Photos by Brevin Blach | Matchmaking by Jessica Pelligra
What happens when a house music DJ/producer and a Christian-music hip-hopper sing karaoke together? Stay tuned for the answer as DJ Lanna B (lannabmusic.com) and emcee Graham Saber (grahamsaber.com) continue their rockin’ blind date, which began half an hour ago in the Epic Limo that’s about to drop them off for a sunset toast in Ocean Beach. Before they arrive, let’s review the pre-date interviews.
PacificSD: Where are you from and where do you live now?
LANNA: From Chicago. Live in downtown San Diego now.
GRAHAM: I was born in Atlanta; super brief stay there. Lived in Albuquerque for a while. One year in Chicago, then my family moved to North County San Diego in eighth grade, which is where I currently live.
What do you do for a living?
LANNA: DJ and music producer.
GRAHAM: I am a musician or, I suppose, an artist - so I produce and write songs and have gotten a lot of cool opportunities to perform them all over the country. My music can be found under my real name, Graham Saber. Check it out! I also work for our family business - helping to manage and train associates in our Panera Bread Bakery-Cafes. The latter is a bit more stable.
What do you do for fun?
LANNA: Make people dance.
GRAHAM: Well, I make music; that’s fun. I played water polo in college, so now I go back and play for fun. I also like to play different sports and work out. Also, just cruising around Encinitas, going to the beach and spending time with friends and family.
What are you looking for in a date, physically and/or otherwise?
LANNA: Style is on-point, music appreciation and preferably a fox.
GRAHAM: A girl who is attractive, confident and has a fun personality.
What do you like least about yourself?
LANNA: How much money I spend on unnecessary toys for my cat, “Pitchouli.”
GRAHAM: I guess maybe that sometimes I can be somewhat indecisive? I’m not really sure.
Rate yourself on a scale from one to ten for looks.
LANNA: I feel like pink hair doesn’t go on a one-to-ten scale; it’s more of a unicorn scale.
GRAHAM: My grandma says I am cuter than a Pokemon, so...
Rate yourself on a scale from one to ten for personality.
LANNA: Midwest nice.
GRAHAM: People usually say I have a pretty good personality, and I “change a room” or something. So I’ll go with a nine-point-nine?
What’s your biggest fear?
LANNA: Country music and Justin Bieber fans.
GRAHAM: Losing my dad, mom or sister unexpectedly and prematurely.
What traits could your date exhibit that would be deal-breakers?
LANNA: Shows up in Crocs - see ya.
GRAHAM: I mean, I would prefer she didn’t get hammered. Or have a sailor’s mouth.
How many people have you slept with?
LANNA: Fun fact - I have my law degree. Going to utilize it now and plead the fifth.
GRAHAM: Actually, zero, believe it or not. Not perfect by any means, but chose to wait.
Fill in the blanks: I want my blind date to be “blank” and “blank.”
LANNA: A conversationalist and an alcohol consumer.
GRAHAM: Attractive and comfortable with who she is.
Will the night end with a kiss, something more or something less?
LANNA: An after-party... that I will most likely DJ.
GRAHAM: Who knows? I guess a kiss could happen, if we vibe well and are attracted to one another.
What’s the most important thing in the world?
LANNA: Love and house music, of course.
GRAHAM: My dad, mom, sister and my friends; and my relationship with God.
As the daters arrive at Wonderland, they head inside and grab a table. Moments later, the bartender rings a bell and buys everyone in the place a round of drinks to say Cheers! to the sunset, a daily occurrence at this popular beach-front destination where green flashes are a dime a dozen.
Wonderland Ocean Pub
5083 Santa Monica Ave.
Ocean Beach, 619.255.3358,
On Virgin Ground
Dating is a treasure hunt - enter with a heart of gold
After getting acquainted over food and drinks at Wonderland for about an hour, Lanna and Graham jump back into the limo for the brief ride to O.B. Warehouse, where the food is out of this world (and from all the way around it). The couple appears to be getting along well, talking and laughing as they look over the menu. Once they’ve had a chance to enjoy their drinks and appetizers, they’re split for mid-date debriefings.
PacificSD: How’s it going so far?
LANNA: It’s going well; we’re having a lot of fun. The food’s super good, the conversation is awesome, and we’re both obviously really into music, so tons to talk about.
GRAHAM: It’s good; she’s really cool. Had a lot of really good conversations over music, so that’s cool.
What were your first impressions?
LANNA: He was super nice, he was way chill, which was awesome.
GRAHAM: All I saw was her pink hair, so that was my first thought. It looks good on her; she rocks it.
Is this the type of person you’d normally date?
LANNA: Yeah, of course, yeah.
GRAHAM: No, probably not, but it’s been really epic. We’ve had a really good conversation, but I think we’re very different. But we connect on music, so it’s cool.
What do you think of the way your date is dressed?
LANNA: He has style; I like it.
GRAHAM: She looks nice; I like the outfit.
How was Wonderland?
LANNA: It was good. The calamari was super good, and I liked the ahi poke we had, too.
GRAHAM: Good, great view of the sunset, pretty epic.
What did you eat and drink there?
LANNA: I had a Corona, and it was nice, because I was drinking a beer watching the sunset.
GRAHAM: We had a couple appetizers, the calamari and the poke. It was super bomb. The poke was really good and super fresh. I don’t drink. I just never have and never had a desire to. My parents didn’t really drink as I grew up. We never had alcohol in the house. My dad doesn’t drink and my dad’s, like, my best friend, so I just never really had a desire to drink.
How have you been enjoying O.B. Warehouse?
LANNA: This place is awesome. I’ve never been here before and I’m way impressed.
GRAHAM: So epic. The vibe is so cool here.
What have you had to eat and drink?
LANNA: We had the artichoke appetizer, and then we had a flatbread and scallops. It was amazing. I’m drinking a glass of Cab.
GRAHAM: We had the artichoke hearts appetizer and then the pear-and-fig flatbread, and we’re waiting on the scallops.
What’s the most attractive thing your date has done so far?
LANNA: His music knowledge, just how he talks about music. I’m really impressed.
GRAHAM: I think it was cute when she ate out of my hand. Even though we were joking, it was actually kinda cute.
What’s the least attractive thing?
LANNA: There’s no least attractive thing. He’s been great.
GRAHAM: She hasn’t really done anything that’s noticeably unattractive. I mean, I typically don’t like girls that cuss, and she said a bad word one time, but that’s not a big deal at all.
Rate your date on a scale from one to ten for looks.
GRAHAM: She’s a really pretty girl.
How about for personality?
GRAHAM: She’s got a really good personality - nine, ten.
Do you want to kiss your date now?
LANNA: I’m not commenting on that.
GRAHAM: I don’t know. I feel like we’d both rather make music in the limo together.
Does your date want to kiss you?
LANNA: Not commenting on that.
GRAHAM: I don’t know. I feel like she’d rather sit in the limo and make music together, too.
4839 Newport Ave.,
Ocean Beach, 619.222.1700
Trying to get (the courage to sing) up
After the mid-date break, Lanna and Graham share dessert at O.B. Warehouse before returning to the limo for the ride to The Lamplighter. Once inside the famed Mission Hills karaoke bar, they grab a booth, and Lanna has a beer. A few songs later, the daters groove on the dance floor for a moment, but neither makes a move for the microphone. Seeing that the couple won’t be making sweet music together, at least not of the karaoke variety, the magazine crew finally leaves them alone to enjoy the rest of their evening away from the camera. The next morning, we call to see what we missed.
PacificSD: Describe the experience in the limo.
LANNA: Really fun. I’m a DJ, and he is a rapper - we had an auxiliary cord, we were set. And the booze was a nice touch.
GRAHAM: The limo was cool; it was cool to be driven around my neighborhood in a limo. The water was cold and refreshing.
How was The Lamplighter?
LANNA: Was very cool and super casual, which was a nice change, since I’m used to spending my nights in pretty high-energy venues.
GRAHAM: Cool place for people that would be into a cool karaoke bar. The laser lights on the dance floor made for a good vibe.
What did you do there?
LANNA: I drank Corona and listened to some ‘90s R&B karaoke.
GRAHAM: Sat in a booth, listened to a singer or two, danced for a second, jokingly, and then we left.
Why didn’t you sing karaoke?
LANNA: The karaoke regulars were on fire. I never stop another performer when they are in their groove.
GRAHAM: Because I’ve never done karaoke. I think the assumption is, “Oh, a musician would be into it, because it’s music and fun.” But, in reality, that’s like what we actually do, so it just seems uncomfortable to participate or steal the mic from people who are there to get their love for music on and don’t normally get to.
Why didn’t your date sing?
LANNA: See above.
GRAHAM: Same reason. She’s actually kind of shy, I think, and was really not into the idea of it. We were probably more nervous to karaoke than we would be for our own shows/performances.
Where did you go and what did you do for the rest of the evening after The Lamplighter?
LANNA: We continued our disco in the limo, of course.
GRAHAM: We drove around for a little bit and listened to some of her mixes and some of my songs on my album I just began to release. [Editor’s note: check soundcloud.com/grahamsaber]
Was there a kiss or romantic exchange?
LANNA: Swapped numbers. And Instagram.
GRAHAM: No, there was not.
What’s the funniest thing that happened during the date?
LANNA: Our dance at Lamplighter.
GRAHAM: Having to pretend like we were about to karaoke, when we knew we were not going to.
What was the best part of the date?
LANNA: Loved trying all of the food and awesome drinks at Wonderland, O.B. Warehouse and Lamplighter. I hadn’t been to any of those places before, so it was fun trying them all out while being with someone I didn’t know.
GRAHAM: The best part of the date was O.B. Warehouse and all our conversation. O.B. Warehouse had an awesome server and epic food. Plus the vibe of the place was awesome. And, in general, our conversation was really great, because we connected a lot on music.
What song best sums up your personality?
LANNA: “Bigger than Prince” by Hot Since 82. [Editor’s note: Lanna provided this answer April 19, two days before Prince died.]
GRAHAM: I mean, listen to my songs; you will get my personality.
What song sums up your date’s personality?
LANNA: “Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ Top.
GRAHAM: “Get the Party Started” by P!nk.
Will there be a second date?
LANNA: We both definitely want to check out a show or two of each other’s, so it’s looking like we will see each other again soon.
GRAHAM: We definitely will hang out again, but I’m thinking it will be more centered on making music together or attending each other’s shows.
At last night’s mid-date break, it sounded as though Lanna and Graham were in-tune with each other, on-track to finding common ground in music. She said he’s a “Sharp Dressed Man.” He said she’s ready to “Get the Party Started.” But in the end, their would-be smash-hit seems to have ended up on dating’s flip side - the friend zone. While these two may not be producing chart-topping singles together, at least they’ll remain singles, and the beat goes on...
817 W. Washington St., Mission Hills