Tune into Sunday Sessions on Sunday, July 19, 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM PT here: https://www.twitch.tv/grandpark_la
Welcome Back, fellow Angelenos and Citizens of our lovely Gaia. It’s time for July’s Sunday Sessions: Home Edition 2020! This one is going to be very special, folks. This event is something for which you’ll probably use the word “epic” when describing the weekend to your coworkers come Monday morning during your Zoom meeting (who the heck scheduled that 7am anyway?).
Before I let you in on the extraordinary DJ’s mastering the decks on Sunday, it would behoove me to give you a little history about the creative genius whose work inspired the musical lineup this weekend. Her name is GUADALUPE ROSALES and she’s a Northern-Cali-born, Los-Angeles-bred and New York-City-shaped artist who moved back to the city that raised her in 2016. While completing her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rosales created Veteranas & Rucas and Map Pointz, two digital archives accessible through Instagram.
Rosales started the two accounts in 2015 to slowly reconnect to her hometown and their popularity quickly grew after she asked other people to send in their old pictures to share. The two archives suddenly became spaces to re/present honest and positive narratives about her culture, her neighborhood and the true version of the Los Angeles she, her friends and family lived in; spaces that were clearly lacking.
For someone like me who whose teen-into-twenties-partying years were lived in the wondrous era that was the 1990s, the coming-of-age nostalgia these photo archives brought were surprisingly emotional. I’m a first generation Filipina-American who went to a high school in Mid-City/Koreatown with a student population that was majority Latinx and African-American (big ups, L.A. High, Class of ’94). When I first discovered Map Pointz I felt like I went back to the 90s having a do-over and partying with my own (version of) party crews. When I checked out Veteranas & Rucas, I again saw something in Rosales’ archive that felt both familiar and familial.
I remember this guy in my high school Geometry class whose regular uniform comprised of physics-defying baggy denim pants that somehow always covered his shoes, but never touched the ground. It floated in this raver-pants-plane-perfection. He also came in the classroom, on more than one occasion, sucking on a lollipop like that round-a-way girl LL Cool J said he needed. You know, the one for him. The lollipop was usually a Ring Pop, the kid’s birthday goodie bag staple. He told me all the time about these ditch parties he attended and always, always extended an invite (because ravers are polite, people). I also recall that on his matching denim 3-ring binder he curated his own artwork that spelled out his party crew’s name in gorgeous graffiti.
What’s the point of the story about the guy in my high school Geometry class, you’re asking? We reconnected a few years back via Facebook (surprise) and I learned that he’s now a Dad and has been married to his beautiful wife for almost two decades. From his current photos, it looks like his pants aren’t three sizes too big anymore and he’s a cheerful family man. He’s one of the lucky ones. He came out of the dangerous environments that many of the kids who frequented these parties, a success. And I celebrate that for him.
I also celebrate the idea that like my high school classmate, many of the same folks who were part of the 90’s party crew scene and subculture are now parents and will be joining Sunday Session, with their families dancing along. For many, it will be the first time their kids will get to see Mom and Dad in their “natural” dancing element. It will be glorious.
Hosting this Sunday’s dance party with Map Pointz is the iconic electronic music radio show, POWER TOOLS. They curated a group of the most revered and influential 90’s Latino/a party crew scene DJs that will take everyone back to big baggy pants, colorful beads, burgundy lip-liners, and perfectly arched brows.
Here is the amazing line-up:
DJ Frankie Z is going to get the party started this Sunday. Frankie Z started DJ’ing with a party crew called Gypsy Kings out of East L.A. in 1990. That same year he DJ’d at the popular rave, Wonderland, playing house and techno to blissful dancing bodies at a downtown LA’s warehouse district. He joined the Madness Crew in the early 90s and while throwing house parties, he took a liking to designing his crew’s party flyers. Other crews eventually asked him to design their party flyers and this is how Frankie got interested in and started his career in graphic arts/design. You’ll enjoy a lot of techno rave, 80s flashback mix and more from DJ Frankie Z on Sunday.
Next up is DJ Hi-C, an Orange County native who grew up in Placentia. Born Carlos Chiang, DJ Hi-C started to DJ in 1993, mostly playing at house parties. He eventually graduated to playing all age clubs such as Sound Factory, Club Extra, Club Flavor, Old World; as well as big events like The Great American Dip in Orange County and the legendary NYE Countdown Parties. He is the Co Founder of West End Boyz Edits and is a sought after DJ in So Cal. We’re going to love dancing to his set, which will include anything from Classic and Hard House, to KROQ Flashbacks and Rock en Español.
DJ Modern Romance (aka Modern) was born and raised in El Monte and discovered his passion for music at a very young age. His brother was a big inspiration for him and he began DJ’ing in 1988. He studied with many industry veterans including DJ Vice, DJ Enrie, David Delano, Richard Vission, Swedish Egil, Reza, Tony B, Irene and more. He’s known to put together dope sets of 80s and 90s music.
As we head into the 6 o’clock hour, some folks may be tempted to take a long break and feed the kids. If you do may I suggest to do it while dancing to Jungle George. It’s his job to, and he definitely will, put your (literal) house party on another level. Jungle George’s DJ resume reads like he has a PhD in DJ’ing from the Harvard of DJ’ing schools. The Monterey Park native started his DJ career in. He was the 2nd place winner in the Power Tools DJ Contest in 1996 and came back in 1999 to win 1st place. He was recognized multiple times among the best DJs in the late 1990s by Industry Insider Magazine. His list of vinyl releases is impressive and he’s been featured on many radio stations in Southern California, including Powertools 105.9, Groove Radio 103.1 and KUSC. Expect a mixture of hard and classic house, some progressive imports, and much more from Jungle George’s set.
Our last DJ is a special treat because she’s joining us on her Birthday Weekend. Happy Birthday, DJ Irene! Citizens of the dance world, this set is going blow your mind. I was lucky to have experienced her magical skills at Arena and Circus in the 90s. DJ Irene is a Los Angeles icon. Period. Everyone should be excited and grateful that she will be providing soundtrack to our personal dance floors this Sunday Session! The passion she exudes emanate not just from her natural talent for and love of music (which are both immense); it’s also inspired by a tough background that includes past stints of homelessness and troubles with substance abuse. DJ Irene is a warrior, so she got up over and over again when she was knocked down. She has recently earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music and when not touring or working with the likes of Lady Gaga, Madonna and Taryn Manning, she finds time to teach music at urban communities.
Like I said, folks, this is one will be epic.
Let’s get dancing.
Haydee Vicedo is a Manila-born, Los Angeles-bred, and Torrance-based freelance writer (fittingforty.com) and budding social entrepreneur (pinayclothing.com / IG: @pinay_clothing) – just trying to live her best life. For the fantastic health insurance that helps her live said best life, she works from home for a huge corporation. Ask anyone who knows her, Haydee LOVES L.A. – pure and simple.
The interviews have been edited for length and clarity