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5 Unique Things to Do in L.A. This Week For $5 or Less

The Decline of Western Civilization and The Decline of Western Civilization Part III will be screened at LACMA on Fri., April 18 with an appearance by the film's director, Penelope Spheeris.EXPAND
The Decline of Western Civilization and The Decline of Western Civilization Part III will be screened at LACMA on Fri., April 18 with an appearance by the film's director, Penelope Spheeris.
Image from The Decline of Western Civilization Part III

This week comes with a wide variety of events. Treat your tastebuds to an exciting evening out at the KTOWN Night Market or get high off good vibes at a special 4/20 performance by the Upright Citizens Brigade. Interested in a quiet night in? Lucky for you, there's also the option of curling up with a good book at home or meeting one of your favorite authors during the World Book Night campaign. 

1. Take a Look in a Book: it's World Book Night
Like a Record Store Day, but for people who enjoy silence, World Book Night is part of a campaign to encourage more people to pick up a book and maybe even read it. On April 23, volunteers will make that task even easier by distributing tens of thousands of specially selected books to friends and neighbors. The international bid for a wider reading audience began in 2011, and this year's edition will include more than 20 author events in the United States the evening before the big giveaway. Five of those events will be scattered around Los Angeles, from downtown's Last Bookstore (featuring Ransom Riggs of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children) to Malibu's Diesel bookstore (Jesse Andrews) to Leimert Park's Eso Won Books (Terry McMillan) to Los Feliz's Skylight Books (writer-cartoonist Derek Kirk Kim). Highest profile of the April 22 events may be at the Grove's Barnes & Noble, which hosts prolific crime novelist Michael Connelly. The former Los Angeles Times reporter has been running his recurring character Hieronymous "Harry" Bosch up and down Los Angeles in thrillers such as Angels Flight and Echo Park for more than 20 years. Barnes & Noble at the Grove, 189 Grove Drive, Miracle Mile; Tue., April 22, 7 p.m.; free. (323) 525-0270, www.us.worldbooknight.org. ? - Sean J. O'Connell

2. Check Out the KTOWN Night Market
Koreatown, Koreatown - when the lights are low: The KTOWN Night Market is that heady and headstrong manifestation of Asian night markets, which are the part of the cosmopolitan experience falling squarely between the celebratory and the revelatory. More than 100 street vendors will purvey a gustatory experience anchored in Korean cuisine but spanning the Asian continent, turning on your taste buds' receptors for that magnificent umami you've heard so much about. There will be DJs and K-pop singers, art exhibits, a K-pop workshop and "Food Truck Alley," which will include three seasons' worth of winners of Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race, plus mainstays such as Jogasaki Sushi Burrito and Cool Haus. Because there's not much better after spicy food than ice cream. Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, 701 S. Catalina St., Koreatown; Fri., April 18, 4 p.m.-mid.; Sat., April 19, 2 p.m.-mid.; free. ktownnightmarket.com. - David Cotner

See also: 30 Free Things to Do in L.A. Any Time

3. See a Screening
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences earlier this month screened The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, Penelope Spheeris' 1988 look at hair metal along the Sunset Strip. Tonight, see the documentaries that bookend the filmmaker's L.A. music trilogy: The Decline of Western Civilization and The Decline of Western Civilization Part III. Released in 1981, Part I follows early punk bands X, Black Flag, The Germs, Circle Jerks, Fear and Alice Bag Band; watching Darby Crash's shambolic performance, and the now - 60-something Lee Ving berate the crowd and get spat on, is worth the price of admission. Seven years later, Part III returns to the scene, focusing less on the music and more on the nihilistic, homeless gutter punks who live and perish on the streets (two of Spheeris' subjects died before the movie's 1998 release). If you like your punk with safety pins, scabies and cigarette burns, this is the place to be. Spheeris and Ving will appear in person after the screenings. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Fri., April 18, 7:30 p.m & 9:40 p.m.; $5, $3 students. (323) 857-6010, lacma.org. - Siran Babayan

 

Choreographer Batzorig Dorj and the dancers performing with the musicians of Huun-Huur-Tu have put together a show that will give audiences a rare opportunity to see traditional Mongolian dance.EXPAND
Choreographer Batzorig Dorj and the dancers performing with the musicians of Huun-Huur-Tu have put together a show that will give audiences a rare opportunity to see traditional Mongolian dance.
Photo courtesy of Khukh Tenger


4. Watch Rare Mongolian Dance
Landlocked between Russia and China, Mongolia has absorbed influences from those two countries into its own distinctive culture, which dates back to its assertions of empire under Genghis Khan in the 1200s. The dance troupe Khukh Tenger's name translates to "Blue Sky" and references the nomadic indigenous people's deep connection to nature and Mongolia's harsh climate, sweeping plains and three stark mountain ranges. Led by choreographer Batzorig Dorj, these dancers offer a rare chance to see unfamiliar dance from this remote and mostly unfamiliar part of the world. The troupe is performing with the musicians of Huun-Huur-Tu, who practice khoomei or "throat-singing," in which a single vocalist can simultaneously produce two distinct pitches and sing the chord in harmony. The family-friendly show is part of the World City performance series at Disney Hall and includes related kid-friendly art activities. W.M. Keck Foundation Children's Amphitheatre at Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Sat., April 19, 11 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.; free with tickets distributed at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Grand Avenue at Second Street. (213) 972-4396, music?center.org. - Ann Haskins

5. Get High Off Laughter
In addition to being Easter Sunday, today is 4/20, the least productive date on the calendar, and serious stoners at the Upright Citizens Brigade will be taking the stage all day to entertain anyone who's baked and blowing off family dinner. The pot-ty humor kicks off with HIGHrold Matinee Improv 420!!!, hosted by the all-female improv team Cat Ladies (Nicole Byer, Marcy Jarreau and Madeline Walter), followed by Toke Talk With Allan McLeod, who'll be speaking to a panel of comedians about "things you only discuss while real high." Later, This Show Will Get You High promises just that, featuring UCB co-founder Matt Besser, Saturday Night Live alum Jerry Minor, Brett Gelman and James Adomian. Rounding out the evening, The 420 Fun-Fest: A DJ'ed Sesh will include both comedy and music, while Stoned Scenes With Big Grande will have the club's top less-than-sober performers reenacting favorite film and TV scenes. There'll be plenty of between-set breaks for you to grab munchies and question your life. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, 5919 Franklin Ave., Hlywd.; Sun., April 20, 4:20-11 p.m.; $5. (323) 908-8702, losangeles.ucbtheatre.com. - S.B.


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