Thursday, March 10, 2011

RAW: ARTcade @ Playhouse (Hollywood)

Electric Valentine's Lauren Baird and Chris Qualls
Electric Valentine's Lauren Baird and Chris Qualls
photo by picksysticks

by JPegg

Some use a form of canvas, others use a microphone, and those in fashion tend to prefer live models to hang their vision rather than upon a wall. It is always amazing to see the different outlets and forms that an artist uses to vent. RAW: Hollywood presents ARTcade at the Playhouse on Hollywood Boulevard displayed a diverse ensemble of such talent. ItElectric Valentine's Lauren Baird was fitting too, that the event was at the historic Fox Theatre, converted this evening into a cocktail attire hot spot for artists to come together for showcase and celebration.

Gallery art filled the main floor, above the bar, along the stage, near the restrooms, simply everywhere. Canvas art in the lounge balcony had its own DJ and light accompaniment. There was no real unifying theme to it all. Each work had its own voice, almost like a silent protest to whatever the artist was rebelling against. Paintings, photos, mixed media, and even color pencil drawing stood pensive. Each piece had its own personality, almost like a cast of characters in a circus freak audition. It stood as though it was mingling with the people, having silent conversations with those that took a moment to absorb the image. Each image was saying something, and likely something different to everyone. That is the wonderment about art, the artist places the voice out there, and often times, each person understands its language skewed to one’s own perception. The art itself can even fool its creator. The quiet subconscious undertones such things reveal and bring to light.

Live music performances were three female fronted bands from Los Angeles: Electric Valentine, Nylon Pink, and Ultraviolet Sound. Stage host between sets was an exuberant Mr. Bradshaw, with his laughable karaoke, quirky dance moves, and high-pitched attitude that made him a likeable event mascot.

Electric Valentine's Lauren Baird
Electric Valentine's Lauren Baird and Chris Qualls

"We Are All On Drugs" by Electric Valentine
vid by 405east


Electric Valentine was his first introduction. They were dance pop love with a simple message, “We are all on drugs,” as vocalist Lauren Baird wore her torn tee into tank-top D.A.R.E. shirt of the 80’s. Not what kind of drugs, life itself and each of its experiences is a drug, needed to survive with the addiction to breathing. EV’s music is a little bit darker love drug, electric chair valentine would be close, but a bit too morbid sounding, considering they are not a metal band. They instill more of a jolting feeling, like a hypodermic needle with a plug. A needle riddled arm of high voltage happy injections, looking bad with rolled up sleeves, but misunderstood by those that do not feel. A sort of Valentines Day romance in a storm, as two lovers try to shelter under a box of chocolates and a dozen useless roses, not yet realizing that the thrill of running the wet streets together and finding a corner out of the rain creates the real attraction. Electric Valentine is that kind of amphetamine.

Nylon Pink's Kitt Katt and Kaila Yu
Nylon Pink was an Asian invasion version of Spice Girls. They were five women of fashionable style, each with their own visual personality and instrument, aiming to please, of course, with their musical talents. Lead vocalist Kaila Yu strutted appeal high and tight, the bright sunflower in great spirits to fluff up the tongue droppers. Lead guitar Kiki Wongo pinged strings while dressed as space girl in an asymmetrical reflective moon blue and gold outfit. Kitt.E.Katt on bass high styled it up blonde, looking like an Asian comic book pop Barbie doll. Genn Ung on rhythm guitar was the badass punk rocker of the group with colors covered in black, bringing the bad attitude of steel toes that kicked the crowd roaring. Jamie Scoles in the far rear looked like a carefree schoolgirl dropout that threw away her books and instead, picked up sticks, and turned banging on bleacher to banging on drums. All together, Nylon Pink had the look of five drama-loaded models of fashionable sexuality.
Ultraviolet Sound's Sarah Hudson and Sami Diament

Ultraviolet Sound was dance pop perversion on display. Sex shop red head, Sarah Hudson, led with her sensual vocals and sexual raunch, groping her breasts, stroking her microphone cock, and spreading her all to the crowd. Brute, untamed, physical, chains and whips, tie her up, zipper her mouth, and stay clear of her crotch for she warns, “My pussy is as tough as nails.” Their dance beat is like interrupted sex, pulling out and holding it to keep it from exploding, then sliding back into sweat lubricated, skin friction, rhythm. A raw, carnal, yet survival instinct feel. An unromantic, unattached, hardcore violent lusting transformed into sound. After she drained her vocal throbbing fluids of desire, Hudson slowed it for a tender cuddling with Strawberry Fields Forever, a cover of a song by The Beatles, but UVS transformed it into a rendition silken towards red lipstick strawberries and soft shaved fields. Hudson gave her all to all with a vibrating sex rated performance without the threat of STDs. Barely legal, unprotected dance grooves.

Ultraviolet Sound's Sarah Hudson and Sami Diament
Ultraviolet Sound's Sarah Hudson
Ultraviolet Sound's Sarah HudsonUltraviolet Sound's Sarah Hudson

"Suck My Kiss" by Ultraviolet Sound
vid by 405east


After the live performance release, there came the women in fashion with models, slender, tall, in beautiful varieties as though they were wild flowers of heaven, or stepping out of a style magazine. Throughout the evening, like the gallery art showcase, the clothing designers and hair & makeup stylists had these models on display, getting ready for the climax runway show, making last minute touches and clothing adjustments, while posing for photographers and friendlies. It was the backstage revealed in the open, nothing obscene, but definitely revealing in their swimsuits, heels, and petite outfits that made them look like Hollywood’s midnight blossoming rose gardens, as though these lovelies were the coveted few protected from the thick moist smell of a strip club atmosphere. During the fashion walk, every model did not have the runway walk perfected, not stiff and robotic like moving mannequins, but rather each with their own fragrant and lustrous attitude of gliding grace, stomping temper, or smooth like the look of sweet pudding as they trailed one-by-one across the stage and down center through the photographers and applauding onlookers. It was a highlight display of society’s female form of perfection dipped in art.


The show was soon over. Done was the RAW showcase. Playhouse quickly turned into an after hours dance club. The models, designers, artists with their art, and photographers cleared away for the those that wanted to just dance, mingle, hook-up, and yell over each other with a sloshing glass in their hands. These late night loud flooded in as if they were raiding and looting, making it the opportune time to take one last collective glance and exit.
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