5 Things To Do in L.A. This Week For Less Than $20
Nanette GonzalesHollywood Forever's Dia de los Muertos, 2011
November can put you in a difficult place wallet-wise, especially since it sits in between Halloween and the holiday season. But you can start the month off right by choosing from a range of inexpensive cultural events, from the camp film fun of rock star Peaches to a traditional Day of the Dead festival in Hollywood's favorite cemetery. These parties, shows and book launches are all less than $20.
5. Hollywood Forever's Dia de los Muertos
Halloween is over and your hangover should be, too. But you can still be among ghosts at Hollywood Forever's 14th annual Dia de los Muertos. Every year, calaca-painted Angelenos gather to take part in the Mexican holiday of honoring the dead, which dates back to the Aztecs. And Hollywood Forever is the only cemetery in the country to hold this "celebratory observance," which features a procession, Aztec and Mayan rituals, children's art area, costume and altar contests and three stages of live performances and music, including singer Ceci Bastida and Saúl Hernández of Mexican rock band Jaguares. The perennial highlight, however, is getting to quietly marvel at the 100-plus decorated altars -- judged in three categories, and this year themed The Magical World of Alebrijes after the Oaxacan carved-wood sculptures of animal-like creatures -- whether they're dedicated to a dearly departed relative, family pet or the cast of The Golden Girls ("Las Chicas Doradas," complete with cheesecake). Don't forget to visit Johnny Ramone while you're there. His bulb may have dimmed in 2004, but on this day, his monument will be up in lights. Hollywood Forever, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., Nov., 2, noon-mid.; $15, children and seniors free until 4 p.m. (323) 308-4765, ladayofthedead.com. --Siran Babayan
4. Tavi Gevinson's Rookie Yearbook Two
When Style Rookie first hit the web, blogger Tavi Gevinson was a disarming 11-year-old wearing Marc Jacobs and Lagerfeld. Five years later, she's a little more grown up -- and she's ditched that Anna Wintour haircut. Gevinson is still one of the most precocious and fashionable teenagers in the world, but she uses her online magazine, Rookie, to explore other adolescent-friendly topics, including pop culture and feminism. In conjunction with Drawn + Quarterly, she is launching Rookie Yearbook Two, a collection of personal essays by young girls and various other icons, from Lena Dunham to Morrissey to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Gevinson hosts a release event at Skylight Books, complete with readings, conversations with the magazine contributors and a book signing. Guests must purchase a copy of Rookie Yearbook Two directly from Skylight in order to obtain Gevinson's signature. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Thurs., Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $29.95. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. --Sarah Diamond
3. Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints
The reception at La Luz de Jesus is a real lulu, kiddies, an unimaginably bizarre confluence of thanatology, superstition and exquisite artistry, all centered around a collection of jewel-encrusted, 500-year-old skeletons. When the remains of what were likely early Christian martyrs were discovered in the ancient catacombs of Rome in the late 16th century, they were turned over to an order of nuns for what became one of history's most unusual arts-and-crafts projects. The skeletons were lovingly reassembled and luxuriously festooned, only to be kept more or less kept from public view after the Vatican realized how potentially embarrassing such fetishistic veneration could be. But thanks to Los Angeles' own Dr. Paul Koudounaris and his just-published Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints From the Catacombs, we finally can get an up-close look. At once indescribably beautiful and hauntingly grotesque, each martyr is done up like some strange post-medieval Liberace. This All Saints Day exhibition of Koudounaris' original photographs is the only one of its kind currently scheduled in the United States, so don't miss it. La Luz de Jesus Gallery, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri., Nov. 1, 8-11 p.m.; runs through Dec. 1; free. (323) 666-7667, laluzdejesus.com. --Jonny Whiteside
2. Peaches Does Herself
When artists tackle the "taboo" and the "controversial," they tend to wind up slouched against a wall with their arms folded sullenly, dripping in depression and inertia. Not Peaches. She's the singer who told the kids to stay in school (cuz it's the best) in her smash electroclash hit "Fuck the Pain Away," and now she appears both on the silver screen and the small stage when she attends tonight's screening of new Peaches documentary Peaches Does Herself. Her directorial debut -- she is nothing if not direct -- is a chronicle of her bawdy, blowsy Berlin stage shows from 2010 and 2011. With fanciful dance and lyrics, her shows' narrative traces her evolution from mild-mannered class clown to the sweaty, bouncy rock and/or roll star she is today. Heartbreak! Romance! Thunder! It's all here tonight, as empowering an embrace as any mononymous pop star has ever offered an audience for its entertainment dollar. Cinefamily, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax District; Tues., Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m.; $12. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org. --D.C.
1. Artie Lange's Crash and Burn
Heroin. Cocaine. Booze. Pizza. The human wrecking ball known as Artie Lange was pretty unapologetic about his vices in his best-selling 2008 memoir Too Fat to Fish. The New York-based comedian's terrifying stories of drug addiction and self-destruction during his days on MadTV, with The Howard Stern Show and in feature films were funny largely because the man survived to tell them. His newest book, Crash and Burn, which he'll be signing and discussing, picks up not long after the last one ended -- with a suicide attempt, a mental institution and rehab. Thankfully, Lange's ability to pinpoint the humor in these horrible situations helps to turn his misery into hearty laughter, both for himself and his audience. He's now sober, back behind a radio microphone and taking life one fat joke at a time. Barnes & Noble, 189 The Grove Drive, Fairfax District; Mon., Nov. 4, 7 p.m.; free. (323) 525-0270, barnesandnoble.com. --Sean J. O'Connell
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