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
TUESDAY, MARCH 10
Reyna Grande’s novel Across a Hundred Mountains might be fiction, but it’s about a very real topic: immigration. Author Grande knows firsthand about the heartbreak that comes when families are torn apart by borders. Shortly after her birth in Guerrero, Mexico, her parents came to the U.S., and she didn’t join them until she was 9. The book tells the story of two women, one born in Mexico, one in the U.S., who meet in a Tijuana jail. Grande, the first member of her family to receive a college degree, will give a talk about her writing. Santa Monica College, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; Tues., March 10, 11:15 a.m.; free. (310) 434-4303.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11
JOURNEY BACK TO 40 YEARS C.D.
Remember album covers? If not, please do not read any farther. Some of those covers were like portals into another world, which we would stare into until a freaky-looking bird’s full-lipped beak started to look like a talking hand beneath Elton John’s piano-riding tuxedo. ... Whoa, better stop right there. Alan Aldridge was the artist who designed album covers and posters for the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and, yes, a certain Brown Dirt Cowboy. He became creative consultant to Apple Corps, and John Lennon even dubbed him “his royal master of images.” Dude’s got a new book, The Man With Kaleidoscope Eyes, featuring some of his most famous artwork, plus his notorious Chelsea Girls poster; images from his children’s book The Butterfly Ball; and graphics made for the Hard Rock Café, the House of Blues and The New York Times. Aldridge signs and maybe shares a tale or two. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Wed., March 11, 7 p.m.; free, book is $35. (310) 659-3110.
What’s That Saying? Behind Every Pink Slip, There’s a Cheap
It seems that dreaded “meeting” with your boss is lurking just around the corner, ready to pounce at any moment. For many Angelenos, that day has sadly passed. With traffic thinning, restaurants becoming more reminiscent of ghost towns than eateries, and Craigslist jobs getting more hits than Match.com, there seems to be little else the unemployed can do these days. Stuck in a rut? Feeling hopeless? Fret no further. Plaster your game face on for Pink Slip Party L.A. Brought back from the dead by Beryl Smith, president of BCS Staffing Inc., the historic party originated in the early 1900s, when the Depression sank into its darkest hour and provided lubricated sustenance and social networking to out-of-work laborers. Toast the spirit of your compadres of 70 years ago with $5 margaritas, lounge on the spacious, festively themed patio with other job-challenged folks, and link up with recruiters in accounting, health care, finance, marketing and more. Pink Taco, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A.; Wed., March 11, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.; free. (310) 691-2178 or www.pinkslippartyla.com.
HOW TO PLAY THE BLUES: FIRST, GET A GOOD BLUES NAME, PREFERABLY WITH “HAMBONE” AND/OR “FAT RIVER DUMPLING”
Tired of just sitting on your couch as Western Civilization yaws ever further into the beckoning abyss of the New Depression? Why not try what so many did during the first one? Break out that old guilt box and defy the panic with a spontaneous mess of blues. There’s never been a more sure-fire way to chase those hellhounds off your trail. One could not be in more capable hands than with esteemed blues acolyte Bernie Pearl, who offers his first-ever Electric Blues Jam Class tonight. The guitarist made his bones decades ago at the Pearl family’s legendary Ash Grove club, where the youthful musician marinated in a luxurious blues chowder, regularly sitting in with such old-school bosses as Mississippi Fred MacDowell, Brownie McGhee, the Rev. Gary Davis and Mance Lipscomb, not to mention the king of wig-flipping Texas beer-joint blues, Lightnin’ Hopkins. That kind of experience is of incalculable value, and let’s face it, kiddies, apart from valiant torchbearers like Pearl, it’s a dying art form, one whose spirituality and subtlety increasingly face extinction. Dig in, live it up and bring whatever ax you like: “All instruments welcome. We’ll even have a drummer,” Pearl says. “Small amps only, volume control strictly enforced — by me!” Boulevard Music, 4316 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City; Wed., March 11, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (310) 398-2583.
THURSDAY, MARCH 12
COMEDY PICK: JACKIE KASHIAN
The Dork-Tongued Comic Speaks
Jackie Kashian is like the comic next door — if the comic next door is prone to acutely hilarious family stories and hosts her own dependably entertaining chatfest/podcast, The Dork Forest. Catch up with her at jackiekashian.com.
L.A. WEEKLY:What was the highlight of 2008 for you?
KASHIAN: That would have to be the election. Like most Americans, I’m an anarchic socialist — I’d like everyone to choose to share — but we got to see in the last eight years that laissez-faire doesn’t really manifest that goal. So I’m looking forward to some forced sharing. What the heck. At this point I’m looking forward to a return of Nixon socialism.
When was the last time you had a day job?