By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
Political graphics of a more politic sort will be on display at Impolitic, a gallery of opinionated art, 2665 Main St. in Santa Monica. From 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, August 13, the gallery is throwing a party to celebrate the works of editorial cartoonists, including Pulitzer Prize winners Paul Conrad and Michael Ramirez, as well as current op-ed-page rage Jack Ohman and Santa Monica‘s own Tony Peyser.
Back to dancing: For the last seven years, an amorphous band of pagans, goddess-worshipers and all-around good people who call themselves ”Moontribe“ have been clandestinely caravaning out to the desert on full moons to scratch up records and dance until dawn. But as of its seventh anniversary this June, the Moontribe secret seems to be out; Moontribe, in fact, has cracked the establishment code. Los Angeles boasts a Moontribe-adjacent mayoral candidate (Francis DellaVecchia), Bureau of Land Management rangers have been invited in to groove to the beat, and people affiliated with Moontribe have managed to secure a permit from the city for a four-day party in MacArthur Park. From Monday through Thursday, August 14 through 17, DanceSafe, Right To Dance and Moontribe are cooperating to produce ”Four Days of Unity,“ an electronic-music festival being held in protest of the War on Drugs and new proposals from the BLM to restrict sound systems and dancing on open land. The DJ lineup includes the ubiquitous Jason Bentley and Moontribe’s illustrious Treavor, and Ladzarus of Element Zero has created a Web animation at http:www.khor eia.com to recalibrate agitated beta waves for the event. (”I‘m saying don’t provoke, don‘t react,“ says Ladzarus, who was moved to make art by events on the streets of Philadelphia. ”I’m saying keep dancing.“)Organizer Jeff Nelson warns potential ravers not to get too hung up on the Moontribe association: ”Basically what we‘re trying to do is create an event for the community at large to come together and stand united on the issues,“ he says. Khoreia, by the way, is Greek for chorus, ”because that’s what we are doing,“ says Ladzarus. ”Dancing as a chorus.“ For updates, call the Four Days hot line, (213) 368-6430.
If you need to dance to a tougher beat, visit the Demon-Critter Corn-vention at Al‘s Bar, 305 S. Hewitt St., downtown, on Wednesday, August 16: The Downtown Devil Dogs, W.A.C.O. (Wildstares Acoustic Chamber Orchestra), The Pinkos and ”sexy anarchists“ (aren’t they all?) The Leaving Trains precede uber-bassist Mike Watt & the Pair of Pliers. A tear-gas-free event.
Ram Dass himself came to visit Julie Rico‘s gallery on the night of August 5, at least in part because, along with Timothy Leary and Terence McKenna, he’s featured in one of Dean Chamberlain‘s candy-acid-colored portraits of psychedelic adventurers. But Dass is probably the kind of guy who knows -- nay, intuits -- how to find cultural ground zero on a Saturday in Santa Monica. Rico, who once exhibited 300 sheets of blotter acid on her gallery walls, currently has on exhibit a show called ”Realms of the Imagination,“ featuring Chamberlain’s photographs, Peter Heil‘s paintings, and black-light sculptures by Lenny Felix -- ecstatic, whimsical burlesques of stained-glass art, sort of like what you might imagine the 12 Stations of the Cross would look like on about an eighth of superground psilocybin. Through September 2, at the Julie Rico Gallery, 208 Pier Ave. in Santa Monica, you can gaze into Chamberlain’s photograph of Ecstasy gurus Alexander and Ann Shulgin cuddled in connubial bliss and think of all that MDMA held up at customs.
Less cuddly but no less psychedelic, The American Cinematheque, in conjunction with L.A. Weekly, presents a weekend of political film to gear up for the Democratic National Convention. Friday, August 11, director Torrie Rosenzweig will appear at a screening of her film about the tobacco industry, Smoke and Mirrors: A History of Denial, followed by John Frankenheimer‘s 1962 film, The Manchurian Candidate, with Tippi Hedren and George Axelrod on hand to discuss. Saturday, August 12, Weekly executive editor Harold Meyerson will lead a post-screening discussion of The War Room and The Candidate, followed by Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and Otto Preminger’s Advise and Consent (1962). Sunday, Arthur Dong will be present at a screening of his 1996 film about violence against gays, Licensed To Kill, and the movie All the President‘s Men (1976) will stand alone, without celebrity enhancement. All films will be shown at the Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.
When the political has become not only the personal but the carnal, edible, visible and metaphysical -- that is, when the Democrats and demonstrators have so saturated the local culture that not even a molecule of smog remains apolitical -- there’s always the multiplex (but avoid X-Men -- there‘s a senator in it, and I think something about gay rights. Stick to the 90-foot wave, or The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle). Otherwise, resign yourself to the inevitable result of an invasion, and go to the theater. At last count, there were 10 local productions directly concerned with our state of political affairs, including a multimedia, onlineoffline collaboration called The Roman Forum (Side Street Projects) and The Actors’ Gang‘s How To Steal an Election. (See details on the Theater page.) Also consider at least a respite from all-American politics at Highways, where Laura Amara Osweiler will present ”An Evening of Experimental Middle Eastern Dance“ on Friday and Saturday, August 11 and 12. This is no mere belly dance: Osweiler promises an avant-garde event that explores what it means to wear all those bracelets and gyrate one’s midsection before a family feasting on lamb and hummus. Highways is at 1651 18th St., Santa Monica.