Announcing Save Music in Chinatown 7 with Sean Wheeler & Zander Schloss, Upset, California, Rachel Haden, Steve Soto, and Atomic Nancy

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If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve probably been wondering when the next Save Music in Chinatown event would be coming up. Yes, the music program at Castelar Elementary is still defunded. And as our daughter enters second grade, my wife and I are ushering in a third year of benefit concerts. As usual, it will have a totally loaded lineup.

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Our September 27 matinee will feature three bands with kick-ass musicians who happen to have played in other cool groups. The co-headliners include Sean Wheeler & Zander Schloss (Throw Rag, Circle Jerks, Joe Strummer, Thelonious Monster, Weirdos), Upset (Vivian Girls, Best Coast, Hole, La Sera, Slutever), and California (Jawbreaker, J Church, Whysall Lane, Pinhead Gunpowder, Monsula, Green Day, The Influents, The Insides).

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And then there are the solo sets by Rachel Haden (from That Dog and Haden Triplets, playing with a special guest) and Steve Soto (who was advertised to play for us last year but actually brought a full, unannounced set with his bandmates The Adolescents). Plus DJing by Atomic Nancy, who will be bringing her stash of 45s from the jukebox of the legendary Little Tokyo punk club The Atomic Cafe. Whoa!

You might think putting on shows could become tedious after doing it for a couple of years, but we purposely keep them small and fun and it’s always blast seeing stellar lineups come together for the cause. And I love that we’re not only helping mostly blue-collar, immigrant students receive music education at the inner-city school but also expose the handful of kids who attend our shows to DIY culture. It’s enlightening for them to see badass musicians lugging in their own gear to play our humble gigs, and it wipes out the barrier between the stage and audience that they perceive at bigger shows. Hopefully it’s empowering for children to see that lame parents like us can help make something cool happen, as well.

Did I mention how much I love our new location at the Grand Star Jazz Club? For our events to take place in Chinatown’s main plaza, practically next door to the Hong Kong Cafe and Madame Wong’s where so many first-generation punk and post-punk bands played, means a lot to me. It’s that original, underground scene that has inspired our series of benefits and I love it when certain bands tell me stories about the neighborhood’s punk rock past (overlapping with my immigrant grandparents’ and in-laws’ past there) and then proceed to take part in a new tradition and create new memories.

Please join us on Sunday, September 27. Tickets are only 12 bucks in advance (15 at the door if we don’t sell out) and kids under 12 are free. The bake sale is always amazing, the coffee will be strong, and the raffle will be loaded with cool stuff, too. Please help us spread the word and we hope to see you there!

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Check out Save Music in Chinatown 7’s Event Page on Facebook and ticketing at Eventbrite. And follow Imprint on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, too!

8 Questions with: Nick Pourfard of Prisma Guitars

I found out about Nick Pourfard through the Internet. He is a self-taught woodworker who builds one-of-a-kind guitars at his shop in San Francisco, CA. The vibrant colors on his guitars intrigued me and the fact that it’s made from recycled skateboard decks makes it stand out from the rest. Here is an 8 Question Interview to get to know the Founder of Prisma Guitars a little better.
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How did you get involved with building guitars?
I hurt myself skating when I was 18 and I needed to find another hobby. I started teaching myself how to woodwork. Later on, when I got better, I taught myself how to make a guitar.

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How would you describe your work?
I definitely look at my work and take pride in it. These are truly one-of-a-kind handcrafted guitars. There are no gimmicks. This is a guitar. I do not want people to immediately know these are made from skateboards. I like for people to appreciate it as a beautiful instrument first and learn it’s story later on.

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What are you currently working on?
I just finished building myself a chair. We build a lot of other things in my shop. As far as guitars, I am working on new patterns to keep testing the possibilities of using this material.

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Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in the smallest things around me. For example, furniture, shapes, or even the way a space looks can inspire me to think of new ideas. I get a lot of ideas in my dreams or while I am talking to other people. Some are good, most are bad.

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What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day for me is to wake up, walk the dog, eat breakfast, then work until my neighbors and roommates hate me.

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What are you reading or listening to at the moment?
My girlfriend got me a book recently that explains how shelters are made. It’s pretty good so far. There is explanation anywhere from building a home to just building a hut.

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As a kid, did you look up to any artists or skateboarders?
When I was younger I didn’t look up to artists much, but I definitely did with skateboarders. My first skate video was A New Day. It is a small local shop skate video. I watched it a thousand times over. I definitely looked up to those guys.

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If you could give some advise to your teenage self, what would it be?
If I could give my teenage self advice, I would tell myself to stop being a baby and skate rails. ha!

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Photo courtesy from: Prisma Guitars

Psychic Temple’s Grand Opening

InterTrend and Imprint’s new office space, Psychic Temple, had its much anticipated grand opening party with clients and friends this past Friday. Guests were able to check out the stunning library which features James Jean’s artwork carved into the backs of an integrated series of bookshelves, as well as the HotxTea yarn installation hanging above the staircase. We also transformed our basement into a full blown night market where guests wined and dined on Pan Asian eats, and received a custom Japanese candy sculpture (Amezaiku) from Mr. Shinobu Ichiyanagi himself. After Julia’s speech and the celebratory opening of the sake barrel, there was a surprise performance from acclaimed singer/songwriter Yuna, which blew everyone away. All in all, it was a memorable night and a fitting introduction to our new creative home.
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