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, January 25
Isn't that Fred Armisen? See Monday. (Click to enlarge)
Mel Brooks was once quoted as saying, "Anybody can direct. There are only 11 good writers." Then there must be a hell of a lot of crappy writers with picket signs in this town. Brooks is definitely one of the good ones (we'll just forget about that sorry Broadway version of Young Frankenstein, though). Our Mr. Brooks will discuss his films between screenings of Blazing Saddles and History of the World: Part 1. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Fri., Jan. 25, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 466-FILM.
SATURDAY, January 26
From the We-Live-in-This-Stinkin'-Town-We-Might-as-Well-Take-Advantage-of-This-Kinda-Shit camp, we bring you not only more hyphens for your dollar, but LACMA's "Art & Music" program's Modern Collection Celebration Concert. The concert celebrates the opening of the Modern Galleries with a chamber-music performance by pianists Bernadene Blaha and Kevin Fitz-Gerald, cellists Ronald Leonard and Peter Myers, and violinist Ida Levin in works by Stravinsky and Debussy. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; Sat., Jan. 26, 4 p.m.; $25 & $30. (323) 857-6115.
SUNDAY, January 27
It's an Olympics year, so that means it's time to start caring about sports nobody cares about. Get an early start with L.A. Lights Rhythmic Gymnastics Invitational. The top 10 athletes from the 2007 World Championships in Patris, Greece — what? You didn't go? — are expected to compete. Alina Kabeva, Anna Bessonova and Rachel Girma are just a few of the names you'll need to be familiar with when August comes around. What were we talking about? Veteran's Memorial Auditorium, 4117 Overland Ave., Culver City; Fri.-Sun., Jan. 25-27; $25, $20 students & seniors in advance. (310) 204-1980.
Attention foodies and wannabe foodies (that pretty much covers it): If you're too cheap to venture to many of L.A.'s finer restaurants (read: not Astro Burger), then starting today through February 1, take advantage of DineLA Restaurant Week, during which you can try such places as Roy's, the Lobster, Katsuya and many more for reduced prix-fixe meals. See DineLA.com for a list of restaurants.
MONDAY, January 28
Fred Armisen, who does Prince better than Prince, started out as a musician before he turned to comedy. He was even married to Sally Timms of the Mekons (!). He brings his Jens Hannemann character from his DVD titled Jens Hannemann: Complicated Drumming Technique to the Troubadour, where, it's safe to say, he can rock out freely. Sample song title: "Polynesian Nightmare Breakdown." Mr. Armisen describes the evening thusly: "An evening of drums, discussion, and discussion of drums. I'm also going to do former dictator of Iraq Saddam Hussein, political comedian Nicholas Fehn and a few others. Thanks!"The Troubadour, 9081 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Mon., Jan. 28, 9 p.m.; $15. (213) 480-3232.
So you wanna be a standup comic? Why do you hate yourself so much? Never mind, just bring your best stuff to the casting call for Last Comic Standing. Hollywood Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., W. Hlywd.; Mon., Jan. 28, 9 a.m. (310) 651-2583.
TUESDAY, January 29
Lauren Weedman brings her one-woman show, Bust, about women in the L.A. County Jail, to Bootleg, a former bra factory built in the '30s. You can make your own pithy connections about that. I am too busy preparing Bosom, my own one-woman show. Bootleg, 2220 Beverly Blvd., L.A.; Tues. & Wed., Jan. 29-March 5; 8 p.m.; $12 online or $15 at the door. (213) 389-3856.
WEDNESDAY, January 30
Harmonies are always in, and they go with everything, especially Sundays. The Chapin Sisters might be just what the world needs — three lovely voices, banjo, guitar. Their cover of Madonna's "Borderline" is pretty transcendent. Bordello, 901 E. First St., dwntwn.; Wed., Jan. 30, 8:30 p.m. (213) 687-3766.
THURSDAY, January 31
Who wrote, "I do a great deal of research — particularly in the apartments of tall blondes"? If you said "Raymond Chandler," then you already have your copy of Judith Freeman's The Long Embrace. Freeman signs this look into Chandler's early years. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Thurs., Jan. 31, 7 p.m.; free (book is $25.95). (310) 659-3110.