8 Cheap and Free Things to Do This Week

O.G. Black Flag singer Keith Morris talks about his book (which costs money) for free on Friday.
O.G. Black Flag singer Keith Morris talks about his book (which costs money) for free on Friday.
Geoff Moore

Comedy about punk, a reading about punk and a personalized consultation about the afterlife — all for eight bucks or less.

Culver City is probably best known for being an entertainment-industry hub, home to motion-picture makers from Hal Roach Studios to Sony (formerly MGM). But long before it was a hotbed for filmmaking — long before it was called Culver City, in fact — the area was part of a Mexican land grant called Rancho la Ballona and was later the site of training camps for Union soldiers during the Civil War. Now, Culver City continues to celebrate its cultural heritage as a vital L.A. neighborhood with Fiesta La Ballona, an annual blowout in Veterans Memorial Park. Expect more than 100 booths featuring everything from handmade goods to swag from local organizations, as well as food trucks, a beer-and-wine garden, live music and dance, and a full-on carnival. Hollywood may be Tinseltown, but this weekend, the real action is in Culver City. Veterans Memorial Park, 4117 Overland Ave., Culver City; Fri., Aug. 26, 4:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 27, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 28, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; free. (310) 253-6667, fiestalaballona.org. —Tanja M. Laden

Even among all the charismatic personalities spotlighted in the L.A. punk documentary The Decline of Western Civilization, Keith Morris stood out, with his manic onstage energy and sodden sarcasm, revealing a soft heart when he admonished bullies to stop picking on smaller kids in the slam pit. The Hermosa Beach native was the first and fieriest of the four Black Flag singers, and he later went on to lead Circle Jerks, Bug Lamp and Midget Handjob before currently fronting the hardcore supergroup Off! with members of Redd Kross, Burning Brides and Earthless. The dreadlocked warrior has seen (and recovered from) a lot of madness in his 60 years, and this evening he discusses his new memoir, My Damage: The Story of a Punk Rock Survivor, with co-writer and Vermin on the Mount ringleader Jim Ruland. Skylight Books, 1818 Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Fri., Aug. 26, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $24.99. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com. —Falling James

How will your essence be preserved when you die? A slightly more evolved version of accidentally swallowing a loved one's ashes during a funeral when the wind shifts, the Hereafter Institute Tour is futurist Gabriel Barcia-Colombo's generation-defying project chronicling the latest technological advances in "digital soul" harvesting. The tour invites you to contemplate options for uploading yourself to the digital realm, including but not limited to wearable memorials, 3-D body scanning and personal data monuments that will stay behind long after you've been released into the Great Beyond. They're even offering individual consultations. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire; Sat.-Sun., Aug. 27-28, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. & 3-4:30 p.m.; free with RSVP. (323) 857-6000, lacma.org/event/hereafter-institute-tour. —David Cotner

Tag along with LAVA (Los Angeles Visionaries Association) co-founder/L.A. historian Richard Schave and special guests for the organization's latest DTLA walking tour, Broadway on My Mind. Following LAVA's Sunday Salon, tour attendees will gather in the basement of Grand Central Market, where things start with a brief slideshow, then it's into the wild noirish yonder to explore downtown's moodily evocative deserted and surviving tunnels along Hill Street and Broadway. Be smart and bring bottled water, wear good walking shoes and a hat couldn't hurt. The Sunday Salon and tour are separate events, so sign up for either/both. Grand Central Market, 317 S. Broadway, downtown; Sun., Aug. 28, 2-4 p.m.; free, reservations required. lavatransforms.org/event/broadway-on-my-mind-16. —John Payne

Who says punk rock doesn't have a sense of humor? Puns N Punx is a punk-themed night of stand-up comedy featuring tattooed and pierced comedians delivering punchlines with an edge, minus the threat of getting elbowed in the eye in the pit. Jenn Scott emcees fellow comics — sans scabies and safety pins — Will Weldon, Melissa Villasenor, Kyle Clark and Ed Galvez, who hosts The Ed Galvez Punk House show at the Westside Comedy Theater. San Diego's one-man, sci-fi punk and electronic band The Digital Lizards of Doom will perform originals and covers in between sets. Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics, 7522 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Mon., Aug. 29, 9-10:30 p.m.; $8. (323) 851-7223,  nerdmeltla.com. —Siran Babayan

In the 1920s, the Pacific Electric mass-transit system was the largest electric railway network in the world, with stops from Canoga Park and Redlands to Rancho Cucamonga and Newport Beach. Take a Trip on the Red Car: A Lecture & Slideshow by Red Car Maven & Historian Alan Fishel is an illustrated presentation about the Red Car's services on the Westside, beginning with its debut in the 1880s, its expansion at the turn of the 20th century and its eventual decline following WWII. In honor of its 30th anniversary, the Venice Historical Society has Fishel taking the audience on two Red Car rides down Memory Lane — one from downtown to Venice via Hollywood and West L.A., and the other along Venice Boulevard through Culver City and Santa Monica. Learn how Angelenos got around long before automobiles and freeways characterized L.A.'s urban sprawl. Oakwood Recreation Center, 767 California Ave., Venice; Wed., Aug. 31, 7 p.m.; $8 ($5 for Venice Historical Society members). (310) 967-5170, venicehistoricalsociety.org. —Tanja M. Laden

Caroline Goldfarb's celebrity-centric podcast This Week Had Me Like is notorious for many reasons, but her brief celeb beef with none other than Sarah Jessica Parker's son is perhaps one of the more telling ones. The 12-year-old was addressed on air after he mildly cyber-bullied Goldfarb on her insanely popular Instagram account, @OfficialSeanPenn. He sent over an adorable apology, and the beef was squashed within the first few episodes, but the podcast's snarky notoriety lived on amongst millennials who grew up with Perez Hilton, desperate for an updated fix. Catch a live taping of the podcast with Goldfarb and special guests. The Virgil, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., East Hollywood; Wed., Aug. 31, 8:30 p.m.; free. (323) 660-4540, thevirgil.com. —Neha Talreja

Authors Tom Zimmerman and J. Eric Lynxwiler present their new book, Spectacular Illumination: Neon Los Angeles 1925-1965. With more than 200 images of the stunning signs that drenched Los Angeles in light from Broadway to suburbia, photographers Will Connell, J. Howard Mott, John Swope and others were savvy enough to commit to pictorial posterity these beacons of L.A. culture, some of which were fortunate to have been preserved at the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale, for which Lynxwiler hosts the spectacular Neon Cruise. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Griffith Park; Thu., Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m.; free. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com/event/tom-zimmerman-and-j-eric-lynxwiler-present-their-book-spectacular-illumination. —David Cotner


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