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
The Rite of Spring still stands as one of the boldest and most difficult works; of its complexities, Leonard Bernstein said, “It’s got the best dissonances anyone ever thought up, and the best asymmetries and polytonalities and polyrhythms and whatever else you care to name.” Olivier Messiaen’s Harawi is a “song of love and death” inspired by the rite of spring and the legend of Tristan and Isolde. As Jacaranda observes, Harawi should only be attempted by “the bravest soprano and most indefatigable pianist.” Soprano Elissa Johnston and pianist Vicki Ray are presumably up to the challenge. First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, 1220 Second St., Santa Monica; Sat., April 4, 8 p.m.; online $35, $15 students; at door $39, $19 students. (213) 483-0216 or www.jacarandamusic.org. —Mary Beth Crain
SUNDAY, APRIL 5
“I’D RATHER HAVE A BOTTLE IN FRONT OF ME THAN A FRONTAL LOBOTOMY.” —TOM WAITS
Portland has one. So do Philadelphia and most cities in Michigan. Even slow-to-catch-up San Diego has one. But Los Angeles has never had its own beer festival until this year’s inaugural Los Angeles Beer Festival. And what makes a great beer festival? Well, this one seems to think Budweiser is part of the equation, so you may want to proceed with caution. Also, the Web site is peopled with white women who look like overly desperate housewives.
However, there will be brews from a slew of domestic and international beer makers. You pay $40 for unlimited 4-ounce tastings — which adds up to about four bucks for every trip to the loo. And entertainment is by Petty Cash, a tribute to Tom and Johnny (Saturday) and Hollywood U2 (Sunday), whose Web site says they are “even better than the real thing (almost).” Sony Pictures Lot, 10202 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Sat.-Sun., April 4-5, 2-5 p.m.; $40, discount for designated driver. www.drinkeatplay.com/labeerfest/. —L.M.
MONDAY, APRIL 6
MY DEALER TOOK A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY HABIT
Anyway, New York in the ’70s was like a jolt to the veins, har, har. Now it’s a coffee-table book called Bright Lights, Big City: New York City in the ’70s. Allan Tannenbaum’s photographs capture the era’s glitz, as well as the scum. As photo editor of SoHo Weekly News, he covered the club scene and much more, and the book should satisfy your curiosity about what went on in those VIP lounges at the Mudd Club and Studio 54. John Lennon, Mick, Bianca, Debbie and Chris, the Ramones, Mayor Koch, Patti Smith, Kurt Russell (huh?) all show up. Art in Tune, 7775 Beverly Blvd., L.A.; open daily April 3-14, noon-6 p.m. (310) 382-6169. –L.M.
TUESDAY, APRIL 7
Death’s a bummer for everyone, especially John Fante. The late author penned some of the most visceral stuff ever committed to print but never became the household name he should have been. Toward the end of his life — when diabetes claimed his sight and his legs — Fante began to achieve the sort of recognition he deserved, but he passed away in 1983 at the age of 74, just before he was about to explode onto the literary community. His legion of devoted fans has grown steadily since, and all it took was dying for him to become a bona fide must-read author. Gone but certainly not forgotten; an event celebrating John Fante’s 100th Birthday is sure to entice those who worship at the Fante altar. Moderated by David Kipen, director of literature at the National Endowment for the Arts, a panel consisting of Fante biographer Stephen Cooper, KCRW’s Frances Anderton, Esotouric co-founder Richard Schave and daughter Vickie Cohen will discuss the writer’s legacy and how much he would have reveled in the notoriety his books enjoy today. And if there’s an afterlife that allows the dead access to the modern world, fans know that Fante’s wine drunk and grinning ear to ear over what’s become of his career. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; Tues., April 7, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000. On Wed., April 8, 8 p.m., an informal gathering at the King Edward Saloon to raise a glass to John Fante, 131 E. Fifth St., downtown. –Ryan Ritchie
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8
CALIFORNIA, HERE YOU GO
There’s a saying that goes, “You know you’re from California when you were born somewhere else.” Speaking as a fourth-generation Southern Californian — can you all go home now? Author Mark Arax traveled four years to learn all he could about the lesser-known parts of the Golden State for West of the West: Dreamers, Believers, Builders and Killers in the Golden State. The collection includes “The Summer of the Death of Hilario Guzman,” about an immigrant family from Oaxaca; “Home Front,” about right-wing Christians and Jews; and his award-winning piece “The Legend of Zankou.” (Also with Thomas Curwen of the L.A. Times at ALOUD, Mon., April 6, 7 p.m; www.lfla.org/aloud/index.php.) Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Wed., April 8, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $26.95. (323) 660-1175. —L.M.