Stevio...LA LA Lovin' It?

I'm British-born Chinese from Bristol, UK. I’m LA-based. I’m a hip hop aficionado. After 15 years in London I moved to LA to pursue a new career and outlook on life.

Back in the 80s I was a DJ. In the 90s I contributed to the world's first street style exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum. In 2011, I had my first interviews published. Today, I’m keeping busy with music, art, photos and writing.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Kaws came to town, but disappointed from stevio on Vimeo.

Kaws came to LA, but his "The Long Way Home" show was so flat. And I was so bored with it I only just edited my video from back in March and definitely had to spice it up with some classic dancehall to give it some flavor!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Zephyr interview

Living legend of graffiti art.

I never knew Zephyr was such a skateboarding aficionado! I started collecting Zephyr stuff when I moved to California, mainly due to his role in Wild Style and the memorable Wild Style graff mural he did with Dr. Revolt, who was part of New York's "Rolling Thunder Writers." Yep, I'm a trainspotter! :)

I'd love to meet him and chat shite...I'd tell him "yea, I got your "Wild Style" film t-shirt into the V&A Museum "Street Style" exhibition back in da day..."

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Insa gets some (more) US love...

Sex sells, and so do sneakers and no one mixes these two up better than my man Insa! Upper Playground's Citrus Report profiles UK's Insa. I have one of his canvases on my wall. Can you guess which one?

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Got $25? Go to Vegas this Memorial Day weekend!

What can $25 buy you? Well, in this economy a one-night stay at the Sahara in Vegas!

Reverse inflation is in full effect on luxuries like hotel rooms. The Sahara in Vegas may not be the prettiest or chic'est hotel but it's a major bargain. In fact, it could be cheaper now than back in 1952 since room rates are being frozen until July at $25 a night!

To put the current economy in perspective this Memorial Day weekend holiday Virgin was offering the lowest fares I've ever seen! For $107 you could get a round-trip LAX-SFO?! It used to be that for a one-way tix! My, how things have changed.

Vanguard report on Vegas today

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Monday, May 18, 2009

LA...Run for the hills! Earthquake!

"LOS ANGELESA moderate earthquake that jolted Southern California was felt by millions and sent at least one person to a hospital, but the region avoided significant damage and major injuries."

Where was I at 8.39pm on Sunday night when the magnitude-4.7 quake hit about 10 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles and three miles east of Los Angeles International Airport? I was watching "Angels & Demons" at The Grove when there was a shudder. That's no "Rumblevision" I thought, but everyone stayed calm.

"The quake rattled the greater Los Angeles region for about 10 to 15 seconds and was felt as far south as San Diego, said USGS seismologist Susan Hough.

Glass broke at a Starbucks in Torrance, and one person there was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries, Torrance Fire Department dispatchers said. The Newport-Inglewood fault was responsible for the magnitude-6.4 Long Beach earthquake in 1933 that caused 120 deaths and more than $50 million in property damage. The last damaging earthquake in Southern California was the 1994 magnitude-6.7 Northridge quake that toppled bridges and buildings."

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

So wrong it's right..?! Yankee madness

Sometimes the flaws in the system make my head hurt. Excuse me for this slightly verbose and serious posting.

What am I talking about? Some things in the US are stellar, but when it gets it wrong, there ain't no half-steppin'! Witness the medical mis-system (where the admin costs more than the treatment or where the same prescription costs more at Ralphs than it does at Costco?!) But my complaint stems from the disparities of the federal vs. state administration systems.

To drive is to work? Let me share a recent idiotic conversation I had at the infamous Dept. of Motor Vehicles, aka the DMV. Here in Cali your driving license expires every few years. Mine expired on my birthday. No biggie you'd think, but actually since the US recognizes the driving license as a form of identification, as well as a sign of your ability to drive a car, it's treated with extra vigilance. Why's a driving license used this way I'm not sure, but heck, what do I know...I'm just a foreigner! :)

Anyway, because of the license's multiple uses I have to prove my status in the US. What status? Well, my ability to work here legally. Hmmm...that officially expired two months earlier than my visit to the DMV! Oops, but a renewal's* been filed so it's fine! But, the USCIS (United States Citizen and Immigration Service) are so backed up that something that should've been renewed in 2 months took over 5 months! So I was in this illogical loop: No word on my work visa = no driving license. And to drive is to live in Cali. No car kindameans you're f*&ked!

Stevio: "What does working have to do with driving?" I asked innocently.
Stevio: "Can I get a temporary license whilst my case is pending?" I continued.

Negotiation 101 Those questions didn't compute with the DMV lady so I tried some Stevio charm.

Stevio: "Why is the system so broken?"
DMV lady did have a retort for that: "it's not broken...USCIS is federal and DMV is state..."
Stevio thinks: "Huh? Say what? So what? SHUT UP lady!"

I tried to start a new line of logic*.
Stevio: "The federal USCIS says I'm legal to work for 240 days after filing my renewal, so I'm actually legal to work and here's a print out of my receipt..."
DMV lady asked: "Where's your card?"
Stevio: "What card? I've never had a card...I've got an authorisation in my passport."
DMV lady: "You need your work status approval..."

Let's try reseting the conversation.
Stevio:"What happens if the police ask for my license and it's expired?", I pleaded, hoping I might get through to the sensible side of the brain of this public servant.
DMV lady: "Your car gets towed...," that was a lie, proving she is a dimwit, dumb ass!

Lady, SHUT UP. If you're not sorting out your inadequate, poorly-designed crap system you're part of the problem! My last word on this topic is I wonder why fools don't read the back of the driving license:

"This license is issued as a license to drive a motor vehicle; it does not establish eligibility for employment, voter registration, or public benefits." It's truly ironic that people don't stick to what the license was designed for, yet get all paranoid about the multiple uses it's been empowered with. Yankee madness report over!

My advice There's no way to beat the system head on. Just drive safely, keep your UK license handy and if you're sneaky like me and are bored of waiting for the system to fix itself, just file for a renewal in the mail and wait for 2 weeks and it'll arrive in the post. Like I said, the system is broken ;)

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Notorious R.O.N.

Ron Jeremy says "Happy US Mother's Day!" I've never seen any of this legend's films, but I did see a sad documentary on how he was trying to break into mainstream Hollywood...but was relegated to B-movies.

So, on the eve of his latest R-rated horror comedy "One Eyed Monster" (yep, straight to the trailer below,) Thrillist asked the adult film vet where his favorite spots are when he gets the munchies. Here's his list.

Best Pizza: D'Amores
"Tiny place, big service and amazing zah", says Ron of this thin-crust shop, which ships water in from Massachusetts to achieve its unique flavor, which frankly, is just pizzare.

Best Ethnic Food:
Brent's Delicatessen
"I know a little something about hot tongue, and they serve it up".

Best Nice Meal:
"It’s got amazingly phenomenal Italian food and the waiters sing; they hire waiters who are actually really good singers."

Best Happy Hour:
Clipper Club Lounge at The Airtel Plaza
"Lotta great hors d’ouvres, and reasonably priced drinks"

Best place to take a "regular girl"
Saddle Peak Lodge

419 Cold Canyon Rd, Calabasas; 818.222.3888
"It's got a very romantic vibe there, but do NOT bring your date if she's a vegetarian. Of course, if you love the Lodge [and therefore need to break up], you can always drop her using my favorite excuse: 'It's not you, it's meat'."

Best "Hidden Secret": Sushi Don
4816 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Studio City; 818.762.8720
From the Sasabune sushi master comes this tiny strip-mall rawfishery, with "the exact same fish but for a lot less money."

Side note With the economy taking everyone on a ride some homeowners are looking for inventive ways to create cashflow by offering their houses as sets for feature films, commercials and even adult movies.

“We are getting a lot of calls,” said Joseph Darrell, Joe Darrell Location Service. “They say, ‘Can you help me to bring a production to my home, because I have trouble making my payments.’”

How much? So what can you expect to get paid? The day-rate for a TV production could be as high as $3,000 which experts say is about *half* of the monthly outgoings?! Are you kidding? My outgoings are never over $1,500, but I guess I don't have a maid service and a 90210 zipcode ;0

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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Sneaker Pimps...touring sneaker festival

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Rappin' (Airline) Crew...duh ha duh ha...

Hip Hop Flight Attendant @ Yahoo! Video

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Shaolin Temple...the real Kung-Fu?

"The Real Shaolin Temple" had its US premiere
as part of the LA Asian Film Festival this week.

The opening scenes of this documentary referred to the 1982 Kung-Fu epic, "The Shaolin Temple." Even though I was only 13 years old, I still remember this film from a trip to Hong Kong. I heard how authentic the Kung-Fu was and how it was made without the use of wires and trampolines (but they couldn't help but add the sound effects. ;) ) Later, I realized this was the film that put Jet Li on the main stage and found myself a US DVD in LA's Chinatown for $20.

Alexander Lee's film was inspired by his own trip to Shaolin to train in Kung-Fu in 2003. During his adventure, the Korean-American and USC Cinema School graduate sowed the seeds for what became "The Real Shaolin." His film takes us on a trip to discover the reality of today's Shaolin legend by following four people on their different journeys in Henan Province, central China. Lee gains unprecedented access to four schools as we follow a young nine year-old orphan and monk protégé, a teenage Sanda martial arts wannabe-champion and two foreigners drawn to the mystique of the Shaolin Temple - a young American and a late-20s French man.

"The Real Shaolin" engages you because it lets you peek behind the myth and folklore of Shaolin and show it, warts and all, in the 21st. century! Even though we see the tourism and mass marketing in action, we still get a sense of the hardship and devotion being passed down through generations by following nine year-old Yuan Peng as he follows his master and guardian towards becoming a Shaolin monk. This path may not be open to foreigners, or even Chinese with only glory in their hearts, but it still exists decades after the Shaolin Temple was destroyed by Mao's Communist Party.

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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Canvas presents...graffiti goodness

Don't sleep else you'll miss a dope show featuring LA's AWR/MSK graffiti crew at Canvas in my 'hood.

Since I collected my Retna signed print today from the post office I decided that, even though this is months old, I still wanted to blog about it otherwise it disappears without a trace!

MSK X AWR Art Show at Canvas LA from Carl Stoeber on Vimeo.

The “Send Lawyers, Guns and Money” show featured work from Revok, Retna, Augor, and Pose. If you don't know these writers you may know them better as the bombers that 'customized' Takashi Murakami's MoCA exhibition billboard. Murakami-san loved it so much that he got it shipped back to Japan for his personal collection!


Here is a slide show from the all-around-town Amayzun. Check out her art blog.

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