Editor: Elise Thompson
Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, Elise joined her dad as he took Canadian relatives on endless tours of Olvera Street, The San Antonio Winery and The Griffith Observatory. This food, culture and music-loving punk rock Angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
Music Editor: Bob Lee
Bob Lee started interviewing bands while working in college radio and later contributed to various publications including early issues of Ben is Dead. As a drummer and singer, he has toured and recorded with bands such as Claw Hammer, Jon Wahl & The Amadans, Mike Watt and the Black Gang, Backbiter, Crawlspace, Hot Damn and Fearless Leader. He is the quiet, sneaky one of the band. When writing, Bob’s credo is, “All we have is the truth.”
Entertainment Editor: Simone Snaith
Simone Snaith is a young adult author and a singer-songwriter who goes by Turning Violet. She dyes her hair rainbow colors and enjoys reviewing live shows, books and movies. You can read about her own music and books here.
Beauty Editor: Donna Lethal
Donna Lethal is the author of “Milk of Amnesia” and writes for her own blog (Lethal Dose), Hair Hall of Fame, Dowager Quarterly, Celluloid Slammer, Find A Death, & the Valhalla Cemetery chapter in “Weird Hollywood.” A native Bostonian, she’s lived in NY and London before settling here. When not writing, she’s doing yoga or fleeing to the hot springs in a vintage Celica Supra. Send your product samples!
Art/Photo Editor/Event Listings: Paula Lauren Gibson/AfroPix
When my father gave me a Kodak Brownie as a child, I fell in love with photography. I have been shooting pictures ever since. I am also an avid genealogist and can trace one of my family lines back to 1620! Check out my photography at afropixphotography.com!
Editor of the Offbeat: Nikki Kreuzer
Nikki Kreuzer has been a Los Angeles resident for more than half of her life. When not working insane hours in the film & TV industry, she spends her time over many obsessions, mainly music, art and exploring the oddities of the city she calls home. A published author, she also is a mosaic artist, actor, photographer and Instagram addict (username Lunabeat, she says to follow her!). She is currently working on her first novel.
Theater Editor: Jennifer Hugus
Jennifer K. Hugus was born at a very young age. At an even earlier age, she just knew she would one day write for the LA Beat! Having grown up in Massachusetts, France, and Denmark, she is a noted fan of Asian Cuisine. She studied ballet at the Royal Danish Ballet Theatre and acting at U.S.C. in their prestigious BFA drama program. She also makes her own jewelry out of paints and canvas when she isn’t working on writing absurdist plays and comparatively mainstream screenplays. Jennifer would like to be a KID when she grows up!
Cocktail Editor: Ed Simon
I’m a native of Los Angeles who loves food and food culture. Whether looking for the best ceviche in Colombia, the best poke in Hawaii or the best Taiwanese Beef Roll in LA, it’s all good food! I also love a good drink. I’ve had Mai Tais in Hawaii, Bourbon in Kentucky, tequila in Mexico and rum in Jamaica. My wine escapades have taken me to Napa, Sonoma, the Willamette Valley and the Santa Ynez Valley. And I’ve had beer all over the world!
Piera’s life mimics that of Paddington Bear. Born in the deepest darkest Peru, she soon found herself a stowaway, landing in London sometime thereafter. She now resides in Los Angeles where she likes attending gigs, photographing casually, and wandering about the country when time and finances permit. She also enjoys writing short self-bios- in third person of course.
Brian Michaels grew up in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles in the glory days of the late 1960s and 70s. Only a stone’s throw from the Sunset Strip, Michaels had an early education in rock music. Michaels attended his first punk rock show at the age of 14 at the Whiskey a Go Go and has been going strong ever since. Brian is a defense attorney by profession but adds photography and writing to a list of his many passions outside of the his job. Brian can be found on the web at www.exlaprosecutor.com.
Tawny was born in Pasadena, the City of Roses, and has been soaking up the fun and sun of the Los Angeles area her entire life. Tawny’s motto is: “Why live anywhere else?” A daughter of Angeleno culture, Tawny has a passion for strange movies and music, gets a chuckle out of vintage men’s magazines, finds inspiration in a perfect cocktail, pines for the days of whimsical architecture, wonders if it would really ruin the diet to have one Thai iced tea and whispers secrets to her dog before going to sleep at night.
Michael is the editor and main contributor to South Bay Foodies. where he scouts out and documents good eats around LA. (Besides writing and photography, Michael is also an administrator for The LA Beat and has played an integral part behind the scenes to get the site happening -Ed).
Darlene is the curator of the Candy Wrapper Museum, which is comprised of her personal collection which she began as a teenager in the 70s. The CWM has been featured in numerous TV shows, magazines, newspapers and blogs, and made its art gallery debut in 2010 at the Scion Space’s “Palate” show.
Brooklyn-born Victoria Thomas loves writing about flora and fauna, although she chooses to do so in an urban setting. An ill-starred excursion to rural, soggy “Mendonoma” (ew) recently reinforced Victoria’s lifelong craving for culture, happenings, museums, freshly baked bagels, Chinese, Indian and Mexican take-out, proximity to an ER, dry cleaning, and Target. She lives in Los Angeles.
Billy Bennight is a writer, photographer and wardrobe stylist with expertise and years of experience in these disciplines. His musical youth started as a Punk Rocker and has expanded in exploring many genres of music, with an keen interest in art, fashion, photography and writing. He’s very engaged in life.
Carolyn Soyars is a freelance journalist and musician, who performs under the name Carolyn Edwards. She has played in the critically-acclaimed bands 3D Picnic and The Negro Problem, as well as performing traditional folk music with her husband, Dave Soyars. For more info check out her website and read her blog.
Tequila Mockingbird has been a longtime fixture on the LA music scene. Her first band was “Trouble for Nora” with Mitch Mitchell of “The Jimi Hendrix Experience.” She sings with Jeff Goldblum and you can catch her Saturday nights at Canter’s. She is also a promoter, actress, writer and inventor. Her company, Do Monkey Productions, booked the historical punk rock TV show, “New Wave Theater.” She has been published in Buzzbin Magazine and has a regular column in Rock City News. Recently she has created Tequila Tattoo Cream and opened The Punk Rock Museum to bring old friends together for art , music , and culture. It is located at KGB studios and curates special events all over Los Angeles in Pop up form. Tequila is on the board of directors at Pershing square and hopes to curate more events for the city that she loves.
Brian Walsby – Cartoonist
Brian Walsby is a forty eight year old single father to an adorable three year old girl. He is a cartoonist/illustrator as well as a drummer. He has done too much stuff over the years to get into but he makes and sells things like books and t-shirts and likes to stay busy, and stuff like that. There are a lot of goodies to be found on his website. (Illustration by Chris Shary)
Mike Essington – Columnist
Michael Essington is an American author and poet, most famous for his Mike Check column. Over the years Essington has done dozens of celebrity interviews, as well as hundreds of music reviews. The weekly Mike Check column, which appears on Strange Reaction, has also been printed in the pages of Flipside 2010 and the very popular Spark Plug Magazine. Essington’s column is read weekly by thousands of fans from Los Angeles to Denmark. Michael has written two books, Last One To Die and Life Won’t Wait. Essington has been writing since his high school days. He is married to wife, Elizabeth, and has two children, daughter, Breana & son Lucas. And has a dog, Max, that Essington suspects may have a learning disability or a general lack of life goals.
A native of Southern California, Shirley Pena began her career as a music journalist over a decade ago, writing for her websites “Stars In My Eyes:the Girlhowdy Website” and “La Raza Rock!” and progressed to creating various fan sites on Yahoo, including the first for New Zealand singer/songwriter Tim Finn.
A gourmet since the mid 1970s, Gary has an extensive knowledge of a variety of cuisines, but is partial to Japanese food. When Gary reviews restaurants, he looks for good food and drink, good bang for the buck, a clean eatery and kitchen, plus knowledgeable, and enthusiastic service. He is a member of Yelp’s Elite and spends his time at restaurant and cultural events, hanging out with friends, and attending Sake/Wine tastings. His last meal on earth would be Omakase with premium Sake at Mako Sushi in Little Tokyo, and maybe a little salted, preserved Fugu ovary with a Napa Pinot Noir.