Sunday night kicked off the second annual installment of celebration for APAHM (Asian Pacific American Heritage Month) led by Los Angeles collective, moonroom, at the Moroccan Lounge. Divided into showcases throughout the month, each night aims to offer a new set of sounds and presentors, allowing for a better eclectic mix of artists to be highlighted. The welcoming showcase dressed the stage with silver tinsel and cultivated an environment of electronic and psychedelic waves, curated by OnThree Management and Polartropica.
In addition of co-presenting, the galactic phenomen known as Polartropica, opened the crisp night with a heavy dosage of high-octane indietronica. Frontwoman Ihui Cherise Wu glided on stage in a reflective, silver jumpsuit that acted as her armor for the duration of the night. Wu playfully danced on stage and weaved an otherworldly experience for show-goers, constantly smiling and radiating with joy, especially during her final song “Olympia.” Drenched in sweet mystics, it’s safe to state that Polartropica is an act that exposes a colorful mind upon a soundscape of pop and electronic musings.
Continuing the wave of electronic, Mini bear followed suit. Nostalgic and taking a page from the 80s, Mini bear’s brainchild, Lauren Kop, danced throughout the night. The duo switched to a more romantic, synth-pop aroma and left an open invitation for the crowd to move alongside the pop melodies. The set ranged from a mono-toned robot to heartache, as Kop mirrored each emotion through her stance and tone.
Completely altering the atmosphere, Miss Jupiter walked on stage and immersed the crowd into the sounds of heavy rock from the 70s. Progressive, experimental, and high paced, Miss Jupiter’s concentrated shot of psychedelics provided a life-altering feeling afterwards. Led by Michelle Rose, the band’s performance was anything but predictable. Scuzzy guitar lines propelled Rose’s growls and tumbles on stage, as Scott Bassman’s disarming bass riffs provided depth to any punk portrayal.
Closing the night as it started, Los Angeles’ multi-instrumentalist, Zhao, took to the stage with a slick amount of confidence. Immediately diving into the indie-electro sounds, Zhao’s tone wrapped every track in a tender yet cool demeanor. From playing unreleased sounds to a slower, and more intimate version of MGMT’s “Electric Feel,” Zhao’s set radiated. In between songs, Zhao took the time to acknowledge his parents in the crowd, supporting in the first row, and cueing smiles from all angles and adding a little bit of warmth to the lounge.
The night’s portrayal contained acts that seemed to stand out within their own individuality, regardless of their sound’s centered core. Each set allowed interaction and different ranges of energy to be dispersed, which at times is hard to absorb live. The successful night proved not only of new artists one should witness live, but of the continuous amount of talent that is overlooked, especially of the APA community.
All photos by Martin Santacruz Jr.
Remaining APAHM Showcases