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
Compassion – it’s like pity, but without the rage. Like a marshmallow that’s not deepfried, sandwiched in chocolate or gourmet-flavored. All virtues that are not limited to a sect: the universal virtue.
Who would you like to be other than yourself?
I would have liked to be someone who’s described in People magazine as “risen from the ashes — like a toned, oiled, incisive Phoenix — the once-dowdy and insecure star is now coming out of her cocoon — like an elegant, moisturized, trenchant butterfly — who’s got her priorities in the right place. She says, “First, comes my spirituality, next, family and friends and lastly — comes career.” And that’s a huge transformation for this one-time-gold-medal-winner who once seemed to only think of Diet Coke, filth and compulsively signing up for UCLA online accounting courses. It’s like I was once a fetus or a pile of logs or something less formed and now I’m a baby or a log cabin or something more defined and acceptable.”
Maria Bamford at the Hollywood Improv, 8162 Melrose Ave., Hlywd.; Fri., May 29, 8 p.m.; Sat., May 30, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.; $20. (323) 651-2583.
SATURDAY, MAY 30
THE ROTHMAN HOSTETH
Deathlessly brilliant skinhead/Abomination/Mr. Orange Tim Roth hosts the opening reception for Australian artist and L.A. transplant Kill Pixie (occasionally known as Mark Whalen) and his exhibition “I’ll Hit You Up Tomorrow.” About precisely what Pixie intends to hit me up for is up for debate, but judging from his art, that may have something to do with either freebasing Pepto-Bismol or that horrible old arcade game “Chiller,” in which the whole point was to use your controls to mutilate writhing corpses in torture chambers. Good shooting! With obtuse and ominous titles like “Persons and Machinery,” “After Dark” and “The Decision Maker,” Pixie’s acrylic-and-gouache visions stand cast in glossy resin, shot through with muted process colors that might as well be case notes from “Pimp My Sanatorium.” His work might best be viewed as an 8-bit chimera that comes off as Hieronymus Bosch by way of Hanna-Barbera; slightly sinister and deeply arcane, Pixie’s visions are fever dreams from a world of expired medication and withered black bananas, blowing your mind into smithereens like those tiny little balls in a Contac capsule that you never could put back in the shell after you’d opened one up. Also on hand at the opening: a collaborative installation between Pixie and local moody fuzz merchants Autolux, currently at work on “Transit Transit,” their second album in nine years. So why Tim Roth? Who cares! “Made in Britain” is one of the best violent films of the ’80s and that’s good enough for me. Merry Karnowsky Gallery, 170 S. La Brea Ave.; Tues.-Sat., 8 p.m.; through June 27; (323) 933-4408 or mkgallery.com.
DEM’S THE BREAKS
Underground hip-hop is alive and well. Following the success of events like Paid Dues and We the People, Attention Deficit presents The Breaks, a 10-hour festival of nonstop hip-hop and breakdancing. Featuring a $1,000 two-on-two B-Boy Battle. the event will feature performances by The Psycho Realm, DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill, Planet Asia of Pain Language, Keith Murray, Killah Priest, Black Milk, Bronze Nazareth and more. An afternoon highlight will definitely be the reunion of Slum Village featuring Baatin, along with other special guests. East Los Angeles College, Weingart Stadium, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park; Sat., May 30, 12-10 p.m.; $40-$70; $30-$45 in advance; (877) 831-7294 or MySpace.com/thebreaksfestival.
HORSE & MOUTH DISEASE
The shroud of mystery surrounding Dark Night of the Soul, a new musical collaboration between master mixer Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) and rock recluse Sparkle Horse (Mark Linkous), has been mistaken for an actual cloud of publicists and lawyers. So much so, EMI indefinitely delayed the release of the album this week, a sleepy indie hit with a ton of superstar guest vocalists ( Julian Casablanca’s “Little Girl” is a standout) that reminds one of a Jason Bentley playlist. However, not to be mistaken for merely ostentatious packaging, the accompanying 100-page book is all photographs shot by filmmaker David Lynch, 50 of which will make their gallery debut at Michael Kohn on May 30. For those of us who look forward to Lynch’s movies, these images are a treat. Mounted on aluminum, they snap and crackle like the mind that composed them. They’re eerie and hopeful and dark and dreamy, recalling suburban barbecues at midnight, discarded objects (revolvers, electrical strips, people) and peeks around suspicious corners. Saturated colors, shadowy faces and hokey setups with an evil undercurrent are all iconic Lynchian themes included in this work of course, but in the frozen moments captured as still photography, Lynch’s subject matter transcends as it stares back at you. “Dark Night of the Soul” is again proof that art happens where and when it will, regardless of industry knuckleheads. You’ll hear the music accompany the visuals during the show as the project is meant to be — Lynch even sings on two of the tracks — and you can hear the album at NPR.org (take that, EMI!). The book will be available May 29 with a blank CD-R included for you to record your pirated internet find. Dark Night of the Soul, 2009, Michael Kohn Gallery, 8071 Beverly Blvd., L.A.; May 30–July 11; reception Sat., May 30, 5-7 p.m.; (323) 658-8088 or www.kohngallery.com.