22 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week

RIP, Johnny (see: Sunday)
RIP, Johnny (see: Sunday)
Daniel Kohn

An punk rock tribute to Johnny Ramone in a cemetery, a screening of The Muppet Movie, a great excuse to gorge on a food that's dipped in drawn butter and more to do and see in L.A. this week.

fri 7/22

As nice as it is that we live in a society that values comfort, once in a while it's fun to get dressed up. Stylish Angelenos break out their seersucker suits and saddle shoes for Dapper Day & Jazz at LACMA. Dapper Day is known for hosting large-scale, biannual meetups — usually at Disney theme parks — where participants are encouraged to dress in their most sophisticated, vintage-inspired outfits. This summer soiree invites guests to check out LACMA's latest fashion exhibit, "Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715-2015" and then hang out on the lawn for a picnic, dancing and free jazz from big band Sasha's Bloc. The exhibit draws on the history of men's fashion from the 18th century to the present and seeks to dissect the persistent idea that fashion means "femininity." Explore it without feeling underdressed. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Fri., July 22, noon-9 p.m.; $25, free for members and children 17 and younger; outdoor jazz, dancing and picnic are free. (323) 857-6000, dapperday.com/july-22-jazz-at-lacma. —Neha Talreja

Between its hard-as-hell carapace, buglike legs and horrifying claws, the lobster doesn't exactly scream "Eat me." Luckily our ancestors overcame those obstacles, and invented lobster crackers and seafood forks so we'd be encouraged to enjoy the sweetest meat the sea has to offer. Billed as the world's largest lobster festival, the Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival in San Pedro has cultivated its massive fan base by offering pound-and-a-quarter lobster, flown in from Maine and served with fixins, for 25 bucks. Besides a slew of other lobster-centric dishes — mac 'n' cheese, quesadillas, lobster rolls — there's entertainment from bands like The Hula Girls, The Colourist and Black Crystal Wolf Kids. Of course the real headliner is red, covered in a shell and is best dipped in butter. L.A. Waterfront, adjacent to USS Iowa, South Harbor Boulevard, San Pedro; Fri., July 22, 5-11 p.m.; Sat., July 23, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun., July 24, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $12. lobsterfest.com. —Gwynedd Stuart

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Maurice Pialat's films don't evince an especially uplifting worldview, but UCLA has chosen an optimistic title for its tribute to the late filmmaker nevertheless: Love Exists. (His first short film was called L'amour existe; it was a long road from that to We Won't Grow Old Together and Under the Sun of Satan.) The series begins with Pialat's first two features, the François Truffaut–supported Naked Childhood and his portrait of France's "blank generation" that followed 10 years later in 1978, Graduate First. Both are coming-of-age narratives for the filmmaker as much as for his characters — Pialat came to filmmaking late but quickly excelled. UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Fri., July 22, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (310) 206-8013, cinema.ucla.edu—Michael Nordine

There's never a bad time to watch Mulholland Drive, but there also isn't a much better time (or place) to watch it than a landmark L.A. movie theater at midnight. The Nuart offers just such an opportunity for first-timers and obsessives alike. Few movies inspire such frenetic theorizing as David Lynch's noirish dreamscape — the director himself included 10 clues to unlocking its secrets for the DVD release — which is another way of saying that few movies reward repeat viewings as this one does. Nuart Theatre, 11272 Santa Monica Blvd., West L.A.; Fri., July 22, 11:59 p.m.; $11. (310) 473-8530, landmarktheatres.com—Michael Nordine

sat 7/23

Bad Brains' lightning bolt striking the White House on their 1982 debut record isn't the band's logo per se, but it's one of hardcore and punk rock's most recognizable images, as great as Black Flag's four black bars and The Misfits' skull face. Subliminal Projects' latest exhibit, "Banned in Babylon: The Art and Culture of Bad Brains" (which runs through August 20), celebrates not only the group's music but unofficial symbol. The group show features paintings and works on paper by bassist Darryl Jenifer; photographs by Lucian Perkins, John Mousheghian and Jeannie "Aunt Jean" Pawlowski; and prints and additional paintings by gallery founder and lifelong fan Shepard Fairey — who created the cover art for Bad Brains' 2012 album, Into the Future, and incorporates his own OBEY logo into his pieces — as well as vintage fliers, posters and records. (This month, Fairey also launches online the OBEY Clothing x Bad Brains line.) Tonight's reception includes a performance by Trash Talk, in addition to Jenifer, Chuck Treece of McRad, Peter Stahl of Scream and none other than Moby playing Bad Brains covers. Subliminal Projects, 1331 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; Sat., July 23, 8-11 p.m.; exhibit runs thru Aug. 20; free. subliminalprojects.com. —Siran Babayan

Sometimes people go record shopping to buy new music to play at parties. Other times, record shopping is the party. Today, vinyl enthusiasts hop aboard an air-conditioned party bus for the Los Angeles Record Store Crawl, a multistop group shopping trip full of fun and tunes. Local singer-songwriter Nico Yaryan will provides the road-trip soundtrack as shoppers visit local vinyl-centric haunts including Amoeba, the Record Parlour and Permanent Records, each of which is offering a special discount. Work up an appetite while nerding out? Lunch and beer are served by the York in Highland Park, and KIND snacks are available throughout the journey. The full day of digging is topped off with a private tour of Sunset Sound studio in Hollywood. New records, new friends and plenty of swag — not a terrible Saturday. Various locations, Sat., July 23, 11 a.m., $60. (323) 245-6400, recordstorecrawl.com. —Neha Talreja

There's no movie like The Wizard of Oz. The crown jewel of 1939, a year often remembered as Hollywood's best — see also Gone With the Wind (likewise directed by Victor Fleming) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington — is movie magic personified. The New Bev presents Oz Saturday and Sunday as a kiddie matinee, so bring the young ones — but wait until they're older to tell them how the studio treated poor Judy Garland. Free popcorn for kids under 12. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Sat.-Sun., July 23-24, 2:30 p.m.; $6. (323) 938-4038, thenewbev.com—Michael Nordine

For moviegoers of a certain age, the Muppets are best known for their appearances alongside Jason Segel. That's all the more reason to learn about the Rainbow Connection via The Muppet Movie, the first big-screen appearance of Jim Henson's beloved creations. Hollywood Forever Cemetery seems the perfect venue for the film, which uses Kermit's aspirations of making it big in show business as a launching pad for Hollywood-specific jokes and a parade of cameos: Mel Brooks, Bob Hope, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, Orson Welles, etc. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Sat., July 23, 9 p.m.; $16. (323) 221-3343, cinespia.org—Michael Nordine

Until it went offline for a two-year reconstruction, the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre was home to L.A.'s unofficial summer dance festival, providing a central location to view a range of otherwise far-flung SoCal troupes. Forever Flamenco was one of those that would forsake its usual 40-seat Fountain Theatre for the larger al fresco Ford, making the flamenco series an apt choice for the first dance event as the refurbished venue reopens. Forever Flamenco pulls out the stops for the occasion with an impressive lineup of seven dancers plus live musicians. And this is only the start of a summer season that includes an array of dance troupes returning to their summer home. The reopening also means the return of popular Monday JAM Sessions, with lessons in various dance styles ranging from funk to Bollywood to swing, starting Aug. 1. Ford Theaters, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. E., Hollywood Hills; Sat., July 23, 8:30 p.m.; $50-$100. (323) 461-3673, fordtheatres.org. —Ann Haskins

Jemaine and Bret — collectively known as Flight of the Conchords — land at the Greek on Tuesday.
Jemaine and Bret — collectively known as Flight of the Conchords — land at the Greek on Tuesday.
Matt Grace

sun 7/24

There's always Blitzkrieg Bop–style fun happening among the tombstones at Hollywood Forever's annual Johnny Ramone Tribute, but this edition, which marks the 40th anniversary of the band's founding, comes extra loaded. Hosted by Sex Pistols' Steve Jones, the evening features a screening of the campy classic Rock 'n' Roll High School (plus Ladies & Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains) along with a Q&A, moderated by punk potentates John Doe and L.A. Weekly contributor Henry Rollins, with director Allan Arkush, producer Roger Corman and cast members Mary Woronov, P.J. Soles, Clint Howard (whose turn as Eaglebauer should've won him an Oscar) and Vince Van Patten. Plenty of additional hijinks guarantee a Gabba Gabba Hey good time. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood.; Sun., July 24, doors 6:30 p.m., show 8:30 p.m.; $25, $20 in advance, free for kids 12 and younger. (323) 654-1900, hollywoodforever.ticketfly.com/event/1205111-johnny-ramone-tribute-2016-los-angeles. —Jonny Whiteside

Printed Matter Inc. is a leading nonprofit dedicated to artists' books, offering services and activities in support of their publication. To celebrate its 40th year, the organization is teaming with the Ace Hotel for its Artists in Residence program — 40 nights of artist discussions at the Ace's various properties. This month, Ace AIR presents Eve Fowler, the L.A.-based artist who's perhaps best known for her portraits of male hustlers in the '90s and various works rooted in sex-positive, feminist and queer spaces. Fowler also organizes Artist Curated Projects in Los Angeles. Meet the artist and check out her books at this laid-back social hour. Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Sun., July 24, 3 p.m.; free. (213) 623-3233, acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles/ace-air-eve-fowler. —Neha Talreja

John Doe's new book, Under the Big Black Sun: A Personal History of L.A. Punk, which includes a foreword by Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, isn't so much one man's remembrance as it is a collection of essays by a fraternity of key members of L.A.'s early punk scene between 1977 and 1982, before any of them experienced major-label interest and mainstream success. Doe recalls forming and playing with X; he's joined by bandmate Exene Cervenka, Henry Rollins, Jane Wiedlin and Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go's, T.S.O.L.'s Jack Grisham, The Blasters' Dave Alvin, The Flesh Eaters' Chris D., Robert Lopez aka El Vez, The Brat's Teresa Covarrubias, The Minutemen's Mike Watt and others who share their own stories of hardscrabble living, house parties and shambolic shows not only in Hollywood but in San Pedro, Huntington Beach and East L.A. (Watt's chapter is written entirely in lowercase letters.) Doe also includes loads of photos and vintage gig fliers. He discusses the book with Wiedlin and co-author Tom DeSavia. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Sun., July 24, 4 p.m.; free, book is $26.99. (310) 659-3110, booksoup.com. —Siran Babayan

mon 7/25

This year marks the 145th anniversary of the modern carousel in America. The Pasadena Museum of History's current exhibit, "Flying Horses & Mythical Beasts: The Magical World of Carousel Animals" (on display through Aug. 28), spans the history of the merry-go-round from the mid–19th century — considered the "Golden Age of Carousels" — to present day. Featured items from the collection of curator/conservator Lourinda Bray are menagerie carvings of horses, lions, elephants, giraffes and sea serpents from the United States, Mexico and Europe, as well as related art, miniatures, posters and postcards. In conjunction with the display, the museum hosts National Carousel Day, which celebrates the first American patent for the carousel, issued in 1871. Pasadena Museum of History, 470 W. Walnut St., Pasadena; Mon., July 25, noon-5 p.m.; free. (626) 577-1660, pasadenahistory.org. —Siran Babayan

As wine and science nerds know, vintage wine mysteriously tastes better in years during which comets pass by Earth. At Astronomy on Tap, get turned on to the otherworldly origins of beer itself with Dr. Rachael Beaton's lecture "The First Beer Came From Space." You'll also catch up with the latest developments in the Juno spaceship orbiting Jupiter with Dr. Rahul Patel's talk, "Jupiter: Exposed," and there'll be an astronomy-themed quiz with space-related prizes for the champion space-cases in attendance. Scientific experts tackle intergalactic imponderables, such as "How does wave-particle duality affect the speed of light?" and "What's underneath Earth in space?" Der Wolfskopf Pub, 72 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena; Mon., July 25, 7 p.m.; free. (626) 219-6054, astronomyontap.org/2016/07/astronomy-on-tap-los-angeles-2-july-25-2016. —David Cotner

One of the most vaunted of all Westerns, Once Upon a Time in the West isn't even Sergio Leone's only classic of the genre. The Italian auteur also was responsible for the Man With No Name trilogy: A Fistful of DollarsFor a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Widescreen vistas abound in the film, a three-hour blood feud between Charles Bronson and Henry Fonda, which was co-written by Dario Argento and Bernardo Bertolucci. Also featured: one of Ennio Morricone's many iconic scores. ArcLight Hollywood, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., July 25, 7:30 p.m.; $15.25. (323) 464-1478, arclightcinemas.com—Michael Nordine

tue 7/26

It's been seven years since Flight of the Conchords ended their eponymous HBO series, in which the two stars won us over with their deadpan folk songs and repeatedly reminded us that they're not Australian. During that time, Jemaine Clement appeared in several movies, including 2013's hilarious vampire mockumentary, What We Do in the Shadows, and Bret McKenzie won an Oscar for Best Original Song for "Man or Muppet" from The Muppets. For their latest tour, Flight of the Conchords Sing Flight of the Conchords, New Zealand's "fourth most popular folk duo" will be joined by comedian (and TV show co-star) Arj Barker and the "New Zealand Symphony Orchestra," which consists of a lone cellist. They'll play new and familiar songs, including the space-themed, fan-favorite parody "Bowie," which will be particularly noteworthy tonight, and promises to make "your nipples go pointy." The Greek Theatre, 2700 N. Vermont Ave., Griffith Park; Tue.-Wed., July 26-27, 7:30 p.m.; $39.50-$59.50. (888) 929-7849, lagreektheatre.com. —Siran Babayan

"I find it's important to have a plan, to keep some sense of control, some belief that even if there's no order to the universe ... you can navigate your way through it with some existential dignity," Kim Addonizio muses in her new collection of essays, Bukowski in a Sundress, while surveying her drunken romantic prospects in a tacky hotel bar. The Oakland poet-novelist occasionally punctuates her insightfully witty observations with bursts of raw, bluesy harmonica. In a 2010 poem, Addonizio confesses that she contorts herself so passionately because of love: "I undress down to the sheaths of my nerves. ... I unhook my ribs, spread my lungs flat on the chair. I dissolve like a remedy in water ... and leave without stirring the air." She's joined at a Red Hen Press reading by poets Amy Uyematsu and Jacqueline Derner Tchakalian. Annenberg Community Beach House, 415 Pacific Coast Hwy., Santa Monica; Tue., July 26, 6:30 p.m.; free. (310) 458-2257, eventbrite.com/o/beachculture-at-the-annenberg-community-beach-house-199463539. —Falling James

LACMA continues to offer alternatives to The BFG for Roald Dahl enthusiasts. This week it's Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson's adaptation of the children's book about a ne'er-do-well fox (voiced by George Clooney) looking to make One More Score before truly moving on from his thieving ways. The RushmoreThe Royal Tenenbaums and Grand Budapest Hotel director's take on the material is fittingly off-kilter, not to mention excellent — this is one of the best animated films in years, so what the cuss are you waiting for? LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Tue., July 26, 1 p.m.; $5. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org—Michael Nordine

Big, red bugs are being served up in San Pedro this weekend.
Big, red bugs are being served up in San Pedro this weekend.
Courtesy Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival

wed 7/27

Other than porn, cats are probably your favorite viral viewing pastime. But what's funnier? Watching videos of cats or of comedians? Comedian and Comedy Central Stage manager Aaron Rozenfeld hosts the first Are You Funnier Than Cat Videos? comedy-game night in which improvisers, sketch players and comics compete against videos of their furry, four-legged rivals for big laughs. Tonight, Second City house team Search Engine performs improv while a compilation of YouTube clips is played, and you decide who's the top dog. The (human) winners receive T-shirts that say "I'm Funnier Than Cat Videos!" The show also includes NaNa the Cat Lady. Comedy Central Stage at the Hudson, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood; Wed., July 27, 8 p.m.; free with RSVP. (323) 960-5519, facebook.com/events/833440570089424. —Siran Babayan

They say knowledge is power, and for 125 years, the L.A. Law Library has ensured that members of the public, lawyers and litigants have power at their fingertips by maintaining a resource where legal research can be conducted six days a week in the country's second largest law library. They'll celebrate the milestone year at the Roaring 125th Anniversary Bash, featuring a 1920s-themed costume contest, a tour of the building (including the "haunted" sixth floor) and info about celebrity cases. RSVP spots are filled up, but they'll be admitting walk-ins if space allows. L.A. Law Library, 301 W. First St., downtown; Wed., July 27, 5:30-8 p.m.; free. www.lalawlibrary.org/125. —Gwynedd Stuart

The best way to describe Andrzej Zu0x0142awski's Possession may be to relay how the Polish auteur pitched it to Paramount: "a film about a woman who fucks an octopus." Paramount passed, but you shouldn't. Cinefamily kicks off its monthlong tribute to the late master with his best-known work, which stars Sam Neill and the endlessly elusive Isabelle Adjani as a troubled couple whose marital woes have led them to divorce; the psychodrama that follows is best left to the film itself, but suffice to say that tentacles are involved. Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax; Wed. July 27, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. —Michael Nordine

thu 7/28

Tap into your crafty side — assuming you have one — at the Pasadena Bead and Design Show. Besides the exhibition floor with loads of vendors selling all sorts of small, sparkly things, instructors are on hand to host more than 100 jewelry-making workshops in everything from making paper beads to knotting pearls and making chainmail earrings. Hilton Pasadena, 168 Los Robles Ave., Pasadena; Thu.-Sun., July 28-31, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; $8. beadanddesign.com.

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