Author Archives: Citizen LA

Druid Underground Film Festival

Following a sold out event in Brooklyn NY, the Druid Underground Film Festival comes home to LA, celebrating 12 years of wildly creative indie films including animation, documentary, experimental and beyond.

Founded by independent horror film director Billy Burgess (of Hipster Holocaust fame), the festival has been a cult favorite among indie filmmakers and their fans for its subversive subject matter masterfully wrapped in comedic overtones.

This year’s DUFF features a hilarious medley of found footage followed by ground-breaking shorts carefully chosen by Burgess himself from this year’s nearly 1,000 submissions, which includes work by David, Yuval Haker, Negro Terror, Brian & Karl, Lobster Repair, Chrissy Fellmeth, and Jim Tuite.


Motorcycle Party Massacre
The ultimate white-trash hell-ride of backwoods motorcycle rallies, awkward redneck wisdom, horrifying home videos, and more boobs than a stack of Playboys in a break-neck, fly-by-seat-of-your-leather-pants analog mixtape mash-up sourced from hundreds of late 80’s-early 90’s VHS tapes dragged from the most decrepit, cigarette-stained thrift stores of the deep-south.

Kool Bros part 1+2
Two skateboarding cartoon goons jump in and out of a delirious world of cops, beach rats and butts.

I Am Sex
Colorful, playful, sex-obsessed Tel Aviv-based animation for an Alon Eder song performed entirely on a cheap 80’s Casio keyboard.

Voice of Memphis
The band Negro Terror subverts a white supremacist anthem, urging power be returned to the people, in particular in their hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Brendan Maclean: House of Air
Inspired by Hal Fischer’s photo series ‘Gay Semiotics’, House of Air is a sexually explicit look at hanky codes in 1970s San Francisco.

National Anthem
The Star-Spangled Banner, belched.

New Baby
A dude shows off his new baby as evidence he actually had sexual intercourse in this ridiculous animation.

Rockabilly: Whole World Gone Cancelled
An experimental melting pot of deteriorating and re-articulating madness narrated by poet Billy Cancel.

The 12th Annual Druid Underground Film Festival will take place at the classic and infamous HM157 artist collective and venue, one of LA’s last surviving independent non-profit DIY spaces. Founded by Charon Nogues and Reid Maxwell, HM7 has hosted countless concerts, art shows, community dinners, and educational workshops.

For more information, follow the link below…

WAR Erupts At The Greek

Watching a performance by the legendary American funk band ‘WAR’ is certainly on many an OG’s bucket list, especially if you’re an old school Angeleno who never had the opportunity to see these guys at the height of their popularity in the 70s. Luckily, WAR was on hand for a rare appearance at the Greek Theater—alongside George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic and special guest Nortec Collective—to dip into their grab bag of goodies for a trip down memory lane.

Considered a successful musical crossover-band fusing elements of Rock, Funk, Jazz, Latin, R&B and Reggae, WAR’s message of inclusion and tolerance is once again uber-relevant in America’s current sociopolitical climate. With an initial goal of using music to speak out against racism, hunger and crime, WAR’s multi-ethnic line-up continues to transcend racial and cultural barriers while promoting hope and unity.

For a band whose history includes a Billboard ‘Album of the Year’ win, hits such as “Spill The Wine” & “Lowrider”, and stage time with Jimi Hendrix (in his last performance), we hope that WAR eventually gets into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame… no doubt they deserve it.

Desert Daze 2018

Epic yet intimate, esoteric yet accessible, catering to weirdos, but embracing to all, the Desert Daze festival seeks to feed the human spirit by providing a one of a kind festival experience.

Nestled between the San Jacinto and San Bernardino mountains in Moreno Valley, CA, Desert Daze 2018 will take place adjacent to beautiful Lake Perris, featuring hundreds of acres of natural wonders.

This year’s lineup includes Tame Impala, Death Grips, Follakzoid, Preoccupations, Pond, JJUUJJUU, Mannequin Pussy, Warpaint, Ty Segall & White Fence, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats and more!

Camping will be available in well-maintained state park facilities with real showers & restrooms, RV power and water hookups, nature walks, and an Italian style beach club with lounging, swimming, sunbathing and boat rides.

For more information, follow the link below…

2018 Country Jam & Campout

This Labor Day weekend, some of the industry’s hottest Country and Honky-tonk talent will take the stage during 92.3 WCOL’s Country Jam + Campout.

Ohio’s largest country music event will feature award-winning and highly-acclaimed country artists such as Sam Hunt, Jon Pardi, Maren Morris, Dan + Shay, including a special to-be-announced headliner and additional major artists.

The weekend will also host Ohio’s biggest honky-tonk at Woody’s Saloon, featuring one of the premier line dancing DJs in country with line dancing workshops, barbecue and other attractions throughout the venue.

Returning to the historic Legend Valley, located just outside of Columbus, in Thornville, OH., 92.3 WCOL’s Country Jam + Campout has expanded to three full days of Special Guest DJs, Line Dancing, Mechanical Bulls, Games, Contests, BBQ, Beer & Much More!

A portion of the proceeds from every festival ticket purchased will be donated to local Thornville, Ohio charities.

For more information, follow the link below…

Ibiza’s Legendary “Pacha” Re-Opens

From a converted farmhouse to super club, Ibiza’s Pacha returns after its first re-design in over 40 years with 6 opening parties over 3 weekends.

With the help of celebrated and awarded architect Juli Capella, the historic venue has been skillfully redesigned, retaining its original opulent grandeur with a new sensitivity to the values of eco-design and sustainability, ensuring that Pacha continues to capture the excitement and experience between clubber and DJ.

Ibiza’s most recognized and iconic club landed on the outskirts of the island during the hippie movement in 1973. From that point, it never looked back, becoming a true dance music mecca and beacon of global bohemia. Now, in 2018, the iconic destination will celebrate its reopening with headliners such as Hot Since 82, Sven Väth, Seth Troxler, Dixon, Fatboy Slim and Solomun.

Furthermore, Pacha dedicates this new era to the residents of the island.

For more information, follow the link below…

Yellow Submarine 50th Anniversary

A new 4K digital restoration of the Beatles’ classic 1968 animated feature film Yellow Submarine is set for a theatrical release across North America in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

The fantastic tale brimming with peace, love, and hope is based upon the song “Yellow Submarine” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and propelled by other Beatles music including “Eleanor Rigby,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” and “All You Need Is Love.”

When the film debuted in 1968, it was instantly recognized as a landmark achievement, revolutionizing a genre by integrating the freestyle approach of the era with innovative animation techniques.

Intent on preserving the artistic integrity of the film, no automated software was used in the digital clean-up of the restored photochemical elements. This was all done by hand, frame by frame. Additionally, the restoration includes a 5.1 stereo surround sound remix engineered at UMG’s Abbey Road Studios, which is certain to blow our ears and minds.

The Yellow Submarine 50th anniversary celebration is undoubtedly an opportunity to enjoy the psychedelic nuances and veiled messaging carefully folded into this experimental animated masterpiece. To quote Terrence McKenna, “If the words ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn’t worth the hemp it was written on.”

For more information, follow the link below…

Music Against Animal Cruelty

With an aim to raise revenue from music events to aid in wildlife conservation, Music Against Animal Cruelty (M.A.A.C.) launches its global music directive.

Reaching out to a worldwide collective of likeminded individuals and influential voices, the organization taps into a network of artists, DJ’s and others industry professionals, focusing on community led initiatives that will provide support to grassroots conservation projects.

Conceived by Jonny White, international DJ and producer of Art Department and Wade Cawood, CEO/Founder of Pulse Global, M.A.A.C. not only seeks to promote awareness concerning wildlife conservation, but also to create opportunities for artists to travel and experience conservation for themselves.

For more information, follow the link below…

Fight Club Live: The Mayhem Revival
Fight Club Live: The Mayhem Revivalfotoboy62 | Citizen LA

In the America of 2018—teeming with cautionary tales of contentious activism, rampant victimism, and unbridled political correctness—the Fight Club media franchise is fortunate to have eluded destiny’s disapproval. Moreover, not content to merely sit pretty in beloved book collections nor patiently wait to resurface in revival movie houses, the cult classic has reemerged as Fight Club Live; a stage show that breathes new life into the masterwork’s legacy.

Originally published as a literary work in 1996, Chuck Palahniuk’s novel crystalizes an enduring relevancy, offering poignant scenarios that on the surface may appear a product of some parallel dystopian universe. It is upon closer examination, however, that Fight Club’s haunting story reveals a clear reflection our own innate desires and physiological makeups, addressing subjects such as consumerism, matriarchy, monogamy, violence, and sacrifice.

David Fincher’s 1999 cinematic adaptation presented Fight Club to a new audience, many of whom were unprepared for the ride. When first appearing in theaters, moviegoers were seemingly unwilling to process the subject matter objectively, consequently rejecting the reality that our infinitesimally complex world contains people with differing ideas on what constitutes happiness or sense of purpose. Additionally, many critics completely overlooked author Palahniuk’s insight and Fincher’s poetic visual depiction of life’s probabilities, instead choosing to distance themselves from introspection.

It is precisely Palahniuk’s petition for self-analysis that seeks to break a collective mental-block, ultimately leading to awareness and better mental health; a process that isn’t simply confined to a psychiatrists therapy couch, but can also be effectively uncovered through participation as creator and/or audience.


Adding to the intellectually biting narrative and visually arresting chaos is the film’s score, created by The Dust Brothers. Mike Simpson, one-half of musical duo, was at the right place at the right time, inexorably linking him to a piece of classic cinema that skillfully and successfully carries the torch from the pages of a book to the big-screen.

A talented producer who found his beginnings at the Pomona College radio station, Mike (aka E.Z.Mike) has been lucky enough to work on various critically acclaimed albums and music projects for movie and television; a list including the Beasty Boys, Beck, Linkin Park, and Santana, which garnered a Grammy win for “Album Of The Year.” Now, Mike is setting his sights on Fight Club LIVE, a clever extension of the Fight Club brand that faithfully interprets the energy and spirit of the tale.

Citizen LA: You started on this path in 1983 with the other half of The Dust Brothers, John King. What did you guys spin back then?

Mike: When I first started doing the radio show at Pomona College it was the first Hip-Hop show in SoCal, and we were spinning artists like LL Cool J. It was a live mix DJ format, and The Dust Brothers came out of that.

Citizen LA: When did the thought of creating a film score pop into your head?

Mike: I don’t write lyrics, and don’t really listen to lyrics in music, so the whole time I was making beats I always thought that my skills would be more suited for film. Fight Club was the first film that I scored, and Fincher was so great about just letting us do our thing. That was a dream project, and Fight Club is my proudest work of anything I’ve done.

Citizen LA: Seeing Fight Club in the theater for the first time, I remember walking out thinking “what the hell just happened?” I was in a stupor, as if someone had given me a puzzle to solve. How do you perceive the book/film subject matter?

Mike: It’s a philosophical piece about the homogenization of our world. It was definitely ahead of its time.

Citizen LA: I saw it as a fairytale filled with love, chaos, anarchy and a bad-ass soundtrack. It’s unquestionably a lean-forward movie, where you really have to be paying attention.

Mike: Exactly. It’s a very intellectual film, which garnered a cult following and made a mark in pop culture; a testament to how powerful the film was despite the fact that it wasn’t a huge box office success. Fincher was particularly obsessed with the opening credits, wanting the music to be like “a bee flying around in your skull,” so abrasive that it would make people leave before the opening credits were even done.

Citizen LA: You’re like… “Yeah! I can do that!”

Mike: Fincher knew it wasn’t a movie for everybody. He wanted to clear the plate before the movie even started [laughs].

Citizen LA: That reminds me of the first time I saw A Clockwork Orange. I waited years to see it up on the big screen. Then, during a packed house at some revival theater, the gasps started, and a few people left soon after it started. When I think of movies with that kind of visceral response, I’d put Fight Club up there with A Clockwork Orange, or Requiem for a Dream, or Suspiria.

Mike: Dude. You just named some of my favorite movies. Requiem For A Dream is the perfect movie. It’s amazing. Stunning on every level.

Citizen LA: Right from the onset of Fight Club, the score explodes, driving the film forward frenetically. No doubt there’s been a lot of thought put in to capturing and reinventing the experience for stage. So where do you begin when producing something like this live?

Mike: I have to give all credit to Jake who approached me about doing Fight Club Live. I expressed interest, but also gave him the list of all obstacles that I saw to actually being able to pull it off. Jake loved the score, but was disappointed that we never performed it live anywhere.


Whereas the book, movie and soundtrack are etched in an indelible medium, bringing the mayhem of the Fight Club story into a live setting generates a situation brimming with a bazillion opportunities for error, this while meeting the watchful eye of an eager audience who knows the movie inside and out.

Serial entrepreneur Jacob Maymudes, who recently wrote a best-selling book depicting his father’s unique bond with legendary musician Bob Dylan, accepted these risks to produce a successful event in 2017 that apparently got it right… so much so that he was able to convince Mike to cut into his hallowed yearly ski pilgrimage and perform at the 2018 event.

Throwing caution to the wind, Jake has stepped into the crosshairs of Project Mayhem to share the spotlight with Palahniuk, Fincher, and The Dust Brothers. A venture that sounds… well… insane.

Citizen LA: It seems that many people don’t appreciate the subject matter, or simply don’t get it. What are your thoughts?

Jake: Fight Club is more relevant than it ever has been. We’re turning this planet into a mess of recyclable crap. This Instagram generation is worse than the MTV generation, and now content can’t be presented in more than 15 second chunks. The problems that Palahniuk was illustrating have gotten exponentially worse.

Citizen LA: What inspired you to take on this monster?

Jake: Fight Club is one of the best-case scenarios for an epic live movie that doesn’t have a symphony. It’s great to see a live score to Star Wars at the Hollywood Bowl, but my generation wants to see Fight Club live or Pulp Fiction live!

Citizen LA: How did you approach the show, conceptually & technically?

Jake: I knew that producing a Hollywood Bowl type show was my endgame, but I also wanted to outdo them. Most importantly, we needed a band capable of reproducing Mike and John’s score live, but we also needed an amazing stunt coordinator (Henry Layton) to throw people around the stage. This year we have The Dust Brothers actually IN the show, plus a memorabilia retrospective paying homage to the movie.

Citizen LA: What’s your biggest hurdle when producing the live show?

Jake: Maintaining quality. I reached out to everyone involved with the actual score of the film, but they all said it was too complex. I knew it was possible, I mean, this is Los Angeles, where many of the world’s best musicians live! Knowing that much of the score is Drum’n’bass, we brought on Ziggy Marley’s percussionist, Angel Roche, who fucking crushes it. We also invited mad scientist Damon Ramirez who spent six months developing his own synths, making all that stuff that Mike and John sampled from scratch! Mike was happy that I cracked the Dust Brother’s code.

Citizen LA: What was surprisingly much easier than planned?

Jake: Nothing. [laughs]

Citizen LA: [laughs]

Jake: I don’t do things that are easy. I specialize in the tedious.

Citizen LA: On the one hand, the live show lends itself to having a Performance Art quality, however, the need for synchronization with the movie may lead to certain restrictions. Is there any room for improvisation?

Jake: By the nature of it being live, the score is not exactly like the movie, but the goal is to get the people who have seen it a hundred times… to see it for the first time.


Citizen LA: I have to ask… are you going to blow up Dowtown LA for the finale?

Mike: Oh, I can’t give that away.

Citizen LA: Aww. I hope it’s the financial buildings. Are people going to walk out of the Wiltern thinking, “What the hell just happened? Let’s go burn something!”

Mike: Hopefully it won’t be that kinda crowd.

Citizen LA: CUT TO the local news as riots erupt in Downtown LA after the Fight Club Live show… and I’m gonna say, “I told them it was a bad idea!”


Whether a fan of cerebral psycho/sociopathic storytelling or not, our freedom to produce disruptive imagery, performances and content should not be hijacked nor subjugated by narrow-minded hypersensitive members of society. We must remember that nurturing America’s creative mavericks and bleeding-edge storytellers is essential to our general well-being.

Achieving “cult status” isn’t planned nor a result of market research, these things just happen. To be associated with a cult classic in any capacity is not only rare, but also impossible for any artist to foresee. Mike Simpson and Jacob Maymudes recognize the significance of their unexpected contribution to the Fight Club legacy, and are enjoying every minute.

Oh, by the way… in death, we’re all named Robert Paulson. Citizen LA | Black Diamond

(front) Jacob Maymudes
(mid) Zoë Poledouris-Roche, Angel Roche, Damon Ramirez
(back) Ryan Hayes, Eric Klerks, Michael Danchi


Keychange’s Gender Balance

Pioneering international initiative Keychange seeks to empower women with a goal of achieving or maintaining a 50/50 gender balance in the music industry by 2022.

By bringing together like-minded festivals and conference programmers, Keychange has taken critical steps towards creating much needed long-term change in live music. To date, 45 international music industry conferences and festivals including four leading Canadian events have backed the initiative.

Keychange has partnered with various music-centric entities including Musikcentrum Sweden, Reeperbahn Festival, Iceland Airwaves and Tallinn Music Week, who are committed to exploring how men and women can work together to accelerate change and to promote role models for the next generations.

Led by PRS Foundation and supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, Keychange also supports a network of artists and innovators invited to take part in a series of international festivals, showcases, collaborations and creative labs, which aim to create a more inclusive music industry.

For more information, follow the link below…

A Lethal Amount of Divine

As a tribute to the legendary pop culture icon Divine, the Sex Cells Divine Ball will celebrate Harris Glenn Milstead’s drag persona with a night of music, mayhem and memories.

Developing an early interest in drag while working as a hairdresser in Baltimore, Milstead befriended budding local filmmaker John Waters who was intent on making “the trashiest motion pictures in cinema history.” Waters subsequently gave Milstead the name “Divine” and the two embarked on a filmmaking journey that would spawn midnight-movie cult-classics such as Female Trouble, Polyester, and Pink Flamingos.

Not only will there be a contest with a $500 cash prize for the “Best Divine,” but the Sex Cells Divine Ball will feature celebrity judge Mink Stole and DJ sets from Matthew Pernicano and Danny Lethal. Whether you’re a fan of the late Divine or not yet familiar with the infamous entertainer, this event is sure to be a unique opportunity to celebrate the deliciously vile personality whom John Water referred to as “the most beautiful woman in the world, almost.”

Sex Cells, the monthly nightclub created by Lethal Amounts owner Danny Fuentes, attracts a wide array of talented artists and colorful characters, which Fuentes and his team foster and encourage. The creative gallery space, Lethal Amounts, focuses on subversive and counter culture themes, addressing the social and artistic value of underground movements while highlighting taboo topics.

For more information, follow the link below…