Thursday, October 23, 2008

Threading is the New Waxing

Listen to audio Here

By Jennifer Obakhume

What’s the new What? Threading is the new waxing. But threading is actually old. Let me rephrase that, extremely old. It’s an ancient South Asian beauty practice. And thousands of years later, it’s the hippest new thing in LA.

If you've never seen threading, picture a long strand of thread around your hands, crossed in the middle. And then some up and down motion that makes the thread catch and pull hairs. And voila your new eye brows are complete!

(Sounds of Jennifer at WOW! beauty center about to get threaded)

Jennifer: "I feel very nervous."

Salon employee: "Don’t be nervous."

That's me getting my eyebrows threaded at WOW! Beauty Center. And honestly, it’s not painful. On the other hand waxing feels like pulling your bottom lip over your foot, lighting it on fire, and then stepping on it.

Salon employee: "Because when you do it, after three or four times, your hair is going to become thinner, and lighter. So it's better."

South Asian women have opened threading businesses all over Los Angeles. But threaders weren’t always welcomed in established beauty salons. Just ask Indira Karki, originally from Nepal, and one of the co-owners of WOW! Beauty Center.

Indira Karki: "When I didn’t have a job, I went to so many beauty salons like American and they asked me, “Oh we need to have license to do threading.” So many places I don’t have a job because I don’t have license."

But even if she wanted to, she could not get a license – because threading isn’t taught in cosmetology school.

Tony Mendoza: "Ever since I’ve served on city council, there has been issue with surrounding the practice of threading."

That's Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, who represents a district which includes “Little India”. He wrote a California state bill that exempts threading from being licensed. And now it’s the law.

Tony Mendoza: "This bill in particular empowers immigrant women because it allows them to practice their culture and create a business for themselves."

Sumitra Batra: "Threading is such a regular, normal, prevalent part of our society. It’s street art form in India."

Sumitra Batra is the CEO of Ziba Beauty, an international chain of South-Asian themed salons started in LA. She has been credited with putting threading and henna tattoos on the map. She was the one who painted Madonna with henna for her 1998 music video, "Frozen".

Sumitra Batra: "There’s a certain amount of authenticity to us and our salons. We haven’t lost our ethnicity and our Indianness."

But what happens when cultural practices like threading become part of a corporate brand? Batra has recently created controversy by trying to trademark the term “art of threading.” There is now tension brewing between Batra's company and some independent threaders, such as Indira of WOW! Beauty.

(Instead of doing threading...)

But beyond the disputes, one thing is for sure... in Los Angeles, threading is becoming more and more popular, a trend that has helped Indira and the ladies of Wow! Beauty Center get their business off the ground.

Indira Karki:"Every time I think about my beauty salon, WOW! Beauty Salon, I feel like I'm happy. I feel like I'm in the heaven, you know. So I’m really glad."

And... (laughing) you should dig my new eyebrows.

Read and Listen to audio Here

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dissonance is the New Harmony

Listen to audio Here

By Orlando Campbell, Youth Radio

What’s the new What? In the underground scene of Athens, Georgia, Dissonance……is the new Harmony.

That’s right…It’s happening here...the birthplace of REM….

(MUSIC: REM, It’s the end of the world…)

They pushed the boundaries of lyricism…Now musicians are pushing the boundaries of sound….…in a growing noise music scene.

(MUSIC: Better People)

Doug Patterson: I dare you to enjoy it b/c it’s anti-music and qualifies as unlistenable.

It might be unlistenable, but it’s got a huge following. Doug Patterson makes noise music under the name “Better People.”

(MUSIC: Better People)

Doug uses tape manipulation, effects petals, and computer software in his creations. 21 year-old Tyler Rosebush is a fan.

Tyler Rosebush: Since its so on the spot, it’s not rerehearsed it’s not prerecorded. The final product reflects the entire process and you’re intimately acquainted with every step of the way this music is created and you know now a days with digital music and iPods and stuff like that it’s easy to get caught up and just lost in this sea of just like stuff that is the end and not the means.

This isn’t about being weird, it’s about going into another state of mind. Pop music doesn’t exactly make you think with lyrics like: “get you drunk off my hump…my lovely little lumps”

(MUSIC: Black Eyed Peas)

Douglas Patterson: That’s what my music is – it’s a rejection of pop, a rejection of rock and roll…b/c it’s harsh and abrasive and it’s not a pretty thing – it’s coming from a pretty angry place.

Noise performers are challenging the notion of what music is and who qualifies as a musician. Rob Peterson is a graduate student in Art at the University of Georgia. He experiments in sound sculpture, and performs at live shows:

(MUSIC: Noise Music Performance)

Robert Peterson: A lot of these shows – there’s no stage. It’s just the floor of a house. A lot of times all you can’t see the artist because they are on the floor – are you can do is hear b/c people are hovering. There is no barrier between audience and the performer. So it is this kind of mutual self expression.

But if you give music by artists like Doug Patterson a chance:

Douglas Patterson: There’s an intention behind it and I’m trying to tell you something. If you take the time to get into it, the rewards will be so much more than listening to something that’s already been laid out for you.

I do want to be challenged…and for me, that’s the main difference between pop music and noise music. Without comfortable lyrics or a predictable grove, your mind works a little harder. And I like it that way.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Liquor Stores are the New Department Stores

Liquor Stores are the New Department Stores

Orlando Campbell , Youth Radio

What’s the new what? I say liquor stores are the new department stores.

“Liqa Sto Song”

These days when you go to your local corner store to buy a 99 cent bag of chips and a soda, you might end up leaving with a whole new wardrobe.

Walk into an inner-city liquor store in the San Francisco Bay Area and you’ll probably witness firsthand how huge this phenomenon has become.

“Liqa Sto Song”

D.Willz, a rapper from the Oakland , even made a song about it.

D.Willz- When you go to the mall….you got the clothes the food and shoes and everything you need is right there one stop shop…

It started with five dollar white tees, and grew into selling almost any type of clothing imaginable right there at your local neighborhood liquor store.

D.Willz- It’s cheaper you know you can go to the mall and get a pair of Jordan ’s for like what 150 you go to the liquor store you can get it for 50 bucks

And I feel much better supporting a family run business in my own community than some huge corporate run department store.

Kia Shine- “So krispy”

While regular people are struggling, rappers like Kia Shine are talking about spending 900 on a pair of jeans on a pair of shoes. Entertainers talking all this slick stuff are giving kids unrealistic goals and misplaced values.

Liquor stores not only make shopping more convenient, but also keep guys Leon Sykes, an Oakland resident and faithful liquor store shopper, fashionable and up to date for a reasonable price.

1:02 Nowadays it seems as if designer clothing no longer matters because the economies going down as far as pricing is rising, were in a recession so people are trying to get whatever they can get for their money.

He’s not lying. There have been countless times when the corner store has come to the rescue, like recently, when I got a call from that gorgeous girl I had been trying to kick it with.

“Let’s go to the movies” she said. As I was about to walk out the door I glanced in the mirror. I had been wearing that same black hoodie, flipped back beanie, and old white-tee for way too long. I needed to step it up, and fast. A quick walk around the corner elevated my clothing game to a new peak, with enough time to pick up my beautiful date, get my popcorn, and find a seat all the way in the back of the pitch black theater.

“Liqa Sto Song” fake or real part

For Youth Radio, I’m Orlando Campbell.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ombre is the New Tie Dye

By Olivia Cueva

What’s the New What? I say Ombre is the New Tie-dye.

Listen to the audio here!

Woahhh dude, Tie-dye is back …But this time high-end designers are in the mix trying to make sure that tie-dye’s trip back to public consciousness isn’t a bad one. They’ve even given it chi chi name, Ombre.

TRACI (on tape)
Really the definition of Ombre means to shade, to dip dye.

That’s Traci Peace, director of a youth fashion program called Visions of La Moda.

TRACI (on tape)
The color graduates from light to dark basically. It could be a sky blue on top and as it goes down, down, down, …

It becomes a darker blue – like a navy. Tracy Peace got wind of the new tie-dye look from the spring and summer collections at New York Fashion Week. It was a bit of a shock.

TRACI (on tape)
Unless you’re going to a Grateful Dead concert, I just would not wear tie-dye of the 1960’s.

Where I grew up…Berkeley, California…you don’t have to be on your way to a Dead show, to show off your old school tie-dye.

AX: Hey can you spare any leftovers for a hungry, drunk, fat kid…Spare a smile…Spare a smile… Please spare a smile…

Here on Telegraph Avenue, the tie-dye epicenter of Berkeley, the sidewalks are lined with vendors selling incense, political T-shirts, jewelry, and of course tie-dye. I asked a tie-dye street vendor Sam Miksell what he thinks about this symbol of 60’s radicalism becoming high fashion…

SAM (on tape)
I‘ve never really heard of it but I imagine it’s just like normal tie-dye. I mean, there’s only so many ways you can dye a shirt multiple colors.

Well that’s not what Ombre designers want you to think. And my friend Ariel Krizack agrees. She bought a green and white Ombre dress at Forever 21.

ARIEL (on tape)
Well this is definitely a cocktail dress that I bought. I don’t think it’s even comparable to something you would wear on Telegraph because you wouldn’t wear it to the same occasion whatsoever.

And if you’re buying Ombre from high end designers like Stella McCartney and Marc Jacobs, it’s pricey too. I recently searched the Nordstrom website and most of the Ombre clothes sell for 200 dollars or more – even small items like clutch bags and neck ties. The kind of accessories that wouldn’t be worn by stoners, you dig?

Still, Traci Peace advises all you flower children not to pull out your old tie-dye.

TRACI (on tape)
I would very kindly say, give it away, throw it away. laughs

My friend Ariel Krizack has a kinder recommendation for those ex-hippies: ARIEL: I think it’s hella tight when people make their own tie-dye. Bring tie-dye back.

That’s right…my friends just started inviting me to tie-dying parties. GOOD OLD, DO it yourself tie dye….not three figure designer dip dye. But instead of sitting around with lava lamps and listening to Janis Joplin, we’ll be bumping Zion I and taking tie-dye from far out…to hella tight.