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Seen Things
a Fundraiser for Samuel M.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
at the Hyperion Tavern, 1941 Hyperion Avenue, LA CA 90027
Doors at 6:00, performances at 7:30.
We raised over $4000 from the donors for this event - THANK YOU!!!!!

A note from Samuel:

Thank you everyone for your contribution and for coming to the event last night. It was great to meet all of you guys. My wife, Justine, asked me to thanks you for all the kindness.

As Pie Tshibanda, a popular Congolese writer said, "Laisseront nous peu d'espace sur notres table pour l'etranger lorsqu'il viendra? Trouvera-t-il peu d'espace et d'amitie? Ne laissons pas mourrir la terre."

I can say yes, you all have given me a space at your table, and I hope we going to meet soon when my family will come. We will celebrate together!

I'm especially want to thank my friends Mark Murphy, Neil Abramson, Paul Gachot, and the amazing "Mama Sarah" Bay Williams for everything!

The fundraising will continue until we have paid for Samuel's legal fees for asylum, other government fees, and plane tickets to reunite his family.
(See The Facts, The Plan, and Backstory below)

and thank you for joining us on December 14!

Music and performances by:

    LA FOG

Door prizes:


As well as an opportunity to take a photo with

Congratulations to our door-prize winners! ENJOY!

It was a night of art & music co-presented by
for reuniting the family of our friend Samuel M.

The Facts:

  • Samuel is an easygoing, whip-smart dude who likes to tell jokes, solve problems, and look sharp.
  • He is also a heroic whistleblowing documentarian falsely charged with espionage. He cannot go back to his home in The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for fear of being jailed, tortured, or killed.
  • After escaping from a Congolese prison, he has not seen his wife or 3-year old son in almost two years.
  • A lawyer by trade, a filmmaker by passion, exiled in LA, he currently works part time as a security guard at a drug store in Echo Park.

The Plan:

Your donations go to pay:

  • Samuel's immigration lawyer, Vivek Mittal, (who has graciously given us a 75% discount on his fee!) to work on several approaches to bring Samuel's wife and son, Justine and Valentin, to LA.
  • Filing fees for visas and multiple government costs associated with gaining asylum.
  • Airline tickets for Justine and Valentin once the best plan is in place.
  • We are putting together an unforgettable night of art, music and performance featuring artists from around the world as well as an ongoing fundraiser to raise awareness for the $10,000+ needed to bring the family together here in LA after a stressful separation. 100% of the money raised will go towards the plan.


Samuel M. spent the first 25 years of his life in DRC, a war-torn country sadly dubbed "The Rape Capital of the World." Congo is a beautiful but poor country with a long history of being exploited for its vast mineral riches by "first-world" nations such as ours.

Setting aside his training in law and his work in a Kinshasa film studio, Samuel set out in May 2012 with a small crew to make a documentary about corruption and sexual violence in his country. After conducting many interviews over a period of weeks with victims (who spoke openly of being raped and beaten by government, army, and police officials), Samuel and his crew were severely beaten by government security forces while asleep in their hotel and imprisoned on (erroneous) charges of espionage.

Samuel's left eye was badly damaged and he spent days in his cell, alone crying in pain. Finally a guard took sympathy on him, believed his innocence, and helped him to escape from prison, telling him that he was scheduled to be executed within days.

From there, Samuel made an amazing year long escape from Congo, hiding and running from authorities, using false names, and finally making his way to the USA with the assistance of Mark Murphy, Executive Director of REDCAT in downtown Los Angeles.


Here in LA, Samuel has good days and bad days. In the dull hours he works as a security guard, he plans his future, memorizes letters he will write to his wife and son, and tries to make sense of all the horror he has seen. He goes to church, reads, and loves exploring his strange new home. As he gets on his feet here, he's resuming his film project and will one day go back to Congo to continue fighting against the corruption and violence that have destroyed so many lives. But first comes loved ones...


Justine et Valentin


Photos from the event:

Samuel M.

And his cake.

Neil Abramson of Soldier Child International and Samuel.

Samuel telling his story.

LA Fog.

Prism Pipe.

Ben Caldwell onstage with Paul Gachot of Stupid Pills.

Dodo Monoko's band, Wit, Bishop, Kwame, and Daulne.

Dodo Monoko.

Dave Ralicke joins Dodo on saxophone.

Earth Like Planets.

Thank you donors.

Thank you sponsors.

Monday, November 24, 2014
Beyond 3D: The Animated World of David OReilly
631 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, California 90012
Tickets: (were) HERE

By David O'Reilly.

A look at the past, present, and future of David OReilly, an Irish filmmaker, artist, and writer based in Los Angeles. He began animating at the age of 14 and soon after started working at Shynola and Studio AKA in London. Since then, his commissions have included Spike Jonze's gaming sequences in "Her", the Cartoon Network's "Adventure Time," videos for U2, M.I.A., and animated sequences for Garth Jennings' "Son of Rambow."

Craving to explore his own ideas, he often leaves the professional world to focus on his own short films and experiments, stripping back 3D modeling to its bare, low-polygon form and freely incorporating glitches and other software anomalies into brilliantly warped narratives.

His visionary, mind-bending work -- surreal and disturbing short films such as "The External World" and "Please Say Something" -- have garnered over 80 awards, including Berlin's Golden Bear, the Cartoon D'Or and had premieres at Sundance and the Venice Film Festival, among others.

Most recently, OReilly has been writing for South Park, creating a app called Mountain, and designing a series of dark online narratives .

Co-presented with REDCAT's Jack H. Skirball Series curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud.

Photos from the event:

Steve Anker, Sarah Bay Williams, David OReilly, and Paul Gachot.

A sold-out crowd.

David backstage at REDCAT.

Friday, September 26, 2014
at the Hyperion Tavern
1941 Hyperion Avenue
LA, CA 90027

free - cash bar - doors at 7:30
performances at 9 and 10

Delirium Troubadours
The songs of Caspar Sonnet
with projected imagery by Kate Parsons

via siws.fr

Thermometers be damned; Fall is upon us... As the planet tilts you'll need to spark the pilot light in that dusty room at the back of your brain, the one tucked behind Summer's exuberant solarium, a reflective chamber of undeclared sounds and swirling visions. It's a different rhythm filled with empty spaces, primal echoes from beyond, melancholy howls, ancient secrets, cauterized wounds, the loneliness of wandering, the delirious imagination, and the spectacularly vivid dreams you can only tell in songs and pictures.

Join us for an almost analog night of haunting music, visuals, and stories wrung from the shadow of the new moon.

Caspar Sonnet

Kate Parsons

Changing of the seasonings:
MC Hymnal

Photos from the event:

Caspar Sonnet's set up.

Kate Parsons' set up.

The cake.

Caspar Sonnet and MC Hymnal.

Kate Parsons.

Caspar Sonnet.

Samuel Mwamba for Stupid Pills.

Ruby and cake.

MC Hymnal in the booth.

Kate Parsons.

The projected imagery of Kate Parsons.





Friday, July 25, 2014
at the Hyperion Tavern
1941 Hyperion Avenue, LA CA 90027
Free. Cash bar.
Doors at 7:00, show at 8:30.

Modern Animals #1
Mr. Sneaky & Friends explore the non-human/human animal puzzle

Mr. Sneaky often wonders...

about a strange coexistence...

...between people and animals.

He doesn't judge; he just likes to observe our ongoing experiment in civilization.

He'd like to get to know you better. Come to Stupid Pills on Friday, July 25th and make his acquaintance as he hosts a night of performance, film, music, and discourse on interspecies relations.

Mr. Sneaky

Guest Artists:
Karen Adelman, Beagle One-Ism, Jenn Berger, Maura Brewer, Alyse Emdur, Paul Gachot, John Geary, Rachel Mayeri, Vivian Sming, Caspar Sonnet, and more.

With an introduction by:
Robert C. Jones, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, CSU, Chico

Barking from the turntables:
Oliver Payne
MC Hymnal

Sharon Tomlin & Mike Manzoori

(photos) top: of Mr. Sneaky on Michael Parker's The Unfinished, by Sharon Tomlin; bottom: from The Daily Nice, by Jason Evans)

Photos from the event:


Paul introduces Mr. Sneaky.


John Geary meets Mr. Sneaky.


Paul and Robert C. Jones, who introduced the night's topic.

We Love Lloyd, by Alyse Emdur

Karen Adelman performs "Nature is Not a Thing."


The most serene skateboarding dog in a video by Beagle One-Ism.


Jenn Berger performs "You Were Holding Me in California While My Grandfather Was Dying in Maryland."


Caspar Sonnet performs "Wendigo's Ruin."

Caspar Sonnet's pedals.

Vivian Sming performs "Your Soft Fur is a Garden. My Head Sinks in"

Sea by Maura Brewer.

Modern Animals by Paul Gachot.

Rachel Mayeri leads "Animal Karaoke."

Rachel teaches the audience how to panhoot.

Robby and Karen volunteer to be apes.



Michael joins for ape-ish carnage.

John Geary performs in front of his installation, the "Push-me, Push-ewe."


The Oliver Payne DJ set.

Friday, May 23, 2014
at the Hyperion Tavern
1941 Hyperion Avenue, LA CA 90027
Doors at 7:30. Presentation at 8:30.
Free. Cash bar.


Rick Bahto
Ben Boatright
John Burtle
Nikki Darling
Alexis Disselkoen
Paul Pescador
Paul Waddell

Organized by Paul Pescador

Stupid Pills presents Gulp, an evening of performance art. Seven performers will each be given 5 to 7 minutes to present their individual piece back-to-back. Each performance explores issues of sonic, verbal and visual language across a spectrum ranging from small and simple gestures to loud theatrical gestures.

Although each artist's approach varies (including action-based performance, creative writing, experimental dance, experimental film, and sound art), they will all use performance as a tool for social engagement and spatial intervention.

Photos from the event:
The cake:
Alexis Disselkoen:

Paul Pescador, center:

Ben Boatright:

Nikki Darling:

Video by Paul Pescador:



Paul Waddell:

Rick Bahto:

John Burtle:

The Tavern:

Friday, April 25, 2014
at the Hyperion Tavern
1941 Hyperion Avenue, LA CA 90027
Free. Cash bar.
Doors at 7:30. Presentation at 9:00.

Laughing Furry Bicycle
with Jason Evans

In which the art-fashion-music-mashing Welsh photographer offers exercises
he's designed for loosening up and visualizing creative processes.

Whether working in the classroom or the studio, online or on paper, in the street or in the gallery, Jason Evans brings contrary, inquisitive energy to the making and sharing of visual culture. More than a tool for capturing imagery, his camera is a catalyst for experience and chance.

In this presentation for Stupid Pills, Evans invites you to think about what photography can do, where ideas come from, and how we can communicate without language. With a playful manner and mind, Evans' thoughts and working methods posit a vital counterpoint to the dry academia that follows photography around sucking the life out of its party. There will be cake. Sound transportation by MC Hymnal.

Jason's work will be on view at the Printed Matter booth at Paris Photo LA, April 25 - 27.

all images above by Jason Evans

Jason Evans' PICTURES from the event:

Letting go of the balloons.

Other photos from the event:

The cake.

Evans-style door.

Jason Evans posters on display in the Tavern.

They were for the taking at the end of the night.


Jason rolling the body parts die.

According to each roll, each person in the bar would touch the person next to them on a particular body part.

Until everyone in the bar was touching each other.

MC Hymnal.

Another exercise: write down a verb, a noun, and an adjective and put them in separate bags. Mix them up and then select words from the bags.

Go outside of the tavern in small groups.

And pose as your words.

Samuel, Jason, and Paul and Sarah of Stupid Pills.
Videos to come.

Friday, March 28, 2014
at the Hyperion Tavern, doors at 7:30 pm
1941 Hyperion Avenue, LA CA 90027
Free. Cash bar.

The Unfinished
(an intermission with skits and face paint)

Whereupon the pharaoh Hatshepsut, the artist Michael Parker, and their respective obelisk laborers quit digging, compare notes, and let loose, ancient-style.

Last month we achieved time-travel between two artists from different centuries. Now we're turning the dials on our time machine to 11 to cleave open a multi-millennial wormhole for an inter-obelisk block party.

First, let's jump back 3500 years to the granite quarries of Aswan, Egypt. Hatshepsut runs a tight ship. As pharaoh, she commissions a record-breaking obelisk; a monument to divine powers and earthly engineering. Workers carve deep into bedrock, many moons pass, but one day a fissure appears across the 137-foot monument; the project is ditched, the obelisk left supine, the workers left heartbroken.

Meanwhile in 2014, Michael Parker (creator of the steam egg, cold storage, lineman) finds himself walking across the LA River and thinking of the complexity of present and historic power struggles. Wouldn't it be grand if we had our own horizontal monument? In a cosmic tumble of seeming impossibilities, forces align and suddenly he and friends are excavating a 137-foot obelisk into the asphalt alongside our concretized river.

Read about the creation of The Unfinished here and here.

Now to this week. While one can never complete a sculpture called The Unfinished, one can certainly celebrate the achievement of its unfinishing. Join us for a playful night of unfinished business with Michael Parker, Hatshepsut, re-enactment skits by The Unfinished Players, face painting, ancient beer, work songs, a screening of Sun Ra's Space is the Place, and the pharaonic beats of MC Hymnal. There will be cake.

Doors at 7:30
Face-painting all night
Performances start at 9.
A pre-Pills sunset walk at the site of The Unfinished is highly recommended.
(It's near the Tavern—map HERE.)

Photos from the event:

The cake.

Chris Wang and Wesley Hicks making things.

Papier mache accoutrements.

Photos of The Unfinished site by Alexis Chanes.

Obelisk and Alyse Emdur.

Brianna Allen and Jeanette Viveros.

MC Hymnal.

Egyptologist Maggie on Skype, telling the stories of the Festival of Drunkenness and Setna and the Mummies.

Skit: The Eloquent Peasant.

Skit: Hatshepsut Meets Michael Parker.

Skit: Hatshepsut Meets Michael Parker.

Skit: Bey Boss. Hey Boss.

Rehearsing The Eloquent Peasant.


The mini-mini-excavator.
Video from the event:

Egyptologist Maggie tells the story of the Festival of Drunkenness.

Maggie tells the story of Setna and the Mummies.

Ahsen Nadeem, Brianna Allen, and Wesley Hicks in the skit The Eloquent Peasant.

Nick Gaby, Matthew Williams, and Michael Parker in the skit Hey Boss. Hey Boss.

Amber Morse and Michael Parker in the skit Hatshepsut Meets Michael Parker.

Friday, February 28, 2014
Doors open at 7 p.m., program at 8:30 p.m.
Hyperion Tavern. Free. Cash bar.

Aunt Grace's Dirty Plates
The Discovery and Scrubbing of RJ Arnold's Lost Photographs

The artist Anthony Lepore breathes new life into a cache of salvaged plate-glass negatives.

Recently, an abandoned trove of over one thousand 19th-century plate-glass negatives was unearthed in Central California and turned over to the artist Anthony Lepore. As volunteers at the El Paso de Robles Historical Society engaged in a painstaking restoration, Lepore grew increasingly captivated by the mysterious photographer and his haunting subjects who seem as vividly present as they are gone. The few others who have seen the work have also been awestruck by its almost-breathing humanity. Little is known about the portraitist RJ Arnold, though certainly, had Lepore not intervened, a distinctive eye would remain forgotten. More than just a discovery, this is a time-travel story of one artist resuscitating the vision of another.

Join us at the Tavern for a unique installation and tour of RJ Arnold's glass plates presented and curated by the always electric Anthony Lepore.

Sepia sounds straight from the furnace by MC Hymnal.

Photos from the event:

The night's cake.

Installation of the glass-plate negatives within the law library.

Installation of the large-sized prints made from a selection of the negatives.

Michael Henry Hayden and Anthony Lepore installing negatives.

Deli waiting for the show.

Anthony tells the story of finding and restoring the collection.

A prime piece of cake.

Friday, January 24, 2014.
Doors open at 7 p.m., program at 8:30 p.m.
Hyperion Tavern. Free. Cash bar.

   Cameron Crone | David Gilbert | Samantha Roth

Cameron Crone, David Gilbert, and Samantha Roth have held regular meetings about humor and its influence on their work since 2012. For String Walks into a Bar the artists will trot out some of the findings of these sessions.

With MC Hymnal, to rock your four humors...

This night is presented in conjunction with the exhibition A Frayed Knot: Cameron Crone, David Gilbert, Samantha Roth, on view at Jancar Jones Gallery in Chinatown in Downtown Los Angeles from January 11 to February 15.

Cameron Crone, Scratcher A3, 2013

David Gilbert, Three-Way Mirror, 2012

Samantha Roth, Bad with Boundaries, 2014
Photos from the event:

Cameron Crone, reading his artist's statement backwards, which was recorded and played in reverse later in the evening.

Samantha Roth on "Doing it Wrong."

David Gilbert as drag puppets Mona Gemini and her sister, the poet Lisa Gemini, through a hole in the mens' room door.

Mona Gemini introducing Lisa Gemini.

MC Hymnal in the DJ booth.

The night's art cake.
Video from the event:

Cameron Crone reads his artist's statement backwards, Samantha Roth talks about "Doing it Wrong," and David Gilbert introduces us to Mona Gemini and her sister, poet Lisa Gemini (Gilbert's video is taken from rehearsals).


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