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Memorial Day Weekend at Movement 2016: The Highlights

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Movement Festival celebrated its tenth year at the intimate Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit—the birthplace of techno—for yet another another unforgettable Memorial Day weekend. Since its inception, the festival has arguably become one of the most prominent electronic music festivals in the world. With Paxahau placing strong focus on incorporating Detroit’s vibrant techno heritage, honoring the sound’s pioneering artists, as well as looking forward in terms of acts encompassing the future of underground club, Movement is a festival that triumphs all of its kind. With famed acts like Kraftwerk, Boys Noize, Caribou, Kevin Saunderson, Justin Martin, MK, Tale of Us, Seth Troxler, The Black Madonna, among countless others scheduled to take the stage at the three-day festival, there’s no question why so many attendees continue to return year after year. The appreciation for the sound’s Detroit origins both by the local attendees, those coming from all over the world, and even the artists, was nearly palpable throughout the entirety of the festival.

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Fans crowding the Main Stage to catch John Digweed’s standout set at Movement 2016

Amidst a booming renaissance of it’s own, the city drew a massive and wildly diverse crowd trekking from all over the world with one thing in common: their love of music. Filled with eclectic showcases, surprise popups, and such a diverse lineup boasting an extensive amount of legendary pioneers of the sound as well as newcomers alike, Detroit was without question the place to be during this past Memorial Day Weekend. Despite the technical difficulties, last-minute lineup changes—most notably Danny Tenaglia replacing Richie Hawtin due to visa issues—and, of course, the unpredictable weather, the party still went on…as did the after parties, after-after parties, and so on.

It is quite difficult to narrow down three days of sets from legends and future superstars playing vastly different sets, ranging from g-house to minimal techno and everything in between, but we made serious efforts to highlight the top five acts of this year’s festival:

5. The Black Madonna<small Marea Stamper, aka The Black Madonna (Photo courtesy of The Seattle Times)

Coming in at number five is Marea Stamper, better known as The Black Madonna, who, through the chaos and commotion, quickly flipped the switch and was able to put on a hell of a show. Thus, her Sunday performance on the Movement Main Stage is beyond deserving of being deemed one of the Top 5 acts of the weekend. Prior to Stamper’s set time, during Honey Soundsystem‘s performance, one of weekend’s many sporadic downpours began. However, the crowd remained unfazed, dancing, with smiles plastered across their faces. By the time Stamper took the stage though, the rain was long gone. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning. When she went to plug in for her first song, there was a loud sound followed by smoke, indicative of a fried mixer. Quick to her feet, she switched mixers and reassured the crowd, stating: “I have a better Journey for you.” That she did. Being a natural, she quickly began what would end up being one of the top sets of the weekend. Cue her edit of Uptown Funk Empire’s “You’ve Got To Have Freedom,” and the switch over to the Underground Resistance’s “Transition Acapella,” and the crowd was roaring–introducing an energy unparalleled by most of the acts on the bill, and thus, securing her spot on our list of noteworthy acts of the weekend.

4. Boys Noize

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In 2015, Alex Ridha, better known to fans as Boys Noize, played the Movement Main Stage alongside Skrillex as Dog Blood. This year, Ridha returned to Detroit, making his first ever solo appearance at the festival, this time hitting the decks below the Main Stage. Beneath Hart Plaza’s concrete venue is Movement’s appropriately named Underground Stage where Boys Noize played his first U.S. gig since the release of Mayday, just a few days prior to the festival. While his new material introduces a sound that varies from what’s expected of the signature Boys Noize rave techno sound, introducing more of a blend of techno and hip hop, little emphasis was placed on it during the German native’s underground set.

this just happened @movementdetroit 🔥

A photo posted by Boys Noize (@boysnoize) on

Despite being a humid and sweaty mess, Boys Noize’s set, part of the festival’s famed Acid Showcase, packed the Underground Stage with a crowd of fans eagerly jumping around to the music. Midway through his set, he finally dropped “Would You Listen,” a track off of his new album, which was equally well-received by the crowd. He then proceeded to shift back to the funkier Boys Noize set that the fans have come to know and love. Highlight of the set: dropping his edit of “Smack My Bitch Up,” however, the high energy set in itself is what set Boys Noize’s performance apart from the rest.

3. John Digweed

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Among acts not to be missed throughout the three-day festival, John Digweed is an obvious one. Digweed is a staple in the scene, and the festival specifically, having played three of the last four years. This year, his Main Stage performance attracted a considerably large crowd, all dancing wildly to the thumping bass and melodic sounds throughout his set. With Movement being one of few North American appearances for the world renowned DJ, his appearance was dubbed a must-see and it did not disappoint. Blessing the Motor City with two straight hours of pure bliss, John Digweed is beyond deserving of a spot on the Top Five.

2. Kevin Saunderson

Photo: Lars Borges

Photo: Lars Borges

Widely regarded as one of three of Detroit’s ‘founding fathers of techno,’ it’s no wonder Kevin Saunderson’s Movement set comes in at the top of the list, just behind the festival’s main headlining act. Saunderson curated an origins-elevation-flyer-2016-billboard-1240impeccable showcase for the third year in a row, taking place on Monday, the final day of the festival. The lineup included legends and newcomers alike. In addition to himself and his sons (Saunderson Brothers), the ‘ORIGINS: Elevation’ showcase at Thump’s Made In Detroit stage included noteworthy acts like Guy Gerber, MK (Marc Kinchen), Bruce Bailey among others.

Being a key player in running the festival in the past, Saunderson’s curation proved, once again, to be impeccable. With diverse acts like MK and Guy Gerber drawing massive crowds to the stage throughout the last day of the festival, this specially curated showcase naturally finished with a 90 minute tech-house set from the legend himself, reiterating his importance as a pioneer to the Detroit sound and the festival itself.

Despite it being the last day of the festival, the Movement attendees’ energy remained at an all-time high, especially as Saunderson closed the night out the night, ending his set with “Sweet Dreams.” As is evident from the crowd’s cheers in the video, Saunderson delivered a set that will not soon be forgotten.

1. Kraftwerk 3D

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With Caribou closing out the night on the Red Bull Music Academy stage, Nic Fanciulli on Beatport, the legendary Carl Craig headlining Thump’s Detroit Love showcase, along with options like Len Faki and Claude Young, Kraftwerk‘s Main Stage appearance may not have been the obvious choice for all attendees. However, with so many options at hand, it was necessary to keep in mind that most every act on the lineup arguably owes a majority of their careers in their entirety to the German foursome’s catalogue. Kraftwerk’s contribution to dance music is immeasurable, laying out the foundations of what now exists today. Thus, catching the Grammy-winning act’s Movement debut Saturday night was personally a no-brainer. The group drew a massive crowd to the already packed Main Stage. Though some left after Maceo Plex, the headlining act was able to fill the entire bowl in its entirety, with eager fans awaiting their set, equipped, of course, with their signature 3D glasses. The group, bringing along their famed production and visuals, took the crowd on a musical journey that has earned them the number one spot on our list of highlights.

Kraftwerk solidified their place as the festival’s main headliner by delivering a chill-inducing set equipped with a flawless 3D visual backdrop. Despite how crowded it was, there was little disappointment following their mind-blowing 90 minute performance,  playing classics like “Pocket Calculator” and “Trans-Europe Express,” as well as a number of other tracks that have since come to define modern day electronic music.

Kraftwerk’s 3D set is likely one of the most significant bookings in Movement history, as few acts can stake claim to playing such an integral role to the genre. Though some fans griped about sound spillover from surrounding stages, there is no questioning the historical nature of these pioneers’ performance at this year’s Movement 2016.

Taking the Jersey Club Movement Out of New Jersey: An Exclusive Interview with R3LL

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After gaining notoriety mainly through a string of remixes and edits, New Jersey-native, R3ll, is now bringing the defining aspects of the Jersey Club Scene to the West Coast. His debut EP, Directions, received support from tastemakers among the likes of Diplo, Annie Mac, and more. Following the release of the first single off of his forthcoming EP, “Visions (feat. Alizzz),” we spoke with R3ll to find out more about his introduction to the Jersey Club scene, what makes it so unique, and of course, what we can expect next.


1. How did you get your start in music? Is there any particular song or artist that inspired you to become a producer?

First and foremost, I love to dance – the energy it gives me is like nothing else. The sound of Jersey Club is raw and high-energy and I just wanted to be a part of that world. Around 2006, I started throwing parties in New Jersey, this led to DJing and then onto producing when I started hanging with the Brick Bandits. They’re a very inspiring collective of producers and DJs who have pretty much single-handedly spawned this whole sound and movement.

2. How do you think your style has changed since you first started making music?

My style of music has evolved from when I started out, because I’m influenced by a lot of different music now, not just straight-up Jersey beats. I really enjoy incorporating ALL these different influences and evolving the sound. This goes hand in hand with my DJ sets; I don’t just play one genre or tempo all night, I work in a lot of my own edits to bridge the sounds and take the crowd on a journey.

3. As an integral member of the Brick Bandits, it seems like you played a significant role in taking the Jersey Club scene out of New Jersey and onto an international level. Can you tell us more about the sound and what makes it so special to you?

Jersey Club is a raw, high energy sound that will get you dancing no matter what. It’s always been special to me because I grew up listening and dancing to this music. To now be able to make Jersey Club music and help open up the sound to new listeners is a dream come true.

Stream R3LL & Alizzz’s “Visions” for a taste of what you can expect off his forthcoming Visions EP.

4.  Jersey Club has been around for a while and has only recently taken off in the past few years. What do you think was the biggest factor for its recent success?

I think the younger producers coming through have been very forward-thinking and are helping to push the sound in new directions. I also think the growth of the internet and social media such as SoundCloud has helped make the music more accessible from outside of Jersey. Also, Jersey Club grew beyond just a new genre, it became a real movement with it’s own choreography. Again, social media such as YouTube helped increase awareness, with some of the dance videos hitting millions of plays.

5. Newark has always been the central hub for the Jersey Club scene. Was it hard leaving New Jersey, and what do you do when you miss home?

Jersey may be the central hub for the scene, but by leaving, I’m hoping to expand that hub and showcase the true, authentic sound of Jersey Club around the country, and around the world. Leaving home is hard, of course; I miss my family and friends, but it’s exciting to be in LA. I’m meeting so many inspiring people and moving forward.

6. You recently partied with Dim Mak on our 20th Anniversary showcase at SXSW. How was that? Can we expect to see more performances from you in 2016?

The Dim Mak 20th Anniversary showcase was an amazing moment, it was my first time at SXSW and I brought the whole crew. I showcased the choreography alongside the music and just watched the crowd turn up with every single song I dropped. It was so much fun. The crowd was on fire and I’m still getting messages from people asking me to come back to Texas. 2016 has only just begun, but I will be performing more and more. So, I think you should get ready because I’m here and I’m ready to party!

R3ll performing at the 'Dim Mak 20th Anniversary: SXSW Party’ in Austin, TX

R3ll performing at the ‘Dim Mak 20th Anniversary: SXSW Party’ in Austin, TX

7. You’ve remixed artists from Missy Elliot to Keys n Krates to Lido, and you’ve even collaborated with Cashmere Cat on your remix of his song “Rice Rain.” Who is your dream artist you’d like to work with and why?

Chris Brown would be dope. A Jersey-influenced record with him on vocals and busting some Jersey moves – that would be too LIT!

8. You released your debut EP “Directions” last year on Brick Bandits new label—How was working on that, and what can we expect to see from you and your crew this year?

As “Directions” was my debut EP and the first release on Brick Bandits’s label, working on he EP was a lot of pressure, but also very special. When it came out and people showed so much love and support, that was really overwhelming for me. In 2016, you can expect more growth and more club bangers.

9. Can you tell us more about #THREAD? The party looks lit, do you think you’ll be bringing something like that to the streets of LA now that you’re here?

Thread is Nadus’ collective and event night in New Jersey. They’re great nights, everyone’s always on the floor all night long. I plan to bring a new club and event night to LA to recreate the authentic Jersey experience, with both Jersey and LA DJs spinning under one roof. We’re going to bring out dancers to showcase the moves and help everyone out here see that it’s more than just a sound, it’s our culture.

10. Alright, now it’s time for a West Coast v. East Coast showdown. Between California and New Jersey, which city has the better food/music/parties, etc.?

Hahaha, now it begins… I would have to say that overall Cali has better food, like Mexican and In N Out, but you guys don’t have the chicken spots like we do. As far as music, it has got to be 50/50 because there is so much music on both coasts that just doesn’t get heard. Cali definitely knows how to party, but nothing ever compares to a Jersey party – there is just more raw energy and people really dance. I’m all about getting down and sweating.

Lastly, catch a preview of what’s up next for the Jersey Club superstar, with a preview of the next single off of his highly anticipated EP–this time, calling upon the Japanese electro house prodigy, Banvox for “Down.”

HOLY SHIP 2016

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Don’t Sweat, Here’s the Best L.A. Spin Classes

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High energy music, lowly lit lights and an instructor who is part motivational speaker, part personal trainer and part superstar DJ are a few reasons why you should ditch your boring cycling routine in favor of an EDM-inspired spin class. 

 

How are those New Years resolutions coming? If you’ve slipped a little since January, these local Los Angeles studios are home to a solution that will transform your current fitness routine (or lack thereof). Get ready for one heart-pounding hell of a ride!

Unplugged: Spent 24 Hours Without Technology and Survived, Barely

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I have a confession that might blow your mind — I don’t go anywhere without my cell phone. Literally, I use it for every task in every part of my day. I’m hooked on technology and social media and use it for way more than I need. So I had to prep myself mentally for this. I challenged myself to go a whole 24 hours unplugged from technology.

Is it even possible? Go figure. We live in Los Angeles where our phone screen is our electronic right arm.

Spoiler: I made it. A day without technology was a 24-hour detox from my phone, the Internet, social media and television. Here’s how it went down.

On Tuesday night, I decide to shut off and stop all charging of my laptop and cell phone. (I don’t have cable so TV isn’t a big deal.) I decide to bring out the trusty, yet bulky, black alarm clock that’s hidden in my closet. This is the only way I can wake up tomorrowmorning. I think to myself, “I haven’t used one of these since middle school. What if it doesn’t work anymore?”

8 a.m. — My alarm clock buzzes and I feel relieved that it works. I instinctively push the snooze button – ten more minutes and I’ll get up. After rolling out of bed, it feels weird not checking my Snapchat. Plus, I usually wake up and turn on music to get my day started. Thankfully I have a vinyl record player. I feel the desire to check my phone, but I’m not yearning this early in the morning.

10 a.m. — I begin to panic at this time. Like, hard. When I get in my car, I won’t have an iTunes playlist to put on…how will I make it through L.A. traffic? Plus, I have rational fears that no one will be able to help me if I get stuck somewhere, or if my car happens to break down. Then, the irrational: what will happen if I don’t respond to an important text message? I’ve been glued to my phone for more than half my life… 

Noon — I don’t have the urge to check my social media, surprisingly. I take the time to engage – also known as talking, with words – during lunch with a few friends. Sitting at the table, I count how many times my friend checks her phone. Within one hour, she’s checked it more than 15 times. Too often we lose sight of how to balance our lives, and my friend incessantly checking her phone is a distraction to the face-to-face interaction I signed up for.

2 p.m. — By this time I realize people don’t talk anymore. We spend literally all our time glued to our phones. We millennials don’t make eye contact and probably don’t know how to because we stare into the screen of our phones day in and day out.

4 p.m. —  I’m realizing the magnitude of social media in my daily routine. Let me check Instagram really quick. Nope. Oh, let me check my work email or read up on the daily news. Nope. I rely on my phone calendar and apps for e v e r y t h i n g. I begin to feel bored at this time and curious as to what my friend was up to on her phone earlier.

6 p.m. — I decide to go to Malibu and watch the sunset. This is the first time in months I didn’t take an Instagram picture or Snapchat the beach scenery. Not having my phone and actually watching the sunset makes me appreciate the day. Being phoneless during this moment is a highlight of adventure.

8 p.m. — The urge to check Facebook and Twitter is yet again pronounced, but I keep myself distracted by making dinner and prepping my lunch for the next day. I feel like I’ve had more time in my day because I haven’t spent hours in the matrix.

10 p.m. — When I sit down to begin my homework, I’m not distracted. Typically I get caught up in web searching or online shopping at the start of this laborious process. But this time, I get it finished…and finished fast.

Midnight — I wake up suddenly in the middle of the night. “Damn,” I think to myself. “I can’t grab my phone to check Instagram.” Usually when I wake up, I check my social media and stay up for at least an hour going through each app. I don’t reach for my cell. My mind begins to race, but eventually, I dose off.

8 a.m. — I wake up to my alarm clock and feel refreshed. Even though I completed the goal and went an entire 24 hours without my technology, I decide to hold off for a bit longer because I enjoy the silence.

When’s the last time you shut off your cell phone or computer for at least a few hours? This question is difficult to answer. But it’s rewarding to try — I promise you will learn a lot about yourself.

Insta Worthy Quotes to Gush Over

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I love a good quote – one that’s relatable and worthy of being shared on my newsfeed. Quotes resonate somewhere special and create insight into understanding ourselves.

A few of my all-time favorite quotes are by civil right leaders, who sought hope of creating an equal future for everyone. The words of civil rights activists are as relevant today as they were initially, creating inspiration for how to achieve greater personal fulfillment.

Here are five quotes from civil rights leaders that I think we can still relate to in society today – trust me, they’re insta worthy.

 

1.      “If you fall behind, run faster. Never give up, never surrender, and rise up against the odds.” — Jesse Jackson

It’s important to strive for goals in life, but sometimes we get consumed by the nonsense. As humans, we get caught up in the hectic day-to-day stress. We get swallowed up by the rush and it is completely normal – we are human. Determination is what makes someone never give up. If you fall down, pick yourself up. Find the passion within you to create what you want in life. It’s an ongoing process that is constantly evolving.

 

2. “I have decided to stick to love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

Dang, Martin Luther King Jr. was on point with this quote. We live in a melting pot of different ethnicities, beliefs, values, cultures, languages… you name it. Being accepting and open to differences is a beautiful aspect of life. Loving someone takes a fraction of the time and energy it takes to hate. This quote teaches us to love everyone no matter what differences you share. It takes a lot of energy to hold onto stale hate.

 

3. “Each person must live their life as a model for others.” — Rosa Parks

We live in a society that learns by observing others. We follow in each other’s footsteps, learning from and reacting to people’s actions. It’s important to lead by example because we never know who we might be motivating on a daily basis. Being a good role model is positive for the future, so set a good example for the upcoming generations.

 

4. “Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.” —  Malcolm X

Someone once told me anger is a great motivator. Even though it is important to bring positive energy to life, using an emotion to fuel motivation can spark change. If something bothers you, don’t mope around – use the emotion to do something about it.

5. “Love yourself, appreciate yourself, see the good in you… and respect yourself.” — Betty Shabazz.

This quote makes me happy. We tend to be our worst critics. There are a million other eyes in the world that see the beauty of us and we too often tend to forget this.

Best Concert Venues in Los Angeles

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Welcome to the city with too many choices, ugh. Los Angeles can be tricky to navigate without some help, and the cities reputation as a playground for music culture attracts fans from all over the world.

Let’s admit it – L.A. has the best music scene in America. We are also blessed with the most diverse venues. The city offers a diverse variety of options every night of the week. Whether you prefer a sweaty dive, a historic theater or a swanky club venue, L.A. has the best concert-going experience for every person.

Here are our top 8 L.A. live-music destinations, in no particular order. The list is based on venue bookings, sound quality, the overall atmosphere, history of the venue and how pricey it is to get a damn drink.

Club Nokia

Get away from the chaotic Staples Center and hang with a crowd that’s always down to party. This multi-story club fits around 2,300 people and there are excellent sight lines to the DJ from any vantage point. The fashion here is “club going up on a Tuesday” chic. While we think the bottom area houses the best experience, there’s a balcony that offers the perfect escape. The bar has strong drinks and the production is always on-point with big sound and bigger artists.

800 W. Olympic Blvd., Downtown, www.clubnokia.com.

Hollywood Bowl

At the bowl, you’ll see attendees swarm the front gates for a pre-show picnic and feel good pre-game vibes. The Bowl’s regular season events are BYOB, but we suggest double checking your ticket before you stock up on alcohol. Since its opening, the bowl has blessed L.A. with iconic performers – from Frank Sinatra in 1943 to Avicii in 2013. This outside amphitheater has wonderful sound quality and is nestled out of earshot from the bustling noise of Hollywood. Usually, fans get to soak up a stellar firework show after the performance. The only downside is the parking.

2301 Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068. HollywoodBowl.com

Hollywood Palladium

If you’re looking for a kick-ass performance, this vintage Art Deco style venue fits about 3,500 fans. Music trends have changed over the years, but this retro Hollywood staple still attracts the best performers. The sound is clear and the venue features a top-notch balcony area. Plus, there’s a stellar booking history of A-listers including Above & Beyond and Armin Van Buuren.

6215 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028.

Avalon Hollywood

If you want a club that will to melt your face off, this L.A. dance club has the best EDM sound system in town. There’s plenty of space to dance and many levels to explore. If you buy tickets in advance, the experience is hassle-free. They pump trap and dubstep on Fridays, and on Saturdays the speakers are filled with trance and big-room house.

1735 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028. avalonhollywood.com

El Rey Theatre

This is a relatively small setting, so if your favorite artist swings by for a show, grab a ticket fast. El Rey has a reputation for booking rising or relatively unknown artists who are on their way to stardom. It’s an Art Deco flashback venue with good sound and hip crowds. It’s always a smart choice to wear comfortable shoes, because you’ll likely dance all night.

5515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036. theelrey.com

The Wiltern

For good vibes visit this venue nestled in the heart of L.A. There’s not a bad spot in the house at the Wiltern. Equipped with balcony seating and levels of standing room, fans can view the stage from every possible corner of the glamorous theater. It’s an L.A. landmark with a capacity of up to 2,200 fans.

3790 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010. livenation.com

The Viper Room

Want to party somewhere historic? This intimate local venue is tucked away on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. What sets apart this venue from others is the size. The 250-person capacity dissolves the barrier between the fans and the artist. The sunken dance floor allows fans to get up close and personal with their favorite artist.

8852 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069. www.viperroom.com.

The Fonda Theatre

Who doesn’t love venues that are small, yet have enough space to move freely? The Fonda packs about 1,200 and has a huge dance floor, rooftop bar and balcony seats. There’s plenty of space to get lost. Plus, it’s a good place to enjoy high-qualify performances. The metro is two blocks away and parking is decent. Big names have performed here, including The Rolling Stones, Justice and Moby.

6126 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028. http://www.fondatheatre.com

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The Essential Los Angeles Late-Night Happy Hour Guide for Cheap Eats and Drinks

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Late-night happy hours are for night owls. They’re the ones sitting in traffic during sunset rush hour that can’t make it to regular happy hour times. They’re the people partying into the wee morning hours, who don’t have to wake up for a 7 a.m. yoga class or 8 a.m. workday.

We all know that eating out can put a dent in your bank account. But during reverse happy hour, most restaurants are wonderfully affordable. So if you’re drinking a $17 Moscow mule at a bar that’s name you can’t pronounce, you’re in the wrong spot. Luckily, we’ve laid out the top reverse happy hour deals in LA, so you don’t have to spend your commute home scrolling through Yelp. Although lets be honest…ain’t much else to do during standstill traffic.

Based on killer drink selections, cheap eats and the best deals, this list will help you save a few bucks and enjoy a much happier hour.

33 Taps

When: Sunday – Thursday, 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.

This Hollywood sports pub serves up $3 pints, $3 well drinks and $3 appetizers, but perhaps the realest deal here is the cheap bites. Head upstairs to the pool tables and grub on delicious pulled pork sliders or savory chicken taquitos. When you’re feeling like a winner, make the last one a double – you might need it to handle the after hours action on the boulevard.

Regular happy hour is Tuesday – Friday, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

33 Taps is located at 6263 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Phone: (323) 962-1400

Birds

When: Wednesday – Thursday, 11 p.m. – midnight.

This neighborhood spot is filled with locals…and let’s keep it locals only. It has half-off all drinks, and on Fridays ladies get half-off drinks all night – holllaaa!! If you’re in the mood for something upscale, try the “French Martini” – it’s a mixture of vodka, raspberry liquor and pineapple juice. The bartenders at this long-standing spot between the East Side and Hollywood make sure your drink is always full.

Birds is located at 5925 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Phone: (323) 465-0175.

The Virgil

When: Tuesday, 7 p.m. – midnight.

This 1920s-style saloon has throwback decor, killer cocktails and live entertainment. The restaurant has a calendar of scheduled comedy shows, music and innovative storytelling skits. It’s a little pricy but there’s always a great show. The menu includes $8 craft cocktails, which are usually a tasty concoction regularly priced at $12. There’s $6 well drinks, $5 draft beer and $6 wine. On Whiskey Wednesday, you can order a $15 flight and get a discounted whiskey cocktail. The same happy hour selection is available at 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., Monday – Friday.

The Virgil is located at 4519 Santa Monica Boulevard, Silver Lake

Phone: (323) 660-4540.

Crazy Rock’n Sushi

When: Everyday, 4 p.m. – 2 a.m. 

This Japanese sushi bar is located at the heart of Sunset Boulevard. This multi-room and outdoor seating restaurant offers dirt cheap (but super tasty) sushi and drinks at late hours. Their happy hour is amazing because everything on the menu is 50 percent off. Yes – everything. The portions are generous and most sushi specials start at $3.35. Plus, you can score a $3 large house hot sake.

Crazy Rock’n Sushi is located at 7100 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite 158, West Hollywood, CA 90046.

Phone: (323) 882-8247

Kings Row

When: Sunday – Wednesday, 10 p.m. – midnight.

You don’t have to play hooky and leave work early for a cheap burger anymore, because Kings Row has got you covered. Grab a $5 cheeseburger or $8 mini fish n’ chips. The outside patio is a cozy environment with string lights and it’s located in Old Pasadena. The happy hour menu includes $4 well drinks, $6 craft cocktails, $2 off any beer and $3 off wines.

Kings Row is located at 20 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91103.

Phone: (626) 793-3010

Far Bar

When: Sunday – Monday, 9 p.m. – close

This Little Tokyo fusion spot has $7 cocktails, $5 well drinks, $3 Sapporo, $5 wines, $7 whiskey and plenty of other drink specials. If you’re hungry, nom on the reduced price sushi rolls starting at $4 and other $5 munchies, including wings and sliders.

Far Bar is located at 347 East 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Phone: (213) 617-9990.

Casey’s Irish Pub

When: Monday and Sunday, open – close

Enjoy a restaurant filled with loads of whiskey, wood tables and Irish flare located in downtown L.A. The pub has $2 off all appetizers, $5 Jameson, $4 well cocktails and $3 Miller High Life. There’s a pool table, ping-pong table, foosball and darts. The same happy hour menu applies Tuesday – Saturday 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Casey’s Irish Pub is located at 613 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017.

Phone: (213) 629-2353

Morton’s The Steakhouse

When: Sunday – Friday, 9 p.m. – close

Hell yeah – this is a meat lover’s happy hour done right. This place is known as a high-end chain for prime beef and seafood, but there are specialty priced bar bites during late happy hour. Grab a $8 mini crab cake, tuna taco, prime cheeseburger, petite filet mignon sandwich or a filet mignon trio.

Morton’s The Steakhouse is located at 735 S Figueroa St #207, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Phone: (213) 553-4566

Yard House

When: Sunday – Wednesday, 10 p.m. – close

Sink your teeth into late night appetizers starting at $5 – $8. From Moo Shu egg rolls and chicken strips to a tasty cheese pizza, there are more than 20 appetizers on sale. There are also lots of drink specials to quench your thirst.

Yard House is located at 800 West Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015

Phone: (213) 745-9273

Michael’s

When: Monday – Friday, 6 p.m. – close

This is the type of place you’d take a late night date. Located a few blocks from the Third Street Promenade, this beach town restaurant has classy art-filled décor and prices that won’t break the bank. Happy hour food specials include $3 oysters and $6 bites like the chicken and waffles with bourbon-aged maple syrup. Drink specials include $7 cocktails, wine and $5 beer.

Michael’s is located at 1147 3rd St, Santa Monica, CA 90403.

Phone: 310-451-0843

Ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in L.A. regardless of your relationship status

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It’s that time of year again – Valentine’s Day. We either love it or hate it. And you’re going to either spend this day in Los Angeles shared with a sweetheart who lights your fire, or downing a bottle of wine and eating a box of chocolate from CVS.

For myself – Los Angeles is my valentine.

Ditch the traditional Valentine’s Day celebrations and take your honey somewhere special. Or if you’re single, flip love the middle finger and check out our list of the best LA spots to be a party of one.

Finding something unique to do on Valentine’s Day just got a whole lot easier. Here’s a guide to local special events on Valentine’s Day and the weekend that will woo your beloved. Or if dodging Cupid’s arrows and cheesy pick-up lines is more your style, we’ve got some anti-Valentine’s Day events too.

If you’re single…

Doomed Valentine’s Day Show

Solo on V-Day? If you want to reminisce on the holiday’s most awkward and embarrassing moments, this storytelling event allows guests to tell their stories of past V-Days. So get on stage, drink a beer and tell inappropriate stories to strangers.

When: Saturday, Feb. 13

Where: 1357 N Highland Ave., Los Angeles

Cost: $16

Website: http://www.getmortified.com/live/

Cupid’s Undie Run

Strip down in your undies for a good cause at this annual Valentine’s Day themed run. The run is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. and aims to raise $3.5 million for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Grab your red and run around and pink panties downtown Los Angeles with other Angelenos.

When: Saturday, Feb. 20

Where: 1050 S Hill St., Los Angeles

Cost: $30-$55

Website: http://www.cupidsundierun.com/city/los-angeles/

Birds’ Annual Anti-Valentine’s Party

Honestly, this sounds like a blast. This upbeat neighborhood bar will fill the place with a bunch of activities for “aggression-release therapy.” You can bash a piñata, stick a needle in a voodoo doll, listen to heartbreak music and win a prize for the worst “got dumped” stories while drinking heavily. Yeah, this sounds like my type of party.

When: Sunday, Feb. 4

Where: 5925 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles

Cost: Free

Website: http://www.birdshollywood.com/index.php?pageID=home

Tinder Ball

If you’re a fan of Tinder and tired of dating online and swiping left, it’s time to return to the real world of dating. So put down your phone and exchange your number at Bellman’s Pub. The pub will host a Tinder-themed singles party with a kissing booth, sex toy raffle and a live date auction. Drink specials include D.T.F. Punch and fire shots.

When: Sunday, Feb. 14

Where: 600 S Spring St., Los Angeles

Cost: Free

Website: http://beelmanspub.com

Valentine’s Day Mosh

Aggressive behavior, black clothing and black eyeliner are highly suggested at this event. Rumble and mosh the night away if you’re feeling extra angsty at this Valentine’s Day concert. Three punk bands will gather and play a show at the Echoplex. The Frights, SWMRS and Melissa Brooks & The Aquadolls will play a show and get your mind off all the sappy V-Day lovers. So ditch the fancy jewelry, pink dresses, and suit and ties.

When: Sunday, Feb. 14

Where: 1154 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles

Cost: $15

Website: http://www.theecho.com/event/1022647-valentine-s-day-rumble-los-angeles/

If you’re happily taken…

Valentine’s Day Malibu Wine Safari & Chocolate Tasting at Saddlerock Ranch 

Nothing says “I love you” better than exotic wildlife and wine. Why not take a break from the city and head out to Malibu. You can taste locally produced wine and visit all the furry animals.

When: Friday, Feb. 12 – Sunday, Feb. 14

Where: 32111 Mulholland Highway, Malibu, California 90265

Cost: $80

Website: https://www.goldstar.com/events/malibu-ca/valentines-day-pairing-safari-tickets

Sex and the City Zoo Dinner

Gather for a celebration of animal dating, mating and cohabitation on Valentine’s Day. The event features an animal sex talk with the L.A. Zoo’s curator. This wild, adults-only celebration will explore all the romance in the animal kingdom. Be prepared to learn about all the mating rituals in the animal kingdom and how they compare with human courtship. Chocolate and champagne will be offered to humans. There’s also an optional three-course dinner for you lovebirds. Reservations are required.

When: Saturday, Feb.13, at 5 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m.

Where: Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens – 5333 Zoo Drive Los Angeles, CA 90027

Cost: Tickets are $42.99 per person and $121.74 for the lecture and dinner

Website: http://www.lazoo.org/sexandthecityzoo/

Grand Park’s PROUD Love

Free love is the best love, and it comes in all backgrounds, ages, shapes, color and sizes. Celebrate with all the colors of the rainbow in Grand Park on Saturday. Pack a picnic or enjoy local food trucks, good vibes and the gardens. Learn how to square or line dance with the community and LGBTQ supporters. Pucker up because there’s also a free photo booth. No partner is required, so if you’re single this works too.

When: Saturday, Feb. 13, at 12 p.m.

Where: Grand Park’s Performance Lawn – 200 North Grand Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90012

Cost: Free

Website: http://grandparkla.org/event/proud-love/

The El Capitan Theatre

Calling all red-blooded humans who want to impress their cutie on V-Day with a Disney movie. Relive the famous spaghetti kiss scene in “Lady and the Tramp” at a screening of the movie at the El Capitan.

When: Friday, Feb. 12 – Monday, Feb. 15

Where: 6838 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles

Cost: $13 adults, $11 before 6 p.m.

Website: https://elcapitantheatre.com

Dinner Reservations for two…

If you’ve forgotten about the Hallmark holiday this year, relax because Valentine’s Day dinner is all figured out. Cooking a meal at home is romantic, but the clean up is a drag. Skip the dirty dishes and make a reservation at a romantic restaurant.

Birch

This place is fancy. The dinner menu at this Hollywood restaurant includes oysters, sunchoke velouté and a variety of decadent entrees.

Price: $70 per person

Reserve: 323-960-3369

E.P. & L.P.

This swanky West Hollywood spot has a killer rooftop view and a full indoor dining room. Again, it’s a fancy menu with oysters, Chiang Mai lamb and more. So take someone you want to drop the cash for.

Price: $100 per couple

Reserve: 310-855-9955

Knuckle & Claw

If you want to share champagne with your significant other, this is your spot. There’s $1 oysters and half bottles of the bubbly for $9. No reservations are needed and the deal is from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Price: $1 oysters, $9 half bottle of champagne

Reserve: None needed, (323) 407-6142

Love & Salt

Italian food is always a good idea. The three-course menu includes classic Italian dishes – the perfect cuisine to warm your belly and your heart.

Price: $45 per person

Reserve: (310) 545-5452

Nothing Says Romance like Funny Valentine’s Day Cards

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Valentine’s Day is approaching fast and stores are filled up with red heart-shaped candy boxes, teddy bears, cards and flowers. Valentine’s Day cards can be sentimental and sweet, but it’s always the funny and punny that capture the truly great things about relationships. With Valentine’s Day approaching, your honey is is expecting a creative card.

These funny V-Day cards are for people who understand that mushy love is a 24/7 job for your bae. The best way to express yourself is honesty, so if you are cheesy and corny, these cards capture your relationship.

Check out our favorite cards below, including some from Drake, Tinder and Netflix.

Catching Up with Vicetone – Interview

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WAVEY 8/23 // Sweat It Out! Takeover

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