The Afropunk Festival is more than a two-day festival; it’s a global movement. It’s a celebration of Black culture and a safe space for self-expression and activism through skate, music, film and art. The manifesto is “No sexism, no racism, no ableism, no ageism, no homophobia, no fatphobia, no transphobia, no hatefulness.” Cofounder Matthew Morgan’s stated, “Afropunk is for open-minded, forward-thinking, progressive people. We are not a genre of music — we’re a state of mind. If you’re gonna do something that has an impact, it’s important for us to be involved in something that helps to spark a dialogue that’s felt globally.”
Amanda Lepore’s childhood was far from the glitz and glamour that surrounds her today. Growing up, Amanda was bullied for being different from all her peers because although she was born a boy, her internal identity was female.
In her teens, Amanda started taking hormone therapy and underwent gender reassignment surgery that was paid for by her boyfriend’s father. She fled New Jersey and became a fixture on the New York City club scene in the early ’90s with the likes of Kabuki Starshine, Richie Rich, and Michael Alig (whose rise and fall was made into the feature film Party Monster). After meeting photographer David LaChapelle, Amanda Lepore became his muse, appearing in his cheeky, colorful photographs including the Amanda as Marilyn and Amanda as Andy Warhol’s Liz Taylor in his After Pop series.
La Luz is new to Los Angeles but not to the indie music scene. Formed in 2012 in Seattle, Washington, the band — made up of lead singer/guitarist Shana Cleveland, drummer Marion Li Pino, keyboardist Alice Sandahl and bassist Lena Simon — is popular among music critics. Their third full-length album, Floating Features, solidifies their place among the best indie rock bands. Read more...
The Paper Stars are a folk Americana band based out of Eldorado Springs, CO. Lead singer and guitarist Tres Altman’s rustic, and at times heartbreaking lyrics layer on top of an alt-country ensemble that is perfect for a road trip, cozying up by the campfire, or even just cracking open a beer on your porch while watching the world go by.
It’s only a matter of time until Strawberry Runners will be your new favorite band. Their cool, ambient-indie sound is so catchy and enjoyable to listen to that you’ll be telling all of your friends to check them out. But don’t be surprised if they’ve already heard of them because the Strawberry Runners are gaining well-deserved media attention faster than I can write this intro.
There’s something venomous about Snake Rattle Rattle Snake. The band name alone describes a sound that is alluring, hypnotizing and mesmerizing, all of which the group manages to deliver effortlessly.