The Dishmaster

Entertainment News With a Side of Dish

Saturday

3

September 2016

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COMMENTS

Los Angeles’ Secret Firepit Concert Returns: Win Tickets Now!

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FIREPIT SESSIONS

Los Angeles natives know there’s always a concert to see and a new venue to visit to scope out underground talent, but as an experienced Angelino, I can tell you that there’s no cooler concert with better live sound than the FIREPIT SESSIONS. Nestled in a secret enclave of Silverlake, and hosted by talented engineer and certified music influencer Adam Labov, the unique, two-day experience offers multiple back-to-back bands whose identity remains a secret until they hit the stage. Though perhaps I could have convinced Adam to reveal the names for “press” purposes, I trust his taste and love the surprise. It’s also impossible to guess because even rock bands take the stage, proving that Adam’s eclectic lineup is one-of-a-kind. For your chance to obtain the secret address for the SEPTEMBER 10 and SEPTEMBER 11 FIREPIT SESSIONS, send an email with the subject line “Firepit Sessions” to Vanessa@TheDishmaster.com.

For more information, read my exclusive interview below with the man himself, Adam Labov.

I know you have extensive experience in the music industry. Tell me how you got started in this business.

Whether or not I realized it at the time, I think that it all began when I was 13 years old and saw my first real rock concert, Nirvana in 1993.  Even though I couldn’t hear properly for a few days afterward, I knew right away that live music was something I needed to always have in my life.  The energy I felt that night was unlike anything I had ever experienced before, and even after attending and mixing thousands of shows, it still continues for me.

In 1999, I took some audio engineer classes and created a home studio to hone my engineering skills.  When I moved to LA in 2003, I knew that many studios were having trouble making money, so I figured it was financially risky to open up another studio here.  I decided to try my luck with live sound and went to all the live music venues on the Sunset Strip and around town seeking work as a live engineer.  I got a call a month later to work at the Key Club and so it began….

When did you first come up with the idea for these Firepit Sessions?

It happened after hosting a huge house party one day in 2008 where I had 5 popular local bands play really loud sets, and the cops (and some neighbors) showed up multiple times.  I knew that if I wanted to continue having shows at my house, the format would have to be refined.

A month or so later, I asked my friend Travis Warren if he could bring his acoustic guitar over to perform an intimate, “unplugged” set for my birthday.  I invited about 30 friends over and it was an incredibly special time.  I’d like to think that night was the beginning of Firepit Sessions.

What is your ultimate goal for these sessions? I know it’s free, but do you anticipate having to charge for entry as it grows in popularity?

Making money from Firepit Sessions has never been a priority or even much of a thought and I’m never planning to charge an entrance fee. Money just complicates things and I’d rather it remain out of Firepit Sessions.

Firepit Sessions has become a passion project for me.  I love the idea of being able to host a party like this, where I curate every aspect of the entire weekend and then document it on the website.  It’s my way of trying to give back to the Los Angeles music community from which I’ve received so many incredible opportunities and positive experiences.

I want Firepit Sessions to be a safe haven for musicians to experiment with their craft, as well as provide a comfortable place for members of the audience to experience live music in a new light. Many local businesses have generously donated food, libations, and other services and I look forward to partnering with other like-minded people to help Firepit Sessions evolve. Given my erratic travel schedule, the event also serves as the perfect setting for me to see many of my friends at one time, and then introducing those friends to other like-minded people.  I love watching those connections being made and then eventually blossoming into other creative endeavors.

How do you choose the band that performs?

I’ve made a long and ever-growing list of bands I want to eventually perform at Firepit Sessions. Many are bands I already work with, or friends of friends.  I also have some bands that are likely too well known, but it keeps me motivated to try and make it happen.

Once I find an available weekend for Firepit Sessions, I go through the list and try my best to create a cohesive and diverse lineup based on who is available. I’m beyond grateful to all the musicians that have agreed to perform at Firepit Sessions, some multiple times; especially considering the fact they don’t get paid and I won’t let them publicly promote the shows before they happen.

This has gained a lot of popularity. Are you ever approached by an artist you have to turn down?

Given the infrequent nature of these concerts, only about 10 set times are available in any given year.   I’ve had to turn down bands mainly because I already had enough acts booked for that particular session. I try to schedule them for future Firepit Sessions if I think the vibe is right for what is happening over here.

I’ve seen rock bands perform in this rather intimate setting. Do you think it’s a challenge for them to transform their style?

My musical friends are talented and can easily adapt to the space and the unique audio challenges it presents.  The biggest issue is the 70+ steps to go up and down for load in/out.

When I first begin to pitch the idea of performing at Firepit Sessions to bands, I always reference “MTV unplugged”.  In particular, the episodes with Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Nirvana still remain as some of my favorite concerts because it forced those loud rock bands to become vulnerable by making them step outside their comfort zone to scale things back. It also provided the audience with a less amplified environment, which I believe made the listener feel more connected to the band and vice versa.  I find that’s when some of the best performances can happen, and certainly has become one of the ideas behind Firepit Sessions.

A great example of this is the band Fool’s Gold who was kind enough to perform on two separate occasions.  Their typical set up was full electric, but for FIrepit Sessions, they incorporated acoustic guitars, scaled back the drums, encouraged audience singing and even rearranged the songs. They turned out to be completely unique performances and totally exemplify the mood I’m going for.

That being said, I’ve upgraded the audio production over the years to be able to accommodate full band set ups and recently received a sponsorship from one of my favorite audio equipment companies.  At this point there really isn’t a situation that isn’t “doable”.

Monday

29

August 2016

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COMMENTS

The 2016 MTV VMAs — Recap + Videos

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Britney Spears + G-Eazy

I will always root for Britney Spears, as will the rest of America. She’s a true comeback story, and it’s good to see that we are not defined by our worst moments. Having said that, her performance at the MTV VMAs just isn’t up to snuff. In fact, if I were on her team, I’d have kept her off the stage entirely. For starters, it was fine for her to lip sync at the beginning of her career because she was dancing. But now, there’s no excuse. She’s walking across the stage with extremely minimal choreography, And if you’re going to go that route, then the performance better be extremely high-concept to distract the audience from the issue at hand. Instead, they put her center stage sans distraction, and left her up there with nothing to fill the time. As for G-Easy, they have zero chemistry. Like I said, I love Britney, but her team just needs to do better. They have something to work with here, and they’re doing nothing.

Rihanna

Rihanna gets an A for effort. With a medley of her most-loved hits, some interesting chaps, and an overflow of pink, it was an extravaganza for the eyes. Britney’s team should take note. Though it wasn’t heavy with choreography on Rihanna’s part, there’s enough good stuff on stage to make this memorable.

Beyonce

Beyonce made the other performances feel as if a lion went up against a bunch of ants. In short, she slayed, and her 15 minute show was an extremely original, eye-catching masterpiece. It’s Beyonce’s world, and everyone else just lives in it.

Kanye West

I would encourage Kanye West to give money to charity, rather than begging for big outlets to invest in him. Actually, I’d encourage him to physically go to a shelter and feed the homeless, because his bloated display of hubris isn’t just tired, it’s sad. For a man that does only one thing well, he sure doesn’t do it often. If you love Beyonce, take notes from her, and do less talking and more performing. He will continue to get away with this for some time, because the decline of one’s brand is a slow death, and like the frog being boiled in water, it will soon be too late to recover.

Ariana Grande + Nicki Minaj

I don’t like spinning at the gym, and I certainly don’t like it on the stage. This feels like the princess version of a dance routine designed by some ladies from Brentwood who said to Grande, “You know what would be so cool?! Spin bikes on stage! OMG and the Olympics just happened so like . . . add a pommel horse!!”

Nick Jonas

I had high hopes for Nick Jonas, but this dated performance reeked of the 90’s. If he wants to convince the public that his boy band days are behind him, this was not the way to go. Jonas has marketed himself as the cool, sexy guy who was just too mature for a trio with his brothers. The only thing missing here was Nick Lachey.

Saturday

27

August 2016

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COMMENTS

Tabloid Gossip — Your Week of Links

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kylie

Justin Bieber and Sophia Richie are going strong. Us Magazine

Anna Chlumsky had baby #2. LA Times

Kylie Jenner’s breasts suddenly grew. MSN

Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart are kaput. USA Today

Kate Gosselin said Jon changed overnight. Too Fab

Joe Jonas has a new lady love. People

Courtney Cox  has some regrets. Yahoo!

Bella Thorne is bisexual. Bella Pendergast

Zoe Saldana posted a funny video with her twins. Just Jared

Hope Solo was suspended from soccer. Slate

Lupita Nyong’o has a boyfriend. Wonderwall

Joshua Jackson’s on-screen romance just moved off screen. Radar Online

Ariana Grande has a new man. TMZ

Mischa Barton lost a lawsuit. People

Saturday

27

August 2016

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COMMENTS

Britney Spears Called Carpool Karaoke “Awkard”

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In case you wonder whether Britney Spears can be normal, listen to her radio interview below where she seems less nervous, and more authentic. She discusses her carpool karaoke experience with James Corden, and recounts feeling “awkward,” along with a dislike for two of her most famous songs.

Friday

26

August 2016

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COMMENTS

Britney Spears’ Does Carpool Karaoke With James Corden

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Here’s what we learned from Britney Spears’ carpool karaoke.

1. She doesn’t know what “Oops, I did it again” is about.

2. She’s done with men and no longer believes in marriage.

3. She wants three more children

4. Her children have watched her Vegas show.

5. She’s extremely shy.

6. It’s pretty awesome to see Britney doing EXACTLY what I do in my car while listening to HER music.

Watch and enjoy.

Thursday

25

August 2016

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COMMENTS

Preview KUWTK Next Episode Now

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There are no words to express my elation about Blac Chyna’s budding romance with Rob Kardashian, who is the brother of her ex’s mistress. As you know, Chyna dated Tyga, and Tyga left her and their baby for Kylie, who was allegedly underage at the time. Revenge is sweet, and it’s especially sweet when you beat your ex at his own game. But what happens when the Kardashians don’t take kindly to your union, the matriach must step in to soothe the waters. Watch below as Kris Jenner tries to convince Rob Kardashian to mend fences with Khloe, who, if you’ve ever watched the show, is extremely dramatic. Keeping Up With the Kardashians airs Sundays at 9 PM ET/PT.
(more…)

Wednesday

24

August 2016

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COMMENTS

“City of Gold” film screening and Q&A With Jonathan Gold

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I’m told by a close confidante that City of Gold is one of the best documentaries out there and just as I was about to rent it, I received a welcome email from The Wiltern about a special screening followed by a Q&A with Jonathan Gold himself. The renowned Los Angeles Times food critic is one of the first reviewers in Los Angeles to cover family-owned restaurants in the ethnic enclaves of lesser-known neighborhoods. The exclusive event is in partnership with the LA Times, and tickets to the October 2 documentary, Q&A and tasting party can be bought HERE. Partial proceeds will benefit Food Forward.
 

Tuesday

23

August 2016

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COMMENTS

Scott Eastwood Covers GQ Australia — Talks Taylor Swift, Clint Eastwood, and more.

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I must admit my unfair assumption that Scott Eastwood was nothing but a pretty face riding the connections of his father’s career, but after reading his interview with GQ Australia, I’ve changed my mind. Read some quotes from his interview below, and click HERE for more. 

On the tragic death of his girlfriend

Her airbag exploded. It shot a projectile through her body. It split her spine, and um… I’ve never told anybody that. I’ve lost friends before; I’ve lost some great friends. But, I had never lost someone I had been really intimate with, you know, like in that way, in a relationship. I think that really affected me in a way that… I don’t know. Maybe it’s made it harder for me to date.”

On his role in Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” video

[My agents] were saying things like, ‘Why would you want to go be Taylor Swift’s boy toy?’ And I go, ‘Well, why wouldn’t I? Are you kidding?

On Clint Eastwood’s parenting style when he found out Scott left his 14-year-old sister at a party alone.

He popped me and said, ‘You don’t ever leave your sister at a party. EVER.’ And it was very old-school, very old-school of him. He wasn’t afraid. None of this new-age bullshit where you can’t even smack the kid because everyone’s afraid of being judged or whatever. That wasn’t the way that shit went down in that family.

On having more success with women as a bartender than an actor

“That was probably the wildest time… It still beats out being in movies or whatever. It still beats out all that, a thousand times.”

Monday

22

August 2016

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COMMENTS

RHONY Finale — Luann Confronts Tom Over Cheating

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Aside from the actual betrayal, one of the worst part of infidelity is the embarrassment. If your partner’s betrayal is public and you choose to forgive their indiscretion, then you’re double plagued — because your friends are aware of it. And for Luann de Lesseps of The Real Housewives of New York City, now her entire fan base knows about it. Her fiance was caught on camera kissing another woman, and Bethenny Frankel broke the news with a series of flip-o-gram photos. Apparently, his kiss-capade went on for over an hour, and he “doesn’t remember” any of it. Watch the clip below, and take a moment to ask yourself if what on earth would motivate anyone to put themselves in the boxing ring for this public torture. Oh right . . . money.

Monday

22

August 2016

0

COMMENTS

Ryan Lochte Fesses Up With on ‘Today’ — Or does he?

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It’s a bit ridiculous that Today’s website houses a title about Ryan Lochte taking “full responsibility” for his faulty accusation of a Rio robbery, especially because his interview answers suggest he might have a little more work to do. Though he does call his behavior “immature and intoxicated,” he doesn’t fully seem contrite. That being said, Lochte doesn’t seem like the brightest bulb, so perhaps that played a role in his responses. As for what actually happened, news reports suggest that Lochte and his friends vandalized a gas station bathroom during some drunken hijinks, and when asked to pay for the damage before leaving, they complied. Lochte still saysa gun was present when they were asked to pay, but that story still remains contested. See both interviews below, beginning with his apology.

THE APOLOGY

THE ORIGINAL INTERVIEW