By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
This week, correcting publicists’ grammatical errors has taken more time than usual. Thanks to Java Fit Coffee, an awesome collection of vitamin-enriched roasts, for getting me through it all!
FRIDAY, May 12
Good old-fashioned hard — and I mean hard — rock can be just what Dr. Feelgood ordered for your Friday night. And nobody delivers the blows to your brain like The BellRays. Powerful, lusty and sexy as heck, these guys deliver it so scorching, you will not need to hear another band for a year. Safari Sam’s, 5214 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., May 12, 9 p.m.; $12/$10 advance. (323) 666-7267. See Music Pick.
SATURDAY, May 13
With a theme named “Our City Celebration: Where Art, Culture and the Environment Come Alive,” it’s clear that the city of Santa Monica thinks a tad bit highly of itself. And why shouldn’t it? Nobody can afford to live there. The air’s better, the schools are good and free, and you can’t park anywhere. Even the annual Santa Monica Festival 2006 has a talent lineup that’s better than it has to be: Quetzal, Bucovina Klezmer, Viver Brasil Dance Company, among others, all on two solar-powered stages, just to make us feel worse about ourselves. Clover Park, 2600 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica; Sat., May 13, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; free. (310) 458-8350.
When The Birds star Tippi Hedren saw the SpyAnts’ clever spoof, The Birds: A Tail of Ornithic Proportions, she was won over and asked the troupe to perform at a benefit for her Roar Foundation, which provides a sanctuary for mistreated exotic animals. For this special one-night-only performance, Hedren and Birds co-stars Suzanne Pleshette and Veronica Cartwright make cameos in an evening that is sure to make Alfred Hitchcock roll over in his grave. The Howard Fine Theater in the Hollywood Playhouse Complex, 1445 N. Las Palmas Ave., Hollywood; Sat., May 13, 8 p.m.; $100, includes hors d’oeuvres, wine and silent auction. (323) 860-8786.
We can’t promise how illuminating this will be, but The Timothy Leary Reanimation Event celebrates the 10th anniversary of the death of the psychologist/LSD pusher with wide-screen digital footage of Leary “doing dharma combat with the likes of Wally George and Patrick Buchanan, among others, and otherwise enlightening the world with stories and commentary on civil rights, consciousness expansion and the cybernetic society,” according to Steamshovel Press editor Kenn Thomas. The Institute of Applied Gerontology, Cal State L.A., 5151 State University Dr., L.A.; Sat., May 13, 2 p.m.; free (it’d better be). (323) 343-4695.
SUNDAY, May 14
Here’s a recipe for a perfect Sunday, which also happens to be Mother’s Day: Start off with the Bulldog Beauty Contest. Runny-eyed, jowly dogs dressed up in bonnets and bows! Oh, yes, come to Mommy. Livingston Park, 4850 E. Livingston Dr., Belmont Shore; Sun., May 14, 2 p.m.; free ($10 per bulldog to enter). (562) 439-3316.
Later, perhaps Mommy would like you to prepare her a nice dinner while she watches the 200th episode of King of the Hill, where Lucky (Tom Petty) gets tutored by Peggy (Kathy Najimy). Sun., May 14, 7:30-8 p.m.; Fox.
MONDAY, May 15
On this date in 1946, Tom Koulax, son of Greek immigrants, opened his little stand at Beverly and Rampart, and the first Tommyburger was served. Soon after, the devout were saying, “If you don’t see the shack — take it back!” Now, the sublime greasy mess is as synonymous with L.A. as Dodger dogs. For 60 years, meatheads have pilgrimaged to Tommy’s for chili burgers with the works. Now Tommy’s is celebrating with chili-topped cheeseburgers and sodas for 60 cents (what, no fries?). The only catch is that you have to go to the original location. 2575 W. Beverly Blvd., L.A. (213) 389-9060.
TUESDAY, May 16
Press release of the week: “The Laugh Factory is looking for the funniest reporter in the country.” We know a few investigative news reporters who regularly crack us up with City Hall lampoonery. The club’s owner himself, Jamie Masada, will judge who can deliver the funniest five minutes incorporating who/what/where/why without libeling anyone. The Laugh Factory, 8001 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Tues., May 16, 8 p.m.; participants should arrive no later than 7:45 p.m.; $17, $27 “priority.” (323) 656-1336.
WEDNESDAY, May 17
“There’s nothing else. Just us, and the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark.” It’s time to see Sunset Boulevard in the dark. Gloria Swanson’s daughter revealed that her mother stayed in character as Norma Desmond throughout the entire shoot. Look for cameos by Buster Keaton, Cecil B. De Mille and Hedda Hopper. Another fun fact: When William Holden’s dead body is dragged from the swimming pool, you can see that it’s breathing. Kevin Thomas introduces the film. Aero Theater, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Wed., May 17, 7:30 p.m.; $9, $7 seniors. (323) 461-9737.
THURSDAY, May 18
Who is plastering those posters for Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock & Roll’s Legendary Neighborhood on Laurel Canyon Boulevard? Could it be author Michael Walker, who lives in the area? Walker’s book aims to tell the definitive story of all those bands living in all those cutesy, woody houses in the ’60s — the Byrds; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; and Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa, Yanni (okay, Yanni came later, but he did live up the street from me in Laurel Canyon). Walker signs and reads — with lots of debauched drug tales, we hope. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Thurs., May 18, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 659-3110.