Tag Archives: music festival

5353\2 Music\Art\Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day

So last year we blogged about 5353 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day. Well, it happened again! 5353\2, with music\art\fest.


A big thank you to the following for making this happen (seriously, like a HUGE, x5353 million, we owe you a bajillion thank you!):

Kevin Laronda
Michael Gross
Carol Madonna
Kacey Harahan
Alisa Schwartz
Noreen Masih
Kelsey Reddick
Katie Kause
Jim Darling
Thomas Dawson
Ricardo Diaz

So in usual la fashion, I busted out my fancy camera and my intimidating lens (that frustratingly is not working on autofocus!) and went shutter-crazy for the event. So instead of write about it, I’ll photoblog it. Enjoy! It was a super fun day, and one of those that reminds you that what we do is pretty insanely cool.

Here’s a poster from the event (check out that lineup!):
5353\2 Fest Poster

It also ended up as a huge mural painted outside.
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day

Here’s Jim Darling painstakingly painting it!
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day

Now to the music.

First up, Dustbowl Revival. A Venice, California-based roots+jazz collective that merges New Orleans second line swing, bluegrass, jug-band and jump blues. Known for their wild, lose-your-troubles live sets, the Dustbowl Revival often features up to ten instruments ranging from fiddle, banjo, gypsy guitar and mandolin to accordion, tuba, trombone and clarinet and plenty of kazoo and washboard for good luck.

5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Dustbowl Revival
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Dustbowl Revival

And really enjoyed the intermission music by DJ Soft Touch! For the past few years, CLIFTON AKA DJ SOFT TOUCH has made a name for himself as a DJ with a wide range and impeccable taste. His mix of rare soul, funk and R&B is truly unique, with a fresh ear for sounds off the beaten path. A veteran of the Eastside / Hollywood L.A. music community, he’s also a bass player for The Mojo Filters, The Belle Isle, Black Sugar, and Love Grenades, as well as a guitarist/singer/songwriter on his own. A dedicated lover, historian/sage of most western popular & underground music forms out there, he always digs deeper in his selections but always moves the crowd.

5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, DJ Soft Touch

Next up, WATERS. WATERS was born out last year of the ashes of the San Francisco rock band Port O’Brien and founding member/front man Van Pierszalowski needed a break from the hectic, wonderful mess that is touring.
After making his way out of music and into Oslo, Alaska, California & New York, he made his way make in again with Waters. He returned to Oslo and put together a band of fine Norwegian gentlemen and made a mix of fuzzy, pealing guitars and crashing drums, and easy, alternately soaring and languid, indelible melodies. According to Van, “The record is about waking up. It is about getting out of a situation that seems endless, and realizing you’re not too old to make dramatic and sudden changes in your life. It is about starting over.”

5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Waters
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Waters
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Waters
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Waters
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Waters

And then came Dengue Fever. Los Angeles-based Dengue Fever’s music is wholly unique — an exotic blend of Cambodian rock, Afro grooves, surf, and garage psychedelia. Since their inception, the band’s unique take on 60s Cambodian pop and American surf rock has garnered praise and attention from fans and critics alike. True Blood named an entire episode after one of their songs and featured the band’s music throughout the show, Spin highlighted the band in their ‘Breaking Out’ section, and profiles on the group have appeared in the New York Times, Magnet, Wired, and NPR’s “Fresh Air.” Ray Davies from the Kinks called them “a cross between Led Zeppelin and Blondie.”

5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Dengue Fever
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Dengue Fever
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Dengue Fever
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Dengue Fever
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Dengue Fever

And then possibly my favorite from the day, He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister – they had such joy and vivacity! Really a pleasure to watch. He’s My Brother She’s My Sister’s unique yet familiar sound exudes the earnestness of folk, the colorfulness of glam rock, the infectiousness of pop, the innovation of indie rock, the rawness of blues, the theatrics of cabaret, and the hip shake of rock-a-billy.
Brother and sister Robert Kolar and Rachel Kolar split vocal duties, with Robert on guitar and kick drum and Rachel on tambourine. Their voices range from boisterous to introspective, from breezy to emotive. Lauren Brown adds full-body percussion with her fluid tap-dancing. Oliver Newell plucks the stand up bass with joyous flair. Aaron Robinson plays lead guitar on a lap slide, veering from nuanced psychedelica to American roots riffs.
The band’s infectious rhythms and high energy make the sounds come alive and cause even uninitiated crowds to erupt in dance. Their songs ring like pop classics in a modern framework. It is a recipe that has quickly gained the band a devoted following in their hometown of Echo Park and the surrounding LA area, and that following has spread to every town the band visits.

5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, He's My Brother, She's My Sister
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, He's My Brother, She's My Sister
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, He's My Brother, She's My Sister
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, He's My Brother, She's My Sister
(last two photos by Josh Withers, my camera’s memory card crapped out booooo)

And last up, Class Actress. I didn’t get to stay and photograph because I actually thought I had my first travel photography class that night (although I was just wrong and it’s actually tonight!) So a couple photos from Josh Withers. (Thanks Josh!)
Class Actress is: Guilty Pleasure. NSA dance music. Casual Encounters. Stalker Pop. Depeche Mode meets early Madonna and Five Star as heard on the radio in the leather backseat of a cab.
Brooklynite Elizabeth Harper’s first musical offerings appeared in the form of personal singer/songwriter fare — her airy vocals paired only with quiet strums of acoustic guitar. But having a long-held desire to make electronic music, Harper recruited producers Mark Richardson and Scott Rosenthal to assist in achieving her desired sound, and electro-pop outfit Class Actress was born.
Harper remains the force that binds the songs into a cohesive statement, her winking coo darting about in the deep drums and lofty arpeggios, and her passion – backed mostly with electronics– summons thoughts of Yaz’s Alison Moyet. In concurrence with the title (“rapprocher”is French for “bring closer”), the candid, sincere lyrics meld with the atmosphere, enveloping the listener into Class Actress’s world of 21st century romanticism.

5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Class Actress
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day, Class Actress

There was also a trailer set up by CAVIAR CONTENT with an adorable “row row row your boat” video made with Chiat peeps. Record players and polaroid cameras and all things cute and vintage.

5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day

And to close it out, here’s a couple shots of people enjoying the music!

5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day

Thanks to Chiat Day for making our job infinitely cool.

And thanks to Michael Gross for really making the festival infinitely cool!

5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day

a musically-satiated, phototrigger-happy la

PS! I had a photo wall of concert photography at the event, and here’s Nick Ciffone and Dave Estrada checking it out!
5353\2 Fest at TBWA\Chiat\Day

PPS For all the photos, check out the photo album!



Filed under lali, lali music

lali lessons in advertising #8: get inspiration everywhere (AKA take a few days off and dance in the desert for Coachella!)

A couple weeks ago, li and I got invited to a Pepsi meeting. And while we can’t give away the secrets of our briefing, the music festival Coachella did come up. And again, while we can’t tell the specifics, we were told to let music inspire us and our planner even mentioned “imagine the feeling of being on a drug trip” when concepting. Which, for those of you who have attended Coachella, it’s a drug trip when you’re stone-cold sober. And there is certainly music to inspire. So guess who went…

Coachella 2011 Poster

Useless to convince anyone I went to Coachella merely to inspire for our Pepsi brief. But that’s not to say it wasn’t a completely inspiring weekend nonetheless. There’s something about three days in the desert that feels like you leave reality for this fantasyland of music and heat and art and people and strangeness for weeks. In fact, Goldenvoice founder Paul Tollett said: “By the end of Sunday you need to have gone through a range of emotions. The experience of the art and the ambience has to play a huge part in that.” In those three short days, you feel frustrated, sad, happy, angry, ecstatic, annoyed, exhausted, excited, famished, parched, moved, thrilled, enlightened, enhanced, loved, lonely, everything. All in a hundred degree heat with music playing everywhere and dust filling every orifice of your body. Maybe it’s really three long days.

Regardless, I came back to work Tuesday missing a couple brain cells and lighter by a few pounds and exhausted by a lot, but certainly inspired. If Pepsi is getting into culture, I certainly got my culture on.

Blog readers, if you were there, you don’t need a recap of everything because well, you were there. And blog readers who weren’t, you’ll just be jealous. I will say that Friday was a dance party, that YACHT and Cut Copy and Robyn got our glittered bodies jamming, that Mumford & Sons brought the first real soul to the stage on Saturday, that Arcade Fire was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen (rivaling only my Big Sur experience with them), that I was a needy girl for Chromeo on Sunday, that the National by sunset was the best time for friends and that Kanye can certainly put on a show. For a professional opinion on the music, check out Spin‘s or Pitchfork‘s take.

The ball drop for Arcade Fire is a moment I’ll remember forever. Let’s hope it helps inspire some Pepsi spots other people will remember forever… Maybe I can write off the cost of the concert to TBWA\Chiat\Day? Ha, doubt that on both those thoughts. What isn’t in doubt is how awesome this video is, and how much more awesome it was in person. In the original definition of the word.

Now I would definitely say the title of this blog post is appropriate. Get inspiration everywhere. If we spent all our time inside the walls of Chiat Day we wouldn’t be very good creatives. And Coachella is all about getting inspired. But I would be lying if I tried to tell you that I thought about work for more than twenty seconds the entire weekend. It was about dancing and music and living and friends and not really about advertising.

Here’s the proof:







And ten blog shout outs to anyone who guesses correctly what music instrument this is supposed to be:

So thanks to Hobart Birmingham, Jacqui de Borja, Anne Hurty, Chris Spencer, Spencer Larson, Travis Pfeifer, Noah Roper, Chris MacNeil, Sean Carroll, Chase Madrid, Kristina Krkljus, and many other desert dancers for both helping me forget about work and inspiring me to do better work last weekend. Justin and Allyson, Coachella love to you and I’m sad you weren’t there this year but there’s always next year!


And now, back to work. We just got briefed on something new, and it looks like I’ll be taking this lali lesson to heart while working over Easter weekend.


PS For those who no-chellaed it, here’s the playlists I made for the weekend. And let that inspire you :)

Friday Coachella Mix
Saturday Coachella Mix
Sunday Coachella Mix
The Coachella Hits Mix


Filed under lali, lali lessons, lali music