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Tag Archives: HEX

  • Field Report: Pow! Wow! Long Beach

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    If you are a frequent visitor to this blog, then you know how we feel about art.  Art does something to us, something that we all need, but is difficult to describe.  Something positive.  Street art, in particular, is such an amazing and interesting medium.  The talent is undeniable and the fact that it is so public makes it accessible to everyone.  It also creates thought and discussion around what qualifies as art.  Does it have to be in a museum to be art?  Is graffiti art or is it vandalism?  Who gets to decide what is of cultural value and what needs to be scoured away?  For all these reasons and more, street art is special and engaging.  So when we heard that Pow! Wow! was literally painting Long Beach, we knew where we would be.

    Take a look and see what some of today's most talented artists were up to, we enjoyed every minute!

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    The HEX Bus was there as Benjie Escobar was getting his mural going.

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    Me with John Pangilinan in front of the Pop-Up Shop.  Nice color, BTW

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    Andy Song rehearses with the band at the School Of Music

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    Hueman working on her piece in collaboration with Madsteez

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    Madsteez himself in front of his labor of love

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    Tools of the trade

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    Tristan Eaton going up

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    Here's the blueprint.  Easy, right?

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    Coming to life

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    James Jean

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    Fafi's signature style

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    Really dug this by Aaron De La Cruz

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    Bumblebee in progress

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    This spot gets a facelift, courtesy of Cryptik

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    Push getting it done on this massive wall

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    The HEX Bus fits right in!

  • Catching Up With Elephant Stone At Levitation Vancouver

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    Vanessa Tam is a freelance marketing consultant and lifestyle writer based in Vancouver, Canada.  An all around music lover and friend of HEX, she takes every opportunity to attend as many live music events as possible.  Vanessa met up with Montreal based Psych-Pop band Elephant Stone at Levitation Vancouver and here is how the conversation went:

    Levitation Vancouver is our version of the Austin Psych Fest music festival produced in collaboration with Timbre Concerts, a local concert production company.  Along with live performances happening all day at Malkin Bowl, a scaled replica of the Hollywood Bowl in LA, the party continues throughout the night at select venues in the city.  The festival boasts a solid curation of both local and international artists celebrating psychedelic, pop, electronic, shoegaze, metal and experimental music.

    I was stoked to be able to sit down to chat with Rishi Dhir from Elephant Stone, with a cameo by Christian Bland from The Black Angels, after their set.  Influenced by bands such as The Beatles and Primal Scream, Elephant Stone incorporates traditional Indian instruments like the sitar and the tabla into their psychedelic sound.  Outside of Elephant Stone, Rishi has toured around the world with bands such as The Black Angels as one of the most sought after bass and sitar players in the genre.  Scroll down to check it out our interview below.

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    Rishi Dhir and Christian Bland

    Vanessa: So this is your first time in Vancouver eh? Welcome!

    Rishi (Elephant Stone): Thank you!

    V: So I read somewhere that you were first inspired to pick up the sitar when you were traveling with your family in India?

    R: True?

    Christian Bland (The Black Angels): False!

    R: Correct! I grew up listening to a lot of Indian music and you know, we also grew up on The Beatles.

    C: Yeah and we were exposed to The Rolling Stones.

    R: Yeah and all those bands.  The sitar was just something that's always been there, and everyone wants to own a sitar correct?

    C: Oh yeah, I wish I could get a left handed one...

    R: And it just so happens, you're in India.  So what are you gonna do?  Buy a sitar.  So in India, I bought a sitar.

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    Elephant Stone

    V: So here at Levitation, you're sharing a stage with The Black Angels, whom you went on tour with as a bassist in the past.

    R: True?

    C: Yes, that is a true statement.  Haha!  What a job Rishi did.

    R: Man, what a time.  That was in 2012!  My second child was born and I was like, awesome!  Then Christian called me and said, wanna tour Europe with us?  I was like okay!  Then I was on the road for a year.

    V: Awesome!  So are you still lending your sound to other bands or is Elephant Stone your main focus musically?

    R: Elephant Stone, but...

    C: Yeah we're mainly focusing on Elephant Stone

    R: Haha!  Yeah it's true!  Elephant Stone is my baby, but I'm always interested in collaborating with bands.

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    Elephant Stone

    V: I read somewhere that when you were touring with The Black Angels, their music influenced your musical style and also influenced Elephant Stone.  In a positive way of course.

    R: Now there's a lot of truth to that because Three Poisons (Elephant Stone’s third LP), have you heard my record? *looks at Christian*

    C: Yeah!

    R: You have? No you haven't!

    C: Yeah I have!

    R: Sing a verse!

    (laughter)

    R: Yeah so during 2012, playing with him (Christian Bland) for a year, I learned a lot.  These guys are a phenomenal band.  Like one of the first songs on our record, that riff, that could've been an Angels riff.  It's funny because I wrote the riff thinking of you (Christian Bland) playing it.  I was like, ugh, it sounds too much like the Angels!  Then I put it on a sitar and it sounded more like Elephant Stone.  So yeah, I had a lot of influence from these guys from touring with them.

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    Elephant Stone

    V: I read somewhere that your main goal when writing a new song is to create the perfect pop song.

    R: Well yeah, every song should be your best song.  You always want to refine your craft, so I always want to write a better song.  You don't want to release stuff that's not the best thing you could make.

    V: I feel like, especially in music now, there's a lot of pressure on artists to constantly just pump out stuff.  Not necessarily good stuff, but just volume.  Because people's attention span, especially on blogs or on Soundcloud, it's so short.

    C: I mean, I don't know.  I guess you just gotta play what you enjoy.

    R: I don't know.  I think it's too unfiltered, music right now.  I think the industry needs people to tell bands that's not the best you can do.  Like the last record we did,  Three Poisons, we pretty much recorded ourselves.  Now I look back on it and i'm like, it sounds like it's pre-production when it released.  So to answer your question, yes I do believe people need to filter their music and that people are putting out too much music right now.

    C: Yeah, it's hard to weed through the good stuff.

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    The Black Angels

    V: What are your favourite festivals that you've played in your career so far?

    R: Well, I've played a lot of festivals with these guys (The Black Angels).  I would say Coachella was great.

    C: Yeah, oh that was really cool!

    R: Harvest Festival was really cool too; that was in Australia.

    V: Last question:  What's going on with the rest of your summer?  Are you guys touring a lot?

    R: No, we're not touring much.  We're in pre-production for the new record.  So we're recording in September then we're coming back to play California in November.  So yeah, I don't want to tour much this year, I just want to make the best record I can make, no matter what.

  • Art Sux Anyways Photo Show in DTLA

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    We recently sponsored a photo show in Los Angeles at Think Tank Gallery.  The show was organized by Art Sux Anyways and raised money for the Music Unites charity, so we were down with that for sure.

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    The curated mix of photographers spanned both East and West coasts and was intended to "document the lifestyles that we live and breathe, bringing the tranquil and the disobedient to one location where the viewer can, too, participate in the simplicity of nature and the complexity of adapting to urbanization".  Some of the photographers on display included C.R. Stecyk III, Grant Gutierez, Liz Gilson, and Morgan Phillips, to name a few.

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    We were lucky enough to be able to select and feature one of our favorite photographers, trashhand, and it was great to see his shot of the Paris underground on such a large scale.

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    We brought the HEX Bus along and maneuvered into a very Austin Powers inspired parking spot for the evening.  Desillusion Magazine was also out back showing videos over their projector.

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    The Black Suns provided the music and Golden Road Brewery provided the beer, so it was a good night for all involved.

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    Max Ehrlich and Nathan Warner were our distinguished hosts

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    So check out some of these fine photographers and be on the lookout for The HEX Bus - you never know where it will turn up next!

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  • Ghost Writer: Jeff Staple - Different Drums, Same Rhythm

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    Many of you know Jeff Staple, or think you do.  But to us, he is more than just the enigmatic force behind his namesake fashion brand, Staple Pigeon.  He is also an aficionado of art, music, and all things creative.  So, when he agreed to contribute to our Ghost Writer series, we knew we were in for a treat.  So enjoy Jeff's take on two current exhibits at The Brooklyn Museum and his exclusive words and pics.

    There are currently two exhibitions happening right now at the Brooklyn Museum  The pairing could not be more perfect and I highly recommend checking it out if you’re in town.

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    “Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks” is on display until August 23rd and "Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic" is on display until May 24th. Their work is decades apart from each other chronologically, but their mission could not be more complimentary. If you read every single caption and subtext of the exhibition, you may notice a small coincidence (or maybe not) that both artists agree on one thing: They wanted to place people of color in a world where they don’t normally see it: ART. It’s extremely likely that Wiley is influenced by JMB, but you don’t actually get that feeling. Stylistically, they could not be more different.

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    Wiley is a master—and he knows it. You know how a skater will pull a ridiculous trick even though he knows he’s won the competition? He’ll risk humiliation or even worse, injury; all in the name of just going for it. Wiley does the same. It’s obvious he’s good at his craft. But he just rubs in it. Cmon! These pieces are on a level fit for Napoleon.

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    Basquiat on the other hand, wields what any pauper has at their disposal: A composition notepad found at any 24-hour bodega and a No. 2 pencil. Maybe sometimes a crayon if you’re lucky. Basquiat makes you think with his word play. Wiley makes you think with his sheer artistic prowess. The great thing about what you see in Basquiat’s work is his brainstorming process. Most of the words, phrases and sketches seen in these notebooks never appear in his actual exhibited work. It’s like being a fly on the wall in his thought process. It’s really a rare experience.

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    The curator of the museum gets five stars from me for pairing these two artists together. One from the era of Fab Five Freddy and Boogie Down Productions. The other from the Rocafella Era and Watch The Throne. Two artists from different eras, different instruments, but playing the same exact rhythm.

    - Jeff Staple

    follow Jeff Staple on Instagram

  • Coachella 2015 - Weekend 2 Photo Recap

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    We've been to a lot of music festivals and we love them, but Coachella is different.  It's the largest festival in the US, it's in the middle of the desert, and it's always good for a wild ride!  Sit back and enjoy our photo recap of weekend 2 from Coachella 2015.

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    And the madness begins...probably the best people watching you will see anywhere!

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    The worlds largest catepillar? Trippy art and statues everywhere you looked.

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    Captain America was hyped!

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    Found a Transformer, he was pretty chill.

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    Checked out Ride on the Gobi Stage. Good stuff!

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    With over 500,000 people in attendance over the 2 weekends, there wasn't a small crowd anywhere.

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    Behind the scenes. Where the artists hang out before and after their sets.

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    Started Friday evening with some Steely Dan. So good!

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    Everything was lit up at night! Everything.

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    Checked out Flying Lotus closing out the Mojave Stage, interesting to say the least...

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    Stopped to admire the fancy lamps on our way to the beer garden before AC/DC.

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    Some horny AC/DC fans.

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    AC/DC still killing it after all these years. So good to finally see them live! Thunderstuck!

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    Started Saturday off in a rave tent. Only at Coachella...

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    Punk legends Bad Religion ripping it on the main stage.

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    Knobs and cables. The devices that make it all work so you can see and hear your favorite bands.

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    Took a ride on the biggest portable Ferris Wheel and it was incredible! Coachella from 150 feet.

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    Coachella camping. Endless cars and tents. We can only imagine what went down over there at night...

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    Caught Hozier playing to a massive crowd just before the sun set for the night.

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    Just got into Run The Jewels. They brought out Travis Barker for a few songs and the crowd went off! Check them out for sure.

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    Saturday night's lineup was back to back. Started off watching Tyler The Creator get wild on the Outdoor Stage.

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    Had to pay our friend The Gaslamp Killer a visit. He played with a full orchestra and it was awesome!

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    A personal favorite: Tycho. The chillest music, we got close and loved every minute.

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    Jack White was amazing! Straight up rock and roll at it's finest.

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    The Weeknd closed out the main stage, going on just before midnight. Been a fan of this guy for some time, great to finally see him live.

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    Only a guest or artist pass can get you back here, headed back to main stage on Sunday afternoon to check out Circa Survive.

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    Anthony Green of Circa Survive getting the crowd going.

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    Drake literally brought a jungle for his stage props.

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    8 of this year's limited Coachella posters in the boutique. Of course they were sold out. Also...Coachella pajamas?

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    Pretty awesome to see a record store on site! This was the place to be, air conditioning, shade and endless vinyl.

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    Rad Artist & Guest Lounge right on a lake. Took it easy on Sunday and cooled it here for a while.

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    What a great experience! There is nothing quite like Coachella.  We had a blast and hope you enjoyed the vicarious tour.  See you next year!

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  • Ghost Writer: Darius Fong - Not So Ordinary

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    Darius Fong is, first of all, a friend.  But he is also a music entrepreneur, and Grammy-Award-winning audio engineer who produces as thePREFCT.  His production credits span from rock bands like Weezer and Cold War Kids to jazz legends like Herb Alpert, Sergio Mendes and Natalie Cole.  In 2013, Darius founded weeSPIN, a social music app that let's people listen to music together, like a digital jukebox.  We always like what he has to say and we hope you do too.

    I fell in love with coffee in LA. Or maybe I should say, I fell in love with LA through coffee.

    When I first arrived in Los Angeles I was intimidated.  I was not intimidated by its massive sprawl or by its traffic flow.  I was intimidated by its creative energy that spreads miles and miles.  I felt like a painter staring at a blank canvas.  It was nerve racking, thrilling and inspiring all at the same time.

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    As a young producer trying to make waves, there aren’t too many cities like LA.  I guess you could say that I was a skeptic at first, but coffee changed my mind.  When Handsome Coffee Roasters opened in downtown LA, I witnessed an entire community coming together, and I finally got it.  I began to understand coffee.  And through coffee I began to explore cities and meet other like-minded individuals.  It is no coincidence that both areas like SOMA in San Francisco and Culver City in Los Angeles are becoming hubs of some of the most disruptive businesses, and at the same time have the best coffee to offer.

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    I recently took a trip back to Hong Kong where I was born.  Most people know Hong Kong as the high rise jungle.  But they rarely get a deeper look into what makes this city special. The spaces in between.  The life that happens all around.  Whenever I return, I become hyper aware of all the nuances that I didn’t notice before.  I begin to explore everything, and this time through coffee.

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    The many characters of coffee are often simplified by being strong or weak.  When I finally started to explore the tastes of coffee, I began to notice unique notes that characterized different regions of the world.  I began to develop a repertoire of notes that I can pull from and compare.  Diving deeper into a cup granted me a heightened sense of everything else around me.  And my daily adventures are always a cup away.

    In a way, coffee has granted me a fresh perspective of home.  Home is not where you live but where you belong. What was ordinary is not so ordinary.  Everything is amplified. Every alley becomes beautiful in its own way.

    - Darius Fong

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