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
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15
Boyfriend Stories: The Questionably Good, The Hideously Bad, the Devilishly Haunting
You’re sitting across from your tight-lipped, cynical, out-of-shape screenwriter boyfriend, who is licking his fingers and grunting at every forkful of penne that enters his mouth. Of course, Mr. Wrong has not yet been paid this month so you’ll be paying the tab. “This is not what I signed up for three months ago,” you think while wondering whether your backside might squeeze through the bathroom-window frame if you made your escape. Looking hopefully at the chatty couple at the next table, you wish that you could share this frightful experience with someone who can honestly feel your pain. Join other traumatized femmes at an interactive book signing for What Was I Thinking? 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories, where you can partake in a contest and giveaways. Many of us wish we had beat authors Barbara Davilman and Liz Dubelman to the punch line, but let’s face it, ladies, we are still in the thick of it, plunging into bad date after bad date, attempting to catch Mr. Right, but only finding (and sometimes settling for) Mr. Right Now. Borders, 1360 Westwood Blvd., L.A.; Sun., Feb. 15, 2 p.m.; free, book is $19.95. (310) 475-3444. —Celia Soudry
Degrading Pick of the Week
The Bulldog Beauty Contest is so wrong on so many levels. Sure, the scholarship money is a compelling reason for a bulldog to enter a beauty contest, but the award is based strictly on looks — and what kind of message does that send to young girl bulldogs? That if they don’t live up to the impossible standard of clean, upswept jaw, clear eyes and class-A wrinkles, they’re not important? And let’s just say that last year, a certain French bitch was clearly lip-synching to “Nine to Five.” These organizers should be ashamed. North side of Marine Stadium, 5225 E. Paoli Way, Long Beach; Sun., Feb. 15, 10 a.m.; free, $5 reserved front-row seating along the runway; www.bulldogbeauty.com. —L.M.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16
Happy Birthday, Misters Presidents
Today is Presidents’ Day. Unless you work for L.A. Weekly, you probably get the day off. Well, bully for you. Do something fun for the rest of us schmucks. Like this — Norman Jones & His Rhythm Child Band at LACMA. Norman is joined by his boys Bailey, age 8, and Andre, age 3, in a show to celebrate our new president. This is an interactive gig — so all you kids, big and small, are gonna drum your little hearts out. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; Mon., Feb. 16, 1 & 2 p.m.; free. (310) 575-9372. —L.M.
And Really, Who Doesn’t Love French Attitude?
Gerard Grisey’s Acoustic Spaces is an evening devoted to two early works of the late French composer, who died at only 52 in 1998, but who left an indelible mark on new music. Known as one of the founders of spectralism, or “musique spectrale,” best described as the exploration of the spectrum of tone colors between harmonic overtones and noise, Grisey composed fascinating works that came out of an obsession with sound — what it was, how it could be used and, especially, how it can shape time. When asked in an interview to define the system of spectralism, Grisey grew slightly irritated. “Spectralism is not a system,” he coolly replied. “It is an attitude. It considers sounds not as dead objects that you can easily and arbitrarily permutate in all directions, but as being like living objects with a birth, lifetime and death.” Which is why his compositions pulsate with a life that transcends time, place and categorization. The percussion ensemble Red Fish, Blue Fish (the internationally acclaimed San Diego–based laboratory for the development of new percussion techniques, sounds and music) performs Grisey’s “Tempus ex Machina,” a complex work whose gorgeous organic structure culminates in soaring climaxes; the Argento Chamber Ensemble performs Part I of “Les Espaces Acoustiques,” regarded by many as one of the most important compositions in European music since 1970. Colburn School of Music, Zipper Concert Hall, 200 S. Grand Ave., L.A.; Mon., Feb. 16, 8 p.m.; $25, $10 students. (310) 836-6632. —Mary Beth Crain
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17
I Was a Geek Before You Were a Geek
What is a Geek Dinner? “Geek Dinners are a monthly gathering of Microsoft geeks in Los Angeles. The dinners are for anyone who has an interest in Microsoft technologies, coding, the Internet, technology, databases, software design, testing, servers, networking, anything ‘dot net.’ Come LINQ in!” Translated: Come eat food with other geeks like us — I mean, you. Uwink, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; Tues., Feb. 17, 8 p.m. Resv: http://g33kd1nner.com/. —L.M.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18
Dancers Go Drape Shit!
Bringing their own spin to the environmental art popularized by Christo, choreographer Heidi Duckler and Her Collage Dance Theatre have spent the past six weeks exploring the potential for 200 feet of blue fabric, 10 dancers, and the glass-and-marble environs of 7+Fig. But while Christo would have wrapped the downtown shopping complex in the fabric, Duckler and her collaborator painter/multimedia artist H.K. Zamani, have been exploring the possibilities of what they describe as “liquid architecture,” with dancers employing the fabric to lead visitors on a public-art/performance project dubbed “A Material World.” Shoppers and other visitors have encountered the artistic expedition for the past six weeks, many returning specifically to view the developing performance. Rehearsals will remain open to view. Check www.CollageDanceTheatre.org or the Art Space icon at www.7Fig.com for info. But don’t miss the two culminating performances, a final and more formal opportunity to experience the latest from L.A.’s reigning doyenne of site-specific performance. 7+Fig Art Space, 735 S. Figueroa St., downtown, Wed., Feb. 18, 12:30 & 5:30 p.m.; free. (213) 955-7150. —Ann Haskins