faculty Center. This event will address how companies are applying social media marketing tools to expand brand awareness and loyalty.

Speakers invited to participate at the Gravity Summit event represent top brands and have been selected based on industry expertise and will provide unique insights into their social media marketing strategies. For the full event description and speakers go to gravitysummit.com

The event is $349 at the door but Fusicology readers, there is a $279 Discount Link Promo Code: PROMO1 and a $150 Student Discount Link Promo Code: EDUCATE


Grammy Events Reviews: My Hang Suite & Janelle Monae

February 12, 2009

Written By Zanne of Deep LA

Monae Monae MooooNAE!

It ALWAYS pays off to listen to one’s intuition. I knew before today began that a woman of my early 30s-gone-77 paced lifestyle would need a nap part way through a pre-Grammy day, especially since I’d be rolling with the one and only Queen of Fusicology, Asya Shein.

A lovely brunch showcase put on by My Hang Suite in the O Hotel lobby featured Heavy D, J*DaVeY, Res (rocked “In the Garden”!!), Wayna + Janelle Monae and was hosted, “Soul Train style” (self-proclaimed ;-)) by Uncle Garth Trinidad, which started the day off perfectly.

Smiling we were, effortlessly fulfilling the request made by Janelle’s cover of “Smile” (Yes, she’s the got pipes to take that song in every direction and make it her own) and less overtly by her loving rephrasing of Garth’s question about her album being released on Bad Boy Records + Sean Combs. She clarified that her record label, Wondaland Arts Society does the choosing. After the music we lingered a couple minutes, just long enough for me to do what the 2nd half of my mission was:  Promote Deep LA’s 10 Year Anniversary celebration next Sunday Feb 15 (6pm – 4am).

A snack and nap were in order or there would be no hope for any more social frolicking for Zanne. So home I went, and home…I…love…and the rain began again. Umm…is there anyone in LA who’s calendar is not affected by rainy weather? You go, girls + boys! I’d be lying if I write “I knew I had to go all along” to Giant Step’s Mondrian event which was next up on deck. No, it wasn’t until the 5:30pm voice said “30 minute nap, and you’ll feel great + be so glad you decided to go.”

The more I call on that voice, the easier I recognize it over the verrrrry similar tone of the “other” that is always overflowing with every excellently tantalizing reason to stay home + read + chill + “go to sleep early because I have to wake up early…”

So I listen. Brush the teeth, toss on the clothes and red lipstick…text Asya that I’m on the way…

Get to the Mondrian Hotel to the Sky Bar event hosted graciously by Giant Step…by myself casually roaming about to see what this intuitive-final-say-having voice knew before I did…Garth Trinidad is spinning the perfect selects… Ah yes…here we go…I run into old NYC friends like Tyler of HVW8 and DJ Jahi… Lovely. Chat with a friend of a friend who’s publishing 2 books, congratulations, that is wonderful…

…Time for Janelle.

The place is loud while mostly attentive. She plays a similar set to the morning showcase, and though showing little expression as the Angelenos do so well, folks are enjoying her. Then the rock-out section begins, janelle + her andre-3000-favoring guitarist heavy head nodding…until she gets down into the crowd, roams….goes back toward stage…then back off into the crowd…
She jumps in the POOL!

Hallelujah! The Angelenos are looking more like enthusiastic European football fanatics by the second. I can’t see anything through the crowd, but the field of phone cameras overhead of the silhouetted crowd is reminding me of an illuminated birthday cake. She stayed in there a while! Next thing I knew she was back on stage opening a bottle of water to drink…which then found itself over her head slooowwwwly trickling it onto her mohawked-french-twist crown…until the bottle was empty. The theatre of it all! We love it. Her freedom unlocks the (self-inflicted) conformist chains of onlooking fans.

Just when I felt completely grateful for the entertainment and self-congratulatory for “deciding to go out”, I looked up…in the latern-laden tree next to the stage…she ain’t done yet! 3-4 minutes of graceful climbing was all it took to win over the any remaining righteous skeptics. Jaws open + SMILES on every face.

After seeing her live, Monae seems to do everything with the same vibrance and imagination (album artwork, uniform, lyrics, melodies, beats…) In one 30 minute show, she went for swim, rinsed herself off, then felt like exercising so she went for a climb. And by the way, she was sober through it all.

A little “nuts”…a breath of fresh air…answered prayer…whatever you want to call her…

People…gottta haaave it!
Monae monae moooNAE!
(You know the song.)


Idle Warship LA show review

January 22, 2009

By Morgan Wells of The Other Night

Jan 13, 2009

Idle Warship is hotter than New York pavement in July. Fronted by Talib Kweli and two of the finest ladies in the underground right now – Res and Graph Nobel – and backed by an incredible live band, this high energy, danceable heat wave will have you so enthralled you’ll forget to wipe that nasty sweat drip from your forehead. But for real, I headed for the Roxy in West Hollywood anticipating a crop of surprised smiles on the faces of my music industry friends as they were sure to find themselves actually listening to the music at an event for once instead of concentrating on frantic Blackberry emailing and keeping that look of detached LA-cool.

I had seen Idle Warship’s show at New York’s famous BB Kings venue only a few weeks back, and I’ve been buzzing about it ever since. And, to put this in perspective, I am usually one of the Blackberry addicts in the back of the VIP, barely looking up as the parade of blah blah blah rambles on through the stage. I was excited (yes, actually excited for a show in LA) when I found out Kweli was bringing his newest project to the Roxy in West Hollywood for a full length set, so of course, I hit the shops for a new top, which turned out to be a beautiful, flowing, scarf-like, blouse, off the shoulder with a flower print. Ok, too much detail, but damn, my camera broke last night, and I looked fresh! 😉

Anyway, I arrived at the Roxy about 11pm with my good girlfriend Lara Kelley from MTV Digital Sales in tow. I was pleased to see my girl Asya’s company Fusicology on the marquee (Go Girl) as we walked up and into the show with no problems. I havr to say that I was floored by Idle Warship once again. Highlights of the set included the very single-worthy “Steady,” which features a little singing part by Kweli (Go Boy) and a crazy rendition of Kweli’s solo hit, “Get By.” Oh, and “Black Snake Moan” is freakin ridiculous.

I cannot say how much I love this band. It’s fun ass music that the hip hop heads can get down to without feeling guilty because they can technically still be “hard” since it’s Talib Kweli. I say, throw all that fronting out the window and get your soul clap on. Remember to wipe that sweat off your brow, though, baby!



From Garth Trinidad – last day of Chocolate City’s KCRW fund drive

August 15, 2008

hey folks –

want to make sure you’re all aware of kcrw’s annual summer sign up. this is when we ask listeners to consider monetary support by signing up as members of kcrw, or renewing their memberships. memberships last for one year and the benefits are great if you use them.

believe it or not, this is still how the station generates most of its operating budget. in a nutshell, because uncle sam doesn’t want to support public broadcasting like kcrw, institutions have to rely heavily on the public to operate. once the people stop investing, corporate interest takes over and cats like me start getting told what to program…i pray that day never comes.

please consider taking some time out this saturday evening (i’m on from 6pm-9pm) and either becoming a member, or renewing your membership. there are a ton of gifts we offer in return, sweepstakes for 5-star vacays and new cars, bonus freebies, concert tickets, and of course, lots and lots of great music! all of which you can hear us talk about on the air, or you can check out online – you can sign up online as well, but fyi, we still have human beings answering the pledge phones and the 800 # is toll free of course.

i recommend asking for uncle garth’s stellar 4 pack of cds for a pledge of a c-note ($100). my pack includes:

  • the roots/ rising down
  • seun kuti/ seun kuti & fela’s egypt 80
  • os ipanemas/ call of the gods
  • zaki ibrahim/ eclectica ep

you can put together your own 4 pack of cds if you want. we have hundreds of titles available and the folks answering the calls have all the info at their fingertips. there are of course other levels at which to pledge that vary from $25 into the super-baller thousands. whatever you can do is greatly appreciated! PLEEEEAAASSSE consider the need for public broadcasting institutions amidst the corporate media agenda. please tell your peoples to consider supporting as well. i look forward to thanking you on the air…

call: 800-600-KCRW (5279)
online: www.kcrw.com

gracious thanks!!


PB WOLF VS LA | Stones Throw

July 16, 2008

8 nights, 8 clubs, 8 genres. All videos.


From August 1st – August 8th, Peanut Butter Wolf will do an 8-day tour of L.A. in celebration of 8-8-08, performing all music video sets, with 8 unique genres of music over the course of 8 consecutive nights. No song & video will be repeated twice. Each club is specifically hand picked by Wolf as his favorite local weekly events.

"888" is third in a series of yearly events for PB Wolf, following a Heavy Metal DJ set on 6-6-06, and last year’s Gospel-themed 777 based around a 7-day DJ event which ended on 7-7-07.

8/1: Disco videos- Firecracker Block Party @ Grand Star
8/2: Oldies videos – Funky Sole @ Jimmy’s Lounge
8/3: House video – Do-Over @ Cranes
8/4: Boogie videos – Funkmosphere @ Carbon
8/5: Party rock videos – Dim Mak Tuesdays @ Cinespace
8/6: Reggae videos – Dub Club @ The Echoplex
8/7: Hip Hop videos – Rootdown @ Little Temple
8/8: Movie music videos – @ ???

Who is going?