This time around, musician Drew Machas provided skyelyfe with a handful of incredible, under-the-radar places to purchase everything from sunnies to artwork to vintage apparel and more.
As someone who has a passion for fashion, it’s a no-brainer that L.A. is the perfect place for a rising music artist like Drew to reside.
“Many of my favorite designers like Saint Laurent and Tom Ford have moved their shows to L.A.,” Drew, who just released his single, “Over” on Spotify and iTunes, says. “I think L.A. is finally being recognized as a style hub. Because the weather is almost always beautiful here, there aren’t as many rules to dressing. As a fashion rule-breaker myself, I love that you can wear less clothing and brighter colors here. Fashion can be more laidback and casual, but still chic. In the winter, you don’t have to wear five layered sweaters and a ski mask. I can throw on a white tee and jeans, maybe pop on a fur if I’m feeling sassy and I’ll be completely comfortable.”
Keep scrolling for Drew’s shopping suggestions and his reasons why these are the spots that show you’re in-the-know.
“This is the sickest store in L.A.,” Drew says. “I don’t know why more people don’t know about this boutique. It’s in an old Howard Hughes building tucked away in Hollywood. The art deco space alone is a must-see. If you’re looking for the most coveted pieces from the top luxury designers that might be sold out everywhere, check this spot. The store’s buyers have impeccable taste in clothes, art, and furniture.”
“Looking for that chic pair of vintage Porsche shades that you can’t find anywhere else? Look no further than the Hotel De Ville,” Drew suggests. “This hidden gem boutique has an amazing selection of vintage and new sunglasses from top eyewear brands. I’m somewhat of a hoarder when it comes to sunglasses, so I frequently stop by this shop. I can always find something unique and cool here.”
“This vintage shop [which stands for This Is Not Ikea] on Fairfax is a hidden gem with the best eclectic furniture and knick knacks that everyone should check out,” Drew says. “I have found the most incredible one-of-a-kind pieces here for my apartment and gifts for friends and family. It’s hard to see when cruising down Fairfax, so Google it before you try to find it.”
Fans of Moscow-based band Pompeya are in for a big treat!
The indie new wave act just announced its five-stop L.A. residency, kicking off its selection of entirely free shows on Mon., March 7 at Hi Hat in Highland Park. See the flier below for a list of the remaining shows, which also includes a secret Sofar Sounds performance.
“This is first time we have done any kind of residency in our career,” the group tells skyelyfe. “We love L.A. and are really excited to play these shows. We decided to not lock ourselves inside one venue, but booked all different venues instead. We called it L.A. Residency and the shows will take parts in all the hippest LA locations: DTLA, Highland Park, Echo Park, Silverlake.”
The foursome, who are still promoting their latest LP Real, say show attendees can “expect to hear the new songs,” but also a “number of good songs from 2013’s Tropical LP, such as “90” and “YAHTBMF.”
In case you still haven’t had a chance to hear the magic that is Pompeya (seriously, their sound is truly awesome), check out “Slow,” my favorite track by them, below:
To top things off, O’Connell has been in a committed relationship for four years, and admittedly goes to “desperate measures” for his ladylove, who currently lives on the other side of the country.
Thriving at such a young age, it only made sense that skyelyfe chatted with this young man to hear about everything from Glee’s audition and filming process, to growing up as an aspiring actor in L.A., to more or less worshipping Kesha as an artist.
Keep reading to learn more about this hard-working superstar on-the-rise.
skyelyfe: Tell me about your experience filming Glee.
Finneas O’Connell: It was pretty crazy. I’m 18 now, and I was 11 when Glee started. I remember at a pretty young age that Glee was such a huge show. Everyone was either watching Glee or making pop-culture references to it. It was a topical thing … It was great and super fun. It was kind of a crazy time to start. The show was wrapping up, and it was a great thing to be there and witness all of that. I was only on four episodes and it became my whole life for like two-and-a-half months. It’s such an incredibly intense show to be on. You’re doing like three-hour dance rehearsals in the morning, then you show up for a whole day, then you do a recording session at night. There were huge days and the crew was so professional and good at what they do. As a film nerd, any time I wasn’t on camera, I was standing over in video village, just watching the crew do their jobs because they were so good at it. Being on Glee was the biggest thing I’ve ever gotten to do.
SL: What was the audition process like?
FO: I auditioned for Glee for the first time when I was 16. That was in 2013. I put myself on tape and sang a song. A couple months later, I auditioned again at the casting office. That was just a singing audition. I think I sang a Bruno Mars song. And then a month later, I went back and did an on-camera audition. I didn’t get that either, and then a couple months later I went back in for another little part on the show, and that audition was really fun, but I didn’t get that part either. And the fifth time they called me to audition, I kind of wrote it off. I was just sort of like, “Why are they even calling me?” I remember singing like a Green Day song, and because of the nature of that final season, it went very quickly. I think they called me to tell me I’d gotten the part two days after I’d auditioned. And then the next day I had a wardrobe session, and the next day I started filming.
SL: Who did you especially bond with from the cast?
FO: I was coming on kind of as a loner, and so it was really great to have the [sixth season cast], who I think still think felt kind of new, compared to everyone who had been on the show for years. They still felt kind of like the new kids on the block. So they were sort of my gateway into the cast. Everyone on the show was so welcoming, but I think they had the same vibe that I did, and I think that’s really important.
Noah Guthrie is a really incredible songwriter. We talked about music. We talked about our favorite producers and our favorite mixing engineers and our approach to records. That was really cool. And I think Samuel Larsen is so cool. He’s so talented and he’s such a good drummer. I only got to spend like a day-and-a-half with him, but I talked to him the whole time that day and thought he was so cool. I want to play his brother in a film.
SL: You’ve been quoted saying if you could collaborate with anyone, it would be Kesha. Why is that?
FO: I started listening to Kesha when I was 13, and as a songwriter, I’ve always been really interested in people who say stuff that’s never been said before. It’s hard to do that, but whenever anyone manages to say something differently than I’ve ever heard said before, that always makes me super happy. And Kesha can say anything and make it work in a song. I’ve always been sort of interested in female-fronted pop songs. I love Kesha, Lana Del Rey, Katy Perry. That’s kind of been my M.O. since I was little. I’ve always loved Aly and AJ. Kesha’s super melodic, and her hooks are [amazing]. I love her aesthetic and her glitter-pop. I think it’s so cool.
The song “Past Lives” is all Kesha. No one co-wrote that song with her. It was just her writing, and I think that’s probably my favorite Kesha song ever. I think it’s just a cool song. I haven’t met her, but I’ve met a bunch of people who have met her, and they all confirm the stories that she’s just as interesting and eccentric and fun and nice as she is in interviews, so I hope one day I get to meet her.
SL: Tell me about The Slightlys’ new music
FO: We went into the studio in April to record a couple of songs. We made four songs, and they’re all kind of about a relationship set in the city of Los Angeles, and being a young adult and trying to figure out who you are as a person and who other people are. It’s a lot of self-discovery. The song we just put out, “Desperate Measures,” kind of [explores] that feeling where you fall in love with someone and it’s not a super healthy feeling because you’re kind of insane for someone. When you’re in love with someone, what could be better than spending time waiting in line and getting yelled at, at the DMV with them? You want to spend time with that person. It’s about flying across the country to visit that person.
SL: Are you in a relationship?
FO: Yeah, I’m dating a girl who goes to school in New York City, and we’ve been going out for almost four years now.
SL: So, is this song inspired by her?
FO: Oh, totally. Yeah. I remember our drummer calling me one time and he was watching his girlfriend walk down a parade this one time. And he was like, “I understand what ‘Desperate Measures’ is about!” It’s self-examination and being aware that what you’re doing is maybe ridiculous and maybe not the most practical use of time, but it’s all you really want to be doing. You wouldn’t want to be at home doing something else.
SL: Tell me a little about how your experience has been growing up in L.A.
FO: Growing up in L.A. is an interesting phenomenon. I don’t think a lot of people that end up here started here, and I think vice versa. I think a lot of people who start here travel across the country. Growing up in L.A. was helpful in a lot of ways because as an actor, especially, a lot of what being an actor is, is driving to the Westside and trying to find parking for 15 minutes, and going in and waiting for 45 minutes to do a two-page audition, and then coming out with a parking ticket, and then you sit in traffic for an hour to get home. That’s not what the billboards say acting is going to be. I don’t think that’s your idea of, “Oh yeah, I want to be an actor. I want to do that.” And rightfully so. It’s pretty boring.
My parents were both actors, and because I grew up in L.A., when I was little, I’d just go to auditions with my parents. It always seemed like fun to me. I was sort of a dummy about it. I thought even the crappy parts of being an actor seemed like fun. Growing up in L.A., I was always like, “Mom, I want to be an actor,” and she was like, “Do you really want to be an actor?” Being an actor doesn’t mean getting to be on Glee. Being an actor means working really hard and going to hundreds of auditions and not booking anything. Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll get on four episodes of Glee. I’m super lucky and so grateful.
There’s a lot of opportunity to feel really lonely in L.A. because it’s a car-based city. A lot of the time, I’m just driving around kind of isolated. But it’s also a very communal city in a lot of ways. I’ve been a vegan for a few years, and wow, you can get some really good food out here. There’s a vegan donut place near me [near Eagle Rock] called Donut Friendand there are so many live music venues. As a music nerd, there’s nothing better than being able to go see any band you’ve ever heard of.
Angelenos typically tend to stay stuck in their little L.A. bubbles when they go out – Afterall, getting anywhere around here is a schlep and Uber is always surge pricing – But with the help of a pocket-sized flip book called Los Angeles Passport, we not only have a guide to some of the coolest spots all over the city, but we have exclusive discounts at them.
“We really wanted an excuse to explore our local bar culture,” Casey Berry, the co-founder of the national program, tells skyelyfe. “There are so many awesome and creative places (both new and old), but it’s hard to navigate. So we created this little black book that not only serves as a field guide, but also has incentives with discounted beverages to give you that money-saving nudge to explore. We wanted a program that would get people checking out new venues that also benefits the bars so that the bartenders and drinks were fantastic, too. And they are!”
I scooped up my very own ‘Passport,’ and have excitedly been browsing through the list of more than 80 spots mostly in the areas of DTLA, West Hollywood, Hollywood and Silverlake. From the more common places like The Belmont, The Pikey and Spare Room – to venues I have yet to try, like The Golden Gopher, The Holloway and Blue Cow Kitchen & Bar – there is no shortage of options to explore and $$ to be saved (hallelujah!).
“Our rule is simple, we only invite venues that we would take a friend to,” Berry explains. “[And the way it works] is super straight forward. Get a passport, pick a venue, flash your passport, receive an awesome, discounted beverage, the bartender stamps [your passport]. Repeat at the next location.”
The program celebrated its 2015 kickoff with a party just before Memorial Day at Now Boarding, one of its West Hollywood venues. The idea is to explore as many spots as possible throughout the summer, so your book is only valid through Labor Day.
“Every year the Passport Program grows,” Berry says of the concept, which also exists in Santa Barbara, Seattle, Brooklyn, Washington, D.C., Columbia, MO, and various parts of Colorado. “More cities and more passports have sold out each time, which enables us to come in to new cities with exciting local bar cultures.”
For just $20, you can let your fun summer explorations begin. We can compare notes (and stamps) at the end!
Regardless of who we are or where we are in our lives, we’ve all hit the occasional wall of emotional discomfort. Whether it’s dealing with the aftermath of a hard-partying weekend, dreading the week that lies ahead – or in this weekend’s case, saying farewell to a holiday experience – it doesn’t take much for a case of the Sunday blues to kick in.
With the combination of self-experimentation and guidance from others, I’ve come up with some useful tips for bidding adieu to feelings of negativity on Sundays, or heck, any days:
1. I think the day should start off as a me-day, beginning with a workout of any kind. Many suggest a hike in particular. If you belong to a gym, I recommend driving to a location farther away than the one you typically go to. Driving and listening to music always helps me clear my mind. After the workout and a shower, I suggest taking on what I consider an insta-self-esteem-booster: a spray tan. It may sound silly, but I always feel beautiful after a simple spritz of color.
From there, I like to go to a coffee shop somewhere funky and low-key like Bourgeois Pig in Franklin Village or pretty much anywhere in Silverlake. I’ll take along a self-help book or some type of reading that will be beneficial to my well-being and then order the largest almond milk latte on the menu. Nothing soothes me quite like the taste and smell of hot coffee. I feel energized and motivated and just all around better. Before me-day starts, lock in dinner plans for later with a friend. I always think it’s important to kiss an unhappy day goodbye with quality time alongside a close comrade. It gives you something to look forward to at the end of the me-day, it gives you a chance to vent about what’s been making you feel bad and allows you to receive comfort from a person who knows you well. — me
2. Make a task list to get a head start on Monday. On that list? Tidying up your living space. A clean house is a clean, happy mind. – Erick Orellana, Colorist, Sally Hershberger salon, @erickohair
3. I’m a huge advocate of Donna Eden‘s five minute healing energy workouts. These stretches are geared toward bringing positive energy all throughout my body so I feel a bit better. I also wake up and think of five things I am grateful for. — Patti Sheinman, Hillel director, Wellesley College
4. I suggest going to CVS and buying birthday or anniversary cards (and stamps) for your parents [or close friends], even if the dates are months in advance. You’ll feel great knowing that even if everything else in your life sucks that day, you’re way ahead of the game [in this other area]. — Melissa Rappaport, Owner, Rapparound PR, @Rapparound
5. Nothing cures the blues like a strong “attitude adjustment,” a.k.a. DRINK! My go-to is a homemade Old Fashioned, but if my blues are Eeyore-status, there’s nothing that will snap me out of it like a Rye Manhattan.
I also love curling up on the couch and devouring a magazine from cover to cover when I’ve got the Sunday blues. There’s something so relaxing about reading someone else’s content (not electronically!), with a glass of wine in hand. — Kirstin Benson, Editorial Director, WhoSay.com, @kirstinbenson
6. During the winter, I suggest going ice skating in downtown L.A. at L.A. Live. It’s so much fun! I did it last year and I did great until I fell on my behind at the very end! This day put me in a great mood. I was able to have “date night” with my BFF! We were laughing and playing like we were 10 years old again. It was an adjustment at first with the skates, but a few times around the beautifully lit tree and we were pros again. We weren’t concerned about work the next day. It was our time to spend together and to be merry! We had such a stress-free day we are excited to go back again this year! — Natalie Kanooni, Philanthropist, @curlynat31
7. Don’t look at Facebook. It’s a lot of passive aggressive people trying to one-up you on how great their lives are. Busy, productive, happy and content people post the least on Facebook. To go along with that, turn off your phone. There are few things so undeniably urgent that you can not handle them later, and maybe they will have already solved themselves by the time you get back. — Anonymous
8. I think it goes without saying, but music has healing powers. I don’t necessarily gain solace from the cliche depressing songs that most people think go hand-in-hand with feeling bad. I guess it just depends, but it’s also quite empowering to listen to upbeat songs of a motivational manner. Check out the lively list I compiled below! — me