Category Archives: Live Music

Fourth of July in L.A. with Grupo Soñador, DJ Nu-Mark, Tropa Magica and Healing Gems

Healing Gems live at Gloria Molina Grand Park for the 2024 Fourth of July Block Party (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)
Healing Gems live at Gloria Molina Grand Park for the 2024 Fourth of July Block Party (Pic: Liz O.)

At 5 p.m. on the Fourth of July, the sun is still beating against Gloria Molina Grand Park. It’s not as hot in downtown Los Angeles as one might expect after hearing the word “heatwave” over and over again on the news. It’s definitely not as hot as the Twilight Zone episode I had just watched, “The Midnight Sun,” which, let me tell you, is not one you want to see right as you’re getting ready to leave your air conditioned bubble on a summer day. Still, it’s sweaty-hot and all-too-sunny in the section of the park across from City Hall on this Thursday afternoon, but Healing Gems is riding a party vibe.  

For Fourth of July, Grand Park throws a massive, free block party. There’s live music, DJs, rides, games and, for the second year in a row, a drone spectacle that lights up the sky without all the side-effects of fireworks. Once the sun sets, this 12-acre park will be packed, but we haven’t reached that point yet. Right now, a handful of folks have already staked claims on the park’s few shady spots with picnic blankets. A smattering of others brave direct sunlight for space in front of the stage. 

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Miki Berenyi Trio, Tolhurst x Budgie at Fonda Theatre, May 29, 2024

Miki Berenyi Trio live at Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles on May 29, 2024 (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)
This was the least crappy cel phone pic of Miki Berenyi Trio I took from the back of the room at Fonda Theatre.

Lol Tolhurst x Budgie were a couple songs into their set opening for Miki Berenyi Trio on Wednesday night when I noticed something strange. The sea of people in front of me at the Fonda Theatre was dark. There was not a single cel phone glowing above their heads. It was a sight I hadn’t seen since the year before the iPhone was released and it was jarring. Did I miss an announcement or something? Was security going to kick me out if I pulled out my phone?

Continue reading Miki Berenyi Trio, Tolhurst x Budgie at Fonda Theatre, May 29, 2024

Family of Light, Host Family, Rose Haze Play Harvard and Stone on May 23. I’ll Be DJing

Family of Light, Host Family, Rose Haze at Harvard and Stone Thursday, May 23, 2024

On Thursday, May 23, I’ll be playing tunes at Harvard and Stone for the Family of Light, Host Family and the Rose Haze show, presented by The Witching Hours. This is one of those events where I highly recommend early arrival because you won’t want to miss any of the artist’s on the bill. It’s the sort of line up I love, where all the bands have a different, but complementary, sounds.

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L.A. Music Events: September 15 – September 21, 2023

Taleen Kali Residency Harvard & Stone Los Angeles September 20, 2023 with DJ Liz O.

This coming week, I’ll be joining Taleen Kali’s residency at Harvard & Stone for a special DJ set before, after and in between the bands. More info on that below the jump. Plus, I’ve included a handful of other L.A. music events, including clubs, concerts and record fairs that are on my radar for the week. Keep reading and mark your calendars. 

Continue reading L.A. Music Events: September 15 – September 21, 2023

Weekend Recap: Echo Park Rising, Plus Dancing, Records and Trains

Nolune live at Echo Park Rising outside of Bar Henry, September 9, 2023 Photo by Liz Ohanesian
Nolune live outside of Bar Henry for Echo Park Rising

For one baffling moment, the thought of walking the 1.2 mile stretch of Sunset Blvd. between Spacedust and Bar Henry for Echo Park Rising on Saturday afternoon sounded doable. I quickly came to my senses and vetoed that option, though, on account of it being somewhere around 90 degrees, per the weather app on my phone. Plus, the list of things I wanted to do that day was out of control. So, instead, I stuck around Bar Henry long enough to see Nolune, Micah Preite and Datamaps play fantastic sets on the sidewalk as traffic whizzed past us. 

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L.A. Music Events: September 8 – September 14, 2023

Photo of a mermaid video projection The Mermaid bar Little Tokyo Music Events Los Angeles Liz Ohanesian Beatique
I’ll be your Dolce Vita DJ at The Mermaid (where you can see this mermaid video projection) on Tuesday, September 12. Stop by and check out these other L.A. music events throughout the week too.

Having a hard time keeping up on L.A. music events? Yeah, same here. But, to try and make it a little easier for people to get out and see what this city has to offer, I wrote up a list of events that I’m interested in attending this week. (I’ll for sure be at two of them, since I’ll be DJing.)  Check it out and if you make it to any of the shows or parties listed below, let me know on Instagram

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My Final Trip to Oracle Tavern

Oracle Tavern in Chinatown Los Angeles August 29 2023 (Photo Liz Ohanesian)
Inside Oracle Tavern (Pic: Liz O.)

By some fluke of the algorithm, I saw a post on Instagram that Tinglez were playing at Oracle Tavern for Unusual Tuesdays last week. Since relevant event information has become increasingly rare on my timeline— I frequently see Insta flyers days after the fact— that this post even reached my eyeballs on a night when I happened to be free was surely a sign that I had to go. 

And I did go to Unusual Tuesdays later that evening. Tinglez packed the dreamiest space disco into set that was shorter than Patrick Cowley’s remix of “I Feel Love.” The energy in the crowd was electric as people pulled in closer to the stage. I was glad to be there, not only to catch this set, but because it would be my last venture at Oracle Tavern. 

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It’s Coachella Weekend, I Went to a Local Show Instead

Acidtrain live at Sean Carnage Friday Night at Oracle Tavern on April 14 2023 Photo by Liz Ohanesian
Acidtrain live at Oracle Tavern

I hate to break it to you in the midst of this “indie sleaze” moment, but the late ‘00s weren’t that cool. It was the era when poseurs and paparazzi flocked to Hollywood and West Hollywood to catch a glimpse of the misadventures of Lindsay Lohan. Bottle service was on the rise, as were the profiles of well-connected, but barely competent DJs. People started dressing up for Coachella, a baffling development to anyone who ever stepped near a porta potty on the final evening of the festival. This was also the time when it was obvious that we were in an endless war and the divide between the haves and have-nots was just going to get bigger. The late ‘00s foreshadowed all of today’s bullshit, but people were too entranced by gossip blogs to notice. 

Lest I ruin your enjoyment of early 21st century nostalgia, I’ll let you in on one really cool thing that happened in the midst of ‘00s L.A. That was Sean Carnage’s Monday Nights. Between the mid-’00s and mid-’10s, Sean put together weekly showcases of local and touring underground artists first at Il Corral in East Hollywood and then at Pehrspace in Historic Filipinotown.  Over 1100 bands played the events. Some became well-known, at least in indie circles. Most were just really cool.

Continue reading It’s Coachella Weekend, I Went to a Local Show Instead

If Artist Visa Fees Rise, It’s Bad For Everyone

London Suede live at Hollywood Palladium November 10 2022 Liz Ohanesian
Suede live at Hollywood Palladium back in November 2022

In case you haven’t already heard, there’s talk about raising visa fees for musicians, amongst others. It’s a significant increase too. Resident Advisor reported that the P visa, which is for touring artists, would skyrocket from $460 to $1615, while the O visa would go from $460 to $1655. 

I sent in a comment expressing my concerns over this fee hike. If you’re opposed to this, you should do the same and have until March 6 to submit one

This isn’t the comment that I submitted, but it’s why I’m opposed to the fee hike. Feel free to adapt the info as you wish when you submit yours. 

  1. Obtaining a visa to tour in the United States has long been a complicated and expensive process. Those of you who go to a lot of shows can probably recall at least a few instances where a band dropped off the bill at the last minute citing visa issues. On top of that, touring has grown increasingly expensive for everyone. Raising the visa fees is going to create a barrier of entry so great that only those artists with major financial backing will be able to do it. 
  2. U.S. artists benefit international artists touring here. It’s often U.S. artists who are the support acts on the road, plus local bands and DJs open at specific shows. These can be amazing opportunities to raise the profile of lesser-known or emerging artists here. 
  3. International touring artists are often big draws for local venues. Particularly in the case of indie clubs, these shows can both provide necessary revenue and raise the overall profile of the venue. This is all very important given that nightlife is still struggling to recover from the pandemic shutdown of 2020/21.
  4. A rise in visa fees means a rise in the costs related to international artists playing any gig in the U.S., which could mean that corporate behemoths Ticketmaster/Live Nation and AEG will be the only ones who can afford to support international artists in the States. Do you really want to support anything that will help strengthen their stranglehold on live music?

Recently, I wrote about how and why you should support your local music scene. Part of that is supporting the touring artists who stop through our cities as well. If we want our hometown music scenes to survive, we need to make sure that bands from outside of the U.S. can play here too.

Catch Los Angeles-based DJ Liz O. at one of her upcoming gigs.