By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
FRIDAY, MAY 29
BACK TO BACK TO THE FUTURE
Amazingly, it’s been 20 years since Robert Zemeckis followed up 1985’s monster hit Back to the Future with sequels shot back to back, a method not seen again in blockbuster land until the Lord of the Rings (awesome) and Matrix (EPIC FAIL!) trilogies came along. In the role that made him a mega-star (and made fancying him guilt-free, if you’re a Democrat ... oh, Alex P. Keaton ... ), Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly and company sort of time-stumble their way through BTTF2, which despite some terrific future set pieces really only functions as a bridge between the damn-near-perfect ’50s-set original and the very, very good BTTF3, romping through in the Old West. Luckily, you’ll get multiple chances to watch the entireBack to the Future Trilogy straight through this weekend, courtesy of the mighty New Beverly (who are screening them twice, because the people there love flying DeLoreans that fucking much!) and American Cinematheque at the Aero. Do it, ’80s babies, it’s your density... we mean, your destiny. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 W. Beverly Blvd., L.A.; Fri. & Sat., May 29 & 30, 7:30 p.m.; $7; (323) 938-4038. Also at the American Cinematheque at the Aero, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Sat., May 30, 5 p.m.; $10; (310) 260-1528.
TO BALDLY COMPOSE ...
Every year at this time, REDCAT seems to come up with another tribute to the whimsical legacy of microtonal pioneer Harry Partch. All his life, the American composer experimented with tones and instruments, leaving the standard chromatic and 12-tone scales in the dust as he soared into dimensions uncharted and luminously original. Partch became frustrated with the limitations and flaws of the Western system of musical tuning—which, he maintained, was woefully lacking when it came to reflecting the complex and subtle aspects of dramatic speech. So, he began building his own unique instruments, like the Monophone, or “Adapted Viola”; the Diamond Marimba, a marimba with keys arranged in a physical manifestation of the 11-limit tonality diamond; the Cloud Chamber Bowls, a set of pyrex bowls in a cloud chamber; the Zymo-Xyl, a xylophone enhanced with tuned liquor bottles and hubcaps; and a host of other ingenious creations that would have made zzMr. Wizard proud. Be prepared for a trip to sonic never-never land this weekend when composer John Schneider and his ensemble introduce a “fantastic array” of Partch’s otherworldly instruments in Partch DARK/Partch light, an exploration of the composer’s dual nature, from the zany “Yankee Doodle Fantasy,” “Two Settings from Finnegan’s Wake” and “O Frabjous Day!” to the brooding “Dark Brother” (a setting of Thomas Wolfe’s “God’s Lonely Man”) and the haunting “Eleven Intrusions.” REDCAT, 631 Second St., dwntwn.; Fri.-Sat., May 29-30, 8:30 p.m.; $25, student discounts available. (213) 237-2800 or www.redcat.org.
The cover of Maria Bamford’s new CD/DVD shows the comic with her two pugs, both wearing blond wigs. How can you not love her?
L.A. WEEKLY:Congratulations on your new CD/DVD: Maria Bamford: Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome. Do I need to buy both?
BAMFORD: They come together! It’s 50 minutes of stand-up (audial) and 20 episodes of The Maria Bamford Show (visual), so, for $15, you’re getting a lot of laughy meaning.
If you had a catch phrase, what would it be?
“It’s all happening.” That means that whatever you’re visualizing, it’s happening — your Lear jet, your two-headed Snuggie, your deep contentment, your Medicines Sans Frontiers nutrition bar — is trotting toward you at 3 mph — so that it won’t hurt when it hits you head on.
Who do people say you look like?
This one girl I know who was trying to get into stand-up. No wait, that IS you. I used to work with you at Aramark Uniform Services in Burbank. How is that going? That’s great. Good for you. Huh. Well, good luck.
What’s hanging above your sofa?
Lots of California landscape paintings. No art with people or buildings trying to bring me down.
Where do you go to be alone?
The back of the airline gate where there’s area to crouch with a Diet Coke and notebook and make furtive calls to friends I don’t know the last names of.
Proust section, à la Vanity Fair: What do you regard as the lowest depths of misery?
Being crunked out on a 60-ounce blended Mochacchino in the window seat without a pen.
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Working on jokes with comedy friends (Jackie Kashian, Larry Vazeos, connecting with other comics, and end of the week of shows with a glass of milk and box of animal crackers. I also enjoy cool, windy days. And groups of people talking about their feelings in the now.
Your favorite virtue?
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