After getting out of Chicago just in time to avoid this year’s polar vortex, the hyper-caffeinated snowbirds at the Red Bull Music Festival are getting ready to launch the L.A. incarnation of the monthlong music festivals they’ve been putting on around the world. (Sao Paulo, New York City, Tokyo, Johannesburg, and Berlin have all played host in the past.) Chicago’s lineup leaned heavily into the city’s experimental and hip-hop scenes, and for L.A. the Red Bull Music Festival is playing on what makes that city special: Celebrity glitz, street-art grit, and a thriving Latinx art and culture scene.
In addition to the events announced earlier this month, a new wave of RBMF LA events was announced today, including: The North American launch of Robyn’s eagerly anticipated Honey tour, including an afterparty with “pansexual party crew” A Club Called Rhonda; Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption 2 reimagined as a daylong musical installation; screenings of Selena and Wigstock: The Movie followed by Q&As with Edward James Olmos, Jacob Vargas, and Lady Bunny (respectively; sadly, they won’t all be on stage together); a Producers’ Roundtable with Sounwave, MixedByAli, and Tae Beast talking about their work with Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q, among many others; and a “Movie Motel” curated by legendary skating and arts collective Illegal Civilization.
Full, official descriptions of Red Bull Music Festival LA events are below. You can also see the full lineup and buy individual event tickets here.
RED BULL MUSIC FESTIVAL LOS ANGELES 2019
February 7th - SAN CHA: LA LUZ DE LA ESPERANZA with La Victoria, Yanga, members of Sister Matnos and F U Pay Us, and performance direction from Sebastian Hernandez @ Vibiana
Hotly tipped LA-based singer-songwriter San Cha takes traditional Mexican music and turns it on its head. On the opening night of Red Bull Music Festival Los Angeles, she’ll bring an original multifaceted vision to life, a showcase of some of Los Angeles’ most talented musicians and her own Latinx roots. Centering the narrative on the familiar dramatic structures of telenovelas she grew up watching, this one night engagement will come together in the halls of Vibiana, a 19th century cathedral in Downtown Los Angeles. The Red Bull Music Academy Bass Camp alumna will include music from mariachi trio La Victoria, Afro-Latin band Yanga, Latin slow disco from her own band (featuring members of Sister Matnos and F U Pay Us) as well as performance direction from multidisciplinary artist Sebastian Hernandez. In short, this opening night will be one full of surprises.
February 8th - BEYOND AND BACK: A PUNK ROCK HOMECOMING @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
Center Channel’s home is the elegant Ukrainian Culture Center, which is notable for its rich history as one of L.A.’s original punk rock venues and among the last of its kind still in operation. Its legendary line-ups stretch back to the origins of the Hollywood punk scene in the late 1970s; Black Flag, Bad Brains, D.O.A., Minutemen, and Circle Jerks are just a handful of the legendary DIY bands to play UCC.
For our inaugural event, we’re paying homage to the legacy of this historic venue by staging an all day marathon of classic California punk films so that the legions of American bands can once again roam the stage at UCC. Includes Urban Struggle, X: Unheard Music, Slog Movie, Surfpunks and EXP TV’s Underground USA. Admission is free and rock n’ rolling all day so stop by anytime to check out the space and stay until your ears bleed!
February 8th - ‘SELENA’ Screening with James Olmos, Jacob Vargas and Chulita Vinyl Club @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
Center Channel’s opening night will feature a special screening of the iconic film Selena. Jennifer Lopez stars as the late queen of Tejano music, Selena Quintanilla-Perez, documenting the story of her rapid rise from cult status to selling out arenas across America. The night will be a tribute to Selena and her lasting influence despite her untimely early death. Presented by El Cine, the night will feature a Q&A with cast members Edward James Olmos and Jacob Vargas and an after-party DJed by Chulita Vinyl Club.
February 9th - ‘THE MOUNTAIN’ Screening with Rick Alverson and Robert Donne @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
Director Rick Alverson takes us to a dark world of 1950s America. Since his mother’s confinement to an institution, Andy (Tye Sheridan) has lived in the shadow of his stoic father. A family acquaintance, Dr. Wallace Fiennes (Jeff Goldblum) employs the introverted young man as a photographer to document an asylum tour advocating for his increasingly controversial lobotomy procedure. The film’s cast includes Goldblum, Sheridan, Udo Kier, Denis Lavant and Hannah Gross and the evening will feature a discussion post-screening with Alverson and film composer Robert Donne.
February 10th - ‘GRATEFUL DEAD MOVIE’ Screening @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
In the age of the Internet Archive, The Grateful Dead have experienced somewhat of an re-examination of late. A new generation is culling through thousands of live show recordings uploaded to the database and chasing the dragon in search of an answer to an enduring question: why did this particular group become such a cultural phenomenon, and one that endured for decades after leader Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995? By their own admission, one of the all-time better-in-concert bands The Dead set out to capture the live experience on celluloid with a five night stint at Winterland in 1974. Featuring the legendary Wall of Sound PA System designed by LSD manufacturer Owsley, and opening with a naturally insanely trippy ten minute animation sequence, it took Jerry an additional three years to edit the film. Come see what all the buzz was about - it’s not just for Deadheads anymore!
February 10th - ‘WIGSTOCK: THE MOVIE’ Screening with Lady Bunny @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
Nowadays, RuPaul’s Drag Race regularly broadcasts drag culture directly into the homes of middle America, but once upon a time, drag was primarily relegated to the urban coastal underground and rarely made an appearance in the straight world. Founded spontaneously in 1984 by denizens of NYC’s Pyramid Club (“the CBGB’s of drag culture”), Wigstock became both an annual ritual for the LGBT community and a spectacle for the curious. The vibe was more about getting your freak on than striking a pose.
Its founder, the mythical Lady Bunny, joins Center Channel for a trip down memory lane to relay tall tales of those dizzy days of deee-lightful kitsch with a collection of rare archival footage and outrageous shorts featuring the young starlet RuPaul! Afterward, stick around for a screening of 1995's Wigstock: The Movie, featuring performances by Deee-Lite, Crystal Waters, and everybody’s favorite supermodel. You better work!
February 11th - ‘WATTSTAX’ Screening @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
Wattstax is a live concert film documenting the 1972 Stax festival at the L.A. Coliseum, featuring performances by R&B legends like Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas, Albert King, and The Staples Singers, interspersed with satirical comedy from the late, great Richard Pryor, and a powerfully moving speech from a young Jesse Jackson. One of the greatest pop music films of all time, Wattstax captures a revolutionary south L.A. in turmoil; it begins as a solemn reflection on the 1965 Watts riots, but as the crowd becomes increasingly ignited by the incredible performances, it transcends into a historic celebration of black empowerment at the dawn of the 1970s. Rufus Thomas literally brings the house down for a mass rendition of the funky chicken, The Emotions deliver soulful gospel from the pulpit of a South Central church, and ‘The Black Moses of Soul’ Isaac Hayes performs the theme from Shaft.
February 12th - PRODUCERS ROUNDTABLE with Sounwave, MixedByAli and Tae Beast @ Ukrainian Culture Center
From Kendrick Lamar to the Odd Future crew, Los Angeles is home to some of hip-hop’s most innovative sounds. LA natives Sounwave, MixedByAli and Tae Beast are among those behind the scenes crafting the beats. Sounwave is a Grammy-nominated producer and frequent collaborator of Lamar, working across releases like DAMN and the soundtrack for Black Panther. An in-house producer at pioneering rap label Top Dawg Entertainment, MixedByAli pulls together tracks with Lamar and SZA. Tae Beast, meanwhile, is a key in-house producer for TDE, working across their roster and producing singles with ScHoolboy Q and more. This roundtable discussion will feature the trio, going deep on how they’ve crafted some of contemporary rap’s biggest hits.
February 12th - ‘THIS IS THE LIFE’ Screening @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
The first film by acclaimed director Ava Duvernay (Selma) and a document of a unique scene in L.A.’s South Central: open mic hip hop nights at health food store The Good Life. Artists were given one song to prove their worth and if they didn’t move the crowd, they were called to “pass the mic!”. The “no cursing” rule challenged rappers to advance their creativity on the mic, paving the way for this unlikely venue to become a breeding ground for internationally recognized acts like Jurassic 5 and Freestyle Fellowship. Interviews with Myka 9, Chali 2una, Cut Chemist, Pigeon John, Busdriver, and Ava herself provide insight into this legendary moment in independent L.A. hip hop culture, a time of brotherhood and sisterhood united by love of music and expression.
February 13th - COMPOSE LA with Bapari, Alima Lee and Patrisse Cullors @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
Working on themes of intersectionality, composer Bapari, filmmaker Alima Lee and artist / activist Patrisse Cullors are collaborating on a new film score that will be informed by the conversation at this Compose LA event. It will be composed and performed “live” with a loose narrative structure and reminiscent of a Deana Lawson portrait with additional inspiration by portraiture and the LA landscape. Bapari (Arielle Baptiste) AKA Sensei Noir is a queer-based femme and Los Angeles-based multi-genre producer, DJ, and radio host. Alima Lee is a filmmaker, DJ, and curator. Patrisse Cullors is an artist, organizer, and freedom fighter from Los Angeles, CA. Co-founder of Black Lives Matter and founder of Dignity and Power Now, she is also a performance artist, popular public speaker and a New York Times bestselling author.
Compose LA is a new city-wide new music, new ideas festival planned in conjunction with Department of Cultural Affairs - City of Los Angeles (DCA), American Composers Forum of Los Angeles, University of California Humanities Research Institute, and the Center for Music Innovation - UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.
February 13th - ‘SWEET SWEETBACK’S BAADASSSSS SONG’ Screening @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
Melvin Van Peebles’ incendiary independent 1971 film caught fire and almost single-handedly ignited the blaxploitation genre. Van Peebles wrote, scored, edited, directed, and stars in this tale of Sweetback, who after being wrongfully accused of murder by the police, goes on the lam, traversing through the byways of African-American neighborhoods in L.A. Along the way, a portrait is painted of a suppressed people and the subcultures in which they survive. Van Peebles used many avant-garde film techniques (solarization, split-screen, jump cut montages) setting it far apart from mainstream Hollywood fare. The righteous, near-continuous soul soundtrack by Earth, Wind and Fire acts as something of a greek chorus, commenting on and propelling the action as Sweetback stays one step ahead of the cops. An explosive, abstract fusion of sound, image and fury, Sweetback is a revolutionary work in every sense of the word. (Courtesy Xenon Pictures)
February 14th - HEARTBEATS with Trina, CupcakKe and Junglepussy @ The Majestic Downtown
On Valentine’s Day, Red Bull Music will bring together two generations of rap powerhouses to the halls of a historic bank vault in downtown Los Angeles. Presenting their self-affirming and unapologetically raunchy takes on love and romance will be Miami legend Trina and Chicago’s rising star, CupcakKe. With her signature register, Trina has been prolific over the past two decades releasing a number of provocative club anthems with frequent collaborator Trick Daddy and a string of successful mixtapes. In recent years, CupcakKe has quickly made her mark on rap, delivering sex-positive and often comical rhymes to beats that range from hard-driving drill to bouncy hip-house. Joining the two will be the fiery New York City rapper Junglepussy as well as other special guests to be announced.
February 14th - HEATSTROKE: THE SOUNDTRAX OF MAN PARRISH with Man Parrish and Josh Cheon (Dark Entries) @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
For the last forty years, Man Parrish has been world-renowned as a legendary and highly influential electro/Hi-NRG performer and producer. Until recently, it was little known that he also applied his pulsating, hypnotic dancefloor tracks to several male adult films in the 1980s. These electro-funk soundtracks add an intoxicating, almost eerie tone to the heavy-duty action. This Valentine’s Day, we invite Man for an in-depth conversation on his wild life as an openly gay man in 1970s and 80s NYC, whose teen obsession with far-out stoner ‘head music’ lead him to wield synths and beat boxes to create an futuristic groove that rocked Bronx hip hop parties, underground gay discos, and 42nd Street pornohouses. Joining Man will be Josh Cheon, head of the reissue label Dark Entries, which is re-releasing Hot Rod to Hell, a rare 1982 cassette of explicit poems by Roy Garrett with sonic “scenery” by Parrish.
February 15th - ‘HER SMELL’ Screening with Alex Ross Perry @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
Written and directed by Alex Ross Perry, Her Smell tells the tale of Becky Something (Elisabeth Moss), the brilliant and brash frontwoman for the ‘90s rock band Something She. Becky is foul-mouthed, nihilistic, and incredibly talented. Mother of one, bandmate to two and friend to none, Becky is at the height of her career and the top of the party game - with only one direction to go. The film stars Moss, Cara Delevingne, Dan Stevens, Amber Heard, Ashley Benson, Virginia Madsen, Eric Stoltz and Agyness Deyn. This screening will include a conversation with Perry, and additional special guests involved with the film.
February 15th - ‘FOXES’ Screening @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
Several years before his blockbuster Flashdance, Adrian Lyne began his career directing Cherie Currie, The Runaways’ cherry bombshell frontwoman, in a magnetic on-screen debut performance, alongside Jodie Foster, Scott Baio, Sally Kellerman, and Randy Quaid. In this unexpectedly empathetic coming-of-age tale, four best friends skip school, cruise Hollywood Boulevard, and hit flashy trashy rock concerts, eventually finding themselves in all kinds of teenage trouble. The film was produced by L.A. glam rock/disco label Casablanca Records and features several songs from their stable of stars (Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, Cher). Keep an eye out for a brief cameo from an awkward pre-teen Laura Dern, and Robert Romanus in a role that is suspiciously similar to his more memorable Mike Damone from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Can’t stay at home, can’t stay in school, but with FOXES you can experience the gritty, glittery L.A. you’ve been waiting for!
February 16th - ILLEGAL CIV MOVIE MOTEL with Mikey Alfred, Tierra Whack, Tommy Genesis, Na-Kel Smith, Rocket Da Goon, Show Me The Body, 1TakeJay, Sunni Colón, Warm Brew @ The Pink Motel
Founded by the multitalented Mikey Alfred, Illegal Civilization is an eclectic crew based in Los Angeles. Through producing, directing, designing, curating, skating, and much more, they’ve made an impact across the arts and collaborated with the likes of Jonah Hill, Spike Jonze, Kali Uchis, Tyler the Creator, and Frank Ocean. The day-long event in an iconic ‘50s-era motel will showcase the wide-ranging vision of Alfred and his crew, featuring music from Tierra Whack, Tommy Genesis, Na-Kel Smith, Rocket Da Goon, Show Me The Body, 1TakeJay, Sunni Colón, Warm Brew and more. This day long event at the Pink Motel in Sun Valley is a celebration of Illegal Civilization’s work in music, film, skating and beyond.
February 16th - OUR LATIN THING Screening @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
Join El Cine for a retrospective on salsa music and its progression into the United States. Our Latin Thing was directed by Leon Gast in 1972 and shot on 16mm film for less than $100,000. Mr. Gast would go on to win an Academy Award in 1996 for When We Were Kings, but he retains a special affection for Our Latin Thing. The documentary features salsa icons including percussionist Ray Barreto, trombonist Willie Colón, singer Cheo Feliciano, pianist Larry Harlow and Fania Records co-founder Johnny Pacheco interwoven with snippets of barrio life as it was 40 years ago.
February 16th - ‘THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION’ Screeningwith Penelope Spheeris, special guests @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
Director Penelope Spheeris’ films have always been closely aligned with rock music, from her early proto music video work for George Clinton to the iconic driving “Bohemian Rhapsody” sing-along in Wayne’s World. Perhaps even more famous is her bold debut The Decline of Western Civilization—the gold standard for punk rock docs - which captures the white-hot L.A. punk scene at its peak. Explosive performances by The Germs, The Circle Jerks, X, Black Flag, Fear, and more are cross cut with insightful (and at times repulsive) interviews with a number of OG punks - some famous rock stars and others regular scene kids - providing an added dimension not often seen in a music documentary. A Q&A with Spheeris (and special guests!) will take place before the screening.
February 16th - ‘DESPERATE TEENAGE LOVEDOLLS’ Screening @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
At once a hokey punk homage to, and parody of, girl-bands like The Runaways, and the classic rise-to-fame/fall-from-grace cautionary tales of Hollywood melodrama. The film features several violent murders, one of the wackiest drug freak-out scenes ever recorded, and charmingly wooden acting performances from the then teenage McDonald Brothers of Redd Kross. This camp classic from the director of 1991: The Year the Punk Broke offers a rare view of (sometimes) rainy, hazy, un-glossy Los Angeles in the 1980s.
February 17th - BLACK RADICAL IMAGINATION X MAPS @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
Black Radical Imagination is a touring program of visual shorts that delve into the worlds of new media, video art, and experimental narrative. Co-founded by Erin Christovale and Amir George, and currently co-curated by Jheanelle Brown and Darol Olu Kae, Black Radical Imagination focuses on new stories within the African diaspora, each artist contributing their own vision about post modern society through the state of current Black culture. This specific program entitled Explorations of the Afro-Sonic will include a film screening, followed by a conversation between artist and filmmaker (or artist and scholar) that explores the relationship between music, their creative practices, and notions of diasporic Blackness.
MAPS (Movement Arts Performance Space) cultivates the contemporary and traditional arts of the Afro-Latinx and Caribbean diaspora in Los Angeles through interdisciplinary approaches rooted in dance, performance, film, photography, music, workshops and panels. MAPS’ first international short film program, Through Water, curated by Samantha Blake Goodman (MAPS founder/ choreographer) and Kelman Duran (music producer/ filmmaker), highlights music and dance of the Afro-Latinx & Caribbean Diaspora as potent mediums for storytelling. The evening will feature a screening and community discussion moderated by Walter Thompson-Hernández (New York Times multimedia reporter / Photographer). It will be followed by a dance performance and party with sounds by DJ Nino Brown to close the night.
February 18th - EARTH LIVESCORE @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
Drone metal pioneers Earth began life back in the fertile pre-grunge scene of the late 80's Pacific Northwest, laying down landmark “ambient metal” albums like Earth 2 and Pentastar. Narrowly surviving the pitfalls of peak hype Seattle years, Dylan Carlson continues to lead Earth into unknown dimensions in this custom live score. Film to be announced shortly.
February 19th - IASOS FULL MOON CONCERT @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
Iasos, one of the earliest and most prolific progenitors of new age music, delivers a celestial live performance on February’s full moon - an audio/visual journey of hypnotic aural effects and otherworldly projected video imagery. Utilized both in deep space emissions by NASA and as a sacrament in laser light shows, Iasos’ pioneering and influential interdimensional music is meant, in his own words, to “create beautiful chords that echo through the galaxy.” Join us for this special night and harmonize, raise your frequency, and connect to universal love. Attendees will be greeted with a [voluntary] dusting of glitter and a sprinkle of jasmine upon entering for an intersensory meditative experience!
February 20th - ‘SPACE IS THE PLACE’ WITH SUN RA ARKESTRA LIVE SCORE @ Center Channel at Ukrainian Culture Center
Composer and multidisciplinary icon Sun Ra wrote and stars in this Afrofuturist sci-fi film, featuring a killer free jazz soundtrack performed on camera by his Arkestra. Ra’s tripped out philosophy - a visionary entanglement of outer space, egyptian mythology, and world peace - is on full display, as the film explores Ra’s “origin story”; an alleged trip to Saturn he undertook in the 1930's, a time when most other jazz musicians were still dancing the jitterbug. The stark coolness of this legendary mind warp is matched only by the rareness of Sun Ra’s Arkestra performing live in Los Angeles. This event is one of those rare once in a lifetime occasions, so buckle in as the Arkestra and 94 year old bandleader Marshall Allen provide a live score to this incredible film.
February 21st - GUNNER STAHL & FRIENDS
Hip-hop photographer Gunner Stahl is known for capturing raw moments with some of the world’s most iconic musicians. Shooting the likes of Tyler the Creator, Playboi Carti, Lil Uzi Vert, Gucci Mane, The Weeknd and many others, the 26-year-old has become his generation’s hip-hop documentarian. For one night only, experience the most current sounds in hip-hop as seen through the eyes of a visionary photographer. Stahl will lead the night with a DJ set capturing this sound — with surprise guest performances from a range of familiar faces from his work behind the camera.
February 22nd & 23rd - ROBYN @ Hollywood Palladium
Following her long hiatus, Swedish pop auteur Robyn made a resounding comeback with 2018's masterful Honey. Her dynamic approach to pop music continues to go well beyond catchy singles and dancefloor anthems, looking deeper into themes of empowerment and escapism inherent to the genre. As part of Red Bull Music Festival Los Angeles, Robyn will bring her spectacular live show to the city for the first time since 2010. She’ll perform her hits new and old across two nights at The Palladium in the heart of Hollywood. Pansexual party crew, A Club Called Rhonda, is also presenting the after party to end all after parties on the 22nd.
February 23rd - THE MUSIC OF ‘RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2' with Woody Jackson, Colin Stetson, Senyawa, more
Rockstar Games’s Red Dead Redemption 2 is an epic Western outlaw story with an equally impressive 80-hour score, spearheaded by composer Woody Jackson of Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack fame. Red Bull Music has partnered with Rockstar Games to reimagine this extraordinary piece of dynamic score as an unique audio/visual installation. Fans will be able to experience a full ensemble performance featuring Woody Jackson, acclaimed saxophonist Colin Stetson, experimental Indonesian duo Senyawa and more musicians featured on the game’s score in an environment representative of the game’s immersive world.