Thursday, September 26, 2013

Events for Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 2013




John Fogerty: Wrote a Song for Everyone @ The Grammy Museum (Downtown)
The new exhibit, named for the singer-songwriter/guitarist's latest solo album, commemorates its opening with a sold-out performance from the former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman tonight. Running through January 2014, the exhibit features Fogerty's personal scrapbook from his time with CCR, the handwritten lyrics for "Proud Mary," their original recording contract, special guitars, photographs, costumes, posters and much more from his time with the band and as a solo artist.



In Theaters This Week
Baggage Claim stars Paula Patton, Djimon Hounsou, Derek Luke and Taye Diggs; Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Neil Patrick Harris and Andy Samberg reprise their voice roles in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2; Don Jon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's screenwriting and directorial debut, focuses on a good, old-fashioned guy addicted to porn, who meets his match in a good, old-fashioned girl (Scarlett Johansson); Morning stars Leland Orser and Jeanne Tripplehorn as a couple dealing with the tragic death of their only child; A documentary about the influential music of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Also in theaters: GMO OMG; Herb & Dorothy 50X50; Inequality for All; Metallica: Through the Never; The Secret Lives of Dorks; We Are What We Are; Wedding Palace; Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon


"The Human Spirit" @ Stella Adler Theatre (Hollywood)
After the deaths of her husband, brother and mother, Carole Eglash-Kosoff dedicated her life to working in the black townships of South Africa where she interviewed over 50 people about their experiences under apartheid. While Nelson Mandela was in prison and citizens had to deal with clean water and sanitation issues, as well as the explosion of the AIDS epidemic, individuals of all colors and religions worked tirelessly to make South Africa a better place. Eglash-Kosoff published these inspiring stories in a book called The Human Spirit, which is adapted for the stage at Stella Adler for four performances through Sunday afternoon.



The Princess Bride @ Glendale Central Park (Glendale)
Although it was released 26 years ago, The Princess Bride's unforgettable characters, like Buttercup and Westley, Inigo Montoya, Fezzik and Prince Humperdinck are still so beloved. Street Food Cinema screens the Rob Reiner adaptation of the William Goldman novel on its inflatable screen after a performance from local band Grey Eastern. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., so you have plenty of time to grab some grub from the Currywurst, FryGirl or Umami Burger Truck, among others, and find the perfect place to set down your blanket.

AM & Shawn Lee


Abbot Kinney Festival – on Abbot Kinney Blvd. between Brooks Ave. & Venice Blvd. (Venice)
The annual community festival continues to grow bigger each year, and its 29th installment is no exception. There are free musical performances from the likes of AM & Shawn Lee, Chain Gang of 1974, Y Luv, and Victory on two stages, one at Brooks Avenue and the other at the Brig (Palms Ave.). Downtown Dogs, Kogi, Border Grill and Baby's Badass Burgers are just a few of the food trucks that will be hanging out at Main Street and Rialto Avenue, while Firestone Walker, Stella Artois and Newcastle host beer gardens to quench your thirst.

West Hollywood Book Fair @ West Hollywood Park (West Hollywood)
The 12th annual festival features literature, art, film, culinary and music events on 12 outdoor stages and indoor venues. Christopher Rice, Sally Kellerman and Debbie Reynolds (with a screening of Singin' in the Rain afterwards) are all scheduled to discuss their current books. There are discussions panels on the city and its stories with Jonathan Gold, Laurie Ochoa and Joseph Mattson; punk music with D.H. Peligro, Jack Grisham and Dave Markey; and love and lust with Allison Gee, Diana Raab and Shohreh Aghdashloo. Evan Kleiman, Aida Mollenkamp and Claire Thomas are set to appear in the Culinary Pavilion. In addition, there's a poetry corner, artist workshops and LGBT-centric discussions.


Thai Food Festival @ Paramount Studios (Hollywood)
If you love the intricacies of Thai cuisine, then this the event for you. Join L.A. chefs such as Sang Yoon (He should have won "Top Chef Masters"!), David LeFevre and Susan Feniger, along with Portland's Andy Ricker, for a culinary tour of Thailand's four regions. Restaurants like Jitlada, Siam Sunset and Ruen Pair will also offer a sampling of authentic, traditional fare. Immerse yourself further in the culture with classical and folk dancing, umbrella painting and Muay Thai martial arts demos.


Menomena @ Echoplex (Echo Park)
Multi-instrumentalists Justin Harris and Danny Seim released Moms, the fifth Menomena album – their first as a duo – last year, and it's been called their heaviest and most aggressive to date. The guys are joined on the bill by another Portland duo, the Helio Sequence. Should make for quite a night.



Frightened Rabbit @ Avalon (Hollywood)
The Scottish fivesome just released a new EP, Late March, Death March, a few weeks ago, and frontman Scott Hutchinson says of the title track: "This song takes a fairly commonplace, mundane event (an argument on the way home from a night of drinking) and adds a fair bit of melodrama, mimicking the gasoline effect of pouring a drink on an argument, I suppose. I've always loved elevating 'the everyday' into something larger and louder than it actually is. These small things can seem so serious and earth shattering at the time, then you wake up and you can see how daft you both were." It's a sure bet that you'll hear some of these new tracks, as well as many from their fourth album, Pedestrian Verse from earlier this year at the show tonight.



Moby @ The Fonda (Hollywood)

Moby marks this week's release of his 11th studio album, Innocents, with a three-night celebration at the Fonda. The album, his first endeavor with an outside producer (Mark "Spike" Stent), concentrates on collaborations with the likes of Wayne Coyne, Damien Jurado and Inyang Bassey. Innocents also features contributions from Mark Lanegan, Cold Specks and Skylar Grey, who will all be appearing on the Fonda stage. Each night will be divided into two parts: songs from Innocents during the first half and selections from Moby's entire catalog in the second. These shows aren't just the debut of the new tracks, they're the only ones that he's planning to do worldwide in the near future. So, don't miss out!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

L.A. HAVENS - Vista Hermosa Park


100 N. Toluca St., Los Angeles (Westlake)

Many people wouldn't believe that one of the most serene places in Los Angeles could be found nestled between a bunch of apartment buildings, homes, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater and the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center just a few minutes northwest of Downtown. Opened in 2008 by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), Vista Hermosa, which translates to 'beautiful view' in Spanish, provides exactly what its name promises and more.

Part of Vista Hermosa's walking trail
The views of the Downtown skyline are unparalleled during the park's sunrise to sunset hours. You can't really enjoy the skyscrapers from this close in as clean and pleasant atmosphere as Vista Hermosa. It's hard to imagine that the site, full of lush green meadows and native plants like sage, chaparral, manzanita, toyon and deer grass, was once part of the abandoned Los Angeles City Oil Field.

As the first new public park built in the area since 1895, it was designed by Mia Lehrer + Associates with sustainability and conservation in mind. All 10.5 acres of the park act as a self-contained watershed: Every drop of rain is filtered by its meadows and bioswales for collection in the city's underground aquifer or for irrigating the park. The ranger station and restroom buildings have "green" roofs with plants that capture rainwater and provide insulation. There are no lighting fixtures in the restrooms because they're lit by the sun's rays, and the park isn't open after dark.

I found out about the park a few years ago when my son's soccer team practiced on the turf field that is located on the side of the park that faces 1st Street. You can still find me at Vista Hermosa at least once a week, enjoying the Downtown view in peace and quiet on my favorite bench that is perched on a grassy knoll at the far east side of the Upper Field. The park is never that crowded. You'll see people lounging on the grass or walking their dogs on the trail; since the park is next to a high school there will often be high-school couples whispering and holding hands on weekday afternoons.

There are plenty of tables to enjoy a picnic and a waterfall that provides the perfect setting for sitting down to read a book. While you won't find a traditional playground area with a swing set or monkey bars, children can climb and slide down replicas of a giant turtle and snake that were constructed with the help of film studio prop artists.

There is also a grotto amphitheater with rock benches jutting from patches of grass, which is often used for MRCA's educational community programs. Vista Hermosa is the gateway for the Santa Monica Mountains' Transit to Trails program that offers free transit to places like Charmlee Wilderness Park on Oct. 12 or Temescal Gateway Park on Nov. 2. There are also fun events such as Oct. 23's Howl-een at the Moon with campfire songs, roasting marshmallows and stories about local critters like snakes, owls and bats and Nov. 13's Fall Campfire.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Release Tuesday 9/24/13

Sept. 24, 2013


Au Revoir SimoneMove In Spectrums (Instant)
Heather D'Angelo, Erika Forster and Annie Hart return with their fourth album, their first since 2009's Still Night, Still Light. Armed with their keyboards and drum machine, the Brooklyn trio teamed with Violens' Jorge Elbrecht to produce the album and explore edgier territory while staying true to the beautifully layered synth melodies that put them on the map. Stand-out tracks on Move In Spectrums include "Crazy" and "Somebody Who." Make sure to bring your dancing shoes to the Echoplex on Oct. 22, when ladies swing through town.

Deer TickNegativity (Partisan)
The Rhode Island fivesome traveled to Portland, Ore. to record their fifth album with Los Lobos' Steve Berlin, and Negativity is Deer Tick's most personal work yet. It's no wonder, since the album was written over the course of one of frontman John McCauley's most intensely emotional times, with the breaking of a wedding engagement and his father's imprisonment. Although the album is full of the boozy country/punk you would expect from them ("Thyme," "Pot of Gold"), the tracks that tug at your heartstrings, like "Hey Doll," "Big House" and a duet with Vanessa Carlton, "In Our Time," are sheer gold. If you weren't able to score tickets to their Oct. 26 Troubadour show before it sold out, they're playing a free set at noon on Sept. 26 at UCLA and you can see them perform Negativity's second single, "The Dream's in the Ditch," on "Conan" Sept. 25 too.

DrakeNothing Was the Same (Young Money/Cash Money)
I can't help it, I'm obsessed with "Hold On, We're Going Home," the latest single from Drake's third album, which is saying a lot since I find him pretty annoying most of the time. Nothing Was the Same's title misleads listeners a bit into thinking Drake and primary producer Noah "40" Shebib have crafted something new and experimental in the 15 tracks, yet the synth-rich backgrounds for his usual braggadocio and jibes at his exes remain the same. If you already love him, though, you'll treasure the album. His North American tour with Miguel and Future in tow, hits Staples Center on Nov. 25.

Kings of LeonMechanical Bull (RCA)
After releasing five albums and relentlessly touring the world since breaking out of Nashville in 2003, the Followills were supposed to take a few months off to relax at the end of 2011. Yet even during this period in the confines of home, when three of the Kings of Leon became fathers, they completed their sixth studio album. Vocalist/guitarist Caleb admits, "We were all secretly paying attention to what people have been saying about us – our fans and what they wanted to hear. We didn't want songs sounding alike. We wanted songs to be anthemic in a different way than they had been before. We didn't want songs to be all stretched out and reverby; we wanted it a little raw. We wanted it to kind of feel like, at times you're playing with the only amp you have and the only guitar you have and you gotta make it work." They recorded Mechanical Bull in their brand-new studio, housed in a former paint factory, as it was still being built. And as evidenced in the snarling guitars of "Don't Matter," the soaring melodies of "Temple" and the gorgeous "Wait For Me," they achieved what they had orignally set out to do.

Also available – A Skylit Drive's Rise; Andrew St. James' Doldrums; Bleach Blonde's Starving Artist; Buried Beds' In Spirit; Cher's Closer to the Truth; Chvrches' The Bones of What You Believe; Dream Theater's self-titled; Elton John's The Diving Board; The Foreign Exchange's Love in Flying Colors; Frankie Rose's Herein Wild; Ghostpoet's Some Say I So I Say Light; Gov't Mule's Shout!; Guilty Simpson & Small Professor's Highway Robbery; Ha Ha Tonka's Lessons; Heaven's Gate's Transmuting; Huerco S.'s Colonial Patterns; Icona Pop's This Is… Icona Pop; The Internet's Feel Good; Into It. Over It.'s Intersections; INVSN's self-titled; Jesu's Everyday I Get Closer to the Light from Which I Came; Kelley Stoltz's Double Exposure; Krewella's Get Wet; Love Inks' Generation Club; Lovers' A Friend in the World; Matthew Good's Arrows of Desire; Mazzy Star's Seasons of Your Day; Metallica's Through the Never (Music from the Motion Picture); Muscle Shoals soundtrack; Night Beats' Sonic Bloom; Noah and the Whale's Heart of Nowhere; Oh Land's Wishbone; Pink Martini's Get Happy; Promised Land Sound's self-titled; Sammy Hagar's Sammy Hagar & Friends; Sons of the Sea's self-titled; Steel Cranes' Ouroboros; Stewart Eastham's The Man I Once Was; Sting's The Last Ship; Tanya Morgan's Rubber Souls; Touche Amore's Is Survived By; Traams' Grin; Trentemøller's Lost; Veara's Growing Up Is Killing Me


Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (Scribner)
Have you ever wondered what became of young Danny Torrance and his special "shining" ability ("redrum, redrum")? The sequel to the famed author's 1977 horror novel, The Shining, catches up with him as a middle-aged man struggling with addiction to substances that he's used to dull his powers and working at a hospice where he's known as "Doctor Sleep." He encounters Abra, a little girl whose own powers dwarf his, whom he helps to evade a villainous group of travelers seeking to feed off her powers called the True Knot.

Also available – The Chew: What's for Dinner?; Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung; Days of our Lives Better Living by Eddie Campbell; Highly Recommended by Paul M. Rand; How Roland Rolls by Jim Carrey; I'm Too Young for This! by Suzanne Somers; The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri; Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie Sullivan Mayfield; The Round House by Louise Erdrich; Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson; You First by Liane Davey


Film – Directed by Shane Black, Iron Man 3 finds Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) trying to find a way to save everyone he loves as he struggles with internal issues. Also starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley and Rebecca Hall; Jason Statham in Redemption; Room 237 is a documentary that deconstructs Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation of The Shining; Horror anthology V/H/S/2, sequel to V/H/S from last year, includes shorts from directors like Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Eduardo Sánchez and Jason Eisener

TV – 2 Broke Girls: The Complete Second Season; American Dad! Volume Eight; Brain Games: Season 2; Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series; Family Guy: Volume Eleven; Gene Simmons Family Jewels: Final Season; Hannibal: Season One; Hawaii Five-0: The Third Season; Law & Order: SVU - The Fourteenth Year; Modern Family: The Complete Fourth Season; The Neighbors: The Complete First Season; South Park: The Complete Sixteenth Season; Two and a Half Men: The Complete Tenth Season

Music – Black Label Society's Unblackened; Bryan Ferry's Live in Lyon; Cher's Dear Mom, Love Cher; Green Day's Cuatro; Megadeth's Countdown to Extinction: Live; Nirvana's Live and Loud; Smashing Pumpkins' Oceania: Live in NYC

Also available – Aleksandr's Price; Anything Is Possible; Bang the Drum Slowly; Blood of Redemption; Call Me Kuchu; Cody the Robosapien; Dark Girls; Elaine Stritch at Liberty; Fill the Void; Halloween: 35th Anniversary Edition; I Spit on Your Grave 2; Inbred; In the House; The Kings of Summer; My Brother the Devil; One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das; Savannah; Sleeping Beauty: A Gothic Romance; Something in the Air; Unfinished Song

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Events for Sept. 19-25, 2013




Los Angeles Beer Week @ Various locations (citywide)
Happening through Sept. 29, it's actually a bit longer than a week, but I don't think anyone will complain. There are so many events going on, beer lovers in every neighborhood have something to look forward to – from Stone's Kick-Off Celebration at Verdugo Bar tonight and Oinktoberfiesta at Oinkster Saturday to an opening gala at Union Station on Sunday with tastings from all your favorite breweries such as Allagash and Anchor, as well as locals like Angel City, Eagle Rock and the Bruery, and a Musical Beer Crawl in Echo Park on Tuesday evening.


Gunnar Hansen @ Book Soup (West Hollywood)
The actor who played Leatherface in the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is also an acclaimed poet and author. He celebrates next week's release of his new tell-all, Chain Saw Confidential: How We Made the World's Most Notorious Horror Movie, that goes behind the scenes and offers insights into the film. He'll also be signing the book at the Aero tomorrow evening before a screening of the 1974 movie.


Tommy Santee Klaws @ Harvard & Stone (Hollywood)
If you have yet to see the amazing group of musicians perform, you shouldn't miss this show because intimate venues like Harvard & Stone are the ideal settings to see Tommy Santee Klaws really shine. From guitar, violin and upright bass to mandolin, contrabassoon, xylophone and other toys, there isn't an instrument that you won't see on stage with this talented octet, anchored by Tommy's powerful and emotionally gripping vocals. A great time, guaranteed.



In Theaters This Week
Couldn't believe my eyes when I glimpsed Sawyer from "Lost" (Josh Holloway) and "Drake & Josh"'s Josh Peck in a commercial for Battle of the Year, a dance movie that also stars Chris Brown. I support anything that celebrates dance, but… yikes; On the other hand, Prisoners – with Hugh Jackman, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard and Maria Bello as parents of missing girls (and Jake Gyllenhaal as the detective searching for them) – looks awesome; Comedy-drama Enough Said stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener and Toni Collette; Ron Howard directs Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl as rival Formula 1 race car drivers in Rush; Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins and Alecia "P!nk" Moore in Thanks for Sharing. Also in theaters: After Tiller; Blue Caprice; C.O.G.; Generation Iron; Haute Cuisine; IP Man: The Final Fight; Jewtopia; Mademoiselle C; Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve; Mother of George; My Lucky Star; The Short Game; A Single Shot; The Wizard of Oz: An IMAX 3D Experience

Free Dominguez (Brian Bowen Smith)

Free Dominguez @ The Mint (West Los Angeles)
The captivating Kidneythieves frontwoman celebrates the release of her new solo album, Volcano + the Sea. Dominguez's soaring vocals set to pulsating basslines and searing guitars make this the show of the week. Also on the bill are Paz Lenchantin, Sierra Swan and Echocell, and none of them should be missed, either.



Mid-Autumn Moon Festival @ Central & West Plaza & Bamboo Lane (Chinatown)

There's more than just a stack of mooncakes to be be excited for at the 75th annual festival. In addition to exhibits from artisan calligraphers, sculptors, storytellers and magicians, Eddie Lin hosts a culinary stage with cooking demos and a dessert eating challenge. There are performances from dance, acrobatic and martial arts troupes, as well as music from the likes of Victory, Avid Dancer and the Little Ones. Plus, Griffith Observatory is providing telescopes to view the full moon.

Tarfest @ La Brea Tar Pits (Mid-City West)

The 11th annual festival packs so much art, music and culture into six hours, it's incredible. Aside from the live art by Greg "Craola" Simkins, AXIS, William Wray and David O. Johnson and performances from local bands Saint Motel, Nightmare Air, Echosmith, Tapioca and the Flea and Irontom, gourmet food trucks are going to be on hand, Lagunitas hosts a biergarten, there's a poem store and plenty of other activities to keep you busy well after sunset.


Flashdance @ The Aero (Santa Monica)
Can't believe it's the 30th anniversary of the dance movie that was everything to me when I was in grade school. I still love it; whenever it happens to be on TV I can't help but watch, sing-along to and dance to it. American Cinematheque commemorates its anniversary with a special screening and a discussion to follow with director Adrian Lyne and actors Jennifer Beals and Michael Nouri. Now, I'm going to have "What a Feeling" in my head all day.

Aloe Blacc

The Beach Ball Festival @ Santa Monica Pier (Santa Monica)
KCRW presents the first-ever Soul Revue and Reggae Fest, a beachside dance party taking over the pier for two days. Saturday's lineup brings the soul of the weekend with Aloe Blacc (who doesn't love his "Wake Me Up!" collaboration with Avicii and Mike Einziger?), Allen Stone, Maceo Parker, Lee Fields & the Expressions, Myron & E and the Funky Sole DJs. The Reggae festivities on Sunday include Michael Rose of Black Uhuru, Sly and Robbie, the Skatalites, U Roy, Soul Syndicate and the Dub Club Soundsystem.



Radar L.A. @ Various locations (citywide)
This year's festival of contemporary international theater features some incredible productions during its week-long schedule. There's the premiere of David Roussève's "Stardust," a piece that combines dance, music and video; Basil Twist's puppeteering set to music by Yumiko Tanaka in "Dogugaeshi"; and an emotional and thrilling staging of Dennis Cooper's Jerk from director Gisèle Vienne and performer Johnathan Capdevielle  – and those are just three of the 18 productions.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Victory, aka Robert Fleming, at Grand Central Market


At Grand Central Market

317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles (Downtown)

"I grew up in a foodie family. My dad's a restaurant guy, and my mom currently makes wine in Napa. That's partly why I wanted to come here today, because I'm always eating tasty food and like to find new spots," confesses L.A. artist Robert Fleming, who creates music under the name Victory, as we meet in front of the city's oldest and largest public marketplace, Grand Central Market.

Occupying the ground floor of the Homer Laughlin Building since 1917, the Downtown landmark is an indoor bazaar that provides fresh produce, Mexican chiles, Chinese medicines and a plethora of food options to tourists and local shoppers alike. The ever-evolving list of stalls offer everything a well-cultivated palate such as Robert's could hope to experience all under one roof. Whether you're in the mood for lengua tacos from Tacos Tumbras a Tomas, a pork cutlet from Bento Ya or a popsicle from the Sweet Clementine's cart, there's something to satisfy all appetites.

Robert and I grab a table in front of one of Grand Central Market's recent additions, Horse Thief BBQ, to sit in the shade and talk about life in Los Angeles, his Victory Is Music debut full-length and, of course, food. He informs me that GCM's owners are bringing in more artisanal purveyors like Horse Thief to breathe new life to their vendor list. I order a refreshing Arnold Palmer from the Texas-style barbecue joint while Robert opts for his usual from one of his favorite stalls, G&B Coffee, the brainchild of Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski, who met while working together at Intelligentsia.
Victory is coffee addiction - at G&B.

"My studio is Downtown, so I come here a lot, especially for coffee. I'm a coffee nut. G&B just opened [in June]. They were at Sqirl in Silver Lake, and then they started Go Get Em Tiger in Larchmont and this location. They have really good coffee," he says. "I get what's called a Gibraltar or cortado. It's a San Francisco concoction: espresso with steamed milk, less milk than a cappuccino and no foam. It's like a latte but with way less milk."

Although Robert grew up in Phoenix, Ariz., he spent some time in San Francisco where he cultivated an addiction to Gibraltars, as well as the habit of walking around the city, something he has continued to do over the past six years here in Los Angeles.

"I spend my free time eating and romping around town. Day drinking is very fun from time to time," he laughs. "Coming to places like Grand Central Market and exploring, finding out about new restaurants and places – that really is fun for me."

As a Silver Lake resident, some of his favorite neighborhood haunts are Covell, a wine bar in Los Feliz, Bar Stella at Sunset Junction and L&E Oyster Bar on Silver Lake Boulevard. He is also a fan of the Monday-night residencies at the Echo, the Satellite, Silverlake Lounge and Bootleg Bar."

When I notice a black tattoo on his right arm, Robert explains its design.

"It's the different parts of a palm tree, because I love palm trees. I didn't even know what that was [pointing at one of the parts drawn on his arm], then I looked at botanical prints, and now I'll see them around Los Angeles," he tells. "It was done at Incognito in Los Feliz."

Aside from the palm trees, Robert has come to love Los Angeles for all the reasons that most people come up with ("the weather, the good vibes"), but mainly, he likes his fellow Angelenos.

"The people seem so friendly, which sounds funny because you wouldn't imagine that, but people are really accepting. Everyone's so creative, doing cool things and pursuing what they love, which is so inspiring as opposed to growing up in a town where people fall into the trap of doing what they're supposed to do, what they should be doing, like getting a corporate job they don't enjoy. Here, you're around people who are pushing you to do what you like."

Music has always been Robert's passion. At age 11, he got his first guitar and occasionally took lessons or picked through songs using tabs in Guitar World magazine. Then he met his soul mate, a four-track cassette recorder.

"I got was a multitrack cassette recorder when I was in seventh or eighth grade, which, to me, was an instrument in itself because you could layer things. You can record one track – whether it's guitar, some hand claps or a little beat – then you can rewind and hear it while you play something else over it, and that's two tracks. Then, you do it again and again. You're making sounds out of nothing, as opposed to, I've never been a 'sit down and write a song on guitar guy' as much. It's always been with that studio tool, whether it was when I was a kid with a tape recorder or now in my studio with a computer."

Robert thought he would grow up to be a lead guitar player, not a singer or even a songwriter. But one album changed everything for him.

"When I first moved to San Francisco I heard a record by Spoon, Kill the Moonlight, and thought, 'This is an amazing record, but I feel like I could do that.' It made it more approachable because I wasn't listening to Hendrix or Led Zeppelin; there weren't a lot of guitar solos, he [Britt Daniel] doesn't sing using an incredibly huge range like Otis Redding or Al Green. Obviously I could never make that record because it's so fantastic, but it made it more within my reach," he recalls. "I've seen Spoon perform way too many times. I had to consciously stop listening to them just because people have said that they thought my voice or my music sounds like their stuff. I like it so much that I can't help but want to play like it, so I just can't listen to it anymore. "

After finishing our drinks, we start walking through the market. We pass stalls loaded with fruits and vegetables as we make our way to another of GCM's vendors that Robert frequently visits, Sticky Rice. He points out that the Thai street-food booth only uses free-range and organic ingredients to prepare its menu items, like the Gai Yang (barbecue chicken) and Khao Mon Gai (Thai Hainan Chicken), which he recommends as a must-try dish.

The list of must-try's gets even longer when we end up at one of his favorite vendors, Valerie at GCM. An offshoot of Valerie Confections, the GCM location serves all the scrumptious desserts and pastries the bakery has become known for in addition to sandwiches and salads. Robert often stops at the stall on the way to his studio for a breakfast sandwich with ham that he's dubbed 'The Allison' in honor of the server who usually prepares it for him.
Victory is sweet – at Valerie at GCM.

After his Kill the Moonlight epiphany, Robert began focusing on his songwriting. But the path to Victory wasn't a quick and easy one.

"I was very lazy and a procrastinator for the better part of my musical career. I had always been a studio musician and had a hard time finishing stuff. I was scatterbrained with a bunch of ideas, snippets of songs, but never finished anything. When I was approaching 27, the age when all my idols died – Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison (the 27 Club) – I was like, 'I haven't put anything out. I haven't finished anything. I'm useless.' I had to finish something and that was what became my Demonstrations EP," he says. "I called it Victory because I finally did it. I also wanted something really positive because music's so fun. It should be upbeat and happy – that's ideal for me."

So in 2011, he launched Victory with a seven-song EP, Demonstrations, that he created in his bedroom. He started to play at venues around town, building a following with his unique brand of rock 'n' roll that blends electronic bleeps and piercing guitars with the cheer of 1960s pop and Robert's own cheeky playfulness. He released a full-length in April, Victory Is Music, that he wrote and recorded from scratch in his bedroom and Downtown studio, with Joey Waronker (Beck, Elliott Smith, Lisa Germano) contributing drum tracks for six of the songs and Grammy-winning producer Chris Testa (Neko Case, Paul Simon, Jimmy Eat World) assuming mixer duties.

Whether you're listening to the infectious single "This, That or This," acoustic "Dirty Jeans" or buzzing "Play It" (which appears in a Cadillac XTS commercial), Victory Is Music is guaranteed to become your new addiction with just one listen. The songs either include hand claps or induce them, encourage dancing alone in your bedroom or with someone who catches your eye in the bar, and mainly just make you smile.

"Music should be fun. People get into it for different reasons, but music, to me, has always been so fun. I hate it when people are so pretentious about it," he says. "That's not to say that I don't take my craft seriously, but overall, everything – life, people – is so funny. We should all just be laughing and dancing."

Victory Is Music is currently available. Victory performs Sept. 21 at the Chinatown Moon Festival, Sept. 29 at Abbot Kinney Festival and Oct. 5 at the Mint. For more information, visit

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

New Release Tuesday 9-17-13

Sept. 17, 2013


The DarcysWarring (Arts & Crafts)
The Toronto foursome's latest is the culmination of over three years of writing and six months in the studio with producer Tom Mcfall (Stars, Bloc Party) and mixer Dave Schiffman (Vampire Weekend, System of a Down) and is the final installment in a trilogy of albums for Arts & Crafts that includes their 2011 self-titled debut and last year's tribute to Steely Dan's Aja. From the soaring vocals of "Hunting" and infectious beats of "Horses Fell" to lead single "The River," Warring pulsates with beauty. The art rockers' ability to create sonic masterpieces layered with various textures is guaranteed to keep your ears happy and busy for many months to come.

Elvis Costello and The RootsWise Up Ghost (Blue Note)

What at first might seem like an odd pairing, the collaboration between the legendary singer-songwriter and the amazing hip-hop/soul band makes sense. The Roots have proven their ability to match musical wits with a variety of guests on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," and Costello has dabbled in many genres throughout his 36-year career. With Wake Up Ghost, they create a new brand of cool that bursts every track, from openers "Walk Us Uptown" and "Sugar Won't Work" to "(She Might Be a) Grenade" and "Viceroy's Row."

The Goldberg SistersStranger's Morning (Apology Music)
Most of the world knows of Adam Goldberg from his roles in Dazed and Confused and Saving Private Ryan or as the writer/director of films such as Scotch and Milk, but as evidenced by the score for his 2003 film I Love Your Work and 2009 LANDy album, he is also an accomplished musician. Currently he creates music under the moniker of the Goldberg Sisters, with his imaginary twin sister Celeste as songwriter and him playing all of the instruments. Stranger's Morning, his sophomore effort as the Goldberg Sisters, was born from his visual and aural outlet over the past three years (his Tumblr blog) and the psychedelic 14 tracks are definitely reminiscent of the Beatles' later years.

GrouploveSpreading Rumours (Canvasback/Atlantic)
It's hard to believe that it has been two years since the New York/L.A. quintet released their debut; maybe because Never Trust a Happy Song's hit "Tongue Tied" is still in heavy rotation on the radio. "Ways to Go," the lead single from their sophomore effort that releases today, is just as infectious. You'll find yourself dancing to every track (even the slower ones) on Spreading Rumours, which was produced by the band's drummer, Ryan Rabin. They play sold-out shows tonight at the Troubadour and tomorrow at Hollywood Forever's Masonic Lodge.

MGMT – Self-titled (Columbia)

Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden return with a third effort, a self-titled album that could perhaps gives us the most honest glimpse into the duo's inner songwriters. While 2010's Congratulations was largely a reaction to the massive success of their Oracular Spectacular, they've taken the subsequent years to craft MGMT and continue to display eccentric electronic beeps and blips paired with dreamy vocals on this album. Make sure to check out the video for "Cool Song No. 2," starring "Boardwalk Empire"'s Michael K. Williams who plays a character more akin to his Omar role from "The Wire."

The Naked and FamousIn Rolling Waves (Republic)
If you love "Young Blood," then you will continue to take delight in the Naked and Famous. Although the Kiwi fivesome relocated from Auckland to Laurel Canyon last year to write their second album, the famed neighborhood's sound doesn't find its way onto the effort. In Rolling Waves is full of the electro-tinged rock anthems that made you love them in the first place: "The Mess," the gorgeous "Hearts Like Ours" and "I Kill Giants." Remarkably, their Sept. 27 show at the Wiltern hasn't sold out yet, so get your tickets ASAP.

Also available – Ajnabi's self-titled; American Sharks' self-titled; Avicii's True; The Band in Heaven's Caught in a Summer Swell; Bill Callahan's Dream River; Billy Currington's We Are Tonight; The Blind Shake's Key to a False Door; The Bloody Beetroots' Hide; Chris Young's A.M.; Clear Soul Forces' Gold PP7's; The Cloak Ox's Shoot the Dog; Cloud Control's Dream Cave; Crystal Stilts' Nature Noir; The Devil Wears Prada's 8:18; The Dirtbombs' Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka-Blooey; Factory Floor's self-titled; Five for Fighting's Bookmarks; The Flatliners' Dead Language; GWAR's Battle Maximus; Islands' Ski Mask; Jack Johnson's From Here to Now to You; Johnathan Rice's Good Graces; Justin Moore's Off the Beaten Path; Keep Shelly in Athens' At Home; Lori Lieberman's Bricks Against the Glass; Mark Lanegan's Imitations; Mark Pickerel & His Praying Hands' Tess; Maybach Music Group's Self Made Vol 3; The Mission's The Brightest Light; Moonstone Continuum's Salon Edition; múm's Smilewound; Nightmares on Wax's Feelin Good; Pillars & Tongues' End-dances; Placebo's Loud Like Love; Potty Mouth's Hell Bent; Royal Bangs' Brass; The Sadies' Internal Sounds; Said the Whale's hawaii; Saroos' Return; Sebadoh's Defend Yourself; SISU's Blood Tears; Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin's Fly By Wire; Stray from the Path's Anonymous; Susanna and Ensemble neoN's The Forester; Todd Clouser's Man With No Country; Tony Joe White's Hoodoo; Windhand's Soma; Yoko Ono & Plastic Ono Band's Take Me to the Land of Hell


Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir by Linda Ronstadt (Simon & Schuster)
The amazing folk-country-rock singer stunned the world when she announced that she has Parkinson's disease last month, such a tragic loss of one of music's greatest voices. Her memoir, named after her No. 1 album from 1977, doesn't touch on her illness, though. In it, she takes a look back at her 45-year career, from her happy childhood in Arizona and moving to Los Angeles as a teenager to pursue her dreams to her years with the Stone Poneys and as a one of the most successful female artists of the 1970s.

Also available – Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon; Command and Control by Eric Schlosser; Deadly Heat by Richard Castle; Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman; Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD; The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks; Looptail by Bruce Poon Tip; Michael Vey 3 by Richard Paul Evans; The Quest by Nelson DeMille; Reign of Error by Diane Ravitch; Roy G. Biv by Jude Stewart; Slow Getting Up by Nate Jackson; The System by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian; Thankless in Death by J.D. Robb; The Walking Dead: Book Nine by Charlie Adlard; Wonder Women by Debora L. Spar


Film – Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, The Kite Runner) directs Brad Pitt and "The Killing"'s Mireille Enos in the adaptation of Max Brooks' post-apocalyptic zombie horror novel, World War Z; The Bling Ring, inspired by the actual Hollywood Hills Burglar Bunch, is directed by Sofia Coppola and stars Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, Emma Watson, Claire Julien and Taissa Farmiga; Disconnect stars Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Paula Patton, Andrea Riseborough and Alexander Skarsgård

TV – Arrow: The Complete First Season; Bates Motel: Season One; Behind the Candelabra; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The 13th Season; Grimm: Season Two; Leverage: The Fifth Season; The Mentalist: The Complete Fifth Season; Nashville: The Complete First Season; Vegas: The DVD Edition

Music – 12-12-12 the Concert for Sandy Relief; Peter Gabriel's Live in Athens 1987

Also available – 1st Night; Aberration; After All These Years; All's Fair in Love and Advertising; Anjelah Johnson: The Homecoming Show; A Big Love Story; Bless Me, Ultima; Breakout; The Crying Dead; Death By VHS; Drift; The East; Easy Rider: The Ride Back; Eyes of the Woods; Gimme the Loot; Greetings from Tim Buckley; The Haunting of Helena; Hidden in the Woods; I Don't Know How She Does It; In the Fog; Java Heat; The Last Tycoon; Muirhouse; Paranormal Asylum; Scenic Route; Self Storage; Shanghai Calling; Showgirls 2: Penny's From Heaven; Simon Killer; Somm; Suddenly; Universal; War of the Buttons; The We and the I

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Events for Sept. 12-18, 2013




Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons @ Barnes & Noble (The Grove)
The rock legends teamed with author Ken Sharp for Nothin' to Lose: The Making of KISS (1972-1975). The book draws from more than 200 interviews with the band, their staff, producers, club owners and promoters, rock photographers and journalists, as well as musical contemporaries such as Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Iggy & the Stooges and Bob Seger, to document KISS' formative years. It offers an intimate look at all the ups and downs on their path to superstardom. Simmons and Stanley will sign copies of the book tonight at the Grove.


Lovelife @ El Rey Theatre (Mid-City West)
Get set for the weekend on the dance floor tonight at the El Rey. Londoners Lee Newell and Ally Young spent half of last year in New York, garnering praise from the likes of Under the Radar, Noisey and Entertainment Weekly for their self-produced Eps, El Regreso and The Fourth Floor. The duo pays the west coast a visit in anticipation of their third EP, Stateless, releasing Oct. 1. If you can't catch tonight's show, Lovelife return to SoCal in support of the Neighbourhood Nov. 1 at the Observatory in Santa Ana.



Lobster Fest @ Ports O'Call Village (San Pedro)
Since 1999, International Lobster Festivals has produced this celebration of all things lobster for the Port of Los Angeles. Strap on your plastic bib to prepare for the three-day event that offers $20 lobster meals, arts and crafts and vendor booths, the Pirate Camp sideshow and live performances from Big Black Delta, Sad Robot, Dead Sara, Deap Vally and the English Beat.


Friday the 13th Mini Marathon @ The Aero (Santa Monica)
Since it's Friday the 13th, American Cinematheque is paying tribute to the horror franchise by screening the first four installments of the series: the 1980 original, Friday the 13th Part 2 from the following year, 1982's Part III and The Final Chapter (1984) with Corey Feldman. There will also be costume and trivia contests with great prizes and a discussion hosted by

In Theaters This Week
The Family stars Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianna Agron and John D'Leo as a mafia family who enters the witness protection program and moves to France; Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne reunite with director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannel for Insidious: Chapter 2; Jayne Mansfield's Car, written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton, is an ensemble drama set in the 1960s with John Hurt, Kevin Bacon and Robert Duvall; Kate Bosworth in And While We Were Here. Also in theaters: Fire in the Blood; Grand Masti; Harry Dean Stanton: Party Fiction; Informant; The Muslims Are Coming!; Sample This; A Strange Brand of Happy; Touchy Feely; Wadjda



Ramen Yokocho Fest @ The Cultural Arts Center (Torrance)
Thankfully the temperature has cooled so that a bowl of steaming-hot noodles actually sounds appetizing right now, and if you're a sucker for ramen then you probably already know about this first-ever festival. Admission and parking are free to what promises to be the largest ramen show in the country, with $8 ramen from some of Los Angeles' finest: Daikokuya x Ninben, Ikemen, Silverlake Ramen (who serve my favorite vegetable ramen), Gomaichi, Jidaiya and Iroha, among others. If you're still hungry, Tsujita will offer nigiri sushi and Hannosuke will be dishing up their Jonathan Gold-approved tendon.


Mad Decent Block Party @ L.A. Center Studios (Westlake)
Every year the party gets bigger and bigger. This year's players include Diplo with Major Lazer, Matt & Kim, Big Gigantic, Clockwork, the Partysquad, Samo Sound Boy, Sasha Go Hard, DJ El Dusty and Liz. The fun runs from noon to 8 p.m., and make sure to drink plenty of water beforehand, because you're definitely going to work up a sweat dancing all day long.



The Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival @ Verizon Wireless (Irvine)
Funny or Die presents this new comedy tour that's been crossing the country with Dave Chappelle, Flightof the Conchords, Al Madrigal, Chris D'Elia, Demetri Martin, Hannibal Buress, Jim Jefferies, John Mulaney and Kristen Schaal. Although most eyes will no doubt be on Chappelle, I've seen the Conchords a few times and they are definitely not to be missed. There will also be plenty of street performers, vendors, psychics and tasty treats to occupy your time as well.


Fried Chicken Festival @ Lot 613 (Downtown Arts District)
Food GPS is throwing another afternoon dedicated to one of my absolute favorite foods. For $55 you get craft beer from Firestone Walker, specifically their Union Jack, Pale 31 and Solace brews, desserts from McConnell's Fine Ice Creams and Sugarbloom Bakery, side dishes and, of course, fried chicken from chefs Susan Feniger (STREET), David LeFevre (M.B. Post), Daniel Mattern & Roxana Jullapat (Cooks County), Jason Neroni (Superba Snack Bar), Bryant Ng (The Spice Table), Chris Oh (Seoul Sausage), Matt Poley (Heirloom LA), Eduardo Ruiz (Corazon y Miel), Ernesto Uchimura (Plan Check) and Ricardo Zarate (Picca).



"The Wizard of Oz" @ Pantages (Hollywood)
The classic musical is revived in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production, complete with new songs from the composer and longtime collaborator, lyricist Tim Rice. If you've never seen the stage production, then now's your chance to enjoy all the beloved songs and characters come to life in front of your eyes.



Aisha Tyler @ Book Soup (West Hollywood)
The comedian, actress and "The Talk" cohost is also an author. She follows up her 2004 debut, Swerve: Reckless Observations of a Post-Modern Girl, with Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation, which released in July. In the book, which was named for the popular segment of her "Girl on Guy" podcast, she shares brutally honest, and hilarious, tales from her standup career that have shaped her into the strong woman she is today.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

STREET SIGNS - The Guardian

The Guardian is one of my favorite murals in the Branded Arts complex at 8810 Washington Boulevard in Culver City. The piece, a collaboration between Downey's Bumblebee and San Francisco's Zio Ziegler, faces National Boulevard and is best seen from above while standing on the Metro platform. A sweet girl wearing a floral dress in Bumblebee's trademark yellow-and-black color palette stares at passerby as her guardian, painted by Ziegler, is enchanted by a plucked flower of the same variety that appears on her dress.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Release Tuesday 9/10/13

Sept. 10, 2013


Arctic MonkeysAM (Domino)
Much has changed for the English foursome since the release of their last album, 2011's Suck It and See. Most notably, their relocation to Los Angeles last year. They recorded their fifth album at Sage & Sound and Rancho De La Luna, and the atmospheres of both SoCal studios had a definite impact on the 12 tracks that appear on AM. The album is their strongest yet and features guest work from Josh Homme, Pete Thomas and Bill Ryder Jones. They catch your ear from the get-go – a drum machine blends with snarling guitar riffs in opener "Do I Wanna Know?," you'll be hooked on "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?" upon first listen and "No. 1 Party Anthem" will have you swaying along to Alex Turner's vocals. Catch the new songs, along with your older favorites, when Arctic Monkeys takeover the Wiltern for three nights later this month (Sept. 29 & 30 and Oct. 1).

GoldfrappTales of Us (Mute)
My love for Alison Goldfrapp (one of music's best frontwomen, alongside Karen O.) and Will Gregory has no bounds, and they continue to entrance with their sixth album. Each track on Tales of Us is named in the first person – except for "Stranger" – and presents a suspenseful, romantic and/or dreamy narrative that surrounds characters such as "Jo," "Thea" and "Laurel" The duo weave the tales with their haunting synthesizers intertwined with Alison's gorgeous vocals for a cinematic album that inspired a film from Lisa Gunning that will screen in theaters later this year.

Holy Ghost!Dynamics (DFA)
If you don't find yourself breaking into dance whenever a song from Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel comes on, then there is seriously something wrong with you. The Brooklyn duo have been making music together since second grade and follow-up their critically acclaimed 2011 self-titled debut with Dynamics, which not only refers to their focus on contrast with the album but the songs' lyrical content (dealing with the dynamics of relationships) as well. Millhiser says, "I'm trying to make music that makes me as unabashedly giddy as music made me when I was a kid," and tracks like"Dumb Disco Ideas," "Changing of the Guard" and "It Must Be the Weather" successfully capture the feel of 1980s electro-pop to a T. They were just here for FYF Fest last month, and they'll be back for a show at the Fonda on Oct. 20.

Janelle MonáeThe Electric Lady (Bad Boy/Wondaland)
Ms. Robinson just wowed the New York Fashion Week crowd at Rebecca Minkoff's runway show the other day, performing an energetic set sporting her trademark pompadour and black-and-white threads. Her unique style is felt throughout her sophomore effort, which was inspired by her own dreams and experiences, as well as the stories of groundbreaking women like Dorothy Dandridge, Sally Ride and Cindi Mayweather. She teams with an impressive cast of collaborators, including Prince ("Given Em What They Love"), Erykah Badu ("Q.U.E.E.N."), Solange ("Electric Lady"), Miguel ("Primetime") and Esperanza Spalding ("Dorothy Dandrige Eyes"). Monáe embarks on a North American tour next month, which stops at Club Nokia on Nov. 2.

The WeekndKiss Land (XO/Republic)
Abel Tesfaye's 2012 mixtape series, Trilogy, went platinum, and expectations for his debut studio album are just as high. The Canadian artist-producer, who reminds me of Maxwell both in appearance and smooth falsetto, breathes new life into the R&B world with Kiss Land. Although his work will never be for everyone, you can't deny the innovation behind his dark yet pretty, captivating cuts such as "Belong to the World," "Live For" featuring Drake and "Tears in the Rain." He'll be in town next week for a two-night stand (Sept. 16 and 17) at the Greek.

Also available – 2 Chainz' B.O.A.T.S. II #MeTime; The Albertans' Dangerous Anything; Balance and Composure's The Things We Think Are Missing; The Black Watch's The End of When; Body Language's Grammar; Body/Head's Coming Apart; Covenant's Leaving Babylon; Delorean's Apar; Drew Price's Bermuda Triangle; Earth, Wind and Fire's Now, Then & Forever; Emiliana Torrini's Tookah; Farewell, My Love's Gold Tattoos; Forest Fire's Screens; George Jones' Amazing Grace; Gipsy Kings' Savor Flamenco; Gloria Estefan's The Standards; Human Parts' self-titled; JD Eicher & The Goodnights' Into Place; J. Roddy Walston & The Business' Essential Tremors; Jessy Lanza's Pull My Hair Back; Joanna Gruesome's Weird Sister; Kaskade's Atmosphere; Keith Urban's Fuse; London Grammar's If You Wait; Man Man's On Oni Pond; Mark Knopfler's Privateering; Miniboone's self-titled; Ministry's From Beer to Eternity; Minus the Bear's Acoustics II; Moon Taxi's Mountain Beaches Cities; Moving Mountains' self-titled; Obits' Bed & Bugs; Sam Cash & The Romantic Dogs' Stand Together, Fall Together; Sheryl Crow's Feels Like Home; The Starfolk's self-titled; The Stepkids' Troubadour; Terry Malts' Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere; Trombone Shorty's Say That to Say This; Two Cow Garage's The Death of the Self-Preservation Society; Willis Earl Beal's Nobody Knows


Film – Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Zoe Saldana reprise their roles in Star Trek Into Darkness, J.J. Abrams' second installment of the series' revival, and are joined by the fabulous Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan; Blood, with Paul Bettany, Mark Strong and Brian Cox; National Geographic photographer James Balog captures the disappearances of the world's glaciers in Chasing Ice, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song for "Before My Time," performed by Scarlett Johansson and Joshua Bell; Wish You Were Here stars Joel Edgerton and Teresa Palmer

TV – Army Wives: The Complete Seventh Season; The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Sixth Season; Blue Bloods: The Third Season; Castle: The Complete Fifth Season; Chicago Fire: Season One; Hell's Kitchen Season 9; Homeland: The Complete Second Season; It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season Eight; The League: Season Four; Luther 3; Mary and Martha; Parade's End; Phil Spector; Supernatural: The Complete Eighth Season

Music – Bryan Adams' Live at Sydney Opera House; Madonna's The MDNA Tour

Also available – Andre Gregory: Before and After Dinner; Astronaut: The Last Push; The Black Waters of Echo's Pond; Blue Dream; The Contractor; The Corrupted; Delete; Frankenstein's Army; Hammer of the Gods; How Sweet It Is; Last Keepers; Lizzie; Love Is All You Need; Mole Man of Belmont Avenue; Our Wild Hearts; Ping Pong; Radio Unnameable; Sisters & Brothers; Slip & Fall; Three Worlds; Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas - 20th Anniversary Edition; Tyler Perry Presents Peeples; War Witch; We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks; Zombie Exs

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Events for Sept. 5-11, 2013


D.H. Peligro


D.H. Peligro @ Book Soup (West Hollywood)

The explosive Dead Kennedys and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer discusses and signs copies of his memoir, Dreadnaught: King of Afropunk, which releases in paperback Sept. 17. The punk legend offers an intimate glimpse into his childhood in a St. Louis ghetto, his years in San Francisco with Dead Kennedys and in Los Angeles with the Chili Peppers, as well as his battles with drug and alcohol abuse.


Robert Walter's 20th Congress @ The Mint (West Los Angeles)
The revered organist, keyboardist and founding member of the Greyboy Allstars is also an accomplished film composer, working on the scores for projects like Bridesmaids, Bad Teacher and "New Girl" with Michael Andrews. He started Robert Walter's 20th Congress in the late 1990s, and they just unveiled their first new album in 10 years, Get Thy Bearings. To celebrate the release, the band performs tonight at the Mint.



In Theaters This Week
Hell Baby, from the hilarious team of Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, stars Rob Corddry and Leslie Bibb; Vin Diesel reprises his role as the title character of Riddick, the third installment of the sci-fi/action series; Shane Salerno's documentary that delves into the life of J.D. Salinger; Jennifer Hudson is Winnie Mandela as she falls in love with Nelson (Terrence Howard), works by his side and tirelessly during his imprisonment. Also in theaters: 99% The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film; Best Kept Secret; Dead Before Dawn 3D; Good Ol' Freda; My Father and the Man in Black; Our Nixon; Out of the Clear Blue Sky; Populaire; Shuddh Desi Romance; Snake & Mongoo$e; The Ultimate Life


Gold Fields @ Troubadour (West Hollywood)
The Australian quintet's very first North American headline tour makes a stop at the Troubadour in support of their debut, Black Sun, which released in February via Astralwerks. Upon the album's release, Billboard and MTV named the synth-pop group as Artist to Watch, and they garnered praise from the likes of Rolling Stone, Alternative Press and The New York Times. It's easy to see what all the buzz is about with just one listen of tracks such as "Dark Again," "Treehouse" and "Happy Boy."

ZZ Ward
ZZ Ward @ House of Blues (West Hollywood)
If you're in the mood for something a bit more bluesy, then ZZ Ward is the woman for you. Growing up in rural Oregon, she started performing with her father's blues band when she was 13. Her love of hip-hop and rap led to singing hooks for local rappers at underground clubs in Eugene, and there are definite hints of R&B, soul and the blues in her songs. She just released the 365 Days EP with alternate versions of tracks like "Blue Eyes Blind" and "Move Like You Stole It" from her debut album, last year's Til the Casket Drops, which featured appearances from Kendrick Lamar and Freddie Gibbs. Surely the night holds a few of those special versions in store for the crowd at HOB.



All About Eve @ Hollywood Forever (Hollywood)
Cinespia hosts a screening of the Joseph L. Mankiewicz classic. The film won the Oscar for Best Picture, as well as the awards for Best Supporting Actor, Costume Design, Director, Screenplay and Sound, but will always be remembered for Bette Davis' performance as Margo Channing. Whether you've never seen it or watched it 20 times, it's always a special treat to see it an atmosphere that only Cinespia can provide.


Fifth Annual Good Food Pie Contest @ LACMA (Mid-City West)

I can't believe it's been five years since my amazing baker of a little sister competed in the first contest. If you're a home cook, professional pastry chef or just a pie lover, there is so much fun to be had at the annual KCRW event. Tasting of the record-breaking 347 pies entered in the contest begins at 2 p.m. in the categories of fruit, nut, cream/chiffon/silk, savory, vegan and LACMA art-inspired pie. Judges such as Moby, Jonathan Gold, Gustavo Arellano, Susan Feniger, Karen Hatfield and Valerie Gordon select the winners, while Even Kleiman presides over all the festivities.

Chase and Status

Rock the Bells @ San Manuel Amphitheater (San Bernardino)
The festival celebrates its 10-year anniversary with dates in San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and New York, kicking off with a two-day event here in San Bernardino. Saturday's lineup includes Kid Cudi, KRS ONE, A-Trak, Common, Chase & Status, Talib Kweli, Pusha T, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Tech N9ne, Jurassic 5 and Immortal Technique. There are performances from Wu Tang Clan, Girl Talk, J Cole, E-40 & Too Short, Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh and Dilated Peoples on Sunday. In addition, many of the artists will be doing VIP meet and greets throughout the weekend.



ABBA Fest @ Hollywood Bowl (Hollywood)
If you didn't catch the video of voice coach Sarah Horn being randomly selected from the Hollywood Bowl audience to get up onstage and sing a duet of "For Good" with Kristin Chenoweth last week, then please go watch it now. She blew the entire venue away with her pipes, including a stunned Chenoweth, and is going to perform as a special guest at the Bowl's celebration of the Swedish pop group. Horn also acts as judge for an ABBA-Cappella sing-off between three of the area's best collegiate groups, Chapman University's SoundCheck, UCLA's the Scattertones and USC's the SoCal VoCals, with versions of ABBA hits such as "Take a Chance on Me," "Money, Money, Money" and "Does Your Mother Know." The evening is capped off with a performance from tribute band, ABBA, The Concert.



On An On, Hands @ The Satellite (Silver Lake)
Midwest trio, On An On, swing through Los Angeles in support of their debut, Give In, which released at the beginning of the year. Your body will have no problem immediately giving in to the call of their airy synths and pulsating drums and just letting loose. Make sure to visit their merch booth to pick up a copy of their new cassette with covers of Hot Chip's "Boy From School" and Björk's "Unison." Los Angeles' Hands – who were named as one of TIME Magazine's 11 Bands You Don't Know (But Should) List – offer support, armed with the energetic tracks from their debut, Synethesia.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

STREET SIGNS - UniWolfCheetah

This UniWolfCheetah (unicorn-wolf-cheetah) was originally created by Venice-based actress/artist Diana Garcia as part of her I'm Not a Wolf series, representing the freedom to "Be What You Dream." Garcia and partner Gregory Rogove's dream of opening a new organic cereal and milk (grass-fed whole, almond or coconut) café is being realized thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. Their takeaway restaurant, Another Kind of Sunrise, will be opening soon at 1629 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, which is just a few blocks from where she placed UniWolfCheetah on the Milwood Avenue wall of Gjelina (1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd.). I can't wait to see the new mural Garcia created with musician/artist Brandon Boyd inside Another Kind of Sunrise's courtyard.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New Release Tuesday 9/3/13

SEPT. 3, 2013


Ariana GrandeYours Truly (Republic)

The Nickelodeon star has become such a popular radio presence that it's hard to believe her debut album is only being released today. Its lead single, "The Way" (featuring Mac Miller), has been in rotation for months, garnering Grande's breathy, soaring vocals plenty of Mariah Carey comparisons, and, thanks to pre-ordering, Yours Truly has already reached No. 1 on the iTunes Pop Chart. Grande hit the studio with the likes of Harmony Samuels and Babyface, and the album features more guest appearances from Big Sean, Nathan Sykes from the Wanted and Mika. Her pipes are more than strong enough to stand on their own, though, unlike some of the other artists in her manager Scooter Braun's stable. With tracks like "Tattooed Heart and "Piano," Grande proves her immense voice will allow her to go the distance. See what I mean when you hear her perform live Sept. 9 at Club Nokia.

John LegendLove in the Future (Columbia)
Seriously, who doesn't love John Legend? The nine-time Grammy winner releases his fourth album, his first solo effort in five years. After collaborating with the Roots for 2010's Wake Up!, Legend became engaged, and Love in the Future definitely has a romantic air, with themes of love, marriage and commitment in songs like "The Beginning…," "All of Me" and "You & I." You can feel the touch of executive producer Kanye West in the pulsating beats of "Made to Love," "Who Do We Think We Are" and "Save the Night," while Legend's vocals and piano skills soar on "Open Your Eyes" and "Dreams." He collaborates with Q-Tip on "Tomorrow" and also covers Bobby Caldwell's "Open Your Eyes" and Anita Baker's "Angel."

Neko CaseThe Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You (ANTI-)
Now, that is some title. While the singer-songwriter's last effort, 2009's Middle Cyclone, explored the power of nature, for this new album, her sixth, she turned her focus inward as she settled into her new home, a 100-acre farm in rural Vermont, got a couple of tattoos, read Moby-Dick for the first time and dealt with depression and the grief of her parents' and grandmother's deaths. From the rocking "Man" to a gorgeous cover of Nico's "Afraid" and the stark "Where Did I Leave That Fire," Case gives a glimpse into her emotions at the time and remains hopeful in "Ragtime." She performs as part of the Way Over Yonder Festival at the Santa Monica Pier on Oct. 5.

Nine Inch NailsHesitation Marks (Columbia)
I don't think I need to say to persuade die-hard NIN fans to purchase Hesitation Marks beyond reiterating the fact that it's the first collection of works from the band in five years. In the meantime, Trent Reznor released two albums with How to Destroy Angels, composed for a video game, The Social Network (which he won an Oscar for) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as well as contributing vocals to Queens of the Stone Age's latest, …Like Clockwork. Perhaps all of the time that's passed has brought forth a bit of a changed man, as there is markedly less screaming vocals on the album. Don't get me wrong, though, there is plenty of angst and aggression within and just under the surface of the 14 tracks, which feature guitar work from the great Lindsey Buckingham. For those who weren't lucky enough to have scored tickets to tonight's special release show at the Troubadour via the raffle that took place this morning, don't fret: The band returns to Los Angeles for a date at the Staples Center on Nov. 8.

Also available – 14KT's Nickel & Dimed; Acoustic Syndicate's Rooftop Garden; Caged Animals' In the Land of Giants; Califone's Stitches; Celestial Shore's 10x; Chelsea Wolfe's Pain Is Beauty; Eklipse's Electric Air; Glasvegas' Later… When the TV Turns to Static; Grooms' Infinity Caller; Holograms' Forever; Jackson and His Computerband's Glow; Jonathan Rado's Law and Order; The Julie Ruin's Run Fast; Kathleen Hanna's Run Fast; King Khan & The Shrines' Idle No More; Lonnie Holley's Keeping a Record of It; Mutiny's Funk Road; My Ticket Home's Strangers Only; Natalia Kills' Trouble; Nedelle Torrisi's self-titled; North Mississippi Allstars' World Boogie Is Coming; Okkervil River's The Silver Gymnasium; Pink Frost's Sundowning; RDGLDGRN's self-titled; Richard Buckner's Surrounded; Ryuichi Sakamoto and Taylor Deupree's Disappearance; The Safety Fire's Mouth of Swords; Shreddy Krueger's The Grieving; Surf City's We Knew It Was Not Going to Be Like This; Sweet Relief III: Pennies from Heaven compilation; TV Ghost's Disconnect; Violent Soho's Hungry Ghost (out Sept. 6); Volcano Choir's Repave; War Generation's Start Somewhere Never Surrender; World's Fair's Bastards of the Party; Youth Code's self-titled


Film – Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco are magicians/bank robbers being pursued by an FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo) and an Interpol agent (Mélanie Laurent) in Now You See Me; Colin Firth stars as a middle-aged man who is so unfulfilled in his life that he assumes a new identity, Arthur Newman, and embarks on a cross-country trip that leads him to "Mike" (Emily Blunt); Julianne Moore, Michael Angarano, Greg Kinnear, Lily Collins and Nathan Lane in The English Teacher; The always-brilliant Michael Shannon is The Iceman, which also stars Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, Chris Evans, James Franco and David Schwimmer

TV – Cake Boss: Season 5; Criminal Minds: The Eighth Season; Da Vinci's Demons: The Complete First Season; Haven: The Complete Third Season; It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season Eight; The League: Season Four; The Office: Season Nine; Parks and Recreation: Season Five; Person of Interest: Season Two; Revolution: The Complete First Season; Scandal: The Complete Second Season; Sharknado; Spartacus: War of the Damned - The Complete Third Season; The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Fourth Season
Music –
Joan Baez's Golden Hits: Live Collection; Madonna: Goddess of Pop; The Smashing Pumpkins' Oceania: Live in NYC; Song of the South: Duane Allman and the Rise of the Allman Brothers Band

Also available – Beyond the Walls; Blancanieves; Cockneys Vs. Zombies; Empire State; Evocateur: Morton Downey Jr. Movie; Extracted; From Up on Poppy Hill; Fun Size; Hells Angels on Wheels; Hope for Love; I Do; The Lords of Salem; Mulan: Rise of a Warrior; Petunia; Scavengers; Slightly Single in LA; Somm; Stories We Tell; The Theatre Bizarre; Violeta Went to Heaven; What If…?