Thursday, June 27, 2013

Events for June 27-July 10, 2013


The Heat


In Theaters
The Heat reunites Bridesmaids director Paul Feig with Melissa McCarthy and throws Sandra Bullock into the mix, as the two women must partner up to catch some elusive criminals; A documentary on early-'70s punk pioneers, A Band Called Death; Pedro Almodóvar's I'm So Excited!; Adam Brody, Kristen Bell, Zoe Kazan and Emily Watson in Some Girl(s); Roland Emmerich helms the action-packed White House Down, starring Channing Tatum as a cop and Jamie Foxx as POTUS. Also in theaters: 100 Bloody Acres; Byzantium; Copperhead; How to Make Money Selling Drugs; The Secret Disco Revolution



The Breakfast Club @ Exposition Park (South Los Angeles)
Join Street Food Cinema for a screening of the Brat Pack drama. Written and directed by John Hughes, The Breakfast Club stars Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall and Ally Sheedy as a group of unlikely friends trapped together in Saturday detention. Local band Fallen Riviera plays a set before the screening, and food trucks like Slummin Gourmet, Belly Bombz, and the Melt Bus are going to be on hand all night.


L.A. Street Food Fest @ The Rose Bowl (Pasadena)

The fourth annual tasting event's line-up includes over 100 food, beverage and clothing/accessories vendors. For $50 you get all you can eat and drink from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. from places like the Grilled Cheese Truck, Starry Kitchen, Yuca's, The Churro Borough and Peddler's Creamery.

Toby at Canter's (Gary Baseman)


Gary Baseman Bus Tour – Departs from Skirball Cultural Center at 10 a.m.
I am so sad that I will be out of town this weekend, or else I would definitely take this tour with one of my favorite L.A. artists, Gary Baseman, as he shares some of the locations that are meaningful to his life and career. You'll visit his childhood neighborhood, Wacko in East Hollywood and Canter's Deli where his mother worked for over 30 years. The tour is led by Jim Heimann, friend of Baseman, an L.A. historian and the executive editor of TASCHEN America. If you can't make the tour, please visit his current exhibition, Gary Baseman: The Door Is Always Open, at Skirball through Aug. 18.


Art Beyond the Glass II @ Los Angeles Athletic Club (Downtown)
Dozens of Los Angeles' top bartenders not only share cocktails but their art, photography and music as well. Teams like Bombay Sapphire (Chris Ojeda, Kate Grutman, Mia Mastroianni and Nathan Burdette) and Pisco Porton (Brady Weise, Brittini Rae, Chris Amirault and Daniel Zacharczuk) work together in the Invention Bar or showcase their cocktails at satellite bars. Proceeds benefit Art Share LA.



In Theaters Today
The sequel to the 2010 hit, Despicable Me 2 features the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Schaal, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand and Steve Coogan; Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer star as Tonto and John Reid in Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger. Also in theaters: Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain


Fleetwood Mac @ Staples Center (Downtown)
The Rock & Roll Hall of Famers last toured in 2009 and embarked on this current trip in celebration of the 35th anniversary of Rumours' release. Expect to hear all of your favorite songs from the landmark album, as well as many other hits.



3-Day Celebration @ Hollywood Bowl  (Hollywood) – Featuring Josh Groban, patriotic music from the Los Angeles Philharmonic (conducted by Sarah Hicks) and a thrilling fireworks display on July 2, 3 and 4

4th of July Fireworks Show (Marina Del Rey) – A 20-minute display over the marina

All-American Fourth of July @ The Queen Mary (Long Beach) – Explore the ship, live music, games and activities from the 1920s, '40s, '60s, '90s and the present, cocktails, treats, fireworks at 9 p.m. and a screening of Independence Day

Americafest @ The Rose Bowl (Pasadena) – Music, food, TNT motorcycle stunts, performances by Mariachi Divas and Kenny G, as well as fireworks at 9 p.m.

Block Party @ Grand Park (Downtown) – Hosted by KCRW's Anthony Valadez, performances by Get Lit, Ethio Cali, Jungle Fire and La Santa Cecilia, food trucks and a light/pyro show after sunset

Late Night & BBQ @ Aquarium of the Pacific (Long Beach) – Visit the exhibits at night, eat delicious barbecue and see a fireworks display.

Pacific Palisades Fourth of July Parade (Pacific Palisades) – Parade begins at 2 p.m., Chris Shiflett (Foo Fighters) and the Dead Peasants concert at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks spectacular at 9 p.m.



Roman Holiday @ Hollywood Forever Cemetery (Hollywood)

Cinespia screens the William Wyler classic, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, as an escaped princess and the reporter who discovers her. DJ Carlos Nino spins before and after the movie. If we can't all go on holiday to Italy this summer, we might as well revel in the sites of Rome on display in this film.


The Hootenanny @ Oak Canyon Ranch (Silverado Canyon)
The 19th annual music and kustom car festival returns to Orange County with hundreds of local vendors, food, drink, classic cars, the Hootenanny Pinup Contest and performances by Social Distortion, Face to Face, Murder By Death, Old 97s, Nashville Pussy and more. Keep the Fourth of July festivities going all weekend long.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

L.A. HAVENS - Scoops



712 N. Heliotrope Drive, Los Angeles (Wilshire Center) 323-906-2649

It's no secret that ice cream is No. 1 on my list of culinary vices, and as the temperature rises, so too does my craving for the sweet treat. Whenever I visit a new city, I make it a point to sample the ice cream purveyors. From Luv-It Frozen Custard in Las Vegas to Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco, I've tried them all. Of all the parlors in Los Angeles, Scoops is my absolute favorite for the incredible range of flavors that are infused into each batch of homemade gelato and sorbet.

Nestled in a strip of shops near Los Angeles City College, Scoops was opened in 2005 by flavor master extraordinaire Tai Kim, who obtained his bachelor's degree at CalArts before attending Portland's Western Culinary Institute. Each morning, Kim devises a new list of flavors to be sold in the shop that day, ranging from their trademark Brown Bread (caramel gelato mixed with crunchy Grape Nuts cereal) and more familiar Apple Pie to the exotic Yuzu Mint and Dirty Chai.

His unique spins on ordinary, tried-and-true combinations, such as Banana Coconut, Pistachio Sour Cream and Guinness Chocolate or Guinness Coffee, have made Scoops incredibly popular throughout the city. In addition to branches in Palms and Highland Park, you can have a scoop for dessert at restaurants like the Golden State. While my go-to flavors are Salted Chocolate and Chocolate Peanut Butter, I am also a fan of the Oreo Carmel and Strawberry Balsamic. There are usually three or four vegan flavors available, like Earl Grey Tea and Soy Chocolate, and even a few gluten-free ones as well.

Another great thing about Scoops is that, like most gelato shops, one scoop is actually two. So for $2.90 you can try a scoop of two different flavors or just enjoy two servings of your favorite. They offer free toppings of chopped peanuts and rainbow sprinkles, too. If you only want one scoop, you can order the Kids Scoop for $2.25. They also do shakes, sorbet slushies and floats, as well as ice cream cakes. They only accept cash, so make sure to stop at an ATM before experiencing some of the best gelato you'll have in your life.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Release Tuesday - 6/25/13

June 25, 2013


Bosnian Rainbows – Self-titled (Sargent House)
The debut album from the union of the Mars Volta's Omar Rodriguez-López and Deantoni Parks, Le Butcherettes' Teri Gender Bender and Kudu's Nicci Kasper, who came together last summer. Rodriguez-López's trademark dissonant guitar chords, anchored by Parks' solid drumming and Kasper's work on the keys, provide the perfect soundscape for Gender Bender's hypnotic and chaotic vocals on trace like "Turtle Neck" and "The Eye Fell in Love." The band celebrates the release and kicks off a worldwide tour tonight at the First Unitarian Church with Sister Crayon in tow.

DessaParts of Speech (Doomtree)
The Twin Cities native cements her status as the reigning queen emcee of the Doomtree collective with her third full-length release. From the pulse-pounding and lightning quick raps of "Warsaw" to the hauntingly reflective "Call Off Your Ghost," Parts of Speech shines as her most intimate and moving work yet. But make no mistake, the album isn't just introspective, its beats are guaranteed to make you dance, too. Bask in her insane talent live when she stops at the Troubadour on July 13.

HockeyWyeth IS (self-released)
Brooklyn-based Ben Wyeth and Jerm Reynolds isolated themselves in upstate New York for 22 months to write and record their sophomore album. The resulting 11 tracks explore the duo's love of vintage electronic beats and expand upon it, from dream-like opener "Wild Style" to the hand-clap inducing "My Mind" and on through the last seething beat of "Defeat on the Double Bass Line." Catch them in the midst of their U.S. tour July 26 at the El Rey.

Hugh CornwellTotem and Taboo (Red River) The former guitarist, singer and main songwriter of the Stranglers returns with his first studio album since 2008's critically-acclaimed Hooverdam. Cornwell enlisted the legendary Steve Albini to engineer and mix Totem and Taboo, which captures the raw grittiness of his guitar on songs like "The Face" and "Love Me Slender" and his in-your-face, honest vocals on tracks such as "I Want One of Those" and "God is a Woman."

India.ArieSongVersation (Soulbird/Motown)
If you have yet to delve into the work of the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, what's wrong with you? From her childhood in Denver, Colo., music has coursed through her veins, breaking through to the masses in 2001 with the release of her debut, Acoustic Soul. She continues to soothe the soul with her fifth full-length studio album. SongVersation will have your head nodding from the onset of first single "Cocoa Butter" and leave you breathless and inspired with "Break the Shell."

Middle Class RutPick Up Your Head (Bright Antenna)
I've been a fan of Zack Lopez's and Sean Stockham's live performances since seeing them perform with their first band in the early 2000s, and they've continued to cultivate an explosive on-stage chemistry on through the development of MC Rut. Their follow-up to 2010's No Name No Color, Pick Up Your Head captures their live energy on roaring tracks like "Leech," "You Don't Belong" and first single "Aunt Betty." They'll be part of this year's Uproar Festival, which sweeps through Verizon Amphitheatre Sept. 13.

Also available – Airhead's For Years; August Burns Red's Rescue & Restore; Bass Drum of Death's self-titled; Booker T. Jones' Sound the Alarm; Bret Michaels' Jammin' with Friends; Eklipse's A Night in Strings; Evidence's Green Tape Instrumentals; Forever the Sickest Kids' J.A.C.K.; Frank Lenz's Water Tiger; Hawthorne Heights' Zero; Jay Sean's Neon; Jillette Johnson's Water in a Whale; Junclassic's BLVD Backdrop; Larry and His Flask's By the Lamplight; Light Heat's self-titled; Lightning Dust's Fantasy; Little Lonely's self-titled; Locrian's Return to Annihilation; Mavis Staples' One True Vine; Natalie Cole's Natalie Cole en Espanol; Nate Young's Blinding Confusion; Palms' self-titled; Perhapst's Revise Your Maps; Queensryche's self-titled; Rose Windows' The Sun Dogs; Skillet's Rise; Slum Village's Evolution; Smith Westerns' Soft Will; Solar Year's Waverly; Spirits of the Dead's Rumours of a Presence; Stone Gossard's Moonlander; The Transplants' In a Warzone; Wale's The Gifted; Wise Blood's ID; Wrekonize's The War Within; Wyld Bunch & DJ Brans' Unbreakable


Film – 50 million people in the United States (one in four children) don't know where their next meal is coming from. Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush's A Place at the Table – with insight from experts that include nutrition policy leader Marion Nestle, sociologist Janet Poppendieck, Tom Colicchio and Jeff Bridges – is one of the most important films Americans can watch this year; The Incredible Burt Wonderstone stars Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey, Olivia Wilde and Alan Arkin; Halle Berry, Evie Thompson and Abigail Breslin in Brad Anderson's The Call; Based on the true story of Chilean ad exec René Saavedra (Gael García Bernal), No dramatizes his campaign to win the country's presidency.

TV – Cesar Millan: Leader of the Pack; CSI: NY - The Final Season; MADtv: Season Three; Todd & the Book of Pure Evil: The Complete Second Season

Music – Alicia Keys' VH1 Storytellers; Jane's Addiction's Live in NYC; Jethro Tull's Around the World Live; Tanglewood - 75th Anniversary Celebration

Also available – As Luck Would Have It; Battledogs; Black Pond; Blood of 1000 Virgins; Crashout; Crawlspace; Dead Souls; The Fartist; Flashback; Hangar 18; Hansel & Gretel Get Baked; In the Family; Into the White; Killer Mountain; Lesser Blessed; Lord of Darkness; My Best Enemy; Phantom; Pusher; The Rambler; Supporting Characters; Upside Down; Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead

Monday, June 24, 2013

STREET SIGNS - War By Numbers

Ever since I came across Shepard Fairey's War By Numbers in 2008, I've coveted a print of the painting to hang on my wall. The innocent little girl captured in the piece reminds me of a character from a children's book, although in Fairey's world, the rose she's stopping to smell stems from a grenade and war bombers loom over her head. Each time I pass the print of it posted on an electrical box in front of Michelangelo Ristorante at 2742 Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake, I can't help but smile because I love getting to see it all the time.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Events for June 20-26, 2013




The Dig @ Bootleg Bar (Westlake)
The two lead singers of the New York City quartet, Emile Mosseri and David Baldwin, have been making music together since they were 11 years old, so it comes as no surprise that they're still going strong with two albums and a new EP, Tired Hearts, released a few weeks ago. If you were fortunate enough to catch some of their Silverlake Lounge residency dates last summer, then you know how great the band is live. If not, then this show at the Bootleg with FIM, Orange Umbrella and Oh Boy Les Mecs is your chance.

Warped Tour @ Pomona Fairplex (Pomona)

The summer festival kicked off its 19th year last weekend and stops in SoCal for a two-day stand in Pomona before moving on to other parts of the state, including Seaside Park in Ventura on Sunday. This year's lineup boasts over 70 bands, which include 3OH!3, Motion City Soundtrack, Juliet Simms, Anarbor and let live. Good news if you're under 18 and can't drive yourself to the fest, one of your parents gets a free ticket with your paid admission and you can drop them off at Reverse Daycare for the day so you can run from stage to stage without having to worry about them keeping up.



In Theaters This Week
Find out how Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) became the best of friends at Monsters University; Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave and Gemma Arterton in Unfinished Song; World War Z stars Brad Pitt as a UN employee attempting to stop the outbreak of a global zombie epidemic. Also starring Mireille Enos ("The Killing") and Matthew Fox. Also in theaters: Between Us; Call Me Kuchu; The Haunting of Helena; A Hijacking; Rushlights

(Gary Leonard)


CicLAvia Iconic Wilshire Boulevard

The cost- and car-free event takes over the street from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from One Wilshire in Downtown to Fairfax Avenue in Miracle Mile, spotlighting the area's architectural evolution as part of the Getty's Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. program. There will be plenty of food vendors and activities along the route for when you want to take a bike break, including the fifth annual Koreatown BBQ Cookoff at Serrano and Oxford Avenues (from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' tribute to Chris Burder's Urban Light installation at LACMA using 7.5-foot tall Oscar statuettes. Gary Leonard


Drink: Eat: Play Wine Festival @ The Santa Monica Pier (Santa Monica)
If you're an oenophile but your summer budget can't cover a trip to Napa or even Santa Barbara, 
Presented by BevMo, there will be over 50 wineries represented by hundreds of wines. The $50 ticket covers your wine tastings, however, food is sold separately.


She & Him, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell @ Hollywood Bowl (Hollywood)
The duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward released their latest album, Volume 3, in May, and as much as I love the sunny pop of She & Him and Ward's amazing guitar skills live, the main draw of this show for me is Emmylou Harris. The country legend teamed with Hot Band member Rodney Crowell for their first official collaboration, Old Yellow Moon, which came out earlier this year and have been been captivating audiences on a nationwide tour. This is definitely the show of the week and the perfect way to kick off your summer at the Bowl.



Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas @ The Satellite (Silver Lake)

What I love so much about the Detroit band is the gritty realness of frontwoman Jessica Hernandez. While her voice is unfailingly powerful, it also transmits an honest vulnerability in all the songs on their latest, Live at the Magic Bag. However, simply listening to the album may not be enough to satisfy you. Let their live performance fill all voids tonight at the Satellite.


Hillary Rodham Clinton @ Gibson Amphitheatre (Universal City)
The former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and First Lady speaks as part of the American Jewish University's Public Lecture Series that has included conversations with Tony Blair, Colin Powell and Al Gore. Don't miss what is sure to be a scintillating exchange between Clinton and AJU president, Dr. Robert Wexler.



AM & Shawn Lee @ The Echo (Echo Park)

The duo of Angeleno AM and Londoner Lee wrote and recorded the entirety of their sophomore effort, La Musique Numerique, from their respective continents, yet they were constantly in step with one another. Their blend of soul, '70s funk and electro is infectious on tracks like opener "Two Times," "All the Love" and "Automatic." Don't say I didn't warn you, be completely prepared to work up a sweat on the dance floor.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

L.A. LANDMARKS - Echo Park Lake



751 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles (Echo Park)

My first introduction to Echo Park Lake was during a tour of Los Angeles as a child. I loved to watch reruns of "Gilligan's Island," so my ears immediately perked up when the tour guide informed us that the television show filmed scenes at the lake. The neighborhood of Echo Park was even said to have been named from when workers were constructing the lake – originally a drinking water reservoir – in the 1860s, and their voices would 'echo' off the canyon walls.

Flash forward 20 years, and passing the lake, which now acts as a detention basic for City's storm drain system, has become an everyday occurrence in my life as an Echo Park/Silver Lake resident. Since 2011, however, I haven't actually been able to see the lake. For the past two years, the area has been surrounded by fencing, blocking any view of Echo Park Lake as it underwent a $45-million rehabilitation to remedy its storm water pollution problem and bring it up to the state's water-quality standards.

But as of June 15, the district's former councilman and current mayor-elect, Eric Garcetti, celebrated the lake's reopening with over 300 fellow Angelenos. The chain-link fence and green screen came down on June 17, the Lady of the Lake statue once again stands with the geyser fountain spraying water into the air behind her and some of the 70 known species of birds have begun to nestle back into the lakeside. I even saw a tiny egg in a nest in one of the surrounding trees during my first walk around the reopened lake.

Four acres of wetlands have been added to the lake's edge, along with two boardwalk observation decks (one each at the north and west ends) and small docks along the eastern edge where visitors can dangle their feet over the turquoise blue water. The lake will only stay this brilliant hue for a few more days, until the dye that was added to control algae and provide nutrients to the aquatic plants has faded.

Speaking plant life, its signature pink and white lotus plants – which had all but disappeared from the lake by 2008 – are once again thriving in the water thanks to the sticky fingers of horticulturalist Randy McDonald. The Reseda resident had absconded a cutting of the Asian Sacred Lotus when he attended the annual Lotus Festival at the lake in 2005. His illegally obtained clipping flourished, and he was able to provide 376 new plants for the lake that will sit under netting for the next year to protect them from birds.

By next year, celebrations like the Lotus Festival and Cuban Music Festival will once again gather citizens around the lake. Meanwhile, city officials are working to bring paddle boat rentals and a café to the restored boathouse as well.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New Release Tuesday 6/18/13

June 18, 2013


Beach DayTrip Trap Attack (Kanine)
It's extremely hard not to fall in love with the 11 '60s-inspired tracks from the Hollywood, Fla. trio of Kimmy, Natalie and Skyler, who met at a local show and bonded over a mutual love of girl groups from the era. That influence is definitely heard on songs like "Stay," "Come Back to Me" and "Wasting All My Time" from this debut album. As summer kicks into high gear, Trip Trap Attack couldn't have come at a better time.

Kanye WestYeezus (Def Jam)
If you're a fan, you probably already listened to the entire album when it leaked several days ago. If not, maybe the new promo video, a nod to American Psycho starring Scott Disick and Jonathan Cheban, will at least be good for some laughs. Yeezus marks the polarizing artist's sixth release, and the sonically experimental tracks – executive produced by Rick Rubin – feature a list of guests that includes Frank Ocean, John Legend, Skrillex, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter. As to be expected, though, 'Ye's lyrics are as angry and loud as ever.

The Mowgli'sWaiting for the Dawn (Island Def Jam)
You've probably seen the Are You a Mowgli? posters around town, and if you're familiar with the L.A. band then you know the ad campaign is for their second full-length (and major label debut) rather than some kind of cult relating to the beloved Jungle Book character. The eight-piece is often referred to as the quintessential California band since their sound evokes the feel of many of the state's locales: Laurel Canyon, Venice Beach, Big Sur, Silver Lake and, of course, their native San Fernando Valley. The first single from Waiting for the Dawn is named after another of California's cities, where they lost their heads waiting for the fog to roll out, and with just one listen, you'll be doo doo dooing along with "San Francisco." The Mowgli's kick off a nationwide tour this weekend but return home for an Oct. 18 show at the Wiltern.

Sigur RósKveikur (XL)
I don't think anyone expected the Icelandic band's seventh album (their first for XL) to be as aggressive and dark as it is. Kveikur is a pleasant departure from the almost 2-decades-old Sigor Rós' typical ethereal sound. Jónsi Birgisson's voice still soars on opener "Brennisteinn," while Georg Hólm's bass and Orri Dyrason's drums make one's heart pound thunderously throughout. This is an album for both old and new fans to be invigorated by.

TunngTurbines (Full Time Hobby)
Multi-instrumentalist and founding member Mike Lindsay calls Turbines, the UK sextet's fifth studio album, their "sci-fi folk rock album." After a decade together, the group has culled a collection of nine emotionally and musically rich tunes. From the mesmerizing "Once" and trip-hop grooves of "Trip Trap" to the buzzing "The Village" and hypnotic "By This," Turbines is thoroughly captivating.

Also available – 3OH!3's Omens; Anton Zap's Water; Austra's Olympia; Circa's HQ; Deniro Farrar's The Patriarch II; Empire of the Sun's Ice on the Dune; Falling in Reverse's Fashionably Late; Hanson's Anthem; Heliotropes' A Constant Sea; The Impossible Girl's The Sky Is Calling; J. Cole's Born Sinner; Kelly Rowland's Talk a Good Game; Lemuria's The Distance Is So Big; Lou Doillon's Places; Mac Miller's Watching Movies with the Sound Off; The Mantles' Long Enough to Leave; Midnight Faces' Fornication; Mitchy Slick's Won't Stop; Primal Scream's More Light; Quasimoto's Yessir Whatever; Slaid Cleaves' Still Fighting the War; Spectrals' Sob Story; Statik Selektah's Extended Play; Stephen Kellogg's Blunderstone Rookery; Steve Gunn's Time Off; Stripmall Architecture's Suburban Reverb; Suga Free & Pimpin Young's Blood Makes You Related, Loyalty Makes You Family; Tona's Silverspring Crescent; Tripwires' Spacehopper; The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die's Whenever, If Ever; Vacation's Candy Waves


Film – Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode in Stoker; Bryan Singer's Jack the Giant Slayer stars Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci; The interconnected shorts of Movie 43 star the likes of Live Schreiber, Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Common, Kate Winslet and Halle Berry; Dustin Hoffman directs Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins in Quartet, his directorial debut.

TV –
Body of Proof: The Complete Third Season; Call the Midwife: Season Two; Doomsday Preppers: Season 2; Drop Dead Diva: The Complete Fourth Season; Moonshiners: Season 1; Web Therapy: The Complete Second Season; Wilfred: Season Two; Workaholics: Season Three

Music – The Beach Boys' Good Vibrations Tour; Jackson Browne's I'll Do Anything: Live in Concert; Sublime's 3 Ring Circus – Live at the Palace
Also available – 21 and Over; The Amazing Adventures of the Living Corpse; American Idiots; American Mary; The Brass Teapot; Come Out and Play; Dino King; Divorce Invitation; Exhumed; The Ghastly Love of Johnny X; Gibsonburg; In the Dark; The Last Exorcism Part II; Let My People Go!; Plastic; Prank; Profile of a Killer; Sex, Lies and Depravity; The Source Family; Summoned

Monday, June 17, 2013

STREET SIGNS - All Things Are Relative

Came across this stencil on the cement as I was walking down East 3rd Avenue towards the Arts District in Downtown. Featuring Albert Einstein's face along with the words "All Things Are Relative," referring to his Theory of Relativity. One of my favorite quotes from the physicist on the topic is: "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Events for June 13-19, 2013


Ryan Gosling in Only God Forgives, screening June 20


Los Angeles Film Festival @ Various Locations (Downtown)

Film Independent's annual event showcases the best in world cinema, and its 19th festival boasts narratives from emerging filmmakers like Aaon Douglas Johnston (My Sister's Quinceanera), Janis Nords (Mother, I Love You) and Kamal K.M. (I.D.), thought-provoking documentaries, special screenings of Pedro Almodóvar's I'm So Excited!, Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling's latest Only God Forgives, Vera Farmiga in The Conjuring and Steve Carrell and Toni Collette in The Way, Way Back, as well as free showings of Dazed and Confused and Brasslands for the public. There are also panels on women editors, iconic costume design and Indiewire; conversations with this year's Spirit of Independence Award winner David O. Russell, Spike Jonze, Justin Lin, Ricky Jay and David Mamet; and master classes with actress/comedienne Maya Rudolph and composer Gustavo Santaolalla. Through June 23.


Said the Whale @ Bootleg Bar (Westlake)
The Vancouver fivesome just released a new EP, I Love You, featuring the infectious title track, the inspiring love song "Barbara-Ann" and the dance-inducing "Mother" and kicked off a national tour in support of the release last week. Find out why the group is so popular in Canada that there's even a beer dedicated to them (the cleverly named 'Said the Ale') in one of the city's best intimate venues.



In Theaters This Week
Sofia Coppola directs Emma Watson, Taissa Farmiga, Katie Chang, Claire Julien and Israwel Broussard as a group of teenagers who are so caught up in an obsession with celebrity culture that they burglarize stars' homes in The Bling Ring; While most were swooning over Jonathan Rhys Meyers in "The Tudors," I was smitten with Henry Cavill, aka the new Superman in Man of Steel (with a story by David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan and directed by Zack Snyder). So glad that the rest of the world is finally catching on. Also starring Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, Laurence Fishburne and Kevin Costner; This Is the End marks the directorial debut of the writing team of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and focuses on Rogen and his celebrity friends (James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson) facing the apocalypse. Also in theaters: 20 Feet From Stardom; Berberian Sound Studio; Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story; The Guillotines; Hatchet III; Pandora's Promise


The Dandy Warhols @ The Wiltern (Koreatown)
This year commemorates 13 years since the release of the Portland, Ore. band's breakthrough album, Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia, so they just released a newly remastered and expanded anniversary edition of the landmark release earlier this week. The deluxe edition includes an additional disc full of session outtakes, early and alternate mixes and demos of the original 13 tracks. The group also celebrates the anniversary with a slew of special performances of Thirteen Tales in its entirety, which begins its West Coast run tonight at the Wiltern.

Lee Ritenour (Rob Shanahan)


Playboy Jazz Festival @ Hollywood Bowl (Hollywood)
Hugh Hefner has said, "I've had a lot of things to be proud of in my life. But nothing more, quite frankly, than the Jazz Festival," and considering all of his accomplishments that is a huge statement. However, if you've ever attended the fest, Hef's words might not be such a big surprise. Celebrating its 35th year, the two-day event features performances by legends such as Herbie Hancock, Jeffrey Osborne, guitarist Lee Ritenour, Sheila E. and Taj Mahal. Also on the bill are Angelique Kidjo and India.Arie.


Pitch Perfect @ Exposition Park (South Los Angeles)
Street Food Cinema presents a screening of the musical comedy starring Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson and Anna Camp as a college singing group taking on their male campus rivals. The evening is hosted by comedian Grant Cotter and features a performance from local band Raheem Cohen. The Mandoline Grill, Cousin's Maine Lobster, India Jones, Seoul Sausage and Mercedes Binge are just a few of the food trucks that will be on hand as well.

The Kid


Father's Day Matinee @ The Cinefamily (Mid-City West)
After brunch, take your dad to a double feature of an early Charlie Chaplin feature – and his full-length directorial debut – The Kid, where the Tramp adopts an abandoned child who becomes his sidekick, and the 1918 short, A Dog's Life. You'll laugh, cry and always remember this special afternoon together.

Goldfinger/Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade @ The Egyptian (Hollywood)
Then, after dinner, treat Dad to American Cinematheque's evening of action. First up is Sean Connery as Bond as he takes on Auric Goldfinger and relishes the company of Honor Blackman and Pussy Galore in Goldfinger. Afterwards, Steven Spielberg directs Harrison Ford in his iconic Indiana Jones role with Connery stepping into the shoes of his father who has been kidnapped by the Nazis in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I remember seeing this third Indy film with my own dad back in 1989.



John Grant @ The Echo (Echo Park)
The former frontman of the Czars resides in Iceland and visits the states in support of his sophomore effort, Pale Green Ghosts, which released last month. His haunting baritone delivers deeply honest yet witty songs that touch on issues of heartbreak, past addictions and even his HIV-positive status. But don't expect to spend an evening down in the dumps, he's got all-out dance tracks, like "Black Belt," which are guaranteed to get you moving. Witness his thoroughly unique and powerful voice live at the Echo tonight with opening act Craig Wedren.



Marcus Samuelsson Book Party @ Sang Yoon's Private Test Kitchen (Culver City)
The Top Chef Masters winner penned a memoir, Yes, Chef, which was just released in paperback and documents his life as an adopted Ethiopian child growing up in Sweden and eventually taking New York's culinary world by storm. L.A. chefs Sang Yoon and Sherry Yard celebrate the chef with a cocktail party, serving dishes inspired by his book, such as Berbere-spiced leg of lamp and smoked eel. In addition Yard serves some of her awe-inspiring desserts and Yoon presents some Father's Office beer and cocktail favorites.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013




At Tom Bergin's (under new ownership, set to reopen Dec. 1, 2013)

840 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles (Mid-City West)

There is definitely an aura of mystery surrounding the L.A. indie-pop group Verhoven. When you visit their website, a solitary image of a group of stray cats with glowing eyes greets you. The interactive site permits you to click on those eyes to hear songs from Verhoven's new self-titled debut EP, but no other information is offered. And having their music stand for itself is precisely what the duo at the heart of Verhoven, vocalist/keyboardist Thrice Noble (aka Gabe Sokoloff) and guitarist Scott Glenn, aims for.

Although the pair, who co-write and produce all of Verhoven's music, formed the band just over a year and a half ago, they've been creating music together for years.

"We were both working at a music company, and he played me some early tracks. I really liked them and said, 'This is something that I could really collaborate with,'" tells Scott of how they initially came together. "So we started writing, and it turned into a project called Names of Stars. When that ended, we wanted to pursue a kind of carefree sound that we were liking at the moment, which is what we did, and ultimately decided to start a new project and go that route."

The camaraderie between the two is evident from the moment we take a seat in a booth at one of Scott's favorite places to hang out in his neighborhood, Tom Bergin's. The bandmates often poke fun at each other, but clearly have immense respect for one another as well. As Thrice and I order pints of Guinness, he tells me that in doing so, I'm missing out on Scott's beer consultation services.

"I am a beer, and alcohol in general, aficionado," Scott chimes in. "What's going on in California is pretty awesome. San Diego, Central and Northern California have some amazing breweries: Stone, Port Brewing, Lost Abbey. [Craft beer] is becoming a big thing."

Tonight Scott chooses the O'Hara's Irish Red, and he actually met its brewmaster, Seamus O'Hara, at Tom Bergin's one night. Most of the staff recognizes Scott, and his frequent patronage is going to be rewarded with one of the Irish tavern's famous cardboard shamrocks.

Tom Bergin's shamrock-adorned bar
 "I've been coming here for many years; my fiancée and I just moved down the street, so we've become regulars," he says. "We've always been enamored by the shamrock thing, and finally we were nominated by the staff."

Soon Scott's name will adorn a shamrock on Tom Bergin's walls or ceiling alongside the likes of Cary Grant, Tommy Lasorda and Kiefer Sutherland. Aside from the tavern's trademark Irish coffees and St. Patrick's Day extravaganzas that transform the parking lot into a beer garden, Scott recommends ordering the Fish and Chips, Corned Beef and Cabbage or the Irish Breakfast. Tom Bergin's chef Brandon Boudet hails from New Orleans and frequently does southern special like fried chicken and jambalaya, which is free whenever there's a Saints game being played.

Both Thrice and Scott made recent trips to New Orleans, where they fell in love with the city.

"I went for Jazzfest, and the best part of the festival was the food – all the mobile food stands representing all the local cuisine: gumbo, crawfish, étoufée, beignets," Scott marvels. "If you want to see live music, experience good culture and party all night long, New Orleans can't be beat."

Scott was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley but has lived in the area around Miracle Mile and Mid-City West for a while. When Thrice mentions that he loves naan, Scott readily has an Indian restaurant to recommend, India's Tandoori, "one of the best Indian food places in all of L.A." Thrice, who moved here from Florida seven years ago, has lived all over Los Angeles, from Mount Washington where he loved the vibe and establishments to Santa Monica where he likes the walkability. One commonality among their separate backgrounds is music.

"Like so many others, my parents forced piano lessons on me. It was classical, but pretty soon I co-opted those skills for more popular musical-related pleasures, learning to play songs by ear and then writing my own," Thrice remembers. "I didn't start writing lyrics until late high school. I think it's typical, songwriters seem to write music before lyrics; lyrics come when you get a little angsty."

"My mom was into rock in its 1960s heyday – Jefferson Airplane, Iron Butterfly, the Doors, the Mamas & the Papas. My dad was the classic '50s dad, and all we would listen to in the car was doo wop. I would get so sick of 'Rockin' Robin,' although I have a new appreciation for it since I've gotten older," Scott shares. "They never forced an instrument on me. I actually had to beg them for a guitar. My friend got one and could play a few licks that I could recognize from the Smashing Pumpkins and Metallica, and I thought, 'if he could do it, I can.' My mom said, 'If I get you this Squier and a little practice amp for $200, you better use it.' A year later, my brother would scream, 'He won't stop playing!' I was 15, and from there I got obsessed with it."

Scott eventually attended UC Berkeley where he started songwriting and playing in bands. When he moved back to SoCal, he went to the Musicians Institute for guitar and sound engineering. Many of his and Thrice's adolescent years were spent at concerts.

 "I went to a lot of shows in my youth, particularly between ages 15 and 19 because you couldn't go to bars or clubs, so it was the only place you could socialize and meet people," recalls Scott. "One of the most striking was when I went to see Nine Inch Nails at the Gibson Amphitheater, when they had just released The Downward Spiral. It was a really good show in terms of Trent Reznor's masterful auteurism, his complete control over every aspect – the stage performance, the production, the mixing of the electronic elements with live instrumentation, knowing how to work the crowd – was on another level."

"Super Furry Animals, probably the first non-classic rock, psychedelic band that I got into, also incorporated electronic elements into their live show and albums in a way that turned me on in high school. When Rings Around the World came out, that was the peak of my fandom," says Thrice. "The first time I saw them, a friend and I skipped school to drive three hours up to Orlando. That was amazing. Another summer in high school, I was traveling and lucky enough to catch Radiohead performing in Oxford, England. It was their first homecoming show since they had achieved fame. The openers included Beck, Supergrass and Sigur Rós, so it was an epic show."

As far as their favorite local venues, Thrice says that it would be Spaceland/the Satellite, although he jokes that his feelings towards the club have changed since he fell off a chair while performing there.

"He tried to do a karate/kung fu jump kick, but he was out of practice," laughs Scott.

"My pants were too tight," is Thrice's deadpan reply.

Since their days together in Names of Stars, Thrice and Scott have shared an amiable partnership, although their songwriting method is something they've definitely amended.

"The first album with our former band, a lot of the songs were germs from things we had written in our youth," Thrice says. "For Verhoven, we took a different approach: All of the songs were started from scratch by us together in a room. No one was bringing stuff to the table from the past."

"We wanted to try something different with this process, so we got together with his computer mini rig and synthesizer. I would have my guitar and we would throw down riffs and ideas what we refer to as 'nuggets,' which are seedlings of songs," Scott details. "We recorded them, then went back after some time to 40 or 50 of them and started eliminating, expanding on them until we got them down to 10, then we picked five for the EP."

From the darker edged lead track, "Manimal" to the more pop and dance-inducing "Moonshine Skyway," Verhoven's debut EP displays a successful marriage of the electronic and live instrumentation that Scott and Thrice became enamored with in the music that filled their youth.

"We have live drums mixed with drum samples to create an aesthetic that we feel draws on the best of both worlds. You get that mechanical dance feel of synthetic drums, but you also get the live personality to it, so it doesn't feel cold and heartless," says Scott. "'One thing we've struggled with from day one is that we have so many influences and like so many styles that we're always unsure of where the boundary is of how many directions can we go and still make it our own and have some level of consistency so it sounds like a singular point of view."

Although the band's name was not inspired by Paul Verhoeven or his films, as we finish our drinks, I decide to find out what their favorite movies from the Dutch director might be. Thrice admonishes my selections of Showgirls and Starship Troopers as the two worst from Verhoeven, while choosing Robocop as his own. Scott names Total Recall (for its stellar action/sci-fi moments and gratuitous violence) and Basic Instinct (for the sex and thriller twist and turns)

"Even though they weren't really an inspiration for the band, if you had to relate the Verhoeven movies to our sound, the direction of where we're going with it relative to our past is a lot more visceral," Scott concludes. "There is some futuristic sensibility to it and a lot of thinking about sex, drugs, aliens, ecstasy – the immediate sensations you happen upon in life."

The Verhoven EP is currently available. For more information, visit

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Release Tuesday 6/11/13

JUNE 11, 2013


Andrew StockdaleKeep Moving (Caroline)

Singer-songwriter breaks free from his Wolfmother pack with this self-produced, debut solo effort. The Australian musician spent three years cultivating the 16 tracks that continue on with the searing, hard-rock sound of his former band while highlighting his unique voice. See him perform the songs live on Aug. 25 at the Troubadour.

Beans on ToastFishing for a Thank You (Xtra Mile)
The critically lauded British singer-songwriter (aka Jay McAllister) is so much more than your average folk singer. The modern one-man band is a true DIY artist, who sings of love, drugs, religion and protest as passionately as he describes nights in pubs and "Angry Birds." His latest effort, which is also his fourth album, is brutally honest on tracks like "Papa Jay" and "Beer and a Burger," and they're oh so enjoyable.

CSSPlanta (SQE)
The Brazilian quartet returns with their fourth full-length, a high-energy collection of dance gems produced by David Sitek (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Santigold). From soaring opening track "Honey" and bass thumping "Teenage Tiger Cat" to "Dynamite" featuring the Gossip's Hannah Blilie and "Hangover," which was co-written with Rancid's Tim Armstrong, the ladies of of Cansei de Ser Sexy continue to get you moving. Join their dance party at the Fonda June 15.

Jimmy Eat World – Damage (RCA)

It's a bit hard to believe that it's been over 12 years since the Arizona foursome's fourth album, Bleed American, propelled them into the international spotlight. Still going strong with their seventh studio album, produced by the band and Alain Johannes and their first for RCA, the band just played the 2013 KROQ Weenie Roast and is about to embark on a world tour that includes a Sept. 28 stop at the Palladium. Damage's 10 songs don't depart from the group's signature sound and mostly deal with the emotions that occur when relationships come to a close.

The Lonely IslandThe Wack Album (Republic)
The hilarious trio of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone release their latest collection of comedic raps that kicked off with lead single "YOLO," featuring Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar. A slew of other guests on the album include Hugh Jackman, Kristen Wiig, Robyn, Too $hort, Pharrell Williams, T-Pain, Billie Joe Armstrong, Lady Gaga and "Dick in a Box" collaborator Justin Timberlake. Be warned that you'll need a box of tissues since you'll be crying laughing at several, if not all, of the songs.

Mick HarveyFOUR (Acts of Love) (Mute)
The former Bad Seed and PJ Harvey collaborator presents his sixth solo effort, the follow-up to 2011's Sketches from the Book of the Dead. The album delves into the subject of romantic love – it's loss, re-awakening and our ongoing struggles with it – in three acts (Summertime in New York, The Story of Love and Wild Hearts Run Out of Time). Recorded in Australia, FOUR is mainly comprised of his original compositions, but it also features a song collaboration with Harvey and covers that include the Saints' "The Story of Love," Roy Orbison's "Wild Hearts (Run Out of Time)" and Van Morrison's "The Way Young Lovers Do."

Also available: The 88's Fortune Teller; Action Bronson & Harry Fraud's Saab Stories; Alison Moyet's the minutes; The Almost's Fear Inside Our Bones; Aoife O'Donovan's Fossils; Avenues' Post Cards From Ann Arbor; Ariez Onasis' Theme Music; Big D and the Kids Table's Stomp and Stroll; Big Time Rush's 24/seven; The Black Dahlia Murder's Everblack; Black Sabbath's 13; Boards of Canada's Tomorrow's Harvest; Bob Schneider's Burden of Proof; BoySetsFire's While a Nation Sleeps; British Electric Foundation's Music of Quality & Distinction Volume 3 – Dark; Carmen Souza's Kachupada; Case Studies' This is Another Life; Children of Bodom's Halo of Blood; Chrisette Michele's Better; Coma Cinema's Posthumous Release; Covenant's Last Dance; Dalhous' An Ambassador for Laing; Davell Crawford's My Gift to You; Deafheaven's Sunbather; Dennis Callaci & Simon Joyner's New Secrets; Disclosure's Settle; Emilio Rojas' No Shame… No Regrets; Emily Wells' Mama Acoustic Recordings; Emily's Army's Lost at Seventeen; Evile's Skull; Fat Tony's Smart Ass Black Boy; Goo Goo Dolls' Magnetic; Harry Connick Jr's Every Man Should Know; I the Mighty's Satori; Jan St. Werner's Blaze Colour Burn; Jarren Benton's My Grandma's Basement; Jason Isbell's Southeastern; Jon Huertas' Grown & Sexy Music; Koko Blue's Crosses and Planks; Lee Majors' G Slaps Radio Vol. 4; Lust for Youth's Perfect View; Mixhell's Spaces; Modern Day Escape's New Life; The Orb & Lee 'Scratch' Perry's More Tales from the Orbservatory; Philip Lawrence's Letters I Never Sent; Prodigy & Alchemist's Albert Einstein; Soko's I Thought I Was an Alien; Sonny & the Sunsets' Antenna to the Afterworld; Sorrow's Dreamstone; Summoning's Old Mornings Dawn; Surfer Blood's Pythons; The White Mandigos' The Ghetto Is Tryna Kill Me


Film: Sam Raimi directs James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz in Oz: The Great and Powerful; Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as the bounty hunter siblings; Dwayne Johnson plays a father who goes undercover in order to free his son in Snitch, which also features Susan Sarandon and Benjamin Bratt.

TV: Betty & Corretta; Burn Notice: Season Six; Fairly Legal: Season Two; Ghost Hunters: Season 8, Part 2; House of Cards: The Complete First Season; Major Crimes: The Complete First Season; Necessary Roughness: Season Two; The Newsroom: The Complete First Season; Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Third Season; Wedding Band: The Complete First Season

Music: Legends of the Canyon; Paul McCartney and Wings' Rockshow; Grateful Dead's View From the Vault and View From the Vault II

Also available: 9 Miles Down; 11 Flowers; 21 Brothers; The Abduction of Eden; Absolute Deception; Apartment 1303; Clip; Dead Man's Burden; Deceitful; Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder; Fred Won't Move Out; How to Survive a Plague; In Organic We Trust; Killing Lincoln; Knife Fight; The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg; The Magic Flute; Men to Kiss; Mumia: Labor of Love; Long Distance Revolutionary; Ninja III: The Domination; Running Scared; Santorini Blue; Save the Date; The Taste of Money; Tosh.0: Cardigans Plus Casual Jackets; The Unbroken; Wild Strawberries (Criterion Collection); Wrong

Monday, June 10, 2013


Tattoo Kid by ICY and SOT sits in a doorway along Melrose Avenue in the Melrose and Fairfax District applying some fake tattoos to his arm.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Events for June 6-12, 2013


Bryan West in "Priscilla Queen of the
Desert" (Joan Marcus)


"Priscilla Queen of the Desert" @ Pantages Theatre (Hollywood)
Get in the mood for this weekend's Pride festivities with an evening of drag queens and transexuals in the Tony Award-winning musical. Three friends take a road trip through the Australian outback in a battered old bus that they've dubbed 'Priscilla.' Along the way they encounter a variety of personalities and learn valuable lessons about themselves. The production features a slew of dance-floor favorites such as "It's Raining Men," "I Love the Night Life" and "I Will Survive" and runs through June 16.



Ink-N-Iron Festival @ The Queen Mary (Long Beach)
The 10th annual festival brings tattoo, hot rod/Kustom, music, '50s fashion, burlesque and art lovers together at the luxury ship for a three-day celebration. With 280 tattoo artists from 25 countries on hand, a pin-up pageant, the Kulture Klash Art Show, the Motorama Car Show, a vintage fashion bazaar and so much more, there is something happening for everyone over the weekend. Each day also features performances from bands like Sublime with Rome, Iggy and the Stooges, the Offspring, NOFX, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Bad Brains and Wanda Jackson, among many others.

L.A. Pride in West Hollywood
Every year since the early '70s, the city has hosted the largest gathering of the LGBT community in Souther California. This year's festivities take over West Hollywood Park through Sunday with a Dyke March and rally, performances by Uh Huh Her, Ciara, Chiddy Bang, Judith Hill ("The Voice") and the Pointer Sisters and culminating with the parade on Sunday at 11 a.m. Be prepared for all-out madness and exhaustion come Monday morning.

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in The Internship

In Theaters This Week
The Wedding Crashers duo of Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn reunite for The Internship as two salesmen who are downsized and decide to finagle internships at Google; Joss Whedon's highly anticipated take on Shakespeare's classic comedy Much Ado About Nothing stars Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof as sparring lvoers Beatrice and Benedick; The Purge stars Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey ("Game of Thrones"' Cersei) as a couple trying to survive an alternate America's annual night of criminal hijinks; Violet & Daisy with Alexis Bledel and Saoirse Ronan; Joel Edgerton, Teresa Palmer and Felicity Price in Wish You Were Here. Also in theaters: 1 Mile Above; Bidder 70; Dirty Wars; Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie; Finding Joy; Hannah Arendt; The History of Future Folk; Lost and Found in Armenia; The Prey; Rapture-Palooza; Swan Lake Mariinsky Live; Tiger Eyes


Jubilee Music & Arts Festival @ The Arts District (Downtown)

The festival has altered its name and relocated from Silver Lake to Downtown's Arts District for its two-day event. Acts include Black Lips, the Drums, Free Energy, Fool's Gold, NO, Cayucas and Tashaki Miyaki. If you need to take a break from the music, there is a comedy stage, plenty of food trucks and vendor booths to keep you busy.

War Poets @ Whisky A Go-Go (West Hollywood)
The quintet of Minnesota music scene veterans stops in Los Angeles in support of their debut, Dulce et Decorum Est, which features 17 tracks that touch on topics from current events and social issues to history and timeless human emotion. Blending rock, pop and Americana, War Poets provide songs for your every mood, so make sure to catch this show while they're in town.


Great Horror Campout @ L.A. State Historic Park (Elysian Park)
Attention all horror lovers, if you've always wanted to experience the terror of summer camp as seen in flicks like Sleepaway Camp, then this interactive adventure is for you. Brought to you by the company behind the annual Haunted Hayride, don't expect to get much rest at the 12-hour overnight because activities like the Hell Hunt scavenger hunt (with such challenges as pulling worms from severed heads, avoiding kidnappers and participating in a sacrificial voodoo rite) and all-night movies (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th Part 3 and Mama, among others) around a bonfire. If you even try to catch a wink in your tent, you might be pulled out in your sleeping bag by a stalker. Also June 8.



Drag Night at the Drive-In @ Electric Dusk Drive-In (Downtown)
Electric Dusk is hosting its first ever Pride Party with a special screening go Patrick Swayze, John Leguizamo and Wesley Snipes in To Wong Foo: Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar. There will also be a drag costume contest, gay trivial challenge and plenty of dancing and prizes.



Chrome Sparks @ Echoplex (Echo Park)
An evening with Chrome Sparks (aka Jeremy Malvin) is the perfect way to recuperate from all the craziness of your weekend and get you through to Friday. With a background in classical percussion and an obsession with synthesizers, he creates ethereal soundscapes that soothe, inspire and get your head nodding. This set features a five-piece band to bring his laptop visions to life on stage, making for a night to remember.



Ain't In It For My Health: A Film About Levon Helm @ The Cinefamily (Mid-City West)
From his days with the Band, his successful career as an actor and solo efforts, Levon Helm is a true legend. Join director Jacob Hatley for a screening of his documentary that focuses on the artist's recording and 2007 release of Dirt Farmer, and its subsequent catapulting of Helm back to in the international spotlight. Shot over the course of two years at Helm's home in Woodstock, NY, the film is an intimate and captivating look at the American musician. There will also be a Q&A with Hatley after the screening.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

L.A. LANDMARKS - City Hall



200 N. Spring St., Los Angeles (Downtown)

Often when a film is set in Los Angeles, one of the first shots to establish location includes City Hall.  From L.A. Confidential and Dragnet to television shows ("Perry Mason," "Alias"), video games ("L.A. Noire," "SWAT 3") and even on the face of the LAPD badge, its recognizable tower – modeled after the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – looms over Downtown. Designed by John Parkinson, John C. Austin and Albert C. Martin, Sr. and completed in 1928, the building boasts 32 floors and at 454-feet high is the tallest base-isolated (for earthquake protection) structure in the world.

Besides providing a home base for the mayor's office, City Hall also houses the City Council Chamber and offices for its members. The building's interior features Byzantine details, ornate ceiling and floor tiling, marble columns and California Redwood beams. The East Lobby contains gifts from other countries such as statues of Benito and Margarita Juarez from Mexico, a clock from L.A. sister city Nagoya, Japan and a Turtle Ship replica from Korea. Besides marveling at the structure's architecture and decor, the public can venture up to the 27th floor Observation Deck Monday through Friday from  9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for one of the best views of the city.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New Release Tuesday 6/4/13

JUNE 4, 2013


Big DealJune Gloom (Mute)
As the phenomenon of June Gloom literally descends over Los Angeles, the sophomore effort from the duo of Kacey Underwood and Alice Costelloe offers the perfect soundtrack for those gray mornings full of hopeful visions that the sun-drenched summer days have in store. The album was conceived in California and recorded in a converted ship in London with producer Rory Attwell (Veronica Falls, PAWS, Male Bonding) and expands the band's sound with bass and drums, courtesy of Huw Webb and Melissa Rigby, for immense waves of sonic splendor on tracks such as "In Your Car," "Dream Machines" and "Teradactol." One listen and any clouds hanging over your head will instantly be chased away.

LenkaShadows (Skipalong)
The Australian singer-songwriter's third album puts her personal experiences and emotions on display – she penned this collection of songs while she was pregnant with her first child. As a result, she created a "lullaby soundtrack" with soothing songs of love and hope, but several also deal with the notions of separation, loss and fear, like "Faster With You," "Nothing" and "Monsters." Hear the new songs when Lenka performs June 4 at Hotel Café.

Portugal. The ManEvil Friends (Atlantic)

It's hard not to get sentimental whenever I hear someone mention this band, as frontman John Gourley and bassist Zach Carothers were one of my earliest interviews when they were still teenagers and in their first band, Anatomy of a Ghost. Along with Kyle O'Quin, Noah Gersh and Kane Ritchotte, they've gone on to release eight albums and have amassed a legion of fans on the way. Their latest effort, produced by Danger Mouse, pushes the boundaries of the band's earlier sound with "Creep in a T-Shirt" and "Purple Yellow Red and Blue," while synths add flavor to songs like "Modern Jesus." Make sure to catch them when they swing through Los Angeles with a July 12 date at the Wiltern.

QuadronAvalanche (Vested in Culture/Epic)

It's seems that everywhere I go lately, there are people talking about the L.A. duo of vocalist Coco O. and multi-instrumentalist/producer Robin Hannibal. Featuring the infectious first single "Hey Love," the album is poised to be the soundtrack of summer 2013 with funky opener "LFT" and "Favorite Star," as well as "Crush" and "Befriend" to cool things down at night. Be mesmerized by Coco O's soulful croon June 5 at the Hollywood Forever's Masonic Lodge.

Queens of the Stone Age…Like Clockwork (Matador)
California's desert kings return with a sixth album, their first six years, which marks the studio return of Dave Grohl on drums, Mark Lanegan for some vocals and bassists Nick Oliveri and Alain Johannes to the band and cameo appearances by Elton John and Trent Reznor, among others. First single "My God Is the Sun" has been playing in heavy rotation on the radio, and the album thunders with energy from the opening of "Keep Your Eyes Peeled" to "If I Had a Tail" and "Smooth Sailing." However, frontman Josh Homme puts his tender side on display during the title track, "The Vampyre of Time and Memory," "Kalopsia" and "Fairweather Friends."

Various Artists – Ghost Brothers of Darkland County (Hear Music/Concord)

It took 13 years for the collaboration between Stephen King, John Mellencamp and T Bone Burnett to come to fruition in this southern gothic supernatural musical thriller, which begins a 20-city midwest/southeast tour this fall. The recording features original music and dialog performed by artists including Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Nego Case, Kris Kristofferson and Taj Mahal, along with actors Matthew McConaughey, Samantha Mathis and Meg Ryan.

Also available – Anarbor's Burnout; Barenaked Ladies' Grinning Streak; Ben Folds Five's Ben Folds Five Live; Camera Obscura's Desire Lines; Candlelight Red's Reclamation; Capital Cities' In a Tidal Wave of Mystery; City and Colour's The Hurry and the Harm; Daniel Rodriguez's Por Ti Volaré; Dave Davies' I Will Be Me; Dead Stars' High Gain; DJ Clay's A World Upside Down; Eleanor Friedberger's Personal Record; Filter's The Sun Comes Out Tonight; Future Bible Heroes' Partygoing; Gretchen Wilson's Under the Covers; GRMLN's Empire; Houndmouth's From the Hills Below the City; Jon Hopkins' Immunity; Liferuiner's Future Revisionists; The Limousines' Hush (June 6); Lonestar's Life As We Know It; Matthew Morrison's Where It All Began; Megadeth's Super Collider; The Olms' self-titled; Rogue Wave's Nightingale Floors; Sleeping with Sirens' Feel; We Are the City's Violent


TV –
Catch up with Walt and Pinkman in the first half of the fifth season of "Breaking Bad" before the incredible series comes to a close with its final eight episodes premiering on AMC Aug. 11. Adventure Time: The Complete Second Season; Falling Skies: The Complete Second Season; Ice Road Truckers: Season 6; Mountain Men: Season 1; Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Third Season; Vexed: Series 2; Wilfred: The Complete Series

Music – Captain Beefheart – The Lost Tapes: 1966-1970; Demi Lovato: Her Life, Her Story; The Doobie Brothers: Live at Wolf Trap; Frank Zappa: A Token of His Extreme; Lana Del Rey – The Greatest Story Never Told; Mumford & Sons – Extraordinary Folk; Ron Asheton Tribute Concert (the Stooges, Henry Rollins and more)

Film – 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded; 23:59; Aroused; The Big Bad; Blood of the Samurai; The Book of Esther; Brooklyn Castle; Charlie Zone; Chupacabra vs. The Alamo; The Company We Keep; Escape From Planet Earth; Get Up! Stand Up!; The Giants; Girl Meets Boy; A Good Day to Die Hard; Home Sweet Home; Honor Flight; The Horde; Horrid Henry: The Movie; Identity Thief; It's a Disaster; Just Like Being There; The Last Ride; The Law in These Parts; Lucky; Mental; The Monk; Mosquita Y Mari; A Portrait of James Dean: Joshua Tree, 1951; Ring of Fire; Storming Juno; A Taste of Romance; Warm Bodies

Monday, June 3, 2013

STREET SIGNS - The One with the Bubbles

The One with the Bubbles, located on East 3rd Street (between Wurstküche, Apolis: Common Gallery and the Poketo Flagship Store) in the Downtown Arts District, never fails to make me smile. Who didn't love to blow bubbles when they were younger? Maybe Kim West hopes to coax passerby to embrace their inner child and take some time to sit and blow some bubbles with the mural.