Tag Archives: Italo Disco

Pet Shop Boys, Optometry, Ride and More New Music

Cover for Interplay 2024 album by Ride
Cover for Ride’s new album, Interplay, which I was listening to for the first time while finishing this post.

It sounds like we’re on the verge of another Pet Shop Boys moment. Or, at least, that’s how I hope 2024 will sound and, judging from the response on the dance floor, the L.A. crowds seem to agree. But, then again, L.A.’s affinity for the British duo has endured since the 1980s. 

In January, I fell for the cover of “Being Boring” by TR/ST, with guest vocals from Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters. Shortly after that dropped, Pet Shop Boys themselves released “Loneliness,” the first single from their forthcoming album, Nonetheless. It’s a gorgeous dance song that reflects the strange isolation of 2020s life. (The Guardian has a good interview with the band, if you’re interested in reading more about Pet Shop Boys’ new music.) Around the same time, I stumbled across a cover of “Rent” that Sally Shapiro released last fall. I wondered how I missed this release last year, then snapped it up on Bandcamp

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Here’s What I Played at Dolce Vita on March 26, 2024

A mermaid skeleton at The Mermaid in Little Tokyo (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)
I forgot to take pics, so here’s an old one of a mermaid skeleton at The Mermaid that I saw right before the night started. (Pic: Liz O.)

I popped into The Mermaid at the last minute on Tuesday to play about 90 minutes of music for Dolce Vita. I knew that there was a screening of Dave Attell’s Netflix special happening beforehand. What I didn’t know, however, was that Dave Attell was actually going to make an appearance. We didn’t meet, but it was wild to be in the same room as him because I loved Insomniac

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Here’s What I Played at Dolce Vita on March 5, 2024

Jalapeño and pineapple wontons at The Mermaid in Little Tokyo Los Angeles (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)
Jalapeño and pineapple wontons at The Mermaid. (Pic: Liz O.)

It was a little unexpected, but I did turn up at The Mermaid on Tuesday night to provide the music for the first half of Dolce Vita. I also didn’t have a chance to eat dinner beforehand, which led to another unexpected delight. The jalapeño and pineapple wontons at The Mermaid are amazing. I hadn’t had them before last night and loved them. Even with the chili sauce, they won’t set your mouth on fire. It’s more of a subtle sweet-and-spicy hybrid. Plus, they are shaped like starfish, which I find endearing. 

Anyhow, here’s what you may have heard if you were at The Mermaid between 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday night. 

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L.A. Music Events: February 1- February 7, 2024

Disco Matinee flyer for February 4, 2024 from 3 - 7 p.m. at Grand Star Jazz Club 943 N. Broadway, Chinatown, Los Angeles 90012 with DJ Liz O, DJ Jus' B, DJ Jen Rock

This Sunday, Disco Matinee is back at Grand Star Jazz Club for an afternoon of disco, funk, Italo, hiNRG and whatever else we feel like working into the mix. Guest DJ Jen Rock joins residents Jus’ B and me (Liz O.) from 3 until 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 4. RSVP via email, Facebook, Instagram or Partiful for $5 entry before 4 p.m. Otherwise, the cover is $8, cash or Venmo, at the door. Grand Star Jazz Club is located at 943 N. Broadway in Chinatown’s Central Plaza. Both street and lot parking is available, plus Metro’s A Line stop in Chinatown is right across Broadway from the venue. (Bonus: Metro is offering free rides on Sunday, February 4.) Join us for a spin on the dance floor! This is a 21+ event. 

On Tuesday, February 6, I’ll be playing Italo disco from 9 p.m. until last call at The Mermaid for Dolce Vita, L.A.’s only, weekly Italo disco party. This is a 21+ venue and there’s no cover. Parking is ample in the neighborhood and The Mermaid is about a block or so away from Metro’s A and E line stops in Little Tokyo. Find us at 428 E. 2nd Street. 

Continue reading L.A. Music Events: February 1- February 7, 2024

Here’s What I Played for Dolce Vita at The Mermaid on January 16, 2024

Photo of skulls on the wall at The Mermaid in Little Tokyo Los Angeles (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)

For as long as I’ve been DJing, I’ve been keeping track of my set lists. Somewhere in my, er, archives (really, boxes of folders that I haven’t gone through since college), there are probably old playlists of my KXLU shows and crumpled bits of paper from my early club sets. I started sharing the set lists online before social media mostly so that people who went to the clubs could familiarize themselves with the new music and people who weren’t in L.A. knew where they could dance to Ladytron or Miss Kittin or whoever when they visited our fine city. (And, that actually worked, I did meet people from as far as London and Berlin who saw my set list in some electro-indie-whatever forum.)

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L.A. Music Events: January 11 – January 17, 2024

Flyer for Bowie Nite at Club Underground Grand Star Jazz Club Los Angeles on January 12, 2024 with DJ Larry G. DJ Liz O. and make-up artist Miho

You have two chances to catch me in the DJ booth this week. First up is Club Underground’s Bowie Nite this Friday, January 12, at Grand Star Jazz Club in Chinatown. Underground is taking over both floors of the Grand Star this week, with Larry G. playing open to close on the main floor and me, Liz O., doing the same on the second floor. Discounted tickets are available now via either Dice and Eventbrite

The Grand Star is located at 943 N. Broadway, Los Angeles 90012. It’s inside Chinatown’s Central Plaza, right next to the Bruce Lee statue. Both street and lot parking is available in the neighborhood. The venue is also right across Broadway from Metro’s A Line station in Chinatown. Party starts at 9:30 p.m. and it is a 21+ event. 

On Tuesday, January 16, you’ll find me at The Mermaid loaded up with Italo disco jams for L.A. Industrial’s weekly party, Dolce Vita. There’s no cover and it’s 21+, so stop by with your pals for some tasty cocktails and a soundtrack filled with tunes by the likes of Fancy, Fun Fun, Ken Laszlo, Sabrina and more. 

The Mermaid is located at 428 E. 2nd Street in Little Tokyo. There’s typically loads of free parking available after 9 p.m., which is the same time that Dolce Vita starts. The bar is also a (very) short walk from Metro’s A/E line stop in Little Tokyo. 

As for the rest of the week, here are my picks. 

Continue reading L.A. Music Events: January 11 – January 17, 2024

Here’s What I Played for Dolce Vita at The Mermaid on November 28, 2023

Two classic margarita drinks with salted rims at The Mermaid in Little Tokyo Los Angeles (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)
Margaritas at The Mermaid (Pic: Liz O.)

A few years ago, I finally got over my fear of tequila (we’ll save that story for another day) and realized that I love margaritas. They’re tart and salty with just a hint of sweetness underneath, all qualities I appreciate in everything. The Mermaid, where I play (more or less) monthly as part of L.A. Industrial’s party Dolce Vita, is home to a very good margarita. In fact, I would say, no matter who is bartending on any given night, it’s consistently the best classic margarita I’ve had. I don’t know the secret. I just know that it’s so good that I keep going for the margarita instead of working my way through The Mermaid’s ample menu of cocktails, even though I know from experience that their specialty drinks are delicious.  

So, that’s my tip for you today. Get yourself a margarita next time you’re at The Mermaid. Here’s my set list from Dolce Vita. Catch me next week at the Grand Star on Sunday, December 3 for Disco Matinee and on Friday, December  8 for Depeche Mode Night/My birthday at Underground. 

Continue reading Here’s What I Played for Dolce Vita at The Mermaid on November 28, 2023

Catch Me Playing Italo Disco with David Christian at The Mermaid on November 28

Dolce Vita Italo Disco at The Mermaid Little Tokyo Los Angeles November 28, 2023

I’ll be back at The Mermaid this coming Tuesday, November 28, for weekly Italo disco Dolce Vita. Join David Christian of L.A. Industrial and me, Liz O., for a night filled with Fun Fun and Fancy as we dive into our collections of ’80s dance classics.

Dolce Vita starts at 9 p.m. and goes until last call. There’s no cover and it’s 21+. The Mermaid is located at 428 E. 2nd Street, about a block or so away from Little Tokyo’s A/E Metro stop. There also tends to be lots of available street parking on Tuesday nights. For a taste of what you might here, check out my playlists or listen to my set from Dolce Vita, recorded live on February 7, 2023, right here:

Hope to catch you at The Mermaid on November 28.

Liz O. is an L.A.-based writer and DJ. Read her recently published work and check out her upcoming gigs.

Related:

HERE’S WHAT I PLAYED AT THE MERMAID FOR ITALO HORROR DISCO ON OCTOBER 24, 2023

HERE’S WHAT I PLAYED AT THE MERMAID FOR DOLCE VITA ON SEPTEMBER 26

Here’s What I Played at The Mermaid for Italo Horror Disco on October 24, 2023

The Mermaid Little Tokyo Los Angeles Halloween 2023 altar with a mermaid skeleton in the center surrounded by spooky odds and ends. (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)
The Mermaid

October might have been stressing me out this year, but I felt an instant sense of relief inside The Mermaid last night. I was there to DJ another week of Dolce Vita’s Italo Horror Disco, this time with DJ Alex Arias. The first thing I noticed is that the Halloween display in the bar has grown larger and more detailed since I last played there earlier this month. The centerpiece is a mermaid skeleton, who is surrounded by a bounty of odds and ends, from crystal balls to eyeballs to skeleton hands. The glow-in-the-dark paints and swaths of fabric help give the impression that you stumbled upon this altar while underwater. It’s super cool. Stop by The Mermaid and check it out this week if you have a chance. 

Other than that, it was great to play with Alex for the first time. I loved his set. Plus, some friends stopped by, which made the night all the better.  Here’s what I played in my sets last night. Also, a reminder that I’ll be playing Underground’s Halloween party on Friday, October 27 and there’s a low ticket alert for the party, so get yours as soon as possible. 

Continue reading Here’s What I Played at The Mermaid for Italo Horror Disco on October 24, 2023

Disco Matinee Returns to Grand Star Jazz Club on Sunday, November 5 with Guest DJ Jen Rock

Flyer for Disco Matinee at Grand Star Jazz Club on Sunday, November 5, 2023 with guest DJ Jen Rock and residents Liz O. and Jus' B

Disco Matinee returns to the first Sunday of the month at Grand Star Jazz Club on November 5 from 3 to 7 p.m. Special guest DJ Jen Rock joins residents Liz O. and Jus’ B for an afternoon of classic, Italo and nu disco, plus a little hiNRG, freestyle and whatever else lights up the dance floor. If your jam is a mix of Donna Summer, Taana Gardner, Lime, Daft Punk and Purple Disco Machine, head on down to Disco Matinee. 

 The Grand Star is located at 943 N. Broadway, inside Chinatown’s Central Plaza, right next to the Bruce Lee statue. There is both street and lot parking in the neighborhood. The venue is also located across Broadway from Metro’s A line stop in Chinatown.

Disco Matinee is a 21+ party. The cover is $5 (cash or Venmo) at the door. See you on the dance floor on November 5. 

Related:

HERE’S WHAT I PLAYED AT DISCO MATINEE ON OCTOBER 8, 2023