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
FRIDAY, June 23
So it was late afternoon on a recent Sunday. Neko Case’s stunning and gorgeous Fox Confessor Brings the Flood was playing on the stereo. I went downstairs to see my husband standing at the kitchen sink. He turned to me and, with the lowering sun shining through the window, he said softly, “That song about the baby sparrow really moved me.” I swear I saw a tear in his eye. Then came that look; I’d been punk’d in my own home. Okay, first of all, Mr. Funnyman, the song is not “Baby Sparrow” — it’s called “Maybe Sparrow.” Second of all, you are no Ashton Kutcher. And third of all, no, you may not be my plus-one at the show. The Henry Fonda Theater, 6126 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Fri., June 23, 9 p.m.; $18. (213) 480-3232.
SATURDAY, June 24
Take the 710 to the Bourbon Street exit for the Long Beach Bayou Festival, where Cajun, zydeco, blues, jazz and Tabasco come together under blue skies. The music is top-notch — Walter Mouton, Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band, Savoy Family Cajun Band, Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, plus a blues stage. By the end of the day, when you’re covered in crawfish juice, spilled beer, sweat and face paint, you can feel good about yourself, since the event is not only a benefit for Comprehensive Child Development, but also helps Hurricane Katrina survivors. Queen Mary Events Park, 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach; Sat., June 24, 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sun., June 25, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; $20, $18 seniors, $12 students. N’Orleans ?at Night celebration on Fri., June 23, 6 p.m.; $15. (562) ?427-8834.
As a professional listologist (with a minor in blurbology), I would be remiss if I neglected to tell you about any opportunity for free alcohol. Surfas, where wannabe chefs go for fancy pots and pans, is breaking out its selection of international brews and offering free beer tastings. In the spirit of the World Cup, we urge you to attend. Surfas, 8824 National Blvd., Culver City; Sat., June 24, noon-3 p.m.; free. (310) 559-4770.
SUNDAY, June 25
When these press releases started coming in announcing this weekend’s Chinese Food Festival, my first reaction was, “Aren’t there restaurants that deliver that stuff to your house?” But chances are your local Chinese joint doesn’t offer 1,000-year-old eggs, chicken feet or jellyfish, which brave souls can chow down on as part of the “Chinatown Fear Factor.” Some of Chinatown’s famous eateries, including Empress Pavilion, Mandarin Chateau and Golden Dragon, will offer their best dishes. This year, 30 monks from China’s ancient Shaolin temple will demonstrate martial arts, and all kinds of other fun, including karaoke, Chinese medicine practices, cultural demonstrations and more. You can’t get that from the delivery guy who brings kung pao shrimp to your house. Corner of Broadway & College St., Chinatown; Sat., June 24, noon-8 p.m.; Sun., June 25, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; $10, $8 children; includes one food tasting per ticket. (213) 680-0243.
You may have heard of this movie called Wassup Rockers (see virtually everywhere in this paper, even the hooker ads). Everyone’s invited to today’s Wassup Rockers Free-For-All Block Party, which will feature an outdoor screening of the film, along with skate demos and contests, loud bands South Central Riot Squad, The Revolts (cast members from the film), DJ Shepard Fairey and loads of cool kids looking bored. American Apparel Factory Parking Lot, 747 Warehouse St., downtown; Sun., June 25, 1-11:30 p.m.; free. www.wassuprockers.net.
MONDAY, June 26
So, you didn’t make it to Sundance, but you heard all the hype about buzz-magnet Little Miss Sunshine (which the Weekly’s Scott Foundas called “a vile, hateful and stupendously unfunny work of comic desperation, with a third-act climax that borders on child pornography”). See for yourself when the film screens as part of Reel Talk with Stephen Farber. Directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris will answer your questions afterward, though probably not from Mr. Foundas. Brentwood Theater, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., W.L.A.; Mon., June 26, 7 p.m.; $17. (213) 480-3232.
TUESDAY, June 27
“I’m not adopted and I’m not an Indian. It’s just a coincidence that I have a love of gambling and booze and a knack for catching syphilis.” How much do we love Strangers with Candy? Former “user, boozer and loser” Jerri Blank gets to say all the things we (well not you, of course) want to say but would be put in liberal jail if we did. The movie is finally here, and that’s great news for ex-junkies and the people who love them everywhere. AFI presents this screening with a Q&A with director Paul Dinello and star Amy Sedaris afterward. ArcLight Hollywood, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Tues., June 27, 8 p.m.; $11. (323) 464-4226.
Forget your troubles, come on get gloomy! I Hate Myself and Want to Die: The 52 Most Depressing Songs You’ve Ever Heard is out now, and author Tom Reynolds will be joined by actress Jennifer Coolidge to play some classic mopers. I just hope “Run Joey Run” is included. Come cry over a glass of wine. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Tues., June 27, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 660-1175.
WEDNESDAY, June 28
You want to go out for a few laughs, but you want to feel good about what you’re spending your money on. Tonight, your $10 gets you all four casts of The Straitjacket Society — FMF, 90% Water, Sakebombers, Free Lunch — and the proceeds benefit St. Jude Research Hospital. The McCadden Theater, 1157 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood; Wed., June 28, 8 & 9:30 p.m.; $10, extra donations appreciated. (323) 769-5575.
THURSDAY, June 29
Ye old Twilight Dance Series — our own free live-music series that dares you to get across town during rush hour every summer Thursday — on the Santa Monica Pier kicks off with Latin jazzbo Poncho Sanchez. Santa Monica Pier; Thurs., June 29, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 458-8900.?