DJ, writer and music journalist Mary Anne Hobbs has had two fundamental L.A. experiences in her life—well, three if you want to count the thing with the volcano, which we’ll get to.
First, there were her early days, when she was roaring around on a motorbike and wearing a bikini and interviewing the strippiest of the Sunset Strip rockers. Jane’s, Crue, Van Halen… she talked to them all and got secrets from some, and that kind of journalistic prowess pushed her toward the BBC.
That’s where number two happened. A Radio 1 DJ with worldwide reach, Hobbs was one of the earliest and most enthusiastic backers of L.A.’s Low End Theory club. But this was back before most local media knew or cared, and—just like the old days—it took Hobbs pushing artists to get them the local following they deserved. While she’s lauded globally for bringing similar exposure to the music the world now knows as dubstep, she helped make a big change in L.A.’s own musical landscape. Thanks to her, artists like Flying Lotus, Nosaj Thing, Gaslamp Killer, Ras G and more were amplified into international recognition.
Her just-about-yearly sets at Low End are always blow-outs, with local notables either onstage performing or sidestage to show their support—it’s not quite a family reunion, but there’s definitely a sentimental supercharge to the event. When the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull belched up a cloud grounding all trans-Atlantic flights in 2010, Hobbs took her suddenly extended L.A. stay and organized the Volcano Refugee show with Daedelus, Flying Lotus, TAKE, Tokimonsta, Teebs and Ras G. That’s a nice demonstration of her ability to turn the unexpected into the legendary.
Hobbs left the BBC in 2010, and since has been touring as a DJ, curating festivals and soundtracks (like Black Swan), and even delivering a TED talk on passion. She’ll DJ at Low End Theory tomorrow with EPROM and new Alpha Pup Records signee Ages, as well as all the founding resident DJs.
Mary Anne Hobbs on Wed., June 20, with EPROM and Ages at Low End Theory at the Airliner, 2419 N. Broadway, Los Angeles. 10 pm. $10. 18+.