What's Happenin'?

Live Art and Music at Mission Tobacco Lounge

March 1, 2017

Downtown Riverside, Ca

By: Mik Elson 

Alas, we approach a new month in 2017. On a mellow night in Downtown Riverside, we are accompanied by local artists. Among those artists were Miguel Flores, who did a display of live art in the form of painting, and if you bought a raffle ticket a lucky winner got to obtain one of his original art pieces created during the show. Also, 100% of proceeds made from raffle purchases go straight to the artist. Alongside Miguel were musicians Modern Racket, Never Old Bones, DVLWND, Whoever Controls London, and The Thin Lines. This is all apart of a Live Art Music Show  (L.A.M.S.) supporting local artists at Mission Tobacco Lounge. This is Volume 7 of a monthly series that I sure hope continues to happen. This is a wonderful attribute to the community and a great way to support local artists. 

 Miguel Flores performing live art during L.A.M.S. at Mission Tobacco Lounge 

Miguel Flores performing live art during L.A.M.S. at Mission Tobacco Lounge 

Live Sound: Easy Love

Live Sound

By : Thorn in R’side

9/2/16 - Easy Love @  Mission Tobacco Lounge

    This reformulation of the Summer Twins is a refreshing new take on the group’s sound, with the drummer of that group stepping into the front of the band writing songs, singing lead, and playing rhythm guitar. Even with the $10 cover for this night, MTL was full of people, and everyone came right up to the stage for this set to move and bob along with the songs.

    Easy Love throws out the same quality of tone and precision that Summer Twins brings, and while there is still definite 50’s and 60’s pop rock inspirations, this group has more of a garage rock feel and a more tripped out sound. None of the songs were particularly fast or hard, but retained a heavy and full quality the entire time, with each song building up into some dreamy and captivating moments that were laid across the crowd by the beautiful and high ranged vocal melodies.

    The entire set itself had a great arc throughout, holding the crowd in their hands and manipulating the energy in room, doing so with limited direct crowd interaction and instead letting their sound speak, really showing how much experience this group has being on the stage. None of the members in the group ever launch out into wild solos or instrumentation, and the songs themselves don’t have a lot of complexity in their structure, but they give their fans what they are looking for while writing solid and catching songs which is easy to tell they love themselves.

    Easy Love is definitely going to make it’s own distinct mark on the scene, and it is a refreshing new take on the sounds that these musicians have to offer. 


More on Easy Love Here and on Mission Tobacco Lounge Here

Live Sound: Hunter Lavender

Live Sound

By : Thorn in R’side

8/6/16 - Hunter Lavender @ Back to the Grind

This new addition to the IE music scene brought some wild jams and laid out the schematics of their unique sound for this Nick Bahula benefit show at the Grind. The three piece, bass, drums, and guitar, slid through their whole set playing songs full of funk and soul filling the room with a sonic force which nobody in the room could deny the feeling of, or would even want to.

The vocalist of the group sent out smooth falsetto melodies that softly drifted over the top of the super tight and groovy tunes being thumped out of some incredibly solid instrument tones. The drummer of the group who plays in many other IE projects, does not play with very much swing as part of his signature style, which is uncharacteristic for a funky and soulful sound, but at the same time gives this group one more edge for them to wedge out their own slice of original sound. On top of their beats,
the bass and guitar player have created some really great effect pedal sounds, the bass making use of a great auto-wah filter like on old Parliament Funkadelic records, and the guitarist using great chorus, octave, and tweaked out delay effects in order to take the typical soul sound and send it into the stratosphere in a way which no other bands have dared to achieve.

The room full of people, which got more and more crowded as the set went on, were closing their eyes and bobbing their heads along just as deep into the sound as the band was. This was a great night for an even better cause, and there couldn’t have been a better band to close out the night, as this is a live band that will always well up indescribable feelings in your heart leaving you fully satiated and yet ready for more. Hunter Lavender is probably the best new thing in town and if you get a chance, make sure to be there for their musical magic. 


More on Hunter Lavender Here and Back to the Grind Here

Also if you are interested in helping a great IE artist in need, Nick Bahula, go Here

Live Sound: Heavy Door

Live Sound

By : Thorn in R’side

7/24/16 - Heavy Door @ Shadowplay Sundays

This was a small crowd night for Pixels and Shadowplay Sundays, and Heavy Door did not seem to mind at all, powering through the night as hard as they could. The classic drums, bass, guitar three piece kicked out rock and roll mixed with an 80’s sound which confounded at first, but their awesomeness overwhelmed any doubts or confusion a listener might of had.

These guys have been playing with many bands in Riverside through the years and it shows, the bass player and drummer were as locked in as could be, and the guitarist would punctuate the jams during his leads while using some whacked out wild effects. Though the crowd was small, they definitely had some die hard fans in attendance and everyone was absolutely captivated, and it did not hurt that the band had great rapport, making jokes and bringing the crowd along with them through the set, clearly very comfortable on stage.

Throughout the set they played many short songs in rapid fire succession, all of them full of energy , giving the show an almost punk rock feel utilizing a different sound. None of their songs carried too much complexity though the point of the group is not to be flashy, but to rock out and have a good time with everyone ready to listen. Overall, Heavy Door is a band that anyone interested in local Riverside music must see, and whatever the size of the crowd or the energy in the room, they will put on a great show.

More on Heavy Door Here and Shadowplay Sundays Here



Live Sound: Family Of Light

Live Sound

By : Thorn in R’side

7/15/16 -Family of Light @ Back to the Grind


Family of Light has been playing all over the IE for some time now, and you can count on them bringing their all every single time. Closing out the night at Back to the Grind to a full crowd, this six piece group comprised of drums, bass, two guitars, synth, and the wild card sax, flute, and percussion player, played an hour of heavy hitting rock-roll-funky-psychedelic-blues magic. The mood in the room was mellow, with tables set up in place of a dance floor, and the crowd comprised of old and young was ready to sit back and really soak in the impressively arranged tunes the band was slinging into the air. With so much sound being produced by this large group, it is no small feat that the sound never got muddied up and washed out, allowing for each and every tasty lick to pierce
through. The whole group was super tight and together and at the same time they always carry a definite jam band feel, with awesome guitar and wind instrument leads guiding the ship, carried by the waves of the groovy bass and super solid drums. Throughout the show the singers would trade lead for different songs, and at one point the bassist traded with one of the guitarists, giving an entire different feel to each of their songs from different points in the sound. Throughout the show there was a fun and friendly vibe from everyone in the room, which is hard to believe didn’t bleed into the streets of Riverside that night, which makes sense as Family of Light bring as much energy and spirit to the stage as any group could.

More on Family of Light Here and Back to the Grind Here

Live Sound: Shinobi Ghost

Live Sound

By : Thorn in R’side

7/3/16 - Shinobi Ghost @ Shadowplay Sundays

This Independence Day eve found Shadowplay Sundays at Pixels ringing out with atypical sounds thanks to Shinobi Ghost, a seven piece hailing from all over the Inland Empire. Following the hip-hop stylings of Taylor Karras, who brought the room down, Shinobi Ghost kept the party going, bringing old and young to the dance floor. The irresistibly groovy sonic waves emanating off the stage were a jazzy jumble, with funk, soul, R&B, and latin vibes mixed into their own batch of modern flavors, likely inspired by the groups BADBADNOTGOOD and Hiatus Kaiyote. Solid funky dance rhythms came thumping out of the bass and drums while the guitar and keys blended wonderfully shaped melodies together, with the sax jumping in to add that extra jazzy spice. The female vocalist and co-front of the band sung out smoothly and soulfully, throwing the band’s energy off the stage and into the crowd, aided by her energetic and charismatic rapping cohort splicing in rhymes and adding a little choppiness to the glassy lyrical waters she poured out. While none of the instrumentation was particularly flashy or out-front, each member of the group knew exactly how to fit their sound layers in, reaching an envelopment of tonal beauty. While the crowd was definitely imbued with the energy to dance, there was nobody moving more than the singers on stage, leading by example or maybe just having an incredible time with their own music, either way to an infectious effect. This is definitely not the typical venue for this kind of music, but Shinobi Ghost brought the audience out of their normal listening and left them hungry for more. Look for this group at any upcoming local shows, as it is a guaranteed good time.


More on Shinobi Ghost Here and Shadowplay Sundays Here


Riverside Free Tree Program

By :Sarah McMenamy

Riverside, as anyone who lives here knows, is a hot place. We struggle to stay cool at least half the year. For those who can afford it and don’t mind the energy use there are ton’s of high-tech air conditioning units that can mitigate the heat. Many of us don’t have the luxury of a high electricity bill being within our price range or we are actively looking for ways to lower our energy usage. On average someone with a 915 square foot apartment will spend $200 a month on basic utilities (electric, heating, water, and garbage). Riverside has long been known for its citrus though much has changed in the last few decades as many orange groves have been removed for the purpose of development. The city of Riverside has been making moves to become a more sustainable county over the past few years. One of the major things they’ve been working on is giving locals incentives for becoming more sustainable on their own. This includes Riverside City Utilities who started a program for people in Riverside County that employ them for utility services. Anyone who owns property or has consent from their landlord can bring in their March utility bill and receive a free shade or citrus tree. The goal of this is that people will plant this tree in front of a window and as it grows it will provide shade and ideally lower the cost of cooling in the long run. These trees also serve to clean air, provide privacy, and prevent soil erosion. There is also a tree rebate program that has similar goals where Riverside residents can get up to five $25 rebates per year on trees from selected local nurseries. Now these programs have some rules such as plating the tree within 14 days of receiving it, planting within 35 feet of the structure, and buying the tree from a certified local grower or nursery. Shade trees have been shown to lower energy costs by up to 20%. So if you live in Riverside county and have Riverside City Utilities as your provider consider taking them up on their offer for a free tree once a year, I mean, who doesn't like a little shade and a fresh glass of orange juice on a hot morning?


For details and more information check out these websites:




Live Wax: Sheer Mag

The Echo Plex Los Angeles, Ca

The eve of The FYF music festival, Friday August 26, 2016.

Sheer Mag at The Echo Plex in Los Angeles, Ca

By: Mik Elson

Philadelphia based punk group, Sheer Mag was recently added to the FYF (Fuck Yeah Fest) line-up this year (2016). FYF is an annual Los Angeles based music festival displaying an array of musical genres over a Short two day period. 

Luckily for those of us who could not afford a ticket to FYF, Sheer mag performed the evening prior with Los Angeles based music groups Girl Pool and Sex Stains. 

"When punk makes You dance"


Sheer Mags performance was lively, the crowd was pumped! Even if it was your first time hearing them, it most certainly wasn't going to be your last. Alongside their performance---their lyrics are just as infectious and filled with truth. Sheer Mags music is rowdy, yet filled with compassion. Punk that is so sweet you can taste it. One of their popular singles is "Fan the Flames" that a homie would describe as a 'punky Jackson 5 old school Thin Lizzy tune'. Once they began to play this song, the whole crowd shifted to get down; reciting lyrics "you've got to fan the flames! You've got to stand up and complain!" Sheer Mag makes it clear that they have something to say and they are definitely here to say.

To find out more about Sheer Mag be sure to check out their website and support the awesome music they're producing: 


Live Sound: Hello Penelope

Live Sound

By : Thorn in R’side

9/3/16 - Hello Penelope @ The Vault

This group blew the night away with their slamming set as the crowd filed into The Vault, captivating everyone within earshot and setting the mood for everyone to enjoy their drinks and move along with the bands. The group was super tight and together, both in their music playing and in their on stage vibes, as their solid tones reverberated through the beautiful brick concert hall that is the back patio of The Vault. The five piece, drums, bass, synth, and guitars, were super animated in their playing, not afraid to slam their bodies or their instruments around the stage for the sake of lifting up the energy of the moment, at the same time maintaining fantastic control of their playing. The singer does not have the prettiest voice, but his energy and enthusiasm was so fully overwhelming that he carried the crowd along with everything that they were trying to do musically. Each of Hello Penelope’s songs were super dynamic and well crafted, full of tempo changes, beautiful harmonic interplay, and soul grabbing energy swells, carried by something of a pop-rock style with elements of psychedelia and punk. Each song in the set was unique from the last, full of slower softer sounds and fast and heavy jams, and could just as easily make a great album as it did a show. It was clear that each member of the band has a great time playing together, and their dynamic energy really grabbed everyone in the crowd and held it until the last note. Hello Penelope is a hidden gem in the IE, and any show they are playing is definitely worth seeing, as long as they are still here sharing their incredible tunes with all of us.

More on Hello Penelope Here and The Vault Here

Social Reflections Through Printmaking: Pavel Acevedo

  Pavel Acevedo, Self Portrait, Linocut on Paper

Pavel Acevedo, Self Portrait, Linocut on Paper

By: Brandon Jeffries

Prolific Riverside artist, Pavel Acevedo, will be featured in Riverside Art Museum’s exhibit, “Self Help Graphics: Aztlán, the Permanent Collection, and Beyond,” a group show currently running until January 15th of next year. This exhibit will feature the works of art collective Self Help Graphics, with whom Pavel became involved after coming to the United States in 2010.

Originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, Pavel was introduced to the lithograph technique as a young man. He spent three years studying various art techniques at multiple talleres (workshops) at Rufino Tamayo Work Studio. Eventually he moved on to the Fine Art School of Oaxaca. Shortly after graduating he moved to Riverside. Pavel said he never planned to leave Oaxaca, where he had already established roots in the local art community. Despite setting out into strange territory, once here, he didn’t waste much time finding artists and galleries in Southern California of which he had been a fan while living in Oaxaca. Among others, these included artists like Salomon Huerta, John Valadez, Grupo Asco and Self Help Graphics, a non-profit visual arts center.

Pavel recalls his first impressions upon coming to California: “…Oaxaca is a place, it’s like, culturally active…and Riverside was slow to me. Even the lifestyle…it was different. I totally was like, ‘damn’. At the same time, you’re in the U.S., you know, everyone wants to be here, California, Los Angeles, but at the same time I have to pull off my work because, you know, that’s what I wanted to do.” No stranger to hard work, Pavel would regularly put in 12 hour days or longer working on art projects during his time at Rufino Tamayo and later while attending art school. So he made a conscious decision to focus on his art. “…there’s no friends around, no more teachers, it’s just like, DO IT.

Pavel explains that this group show with Self Help Graphics was set into motion when Riverside Art Museum contacted Self Help. They asked about a collection of work designed to bring attention to an infamous incident in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico two years ago, when 43 students went missing on their way to Mexico City. Having gained international attention, many believe these students went missing as a result of government collusion with criminal organizations. “Narc and State goes hand in hand.” Pavel explains.

Not only will Pavel have his work displayed alongside other members of Self Help Graphics, but he will also be leading a workshop at the R.A.M. which will instruct attendants in the chine-collé printmaking technique. This workshop will be on Thursday, September 15th from 5-7:30 p.m. The group show, “Self Help Graphics: Aztlán, the Permanent Collection, and Beyond” will be on display at the museum until January 15th, with the opening reception happening during Riverside Arts Walk on Thursday, October 6th, from 6-8 p.m.

  Federico This belongs to Federico Villalba and the artist next to it is Francisco Delgado working at "Manuel Guerra: Horned Toad Print studio" El Paso, Texas.

Federico This belongs to Federico Villalba and the artist next to it is Francisco Delgado working at "Manuel Guerra: Horned Toad Print studio" El Paso, Texas.